Friday, March 23, 2012


While I finish getting this all set up, I'm happy to announce that I have work available for sale at the ArcWorks Gallery Shop in Peabody! The photo above is of some of my hippos plus a super soft all-flannel baby quilt (one of two) that is for sale there. The photo was taken by my lovely friend Elise, who manages the shop. She also taught the fabulous workshop I took back in October, is a tireless cheerleader for handmade, and super awesomely asked for some of my stuff. And guess what? The "x" hippo has already sold!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Birthday gifts update

Kate bday baskets 1
Argh, so behind on documentation! I have been cranking away at a little something, plus trying to keep up with my Dear Jane (and failing) and Sew Colette sew-along (doing marginally better), but it seems blogging is the thing that always falls by the wayside. What you see above was crafted and gifted in January. January!

Kate bday baskets 2
These are versions of the basket from Zakka Sewing: the big one was enlarged by 1" and the smallest one was decreased by 1". What makes them awesome, though, is that I embroidered various designs from this (free!) sketchy cats embroidery pattern by Speckless. The embroidery designs are so cute that I had a hard time choosing which ones to use!

Kate basket big detail
But this bit? This is my favorite bit of all! These nested baskets were gifted to my friend Kate for her birthday. Awesome. I embroidered for that entire weekend (you can see the other embroidery I did here) and totally killed my hand, though. Definitely not something I'm used to working on!

Sandy bday gifts
These gifts were made for my friend Sandy, also in January, and gifted before her February birthday. It was a big birthday for her, and she celebrated by going on a safari in Africa! I knew I wanted to make something that she could take along on her trip, so I made the above: a boxy toiletries bag lined in oilcloth and made following this tutorial, and a travel portfolio from Fabric-by-Fabric One-Yard Wonders.

Sandy travel portfolio 3
So far this is the only project I've made from the book, but it turned out well and Sandy said it was invaluable for her trip. I don't have a passport (I know!) to test the pocket, but I guess the measurements are spot-on, which was my biggest worry. It is a great gift for someone about to take a trip, that's for sure!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Crafty Swap

Rita package 1
I'm back from 4 full days in Chicago, where I attended AWP for the first time, tagging along with my writer husband. It was SO fun and I'm having a hard time transitioning back to my normal life after spending so much time bumming around with so many awesome people. Part of my transition back includes catching up on my Google Reader and finally blogging some photos I've had marked as "private" in Flickr for what seems like forever. So, I'm getting to it!

Rita package 2
What you see above is my contribution to a Handmade 2011 swap with Rita of Mochi Studios. The premise of the swap is that you post on Facebook that you will make something handmade for the next five commenters, but only if they in turn post and pledge to make for their next five. I'll say that I did this with varying degrees of success, but that I was exceedingly happy when Rita requested that we do an exchange. Then came the problem: What do you make for someone so crafty and awesome that she could certainly make it herself?

pin cushion caddy 1
Enter the Pincushion Caddy from Anna Maria Horner's first book. By all accounts I've read, this is a challenging project. I always thought it was a great idea, though one that won't work for me: my kitty loves to pull pins out of things, so I have to keep mine hidden at all times. Anyway, I'm here to say: YES, this project is a bugger.

pin cushion caddy 2
Stuffing was HARD. I found it easiest to leave two openings, one on each size. I also found that a jar of Newman's Own salsa was the perfect size to help the center keep its shape while stuffing. And oh, these photos? They are of my third pincushion. The first was not nearly so pretty.

Rita drawstring 1
What turns out well EVERY time, though, is the lined drawstring bag from In Color Order. Along with these crafted gifts, I included some crafty books I knew Rita wanted, just to round things out.

Rita swap foxes 1
And here's what I got in return: two sweet foxes in a log! Squee! They are so cuuuute! When Rita first posted them on her shop's facebook page, I freaked out. I'm so happy that they are mine!

Rita swap foxes 3
Possibly the best part? Rita embroidered the log with this bit of sweetness. Aww! Check out the Mochi Studios Etsy shop if you'd like to get your own! These owls are also incredibly adorable, as is everything else in the shop! Rita's craftsmanship and embroidery are exquisite; I'm so happy to call her a bloggy friend!