Sunday, December 30, 2007

More Handmade Holiday Gifts

Every year I make jewelry for one or more of the women on my holiday gift list. It makes me feel like I am giving something really nice and the projects are usually really quick to make. Here are the three pieces that I made this year. All projects were inspired by items I had seen while browsing at etsy.

These pink Sapphire & Sterling earrings were made for one of my cousins.

These pink Swarovski crystal & Sterling earrings were made for another cousin.

This felt and glass bead necklace was made for my step-mom. I really liked how this one turned out, so I think I will make a few more of them.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Felt Ball Tutorial

I just stumbled across another tutorial for making felt balls with the wet felt method over at Coco Knits. She used wool scrap just like the tutorial I posted awhile back, but her balls have a Styrofoam ball center, so less wool is used. Coco Knits also has a few other great knitting tutorials too.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Bed to Lounge, Ikea Hacker

When I moved in with my boyfriend last summer we both had beds, but no couch. Our loft is fairly spacious, so we decided to convert one of the bed frames into a lounge couch for the living room. This way, we have the benefits of a couch and a guest bed too.

We took the headboard off of a full sized Dalselv bed frame from Ikea and re-attached it to the long side of the bed. We marked equidistant spaces for the bars, drilled holes for them, and purchased another piece of lumber to cap the top of the headboard.

I purchased a futon cover for the mattress, and covered some giant pillows for the backrest. I used cotton fabric including a bunch of Amy Butler prints. It is so comfy that I may not ever be able to go back to a regular couch.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Handmade Holiday Dessert

I wanted to make a fun dessert for the holiday dinner. When I saw this cute Icebox Peppermint Yule Log Cake posted at Craftzine, I knew this is what I was going to make.

I could not find Peppermint extract at my grocer, so I decreased the amount of sugar and substituted Peppermint Torani syrup.I did not purchase enough whipping cream either, so my "bark" did not come out as pretty as the original. I used Droste cocoa powder in the whipped cream tasted like an outstanding chocolate ice cream.

Handmade Holiday Gifts

This holiday I made a bunch of gifts for my family members. All the women in my family received a wellness bag from me. This is what the kit included:
-eye pillow that was inspired by this project from Sew, Mama, Sew!
-soy wax jar candle, supplies from General Wax.
-a CD of meditations from the Meditation Oasis podcast.
-a bar of felted soap.

Free Pattern: Felted Knit Mushrooms

I have just come across these adorable knit and felted mushroom patterns by Kathryn Ivy. You can see more photos of her work at her flickr page.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Printable Holiday Gift Tags Round-up

I use a lot of gift tags during the holidays. In the past I have purchased them, but was always unsatisfied with how they looked. I have came across a few free downloads for beautiful, non-cheezy gift tags:
Paper Seed
Kitty Genius
Delicious Days
Angry Chicken
Liquid Paper, via
Matthew Mead
HGTV Canada
Bella Dia has a printable gift tag round-up too.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Decorated: Table top Christmas Tree

I wanted to find some type of garland to decorate my
table top Christmas trees. I looked in several stores and nothing was inspiring me. I finally found what I was looking for at Michaels. It was a beaded wire with large sequins attached to it that was made for decorating gift packages. Now my dinner table is complete. Yeah!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Knitting fingerless gloves

I get cold hands all the time, especially when browsing on the computer. I like wearing fingerless gloves and have started hunting for a new pattern to knit up. I have already made three pairs. Two of them were patters from Interweave Knits which you can see here.

While browsing I came across this great list of free patterns for knit mittens and gloves over at Knitting Pattern Central. Although they would not really help keep my hands warm, I really liked these Mushroom Pulse Warmers over at Hello Yarn. I am still searching for my perfect pattern.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Where to buy handmade for the holidays

Many of you may have taken the Buy Handmade pledge this year, where you pledge to purchase handmade goods for presents and ask that others do the same for you. Here is a little list of places to shop that can help you keep this promise.

a few of my favorite etsy shops:

Felt Club Vendors

Indie Fixx

Around the Los Angeles area
Creative Arts Group, Sierra Madre
Handmade Galleries LA, Sherman Oaks
Hollywood Farmer's Market, Hollywood
Eagle Rock area

Be sure to check the ads in the back of magazines for great indie finds too:
Ready Made

Friday, December 07, 2007

How to: Table top Christmas Tree

I am hosting the family holiday dinner at my house for the first time this year. I do not want to buy a tree, but feel like their needs to be some sort of d├ęcor, other than a pretty table. So, I decided to make a set of three small trees that could be arranged on a tabletop and used year after year. I still have to decorate them. I like the idea that, because they have a Styrofoam base, these trees can be re-decorated each year for a different look.


Styrofoam cones
Felt fabric (I used a wool blend yardage)

Straight pins with a small head

Pinking shears
Cardboard tube

White glue

Craft knife


Ribbon or other decorations


Cut felt fabric into 2” wide strips.

Trim the bottom edge of the strips with the pinking shears.

Cut the strips of felt into smaller rectangular pieces.

Use straight pins to attach pieces of felt onto the Styrofoam cone. Be sure to start from the bottom and work your way up, overlaping your layers as if you are putting shingles on a roof.
On the next row up, st
agger the next row of felt, like you are laying down a wall of
Trim the cardboard tube to the length you would like, and use white glue to cover it with felt fabric. This will be the trunk of the tree.

Trace the circumference of the trunk on the base of the tree.
Use a craft knife to cut a channel to fit the trunk of the tree into.

Glue the tree trunk into place.

Decorate the tree with ribbon, mini pom-poms, or whatever you desire.

You can see the trees all decorated here.