Project Keep My Hands Busy

Since becoming a mom my dedicated craft time has been pretty much non existent.  I’ve been able to steal a selfish evening here and there but for the most part my time is split between cooking, feeding, cleaning and diapering.  But now that my little one is 10 months old, day time play time is becoming more independent – opening the door for me to pick up some little project that I can work on in 5 minute intervals while  Nora is distracted by the empty fedex box or engrossed in one of the foam books Aunt Carla brought over for her to ‘read’.

So the question is…. What can I do that takes almost no concentration at all, that uses few or no dangerous tools, that I can just drop if I need to rescue my wee baby (or I just need to tickle that little tummy), and that fulfills my need to make stuff??

The answer… crochet outfits for my cabbage patch doll, Corine.

(And as an added bonus these little outfits are quickly using up all those partial skeins of yarn left over from past projects that my thrifty side won’t let me throw away!)

I call this one “A Garden Party”.

image

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Tutorial: Lined Zippered Pouch

Someone asked me recently how I make change purses so I thought I would update this tutorial. Here it is!

 For many years I lived in fear of the dreaded zipper, but then I made friends with my zipper foot! Making a lined zippered pouch is pretty easy; once you understand how the pieces go together you can whip these babies out like nobody’s business.

Materials:

-fabric
-zipper
-thread
-scissors
-interfacing (optional)
-zipper foot!

Directions:

1. Cut 2 pieces of fabric for your lining and 2 pieces for the outside of your pouch. These ones are cut 8 x 10 inches. At this point you can iron on interfacing if you choose, I like to do this because it adds a nice structure to the pouch.

2. Put one of the outside pieces GOOD SIDE UP and place the zipper along the top edge WRONG SIDE UP. In this example I used a 9 inch zipper.

3. Take one of the lining pieces and put that on top of the zipper WRONG SIDE UP. You have now made a zipper sandwich.

4. At this point double check just to make sure both good sides are facing in and pin the sandwich together.

5. Put your zipper foot on and sew along the zipper. The zipper foot allows you to sew super close to the zipper.

6. It should now look like this:

7. Repeat steps 2-6 on the other side of the zipper. Now it should look like this: 

8. Press the seams open along the zipper.

9. VERY IMPORTANT——-> Open the zipper! Once the zipper is open fold it so that the lining pieces are together and the outside pieces are together, pin all around the outside.

10. Sew all the way around the outsides leaving an opening in the lining. This pouch is pretty big so I left about 4 inches open, the opening has to be big enough to stuff the whole thing through it. Be sure to use only about a 1/4 inch seam allowance on the sides of the pouch, that way you wont run over the zipper and break your needle. 11. I like to clip the corners like so, it helps make them nice and square when you turn it right side out. 12.  Now you have to stuff everything through the hole you left in the lining. After it’s turned right side out it’s time to stitch up the turning hole, I stitch it closed by hand using a hidden stitch so it wont be visible. You will end up with something like this:13. Poke out the corners (I use a knitting needle) and stuff the lining down into the outside of the pouch.14. Press the seams and it’s all done. Yay!This method can be used to make any size of pouch you want, generally, you want the pouch to be about 1″ wider than the zipper is long so that your seam allowances on each side take up the difference and your zipper spans the entire top of the pouch. For example, this pouch was cut at 10 inches across the top so I used a 9″ zipper. With about a 1/4 inch seam allowance the zipper is the perfect length.

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craft show checklist

Preparing for a craft show can be daunting, not only are you working your crafty little fingers to the bone but you also have to consider everything you need to bring along to make the big day go smoothly, and of course, you want your table to look it’s best! I highly recommend setting up your display at home so you can perfect your layout. I always do and it is very helpful as my display racks are always evolving and I don’t want to bring too much or too little for the allotted table size, plus that kind of thing is my idea of fun! This is my checklist for indoor craft shows, I have never done an outdoor show but I image there would be a few more things you would need.

for booth set up:

  • table cloth
  • banner and signage
  • tape (to secure signs)
  • safety pins (to pin my banner to the table cloth)
  • display items and racks
  • business cards & business card holder
  • merchandise

for processing sales:

  • money box and float
  • paper bags in various sizes
  • company stamp & ink pad to decorate paper bags
  • packaging tissue (I use vintage sewing patterns)
  • receipt book, the carbon copy type is handy for taking custom orders
  • a few pens
  • a small calculator
  • inventory list to track sales

just in case:

  • paper
  • scissors
  • needle & thread
  • lint roller
  • extra hang tags & price tags
  • a project to work on if things are slow

nice to haves:

  • great snacks
  • water
  • camera
  • a helper

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March lovelies

1. “Hello March” image found on Pinterest (sadly, no image source)    2. Vandetta – Wall Wear by Nea    3. Original watercolor lion painting by Elena Romanova of FairySomnia        4. Recycled glass bead necklace – BASILICA – by Novalilly    5. Eggs by Kimberly Taylor Images    6. Pisces Constellation Necklace by bsidemetalworks     7. Come fly away with me photo by Raceytay    8. Aquamarine earrings by Luna Hollow     9. Coffee stain portrait by Artist Hong Yi, aka Red

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taste test

Etsy has a neat feature called the taste test where they show you items based on what you like. Kinda fun! This is a collection of items I put together from my results:

‘taste test says: ‘ by 3rdlife

$1750.00

$10.00

$250.00

$42.00

$70.00

$7.00

$50.00

$20.00

$295.00

$249.00

$14.00

$35.00

$7.00

$24.00

$35.00

$139.00

Treasury tool by Red Row Studio.

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Interview with You Fancy Thing

It’s time to cozy up with a nice pot of tea because today we are talking with Katherine from You Fancy Thing

Katherine creates pretty accessories that are entirely well made, fabulous and fanciful . Her Etsy Shop is full of  gorgeous goodies that make me wish I could wear feathers in my hair everyday!

What inspires you?

I love searching for and collecting materials, like fabrics and beads and feathers and fibres, and then challenging myself to make something beautiful from them. I get really excited about making things from other things that I love. I look at a fabric swatch, or at a jar of beads, and think, “what can I do with this?” Then I plan – I love this part – and experiment, and look forward to the feeling that comes along with creating something that you hope someone will love just as much as you do.

 

Aside from being fancy what do you do?

I like to say that I make an effort to exercise both halves of my brain as much as possible. In real life, when I’m not making fancy things, I’m a wife and a mother to a cute little 16 month old button named Innis, three giant dogs, and a fat, orange cat. I’m a blogger and a copy editor. I like to organize things, which lends nicely to an editing career. I am also a high school English teacher, or have been, but am currently content to be at home with the boys, flexing my entrepreneurial and creative muscles.

What is the first thing you can remember making? 

One of my first memories is of trailing my Mum around the house, markers and paper in hand, taking “requests” for drawings. Did she want a horse today? Or a cat? Or a horse? (I had a limited repertoire at that age). My Mum always encouraged us to be creative. One of my favourite spaces as a child was the hallway airing cabinet, which (lucky for me!) was eventually converted into a craft supplies closet, maybe around the time when my early tendency to hoard pretty craft materials became apparent. I would spend hours in there, planning projects, organizing the materials … you know, all the fun and whimsical things children do when faced with countless markers, crayons, beads, felt, glue, and sparkles. They organize them.

I also drew a baby leopard in grade seven that I was particularly proud of.

What are some of your favourite things?

I love sitting in bright pools of sunshine. I love hot drinks, and good books. I love writing and creating. I love any kind of art that makes my heart bump.

I love being a Mum. I’m loving the real-life experiment of watching my son grow into a little boy.

I love my pets. They’re all rescues, the dogs coming from the Northwest Territories where we taught for five years and also ran a dog shelter on the side – and I feel like we owe them huge for making life “up there” tolerable and safe. Plus they’re soft and snugly, which is an added bonus.

I love my husband because, among other things, he lets me overrun our house with projects.

I love projects.

What does handmade mean to you?

To me, handmade means making something new from materials that inspire. It’s about painstaking details, and cramped fingers, and patience, and an enduring hope that the final result will be just as beautiful as you’ve envisioned. It’s about dreams, and an appreciation for beauty, and an excitement for adding something to someone else’s life that will make him or her really, really, really happy.

Be sure to visit the You Fancy Thing Online Shop where Katherine is offering a coupon code for 15% off her lovely creations. Just enter the code FERNFRECKLE15 during checkout to receive your discount!

Posted in buy handmade, interviews | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

dream studio

I am swooning over this framed pegboard in the Jenna Rose textile studio, the image is from her featured seller interview on Etsy. I just love her shop.

Coincidentally, I have the exact same frame that I have been wondering what to do with, and a piece of pegboard waiting to be put up! This is such a wonderful inspiration!

To compliment the amazing pegboard, I MUST HAVE the famous Primitive 64 Drawer Apothecary Cupboard. But what would I put in all those little drawers? Buy it for me and I will show you. How will I find anything? WHO CARES!

I desperately need a thread organizer and I found a great tutorial on Craptastic to make your own. Look how nifty!

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a comfy cozy chair in my creative space? Yes please! This one from Anthropologie is perfect for my plaid loving self.

And this print from Of Life & Lemons would be a nice little reminder. Priorities people.

Posted in crafty spaces, decorating | 1 Comment

Recipe: Butternut Squash Soup

Don’t let the name fool you – this palate pleasing puree is 100% dairy free and truly delicious.  It`s a fall favourite at my house so I always make a double or triple batch so there is lots left over to freeze.

If this is your second time making it and you want to change it up a bit, try roasting the squash or adding a sweet potato, some leftover pumpkin you have kicking around your freezer or roasted red peppers.  We like it spicy too so I tend to go heavier on the spices and I`ve been known to add a red chilli or two.

INGREDIENTS:

1 tbsp oil

1/2 cup chopped onions

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped carrots

1 tsp curry powder (or to taste)

1/2 tsp cinnamon (or to taste)

1/4 tsp nutmeg (or to taste)

1-1/2 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup apple juice

4 cups peeled, cubed butternut squash

1 cup peeled chopped pears (or apples)

salt & fresh ground pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

1.   Saute onions, celery & carrots in oil in a saucepan until tender (about 5 mins).  Sprinkle with curry powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg and cook for one more minute.

2.  Add broth, apple juice, squash & fruit and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer 15-20 minutes or until squash is tender.

3.  Use an immersion blender or transfer to a food processor to puree soup.   Return to pot and add salt and pepper and more spices if desired.

4.  Top with crumbled bacon and scallions and if you eat dairy, try a generous tablespoon of sour cream.

 

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lets get together and share supplies!

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handmade gifts for him

‘gifts for the manly man’ by 3rdlife

$18.00

$30.00

$20.00

$35.00

$14.50

$18.45

$25.00

$160.00

$38.00

$12.50

$54.00

$9.95

$245.00

$62.00

$32.00

$20.00

Treasury tool by Red Row Studio.

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