Friday, February 26, 2010

Crafting on a Budget...I mean a real budget.

Crafting on a budget.

Mr. Until Wednesday has taken little Wednesday out for a morning drive and some chilly play time in the snow so I thought I would take a break from the hand-sewing and talk to you about something that affects all of our crafty endeavors. Money. Yes, that five letter dirty word. There are so many people out there being uber frugal with their crafty ways and there are so many out there what feels excessive to us have nots. But fear not, there are ways to remedy this. But alas, it takes something besides money, it takes patience. Do you have any?

Beyond an unlimited pocketbook it takes patience. Patience to build up a stash, patience to buy the right tools. patience to learn the skills to make all of the tool buying and stash hoarding worth the hard earned money spent. back int he early nineties when I was first bitten by the crafting bug-you know when country chic really exploded on the decorating scene- I wanted to join the masses. But alas, on my minimum wage budget I could barely make rent let alone go to my local craft store (which only bigger cities had, Michael's was not even a thought around here)and buy up the supplies for a project. I dabbled in sewing having a hand me down machine, but the machine was a piece of junk and it deterred me for years from the craft. This was before Wal-mart was in Canada and dollar stores were not on every corner. Later on my priorities changed and slowly I forgot about crafting completely.

my love

One of my very first attempts at scrap booking.

Enter a baby named Wednesday. Even having a baby didn't really spark the crafting flame so much as the thousands of pictures I was taking. I realized I could not frame every single one of my favourite pictures, bummer. Enter scrapbooking. It was like the clouds opened and light shone down from above while the choir sang. My lost crafting soul had been found. And it was a financially feasible craft at that. I scrapped like a mad-woman for a few months and then Wednesday got just old enough that I couldn't craft for long periods of time. So my interest in it waned just a bit (although the craft supply did not). Enter sewing. I found a brilliant machine on a local message board site for a mere thirty bucks. I was in love. But alas, the machine was so vintage it only had a straight stitch. I felt the need to compensate. I found a Singer Overlock machine for a song. Seventy bucks, and in great working shape. All it needed was a manual I found on the Singer website. Well, after a little bit of practice, but truthfully not a lot of inspiration we moved...again. So my machines went into storage.

I did not give much thought to sewing or crafting until this summer. I needed an indoor hobby for the super hot days and I really wanted to build some toys for Wednesday that would encourage each stage of development. My first project, bean bags. Super cheap, super easy and super fulfilling. Nothing makes you want to keep trying more than the sweet smell of success. So, I kept going, a little felt here, a little felt there. The beauty of felt is it is super cheap, you can buy it by the sheet for as little as twenty five cents. As my confidence grew so did my need for more materials, more tools and believe me, the plethora of crafty blogs ot there does not help one keep there crafty needs and wants in checks. I am inspired multiple times a day by the creative people out there.

Bean Bag Rainbow
The aforementioned bean bags from this post.

Ok, I know you are saying enough about you I want to know how I can build on a budget. Ok, the following list is how I built up a sizable (if not enviable by some) stash in a very short period of time. (Just over a year if you count the machine I bought last spring.)

First, pick a craft. Your money and efforts are better spent with a focus in mind. This will help you decide what supplies will be and even more importantly, the tools you will be buying for your craft. I will use sewing as the example from here on out.

Second. Understand that the right tool for the job is not just relegated to carpenters, plumbers and electricians. I have a professional carpenter hubby and he has thousands if not in the tens of thousands of dollars worth of tools and gear. These tools serve two important functions, they do the job properly and easily with the least amount of stress on the material and himself thereby serving their second function, making him money. It is the same for seamstresses, scrapbookers and tole painters. As a seamstress, we can sew everything by hand but would you if a working machine was at your disposal? How about cutting with scissors? Would you gladly cramp your hand knowing that a rotary cutter and mat were close at hand? Probably not. Also incredibly important is a good working iron. Super important, if your iron only works half the time now would be a good time to replace it. After that, the big stuff is all gravy. The big stuff being dressmaker's dummies and sergers etc. I just wanted to point out how tools are as important if not more than the stash you acquire.

1956 Kenmore C877.15 Sewing Machine
The machine. Isn't it beautiful? And it sews like a dream.

Third. Research, research, research! To acquire these tools at a fraction of the original price, you need to do research. The internet is a God send this way. I cannot imagine trying to get the deals I have gotten with it. Research is so important. get an idea of the tools you need and think you need. Surf the web for reviews both on retail websites and in forums. The best reviews I find are the message boards asking and answering questions on the subject. After you know what you want now we need to find it for a fraction of the cost. Know your budget and don't stop until you find what you need within it. sewing machines are super easy to come across free or near free. Even the super heavy duty awesome ones. Ask your aunts, moms, sisters and grandmas if they have a machine in a closet somewhere collecting dust, you would be surprised how many do. My grandma (who is my mom's mother-in-law) handed her a free 1972 Kenmore sewing machine that is easily the most brilliant machine I have ever sewed on. In fact it is the machine I have used to sew everything I have posted on this blog. (My machines went into storage remember.) No one is giving their machine's up? That is okay, there are a lot more to be had on your local message boards. Like I said before I found my machine for thirty dollars and it was not the only one in that price range (but it sure was the prettiest.) Don't jump on the first one you see either. Ask what features it has, ask for model numbers so you can google it. Ask when the last time (if ever it was serviced) and last, remember int he sewing machine world older is most often better. It is the difference between metal and plastic parts.

Kenmore Model 1757 Zig Zag Sewing Machine
This is the machine I sew on right now. It was given to my mom and I am secretly hoping she gives it to me. I have another Kenmore machine zig zag machine that my moth-in-law gave to me but it does not have the triple stitch that I love so much on this one.

Sometimes, for the smaller tools you can find them listed online as well being sold second hand but you are better of buying these new. Because if you have to replace an item it stops being cheap right? Spend as much as you can afford the first time and you'll be happier I promise. And, it is not hard to do on a budget either. Thanks to companies like Michaels and JoAnnes you can take your 50% off coupons in and buy your rotary cutters, scissors and self-healing mats for half the cost. And with Michaels, you can take your coupon once a day every day until it expires. See where the patience thing is coming in to play? Michaels in the town next to mine so I can't go in everyday, but I do make sure I keep a current coupon in my purse in case we have the time and money to stop in for a moment. One more thing on hand tools, if you have friends who craft, use their tools. This will give you a better idea of what is more comfortable for you and what features are practical and what ones are not. For instance, I have been using my mom's rotary cutter while I decide which one I want. I like hers but at the same time I know I will not buy the same one. I will make sure the one I buy is more comfortable to hold. But I did buy my 36x24" self heating mat for thirty dollars, normally it is sixty. I have used it innumerable times in just the few short months have owned it. Worth every penny of the thirty dollars I spent on it.

Okay, so now you have your tools. Just the basics, but good ones. Now you are ready to build up that enviable stash. And I know what you are thinking, there is no way I bought my tools first and my stash second. Well, you are wrong...and right. I bought my tools first. The machines were so reasonably priced I bought them within days or weeks of each other. But for fabric I just had a giant vinyl comforter bag filled with clothing and bed linens that were destined for charity or the garbage. I didn't sew much in the beginning. I made napkins our of some of Mr. Until Wednesday's old dress shirts and a closet curtain for the bathroom and like I said, we moved. Fast forward to today. I have a beautiful stash that leaves me wanting very little. (besides everything else lol.) But I did this slowly. Once a month I go to the two charity thrift shops ion town and I would spend ten or fifteen dollars at each one. Tops. I just could afford any more. But that ten or fifteen dollars would buy me a vintage sheet here, a wool blanket there. Some yardage remnants and clothes to embellish. I have also built up a formidable wool sweater stash. Thirty dollars at a time my stash grew. Whenever I went to Wal-Mart I would poke into the remnant bin to see what one or two dollar items they had. But, most helpful of all but also the most expensive was my trips to Value Village. I don't do this often because I go way over budget. But the splurging feeds my craft for months after. I am still sewing the vintage sheets I bought in the summer. So, if you have the money to splurge now and again do it. You don't have to do it all the time, I only go to Value Village once every two or three months. But the selection is just incredible, from the vintage sheets to the mens wools sweaters and fabric remnants it is a recycling crafter's dream. And last but not least. Don't throw anything away! Keep clothing for repurposing or refashioning. Take the buttons off, deconstruct it to see how it is made. Take the zippers out. Everything is reusable some how thereby making it free!

Vintage Linen Love
This was first big score. I think when I finally cashed out I spent sixty dollars but it was worth every penny. These sheets have brought me so much joy when I create.

The last piece of the puzzle is practice, practice, practice! All your heard earned money will go down the drain if you are left feeling defeated one too many times. There are so many great tutorials on the internet, both photo and video that it is super easy to learn the basics literally overnight. Learn from the experts, advice is free, my favourite price. Between my mom who is my mentor seamstress who can answer my most pressing concerns and the brilliantly photographed and most generously shared tutorials on the web you are well on your way to enjoying your hobby, guilt free.

Rufflebum Skirt
From bean bags to ruffle bum skirts in six short months is not too shabby eh? Recognize the fabrics? Look at the picture above.

I hope that I helped even just a little bit. I hope that this post was not too long winded. I just wanted to impart some things I have learned about crafting on an incredibly low income. Which I can break down into three things: Allocate a tiny bit every month to help build up your stash. Have patience, soon it will need it's own room I promise! And three, splurge now and again.

Happy crafting!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

Pleats & Denim Refashion

Never let it be said that I do not appreciate a good tartan. Especially one on a wee lass. Especially especially a tartan I sewed on a wee lass of my very own. It started a couple weeks ago, while at the Early Years Family Centre having some fun in the indoor sandbox there was a little girl wearing the most adorable half denim skirt half kilt store bought refashioning kinda thing. It was adorable. And it was right after I made the Romantic Ruffled Skirt so I was all hopped up on self confidence. But not so much confidence that I was willing to chop up a pair of Wednesday's jeans. She recently just grew into her size three pants so they fit too well to refashion. So I had to bide my time until I had both the time and extra money to go thrifting. Well, I tell you size two to three jeans are not so easy to find in thrift shops these days. But, last week I scored! I managed to find two pairs of jeans that fit Wednesday from the crotch to the waist. So, this is what I made. It is not a perfect copy of the skirt I saw, that one was probably knife pleated and mine is box pleated. Hers had some embellishing on the front that I just wasn't inspired to replicate on a vague memory and mine is longer. But I love it. I mean I L-O-V-E it!

The top I refashioned from a shirt I thrifted a couple weeks ago when I was going to make a kilt out of the tartan fabric. I did a bit of refashioning. I cut off the flowers and then cut off the sleeves, bottom and collar and then lettuce edge ruffled it. I am not overly sold on it, but it helped to top off the skirt.

The skirt was super easy. Too easy. I see myself doing a lot of refashions along these lines. This one I think was easier though because I chose to let the denim fray in spots. I also frayed the plaid but I double stitch zig zagged the edge first. I then pleated it. The pleating was pretty easy although I defy anyone to show me the actual difference between a box pleat and an inverted box pleat. I didn't measure the pleats exactly, and the seam at the back I got excited and forgot to line up the pleats. But on the whole I am really impressed with my first pleats ever. I added the embroidery stitching last. I think it is the best part of the skirt after the pleats of course. I created a fabric belt to kind of top off the skirt, at first it was just a tying belt but I did not like the bow at all so I created a loop and like it much better. I added a yo yo and button at the back just for kicks, but I really think I might take the yo yo off and add more pocket stitching. I really really like how that stitching came out. Now that I have seen how low the top comes down on the waist line I think the yo yo AND belt might be too much. What do you think?
Also, Wednesday has worn this and I have washed and dryed it to check for wear and I gotta say I am getting really good it this. All seams held up well, all zig zag stitches kept the fraying in check.
Now my question is, would rather a tutorial on how to make the skirt from start to finish, or just the pleats? I started a tutorial but I realized the black and red tartan fabric was probably not the best choice for showing you certain techniques. Fear not though, I have plenty of ideas for pleated skirts. Depending on how much time I get to sew during daylight hours for best photographic light I should have one done by the weekend.
For more shots of my gorgeous daughter modeling the outfit, or detail shots of my handiwork you can check out the flickr set here.

Happy Sewing!

p.s. I will be posting this to Wardrobe Refashion and a couple link parties over the next few weeks so those of you that follow that blog to will see a bit of cross posting.

giveawaysmake it wear it

How To - Baking With Toddlers

This is sort of a combination post. It is both a how to and a post for my MMmmm Good Mondays series. A few weeks ago I had a friend asked me how I was able to bake like I do with the help of a toddler. So last week when Wednesday and I made Whole Wheat Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins I took some process pictures to share with you. You'll have to forgive the quality of the photos, my kitchen gets really poor light so I am playing with the exposure levels some were over exposed and so I had to touch them up. On to the how to though. Before i go on to the instructions though, I would like to point out the obvious. Do not choose a super complicated recipe that takes precise times and measurements and methods like something from Martha Stewart Cupcakes (Heck, I still have trouble with her icing recipes!)instead, pick simple recipes like oatmeal muffins or chocolate chip cookies. That way you and your babe get the most enjoyment out of the exercise from start to finish. Ok, now on to the instructions.

Baking With Toddlers
First things first. Measure everything (And I mean everything) before hand. Toddlers have little patience for you while you level of your quarter teaspoons of baking soda. I advise you to measure all big measurements like flour and milk into their own cups and combine the smaller measurements like baking powder and salt in single cups. Crack and fork beat any eggs that are called for in the recipe too. Toddlers love eggs but have yet to acquire the fine motor skills of not getting shell pieces in the goop.

Baking With Toddlers
Let them pour everything. So long as it is all pre-measured, you need only direct now. They can do just about everything all by themselves.

Baking With Toddlers
They are pretty good at stirring but you might have to take the wheel here just for good measure. Notice the tongue sticking out? That makes the whisk work better.

Baking With Toddlers
Now here is tip, one I learned while making these very muffins. If you have to do things in two separate bowls like mix dry with dry and wet with wet, you need to put the current bowl in front of them. It is not enough to say "In THAT bowl!". By that bowl I mean the clear glass one at the end of the counter in the photo. Thankfully, these were not an uber exact recipe and it was okay that the eggs went in with the oatmeal.

Now, we made mini muffins and as a rule I do not use muffin cups with mini muffins, it is one of the reasons I love them so much. That and come on...they're MINI! But, if you choose to make big muffins or cupcakes and do opt for paper cups, you would let your little one put each one in the tray. This was the first thing I would let Wednesday do when I baked. I would separate those tricky little cups and she would put them in. If she crushed them out of excitement, I would just replace it when she was not looking.

I do not advise letting little ones fill the cups though, this is messy even for an adult with leverage over the tray.

Baking With Toddlers
While you wait for your muffins/cookies/cupcakes etc. to bake, eat bowl of the filling. In this case we ate a bowl of frozen blueberries. Wednesday has loved frozen blueberries since she was a babe. And she still makes just as much mess while eating them.

Baking With Toddlers
Enjoy the fruits of your labours. Who doesn't love some mini muffys? I made the mistake of keeping these close to the counter edge where she could just grab one at will. But they were uber healthy so I was happy she liked them.

Blueberry Oatmeal Whole Wheat Muffin
Oh yeah, this is how they turned out. Not bad for a two year old eh? She has skills. I let her help me whenever I can. And more importantly I am learning when is and isn't a good time for her to help. By knowing both of our limitations we are able to have much more fun together when we do bake.

I would like to thank Joy the Baker for the very delicious Oatmeal Blueberry Applesauce Muffin recipe. They were awesome. Especially with a cinnamon sugar sprinkle that I put on all of my muffins.


Linked to Whatever Goes Wednesday @ Someday Crafts

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Story Book Sunday : Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

This is a feature I have wanted to do for some time but have not either had the time nor the inspiration. Wednesday has some wonderful story books that I have wanted to share with you but just really have not gotten around to it.

Well, that changed yesterday when Mr. Until Wednesday brought me home the most wonderful story book. Lewis Carrol's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland retold by Harriet Castor and illustrated by Zdenko Basic. It is the kind that I was told to "make sure that Wednesday is no where near you when you read this." and I did. I huddled up in the bedroom while she had her nightly shower and quickly put it away when she was done. I did the same a little while later when she was eating her evening snack. Finally, I put it away until she went to bed where I could enjoy it in peace. And enjoy it I did!

The story book was a joy to read and a delight to look at (play with). It had cupboard doors to open, tabs to pull to change Alice's size and even a disappearing Cheshire Cat. It has the most brilliant pop-up courtroom scene and even a word puzzle at the end for you to go back and look through the pictures more closely. The directions for getting to a comfortable size on the Caterpillar's page was the coolest trick in the book. When you read it, you'll get it. :)

The illustrations though, oh the artwork. From Alice's dreamy eyes and blue gauzy dress to the animals of the caucus race the beauty is in the details. At first I was certain the artist, Zdenko Basic was familiar to me by way of many a late night surfing the web. But after a quick google search nothing strikingly familiar came up. I did find some other beautiful illustrations from other books here though. You can read more about him here as well.
The Author Harriet Castor does a delightful job, both with the condensing of the story and the extras like "The White Rabbit's Guide to Wonderland". She is also great at adding in a few of the nonsensical nursery rhymes from the original book as well, particularly the Duchess' lullaby. She is also the author of the Fat Puss series of childrens books. You can read more about her here.

Now you might be wondering what a grown woman needs with a fairytale pop up book. Well, first of all Alice is not just a fairytale, it is the fairytale for me. It has been my favourite story since I was old enough to read the condensed versions. I have read many versions, and I own a wonderfully bound edition of both Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There with illustrations by John Tenniel. I think my favourite might be Through the Looking Glass, but really it is pretty hard to pick as both books are full of the alternate/magical reality awesomeness that I have come to adore in children's literature. I have seen umpteen movies based on the book(s) my new favourite being the 2009 mini series Alice produced by SyFy. I have played the video game Alice designed by American McGee (Who is a whole 'nutha kettle of fish for another day!)and even own some of the dolls released around the same time. Of course there is the upcoming Tim Burton film which I hear is based on that same video game which just makes me squee with delight. I have yet to look up much on the movie because I want as much as possible to be a surprise! And you better bet Mr. until Wednesday will be taking me. But I digress.

Next week will be a more toddler friendly book. Usually it will be, but every now and again I find something that I love, and I do love children's literature. In fact I found a copy of Lemony Snickett's Series of Unfortunate events book 1 in the thrift shop last week that I plan on reading soon. Which, coincidentally was also on t.v. this evening. But again, I digress.

Do you have a favourite book from your childhood that you still enjoy reading as an adult? Something you can curl up with in a chair wrapped in a blanket? That is one of mine. I have more and I shall share them will you eventually. Until then, I bid you adieu and happy reading.

*Author's Note* All images in this post from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland published 2010 are copyrighted property of Carlton Books.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

My Creative Space : The Domestic Arts

Pizza Ball

Although my posting suggests otherwise, it has not been a flurry of crafting around here. At first I think I was a little burnt out from Valentine's Day and the crafting that was accomplished for said holiday. It was not long after though that my energies were diverted from the sewing to the cooking.

In our household the domestic duties although shared are divided pretty clearly. I am Mama Supreme come domestic goddess and sometimes meal provider. Mr. Until Wednesday is Carpenter Extraordinaire come chef supreme and sometimes cleaner upper of the abode. This week though, I took on the task of creating more meals. Normally, this is left to Mr. Until Wednesday because he can cook better, healthier and faster. The man can create the most delicious pad Thai you have ever ate in mere minutes. But, a few things have changed, the main one being my vigilant vegetarianism.

You remember my post a little over a month ago about the book Eating Animals. I held true to that promise I have been meat free ever since. While it was truly easy to give up that last bit of meat I was eating, (except breakfast meat, in particular bacon and sausage, man that was hard!)but it did make it harder to come up with interesting meals that everyone, even the carnivores could appreciate. But, I managed and quite well I might add.

Sunday:spinach and ricotta manicotti in a rose sauce
Monday:mmmmmm leftovers
Tuesday:homemade pizza from scratch
Wednesday:quasidillas with a side of sweet potato fries served with a really nice curry mayo
Thursday:simple mashed potato (with skins)with a side of Californian mixed veggies sauteed in garlic butter
Friday:omelettes and leftover potatoes fried into the best home fries ever
Saturday: tortilla lasagna

All in all it has been a great week and I am totally impressed with my skills. But I am even happier that I have found three new dishes that are super healthy, super tasty and super vegetarian. No longer are my fall back dinners rich in both comfort and cholesterol. I will miss the Shake & Bake chicken and bacon smothered in maple syrup but I think it is a totally fair trade for homemade pizza and manicotti.

Next week I hope to make a broccoli cheddar soup recipe (Have one?), a REALLY good vegetarian chili and maybe even some home made ravioli! I'll report back with recipes and photos!

If you have yet to visit Kristy @ Kootoyoo for My Creative Space you should. I am, as it is one of the more aesthetically pleasing places to hang out!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wednesday on Wednesday

Tea Time, originally uploaded by Cara.Mia.

Silliness on mommy's bed.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

How To - ABC Photo Block Puzzle

I really went crazy this year for Valentine's Day. I don't think I have ever crafted as much as I have in the last thirty days! It was a lot of fun, and I am super happy that I was able to turn so many of them into tutorials to share with the blogosphere! This is the last one (for now)I think.

I got this idea from a newsletter sent out by Photojojo. I haven't visited the site that the newsletter linked to so I cannot give credit (I try to bookmark inspiration pages for crediting later) but I figured it could not be too difficult. Into the vault it went for later use. At Christmas I was in a chain department store and they had these alphabet block sets on for five dollars each. Now, Wednesday already has a plethora of wooden blocks and wooden alphabet blocks but five bucks, I couldn't pass them up. And when I remembered the photo puzzle and with Christmas on it's way at the time, I thought I was a genius. Well, Christmas came and went and I didn't crack the plastic fo the block sets let alone get to play with Modge Podge.

This valentine's Day and the obsessive nature in which I embraced it was perfect. Forget the fact that I made one on the eve of and the second on the day of! But, that should give you an idea of how easy and quick these come together! So, without further ado, I bring you our ABC Photo Block Puzzle construction instructions.


Wooden ABC block set
Photos and artwork of and by child
Modge Podge
Foam brush
Paper trimmer or scissors (A paper trimmer was my very first investment in my craft tools and it was the best fifteen dollars I have ever spent. Watch for Michael's sales if you do not already have one!)
Razor blade or Xacto knife

Construction Instructions

Start with a set of alphabet blocks.

Turn the photo over and grid it off the section you want to be included on the blocks with squares the same size as your blocks.

Cut photo into squares.

Coat side of block with Modge Podge, add picture and coat once with Modge Podge once more.

Trim any overhang with a razor blade or exacto knife.

Shampoo, rinse and repeat until all your blocks are covered.

You can cover more block sides with more photos or artwork. I used a hand print and a drawing to cover a total of three sides.

Let dry, if you put them in front of a fan it dries in record time and you can wrap them up for gift giving.

Once dry, you can put them back int heir cart thing and give them to a special person. I gave one of these to each Grandma in Wednesday's life. I should have made a third for Wednesday because she loves puzzles right now and continues to play with these.

This was so easy and a great way to hang out at the kitchen table with family instead of in the back room sewing. So maybe I'll make that one for Wednesday sooner rather than later!

Happy Crafting!

P.S. I know that my tutorials have been taking all sorts of different formats, I am trying to find a cohesive way to format them, but I find it really depends on the pictures, how of them there are and how clear the photos are the smaller they get. Because really, what is the point to a photo tutorial if you cannot see what the heck I am talking about right? So yeah, just saying, I noticed it too ;)

Linked up to Whatever Goes Wednesday @ Someday Crafts

Monday, February 15, 2010

How To - Sparkly Filled Lace Tea Bags for Play

Tea Set (11)

I hope your Valentine weekends were wonderful! It was a warm and loving weekend here indeed. We had a tea party with Wednesday and family for dinner last night. Good food (both real and fake) and good people, how can you go wrong? ♥

I know the previous Felt Sugar Cookie tute was a bit random, but it all came together so quickly I thought I would post it. I made them to go with the sparkly filled lace tea bags of today's construction instructions. Hence the statement of not being able to have a tea party without cookies.

**Note** Due to the nature of the filling, these are not recommended for super small children. Wednesday is two and a half and the hot glue is near impossible to get apart so I am confident that this is safe. If you are at all concerned, do not leave child unattended. OR you could just as easily fill with pieces of felt or stuffing.

I was really excited when I came up with these and even if I severely burned myself twice they turned out awesome! I hope you enjoy them too! Sans burns of course.


2" wide lace (roughly 20" long)
Plastic gem stones (or felt scraps)
1/8" ribbon
Red felt
Hot glue & gun

Lace Tea Bag Steps 1-3

Lace Tea Bag Steps 4-6

Lace Tea Bag Steps 7-9

Lace Tea Bag Steps 9-11

Lace Tea Bag Steps 12-13

Tea BagLace Tea Bag

Ta -daa! Your front and back views.

Now, you have cookies and tea bags shall we have a tea party?
Tea Set (8)

Linked up to Whatever Goes Wednesday @ Someday Crafts

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Saturday, February 13, 2010

How To - Felt Sugar Cookies

Measure and cut your fabric. I used a cookie cutter for a template.

Sew ric rack to felt hearts in one long strip.

Snip every second felt heart. Fold over and with wrong sides together sew.

Stuff. I found tweezers helpful here.

Trim with pinking shears if you have them and voila, you're done!

You simply must have cookies if you are going to have a Valentine's Tea Party!

Thank You Donna!


I have a few thank yous owing to Donna of Homemaking Made Easy. First, a thank you for the beautiful candle pictured above. It smells as good as it looks! The label says spiced apple and it does smell like apple pie when burning. A lovely companion whilst sewing. I hadn't sent a thank you yet because I was hoping to surprise you with something nice in the mail, but you know how time can fly!

A second thank you for all of the support she has shown me over the last few weeks. A little bit of praise goes a long way in the blogging world and she has given me enough to last a year.

The third thank you is for making me the first "Featured Follower". How lovely to be in the sidebar of her happy and handy blog.

If you have yet to visit Donna I suggest you do. Her blog Homemaking Made Easy is a lovely combination of housework and house love. She sews, she crafts, she cleans and she loves her family. There is even a post on how to make the gorgeous candle pictured above.