Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Gift Giving

Marshall and I think it's important for our girls to feel the joy of giving during the holidays since they both receive so much. So, this year Brynn and I crafted some ornaments for her to give to the special people in her life. I got the idea from Disney's Family Fun website. It was a process, but Brynn was able to participate in each step. And the best part is that they turned out great, too!

First we had to cut or rip up construction paper into small pieces. One piece of 8.5 x 11 paper per ornament that you want.

The small pieces go directly into the blender because the second step is to allow the paper to soak in very hot water for 5 minutes prior to pulsing into a pulp.

Once you have the pulp ready, you spoon it into cookie cutter shapes and sprinkle with glitter. Press the pulp down to squeeze out any excess water and to pack in the shape. Once it is pressed, place onto cookie sheet for baking. It took a couple of hours in the oven before the ornaments were dry.
(Note to self, it's time to clean the oven!)

We attached a variety of Christmas ribbon to the ornaments with Elmer's style glue. I added a tab of paper once the glue began to dry as a way of keeping the ends of the ribbon more flat - and it made a nice spot to label that they were made by Brynn in 2011.
Brynn is pretty excited to give out her ornament gifts this Christmas. She's really proud of having made them herself and is looking forward to the surprise for everyone. I recommend this project for anyone, any age. We both got a lot of enjoyment out of the process and have a pretty nice ornament to hang on our tree. Merry Christmas!

Embroidered Shirts

I have been reading the blog Made and she has some great tutorials and crafty ideas. I wanted to create a monogrammed t-shirt for Parker's One Year photos, because I loved the one that Brynn had in her's. So I took the idea from Made and created one of her Sprinkle Shirts. I love the way they look on her website and figured it'd be fairly simple for a novice seamstress like me. I enjoyed embroidering the letter, Brynn was even into helping with it a lot. I had a bit of trouble sewing the letter onto the t-shirt. It didn't end up straight, but it's good enough when Parker is wearing it.
After finishing this one, I thought that Brynn may like something similar. Because she is almost 4 years old, I thought she was beyond loving a t-shirt with her initial on it; and since she is so into princesses right now, I decided to make a crown shirt for her. I am much more pleased with this end-product. Practice definitely helps when figuring out how to sew! I even decided to create two more for the neighbor boys' Christmas gifts. If I can get photos of them wearing their shirts, I'll post them later.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Hooded Cowl - Not so sure.

I made this cowl as a gift, but I'm not quite sure how I feel about the end product. I used the free Bernat "Hooded Cowl" pattern, but not the recommended yarn. I had some leftover Simply Soft yarn from my cowl that I wanted to put to use, so I just grabbed two more skeins of that to finish off this cowl. I held two strands together because the recommended yarn was a bulky weight and the Simply Soft is worsted. I used a large hook - 11.5 mm. I like the look of the stitch, but I think it turned out a bit too wide and much too short. It was supposed to be 26 inches in length to allow for pulling up over as a hood, mine ended up being about 18 inches long. It can still be pulled up over your head and ears, but without much length in the back. It is also pretty heavy and bulky. Luckily the recipient is pretty fashionable, so hopefully she'll figure out a way to wear it. I probably wouldn't wear it myself. And since it's a gift - it's the idea that counts, right?

You can tell I'm thrilled with it in the last photo. Do I look a bit like Mother Mary? :)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Creating Something for Me!

I rarely take the time to make something for myself, but am glad that I have this time. Lately with the cold temperatures, but dry weather I have been walking to get Brynn and Cole from preschool. I have really been wanting a scarf to keep my neck warm but I didn't want anything too bulky because my jackets seem to be a bit slim-fitting. So, I decided to make a cowl or circle scarf. I have been reading the blog Luv in the Mommyhood and she had a cowl knit along earlier this fall. One of her featured photos was of this crochet circle scarf. So, I gave it a try. It was a lot of fun because it was so quickly pulled together. I didn't make the cowl quite as wide as the pattern was written for, to avoid so much bulk. Here it is: