Wednesday, May 15, 2013

pink ruffles

Last month, my expectant friend asked me if I could make a curtain for Princess Penny's nursery.
"Do you know how to make a ruffle?" she asked.
 "Yes, I know how to make a ruffle." 
"So you could sew me a ruffle curtain?!" 
My friend had found some curtains online costing upwards of $90 for a ruffle curtain. That is ridiculous, so of course I could make a ruffle curtain for her!
She had seen a step by step tutorial of the curtain on aboyagirlandapug. This curtain is made from two twin flat sheets, which makes this a really inexpensive curtain. The only real cost is time. It is a lot of straight sewing across for the hems and the ruffles.
Something else that made this curtain a breeze was the ruffler sewing foot that I bought for my sewing machine. That may have been the best $15 I've ever spent. No more basting and pulling threads to gather material; just one pass through the ruffler attachment for perfectly spaced gathers!

I know I've stated this before, but I really can't wait until Princess Penny comes along... which is just a couple short weeks away. By the looks of the nursery, I think they're ready <3

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Mr. P'Nut

Now that you have turned four,
I probably shouldn't call you "P'nut" anymore.
But I've known you since you were tiny,
So this is my only vice--
Maybe adding "Mr." will suffice.
Happy Birthday, Mr. P'Nut!
Henri, I hope you have an awesome birthday!
with love from,  Aunt Colleen <3

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

handmade birthday

Since my husband made me my birthday present, I felt the need to reciprocate. I decided that I would make him a Summer-y shirt because I found some fun plaid at Joann's. I've made him two other short sleeved button up shirts, so I already had a pattern to use... little did I know that the other shirts are now a tad big on him. I had told him a few days prior that I was making him a birthday shirt and so he asked if I could tweak the sizing.

Of course matching up the plaid wasn't the most fun thing, but I think I did a pretty good job.

For his birthday, I made homemade spinach tortelini. You may have seen my other posts with handmade pasta. It is a little time consuming, but totally worth it! To shape the pasta: fold the circle in half and pinch it to seal, then bring the two corners of the semi circle together and pinch to seal.

I made this tortelini last Summer and I really wanted to have it again. His birthday dinner was the perfect occasion. I love tortelini and don't have it that often. It was a delicious treat.
April is a wonderful month. <3

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Princess Penny

One of my very good friends is having a baby! I have been very fortunate to be able to drive back to NY for the baby shower, and spend the weekend with friends and family who I haven't seen since Christmas. I've had a bit of time to work on presents for the baby, or Princess Penny as I like to call her, (no, the baby's name will not be Penny, just go with it,) and since the shower is today, I wanted to show and tell what I've been up to!

the dress
I had never sewn baby clothes, and I've always said that when I have a baby I want to make all his/her clothes, well, this was my first crack at it. The pattern I borrowed from my Mother-in-law and the fabric used to be a Martha Stewart pillow sham (thanks again, Irene!) I made the fabric flower from leftover scraps and used baby tights to make the headband. I thought it turned out really well for my first attempt and I'll definitely be making more of these little dresses! The dress size is for 1-3 months, perfect for this Summer.

the toy
Some of you may remember this giraffe from a previous post. This is Georgia the Giraffe. She is a Lion Brand pattern. There is no nursery theme, but on the baby registry there were two giraffe things, so I thought, I'll make a giraffe to give. I hope Georgia gets a lot of love.

the winter wear
I crocheted the pink hat with the bow from Linda Permann's Little Crochet book and the sweater and hat set was knit by my sister, Sarah. She is known for her baby sweaters and I knew that I wanted to give one of Sarah's sweaters to Princess Penny. 

Last, but not least, I needed something to put all these goodies in, so I got the idea from the Purl Bee I made a tote bag similar to their "Inside Out Bag," which uses bias tape tape to hold the bag together. I found this beautiful fabric in a trunk at my parents' house. 

the gift bag
...And Georgia fits perfectly in the front pocket!
I can't wait to meet Princess Penny and cuddle her up! 
Congratulations Wendy and John! <3

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

coconut cupcakes & a cold frame

coconut cupcakes
I love coconut, so of course to commemorate my birth, I had to bake Ina Garten's Coconut Cake. (I like to make them into cupcakes.) They are extremely rich and delicious; totally worth every calorie... and yes, that's cream cheese frosting.


a cold frame
The past few weeks my husband would go up to the barn before chores and "work on something." Forgetting that my birthday was approaching and with my nagging, he finally told me it was a surprise for my birthday. The wait is over and the surprise has been revealed; he built me a cold frame!!
If you are unfamiliar with what a cold frame is, it's like a mini greenhouse for your seedlings. Someday I would love a greenhouse or a hoop house, but this will work very nicely for the time being.
He is so handy <3

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

to market, to market

One of my good friends just had a birthday and one thing I know about her is that she loves going to farmers' markets. I decided to crochet her a market tote. It was a pattern that I'd never done before, but had the pattern for, so I thought this was a good opportunity to try it out. Because I wanted it to be sturdy and durable, I used a variegated crochet cotton. I think it turned out really well and I'm sure it's going to get a lot of good use.

Kitty wanted to be in the picture, too!
Detail of the top


The leftover bags are in the background.
Another bag that I'd seen a pattern for and had never done was this grocery bag purse. It used plarn, also known as plastic yarn. It wasn't the easiest material to use, but I'm glad that I tried it. I made the plarn myself. (You can look up how to make it; it's really easy.) I used a variety of colors and made a striping pattern. I should have kept track of how many bags I ended up using, but I would guess somewhere around twenty-five  bags. It turned out smaller than I thought, but it's still pretty cute. I think plarn would make a fun Easter basket, but I think I thought of that a little too late for this year... maybe next year.
Detail of the side
I hope everyone has a fun, happy Easter! <3

Saturday, March 9, 2013

owl invite you

I created the eyes from my Martha 'Layered Daisy' punch

The wings hide the info inside
I added a little tab to reveal "It'll be a Hoot!"

These are the invitations I designed and assembled for my niece's first birthday party. It's an owl theme as you can hopefully tell. Purple and pink are the colors.
This doesn't involve letterpress (sad face) it's only done on the computer, but it's still pretty cute.

**Disclaimer- I'm not really inviting you to this birthday party, "owl invite you" just seemed like a cute blog title. Only those invited by my niece's parents are allowed attend. No party crashers; sorry folks**

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

sewing, baking, & crocheting- oh my!

Lots to fill you in on today! Let's start with sewing, shall we? I haven't sewn in a while because I've been crocheting a lot lately. At Joann's over Presidents' Day weekend, Simplicity patterns were 5 for $5- and you know I jumped on that, c'mon! Out of the lot I picked up some Cynthia Rowley patterns and a Leann Marshall pattern. First dress I did was a Cynthia pattern:


The dress fabric was from a friend (thanks Irene!), the sash fabric was from Gramma McCray and just uses a button at the top to close and there you have my $1 dress. ...Now it just needs to warm up a bit so I can wear it!


A couple weeks ago, I really had a hankering for a bagel. I got out my handy dandy America's Test Kitchen cookbook and made some everything bagels for the family. They turned out really well; but the thing about bagels is, if you don't eat them the day you bake them, they get pretty rough and tough.
      My preference for bagel preparation is: split, toast and spread on cream cheese or split, toast then butter. So tasty and not that difficult; you just need to boil the bagels before you bake them. Only one more step and take my word for it- so worth it!

one batch made eight bagels


As a treat for myself, I wanted to crochet a shawl. I had seen the pattern on the Bernat website (it's just called 'Crochet Shawl' if you want to look it up), but I needed some yarn for it... of course, I have bits of this color and that, but I wanted the shawl to all be the same kind of yarn. At Wal-Mart of all places, I found Lion Brand's Amazing yarn in "Strawberry Fields." I fell in love! The yarn is a wool- acrylic blend; so pretty and I couldn't pass it up. I bought three skeins thinking that would be enough, but with four rows left, I ran out! What's a girl to do? Call her Mom, of course! (Especially my Mom! She happened to have several skeins of that same color yarn! Dye lot was different, but you can't tell at all because of how variegated it is.) For Valentine's Day I got the best present a crocheter could ask for!

A box FULL of yarn!

Want to see the finished product?  TA DA!!!

I wore it to church and all the older ladies gave me compliments. It was great. I love how it turned out and I think I'm turning into a shawl person, thanks to Tasha Tudor... although, I don't know if she would've worn a shawl this colorful. I think she'd like it.

I have even more to show and tell, but I'll have to leave it for another day ::sigh:: 
happy crafting <3

Monday, February 11, 2013

busy little bee

Even though I've been delinquent in my posting, it doesn't reflect how my crafting has been going. I have been a busy little bee. When I finished one project, I had to start something else because I feel lazy when I just sit on the couch and watch t.v.... but if I sit on the couch, crochet, and watch t.v., I feel much better.

Let's see what I've been up to...

I made my FIRST EVER afghan! I had never stuck it out long enough to complete one and I can honestly say that I didn't get bored with it. Making the stripes helped with the monotony, plus I didn't have enough green yarn to make it a solid color. Bya, the cat, really loves afghans. (...and I had to add the fringe!)

One of my good friend's birthday was last week and I wanted to make her something, so I made the "Cape Cod Hand Warmers" from an issue of Crochet! magazine. I had to add a little pop of something, so I stitched some lazy daisies and sewed a button in the middle. 

I knew of two little girls who didn't have winter hats, so to solve that problem, I made them some! One purple, one pink; I hope that they don't fight over them. The hats were easy to make. They may look knit, but they are crocheted using an extended single crochet stitch throughout.

Fight the winter blahs; make something crafty
Don't forget to make some handmade valentines for your valentine <3

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Owl keep you warm

For Christmas, I made several handmade presents. I figured, the more I make, the less I have to buy. One of the presents I made was a crocheted owl hat. (My mother-in-law found the pattern online and it is so fast to hook up!) Unfortunately, the hat I made for my nephew, Eli, was too small... so when I got home I made one a size bigger. It will look great with his navy and red winter coat.
When I showed the owl hat to one of my sisters she said, "Oh my goodness! This is adorable can you make one for my baby?" So I hooked up another hat using pinks and browns.
The pink hat I made for a friend who has a little girl. She had seen a similar hat that I had made for a friend. (I also made a similar hat for my niece, Anna, when she was born.)
Altogether, I hope these hats keep some cute kids nice and cozy this winter!

For Christmas, my friend Wendy had labels made for me- "Crocheted by Colleen McCray." Now everything I make will have a cute label telling that it's an original. <3