Monday, December 31, 2012

DIY Project: Elephants & Dots Baby Quilt

In early 2012, I decided to finally tackle something that had been on my Bucket List for years, and throughout this past year, using pure improvisation and stubbornness, I've slowly taught myself to make quilts. It seems fitting that I finished one of my favorite quilts I've made so far, on the last day of this year.

I started with this absolutely adorable, organic fabric line from Birch Fabrics, in a coordinating mix of gray, white, teal and soft aqua.

I really love the mix of colors and prints in this line! It's so gorgeous! 

After waffling back and forth for a couple of days over the quilt top design, I eventually decided to go with a simple wide stripe design, very similar to my last quilt, in a reverse ascending/descending pattern. I started this cute little quilt last night, cut, pieced, and quilted it, and then made and finished the binding this morning. 

I used the gray solid from the quilt top for the backing, adding a simple initial in the bottom, right corner for a little pop of color and personalization (this quilt is another gift). 

This time, instead of regular appliqué for the personalization, I opted to sew the H from two layers of solid teal, right sides in, then turning it right side out, pressing, and attaching it with a simple top stitch around the edge, before I added the quilting. I do hope it will be durable enough this way, as I really like this look. 

For the binding, I first folded the overhanging backing fabric over the edge, then added a homemade double binding on top of that. I made the binding using left over aqua solid from the quilt top.

I love the thin edge of gray peeking out from under the aqua binding! In fact, I absolutely LOVE this little quilt! It's been so fun figuring out how to do this this past year, and I love seeing improvements in my technique with each completed project.

I really hope cute little H gets a lot of use out of this cuddly little quilt!

*All photos are taken pre-wash, and the quilt is a lot more crinkly and puffy post-wash, but I forgot to retake them after it came out of the dryer, and now I've already packed it to ship.


Quilt top:
Jay-Cyn Designs for Birch Fabric Organic, Mod Basics, Ellie Fam in Shroom, Teal and Pool
Jay-Cyn Designs for Birch Fabric Organic, Mod Solids in Teal, Pool, Shroom, and White

Quilt back:
Yay-Cyn Designs for Birch Fabric Organic, Mod Solids in Shroom and Teal

Jay-Cyn Designs for Birch Fabric Organic, Mod Solids in Pool

Saturday, December 29, 2012

DIY Project: Floral Sunglasses

I almost died when I first saw this tutorial from Honestly... WTF, it was Love At First Sight. I knew I had to make a pair. Or twenty.

Here is what I came up with:

I used a cheap pair of Sunreaders (I never even knew these existed before my eyes got old and crappy), e6000 glue, and some resin flowers ordered from Etsy to make my shades. They took about 10-15 minutes to make, and only that because I had to wait for the glue to get tacky enough to hold the flowers to the frames while it dried completely. 

My favorite type of DIY: quick, easy and oh, so fabulous!

Now all I want to do is drive down HWY 1 with the top down, blasting Lana Del Ray (and singling along at the top of my lungs), while shielding my eyes from the sun with these fabulous shades!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

DIY Project: Studded iPhone Case

I've been using a simple, clear case ever since I upgraded my iPhone 4 for a 5. I've seen a bunch of these studded cases lately, and really liked them, but none of the ones I saw were made to fit the iPhone 5. I also didn't want a colored case with studs, I wanted a clear case with studs. Since I couldn't find one, I figured I'd just make my own.

This is what I came up with:

DIY Project: Studded iPhone Case

What you'll need:
hard iPhone case
flat studs
strong glue

long bamboo skewers or tooth picks (or what have you) to apply glue & move studs around

What to do:
1. Determine your pattern first. Use a ruler and a pencil, or tape if your case material won't tolerate pencil, as a guide if you feel like you need it. I free-handed mine, and they turned out fine.
2. Add a small amount of glue to a paper plate, it dries quickly, so refresh as needed. Start gluing your studs, being careful to place them straight and evenly.
3. Wait [impatiently] while the glue dries.

Voila! Awesome iPhone case!

Clear iPhone 5 hard case, $2.99
100 flat stud, $9

Each case came out to approximately $7 each.

Now I just need to decide on which I will use first, gun metal, or silver? 

Friday, December 21, 2012

DIY Project in Action: Cheesy Christmas Ornament Earrings

I made these quick & easy Cheesy Christmas Ornament Earrings before my recent trip to Sweden, to give to all my girl friends for our Christmas Get-Together/Cookie Party.

They were perfect as a fun little party favor.

My beautiful friends modeled them perfectly!

A lot of my Swedish friends now have kids (a few of them even have several!), and they got plastic glitter version, not the ones made with glass ornaments, as they are extremely fragile, and not exactly "baby safe".

I wish I would have made a few clip-on version as well, as little Bonnie, who doesn't have pierced ears, wanted a pair as well. This was an acceptable workaround though.

It was lovely seeing these ladies, and super fun to meet all their littles. Hope y'all like your festive little earrings!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

DIY Project: Striped Baby Quilt

I started another quick little baby quilt last night, cut, pieces, and quilted it in one sitting, then finished the binding this morning.

For the top I used the same print as in my 1 Day Baby Quilt, Michael Miller's Wood Horses print, but in pink instead of the coral, and this time paired with 8 different shades of solid pink cotton.

I used half a yard of the Wood Horses print (same amount as last time), and a fat quarter of each of the other colors. I used 2 yard of a solid gray cotton for the backing. I made the binding from left over pink strips from the quilt top, and thus using up all 8 fat quarters. 

This time I did have enough backing material left to do a double layer binding, first folding the gray backing over the raw edge, and then adding my homemade double binding on top.

Although I mainly make it this way for added durability, I really love the look of the gray peeking out under the top layer, pink binding.

For batting I used a low loft organic bamboo batting, which makes for very thin, light, fluffy quilts. It came out of the dryer all crinkly soft, and I hope that my friend, Kristina, and her little baby girl, will get a lot of use out of it.


Quilt top:
Michael Miller 'Wooden Horses' in pink and gray
8 fat quarters of Robert Kaufmann Kona Cotton, in 8 different shades of solid pink

2 yards solid gray Kona Cotton

Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton, in 8 different shades of solid pink

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

DIY Project in Action: 1 Day Baby Quilt

I made this 1 Day Baby quilt for my friend Annika's baby girl back in October, and on a recent visit to Sweden, as I walked into Annika's house, I spotted the quilt laying on the floor witch a bunch of toys scattered around it.

Annika told me how Melia plays on that quilt every single day. (Their cat also loves it, as you can see above.) It made me really happy to see that this gift that I spent my time making just for her, is actually being used, and it's part of their lives. And years from now, when my friend thinks back on this baby time, or looks at their baby photos, this little quilt is going to be there in the background.

This is one of my favorite reasons for gifting my little quilts. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

DIY Project: Stamped Holiday Cards

This project was purely an accident; I had no plans of making my own holiday cards this year. However, between traveling and catching a nasty flue, I forgot to order our cards. By the time I remembered (last night before bed), it was much to late to order with any hope of receiving them before Christmas, not to mention mailing them out in time.

Initially, I thought I might be able to use some left over cards from a few years ago, but when I went to dig them out, there were only 10 or so left. What to do?

I literary woke up in the wee hours this morning, with the idea of using a stamp I stumbled upon online a while back. At the time, I thought it was so funny to find a Swedish dalahorse style stamp here in the US, so I bought it without any real plan of what to use it for, then put it away in my stationary drawer, and forgot all about it. Until 2 am this morning.


I got up right away, and spent the early morning stamping cards. I snapped a few pics during the process, but just with my phone, so they aren't the best, but I figured I'd share them anyways. 

I'm so happy that I had all the supplies at home already, so I could start right away, but I would have preferred better card stock. (Note to self: stock up on better card stock.) I just so happened to recently have ordered a brand new set of stamp ink pads, in an array of colors, and I chose to go with a classic red for the cards.

The horse stamp also came with an extra little flower stamp, so I used that as well to decorate the cards, and the envelopes.

Initially I had planned on writing a holiday greeting on the outside of the card, but I scrapped that idea as it didn't look that great. I wish I had an alphabet stamp set, and I would have used that. Instead I wrote the greeting on the inside. 

When the cards were all done, I figured I might as well finish them for shipping. A few hours later, all our holiday cards are made, signed, addressed, and ready to be be dropped in the mail box today!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

DIY Project: Felt Christmas Tree with Ornaments

I got this idea from Pinterest (of course) months and months ago, and while there are countless versions of this project out there, I really like this tutorial from the blog Johnny In A Dress.

As soon as I first saw this, I thought of a certain little Swedish girl, who I knew would LOVE something like this for the holiday season. But the holidays were still very far away at the time, so I filed it away for later in the year.

I finally made this project this week, and the whole thing took about 30 minutes from start to finish! All you need is about 1 yard of green felt, plus some colored felt for decorations, a scissor, and hot glue.

Unlike the original tutorial, I used a mix of plain and patterned felt, instead of decorating the ornaments myself. I also hot-glued a star to the top of the tree.

I added a couple of gift tags to some of the gifts under the tree, one with the gift-recipient's name, and one with "God Jul", which is Swedish for Merry Christmas.

I also added one gift with an unsealed top edge, to use as a pocket for the ornaments when not in use.

I attached the tree using wide, double-sided tape, and it worked brilliantly.

I hope this little felt tree will give a certainly little girl, who according to her mom "likes to re-decorate the tree every single day", a lot of joy this holiday season.

Monday, December 3, 2012

DIY Project: Candy Cane Centerpiece

I made these Candy Cane Centerpieces for the first time last year, after finding a tutorial on Pinterest, and I knew right away that this was a project I would repeat many times over. However, this year when I went back to my old pin to refresh my memory, the link seems to be broken, and the tutorial missing. I had planned to link to it, with photos of my finished project, but instead I'm posting my method as I remember it. I don't know how closely it matches the original tutorial, as I haven't' read it in a year (should be fairly close though, as this is a really easy project), but this worked perfectly for me today, and the end result looks fairly similar to the original picture that was my inspiration. If you do happen to find the original tutorial, please let me know so that I can link and credit the original source. 

DIY Project: Candy Cane Centerpieces

These are perfect for a holiday party, a quick hostess gift, or as part of your holiday decor. Besides roses, I also filled a few of them with candles, and both looked fabulous (photos to come).

What you'll need:
1 clean glass container
1 rubberband or elastic that fits tight around the glass container
candy canes (number depends on size of glass container)
ribbon (length depends on size of glass container)
red roses and greenery OR large candle or luminary

What to do:
1. Fit elastic around the glass container.
2. Add candy canes between the elastic and the glass, making sure the elastic is tight enough to hold the candy canes in place. Continue to add candy canes until they cover the entire circumference of the glass container.
3. Straighten candy canes, and tie ribbon around candy canes, on top of the elastic, hiding it.
4. Your base is now finished. Trim roses to the correct length, making sure flowers form a slight dome shape, and arrange together with greenery in the glass container. Add water. Alternatively, add a candle instead.
5. Done!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

DIY Project: Quick and easy Cheesy Christmas Ornament Earrings

I saw these earrings this morning at Target, and thought they would be perfect for a cheesy holiday get-together with some fabulous, holiday-loving girlfriends. I also realized I already had all the necessary supplies to make my own version at home.

This is what I came up with.

I made a bunch of them, in different shades of red & silver, and I cannot wait to wear these cheesy things to various holiday-related shenanigans! Now I just need a hideous reindeer sweater & decide if I'm mixing or matching the ornaments!

This project is so simple that it barely even needs a tutorial. Still, here are the very simple instructions to make your own Cheesy Christmas Ornament Earrings. Making time is approximately 2 seconds. No kidding.

DIY Cheesy Christmas Ornament Earrings

To make one pair of Cheesy Christmas Ornament Earrings.

What you need:
2 French wire earring hooks
2 mini ornaments, glass or plastic
2 jump rings

What to do:
1. Open jump ring just enough to slip on 1 Sterling silver French wire earring hook, and one mini ornament.

2. Close jump ring.
3. Repeat once again, to make a pair.
4. Done!

Price Comparison:

Original inspiration:
Happy Holidays Ornament Earrings, Target, $7.99 per pair

DIY Retail Knockoff:
$1 per pair