Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pleated Purse

There was a typhoon here yesterday. Which means today everything is all wet, muddy and in disarray. Which is why I decided to lay low and stay in today. I tried to think of crafts I could do without making a run to the store. As most of you all know, I have accumulated quite a bit of fabric while I've been here. So I got to rummaging and came across this navy floral print I completely forgot about!

And since I'm making a purse for someone's Christmas present this year, I decided to do a trial run with this fabric. Plus, I may or may not have wanted another purse for the Fall. . .

I used this tutorial for a pleated purse. Overall, it was a pretty decent tutorial and I'm loving the purse so far. I made the mistake of linen-like fabric which made it tricky to do the pleats. I also wish I choose to make the handles all one fabric. I didn't think of it until after I had cut everything. Last, the lining I used was stuff I had laying around and it doesn't completely match, but oh well. Yay for new bags!

If you haven't already, there's still time to enter my Japanese Washi Tape Giveaway!
I've linked this post to Just Something I Whipped Up.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Washi Tape Madness! (+ my 1st GIVEAWAY!)

Japanese washi tape, or masking tape, is all the rage here (Japan). It's fair to say I've been a little obsessed with it recently. So much so that I want to share the love.

In case you're wondering, "Well, what can I actually do with it?" Here are just a few of the many things washi tape is capable of.

You can make these darling little flags out of toothpicks and the tape! I didn't have any cupcakes laying around to demonstrate what you could use the flags for, but you get the idea. :)

These precious name blocks are decorated with washi tape, can you believe the cuteness!?
Find the details over at Tinted Mint.

It's a scrap-booker's dream. And you can even make homemade cards with it, check out what this blog called Scrap Time whipped up.

These adorable vases and eggs are from To Be Charmed.

Now you're probably asking yourself, "What do I need to do to get my hands on some of that stuff for FREE?!" Well, it's too easy. All you have to do is:

1. Leave a comment on this entry.
2. Wait.

Yup, that's it. On Sunday, November 7 (Japan time, so really Nov. 6 in the States/Canada...), I will be selecting the lucky winners! Please make sure to either leave a link back to your blog or your email address in your comment so I can contact you if you win. It would be a shame if you won but I couldn't get a hold of you. That would make me sad, so pretty please don't forget to leave your contact info. Ok? Thanks.

I'll be picking 2 winners who will each win 2 of these rolls (the ones on the right look funky b/c they're wrapped in plastic):

Want to get some even if you don't win? Here's an etsy shop that sells internationally for reasonable prices. And you can also buy it online here and here .

Let the washi tape crafting begin!

Update: The giveaway is now closed. Thank you!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fighting off colds

I received these cute little Japanese citrus fruits from one of my student's mom's yesterday, straight from her garden. And I love things from gardens. They're called kabosu and are very sour and have a hint of bitterness.
Ryan and I have both been fighting off Fall colds and I tried eating some straight for the Vitamin C. It didn't work out too well for me. So I ended up juicing a few and diluting the juice with water. It tasted like an unsweet limeade. I quite liked it.One of the Japanese teachers that works at my school told me that you can use them for your bath, just slice them up and drop them in. It's supposed to be really relaxing in a aromatherapy type of way. So I tried it. And it was rather enjoyable but kinda a pain to take out all the seeds.Now that Fall weather is here I've been itching to make some hearty soups and stews. Last night I whipped up a little Fall-themed stew for dinner. It's chock full of veggies and chicken and I even threw a few pieces of pumpkin in the mix. Take that cold. We ate it with some store-bought French bread. Mmmmmmm.
But I regret to say that I woke up this morning and my cold is still very much active. Bah!

Oh well. On another note, Happy Halloween! If you haven't yet, check out Picnik's new array of Halloween effects, pretty fun!

PS - I'm going to be hosting my first giveaway this week so stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wedding Brainstorm!

Ryan and I have been in the thick of wedding planning recently. We've made some big decisions and I'm getting more and more excited for the big day!

But I'm even MORE excited to just be married to Ryan.
I mean, just look at that face.

We're thinking carrot cake for the wedding cake. Yum.

And I am in love with this wedding topper. So. Cute.
Plus, they're salt and pepper shakers so we could use them after the wedding!

And I'm liking the concept of this centerpiece.

I think it would be neat to get a bunch of vases from thrift stores and spray paint them all the same color (white? blue? yellow?) and put real flowers or these whimsical origami ones (I'm just not sure I'm that patient to fold that many flowers).

There's still a lot to decide, plan and create but I'm sure having fun doing it!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Mr. Glue-gun

I bought my very first glue-gun about a month ago.
Meet Mr. Glue-gun, the lean, mean gluing machine:

It was an impulsive buy. I usually try to avoid impulsive buys by telling myself that if I don't have a project for it, I can't buy it. I didn't have specific purpose in mind for Mr. G, but thought any self-respecting crafter should own one. Plus, it was only a dollar.

Then today while I was trying to think of crafty things to do I thought about projects I could do with Mr. G. And this headband idea came to mind.

It was so simple! I had all this leftover felt from the Dolls for Haiti project and found a plain, black headband at the dollar store. I cut out gray and white petals out of the felt, and similar petals from mesh. Then just glued it on a circular piece of felt which I then glued on the headband.
Viola, finished! (please pardon my super shiny forehead here, it's the flash...I promise...)

Job well done, Mr. Glue-gun.

I've linked this post to Just Something I Whipped Up over at The Girl Creative.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Knitting along

I just finished the baby hat for the "Knit, Pray, Love" project!

I used a free pattern from Ravelery, they have tons of free patterns.
Hats, mittens, sweaters, you name it, there's a pattern for it.

There's still time for you to knit one too! The deadline is November 1, so hop to! There's a chilly newborn in Afghanistan needing a nice hat to keep their cute little head warm and fuzzy. When you're finished send it to:

Please mail by *November 1st*
CURE International
701 Bosler Avenue
Lemoyne, PA 17043

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Fab fab

Isn't this fabric fabulous? Hence the post title: Fab (fabulous) fab (fabric).

I'm quite excited to sew a little something for a little someone.

I'm trying to get a head start on all my Christmas gifts this year. My family switches it up who we get gifts for every year and this year I have my sister and bro-in-law. I want to make one of these handbags for my sister with the fab fab. Which one do you like?

Bag 2 from Ruffles N' Stuff, bag 1 from Craft.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Needle felted St. Lucia

Well, I finally did it. I attempted to needle-felt my first object/person: St. Lucia. For you Scandos out there you're already familiar with St. Lucia. For those non-Scandinavian folk allow me to explain.

St. Lucia Day is celebrated each year on December 13. There's coffee, pastries and a girl who dresses up in a white dress, red sash and a wreath of candles on her head. I'll do a post later with all the nitty gritty details closer to the actually holiday
. But for now I just want to share my first needle-felted doll.

Here is St. Lucia at the start, basically a white mass with a red sash.

Next came the wreath:

After that came some leather thimbles to prevent myself from getting stabbed with the felting needle again. I was afraid I would eventually stab myself so hard that blood would get on St. Lucia's white dress (gross, I know).

Then came coloring her face and hands.

And the last step I reached was adding the blond braids on either side. I'm debating how to do her face, if at all. Sometimes adding a face makes it look kinda creepy (at least when I do it...). Maybe I'll do just eyes? What do you think?

I also need to figure out how to do the candles for her wreath.
Felt is a difficult medium to work with for small items, like candles. I'm trying to decide if painted toothpicks (cut down) would look ok? Any suggestions?

I'll be giving this to my mom when it's finished for Christmas. She's an avid collector of St. Lucia dolls. I'm trying to get all my Christmas gifts made while I still have ample time on my hands. We'll see how far I get. :)