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Archive for the ‘handmade’ Category

I did manage to make a few homemade gifts this Christmas. Nothing spectacular, but fun, simple projects. I made two homemade ornaments from an idea from Pinterest. I took a friend’s wedding invitation, cut it into strips and curled them inside a clear ornament. Very simple and very elegant. For one of them I also put some cuttings from my Christmas tree inside to help fill the space. Unfortunately, I didn’t photograph them. :/ Court/Lena, if you have a picture of yours, send it my way! Courtney posted some photos of hers:

Rice Heating Pads with Poem

 

 

Another project: Bath salts and Heating pads. With the use of some essential oils, I made some fabulous smelling gifts! I found some cute colored glass bottles with cork stoppers at Hobby Lobby for the bath salts and I compiled some recipes from the internet and came up with these:

Soothing Lavender Oatmeal Bath Salts
1 cup of EPSOM SALT
½ cup of SEA SALT
¾ cup of finely pulverized OATMEAL
Several drops of LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OIL
Muscle Soothing Bath Salts
2 cups of EPSOM SALT
5 drops EUCALYPTUS OIL
15 drops LAVENDER OIL
Energizing Bath Salts
1 cup of EPSOM SALT
½ cup of SEA SALT
10 drops MINT OIL
5 drops ROSEMARY OIL
 

A friend also told me about an easy-to-make infinity scarf and t-shirt flower pin. I made one for my sister and sister-in-laws. I made three turquoise and two reddish/pink. You just dye a men’s 2x tshirt and cut/stretch it! I’ll include the link with instructions. http://rebekahgough.blogspot.com/2011/08/make-something-monday-ombre-infinity.html

Here are a couple of my final creations:

Probably my favorite thing to do this Christmas was making my own wrapping paper! I know it seems silly…to spend so much time and energy on something that will get ripped up and thrown away, but it really was fun! And I made some cute linoleum stamps that I will be able to use forever. I carved out two simple images, one of an elephant and one of a bird. I had a huge role of newsprint paper that Henry uses to draw with and my mom and I both had boxes of printmaking ink and rollers. I used red and green for the elephants and blue and white for the birds. Henry helped me roll out the ink in between stamping. It was actually a break-through moment for us because his “helping” actually helped! So it was a fun project. 

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On July 3, 2010, my dear friends, Courtney and Stephen were wed under an old sycamore tree in Gillham Park in Kansas City. It was a lovely celebration, and I am so happy that I was a part of the event. Everything about the wedding was so refreshingly original and lovely and…well, very “Courtney and Stephen”. From the adorable handmade banner over the wedding party to the compost and recycle tubs at the reception, the entire wedding revolved around the things that the bride and groom are passionate about.

I was honored by the bride when she approached me about making her wedding dress. Well, honored and terrified! But I think at the end it all worked out well. Just as the wedding and reception reflected the couple, I believe the dress reflected Courtney’s spunk and beauty. I am glad I took on the task, which turned out to not be very difficult. I am sad to say it is one of the last big sewing projects I have done. I need to jump back on the horse and start getting creative! I’m very much looking forward to my mom moving down to Arkansas so I can have a babysitter. Although I have a wonderful child to show for my time and energy, I miss having completed projects to hold in my hand at the end of the day. I believe I can have both!

Here are some photographs from that memorable July day.

 

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My last blog was in MAY!!! I knew I was officially a blog slacker when the url didn’t magically appear when I started typing “ruby” and, once I found my blog, I couldn’t remember my username. But, hey, I’m a mom. Isn’t that supposed to be my excuse? Besides that we haven’t been home much this summer. I lost a large part of my garden during a two-week trip which happened to fall during a drought here in ol’ Mountain View. But I’ve been working on salvaging what’s left. My yellow pear tomatoes are ripening and it looks as though I’ll have some Heirloom Ozark Pink tomatoes this month as long as I chase off those nasty tobacco hornworms. I am also desperately watering my forty-some sweet potato plants and I’m hoping they will do as well as they did in years past.

Henry is growing just like the weeds in aforementioned garden! He will be a year old one month from tomorrow. It’s funny how everyone says “they grow so fast” and “I bet it seems like just yesterday when he was born”. When I really think about it, it definitely feels like a year ago that he was born, if not longer! I just feel like he’s been around for a really long time and I have a hard time remembering my life without him in it. It’s been a wonderful year unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced. I don’t have much to show for myself except for this little growing person. I’m starting to get antsy about getting back on a productive, creative route again.

I’ve had this vague vision for a long time. It’s changed a lot and is still changing, but it’s starting to get closer to being a reality instead of just a vision in my head. I want to sew and to sell what I sew. Maybe online, maybe in a shop. I want to focus on “upcycled” clothes and, because of what my life has been about lately, most of what I plan to make is baby-related. I’ve been gathering vintage tablecloths, curtains, pillowcases, and scrap materials for a while now in hopes that I will gain the motivation and time to get creative with them.

Recently I considered submitting some photos of my creations to an artisans market, thinking I would sell my things in a booth here in Mountain View. Since then I’ve learned about a shop in town that is wanting to carry local handmade merchandise and it sounds like my things might fit in just perfectly, so I think I’ll go that route instead. Anyway, I threw some photos together for the entry and so I thought I’d post a few of them here. I made six little collages. I’ll just put up one per post. That will give me something to update the ol’ blog with.

A baby hat sewn from an old t-shirt. Hand stitched design on front. I was inspired by a hat given to Henry by our midwife's apprentice.

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Baby Bibs

Green Elephants Bib

I had the day off work today because I worked for a while on Sunday. I decided that I would take a break from all the “baby homework” (researching, reading books, etc) and just play. I looked through some of my baby clothing patterns and decided to do something simple and fun so I ended up making a couple of baby bibs. They’re old fashioned, no velcro or snaps. Simple and cute with a little pocket in the front. I used material I had lying around. They’re nothing extraordinary, and they are by no means perfect, but….hey…they’ll get puke and food all over them anyway, right?

Front view with pocket

Front view with pocket

Back View (Can be flipped around when goobered on)

Back View (Can be flipped around when goobered on)

Red Whale Bib

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Baby Shower Gift

A friend of mine asked me to reproduce a couple of paintings for her that she found on a website. I was more than happy to do this for her. The paintings would be my baby gift to her (she plans to use them in her nursery). When I visited the site, I discovered they were actually screen prints, not paintings, which could be a bit of a challenge.

I decided to attempt making them as paintings instead of screen prints. The images themselves weren’t hard, but getting the straight-edge style with a paint brush is tough! And getting the right colors was a challenge as well. I ended up painting over one of the paintings, but eventually they turned out ok. Amanda seemed really happy with them, which is all that matters.

The original prints can be found here:
http://www.designpublic.com/shop/amenity/13177

 

 

They are each 24"x24"

They are each 24"x24"

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Still learning to crochet

A couple of my latest projects. Both of them are gifts for friends. I liked this pattern for fingerless gloves much more than the other pattern I used…plus it’s sturdier.

Sara's fingerless gloves/wrist warmers

 

I made this little hat for my friend, Amanda’s baby shower. I loved the little bill on the front. Pattern from: http://www.christinascrochethaven.com/baby_baseball_hat_and_mittens.htm

baby hat 2baby hat 3baby hat 4
Crocheted baby hat

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Last Sunday, I attended my first “Art time for the womyn” gathering. A friend of mine from work hosted this event. A small group of us are getting together once a month to create whatever we feel like creating. I worked on a watercolor painting. For not touching watercolors since college, it wasn’t too bad.

bird

My first watercolor painting in a long time

I am very inspired by the women in this town. Yes, they all have quite a few years on me, but I still feel just as much of a connection with some of them as I do with friends my own age. One friend in particular is a daily inspiration to me. She has had such an incredible and difficult life. From a teenage date-rape pregnancy to several bad bad husbands to writing a song for Willie Nelson (which he recorded), she has had an incredible journey. She is always positive and encouraging.

I’m looking forward to many more Art Sundays. It’s wonderful to be surrounded by creative people and taking the time to be creative myself.

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