Sunday, November 21, 2010

Decking the halls

I've got big crafting plans for Christmas this year. I have this insane idea about hand-making as much as I can, from presents to decorations to edible goodies. That may be about as realistic as those commercials featuring impeccably dressed, well-behaved families sitting beside a perfectly decorated 35-foot high Christmas tree while starting lovingly at each other. But I figure if I get a running start, I may be able to pull some of it off.

First up in Christmas Craftfest 2010: a wreath for the front door. I gathered a whole bunch of red stuff from Ikea, the Dollar Store, and Michaels -- Christmas ornaments, silk flowers, feathers, cool berry-looking things, and a faux-winterized branch. I also made some pom-poms from my own yarn stash (which you can find out how to do here).

A little tip: if you're planning on making a wreath like this, buy waaaay more supplies than you think you'll need. And preferably, stock up at the cheaper stores like Ikea and Dollarama. Michaels can be shockingly pricey (case in point: I bought a solid circle of styrofoam and cut a hole in the centre because all the styrofoam wreath forms were, like, $15. Seriously Michaels? $15 for a hunk of styrofoam?) Oh, and  try to find non-breakable Christmas balls. It would be very sad to spend lots of time and money on a beautiful wreath only to find your hopes dashed by fragile balls. Ahem.

For my wreath, I started with the Christmas balls, 'cause they were the biggest and least flexible. I took off the little silver caps, put some hot glue onto the base, burned my fingers, cursed, then affixed them nose-down to the wreath.

I continued this pattern of gluing, finger-burning, and cursing until it started to look like this:

Then this:

Then this:

Then finally, when I had barely any fingertips left, it was done!

I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. I don't necessarily think Christmas decorations should be trendy -- I prefer to go the classic route so I can use them for years and years. My favourite parts of this wreath are the pom poms and the little birdie sitting at the base:

Though I won't officially start decorating for Christmas until December, I think this is going to look very nice on our front door. Even my poor glue-gunned fingers agree.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Kitty helpers

Remember when my cat Bruno was "helping" me with my sewing? For those of you who don't, here's a quick recap:

Well, now my other kitty, Milo, has decided to join in on the fun. He was ever-so-graciously assisting me with the same skirt this weekend.

Luckily, even with all of the "help," this skirt is done and is just waiting to be photographed. If only one of them knew how to work my camera.

Monday, November 8, 2010

My first crochet project

May I present my very first crocheted project: a snazzy electric blue scarf (modeled here with my new zebra-print shoes!)

I mentioned a few posts back that I took a learn to crochet class at Lettuce Knit here in Toronto over the summer. This soft, sqishy scarf is the first fruit of that labour. I used the Funky Chunky Scarf pattern from Crochet Today, which was a great introduction to the craft.

I'm very glad I learned to crochet. I was able to pick it up fairly easily thanks to all of my knitting experience, and it's good to know that I'll be able to tackle a crochet project if anything tickles my fancy in the future. Still, I have to say that knitting is still my first love. Crochet, I think, will probably play second fiddle when it comes to fibre projects.

That being said, I really, really, like this scarf. Even though it's acrylic (which is basically a swear word in fibre-land) it's soft and drapes very nicely. Plus, I can throw it in the wash if I accidentally spill coffee on myself (which happens more than I would care to admit).

I'll leave you with a shot of me lovingly stroking my handiwork. 

 Hellloooo, lovely.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Object crush

You know what's awesome?

Plate racks.

Bet you didn't expect me to say that.


I'm officially on the lookout for a plate rack. I just think they're so charming and pretty.

Are you listening, Santa??