Friday, December 31, 2010

Personalized Art in 10 Minutes or Less

For a good long time I have wanted to make this monogram art that the youngsters over at Young House Love did.  I hit a few snags though.  The first was that it was last spring, and I wasn't married yet.  So we didn't even HAVE a monogram.  Feeling superstitious, I decided to wait until that day had arrived.
Fast forward to summer.  Everybody in our household now has the last initial "G".  Yay!  Except do you know what I found out?  Nobody starts magazine articles with G's!  I even had a big box full of half-cut up National Geographics that I rescued from the school, but no good G's.  *sigh*  I had to take matters into my own hands.
Enter this bad boy:
To make your own, you will need:
*a large picture frame (I scored this huge beadboard frame at Michael's in the clearance section, whee!)
*burlap (I had tons of this leftover from the wedding, so $0)
*felt (again, a wedding leftover)
*a computer and printer

I knew I wanted a typewriter-ish lowercase "g", so I hunted one down.  Then I enlarged it to something ridiculous like 750points.  I don't remember exactly, but I was going for pretty much filling the paper.  I used a word-art to make it outline only (I didn't want to use up that much ink!) and printed it out.
After carefully cutting it out, I flipped it over and traced it backwards on my felt.  I didn't want any errant pencil lines showing on the front, in case my cutting wasn't perfect - which I knew it wouldn't be.  
I cut out my felt "g", a piece of burlap bigger than my frame opening, eyeballed the "g" into the center, and sandwiched the frame all back together.  Voila!  Practically instant, personalized art.  I love it, but I am kind of a typography nerd.

My "G" pic sits on my mantel near another cheap, easy, and sentimental personalized artwork:
My husband proposed by writing "Marry me?" in the sand on Papa'iloa Beach in Hawaii.  We went back there for our honeymoon, and made sure to take another "sand graffiti" picture, with our initials and wedding date.  I simply printed the picture and popped it into a cheap Ikea shadowbox with some Hawaiian sand and coral.  Now my husband has no excuse to forget our anniversary, right? =)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I'm Taking the Plunge!

I said I had some new projects in the works, and here's a preview!  For a looooong time I have wanted to make a quilt.  Being a little wary of my sewing skills, I've decided that my 1st attempt will be best made by using charm squares (pre-cut, small fabric squares).  That way I don't have to worry about cutting & squaring up, I just have to sew straight lines!  This morning I bit the bullet and ordered my squares from The Fabric Square Shop on Etsy:
I can't wait to start!

A Handmade Christmas

This year, I decided I wanted to hand make as many of my Christmas gifts as possible.  I decided this in November.  Call me crazy, but I don't think I ever really recovered from the DIY extravaganza that was my wedding.  *shrug*
Anyway, the madness all started when I stumbled upon the Bernat Mystery Afghan Crochet-along.  I'd been wanting to get back into crocheting, so why not an afghan?  The CAL was fun because you got no clue as to what your finished project would look like - they simply gave a clue for a new square each week.  I played it safe and stuck to a simple color palette: white.  It turned out fabulous, if I do say so myself (although this picture is terrible), and my mom, the recipient, LOVES it:

While I was waiting for my next week's clue (when I was about half-way done with the afghan), I decided I really wanted to make a sweater for my niece, Frankie.  Thanks to a snow day, and an NCIS marathon, I whipped up this adorable hoodie in just a few days!  It looks sooooooo cute on her, and my brother & sister-in-law were blown away.
Love.  But that wasn't it for Frankie.  I had a feeling that a 21-month-old wouldn't care too much about clothes, so I wanted to make her some kind of toy.  Then my mom mentioned that she'd be getting a play kitchen from Santa, and I knew what I had to make for her: felt food!
Somehow the adorable milk carton I also made, didn't make it into the picture.  Ah, well.  For my sister-in-law, I made this clutch:
It's sitting on top of my mom's afghan. =)  Also for mom were these slippers (I love the buttons!):
And for my in-laws, I made another afghan.  Yes, this was a lot of crocheting.  Yes, my fingers still hurt.  But, yes, it was worth it:
And I didn't stop here.  Not pictured (sadly) are some awesome fingerless glove/mittens that I made for my brother, a hat I crocheted in secret for my husband, and a felt flower pillow that I made for my dad & step-mom.  I will have to try to get pictures of each of those, especially the glomits.  They were probably my favorite gift of all.  Oh, and don't worry.  I made something for me, too!  I had seen these yarn-wrapped wreaths all over the interwebs and I knew I had to have one too.
I love the red & white against our green door!  Right after I hung it up, my neighbor came home and told me she loved it, and asked if I bought it at Anthropologie!  I can't tell you how giddy that made me! =)
In addition to all this craftiness, we also hosted a Christmas Eve dinner for our families, and boy am I glad the holidays are over.  They were great, but I am tired!  Fear not though, my fingers won't let me take a break from crafting.  I already have some new projects in the works!

The Beginning

Hi.  I'm Jenny.  It turns out, I can make stuff.  I wanted a place to document all of my handmade goodness, so here we go!