Saturday, March 28, 2009


Due to recent crafty indulgences at a Jo Ann fabric store that went out of business, I'm not allowed to buy any gifts for a while. I have to make them all.

But don't worry! My pockets are shallow, but my stash is deep.

So anyway, this is probably cheating, but after I made this little baby shower gift for my friend Sheena, I stumbled upon the Five Dollar Challenge, sponsored by the craftabulous Lindsay. And although this is not decorative item for the home, per se, I totally followed all the other rules. Accidentally, of course.

I found a stack of heavyweight Hanes sweats and t-shirts at my local Dollar Tree a couple weeks ago. I could tell the batch was full of "irregulars," and a lot of the clothing had visible flaws. But I parked myself on the floor like any persistent dollar shopper does, and sorted through that stack until I'd found a couple baby t-shirts and a pair of baby sweatpants that looked perfect.

I brought them home, dug out some fabric, buttons and embroidery floss from my stash, and got to it. (My inspiration for the dragonfly design came from a project featured in this book.) I can point out lots of flaws (puckered stitching, messy seams), but I still like the end result. And with any luck, so will Sheena's baby.

Total spent: $2.00

And as long as you're still here, I might as well show you the little shirt I made for Stephanie's baby boy. (I also made matching pajama pants and a burp cloth in the firetruck flannel, but I didn't include those in the photo. Why? Because I'm an idiot.)

This one only cost $1.00, because I made the (invisible) pants myself.

You can't tell this from the photo, but my favorite part is that the dog's ear is fuzzy. Like a dog's ear. Here look.

Yeah, there's some genuine dog hair stuck to that shirt too. I didn't include that in my cost breakdown, cause my dog gives it away for free.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009


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I made this necklace for my mom last summer, and only got around to photographing it last weekend. She wears it often, and says she gets lots of compliments. I'm still a little bothered by the way it hangs -- the links get twisted and keep it from laying flat. But I really like the colors and the concept, and I have to admit it really does look great in the sunlight.

Maybe that's all I need: more sunlight around here.

Friday, March 06, 2009


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When I'm making gifts for friends, I always try to think of that woman's personal style and make something that fits. Sometimes, though, when I like a piece a lot, it's hard to tell if I've hit her style, or just my style. These blue dangles, for example. I love them. They remind me of the smooth glass pebbles my sisters and I used to pick up on the shores of Lake Erie. I remember being disappointed when I discovered the pebbles lost their shine when dry. We experimented with ways to keep them shiny, but mostly we ended up with jars of wet, stinky rocks, which were eventually discarded. But wet or dry, these stones don't lose their luster.

Anyway, I want to make a set for myself. But would that be cheating -- to give a one-of-a-kind made-just-for-you gift and then copy it? I can't decide.

It is always interesting to see what people prefer. I happened to give these to Kashann when she was at my house for a jewelry party last week. The brown disks (left over from Kristie's necklace) seemed to be a group favorite. Angela gushed over the clear glass. And I love the blue set (as previously mentioned). Individual taste seems surprising and predictable all at the same time. It's like, it's hard to say ahead of time "that's exactly her style" (although I try to do just that), but when she says herself "that's exactly my style" I can say, "you're absolutely right."

So anyway, I hope I've captured Kashann's style here. Or close enough anyway. I loved this project because it went together so quickly (yay earrings!), but still looks so pretty.


This set arrived in two installments. I gave Stephanie the necklace and earrings as a thank you gift several months ago, and then added the bracelet for her birthday just recently. Although I made them separately, I do like how it all goes together.

I think if I were to make the necklace today, I'd put the tassels at the end of chain (like I did on the bracelet) instead of on beaded headpins. It'd have more free movement that way.

I bought the blue & brown rectangle beads at Big Lots for next to nothing. There was a big closeout on Blue Moon art glass apparently, and I'm glad I stocked up when I did. These beads in particular have been a favorite -- I think each time I've hauled out my stash for jewelry parties, someone has snatched these up to make something pretty. I have friends and family all over the country wearing these beads. I love that.