Sunday, January 15, 2012

Nieces make for happy crafting

Crafting can be a challenge in my house of men, if I'm actually thinking of gifting TO them. I suppose a scarf or two might work, but by and large, fabric and yarn and paper don't really do a lot to float their respective boats. Thankfully, I have enough other people I can make things for! My sweet nieces, Maizy and Lucy, are two of my favorites.

Lucy's birthday in December gave me the perfect excuse to add to her pink-white world, which I started with a blanket for her 4th (or was it 5th?) birthday years ago. It was meant to be a baby blanket to welcome her to the world (kid you not), but back in "those days," I had much less room for the crafty in my schedule, and her birthdays came and went without the blanket being finished. In fact, if I remember correctly, I actually had it half done, then forgot what I was doing--stitch-wise and hook-size-wise--so undid the whole thing and started over. Brilliant, Sher.

Regardless, word on the street is that she enjoys the blanket, and I had extra yarn, so I thought I'd send a couple of pillows her way. For this first one, I made the under-pillow from some flowery fabric and covered it with a pattern of double crochets and skipped stitches, to create the holes you can see through. I then took the floral fabric (see second picture) and made a smaller pillow that I then added a crocheted ruffle to.

In this second pillow, I turned the bigger pillow over so you can see the back side of it, which doesn't have the gaps to see fabric through... just one solid crocheted mass (I obviously need to work on my descriptive language for these crafty posts! Mass doesn't sound very appealing...)

Making a crochet ruffle is definitely something I had not done before and haven't really seen a lot of around the Pinterest-interwebs world, but I'm sure I didn't invent it. I reinforced the floral fabric with an interface to make it a bit heftier, which helped the ruffle not completely dominate the structure. I might experiment with this concept again, even just to make a crocheted ruffle for a crocheted pillow...

For Maizy's Christmas, I wanted to make something that she could enjoy during those mild Bainbridge Island winters, but that would add a little color to her world. I had been experimenting with crocheted leaves and other little novelties to embellish coffee cozies, and thought I would make a bunch of leaves and string them all together. A few leaves later, it occurred to me to just keep crocheting (doh!) between the leaves, and string them all together. I made it up as I went along, and want to come back to the project and actually make a tutorial for it for the future. I can see making more of these down the road, even expanding the leaf size and shape, etc. It was a very fun project to do, and I'm sorry I didn't take a more "close up" picture of it, but when I make a tutorial of it, I will, for sure!

Faintly remembering from my own childhood a craving for little spots to keep my treasures (childhood? I still like treasure boxes...), I decided to make each girl their own box for Christmas, and fill it will little crafty bits and bobs. I used a variety of paper types (and learned the difference between WalMart paper and nice paper from our local scrapbook store, for sure), and used some Martha Steward craft punches, washi tape, puffy paint and glitter, as well as Mod-Podge. All the good stuff!

Lastly in this crafty kind of post, I promised to show you a picture of the cowl I am so enjoying. Don't be distracted by my fake smile and the bad lighting--look at that cozy bit of yarn around my neck! It's one of those twisted kind, and Kim intertwined a soft, thin thread with the other, heftier yarn, so the whole thing is just like a warm hug. Love it, Kim! Now I just need some snow to go with it!!

That's the crafty update from here. My crochet needle is going, going right now on a friendly birthday present that I cannot show until "later," and I have plans to turn a crew-neck sweater into an embellished cardigan, a la this Pin (or this one).  I'm trying to keep the lists short and doable right now, as suits my work-life balance!

What are YOU crafting on these days?


  1. So many happy things on this!! My girls are the luckiest nieces. Hands down.

  2. I am SO envious of your crochet skills. *sigh* I love seeing what you make. And those boxes are awesome! The perfect place to store things, both crafty and magical. What did you put inside? I'm a sucker for craft supplies, so seeing those closed boxes makes my curiousity explode!

  3. Nice treasure boxes.

    Do your crochet needles work better with a little snow on the ground?


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