Thursday, January 31, 2013


sidetrack |ˈsīdˌtrak|
verb [ trans. (usu. be/get sidetracked)
cause (someone) to be distracted from an immediate or important issue:
 he does not let himself get sidetracked by fads and trends.
• divert (a project or debate) away from a central issue or previously determined plan 
the effort at reform has been sidetracked for years.

(1) When you are as messy as I am, thinking that you can get your craft gear in order in two days is way too tame an estimate

(2) Nothing is classier than being fashionably late to your own craft party, on your own blog, with your own crafty inspiration for the week

(3)  I am thinking maybe next week I will try to be classic, as this week I was a little sidetracked...

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Organizing with Peg

(1) cross stitch project idea >> (2) spool organization idea >> (3) sewing studio inspiration board idea >> (4) yellow board with shelving

It occurred to me recently that I waste a lot of time trying to find craft supplies. So, using the web as my guide, I embarked on an adventure of painting and hooking and yarn labeling boards. I am kinda in love with pegboards now. I have more work ahead, sorting and organizing and hooking, but I think the progress so far has been good.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Inspiration >> Classic

To cap off the month of January, I thought it might be great to get back to some classic silhouettes and design details.  I am a sucker for fitted bodices, tailored shapes, and timeless colors.  Even though a good bit of the photos were cut from a 2010 Vogue, they still feel updated and ready to wear.

In a world of fast changing trends, I sometimes struggle to remember that nothing beats a wardrobe grounded in shapely silhouettes.  The challenging part about classic styles is that the best often rely on craftsmanship, details, and a lot of skills that I have yet to acquire, but that is what being on adventure demands.  Plowing ahead and giving it a shot.

Weekend Snippet >> Pared Down

pare |pe(ə)r|
verb [ trans. ]
• reduce (something) in size, extent, quantity, or number, usually in a number of small successive stages union leaders publicly pared down their demands we pared costs by doing our own cleaning.

This weekend was spent primarily in clothing that was meant to take a lot of paint and dust, thus I decided to skip my usual thrifty outfit post! I did manage to snap some before pics of my singular pursuit to organize my craft materials, which was one of my goals for the new year.

As my knitting and sewing supplies seem to have engulfed my studio, I also thought it might be nice to finally reduce the number of supplies I have to the ones that I absolutely love and use a lot.  I am almost done with finishing up my boards and I must say that they are beginning to look like some kitschy fun.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Chocolate Pie + Toppings Hat


This week has been a lesson in keeping warm.  Thus, the head is where it's at.  First a head wrap and now a hat to keep my ears from freezing.  I am not sure how I manage to lose most of the hats that I knit for myself, but I do.

Hats are such an easy, quick knit that I feel like I should make one to match every whim and mood that I might fancy myself in.  Today was all about warmth.  I was able to use up that last bit of white yarn from the two hats that I knit for JH.  I feel pretty lucky to have a hat made mostly with 100% wool.  A rare treat.

The top of the hat reminds me of chocolate pie topped with blueberry ice cream and whipped topping.  Another rare treat.  Yum.

(Me)Made or (Re)Made >> coat buttons, fingerless glove covers, hat
Thrift(ed) or Free >> sweater (under coat)
Stuff >> leggings, gloves, shoes, coat

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Craft Idea >> Retro Wrap

There are some days when I want to jazz up my outerwear.  What better way than a retro wrap?  I decided to try to document the method that I used for my first stab at this.  Next time, I think that I will try to do some fair isle patterning to give it an extra kick.  I still have a crush on the one pictured, though!

 If you have one lying around a tapestry needle would be nice to have on hand.  If you do not have one, you can use a crochet hook or your knitting needle to help sew everything together.  I used the magic loop method to make my wrap so I only needed one extra long (about 42") circular needle.  You can also use two straight needles and sew up the ends to make a loop or a small circular needle to make this.

1:  I cast on 88 stitches to fit my head using the long-tail cast on method.  Everyone knits at different tensions so you may have to fiddle around a bit to get the number of the stitches that fit comfortably around your noggin >> 2: I knit two rows >> 3:  I purled two rows and then repeated two rows of knitting and two rows of purling (next time I would do four rows of knitting and two rows of purls) >> 4: Once I reached the desired width I cast off and then cast on 5 stitches to make small rectangle and knit for 28 rows.  Once I reached a length that would fit around the wrap (with wiggle room for a square bow) I cast off.

5: Next I cast on for another bigger rectangle of about 12 stitches across and then I knit for about 25 ro
ws >> 6: Then I tried my hand at went so/so >>7: Then I put everything in order--wrap, square (bow), and small rectangle >> 8: Finally I turned everything to the inside of my retro wrap and held the small rectangle sides together and sewed the two edges together using matching yarn.

A hat will still keep you warmer, but I can see this making a great winter to spring transition piece.  I also have a place to showcase my growing collection of broaches!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Inspiration >> Winter Weather

Just as the brief warm spell had me thinking thoughts of spring, a cold front (bringing snow) reminded me that it might be best to focus on winterizing myself against the elements.  One simply cannot go on an adventure under dressed and unprepared.

I am in desperate need of stylish accessories to add to layers that offer up the right amount of warmth and flash.  Of course, in keeping with my goals, this will make me dig deep into my various stashes as I attempt to remix colors and textures in unexpected ways.

Brrr. It's cold outside.  Time for me to get started!

More Inspiration Posts:

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Hanging Out >> Thrifty Outfits

I snapped some quick pics of my thrifty outfit before hanging out with my friend, Hannah, based off of my colorful theme for the week.  Thrift store adventures lie ahead!

(Me)Made or (Re)Made >> coat buttons
Thrift(ed) or Free >> skirt, sweater, purse, bracelet, necklace, earrings, knee high socks 
Stuff >> leggings, shoes

Weekend Snippets >> Playing with String

I have been playing basic chords, toughening my fingertips, and snapping pictures along the way.  Learning the ukulele is a great reminder of the challenges in being a complete beginner.  Ironically, it is also a great reminder about how far (and how far I still have to go) when it comes to my crafting adventures!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

All Aboard >> Colorful Details

I took a picture of the swatch for the crochet lace collar above for my sneak peak post that I posted on Sunday.  At the time, this baby was just getting started and I wasn't really sure how I would like it.  Collars in general are a bit of a tricky thing for me, but I decided to go ahead and at least give it a go.

In the end, I am still on the fence about it.  I like the quirky, retro style of it, but I think it will just be an occasional thing for me.  I did appreciate the chance to finally take a stab at some lace crochet.  Using a size three steel hook to complete this took some getting used to.  Primarily, keeping my loop tension tight and even.

I decided to try to utilize some train tracks as the backdrop for photos as the collar, pearls, and overall scheme of my outfit reminded me of all things great and old school.

(Me)Made or (Re)Made >> flower pin (on hat), crochet lace collar
Thrift(ed) or Free >> skirt, shirt, scarf, bracelet, necklace, earrings, hat
Stuff >> stockings, shoes

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Playing with Seeds

I took a brief break from knitting and sewing to break out my seed beads.  Every time I find my way to a bead store, I become entranced by the colorful array of tiny beads hanging on strings or encased in little plastic vials.

Since I have a smattering of basic jewelry making supplies, and I always get a little wistful when I see sparkly necklaces hanging in stores, I decided to do a little DIY magic on my own.

Being a beginner, I am usually satisfied with simply stringing the beads up, adding clasps, and calling it a day.  I can't wait to remix this new necklace up a bit and then wear it out around town!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Inspiration >> Color Theory

It's no secret that I adore color. Every season and any reason will get me excited about trying new combinations and variations of classic favorites.  In keeping with my theme this month, I want to use this week to explore color.

Brights and lights, vivid and washed out I am going to attempt to comb through my fabric and yarn stashes to satiate my color appetite.  A quick glance at my overflowing yarn shelf tells me that now is a great time to begin!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Fiber Fun >> Thrifty Outfit

I love to knit and crochet on cloudy days.  Luckily for me, Michigan is full of cloud coverage during the winter.  I decided to snap a few pictures of me doing my least favorite task...rolling yarn into a ball. Eventually that ball of yarn will be turned into something warm and cozy for next winter.  I am thinking about a colorful cowl that mixes pink and gray, but for now I must satisfy myself with repetitive motions until I can bring the needles out!

(Me)Made or (Re)Made >> flower pin (on hat)
Thrift(ed) or Free >> black dress (shirt), skirt, sweater, hat, bag, earrings, necklace 
Stuff >> stockings, shoes

Weekend Snippets >> Colorful Explorations

This weekend has been full of colors, a theme which I am hoping to expand on in the upcoming week.  With warm temperatures teasing me out of my heavy fall clothing, spring has been on the mind.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Ukulele Dreaming >> (Me)Made Skirt

One of my goals this year is to use thrift(ed) items, that I would normally pass by, to create items I would actually wear.  This can prove challenging, especially when I have to figure out the type of fabric I am working with, cut around holes or tears, and deal with frayed edges and well worn spots (like around the neck, arm holes, sleeves, etc).

When I found this dress at one of the 1/2 sales at my local Salvation Army, it reminded me of a pretty typical early 90s dress. Straight cut, with stretch length wise, and two ties at the waist to add shaping. The print was very "take me to Hawaii at the mall," which I found charming. The fit of the dress on me was adequate, but the dress did little to accentuate my curves or to add any definition whatsoever to my body.  Which brings me to the print of the dress...

The print is big, bold, and floral with bright colors. I decided, that since this print is not one I adore, it should be used in small doses in projects. I also decided to use the print as a bit of a peplum. I cut out two peplums and made a skirt from knit fabric left over from another project. Oh, and meet Skylar El Mira Uke, my new musical friend.

(Me)Made or (Re)Made >> skirt, mitten, fingerless glove, buttons  
Thrift(ed) or Free >> dress, broach, necklace 
 Stuff >> stockings, boots, coat

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Craft Idea >> Belle of the Ball Buttons

Step 1:  Mark the fabric using the clear circle template >> Step 2: Cut out the fabric >> Step 3:  Place the fabric underneath the top part of button and over the white button maker >> Step 4:  Push the top part of the button into the white button maker, evenly distributing the fabric as you go

Step 5: Place the bottom of the button over the fabric, being careful to "catch" all of the fabric underneath >> Step 6: Use the blue cap to apply even pressure all around the shank button, you should feel the shank button snap into place >> Step 7: Gently remove the white button maker from the finished button, being careful not to use the shank "hook" to pull the button out >> Step 8: Enjoy your new button

Below is an example of how I used my newly made buttons last year.  The button kit that I bought also came with flat metallic backs that can be used for magnets!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Inspiration >> Artistic Interpretation

There are days when I feel like wandering around the library, aimlessly and without direction.  On those days, I manage to find myself attracted to books and shelves that I would not normally frequent.  That is how I found a book full of Modigliani paintings.

I must admit that before my little adventure, I had never heard of Modigliani.  My limited knowledge of art is primarily anchored by one or two beginning art classes in high school.   My ignorance of the artistic world often allows for a lot of exciting "discoveries."

As soon as I opened the pages I was drawn to pictures of ladies with solid color eyes resting for a portrait brimming with the artistic interpretation of an artist who found a style that suited him.

I also love the collars on the dresses!  The women who sit for these photos are quite beautiful and lady like which made me think of the Italian word, bella (beautiful) donna (lady), which also happens to be my inspiration for the week.