Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cute Zombie Bag

I found this cute bag pattern on a website called, "The Happy Zombie". Not sure how I came across this. I just click on links from other sites I like and find cool stuff.
Anyway, this bag is made from three "fat quarters". I'm too lazy at the moment to research exactly what a "fat quarter" is. Suffice it to say that my local fabric store sells them and I think quilters by them. The size is about 18x22. I had bought a few to make something else and then when I found this pattern, I decided to make this instead. These three fabrics wouldn't have been my first choice and they don't go together as well as I would've liked. When I make another one, I'll choose my fabrics a lot more carefully.
This bag is fully lined and you have a choice of whether or not to make boxed corners. The pattern is easy to understand and follow and doesn't take too long to make. My only complaint is that the bag is quite a bit smaller than I thought it would be. That isn't the pattern's fault, it's mine, since I didn't read the final size before starting. I'm certain it would be easy enough to make this pattern larger. Then, of course, you would need more than a "fat quarter".
This would be a great bag for a child. It has one large pocket and two small side pockets. I'm going to use it for a pool bag on our trip to Key West, FL later this year. The side pockets are perfect for keys, sunglasses or suntan lotion and the large compartment in the center is good for a book or two. I'm sure I will be making another one.

The Unfinished Christmas.

This Christmas I had TONS of ideas for handmade gifts to make. I also had tons of projects started and materials bought to start projects. I made a list of unfinished projects. Scary. So, I decided it was time to finish up some of these ideas.

Some years I've made my own Christmas cards and I thought about doing it again, but with all the ideas for other projects in my head, I had made eight cards by Thanksgiving. My original idea was to handknit washcloths and send those out as Christmas cards. I think I made two. Hardly what I needed. I'll get back to the unfinished washcloth idea later.

So, I found this cute sailboat image on the "Life Is Good" website that they were posting as a coloring page and used it for our Christmas card. Bob and I sat on the floor in the living room one wintery Sunday afternoon with a fire in the fireplace, coloring all the cards while watching "The Walking Dead" marathon on AMC. Yeah, I know, hardly a Christmas-y show, but we had so much fun. Yay! Christmas cards DONE!
In addition to the Christmas washcloths, another project started more than a year was making "Morsbags". Morsbags is an English website. You make fabric bags and then give them out to people to use instead of plastic bags at the grocery store. They have a free pattern, not that you really need one. They also have labels you can buy or print to call attention to their site. Not a new concept, but I thought I would make them for the women in my family for last Christmas. I got fabric from a second hand store and some donated. Again, I got two done.
This brings us back to the Christmas washcloths. Three of the five are shown above. Since, I had finished the "Morsbags", I decided to finish the washcloths too and give those to the women in my family. These washcloth patterns are wonderful and really easy to knit. The designer is Kris Knits and I have seven of her washcloth pattern sets.
So, to make a long story short. This was the season to finish some unfinished Christmas projects. Now, I didn't finish them all and I did start some new ones, but I feel like I made progress and you can too.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Christmas Card makin'

Yesterday, I made my first two Christmas cards. I checked the closet and the card box to be sure there weren't any left overs from previous years that I had forgotten or boxes I had purchased on sale after Christmas. So, I pulled out the Christmas papers and the Stampin' Up idea books and went to town. Well, maybe not "to town", but I did make two cards and was happy with both. Here they are. I liked the idea of repeating a small stamp several times in a row. I used a green pencil to add color to the one on the right. Two down, many more to go.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Day After Halloween

I've been wanting to make pennants for a long time, but have never come up with a good theme.
Well, all that changed yesterday when it came to me to take all the cards that our son has gotten for Halloween and make a pennant decoration out of them.
This morning I went to work. Since all the cards were different sizes, I just cut out triangles from the front in whatever size they came out to be. Then I used spray mount to attach them to some plain black paper and hot glued some orange yarn across the top of the backs and voila, a Halloween themed pennant string!
I think it turned out very cute and it will be fun to hang up next Halloween.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Kool Aid + Crock Pot = Colorful yarn

These are my first hand dyed yarn attempts. Awhile back I had come across this tutorial for dyeing yarn in a crockpot with kool-aid. So this past weekend, I decided to gather my supplies and give it a try. If you want to try it yourself, here is the link. I'm not sure what the red/purple mini skein of chunky yarn is going to be, but the green/blue larger skein is going to be mittens.
Fast forward a few weeks...

Here are the completed mittens... I really like how they turned out, but shortly into the first mitten, I realized they were not going to fit me, so I put out a plea on Facebook for anyone with smaller hands who would like a pair of mittens to please let me know. My Facebook friend Jamie answered and she is the recipient of these hand dyed, hand knit wool pair of mittens.
I can't wait to try this again. I have a colorway I'm aiming for with this yarn, but don't think I'm going to be able to get there with Kool-Aid. I may have to try some other dyes and of course, I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Welcome to the Cloth Paper Scissors Studios Virtual Tour!

Dear fans, followers, friends, etc.,
(Ya know, BOTH of you!)
I am participating in the Cloth Paper Scissors Studios Virtual Tour,
October 15-17 here on my blog.
Welcome to my studio!

This wonderful heavy wood table came from a local restaurant that had a fire, probably 16 years ago. It stunk from smoke, but after it was cleaned up, it made a perfect work surface for the shop.

I love to collect rocks, thinking I'll polish them or whatever in the future. I just started crocheting around them. I've got a very small collection of Gwen Frostic prints too.

Here is a small piece of cork board stuck on one of my cabinet doors. Attached is my first piece of freeform knitting, a wristband from the release party for the seventh Harry Potter book, my first try at knitting a peace sign and my favorite... my "Mind Mush" pin that my friend Jean made back when we were both working retail.

Since I live in an area that has many office furniture manufacturers; I was able to get this portion of a work cubical and turn it into a designated sewing area. The cabinet has some patterns and fabric in it and I use the keyboard drawer for thread and bobbins. The upper cabinets do have doors that close, but they are open in this photo.

Here is another wonderful table that my wonderful husband made for me. It weighs a TON and is perfect for watercolor painting on. My latest work is in the foreground.

When my church tore down it's parsonage, I was able to get these kitchen cabinets. My husband put up a partial wall and installed these. I won't get into the blood, sweat and tears part of this story. Yes, that's some dry erase board on the walls. My studio is not quite a quarter of the basement in our house. The other half of the basement is semi-finished and the other quarter opposite my studio is my husband's shop.

Our old stereo.

One of these old drafting chairs belonged to my father in law, the other was purchased in a secondhand shop quite a few years ago.

The old file cabinet was from my brother in law who was a builder/developer. He didn't need it anymore, so he gifted it to me. We put it up on wood blocks to raise it up off the floor. I use it for watercolor paper, drawing pads, other papers and artwork. I love it!

Who doesn't need shelving? These are some of my artbooks, magazines, photos, and other reference materials. It also holds tote bags and some frames.

These cabinets hold my stash of yarn (though you can see the overflow in the plastic bins), patterns, art supplies, and lots of other things.

Now, if you made it all the way to the end...

Thank you so much for coming to visit my virtual studio!


If you would like to leave a comment just to let me know where you are visiting from,
I would LOVE that!


Monday, September 13, 2010

Connecting with my past.

I've been thinking and thinking about knitting lace. So, after some research and recommendations, I bought myself some thread and lace needles. I have a couple of different options in mind.

I stopped by my folk's house and mentioned this to my mom and she said, "Oh, I remember my grandmother knitting lace." and she digs through a cabinet and pulls out a whole bag of knitted lace from my great-grandmother. She thinks she might be able to come up with the pattern too. Anyway, above is a photo of the lace and below is a page from my baby book.

My great-grandmother was Fora Bolier and she was born on August 17, 1860 in Scherpenisse, Netherlands. She married Adriaan Kaashoek when she was 25 and he was 42 on November 6, 1885. At some point she had children and immigrated to the states. She died in September, 1948 at the age of 88.

I googled her name this morning and came across these dates on a distant relatives website. He put me in touch with another distant relative who I have yet to connect with. Interesting stuff this geneology, but even more so is the possibility of knitting the same lace that my great-grandmother knitted.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Shhhhh, these are a gift.

I finished these fingerless mitts before I went on vacation. They are based on an old classic mitten pattern, omitting the end of the thumb and the fingers. I've made a pair in camoflage yarn for my son and these are for our Christian Education director at church who is always freezing. :) I hope she likes them. They are pretty soft and were knitted with Plymouth Encore in grey and pink stripes. I love them and will definitely be making more.

The tags were made with the new Handknit set of stamps from Stampin Up that I just got. I used grey, pink and white paper and navy ink; I couldn't tell you the color names. I love these new stamps and I just know they will be used a lot.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Origami Drawstring Bag

I found this pattern on the most adorable blog from a woman in Japan awhile back and have been wanting to make this cute little drawstring bag ever since. Last night, I finally did. She sews everything on her blog by hand, but I used my machine. I started with a 19 inch square and the finished size is 7.5 x 8. There is one large pocket closed by the drawstrings and two side pockets under the flaps. It was really easy and if you want to make your own, the link is below. These would make great bags for any small sewing or crafting projects; but this one is going to Miss Olivia F. from church. Check out Mai's blog for a lot more cute sewing projects, ideas, and culture from Japan.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Knitting Caddy remake.

Just thought I'd share this awesome remake. I've been wanting one of these yarn caddies for quite some time. My mom had one and I thought it was great. I have lots of tote bags (ask Bob), but nothing that would stay open, hold my yarn from rolling away while working with it, and look nice enough to leave out in the living room. Oh and I didn't want to spend $36 to buy a new one.
I found this caddy at Bibles for Mexico and the poor thing was filthy, the material was old, worn and stained, and it had some of it's decorative nails replaced with eye hooks. It was only 50 cents and had plenty of potential, so after purchasing some new fabric, something that would go with the living room decor and a light fabric for the lining (so you can see what's inside), and some new decorative nails, this is what it looks like now.
I think I only spent about $5.00 and I can still take my knitting along and the caddy looks awesome.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sundays I go to church and pray...

Hankies, originally uploaded by KayakChickee.

This isn't so much a post about church as it is about hankies.

I had been thinking about digging out my collection of hankies for awhile. Now, I don't think I would use hankies for a full blown cold, that's just a little too gross for me, but the sniffles, well, that might be OK.

Anyway, I only have these five hankies, but I have stories for at least three of them. I may have to take some close up photos later.

The first one has a crochetted lace edge with my first name in it and It was made by my Grandma Kool.

The second one I got at a birthday party over on Felch Street. They had put some candy in it and tied it up like a little hobo bag with a pencil. I thought that was so cool.

The third one has the little saying on it from the title.

"Sundays I go to church and pray that I'll be a good girl every day."

The other two I'm not sure where they came from. They might have been a gift from an aunt.

I washed them this morning and hung them up on the clothesline. I mentioned last night if I dried my hankies that way, I could carry that smell with me all day.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Happy Easter!

"He is not here. He is risen."

Jesus "breaks" time.
(This is the tomb that I made for an Easter display here at church. It is styrofoam and hinged in the middle so that it can be stored and reused. I used latex spray paint and styrofoam glue and an electric knife to "sculpt" it. Jarod was able to be involved during the Easter service too smashing a clock with a hammer, symbolizing how God broke time.)

Monday, March 29, 2010


I have an idea to do a mixed media project that will in some way include a bit of all my current hobbies. It starts with the phrase, "What am I going to do with my life?" As this project moves along, I'll post more photos of the steps along the way.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Notepads from recycled materials

I've been making notepads out of office paper (copied on one side) for years now. People seem to love them and I like making them; though I can't always keep up with the demand. Last night, I had the idea to make little covers for them out of recycled cereal, snack, and tissue boxes and here are what they look like.

They are all different sizes, but all are 1/2 inch thick. The pages are glued in with padding compound and meant to be removed. (These are scratch pads, not journals.) I only had time and boxes to make six this morning, but I know I'll be making more.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Crochetted rocks

I had some Berroco Seduce yarn left over from a scarf. I had found a pattern awhile back for crochetting around sea glass to make a necklace, but hadn't done anything with it; until last night. I didn't have any sea glass, and I only had a small amount of Seduce left, but I did have a largish piece of Obsedian from my trip to Asheville, NC awhile back (I'm quite the rock hound, just ask my husband.) and thought it might look cool in this necklace. Well, I had enough yarn to crochet around the rock, but not enough for the "chain" of the necklace and this stone is a little too large and heavy for a necklace for me, so I think I'll just clasify it as one of those cool found objects. It could be a paperweight, but I don't think it's quite big enough for that. It might look cool with others in a bowl. I love how it turned out and would like to crochet around some more found things, maybe shells or pieces of wood. Berroco Seduce is perfect for this, a little slippery, but I had so much fun I might have to get another skein (or two).

Monday, February 15, 2010

Fish Prints

I helped out in one of our Sunday School classes at church yesterday and we made these awesome fish cards. We took blocks of foam insulation and carved into them with pencils, spoons, paperclips and such. Then we rolled on tempra paint with brayers and pressed them onto notecards. I'm definitely going to have to make a lot more of these. They were so easy, so much fun, and so cheap!

Happy post-Valentine's Day!

These are the valentines I made for my husband and son. The hearts and sailboats are cut from pre-painted map paper and the backgrounds are maps of Isle Royale on one (Bob's) and Drummond Island on the other (Jarod's). Bob and I went to Isle Royale years ago and would love to go back, maybe with the sailboat instead of the kayaks this time and take our son. IMO the most beautiful place on earth, well, at least the most beautiful place that I'VE ever seen! Drummond Island is where we all went last summer with the sailboat and we'll probably make a return trip back there sometime again.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Hearts are up!

Thought I would post a photo of the Model Magic hearts I made awhile back. I hung them on the wire holder in the entry way by the front door. I think they turned out pretty cute, but next year I might make some more in traditional Valentine's Day white, pink and red. I've always got more ideas than time. :)