Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bean Bag Toss

So, I needed a quick gift for a 4 year old boy, and after a bit of googling, I ended up making him a bean bag toss game.

I thought about making counting bean bags like these ones , but realised that I was almost out of fusible webbing, so I decided to just make ones like these instead.

So here they all are.  I cut my fabric to 5" and filled them with rice because that's what I had in the cupboard.  Man were they a pain to sew around.  My machine did NOT like going over the rice so I had to try to keep it away from the presser foot.  

 Then I made a fabric basket for them, but in my awesome late at night sewing haze, calculated it all wrong, so ended up with a huge basket for the 5 beanbags I'd made.
 So then I made a little drawstring bag for some marbles, just to fill the hole.
Geni wanted to keep it, will have to make one for her too.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Caitie sewed a bag!

Caitie asked for sewing things for Christmas.  Santa brought her a pile of fat quarters, and my parents also gave her a big box of sewing stuff including a bunch of fabrics and various scissors and needles and such.

So on Boxing Day she decided she'd like to make herself a bag.  I wanted to keep it simple for her so I got her to make a basic lined bag with a single strap.
She picked out her fabrics and cut everything, and sewed it all herself.  I just helped her out with the pinning and some verbal directions.
And here it is in action.  She's pretty proud of herself! :)

Cloth Grocery Bag

I made a cloth grocery bag for my grandmother for Christmas using this tutorial on Craftster. 

I used a grey Woolies bag for the pattern, although this bag ended up a wee bit shorter because somehow I put a hole in the bottom of the lining so I had to make the french seam go a little higher to cover it.
 I opted to add some little tabs with velcro on to roll the bag up instead of making a pocket to fold it into.  My favourite cloth shopping bag is the one I can roll up :P
This fabric was picked after I held up a few options to my husband and said "Which one looks more like Nanny?"
And this is how it looks all rolled up.  Quite cute I think!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Another girls birthday.. another Buttercup bag!

I made another buttercup bag, this time for one of Caitie's best friends.

She's a collector of Littlest Pet Shop, so when I saw this fabric a few months ago I grabbed a fat quarter of it with her in mind.  In hindsight, I wish I'd grabbed more, it's pretty cute, and with all the fussy cutting I did for this bag, I don't really have much leftover to make anything else with it.

I made another mini gathered clutch for a coin purse, this one turned out much nicer than the last one.  And Caitie made a beaded thing to go on the zipper pull to fancy it up a bit (All her own idea/work.. I didn't even know she'd done it til it was on the purse.  She's turning into a good little crafter!)
Here is the other side of the bag and the back of the coin purse.
They're both lined with pink bubbles.
My iron was being naughty again, so it's not pressed as nicely as I would have liked.  I really should go buy a new one.

And here is her whole present all together. I was going to get her some sunnies, but those button earrings were too cute and the colours matched!

Now if you will excuse me, more Christmas sewing awaits.  Less than a week to go and I procrastinated a bit too much on some presents.. oops.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Teacher Gifts 2010

I have just finished the girls teacher gifts for this year, it's only the second last day of school tomorrow.  No hurry.

The idea for these was shamelessly stolen from here.  Their one was much classier looking than mine, but I was trying hard to just use what I had instead of buying more stuff.
The M's here are upside down W's.  There's been a bit of a shortage of M's in my box since I made a big pile of Mum cards for the Mothers Day stall at school a couple of years ago.

They're filled with hand sanitizer, a variety of paperclips, push pins, mini pegs, silicone bands, glass bead magnets (that I made), cute mini tape and choccies.

I was divvying up a couple of little stationery sets, so I went with reds/pinks in one box and blues/whites in the other.  Not that I kept the theme going when it came to putting in the chocolates.

Unfortunately all of the chocolates from the big box of Cadbury's favourites that I bought would not fit, so we have been forced to eat them ourselves.
 The M in the Mrs is another upside down W.  I'll probably run out of W's soon too.
I actually went and put a couple more choccies in this box after I looked at this photo and decided that the squares down the bottom looked too empty.  I let the girls put the chocolates in themselves, and I suspect she was trying to maximise the number of leftovers.

So there you go.  I think they turned out rather nicely.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Yet another Buttercup Bag!

This one was for an 8 year old girls birthday.  

I used some of the black cotton drill I had left over from Mike's cushions for the top of the bag and the strap. 

And the matching coin purse is based on the gathered clutch tutorial from Noodlehead.  It's pretty much just a mini version of the clutch without card pockets or anything inside.
The bag is lined with spotty blue fabric that matched the blue flowers on the outer fabric.  I wanted to use pink, but couldn't find the right one, and then it turned out I had nice spotty pink fabric squished in between some other fabrics the whole time, so I used that inside the purse.

In hindsight, I probably should have done the strip on the front of the purse with the black and lined it with the same blue, but it's too late now!

Oooh and my stupid iron put grubby marks on the purse too.  It's a $10 one from Crazy Clarks that I've had for yeeeears.  Maybe I should get a new one.

We filled the bag with the obligatory pair of sunnies, a little bracelet/necklace kit, and a sparkly headband.  I would have made her some hairclips too but I ran out of time.

So there you go, another Buttercup Bag.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A bag for my cousin

My cousin Rachel turned 19 yesterday and we were invited to her parents place for afternoon tea today to celebrate.  Normally we just give the cousins cards on their birthdays, but I had nothing to do this morning and felt like making something.. so I made her a buttercup bag!

Too bad I didn't take a decent photo of it before I gave it to her
 It's made with quite a heavy striped black/grey denim.  My brother was given a bolt of it for some reason ages ago, and he was nice enough to pass some on to me. 

I lined it with some hot pink/black fabric.  The denim makes the bag hold it's shape quite nicely so I didn't bother with any interfacing.
The only issue I had was top stitching around the top of the bag.  My machine did not enjoy that at all.  I ended up having to do it half a cm further down than I normally would have because I couldn't get the machine to feed it through evenly higher up.  My walking foot was making quite the clunking noise as it went too.

I think maybe I need a new machine with more grunt!  Right Jase? :P

Friday, November 26, 2010

Letter Name Art

I've seen this idea on a few different blogs and loved it, and I've always thought it would make a great wedding present, so when we were invited by some friends to their wedding (right at the time of year where all our spare cash is going towards Christmas) guess what I made!

Not that I went to the wedding.  Jase had to go without me since it was today and the ceremony was too close to school pick up time.  And then we didn't have anybody that would have been able to take all 3 kids tonight.  Turns out Friday weddings don't work for me :P

Anyway, back to the gift!  All photos were sourced from the awesome Leo Reynolds.  He's taken a zillion photos of different letters and numbers and signs etc and arranged them all into collections and he allows people to use them, so long as it's not for profit. I spent hours going through his photos!  
All except for the "est".  That one I wrote on our blackboard and took a photo of it myself (but I think I did steal the idea for that from somewhere else).

I love how it turned out!  And then when I was finished with that I decided that I liked it so much I should make one for us too!

I pondered which year to put for a while, and even if I wanted to add a year at all since we were a family long before we got married, but I really wanted it to fit nicely into the square in my lovely Ikea Ribba Frame so I went with the year of our marriage... and I love it!

I want to hang it in our entryway so it's right in front of you when you come in our front door.

Here is a link to a blog post which links to some other blog posts if you care to see my inspiration.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mikey's birthday present

I asked my brother if he thought his wife would let him put nerdy cushions on their couch, and he said maybe not, but I should make them anyway.. so here they are!
I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out! 

I also made him some melty bead lemmings.  He asked me to make him some like mine ages ago (and his wife may have said "noooo").  Sorry Kate :P 

I forgot to take a photo of them, but they looked pretty much identical to these ones. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Yet another drawing bag

I made another drawing bag for a 2 year olds birthday present.

I actually took photos of the whole process this time and was going to blog about it, but haven't gotten around to it yet, perhaps later.. if I can be bothered :P

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Pad Holder

I decided to make something that I could pop a couple of pads in for my oldest daughter to keep in her school bag.  After a bit of googling I found that while that sort of thing does exist already, I couldn't find a tutorial for one that I liked, so I ended up making up my own pattern.

She doesn't actually need to use them yet, but she's 9 now and it's only a matter of time before she does.  I don't want her to be caught short when the time comes!

It's just a basic little flip open wallet with a velcro tab to close it.  There's room for two pads, and I figured why not add a bit to keep some bandaids in as well, always handy to have a couple of those on hand!

Now I think I might myself one to keep all my bits and bobs in one place in my own handbag. That'll save me some rummaging in the future!

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Another Girls Birthday Present

Caitie asked me to make a bag for her friends birthday next week, so naturally I decided to make her a Buttercup Bag.

I let Caitie choose the fabric, so we ended up with a bright pink flowery cord on the outside and a contrasting blue fabric with little white fishes on the inside.

The matching wallet was made using this tutorial from bluebirdswing.  I made a small boo boo when I was cutting the outer fabric, accidentally cut it half an inch short, so had to adjust everything else accordingly.

I also had a minor issue with the top stitching.  The middle section with the zip and the card slots was way too fat to go under my walking foot, so I ended up just doing a U of stitching around either end and left the middle section as it was.
It's not a bad wallet, has 6 card slots, a zippered coin pouch, a place for notes behind that, and a receipt pocket.  I'd probably go for a different fabric selection if I make myself one though :P

Actually it's probably too bad I didn't accidentally cut it a bit narrower too, because it's a bit snug in the bag.  But at least it wasn't too big to fit at all! 

So now I guess I'll make some hairclips etc to go with it!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

51 Days until Christmas

I have just completed the first of my handmade Christmas gifts.  It's a drawing bag for my niece Ellie!
You don't want to know how long it took me to get the eyes in just the right spot so that the panda looked neither angry, nor stupid.

I never think to take photos when I'm putting the face together for some reason.  I only ever seem to do it after I have pinned it to the bag front.  

Hopefully her name doesn't fall off.  The directions on my fusible webbing say that you don't have to sew it as well, and it would have been on the fiddly side with the letters I used so I didn't do it. 

Admittedly it's the first time I have bothered to read the instructions, usually I just use it.. so I hope I don't regret following them this time!
The bag is lined with some Ikea fabric.  I thought it looked pretty spiffy with the panda!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Operation Christmas Child.. oh dear

We have been filling shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child for a number of years.

I have always been aware that it was a christian organisation, but thought that since you aren't allowed to include religious material in the shoe boxes that the religious ideals of the organisation were not actively involved in the giving of the boxes.. only to stumble across this website last night

This website expresses concern about:

* the evangelical activities of "Operation Christmas Child" as run by "Samaritan's Purse"

After reading the pdf of the book that they hand out to kids when they give them the boxes I am a little alarmed that I have most likely been inadvertently evangelising for the last few years!

The booklet is not a "simple booklet of Bible stories" but is designed specifically for converting young children into Christians and comes complete with a "sinner's prayer" of conversion and a pledge card

We fill a shoe box because we want to give some nice things to a disadvantaged child, not because we want them to find Jesus!

Since the site I found was a UK one I thought maybe the Australian branch of OCC might do things a bit differently, but after looking through the photos on their site, I can clearly see the cover of that book in a number of them.

I have also found a Canadian site that expresses the same concerns.
I don't oppose christianity. I think people should be allowed to believe what they want to believe. But I don't think it necessary for everyone to believe the same thing. And I do not like when people take their beliefs and go out and actively try to convert poorly educated people to their religion. And I certainly don't want them using MY gifts as a means to do it.

We've filled almost 10 boxes over the years.. the thought that those boxes might have been used to trick children into fundamentalist beliefs makes me feel a little dirty.

I think I will find a different charity to support next year.

And I was so proud of this years box too.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Box is Stuffed

The Christmas Child box is now all packed and ready to go and I must say I had a lot of fun making things to go in it this year.

I think I did pretty well covering all the "somethings"
  • Something to Love - The doll (plus her clothes).
  • Something for School - The pencil case full of lead pencils, a sharpener and erasers plus a note pad to write in.
  • Something to Wear - The dress.
  • Something to Play With - A wind up torch, a yoyo, a box of chalk (plus the doll!).
  • Something for Personal Hygiene - A face washer, a toothbrush and a comb.
  • Something Special - The drawing bag with a drawing pad and wind ups, and hair clips.

I used my many years of intensive Tetris training to get everything stuffed into the box.

And then I had to find some rubber bands to hold the lid closed, because it wasn't going to stay shut on its own.

Now I just need to make my donation and drop it off.  The best part is that this year if you donate online you get a tracking code so we'll know which country it goes to!  I think the kids are really going to get a kick out of that part :)

Hair Clips

Here are the clips I made to go in the christmas child box.  I don't love the felt one, but it'll do.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Rag Doll + Clothes

I have made a little rag doll and some clothes to go into my Christmas child box.

I found patterns for a basic doll and some clothes to print out here.  The dolls body, the little green dress, the white shirt and the white shorts are all from her patterns.  Everything else I made up as I went along.  I'm especially proud of the little undies.
 If I were to make it again I think I'd make the head a bit bigger, she's a bit of a pin head.  Also I don't love the felt mouth I gave her.  She looks a bit like a gingerbread man.

I have also made this dress to go into the box.  Using the Little Dresses for Africa pattern.

I just love the fabric.  It's one that my Mum found in her sewing boxes and gave to me a while ago.  She spent $2.87 on it at Coles.. probably about 25 years ago :P

Luckily I still have over a metre left.  Expect to see one of my children wearing something made from this fabric at some point :P

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Matching Zippered Pencil Case

I just finished the matching pencil case!

I started with this pencil pouch tutorial by Noodlehead, but I didn't bother using two fabrics for the outer, and I added a strap with a clip on it so that it can either be hung on the strap of the bag, or around someones wrist.
I made the strap with my 1/2" bias tape maker.  Luckily I had a D ring and a clip in my bits and bobs box too.
 Here it is all finished!  Plastic googly eyes and all.
 And here is a bit of a peep at the lining.

Now what shall I make?

Another Drawing Bag!

Each year the girls and I fill a shoe box for Operation Christmas Child.  This year I thought I'd make a drawing bag to put in our box.

So last night I made a cat face.  I couldn't find the pattern I made for the other drawing bags so I had to make it up as I went along again.  I sewed the facial features on with my machine this time instead of hand stitching them.
Here it is pinned to the bag front.   We always fill a box for a girl because my kids are all girls, hence the pink. 
I decided to make this bag a bit smaller than the other two since it needs to be stuffed into a shoe box with a bunch of other things and I can't fit an A4 sized colouring book in the box anyway.  It will definitely hold a few exercise books.  And I have decided to make a matching pencil case to fill with lead pencils, a sharpener and eraser etc.
You might notice that the cat face is slightly to the left on the bag front.  That's because I didn't measure like I should have when I pinned the face on.  Silly me :P