Turn a Tube Sock Into a Microwaveable Scented Heat Pack (Video)

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Anxious much? Let this heat pack enfold you in its toasty, rice-weighted, aromatherapy embrace. There there, now. It’ll be ok.


IN THIS ARTICLE:
Heat packs soothe both body and mind; pssst, there’s
an even easier way to make it*


Ah the microwaveable scented heat pack. Humble as it is, I’d put it on a very short list of luxuries that cost next to nothing. But what if you don’t have sore muscles? Doesn’t matter. All you need are muscles.  You’ve got muscles, right? And daily emotional stressors too, I’m guessing? Well, you’ll benefit from this, trust me — especially on a chilly evening. Just nuke it, drape it round your neck and shoulders, light some candles, and succumb to your handmade heatpack’s warm embrace. Continue reading

Super Easy DIY: How To Turn a Scarf Into a Kimono-esque Cardigan

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IN THIS ARTICLE:
that a-ha moment of upcycling inspiration,
achieving boho fabulousness in 5 minutes


Whenever I’m out shopping, I find it extremely difficult to resist the allure of a scarf with a particularly beautiful colorway and print. The result? A scarf drawer crammed to capacity, with many a silken or sheer square buried and forgotten beneath the ever-growing collection. I always knew that these lovely, neglected pieces of fabric presented a prime DIY upcycling opportunity — I simply needed to figure out what that opportunity was. Now I know! After Continue reading

Handmade Christmas Gifts & Some Big News

Little Bailey in her teddy bear hat, courtesy of Auntie Homebody.

The jury is in and I’m guilty of being the world’s laziest blogger. I’ve been happily unemployed and crafting…and not updating my blog. Without an excuse in the world. Anyway, I’ve got a few handmade Christmas gifts to report, which I shall do. Continue reading

the curious craft of baking buttons

After quite a bit of online research regarding all things polymer clay, I’ve finally taken my first leap into the medium — crafting homemade buttons. I started out with some el-cheapo clay (Sculpey) which a lot of people apparently gripe about in terms of durability. But as I don’t plan on machine washing these buttons nor do I predict any delicate figurine sculpting in my future, I reckoned it was safe to take the thrifty route for my first attempt.

I thought that it would be a good idea to make molds out of some buttons from my stash, so I bought some of this molding compound which was super easy to use. I simply followed those abbreviated directions on the side of the box and it seemed to work fine. Thing is, though making the molds was easy, using them was another thing entirely. Too impatient to look up more online tutorials, I set my molds aside and proceeded to roll little balls of the clay and stamp them down into discs using some textured trinkets (pendants mostly) from my jewelry box. I made texture stamp molds of some decorative surfaces so the designs on my buttons would be in relief rather than in grooves (make sense?). I pricked buttonholes with a toothpick, baked them as directed, let them cool, and went to town with acrylic paint. Also decoupaged a few (like the green one pictured at bottom right below) with some ink-jet-printed tissue paper. I love the results! Really can’t believe how quick and easy these were to make. Now to practice my molding skills.

vintage pattern: simplicity 7522

Like most DIY addicts, my fabric stash needs some thinning out. So I dug deep and found that I still had a couple yards of that delightful, navy blue floral print jersey knit that I used for my bubble top. Since it has excellent drape, I picked a dress pattern from my (mostly untouched) vintage collection — a simple number with a unique criss-cross front wrap which ties in the back, creating a perfect fit regardless of weight fluctuations!  The resulting dress is a little bit country and a bit 90s grunge and it took about 4 hours total to make. I must say that I’m very pleased with it! Perfect for a  picnic or lunch date — and it also looks great paired with a long sleeve shirt beneath and some tights for cooler weather.



iPad purse & fringy triangle scarf

I was one of the many who couldn’t resist getting a 1st-gen iPad (even though I said I’d wait for the 2nd gen, as all new gadgets are not without their kinks) but impatience got the best of me. I’ve a notion, though, that one of the main reasons I wanted one was so that I could craft accessories for it. :-p

So, I made this little purse using some unused wooden handles that have been languishing in my closet for who knows how long, and some leftover Amy Butler fabric from my stash.

I also finished this fringed triangle scarf (or mini-shawl) that I made using Moda Dea Tweedle Dee yarn in Surf & Turf. Big needles + chunky yarn = super-quick projects. And we all love those!

my first baby…cardigan

Nope, I’m not expecting, but my sis is about to bear her first wee one, and so I thought I’d try to knit my very first article of baby clothing.

I found this cute pattern and got to work. I still haven’t gotten the hang of matching up the length of my vertical rows with my horizontal rows when picking up stitches, so my button bands/plackets are considerably shorter than they should be. Drat. Anyway, the little one should forgive me, this being my first attempt.

Lastly, my sis told me she was having a girl, and when the cardi was 90% finished, I came to discover that it was more of a hunch than a fact. Aye carumba! I told her that her baby was going to wear this pink ‘n’ purple number regardless!

tunic ‘n’ cowl

A new house, job, car…and a crazy 1 hour and 20 minute commute to and from work! Hectic indeed. Still, I haven’t lost my will to create–and where there’s a will, there’s a way. A couple weekends ago, I was able to make this jersey knit tunic in about an hour, primarily because I didn’t finish the edges. No matter. I’m all for that carefree, unfinished look.

And just this afternoon, I knit up this easy cowl in about a couple of hours with some yarn my sister gifted me from her stash. Believe it or not, Los Angeles is in the middle of a cold/rainy spell — the type of deliciously chilly weather which makes west-coast knitters like me very giddy. Used circular needles and alternated between a few stockinette rows and a few p2 k2 ribbed rows, decreasing circumference toward the center. Didn’t bother counting rows — I just eyeballed it as I went along. Coming soon: a striped baby cardigan — my first attempt at baby wear. 🙂

retro-glam kimono robe with obi belt

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Finding myself with a few precious hours of free time, I got to work on a project that’s been brewing in my noggin for quite a while. My wardrobe is seriously lacking in the loungewear department, and I’ve always wanted something that I could throw on in the evenings and on lazy weekend mornings to make me look and feel instantly chic. Well, that’s the hope anyway! I’ve always loved the look of woven cotton yukata kimonos, so I thought that I’d do something similar with some stretchy knit fabric. I have a ton of the stuff because of an online sale a while back with prices too irresistible to pass up. I chose this orange-creme-brown print because of its ’60s feel — as I, like so many others right now, am obsessed with the Mad Men aesthetic.

I adapted this vintage caftan pattern (Butterick See & Sew line: 5836) and let the collars flop over to give my kimono a bit of a “westernized” look.

caftan

I couldn’t resist making an obi belt to complete the look.  Instant glam for the indoors!

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new dress + craft sabbath

I certainly do live up to my blog title. And being such a homebody, I don’t often get the chance to socialize. Which is why I decided to host something which I’ve dubbed Craft Sabbath — a time for folks to get together to get their craft on. I originally intended for it to be a bi-weekly, every-other-Sunday affair — but this proves difficult as I’m attempting to balance full time employment, grad school, a band, and a host of hobbies. So it looks like Craft Sabbath will turn out to be a once-a-month thing. Still, a group of people showed up for the very first Craft Sabbath on the 4th to knit or to learn how to knit, eat snacks, sip beverages and to chat. (Thanks for the terrific photos, Damien!)

Also, I made a new dress from the same pattern I used for my orange/white striped minidress a little while back. It’s a Built By Wendy (Simplicity 3835) raglan sleeve number that was meant for a woven fabric, but I decided to use a stretch knit so that I didn’t have to put a zipper in the back because I’m lazy that way. I got the fabric on sale and I don’t know what it’s comprised of exactly. Rayon maybe? It’s very smooth and stretchy and reminds me a bit of bathing suit fabric. Anyway, now that I know that this pattern can be used with jersey knits with great success, I’ll have to make a couple more in order to put a dent in the large stash of printed jersey knits that’s piled up in my closet.