Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I was reading this great tutorial I found, through browsing some of the past Handmade Holidays on Sew Mama Sew, about thread sketching. Basically it's the idea that you use your sewing machine to create free-form designs that look like sketches or a semi-embroidery. Some ladies at my church were making quilt squares to make a going away present for a family, so for my quilt square I decided to try it.

I found a design from a picture online that looked pretty and printed it to the size that I wanted. Then I put the paper design behind the fabric and traced it with a fabric pen. Then the sewing! I carefully went over the design twice. I say carefully, but with something semi-intricate I messed up in several places (some on purpose)... but this just helps it look more sketchy and authentic. It also helps to have your stitch setting to the shortest stitch so it looks more like a continuous line.

Let me know what you think! Have you tried this craft before? Share your pics too! I'd love to see!

Monday, October 25, 2010

I've got a Golden Ticket!

I know that you're not supposed to post twice on your blog in the same day, but I do feel a little sheepish that so far all you've seen from me on our newly budding blog is the promise of great sewing and a nose jacket. I have several projects that I've done in the last couple of months, and I will go back through and post about each of those in due time, but this is the most appropriate one for this week being all Halloweenie.

Side note: I do need to take this opportunity to share that Breanna and I are deeply committed to the Holidays, which we have so lovingly dubbed THANKWEENIKAS. There are 4 stages of Thankweenikas, and I'm sure as we get more situated and have some blogsperience we will have some sections for Thankweenikas crafts. Moving. On.

This year we're hosting a Thankweenikas Phase I party, and the theme is Children's Movies. One of my favorite children's movies is Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (the old one), so this year I'm dressing up as Veruca Salt!

I couldn't find a pattern for it of course, but I used the Burda Young 7680 pattern - Dress B. I left off the loops they wanted to add for a belt, and just extended the sleeves to make them long. I have to say that I made many many many mistakes, and a lot of it like the collar and white sleeve caps I added after everything else was done, so they by no means look perfect. I needed to have a little bit more forethought for those, but I think it turned out great. This is the first time I've ever really done a pattern, and I think I altered ok for my first time.

What costume did you make?

You may laugh. I give you permission.

Sometimes I get cold. Sometimes meaning pretty much all time that I'm conscious. This is especially a tricky issue at bedtime, when for some reason I'm pretty sure my body stops pumping blood to my feet all together. I've never been to the Arctic Tundra, but I'm pretty sure if I visited, my feet would not be any colder than they are at bedtime.

This has led to my pre-bed ritual. I turn on my little wall heater about 10 minutes before I plan to tuck in. Then I carefully hold up and toast all my jammies before climbing inside them. Directly after, I dance around in circles in front of the heater trying to make every part of me warm at the same time. Lastly, I sit on the ground and hold up each foot in front of the heater before climbing into bed.

This leads me to the bane of my sleeping existence. My nose. I don't know why, I don't know how, but somehow every once in a while my nose is infected by the ice curse. My nose cartilage can get so cold that it stops me from being able to sleep. I try to warm it under the covers, but eventually I run out of oxygen. I try to cover it with my hands, but my hands get cold if they're not under the covers. It's honestly a no-win situation.

This leads me to my last night's craft creation. I had no plans for the evening, and really was just cleaning around the house, and the nose ice curse infection began. I thought, "Hey, I craft now. I don't have to be at the mercy of this any longer." And so, I created my super horrible looking nose jacket. You know, some fabric, some elastic, and a bottom layer of fleece.

I would be more embarrassed if IT DIDN'T WORK BEAUTIFULLY! My nose warmed, I wore it for a couple of hours, and then took it off just before sleeping and I HAD NO PROBLEMS! Who said that you can't solve all of your problems with sewing?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

craftgasm!!! you know, when you find a project that comes together lickety-split and is completely adorable...this headband is the perfect example!

it took me less than five minutes, and the total cost of materials is definitely less than $.50!

it's so easy you don't even need a picture tutorial....pick out some colorful buttons from your stash in varying sizes and colors. then use your beloved hot glue gun to attach them together in stacks of three. then hot glue the button stacks to a basic wire headband (this one came in a pack of 8 from the dollar store!!) and VOILA!! a totally satisfying craft in practically no time!

(on a side note...i'd like to assure you that the dark root issue present in this photo has been taken care of since the picture was taken!)
this particular craftgasm will get you lots of attention and pleas from your friends to make one for them! what could be better?!

my attempt at the tiered tray

i suppose you've seen them everywhere by now, yes? the DELICIOUS looking cupcake trays being made from dollar store platters and candlesticks? if not, go here for a brilliant tutorial!!

so...since they cost a total of about $5 (not including the spraypaint) i just HAD to try it...too cute!

here's a tip....never ever NEVER buy spraypaint at a craftstore unless you absolutely have to!! i spent $6 per can only to see them at walmart two days later for less than $3 per can!!

this isn't the first tray i made...but it is the first i remembered to take a photo of! i made this for a very special friend's wedding...and decided to also try my hand at making those adorable peg dolls i've been seeing all over the place. overall, i feel pretty great about how everything looks.

ahem...which brings me to....WHAT WENT WRONG! i made the trays using Gorilla Glue, which i have long thought to be the ultimate glue of all glues. i was loading things into my car to leave for the wedding (and, as craft luck would have it, i was already running late)THE TRAY COMPLETELY FELL APART!!!! like....all the way apart. ugh.

so back inside i went to do the only thing i could think glue that baby back together. hey, i know it wasn't the best solution for the long term...but it's all i had. i have no clue if the tray even held up through the end of the reception! but it sure looked awesome on the gift table...and everyone seemed to think it was there to be the recepticle for cards...which is a good sign i'd say!

so...have YOU tried the trays yet?

Friday, August 13, 2010


Hi! We are Breanna and Amanda and we're best friends. We've been best friends since freshman year of college some 10 years ago (yikes!). Our friendship has seen it all-- tears, laughter, anatomical diagrams created out of curly fries, you name it. We've also been connected because neither of us has ever felt very creative; we suffer from the painful condition known as Art-Jealousy! We've known the twinge of watching as other friends are drawing, painting, or taking beautiful photographs that we don't seem to have the artistic skills for.

Maybe you've experienced it too... maybe it was a girl that went to your school that won every art contest, or an old boyfriend that made you romantic presents with Mod Podge and magazines, perhaps your sister-in-law makes Martha Stewart look like child's play.

Well, that's been us. Try after try has resulted in craft fails galore. We've been on a constant search for the thing that would be OUR craft...the thing we would rock at. we haven't necessarily found "it" yet, but we are getting pretty good and faking it!! Sigh.

Despite that, we desire to become domestic divas! Crafting has allowed us to create even though we may not have the built-in talent for it. This is where we begin our craftlaboration! This is our place to share our existing projects and get ideas from you all for some new ones! We promise to post it all...the loppy sided pajama pants, the "looks like my 3 year old painted it" doodads and the things that we actually get right!!

There's no perfection happening trying to make it look like we've got it all together...this is a place to fail for fun!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

It begins!

It finally arrived last Friday morning! I've been exploring my inner craft for the last few months, mostly through mod-podge, and I have at last decided to cast off all my fear and plunge into the sewing. It was the longest week of my life waiting for my new machine to come. I got the Brother cs6000i. I chose that machine because it seemed to be an economical option that still had some great features for a beginner. It comes with several great frustration-savers with the automatic needle threader and not making me have to pull up the bottom thread (can you tell that I don't know sewing jargon yet?). The instruction manual was a bit daunting (14 pages to show me how to thread the thing), but it only took about 10 minutes to wind the bobbin and get it threaded for the first time. I'm sure that going forward that will end up being super quick, but I'm a cautious perfectionist, so I'd rather try and take an extra minute or two to make sure I do it right the first time.

As the the newest sewing machine owner at craftlaboration, I'm several months behind in my skills, but hopefully I'll catch up quickly! I've been pouring my additional funds into some cheapie fabric pieces and some starting notions this weekend, so I'm all ready to start rocking! I've got quite a few great starter ideas from several of my favorite blogs, so over the next few weeks I'll be focusing on some pictures and tutorials from those. If you have some easy/great/modern ideas for beginning sewing, please link them up here. If you're starting yourself please check back and hopefully we can share and learn from each other!