Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Craft Room Project - Part 1

I am in desperate need of a craft room. Regularly, there are projects scattered throughout the house, but mostly congregating in the living room. When I came home from work the other night and found the house spotless, I appreciated Boyfriend's gesture. But maybe tossing all my projects into the craft room was sending me a more subtle message? That night he told me to design the craft table I wanted and he was going to build it. Two days later, he had it finished (in fact, it only took him the amount of time it took me to make my Pine Wreath - amazing!).

So although the craft room is far from done, here is the progress currently.

What a mess! I bought a couple organizational pieces. But they werent serving the greater need - a desk. 

Boyfriend suggested the table be wall-to-wall, knowing the many projects I always have going on. He measures, and sets the support posts in place. 

The frame is all done, and he added the decorative front piece to hide the seems.

Finally, he laid in all of the slats for the desk top, and nailed them all into place. 
But this project is far from finished, as well as the craft room. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hand-sewn Tail Bags

So remember the gift bags I made? Now I can reveal what the real gifts were inside of them! Since they were for my horse-friends, I made each of them a personalized tail bags. Tail bags are sort of like large tube socks that we horse owners use to protect and keep clean the tails. An easy project and gifts I knew each person could use. 

I bought the dancewear fabric (they need some stretch) on Black Friday sale (and coupon) for $35, enough for two tail bags of each color. Once home, I cut them to size and pinned them in place for sewing. 

Sew all of the tail bags. Although easy, finding the time was another challenge, but with one free morning I got just about all of them sewn.

After sewn, I trimmed the edges,

Then cut the tops into four strips to use to tie the tail bag into the tail.

To finish off, I trimmed the tips to a V. I thought it just made them appear more clean and finished. 

Last step was to flip the tail bags inside out, and make sure I had made enough. :)

I had, in fact, and even had some extra to make and hopefully sell. 

Oh, and here is one of the extra red ones in action adorning my horse, Milo's, tail. 

They turned out great, I think! A quick and easy thoughtful gift, pricing at only about $4 a bag! With only about $1.50 into the materials for the gift bag, I stayed under my budget for gift giving this year!

Friday, December 16, 2011

How to Make Homemade Gift Bags

For Christmas this year I made all of my horse-friends personalized handmade presents. I dont want to reveal the gifts just yet, as not all of the recipients have opened them, so I will start from the outside and work in.

Materials used were a set of eight plain white gift bags, excess wrapping paper (you know, those scraps that you save but are really too small to reuse? I'm SO happy I saved those now!), and Christmas scrapbook accessories. I had ribbon and bows on hand as well as the spray adhesive needed for the paper.

Step one was to cut the scrap papers to size for the bag.

I sprayed the gift bag with adhesive spray, then applied the wrapping paper to both sides, but didnt glue any to the sides. Cut the excess paper on the sides (if any), and apply cute scrapbook decorations. 

After stuffing the gifts into the bags and adorning with tissue paper, I then attached name tags and bows for some personalization, and a candy cane to each bag for the finishing touch.

And when I realized that *gasp* I forgot someone at the barn, I whipped up another quick gift. I located some supplies from the pantry...

With the eighth unused gift bag, I put a few more scrapbook decorations onto it...

Fill the quick bag with the found supplies...

 And smile at yourself for the quick and easy fix to the forgotten gift!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pine Wreath - a Little Bit of Twisp

Both mine and my Boyfriend's favorite place to be is Twisp, WA. About four hours from our home, its a sweet little country town tucked into the foothills of the North Cascades, joining up against the Okonogan National Forest. Boyfriend has family members there and at least once a year we make it over there and stay in their quaint cabin for Mule deer season. This last October was when we last visited, and I managed to scoop up many large and beautiful pinecones and black pine greens. They had been sitting in a couple paper shopping bags until I figured out what I wanted to make with them, as well as having the time, and the season.

I finally got the creative knowledge of what I wanted to do with it, or so I thought. On clearance a month or so ago I purchased a twig wreath from Joann's and planned on working with it as a base for the pine greens or pinecones. I grabbed a few supplies and started placing the greens. Then I figured out how I wanted them attached.

I used floral wire (already had on hand) and wrapped it through the "branches" and around the end to secure the pine to the wreath. 

The twig base already had some areas of sturdy wire, most likely to use to attach things to, so I attached the floral wire to the wire on the wreath base. 
 I just repeated this step around the entire wreath until I was satisfied with the fullness and that all of the pine bases were covered up.

'The next step was how to decorate it. I had the pinecones on hand, but with the large size of them, simply attaching them to the wreath didnt seem appropriate. I grabbed three of them, and had an idea. 

So first I wrapped twine around the center and tied at the back. I then made three twine bows, and hot glued them to the tops of the pinecones.

I then attached the pinecones (with their twine ropes) to the base of the wreath, avoiding bunching the pine. I used the excess twine to tie another bow to the top. But it just wasnt enough, so I used some glittery Christmas ribbon to make a more accentuated bow. I liked this ribbon because, although festive, it didnt scream Christmas and the plan was to hang this wreath all year long, and keep of bit of Twisp here at home.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

My Holiday Home this Year

I finally found some time to get the Christmas decorations up. While there are many other projects I want to do to add to the home cheer, this is what I've got for now.

A thrifty find: artificial tree at Good Will for only $35!

Ahh, foil wrapping paper is my favorite. 
A little garland flair in the kitchen. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Lacey Ripples Afghan

Just sharing a photo from my favorite afghan to date. This was made last winter and I really liked how it came out. Check it out on my Ravelry page to get the pattern yourself.