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Posts Tagged ‘Gifts’

Wooden Turtle Teething Ring

About a month ago, I wrote about Mike’s new woodworking hobby.  Well, he finally got the saw he had been eyeing and made his first project…a colaboration between the two of us.  And I have to say, this is probably the best first project that I have ever seen!  He did such a great job, smoothing the edges to make it safe for baby mouth contact, and shaping the whole thing perfectly.

So what is it?  Its a teething ring!  Made out of untreated oak and finished with walnut oil.

Turtle Teething Ring

  • 5″ square 1/4 inch untreated wood
  • walnut oil
  • turtle teething ring pattern
  • scroll saw (if you don’t have one, you may be able to borrow or rent one)
  • drill
  • sandpaper in medium, fine, and superfine
  • tacky cloth
  • old towel
  1. Cut out pattern and trace with a pencil onto wood.
  2. Using your saw, cut around the turtle.  Take your time!  And use safety precautions (ie. goggles, gloves, etc.)
  3. To cut the middle out, drill a hole in the center.  Unplug your saw, insert the blade into the whole and attach the blade properly to your saw, and plug it back in. 
  4. Cut around the circle.  Unplug saw, remove blade and toy.
  5. Starting with the coarsest sandpaper, sand the toy fixing any small mistakes, and rounding all the edges.  Work your way to the superfine sandpaper, making sure the whole toy is smooth.  Keep an eye out for rough or pointy edges, and smooth them down.
  6. Use the tacky cloth to remove all the fine dust covering the toy.
  7. Take the towel and dip in some walnut oil.  Smooth oil evenly over the surface of the toy.  Wait 20 minutes, then repeat.  Repeat applying oil until the turtle is well oiled (it may need more coats as it gets used by your little one).

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Mike's Scarf, Detail

This is my latest weaving project I’ve been working on…a long, warm scarf for Mike!  Somehow I missed the fact that the colors are very reminiscent of the 70′s, but I still love the scarf, and more importantly, so does Mike!

I used a super soft bamboo cotton blend, and wove it in a zig-zag twill.  I am still deciding how to finish the ends…right now they have about 8″ of fringe hanging off them…not so good for a men’s scarf!

I hope you all have a fun and relaxing weekend! 

Mike's Scarf

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Today is my dude’s birthday, and what better way to start than early morning pancakes, coffee, and of course presents before work?? 

I am not the only crafty one in my family.  Mike is crafty in all sorts of ways, but lately he has been talking a lot about woodworking and making toys for our little one.  I got him the Complete Manual of Woodworking, and Making Toys that Teach to get him started.  The Complete Manual has a great section on hand tools, which is why I settled on this book over the many others about Woodworking.  We don’t have lots of money to buy all the power tools that some people use.  Making Toys that Teach has some great beginner’s projects that will be great for a baby/toddler.

I love the idea of our baby enjoying toys that Mike and I made.  And, I am even more happy that Mike will enjoy making the toys.  Our little one will be born to a great father who is already in love with her.  Happy Birthday Dude!

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Baby Sweater

Baby Sweater Detail

Many of you know that there was another change that I was able to kick off the new year with…the Little One Mike and I are expecting to join us in just a few short (or maybe really long…?) months!  I started a baby sweater out of some yarn that my dear Holiday Gift Exchange partner sent to me.  The pattern I used coupled with the yarn color makes a gender neutral combo that I hope will translate well to either a boy or a girl.

Baby Sweater

But as all us crafters know, tragedy can strike our creations at any point in the process.  Halfway through I realized that I was using 8.0mm needles instead of the US8 needles!!  The sweater would probably fit a 2 year old right now.  Needless to say, I will start from the beginning, because I just can’t not make this cute little sweater.  One positive outcome of this whole mess is I was originally knitting this in the newborn size, but have since decided to make the next size up.  The baby will be born in June, just before the heat of summer begins in Colorado, so this might be a gift better suited for fall weather.  Besides, maybe then the sweater will last a bit longer by rolling up/down the sleeves.  I would like to get as much use out of this as I can.

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This year I participated in Sew Liberated’s Holiday Traditions Exchange.  I know that my partner recieved her package, so I can post about this ornament that I made.  It is inspired by an ornament that I loved growing up.  I think I liked it so much because it was so delicate and detailed, which I tried to duplicate with some success.

To make the butterfly, I started with some plain red fabric and embroidered it with many colors of thread.  I then cut around the embroidery in the shape of a butterfly, and cut a second piece of the red fabric to go on the back.  I stitched the two sides together with some orange embroidery floss, and stuffed the ornament with some bamboo stuffing.  I made the little tassle on the bottom with some more embroidery floss.  Finally, I attached a gold thread to outline the butterfly.  It is stitched on with orange embroidery floss as well.

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I know that it is still early in the season, but the Holidays are getting closer and closer.  Its time to start thinking about gifts for friends and family.  If you are thinking about making a gift for someone, I have put together a list of all my tutorials as a place for you to get started.

Stormy T-shirt Make or buy a simple t-shirt and spruce it up with this applique and embroidery

Paper Flower Mobile Craft this simple flower mobile for some beautiful home decor or to be used as a wand for an imaginative little girl…experiment with different colors of paper and sizes

Magnolia Shirt Detail Make this neckline detail for an otherwise boring store-bought tank

Grill Tool Carrier Summer may seem far away, but it will be back before you know it!

Reversible Water Bottle Holder Put together this handy water bottle holder for fitness and outdoor gurus

Gardening Apron By Christmas time, spring will be just around the corner…Make a cute apron for a gardener you know.  This apron could also be used as a traditional kitchen apron.

Flower Headband This headband is super quick and easy, and is so cute!

Chunky Necklace This necklace is very inexpensive and simple to put together, but it looks like a million bucks!

Lei Neckline Dress up a simple top by adding this feminine neckline

Bread Linen/Cloth Napkins Monogram some beautiful linen to wrap around fresh-baked bread for the home baker, or use these as napkins for your eco-conscious friend

Corsage Neckline Add detail to a store-bought top

Scrap Tote Sew this simple tote to be used at the market

Emboridered Bookmark A bookmark is the perfect gift for a book addict

Baby Blanket If you have extra time, try your hand at printing on fabric and sew up this beautiful blanket for a baby or expectant parents

Eyeglass Holder Upcycle some old sweaters and make this eyeglass holder, very easy on the pocket-book

Binding Tape Make some patchy binding tape for a sewer, and pair it with some other sewing goodies, like buttons, ribbons, and other trims

Messenger Bag Make this messenger bag for anyone who needs to tote around a lot of stuff…this project is fairly time-intensive, but the results are worth it

Hair Pins This is a quick project that any girl will love

Yo-yo Table Runner This project will take care of all those little fabric scraps you have hanging around.  Make one in Christmas colors, or to match the recipients home decor

Knit Cuff If you don’t have much experience knitting, this is a great project for you…it takes very little time, and very little yarn

Simple Jersey Dress This is a great dress to make because it takes very little time, and it will fit almost any woman, add to that the elegant silhouette and you’ve got yourself a perfect gift

Wrapped Gift Cards If you don’t have time to make anything and find yourself last-minute scrambling to find a gift, get a couple giftcards and wrap them in this unique way to make the gift more special

I hope this list inspires you!

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This weekend I traveled out to the Bay Area in California for my sister’s wedding.  We have already been doing lots of work to get ready for the big day, and yesterday we spent a lot of time putting together wedding favors for the guests.  My sister decided to make the favors to cut down on cost, and went with rosemary almonds.

I made rosemary almonds for my family as a part of their Christmas gifts.  One problem I ran into, and never had a chance to remedy, was the rosemary and sea salt fell off of the almonds as soon as they came out of the oven.  After a bit of discussion, and our fair share of “Ooh, ooh, what if…”-s, I think we came up with a pretty good solution.

We ground the rosemary up very fine in a coffee grinder, and then set the salt grinder on a very fine setting.  We then cooked the rosemary and salt in some olive oil until it became fragrant, tossed the almonds in, and then baked them until they were crispy.  The almonds are so delicious!  The rosemary mixture sticks to them beautifully.

Rosemary Almonds (modified from various internet sources)

  • 1 pound of raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of finely ground fresh rosemary
  • Sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Pour the olive oil and rosemary into a shallow pan, and put over low heat.  Cook, stirring occasionally until rosemary just begins to simmer, and remove from heat.

Add finely ground sea salt to the rosemary mixture.  The amount you add depends on your taste, but we added enough to make the mixture fairly salty because we wanted each almond to have a bit of salt.

Mix the almonds and rosemary mixture together in a large bowl.  Spread the almonds over a couple of baking sheets.  The almonds should lie in an even layer.

Cook the almonds in the oven for 15-20 minutes.  Be sure to check often, because nuts can burn easily.  There is no need to stir the almonds while they are baking.

Remove the almonds from the oven and allow them to cool completely.

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Today I’ve decided to show you that I’m not the only crafty one in my household.  Look at what Mike made for me for our anniversary yesterday!  Isn’t he talented?  On the inside he made a little coupon that can be pulled out to redeem my gift!

Mike and I both have an inability to wait to give each other their presents.  I think when we find a perfect gift, we want to see the joy on the other person’s face when they see it.  We usually end up exchanging gifts the night before a big event because we just can’t wait any longer.  It is the same with Christmas…in the days leading up to it, we slowly begin to open the small gifts from each other, once a night until we get our last big present on Christmas.  Its very fun.

Back to the card…can you believe this envelope that he made?  He cut out the paper and then stitched the sides with thread to close them up.  Lovely!

I know that this is a little unrelated, but I have a quick question for you all…have you ever made your own face wash/lotion?  I have had a terrible time moving out to Colorado, which has a much different climate from where I grew up.  I can’t seem to find a good lotion or face wash that mosturize my skin enough.  Do any of you have any suggestions?  I found this awesome site, and I was thinking about giving some of the recipes a try.  I’ll let you know how they turn out!

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I realize the timing on this one is horrible…it probably would have been better if I had gotten this one out before Father’s Day so that those who were facing the impossible decision of “what to get for dad that isn’t a tie” could whip this up.  Unfortunately, the idea came up last night instead of last week. 

I think this carrier falls into the category of helpful items for camping.  When we go camping (not backpacking, mind you) it is nice to bring some grill tools along.  We usually end up using a grate attached to the fire pit to cook our food, and it is always good to have something to turn burgers and the like.  Last time we went camping, we didn’t bring grilling tools and realized how useful they really were.

The carrier is made of heavy duty canvas, flexible plastic for easy cleaning, and elastic to keep all the tools in place.  If you are interested I can put together some detailed instructions so you can make one of these too!

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My mom’s birthday was a couple of weeks ago.  It is emberrasing to say, but remember me making everyone’s gifts for Christmas?  Well, my mom’s is still not finished.  It is going to be a blanket, but has proved to be a much more time consuming project than I originally thought.  So, for her birthday, I wanted to make my mom something special that she could actually have right away, and not have to wait months to have it delivered.

You might recognize this fabric as the plaid linen I used to make my skirt.  I thought the fabric would make a beautiful set of bread linens.  Bread linens can be used for rising bread, and for storing fresh baked bread.  Cloth can also help keep bread fresh just a little bit longer.

I also made two smaller cloths, about washcloth size.  I’m not exactly sure what they can be used for…I guess I originally had washcloths in mind, but they may work better as cloth napkins.  Below I have instructions for these, as well as the pattern for the monogram, if your name happens to start with a “D”, hehe.

Today would be a perfect day to craft these and make the switch to cloth napkins for Earth Day!  There is much less waste created, and they can be thrown in with any old load of laundry you might have going.

The sad end to this story is that despite my good intentions, I still didn’t get these done for my mom before I left.  I did finish it on the plane though, and they should be on their way to my mom’s house tonight!

You will need:

  • 100% linen fabric, cut into 15″x25″ pieces for bread linen, or into 10″x10″ pieces for napkins
  • matching thread
  • contrasting embroidery thread
  • needle
  • this “D” cross stitch pattern, or find one from here that you like

Sew a zig-zag stitch along the edges of the fabric at 1/4″.  Fray the edges by pulling individual strands of the fabric, until you reach the zig-zag edge.

Cut a piece of embroidery.  You will see that the strand has six or so threads that make up the whole.  Divide the piece of embroidery so that you are only working with three strands.  Cross stitch your initial onto the lower right corner of the fabric.

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