Archive | July, 2011

|Falling Behind on What I love to Do|

31 Jul

These past several months have been very trying for me as I have been so busy trying to balance being a mother, full time nanny, baby sitter, Kidz Club employee, and run an Etsy shop. I’m sitting at work actually typing this right now because I am much too tired by the time I get home during the week to even blog an apology on why I can’t give you guys a tutorial for our Tutorial Tuesdays. While here, I started to browse through our older posts from when our blog first started and I got a little sad. I realized that I used to blog so much more about what I was doing sewing or craft-wise and it made me miss actually doing that. I’ve sewn a lot, but my mind has been so clouded with the stress of my job to even take pictures while I am doing it.

The whole purpose of our job was to share our sewing, knitting, and crafting adventures with all of you and provide useful information on what is happening in our area and favorite blogs we lurk. We wanted what we do and what others do to be shared and have an equal balance in the postings, but both Breana & I haven’t lived up to that. Thankfully we haven’t had any complaints, and we appreciate that; the fans and followers have been great!

Recently I was able to land a job Ive been craving for about a year now; Birch Fabrics, which is where I visit mostly to get the fabric I use for my product. It is probably the most amazing opportunity Ive been given work-wise because it is in the realm of what I love to do. So soon, very soon, I will have a lot more free time to be able to give our readers what we have promised. Soon there will be an equal balance of what we love to do and sharing others passions, too, in the craft, sew, knit world we live in.

Thank you for your patience and for sticking with us.

Happy Crafting!

~Ashley

Beverly’s Fabrics August Classes

29 Jul

Every month Beverly’s has a line up of different kinds of classes you can take at different levels. Here is a list for August classes offered by the San Luis Obispo store only. Please check your local store for classes offered.

Sewing 

  • Sewing basics: Learn your machine | August 2 6:00-8:30 | Instructor – Ellen | $25.00 {bring your machine & manual}
  • Sewing basics: Fabric & pattern | August 3 6:00-8:30 | Instructor – Ellen | $25.00
  • Drawstring bag | August 10 6:00-8:30 | Instructor – Ellen | $25.00 {or $60.00 for all 3 basic classes}
  • Sewing basics: Origami bag | August 6 10:00-3:00 | Instructor – Ellen | $40.00
  • Next step sewing: Buttons & zippers | August 16 6:00-8:30 | Instructor – Ellen | $40.00
Knitting
  • Beginning knitting: knitted hat | Every Wednesday 3:30-4:30 | Instructor – Alicia | $12.00
*Class sign ups and payments must be made 24 hours in advance
Be sure to check back each month for a list of classes they will offer. Also, please stop by the links in this post to check out other local areas that offer classes for you to take.
Happy Crafting!
~Ashley & Breana

Thank You Post Card Tutorial

26 Jul

Since majority of my wedding was do it yourself, I thought the thank you cards should be as well. I wanted something cute and very crafty. If you look for thank you cards, they can become very expensive. Especially if you were spoiled as my husband & I and receive many gifts, those cards add up.  So I decided I’d make my own postcards, so save on paper and postage.

What’s so wonderful about this project is it can be used for more than just thank you’s. Everyone loves getting a mail, as long as it isn’t a bill. These are great for Birthdays, anniversaries, thinking of you’s, announcements, just because, and so on. You might want to just make up reasons to make these guys!

I made about 50 of these suckers:

Each one became a personal thank you in design. I thought I’d make a little tutorial on the basic of how I made these suckers.

Implements of Post Card Crafting:

  • Blank post cards – I bought some 4.25″x5.5 cards on Amazon. Cost me about $15 (with shipping) for 400 cards! I didn’t realize how many I bought until after. Other options are pictures, cardstock, and index cards. Just make sure they follow the measurement rules for post cards. For USPS this is: Minimum 3.5″x5″ and Maximum 4.25″x6″, with a thickness of .007″- .016″. Other wise, if they are bigger you will be paying more for postage.
  • Rubber Stamps – I bought my from Paper Source in Portland. Such a fun selection!
  • Ink pad – or paint if you’re so talented with it. I also bought this at Paper Source.
  • Decorative paper. I got some wedding scrapbooking card stock from Michaels.
  • Glue. I used 2.5 glue sticks for this project. However I recommend a stronger clear glue.
  • Scissors – I had a pair of decorative edge scissors like these: Kraft Scissors and normal kind.
  • Other: Ribbon, Tulle, Fabric, whatever other cool things that’ll glue. Be creative with this.

Now these are super easy to make, and the idea is to just be really creative:

  1. Get your post card out.
  2. Stamp it! My advice is to stamp on something hard like a table surface. I was using books & the box my postcards were in. I also stamped the “thank you” on the card as well.
  3. Add Decoration. For this one I added first the tulle. I glued the post card itself where the tulle was gonna sit, put the pre-cut tulle over it and used a paper to rub on top to make sure the glue stuck to the tulle.
  4. Glue on decorative paper. I pre-cut this paper with my awesome edging scissors. Put the glue on the back of the decorative paper instead of directly on the tulle. Your tulle will otherwise slide around and not participate.
  5. Tie a little bow, trim excess ribbon. Now glue that sucker on!

This one, I added an extra strip of decoration on top to add a bit more, pizzazz!

There you go! One post card down. I made quite a few, So I guess I’ll show you some of my favorites!

For this one I stamped on a piece of paper first, cut it out, glued it on. Then I cut 2 strips and glued those on, then the ribbon. Many times I cut the pieces a little longer than the post card and cut off the excess.

Why yes, that little thank you does have a mustache! I used the edge scissors to help create the outline of the mustache, and fixed it with my normal scissors.  I first glued on the ribbon, and added the craft paper. For the edges I carefully cute them out with the edge scissors.

And now, for the grand finale, ALL OF THEM! Well, in one picture, spread out:

Click the picture to zoom!

I really enjoyed this craft, and want to look more into making cards also. I’ve seen post card specific rubber stamps to put on the back, and I’m looking into buying a kit for future post cards and make them more authentic.  Also a tip, is I bought my postcard stamps online. It was much easier than going to the local post office, and they came in 2 days.

If you see a specific one that you want me to explain how I made it, feel free to comment, and I’ll dish all the details.  Now to finish filling them out and send them out! Whew.

Happy Paper Crafting!

Bre

|Tutorial Tuesday: Half Apron & Napkins|

26 Jul

Finally, I am offering this tutorial plus one! Half apron vintage inspired and coordinating dinner napkins. Both are very easy to make and don’t require a lot of photos so I apologize for the lack of photo demonstration.

Apron

Materials:

  • {1} 24×15 piece of main fabric for skirting
  • {1} 55×8 piece of coordinating fabric for belting
  • {2} 4×4 pieces of same coordinating fabric for pockets
  • {2} buttons
Procedure:
  • Baste 1 inch from top of main fabric leaving thread length on both ends
  • Pull lightly on the top thread of each end, manipulating fabric along thread
  • Once you have it gathered how you like, press the gathers
  • You can either round the bottom corners for a more vintage look or keep squared for a café look
  • Fold the bottom and two sides in 1/4″ and press
  • Stitch around edges to finish then set aside
  • Take your belting piece and fold it in half, right sides together
  • Sew along the edge 1/4″ in
  • Turn right side out and press where seam is in the middle
  • Turn each open end in 1/4″ and top stitch to finish
  • Sew the skirting and belting together by placing the right side of the skirting along the long edge of the right side of the belting and make 1/4″ stitch across
  • Unfold and press
  • Fold in and press all four edges of your pocket; repeat for second pocket {you can round the bottom corners to coordinate with the skirting if you wish, before you fold in and press the edges}
  • Top stitch the top of the pocket
  • Sew the pockets to the skirting in your desired spots
  • Hand sew one button on each pocket
  • Adorn with your label and tah dah
Your very own apron!
Napkin 
Materials:
  • {1} 18×18 piece of fabric of your choice
Procedure:
  • Fold in all four edges 1/4 ” and press
  • Snip each top fold in each corner for a more finished look
  • Top stitch
And yeah, that is pretty much it. So easy! Repeat four times for a set if desired!
Check back next Tuesday for the tutorial on the pot holders that go with this set!
Happy Sewing!
~Ashley

Interview: Jane Richmond

25 Jul

A couple years ago, I (Bre) was roaming Ravelry looking for a convertible mitten pattern for my now Husband.  When I came across Jane Richmond’s Quick Mittens for Men, I was stoked! She had the perfect pattern for my man, and it was affordable. I started to knit it up right away, with her very easy to follow directions. When I feel like knitting something up, but not quite sure what, I’ll check her shop out first to see if anything tickles my fancy. I have purchased about 6 patterns from her shop, and knitted up 2. I have plans to get to the others, like the Oatmeal sweater I’ve started about 3 times, but never quite like the yarn I use. I really need to get new yarn for that….Anyways, back to the point.

Oatmeal Pullover

Recently we had a wonderful chance to interview Mrs. Jane Richmond herself.

First let’s do the usual: when did you start to knit?

I learned to knit at age 5 but relearned in my late teens through books

Are you a project at a time kinda gal, or do you have numerous knits going on at once?

I used to be a monogamous knitter but now that most of my knitting is designing I tend to have many projects at different stages. I think it’s the result of having too many ideas that I’m dying to get

started on, Startitis I believe it’s called. Thankfully I finish most of what I start.

How would you describe your knitting strategy when creating a new design? Do you work from the skein to your idea, or your idea to the skein?

I definitely jump back and forth on this one. I have a sketch book of ideas that I work from.

Sometimes, but not often, I allow myself to buy yarn just because it’s beautiful. I normally save these splurges for fibre events, I love to discover new local or independent dyers.

What is your favorite yarn to knit with?

I have this natural obsession with your standard, run of the mill, inexpensive wool. I really like Cascade 220 and Patons Classic Wool because they are sturdy, affordable, and are available everywhere and in a huge range of colours. I also love wool blends, it’s the best of both worlds.

Would you call your knitting and designing an addiction at times?

Yes, it’s totally an addiction. I think Tanis (from Tanis Fibres) said it best when she said she knits because she has to. I am high energy so sitting still for a movie or a long car ride without something productive to do is a struggle for me, I can’t not knit.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself, maybe outside the world of knitting?

Well, I just turned thirty this year. I’m momma to Miss Elsie Jane (3 ½) and I have been with my husband 8 years. Despite a ton of moving around we are Islanders at heart and call Vancouver Island home. I am almost as addicted to gardening as I am to knitting (my poor hands!) and I love to be outdoors. I have lived in many countries (Australia, South Korea, the US) and when people ask where I’m from I say “All over”. I love to cook and consider myself a foodie. I wish I knew how to sew properly. I love movie nights and live for Knit Nights!

How had your Husband and Daughter inspired you knit-wise?

Knitting for them is fun and also challenging. Finding something that they genuinely like and want to wear is a challenge so when I get it right it’s hugely rewarding. Career wise, my husband sees how much is involved in the design process and how much I put into it, he really “gets” it and I am lucky to have his encouragement.

We have many newbies to crafting that follow our blog. What would your advice be to them to start knitting?

Jump In!

When I was a teenager picking up knitting again, the internet was young and there was no Ravelry, I felt like the only knitter in the world. Ravelry has connected me with other knitters and introduced me to Knit Nights. Knitting is all over the web, blogs, YouTube, there are entire websites devoted to knitting help, with all of the resources available the possibilities are endless. And because of this, knitting has evolved, this isn’t your grandmothers knitting anymore, beginners are starting with awesome fashionable knits that would make any non-knitter totally envious! It’s a great time learn to knit!

Do you think you’ll teach your daughter to knit? Have you tried to get the hubby to try?

Elsie sees me knitting constantly and has already asked to join in. She likes to play with little scraps of yarn, I can’t wait to teach her when she is old enough to learn. My husband was taught to knit by his grandmother when he was a boy, it never stuck 🙂

Do you have any favorite knitting designers, books, or blogs?

There are many, and the list just keeps growing…

I am hugely inspired by designers that self publish, at the top of this list are: Ysolda Teague, Gudrun Johnston, Kate Davies, Jared Flood, Melissa LaBarre, Veera Välimäki. I read their blogs and love following their careers.

When I like something in a knitting publication it’s always the work of someone on this list: Cathy Carron, Pam Allen, Norah Gaughan, Cecily Glowik MacDonald, Cirilia Rose, Melissa LaBarre. I’m so predictable but it’s fun to have favourites and be pleasantly surprised when the same designers are creating all of your favourite pieces in the latest magazines and books.

And of course, what is your favorite alcoholic beverage to consume while knitting?

Granville Island Winter Ale

Now I have many designers to check out! We would like to thank Jane so much for her interview. Don’t forget to check out her blog Etsy and Ravelry, where you can view all the projects people have created with her patterns. I’m sure you will be in the same awe as we are.

Cheers,

Bre & Ashley

Etsy: www.etsy.com/shop/janerichmond
Blog: http://janerichmond.blogspot.com
Ravelry: www.ravelry.com/designers/jane-richmond

|Tutorial Tuesday…. Just Kidding!|

21 Jul

Hey there. So, ummmm, I’m really sorry for not posting a tutorial this week on that apron. honestly, I am so busy and this week has been jam packed! But, I promise that a tutorial for the apron, plus napkins, plus pot holders will be posted for next weeks Tutorial Tuesday installment. Things are somewhat calming down.

Thank you for your patience and understanding! Lots of new posts soon including a new monthly thing Bre and I are gonna start doing – interviews!

~Ashley

Finished: Nautical Baby Vest!

21 Jul

My dear friend Arleen had a baby shower in July, the week before my wedding. Months before she said she’d love something knitted for her coming baby boy, and I said I’d try. I’m aweful with actually finishing projects, not quite sure why. For friends and family who actually receive my knitted gifts, feel special, haha.

Well I really wanted to keep this promise. The fact that I’m not really employed right now should allow me more time to do so. I search and search through Ravelry for a basic vest pattern I could use, preferably free since I’m just using it mostly as a guide line. I’m sure I could’ve figured one out myself, but I don’t have a baby, don’t have many friends with babies, and overall, I just don’t really run into babies. Haha. So sizing is a complete mystery to me when it comes to sizing.

I settled on Baby Argyle Vest and Hat by Jenny Harrell. For yarn, since sadly I am not extremely wealth at this time of life, I picked up some Bernat Satin Solids acrylic yarn. Atleast it’ll be easy to clean, and is totally vegan! Aye? I was really impressed with how soft it was, an easy to knit up. I was quite pleased with that.

Well I started to knit that sucker up. It took me about 3-4 days to finish it. I think most average knitters could finish it in 1-2 days, but I’m just slow, for some unexplained reason. It may be how easily distracted I become? Sadly, the double pointed needles created ladders that I attempted to seam up a bit. Plus I picked up too many stitches in the neckline too. But overall I was pretty proud of myself.

 So adorable, right? If you look closely to the left shoulder (right side of picture) There’s a little button whole, so you don’t have to worry about squeezing those cute fat heads through the whole. hehe.

Funny thing, I’m actually using the quilt Arleen made me as a background for these pictures.

And if you look closely that button has a little anchor on it as well. Swoon!

Last but not least, my personal little touch. I keep talking about wanting to knit and sale baby items on etsy, got a shop and all. I’ve made a beanie for a friend (that didn’t quite fit the little one’s adorable noggin) and that was the first Shnookum’s item. However, this is the first “official” Shnookum’s item, with a hand-stamped, sewn in label and all!

So even though we are waiting for Arleen to pop any moment, I made the vest in a size between 3-6 months. That way it’ll be great for fall/winter. I can not wait to see little Dylan in pictures wearing this vest!

I would recommend this pattern to others. It was really easy to follow, and a rather quick knit.

Happy Knitting!

Bre