Just Look at That Stumpwork - QuirkieCraft

I just wanted to share some amazing stumpwork that I stumbled across. If you aren't familiar with stumpwork, it is an embroidery technique that creates 3D pieces of stitching. It is totally amazing, and something I have yet to delve into. Anyhow, I am just in love with the pieces that QuirkyCraft creates, totally up my alley! I especially like her pieces that are nature inspired; insect themed art is my favorite!

She hasn't posted in a while, but I highly suggest going to her blog to check out her work. She has a lot of really great pieces that aren't stumpwork, too, like these beautiful screenprinted pieces.


Star Wars Snowflakes

I am sure that I have mentioned that we are huge Star Wars fans in this house, haven't I?

Well, I discovered these awesome Star Wars snowflakes back in 2012, and have made them every year since. Anthony Herrera, the creator of these awesome nerdy winter decorations, is seriously my hero.

My favorite from the 2012 series is the X-Wing. Anthony has since then created a 2013 series (love the Tusken raider and Boba Fett!)  and a 2014 series (look at that Wampa)!!


Pretty-fying Pots for Your Plants

We have been having such dreary, wet weather here in Northern California recently, and it has made me yearn for sitting outside in the sun, fussing over my potted succulent garden. So, of course, I have been sitting inside, on the internet, looking at ways to decorate pots. Behold, tutorials!

mod podged planters 004
Gotta love a little bit of glitz (without being overwhelming!!) on these awesome gold leaf planters over at Mod Podge Rocks. I really love the gray one, but the aqua one would match my other pots so well!

Now, I'm not exactly a girly-girl, but I love these decoupaged lace containers over at Urban Comforts. What a great way to use vintage textiles in an unconventional way. 

Everyone is still on the chevron bandwagon, right? Gibb Gabb showed us how to chevron your pots back in 2011, back before everyone was chevron-crazed.

Design Sponge shows us how to put chalkboard "labels" on terra cotta pots, which I think would be perfect for herbs in your kitchen for some indoor gardening! You can even find downloadable templates for the different labels, and I can also think of about a thousand and one other uses for those templates.


I'm still here!

I would just like to let you guys know that I am still here! Back in May, my dinosaur laptop gave it's last breathe. I haven't been able to get a new (used) computer until this month, and it is currently being cleaned and fixed up. I should have it by Christmas (also my birthday!), and plan to be back in action as soon as possible. I have quite a series of posts planned for the new year. Stay tuned, dear readers!


My Sweet Little Man

My son, Gunnar, was born on May 5th, 2014 at 1:18 am.
Gunnar weighed 8 lbs and 7 oz and was 20 inches long at birth.
He spent two and a half weeks in the NICU due to pulmonary hypertension, but we have been home now for three months and he is doing really well!
He just had a check up last Saturday the 23rd and he weighed in at 18 lbs 4 oz, and measured 25 1/4 inches long. He is my big, smiley chunk!


Silly Internet

I am currently having issues with my internet connection (ugh!), and may not be able to post until after April 18th.


Boba Fett Cross Stitched Onesie (pattern and tutorial)

We are HUGE Star Wars fans in this house, and last night I found an awesome free cross stitch pattern for Boba Fett's helmet. I received a package of plain cotton Onesies from a friend at my baby shower, and I immediately knew what I would use this pattern for. My son , who is due in one month, will need a Bobba Fett shirt, won't he?

I've never, ever cross stitched on knit fabric before, even though I have been cross stitching on and off for about 20 years now. I have had this stuff called 'waste canvas' in my supplies for 6 years or more, and I thought it would be great for this project. Waste canvas is a very loosely even weave  fabric that resembles AIDA cloth. It is perfect for cross stitching on knits or any other fabric that doesn't lend itself to cross stitching easily.

How to use waste canvas:

  • Cut a piece of waste canvas that is slightly larger than your finished design, a half inch for a design that is a couple square inches would work nicely. I don't recommend doing large, complicated designs. Small and simple are best.
  • Center your waste canvas on the item you wish to stitch your design on, and pin the fabrics together. Getting your waste canvas centered is seriously the hardest part. 
  • Use basting stitches along the outer edge of your waste canvas to keep your waste canvas and base fabric together. You can even do a grid of basting stitches to help you stitch your design. I like to do a grid of 10x10 stitches. 
  • Stitch your design, using the grid of the waste canvas as a guide, like you would using AIDA or another even weave. 
  • Once you have finished your design, I like to clip larger pieces of the waste canvas away using a pair of tiny pointy scissors. Make sure to leave at least a quarter inch of canvas along all edges of your design.
  • Using a sponge or a spray bottle, dampen the waste canvas. You want to make sure that it is thoroughly wet, but not dripping.
  • Using tweezers, start at the top of your design, and pull the very topmost horizontal thread from the waste canvas. You should be pulling straight out to the right, parallel to the fabric (if you are right handed. If you are left handed, pull to the left.) Be gentle, and be patient.
  • After you have removed all of the horizontal threads of waste canvas, start removing the vertical threads. Pull downward gently, parallel to the fabric. Keep removing them until they are all gone.
  • Gently press your design, using a setting that is appropriate for your fabric and thread.

If you'd like the pattern, you can find it here at Cross Me Not. You can find a TON of other great cross stitch patterns there, including a Stormtrooper helmet and a variety of different lightsabers, as well as a ton of other great nerdy ones.


Tutorial Roundup: Toddler - Girl - Skirts

Recently, some moms in a DIY group on Facebook were asking for tutorials for little girls using woven fabrics, and I thought that it might be a good idea to put together some posts that include some of my favorites that I have found over the years. This post is all about skirts for your (or your sister's, or your bff's) toddler girls. Below the jump (click read more) are a total of 11 great tutorials, divided up by material - wovens, knits, and upcycled. Enjoy!

Tutorial Roundups Coming Soon! (+ maternity photos!)

Recently, in one of the Facebook groups I belong to, some ladies had asked for tutorials for toddler and baby clothing. J's daughter is decidedly no longer a toddler, she just turned 6, and his son will be turning 4 in two days! However, I've spent the last two years collecting tutorials and patterns for clothing for them, and will be needing the boy's clothing again in no time (only 5 weeks to go until I get to meet my little man!).
I've had a busy couple of days, but plan on rolling out quite a few blog posts over the next week or so including the best of the best that I've found, so if you are at all interested in creating for baby or toddler, keep tuned because I promise that I won't disappoint!

In other news, I received the edited photos that were taken by a fantastic local photographer, Samantha Rosales, during a maternity shoot that we did last month. You can find Samantha here, and to see more of the photo shoot, just click on "Read more."


Felt Finger Puppets

Awhile back, I made a whole mess of finger puppets for my boyfriend's children. I had so much fun making them, and they used minimal amounts of materials that I already had on hand.Pretty much just felt, embroidery floss, some ribbon, and buttons.


DIY Jellyfish Lantern

I just can't believe how amazing these lanterns are. And the great news is that they can be done incredibly inexpensively, with primarily dollar store items! The most expensive part is the lantern assembly, but you could probably upcycle some cheap lantern from the thrift store. You could also make these with glow sticks, for some temporary lighting. I just absolutely love these, and am going to have to make a least one of these bad boys this summer, though I think I'll end up making a few in different sizes to group together, like a big bloom (swarm) of them. So pretty!

Head on over to Germani Decor for a great tutorial on how to make you own amazing jelly lantern.

Who Do YOU Recomend I Read?

I've noticed that a lot of the blogs that I followed when I first started this blog are no longer posting. And others? Well, the content, while helpful, usually isn't exactly to my tastes. Perhaps I followed for the crafting tutorials for inspiration and how-to, but still have to heavily modify the supplies or design to make it something I'd actually like. I also just have some more time on my hands these days for reading blogs, so I find myself running out of new material to read.

So, who are YOU reading? Do you have a blog of your own that you want me to check out? I'm primarily interested in crafting or motherhood blogs, but I really have a wide variety of interests. SERIOUS bonus points if it's somehow punk rock, metalhead, or nerd geared. Please leave comments below, I need some new reading material! Hook it up.


Gardening For Those That Kill Everything

I really love being surrounded by tons of plants, but I honestly suck at them. My thumb has gotten lightly greener this past year or so, but I still really need to stick to low maintenance plants, otherwise I face a lot of disappointment when I eventually accidentally neglect my plants for a few days and kill off all of the delicate ones. That's one of the main reasons that I love succulents so much. They can survive a whole hell of a lot.


Basic Granny Square

Now that I have finished my Baby Starghan for my little boy, I've started crocheting a blanket for my friend's second baby boy, who is due about two weeks before I am. She really liked the one I made for the little bun, but I really, really, really don't want to make another one so soon after finishing that one. I rarely do big projects, so those last three rows were eternity for me, I was sooooo done. So, I figured that I'd make her a blanket in the same color scheme, but a different pattern. Enter the basic granny square!

I figured that I'd share how to  crochet a nice, easy, traditional granny square. I've seen it done a slightly different way, but this is my preferred method. Please, bear with me, this is the first time I've ever written up a pattern!


Starghan Completed!

It took me forever, mostly because of my super lazy crocheting habits, but I finally finished the starghan that I started way back in October for my baby boy. I blogged about it last month here, and you can find a link to a pattern there, as well as what I did to alter it.


Starghan Progress

It's been quite some time since I last posted, and I think it's just time that I revive this blog.

Since last posting, I discovered that I was pregnant and I am very excited to announce that I am expecting a little boy on May 5th, 2014!

In October, I started crocheting a blanket for my little nugget. At the time, I did not know whether I'd be having a boy or a girl, so I decided on a basic rainbow pallette. I had made this awesome star-shaped afghan a number of years ago for a friend's baby, but was very disappointed to discover that the pattern was no longer available. I did a little searching for something similar, and came across this pattern by Michael Sellick. I have altered it a bit, such as using an H hook and making only two chains at the peaks, rather than three chains. Using two chains instead of three seems to keep the peaks (or arms, whatever the hell you want to call them) a little less pointy. I actually like Michael's pattern a little more, it's very similar to the first starghan I made, but having the chart was really helpful. The beginning of this blanket is kind of tricky and I must have had to re-do it about a half dozen just because I was unsure if I was doing it the right way.