Saturday, April 28, 2012

Miss Fran Canvas Tote

To use one of my sister's expressions, I'm as giddy as a kipper (overly excitable) with my latest crafterpiece!

It all started with an embroidery workshop, hosted by the very lovely Marisa of Creative Thursday. The workshop was a lot of fun! We all worked on 'Miss Fran' - one of Marisa'a characters. Marisa showed us a number of different embroidery stitches, how to applique and encouraged us to experiment with different stitches. (Check out my friend Terrie's super cute version).

I thoroughly enjoyed the embroidery: adding a boucle effect scarf, an applique skirt, a little top... It was totally absorbing, and fun to see this little character evolve.

Ms Fran embroidery

I was soo happy with the end result that I felt like Miss Fran needed to be put to good use... in a way that her loveliness would shine. I decided she would look very cute on the front of a simple canvas bag. Naomi agrees:

Hmm I like it

To make her pop, I decided to feature her in the center of a wonky log cabin square. This was a new technique for me, and I found it to be a great way to use some of the bits and pieces of fabric that I have accumulating in various boxes, drawers, shelves... And with each addition, my little helper would pick out the next piece of fabric that I would add to the block. I love that she likes to get involved.

Scrappy patchwork block

If you've never done a wonky log cabin block before, there is a great tutorial over on Quilt Dad's blog.

Trimming the patchwork block

My little helper also wanted to have a go at the sewing too. Naturally this was a 'let's pretend' moment with the machine turned off! :o))

Mummy's little helper

The original embroidery fabric had the 'Creative Thursday' description printed on the corner of it. I've seen great projects that incorporate the descriptions from the selvedge of fabric. I thought it would be fun to mimic that idea, cut this out and zig zag stitched to the pocket. Soo happy with how this looks!

Ms Fran Pocket

Finally, I lined the pocket, and then simply stitched onto the front of the bag. Isn't it a bright and happy addition to this canvas tote. I see more of these types of projects in the future - after all who doesn't need a cute reusable canvas bag to do shopping, run errands etc...

Ms Fran bag

Have a great weekend,
Sam xxx

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Jaeger 'Dolly' Wrap Cardigan

I still knit! I know, I know, the knitting content has been severly lacking as of late. But here's the proof that there's still much knitty activity here at Sticks, Strings and Crafty Things - a cardigan that I completed earlier today.

Dolly cardigan

It is a Jaeger pattern by Martin Storey.  Pattern name is Dolly and is available in baby and toddler sizing. I'd had my eye on the pattern for some time - the scallop trip is such a sweet detail that 'makes' this such a beautiful little wrap cardigan.  Ooh and if you are looking for a special occasion cardigan, the toddler size uses seed beads instead of the seed/moss stitch detail on this baby version. With a little bling it would be super cute.

 Sleeve edge of baby cardigan

The pattern calls for Jaeger baby merino 4 ply yarn. I think 4-ply baby cardigans are a perfect way to make good use of all the pretty hand dyed sock yarn that's probably accumulating in every knitter's stash :) I first cast on with some Madeleine Tosh Merino Light, which would be a perfect yarn, I just wasn't loving the color I'd selected given that it was intended for a baby cardigan.

Baby cardigan WIP

So I pulled back and took a rummage through my stash and found this Brown Sheep Cotton Fine yarn that I'd picked up from the Brown Sheep factory shop many moons ago. I really love this colour for a baby. And the end result feels to me like a vintage ballet wrap. Soo pretty for a brand new baby.

Dolly cardigan

Now I just need to decide what knitty project to work on next.
Wishing you a great weekend,
Sam xxx

Friday, April 13, 2012

Ballerina Bunny

We had a lovely Easter weekend and the highlight for me was attending our first Easter egg hunt. It was organized by the local recreation center, and Naomi thought it was THE BEST THING EVER!

Yay eggs everywhere

She got to fill her Easter bucket with these plastic eggs, each of which were filled with cute toys: there's her new bunny necklace, a little camera, jumping bunnies...

Here Daddy

She also got to meet the Easter bunny. Naomi was very excited about the whole deal while we were stood in line. But of course when it came to picture time she obviously changed her mind - check out that expression! She cracks me up. :)

Hmm not sure about this giant bunny

Her favourite bunny though is the amigurimi toy that I'd made for her. She was fascinated watching the progress. I'd finished the head and body and she told me 'Mummy fix them' because each time she'd balance the head on the body it would just fall off again. Then I'd complete an arm and she'd instruct me 'another one Mummy, another one'. Same for the legs...

Ballerina Bunny

She helped with the embroidery of the eyes, which are on their 3rd iteration - first time they looked a little too sassy, second time like a sourpuss... I think I have it now with this 3rd attempt (shown in the night night picture at the bottom of this post)! Who knew eye placement could affect the whole look of the bunny's face!

Showing off her moves

This was my first attempt at amigurumi. I'd received an amigurumi book from my sister last year, and have had my eye on the ballerina bunny pattern. What better time than Easter to put this together :) I used Rowan 4 ply cotton. I love this yarn and used it in 2 of my very favourite baby blankets. It wears well, the colours are perfect... oh Rowan why oh why did you discontinue it?

I was surprisingly pleased with how easy it was to grasp for a novice crocheter like me. And how quick the little bunny came together. But most pleasing of all is how much Naomi looooves her new toy. It has been to daycare, and of course is a favourite for snuggling with at bed time.

Wishing you a great weekend ahead.
Happy Spring!
Sam xxx

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Feeling the love

Big thanks to Kim for honouring this this blog with the Liebster award.

Here are the rules for the award:
1. Link back to the person who awarded it to you. Thanks Kim :)
2. Post the award to your blog:

3. Give the award to 5 bloggers with less than 200 followers:

- Terrie at StarSpry
- Andi at My Sister's Knitter
- Bea at When Two Dogs Meet a Quilt
- Denise at The Knitting Den
- Mary Catharine at Warmth in the North

4. Leave a comment on the 5 blogs to let them know that they have been offered this award.
5. List 5 random facts that people don't know about you.

- When considering my University options, at one point I looked into a textile degree. Although that's not the path I chose, it makes me smile to think that here I am, many years later, spending a good chunk of my spare time with yarn and fabric
- I like to solve problems, and get a kick out of figuring things out
- I make my family laugh, but not because I'm intentionally funny :)
- My favourite season is Autumn. Still warm, but not overly hot. All the pretty colours. And with Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas to look forward to, plan and prepare for.
- I like to walk on the sunny side of the street

Thanks again for this kind award Kim :)
xxx Sam

Friday, April 06, 2012

Chocolate Easter Nests

I was looking at the 'According to Matt' blog (which, oh by the way, has a fabulous yarny giveaway right now) and saw the chocolate Easter nests they had made. Ooh it brought back fond memories, and also made me think that I know a little someone who would thoroughly enjoy making them.

Chocolate Easter Nests

So last night, armed with Ghiradelli chocolate morsels, Kellogg corn flakes, M&M Easter egg chocolates and my little helper we created lots and lots of these tasty treats.

The Happy "Cooks"

Naomi had a blast - there's nothing she loves more than 'helping'. Her first job was to put the cupcake papers in the trays. Her next job was to add the eggs to each of the nests. As you can tell from her chocolate chops I think her little motto was something along the lines of 'one for the nest, one for me, one for the nest, one for me...'

Making Easter Nests

Having a fabulous time

Joe took trays of these into work today. A little chocolatey goodness to start the Easter weekend.

Wishing you a great weekend with friends and family,
Sam xxx

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Simple skirt

This weekend I whipped out a simple skirt for Naomi.

New skirt in Denyse Schmidt fabric

I picked up Burda pattern 9502, which stated that it was very easy. And I have this lovely Denyse Schmidt fabric in my stash. It literally took just one evening to pull together, and the pattern truly was as straight forward as the envelope promised. It is simply two tiers of fabric with an elasticated waist.

Skirt collage 2

Naomi loves it and put it through the paces this morning: Running around, dancing, biking, scootering (made up word?), spinning... Seems to work for all her favourite activities. Now she's napping, and it seems to work just fine for that too :)

Skirt collage 1

It's gorgeous here so I'm going to take advantage of the good weather and sit outside for a while. Hope you are having a great weekend.