Monday, April 21, 2014

Sewing Tales with Felt

Do you sew with felt? I don't normally. I love quilters cotton - the feel, the smell (you know you do too) and all the bright amazing colors and patterns just can't compare. The durability is great too - so that is what I have always loved to create with. Finally I decided to step out of my self made comfort box and have some fun sewing with felt. The verdict - I'd do it again.

A while ago I contacted National Non-Wovens (not an affiliate link) for some color samples of their felt. I had randomly used their felt in the past, that I had purchased at a craft store. This time I wanted make some Sewing Tales projects from my book, as well as bonus projects like the Canoe, and try out the feel of their wool and bamboo blends too. This is not a review of the wool and is not a sponsored post. They sent me some samples and I love working with it. I enjoyed working with good quality felt so if you haven't tried it yet - you should. It's good to break out of our boxes - right?

The polar bear cub was made with the Xotic Felt (bamboo/rayon blend) which feels amazing (again just my opinion) my girls want a bigger cub in this felt to cuddle with. I cut out the tiny pieces and began to sew it together. By the time I had gotten to needing the ears and the tail I realized I wouldn't be able to move the pieces under the foot to stitch the curve because the ears were all the way under the foot.

I cut some little rectangle pieces longer than needed and stitch the ears and tail. After sewing it as a larger piece, I was able to cut it out and turn the pieces right side out so much easier. 

The little teeny tiny bump on the left - is the same size as the piece from the pattern - so you can see it was impossible to get a usable ear from it. I actually felt like a dork for not realizing sooner that would happen - but oh well. The ears worked so much easier sewn longer and then cut down to size.

If you don't have turning tools - there's no way you'll be able to turn it right side out. I actually had to say quite a few prayers and probably had a few beads of sweat above my brows thinking it was too small to turn or I'd rip the fabric. I only went through the seam once (but it was actually in between stitches) whew!

Before attempting the tiny polar cub - I tested the same felt with a somewhat larger project (the Edie the Light Bulb from my book (still using the pattern size as printed in the back [not enlarged]). The white one went together really well. I'm still working on the other colors - so I'll post more pics once I finish the project for quilt market.

After working with felt - for these Sewing Tales projects - I almost had a desire to write a whole book with some fun felt projects. Almost. Not yet though. I will def stew on it and see what comes to mind. Until then - if you are going to try sewing some projects from Sewing Tales with yummy wool and bamboo(blend) felt - have fun - and please share some pics.

Have a wonderful week and thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wednesday Walks: A Little Horse Therapy

A few of weeks ago - I was having a really rough day and decided to take a walk to get a little "horse therapy". This is the fella I encountered. Simply looking at him, feeling his soft muzzle, and snapping a few pictures, calmed my soul.

Isn't he amazing?

 I miss being able to ride a horse where ever I want, high up in the mountains, or low in the valley - maybe I should take it up again. Maybe this is the year of the horse for me.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Kid Giddy Studio Series Part 3

As I was prepping the photos for this Studio Series Part 3 post, I began to realize that it was spring then too. The sun was coming out more, the skies were bright blue most of the time, and the air was much warmer. I can still hear the hammers, the plastic walls, and the guys shouting out numbers for cutting the next piece they would need. If this is the first you are coming upon my Kid Giddy Studio series - you can check out Studio Part 1, and Studio Part 2.
The computer room walls were coming down soon so we had to do a massive overhaul of the stuff I had stashed in there. Basically it was a room full of business stuff - memory boxes and family history stuff...oh and all the other "home office" stuff a family accumulates. It was crazy - it took me many days/ weeks. Just looking at it is exhausting! 
Now let's talk about the honest craft room! This was after about 3 massive changes. The desk with the computer on it - was once my sewing desk. When our bedroom was being dormered we actually moved our bed into this room! The desk with the sewing machine on it - was once downstairs in the computer room and moved up after that pic above was taken. The cutting table was folded down a bit, and moved to a wall to the right of the frame. The bed went under the window and against the wall. Not very comfy - but with an attitude of gratitude and realizing people live in cramped quarters on a regular basis - we didn't complain. That lasted about 2 months. This was the set up after those 2 months - and chaos resumed. Luckily I was done with the book - no more writing, sewing, or editing for it. I tried working on some other projects but I couldn't find half my stuff. Oh well.
Our daughters were so excited when I told them this would be the one and only time I'd let them purposely put a hole in the wall. They quickly grabbed the safety glasses and hammers and got to work. Family Fun magazine shared my picture from my fb page on their facebook page - that was pretty cool. At first - they tapped the wall. I don't think they even dented it. lol. They had such a blast - but I was getting nervous as they pulled the hammer back towards their faces - so we called it quits for a bit on that. Happy to say no one got hurt, all was well.
Outside the guys happily take a break - but unknowingly become a part of my blog post while I catch them eating lunch. They questioned my incessant photographing in the beginning - but they got used to it pretty quick and even smiled or posed. Love this candid though of Paul (left), Ed (center) and Darold (right). I even remember the conversation - Ed went to get them lunch and brought back only one dessert. It didn't go over so well. This is the new doorway for the entryway (what used to be called the breezeway). It's nice to have covering overhead when it's raining to unlock the door.

Up in the studio - things were getting done.

Brandon the electrician was running through the house, studio and basement running wires up through the walls. Light cans, outlets, switches - check.

I tried to get the girls pic in this same spot - so here they're just chilling with a hang loose and peace.
The studio was then sprayed with a beautiful shade of sea green insulation foam. That stuff is amazing. I might have to get me a can.

This is a picture of the cozy away room looking towards the front of the house (and temp studio stairs). The pink insulation was once the outside wall of the computer room that is coming down, and the old window too. 

This used to be a long skinny and dark hallway between the computer room and the laundry room (doors on the right). Once the beams were installed - it was pure happiness and total brightness.

Once in a while - we spoiled the guys with awesome treats. I think the cupcakes were from my daughters birthday celebration at school - but we purposely made extras so they could have some too. The girls just liked to leave them "sweet" notes (pun intended). I can't help but laugh every time I see this one.
 This special little door was a huge source of jokes throughout the renovations. I was originally calling it a fairy door - but Paul and Darold said it would be cooler if it was a "hobbit" door. lol. It was alays a topic of conversation. I still can't believe my husband let me keep a little hole in the wall for a fairy door (like the ones in Ann Arbor Michigan). I've kept it a secret for a long time - but glad to finally share it. 

The drywall was put up and the studio was mudded. The wood flooring was brought in, and the ladder was left behind. I saw the A. My husband said we just needed our new barn door for the cozy away room - so it would be A-Z. I reminded him we still had the little barn door that used to be up above the garage doors. It was perfect. We kept the door. Still not sure what to do with it - but I couldn't let them toss it. One day I will figure it out.

Here are the girls getting ready to leave for karate class - but took a moment to show that we now have doors on the studio closet...The left doors are half size so it wouldn't interfere with the huge cutting table that would be right in front of it.
The doors were removed so they could be painted white - but the flooring was done so we captured that moment too.

If you are going through renovations - capture it all. It's so much fun to see all these pictures. I'm grateful to know we got through all this craziness. I don't miss the noise and dust - we create enough of that on our own - but I do miss the guys. They were a barrel of fun. Next week the staircase in the entryway goes up. Fun times!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Infinity Fabric Cone Bracelet Free Tutorial

Got Scraps? Try this scrappy fabric bracelet on for size. I made this bracelet tutorial for the Craft Industry Today magazine last year but never posted it here on my blog until now, whoops. I receive many compliments every time I wear them. They add color to any outfit, are really easy to make, and great for scrap busting - so make as many as you want!

What you'll need:
Print a copy of the PDF pattern - click here for the google doc
Fabric of your choice. 2 Fat Quarters can make 2 8" bracelets or use scraps.
Thread color of choice
¾” Non-rolling Elastic cut to desired length
Regular Scissors & Pinking Shears
Sewing Machine
NOTE: Seam allowance is 1/4" unless other wise noted.

What you'll do:
Prep: Measure your wrist and hand to determine the length of the bracelet you will want
to make. The elastic should be cut so they are 1" longer than the length your hand
measured (this will keep it loose not tight). Cut out 2 cone pieces for every inch of the
finished bracelet length. (To get over my hand is 8”, I cut my elastic to 9” to cover the
overlap at the end and to prevent it from being too tight). When cutting, the curved edge
of the cone, and the two sides should be cut with the pinking shears, and the 3 inside
edges, should be cut with straight scissors.

Step 1: Make all of your cone pieces by folding them in half, right sides together and sewing
the raw edge.

Step 2: Keeping the cones wrong side out and slip them onto the elastic strap alternating
colors or patterns. The seam edge of the cones should be centered on the top of the
strap. Sew the first cone piece to the elastic leaving ½” – ¾” at the end of the elastic
to connect to the other end.

Step 3: Sew all of the cone pieces to the strap with a ½” in between each piece.

Step 4: With the last cone on the elastic, overlap both ends of the elastic and sew together.

Step 5: Wiggle the final cone in place, just over the sewn elastic ends, and sew it in place.

Step 6: Flip all the cones over so they are right sides facing out.

Alternative Options:
1) To make it fuller, use 3 or 4 cones for every inch.
2) If you are making a necklace, scarf or belt, you can shrink and use the same pattern, and use a thinner elastic or soft but sturdy cording.
3) If you make a belt and want to have the cones all hanging down ward, make sure the cones are sewn in the opposite direction at the half-way point.

The more you wear your bracelet, the softer the edges will get. If you have any questions while making your bracelet or any of the other adapted accessories, please leave a comment below. After you make some - please share some pics and tag me @kidgiddy on instagram or twitter and use the hashtag #kidgiddysewing!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Kid Giddy Studio Series Part 2

I know - it's been forever since I posted the Studio Series Part 1, but at the time of renovations we were pretty much "out of our minds crazy", as well as craving some sort of privacy. I got to the point where I had so many people coming and going through my house for 8 months and couldn't post more pics and feel like I had more eyes on the inside. When I should've been writing the part 2 post, it was also a very difficult time because one of the guys that had been working on our house renovations, was in a severe car accident. I was truly at a loss for words, couldn't celebrate the blessings of our new studio, when another person was literally clinging for life, so I hope us needing and wanting privacy doesn't come across as rude.

Now that much time has passed, I felt like it was too late to post the series - but after some convincing from JJ Heller on instagram, I decided to keep at it and show all the durings - so I can show you the before and after (which is killer). I'm feeling like I can finally "open the doors" for a peek inside the rest of the transformation. As the studio began to take shape, the entryway began to be torn apart, and opened up to make room for the stairs up to the new space.
This is the back side of the studio. The wall to the left is a small wall with a window and down inside you can see the small bits of our cozy away room.

This is Cameron. He's rather quite - but not really. I think he wants people to think that, so when I caught him in a talkative mood - it was fun to chat with him. This is when they were taking the roof off of our breezeway, to make room for the entryway stairs. I don't recall the guy in the red shirt - he was only here a couple of times.

This is the view from the front outside. The tarps made a tremendously loud noise during every windy and stormy night - often keeping us awake. Drove us nuts - but we counted the days, knowing it would all be worth it.

This is Paul in the torn apart breezeway. He's the guy that I would swear was from NY every time he talked - but he's from Maine. The door leading into the house was covered in plastic - the only barrier from all the dust and chaos (and no lock). The space where the ladder is - is all new space. It was never there and will be the staircase and bookwall. Yeah!

This is Paul again. Breaks my heart to see this picture, as he was the one in the terrible car accident.  I was talking to him about how crazy they were to be up on roofs - they had no fear - at all. His response was most likely "what? this is nothing" or "what - you're kidding right"? Such a funny guy. He's on the tongue & groove ceiling in the entryway.

This is the inside tongue and groove ceiling with metal collar ties. We wanted 3 major things in this renovation - wood, metal and stone. This def satisfies the wood and metal. The wall right there was my old bedroom window.

My girls look so little in these pics. This is my oldest and she always questions why I'm taking pics. This was their whole life last year. These things should be recorded too. It was total chaos everyday.

Each day my girls came home from school everyday, there was something new to see and discover. They marveled at the drastic changes in the beginning, and remained in awe as things took their new form. This is my youngest in the back of the studio where the stairs used to be from the garage up to the empty space. This hole was finally covered up.

I think this is Paul on the ladder and Kyle in the bottom valley of the soon to be roof line. We have a full entryway ceiling and temp stairs at this point. So excited to see more progress.

The longer these guys are working in your house - in such a personal space - they become part of your family. You just can't stop it from happening. It amazes me how hard they all worked to make this space for us. To make our home our dreams come true. Giving them hot cocoa, fresh chocolate chip cookies out of the oven, chicken noodle soup in the winter, and ice pops or simple ice water in the summer, never seemed like enough. I'm so thankful everyday for all they did and still to this day my heart breaks for Paul and his family. His recovery has been miraculous - but is still a very long and difficult road. I know you don't know him - and I can honestly say I only knew him as much as he worked at my house. But I know he loves McD's Apple pies - and I still owe him a homemade one (I told him I refused to buy him a McD's one - but would be happy to make him an awesome homemade pie - to which he has agreed to wholeheartedly). I know he will happily capture a bat in the middle of the night (according to the story he told me). I know he has an amazing wife and awesome kids, because he talked about them all the time. I know his smile lights up a room, he can make anyone laugh, and his compassion is worthy of emulation. If want to learn more about him and his recovery - you can here at Paul's YouCaring website. If you are so moved to donate to his family, to help with their medical expenses - I know it will be appreciated and blessings will come to you. If all you can offer is prayers - that's awesome too. Thank you!

Thanks for stopping by and seeing what's new....I will have more studio update pics soon - so be on the look out. I hope you all have a great Monday!