Friday Favorites, Episode 44: The Saturday Edition

I really did mean to post this yesterday. But I got caught up in spending the time between work and my church’s Good Friday service catching up on financial stuff/balancing my checkbook, and then it was time to leave for church, and so on. So rather than wait until next week again, I figured I’d just post it a day late.

First up is just a tad bit late for tomorrow, but it still looked neat. Vegetablegardener.com had instructions for how to dye eggs with natural products, like onion skins and berries and such. I wonder if it would work on fabric too? (I found this one through Craft Stylish.) For another edible project, I liked the sound of Cheap Healthy Good’s Spaghetti with Asparagus, Egg and Parmesan (or “a mutant freak of deliciousness”, as they called it.) Also from a link from the same site, I found CakeSpy’s post on dessert recipes inspired by classic rock. “John Lemon” bars, anyone? Or perhaps you’re more in the mood for some Rolling Scones?

Via Craftzine, I thought this “cardapult” at Instructables (a toy catapult made from buisness cards!) was really fun! Also at Instructables, they had instructions for how to build a model of the TARDIS from Doctor Who that lights up inside. (I forget which site alerted me to this one– might have also been Craftzine.)

Anyone who’s been following this blog for awhile knows that I am not a knitter/crocheter by any means. Every time I try, the projects are pretty much disasters. Even with machine help. But I still really enjoyed one of this week’s Threadbanger roundups– knit and crochet projects inspired by the good old 8-bit Nintendo! That crocheted Mario blanket is seriously nothing short of amazing. And so is the in-progress scarf that’s intended to show the entire scrolling level 1-1 of the original Mario Bros. game! (Yes, I still love my 8-bit Nintendo!)

Speaking of projects made of fail, the geniuses at Dollar Store Crafts have cooked up a new blog called Craft Fail— basically, to allow people to laugh a bit at themselves (and with the other contributors) when projects don’t go completely as planned. (I think my favorite so far is the soap that ended up looking like spam.)

At Blisstreee.com, there were instructions for some lovely hand-painted background paper. Looks like it would be really fun to try for stuff like scrapbooking! (I think this one was via One Pretty Thing.)

And last but not least, I thought this “landscape dress” at Wardrobe Refashion was very clever! I really liked how she designed that leaf motif to tie the three different prints together.

On a slightly more personal note, I did do some crafting today– basic resizes of 3 t-shirts for a friend. No pics though, since she was hanging out here when I sewed them and she took them home. She was quite happy about it, though. And also doing some plotting for what might be my next Big Project (after the mini-wardrobe, of course! But those should all be pretty simple pieces to put together, with the exception of the jeans and possibly the dress.) As of yesterday, my brother is engaged, so I’m going to need something to wear to the wedding. It’s going to depend partially on in what capacity I’m actually involved– I’m not going to be a bridesmaid, and I’m not sure yet whether they’ll want me to be one of the musicians or not. (I had guessed not, since flute isn’t my brother’s favorite, but when he and my mom and I were talking about it, he didn’t say no. So that was a bit of a surprise.) And it’s also going to depend partially on where it ends up being– they’re not getting married at our church (he works there, so I think he wanted a break!), she wants an outdoor wedding, and they’re thinking October. Which has the potential to be pretty much anything between warm and sunny or cold and rainy with winds left over from whatever hurricane most recently hit the coast, the way things tend to run here. But based on my initial “research”, I’m kind of leaning towards this dress (the shorter version). I kind of want to treat myself to some really nice fabric for it too. I’m thinking silk, because I’ve never made anything with it, and I think a natural fiber would keep me more comfortable in whatever weather we might end up having. And also contemplating a wrap of some sort, in case of cooler weather. Guess I’d better start looking through this book some, to prepare myself for this sort of project!

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Friday Favorites, Episode 43

I really need to get back to doing these on a weekly basis. The stack from the last 2 weeks is a bit overwhelming! So best to just dive right in…

Recycled goodness…
I tend to post a lot of this type of stuff anyway, I know, but even more appropriate now that it’s April, with Earth Day coming up and all. The music lover in me enjoyed this Threadbanger roundup of things to do with old vinyl records (I was particularly a fan of the iPod case!) Hippyshopper had a second roundup of recycled jewelry ideas. I don’t really care for the necklace made from recycled nylons, I’ll admit, but I did think the one with the pen caps has some serious potential! Cut Out + Keep had a clever tutorial for making a shrug from an oversized t-shirt— I love the Grecian drapiness of the final look. Dollar Store Crafts showed how to dye Easter eggs using recycled silk ties to put designs on them. Also found tutorials for envelopes done two ways– turning envelopes into gift bags (via Whip Up), and making other paper into padded envelopes (via Craftzine). Craftstylish showed how to make easy earrings out of beach glass (not that it takes much to inspire me to go beachcombing!) and also things you can do with old VHS tapes (the flowers on the straw purse were my favorite.) Finally, going back to Craftzine, there was a table lamp with a shade made from soda can tabs. It reminds me of chainmaille!

And the geek shall inherit the earth…
It was a good week for my not-so-inner geek. Lots of things that made me smile– like Dollar Store Craft’s Alien Abduction Lamp, and Whip Up’s Star Wars mice. Craftzine linked to an April Fool’s joke featuring a Tauntaun sleeping bag (for all those young Jedi wannabe’s, a la The Empire Strikes Back). But my absolute favorite (also via Craftzine) was this Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy-inspired Kindle case. I have to admit that the Kindle also reminded me of the Guide, so I absolutely love this! And if I ever decide to get a Kindle (which I don’t think will be happening any time soon because I still love the tangibility of turning the pages in an old-fashioned paper book), I am SO stealing this. Everybody needs something with “Don’t Panic” written on it in large, friendly letters.

Random Tutorial Goodness
First up, I liked Sewl Sister’s “scrapbook in a box”. Seems like it would be a really good gift for someone, and nice and compact! (I also like her pregnancy calendar bar at the top– especially the snarky commentary!) Little Birdie Secrets posted a recipe for DIY Thin Mints (the only Girl Scout cookie I truly like). I’m somewhat skeptical due to what the crunchy inside actually is, but also quite curious. My fellow Sew Craft Blog groupie Corvus Tristis posted a neat tutorial for how to make an inexpensive weaving loom (and then later updated it with an additional improvement that she says makes it much better. Plus it involves playing with power tools.) Craftynest showed how to make some hemp pendant lamps that would be great for any nature-inspired decor (or Asian, for that matter…), and the Crafty Chica shared some instructions for some simple wooden jewelry using precut shapes and rubber stamp embossing. Craft Leftovers showed how to make your own drawing charcoal (hint: there’s grilling involved). Craft Stylish had instructions for making a reusable sandwich wrap (bye-bye, Ziploc bags!), and Sew Take A Hike had a fun-looking tutorial for embellishing with roses made from scraps of knit fabric. Going back to the food, Thimble shared a recipe for some yummy looking spinach olive pasta (usually I don’t like cooked spinach at all, but I might have to give this one a try.) And even though it’s obviously passed by this point, One Pretty Thing posted two tutorial roundups for April Fool’s Day. Mostly in the form of food that looks like something it’s not. But it was still fun.

And now for something completely random…
I couldn’t help laughing at this post from Craft Stylish. Any post entitled “Crafts I Want To Punch In The Face” has to get a mention. (And besides, I’m sure that everyone who reads this who’s ever sewn by machine will agree with #5!)

And finally…
Finished projects I liked! From Wardrobe Refashion, I thought this little girl’s violin dress was adorable, this octupus sweater was funky and clever, and this hippie-looking shirt is something I just want to steal. And I also really liked Angry Chicken’s corset belt (complete with matching purse and earrings!)

Friday Favorites, Episode 41 (the late edition)

Technically, it IS still Friday, so…

Since it’s getting late, just going to run these off quickly. On myLifetime.com (found via another site, but I can’t remember if it was One Pretty Thing or Whip Up), I liked this laminated paper chandelier. They used an old book, which I thought was fun. Creativity Prompt had a video tutorial for a fabric covered hardbound book. Sigrid shared some hints and tips for using Burda World of Fashion patterns and what they don’t tell you to do– quite good timing, since I just cut out my very first BWOF pattern today! ThreadBanger shared some ideas for a dress pattern similar to the famous black dress that Audrey Hepburn wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Craft Tutorials shared some tips for finishing craft projects in general, some of which I knew, but others I wouldn’t have thought of (like using a hairdryer to get rid of those pesky hot glue strands!) Antoinette made a great Flickr slideshow tutorial on turning a men’s shirt into a shirtdress (and I love her men’s shirt refashions, so I was happy to see this!) And at ScrapHappy, she did part 2 of her “Scrapbooking on the Road” miniseries.

3 Wardrobe Refashion picks this week: Ellsea’s Susan Pevensie costume (from Prince Caspian) that she made for her daughter completely out of thrift-store stuff, some appliqued jeans from the same person, and Meghan’s tunicy-dress thing.

Hopefully I’ll get some time to post again tomorrow… the time just got away from me today. The good news is, I was very productive. Finished my new spring/summer purse, got the aforementioned BWOF cut out (that drawstring blouse I was raving about in one of the more recent posts–ended up just using a piece of stash fabric because the men’s shirt didn’t have enough fabric), and starting a reconstruction (not the men’s shirt) that was inspired by a song and this book. More details on that to come. Plus I have an award (thanks to Sharon) that I need to post about. But now I need to get off the computer and get some sleep!

Friday Favorites, Episode 40

Ah, the big 4-0! Does this mean the series is getting old, I wonder?

Favorite Tutorials of the Week:
The Crafty Chica had a fun how-to for making a stitched paper dot lantern. I also really liked that she posted some alternate ideas for how to use the stitched paper dot technique! Craft: had a link to a tutorial for some lovely beaded flowers. The Long Thread featured a tutorial for some cute, simple fabric “crooked coasters”— they just look fun to make, since sewing in crooked lines is the entire point! And Dollar Store Crafts had a tutorial for a handbag made from a miniature rag rug! Crafting a Green World had two that I liked– one for a t-shirt covered corkboard, and one for upcycling boring greeting cards with fabric scraps. (It always makes me happy to find tutorials for fabric scrap projects that aren’t cutsey or kid-oriented, since I’m neither at this point in my life!) And last but certainly not least, Sharon over at Adventures from the Sewing Studio had a great tutorial for attaching collars to button-down shirts without getting a bump between the collar band and the main part of the shirt.

Favorite Projects:
I’m thinking I need to stop being so tutorial-oriented with this, and bring in a few more projects I see around the blogs that just deserve to be seen by more people! So with that in mind, I have two this week. The first is my favorite from Wardrobe Refashion for this week. Despite having been born in them, I hate the 80s and think it was one of the worst decades for music and (especially) fashion, ever. So I love it when people can take 80s ugliness like this stripey maternity muumuu thing, and turn it into something fun in a much better vintage sort of way (in this case, using a bodice pattern from the 60s, which was an exponentially better decade in both aforementioned categories.) Speaking of 60s music (maybe, anyway), I really loved Eileen’s concert journal–she took a thrifted vinyl 45 and an old music book and turned it into a scrapbook to fill with concert memorabilia and such.

Favorite Miscellaney:
This doesn’t really fit under tutorials. And this isn’t really something I’ve ever tried, beyond purposely saving stuff to throw in a scrapbook and writing out stuff for journaling while on vacation. But over at ScrapHappy, she’s started a mini-series about scrapbooking while traveling. Only one post so far, but I’m enjoying it. And who knows, at some point I might want to try the whole assembly-as-I-go thing!

Ok, that’s it for today. May end up with another post depending on how things go today, since the weekends seem to be my blog catch-up time!

Friday Favorites, Episode 39

…which will hopefully be the first of a couple posts today. I have some catching up to do!!! So on with the show.

Everything in its place….

Got two from Whip Up today… the first is a tutorial for a quick & easy shoe bag, which I think they’re using for travel packing purposes. If my closet wasn’t the size of a shoebox, I think I’d try to find a way to tack them to the walls so I can get some floor space back! (I might try anyway.) The second is a tutorial for a reusable snack bag, for those tired of tossing out plastic ziploc bags every time they want to bring something crunchy with their lunches. (And more fun, too!) And from Crafting a Green World, they showed this laptop pillow that looks like it would be pretty easy to replicate with some tube-style pillows velcroed together. Of course, around here, it would probably get used as a temporary holding pen for the cat!!

Around the house…

Lots of fun decorating ideas this time. For those without on-demand cable to turn it onto the virtual aquarium, Apartment Therapy Unplugged shows how to turn an old tv into an actual aquarium. Heehee. I’m absolutely loving this faux capiz shell lampshade from Craftynest, which is made from laminated rice paper, and if I could actually manage to clear a spot big enough to set it on, would so make this for my bedroom. It would fit in perfectly. On ReadyMade, there’s a tutorial for this funky bubble light fixture. And on a completely random note, if anyone ever wanted an 8-foot pillow shaped like a giant squid, PW Style is the place to find directions for that (found courtesy of One Pretty Thing‘s Daily DIY roundup.)

Things to Wear and Do…

At The Impatient Crafter (also found courtesy of One Pretty Thing), there’s a free project from a new bead book of some really fun-looking cascade earrings. I definitely have some of those little cone things to use up, so I’m excited to try these sometime! (I’m also liking yesterday’s “Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright” Choker, and think I’m going to have to start following this blog.) And while not actually something to wear, this CraftStylish tutorial for how to do 4 different seam finishes will definitely help with things to wear. I especially want to try that Hong Kong seam finish, because I’ve never used that one and I think it’ll be perfect for one of my (hopefully) upcoming projects.

Random but Awesome

A bunch of non-tutorialish crafty goodness this week. First of all, this tissue box at Disdressed just made me laugh. Especially since I’ve been quasi-sick all week. Confessions of a Craft Addict used one of those giant cupcake cake pans to make a ginormous rice krispy treat. Craft Tutorials had a knitted dress that cracked me up– I wouldn’t want to dress like a cheeseburger, but if I did, this would be the way to go. I have to give a shoutout to Lydia, who posted this week to say she finished sewing together her baby bag— believe it or not, other than a few baby bibs, this was her first major sewing project, and I think it looks great! And I also have to give a shoutout to my friend Nicole–she’s an amazingly talented artist and a good friend of mine, and she just started a blog for her artwork this week. So go check it out!

Ok, gotta get some stuff done so I can post again… I’m hoping I can get stuff up today both for those scrapbook layouts I promised, and my long-overdue embroidered shirt. And then I also started a new skirt yesterday and I’d like to work on that some more too!

EDIT: I almost forgot!! I’ve been following Cake Wrecks since a friend sent me a link to their V-day disaster cakes (which I posted about in FF last week.) Apparently once a week they do a feature devoted to cakes that are actually good, and this week’s was by the Ace of Cakes crew. Their stuff is always amazing anyway (yes, I admit I watch the show when I can catch it), but this one was just made of awesome. It was made for the crew of Lost to celebrate their hundredth episode. And has tons of fun little tributes to the show– the computer with The Numbers, the Dharma beer, little figures of the cast (mmm, Sawyer…)

Friday Favorites, Episode 37

Kind of a slow week this time– now that it’s almost the end of January, most of what I’ve been finding out there in the way of tutorials and such have been for Valentine’s Day projects.

I hate Valentine’s Day. Always have. Red and pink (especially pink) are two of my least favorite colors, diamonds are not this girl’s best friend (especially after watching Blood Diamond— I don’t think I could ever get a piece of new diamond jewelry with a clean conscience now!), hearts are too cutesy for my taste, and most of all, I think real love should be celebrated any and every day of the year, not just because Hallmark tells you to on February 14th. Besides, let’s face it, when you’ve been single for as long as I have, it’s just torture. I don’t need to be any more aware of my singleness, thank you.

Ok, enough ranting. On with the projects.

Ironically, the first one is for a Valentine’s related project, but this is one I can really get behind. You know those candy hearts that taste like chalk and have tacky little messages on them like “U B MINE” and “LUV U” and crap like that? Well, over at Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories, they decided to improve on these. #1, by making them edible (shortbread cookies instead of chalk) and then by stenciling their own messages on them. These ones were taken from classic LOLCats phrases, and therefore are already far superior to the average candy heart. (Incidentally, they do list some good uses for the regular candy hearts. Such as ammunition for a Lego trebuchet. Or sidewalk chalk on the cheap.)

On to more creatively fun projects. On Crafting a Green World this week, they demonstrated how to recycle the soles of old shoes (I’m guessing the ones that are too beat up for even the thrift store) into fun new rubber stamps. I have made my own stamps before, from the linoleum blocks as part of a printmaking project in my high school art class. It was a lot of fun, and I wouldn’t mind trying it again. So I’ll have to keep this in mind next time I wear out a pair of shoes. They also featured a link for a by-the-yard fabric made from a blend of hemp and recycled plastic bottles (link to one of the fabrics on their Etsy site.)

Generally, I’m not one drawn to old-fashioned vintagey sort of things that look like they could have come from my grandmother. I’m just not a pearls-and-lace-and-pink sort of girl. (Actually, for the most part, none of those things actually would come from either of my crafty grandmothers.) But I really loved this next project, probably because it can double as a very natural-looking thing (and I do love my nature stuff!) Over at Everyday Beauty, she made flowery twinkle lights using a strand of Christmas lights and….sewing pattern paper! You know that’s something all of us sewing-types have a ton of. And this would be a great use for that pattern that was a total flop, or that just wasn’t your style anymore. Or maybe even the leftover pieces cut off of the side and such as you’re cutting out the pattern.

Since it’s been a bit of a quiet week due to the impending holiday, I’m also going to mention some of my favorite things from Wardrobe Refashion as of late. Melynda made a beautiful applique and reverse-applique shirt from a Smirnoff tee. Elizabeth is making a steampunk costume from a thrifted dressing gown. And Veronica made a great 60’s style dress from an appropriately-printed curtain.

Friday Favorites, Episode 36

It’s that time of the week again!

First up today: At Craft Leftovers, the author kindly provided a free download for some spice jar labels with this cute drawing of a talking spice jar on it! It’s quite functional too, as there’s space provided for writing when it was bought, so that way you know how fresh it is. She’s re-using her spice bottles to refill from bulk bins, which I think is a pretty neat idea too.

At Creativity Prompt, there’s a video tutorial for how to make a mini-photo album out of scrapbook paper and a recycled corrugated cardboard box. The instructions are quite clear, the results are cute, and it would make a great gift for someone! (Now that I’m looking there again for the links, there’s a new one up for a 10-minute mini-book too. Will have to check that one out, since I’m still determined to learn bookbinding!)

Chinese New Year is on Sunday, and while I’m not Chinese by any stretch of the imagination, I do love Asian-inspired things. (One of those things I’ve definitely developed a greater appreciation for over the last several years, since I tend to get a lot of students that come from Asian families that immigrated here.) So I really liked this tutorial for making those oh-so-fun paper lanterns. (It’s actually a dual tutorial–the same post has one for tin can lanterns!)

The next one is sort of a first for me on this feature, since I generally don’t talk about books much. But this one looked kind of intriguing– it’s called Sewing Green by Betz White, and I found out about it via Whip Up. The link takes you to a gallery of sample project photos from the book. Didn’t look like anything much out of the realm of my experience, but it’s all using recycled stuff. (One that I did find particularly cool was a sun shade for a car windshield made out of…*drumroll*… Capri-Sun pouches! Might not have thought of that one.)

Next up, from Weekend Designer: I. Need. This. Bag. No, seriously, I do. I’ve been thinking for months that it would be nice to have a big roomy zip-up bag for weekend trips–my carry-on suitcase is a little too small, my regular suitcase is way too big, and it’s a bit unwieldy to use a rolling suitcase in instances such as the crafty hangout weekends (like the one coming up in February) when I’m also having to wheel the rolling tote thing for my craft supplies. And this one looks pretty much perfect, plus has the added bonus of being a free pattern (once I draw it out.) I’m trying to think of if I have anything in my stash that might work– bought fabric for a new spring/summer purse yesterday and now I have to come up with a stash project to compensate, according to my new rules. I know that I have one that might, but I’ll have to see if it’s strong enough (they recommended upholstery-weight, and this fabric is pieced together of denim and brocade–my mom had bought it and decided she couldn’t use it after all and passed it on to me.)

Last item for today, from Dollar Store Crafts: These light bulb vases are cute and simple. Would require the old-fashioned kind, of course, because the halogen lamps would definitely NOT work for this.

Ok, that’s it for now. Time to go get some stuff done. Like take some pictures– I’m at least 2 posts behind on that now!

Friday Favorites, Episode 35

Almost didn’t get to this today… got sidetracked by a clothing reconstruction that’s taking longer than I thought it would. But I’m taking a dinner break now, so here goes…

First up is Dollar Store Crafts, featuring this shoji screen made from bamboo and shower curtains, and an easy how-to for customizing an iPod with a clear plastic cover and scrapbook paper. ( I think I’ll definitely have to give the latter a try, as the silicon cover I’ve been using since I got it is leaving it kind of grungy.)

Second is Whip Up, which had a tutorial for a Viking-style shoe and a tree stump trivet (that’s really made from felt.)

The newest site I’ve found is Craft:G33k. Loved this Tardis tissue box cover! And she also posted a link to this “teh yarn bukkit”. (For the uninitiated, it’s a takeoff of the LOLCats.)

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything from Crafting a Green World…. mainly because, for some reason, the feed’s stopped working on my Bloglines and I missed a bunch of stuff, thinking that it was just quiet due to the holidays. 😛 But I did enjoy this article about digital vs. traditional scrapbooking. And, though it’s not from this week, this was a good reference post on all of their eco-friendly fabric finds from 2008.

Two other random favorites, since everything else came in pairs. I really liked Antoinette’s most recent men’s shirt refashion–think I’m going to have to borrow this idea sometime! And this rather stunning wrap skirt was originally featured on Weekend Designer, but there were some copyright issues so it got removed. But you can still drool over it at Assemblage.

Ok, back to the sewing room– I’m determined to finish that shirt recon today, since I absolutely have to do muslins for bridesmaid stuff tomorrow morning!

Friday Favorites, Episode 34

It’s baaaaaaaaack! 2009 may only be about a week old, but already finding some good ideas cropping up.

1. First on the list is a post from SewStylish about “dressing for her DNA“. No, it has nothing to do with how tall you are, or hair color, or anything like that–more of a speculation of what she would wear if her wardrobe reflected her family background. So I wonder what would happen if my predominantly Anglo-Celtic mother’s side (which I admittedly take after far more in my looks) took on my dad’s Germanic, Pennsylvania Dutch side? (I think the Celts would win, given my fondness for things that look like they could come from a Renaissance Faire or a fantasy movie!) So I may give this a try at some point soon.

2. I’ve noticed a tendency in my sewing over the last year and a half or so– I’ve been slowing down. Not so much that I’m not sewing as that I’m putting a lot of time into things to try and get them really finished-looking and well-fitting. And I’m mostly ok with that, but sometimes I just want a fast project. So I liked this quick, one-seam skirt at CraftStylish.com. (Bonus– I need all the patterndrafting practice I can get, if I ever want to successfully make one!)

3. I’m not a coffee person at all, really–I’m thoroughly addicted to tea. (I blame that aforementioned predominant Anglo-Celtic side.) But I still liked this coffee cup cozy from Whip Up. (Us tea-drinkers probably actually need it more, as all we’re usually given at the coffeeshops is a cup of boiling water with a tea bag dunked into it!) But it’s cute, would be easy to just toss into your bag, and projects that use up scraps are always good.

4. Got two things from Dollar Store Crafts this week. The first would be a great project to do with kids–how to make a knitting loom from stuff like popsicle sticks and toilet paper rolls. The second is a planter made from a bread pan–the person who made it used succulents like aloe plants, but since it’s made from a kitchen item anyway, I bet it would also make a really cute windowsill herb garden!

5. Last up for today– not a tutorial, but I love this idea at Oh Happy Day. She made her husband a “Leisure Book”, to give him one place to keep track of things like movies he wants to watch, bands to listen to, things like that. I’m definitely stealing this idea– I’m constantly losing my lists of that sort of stuff. Especially my bands and my books. And I have the dayplanner from the last couple of years that would be perfect to recycle into this– it has the binder rings, and the tab dividers. It’s just falling apart in my purse, but recovering it and keeping it near my compy would work great! (Found this one via OnePrettyThing.com.)

And now, I must go do some cleaning so I can work on my pajamas some more. Hoping to finish the machine work on the top before Cassie comes over for the Stargate Atlantis finale *sniff*/Chuck marathon/crafty evening. So that way I’ll have some handwork to do–that and some more embroidery, maybe. Of course, I’m more in the mood to deconstruct than sew…

Friday Favorites, Episode 33 (last one of 2008!)

It’s been a very quiet week for crafting here. I literally have not had a chance to do anything since last Saturday, other than put together a couple more necklaces for my mom’s stocking and a couple pairs of earrings for a Christmas gift. I guess I should take pictures of those. Oh, and I made earrings to go with that red and black necklace I made for Mom a week or so ago, because she let me borrow it back to wear with my pantsuit for the band concert and I needed earrings for it. (Using another leftover bead and some of my thrifted jar supplies to make myself a necklace, so I’ll still have something to go with it.)

But it’s been a crazy busy week– spent most of Sunday afternoon addressing invitations and planning Susannah’s bridal shower, Monday was an extra-long teaching day because of adding a new student, Tuesday also ran late and by the time I finished eating dinner and showering and all I just wasn’t up for it, Wednesday was the band concert (which went really well! Yay!), and then yesterday I had practice for my church’s Sunday and Christmas Eve services, which I’m playing with the music team for. And then tonight I’m going to a party, though I’m hoping to have some time to work on unpicking the hem of my latest refashion so I can make it look better. I’m getting so desperate for creative time, though, that when I had some dead time at work yesterday, I sat there sketching out craft ideas! (It’s not like I was slacking– it’s just the managers literally had nothing for me to work on at the moment, and I’d already cleaned the showroom. Ah, garden centers in winter.) I really hope I have time to do something tomorrow!

Anyway, on to Friday Favorites. I’ve decided to make this “episode” the last one of the year, since the last Friday is the 26th and by then I’m going to be in frantic costume mode in order to get things done before New Year’s Eve. So I’ll bring it back in about 2 weeks (I’m hosting a party on the 3rd, so between that and the party on the 31st, I’m going to have my hands full!) Anyway, I hope you’ve all been enjoying this feature, and hopefully I’ll find lots of fun stuff to share in 2009.

Also, I’m not finished with the backlog yet, but I’ve started sticking all the tutorial-type stuff that I’ve been bookmarking on my Wists page so they’re all in one place. Plus it has pictures.

Not surprisingly, almost everything is Christmas decorations this week.

Garlands: Dollar Store Crafts had a fun, colorful one of felt squares. Cheeky Magpie featured a rather intricate one of folded paper and (very carefully cut-out) stamped designs. And Whip Up linked to a paper chain link garland— not the construction-paper version we made in elementary school, for sure! Looks so time-consuming, but the Renaissance lover in me is all, “Ooh, paper chain-maille!” (Plus it would probably be a fun way to recycle junk mail or something.)

Cards and Wrapping: Speaking of junk mail, I thought the gift bag made from it at Recycled Crafts was a really clever idea! Going back to Cheeky Magpie, I couldn’t help but love her snowman cardsCalvin & Hobbes is pretty much my favorite comic strip ever, and his snowmen always amused me. And for her blogaversary, the writer of SewDelish has free Christmas printables that would be great for gift tags or scrapbook pages or whatever.

Ornaments: The medieval-looking cd cross ornaments over at Ecologue were just stunning. I love the look of these fabric star origami ornaments at Zen Crafting. And that they can have a billion different looks depending on what fabric you use. And that it’s great for scraps. Over at CraftStylish, they’re showing how to revamp (or “resparkle”, as they call it) those worn glass balls with charms and gems. Crafting a Green World had a nice kid-friendly ornament made from, of all things, recycled plastic ziplock bags (and some other on-hand stuff to decorate them with). And while not really an ornament, persay, I did like Creative Kismet‘s snowflake window.

Other: Which I suppose these would make good stocking stuffers or last-minute gifts. First one is these simple but cute bookmarks at Trail Mix. Over at Craft Apple, she made a bag from a cheap skirt found on the clearance rack. And Craft Leftovers had a free pattern for recycling sweater bits into some very cute armwarmers.

Ok, so that’s everything for this week. Er, year.

One more bloggy announcement… next post is my 300th. Going to try to do something special for it. Stay tuned.