July 2013 Archives
July 31, 2013
Ahh, the ubiqitious boo-boo bag, pack, bunny, etc is a summer time staple that all parents of small children need in their first aid kit. It is as soothing as a "mommy kiss" while you can be off preping your counter for splinter removal or applying Neosporin to a band-aid. "What is it?" you ask. Well, a boo-boo pack is a decorative washcloth or small rice pack that can be wetted, frozen or heated as needed to apply to boo-boo whether as genuine first aid or just as a placebo. They are very pratical but as all things since Pinterest was invented, they can also be very cute. Here are just a few of my favorite tutorials so you can choose your own to make and apply to your next boo-boo.
Boo-boo Bunny: These cute washcloth-made bunnies sell for up to $5/each on Etsy or you can make your own with this great tutorial. All you need is a washcloth (or small scrap of terry cloth) and a rubberband. Run this cute bunny under cool water or soak in Hydrogen Peroxide for minor scraps. They also make really great shower gifts.
Boo-boo pack: This hot/cold pack is perfect for the more advanced, adventeruous kids who need more than a soothing pack. Heat this pack up in the microwave to sooth strained muscles or keep one in the freezer for big bumps. All the info is included in this well written tutorial.
Boo Hoo Owl pack: this super cute boo-boo pack is just for the chiller but it is so sweet that it is sure to sooth even the most upset babe. The original is all rice but the Boo Hoo Owl 2.0 is a mix of barley, rice or flaxseed.
Gorgeous Gathered Sofisticated Boo Boo Bag: I could not find the tutorial for this but it looks the same as this gathered clutch tutorial with an envelope back. Add a few drops of esential oil to the rice inside to help sooth a little one on multiple levels (great for fevered littles who are having trouble getting to sleep- lavendar, or those with a cold place it on their chest with some eucaluptus oil).
Homeopathic Hot Packs: This last one is great for using up single socks and for really getting into the essential oil biz. This tutorial is so easy and if you use your outgrown baby legs (wee baby leg warmers) then you have something that can sit all cozy around a neck, draped over the injured appendage or laid it across an upset belly.
July 28, 2013
School is coming! School is coming! (Depending on where you live, the school year may have already begun.) I used to love the new school year as a kid -- all of the fresh new school supplies so full of promise were like magic to me. Of course, within a few weeks, things would always start looking a little ragged and due to mediocre organizational plans, I'd have a hard time finding half of the things I had stashed in my various notebooks and pouches.
July 26, 2013
I am really enjoying knitting up these lace/eyelet swatches for your winter time project inspirations. Some of you may not wait for winter and get started now. Whether you use lace for summer or winter a few options will get your juices flowing. Up for your approval is a delicious Swirly Eyelet. This dreamy, lacey eyelet is perfect for sleeves on a fitted cardigan. I almost want to stop the post at that because whenever I look at this swatch I only see sleeves, lushious sleeves. However, in all fairness I will suggest that this lace would also lend itself well the top section of a triangle shawl (like this one), tall stockings (like these), or for a cute beret style hat like this one.
July 24, 2013
Who doesn't love Mod Podge. It is so useful for many applications and contributes to the beautification of many a household. Recently I saw these pots on Pinterest but after searching high and low for the tutorial I was unable to find anything more than one person's friendly description of "take a pot and use some Mod Podge and lace- beautiful". So I did and it is. Now that I look back I should have used a white pot for better effect but I also like the white on terra cotta. I'll do this again on some pots for my indoor plants and use white pots from Ikea but for my outdoor pots I'll stick with the terra cotta (I don't remember as well to water my outdoor plants as often as I should).
July 21, 2013
This year, I am taking steps early to make sure that I have ready gifts on-hand when the holidays roll around. I always get frustrated when I'm invited to a party or cookie swap or caroling event, but I don't get to relax and enjoy the time with family and friends because I've worked myself into a frazzle trying to make sure I have a gift so I don't fall victim to empty-handedness syndrome. I get equally frustrated when I have to give something that has no personal touch because I was ill-prepared.
July 19, 2013
The best things in life are free. Though the originator probably indented to refer to "things" like love, family and nature, I have decided instead that this famous coloquilism refers to free sewing and knitting patterns. And why not? It fits perfectly. My product of the month for July is our selection of Free Pattern Downloads by HotPatterns, Create Kids Couture and your very own, Tara Miller (that's me!). You can find our collection in the Creativity Heaquarters along with many other products and ideas that are sure to give you a reason to lock yourself in your craft room for hours.
July 17, 2013
Square tops are very popular lately and just looking at them on a hanger makes one wonder "why?" but once you slip into on you change your opinion quick. They fit like a dream and are easily reconfigured to suit you. You can cut any neckline to compliment your figure or add special details to augment your wardrobe. While these tops are called square tops they are really rectangles, usually a smidge longer than they are wide. A square top is so easy to make and will set off a great pair of shorts, rolled up skinny jeans or a pencil skirt.
July 15, 2013
Is there anything truer to my heart than projects that do double duty? Oh, how the new Hot Patterns Summer Safari Fold-up Beach Bag/Mat/Towel free download addresses this love! It's a tote; it's a beach/pool mat; it's the perfect summer accessory you didn't know you needed. Seriously, you'll want one now.
Both folded into its totable state and spread out flat, this thing is huge! There is plenty of room to sprawl out -- room for two if you're into cuddling.
That size means you might want to be a little extra patient during the cutting and stitching -- wrangling large items can be a bear -- but it's so worth it. It's more than 4 feet wide and almost 6 feet long, which means no more having to carefully situate yourself so your arms and legs don't drift off your mat!
July 14, 2013
Time for more stash-busting! To fill the need for a quick grab-and-go wristlet for my phone and keys when I'm just dashing out to a movie with friends or whipping through the grocery store, I first started with a plain sheet of construction paper. I knew I wanted pockets, a simple closure, and a wrist strap. (I know lots of ladies love clutches; I can't live without a strap.) In the end, just a little folding yielded a fairly simple solution, so it was time to try it with fabric!
July 12, 2013
I don't really have trouble knitting during the summer. This is due in large part because I long to knit, I need it and I find great joy in it. Plus I ususally knit in cotton and linen (that helps alot) though I can't go without some wool for long. I also opt for lace knitting patterns which are light, airy and challenging (takes the thought away from the heat) while in the fall/winter I prefer denser purl/knit combos or fair isle which can easily be knit whilst sipping hot cocoa and watching movies. I want to show you one of my favrotie summer lace patterns, Triple Chevron, that can easily be incorporated into a shawl, of course, but also added into the yoke of a lightweight sweater (to make it a bit sexy and more approriate for summer) or a short poncho for cool evenings or strolls on the beach (it gets mighty breezy out there). Just take a look at this swatch and you know you want to pick up those needles and grab a skein of Mercerized Cotton (I love the subtle sheen) or some Pima Cotton (Dreamy!). Both are light and with a smooth texture that allows for great stitch definition so this italian lace can be the star.
July 10, 2013
I have found over the years of working on this blog that many things inspire me to get to work sewing and knitting. All of you out there make so many wonderful projects that I want to recreate for myself and it is one reason I love getting up in the morning. I love you all. That being said, never before have I so deserately (I mean desperately) wanted to buy an ugly house and turn it into a treasure. But after reading this month's blog of the month, Young House Love, I can feel that churning excitement in my belly: I need to buy an ugly house just so I can recreate all the projects found on this blog.
*Side note- Please Santa if you are reading this, please find me an ugly house to buy, preferably with a front porch, basement and fenced in backyard. You know, for my dogs*
July 7, 2013
I absolutely love kimonos. Looking at how those lovely garments are made, you see that they're constructed with the simplest of shapes -- cut almost entirely from rectangles. That simplicity inspired me to come up with a simple top that also uses basic rectangle shapes.
This top goes together in a jiffy -- about an hour. All you need is two rectangular strips of fabric -- knits with a good bit of stretch. You can contrast them for a colorblocked effect, mix patterns, or use the same fabric for both pieces.
July 5, 2013
I recently gained a dresser/change table/crib combo from a friend of mine (I am trying to be as green as possible with my babies- cloth diapers, few new purchases, repurposing, etc) that was beautiful and well made. It looked new despite having been through two boys before my new baby. But, it was all black. Not my style but a great blank slate. I don't mind black but only as an accent, not the main color. So I started purusing Pinterest (of course!) and found some amazing laser cut overlays I could use but they were a little too graphic for the overall look I wanted for my little girl so I started looking through Fabric.com for inspiration. I though maybe I could decoupage some fabric on the drawer fronts instead. Then I found the Martha Stewart Die Cut Pages and I decided to use them as stencils and paint my drawers. It turned out even more beautiful than I had hoped. Here's how to make your own.
July 3, 2013
One object a seamstress can't live without for long is a dressform. Even those who stocially pledge to never need one (ahem, me. I was one of those) caves and is glad of it. I was holding out for a super custom/super expensive Project Runway type dress form but with one, then two kids, that wish went from the "Must Have" list down to the bottom of the "Wants". I purchased one of our adjustable dressforms instead thinking I was settling but I couldn't be more pleased. Since my purchase I have had friends come over constantly to help with alterations. One of my closets pals is petite with curves so most of her clothes need altering. I mark with different color sharpies my measurements and her's on the adjustment dials so I can switch back and forth no problem. I really love my dress form since I gave it a "custom" look with my dress form cover tutorial.