You know when you love something a lot and you just don’t know what you are going to do with it but you know that eventually you will do something with it so you keep it? Well, I am trying to keep the “hoarding” to a minimum but I still keep certain things.
Well this is the story of one of those things…
My sister gave me a Christmas present in this awesome star shaped box. It’s sturdy and is meant for keeping but trouble is that it’s silvery and blue with snowflakes on it. It doesn’t really fit with every season of the year. So I devised a plan.
I was going to make a piggy bank, without the pig. Yes, I have a real adult type savings account and all that jazz but I do like to keep my change forever and ever so that I can eventually bring it to Coinstar and make bank! One of my goals this year is to attend The Creative Connection Event and that isn’t free ladies. Obviously what I save in a piggy bank won’t get me there but it will certainly help with my meals!
So you are wondering now what I did to transform a Christmas themed star box into a year round savings bank? Well, take a look. Here is what I started with:
I cut a change hole so that I could… you guessed it! Put change in the hole! Yay!
Materials Needed in addition to the box?
- Pinking Shears
- Fabric Shears
- Tacky Glue
- 1/4 yard of Clearance Fabric
- Scrap of matching fabric
- Embroidery Floss
Can you see where I am going with this? That’s right, I am gluing the fabric to the box. I know, I know… I’m a genius! I used my fabric shears for precision then used the pinking shears on all the edges so that I could just glue and not have to worry too much about fraying.
Once I covered the entire box with fabric and had all edges glued down, I let my baby dry. While it was drying? I did a little hand embroidering with that scrap and came up with a little design for the top of my new piggy bank. My finished product you ask?
So anyone who knows me knows that I am OBSESSED with smocking. I will smock until the cows come home. If I don’t have a project that I feel like working on? I’ll sit and smock like others knit. It’s just something that I have found that relaxes me, that I am good at and that I am pretty proud of… and I have only been doing it for 6 months. Anyways, I have been trying to figure out how I can work my smocking into my creations. My first swing around the block, I came up with a smocked cuff bracelet. Let me know what you think!
I chose a fabric that I happen to really like. Peacocks! The feathers are awesome and I felt comfortable enough in my smocking skills to use a fabric that I care about.
So I took half a fat quarter and started working. I used this technique and smocked it in probably one episode of Top Chef haha. I liked the effect because this fabric is a little stiff and definitely kept its shape when I smocked. I then folded it in a half like a strip, steam ironed the fold down and hand sewed the sides together for a clean edge. I measured my wrist and how long I wanted the cuff to be.
I used a simple button snap for the, you know, snappy-ness. I hand sewed that as well. The button that I used for the decorative eye candy? That has no function but rather is a snazzy bit of eye catching loveliness. Anyways, I am pretty durn proud. It came out pretty great.
I wore this out last weekend and had SO many compliments that my heart was filled! People wanted to know where they could get MY cuff! I told them I made it myself and they were amazed. It was quite the confidence boost that something that I made garnered the attention that it did. So here is what I want to do. I want to make one of these for someone so they can #1 Let me honestly know what they think of it and #2 Have a one of a kind Amanda of Prim and Propah creation! Holla! So here is what I propose. You leave a comment on this post between now and Monday January 24th and I’ll pick someone random to make a cuff for. In your comment, be sure to let me know what color schemes you love and I will do my best to accommodate! Geesh, I hope I actually get some comments on this post!
I have been working on Lindsey’s ( my baby sister) birthday present for a few months now. She is a beginner knitter but aboslutely loves to do it. I thought that I would support her craftiness with some new materials to work with. To see past posts about the transformation of this bag, check it. If you were at all wondering what Lindsey’s new knitting bag turned out like…. without any further ado, I give you… a bag. This will make its debut this week (Friday actually) when little Lindsey claims she is turning 21 (I still claim its 11)…
Hey bag, you are full of things to knit with. I have collected a multitude of yarn as well as some customized knitting needles… throw in an issue of Knitting magazine and we are on our way here.
So this past weekend manfriend and I went on the daunting task of #1 getting him a new tie at Macy’s for his Holiday party and #2 picking up our very first Christmas Tree together. Well Macy’s was a breeze compared to finding a fake, green Christmas tree of the 6- 7 feet variety. They were all sold out everywhere!
We would have gone the real tree route but we have a pretty curious cat that has been known to climb into the real Christmas tree, proceed to knock said tree over and with it spilling real pine needles EVERYWHERE. You can see why we had some reservations about the real tree (ie we still don’t trust her from years past).
I had my heart set on a Christmas tree this past weekend. The more places that we went and didn’t find one, the more downtrodden that I got. Then manfriend was like, do you just want to get a white one? I had not eeven given that a thought because I was almost POSITIVE that he wouldn’t want a non-traditional tree. Wellp, I was wrong and to home we went with a white tree, red and white lights and a renewed “in the air there is the feeling of Christmas” hop in my step.
Now we had some very specific ornaments that we picked out on our trip to CO over Thanksgiving. So we obviously had those in mind whilst thinking of our decorating goodness. See ornaments below:
Anyhoo, We decorated our Christmas tree and all was good with the world… until I decided that a skirt must be made for our wonderous Christmas tree, using some of the totally awesome Alexander Henry fabric I purchased from the lovely Pink Chalk Fabrics.
So I gatehered up some of my goods: Some paper off the roll (to make my pattern with) pinking shears, fabric, pins. interfacing and obvi my sewing machine with white thread in the machine and the bobbin.
I basically took a 30 x 30 piece of paper and folded it in half 3 times. Once I was there, I cut a circular shape at the corner where the center hole should be (I guesstimated the size and a little large at that). I then trimmed a triangular design on the other end so that each pattern piece would match.
I cut 4 pieces (or 2 of each on fabric folded over)of each type of four fabrics (8 pieces on top and 8 pieces on the bottom) and 8 pieces of the interfacing for between the top and bottom of the skirt pieces using my pinking shears (so that there was the least amount of fraying possible).
|Top, Bottom and interfacing. 3 levels of the skirt
Kitten decided my makeshift pattern was also a nice nap spot. She is an angel! Ok so back to the project. I matched pieces up in the design that I wanted and simply sewed them together to create a pretty quick and easy tree skirt.
The finished product?
So I have been working on this bag, off and on, for the last month or two and am.finally.finished. Take a look at some previous posts regarding this labor of love… just to get an idea of where I was coming from and what brought me to this amazing and rewarding place of completion. It’s just one of those things, when you accomplish something that you feel has worth (to you or others) or has that something special/unique. That is this bag for me.
Please excuse my mannequins… In retrospect, I should probably dress the mannequins so that they aren’t so blatently nakie buuuuuut I was in a hurry to get these pictures taken so I could schedule this bad boy and scamper off to bed.
What do you think? Was this bag worth my time? Should I stick with the smocking and the individual blocking for the base of the bag? If I have a direction, I can work on making things more efficiently.
My advanced materials, a bucket and a bathroom
I have found in my creating travels that one of my favorite ways to complete change an old fabric, a sheet, a stained shirt… the list could go on… is by using a dye bath. Yes, it can be quite the messy experience but if you are careful(and scared of what your boyfriend will do to you if the bathroom is stained red, you can totally transform almost anything with a dye bath.
|My most recent besties…
My new best friend in this endeavor is Rit dye for two simple reasons. It is inexpensive and it is strong enough to get the job done. I have used other dyes in the past and have been less that impressed at their promises to give me lime green or magenta… never vibrant enough for me, folks.
|The fabric and the golden yellow dye bath
I love experimenting with different colors and fabrics, sometimes pretty successfully (other times… not so much). One thing is for sure that a good dye bath can change everything for the better. I am going to keep exploring new techniques and colors to find out what works the best for my crafty goodness.
|After tying the fabric around a tube and a black dye bath
|One of manfriend’s shirts (I bought it too big) in an experimental red dye bath
|An old sheet that is basically new fabric with a little “sunshine orange”