Here Kitty, Kitty….

Hi friends! As you may know we recently adopted a couple of cats from the animal shelter. I thought it would be nice to make a fun toy for them with some new ribbon from Offray.com! They will soon be releasing a new line of photo ribbon and they sent me the new aquarium print and I thought it would be purrrrfect for a cat toy!

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The coolest thing about this toy is that is jingles, crinkles and contains catnip!  I was able to make the crinkle by using a bit of Mylar survival blanket that you can pick up at Wal-Mart for $1. I will have enough material from that blanket to make tons of pet and baby toys! Just make sure to NEVER leave a pet or baby around the plain Mylar material because it is a suffocation risk. Once you sew a small amount inside a toy it is fine but a big sheet of it is like a big plastic bag. Safety first!

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Supplies:

  • Cloth (scraps are great)
  • Mylar survival blanket (or recycle some Mylar from food packaging)
  • Ribbon: 5/8″ Orange Grosgrain and 2 1/4″ Aquarium Printed Satin
  • Fabric shears
  • Catnip and a cat jingle bell
  • Sewing machine or a needle and thread.
  • Fabric glue (I like Jewel It) and Fray Check
  • Google eye
  • Iron for pressing
  • Sewing pins

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Cut two pieces of fabric 5″ square (or whatever size you wish) and press. Cut a piece of Mylar 1/2″ smaller so it will fit the toy after it is sewn.

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Place the fabric right sides together. Cut a 6″ piece of grosgrain and thread it though the cat bell.

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Place the bell in-between the fabric and let the ribbon ends stick out so that when you sew the toy together the ribbon will be secured. (I did it backwards the first time and had to rip the stitches out in that corner and turn it around LOL!) Sew 3 sides shut so you have a pouch.

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Slide the Mylar square in the pouch and pour in some catnip.

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Cut an 8″ long piece of the photo print ribbon, fold it in half and place the ends in the pouch and pin it in place. The fold in the raw edges and sew the pouch shut.

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I thought it would be cute to add a folded ribbon fish to this project. I fount the tutorial here. Make sure you use Fray-Check on and cut areas of ribbon.  Grosgrain is pretty fray resistant but this is a cat toy after all. Glue the ribbon fish to the toy and glue on a googly eye. I used Jewel It glue because it is really good at securing plastic to cloth.

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You can hang the toy for a doorknob or fling it across the floor at your cat. Don’t act like you want them to play with it of they will instantly distrust the toy, and you for giving it to them and then they will go back to playing with a q-tip (don’t ask me how I know.) Ungrateful cats.

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Keep your eye out in stores for the brand new line of photo-realistic ribbon from Offray. You can find the Grosgrain ribbon I used currently on the Offray website and you can use my coupon code FRUGAL15 to save 15% on your order through 12/31/14. I hope this inspires you to make some toys for your furry friends, thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Have a seat!

Hello friends! After filming my Mardens haul video yesterday I had a bit of a panic because I had two fabric projects looming in my future so I thought “Hey, I’ll replace the cover on my butterfly chair now because that will be a quick and easy project.” You can probably guess where this is going huh? You’ve probably even uttered those words at the start of a project. But it never goes as quickly or easily as expected. How hard can it be, it is basically a pillow case with flaps on the back to hook it to the chair. Or so I thought.  I decided in preparation for my jacket lining project I would use a seam ripper to take the cover apart and remove the cushion inside than trace the old fabric on to the new fabric. Well, there were more pieces to that sucker than I imagined, the seams would not come apart and I ended up just tearing the rip in the back (that is why I am recovering it BTW) to remove not one rectangle cushion but two asymmetrical cushions and I immediately forgot what way they went in as soon as they came out! Crapola, I have no clue how to even begin this project and I am beginning to doubt the 3 yards of fabric will be sufficient to finish it (I was too cheap to shell out the extra $3.99 for another yard.) I took a deep breath and pondered my lot. I grabbed some paper, a measuring tape and figured out a way to make the cover from scratch with re-enforced pockets to hold the cushion on the frame. I laid the old cover on my material a couple of times to make sure I could fit my pieces before I cut and I sewed that sucker good! What do you think?

chair

This is my favorite spot to crochet. I like to sit criss-cross applesauce in this chair and crochet while watching TV. I’m happy to report that it works just fine! The kids have been in it a lot today but they have been warned not to jump on it for I will tolerate no shenanigans that cause another rip in the back. I am not sewing another one! I think that I will keep my eyes peeled (at Mardens of course) for a 40″ zipper so I can undo the top seam and insert a zipper so the cover and be washed but that can be done anytime. I am happy with it. My husband thinks the fabric looks like lawn furniture. Well, it wouldn’t be the first time we had lawn furniture in the living room! :D I see what he means though. So, what are you making this weekend? I hope it goes as smooth as you hoped for. Til next time happy crafting!

Knit MacGyver Style!

I will be sure to keep my chewing gum, paper clips and duct-tape in this MacGyver style purse…wait, you probably have no idea what I am talking about do you? OK, This purse started out as a scarf until I had about a foot knit and I realized that I dropped the wrong stitch in the 3rd row of the drop stitch pattern and my lovey scarf was unraveling. Well, I did what any crafty ninja would and I snipped the dropped stitch and wove one end around a secure stitch and tied it off. I could not be a proper scarf now because there was a visual mistake on one side so I folded it in half (so the mistake was on the inside, stitched up the sides, crocheted on a handle and turned it into a purse!

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Here is a tutorial on knitting the drop stitch stripe pattern, let me recommend you knit with your full faculties when doing this because if you get distracted you will end up with a MacGyver purse too!

Knitted purses can be tricky, unless they are tightly knit or made of wool and felted they are likely to be holy in a bad way. So if you don’t want to leave a trail of loose change, paper clips and gum wrappers behind you you will need to know how to line it and that can be done with non fraying, cheap craft store felt! So grab 29 cents before it falls out of your holy purse, buy a sheet of felt and learn to line that bad boy!

Now that was easy! Purses are a great way to try out a new stitch pattern or relieve the boredom that scarf knitting can cause, if you get tired making a scarf just fold it in half and make a purse! Problem solved.

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Oh, and in case you have no idea who MacGyver is was very resourceful secret agent from the 80’s TV show of the same name. He could build a bomb from a bottle-cap, hairpin and a piece of dental floss and he always saved the day just in the nick of time.  The show is on Hulu if interested;)

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

WOYWW: Sewing & Silliness {How to Juggle Tutorial}

Happy Wednesday folks! I love Wednesdays because it gives me a chance to peek at hundreds of crafty desks through the marvelous event know as What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday! Here’s what I’ve been up to this week:

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Sewing! My sewing nook is wonderful, it is ergonomic (no sore shoulders after a day of sewing) and since I have my big table I have room to iron and cut fabric (no more cutting fabric on my bed and hoping I don’t snip the bedspreads!) and I can keep all of my mess in my craftroom instead of overtaking the house.  Last week I asked if I should so a weekly video blog and the answer was a surprising (and resounding) yes, wow, you actually want to hear me gab about what’s on my crafty little mind?!? So here is my WOYWW video blog, grab 3 objects because today folks, we are going to learn how to juggle!

Once you learn how to juggle it is addicting (so I apologize if you had things to do today) there is something zen-like about it.  The juggling bags were made from my scraps from my shopping bag (carrier bags for you British folks) caddies:

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I used to have this eyesore hanging on my door, all of those bags fit into the one caddy and I can even fit more! I made a smaller version for the car and dog walkers, I have to thank You Tube viewer Snoopy for the clever name P.U.P. bags, it stands for Pick Up Poop, way better marketing, thanks Snoopy! I’ll have a tutorial for you next week sometime!

bag_caddy

The juggling bags are made from 5″x5″ scraps sewn up and filled with 3/4 cup of rice. I love no waste projects!

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So what’s on your workdesk today? Leave a link, I would love to see! And be sure to check out Julia’s blog for all of the WOYWW fun! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

 

Tutorial: Make a Sleeping Bag and Tent for an American Girl Doll!

Did anyone get an American Girl doll for Christmas? Or any other 18″ doll? I made my twin 8-year-old daughters sleeping bags and a tent for their dolls this year.

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I did not use a pattern, I made it up as I went along. The sleeping bag was easy, I made 2 in an hour. I used double-sided quilted fabric that I found at Joanns. This stuff is pricey ($20 a yard normally) but it was on sale and you only need 1/2 yard to make a bag and pillow. you will also need a 18″ zipper, some bias tape, fiberfill and a sewing machine.

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To make the bag cut 2 rectangles of material 13″x20″. Insert the zipper then top stitch it down on the front side before you sew up the bag. Then sew up the bag and sew bias tape over the raw top edge. I like to use bias tape here rather than hemming it because it looks neater and has less bulk. For the pillows I simply cut two rectangles out of the leftover scraps, sewed them on 3 sides, stuffed it with fiberfill and sewed up the open side, easy as pie!

Tip: Rub the zipper with a bar of soap so it will be easy to open and close!

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For the tent I bought 1 and a half yards of two cotton fabrics from the clearance bin, cut it down to 27″ wide, pinned them right sides together and sewed it up on 3 sides (both short sides and one long side is sewn). Tip: If you sew it so the selvage edge is the un-sewn edge you won’t need to hem it! Turn it right side out, it will look like a huge, unruly pillowcase. Cut two 20″x26″ pieces of cardboard or foamcore and one 16″x26″ piece. These are the tent wall and floor supports. Now with the fabric right side out you need to sew 2 dividers in the fabric. I placed one of the large boards in the fabric and marked along the edge to get a line to sew on. You want the material to be tight against the boards.

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The flaps are tricky, after I made the tent I assembled it and traced the end onto newspaper and used it as a template to make the flaps then I sewed each flap to the front end. I kept the back-end open because I wanted to be able to remove the foamcore piece and replace it if it got bent or if I needed to wash the tent.

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Best of all the tent is reversible and can be folded up and tucked in a closet or under a bed when not in use!  You will need ribbons (or velcro) at each end of the tent as well as on each side of the flaps to keep the tent up and to tie the flaps back. It is probably better to catch the ribbon in the seams as you work but you can just as well sew them on afterward. It is up to you!

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This was a fun project and the sleeping bag and pillow would make a great sewing project for your child! thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Yet another way to make backgrounds & WOYWW

Here is something fun to try! Stick a bunch of small clear stamps on a  large block and viola! Custom background stamp! That is how I made the background of this card:

In case you want to see the technique in action here is a 1 minute video:

I have had so much fun making backgrounds this week:

And since it is Wednesday it’s time for WOYWW:

Nothing fancy, just the mess on my table while filming the video. Next week I’ll try to remember to post a photo of my kids art workspace. I am getting it nice and tidy before summer vacation because when they take time to create I get bonus crafty time too! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Off the grid {a tag}

Howdy, I am on vacation! Whoop! I decided to prepost a bunch of projects I had made here and there but never got around to posting so for day I have a thanks tag that I made for my son’s teacher:

 

I use stamps from SU! except for the letters which were from a studio G wood mount peg alpha set!

 

Thanks for stopping by and happy crafting!

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