Monday, March 21, 2011

Weekend Crafting w/ Pictures

My (Weekend) Creative Space:  I'm cheating this week and posting twice to Kootoyoo. Sorry, but while the week has been consumed with crocheting Easter Eggs, my weekend was a whole different animal, but probably much more satisfying crafting.  I got to tick off another goal and make progress on another goal. Yippee!
We were pelted with rain and hail and lots of wind this weekend, but it was a fun, productive and ultimately beautiful weekend for us.  We were busy bees with a lunch with my grandmother for her birthday, Nana Bear's school had a fundraising Auction, and lots of errands and chores to get ready for our upcoming vacation starting this Friday. 

Saturday morning I hurriedly sewed a silk/fleece scarf for my grandmother.  She is currently living in an assisted living facility for Alzheimers.  This was the first birthday since she moved. I did visit her on Friday, her actual birthday, and brought mini cupcakes (store bought) for her, the other residents, and the staff.  But on Saturday morning, while Tiger Daddy changed the oil on the car, I decided I would make the scarf for her to wear when she goes for walks to help keep her warm.  It's been quite brisk here even though it's now officially Spring.  It was not my best work by any stretch, but the fabric is beautiful and suites my grandmother well. It is a pink kimono silk printed with cherry blossoms. Typically, kimono fabric comes in 14-15" widths, so I got two yards and cut the fabric into two 7" strips.  I have one more strip and was thinking that I might embroider beads onto the fabric on the printed blossoms.  We'll see.

After lunch, while the Bears napped, I finally finished these make-up bags from Sew Like My Mom.  I had intended to give them as gifts at Christmas but lost the iron vinyl and really ran out of time.  Of course, a week after Christmas I find the vinyl, but not the time to finish them.  These bags are truly simple to make and come out looking quite nice. Some notes about the tutorial: 1) Iron-Vinyl is not really my thing - it is very light weight and doesn't feel durable to me, so next time I think I may try regular vinyl. 2) The vinyl is slippery, so you do have to be aware when sewing. 3) When cutting the corners, cut 2.5" from the end with the seam and 2.25" from the folded end to get an even line when sewing the corners. 4) Being such a rudimentary sewer, I did use my zipper/pressure foot.  5) I added a handle.  I think that I will try these for x-mas again, but this time for the guys as they look like dop kits.  I will use heavier weight material, possibly oilcloth and vinyl combo depending on the patterns available.  This is a great tutorial - very easy to follow.

My first attempt w/o a handle.
My second attempt with handle.

Saturday night was Nana Bear's elementary school fundraiser.  She is part of a special program through the public school system that teaches the children about Japanese culture and language in addition to the normal school cirriculum.  I went through the program when I was in elementary school as well.  The program has evolved into an even better experience and I have been extremely happy with our experience.  While the program gets some extra funding, each year it seems that the public school budet gets slashed, and in order to keep the unique properties of this program intact, there is an auction.  In addition to items familes donate, each class does an "art" project to auction off to the parents.  Each child goes home and tells their parents they must have the project and begs them to get it for them. Well, Nana Bear's class project went for $650!!!  Tiger Daddy and I agreed that one year we would set aside bucco bucks to bid on one of her class projects in earnest, but it wasn't going to happen this year.

Japanese Relief: In addition to raising money for the school, we also raised money for the relief effort in Japan by holding a Jan Ken Po (Rock, Paper, Scissor) contest at the Auction.  I've never seen a more lively game of Jan Ken Po in my life.  It was quite fun.  Combined with individual donations for the relief effort, the school raised over $3,000 to send to Japan. 

Sunday: This Friday we leave to visit Tiger Daddy's family in the Northwest.  His grandmother was recently diagnosed with cancer AND had a stroke during surgery.  She is on the mend and her prognosis is good, but a visit to her home and to see the rest of his family is long over due.  I was going to make a photobook for her on Shutterfly, but now there is no time to get it shipped before we leave.  So I have been wracking my brains to figure out what to bring her.  I finally decided that I would make one of my fleece/brocade blankets.  So off to Joann's we went, found beautiful sari material (a poly blend, but beautiful and soft) on sale.  I pinned her blanket and Nana Bear's blanket, which for me is the hardest/ most time consuming part.  Next, will have to find time during the laundering and packing to sew both blankets before we leave.  Pictures also forthcoming.

The wrong side of the sari fabric for Grandma's blanket.
If the wrong side looks that good...
Meanwhile, I hope everyone else is enjoying the first days of spring and celebrating with a little crafting.


  1. Cute bags! I've been wanting to make something like this, so I'm glad to hear it's pretty easy!!

  2. Lovely bags. Looks great with the handle added.

  3. I've been wanting to do this too! great job.

  4. OH my you have been busy! No picture of the scarf? Sounds lovely!
    And those bags are gorgeous!

    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  5. Good for you on gettin through the christmas backlog. I am sure that most of us share that wish! Your bags look fantastic with or without the handle, plenty of uses, is iron vinal like laminated/oilskin cloth?