Friday, January 11, 2013

Crafty Updates

It's basically the middle of January and I'm finally getting back into blogging! Where have I been? Just recovering from my crazy work schedule and shopping/crafting/shipping gifts for the holidays. Here's a look at my projects from the last few months...

1. Fall/Winter Wreath: I made this wreath using a cheapy wreath from Goodwill and spruced (pun not intended!) it up with gold branches and ribbon from the Dollar Tree. Total cost was $6. With the lemons and apples, I think this wreath will also pass for spring or summer...maybe changing out the bow for a cute gingham print? 

2. Twinkies Cupcakes: Devastated that Twinkies were no more, I was inspired to make Twinkie cupcakes using this recipe. Friends who tried it agreed, they indeed did taste like real Twinkies! I'm definitely saving this in my recipe archives. Anyone know who bought the official recipe?

3. Cupcake Pin Cushions: A few months ago I went to a quilt and craft fair and found a pattern for these felt pin cushions. I made the one on my left for my mom (resembles Mary Engelbreit stuff, which she loves) and the one on the right for my grandma (she loves purple). Little did I know that Frankie (my dog) would be obsessed with the fake felt cherries and would frequently steal them when I wasn't looking. Luckily I was able to retrieve them from him. I was not so lucky with some of the small felt circles I cut earlier! When my mom and grandma opened their gifts on Christmas day, they decided that these would be too pretty to put pins in and instead will buy acrylic boxes to display them in (still not sure if I am happy about this...)

4. Embroidered sweaters: Not knowing what to give my grandmothers for Christmas, I found these Karen Scott waffle knit sweaters from Macy's and thought they did have a grandmotherly quality. They were pretty simple to begin with, so I decided it was time to break out the embroidery feature on my Brother SE400 sewing/embroidery machine. I chose the purple violet pattern for grandma #1 (the purple loving one) and the floral topiary pattern for grandma #2. I was impressed with the ease of the embroidery process. At times I just hit the go button and went to do some chores while my machine embroidered a particular color of the design. 

5. Christmas Card Picture:  In the spirit of the holidays, we got a pink flocked tree (yes, it's real!) and decorated our fireplace. Since we didn't have many ornaments, I bought some simple silver and white ornaments from the Target and the Dollar Tree. I also shoved some of our small stuffed animals in there just for fun. The "Holly" sign was actually part of a Hollywood sign I used for a formal a few years back (I couldn't think of any other holiday words that I could make with "Hollywood". Please let me know if you think of any, so I can use them next year!) The O is actually our clock I decked out in leftover silver, glittery snowflake ornaments. I hot-glued them, but discovered, they can easily be removed from the plastic clock! 

6. Frankie's Raincoat: This is Frankie in the raincoat I made him for Christmas. When I failed to find an affordable, fleece-lined, perfect-fit raincoat for Frankie, I took matters into my own hands and decided I would MAKE him a raincoat. I happened to find a women's hoodie vest with a pocket in the back and thought "this would be the perfect raincoat for Frankie!" I basically cut up the vest and used one of his existing coats (yes people, my dog is stylish and does have a coat wardrobe. I promise they are all functional...) as a template and voila, here he is sitting all pretty on Christmas day with his new squeaky bunny toy. After making this raincoat, I almost convinced myself that I could be a doggy fashion designer. Then I realized this probably would not be as profitable as my current job. Also, I probably would not be very successful unless I knew of more than two famous dogs (Currently, I can only think of Boo and Bo)

7. SF Ballet's Nutcracker: I realize this is not a craft project, but I do love the red and white tree in the back. We finally got around to seeing the San Francisco Ballet's Nutcracker Production. I've been dying to go for years, but could not afford the high ticket prices. We had seats in the dress circle which were significantly better (no binoculars required) than our second to the last row seats when we saw Swan Lake a few years back. I was really impressed by the whole show, especially the snow scene where the dancers literally were being snowed on! If you have never gone, please go if you have the opportunity to! However, I'd like to warn you in advance that there are a surprising number of little kids running around there (apparently some people are just super rich and can afford to pay hundreds for their toddlers to watch...errr climb seats...during the show). Being in the audience and watching the dancers made me realize how much I miss ballet and performing. I hope to start taking classes in the new year! 

8. Snowflake cupcakes: For my fellow co-workers who worked on Christmas eve and day, I made these Funfetti snowflake cupcakes. For the snowflakes, I piped vanilla Wilton's candy melts on to wax paper and let them harden in the fridge before placing them on top the cupcakes. I really liked how they turned out and will definitely try this technique again...maybe hearts for Valentine's day? 

Hope you liked my craft projects. Look for a doggy raincoat tutorial in the near future. I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday season. Have a happy new year and be inspired to craft away! :D