Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Gifts

I made table runners for Christmas gifts...
This shows a bit of the backing for each.
3 runners... Same pattern... Different colors

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Ornaments

I decided to make Christmas ornaments to use as bows this year. They knit up quickly and look very cute. I am a little sick of making them, so I'm going to take a quick break before I get back at it next week.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

tulle academy

Last night after happy hour I headed over to my new favorite store. My friend Ang has two daughters and fell in love with the tutus they had for sale there. They were pretty expensive and I could figure out how to make them just by looking at them. Instead of shelling out $45 each we went to Hobby Lobby.

For $35 and 1 hour (well, 3 hours counting the time spent in line at Hobby Lobby) we were able to make two beautiful tutus. It was especially fun because Ang is not a crafter, but making these convinced her to take a sewing class with me next year.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

snowflake garland

I'm hosting a big Christmas movie watching potluck on Sunday and was looking for ways to decorate without having to buy anything. I came across this idea on the internet and am really happy with how it turned out! I just cut out snowflakes from old magazines and junk mail and then sewed them all together with an embroidery needle and some red thread. It was a little time consuming, but the payoff is that I am now a freaking whiz at paper snowflakes. Seriously, I'm accepting challenges if any of you are takers!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


So those Halloween pillowcases weren't from my stash, but I did use the leftovers! This is the Lazy Days Skirt from Oliver + S (link on the post title), which is simple but awesome because of how it uses ribbon to hem the bottom. I really like that it takes about 20 minutes to crank out a skirt (even if it still takes me a few days to get them done). Quick gratification, which is what I'm all about these days.

And since I have quite a few Halloween fabrics from making pillowcases for the kids and their cousins, there are a few of them. Bigger ones in the basement for next year, and more for friends. The skeleton one is actually from last year, and Brinda has been wearing it non-stop. Except before Halloween. Did I mention that neither of my children would wear these before Halloween, but now they are in rotation again? I have contrary children.

And here are more. I'm telling you, I really like this "pattern." It takes all of 1/3 of a yard of fabric, since I prefer them short and sassy.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pillow Crazy

We have these tiny pillows from when I was little, but only one pillow case. And Brinda loves to sleep on them, but leaks strange colors while she sleeps. (How do children do this?) So, voila! Pillow cases out of my stash. (If I keep working, in twelve years, my fabric stash will be gone, and then I'll move on to Mom's.) This odd red with the famous buildings is Brinda's favorite of my stash fabrics.

While we're on the subject, here's Tucker and Brinda's Halloween pillowcases. I made them last year and they were the first Halloween thing Tucker wanted to get out.

I can't make Blogger unturn my photo.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Snack bags

I'm as behind as Annie. Early this summer I got tired of asking "Whose bag of fishies/crackers/bunnies is on the floor of the truck/garage/toyroom?" So I made these. Each kid has their own, so I can identify it. An additional benefit is that I don't buy snack baggies anymore.

The outside is whatever scraps I had that the kids picked out, which explains the different sizes, and the inside is rip-stop nylon. The closure is velcro from end to end. They work well for dry food, but I'd like to get over my fear of sewing on vinyl and try that for things like apples. Has anyone ever sewn on vinyl?

I wash and dry these with no problem. I'm not sure how food safe they are, but I'm willing to risk it.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Ok, I'm a little beind, but I still like to post stuff to make it seem like I do stuff other than yell at the under-5 set.

I copied a pair of shorts I bought for Tucker at a garage sale. They take only about 20 minutes each, my idea of quality crafting. As you can see, when I work in 5 minute bursts, sometimes I forget to check which way the fabric needs to go, but no one complains. Tucker calls those his Big Buck Safari shorts, in honor of the video game where you shoot exotic animals, including giraffes. To feed the hungry, I assume.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Lace Scarf

I'm new to lace. If you're into an intricate pattern and like working with size three needles, this is for you. If the people in your life enjoy hearing "I'll help you just as soon as I'm done with this row", this is for you. If you like knitting for hours and making 11 inches of progress, this is for you.

I gotta admit, I love the finished project, but lace isn't for me. Give me bulky weight yarn, size 10.5 needles, and a stockinette scarf or a simple rib. I don't want to think when I knit.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A quilt for Neave

Mom and I co-quilted this for Neave.
Annie will be proud to know that the yellow is fabric inherited from Aunt Francis.
A little anti-consumerism just for her!
No typical baby colors for a McCabe-Nuckols baby!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Birthday shirt

My kids have pretty much always had some kind of birthday shirt. I'm trying to live a bit more frugally, so I skipped the Gymboree option this year. (Plus, I don't really care for camo on kids. So much for the move to Idaho).

This year's shirt is from a Hane's 5 pack. It's a bit thin, but the price was right. And I needed two of the rest of the pack for practice. The fabric is from my stash, and I used the purple iron on adhesive that the lady at Hancock recommended. Then I used my buttonhole stitch on my Bernina all the way around.

It turned out very cute, and I'll definitely be doing this again!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sandbox cover

Summer seems to have eaten into my crafting time. That, and when I finally finish something, I'm not so good about taking a picture of it. But here goes.

The sandbox cover that the manufacturer of our sandbox sells is crap. It's very thin kind of vinyl with a bit of threadlike reinforcement. We've bought a new one every year. (Well, twice now). And every year it just shreds. This year I made one, using the shreds of the old one as a guide. The fabric is from the clearance section of outdoor fabric. It's more fabriclike than the old one - almost a canvas. I used fusible fleece to reinforce the edges that fold over the sides of the sandbox, as well as where the grommets are.

So far, so good. It's not as waterproof as the old one tried to be, but it is as catproof. If I were to make another one, I'd put a grommet in the very center to drain it, so there wouldn't be any puddling. What puddles it's collected haven't lasted long though, so I'm calling it good.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

books for travel

We just went out to DC (I had a conference), Philly (Chris had to work) and Boston (to visit family) for almost two weeks. I made these books to take on the planes, trains, and hotel rooms. They're all made from re-used one-sided paper from junk mail and old bread twist ties. We ususally have these sitting around at home, but taking them on the trip was really handy.
Tucker writes the greatest superhero books (wherein Spring Shotter gives Fart Girl her comeupance) and Brinda makes shopping lists (and then gets mad I won't go shopping). It's great media awareness; it helps Tucker understand that stories are made up by people who bring their own prejudices to the table, and if you don't like a character or event, you can just change it. That's at least slowed down his referencing Cars and The Lion King like a fundamentalist references the Bible.
You may need to be an immediate family member to enjoy the final products, but it takes up plane time, and I think my "Super Chicken Saves Weiner Dog" is bound for the canon.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Lime Bag for Peace

I've been trying to finish projects around the house, for my own sanity. It seems that raising my children and ending the Iraq War, the two things I spend the vast majority of my time on, will never be finished. But hey, look at this bag from three or four years ago that I finished! Sure, I can't remember why I decided to make it, but look! A lime! And isn't a lime better than peace?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sigg Koozie

For about a year Stimmel has been asking me to make him a koozie for his sigg bottle. I finally made one. I used a basic koozie pattern and added 12 stitches. I also did 10 rows of 2x2 rib on both ends. I think the next one I make will have more stripes.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

More Painting

The latest room on my hit list was the dining room.
The paint is actually a deep, deep burgundy...
Compliments Grandma McCarty's
Dining Set well!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

wool soakers

So I've read all about how great wool soakers are for cloth diapers - wick moisture, breathe, don't leak you'd think they do, (and my favorite:) don't need to be washed. They go over the cotton diaper, which actually does the pee catching. They're supposed to be much cooler. And since I hate the heat and project that onto my children, I wanted to try them. I knitted two different ones to try them out.

The orange one I knitted in natural wool and then dyed with kool-aid. It was the first time I've done that, and the results are pretty uneven. Of course, that could be because I only bought 3 packets of kool-aid, then decided I needed more and found four really old ones in our cupboard. They weren't really powder anymore, but they were still orange. Don't tell Chris I used all his kool-aid. He saves it for when he's sick. Because that's healthy.

Here's the before and in-process. It was kool-aid and the microwave. Way better than the RIT dye on the stove, if you ask me. Or nasty real dye.

So far I like them, but maybe it's just because they're cute. Here's a gratuitous baby butt photo.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

mittens blog

I posted a blog about mittens on my personal blog. I'm too lazy to blog twice, so if you want to read about them click on "mittens blog" which is a link to check them out.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Quilt for Charity

This is sideways...
My old nursery school asked me to make a blanket for a silent auction/fund raiser...
This is an "I Spy" quilt.
It was supposed to be made into a soft book but
I think outside the box.
The poem square talks about all of the things
you can find in the squares and the border fabric.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Art Wires

In an effort to get the piles of artwork off the fridge (or mostly the floor near the fridge), I put wires across the rumpus room in the basement. The art is no longer blocking my path, but it puts off the tearful fight with my dramatic son when I try to throw the lamest little piece away. After it's in the basement for a couple weeks, he doesn't notice, unless he sees me take it down. It takes up a lot of room, but the faux wood paneling is pretty ugly, so I don't mind.
Ok, so some of you may not consider this a craft. But I did have to *make* it. And my standards are low.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Dishcloth Hat

Since I never finished Brinda's dress (she doesn't like dresses, plus I lost it...I have the pattern and the needles. No dress.), I decided to make her a hat. She had one like this, but all acrylic. And my mom trained me well - I can't handle acrylic.

So I made her a new one, in stash cotton (ok, it's dishcloth cotton). She loves it, and wears it inside all the time. It fit her when I first made it, but she loves to pull the ties down until she can't see, and now it's a bit larger. (There is an upside to acrylic, I guess.)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Quilt for Brinda

Mom and I put the quilt top together for Brinda...
Mom put the binding on.
I chose the backing fabric and
Cheyenne "helped" me put the layers together.

This is my first attempt at machine quilting.

Does this fabric SCREAM "Annie" to you?

Thursday, March 12, 2009


In the finished part of our basement (you know, the rumpus room), we have a big space that is meant to hold a (really $&*!ing big) TV. It's always been wasted space because it's just a big 3' X 3' x 2' hole. So I finally built a shelf for it. It's 12" deep, and the best part is that Chris built another almost identical shelf to go behind it, because the cabinet is so big. And yes, that's right, it's not full. We still have more room for crap! Yay! Now where can I get more crap...?

You might notice that it's not exactly square, and some family members will take exception to my tagging this post as woodworking, but it looks great to me. Chris's is even worse off (we had really warped wood, apparently we should have spent more time picking it out, but I like to think it's a sign of the creator...), but it's hidden.

And this is my other shelf. It's in the back part of the basement, and it also was just a big hole. Now it's filled with my art supplies. And sure, I haven't done any block printing, book making or whittling since before Chris was deployed, but it makes me happy to look at the supplies anyway. I believe that someday I'll throw my children out of the house, and then I'll be free!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pretty Scarf

I haven't had much time to knit this semester, but I did manage to finish a scarf for myself before the end of the winter.  I bought the yarn on line, and didn't realize quite how purple it is.  Luckily the scarf took over a month to finish, and by the time I was done with it I didn't mind it.  The pattern was very intricate, which made it a project for watching TV alone.  When I tried to knit with people around I had to tear out rows.  

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Corpus Collosum Arm Warmers

Last March, when Matthew went into the hospital to have his corpus collosum completely severed, I started making these arm warmers, thinking I'd have lots of hospital time, and apparently totally forgetting that I had a child. For a while I had one done, and contented myself that there's only one corpus collosum too, until I realized that Matthew now has two (more or less...kind of). So I finished the other. They look just like corpus collosums, don't they?

In a totally surprising turn of events, I don't look nearly as cool wearing these as the woman who inspired them. But they are warm, and it's all stash wool, so that's an accomplishment by itself. And I used the magic loop knitting Sarah had mentioned, which was fun, almost making up for the k2, p2 ribbing.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Crib organizer (for lack of a better term)

Not long ago my Mom mentioned that when one of us was little she made a pocket to hang in the crib. After the baby was asleep, she'd put in a bottle and a book. She claimed it bought her 20 minutes in the morning. I'm not holding out any hope for additional time in the morning, but any elimination of "I can't find my pacifier" in the middle of the night would be great.
I used a receiving blanket, with heavy lining (warm and natural?) for the base and lightweight interfacing for the pockets. Two of the pockets (for pacis and water) are pleated at the side. The top pocket, for a book, is just a flat patch pocket.

If I were to make another one of these, I'd have made the straps at the top a bit wider, and with wider velcro also. Instead of ties at the sides, I'd measure more thoroughly and put velcro straps there as well. (I'm like Claire in that, while numbers are how I earn a salary, they seem to be merely a suggestion when it comes to crafts). The water cup pocket I'd make a bit taller and narrower, and the paci one bigger all around. The lining of the base didn't need to be as thick as it is - sewing through the pleats on the pockets was not pretty. All of that having been said, it seems to be doing it's job pretty well.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


So I made these sometime before Megan's wedding, as a way to not make Brinda's dress, but I wanted to post them anyway. I love this blog, because it significantly adds to my feeling of accomplishment when I force others to look at things long finished. (Sarah, you're so wise.)

They really could use pockets, to add to child-enjoyment, but they're fun as they are. Also, super easy.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Morgan's latest "crafts"

Painting Cheyenne's room was HEAVEN!
I locked the door and let Carol deal with the girls!
Mariah's room... Almost finished, just have to remove the tape.

What a helper!
I now realize Mom didn't really want to surprise us when she painted...
She did it while we were at school so she didn't get "help"!

Cheyenne was much better help...
But got fired for painting the trim and carpet...

Does a Gingerbread House made from a kit count as crafty?