Thursday, February 25, 2010

Transform Your Plain T Shirt

Yesterday's post got me thinking about what else I can do to transform some of my boring wardrobe. Then I remember reading a great tutorial a while ago, about how to add corsage to your t shirt and make it fashionable and feminine. Loved the idea, but forgot where I saved the link. Had to google it again. Even though I didn't find the one I liked, there are lots of similar tutorials out there.

Corsage Tee
Corsage Shirt. Similar look, but this one is made from scratch.
Ruffled Shirt. This is the same shirt with different neckline treatment. Also lovely.
A different way to add corsage details to the neckline.
This is another interesting neckline detail. Love the color, and how elegant it looks.
Another corsage shirt. And here is a variation of it. Instead of same color knit fabric, this one used hand-dyed fabric, and embroidered some details.
This pillowcase top is really interesting too.
This spring ruffle top doesn't have corsage, but I like how fresh and cute it looks, and how easy it is to make. So, had to squeeze it in here.
Now all my T shirts, are you ready?

Upcycle Your Old Jeans

A friend of mine asked me what to do with a pair of old jeans, my answer was make it into a couple of grocery bags. Then I thought there got to be better and more clever ways to upcycle jeans. So, I went to google. Wow! I was amazed by people's creativity.

First of all, I'd like to show you a simple tutorial how to turn jeans into shopping bags, like I suggested my friend.

This one is great for all the creative moms (or dads) out there.

Oh, and which child won't love a denim teddy?

Oh Oh, don't forget kids have to go back to school. How about this cool blue jean notebook/organizer?

For the fashion girls, this jean corsage is too cute to pass.

And if you are a quilter, you would love these two projects. A fun quilt
and an embroidered jean quilt for a little girl.

If you are not that experienced, and don't have that many old jeans at hand, try this 9 patch pillow first.

If you don't want to try any of the above projects, at least you should make it into an apron. Then you can wear it to tackle any other craft projects. This apron will be able to handle all the abuses and dirts, and it will last for ever and ever.

And now if you will excuse me, I will need to go dig for the old jeans in my closets. Just wish I had more time to sew!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My Keychain is Featured

on Found Handmade blog! Thank you so much! And Found Handmade is running a promotion, all their sellers are getting 10 blocks for FREE! Yes! FREE! What a great opportunity! I just registered, and uploaded 10 of my lovely necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and keychains! If you are a crafter and selling your handmade items online, you must not miss this great advertisement chance!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Felt Flower Pins

I am so addicted to these! Already made four, and still more to come. I am sending these babies to my niece in HongKong. They have all kinds of great stuffs there, so I normally don't know what to buy her. And I don't how tall she is, so cannot really buy her clothes. Last time I sent her some handmade bags and some of my Chinese Knot bookmarks and jewelries. This time I have to think of something else. So, when I saw these gorgeous pins from Bugs and Fishes by Lupin, I knew I found my answer. I know Laura said "please be nice and don't copy" on her flickr profile, but I am only making these for my niece, not for sale. Hope she won't mind.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tiny Hand

My little caterpillar has been having such great times ever since she figured out how to use these two little things, called hands. She is reaching and grabbing everything she sees. Even in her sleep, she sometimes hold her hands up like this. Guess she is playing 'kiss princess's hand' game in her dream. Look at those soft little fingers! They make me want to kiss her, again and again. BUT wait! I have to control myself! Let her sleep a little bit longer. Then she is all mine.

Time does fly! Just realized my little caterpillar is already 5 months old! She is growing up so fast. Still remember the day we took her home, she looked so tiny in that carseat! Now she can barely fit in there!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland, originally uploaded by TranquilityKnots.
This is what we woke up to. It looked so peaceful, and absolutely beautiful. Totally regret not taking my camera with me this morning. On our way to my train station, everything looked like it came right out of a fairy tale! The sky was the purest blue ever, like the snow has washed away all the imperfection. Not even one piece of cloud in the sky, and no birds in sight either. The rest of the world, trees, streets, houses and cars were all covered by this fluffy sparkling white glitter!

In case you are not as excited as I am, about the snow storms and winter cold air, here are some pretty orchid pictures for you. Winter is normally the happiest time for orchid growers. After a year of tender loving care, they are rewarded by cluster and cluster of elegant flowers. They brighten the dark winter rooms, and brighten your heart as well. This winter, I am lucky as always. Lots of my orchids bloomed or blooming. (Now you know why I don't buy flower bouquets)

Phal. Schilleriana

Den. Singapore Girl?

Den. bigibbum

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Chinese New Year Dinner Party

We had a wonderful time on Sat. (Too bad I forgot to take some pictures.) We hosted Chinese New Year party at our house, we all had a great time. This was the first party since I got pregnant, and it's for the chinese new year, so I was quite nervous. I prepared the menu for days, and cooked from Fri night till Sat dinner time. Of course something had to go wrong, lucky it was not my party. My car broken down a week before, and it was supposed to be fixed totally after two days at our dealer's. But Friday morning on our way to my train station, it felt weird again. And of course Stubborn (a.k.a. my DH) didn't listen to me to go home and switch cars, he drove it to work. So, on his way back home at the end of the day, it broke down again, and this time it was on a super busy highway. He had to towed it to a dealer, and I had to take a taxi back home and grabbed the other car and picked him up. Since it was Friday night, my nanny was going home, so I had to take little caterpillar with me. She is such a sweetheart, didn't cry and very cooperative. Anyway, that trip wasted me some very precious cooking time. After dinner, I ran out of the house and drove to the nearest Chinese grocery store to get the rest of things I needed for the party. And of course I was too late, I got there only 20 minutes before closing time, and the fish department was already closed. I finally got back and started cooking around 10pm! I chopped and diced till midnight, and fried stuffs the whole Sat morning, while Stubborn went to Chinatown for the live fish and other things I didn't get. I was exhausted but quite excited. A couple of my friends offered to bring some dishes, so I had some help. But to cook for 4 families, the traditional style, it was not easy! We had 1 appetizer, 5 cold dishes, 9 hot dishes (including pork, chicken, fish, shrimp, tofu and some vegetable dishes), 4 desserts, and a big pot of HongKong style sweet and sour soup. On top of that, we had to have dumplings for the Chinese New Year (it's tradition), and I prepared the dough and fillings from scratch. Lucky one of my friend also knows how to make the skin, and the other knows how to make dumplings, so I was free to cook. At the end, every one was so stuffed, no one touched the snacks I prepared. Since we still have our old dining table and chairs (as my cutting table in the basement), and have a open kitchen dining room, we had a sit down dinner. We all watched the Chinese New Year party DH recorded that morning, it's tradition to eat dumpling and watch the party for Chinese people all over the world. Just to show you how big the party was, I cleaned for almost a whole day afterward! I was exhausted, BUT, the party was a success, and we got to have some fun with our friends. Little caterpillar had a great time too. One of my friend's son is 5 months older than my girl, guess they can understand each other, so they were busy 'talking', laughing, touching, and kissing each other! They made us laugh so hard, our tears came out. =)

Oh, almost forgot, I wanted to show you an easy Peach Crunch Cake recipe. I saw it on my favorite baker's website Bakerella and thought it would be perfect for the party. And she was right, it was pretty easy, and delicious too. But it's just a little bit too sweet for me, so next time I might twist the recipe a little bit.

To our family and friends, and all Chinese people around the world, HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR! And GONG XI FA CAI!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Homemade Toys

Here are just some softies I made for my little caterpillar recently. I have so many others planned already, just need more time.

I made several extra birds when I made her this mobile. Little caterpillar loves the mobile, and now she figured out how to use her hand, she loves grabbing the birdies by the tail, and put the whole head or tail in her mouth. I wonder how that taste like.

I really love the softies made by Apple & eve. Since I am not that good with embroidery, I picked some printed fabric. It's my first attempt, and it looks ok. I just think the fabric is too busy.

My little caterpillar loves this one. She can easily hold on to the tags with both her hands, and bite on it. Oh, the best thing about all these three is I can just throw them into the washer and dryer, and they will come out clean and fresh. Just need to make more taggie balls and use different color fabric too.

Remember I posted some many felt toys not long ago? I cannot stop making them. I got so inspired by minami626 and Vivikas, and started making lots of felt goodies. The little lion and elephant are going to be part of the nursery art set. I will have to show you the finished pictures some other time, as I am quite busy preparing the Chinese New Year Party this weekend, don't really have time to finish the frames for them. Anyway, I need to make one more, thinking about either a baby hippo, or giraffe, or monkey?

This little scottie dog was my first felt toy ever, and it's my absolute favorite. Found the instruction online at allsorts. It's a wonderful blog, full of colorful creations, and brillient tutorials. You should definitely check it out. Since my little caterpillar is still too little to play with anything with buttons or felt (I worry about my girl might swallow some of the felt fiber), this little cutie will go on the shelf for now. I will make her a bigger one with fabric, so she can play with (a.k.a. chew) it.

Last but not least, the redhead pony Parsey. Got the inspiration from neverever. Of course hers are much cuter, but this is made by me, with love, I think my girl will love it. Of course because of the yarn (the fiber thing again. yeah, I am paranoid) I cannot let her touch it. So, it also sit on the shelf for now. I made a mistake, so one ear was longer than the other one. Ended up folding it a little, and since I bought so many felt, I made her this tiny flower, to hide the stitches. I think it actually looks cuter this way. And I have been playing with photoshop lately, really liking these black and white versions. It looks like antique. What do you think? The colored one or black and white one?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Baby Kimono Top

A friend of mine, who is also a proud new mommy, saw this cute kimono style top my little caterpillar was wearing in this picture, (actually in lots of pictures) asked me where to buy it. We got it from China. Little caterpillar's great aunt sent us a couple of boxes of baby stuffs when she was born, and they are so beautiful and practical. These kimono tops are what Chinese babies usually wear, but we normally call them monk tops instead, and they have matching pants too. Instead of gorgeous Japanese fabric, these are made with very soft cotton, and 100% cotton batting, just like a quilt. So, it's very comfortable and warm, great for New England winter. I have never seen them here in US, but I think they are quite easy to make. Here are just some tutorials I found online. They are all just one layer of fabric, but you can easily quilt them first and then sew them together using the patterns, or make a couple of them and sandwich another made with cutton batting, then quilt them. I think either way will work.

Kimono Tutorial from habitual.

Empire Line Kimono pattern.

Kimono Top knitting pattern.

I also found this one which is very interesting. I really like it, if I have some extra time, I will definitely make something similar to this for my little caterpillar.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Baby Hat Tutorials

Want to make some hats for both little caterpillar, (aka my little girl) and two of my friends' sons. I don't knit or crochet. Yes! I don't know how to do that. So, I googled for simple sewing tutorials. I actually found some that I like and not too complicated. I need to finish them by this weekend, so I can give them as party favor at my Chinese New Year party. Here are the tutorials I found, in case any of you planning on making one as well.

A Baby Hat With Ears

Easy Knit Baby Hat

A Quick Newborn Hat with T-shirt

Forth Of July Baby Sun Hat. I will probably make this one in a couple of months, since our New England winter is quite long.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Great Blog

Just found another great blog, mairuru, written by a Japanese lady. Love all the stuffs she was making, the designs are so simple, yet elegant. And of course, those japanese fabrics, just to die for. She was so kind to post lots of great tutorials. And the best part is she hand stitches her stuffs, so for those who don't own a sewing machine and want to make some cute stuffs, her tutorials are perfect. Here are just some I liked, and you should go to her site and look for more.

Book covers

Fabric Covered Snap Clip

Pen Case

Patch Work Button Pouch

And last but not least, the Sarubobo Plush

She also post a link to another Japanese website about how to make a fabric rose. It's written in Japanese, which I cannot read, but the step by step pictures are very easy to follow. Guess what I am going to make this weekend. Yeah, a gorgeous rose and some sarubobo plush. That is if my little sweetpea will let me.