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October 23, 2011

Halloween Pumpkins 2011

These are my Halloween pumpkins for the year! They're made from kits I bought when I visited Underwood Family Farms earlier in the month. My house sits away from the street, and past homes have been apartments with really only a personal entrance, so I haven't really tried to decorate my doorway often in the past. I have to say, it's making the season so much fun this year!

Because I'm not carving into the pumpkins, I'm hoping they'll last longer, and draw less "critters"--both bugs and the squirrels/racoons/possums/cats that populate my neighborhood. These will also make great centerpieces if I end up hosting a Thanksgiving gathering. And they're recyclable, so I can use them again next year ~ or send them off to a friend's kids.

I think it's a great idea for a metalworker to sell at craft fairs. The small version (the ones I got) of the kits sold for around $15, with a larger version available for $30.

October 13, 2011

Recycled Needlepoint Bags

A few years ago, when my mom was cleaning out her craft cabinet, I took posession of several completed-but-unframed or old and no longer hung cross stitched projects. I pulled them out of their settings and took them to a friend who makes bags, asking her to use them as centerpieces in her creations. I then gave them back to my mom, sister, and aunts as gifts, keeping only these two for myself.

The cross stitched panel on each bag is lined with a protective layer of vinyl. My friend had free reign and picked out cute country prints to line the interior of the bag, as well as choosing the perfect upholstery print for the outside of the bag. She added grosgrain ribbon ties to the top for closure.

The two little dolls were stitched by my mom as an insert for a shelf with a heart shaped cutout, but I like having it in a bag that I can use practically on a daily basis.

The "Eat Dessert First" project is signed by my Aunt Edna, and I asked my friend who designed the bag to keep the signature.

It was fun having something personal and creative to give as gifts that year, and to see the recipients face light up as they realized the history behind the item. My mom uses her purse regularly still.

I've been stealing up finished cross stitches at thrift shops for several years, removing the frames, and setting them aside for my next wave. I'll be including some diaper bags in the mix as I've found lots of cute nursery pictures! I can't wait to see how these recycled items turn out.

Needlework Purse

I haven't had much time for crafting this year in between all the film jobs I've taken, but I'm feeling the holiday season coming and want to get back to it. My yearn for craft time has led me to look around at handmade things I've done, and soak up the inspiration to make time for myself.

Here's a purse I made a couple years ago. For several years I had a project-a-day needlework calendar that I would enjoy looking at. I finally became frustrated that I'd never made anything out of the over 600 projects I'd admired daily, so I picked one and used the pattern to make this little purse.

The stitch count is quite small, so I was glad the size of the project was limited. It took me several months to complete. And with all the work I put into it, I'm afraid to use it on a daily basis! But I do enjoy having handmade items in my home, and find the colors of this project soothing in my bedroom, where it hangs with my other purses. I'm sure the special occasion will come to break in this bag.

How have you used crafting to make practical items you touch and use daily? Please leave a comment on the blog.

October 11, 2011

An Awesome Fall Wreath

I finally took a photo of this fun fall wreath Chance & I have been passing on our walk the last few weeks.

It's delightfully simple--solid colored yarn wrapped around the entirety, with felt diamonds laid atop and held on by twine. Even the hook is handmade, by braided yarn in keeping with the wreath's colors. What a cheery way to welcome fall!

What do the most welcoming doorways you've seen lately look like? Are there any that have impressed you enough to make your own version? Please tell me about it in a comment, or post or send me a photo.
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