Friday, December 30, 2011

Felt Dryer Balls Tutorial

... Well I guess we just kind of fell off... 
We've been busy having fun and celebrating things like birthdays. Oh and doing some major crafting... none of which we've taken pictures of! Hopefully we will get busy and blog some of what we've been up to next week- but I'm not making any promises!

This is useful to everyone! Don't get distracted by the first two paragraphs!
I think  I have mentioned here before that I part time cloth diaper. We've been having absorbency/ water proof issues and it's been driving me crazy because over all I really love cloth diapers but leaky cloth diapers make me want to start a bonfire. Now before I lose you all this isn't just about diapering... this is just so you know how I came up with this project. I finally had a chance to talk to the one other person I know who CD's and she said she cut out dryer sheets altogether and uses wool dryer balls that she ordered from Amazon. I had never heard of these before. Am I alone in this? I've always seen the nasty looking plastic ones that I just couldn't bring myself to buy but Wool?! That sounded doable! 
So of course a lot of googling and I was ready to DIY some...actually I was ready to make Mum do it for me... but she liked the ones she made so much she wouldn't share! From what we read the best method is to use wool roving yarn it seems to have less piling problems then straight roving (old sweaters also work... but I'm not cutting up any I still own). The two brands we found to work best are Patons and Full o' Sheep. The Patons brand yields 3 balls and the Full o' Sheep yields 2. 
 Unfortunately Bernat was an epic fail... just keeping it real!
So are you ready?- this is really complicated.......
Roll the yarn into a ball. It's not necessary to wrap tightly just wrap with medium pressure that keeps yarn in place. 

I like to roll mine keeping all of the crisscrossing at the same spot. 
When you get it to about tennis ball size cut off 18 inches and thread a long doll needle.
Then I just run the needle through the ball on either side of the crisscross 

I just repeat this a few times until I am out of string.
It looks like a button. 
Now make a bunch of them... It's definitely worth wrapping the balls neatly they stay together better for the felting process. 
If you want to do the process properly do a quick hand agitation with soap and get the wool fibers started sticking together. If you are lazy like me (and have wrapped them really well) then you can just toss them in the washing machine on hot and add a little soap.
They will come out looking a tad smaller and felted. 
Now you can stop here but if you are bored and want a total time suck you can decorate your balls-- 
Be prepared to be addicted it's fun! The stitch decorated ones are mine, the awesome perfectly decorated ones are Mums. She crocheted a net around them and they look beautiful!
 For best results have 8-12 in your dryer. We've been using ours for a few weeks and I really have to say they work just as well if not better then the dryer sheets did. Uber has even given them the ok - which means everything had to remain as comfortable and soft to wear as it previously was.  
I'm not going to go on and on about the benefits. There is plenty of well written information out there on how and why these work just visit this Etsy seller she has beautiful products and also sells oils to scent the balls. 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How?

Isabella Vivian Marie.
A girl, hello......
End of May.
None ya. 
Seemed like a good idea?
Now, that's just awkward.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Tour {Corinnea's House}

I decorated a little bit last year but my heart wasn't in it. This year, for the first time in about 8 years, I decorated. I wanted to do more, but there's always next year right? 
 I love chandeliers. Decorating them is so fun. Jess found this garland for me at Michael's, I added some mini glass balls and a pearl garland given to me by a dear friend (thanks Vicki!).
 I bought a tree from Costco this year. This thing better last, just sayin. It comes pre-lit which is amazing. I also received an early gift from my hubby and Jess in the form of a new fireplace surround and mantel! You can see an old version of this area here. Huge improvement no? I kept meaning to do a big reveal but life just keeps happening.
 I love it. 
I love this room. 
No, it's not really cold enough for a fire but I don't care. 
 My tiny German village found a home on the top of my cabinets. I may leave it up for awhile. I'll add green rolling hills when spring comes. 
 I have these cool mirrors gifted to my by my mom in law. Jess accessorized it with my ridiculously heavy glass balls I collected in Germany. 
 I even pulled out the snow babies this year. Anyone else ever collect those? I guess I should have taken a closeup.... they are frolicking on top of the hutch.
 This is a favorite view of mine. I love the layers.
 For my dining room chandelier I placed two dowels across the opening and strung a million balls from them. I may leave these up year round too. 
 This wreath is new. I found it at Micheal's and embellished it with the ribbon and sparkly purple branch things. I strung small snowflake lights through it but forgot to turn them on for the photo. Target had a cute selection of battery lights this year. 
This is my view as I sit here and write. Well, except now my feet are propped on the table and the coffee is almost gone. 
Thanks for taking my little tour. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Tour { Jessica's House }

*oops! forgot to post this!*
We just thought it would be fun to give you a Christmas tour of our houses... mine isn't much different from last year but I tried to tweak everything just a little to make it fun and fresh

The biggest change was the ribbon. I went to Michaels in search of the ribbon I bought last year, I just needed a little bit more. Wouldn't you know I actually found it... but I also found this beautiful glitter ribbon. And since it was on sale and the stuff I bought last year wasn't I decided it was be meant to be! 
This stuff is gorgeous, it sparkles like crazy. 
I redecorated my chalkboard wall. There was a slight issue with the chalkboard pens... apparently if you leave them on the wall for over a year they don't wash off... which is why I keep redecorating the same trees, it's not a big deal- it's actually kind of fun- I just wish I had done a better job drawing them!!
We have a cousin (2nd?... not sure) that knits everyone stockings.  Mine went missing sometime after I moved out... I've been searching for it for 7 years (seriously I know that it is SOMEWHERE!!) so I finally broke down and asked and she was kind enough to make and ship me a replacement in less then a week. Which is unbelievable awesome and kind of her. I am no longer the lone stocking-less person in the family (boy does that sound akward).

And just to source a few things- because I always want to know when I see things on blogs
The garland and wreath are from Ballard Designs and is super realistic looking I want more!
The snowflake lights are Smith and Hawkin from Target - a few years back. 
The glitter pine cones are from Crate and Barrel - this year. 
The LED lights on the wreath are from Target - this year
My felt garland from last year was relocated from last year- I think I like it here better!
And my favorite the tree. Which is from Costco and I LOVE it. And yes I decorated it with all the same ornaments as usual we just put the less breakable ones at the bottom. Micah has been doing pretty well with the don't touch command- not that he is perfect or anything!
And since I never send out Christmas cards.... Here's a family shot for everyone!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Ornament Exchange Invitations

Corinnea-- Jessica, a friend and I had a party. We can't prove it because we did not take one single photo. 
Not. A. Single. One.
We were busy having fun.
Our only evidence are these invitations. 
Jessica-- To be fair we were busy having fun and trying to make sure our 30+ guests were also enjoying themselves... yes 30+ I think our final count was 35... in Mum's house! Awesome turn out, considering we invited over 60... yes we are crazy! So on to the invites...  
J - Remember that over 60 number? Well we had to make a lot of invites and we wanted them to be fun but most of all affordable. Since we had just shown you the cinnamon ornament recipe we thought it would be neat to include an ornament in the invite so we made a lot of little trees. We kept the rest of the invite pretty plain- just printed it on a heavy card stock and tied a tree at the top.  
C - The lovely little tree graphic is a Jessica original.
J - It's printed on a 2x3" mailing label that I cut the curved corners off of and then each invite was stuffed into a treat bags that we found in the $1 bin at Target. 
 C - The house was full of food and friends. Silly games were played. Ornaments chosen, stolen and chose again. It was a nice way to spend an afternoon.
J - Since we did the party potluck style we also included recipe cards in the invite, this time from the $1 bin at Michaels. So after the party my slave driver mother sent me home to work on a small gift to give out to everyone who attended.
 J -We just scanned in all of the recipe cards and then resized them and printed them up into a small book.
J - I think Mums first huge event at her house was a success... tomorrow we will be back with a tour of our holiday decorations. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Custom Order

I had a custom order this last week on etsy. I've been asked many times to make a toaster cover but this is the first time I actually did it. 
I hope it's recipient enjoys it! 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sweater Refashion

What do you do with a couple of sweaters that you've been hanging onto for a couple of years because the cable is really cute so you can't stand to throw them out??
I save them until inspiration hits (or I run out of room). This time inspiration hit first.
The little Mr. was growing out of his vest. 
He looked very, very cute in his vest. 
I cut away the general shape of the old vest.
Then cut off the neck and sleeve ribbing.
(That weird thing sticking out from under the table is Brinkley's forearm, he likes to lay under the table while we work)

I sewed everything back together, reusing the ribbing around the neck and armholes of the new vest. 
I gave it a little v-neck. I should have made the V a bit deeper but this will last for awhile.
The knit stretches a bit more than I expected but they're good for a couple of wears before Jess has to wash them again to get them back in shape. 
I gotta say, I think he looks incredibly handsome in them. 
I am his gramma though, so maybe I am biased.
He loves to go outside and say hello to the yard. I took these pictures last Sunday. 
See the flowers? 
Yes, it's still that warm here. 
Gramps sat him on the garden wall and he had to get down by himself.
It made him a wee bit angry.
Except for his diaper and socks, I made everything he is wearing in this picture.
It makes me happy.
Or is it just looking at him that makes me happy?
Hmm. Tell me what you think.