Tag Archives: gift

Gifties: Black Kitty Hats

20 Dec

My cute little nieces live in Salem MA, and they have a black cat named Spooky. So of course I wanted to make them black kitty hats for Halloween!

I wanted the girls to have the hats by Halloween, but I started them later than I should have. To ensure that I could quickly make something at the correct size without any time-consuming experimentation, I used this Animal Winter Wear pattern by The Craft Frog because it’s geared specifically for toddlers and children. Also, for the ears, I was inspired by the ones found in this Crazy Cat Hat pattern by Brenda K. B. Anderson.

I should note that I have terrible luck with sizing hats. They rarely come out the size they should, even when I’m following a pattern for a specific size. I’ve tried making swatches to figure out the gauge, but I must be pretty terrible at gauges too because it doesn’t help. But because of time constraints, I think I talked myself in to believing that these would come out perfect the first time.

And here they are! They didn’t come out too badly. Sewing the ears was the toughest part, because I had to make sure they were sewn on symmetrical, and that the ear placement on the hats were relatively similar to each other.

To add a little pop of color to the hats, I crocheted and sewed on these little pink triangles.

It was only until after I finished up the hats that I decided it would be a good idea to test how big they came out, so I attempted to try one on.

Yikes. If its a little too big for a 30-year-old, it’s probably going to be *very* too big on a 3-year-old. Oh well, Halloween was right around the corner, so I sent the hats to my nieces anyways.

I don’t have pics of the girls in their hats, but I can assure you that they’re huge on them.

I love making stuff for my nieces, so they’re going to learn very quickly that “it’s the thought that counts.”


Gifties: Lotsa Love

19 Dec

Here are a few cute things I’ve crocheted for loved ones this year!

Love Cupcake for Kristen

This cupcake was part of a wedding shower gift for my lovely friend Kristen! She’s excellent at making fabulous baked goods, and I couldn’t resist making this little cutie to go with my baking-themed gift.

I used this Mini-Bite Cupcake pattern by Dena Stelly for the cupcake shape, and added a few of my own flourishes.

Since this was part of a wedding gift, I made these little hearts for the cupcake decoration. If this were a real cupcake, these hearts would be little candy conversation hearts, yum.

The little face! This is one of my first attempts at using yarn for the eyes instead of black safety eyes. I thought the black eyes wouldn’t show up as well, plus if this were a real cupcake, I envision the eyes as little daubs of vanilla frosting, yum.

Beet for Sara

My sis Sara loooooves vegetables, so I made her this little beet as a thank you gift!

I used this Beet pattern by NyanPon for the beet shape (I particularly love how the leaf was done!), and added a little face.

I added a loop of string to the top to turn it in to an ornament for her Christmas tree.

Sara shared this pic of the beet on her tree, chillin’ with some glass vegetable ornaments. This little guy sure found the perfect home!

Star Tree Topper for Shelley and Bob

My friends Shell and Bob moved in to a beautiful new home, and they wanted a cute star topper for their Christmas tree. I had to make sure it was large enough for their big, classic tree!

Luckily, I found this Star Stuffie pattern by April Draven, which proved to make the perfect size star for their tree, and I added a smirky smiley face.

I also added a little crochet band to the back of the star so it can stay in place on top of the tree. This lighting makes it look like this little guy has cellulite, haha! I’m not judging; pudgy is cute!

I have lots more to post, but I’m running behind because I’m in the throws of Holiday Crafting! But I hope to be with-it enough to post a little more this week. Til then!

Gifties: Spring Hats for Lulu and Rosie

1 May

My cool little nieces like to dress up, so I made them little, brimmed hats for the spring. I followed the Cheri Hat pattern, and I made the flowers by following this Flower pattern. And I used Sugar’n Cream yarn so the hats are light-weight and hold their shape.

This one’s violet, for Lucille Violette (Lulu).

And this one’s rose, for Rose Madeleine (Rosie).

A close-up of one of the flowers.

It’s hard to get the full effect of the hats unless you have a cute little model showing them off. Luckily, Lulu and Rosie’s mum took some pics and shared them with me!

Lulu’s going to be FOUR this summer (can you believe it??). She loves to draw, swim, and play with her friends at school. She also likes to build blocks, do puzzles, and have dance parties with Auntie Chrissy and Uncle Tim. She’s such a sweetheart! Photo (c) Liz Frazier

Rosie’s two and a half years old now! She also loves to draw and color, and she’s got some amazingly smooth dance moves. She’s very giggly and adventurous, and she looks up to her big sis to learn new things. And I hear she never leaves the house without a pair of sunglasses. So cute! Photo (c) Liz Frazier

I really like how the hats and the flowers came out. And I can already tell I’ll be using this flower pattern for future projects, it’s so simple and cool-looking. I hope the little ladies enjoy their hats!

Year-End Wrap-Up

3 Jan

December! This time of the year’s usually a-flurried with activity. On top of all the holi-daze madness during the month, I tried to do a couple of big projects, but failed. I did get to work on a couple of other fun things though (I’ll share later), and I also made a bunch of random little stuff.

Like this cute crocheted poinsettia! I chose bright-colored yarn to add to the holiday festive-ness.

I used two corsage pins and pinned it to a sweater, and wore it to a few holiday parties. Surprisingly, I don’t have any photos of me wearing it. But take my word for it, it made a lovely-sized corsage. It’s about as big as a small apple. I liked this little guy so much that I made a second one to give as a gift.

Here’s a little crocheted sushi roll I made as a gift.

The extra yarn in back was so I could attach it to something else. I was confused by the directions in the pattern, so I tried to follow the photo that was provided. I don’t think I did it quite right. But this was such a great, simple way to make a little crocheted sushi, and I have a feeling I’ll be making more of these in the future!

This crocheted frame is so darling, and simple to make!

Made this as a host/ess gift for a friends’ holiday party. I originally thought this was going to be small enough for a tree ornament, but it ended up making a pretty good-sized frame. My friends put it on their tree anyways. 🙂

I hot-glued some felt on to the back, but left an open space to slide in a photo. And I made a little loop so it can easily be hung up on the wall.

I actually made this little crocheted mistletoe last year (okay, technically, two years ago now), but it’s so cute that I have to share!

I call her Misty. Maybe I’ll make her some friends this year.

I made this gigantic glittery corsage to wear at a party. The night before, I realized I didn’t have a fun accessory to wear (this was before the crocheted poinsettia), so I rung up my neighbor and doubtfully asked, “Do you happen to have a glittery fabulous fake bouquet of poinsettias that you’re not using?” Oh Gwen, how I will never doubt you again!

There’s actually a photo of me wearing this, but despite its rather large size, you can’t really see it. It’s about the size of a large glittery orange, and I pinned it to a black dress.

Speaking of glitter, a friend threw an ugly sweater party, and I felt challenged to make this.

Front and back views. Sequins and glitter all over the place!

And trailing glitter all over my friend’s house wasn’t a very good present by itself, so I also made a matching ornament to commemorate the occasion.

Front and back views. I found this heart-shaped ornament at Target for pretty cheap, then I outfitted it with glitter and sequins.

My new year’s resolution is to take better photos. Perhaps, I dunno, upgrade to better lighting than what my window sill or living room floor can provide. To get me started, I made a little macro light tent! Found this dandy how-to from Strobist via Jen Kiaba: http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/07/how-to-diy-10-macro-photo-studio.html:

Functional, inexpensive, and using recycled materials that I already had at home. Can’t wait to try out this bad boy! Though perhaps my first goal of the new year should be to get the Christmas decorations off the dining room table and in to storage. And also to put away my laundry.

Also, check out what Santa Tim got me for Christmas:

(I’m SEW excited!!!!!!!!!)

Gifties: Some Goodies for Riley Paige

16 Sep

My friends Shelley and Bob are now the proud parents of a beautiful baby girl, Riley Paige! As a way to say “Howdy,” I decided to get back to basics and knit her my go-to baby blankie: The Hoodie Baby Blanket.

I like this Hoodie Baby Blanket so much because it’s simple and functional, and there’s room to personalize it with your choice of yarn, stitch, color, etc. I made this blanket for my two nieces when they were babies: I used a breathable cotton blend yarn in a garter stitch and a crocheted border for warm-weather-baby Lulu, and I used warmer yarn in a stockinette stitch with a broken rib border for winter-born Rosie.

For Riley, I did the main part of the blankie in a garter stitch, and did a seed stitch for the border. I think it made a good combo!

Here's a close up of the garter stitch (green) and the seed stitch (cream) together. It's my first time doing a seed stitch, it's pretty!

I rocked Cotton Ease yarn again, to make for a suitable warm-weather blanket. Um, also, you noticed how ruffly the border is, huh? Well I experimented with using a bigger needle for the border, and that’s what happened. I like it though!

Also, I made Riley a matching little friend:

Meet "Smirky Sue"!

Why is she called "Smirky Sue"? 'Cuz she looks like she's smirking! (Because maybe my attaching-different-pieces-together skills are not so hot... read on!)

I really wanted to make Riley a hippo because hippos are her mom’s favorite animal! I figured it’d be easier to use a pattern instead of trying to make one on my own, so I started out using this one. It’s pretty cute, right?? Well, I made all the pieces, but then I ran in to my nemesis: Sewing Pieces Together. It was coming out aaaaaaawful. I haaaaaaaaate sewing pieces together. I lamented not going with my gut and just whipping something up on my own (which would have involved less pieces to sew together, naturally), but I already had all the pieces, so I just attached the pieces differently and added some CK Flair.

I wanted Sue to be baby-safe, so one of the most important changes I made to this pattern was embroidering the eyes instead of using safety eyes. Also, I added teeth, 'cuz hippos have teeth!

I also crocheted her a cute little hair flower.

And I knit her a sassy little scarf.

Don't forget the rear view!

Unfortunately, I didn’t get these gifts to poor Riley until last week (she was born in July!). But even though I was two months late, she didn’t mind.

Riley's mom was kind enough to send me photographic proof that the blankie and Smirky Sue were well-recieved!

Gifties: Underwater Starghan!

13 Sep

One of my other summer projects has been to crochet this baby blankie for my friends Mike and Ricki’s new baby!

An Underwater Starghan for Cash Sinclair!

I used a free pattern by Yarndiva, but it doesn’t seem to be available anymore. That’s okay, because the pattern was confusing! Which led to this project getting pretty frustrating. I had to re-do it at least 4 times. But I thought a star afghan would be awesome for Cash’s underwater-themed room, so I forced myself to finish it.

But after all that hard work, it ended up, like, not laying flat? But the photos in the pattern show a perfect little flat crocheted star! Whaaaaa…?

Argh! No matter what I do, it just doesn't lay flat!

Oh check it: If you plop it on a carpeted surface and smoosh it down, static electricity keeps it down. But hey, that's cheating!

If I had known that this blanket would behave so unruly, I would have made something else. At the time, I was also working on wedding stuff and other projects (on top of an insane work load at work), so a little less frustration would have been welcomed.

But hey, in the end, I just say it’s “underwater” which explains why it’s wiggly!

I do think it came out pretty cute. I used an assortment of Lion Brand Cotton Ease in lovely “underwater” colors.

Love these blue shades, with the pop of green!

Cash & Co. live in Austin, so a baby blankie’s not really a necessity down there. But I think it works well as a decoration, plus if they do use it, it’s made out of a cotton blend. And cotton is awesomely breathable and keeps you not-sweaty, so it’s great for warm weather babies. And it makes for a decently rough-and-tumble blankie that you can easily machine wash. I love using Cotton Ease for summer baby blankets.

Cash, I hope you’re digging it, little buddy!

Wedding Part Three: Sew Crazy

8 Sep

So even though I didn’t make it myself, I still wanna talk about my wedding dress!

I originally got in touch with Karissa Kloss, a publishing colleague, about different ways to potentially bind my hand-made wedding invitation books; Karissa did the well-renowned publishing grad program at Emerson, and she used her trusty sewing skills to help bind several of her final book projects. Karissa also does a lot of sewing on the side, and she’s always making cool dresses for herself for special occasions. At the time, I was having difficulty finding a wedding dress that I liked, and, even though the wedding was quickly approaching, I was at the point of considering going to a tailor and having something custom-made. Though I knew that would most likely not fit in my meager budget, so the reality was that I’d just have to get any old dress, even if I wasn’t in love with it. Whatever, I’d get married in jeans if I had to! It’s just that this day was really special, so before giving up, I was searching every nook and cranny for a cool dress I loved.

Well after awhile, a light finally went off in my head: I actually know someone who knows how to make dresses. And I’d so rather give my money to someone I know rather than a stranger! So one night, after chatting about bookbinding and publishing in general for a bit with Karissa, I sheepishly brought up the idea about custom wedding dresses. And if she would ever consider making a dress for someone that’s not her. And if she would happen to be interested in a custom wedding dress commission from me.

I wasn’t expecting a positive reception to the idea, but I figured I’d give it a shot before I resign myself to plan B. But to my pleasant surprise, she entertained the idea! She immediately started thinking of ways to go about making what I had in mind, and, after a few days of heavy thinking, she agreed to make me a dress!

During my grueling wedding dress search, I realized I wanted an ivory dress, with a simple A-line silhouette, and with no train. Also, it turns out I really like lace. Who knew?? (Only sassy-antique-y lace though.) I was new to a project like this, but thankfully Karissa helped me look at different dress patterns and fabric swatches. We ended up going with this dress pattern (we went with the “B” option, and Karissa used her magic to extended the length), and used this beautiful Radiance Cotton/Silk Poplin in Ivory fabric with this gorgeous Scalloped Lace Fabric in Ivory (it was exactly the lace fabric I was hoping for, and it was on sale!!) for the top layer.

Since the dress was tailor-made to me, I needed to stick around while she made it. I think I hung out at her place a total of three times during thie dress-making process. It was fascinating seeing her genius at work! Here, you can see her doing something you'd never catch me doing: ironing.

Here she is working on the lace overlay for the skirt. She was able to keep the scalloped edge at the bottom, how cool!

Karissa has an adorable cat, Iris, who loves this lace as much as I do.

While Karissa was hard at work, Iris and I were busy hanging out and playing Fruit Ninja.

Here I am trying on my nearly-completed dress for the first time. When I was at David's Bridal a month earlier desperately trying to find a dress, the girl trying on dresses next to me wore a big poofy dress and tiara, and totally had a "bride moment". I think she even hugged the employee that was helping her find dresses (who was also supposed to be helping me at the same time, but she was truly terrible and I later ended up storming out of the store). Well right here is when I had MY "bride moment"!

Also, Karissa made me a surprise wedding shower gift: a matching purse! She used the same materials as the dress, and she created it from a vintage 30's pattern. And the little white piece of lace in the middle is vintage lace from the 20's-30's. Unknowingly, this design happened to echo the design of my shoes. So cool all around!

Boy, I am so lucky that she was up for this challenge! Not only did I have the wedding dress I had been searching for, but I'm super happy that I got to support a local artist too! Also, this was the most comfortable dress I've ever worn.

Karissa posted details about how she made the dress, you can read all about it here!

Seeing Karissa at work inspired me to pursue a long-time goal of mine to take up sewing. I knew I had to start with something small and relatively simple. I found this pattern on how to make a magnetic wrist pin cushion, and after conferring with my friend Melanie (YES Melanie my knitting and crocheting buddy, who also proofread the Wedding Book Invites and helped me assemble them. Now she is my sewing teacher. She’s amazing!!), we both decided that it would be a good project for me to start out with. Plus it would be a handy thing to have in case I ever start making clothes and stuff.

Melanie has a sewing machine, so we made plans to get together a couple of nights after work and make these. She made one for herself first, so I could see how it’s done. Then I made one for me!

Check it out!! I originally bought a couple of different kinds of magnetic sheets so we could trim them to size, but they weren't strong enough. We ended up cutting up a few random magnets that Melanie happened to have on her fridge, which worked well!

Here's what it looks like when it's not on my arm. Not bad for my first-ever completed sewing project, but I definitely need to practice sewing in a straight line.

I had a lot of fun looking at different fabric combos, and I like what I ended up choosing for this project! Melanie provided the velcro. I hadn't seen tan velcro before. I like it.

This is what the outsde of the velcro side looks like.

Okay, so the real reason I made a magnetic pin cushion is that I wanted to make Karissa a thank you present! She knew that I didn’t have a lot in my dress budget, but she still agreed to make my dress. I really appreciate all of her hard work, and I wish I had lots of monies so I could give her more. But I totally don’t. But I still wanted to do something nice to show my gratitude. I remember a few times when working on my dress that she dropped some pins and lamented the fact that she didn’t have a magnetic wrist pin cushion. She also mentioned that even though she makes lots of fun gifts for her friends and loved ones, no one really makes her anything because they figure she makes whatever she wants for herself, but she doesn’t because she’s too busy making stuff for other people.

So, voilà: a magnetic wrist pin cushion for Karissa! After making a practice one for myself, I decided a bigger magnet would be way more helpful. I also decided to place the velcro differently.

It was also fun picking out fabric combos for Karissa. For some reason this color combo reminds me of her. I really like it!

Sewing’s fun! I’m already starting to think about what I’d like to work on for my next project. I hope I get a sewing machine for Christmas!

In case you missed the previous post: Part Two: Close-Up of the Book Invitation

And keep your eyes peeled for the next one: Part Four: DJs on the Dance Floor!