Friday, July 20, 2012

DIY Prayer flags!

After my sister told em she liked the prayer flags I had in my yard and showed me a set that she liked on etsy, I decided to try my hand at making her a set.

  • Material (red, green, blue, yellow)
  • Fabric marker
  • Thin rope
  • Sewing machine

Since the set she had admired on etsy included images of a heart, a tree, a peace sign and the earth I decided to find images of those to use. I searched on google images and came up with these images: peace sign, tree, heart with spiral, earth.

I used the glass from a frame to trace rectangles onto the fabric and cut the material. I decided to make three of each colour. 

Using my laptop as a light box and traced the images onto the material with a black fabric marker...

 ...and then filled in the images.
Colouring finished!
 Next I folded the top over and ironed it.
 Putting the rope at the very top of the fold, I slowly sewed each flag onto the rope. I decided to actually sew on the rope so that the flags would stay evenly spaced and not move around.
Admittedly, the sewing wasn't perfect (hey, it was my first time sewing in almost a year!) but when they are hanging up you can't tell.
 The flags are finished!
I quickly hung them up on my wall for a quick picture. If mi hermana hangs them up at her house I'll see if I can talk her into sending me a better picture to post.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Memories from Spain

While in Spain I tried to pick up a few things that I could put around my casa to remind me of my time there.

Here are a few things I brought home.

Metro photos

I lived in the La Latina neighbourhood and close to Puerta del Sol.

Tile replicas of the street signs.

Cava Baja was a road right near my house and Puerta del Sol is one of the main plazas in Madrid.
I lived near Plaza Mayor and went there frequently. Paseo del Prado is one of the majour roads and home to the museum El Prado.

Tibetan prayer flags. These definitely aren't Spanish but I bought them in Alcala de Henares and love the look of them hanging on our fence.

The little man is a wind up toy of La Guardia Civil and the rooster was purchased in Lisbon, Portugal.

I bought the polka dotted bull from a shop near my apartment in Spain. The jellyfish isn't from Spain but I thought I'd add it to the windowsill to join the rooster and bull.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

I'm back!

I've returned from my adventures in Spain! I'm back in the states and trying to get into the swing of my life here. I have a pretty busy summer planned and then will be starting a new job in the fall so my posting might be intermittent but hopefully will pick up once I get situated back into life and my new job!

My time in Spain was spectacular and I already miss it. The program I did is through their government and, while it was a bit unorganized and frustrating at times, it was a really nice program. You can set up to assist in English classes at a school and get paid enough for living expenses and a bit of traveling. Here's the website and if anyone is interested or has questions feel free to email me!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Hasta luego!

I'm all packed and ready for Spain!

I leave tomorrow (aaaahhhh) and will be returning home early July.

As soon as I find an apartment and get settled in I'll try to find some craft stores and keep my blog updated!

Monday, September 5, 2011

DIY Travel Blanket

While shopping for stuff I need for my trip to Spain I saw this travel blanket at REI and I realized that a travel blanket would be a nice thing to have. Not wanting to spend $30, I decided to make my own.

Grey fleece (2 yards. Cost: $8.98)
Velcro (6 inches. Cost: $1)
Black ribbon (2 yards. Cost: 1.98)

I trimmed the edges and then cut 1 foot off of one side - keeping the length at 2 yards.
Next I added a pocket at the bottom for my feet. This way if I'm using it on an airplane or wherever, I can put my feet into the warm pocket instead of having them on the cold floor. To make the pocket folded the bottom edge up 13 inches, pinned and sewed the edges.
After sewing the two sides, I flipped it right-side out and then sewed a straight line down the middle (you can see where I sewed in the above photo with the pins).

Using the extra material that I cut off of one side, I cut two 9 by 8 inch pieces for the pockets.
 I sewed the velcro onto the pockets...
...and then I sewed the pockets onto the blanket. I sewed one on each side - a foot or so from the top of the blanket. After sewing the pockets on I put on the other piece of velcro and sewed it to the blanket.
The original blanket folded up into a pocket but I decided I'd rather roll mine and tie it with the ribbon. This way I can shape it to fit in my luggage, Either I can fold it up and tie it or roll it very tightly.

Some close up shots of the finished blanket.

I put the pockets on the inside of the blanket. This way I can put anything small (A phone, keys, etc) into the pockets and not have to worry about anyone taking them. Not that that will be a problem...sometimes I can be paranoid. :-/ Since I will be using this blanket when I stay at hostels it will be nice to have the pockets to keep anything secure and with me.
What the pockets look like on the outside of the blanket.
 Another photo of the pocket.
The foot pocket:
The foot pockets are my favourite part of the blanket. I've been using it just to sit on the sofa in our basement because it's so comfy and my feet are nice and warm.

I'll definitely get a ton of use out of this blanket and as a bonus it was cheap and quick to make. 

I didn't get a picture of it rolled up with the ribbon tied around it but it rolls up pretty small and I don't think I'll have any problem fitting it into my carry-on bag.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hola EspaƱa!

Sorry for the lapse in posts! 

I've been busy trying to prepare for an upcoming trip to Spain. 
I'll be leaving in 19 days and won't return home until the end of June. 

19 days!

I probably won't be able to post much before I leave but once I'm there and settled I'm hoping I can find some craft stores and do some crafting in my spare time. 

I'm open to crafty suggestions. Feel free to leave a comment with crafty ideas that don't require a lot of supplies. I'm sad that I can't bring my sewing machine with me. :-( So far the only craft items I have on my packing list are my crochet hooks.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Life preserver pillow

My mother-in-law's birthday was at the beginning of August and we made her a life preserver pillow. 

Her dad had owned a sailboat named the Scarlet Queen and we based the pillow off of the original life preserver that was on the boat. 
Off to the store we went to buy a cream coloured fabric and rope. I used extra fabric from my amiga's wedding date pillow for the tan bands and I already have a red fabric marker.

We bought 20 inches of fabric and magically we have a fan with a base that was just under 20 inches in diameter. So we put the fan on top of it and I traced it.
Then we found a bowl that we thought looked good, centered it and traced that. 
Then I cut out the two circles and pinned them together (photo includes tan fabric and rope).
After a lot of figuring out - we realized that we needed to keep the inner circle open so I sewed all the way around the outer circle. 
And then flipped it right side out. 
And then realized I needed to pin the inside circle. :-) So I flipped it inside out again and pinned around the edge.
 Then I hand sewed the edges....
...and left two openings (on opposite sides) for stuffing.
Next I drew on the lettering. I used my laptop as a light board again and lightly traced the letters with my red fabric marker. After I finished tracing I put a piece of plastic in between the two layers (shoved through one of the openings left for stuffing) and coloured in the letters.
Done with the words!
I stuffed the pillow and hand sewed the two openings. 
Next up - the tan bands and rope. 
I cut the tan material. I'm not sure how long they were (I estimated and trimmed them down as I went) but I want to say they are 2 1/2 inches wide. And ironed 1/4 of an inch in on either side. Then I sewed along the two long edges. 
 I wrapped the band around the pillow (I wasn't too picky about where it was because I could move it around after it was sewn) and pinned the edges.
 Then I sewed the edge. This was pretty tough and I'm sure there may have been an easier way....but this worked for me.
 As you can see it's pretty lose around the pillow but after I flipped the band right-side out I sewed another straight line so there would be a small opening for the rope. Then it fit snugly around the pillow.

I used a safety pin on one end of the rope to help feed it through.
 After threading the rope through all four bands, I trimmed the rope and taped/sewed the two ends together. Then I pulled the rope so that this part was hidden in one of the loops.
The pillow is done!!

Again, just for reference - the original life preserver:
And the pillow:
Honestly, I was amazed at how well it turned out. I love when I have an idea in my head and when I'm finished it is as good or better. This was definitely better than the one in my head. The rope was an afterthought and I'm so glad we added it.

A close up of the details.
 And another photo of the pillow.


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