Ketchup ;)

Or, catch-up, whatever you’d like to call it. I think Ketchup sounds cute.

So it’s been awhile since my last confession…..lol, ok, ok lets’ get serious; I’m pretty sure that I’ve told you before that I am NOT Catholic but hopefully my fans get my humor.

Anyhoo, as my followers know, I am not as consistent with my blogging as I’d like to be. I just had my ONE YEAR BLOG ANNIVERSARY!! I have only made 31 posts??? Seriously???….well this makes 32—–but that’s still not a lot for 365 days of blogging! I just don’t know how other mommies do it. I know it can be done, I just don’t do it unless I feel inspired. Maybe one day I will feel ready to blog everyday, but until then this is me, and this is what you get. After all my blog is whatever I want it to be right? Ok, glad that’s settled. 🙂 Maybe I’ll pick up the pace and maybe I won’t, at least I ‘m enjoying this.

However—-I wanted to let everyone know what I’ve been up to lately, so here I am playing Ketchup. First of all, I’m still alive and my kiddos are all great! Oh and summer is almost here, can you believe it??

In the beginning, the idea for the creation of this blog was first that I wanted to start my own business. I know I’ve said this before but my creative style confuses people most of the time. Sometimes I’m sewing, sometimes I’m knitting, sometimes I’m making dream catchers and other times I’m melting plastic beads in my oven. So my reasoning for starting a blog was to show and explain to people what I can do. I am easily bored and I cannot stay on one project for too long (hence the reason for stacks of unfinished projects—-only my own of course, I never miss a deadline for my customers).

So far, my little blog is helping people understand me and I have started to build a small clientele. I am always that person who jumps in and says “I can do that!!!” Even though, maybe I haven’t done that before. My clients and friends are spreading the word and people are starting to understand me, and I love it! I have a few random projects I have done in the last few months that I have really enjoyed. Clients are being referred to me because if anyone can do it, Heidi can do it—-or she will know someone who can right? Yes I just spoke of myself in the third person, shhhh, don’t tell just let it go…..I will tell people if I can’t do something or if I am unsure. It’s up to my customers to trust me or not. Currently, I’m feeling a lot of trust here!

For example, I have made two baby quilts, a sweater and booties for a stuffed monkey, renewed the straps on a lovely Vera Bradley bag (TUTORIAL coming soon!!!), a crown/ tiara for a special birthday lady, and also plenty of little upcycles here and there. Recently I have been asked to replace Velcro strips on cloth diapers with snaps. This person was a new client and I admitted to her that I’ve never done this before, but I did a little research, and I feel confident about it so I  accepted the job. I am loving that I am building a trust with my new clients. For all of this I am thankful that I am finally being understood!

Want to see pictures of my latest adventures in randomness?

Ok you twisted my arm, I will share! So here is some of my last few projects in pictures…. (for some reason this blog is not cooperating with me today and I couldn’t seem to  arrange some of the photos 3 on a line, but whatever it is what it is right? 😉

IMG_1351
This baby quilt was SO SOFT! Made with flannel squares and a fleece backing.
This picture does not do this quilt justice! It is gorgeous in person!
This picture does not do this quilt justice! It is gorgeous in person!
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These are the elephant appliques for the quilt before I put them in place. I couldn’t find that perfect elephant fabric, so I made my own!
Lettering applique----not too shabby if I don't say so myself even though I hadn't done applique in years!
Lettering applique—-not too shabby if I don’t say so myself even though I hadn’t done applique in years!

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This tiara/ crown was made for a special birthday lady for a surprise 70th birthday party. I made  mainly from recycled cardboard, newspaper, and Mod Podged fabric, YES FABRIC! The roses are handmade from fabric as well and the inside is lined with duct tape for ultimate flexibility.

IMG_1515 IMG_1516 IMG_1619

Don’t throw that cute Vera Bradley purse with the worn out handles away! RENEW the handles! TUTORIAL COMING SOON!!!!

Mr. Monkey....:) That's all I can say!
Mr. Monkey….:) That’s all I can say!

So that’s just a few of my recent projects. I also have been busy with some upcycles. Back in March I participated in a Designer’s Day on a closed Facebook group called Upcycles Galore. Maybe I can show you all some of the items I created for that day?? Some of them were customs, and some I have not sold—-I keep forgetting to list them on Etsy or they probably would have been gone by now.  There is another Designer’s Day coming up on June 1st that I am excited to be  participating in again! If you would like to see the sales or purchase items you MUST be a member of the group. So click the link above and request to join the group.

My blogging goals for this week:

1) Tutorial for the Vera Bradley bag Renew

2) Post another Ketchup so you can all see what I created for the last Upcycles Galore Designer Day

I’m glad we could Ketchup! Looking forward to my next post. 🙂

 

As Always — Don’t forget to visit me on ETSY, and LIKE my page on Facebook to keep up with all the goodies!!!!

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Hello Kitty, Hello BABY!

Last weekend my friend Amanda K. and I  threw a baby shower for a close mutual friend of ours. We knew the minute she found out she was preggo we were going to have quite the little party. When we found out she was having a girl we went a little nutty! The mom-to-be is such a girly-girl and completely obsessed with Hello Kitty. So our theme was “Hello Baby.”

We started with the invitations.

Hello Baby!

We started each making an invitation and then we couldn’t decide whose we liked better so we decided to make each invitation completely different. Michael’s craft store had a great little corner with all kinds of Hello Kitty embellishments. We had paper, stamps, memo pads, and a ton of stickers! Sticking with our extremely girly-girl theme, we kept everything very pink, glittery, blingin’ and sometimes a little gaudy, but just the way Miss Jess likes it. Some people wouldn’t understand this, they might think we went over the top, and in all honesty we did but that was what made this so perfect for our mom-to-be.

insides….

We filled the insides with glitter and tons of confetti. This touch makes opening the invitation a memorable moment, just enough to make people laugh and say “Darn it now I have to get the broom.” 🙂

We sealed the invitations with footprints and it would soon be time to let the festivities begin!

***Quick TIP***  I knew I had these little foot and hand-print stamps that were so stinking cute!! I was very disappointed to find my ink pad all dried up. I hadn’t used it in a while. So I took a hot pink marker, colored the stamp and VOILA, I have the perfect ink color! This is an awesome little touch because you can use virtually ANY marker. Instead of searching high and low for the perfect ink color, just use a marker! It takes a few more seconds to do, but I think it’s worth it.

Time to work on decorations! I made tissue paper flowers and chandeliers. I took strips of cardboard to form the rings at the top, fishing line hold it up with a few pony beads at the center,  strips of tissue paper, and some curling ribbon. Very simple! The only issue I had was when I first put on the tissue paper strips they still had the folds in them from the packaging. A friend suggested using my hair straightener to iron out the wrinkles…WHAT A GREAT TIP! This worked perfectly! Thanks Kayla R.!

Tissue paper chandeliers
Tissue paper flowers

Next I cut up a pool noodle! Who knew I could have so much fun indoors with a pool noodle??

Pool noodle!!!!

This was a flower shaped pool noodle. I couldn’t find a flower shaped one in pink, so I just had to make orange work. (BTW, Dollar store….one dollar! :)) I did not use my paper cutter you see above, just a serrated edge steak knife and a cutting board.

Pool noodle sunglasses!

Sebastian kept putting the flowers over his eyes and saying, hi mommy! So I took a few seconds out of decorating mode to turn a pair of flowers into sunglasses using a few straws. He thought this was hysterical!

I don’t know why I didn’t get a better picture of these….but this is the pool noodle flowers strung onto fishing line with pony bead accents tied in-between to create this cute decoration. My 11 year old daughter loved this idea so I think we might be decorating her room with these. Beaded curtain with pool noodles anyone??

I also took the pool noodle flowers and put them on straws. Another cute little accent, but something I forgot to take a picture of!!!! I think I may have some leftover somewhere so I will have to update you with a picture of that later.

I took some of the scrapbook paper leftover from the invitations and cut out the Hello Kitty faces. I glued these to card stock and toothpicks for cupcake toppers.

Hello Kitty Cupcakes

Oh look, there’s the pool noodle flowers in the corner!!! Aren’t they cute??

Then the mom-to-be had to have a tiara. I added some felt kitty ears and a pink bow, just to keep with the theme.

I made the watermelon baby that has been spreading like wildfire on Pinterest! Except that I had to make the baby look like a kitty too.

Hello Kitty watermelon

Is she not just the cutest thing ever??? The watermelon rind whiskers were another friends idea. Thanks again Kayla R.! I was stumped on what to use for whiskers…:)

So to finish off this post I have to share with you some special crafts from the heart. I know I have shared with you how much I LOVE to knit and crochet for babies, so it wouldn’t have been truly a gift from me unless I made something for this precious little bundle.

I crocheted a flower blankie,  a hat, with a matching hat for MOM, and matching pants. Here they are:

Flower Blankie
Closer view…
And closer with edge detail

The pattern for the flower blankie I just love, but stops the blanket so small, probably about half the size. I really wanted a blankie that baby can grow into, play on the floor on, and snugggle with if she loves it. So I continued the pattern stiches and changed a few things to make it the size I wanted.

Hello Kitty Pants!!

The pants I saw on Pinterest as well but did not include a link to the pattern. So I wrote my own pattern. (Am I going to be a pattern wirter? Maybe a book is in my future?) I wanted to make them in one piece without sewing them together. I knit the legs much like you would make the thumb piece for mittens, then attached them together and knit all the way around the waist on a circular needle. I had a little trouble with the center (crotch area – I just hate that word, sorry, but what else do you call it? LOL) so I’m going to have to mess with the pattern on that for the next pair. But I also devised a neat way to knit in the allowance for the elastic band without even sewing down the top! I’m very pleased with my discovery. I’ve already had requests for a boyish pair that is green and blue that maybe has a monkey-butt (haha monkey butt!!!). So I’m going to flex some with this cute pattern.

Hello Kitty Hats!! Matching for mom and baby!

As for the hats, they included crocheted steps that were basic for any hat, and didn’t include the ear flaps. So again I pretty much wrote my own pattern for the hats, plus I didn’t like the pattern instructions for the bow—it came out funky looking, so I messed around with the yarn and made my own bow!  Again I already have requests for more hats! My daughter wants one that is black with a red bow, and my sister-in-law wants one black with a pink bow and no kitty face. She likes the kitty thing, but not necessarily Hello Kitty. I’m also thinking about making a red-eyed-tree frog hat for my older son who is completely obsessed with frogs. I love that I can make patterns so flexible! So I’m thinking about whipping out a bunch of these little hats and putting them on Etsy. A great lap project for the summer! Any more requests???

This post is dedicated to my friend and mom-to-be for the second time around, Jess B., congrats MOMMA!!! I cannot wait to meet the new addition!! Just a few more weeks!!! 🙂

As Always — Don’t forget to visit me on ETSY, and LIKE my page on Facebook to keep up with all the goodies!!!!

About Those Teeny Hats…

I made it to match Shelby’s blankie with the leftover yarn 🙂

 Baby hats! Oh how I love all things baby, cute and cuddly, small and smelling so yummy. Yes that newborn baby smell and rubbing my cheek on silk soft hair. STOP! All these dreamy thought of babies, ahhhh, that’s probably why I have 4 children. I’m done, I promise, cross my heart and hope to die….I’m enjoying the baby stage with my last little one, savoring each “little” moment because I know they don’t last long. So now it’s time for other people in my family and friends circle to have babies. I can enjoy cuddling with their babies and then I can give them back.

I love to make little things for babies, and I’m so excited to have a few people around me having babies. I can make all kinds of sweet things for little heads, hands, and feet. Oh joy!!!

My first, very first baby blanket I made was about….oh jeezums, now I have to think, well it was at least 12 years ago, maybe 13? I made a baby blanket for a little girl and it became her blankie. That did it for me! I was hooked at making handmade snuggly things for the babies I know! Just seeing this little girl walk around with a blankie, all tattered and torn, knowing she couldn’t sleep without it….and I made that for her just makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. I have made a baby blanket for just about every baby I know. There are a few I have missed over the years, but I have not forgotten them. Those babies will still get something special from me. 😉

Which by the way, random thought but I had to share….I finished the fringe on Shelby’s blankie. What do you think??

Instead of tucking in the ends, I just made more fringe! Haha!

Anyhoo, I’m glad to be finished with Shelby’s blankie because it’s time to start new projects. Oh how I love the beginning of a new project. I don’t know what it is, just that fresh start that motivates me, I love it! Now, I cannot get into too many details over upcoming projects just yet. A few of my preggo friends may read this post and I cannot risk them finding out all the cute stuff I have up my sleeve. I promise you that as soon as the mommies know, I will post picture of the pure sweetness, after the baby showers. It wouldn’t be fair to spoil the surprise right? I want the mommies to be the first to see their keepsakes.

So about those baby hats….I have never been big on making hats. I’ve made a few, but never found any great patterns that I went ga-ga over. Last week I was at my neighbor’s house having a glass of wine (Thanks Kim C.) and we were talking about knitting baby things. Then she showed me this book, itty-bitty hats, by Susan B.Anderson.

(Anderson, 2006)

I am just in love with the patterns. This book has a simple style that starts out with a few “basic” hats and then the book develops from there.  Flipping through the book, this one was the first to catch my eye.

(Anderson, 2006)

This hat uses different pattern stitches in each little panel, all panels knitted together (not sewn – yes it’s an interesting technique!) and the number of panels depends on the size of the finished piece. Don’t you love it?? I LOVE things that are just different. I’m not one to conform to most standards in regards to, well, just about everything! I guess that’s the artist in me.

I have a few more hats in the book I want to try before I return it to my neighbor. The original plan was I was going to photocopy just two or three hats that I liked and then return the book to its rightful owner, but after diving into this book I’m putting it on my list of must-have-craft books! I also went to her website and found that she has more “itty-bitty” books! I’m adding these to my wish list as well!

I am a pretty experienced knitter and am able to do just about anything so what seems easy to me may not be easy to some people, but I hope this is just as easy for a beginner. The book comes complete with a set of how-to instructions in the beginning of the book and includes terms and illustrations for the stitches, techniques and patterns used within it.

(Anderson, 2006)

The patterns start out simple near the beginning and gradually get more complex throughout the book. When I say complex there is nothing in knitting that is really that complicated. As knitters we all know there are 2 basic stitches, knitting and purling, and everything else is a combination of the two. I believe that this book would be great for even a beginner and many of the patterns seem very versatile. I can see myself being able to make many hats of my own creation from a few basic patterns.

(Anderson, 2006)
I just love girly stuff and frou-frou!
(Anderson, 2006)
AWE-DORABLE!!!!

This book has many more patterns than the ones I have shown; these are just a few of my favorites. Every time I look at the book I find another one I want to make. There are so many possibilities with this book! If you like knitting baby stuff like I do, than this is the book for you. Even if you have never tried hats before I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is and this author is just fabulous!

So here is Miss Shelby in her new hat…

I can’t wait to get started on some more….

Just FYI: I am not a professional blogger and no one paid me to review this book, this is all my opinion. I am not including any patterns they are all copyrighted material. I just wanted to share about this awesome book with my crafty friends! I have included proper references to cite copyrighted photos. The other photos are MINE. 🙂

As Always — Don’t forget to visit me on ETSY, and LIKE my page on Facebook to keep up with all the goodies!!!!

You will find Susan B. Anderson’s blog   HERE.

Reference: Anderson, S.B. (2006). itty-bitty hats: cute and cuddly caps to knit for babies and toddlers. Artisan; A division of Workman Publishing, Inc. New York, New York.

Unfinished Business

Ever have a bunch of projects you started ages ago but you never finished? Remember this conversation yesterday about an A.D.D. kid in a game shop? This is where I come in. Do you know how many projects I have started and left unfinished?? You do? Well I don’t! Haha! I start new projects all the time because something inspires me and then….I either get bored or I decide to start something else new and exciting. I DO finish projects, [eventually *sigh*] don’t get me wrong, I just have a hard time staying on the same path for too long. I prioritize I should say.

I have a few baby showers coming up and I know I need to get me booty in gear (*arg –that’s right with the pirate attitude, I said ME BOOTY! What can I say, the kids are watching a pirate cartoon…) I need to get my baby projects rolling. Well my hindering factors include my baby girl, Shelby who is 15 months old, and blankie-less. Not completely, she has some handmade blankets from her Auntie Kayla (or, La-La as she calls her), and other random blankets, but she doesn’t have one from me. All my kids have a handmade blankie from me. I started crocheting Shelby’s blankie when I was pregnant and I was so excited about it!  I nearly finished it, but then she came 4 weeks early.

A blankie from Auntie Kayla
Another blankie from Auntie Kayla

Things were a little crazy then because I was totally unprepared for a preemie, well, who is? At least she wasn’t too early; she was definitely ready. Shelby was 7 pounds, 9 ounces! If I had gone completely to term she would have been 9 and 1/2 pounds, sheesh! My other children were all born at 38 weeks, and good sized as well, so this was a little bit of a shock having her coming this early. You would think that the 4th time around I would be prepared, but nope, not me, queen of procrastination!

Just home form the hospital

So life was busy with a newbie and Shelby’s blankie went into a pile of stuff, yes, stuff. Then a few weeks ago, something randomly inspired me, I can’t tell you what that something was but there is a lot of randomness in my life if you can’t already tell. Anyhoo, back to the inspiration part, SOMETHING inspired me and I decided to pull out my box of handmade stuff that I put into a few craft shows. I was so excited to see all the beautiful things I created and attempted to sell at one point. Money is always tight around here so why don’t I sell them again I thought….ponder. Hmm.

Here I am staring at a potential business and I’m stumped at where to begin. I run into the problem again of choosing a direction. Everything I have is mostly knit and crocheted but I just get bored. I want to do more! Then I thought, what about Etsy? I could open an Etsy shop and because it’s online, I don’t HAVE to choose one direction, I can just include a little bit of everything can’t I? Sure I can! So on to new adventures. ***I’m not going to show you my crafts yet, I’ll save that for another post when I get my shop up and running. ***

This was a few weeks ago. And I’m still sitting here with no shop. What is wrong with me? Why do I have such a hard time making changes and moving forward with things. Well the big thing holding me back was Shelby’s blankie sitting in a pile of unfinished stuff. Something in my gut said that I couldn’t proceed to make any other kid a blanket or open up my shop without finishing my own daughter’s blankie first. I know I know, I could have posted all my cool stuff on Etsy by now, selling stuff and making money, but it just does not feel right until I at least finish Shelby’s blankie. So, I cracked the whip.

TA-DA!!!!! I finished it a few days ago, but I tucked it away because I have yet to weave in all the ends, I’ve been dreading it, it’s so time consuming and just boring. It is my least favorite part of knitting and crocheting. I find absolutely no joy in finishing a beautiful project then having to tuck in all the teensy pieces. When I’m done with a project that’s it, I’m DONE, I don’t want to do it anymore.

Doesn’t she look so cute? Oh yes, she is in a tie-dye shirt that I made myself….and the hat, oh jeez—yes I just finished the hat too! But I have to talk about the hats and tie dyeing later.  I have decided after taking some pictures of little Miss Shelby with it, I think I like the fringe. No, I’m not just being lazy and deciding not to weave in all the ends, I just think that the fringe looks pretty. Of course you normally wouldn’t see an afghan with fringe all up and down the sides, usually it’s on the ends. But I kinda like it. I’m debating whether or not to add more fringe so that it looks like it was meant to be there and not just me being lazy. Yes, I’m going to add more fringe, definitely. What do you think? Do you despise weaving in ends as much as I do? Do have a ba-zillion unfinished projects like I do? What’s next on your to-do list?

Don’t forget to visit me on ETSY, and LIKE my page on Facebook to keep up with all the goodies!!!!