Flannel Blanket Scarf

Hi. My name is Anna and I have an addiction. I am addicted to scarves.

Last fall, the phenomenon of the “blanket scarf” occurred. The American Eagle blanket scarves were selling for upwards of $30. From my research, $20 seems to be about the average cost of a blanket scarf. Funny enough, you can make one yourself, for less than $10 if you use your coupons right.

What you’ll need:

1 1/2- 2 yards flannel (preferably plaid) fabric

Scissors

Seam Ripper

  1. Go to a fabric store, like JoAnn’s and get your fabric. I used a flannel from JoAnn’s Plaiditude line. The fabric was on sale for $5.99/yd and I had a coupon for 25% off my entire purchase. For 1 1/2 yes of fabric I spent less than $7.
  2. Trim your fabric so that it is even- AKA follow the plaid lines
  3. On the raw edges, the edges that aren’t “finished” and will fray, pull the horizontal threads to create the frays. I used the point of a seam ripper to help pick out the threads. I only went in about 1/4 of an inch or so, I didn’t want long dramatic frays. Totally up to you though.
  4. WEAR!

Literally took me 45 minutes INCLUDING travel time to my local JoAnn’s and back. So, really, it took me about 15 minutes to trim and pull the frays. The colors of the plaid I used will make mixing and matching a breeze this winter. I can not wait for the weather to cool off enough for me to actually wear/use it. It’s so easy to wear and is comfy and professional.

This would make an AWESOME, inexpensive, and greatly appreciated Christmas gift.

Advertisements

Dying Art

Once upon a time women were taught beautiful arts. At bridal showers, the bride received a “Bless This House,” cross stitch/embroidery, or something along those lines to hang in their new house from a grandmother or an aunt. When babies came, quilts and afghans were made for the little one to snuggle up with as a gifts from older generations. Schools are cutting art and music programs and parents are enraged. So why are these same people not enraged that they were not taught these other precious gifts?

My aunts taught my mother how to crochet, and she in turn taught me. They started the tradition of making baby blankets when ever a little one is on the way. It is something that my mother and I have both continued to do for our friends over the years. It’s not huge, or fancy, but something most mothers and children treasure over the years. When I’m cold, I just make ear warmers and scarves. FullSizeRenderI’ve been blessed to grow up surrounded by women who were fortunate to know these arts, whether out of necessity or choice. I have grown up in a house full of pieces lovingly cross stitched and surrounded by crocheted afghans and heirloom quilts from aunts, my great-grandmother, great-great-grandmother, mother, and myself. Throughout the year quilts and larger blankets grace our quilt hanger….the majority of which were made by these women. IMG_5939I recently set up one of my sewing machines. I learned how to sew on my great-grandmothers Singer. I am nowhere near the seamstress as the other ladies in my life, but I’m working on it! I needed a skirt for a costume. Working at JoAnn Fabrics, I bought myself some supplies and made my Minnie Mouse skirt, for a fraction of the price a skirt like this would cost in stores. It took me 30 minutes.
IMG_5936I was struggling with a bridal gift. I remembered that I had some embroidery floss from making friendship bracelets in high school. Again, working at JoAnn’s, I bought myself some hoops, fabric, needles, and more floss. I’ve now completed 3 pieces in the last month. IMG_5810 IMG_5938 FullSizeRender-1I am not posting this to brag about my craft savvy. It’s a question and something for us all to think about- when did we get so busy that our mother’s and grandmothers and great grandmothers couldn’t teach us these gifts? For hundreds of years women spent their days using their hands, passed down from generation to generation. Many times, it was out of necessity. Wool was spun, clothes and blankets were made. Embroidery was for more than decorative tapestries, but to decorate what would have otherwise been a very plain dress or cloak. My pieces are a far cray from Renaissance pieces like this one.

05a7bb2f9453c6ef834e58f6c06abd99

Elizabethan Polychrome Nightcap c.1600.

How did our lives get so busy that basic skills like sewing a button or fixing a hole in a garment have been lost to the past? Why is there such little interest in these hobbies in the younger generations? When did these arts get lost? When did they begin to die?

As of right now, I have 3 weddings and a baby this year, not ME, but other people. Since handmade gifts like these don’t show up at showers too often, I have made it my mission to be that person. Everyone deserves to have something that can’t be bought, something made just for them, something that will last, something that is literally stitched with love. I am not saying our mothers, our aunts, or our grandmothers have done a disservice, but quite the opposite. I think we have let them down by not looking to them to teach us these arts that they so painstakingly learned. I for one am taking the stand. I want my children, my friends and my family, to grow up in houses full of love, full of stories, and full of art- just like mine.

 

Frozen “Potty Party”

I’ve started babysitting for a new family! Obviously a MUCH better gig than retail. They have two little girls, Zoey and Julia. They have been in the throes of potty training Zoey the oldest for a few weeks. The last time I was over I promised Miss. Zoey that if she was going potty on the potty we would have a Frozen day! She was trying to earn the movie as her reward. I went over today with bag of goodies! Really, any excuse to foo some kind of crafting and use glitter!

The first activity- Frozen Gooze! We did Frozen mountains with shaving cream as well. Of course we played the Frozen Soundtrack on loop. Since my name is Anna, Zoey is convinced I’m THAT Anna and I’m not allowed sing any Elsa parts because SHE is Elsa and I am Anna. My shopping list is below:

Blue Glittery Elmer’s Glue

Liquid Starch

Cheap Shaving cream

Glitter- white, silver, blue, purple, iridescent

Blue/Purple Food Coloring (optional)

Buttons/Sequins

I pre-made the gooze the night before since the girls are still a bit on the young side. I mixed the whole bottle of glue with about 1 cup of liquid starch and sprinkled in all different kinds of glitter. This gooze can be kept in a zip-lock baggy for months! To make it more “Frozen” I kept it in the fridge to add another level of sensory play! 😀 Michaels had the pack of different glitter on sale for 79 cents, I had a 40% off coupon on the glue and the starch was less than $3. I spent about $5 on the whole project.

Photo on 7-7-14 at 10.00 PM Photo on 7-7-14 at 10.05 PM Photo on 7-7-14 at 10.07 PM

Zoey and I had a BLAST playing with the glittery gooze! Zoey is not allowed on social media, so here are some pictures of me having way too much fun right along with her!

Photo on 7-8-14 at 9.43 AM Photo on 7-8-14 at 9.45 AM #2 Photo on 7-8-14 at 9.45 AM #4

The Frozen Mountains were my favorite to do with the her while the youngest was napping! With the cheap shaving cream, she got to help me foam it up! Of course I got great blue and silver sequins and forgot them at home! 😦 She still had a ton of fun just smooshing the shaving cream all over herself…and me. This was the messier of the activities so we did this one outside since it was BEAUTIFUL day!

IMG_2974 IMG_2978 IMG_2980

After lunch it was nap time for both girls and mom got home from running errands. I do believe we had quite a successful Frozen Potty Party.

Telephone Desk Refurb

“Look what I brought home!” My mom excitedly pointed to a desk looking thing with the seat facing the wrong direction last summer. “What IS it!?” Skeptically I looked from her to the desk thing trying to figure out what was so great about the ugly thing. “It’s a telephone desk. Back in the 80’s  the phone would sit here, the cord went through here and you could sit and talk on the phone and there’s a spot for you to write and keep stuff if you need too. I thought you could use it in your reading area.” “Gee thanks ma….”

A few weeks later my parents left on a week long mission trip to New Jersey and I decided to get crafty with my unsupervised free time. 🙂

I began with an ugly desk, with even uglier fabric on a completely flat cushion.

314732_4368351172063_1701042127_n 557352_4368351292066_301405072_n

 

I removed the cushion and did a light sanding all over. The existing paint was not super glossy or anything so I didn’t have to do any hard core crazy sanding.

The hardest part of the whole project was that cushion. There were 50 bajillion staples/upholstering nails on the back side of this thing. The actual foam underneath was so flat I can’t believe the nails hadn’t been poking my butt. Before starting the project I ran to my handy dandy favorite JoAnn Fabrics store and got nice thick, relatively firm foam and upholstering fabric in colors I knew would match Eric’s house one day when I move. Yes, I think that far ahead.

548949_4368351452070_590717336_n

Once the cushion was done it was time for paint. I got a quart of a nice, light and fluffy blue that matched the lighter blue in the fabric. It took 2 good coats to get the desired color and coverage.

314866_4368351812079_1064024845_n 400598_4368352332092_239786784_n

The sun was so bright it’s kind of hard to tell what shade of blue it is. But I now have a functional, not so outdated telephone desk. I don’t use it for a telephone desk. I use it kinda like a night stand with piles of books though! And May loves to sleep on the chair part. It’s amazing what about $25 and an afternoon can produce. Oh, and my mother was quite impressed and excited by my handy dandiness while they had been away.

I had also picked up a little sample green and painted my book case blue with light sea foam green accents. I had previously painted it the dark green with pink in middle school. I have no idea what I was thinking. Obviously, I hadn’t been. But I couldn’t have a nice pretty desk and a God awful bookshelf that didn’t match!

549012_4372150107034_996583311_n

Before

552712_4372150747050_1572902936_n

After