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I don’t know about you, but I have a ton of milk crates.  They really are the perfect size for storing any and everything, but they are not cute, especially if you’re like me and have one or two of every color ever made and a few that are a little worn around the edges. 

I have the answer make them into Undercover Crates!  This has been on my to do list for quite a while and if I had known how quick and easy this would be I would have done it ages ago.  I even had to adjust the size (don’t worry there are easy to follow instructions on how to do this) and it still only took about an hour.scooby crate I used a Scooby Doo sheet that I bought on a yard sale.  I need to take a minute here and rant a little.  This fabric was AWFUL, had I known how poorly woven and badly printed this fabric was I would not have bothered.  I have had enough of “character” sheets, they are all crappy, loosely woven and printed off grain.  I will stick to the regular sheets from now on.  Okay, moving on, I wanted to use something fun, this is now our designated library book crate, so that Mommy does not have to spend 30 minutes rounding up books when its time to go to the library.scooby crate inside

I really like how the pattern turned out, the instructions were simple and it was easy for me to customize the size.  The only thing I will do differently in the future is to make the seam allowances 1/2” instead of 1/4”, I like a little more to work with.  I will have to redo this one because of the fabric issue, but that’s fine.  I only have about 20 of these crates, I’ll just set up a little assembly line and go to town!  I think I’ll make a set for everyone in the family! 

Blog Friends

One of the best things about blogging is meeting new, interesting people.  I often feel like I really know these people just because I read their blogs and have seen pictures of the families and homes. 

One of my blog friends, Pam, had a blog warming party last week(The Adventures of Pam and Frank).  There were giveaways, recipes, and fun. 

Part of the giveaways was to  collect all seven badges and be entered for a chance to win your choice of two Pass it On Plates loaded with rice krispie treats from Pam’s etsy store.  And guess what, I won (the badges were displayed on my blogger blog).

pass it on plate stars I’m so excited, she’s going to send one to me and one to whoever I pick, hmmmm, who should I pick?

pass it on plate swirls The blog warming party was great fun, but I have to confess that I’m am more addicted to two of her other blogs: pamhawk, for all the wonderful blogging and business advice and pams-inbox for a little chuckle.

I’m getting to the point where I can barely keep up with all the blogs I read and my back log of projects to try is getting mighty long.  I think I’m going to have to learn speed reading!

Friday Favorites

Here are a few of my latest favorite things (I know you guys are sick of seeing Chica Bag stuff, so this will be something fresh)!

favorite things7-17As always, from left to right and top to bottom:

1.  Day of the Dead Wedding Cake Topper – morbidcreations

2.  Pirate Vixen Corset – damselinthisdress

3.  Recycled T-shirt Rug – talkingsquid

4.  Minature 3D Mermaid Art in Vintage Compact – decorating4…you

5.  Miniature Clay Houses, Urban – thesistersstudio

6.  Sexy Science Fiction Girl Pouch – HautTotes

7.  Beer Box Book – repaper

8.  Enchanted Cat Bookplates – steelgoddess

9.  Daphne and Delilah Monster Knitting Pattern – dangercrafts

Yep, I finished it up today and I am still super excited about this contest!  The bag came out just like I planned, yay!  I would like to take a moment to thank all my friends and my family for not telling me to shut-up about this and being really supportive throughout my obsession with this project!

chica bag finished frontThis is the front of the bag, although it is really double sided.chica bag finished back  The back with it’s glitter vinyl reverse appliqués.

chica bag collage And finally a collection of all the details.  The inspiration for the basic shape of this bag came from Simplicity 2658, I made mine bigger and enlarged the handle hole.  There is also one large zippered pocket, three open pockets and a heart shaped key keeper on the inside.  I liked this design because it has an oval shaped bottom (with a plastic insert to make it hold it’s shape).

I had so much fun working on this project, what will I do with my free time now?  Oh yeah, that’s right, I’ll pay attention to my family, do the dishes, and the laundry :).

I am still embellishing my Crafty Chica bag and I decided that the lining needed a little something.  I didn’t want to hand paint something that is only going to peek out when I’m digging around in the bag, so the answer was freezer paper stencil.  I love this technique and it is sooooooooo easy!

Get a big roll of freezer paper from the store, mine cost about $9.00 at a “big box” store.  (I know it seems pricey, but it is worth it and it was also a really large roll.)  There are images everywhere that can be used for stenciling, for my bag I googled “nautical star stencil”.  I cut my freezer paper to match the shape of my bag and then traced the star images where I wanted them, make sure you trace them on the matte side of the paper.  Since my design was simple it only took about 10 minutes to cut everything out with an exacto knife.  Using an iron fuse the freezer paper to you fabric, it’s easy, just place the shiny side down and press with you iron until the paper sticks to your fabric.  Make sure your cut edges are stuck down good!

chica bag star stencil 1 I like to use a cosmetic sponge to stencil with.  Dab it into you fabric and pounce it on to the fabric in an up and down motion.  Don’t rub it around, just up and down.  You can always go over an area again, so don’t slop the paint on, I can’t say this enough, just dab!  Remember to put scrap paper under you fabric incase the paint soaks through.

Wait a few minutes for your paint to dry and then carefully peel off the freezer paper.chica bag star stencil 2This was what I was going for, but it still needed something, I know, glitter!chica bag star stencil 4 I used red dimensional glitter fabric paint to accent the lines of the stars and once the bag is finished and the edges are wrapped in red binding it will really pop.

I need to finish some outlining and cut out the pockets and bottom and then I will finally be ready to sew!

I worked on my Crafty Chica bag all day yesterday.  Layering the paint to get solid bright colors over that turquoise fabric took forever, but once I was finished with that I couldn’t wait to start embellishing!  I even went outside to take a “well lit, non blurry” photo for you to see.chica bag progress 6 I am still finishing the lettering and the buttons on the banner.  I also have to finish the lettering on the back piece, I might even have time to work on the lining.  Then I will be able to stitch it all together.  I’m sure by the end of the week everyone will be sick of seeing this bag, but I can’t help it, I’m obsessed.  See the other entries on Flickr.

Last week we had an appointment with the Lincoln Action group, they provide weatherization and during the inspection we discovered black mold in one of our basement walls.  Well you know that has to be fixed.  Luckily in was contained in a small wall, so this weekend we took the wall down.  I cordoned off the area with plastic put on my mask and started ripping it down.  My Father was here to help and Marma(my Mother) kept the kids busy.  big DIY basement bathMost of the mold was growing on the back of the drywall and there is no way to get it off, so out it went!  The mold was caused by moisture in the wall from an old leak that had already been repaired.  big DIY basement bath2I sprayed the interior of the wall down with a mold killing spray, we have a dehumidifier running full blast, and in a few weeks when we’re sure the mold is dead and everything is nice and dry we’ll put the wall back up.  We will be replacing one of the studs in the bathroom wall, installing an access door for the plumbing, and putting recessed shelving into the family room wall.  And that swimming pool blue paint will get painted over too!

I have also been working on my Crafty Chica bag.  I have finished the appliqués.  Kelly (refibered) gave me a mini lesson on reverse appliqué at our Lincoln Handmade Team meeting last week.  I have started the painting.  I’m using regular acrylic craft paint mixed with textile medium, it’s taking a lot of coats to get good coverage, but it worth it.chica bag progress 1This is the back, I’m going to have to get a shot of these outside so the glitter vinyl is more noticeable! chica bag progress 2 Here is the front, I’ve finished the white areas and am building up the yellow and red areas.

Once the painting is finished I will be embellishing this further with dimensional paint, glitter paint, rhinestones and maybe some sequins.  I also have something super special planned for the inside, so check back.  The contest has been extended to the 24th., so there is still time for you to give it a shot!  (See the Flickr gallery here.)

I was happy with my adult sized butterfly hat, but I still wanted to make one for Little Miss.  I went down to a G and whipped up a purple one and then I decided to go smaller.  I made the light blue one using an E hook.butterfly hat allI have to say that the variegated one seems a little busy now and the butterfly isn’t as noticeable.

butterfly hat blue

The blue one fits, but seems a little small and would always be falling off. butterfly hat purple

The purple one fits the best! and it seems to make her goofy, so it must be the perfect hat.

Once again I will have to say that this is a super cute and easy pattern, I’ll have to use some of my stash to make a few more of these for my craft show booths.

Butterfly Hat

I found this darling pattern and decided it would be an adorable hat for Little Miss.  I started working on it last night and frogged the first one because it was waaaaaaay to big.  I went down to a H hook and started again.butterfly hat It turned out really cute, but it is still waaaaay to big for little miss although it fits me perfectly.  I must crochet really loose.  I will be trying this some more, switching hook sizes and maybe trying some different yarn.  Hats are so fun to make, quick and easy and not a lot of sizing options!

More Bag Sketches

After considering the advice I received from Christy and Ashley I decided to redesign the front.  I pared it down a little bit (I was sad to get rid of the sparrows), so I could make the banner and skull larger.chica bag front 2I think I almost have it.  The skull needs to come down a bit and I might try to squeeze some scissors in there too!

I think the other design had too much going on and since it was smaller it would have been harder to embellish and there will be some serious embellishing!

Let me know what you guys think!