Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Dala Horse

 {2012 Craft Books}

Swedish Handknits: A Collection of Heirloom Designs by Sue Flanders and Janine Kosel

Got Swedish ancestry? Or like all things Swedish? Then you might be interested in this one. I enjoyed reading this book... aside from all of the various knitting projects all of which were inspired by the historic textiles housed at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota, it also includes stories, interesting historical bits, and vintage photographs.

I knitted a sweet little red Dala horse from the book, it was a fun project and will hang from our Christmas tree as an ornament.

 I was fortunate to have the opportunity to attend an exhibit (at the American Swedish Institute) that featured all of the knitted items found in this book… here is a peek at some of the things that I saw…

Got Norwegian ancestry? Or like all things Norwegian? Then you might be interested in their Norwegian Handknits book which came out in 2009.

It is the end of February, so thanks for following my 2012 craft book series this month. Maybe I'll see you around here next February for a 2013 craft book series...

Bring on March... Easter... spring ~ ah, my favorite season of the year :)

Friday, February 22, 2013


 {2012 Craft Books}

Storybook Toys: Sew 16 Projects from Once Upon a Time Dolls, Puppets, Softies & More by Jill Hamor

Want to learn how to make well-made dolls and toys? Then get your hands on this book. I can't say enough about this one... just look at the exquisite doll on the cover of the book! And be sure to check out the author's doll hair tutorial.

So back in December, my daughter and I were looking through fun and pretty crafty type books and while she was turning the pages of Storybook Toys she came across Cottontail (the bunny softie), found it to be so irresistible that she begged me to make her one. She kept asking, asking, and asking when I was going to make it for her and I always told her February. She later told me that I mostly sew her dresses so she was super excited about me sewing her this stuffed bunny. One day this month she informed me before going off to school for the day that she expected the bunny to be completed (started and finished) by the time she got home from school that same day! HA! Well, this bunny did not get done in one day, more like little bits over several days, anyway when she viewed the end result she had a look of disappointment on her face... she declared that the bunny was too tall. She wanted it to be exactly like it was in the photo, meaning the exact same size, so about 4 inches shorter! Oh well, maybe she'll still fall in love with it?

And by the way, did you happen to see the Cottontail version that Amy from nanaCompany created just a few days ago?

Happy weekend !

Friday, February 15, 2013

Grizzly Bear

 {2012 Craft Books}

How to Make Stuffed Animals: Modern, Simple Patterns and Instructions for 18 Projects by Sian Keegan

What you need to know:
  • 18 stuffed animal projects that are easier to make than you think
  • Cute creations !
  • Just a 1/4 yard of fabric or fat quarter is required to make each animal
  • Visit the author's Etsy shop  
  • I sewed up a grizzly bear using black corduroy, some tan fabric, and a tiny scrap (leftover from a recent project) of floral Liberty of London used for inside the tiny ears to help make them pop. I do have to say that it was difficult working with the black fabric because it was so hard to see the area where I was hand sewing.

 Happy weekend !

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Mending Hole in Jeans

Hole mended in a pair of jeans

Hole in jeans before it was mended
 {2012 Craft Books}

Mend It Better: Creative Patching, Darning, and Stitching by Kristin Roach 

 Who knew that mending a hole in a pair of jeans could be so simple and not to mention fast? I didn't. Here's what I did to mend this pair of jeans: I took a small piece of dark denim (1"X2"), placed it under the hole, then sewed like crazy back and forth on the sewing machine (over that 1"X2" spot) ~ that's it! The jeans were repaired in only maybe 5 minutes?

I got this brilliant idea from Mend It Better which is such a practical book! It covers both the technical and the creative aspects of mending; from how to repair, upgrade and preserve clothes; to the skills of hemming, patching, darning, beadwork, decorative stitching. One whole chapter is devoted to just zippers, how to fix zippers and how to replace broken ones. Replacing elastic, solutions for stains... a lot is covered...

Here's a project of adding pockets to a pocket-free garment.

I enjoy the frugality of upcycling, so coming across this prom dress turned into a princess play dress put a smile on my face.

If you're like me and want to extend the life of your clothing, these ideas and skills are very helpful.

Happy mending!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Lace Poufs

 {2012 Craft Books}

Adornments: Sew & Create Accessories with Fabric, Lace & Beads by Myra Callan

What you need to know:
  • Like pretty craft books? This one is filled to the brim with prettiness... lots of gorgeous photos
  • 20 accessory projects for a lovely romantic look
  • Visit the author's Etsy shop 
  • I created a couple of lace poufs and added them to a hair clip ~ a super quick and easy project !

Monday, February 11, 2013

Nesting Doll Softie

 {2012 Craft Books}

Happy Stitch: 30 Felt and Fabric Projects for Everyday by Jodie Rackley

What you need to know:
  • With just a few simple stitches and basic materials, you can whip up one of these charming projects in a short amount of time
  • Visit the author's Etsy shop
  • Share photos of completed projects to the Happy Stitch Book Group on flickr 
  • Do you like working wool felt? It's so great because it doesn't fray and it's so nice & thick, too. I'm a fan of Russian nesting dolls, so I had to stitch up the nesting doll softie and it was fully competed in just one afternoon
  • This little nesting doll softie will be off to put a smile on a child's face :)

Friday, February 8, 2013


 {2012 Craft Books}

Show Me a Story: 40 Craft Projects and Activities to Spark Children's Storytelling by Emily Neuburger

What you need to know:
  • Colorful, well-done kid's craft/activity book, take a peek inside by watching the video 
  • Free projects from the book: Story Stones, Story Blocks 
  • Recently I asked my daughter (who is in Kindergarten) what her favorite thing is at school and she said art. So this blank storybook was a perfect project for her. She picked out the color of the materials, only general supplies were needed, so we already had all of them on hand. We worked together to construct the book, then she did all the rest, finalizing the subject (shapes), writing the title, decorating the cover, writing the book and coloring it in.
  • If you've got kids who are in the 5-12 year old range, this is a great book to pull out on weekends and especially during those long school breaks and do some creating together. This is a good one!    

Happy weekend!