Tuesday, December 17, 2013

DIY Pom Pom Making

Pom poms say 70's to me throughout the year but around the holidays they just seem festive and fun. They can be snowflakes, ornaments, jumbo, tiny and any color.  Last year I made a few large turquoise ones for my tree. This year I started an Advent Branch, making a pom pom for each day before Christmas. Here is how you make pom poms with the pom pom maker, which makes life much easier.

I have to say when I first bought this instrument I was completely dumb founded.  And this past year a friend borrowed it and it confused her as well.  So I decided to break it down for you and take photos of each step.

1. Buy a Clover Pom Pom maker.  I bought mine at Purl Soho.

2. The maker opens up 2 ways.  Open up so both sides pull over to one side.  Wrap yarn around colored plastic piece until yarn becomes almost flush with both flat pieces.

3. Now that yarn is wrapped around both sides get your scissors.  Note I am showing photos from two different types of yarns.  The turquoise yarn is Cascade Magnum and nice and fluffy!  The purple below is Madeline Tosh, that has a nice varigated dyed look.

4. Cut yarn. 

5. Then cut a long piece of yarn, about 18" and pull the yarn thru the pom pom maker.  See where the yarn was just cut thru?  That is where you are wrapping this new piece of yarn around.  This is going to keep your short yarns of the pom together.

6. Pull tight and make a knot.  Then pull apart the pom pom maker.

Last step you need to trim and fluff the yarn.

Now you can trim the tree or make your own Advent branch. 

Happy Pom Making!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Holiday Prep - DIY Decor and Gifts

I love the holidays! I love this time of year right before Christmas.  The temperature is cool, fire places lit, crafting is full on.  In the next few weeks I will be sharing some of my DIY decorations and gifts.
 I am teaching two workshops at the Sewing Studio  which is in Chelsea on W 29th but I will also share with you here some fun crafty things to do.
Check back often, this is what we will be making!

wine bottle bag
pom pom countdown
holiday runner
lavender sachets that will make any stocking smell fantastic!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Two Workshops in NYC for the Holidays

Liberty of London fabric lined with Shot cotton
Ok are you trying to think of something to make for the holidays?
I will be teaching 2 different workshops at the Sewing Studio this month.  One is holiday based, the other is not.  Both of them are for beginners to intermediate.  If you don't know how to use the sewing machine don't worry, I will teach you.  You will also learn some hand sewing, working with applying embellishments and interfacing.  If you are looking for something fun to do with your friends you should come on by!

December 18th 6:30 to 9:30

Alexander Henry Day of the Dead fabric with Shot cotton

Workshop 2
Craft a Keepsake Stocking
Saturday December 21st 3 to 6

Wool felt is so lovely to work with.  With Harper now in my life I decided to start a new tradition, maker her a stocking every year.  I have been playing with wool felt alot lately.  Besides being warm, it is super flexible, forgiving and comes in so many colors!  Don't be surprised if you see more projects from me using this fabulous fabric!

felt bundles from Purl Soho
 One of the above bundles is great for details and trimming but the size of each piece is not large enough for one stocking.  Suggestion: you can always sew a color blocked stocking and piece the felt together.

samples I am working on

You bring the felt, fabric and what ever embellishments you want.  Some suggestions are sequins, smaller pieces of felt, rick rack, pom poms, embroidery floss.  How about some metallic or glow in the dark floss? DMC makes both!
We will provide needles, some trim, glues, templates, the pattern and the sewing machines of course!
Come take a break from the crazy holiday shopping on December 21st and have some fun!

rick rack, pom poms and green metallic sequins

 The felt pom poms and metallic sequin strip I bought at Purl Soho.  The rick rack I purchased from etsy years ago, it's from my stash.

Mini stocking measuring 6"

And hopefully you won't be having a cat sit in your supply box....what can I say the wool is warm and cozy!


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Holiday Market The Handmade Holiday Cavalcade

How cute is this flyer?
I am so excited about this market.  2 days of shopping, tasty food and cocktails!
And everything is handmade by EtsyNY sellers!

100 tote bags are given out each day and people wait in line for these tote bags. I know some of the goodies going into them, can't I have one???? Nope. Only for the shoppers!
So get there early!

I've been busy working on holiday runners and napkins.  As well I will have my usual aprons and everyday napkins to sell. 

It is in Williamsburg Brooklyn.
 Hope to see you!


Dec 14th and 15th
10 am to 5 pm
The Space
50 N.3rd
Brooklyn, NY


Monday, November 18, 2013

Christmas Fabrics are Here.

I have to say it bothered me a little that the day after Halloween the Christmas tree was up in a local restaurant and some stores were already decking the halls.  Too soon! Today I received three Christmas catalogs in the mail and Thanksgiving is next week.  I am working on Christmas stocking samples for a holiday workshop so I think it is safe to say the holiday season is upon us.  I posted some of my holiday napkins in my etsy shop so if you are interested in purchasing some you can click on this link.

If you are interested in runners or making a special order of napkins or runners, I am currently working on table linens in these fabrics:

I also do have other designs but in smaller quantities.  If you are looking for something in a certain color or motif please ask!

Everything is 100% cotton and pre-washed for softness and shrinkage.

Please feel free to email me if you have a request. Now it's time to get sewing!


I love Christmas!

Thanks and happy Monday!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

New Products in My Etsy Shop: Warp and Weft Napkins

Lately I have been experimenting with new napkins.  I work at Purl Soho and we received some beautiful new yarn dyes.  My first design job was creating yarn dyes for mens sportswear at Columbia Sportswear in Portland Oregon.  I find that I am still in love with these fabrics, I am always drawn to them.  A yarn dye is when the yarn is dyed then the fabric is woven together into the design.  Yarn dyes also are usually softer than printed fabrics.  Most shirting fabrics are yarn dyed.  As a yarn dye designer I would sit at my desk and pull apart swatches and count the threads in the warp and the weft.  I found this to be so peaceful and also challenging. Sixteen years later I still feel the enjoyment of pulling apart the threads and seeing each color and shade.

The fabrics we received are from Robert Kaufman and the collection is called Classic Threads.  There are 41 designs to choose from! I picked 3 and really want to keep a little bit of each for myself.

Multi Colorway

First I wash the fabric for shrinkage purposes and this also makes them a bit softer.  Then I topstitch a 1/4" seam allowance, iron and now time to pull the threads.  It is pretty labor intensive but I love the fringe look!

These napkins are great for everyday use.  Or I think the pepper colored ones can add a bit of sophistication to a casual dinner party. You choose!

Maybe my kitchen drawer will see a set of 8. If you would like to buy a set you can find them here in my etsy shop!


Monday, November 4, 2013

Tea Towel Give Away Winner and some Etsy Fall Finds

And the winner is....the Mackay Way.  Thanks to everyone who commented, I also counted those who did comment on the facebook post.

Winter weather has started here in New York City.  Today is the first day it is below 50!  Thanksgiving will be here in a few weeks and time to start thinking about comfort foods, cooking, baking, crafting and holiday shopping.  I haven't browsed on Etsy in a few weeks so I thought I would take a look at some of the new winter items.

The first thing that grabbed my attention was this pie box.  I usually bake a pie or pumpkin cheesecake for Thanksgiving.  Since I need to travel a few hours for Thanksgiving dinner I am always trying to find something to make my dessert more portable.

From the shop Piebox

I love the simplicity, the beautiful reusable pine box and the simple leather tie.

Or these vintage German tart tins.
From the shop Becaruns

Shop DarkPlum

A vintage print apple coaster set.

Edible acorns!
Yes you can eat these acorns and leaves too if you visit this shop, Andies Specialty Sweets.

I hope you found some inspiration this morning.

Have a crafty week!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Giveaway, Apples and Cider Week

Cider Week started here in NYC and Hudson last Friday on October 18th.  It continues until this Sunday October 27th.  We went to the cider week celebration in Union Square last week.  I got there a tad too late and missed trying the hard ciders but I was able to take a bottle home.  Union Square is a big open space where markets and fairs are held.  The farmer markets stayed later that day, till 8.  I finally got to pick up some pumpkins!

A few weeks ago while I was away visiting family, my sisters and I went pumpkin picking with our families.  It was a gorgeous day!

I love the fall. I love walking around my neighborhood and hearing the crunch of the dry leaves and smelling the crisp fall air.  Buying apples at the farmer's market and making home made apple pie.  To celebrate the fall and cider week I am giving away one of my new limited tea towels.  There are only four of these made, what can I say blue apples are hard to come by.
This is a pieced tea towel.  The main fabric is a japanese print of apples that are blue and yellow printed on canvas pieced to a bright yellow cotton fabric. There is a hanging loop sewn into the back.  Machine washable.  I sell these for $18.00 in my etsy shop.

Just leave a comment and I will be picking the winner next Tuesday.  Enter your comment by Monday October 28th midnight eastern time.  Don't know what to say? Do you like apples? Apple cider? Apple sauce? Do you have a favorite apple? How many apple varieties are there anyway?  And be sure to check out the Cider Week website, two more days to visit one of the events!


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Furry Good Benefit and DIY Runners!

A few months ago a woman named Sandi messaged me on facebook about a fundraiser she was organizing.  A few years ago I co-founded a cat rescue group in NYC.  I no longer am active with that group but continue to volunteer and help out where I can with animal rescue in NYC.   What exactly is animal rescue in NYC?  The city shelters by contract have to take every animal that comes to their door.  Therefore they end up euthanizing many adoptable animals.  Many people in the city do not spay neuter their cats and also let them roam.  Many people also buy dogs then give them up because they cannot handle them or they move to a no pets building.  Sandi is organizing a benefit called Mutt Masquerade which will benefit 3 animal groups; Stewie to the Rescue, Cats in the Cradle and BLES Elephant, Dog and Cat Sanctuary.  It is being held this Saturday October 26th in NYC at Joshua Tree at 513 3rd Ave.
     Sandi asked me if I would be interested in being a sponsor.  I was honored she asked and happy to help out any way I can.  Since I was pregnant at the time and didn't know what it would be like having a baby, I didn't want to over commit.  I offered to make the table linens for the benefit.  Since the benefit is around Halloween I decided to find fabric that is seasonal yet sophisticated and fun.
When Sandi told me some theme ideas; lace, masquerade, animals I thought of fabric by Tula Pink called Nightshade

Unfortunately I wasn't able to source enough of this fabric for table runners.  Then I found some other fabric that was purrfect! It had a bit of lace feel, spider web feel and neon cats.  Two different fabrics encompassing Sandi's themes.
silver flocked

Usually with runners I make the hems a clean finish, folding over the edges twice and sewn down.  The last project I was working on my serger have been the Liberty pocket squares and I have the serger threaded with neon green. I decided to leave the neon green thread and not even hem the runners.  The neon green matches the fabric and will look perfect in a masquerade setting.

If you are interested in making a table runner for your home all you need is 1 yard of fabric and sew the pieces together. Runners are 13" to 14" wide.  One yard of fabric will give you a runner 108" long.   Cut 3 pieces from the one yard so each piece will be 13" x 36". Sew the pieces on the short end face to face. Then hem the long sides 1/2".

If you would like to find out more about the Mutt Masquerade check out their facebook page or buy your tickets here.  Hope to see you there!