Tag Archives: The Handmade Experiment

Ebook from Craftypod

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Diane Gilleland, aka Sister Diane, is one of Portland’s top crafters and craft authors. Her podcasts, tutorials, tips and tools have helped guide many crafters and small business owners through the murky waters of the handmade movement.

That is what this blog is about too. I started this whole experiment as a test. To see if I could really do it. Teach myself to sew, learn how to read patterns, find a community and a group of people that help to spark my creativity and inspire me to learn and do and handmake more.

And the more I’ve learned the more I’ve tried to share with you. So what could be better for my Sew, Mama, Sew December Giveaway Day contribution then a chance to help Sister Diane spread the word! Diane has graciously offered up one of her ebooks (winner’s choice!) for giveaway and all you have to do to win is leave a comment here before Sunday December 6th, (midnight PST) telling us which ebook you would be interested in winning and why.

For an extra chance to win please leave a second comment telling us your favorite crafty charity. I know a lot of people are feeling the need to reach out this holiday season and your comment might give someone the information they need to do some good.

Diane, along with Susan Beal, Linda Permann, Kayte Terry, Betz White, and Patricia Zapata are helping reach out by donating 15% of each sale of their new ebook Crafty Tree Trimmings to Project Linus. They’re a nationwide charity that collects handmade blankets for children who are suffering from serious illness, trauma, or otherwise in need. This ebook will be on sale only until December 31, 2009!

Thanks for reading this past year. Make sure to check out Sister Diane’s podcasts and tutorials. Her book Kanzashi in Bloom is on sale now. And good luck! I’ll pick the winner at random and I’ll announce it on Monday. Good luck!

Get Outta Here and Go Outside!

A little nervous about summer time and having the kiddos home ALL the time? I’m with ya. But I’ve done a little research and there are plenty of things to make and do to keep the whole family entertained and happy through those months where you are the only teacher.

Buy it!

Thyme2dream

Thyme2dream

My daughter’s preschool has been on break for the last two weeks and the weather here in Portland is starting to get nice. We’ve been getting out – to the park, push biking, nature walks and bubble journeys. It is making me long for those warm summer days that will be here soon. These bubble blowers from Thyme2dream are so cool and would get tons of use on our journeys. Little timeless heirlooms that any kid would find magical. I’m sure they could double as wands or scepters. A great toy to get those young imaginations working.

Looking for a good homemade bubble recipe? Check out Casey Carle’s “Secret” Bubble Solution!

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Must MAKE Monday

So I got the opportunity to see Handmade Nation, Faythe Lavine‘s documentary on the Handmade movement, this evening at the Portland Museum of Contemporary Craft. I sat from the first chords of “Hands On” during the opening credits all the way until the closing reel with a smile on my face, relishing the thought of seeing this film again.

As a nod to the movement, and in hopes of sharing just a shred of that feeling with you, I present Must MAKE Monday. Since my goal is to make all handmade gifts this year, and I don’t want any of those recipients to have the surprise ruined, all these Must Makes will be things I want to make for myself or my girls and not gift projects that I have planned.

how-to make a picnic blanket

how-to make a picnic blanket

I have always wanted a beautiful picnic blanket. This Sew, Mama, Sew tutorial by Erin from house on hill road is well written Continue reading

Gonna Dress You Up in My Love

PZ and I went to an “Under the Sea” themed pool party birthday today for two of her little friends, A and D. It was so much fun! And now, finally, I can tell you about the latest projects in this Handmade Experiment. Yay! Inspired by Little Miss A’s love of all things girlie, but wanting to mix it up a bit (I know her mom gets tired of her wearing pink and sparkley everyday), I used curtains I’d made for my old bedroom and transformed them into a twinkling starry night tutu.

PZ, trying on the tutu

PZ, trying on the tutu

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Ground Control

Elliott

E

A couple of weeks ago, I offered to make a pair of the Jackie Clark “britches” for my daughter’s best friend E. His mom and I picked out the Robots – Printed Rockets- Baby Blue fabric from Free Spirit at Cool Cotton. This was my third pair of pants from the “bloomers and britches” pattern. My first pair of the britches, the difference being no ruffle on the bottom of the pant. I still think the crotch is too long on them, but they are super comfy and cute. This isn’t that great a picture, but the kids are starting to get savvy to what that box with the light is that Mama Emily holds up to her eye. The only way I could get him to pose was to give him PZ’s camera and let him take pictures of me taking pictures of him. Who doesn’t have a least one of those in their album? Tres artistic!

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Rainy Day Roundup

Since I’m eating Sundrops, which is highly appropriate since in typical Portland fashion it is rainy and sunny all at the same time, and procrastinating, I decided that a shout out to all the crafty artists who’ve made the great handmade gifts we’ve received this year would both take some time and be an inspiration. Continue reading

Queen for a day or Turning the Big 3

I can’t believe my baby is 3 already! We had family in to celebrate and although we didn’t have her party until the Sunday after her birthday, on the actual day we did have lunch at Airplay Cafe. The girls enjoyed the band, Josh and Blake, and we all got to eat and dance and sing along. They had one song in particular called Ten Toes which was especially cute.

PZ in her birthday crown with cousin Lauren

PZ in her birthday crown with cousin Lauren


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Muno Mania

*Cheerios Underfoot is having a crafty Yo Gabba Gabba giveaway. Comments are open until 12/07/09. Good luck!

muno21
Little Miss O, another little girl in PZ’s playgroup, had her third birthday party on the 15th. We had a great time at the Children’s Gym. PZ especially enjoyed the trampoline and Q was just happy to get out of the Ergo and onto the mat. For this little girl, an avid Yo Gabba Gabba enthusiast, I made a Muno pillow. I found the no-sew pattern on the Nick Jr. website and printed the pattern out. It was super easy, although I did sew mine just because I didn’t really like the flattened edges of the no-sew pictures. I just used craft felt that I had left over from making Solstice decorations and Elmer’s School glue for the eye, mouth, and teeth. Muno came out so cute. Now PZ really wants one. They have patterns for Foofa and Brobee, too!

The Experiment Begins

My 2009 New Year’s resolution is a pledge to give only handmade gifts this year. I’ve been buying handmade more and more since having my first child in 2006 partly because I love having original, one of a kind toys and clothes for my girls and also because I want to support the artists in the arts and crafts movement. Now, it will be my turn to take inspiration from those artists and create something on my own. Very exciting! Especially when you factor in that most of these gifts will be for children, which is perfect for me for while my creative mind is stocked full, my creative ability has some room in the larder.

The criteria for these gifts will be that the item/project must be something my daughter PZ, who is almost 3, can help with. The supplies for the project can’t cost more then I would spend on a store bought gift, thus saving me money. And the gift must be something enjoyable for both the giver, i.e. me, to make, and the recipient to receive. So far, we’ve made playdough for a little guy in PZ’s preschool class who was turning 3. It was fun, simple enough that PZ could participate in every aspect of its creation, and extremely cost efficient. Yay!

We’ve been invited to another birthday party on the 15th of February. PZ’s own birthday is on the 20th of that month and I know of at least 5 other birthdays we’ll probably be invited to between now and May. So stay tuned to find out how the adventure goes. I’m thinking next might be recycled crayons; zero cost, mucho fun.

Also as a way to give back to our local arts and crafts community and help support those that have inspired me so much, I will be striving to profile some of my favorite local craftspeople. I look forward to sharing their work and perhaps even their words with you, (if I can get anyone to let me interview them).

Earth Friendly Play Dough

* 1 cup flour (not self-rising)
* 1/2 cup salt
* 1 cup water
* 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
* 1-1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar

Mix in saucepan over low heat. (It does not have to heat long.) Dough is ready when it rolls into a ball. Keep dough fresh in an airtight container. If you need to make different colors, add food coloring while mixing over heat.

*recipe from teachnet.com
**We made our gift extra special by including with it cookie cutters letters that spelled out the boys name.