Monday, February 23, 2009

Etsy Buy!

I'm so excited! I got my first Etsy purchase in the mail today! I custom ordered a necklace from Littleput Books. The picture was taken in Tofino (west coast of Vancouver Island) during the summer of '06. I was there for a couple days and absolutely LOVED it! The scenery was amazing, food was great, loved the tide pools and I hope to go back some day.

It came in a nice little tin:

And I'm excited to wear this memory!

I also got a pack of papers (Japanese mostly with a little... Italian?) for creating with. I'm not sure what they will become but I'm excited to have these beautiful papers to use!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Envelope Bag Tutorial

I like to be environmentally friendly when I can. When I found small bamboo sporks at an eco-store I thought they'd be great to carry in my purse to use for impromptu snacks instead of plastic cutlery. However, I didn't want my sporks rolling around in the bottom of my purse with who-knows-what so I made a little bag to keep them in (bonus: machine washable if when it gets dirty.)

This is my first tutorial so I'd love to hear if you use it and if it was easy to follow!

First, cut two shapes (rectangles with flaps) from fabric - I used different fabric for the lining and the outside but they could be the same. If you have an item to want to fit inside the finished bag take this into account before you cut!

Next sew the side seams on the rectangle leaving about 3/8" unsewn at the top (the end with the flap).

Turn the lining right side out and slip it in the outer envelope.

Stitch around the flap, adding a hair elastic at the peak to act as a button loop. This is the trickiest part - start on the straight edge (about 1 inch from the side seam), go over the side seam, around the flap, sew the hair elastic in (leave most of it sticking out on the wrong side) and back to the next straight edge. Be sure to leave enough room on the straight edge for turning right side out!!

(I got the hair elastic idea from Chickpea Studio's tutorial. What a great idea!)

Now your bag should look like this:

Turn it right side out through the space you left on the straight edge. Iron it nice and flat and sew the opening closed. I chose to topstitch along the length of the straight edge but you could also slip stitch the opening closed. Last thing to do is sew on the button. If you're keeping something bulky in your bag put it in and see where the hair elastic reaches to and sew your button there.

Ta-da! You're done! Enjoy your bag.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Felted Friends

A new craft for me this year is needle felting. Over the holidays I got myself some roving and a couple barbed needles, these are the results so far:
This was supposed to be/it is a sheep. I think the legs need a little more felting so they'd be stronger (this guy had some objections to standing up for the photo).

Then I decided to go for an easier project with fewer appendages needing attention, a ladybug fit the fill nicely!

My first attempt at a "make it up as you go" critter. (The previous projects followed instructions from Wool Pets). I think he turned out quite well, he just needs some eyes. Not sure how I'm going to do those, beads maybe.

And just for fun, something not needlefelted at all but lunch at a local bakery!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Dry Pants at Last!

My latest knitting project was to knit legwarmers for the outside of my boots. Not to keep my legs warm but to keep my pants dry! I find when it’s wet or snowy out the hems of my pants get soaked which isn’t so bad until I take my boots off and I’m stuck with wet ankles. (Especially as I love to sit with a leg or two tucked underneath, then I get a wet seat too!). So these leg warmers are meant to combat this problem and with our current mini-thaw I figure they should be getting lots of use.

I knit them in a K2, P1 rib so they’d have lots of stretch and a bit of texture. Luckily I got two balls of wool (Paton’s Classic Wool) “just in case” as I ran out a few rows before finishing the second leg warmer. This means I have almost a full ball left to play with – I’m thinking felted bowl!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

What’s in a name?

I’ve been wanting to start a blog for a few weeks now. What’s been holding me back? Finding a name! It proved to be rather difficult to find a name I felt represented something about me yet was original (ie. isn’t registered to someone else.) Years ago when I was setting up an e-mail address I used “arual” (Laura backwards) as I thought it was easy to remember yet a little different. Maybe not as easy to remember as I thought judging by the blank looks I got when I said my e-mail is “Laura backwards… A-R-U-A-L”. I think I got on the backwards thing from my dad - when I was growing up and my dad was on business trips his postcards would often arrive with all the words spelled backwards and my sister and I thought this was really neat. So I am arual (or, if that was taken, Lauraarual) in some places including my Etsy account. I knew when I was signing up I might want to have a store one day and read about how to pick your name carefully but I just wanted to get started saving favourites and buying things and couldn’t think of anything more creative but for my blog I was determined to come up with something better. I happened to see an ad for a line of Birkenstocks called “Betula” which reminded me of Betula Lake where my grandparents had a cottage. I spent many summer weeks there and belieive I inherited my love of crafting, baking, knitting and sewing from my grandma. Great I thought, I can be Betula something (Betula is taken of course). Then I thought I’d be “Betula*la” as Lala is a bit like Laura and actually I was called that by a little girl. Again, taken. So Betula`Loo it is, kinda fun, playful and unique. What do you think? I’d love to hear how you came up with your Blog/Etsy/Screen name!