Spring Flowers

Spring Flowers

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Upcycled Home Decor

I'm always interest in seeing what other wool crafters are making with upcycled/recycled wool sweaters. While browsing Etsy recently, I was on the lookout for decorative home accessories made from recycled textiles. Here are a few of my favorite home decor items, all made from recycled sweaters, from other Etsy artists.

This wool winter blue quilt was made from upcycled wool sweaters. I love the pattern and color combination. Laurine, of Greenatheart, added a cotton backing, freeform stitching and bias binding to finish this as one would a more "traditional" quilt. In Laurine's words "This not just wool sewn together, it is in every meaning of the word a quilt." Beautiful!

These huggably soft balls in earth tones are great as accent pillows or soft toys for the little ones. They are made from assorted recycled sweaters and come as a set of three from Handmadepretties.

This thick, colorful rug was woven from recycled wool sweaters! Fiveforty has a great selection of these one-of-a-kind rag rugs in a gorgeous array of colors and various sizes. I imagine these would feel wonderful underfoot.

I love the modern design of PLYtextiles geometric pattern pillows. This is the Grid Tiles Felt Pillow. They are made from recycled wool sweaters with a fabulous attention to detail.

All these artists used recycled textiles to make these one-0f-a-kind home accents.

Monday, February 15, 2010

What's New?

My weekend was fairly creative and productive despite a little trouble with my trusty Kenmore sewing machine. I had cleaned out the sweater "fuzz" from under the presser plate and around the bobbin, adjusted the tension and jiggled the foot pedal. My husband could tell I was getting a little frustrated and asked me to describe the trouble I was having. Basically after all my efforts, when I pressed on the foot pedal, the machine either started out stitching too fast or would not start stitching at all. My Handy Hubby decided the foot pedal itself was the problem and after he took it apart and cleaned a connection, my sewing machine is working well again and all is good in my sewing room!
So here is what I've been working on. I've found some nice wool men's jackets, or sportcoats, and a great chocolate brown suede skirt, all at thrift stores. I like the way the woven wool, and especially the suede, look with the felted sweater wool so I've incoorporated them into some of my handbag designs.

This is my first try at sewing with the suede. I used it for the top band and strap of a Bella handbag. It's a little bit harder to work with, but I love the results.

I like this combo of the red sweater wool and the black and white herringbone woven wool. And it was fun to use the original jacket's features, like the pockets, in the design of the purse.

This is another Bella handbag made with green sweater wool and a simple plaid pattern in woven wool.

I've spent the afternoon cutting out some more combinations of colors and fabrics. What do you think? I'd love to hear your feedback or opinions on my new ideas!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

These sweet wool felt conversation hearts are from Maiseyhandmade on Etsy.

'Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Featured from the Etsy Bloggers Team : : TiLTcreations

TiLTcreations sells a wonderful variety of sizes and styles of handbags and purses. Everything from casual backpacks and shoulder bags to pretty clutches ready for a night on the town! All are handmade and one-of-a-kind.

These photos represent just a few of the lovely variety of styles available from TiLTcreations.
And if you are looking for crafting supplies, check out her second shop, Tilt Too.

And, of course, being a memer of the Etsy Bloggers Team means she has a blog of her own. Crafts, kids, home and life is the name of the blog. Stop by her blog for great crafting ideas and posts about other Etsians. Be sure to say hello and leave a comment!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Winter Wonderland

It's been snowing most of the day here in central Indiana, and it's forecast to continue through the night into Saturdy morning. We are on the far western edge of the big snowstorm forecasted to send a wintry blast along the east coast of the U.S.
So far we've probably had about 4 inches of heavy, wet snow. It's piling up on the tree branches and turning the landscape into a white winter wonderland. I took a short walk this afternoon to the park adjacent to my neighborhood just for a look at the pretty landscape.

A winter wonderland in Indiana.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Homemade Granola Bars

I love homemade granola for breakfast or as a snack. I've tried quite a few combinations of oats, nuts and dried fruits and I pretty much like them all. I was recently watching the Food Network and saw Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, making these granola bars. They turned out to be a delicious, sweet and slightly chewy combination of oats, almonds, coconut and dried fruit held together with golden honey. To me these are just as good as a cookie and much better than commercial granola bars!

Homemade Granola Bars

2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup honey
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 12-inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper.

Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ.

Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.

Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the dates, apricots, and cranberries and stir well.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.

Click on the recipe title to go to the Food Network site and print out the recipe.

I'm sure this would be great with your own favorite combination of dried fruits and nuts. Do you have a favorite granola recipe? I'd love for you to share a link!