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20 in 20 March 4, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — ravennagirls @ 10:42 am
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Abbey over at Aesthetic Outburst is doing a great series of projects called 20 in 20. It all started doing 20 handmade Christmas ornaments in 20 days, then evolved into 20 handmade valentines in 20 days. Now, she’s doing 20 handmade projects in 20 days. The best part of it all? She gives them all away! All you have to do is leave a comment on the project you like, and winners are randomly selected from that posts’ commenters. So fun!

For this larger installment, the project evolved to be more of a blog community project, and Ravenna Girls Vintage is excited to be sponsoring the project. We felt that it was a great way to support handmade, and simple measures of creativity. I love that its a showcase for how much you can accomplish in one little project with simple materials and easy methods. Go check it out.

So far, some of my favorites from all 3 of her series (Christmas, Valentines, and Spring Handmade)

Pendleton Glacier Blanket Pencil Box. Totally up my alley.

Security Envelope and Washi Tape Blank Notebooks

Felt flag Valentine (this was what initially inspired my Pencil flag Valentines)

Dala Horse Valentine

Heart Rocks!

North Pole Map Ornament

Reindeer Ornament

Also, her blog is awesome not just for cute handmade giveaways, but also in general. I love that she’s nicknamed her kids “Kicky” and “EZ E”.


Holiday Handmade {2010} January 24, 2011

Filed under: crafty — ravennagirls @ 11:02 pm
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Oh man. Here it is almost February (!!), and we still haven’t had a chance to share with you some of the fun handmade gifts we gave for Christmas this year. We’ve been doing so much looking forward, which has been very productive for us so far in 2011, but lets take an evening to look back.

We always try to make and give a variety of handmade gifts that we hop the recipients will find useful, fun, and beautiful. 2010 was no exception. Both of us made lists throughout the fall trying to brainstorm what people would really love. So without further adieu, we’ll share a few of these with you.

Vintage Fabric Sailor’s Knot Bracelet

I followed this etsy tutorial, but before winding the cord I sewed vintage plaid fabric around 1/3 of the length to give a little bit of whimsy and interest.

Painted Enamel Fountain Glasses

By using a baked-on hard enamel paint on top of whimsical glasses found at TJ Maxx, D was able to create a set for a family of 4 to enjoy next summer.

Waterproof Beach Bags

I found and modified this pattern, using waterproof vinyl outdoor fabric both inside and out, to make waterproof beach storage bags. One for brother, one for sister. Heavy duty zippers for the kiddos.

Sparkly beach wreath

Perfect for the front door of a beach cottage to give it that holiday glitz (although it could really be for any season). Shells were collected on Washington beaches throughout the year, then glittered with a combination of fine Martha glitters.

Holiday Headbands

D made a batch of these wool felt holly headbands for her youth group girls so they could all be as festive as her, the Christmas Captain. The holly berries were made easier with this fun Clover Needle felting template we found at our local fabric store.

Tea Towel Apron

An easy pattern, I modified a pre-sewn turquoise tea towel with some Amy Butler fabric and chocolate grosgrain ribbon. Then, I embroidered the initials of some very special twinsies in the pockets to keep them near to mom’s heart while she’s baking cookies.

Holiday Yarn Wreath

Last but not least, a very festive version of our yarn wreaths, this one with jingle bells and a big felt Christmas bow. Wrapped up like a present!

There were more that we didn’t get photos of (yeah, we go overboard). But hopefully we can get some shots and share those throughout the year.

Hope everyone is recovering from the holiday crafting binge nicely. Anyone have any fun projects to share? We can’t WAIT to get started on next year where we have goals to make even more gifts by hand!


2011 Crafty Inspiration January 9, 2011

Filed under: crafty,Uncategorized — ravennagirls @ 1:44 pm
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One of our goals for 2011 is to make even more of the gifts we give. We can’t help loving to give gifts, so we’ll focus on creating even more of these ourselves. These are the books that I received for the holidays that we will have on-hand to help with crafty inspiration.

Sew and Stow by Betty Oppenheimer

I will probably make myself a few things from this book at the start of the year to get ORGANIZED (another 2011 goal) to create the rest.

The Knitters Year by Debbie Bliss

Simple and modern quick projects, and lots of them (52 projects, one for each week).

One-yard Wonders by Rebecca Yaker

Again, lots of projects for lots of inspiration (101 in total), and a great source of inspiration for fabric leftovers.

Felt Furnishings by Anne Kyyro Quinn

This one has been in our house for 2010, but I want to keep it further toward the front of the stack because it has some simple and modern projects that I really love.

Update: HOW could I forget this one?

Wild and Wonderful Fleece Animals by Linda Carr.

All the kiddos around me are going to be receiving ZOOs full of these adorable fleece creatures.


Also, I received a couple small books that will serve the utilitarian purpose of solving my novice-sewer problems:

The Sewing Answer Book by Barbara Weiland Talbert

A comprehensive little bible, looks like it should provide answers in a pinch.

Directory of Quilting Techniques by Caroline Rodriques

I’ve had this and this on my radar for awhile, and in 2011 I may try my hand at some simple manageable quilts (crazy!), and this book should be a good primer.

Looks like it’ll be another busy crafting year. What books are inspiring you for 2011?


glittered December 18, 2010

Filed under: christmas,crafty,Uncategorized — ravennagirls @ 11:28 pm
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I’ve had a christmas craft on my mind for awhile now. I think it came from Martha originally, but I’m not 100% sure. In any case, I finally got around to these sparkly pillars for my Womens’ Christmas Dessert Table, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the results!

To start, I’ve been hoarding away various sized vintage fluted tart tins like these ones from sugarpush.

I ended up with two sizes, approx 4″ and 2.5″ which were a nice size. Much larger than this and you start sucking up a lot of glitter, and they fit a votive or tealight nicely.

Then, matching in pairs, I used Elmer’s Ultimate Glue to turn these into fluted pillars. This glue takes about 4 hours to cure, and you need to use in small quantities since it expands as it cures,  but its really great. Once it hard cured, its rock solid.

Glued solid and ready for glitter!

Two sizes side by side

So then, pull out your Martha glitter and go to town! I used Tacky Glue as the glitter adhesive after trying plain Elmer’s and having it run right off the metal surface. Using a foam brush, I spread the glue evenly, and worked from one side to the other of the holder with the glitter. Apply glue, pour on glitter evenly, tap off onto a clean sheet of paper, return glitter to resevoir, repeat.

I started with the dish on one side, then moved to the outside flutes, letting dry, and the flip for the final coat

My original intention was to have an ombre effect of glitter colors, but this would require mixing up 4-5 custom colors to create a smooth fade. Instead, I decided to take 3 colors from the Martha glitter pack and make 2 rich colors for the top and the bottom. I use Florentine Gold for the tops, Bronze for the bottoms, and mixed in the darker color Brownstone to create more depth. The Bronze was just a bit too coppery for me without it.

I made a total of four of these (two of each size) and used about an ounce of glitter in the process. After they dried, just popped in a white candle and observe the twinkle of light.


Simple Veggie Storage August 23, 2010

Filed under: crafty — ravennagirls @ 5:26 pm
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With the infusion of fresh fruits and vegetables this summer (from our own garden and our CSA box), storage to keep these fresh and delicious was becoming an increasingly tricky task.

I saw over on the Juniper Moon Blog that Susan and crew had researched and found that the recommendation for most veggies is to wash and store lightly in an absorbent towel. Susan, in response, whipped up some quick little baggies out of inexpensive IKEA dish towels so they’re all ready to go in varying sizes.

I loved this idea (they’re both CUTE and functional), so i stopped by IKEA one day, picked up 2 packs of towels, and sewed myself some. So far, they’ve been working terrifically. Our greens are staying crisper, onions and shallots staying good, etc. Thanks for the great idea, Susan!

Total cost: $4.


Covers for Boppy August 4, 2010

Filed under: crafty — ravennagirls @ 11:00 am
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For those of you who don’t know, THIS is a Boppy. Its a nursing pillow/baby prop common among many moms these days. It is also something that comes with a cover – and you know what that means: a chance to customize!  With some new babies on the way, i found some cute and soft flannels and thought I’d try my hand at sewing a couple.

Hooowever.  I didn’t want to PAY for a PATTERN! So, I borrowed a cover that a friend already owned, and did a little rudimentary pattern making. Basically, I pressed the cover flat, traced, and then added seam allowances for the edge and zippers. Piece of cake (we’ll see. . . right?)

For talking purposes, the pieces will be labeled as below.

First, I basted and sewed my 24″ metal zipper to the straight side of piece A with a 3/4″ seam allowance.

Then, I sewed the zipper onto piece B, using again a 3/4″ seam allowance. After secured, I folded a generous seam allowance OVER the right side of the zipper to create the flap that hides the zipper itself, and top stitched.

Last part of the zipper: top stitch at piece B to have the zipper lie flat.

Hooray! Zipper in and hidden from view. Although making a more complex pattern, its nice that they have zippers straight across the back instead of around a curve. Less chance of broken zippers that way.

Next step, pin all the way around, with Piece A/B right side to large piece C. Instead of leaving a part of the seam open to turn later, i unzipped about 4″ and used that. Sew all the way around using a 1/2″ seam allowance.

Done! Look at that cute zipper with the hider panel flipped back.

Cozy, Cozy.


The plaid was actually the second cover I made. My wonderful friend Dana let me make her a cover as a trial using this CUUUTE Noah’s Ark Flannel. Here you can see how well the zipper is hidden (although i gave her a LIME GREEN zipper which is quite cute).

I’m working on getting the pattern into some sort of format so i can send around digitally. (Right now its hand drawn on the back of old plans). Probably I’ll be a nerd and draft it into AutoCAD or something. maybe. when it rains.


(One Caveat: Boppys are apparently now being sold with a stretchy band in the center to accommodate a variety of waist sizes. I did notice that the slipcover i was copying had an extra seam with a panel in the center portion that help the fabric lie a little flatter around the middle. While I’m sure this is nice, I wasn’t really into a whole nother few steps, so I simplified.)


CraftY – Washcloth Puppets July 30, 2010

Filed under: crafty — ravennagirls @ 4:51 pm
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Back in the spring, when it was supposed to be spring but it really still felt like winter, we went through some mass crafting phase.  We normally reserve such full blown crazyness for the months leading up to December 25th.. but alas we had gifts to give!  {Luckily our living room has since recovered from these activities and summer did come.}

And well, gifts have been given so I am not spoiling any surprises!

One day I was looking through B’s Martha Stewart Sewing book and I saw these adorable puppets that she/her staff had made out of washcloths.

This project makes the perfect gift for a new baby.  It is pretty easy and very inexpensive.

I went to TJMaxx for some towels.  One hand towel will give you one puppet, plus lots of scrap pieces to use on others.  I prewashed all towels after I got them home.  I needed black, white and brown for my project.

You can download the pattern here for the bodies.  I used my own shapes and sizes for the faces though.  

Two dogs for inspiration …

These are the furry siblings to a friend’s baby who will be joining the outside world very soon!  [all photos of actual dogs not made out of cloth via chicpeastudio}

I hand sewed the faces on with different thread colors over washcloth bits used for the muzzle, nose and eyes. 

After the faces were on B helped me sew the two bodies together , including sewing the ears between the front and back of each dog.

Then I played with them in my bestest dog voices.  : ) hehe.