Bath Fizzies

Homemade Bath Fizzies

Plop, plop! Fizz, fizz! This was a project I planned a really long time ago but never got around to doing until this month. I got the idea and directions from Martha Stewart.

It goes together fairly quickly, though the part where you have to spray the ingredients with a water sprayer is kind of tedious. I made some peppermint fizzies and some lavender ones. The directions call for food coloring, but I didn’t really like the thought of food coloring in my bath, so I skipped that.

I used a mini muffin tin and got the citric acid from AmeriHerb, a wholesale company. I’m sure there are several online sources. The rest is just corn starch, baking soda, and essential oils. I was afraid they would fall apart when I popped them out of the muffin tin, but they held together just fine. I did use a silicone mold, which probably made that part easier.

Be careful—-my hubs almost popped one of these in his mouth, thinking they were some funky-looking cookies. Heh heh.

They make fun little treats to give out as gifts.

For more crafting, click here. For more simple gift ideas, click here.

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Cashmere Patchwork Blanket

Patchwork Blanket

Sometime in the last few months I got it in my head that I wanted a cashmere blanket. Like, really wanted one. I think maybe I started obsessing when I was paging through Handmade Home and saw all the cozy, cozy stacks of blankets. I just wanted to curl up with them. I didn’t want to fork over the money for cashmere, though, so I started scheming. Could I possibly find enough thrifted cashmere to make a blanket?

Sometimes it’s hard to come by, but lo and behold, there was a bumper crop of cashmere at Goodwill this fall. Some of it was in perfect condition, in my size, with classic lines. What?! I washed those and put them in my closet.

The rest of it, the out-of-fashion, the holey, the wrong sizes, I cut into rectangles (excluding the holey bits) after washing it. I added in a few washed and shrunken merino sweaters, too, to round things out and make the blanket a little bigger.

Recycled Cashmere Blanket

In all I used six sweaters for the blanket. It went together pretty quickly, and the kids were very excited to help place the pieces. Everyone was already fighting over it before it was even done.

Cashmere Blanket

I had planned to lap the edges, but kind of forgot that plan until midway through. Oh well. Next blanket, maybe. I already have some cashmere pieces waiting.

Cashmere Sweater Blanket

Personally I like all the little weirdnesses of sweater pieces, the rolled edges, the seams and ribbing here and there. And it’s kind of nice to have a “smooth” side and a “wrong side.” I like them both.

For sewing the pieces together, I used (I think) a regular machine needle and upped the stitch length a bit. I had no problems with it. If you want specific instructions for sewing a cashmere sweater blanket, check out Betz White’s book Warm Fuzzies.

Random: love loved this fire and ice birthday party over at elsie marley. Almost makes me want to live in a frozen place again.

Also, has anyone been watching Parade’s End on HBO? I can’t fully follow the storyline, but wow, the clothes are incredible!

And lastly, next week I’ll be introducing you to a friend of mine, artist/ photographer Dawn Hanna. So excited! Her work is drop-dead gorgeous.

Okay, folks. Have a great weekend.

Handmade Stuffed Felt Horses

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These friends arrived in stockings on Christmas morning, and I have it on good authority that Santa’s elves used the German pattern book mentioned in this post.

Also, the elves had a brainflash—thrifted wool slacks + washer/ dryer = luxe crafting felt! Though they’d done it many a time with sweaters, this was a first with wovens, and it worked like a charm.

The front legs are a little funny, but the kids don’t seem to notice so I won’t tell. Horses were a theme this year, with both kids being addicted to the Secretariat movie, among other horsey things.

More gifted crafts to follow, and also, I’d love to see you at my book signing on Saturday, January 26 at Park Road Books here in Charlotte. There will be snacks! I’ll be signing copies of my early reader titled Slowpoke. More info about the book here.

Waldorf Craft Basar

The spring Waldorf basar, with crafts, kid activities, and yummy food, happened a few weeks ago. It was our last one before we move back to the U.S., which makes me a little sad. There is really nothing like a Waldorf basar, and there aren’t any Waldorf schools or kindergartens in Charlotte that I know of.

The Waldorf handicrafts are so different from what I’d seen before, so very German, and all from natural materials. The rabbits above were what I made this year. You wouldn’t believe the hours that go into making one tiny bunny.

Below are some feather babies, who are sleeping in painted walnut shells:

Bock! Bock! Knitted chickens:

and my personal favorite this year, deer:

The bunnies in front of the deer are mine, thankyouverymuch.

I just bought Stofftiere zum Selbernähen (Stuffed Animals to Sew Yourself) by Karin Neuschütz so I can make some more animals on my own. It has patterns for camels, donkeys, giraffes, pigs, everything–except deer, which bums me out. I’ll have to find that pattern somewhere else. Looks like the book is only available in German, but you really only need the patterns and a blanket stitch to make them. She does have a few other titles that have been translated, looks like.

I also just bought Hütten von Kindern Selbst Gebaut (which translates something like Huts Children Can Build Themselves) by Louis Espinassous. I think it may be originally French. Anyway it’s all about little forts kids can build out of sticks, brush, or scrap wood. For some reason, after seeing this one, I am kind of determined for the kids to have a fort in Charlotte, though maybe I just want one to play in myself.

I got some good writing done this week. Trying to get as much done as possible before our move. The weather has been amazing this week, after a long, long winter. We hope to get in some bike riding this weekend. Have a great one!

Pajama Top Hats and a Nightgown Dress

Here are a few items I finished up for Kid’s Clothing Week over at elsie marley. I made them the same way I did this hat except this time I cut out the picture I wanted and appliqued it on the hats. These are all made from outgrown pajama tops, though the little dog applique came from a normal, completely wrecked, but favorite T-shirt.

Here in Germany it has just now gotten really warm, but before that, the kids needed spring hats while biking. These thin ones are perfect for tucking under a helmet.

Next up is a dress for my 8-year-old, or is it a nightgown, or is it a shirt for me? We haven’t decided. It started out life cut out to be a Go-To Dress from The Train to Crazy, like this one. But the fabric is really too stretchy and thin to work very well for that pattern, so I thought I’d make it into a nightgown by adding knit bindings. By the way, very good knit binding instructions here.

The knit bindings were kind of wide so they ended up looking more like a funnel neck and sleeves, which is fine. And bonus!–the whole thing fits over my head and works as a top. Maybe I’ll steal it.

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, seeing as how it sat so long just cut out and being nothing and seemed to have no future.

A few more sewing items to come as well as pics from the Waldorf basar. We’ve been doing some exploring nearby within Germany, so hope to share more about that soon. It’s only about 6 weeks now until we move back to the U.S. I can’t believe it.

Oops! Super-Sized Toddler Sweater

You may remember this sweater and its issues. I started knitting it 5 years (!) ago in what I thought was size 4T for my then-2-year-old daughter. When I ran into problems with gauge, it went on the shelf until last fall, when Little Miss found it and begged me to finish it for her.

Well, I finished it. Only, as you see, it fits me rather than my daughter. Guess the sizing was off even more than I thought!

It’s the first sweater I’ve ever knitted, and even with the sizing craziness and various other flaws, I’m still pretty proud of it.

My daughter has been a really good sport about it. She knows it’s hers as soon as she grows into it.

I like the back the best:

This sweater pattern (free on knitty.com) actually does come in an adult size version, but I’m glad I didn’t start with that, since I don’t think a husband-sized version would get used very often. I don’t fault the pattern, just my understanding of gauge.

In other news, I’m combing through my photos from Spain to share with you soon, and next week I’m participating in Meg from elsiemarley‘s Kids Clothing Week Challenge, which is like a big online sewing-for-kids party.

I haven’t been feeling very inspired about cooking lately (though I did have some awesome food in Spain which I’ll tell you about), so let me know if you’ve tried any great vegetable recipes lately. It’s just the beginning of white asparagus/ strawberry season here in Germany, so hopefully that will inspire me.

Also, slogging away at revisions on my novel manuscript. Off to go slogging.

Girl’s Linen Skirt with Ruffle Edge

I bought this blue linen a long time ago with a dress for me in mind. I changed my mind a couple of times about what pattern to use, and in the meantime, my daughter found the fabric and declared her love for it. You see where this is going.

I cut out my dress pattern and used the leftover to make a skirt for her. It’s just a gathered rectangle again, like this one, with a little ruffle added. This kind of skirt is so easy to make, and I love not having to use a pattern. Really, she likes them as well as a dress, which I find much more of a chore.

Unfortunately I’ve found some mistakes in the way I cut out my dress, so I’m in a bind and trying to finagle my way out of it. Meanwhile Little Miss has really been enjoying her skirt. Love the styling here, don’t you? That’s all her own doing.

But next time I’ll make my outfit first, then see what fabric I have left over. Almost finished assembling this sweater. It’s looking really good, if I do say so myself.

We were in Austria last week, so beautiful, where I finally got up the nerve to get off the bunny slope after lots of coaxing. Woohooo!!

Currently reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. So completely fascinating! It’s the most interesting story I’ve read in a long time—the true account of the woman behind the cells that started a medical revolution. Definitely check it out.