Thursday, May 31, 2012

Thursday Randoms

Alright guys, I haven't done a post in a while that was a collection of random wonderful things. So, here they are in no particular order:

1. MP-3 Player case gets freshened up.

I know I wrote on this blog not long ago about making an I-Pod case. I also have a smaller MP3 player that's much smaller that I take back and forth with me to work every day. While the device had to be replaced after it fell on the ground just too many times, I've actually had the same case since about 2007. I took some time last week to wash it.
Here's a super close-up. I know it's not good-as-new, but it looks awesome compared to what it was looking like before I cleaned it. This bag, which came from J. Crew, was supposed to have a little ribbon tied on as a zipper pull. Almost immediately after I got it, the ribbon fell off, which was fine because it wasn't really doing it for me. I had to have something, though, so I used some mini key rings and attached a charm. The bad new was that the key rings had gotten bent during the process so they sometimes snagged on other things in my bag and they didn't look very good. (This key ring fix was from before my jewelry making days). But, now that I have some idea what I'm doing, I was able to make something nicer. Here's the new zipper pull, attached to the bag:
The charm, which was the original zipper pull, says: Follow Your Heart. Good words to live by.

2. Coral Damask.
A long time ago, I bought a greeting card that I'd always planned to give to a friend. I like the text and love the image. But, lots of occasions have come and gone, and I've realized I'm not ready to part with the card. I figured that, if I'm so into it, I may as well put it on display. I have a spot on a bookshelf in my living room. So, I gathered my supplies...
... which included the card, a piece of cool scrapbook paper, an x-acto knife with cutting mat, and a picture frame that came with a generic 8x10 mat. Then, with a little elbow grease and a little glue, I made this:
The words on the card read:
"The only reason for time is

so that everything doesn't happen at once.:"

Also, good words to live by!

3. Suri's Burn Book
I don't know if you guys have seen this floating around on the internet. Someone out there has created this Tumblr and Twitter account, which is a self-described "Study of Suri and the things that disappoint her." I am almost embarrassed to share this with you, but it makes me laugh out loud every time I visit. I'm so intrigued by stars as parents, I can't help but be fascinated by their off spring. And the idea that Suri would be the princess of Hollywood kids makes perfect sense to me. If you want to check it out, click here .

Have a great day!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Red Chair

Recently, I had a great good fortune. For a long time, I've imagined myself with a huge, comfortable arm chair (to fill my huge, comfortable, dream house, naturally). There have been many times that I've imagined how I might make this dream come true, but they all involve money that would be more wisely spent elsewhere, and rearranging all of the furniture in my living room - likely eliminating seating rather than increasing it. Imagine my shock when, two weeks ago, I went to Ginny's where she was having a garage sale and I found a chair that would match my things perfectly. Is it as huge and overstuffed as I'd imagined? Not quite. But, it's nice to sit in and pretty good looking. Maybe once I get my mansion, I can upgrade!

While Harry (Ginny's husband) and I made valiant efforts to squeeze the chair into the back of my Corolla, it just wasn't happening. The next day, I borrowed my dad's van (and my dad, as it happened) to go pick it up. He helped me haul it back to the apartment. Here it is on the first day!
Isn't is wonderful? You can just barely see them, but I think the chair's an awesome match for the curtains in the dining room, at the far right of the frame. Do you think this furniture arrangement looks a little awkward? You might be right... ;)

I decided that, before moving everything around and making changes, I would spend a little energy cleaning the chair. While it was in very good shape when I got it, I thought it could use a little freshening up. I knew that mine would be (at least) the chair's third home and I thought a little work might make it look practically new. I was right!

I did some research on the internet about how to clean upholstery. I learned that it's very important to save the tags on your upholstery, and believe me, if I ever by new upholstered furniture, I'll be sure to do so. The tags give you lots of important information about how to care for the fabric, so they're nice to pull out later. But, I also ran across some webpages created by people like me, who really didn't know anything about the content of their fabric. Of course, you'll want to try whatever method you use in an inconspicuous spot to see how it works.

I decided to start with plain water. This wasn't very effective for me. I didn't notice that anything was looking cleaner, and I noticed that there was almost a watermark where I'd used it. The fabric remained darker in that area even after it had dried. Bummer. The internet research continued. One suggestion I saw multiple places was to whip together dish detergent and water.
 Though most of the recipes I read suggested using an egg beater, I used an electric mixed and it worked out fine. I decided to buy some clear dish detergent because I typically use Dawn, which is blue. I know it's unlikely that Dawn would have dyed the fabric, but I didn't want to take any chances. This little mini bottle of detergent was about $1.50, which was money very well spent. In the photo above, you can see that the detergent is whipped together. You want it to look nice and foamy, like its ready for you to dive in and wash your dishes. I didn't follow a particular formula to determine how much detergent to use. I'd use more water than detergent and then add more water if you're having difficulty getting good foam.
I then used a white rag to lift up just a little bit of foam and rub it into the upholstery. It seems to me that the trick here is to use only the foam - not the liquid beneath it. The foam allows you to put just a teensy bit of detergent on the upholstery without getting it too wet. I found that with my little bowl, I was often able to work for only 5 minutes or so before all the foam had either been used up or dissolved. The simple solution is just to pop back to the mixer and give it a shot for another minute or two. It took several applications, and I was reluctant to keep going once I could feel the fabric getting wet because I was worried the water would cause staining. So, I took frequent breaks to go to work and sleep and do my usual activities. I noticed some dirt coming off on my white rags, which I took as a very good sign. After several applications, I declared the project done, and rearranged the furniture as necessary. Here's the finished product!

One other quick note for you about this project: this cleaner recipe was often billed as "organic" or "non-toxic" when I read about it on various websites. That wasn't a particular focus for me (sorry, Mother Earth), though I was very excited about the fact that it would be simple and cheap to do. I don't know whether the version I used was actually organic or non-toxic. I would imagine it would all depend on the contents of the detergent you choose. The great news is that I believe this will work with whatever detergent you prefer!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

I recently read the book Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. You've probably seen this book on display wherever you shop, or maybe you've heard about it as a book club favorite. Imagine my shock when I logged into the Hennepin County library system and discovered it was available with no wait at the library across the street from my apartment building. Score!
One of the reasons I was so excited to read this book is because the story reminded me of the themes in Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson, which is one of my very favorite books ever. Once I held the book in my hands, I began to wonder if maybe I would find it too similar to Snow Falling on Cedars. I was certainly wrong! One theme that is present in both is the separation of two young people in love by the policy of Japanese internment during World War II. This book tells the story both in the past and the present, not through flashbacks or storytelling.

The protagonist is Henry Lee, who we meet as a 12 year old boy and as a 50-something widower. At 12, Henry is the only student of Chinese heritage attending a prestigious white private school in Seattle. Shortly thereafter, he meets Keiko, a fellow classmate who is second-generation Japanese. Henry and Keiko grow closer but are ultimately separated by the internment of Keiko and her family during the war. The book also takes place in 1986, when Henry is a widower. At that time, a large store of belongings of interned Japanese families is discovered in the basement of a hotel in what was formerly the Japanese part of town. Henry winds up searching through these belongings for connection with his dear old friend Keiko. I won't share any more details with you, as this is a plot driven book and I don't want to give anything else away!

I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it. I'm often not that excited about fiction, but I think this author did a great job sharing some facts and social issues that were present during the war, so I was definitely intrigued. I also thought the plot moved along well with just the right amount of detail. It turned out to be a pretty quick read. I also thought that the narrator's voice was unique: it's not every day I hear about the experiences of Chinese people in America during the period of prejudice against Japanese Americans. You should definitely read it - if you can get your hands on a copy!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Up North

So, for this Memorial Day weekend, I am headed Up North. This is the grand Minnesota tradition where everyone packs up and heads for the northern lake country. Is it really cooler than the Twin Cities area? Probably not. But, there's usually a breeze right at the shore of a lake, even if it's small, so you can cool off that way. I'll be spending the weekend as part of a volunteer work crew at the summer camp I've worked at for ages. This will be a good chance for us to be stewards of the place that has given us all such wonderful experiences and memories.

 It won't be resort living, but it's going to be wonderful. See you next week!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Welcome to Summer!

Welcome to Summer!

Welcome to Summer! by marvelousminnie on

 So, if I had a front porch, and if I lived in the south, I'd definitely want a set up like this. Can't you just imagine spending a breezy early summer evening on the porch? I can! I hope summer is lovely wherever you are!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Storm Cloud Pearls

As is probably obvious by now, I like jewelry made with pearls. There is something about them that's timeless and, even though they're simple, they can easily dress an outfit up more than probably any other kind of jewelry. Sometimes, I'm looking for a slightly more casual look and then colored pearls are just the thing. Recently, I've been dreaming of a metal bead necklace to wear to work. Something that's a matte silver color that will complement my standard black-plus-one-other-color outfits. I recently discovered (glass) pearls that were just the right color. Score!
This is the necklace I made! Here I am using the bead design board to set it up:
You might not be able to tell this from the top picture, but I am actually working with two different sizes of pearls here. They came together on one strand, where they were mixed together one by one. I decided I could work with this by concentrating the larger ones in the front and the smaller ones in the back. The design board made this work out really well!

To the left of the board, you'll also see some earring hardware I bought recently. I had enough extra pearls to make some earrings too. I recently fell in love with leverback earrings! They are wonderful because they do not hurt my ears when I'm talking on the phone, which is something I do all the time at work. Here's the necklace along with the matching earrings:
And, just to show you how awesome this new camera is, here's a close up of the earrings. I know you got the idea from the picture above, but still, this is cool!
The color of these pearls reminds me of that light gray color of clouds just before a storm. Since it is officially summer storm season here in Minnesota, I thought this was a fitting tribute!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

New Shoes

Dear Blog Friends,
   I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce you to America's Hardest Working shoes.
These are the shoes I have worn to work pretty much ever day for the last two years. I dug them up at the Nordstrom Rack in spring 2010 and they've been constant companions ever since. They're flats and because they're stylish but simple, I think they go with everything. So, in addition to going to work basically every day, they also have been to weddings, showers, and even a bachelorette party! While I wish I could continue to wear these shoes forever, some problems have developed:
Yep. Those are holes everywhere on the bottom of my work shoes. I noticed the holes for the first time a few weeks ago and figured that because they were still comfortable, it wasn't a big deal. But, in the week before last, I was at work and noticed the bottom of my foot was hurting. I stepped out of my shoe and noticed a STAPLE in the bottom of my foot. It wasn't dug in all the way or anything, but I was frightened just the same. One of my coworkers mercifully removed it for me without being squeamish, which I am still thankful for. This was the straw that broke the camel's back.

On Mother's Day weekend, I took some time to go shopping for new shoes (before the knife incident). I wear a size 12, sometimes 12W, so this isn't something I really enjoy because I very rarely find shoes that fit. But, over the years, I have developed a list of standby spots where I know large-sized shoes are available. The top one on my list is the Nordstrom Rack. I went there and found these guys:
These are probably a little less neutral than the ones I had before, because so much of the shoe is silver. I'm hoping it won't be too noticeable, because these shoes have really nice padding that will hopefully give me a comfortable stride for years to come!

A coworker also suggested to me that I could go to Avenue, a plus-sized clothing shop that also sells shoes. While I've never bought clothes there, I decided to go and check out the shoes. The large size selection was impressive and I came away with a few good finds:
These patent loafers will hopefully supplement for everyday dress wear. They have less padding and probably won't be as comfortable, but they are all black. Very shiny!

And these, which were a total impulse buy but only cost about $10!
I should have a chance to wear these wine-colored little flats sometime - if not to work then to a party!

I had planned to throw the old shoes away just as soon as I got the new ones, but my plans were foiled. With my recent foot injury, I've kept wearing the old ones mostly because I know they don't rub the irritated area. But, don't worry - they'll be in the trash soon!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Fashion First Aid Bag

So, as you may be aware, I'm a knitter who recently began learning to crochet. (You can read more about this here). The first project that I picked out from the Crochet Bible that I received for Christmas was this bag!
The pattern calls for something a little bit different: a red bag with a white cross (hence the name "Fashion First Aid") and a much shorter strap. Maybe it's because I've spent too many years at summer camp where the first aid staff actually carries a red bag with a white cross, but I just couldn't imagine it that way. I thought that this was a nice twist on the look. I wanted to find the perfect shade of green, which I did with Vanna's Choice Kelly Green. The yarn I selected was a little thicker than the yarn suggested in the pattern, so I had to do some measuring and calculating to determine the correct gauge.

These are the pieces of the bag before I sewed them together: 
According to the pattern, you make one piece that is the front, the bottom and the back. The little rows that have the edge, which define the bottom, are made by crocheting into the back loop only. It looks fancy, but it's quite simple! The strap is a separate piece that is both the sides of the bag and the strap. I knew I wanted a longer strap than the one suggested in the pattern, which was about tote bag length. However, when I did the math and started working on a strap I thought would be the correct length, I realized just how much the strap was going to stretch! I had to rip it out and start over again. Once the strap was complete, I sewed it to the body using yarn and a yarn needle.
This is a close up of the purse part. I wanted to share this with you so you could see just how nice a job this pattern does of creating some real body for the purse. It has a flat bottom and there should be plenty of room for a wallet, sunglasses, keys, phone, and whatever else you need. 

And finally, here's the whole finished product in all it's glory! It was really pretty simple and I couldn't be happier!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

I know Mother's Day was a week ago. As you may recall, it was a little bit of a hectic day for me. One of the things I did was to make my mom a necklace. I've been making jewelry for a while now, and I've actually never made a piece for my mom. It took me some time to figure out what she would want, because she's someone who doesn't wear a lot of costume jewelry. I've also never seen her wear a bracelet and I know she doesn't like dangly earrings. This actually simplified things: a necklace it was!
Here's the necklace in progress. Thanks for the bead board, coworkers! It would be pretty darn difficult to make a necklace in this style without one. I elected to use a group of larger beads separated and spread out across a long length, with smaller contrasting seed beads in between. While I'm sure you could work it out with a tape measure and some diligence, it's much easier with the board.
So, here's the finished product. I chose green lampwork beads with pink accents and then a blend of seed beads (from Joann) in a matte pink finish.
Here's a closer up shot of the necklace inside its box. I always stress about making sure I give my jewelry in just the right container. This is actually an old President Brie box. I eat enough of that stuff that I always seem to have boxes laying around. A while ago, I actually asked my mom what I could use to line them so the jewelry wouldn't rattle or get broken. She was kind enough to cut me several lining pieces out of scraps of quilt batting she had. I knew that she'd recognize it right away, and she sure did!
I decoupaged the top of the box just using a piece of scrapbook paper I thought she'd like. I had the stickers to spell out Mom (okay, one is an upside down W) and tied it up with a ribbon scrap I had lying around. I took this with me when I went to my parents' house and had planned to give it to her at dinner, which is when we typically exchange gifts other than at Christmas. But, when I got there I noticed she was wearing a sweater that was the same pink as the spacing beads so I gave it to her at brunch. She put it on and wore it for the rest of the day. Success!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012


As you may have gathered already, I love T.J. Maxx and Marshalls. I really enjoy going in and poking around to see what kind of awesome treasures I can find. The only thing I love even more than T.J. Maxx and Marshalls is HomeGoods! There isn't one very close to me, so I don't get to go there often. But, late last week, I was traveling for a work function and found myself with a little free time to make a stop at the nearby HomeGoods once we were done for the day. Score!
I especially enjoy the HomeGoods shops that are totally independent of T.J. Maxx because they have even better selection of interesting things for your house. Here are my two big finds from this visit.

1. Craft Bin
I'm sure you're thinking, "This girl makes crafts like a fool, she must already have a bin." You're partly right. I have a number of bins that organize my craft supplies and even a couple of containers for swatches. What I was missing was a bin where I could store yarn crafts that are in progress. Usually, I leave whatever I'm working on sitting on either the armchair, the coffee table, or the couch in my living room. These aren't great habits and also result in me desperately shoving my project into the hall closet when company comes over.
Ta da! This is it. It's round, it has handles, and it's adorable. What more could you want? Oh yeah - a lining so that my projects don't get snagged. It has one of those too!

2. Metro sign
If you read Apartment Therapy even half as often as I do, I'm sure you've seen photos of a home with a vintage, or faux-vintage, sign listing all of the stops on a train line. I'm not familiar with the public transit organization schemes in many cities of the world - especially ones that are featured in these works of art - bu there is one exception: Paris. When I saw this sign, I decided to snap it up!
In addition to representing some of the most famous sights to see in Paris, these destinations have been selected and are laid out in an order that very closely approximates Metro Line 1. (The primary exception is Les Halles, which isn't on Line 1 - but, Les Halles is actually connected with another station, Chatelet, which is.) I know I'm a stickler, or maybe a nit-picker, when it comes to approximating reality when dealing with another country. Even though the materials and the style of this sign clearly don't look like an actual, vintage transit sign, I'm thrilled with it! I'm now looking for the perfect place to hang it up in my apartment and I'm looking forward to sharing photos of that once it's done!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Art 4 Shelter

One week ago today, I went to an event called Art 4 Shelter with Daisy and Magnolia. (If you're in or near the Twin Cities and want to learn more, check out their website here.) This benefit event is held at an art gallery inside the Chambers Hotel, located at 9th and Hennepin in downtown Minneapolis. All sorts of local artists create, and then donate, 5x7 works which are all sold for $30 with the proceeds benefiting Simpson Housing Services, a local organization that works to end homelessness. Some of the donating artists are quite famous, others less so. All of these little works of art are arranged somewhat randomly in this gallery - they're signed on the back, which is the only way you can tell who the artist is. A friend of Magnolia's had gone in the past, and she'd told us it would be intense.

I don't think the word intense does it justice. This was unlike anything I had ever seen. There were hundreds of people packed into this gallery, which wound up smelling a little less than fresh, especially because it was an unseasonably warm evening. People were doing their best to rush from wall to wall to wall to look at everything available, but the place was so crowded everything just moved like molasses. I picked up this little gem:
This piece is a photograph by an artist named Ella Stout. I am unfamiliar with her work, though I really like this. The photo is printed on a matte-finish paper, like cardstock. It's awesome and I'm looking forward to sharing photos once I find a sweet niche for it here at home.

While we spent some time browsing, it was too crowded to do too much wandering. Once we'd paid for our treasures, we decided to get a drink. We went to my FAVORITE bar downtown, the Local. It's an Irish pub that I used to hang out at regularly with my friends while I was in grad school - from lunches, to happy hours, to a place to grab a drink before noon when you really need one - this was it! I'd planned to just have a drink like my friends, but when we got there, the food smelled so good... and I was reminded that I'd only had a few moments to inhale some crackers and cheese after work. So, I ordered my FAVORITE thing on the menu: the walleye sandwich! YES!
I promise, I meant to take a photo before I started eating. I just didn't get around to it. As usual, I paired the walleye with fries and a double side of the herbed mayo they serve instead of tartar sauce. It was heavenly. To top it all off, the weather was so awesome we got to sit on the patio on Nicollet Mall. It was a dream come true! After dinner, we headed back towards the car and decided to do some shopping at the downtown Target store in hopes that we could spend enough to earn a parking voucher. We got pretty close and saved a bundle on parking - in addition to getting to spend some time wandering around Target together. What a perfect evening! Looking forward to next year already!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Alright, imagine the scene: A quiet Mother's Day morning at Minnie's tree house apartment. I've woken up 35 minutes before my alarm is due to go off, giving me plenty of time to finish making and wrapping my Mother's Day gift, read some more of my book club book before our meeting later this week, clean up the mess left everywhere after some chaos last week, and time to do some picture taking in the best light my apartment has to offer.

I'm off to a great start: by 9 am: the bedroom is completely picked up, I've done some serious reading, I've done another coat of Mod Podge on Mom's present, and I've taken a couple of photos. I've just put the coffee on and am getting ready to settle in and watch This Week with George Stephanopoulos, so I can catch up on current events. I decide I should have something little to eat, knowing that I'm on the way to brunch in honor of my mom at my parents' house at noon. I open the cabinet door and as I do, my elbow catches on the handle of a knife hanging on the knife rack on the adjacent wall. Know that this knife has been in this position on this knife rack for basically the entire 2.5 years I have lived in this apartment. On Mother's Day, it fell to the ground. I stepped back, but not far enough. OUCH! I zipped off to get a band-aid and some Kleenex. I spent much of the rest of the morning on the couch, having to call in late to brunch because of the injury. While I was able to stop the bleeding when I was sitting on the couch with my foot up, it threatened to start up again whenever I was standing. I managed to get ready and get out the door and arrive only about an hour late. I spent the rest of the day having some trouble walking because I think the knife's impact caused both a cut and a bruise. Yeesh. Work's been a bit of a challenge too, because I do have to walk around inside my office building as part of my job. I'm hoping this won't impact my blogging schedule, but everything seems to be taking longer and I'm tiring out more quickly as a result.

So, why is Gordon Ramsay yelling at you from the top of this page? Because over the weekend, I signed up for HuluPlus! I am spending my recuperation on the couch watching Chef Ramsay and his contestants on old episodes of Hells' Kitchen. While my foot hurts, I couldn't think of a better companion for my recovery!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Needle Felting Part 2

So, while I was gathering the supplies for the Falling Leaves project, I also ran across some supplies for another project and decided to go for it. I already had the needles and block kit (and by the way, the second needle is still in the bag, completely unused). I just LOVED the color of the pouch I was using and I too was in need of an I-Pod cozy. So, here it is: The Blomster I-Pod Cozy!
When I was imagining how to decorate my cozy to keep, I knew it would have a flower motif (which is why I selected the Norwegian word for flower as its name). I noticed that there were some pre-cut flowers that I could have selected, many of which were very cute, but ALL of which incorporated beading. While I love beads (duh!), I didn't think they were right for this project because I knew this cozy could easily wind up at the bottom of my work tote bag. It needed to be ready to take a beating, and I didn't think the beads would hold up.

So, I had to think outside the box. Luckily, the company that sells all the rest of the needle felting supplies expected that there would be some crafters who wanted to break the mold. I was able to by a sheet of "roving," which looks a lot like the felt you might imagine from your childhood crafts. It's thicker and less tightly compressed, so it's a little bit softer.
Here I am cutting out my petals. The white circle in the middle is the pattern I made. I was doing the project over my coffee table and I did not expect such a big mess. Dust buster to the rescue!
Okay, the petals are all set to go, now I just need to add the center. I had one bright green leaf left over from the falling leaves project, which I was able to turn into a circle to serve as my center.
All pinned and ready for felting action! Once the front side was felted, I was feeling like the back was kind of plain. I didn't really want to do another big flower. I considered smaller flowers, though I was having trouble cutting the pieces so that they would be small but still show enough detail to seem like a flower. I was then struck by an idea, the use of my favorite symbol that reminds me of my time in Norway!
Yep, five little hearts all in a row. I really like the stylized shape, though it was mostly driven by the shapes of my scraps. I love it and I think it's the perfect complement to the bold flower on the front.

So, here we have it: The Blomster I-Pod cozy is ready to head out on the town!
 A perfect pair!
While needle felting is maybe a bit more of a winter craft, given the woolly quality of the materials, I highly recommend it. It's easy and a lot of fun!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Needle Felting, Part 1

I recently discovered the craft of needle felting. I suppose it's not much of a stretch from knit and crochet, but honestly, I didn't know what it was until a few weeks ago! I was digging around on the internet looking for something else entirely when I ran across instructions and a pattern.

Here, then, is my first project: the Falling Leaves I-Pod Cozy
How does this work? At least the way that I've done my projects, I bought a felted craft that was already complete. In this case, it's a little bag that's the right size to hold an I-pod. It came totally complete, even including a zipper and a lining! While I'd imagine it's possible to use this technique on something you made and felted yourself, that will have to be the focus of a post on another day!

So, my cozy was this beautiful shade of light blue. When I brought it home, it was completely plain (having been marketed for the purpose of needle felting). I don't know whether it would be possible to do this with any felted material you found, because I'm not sure whether there are chemicals added to some types of felt. I also picked up some pre-cut leaf designs. These also were marketed for needle felting, and I'm not sure whether it's possible to use something else. In the photo above, I have pinned them on to the pouch.
This photo gives you a better look at the felt shapes, and also a look at the needle. I bought a "Needle Felting Kit" which included two needles like this one along with a Styrofoam block. For this project, the block goes inside the pouch. Then, you drive the needle into the shapes over and over and over again. The instructions say it's important to make sure to keep the needle at a right angle to the fabric, and I did my best about that. You literally just shove the needle in there over and over and over again. It's a bit repetitive and can make your arm tired. After enough times having the needle pushed through, the shapes begin to bind to the felt base. If you do this, I recommend checking your progress by pulling gently at the shapes to see if they've bound and which areas need more attention. The block goes into the pouch to prevent damage to the table (or your lap) and to make sure that as you felt the shapes to the exterior that doesn't result in felting the two sides together. When you've securely attached your shapes to the outside, you'll notice some fuzzies inside the lining. Don't worry, it means you've done a good job!

Here are some shots of the finished product:
The shapes, depending on the thickness of the felt from which they were cut, will likely still stick up above the surface fabric. But, they're attached on there securely enough that I think you can toss this in your bag and take your I-pod to go!

Here's a shot of the other side! I made this project with one of my college roommates in mind, who simply loves the color blue. I hope that she enjoyed it, since I sent it off to her as a birthday present just a couple of days after her birthday. I also included this in the package:
This hat is knit in a yarn called Bernat Mosaic, which is a self-striping yarn. The color is called Optimistic, and this hat was made with leftovers from the scarf I made her for Christmas. I know it doesn't actually go with the needle felted pouch (or within the heading of this post, probably), but I still wanted to share it with her and with you!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Turquoise Flip Flops

 I saw these adorable flip flops at Target. Though you probably can't tell from the picture, these sandals are for kids. Uh oh! Looks like I won't be able to get these for myself anytime soon. I do dream of turquoise flip flops! 
Turquoise Flip Flops

Turquoise Flip Flops by marvelousminnie featuring NIKE sandals

Great news!  Target has some for adult ladies too! Bling and everything!