Tag Archives: Sewing

My DIY Christmas Gifts


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(Christmas Eve night with Mister’s family)

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas full of joy and love, and I hope that you all got something special you were hoping for. I know I certainly did. Mister and I had about five different Christmas celebrations between Christmas Eve and Christmas day, and although travels were stressful, we got to share the holidays with many wonderful people. Now that Christmas is over and (the majority of) gifts have been given out, I can finally share with you the special gifts that I gave to those I love and care for that had that special DIY touch. I honestly believe that the presents that have extra time and handmade love put into them are the ones that mean the most. What all did I end up making? Well, let’s take a look.

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This was the first ever afghan I’ve ever made. It’s crocheted in a never ending granny square, which I learned by watching this video on Youtube. (Just FYI – check out some of the other videos from mikeyssmail for some other fantastic crochet tutorials) I made this one for Mister’s family, and I think they really enjoyed it. His little brother even slept under it Christmas Eve night.

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Unfortunately, I ran out of time to finish the afghan I started for my sister. I did, however, give her a picture of her future gift-in-progress.

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It’s been awhile since I’ve sat down with my pencils and tried to draw anything at all, so I was really just hoping for the best here. I wanted to do something special for Mister’s brother and his girlfriend, and Mister really liked my portrait idea. While I’m not completely happy with it (which I don’t think I ever really am when it comes to any drawings), they were really happy with it and thought it looked just like them.

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Another special portrait I couldn’t really take credit for. While I have to have a photo of the subjects posed just the way I want them to look, my brother in law luckily doesn’t. So when I came up with an idea for another gift, I turned to him for assistance. When Mister’s Nanny passed away, his whole family was heartbroken. At the gravesite, Mister’s mother was crying, and he put his hand up on her shoulder and sang “Amazing Grace”, a family favorite especially for Nanny. Later, his mother sent him a text saying how that was a moment that should would never want to forget…so for Christmas I wanted to give her something that would always help her remember. Major thanks to my brother in law for making my vision for this portrait a reality. I absolutely loved presenting this gift. Not many pictures were taken at this point since we were all lost in happy tears. 

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Personalized Presents

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Another fun gift I can only take credit for the concept…Mister’s little brother is developing an interest in the culinary arts, and I wanted to have a fun DIY present for him. A friend at work has a sister who owns one of the super duper heavy duty embroidery machines, and I asked her if it would be possible to put his name on a chef’s hat. I explained that I wanted to stuff it with kitchen goodies. Much to my surprise, she also made an apron to match and had his name put on the pockets. Such a fun, simple gift that was definitely enjoyed.

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Another personalized present came along as somewhat of an accident. I was at an auction and snuggies were up for bid for very very cheap. The auctioneer said the color of the snuggie was blue, as that was what was pictured. It wasn’t until I got home with my new snuggie that I noticed “Support Your City – Pittsburgh” labeled on the box. “Uh-oh,” I thought, and opened it to discover a black and gold snuggie with Pittsburgh embroidered on the pocket. That just wouldn’t do. I’m not a sports fan, and neither is Mister, but black and gold are the colors of his fraternity. One seam ripper and some iron-on letters later, the AXN snuggie was born and was a major hit with Mister.

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This was by far the best received gift, and I couldn’t be more thrilled about the emotional response it received. My sister saw a pin on Pinterest of an idea to have your little girl photographed in your wedding dress (it also suggests that one day you can display it at her wedding). My sister merely mentioned it once how much she’d love to have pictures done of my neice like that, and the lightbulb went off. How difficult could it really be? The only difficult part was getting my neice away from my sister long enough to play a little bit of dress up. I have to give my neice credit, she was a fantastic secret-keeper as well. She told me that she had told mommy that she and Aunt E were going to do crafts so she told me we had to do at least one craft so she wouldn’t be lying to mommy. I had wanted to get one printed on canvas, but aside from not being able to pick just one, it had taken until the last few days before Christmas to be able to sneak my neice away, which didn’t leave much time for printing. Instead, I got a few small favorites framed and tried out the faux canvas printing at the local Walmart, which I had a coupon for (woohoo!). I’ll refrain from posting all the pictures of my sister’s extremely emotional reaction, but let’s just say I’m pretty much the best sister ever. 🙂

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I hope you all had a fantastic holiday, and have a happy New Year. Best wishes to you all! There’s sure to be many more adventures for Creative Chronicle in the new year…


Bargains, Birthdays, and Bragging Rights!


It’s been a jumbled mess over here at the Creative Chronicle homestead. Let’s just say there are multiple projects that are currently works in progress. I like having a lot on my plate, but I feel better when I can start checking the completed items off my list. Hopefully, that will start happening soon…then I can share them all with you.

There are a few things I would like to share with you though. First and foremost, my crafty bargains that I’m super pumped about. Unfortunately, our local Borders, like all other Borders across the country, is being shut down. I was at a loss (until it was reported Books-a-Million would be moving into the space shortly thereafter). There is one upside from the shut down though, markdowns! Unfortunately, there weren’t very many worthwhile deals while I was there, since they were attempting to drag out their stay till at least September and so better bargains will happen then. One thing I was very excited about though was 40% off magazines. I’ve always enjoyed going to bookstores and looking at any of the Stampington publications. I say “looking” because unfortunately I can’t normally blow $15 on a magazine. At 40% off though? I decided to treat myself to Art Journal and Somerset Life. Additionally I picked up a bargain book on paper crafting that had even more marked down than the $1.99 pricetag, and I picked up a set of 70 mini fibre pen markers (perfect for journaling on the go) for less than $5.


After Borders, I couldn’t resist the massive banners proclaiming the sale at Michael’s, so I popped right in and out for less than $10. What a steal! Two sets of alphabet stamps, two ink pads, 3 blank canvas panels, some nifty new yarn, and new knitting needles! Huzzah!


Moving on…this past weekend was my sister’s birthday. Remember in Easy Apron how I said I had picked up two of those preprinted pattern aprons? The rooster apron was perfect for my sister since it matches the decorations in her kitchen. I fired up the sewing machine, and here were the results:


Not too bad for a quick birthday present fix. Now what about those bragging rights, you ask? What in the world should I be bragging about? Well, you had to know it had something to do with Mister, right? He’s the sweetest, and I just have to brag on him a little. He got ahold of my journal this week while I was at work and left me something heartwarming to read.


If you can read his chickenscratch, you know I have every reason to brag on him. He’s quite the romantic. 🙂

Time to get back to the grindstone though. Several projects coming up soon!

Easy Apron


My favorite sewing machine hasn’t been running properly in about a year, and I was finally to the point that I wanted to find someone who could fix it. I decided instead to give one last ditch effort at getting this baby up and running right. After some MUCH needed cleaning and a little tweaking, my little Singer was back in business.

To make sure that it wasn’t just a momentary fix, I wanted a quick project to test the machine out. Digging through my drawers, I found just the thing. A few months ago, a nearby Walmart was phasing out their fabric department in favor of a party supply department (sadface, for sure). The only plus to this event was a massive markdown on all kinds of fabrics and craft projects. I found this apron project that had the pattern pieces preprinted onto the fabric and fell in love, especially when the price rang up $3. I ended up grabbing two, the rose one for myself and a rooster apron to make for my sister’s upcoming birthday (should probably get started on this!). These projects have just sat around untouched though due to both of my sewing machines not being functional…until now.


I was so happy with the way it turned out. I’m a sucker for pretty aprons, and I’m happy to add this one to my collection. I highly recommend the preprinted sewing projects for an easy afternoon craft!

Also…super cute cat picture to share… 🙂
Jenks in her adorable bonnet. Prettiest cat I know, even if she’s incredibly displeased at the moment.


Lovely Little Owl Brooch


Tonight I took a time out from my senior project (one can only look at so many post-it notes), to put together this little beauty. I’d seen so many adorable little owl brooches on etsy and other blogs, but I couldn’t find one that combined all the little elements and details that I liked. When I happened upon a good sized package of felt and some tye dyed cotton, I couldn’t resist trying to put together my own little owl brooch the way I wanted it to look. There are several layers to this cutie, but she didn’t take too long to put together. It was a much needed mental break for me. I wish you could see the tye dye element to her belly, but I guess that’s what I get for only taking pictures with an iPod. I’m very excited by this little project, and I plan on making a few sisters for my little owl friend. I love the idea of bright colored brooches!