Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Granny's Bunting Free Crochet Pattern

I have recently been teaching myself to crochet and I think I just might have found a new love. One of the first things I mastered was granny squares, which are amazingly amazing all on their own. When I got tired of making squares however I took the basic ideas of the granny squares and made bunting!

 Its a really basic pattern and is quick to make but it makes a really cute decoration. I actually am going to make some up in school colors to decorate the dorm during hockey season next year (Minnesota colleges go nuts for hockey season like the rest of the county does for football, cuz were strange like that..)

I wrote the pattern up in case any of you want to make it as well. Click here to go to Craftsy where your can download the chart for free. I used a size H hook and worsted weight yarn for mine and its the "perfect" size for me.

If any of you make up some bunting using this pattern, please leave a link below so we can all see your amazing work!

Good Luck, Nikki

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Expanded campus Clutch Pattern

After the crazy success of my last pattern, I did a little revamping of my Campus Clutch pattern and made it bigger, roomier, and more functional. I give you the...

Expanded Campus Clutch

This clutch is quite a  bit larger than the previous version, but is still small enough to be easy to carry as a wristlet and lug around campus. The Expanded Campus Clutch also features TWO front card slots, as opposed to one on the previous versions, and a loop closure to make sure the cards are extra secure as your running to class.

The pattern is available to download on Craftsy HERE

Here's a size comparison of the original Campus Clutch to the Expanded Campus Clutch. The Expanded version is approximately 1" taller and 1" wider than the original Clutch. 

Happy sewing, Nikki

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

My Favorite Health and Wellness Documenteries

Hey All! I have really been getting into watching documentaries on Netflix lately and wanted to share some of my favorite health ones with you!

Ingredients  "weighs the shortcomings of America's industrialized food system against a rising local-growth movement, whose proponents are shrinking the gap between farmland and dinner table."
I really liked this one for the insights on eating local and the benefits of supporting local farms and producers.

Hungry for Change "exposes secrets the diet, weight loss and food industries don't want consumers to know about: deceptive strategies designed to keep you coming back for more. Find out what's keeping people from having the body and health they want."
This one was the first one i watched and a real eye opener! Talks about why diet soda is really worse for you than regular soda and the secret ingredient in junk food that is as addicting cigarettes

America the Beautiful 2 "examining how the national obsession with weight loss has negatively affected our perception of what really constitutes a healthy weight."
I really liked this one for really showing both sides of the weight struggle story. Not only does it explore fad diets and obesity but it also talks about the growing eating disorder epidemic in America. 

Forks Over Knives "Focusing on research by two food scientists, this documentary reveals that despite broad advances in medical technology, the popularity of animal-based and modern processed foods have led to epidemic rates of obesity, diabetes and other diseases."
This ones not for everyone but it contains a lot of information on plant verses meat based diets and the benefits that come form a plat based diet. 

Fresh "surveys American farmers' and researchers' pioneering efforts to develop efficient systems for growing food. All of those profiled share a common goal of limiting pollution while creating healthier products."

Another great film on the benefits of eating fresh and local.

If you guys watch any of these let me know what you think!

Much Love, Nikki

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Handmade Dorm: Dressed up Ikea Boxes

Hey everyone! I have a quick, simple Handmade Dorm project today.

 We have had these really boring and not very attractive boxes from IKEA in our craftroom for about a year now. They weren't being used for anything and weren't even assembled but I knew they'd be great storage for my dorm. There was no way, however, that they were going  as plain and boring as they were. And so..

$4 IKEA boxes + 6x6 srapbook paper = Pretty and Functional Storage!

This was a really simple project. All I really did modge podge a piece of scrapbook paper to the front of each box.

- Apply modge podge to the lower half of the front of the box first and make sure the bottom edge is nice and straight before gluing the rest of the sheet
- Wrap the edges of the scrapbook paper around to the back of the cardboard and secure the back with tape
- Apply pressure to the wrapped top edge of the scrapbook paper until completely dry, if you don't do this the paper will separate from the box
- Use an Xacto knife or a pen to punch the paper through the holes of the cardboard

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

WIP Wednesday: 3/20/13

Let me just say how shocked I am about how much I got done this week!!!

Last Thursday I released a pattern on Craftsy for my Campus Clutch, a wristlet purse that I designed for carrying around my college campus. You can read more about it and get the full tutorial here if you haven't seen it yet. This was the first project of my new Handmade Dorm series that will probably last right until movie in day at the end of August.

This morning I had the sheer joy of finding out that my simple little pattern was trending on Craftsy, in fact it was #2 on the site!!! Thank you to everyone who has downloaded and tried the pattern and I would absolutely love to see how yours turned out!!

I spent a good chunk of my downtime working on hand quilting my HST sampler quilt and, as I've said before, I absolutely love piecing quilts but I freaking hate quilting them. Like hate, hate. Hate with a passion hate. I managed to make it a third of the way through so far though! Here's hoping I'll finish it by next Christmas ;)

Lastly I started toying with making book bags for part of the Handmade Dorm series. The first one I made used this free pattern but I redesigned it some. I simplified the front completely and made the handle attachments a lot sleeker and simpler. The print was so darn crazy on its own that I didn't want all the extra detailing making tit look too over worked.

Ipad inside for size comparison

Happy Sewing, Nikki

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Handmade Dorm: Campus Clutch

UPDATE 3/31/13 *** There have been quite a few people that have been having issues downloading the tutorial  Please know that the tutorial is posted as a free pattern on Craftsy. Click the link below and then click the "download pattern" button on the right side of the Craftsy page to get the full tutorial. A download will then start for a PDF that has the full tutorial. Also some people are upset that the tutorial is in the PDF format, while I am sorry that its not what you wanted, it is a lot easier for me to post and share tutorials in this format.  Again comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated!***

YAY! New series!

Next year is going to be my first year living on campus, in a dorm. (EEEK!) 

For the first two years that I've been in college, I stayed living at home. This was a really tough decision for me but it gave me a chance to save money and be able to graduate with less debt. While it has been great to be able to be at home with my animals and family, I am very excited to be able to start this new part of my life. But, me being me, my room is going to be a bit different that other dorms.. my dorm will be "handmade"!! 

Totes, boxes, storage, decor, Im making it all! Well at least as much as I can..

First in this series, is the Campus Clutch! 

On a college campus, any college campus, your student ID is your ticket to the world. Its your room key, your meal pass, your ticket into sporting games and all campus activities, and on large campuses its a campus debit card too. You cant go anywhere on campus with out that thing and you NEED to be able to access it quickly (you so do not want to be the person holding up the line into the dining hall because you cant find your ID in the bottom of your ridiculously large and messy purse). Speaking of over sized purses, no one carries them on campus, few people carry any purse at all. 

Combining these two well known campus facts inspired my Campus Clutch. Large enough to fit your phone with a snug card pocket on the outside, the Campus Clutch is the perfect accessory for running around campus!