Category Archives: Hollidays

Owlet Costume for Halloween

Owl costume two view

With Halloween less than two weeks away, you have plenty of time to whip up this cute owl costume for your little owlet!  This costume is great for a toddler who is just starting to walk and still holds out their arms for balance, making it look like they’re flapping their wings!  Virginia just started walking at the beginning of October so she’s definitely at this stage right now (as you can see!).

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Why make an owl costume you ask?
For over a month I’ve been trying to decide what Halloween costume to make for Virginia.  Now that she’s 15 months old, and starting to show her own personality and interests, I thought I’d like to make her a costume to reflect something she seems to like at this point in her life.

Right now she seems particularly drawn to all things outdoors, specifically leaves, trees, squirrels, birds, airplanes, flowers, and the moon.  I’ve been collecting ideas on Pinterest, which is always a good starting point for inspiration, and found some cute ideas for trees, squirrels and owls.

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Then this past Sunday I just had the urge to get this project started!  You know that feeling when you want to do something and you need to get it done NOW!?  Yeah, that’s pretty much how I felt.  At that point I was leaning toward making her a tree and incorporating a squirrel and a bird, kind of like this cute little costume from Probably Actually.

But I also just wanted to start making something and didn’t want to go to the store.  Does this ever happen to you?  I get so frustrated going to the store!  It seems like such a process these days and then I feel deflated because after all the time, effort, and money, I still don’t end up with what I really wanted.  So I was determined to make something work from what I already had in my fabric stash.

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After digging around in the attic I settled on an old pink paisley cotton bed sheet that already had a number of chunks missing from other past projects, as well as a large remnant of blue fleece material I got for free at an Etsy event which I attended a few months back at the local fabric store, Stitch.

At this point I had abandoned the adorable tree idea and started to think about this cute owl costume that I saw from Martin Family Times.  I figured I could make a new crocheted owl hat (I made one for Virginia last winter) from the Repeat Crafter Me free pattern instead of making one from fabric as shown in the above mentioned inspiration.

Originally, I planned to make a cape of fabric feathers, similar to the inspiration, but I quickly changed my mind and went for a fitted poncho instead, mostly because I wanted something that she couldn’t easy take off!

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How to make the feathery fabric owl poncho:
First I measured Virginia’s “wing span” (24 inches from wrist to wrist), which gave me the diameter for my foundation fabric (the blue fleece).  I also figured out how big of a hole I needed for her head (about a 4.5 inch diameter circle in her case) then added a small slit to be able to put it over her head.

Next I cut a second circle 4 inches bigger than the first from the “feather fabric,” in this case a light weight cotton bed sheet.

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Now I took my paper pattern and folded it in half, than half again, and again, and again, etc, until I had a circle with evenly spaced segments to base my feathers off of.

Next I sewed the two circles together along the inner circle (where her head goes) and the outer circle to hold everything in place and cut out the outermost row of feathers.

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For each successive row, I cut my paper pattern 4 inches smaller in diameter, traced it onto the front of the costume using chalk, sewed along the chalk line, then cut the feathers out, staggering them over the previous row.  To cut out the feathers while the fabric was sewn down, I used a pair of small, sharp scissors and was very careful not to cut through the foundation fabric.  After the feathers were cut out, I flipped them up and sewed all the way around the row of feathers again very close to the edge of the fold, thus hiding the original line of stitching.  This gave the feathers a little more “lift” and dimension.

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I like the way the raw, fraying edges of the fabric adds to its “featheriness” don’t you?

Once the whole poncho was complete I sewed two vertical lines from the bottom up, leaving enough room for her arms, which created “sleeves” and also makes it nearly impossible for Virginia to remove it once it is on (HA!).

To finish it off I created my very own bias tape for the neckline (which I sewed on inside out, oops!) and a single, sew-on snap secures the neckline in the back to give it snug fit.

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Crochet owl hat modifications:
As mentioned above, the crochet owl hat pattern that I based Virginia’s hat on was originally by Repeat Crafter me, which is a WONDERFUL pattern all on its own.  I’ve made this hat in several sizes following the pattern to the letter and they always turned out beautifully.  But for this time I wanted to alter the pattern a bit to make it a bit warmer.  To do this I first switched yarns (from 100% acrylic to 100% super wash Marino wool) and used a slightly bulkier yarn BUT kept the same size hook (H) so as to make a tighter stitch.  In addition to using a bulkier yarn, I also worked the whole pattern in half double crochet instead of double crochet.  Of course this meant that I had to add more rows.  All in all I’m very happy with the way the hat turned out, even though the half double stitch shows the seam way more than when I did a double crochet stitch, but I can live with that.

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Oh, and did you notice that she’s got a little crocheted mouse?  I made it years ago from a pattern out of the book Amigurumi!: Super Happy Crochet Cute

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I couldn’t be a prouder owl momma!

Keep up with all things zween make sure you like me on Facebook, where I update regularly about all things crochet, baby, thrifting, and upcycling!

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this post!  Happy crafting and happy Halloween!

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Crochet Egg Cozy for Easter; Free Pattern!

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Just in time for Easter, some fun bunny shaped egg cozies to dress up your holiday baskets!  A couple of years ago I made these cute little hens, made from this pattern, and now they have some new friends to keep them company!  The following is my first ever published crochet pattern, so I apologize if there are any mistakes.  If you do find a mistake, or if you find any part confusing, please write a comment below and I will try to address it.

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Gauge
Gauge is important for this project because the cozy will need to fit around your egg. Because the size of eggs very, as well as your own personal crochet style (do you crochet more tightly or loosely?) you may need to adjust your hook size to accommodate these variables.  I use two different hooks to create these cozies; US size G and F.  If you are using the same or similar yarn as me (see below) try using the same size hooks as I do to start.  After about the 9th row or so of making the body, try it on your egg and make sure it fits well.  Adjust your hook size accordingly if this is not the case. (The photo below shows a cozy after completing row nine and my G hook.)

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Yarn
All cozies pictured here have been made with Caron Simply Soft. If you do not have this yarn available or if you would like to use a different yarn, it is labeled as “medium 4” yarn (worsted weight?) on the package and the recommended hook size is US H. If you do use a different yarn I would recommend sticking with a 100% Acrylic, as you will not have any unwanted stretch.

Supplies

Yarn (Caron Simply soft in any color or other similar 100% acrylic yarn of your choice)
Size G and F hooks (or size to obtain gauge, see above)
Tapestry needle
scissors
small safety-pin or stitch marker
fork

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abbreviations
st            stitch
sts          stitches
sl st        slip stitch
ch           chain
sc            single crochet
hdc         half double crochet
dc           double crochet
FPdc       front post double crochet

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Now lets begin the pattern!

Body (make one)
The body is worked from top to bottom in joined rows. The chain stitch (or stitches) at the beginning of each row does NOT count as the first stitch of the row.

With size G hook (or the larger of the two crochet hooks that you will be using to obtain gauge)
make a magic loop
Row one-  5 sc into loop, tighten loop, sl st into the first sc of the row (5 sc)
Row two-  ch2, 2 hdc into the first sc of the previous row and each remaining sc of the row, sl st into the first hdc of the row (10 hdc)
Row three-  ch2, 1 hdc into the first hdc of the previous row and each remaining hdc of row, sl st into first hdc of the row (10 hdc)
Row four-  ch2, *2 hdc into the first hdc of the previous row, hdc into next hdc,* repeat from * to * until the end of the row, sl st into the first hdc of the row (15 hdc)
Row five-  ch2, 1 hdc into each hdc of the previous row, sl st into the first hdc of the row (15 hdc)
Row six- ch2, *2 hdc into the first hdc of the previous row, hdc into next 2 hdc,* repeat from * to * until the end of the row, sl st into the first hdc of the row (20 hdc)
Row seven-nine- 1 hdc into each hdc of the previous row, sl st into the first hdc of the row (20 hdc)
Row ten-  with size F hook (or one hook size smaller than you used for rows 1-9), ch2, 1dc in each of the hdc of the previous row, sl st into the first dc of the row (20 dc)
Row eleven & twelve-  ch2, *1dc into first dc of previous row, 1dc in next st, 1FPdc in each of next 2sts,* repeat from * to * to end of row, sl st into the first dc of the row (20 dc)

leaving a six-inch tail, snip yarn, tie off and weave in the end.
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Ears (make two)
The ears are worked from top down. The first three rows are worked in a spiral, while the remaining rows are worked back and forth. Mark the first stitch of each of the first three rows using the safety pin or stitch marker so that you know where the rowed begins.

using size F hook (or the smaller of your two hooks to obtain gauge) make a magic loop
Row one- 6sc in loop, tighten loop (6 sc)
Row two- *2sc in first st, 1sc in next st,* repeat from * to * twice (9 sc)
Row three- 1sc in each st (9 sc)
Row four- flatten the bowl shape that you just made and work 4sc across, connecting the two sides, ch1, turn (4 sc)

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Row five-eleven- 1sc in each st, ch1 turn (4 sc)
at the end of row eleven, sl st into the first sc of that row (creating a fold at the bottom of the ear), leaving a 10-12 inch tail, snip yarn, tie off, make second ear, position both ears on body and attach.

The photo below shows the completed ear before folding the bottom in half and slip stitching into the first stitch of the last row.
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Tail (make one)

Using your fork and the tutorial found here, make a tail and attach it to your cozy.

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Your done!

*** Feel free to make these cozies for your personal use.  You may also make and sell egg cozies from my pattern locally (not online).  Please do not copy this pattern and claim it as your own. Please do not re-publish photo’s as your own.***

If you make an egg cozy I’d love to see it!  Post a picture on the zween facebook page or link to your blog post in the comments below!  Speaking of Facebook, make sure to keep up with all things zween by following me there as well as on Pinterest.

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Polaroid-Style Christmas Ornament

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Since this will be Virginia’s very first Christmas, my husband and I wanted to celebrate it by making photo ornaments of her to give to close family and friends.

If you would like to make your own Polaroid-style ornament, just follow along with my tutorial below.  There’s still enough time to make a nice DIY Christmas ornament with just the right amount of a retro flair!

Materials:
Here are the materials that I used.  Most can be substituted with things that you already have on hand.

wallet-sized photographs
ruler
Exacto knife/ cutting mat
bone folder (nice but not necessary)
heavy white paper (I used Reeves BFK)
ribbon
glue (I used a glue stick)
plastic sleeves to protect photo (again, nice but not necessary, I happened to have these laying around)
type writer (or just a pen if you want to have something written on your ornament)

Tutorial:
First choose the photo that you want to use and get it printed in wallet size. We ordered ours via email from Walgreens and they were ready for pick up in about an hour.

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You will then trim your photos so that they are 2″ x 2″ squares.
Next, cut out your paper to 2.5″ x  6″ using an Exacto knife and mark the “window” where your photo will be, as well as a center line at the 3″ mark with a pencil as a guide (this will help you line up your type if you are using a typewriter, though in this photo the type has already been added to the ornament).  There is a 1/4″ border around the window on the top and sides and about 3/4″ border along the bottom, giving it a Polaroid-like appearance.  If you are making several ornaments, as we did, it is easiest to make one and use it as a template for the rest.
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Now you can feed your paper through your typewriter to make your label. It is easiest to do this before you cut the window out.

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Carefully cut out the window using an Exacto blade and a ruler.

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Using your bone folder to make a nice, clean, crease; fold the paper in half, width-wise.

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To help protect your photo and make it look a little more Polaroid-like, insert it into a plastic sleeve, cutting off the extra plastic.

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Now spread glue all over the back of your ornament, sandwiching in your now-protected photo as well as your length of ribbon.

Your done! Now we’ll just have to explain to Virginia what a Polaroid and a typewriter is when she gets older!

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Happy crafting and Merry Christmas!

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Getting Ready for Market

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The Last Minute Market is right around the corner!  It’s hasn’t been easy with a little one underfoot (well, attached directly to me actually), but somehow I managed to take a ridiculous amount of plastic grocery bags (saved from the landfill!) and turn them into plarn in a rainbow of colors…  (a big thank you to everyone who collected and delivered bags to me!  This wouldn’t have been possible without you!)

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…It hasn’t always been pretty and my dining room table is still buried as I write this but…

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Looking over my small army of owl wristlets, which is currently at 11, I have to say I feel a curtain amount of satisfaction.

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Although the majority of my inventory consists of purses (owl and otherwise), I will be selling one lone Lorax made of plarn, which is my environmental mascot really.

the Lorax in plarn

Below is what my table will look like when you come to see me on Saturday!  Make sure to check out The Last Minute Market’s website for all the details but in the mean time here is what you really need to know;

When: Saturday December 15, 2012 10am-6pm
Where: The Screw Factory
13000 Athens Avenue, Lakewood, Ohio (My table will be on the 3rd floor)

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To keep up with all things zween, including special offers, make sure to like my facebook page.

This post has been added to the link party Make it Pretty Monday on the Dedicated House.  Make sure to go check it out and see what other crafty people are up to!

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DIY Ewok Costume for Baby

ewoks side by side

Although Return of the Jedi is my favorite of the Star Wars movies (which just so happens to feature the Ewok species), growing up in the 80s, it was the made for T.V. movies about the Ewoks that I was really drawn to, specifically the star Ewok, Wicket, and his young human sidekick, Cindel.  I can’t even imagine how many times I watched my VHS copies of Caravan of Courage and Ewoks: The Battle for Endor.  Now, 28 years after the Caravan of Courage debut, the Ewoks have found their way into my life again.

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The seed for this costume idea was planted this past summer when I found the brown furry fabric remnant (shown above) at a yard sale.  It was not a complete piece, but still had some good-sized sections remaining. The woman selling it said that her mom was a seamstress and that this fabric was most likely left overs from a coat lining. I couldn’t argue with the price either ($1).

I was still pregnant at the time but as soon as I layed eyes on it I knew I had to have that fabric.  Jon was with me, and being the voice of reason that he is (he hates clutter) said to me,  “What would you ever do with that?”  After a beat or two I proclaimed, “I’ll make an Ewok Halloween costume for the baby!”  And so, about 5 months later, here we are.

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To be honest, when I first came up with the idea I had serious doubts that I’d be able to pull it off.  It seemed a little too ambitious and out of my sewing capabilities.  I didn’t even know where to start.

Eventually I decided that my first plan of action would be to deconstruct a pre-existing sleeper in Virginia’s size to come up with the pattern for my Ewok suit, made out of the before mentioned fur fabric.  This is pretty self explanatory.  Find a garment in the size and style you want, take it apart, and use the pieces as a pattern for the new garment that you want to make.

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You’ll want to keep in mind that your “pattern” wont have any seem allowance, so just add that on when you cut it out. My original deconstructed sleeper was assembled with a serger.  If you have one, great!  Mine does’t work, so I utilized the zigzag stitch on my Plain Jane sewing machine and called it a day.

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The only parts that I omitted completely from the design where the cuffs around the arms and neck.  The neck area will be covered by her hood, and the sleeves could be covered by mittens.  I was going to make mittens, but because of my daughters’ age (3 and a half months) and the fact that she would just be putting them in her mouth constantly, I skipped this detail.

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Above was my first fitting after constructing the suit. You may notice that there is a fit issue around her left foot. Oops!  I ended up removing that section, cutting out a new leg/foot piece and re-esembeling it. Then I realized that the new section that I just made was for the RIGHT foot! Oops again! eventually I got it all worked out so that she could have a decently fitting right AND left foot. Below is the completed Ewok suit.

Work in progress; Ewok costume!

Now all I had to do was make a hood.  For this I found a medium-sized men’s shirt at a thrift store (shown at the top of this post) in the perfect mustard yellow to contrast with the brown fur.  I wanted the neck opening of the shirt to become the face opening of the hood, so I cut off the sleeves and up the sides of the shirt as shown below.

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Now all I had to do was shape it. In the back section of the hood I sewed in a small piece of elastic to help make the hood more snug. This is not how Wicket’s hood looks, though many other Ewoks sport this hood style.  Though I did try the hood on Virginia periodically to see how it was fitting, I mainly used a small pie pumpkin to shape the hood.  Not only did the pumpkin stay perfectly still, I could actually sew the hood while on a form.  The hood was mostly hand sewn using brown embroidery floss so as to stand out and look very tribal, much like actual Ewoks look.

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Overall, I’m really happy with how this costume turned out.  Seeing that this is Virginia’s very first Halloween, I figured I’d go all out with making a sweet costume for her.  She’s too young to go trick-or-treating, and we don’t have plans to attend any costume parties, but I still had to get in the spirit and make an outfit, if only to share with close family and all of you on the world wide web.

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Thanks for stopping by.  I hope that if you have been inspired if you are planning on tackling your own Ewok costume.  If you do I’d love to hear about in the comments here!  As always, you can keep abreast of all things Zween by following me on Facebook and Pinterest.  Happy crafting and happy Halloween!

This post has been added to the linky party Made by You Monday on Skip to my Lou.

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Traditional Christmas Stars

This Christmas season I decided to tackle a traditional ornament project; the Froebel Star (also know as an Advent Star, Danish Star, Polish Star, German Star, Swedish Star, etc).

I got the idea a couple of weeks ago on a routine trip to my local printer here in Lakewood, Ohio.  There the owner bundles up small packs of scrap paper that he trims from larger sheets.  Many of these are the perfect size for jotting down notes, but some are a bit more unusual.  I noticed that he was selling some bundles of long, thin strips of paper and the first thing that came to my mind where the Christmas stars that my Mom and her siblings used to make.  Growing up, I remember having  several of these stars that we hung on our tree.

At one point, several years ago, my mom taught me how to make one but I could no longer remember.  I decided to buy a bundle of long paper strips from the printer and give it a try anyway.

Starting with a simple google search, I eventually found this tutorial.  At first I found the tutorial too confusing to follow so I turned to YouTube, but I could only find one video which was poorly lite and not even in English.  It did give me a good enough understanding of the process however and when I went back to the original tutorial I found it much easier to understand.

When my mom used to make these she would dip them in wax and sprinkle them with glitter.  I decided to go sans wax and glitter on mine.  I like the simplicity of the parchment-like paper.

I love the dimensionality of these stars and I also love that I was able to make them out of materials that would otherwise be wasted.  The other day I went back to the printer to give him one of the stars made from his paper scraps.  He was really excited because he often gets customers in his shop who ask him, “what would you ever do with these skinny paper scraps?  Who would want these??”  So now he has something to show them when they ask these questions.

These stars make wonderful individual ornaments, but could also be strung together to form a beautiful garland.

What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions?  I’d love to hear about them in the comments below or on the zween facebook page.

Merry Christmas and happy crafting!

 

 

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Meet the artists of Coffee + Crafts

The first ever Coffee + Crafts trunk show at the Root Cafe is only about a month away, so I’d like to take this opportunity to share with you who will be there and the sorts of crafty awesomeness that they will be bringing!  For more information about the show, check out the event page on Facebook and while you are there go ahead and RSVP!

Thursday December 15

Chris Sorensen

Crafty and creative in her own right, Chris is also the owner of the awesome Lakewood brick-and-mortar shop called Crafty Goodness.  Chris works in a variety of media and will be showcasing both her own work as well as work from her shop.  You can check out her website, craftygoodnesscle.com to see more!

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Photo curtsy of Chris Sorensen

Kat Remick
Kat makes fun and festive headbands, hair clips, fascinators, ornaments and more!  Learn more about Kat on her website; kittenkaboom.wordpress.com

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Photo via HausOfKaboom on Etsy

Amy Annico

The Cleaner Wiener Dog Soap Company specializes in sulfate-free dog soaps derived from organic ingredients which are simple and clean. Liquid and bar soaps are available for your dog’s bathing enjoyment. Amy will also be selling glass-block and upcycled bottlecap jewelry in dog and holiday prints.  To see more of Amy’s products, check out her website or Etsy shop.

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Photo curtsy of Amy Annico

Friday December 16

Arooj Ashraf
Handwoven scarves, hand-stitched purses, pressed flower greeting cards and hair accessories.  Learn more about Arooj on her website; arooja.com
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Photo curtsy of Arooj Ashraf

Katherine Johnson
Quilted mug rugs and coasters using some repurposed fabrics or embellishments, and greeting cards using some recycled papers/cards/embellishments.  Find out more about Katherine on her website; theartfulhausfrau.blogspot.com

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photo curtsy of Katherine Johnson

Saturday, December 17

Meagan Shuttleworth
Lovely trendy, retro aprons for those who want to add a little style to their everyday chores in the kitchen or entertaining guests! Handmade flowers are added to each apron as a reminder to stop and smell the roses!  See more from Meagan on her website; The Witty Tales of Trendy Meg and see more aprons in her Etsy shop

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Photo via Trendy Meg on Etsy

Ingrid Nolan
Fused plastic bags/accessories, coffee take-out cozies, crochet/knit hats, scarves, and fingerless gloves.
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Photo curtsy of Ingrid Nolan

Emily Lindberg
Upcycled items such as crocheted owls made from plastic grocery bags and recycled fabric collages, as well as some coffee related stuff and maybe a few things to keep you warm as well!

Sunday, December 18

Brittany Charek

Fun, funky and useful novelty guitar picks made from recycled scrap plastic (recycled gift cards, ID cards, advertising, etc).  Grab a pack of assorted picks or just “pick” out your own.  Check out all of Brittany’s great stuff over on her Etsy shop.

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Photo via holdenallen on Etsy

Joanna Wilson

Beautiful hand-embroidered greeting cards.  See more in Joanna’s Etsy shop.

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photo curtsey of Joanna Wilson

Denise Kareliski
Fleece scarves, headbands and matching purses.

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photo curtsey of Denise Kareliski

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