Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Free Printable: Christmas quote

Cobberson & Co for Blissful and Domestic - free christmas printable

Last week I was a guest blogger for the lovely Danielle over at Blissful and Domestic and shared a free 8x10 Christmas print.  Check out my post on her blog, and download your print for a little last minute holiday decor!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Free printable - Handspun With Love yarn label

Cobberson & Co.  Handspun with love free printable gift tag

Good news handspinners - I have a new free printable Handspun With Love label just for you!  

Cobberson & Co.  Handspun with love free printable gift tag

I printed out my label on kraft scrapbook paper (using the best quality option on my printer) and then backed it with a floral sheet of scrapbook paper that had a vintage vibe.  There are thick black borders on each side of the heart that you can either choose to include or cut off, depending on the look you are going for.  I chose to cut them off, since I didn't think they added anything to the floral background.  

Cobberson & Co.  Handspun with love free printable gift tag

The font I used for the word Handspun has a distressed, vintage feel to it.  The fading on the H is not your printer doing something weird - it's supposed to be like that :)

Cobberson & Co.  Handspun with love free printable gift tag

The side of the label has places for you to write in the yardage and weight of the yarn

Cobberson & Co.  Handspun with love free printable gift tag

as well as care instructions and fiber content.

Cobberson & Co.  Handspun with love free printable gift tag

Just fold/ cut the ends to the correct size for your skein and tape the label closed with a fun piece of washi tape.  

Cobberson & Co.  Handspun with love free printable gift tag

And that's it!  Download the PDF here.  Printables are for personal, non-commercial use only. Enjoy and happy crafting <3

Friday, December 12, 2014

Sneak peek of Handspun with Love gift tag!

Cobberson handspun with love free printable gift tag

Just need to photograph the brand spanking new Handspun gift tag in action and it will be ready for you all this weekend!  Subscribers will receive the download link in this weekend's update, so be sure to sign up to have it sent to your inbox.  Printables are for personal, non-commercial use only.  Hope you love it <3

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The one where your handknit gift is accidentally destroyed...

Five years ago, before my nephew was born, I felt like it was time to tackle an insanely complicated and awesome baby gift for him that was not a hat or sweater or normal baby blanket.  I ended up going with the Sleepy Monkey Blanket, a reversible stroller blanket full of crazy color work and constructed with steeks.  If you've never tried steeking, it's pretty much the organic chemistry of knitting, known to strike fear into even the most experienced knitters, but super exciting and fun if you just go for it.  You basically spend weeks knitting the blanket in the round, sew (with a sewing machine) a couple lines from top to bottom with sewing thread and then CUT the blanket in half so it's flat.  

Anyway, it looked like this when I was finished:

front of sleepy monkey blanket

back of sleepy monkey blanket

dual side action

And I was super proud of the finished blanket, and even prouder when my SIL held it up for everyone to see at her shower.  

The fate of the blanket was not a good one :)  After my nephew was born, he got some use out of the blanket, until one day he did his baby business on it.  Like any other parent with a poopy blanket, my SIL threw it in the wash.  Unfortunately when she pulled it out afterwards it was the size of a washcloth.  I didn't find out about this until my nephew was like 3 years old and I remembered that I hadn't seen the blanket ever at their house.  Even though it was destroyed, and I was pretty sad about the whole thing (knitter's grief - is there such a thing?) it made me really happy to know they had actually USED and loved it.  I wouldn't have even thought to use it for something other than decoration.

I posted the short version of this story on FB, and I think it's something every knitter can relate to.  What gifts have you made and later learned of their untimely demise?

Monday, November 3, 2014

When there's no time to craft

Back in August, I told you about my boys asking me to knit them up some Harry Potter robes. Shortly after starting, my first grader decided he wanted to wear his robe as his Halloween costume, which seemed pretty awesome and a way to get a huge head start.  So I took my sweet time the first month, knitting a few rows here and there, thinking I've got this, no big deal, there's still like two months to go before Halloween.  Then work suddenly became insanely busy and for a few weeks, all I did was wake up, go to work, come home and make dinner, work, go to sleep, repeat.

During those weeks, two things happened.  1.  My first grader asked me every day if I had finished his HP robe yet.  Every day I said no, but I promised him that it would be finished in time for Halloween.  I rarely promise anything to the kids, because I never want to break my promise to them.  But I was pretty confident in my ability to finish this robe, and he REALLY loved that scarf that I made him last year, so I knew he'd be so happy with his mom-made costume.  And 2.  Those few weeks of zero creativity were excruciatingly long and depressing.

I don't know about you, but if I don't have a chance to make something, anything, on a given day, I get ridiculously antsy.  That's probably why I love knitting the most- you can turn mindless relaxation time (which we all need, right?) into productive time.  Watch some tv, end up with a sweater.  

Once those few crazy weeks ended, I kicked my knitting into overdrive, because omg, that was a LOT of stockinette to tackle with only a few more weeks until Halloween.  Every spare minute after the guys went to sleep was spent working on the robe.  I started taking my knitting bag with me everywhere, getting a few rows in during lunch, or on the ferry.  

One week out from Halloween, and I was in a panic.  I had the entire back finished and half of the front right section, which meant I was still missing both sleeves,one and a half front pieces the hood, plus everything had to be sewn together.  But I couldn't break my promise- I was finishing this robe on time if it killed me.

For the rest of the week, after we came home and ate dinner, I worked on the costume until I fell asleep.  Then suddenly Halloween was the next day and I was still missing a whole sleeve and hood (which I made the last minute decision to forgo, since it wasn't a critical piece).  I stayed up all night making the sleeve and finally sewing everything together around 3:30 am.  The costume was finished at 6:15 am, and have never felt so proud of any project I have ever made. 

It may not have been the most complicated project, or had the most intricate patterning, but I was able to keep my promise to my little guy :) He was so happy and proud to wear his robe to school for their Halloween parade. 

Pattern:  Wizard Robe from Charmed Knits
Gryffindor Tie:  Harry Potter Tie
Wand:  Our own chopstick ;)

Friday, September 26, 2014

Sneak peek: new printable gift tags

Here's a peek at a couple of the new handmade gift tags I'm working on.  There are also a few more that aren't shown here.

cobberson handmade gift tags

What do you think of the new shapes?  I thought it might be fun to mix things up a little, instead of just doing the regular rectangular labels again.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Dipping a toe into art journaling

So let's talk about why I've been MIA for the past few weeks:  my boys started preschool and first grade :)  I'm learning how to navigate the world of public school, PTA, and everything else that goes along with having a first grader. Including losing an hour of sleep due to an earlier start time.  *yawn*

However, I can't get enough of just hanging with the boys and just watching their little personalities develop and the whole brother dynamic!  My preschooler is so adorably proud of being a big boy and my first grader is reading and gaining so much self confidence.  It's an amazing thing - something I want to remember beyond just the photos on my phone- and so I'm trying my hand at art journaling this school year.

Art journaling is something I've always been interested in from afar, more so than scrapbooking, which seemed like it takes a lot of pre-planning. Which is fine, except I know I am one of those people who will get so hung up on the layout, that a finished page will never, ever happen. Since I've never done any kind of art journaling (even a sketchbook felt weird to me, and I was an art major! I always wanted any sketch I started to be completely worked into a finished piece.), I decided to seek out a little help.

I found a free two week e-course, Art Journaling 101, on Kristal Norton's blog.  Each day, Kristal emails you a short lesson which consists of a YouTube video on beginner subjects, such as choosing materials, how to get over staring at the blank page, etc.  She's so good at making you feel comfortable, and takes the self-imposed pressure off of you to always make this perfect beautiful page.  Not every page has to be perfect - the point is just to go with it.  That seemed like a philosophy I could get behind.

So I decided to start an art journal for this school year, to help me remember all the little milestones and funny things the guys say.  It felt natural to write the entries as little letters to the boys, so that's what I'm doing.  I'm not even attempting to add backgrounds and build up the page/ background yet; instead, I'm just going for memories and I figure once I get in a routine, the creative part will start to flow.

I'm starting out with the most basic of supplies, until I figure out where I want this thing to go artistically:

Cobberson basic art journal supplies

In case you're wondering*:

-4 Pack Big Bee Pads 12X9
-Pentalic Watercolor Pencil Set
-Staedtler Art Erasers, 1 Kneadable and 1 Art Gum
-Pigma Micron 05 Ink Pen, 0.45-mm, Black

I started with the first day of school and did a two page spread.  The first page is going to basically just be all photos, which I haven't printed out yet, so there wasn't really a point to showing that here :) The second page is describing my favorite moment from the first day.  My first grader was visibly nervous waiting to go into school, and his best friend took his hand and said,"don't worry, I'm with you."  He looked so relieved when she said this, and they walked into school together, holding hands until they were out of sight.  It was such a special moment.

cobberson art journal first entry

So my plan now, besides printing all those first day pictures and gluing them in (hurry up already!), is to just stick a post it to the outside of the book where I can note any interesting events and pick my favorites to journal at the end of the week.  That seems to be as low pressure a journal as I can possibly come up with, so hopefully I will stick with it.  

Have you ever kept an art journal?  What did you think of the process- enjoyable creative outlet, or did it turn out with wasn't really your thing?

*Disclosure- Cobberson & Co. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.  You are not charged a higher price for items you purchase using my link.  I did not receive these items for free in exchange for linking to them.  All opinions on these products are my own.

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