Gift Exchange Surprise!

I'm participating in my very first gift exchange hosted by The Ardent Sparrow!  I've handcrafted two very exciting and Christmassy lovelies for the exchange, and wrapped them to the best of my abilities.  Gift wrapping is not my forte, but I think it turned out pretty good. 

The example photos of beautifully wrapped gifts presented to us at The Ardent Sparrow were admittedly a bit intimidating.  I went for "original" and "what was on hand" in my creative process.  I raided my sewing stash for some inspiration and the theme emerged - behold!  Upcycling!  A scrap of pretty fabric that could be used again!
Fabric feels so good and makes me happy...

Pinking shears to prevent fraying; a loose running stitch to hold in place.

Folded and hand stitched ends.  Use pins to keep fabric from slipping, remove after a few stitches.
Next I found a bit of vintage gray yarn that's too scratchy for a hat or scarf, but still good for other crafts.  I thought it was wintery, textural and complimented the colors nicely.

I found a few buttons from my vintage button collection to embellish with.

I wove the yarn and buttons together and tied at the bottom.

At an Estate Sale earlier this year I scored a giant pack of vintage florist cards.  They're the perfect size for gift tags!  Just punch a hole and voila.  I tried to add a little flair with vintage sheet music, another vintage button and some millinery tulle.

I shipped it off today and forgot to include the card about myself (of course!) but will send that off separately tomorrow. 
My daughter was home sick from school today and she helped me cover the shipping box in her little dog and cat Christmas stickers.  I hope Laura appreciates her efforts!  :)

This was so fun to do.  I can't WAIT to share what's inside the box!  But you'll have to wait until she opens it...


Sweet and Sentimental Handmade Ornament Tutorial Links

Today I came across this Pasta Angel Ornament tutorial that's so cute I just had to share!  It's from Craftily Ever After, a blog I've been following full of crafty ideas, tutorials, free downloads, etc.
Pasta Angel Ornaments
These are incredibly adorable and remind me of some of the ornaments I made as a kid! 

The Pasta Angels got me on a roll seeking tutorials for crafts that reminded me of my childhood.  There are so many great ones out there!  I thought I'd post a couple more that I came across today...
Salt Dough Ornaments
I found this one for salt dough ornaments over at It's All In My Head. Remember making these? Just salty cookies that you cut out and paint with acrylic, decorate with glitter, etc. Mine weren't pretty, but mom kept them anyway and put them up on the tree every year (they lasted forever!)

And isn't that what Christmas decorating is really about anyway? The sentimental stuff!!! And speaking of sentimental stuff...
Christmas Candy Trees from Life Is A Party
These are wonderful!  I found the tutorial from Life Is A Party via Under The Table & Dreaming's Sunday Showcase Party (which has tons of craft tutorial links!)  I want to make a forest of gumdrop and hard candy trees (if I can keep the gumdrops hidden from the husband long enough...)  Remember gumdrops?

Happy crafting!  :)

Zaynee Designs Lariat Giveaway Winner!!!

Thank you to all who entered!  The winner of the Zaynee Designs crocheted lariat giveaway is Megan from the Studio M.M.E. Blog

Be sure to follow the Deeds & Petunia blog - we're doing another talented Etsy artist feature and giveaway very soon (like sometime in the next couple weeks!!!)

Happy Monday...


Some new (old) Christmas favorites

The St. Vincent De Paul in Tacoma is a treasure trove for Grannys on the inside like me (some call my taste "tacky" or "worn out,"  I prefer "Granny Chic.")  The key is to dig and dig and dig.  And keep an open mind.  I never find what I go there to look for!

My last visit turned up many Christmas goodies, and a couple old jewelry boxes that were originally intended for part of my craft show display.  I have fallen in love with the red lined jewelry box and so am greedily keeping it for myself although I have own very little jewelry. 

 I'm entranced by the little ballerina who twirls to a nameless song and the fruity perfume that still lingers.

I also found this lovely lady all decked out for Christmas in her festive red and white crocheted dress, hat and muff.  She has soft wool hair and crystal blue eyes that my children love to open and close (I imagine she's quite dizzy after being handled thusly.)  From what era???  I couldn't say.  Old.  That's all I know.
My daughter had dubbed her "Phyllis"
 I also came across a vintage handmade quilted patchwork tree skirt with bright, cheerful floral prints that would look perfect in my little old lady's cottage.  Pictures to come.

(Side note - while I was taking these photos today, my camera finally bit the dust, so they're less than amazing.  I can't exactly fit a new camera into the budget, so I'm praying that it will either be miraculously healed, an orphaned digital SLR will magically turn up on my doorstep or the money to buy a new one will be in my PayPal account soon!  :)  A girl can dream, right...)

At the local North Tacoma Goodwill I came across a crocheted door ornament with jingle bells, a bag full of vintage ornaments without a price tag (JACKPOT!) In it were a few mercury glass balls and a 3D ornament like my parents used to hang on their tree.  It's always a good feeling when you find an items that's not tagged.  It usually means a bargain!

I found another vintage angel with soft white hair and an adorable little pink safety pin angel for the mantel, along with a shiny, tiny present garland (pictured with Phyllis.)

 I thought I'd post my favorite Christmas decoration as well.  My Christmas pudding kitty frieze!  I have two that I bought from Past Times when I lived near Cambridge in the UK.  It used to be my favorite store!  The little old lady living inside me couldn't get enough Victorian reproductions, Celtic print scarves and pewter goblets.

The tree is trimmed and most of the decorations are up.  We made cookies today and are playing with the Christmas PlayMobil advent toys.  It's beginning to feel like Christmas finally!


Etsy Artist Feature & Crocheted Lariat Giveaway!!! ZayneeDesigns

Meet Jen from Zaynee Designs
Photo by GinaNeal.com
She makes incredible crocheted accessories (including the AMAZING ruffled scarf that I custom ordered earlier this year.  I get so many compliments!!!)

Her crocheted goodies would make perfect gifts this holiday season, don't you think?  Here are some of her lovely handmade items for sale in her Etsy shop:
Golden Honey Bamboo Scarflette/Collar, $34
Sapphire Child's Scarflette, $23
Silver Sage Bamboo Lariat Necklace, $36
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your Etsy shop:
ZAYNEE is the nickname my high-school-sweetheart husband gave me 12 years ago, when we were still just friends.

DESIGNS...well I like to design fun functionals for you and your little ones. In between mommy duties. While I'm watching movies or chatting with friends.

My specialty is making scarves. I started experimenting with making scarves because I wanted something unique to wear on a Valentine's date with my husband. I wanted something ruffly to pop out of the top of my jacket and look like jewelry when I took the jacket off. Although that first item is, um, not that cool, it got me started on a scarf-making quest!

My scarves are not only functional, they wear like jewelry. They are versatile. They can be adjusted, wrapped, or draped to go with anything. They blend practicality with a touch of elegance or fancy. I make the scarf, my customers choose the fit and style!

I try to keep sustainablility in mind, so most of my materials are made from sustainable sources, castoff yarns from used-item stores or friends, or organic. During the warmer seasons, my plan is to expand my kids' clothing section. I always use repurposed linens and fabrics found during yard-sale treasure hunts. Most of the trims are also vintage, reused, or cast-offs from people I know. I also plan to add some crocheted wire jewelry to my design shop this spring, as well as more delicate crocheted items that are lightweight and wear like necklaces. I have a few items like this in my shop now, and I am planning more.

Tell us 3 interesting things about you: 

I don't know if these things are REALLY interesting to other people...
1. I home-educate my three children.
2. I once played the violin, er, fiddle, in a celtic-medieval four-piece band.
3. I speak Spanish conversationally FINALLY after 7 years of studying...but I only learned because I lived next door to a Mexican woman who was a very patient teacher.

Tell us 3 uninteresting things about you:
1. I find ironing clothes relaxing.
2. I really love cloth diapering, despite the extra work.
3. My favorite little luxury is an amazing cup of coffee or a well-made cappuccino.

What are your favorite materials?
Right now my favorite yarns are the organic cotton yarns that I've discovered. They are buttery soft, so sustainable, and just luxurious. I like bamboo-blends, too. I just love the matte quality of the organic cottons.

What do you like to do when you're not crafting?
I love to read to my children. There are so many wonderful childrens' books, and I enjoy them as much as my kids do. I also like to write childrens' fantasy stories that I write and read aloud to my daughter at the same time. Sometimes she throws in her ideas, and we work it into the story together.

I like to play around on the piano and try to sing along with it (playing chords). I am not a very good singer, and I don't really PLAY piano, but I find it soothing and enjoyable all the same. (I do feel sorry for anyone who might be listening).

In the evenings my husband and I relax sometimes by watching sitcoms that we check out from the library. My current faborite funny show is Monk.

I also enjoy reading the Bible and journaling.

As a family, we try to hike as much as time and weather allow.

What Inspires You?
My inspiration comes from my kids, friends, books, and what is lacking in mass-produced stuff--handmade creativity with social and environmental responsibility. Which is why I am teaching my six-year-old daughter to crochet,sew, cook, and be creative, and why I'll equip my other two children in the same way when they get a bit older. Because lifelong skills like handcrafts can't be overrated. They are what add richness to our lives.

So I bring these made-in-between-and-during-life handcrafts to my customers.

In addition, I am really inspired by a yarn or fabric's texture and colors. Sometimes I just stand in the store and stare at the yarn until an idea comes to mind. I also browse knit and crochet books looking for stitch patterns or styles that inspire me, and I create my own idea based on those images. Functionality is a big inspiration: it has to work easier than the old stuff. I love the versatility that buttons and drawstrings bring to scarves. You can wear them in so many different ways. They are generally more versatile than your average simple scarf. Nature is also an inspiration: flowers, leaves, colors, etc. Also, the colors of different seasons.

Jen is so very generous too!  She's doing a GIVEAWAY for one of her fabulous lariats!!!
Bamboo Blossom Lariat Scarf
There are many ways to enter (up to 8!)  Please leave a separate comment below for each entry you've completed:

• "Heart" Zaynee Designs on Etsy 
• "Like" Zaynee Designs on Facebook
• "Like" Deeds and Petunia on Facebook
• Subscribe to the Deeds and Petunia blog
• Tweet about the giveaway
• Post to your Facebook about the giveaway
• Post to your blog about the giveaway
• Leave a comment below with your favorite Zaynee Designs item

The giveaway will end Monday, December 6th at 9 AM, so get those entries in, and don't forget to leave a separate comment for each entry you've made!


Round Felt Flower Bobby Pin Tutorial

When I make my hair accessories, I use wool felt as an anchor for the feather and flower elements.  It is sturdy but soft, has a nice grab when you use glue, and you can hand sew through it with ease.  I usually use a wool blend of at least 30%.  Anything less doesn't perform as well or look as good.

I usually sew circles or ovals 2-4 inches in diameter, and will end up with lots of little leftover bits and pieces.  Since I am pack-ratty to the core, I can't throw these precious little bits away, no!  And this is why!

Here is a cute and simple little project you can wear on any occasion, kids and grown-ups alike.  It's understated (because not everyone loves a giant feathery flower in their hair!) and versatile.  And felt accessories are very popular this season!  This makes the perfect handmade gift, takes very little time and skill (basic hand sewing is about as tricky as it gets!) and you can make it with items you probably already have lying around the house.

Round Felt Flower Bobby Pin

You will need:

Wool felt scraps in white and green (or whatever colors you have!)
A bobby pin (preferably one with a tiny round metal pad, but any sturdy bobby will do)
Strong glue like E6000
Needle and thread
Seed beads, button, sequins or crystals for embellishment
A beading needle if you need it

First step:
Cut three circles - large, medium and small, with the largest being about 1.5" in diameter, from the white felt.  Stack and center them so the largest is on the bottom and the littlest is on top to make the "flower."  Then cut a leaf shape about an inch long and place the flower on top.

With your needle and thread, sew a few stitches through the center of all the pieces and tie off at the bottom of the leaf.

Sew a few seed beads, sequins, a button or whatever embellishment you want in the center of your flower and tie off at the bottom.  You might need a beading needle for tiny beads, so don't forget to thread it for this part like I always do!!!  :)  You might even embroider the center of the flower and stitch down the center of the leaf if you want to get REALLY fancy...

Glue it to the bobby pin and clamp it in place while it dries for extra hold.  I usually use a little alligator clip as a clamp.


You have a lovely and thoughtful handmade gift that takes about 20 minutes to make and probably won't cost you a dime!  Happy crafting!

Part of the Sunday Showcase - follow the link for some great craft ideas!