Thursday, July 17, 2008

Repurposed T-Shirts

I saw the idea a while back about cutting up old t-shirts into strips and making yarn from them. I thought, wow, I have TONS of t-shirts and I wear very few of them. That's a great idea, so much better than tossing them in the trash. Then life happened and although the idea stayed filed away in my brain, I never got around to doing anything about it.... until now!!

I had a lovely pink cotton sleep shirt that I simply don't wear anymore. Its soft and comfy and a very pretty color. So, I got the scissors and started cutting away!! I thought for sure I would mess it up somehow, but I didn't and I got a lovely continuous strand of roughly 1 inch wide "yarn". I also cut up a 3X grey t-shirt that I wore almost every day for the last 2 months of my pregnancy (I had that and a Yankee jersey that still fit over my belly).

Now time to think, what to do with it? I had wanted to make a large rug for my entrance foyer in my house. But that would take too long and I would be bored with it after a few weeks. Plus, my back hurt from sitting on the floor hunched over a t-shirt with a large pair of scissors. Hrm.... a hat? a scarf? wrist warmers? NO! Even better! Drum roll please.....

Ta-da! A bowl! This bowl would be perfect sitting on a foyer table holding keys, a kitchen counter holding keys or a cell phone, in a bathroom or bedroom filled with potpourri or sitting on a night table holding extra change.

I have another small ball of the same color "yarn" and a ball of light grey. I also have several shirts just begging to be cut up and repurposed - they are white, grey, purple and a hot shade of green. And believe me, there are MANY more shirts in my storage space just waiting to find a new life holding your small objects.

What? You said you are in love with my little bowl? Well, you are in luck, its available now in my Etsy shop - just click here!

Stay tuned folks, I hope to take some before and after pictures of the next shirt I cut up. I know, I rock like that! :-D

Happy Recycling!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Baby Shower Blanket

A family friend just had a baby shower, she is due any day now and is expecting a boy. I had planned on making a blanket for the new little guy and a while back asked my mom if she could talk to her mom and find out what color scheme she was planning on for the baby's nursery. Would she prefer your typical pastel blue? Gender neutral green/yellow/white? Or bolder colors that the little guy would appreciate as he got older? Well, she found out all right, but she wasn't as tactful about it as I had assumed she would be. The conversation went something like this:

My mom: Melissa wants to make a blanket for the baby. What color should she make it?
Her mom: I don't know, let me ask. I know she registered for Nautica bedding, its dark blue and some other colors. I'll ask to make sure.
.... a few days go by ....
Her mom: She said navy blue and white
My mom: She asked her and she said navy blue and white.

What? She asked her? What the? Umm, hello, surprise???????? *sigh* Well, at least I know what colors she wants. I was tempted to add some red to it, but I couldn't find a good picture of the Nautica sheets on Babies R' Us. Then I thought that just plain old navy blue and white would be a little drab. I looked through my yarn stash for something that would compliment and found a nice yellow yarn - not too bright, but not pastel either. Perfect! I already knew what pattern I wanted to use, so now it was time to practice a bit and pick the right sized hook. I made a blanket using this pattern with baby weight yarn and used an E hook. So, I figured with worsted weight yarn that an H hook would be a good choice. I was wrong, it came out way too tight and wound up going all the way up to a J hook! The only good thing about using a hook that big is that the blanket worked up in no time!

Here's the finished blanket:

The shower was yesterday and I was really nervous about whether she'd like it or not, I mean after all, I added yellow and she never said anything about yellow.... I'm always nervous about giving my handmade things as gifts, but not so much when people buy them from my Etsy shop. You see, I figure, when they buy from me, they know what they are getting, they chose it!! I was sick with nerves when I made all 6 of my son's daycare teachers earrings and bracelets for Christmas!! Of course they loved them, but still... I know, I'm silly....

So, back to my story... she loved it! She even got a little choked up over it, but I attribute that more to hormones than the beauty of my work. I got tons of compliments on it and didn't realize how big I made it until I saw it draped over her 8 months pregnant belly! Yes, I got "oohs" and "wows" and "you made that?" and "how long did it take?" Of course, I didn't throw out my business card to everyone there, I figured that would be tacky. But, those who are that interested, would ask her mom who would ask my mom who would direct them to me.

Here's a close-up of it:

I simply LOVE this pattern. I love how on one side the yellow and white seem to pop out over the blue and on the other side the blue pops out over the yellow and white. This is the second of three items I made using this pattern. One is a pale purple baby blanket that is available in my shop and the other is a blue washcloth that I recently sold. I'll most definitely use this pattern again! I've been itching to made a grown-up sized throw blanket and I'm torn between using this pattern and a classic zig zag pattern like the one I used here.

So, do you have a baby shower to attend? Would you like to wow the mom-to-be with a one of a kind stunning baby blanket from Made By Melissa? You would? Fabulous! Check out this listing and you can select the colors and the pattern!! Or you can chose from blankets that I have already completed.

Yay for babies!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

EtsyBlogger Featured Member - AKeepersJackpot

This month's featured EtsyBlogger is AKeepersJackpot. AKeepersJackpot is a shop chock full of some really gorgeous jewelry. Here are a few of my favorites:

Black Widow's Web Necklace:

Lily Pad Earrings:

Periwinkle Flower Necklace:

Also be sure to check out her blog at and visit the EtsyBloggers Street Team at

Happy Shopping!

I'm featured at the Dragon's Den!

EtsyNJ member Dragon's Den featured me on her blog! Check it out:

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Catch up??

The EtsyBloggers blog carnival for this week poses an interesting question - what do you plan on catching up on in July?

My initial response is "nothing! I'm just trying to keep up with what absolutely needs to be done." But I thought about it and I really do need to catch up on my listings. You see I have a lot of jewelry made and I also have a lot of vintage jewelry and supplies that could be destashed. The whole photo taking, photo editing and listing process is much less entertaining than the creative process. So, I shall put it in writing:
I, Melissa, will catch up on listing items this month of July

Speaking of vintage, this gorgeous necklace is still in need of a new neck to be worn on:

Oh, and vintage items are eligible for free shipping! Check out this blog post for details.

Off to catch up!