Friday, August 28, 2009

lame, lame LAME!

i've been so totally lame the last couple days. yes, i'm still working on the yoyo project, but truly i've been *so* lazy.

and i signed up for wardrobe refashion right before stuff and save at old navy - what was i thinking? 50% off clearance and then 20% on top of that?! i tried to buy mostly knits though, since i can't sew those myself. really. i can't. my zig-zag doesn't work. oh, and i had to buy cleats for troy, softball tourney's in two weeks. and it was bogo at payless. yes. i signed up to not buy clothes, and then spent more than i ever do on clothes. don't tell me what to do, damn it.

anyways, plans for the weekend include pie baking, room painting, and putting together the boys' new twin beds! white wood bunk beds. i can't wait to show you their cool new room! it has a thrifted chair for reading books too. sigh. one day we'll do our own room.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

it's in the cards

sometimes as i scroll over to check my email, it rolls over my horoscope and today i actually read it. here's what it said (i'm a scorpio):

you're an expert at focus -- which some folks might actually call 'obsession' -- and you love nothing more than that feeling of concentration. it translates into infatuation in your book, and it's all good.

which is kind of right on, as far as how i feel about projects when i start them. but i guess in my case, the focus wears off a little sometimes! :)

anyways, once the kids hit the sack, i'm hitting the sewing machine. i am going to finish two shirts tonight, if i can get focused! see you soon!


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

wardrobe refashion

i signed up for the next round of this! i have a whole pile of clothes that need reworked, i thought this might prod me along. here's a blurb from their website:

"participants of the blog pledge to abstain from the purchase of new manufactured clothing for the period of 2, 4, 6 months or LIFE. they pledge to refashion, renovate, and recycle preloved items with their own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium or make their own from scratch."

sounds fun, plus i've been seeing so many great projects out there in blogland, i can't wait to get started.

downtime

well, my honey is working nights this week, and sleeping in the craft room during the day. so not much sewing is happening around here right now. that's ok, i've been keeping busy. still working on my cross stitch when the kids are sleeping, stitching some yo-yos when they aren't. i have a big box of fabric circles that someone gave me, in pink and green and blue and floral - and i mean a box. there are so many! and i stuck them under my cutting table until i figured out what i wanted to do with them. i have a plan - never fear - and i will share it with you soon. a few other things have to happen for the whole project to come together.

i am also trying to get the kid's rooms painted and trimmed, since we are going to start trying for baby #4! that sort of put the fire under my feet about some of these home improvements i've been putting off. i have tile to grout and trim to caulk, and quite a bit of painting. we also have two birthdays coming up, and my mom's retirement, the list goes on and on. busy is fun, right?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

cross stitching away


DSC09670
Originally uploaded by craftytammie

we just learned yesterday that we'll have a houseful for labor day - which means i need to convert the mess that is my craft room back into a guest room. i am a messy crafter - i leave piles everywhere, i have umpteen unfinished projects floating around - you get the idea.

so while sorting stuff, i found my box of needlework supplies. and inside, this sampler i started when i was pregnant, on bed rest, with our oldest. who will be 5 in october. screeching halt to cleaning! i started working on it again last night, maybe i can finish it before her birthday comes around. but boy, those stitches are teensy! i had bought the wrong fabric, but decided i could handle the challenge, and wore granny glasses to see what i was doing! thank goodness our new house has better lighting!

anyways, this tiny little sampler is only about 6 inches tall. i will probably try to mat it in an 8x10 frame. i don't remember the name of the book where i got the pattern, only that i got it at the topeka library about 5 years ago.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sweetie Pie Bakery Felt Cake GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

Sweetie Pie Bakery Felt Cake GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

so here's the honest deal

i've had a margarita and a two beers (thanks to the babysitter!). and now i'm the only one awake, and i'm multi tasking by surfing the web, watching chris rock and scheming my next ten projects. i come across this site, quilts and more - because i think i'm sixty instead of 35 - and i realize, i need a partner! they have a challenge contest, and you know i can't pass up a challenge. any of you loyal, sexy, skinny readers of mine want to partner up? see the deets here and let's get together and make some journal covers! i about swooned when i saw the grand prize. seriously, though. don't make me ask my mom.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

good morning, i think?

hmmph. it's super early here, but all three kids woke up at the same time - 3:45am, and they won't go back to sleep. emma fell out of her bed but insists that lambie pushed her off. the boys were just crying, but neither seems to know why. and since troy had to be at work at 5am today, they were up right before him. i'm sure they will fall asleep soon - they are watching little einsteins and giggling - but i won't be able to! once i'm up and moving around, i have a tough time shutting back down. time for coffee.

i'm sure you've heard of spoonflower by now - it's a site where you can order custom fabric. pretty cool - i don't know how to do it (yet), but i love seeing the new designs each week on their blog. right now they are having a holiday contest, and this week you can vote for two of 18 fabrics! and true up has a tutorial of sorts comparing them with other online printing services.

anyways, all day today (the 20th) you can get 2 free swatches - shipping is free too - so it's a great time to try out that design you've been thinking of!

that reminds me. remember the "ugly" fabric i won awhile back? it was a spoonflower sample that didn't quite come out like she wanted. ugh, was it really in march? i *need* to make something with that! i am still leaning towards binding for a kids quilt. maybe i will go ahead and make the bias tape - and it could inspire my next quilt top project. the hourglass blocks are all completed and waiting for me to cut and sew on the sashing. and i feel really good about having used up all my 5 inch floral charms! i ended up with two left over. next i have a stack of 6 inch novelty prints from a swap, and i always planned to make i-spy quilts.

i know this post is long and rambling, but like i said, it's early here. the youngest is back asleep, and i think i will go stretch out for an episode of wubbzy with the preschoolers.

hi, my name is tammie























i have a confession to make. i bought more fabric. it's actually not my fault though!

while the power was off last week, we were in kc for the day, and there were all these garage sales! and when you can get a whole tub of fabric for $5, and a box of zippers for $2 - can you really say no? or not buy *both* tubs of fabric? and another sale had lots of remnants for 10 cents or a quarter. anyways, i wasn't sure what was in the tubs but i'm done sorting and washing them, and i'm ready for show and tell!

















one tub was full of bottom weights, lots of twill and linen and denim! hooray! and the second had lots of scraps. muslin and sheets, not as much quilter's cotton as i'd hoped for, there's a bunch of knits, and some random stuff. and there were also a bunch of decorator chintz and tapestry samples.






















so what am i going to make with all this lovely fabric goodness? knowing me, i'll start a bunch of things all at once. i also checked out in stitches again today, and it's inspiring me too. the kids are all napping so i'm off to do bodies in motion. i'd rather be sewing. sigh.

extreme blog makeover

well? what do you think? this is a free template called happy day from leelou blogs. it's so bright and happy! i may see if i can change the font size a bit, but for now, i'm loving it. go pick out one of your own!

it's giveaway time!

no, not from me -but that's ok! because over at the dress-up drawer they are having a bunch of great prizes! head over there for a chance at oodles of great handmade gifts! i've also found some new etsy favorites, so even if i don't win, i know where i'm doing some of my holiday shopping.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

hourglass madness




















here's a peek at the hourglass blocks! i've got more ready to stitch at naptime this afternoon. i'm planning to sash it with the white. i've got several yards of a blue calico that i used in one of the blocks, and i think it will make a nice backing fabric. this is going so fast, i can't quit working on it!

also - if you've never changed your rotary blade, i would suggest it. i finally replaced mine, and about sliced my hand off! i was nervous about cutting through nine layers of fabric for my katie jump rope blocks - but it should be smooth slicing now.

Monday, August 17, 2009

chain me to my treadmill!

today has been a rainy, blah kind of day. the kids didn't want to go to their mom's day out group - so i had to drag them along on my thrift shop trip. three's a handful! i did get a beautiful vintage sheet, with lots of yellow and pink flowers. and a pretty tiered skirt for me. but then the cashier, who sees me once a week, and always chats with me and the kids, said "oh, are you expecting another baby?" and i had to admit that no, my belly's just fat. jeez.

so i came home and worked on some hourglass blocks to cheer myself up. i'm using a bunch of random, 5 inch charms i collected through swaps. the white is cotton i bought to make curtains in one of our old houses, then never got around to it. this will be an ongoing project, these squares are small! i've been putting them in a picnic basket as i finish them, i figure i'll run a few of them up each time i sit at the machine, and eventually i'll have enough to make a blanket. gotta love chain piecing!

i'll probably skip the quilt guild meeting. i'm feeling a little low in the self-esteem department today, and i think i'll spend my free time on the elliptical instead. listen to some upbeat tunes, get the exercise rush going. when i'm low all i want to do is snack and sleep, so i'm trying really hard to resist those urges!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

lazy summer days

another weekend flew by - this time of year gets so busy! i suppose it will only get worse as the kids start school, i better just enjoy this last year of freedom before bus schedules and lunch boxes! we played all weekend, had softball practice and a sleepover, and i put in a new flowerbed! one of my annoying habits is constantly expanding the amount of weeding that i have to do. i made meatloaf and dump cake, and took naps. it's a great life.

i also finally cut into my fat quarter bundle of katie jump rope! i've been nervous, not wanting to mess it up, not sure what i wanted to make. i decided to make crazy nine patch squares. so i cut 10" squares of 9 of the fabrics, and if i do ok with those i will make 9 more, and make a throw for the living room. the colors are so bright and happy, and we fight over the one quilt we keep in there. it was sweltering upstairs though, and our son kept getting out of bed, so i didn't start cutting the crazy parts yet. naptime tomorrow, hopefully!

tomorrow my room redesign will be up at fresh nest, and i am attending my first quilt guild meeting! they are having an quilt historian come from lawrence to speak. hope it's fun and that i meet some new crafty friends!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

aww,


My Family from WiddlyTinks.com



how sweet is that! that's what i see in my head too, if we have one more baby. three boys, probably.

yeah, baby

i knew, even as i typed the words, that committing to completing a project a day was a curse. although i haven't NOT yet, it's bound to happen sooner than later.

for example, my projects that i completed yesterday? sewing on buttons. yes, they'd been sitting around waiting for attention forever, and now they are done. so technically complete. but stretching it a little. and i did get my two baby gifts sent off (kimono top and bloomers for baby taylor, crayon book and gap onesie for baby kyle and big bro brandon)

i guess starting a quilt right now wasn't the smartest? :)



















i did go ahead with the brown, and i like it. my husband waited until i had half the blocks sewn together to say "i don't think i like that color" pointing to the turquoise. the exact color that i specifically asked him about the day before. the one he said was fine. men.

the only issue i am having now is that the whole thing has a very seventies vibe. i think this would be an excellent color choice and pattern if i were making the baby size - which is made of 5 inch blocks. in 9 inch blocks it's kind of in your face. since i know this quilt is sure to be ruined within 5 years, i'm trudging ahead, and thinking i'll make the back very simple, just a long strip of pieced color blocks with brown on each side. i think i can live with that.

oh! the best part about this blanket? our son aj, who's 3 1/2, has been "helping" me by cutting up selvedge strips into teeny pieces while i work. and choosing new fabrics he wants me to put in. he told me he doesn't like the yellow, and he wants me to put in a strip of sports print he found, leftover from a crayon book. then he chose a neon green dot print. i'm hoping he won't notice i'm not taking his advice.

Monday, August 10, 2009

zigzag-ing along

i told you i wanted to start another quilt, and it had totally slipped my mind that there was a quilt along happening. it's for a zigzag, which is what i wanted to make next!

i decided to work on a quilt for one of the boys, inspired by their future room design. i had bought yardage of a deep brown my last shopping trip, knowing i wanted some kind of blue/brown zigzag. this is what i have so far:



















i don't know how i feel about the brown now though. i think i may leave it for another project. also, i'm afraid of how all solids will show stains. i love the idea, just not the reality. so i may have to throw in some prints, just for my sanity.

any advice for me? are the colors too girly? i was thinking beachy fisherman sandcastle builder...

lucky us

i almost forgot to tell you! i was chosen to do a room redesign over at fresh nest!


they are going to be redesigning our boys' room, and the timing is perfect. zach is ready to move to a twin bed, and aj is old enough to sleep in a top bunk. we'd been looking at bunk beds and i've been planning a spruce up for the paint. i can't wait to see their suggestions!

unplugged

sorry about the huge space at the top of the last post. for the life of me, i couldn't get it to go away!

we had a good weekend, how about you gals? i did a little sewing, made two color books for my nieces' birthday party yesterday.

































that's one of them, the other didn't photograph as well, for some reason all the pics were blurry. i've started shoving more crayons in them, it now holds 12 and seems to keep them in better. i love the dancers in this fabric. it's from a pillowcase i found thrifting last year.















i also worked on a baby blanket that i've been wanting to make for a long time. it's two pieces of flannel sewn together with jumbo ric-rac trim. i just love the silly monkeys. if we have another baby (something we're considering) i will want to do jungle animal nursery this time!

this week, i actually don't have any idea what i will work on. i'm wanting to start another quilt. right now our power is off (grr) and i can't do much of anything. i may go play in my fabrics and plan out my next project though.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

tiered skirt!

i made this thursday, but i've been having so much fun reading the comments on my last post, i decided not to publish it until friday!















i'm proud of myself for a number of reasons.
1. all stash supplies - the middle mini stripe is so old i don't even remember where it came from.
2. no pattern used! i made it up as i went along, using my daughter a measuring guide.
3. i started and finished this all in one sitting.
4. the kids kept me entertained playing with their guitars and making up songs while i worked.

that last one makes me feel better about wanting to spend time doing my own thing. i feel like i'm teaching them to do their own thing too, and to not need constant attention and feedback from me. i keep telling our son that when school starts he'll have to share the teacher with lots more kids than just his siblings. that may be tough for him! plus, they see me sewing so much now that the novelty of the machine is wearing off, and soon i'll be able to teach them simple sewing like lacing! hooray!

i have set a somewhat lofty goal for myself to complete one thing a day, for as long as i can. i have so many unfinished projects, that should give me a range of things for days when i get very little time to sew. and i'm excluding weekends, because there's always too much going on for that to happen.

anyways, i need to sew two more things before sunday - presents for two very special birthday nieces. this skirt started out as that, but ended too big so emma scored instead! i will probably make crayon books anyways. they are the right ages for them (3 and 4). see you tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

mine! no, mine!

i have a question that has been bothering me for awhile now. well, not a question, really. just a comment. or a question. you decide.

how do so many people take something so generic, like a tote bag or a pillow, and then churn out a pattern for it and call it their own? i've made the rounds of sewing books and sites, and i think all of them have something along those lines, whether it's a tunic (weekend sewing has a version of the same tunic i own and got at target) pattern, or a tiered skirt, or a zipper bag, or a basic tote, or even cloth napkins - really? you thought that up all by yourself? you get to claim credit for that pattern?

there are obvious examples of true blatent rip-off-ism out there (see here & here) but i always feel a little offended if i see someone stating on their blog *for personal use only* and it's something so basic, that i learned to make it in home ec back in 1986. i guess my big dilemna is how much of design is personal expression in choice of fabrics and colors and textures, and how much is technique, and how much is fair use? if i take something generic and make it mine, is it really mine? or is it an improved version of someone else's design?

i first started thinking about this while knitting washcloths. i would love to sell more of them in my etsy shop. and i feel like if i cast on, without a written pattern, and work up a stitch that i like, it's my creation and i should get to sell it. but am i the first person to do a garter stitch border with a basketweave design? surely, undoubtably not. so i don't sell them. and i feel frustrated.

oh, here's the last thing i have to say about it tonight. isn't the idea of a crafting community all about teaching and sharing? but still creating your own ideas and designs? isn't that the spirit of the crafter, and the idea behind most of these craft sites, to share and teach and be a community? what do you think?

another kimono top

what did i tell you? these are so simple!















i whipped this out today while the older two played (fought over) blocks and the youngest slept. it's from two scraps of floral i bought yard sale-ing for 25 cents! vintage bias trim, and it's done. the sleeves are shorter/smaller than the pattern called for, because i goofed and cut the back in two pieces (i cut the fold line - gah!) and didn't have enough left to recut it and the sleeves. so i made the goof the sleeves. still cute, and it is hot here so short sleeves are more appropriate!

now i don't have to choose which baby gets the handmade top - they both do :)

tuesday night sewing club

i actually got some sewing time last night! i noticed that my husband was a bit put out that i would "rather sew" than watch baseball with him. uh, hello? he's known me for 13 years! you'd think that wouldn't be a surprise. anyways...















so i made lucy's kimono from weekend sewing. and i had looked at a few examples before hand, so i was expecting the bulk under the arms and knew to use more bias trim and to put the ties in correctly - i really didn't use the book much at all. super easy, super fast, and since it's so tiny you could really splurge on nice fabric for this! although, all my babies were bulimic and threw up every meal, so i don't know that i would want to. i used some leftover from emma's quilt top, and paired it with some leftover bias tape i made for an apron a long time ago. i love using things up, i always feel so smug. not that it made a dent in my stash, but still.

now, which newborn baby to give it to?

Hide N Seek Woodland Frock GIVEAWAY!!!!

Hide N Seek Woodland Frock GIVEAWAY!!!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

did you guess?




















it's the buttercup bag from made by rae! (who just had a gorgeous baby girl, btw) i printed this off awhile back, but just decided to start one yesterday. chose the fancy denim that i bought on impulse, thinking it would be a skirt for emma, and didn't like as much once i got it home. it works good for this though, i think! go right now to start your own, it's so easy and fast and adorable!

maybe it's the sunny yellow lining,



















maybe it's the cute pleats,













but i love this bag! look for more to come, in my etsy shop! or go make your own, and add it to the flickr group, won't you?
stop by the apron fest ----> going on this week - there's some super cute aprons to be won!

i am in heaven. troy's uncle bud grows a huge garden and we got one of his spaghetti squash. i was skeptical, did some research and decided to try baking it to use as "spaghetti" the kids adamantly refused to try it, so i fed them something else and spooned up a bowl for me. if i hadn't know it was squash, i wouldn't have believed it. yum. and so much better for me (and my hips) than pasta! i also read about using the leftovers to make fried squash patties - i may try that tomorrow for breakfast. it was so good, i forgot to show you the before!



















i still have oodles of pears to use, i had put them aside and forgot about them after making the honey last week. so it's do or die time now, the fruit flies will be here if i wait to much longer! on the list to make tonight is pear pie and pear bread and even a pear jello dessert - that should about do it.

finally, i'll leave you with a sneak at my latest project - i started and ohmygoshigotsoclose to finishing this during nap time yesterday! i'm hoping for more of the same quiet time this afternoon. any guesses?

Monday, August 3, 2009

more good stuff

time once again to show you some fabulous things i got in the mail recently.




















first up, the book living in style by barclay butera. this book is full of fabulous photos and rooms i could move right into(like the one above). i won this book in a giveaway over at one of my daily reads, fresh nest design. they are hosting a design contest right now, winner gets a flor rug, go check it out!

next up, a wonderful apron i got back in june:




















so cute, and it looks just as lovely hanging on my peg hooks. i love it!

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