Saturday, January 30, 2010


this just made my weekend!  i was given a beautiful blogger award by both sewbeeit AND thisissewmylife

so thank you girls for the sweet thoughts!  next, i get to share seven things about myself, and then nominate seven more bloggers!

seven things about me.  hmm.
1.  i loooove homemade tapioca pudding.  and any kind of pie.
2.  i've never been on a jet ski.
3.  the first time i met my husband back in college, i was so drunk i didn't remember meeting him.  so when i met him the second time, sober, i thought it was the first time.  isn't that romantic?  snicker.  we've been together ever since! 14 years this april.
4.  i have been a waitress, a bartender, a salesclerk at the limited, a store manager at jcrew and abercrombie, a dental receptionist, and an assistant reference librarian.  oddly, the one that paid the best?  waitress.  i still miss waiting tables!
5.  i don't cook dinner very often.  when i do, i make double batches and freeze the extra portions for dinner later in the month. 
6.  i don't read as much non fiction as i'd like to.  i used to read everything when i worked at the library.  now it's detective novels and craft books.
7.  i completely panic when people ask me to make something for them.  i am fine with someone buying something that i made myself, but when i have to make something FOR someone - you know, they say oh i like green or whatever - i freak,  put it off as long as possible, and always worry they won't like it. 

well that's enough about me.  so, who to choose?  i guess i'll nominate the blogs that inspire me often to create and hope they will accept my humble adoration!  go check them out if you haven't before, good stuff!

made by rae
happy together

thanks again lauranie and sewbeeit!

sharing is nice

ha!  we're snowed in again!  we didn't get that many inches, but my van just doesn't push snow very well.  so, until the new car fairy brings me a 4wheel drive, we're staying home in our jammies!

which means i have time to share some new things i've made!  the lighting isn't great for a photo shoot, but hopefully their cuteness comes through!

first up, a cloth book for a bunco friend who's having her second baby. i have one more to make, the three little pigs.  these are so easy and fast!  i used flannel to line it instead of interfacing, i like the softness it gives. 

my buttercup bag is done!  i was making this for myself, and i love it - but i think it may become a gift for a good friend instead.  i just don't feel stylish enough these days to carry it!  and i have two more bags cut and pinned, ready to finish, which are more me.  they are brown. 

i don't know what the floral fabric is - it was a piece that came in the sewmamasew scrap bag i won!  it's gorgeous though.  i paired it with a chunk of tan wool from my stash, and some of the pinky red stripe i used on this skirt.  which i still have a ton of.  i probably need to go through my fabrics and list some of them in my etsy.  especially since i got another huge tub and bag of vintage fabrics from my husband's grandmother's stash!  gah, the cuteness of some of it!  i'll try to get some pics of them later to post. 

Friday, January 29, 2010

celebrate the boy!

so i've given up on january.  i'm so far behind where i thought i'd be!  i've been a little nauseous, which is unusual for me with pregnancy - i never have felt sick.  in fact, it's always been the opposite - where i wanted to eat everything in sight!  anyways.  nothing like flooding your house to put you behind on things.  we ordered new carpet yesterday.  we are going shopping next week for bathroom fixtures, and i'm excited to someday have a bathroom off of our bedroom!  i'm designing it with some new software - so when it's complete, i'll share the floor plan.

so what i'm trying to say is that february is just around the corner, bringing the 2nd trimester and carpeted floors and a bit of normalcy around here.  and something else fun is happening too!  made by rae and made are cohosting "celebrate the boy!"   lots of fun, boy inspired crafty things coming our way.  there's a flickr pool started so go join and share what you've made for the mini men in your life!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

twist and shout

i know i've been out of the picture lately - sorry for that!  just trying to get this house back into some sort of shape.  choosing carpet, designing the new bath.  they measured today so we should have carpet in a week or two.

i'm almost finished with my buttercup bag, hopefully this afternoon.  i'd like to take it to bunco tonight to show it off!  i just can't seem to find the magnetic snap. i know i have one somewhere.  if i had that, i'd be finished.  i'm planning to stop in the new sewing shop and see if she's got any, because i know walmart doesn't. 

one thing i have been doing lately is looking at my old issues of martha stewart kids.  i love that magazine, they always had the best ideas!  i have a dozen or so issues, and i get so excited at all the projects inside.  today we tried one of the fancy hair twists from the fall 2005 issue - here's how it turned out.

next i'll try to tackle french braids.  i've never been able to do it well.

Monday, January 18, 2010

sew much fun

today was a stay at home day - good thing, since we have dense fog and visibility is nil.  we are living in our upstairs "bonus" room, since there is no carpet in our downstairs and tack strips everywhere.  ever stepped on one of those with your bare feet?!  yowza, those babies are sharp!  lucky for me, my sewing room is upstairs, so i got to play a lot today.  i've found that i am most productive if i work assembly line, in stages. 

for example, today i cut out several projects.  i did a little sewing on them, but mostly got everything cut and pinned, ready to sew.  so i have a stack of items, grouped by color of thread they will need, ready for the next time i get to sit down and play.  what am i making?  well, there are three more cage comforters for the animal shelter, as well as one buttercup bag i am making for myself (so excited about this, it's gonna be fab!), and a bib for baby.  i usually have a notebook or two sitting there as well. 

before i got to all those, i did manage to wrap up a project or two.  i finally finished a pillow for emma's room.  i made the quilt block at least a year ago, and it's just sat there, looking cute.  so i finished it off, using a pillow form i bought for something else months ago.  this was my first time making an envelope flap thingy on the back - came out okay, but it's not as snug as i'd have liked it.  maybe that's good?  i don't remember at this point if i prewashed the fabrics, so maybe there will be some shrinking and i'll be glad for the wiggle room.  anyways.  done.  yay.

i also finished a cloth book for a baby shower this weekend.  it was one of those pre-printed panel books, a mary englebreit nursery rhymes.  very cute, bright yellow borders.  i haven't taken any pics yet, but for $4.44 it came out pretty sweet.  i found one online here, but i bought mine at walmart.

ok  now i am off to bed.  very sleepy these days!


so if you follow me on twitter or are a facebook fan, this is old news - but it's so amazing!  Over 300 items sold and over $8000 raised by Craft Hope for Haiti! i am in awe of the fast turn out by the craft world.  we rock!  there is still time to donate, and any sort of craft is welcome.  head over to craft hope for the details.

Friday, January 15, 2010

it's a wash.


hey, insomnia has me wide awake and catching up with some neglected blogs.  so the washcloths are now going to be listed in the craft hope for haiti shop instead.  THEY'VE SOLD!  and if you'd like to donate, 100% of proceeds go to doctors without borders.  now, on to the original post...

ugh. what a week!  the good news is, it's almost over!  it's actually been pretty painless, with help from our incredibly nice insurance guy.  we should be getting new carpet laid soon, and meanwhile we've been so busy with school and doctor checkups that we haven't been home much.  my parents have been a huge help too.

i did finally get a few pics of my washcloths taken, so here they are!  i'm listing the top two in my etsy if you're interested.  if i can get a couple more done to match the others, they will go in as well.

Monday, January 11, 2010


wow. am i ever glad this day is over.  first, let me share something fun!

this one's my favorite, i think.

these were super easy, and i think the kids will just love them.

i am so glad this day is over.  thank goodness i had the cupcakes baked already, because i came home from the preschool run to find that the water pipes burst in the ceiling over the bath and our bedroom.  and the water, oh lord, the water.  my mom came over and we tooks turns with the steam vac, just pulling water out of the carpets.  for hours.  they are still wet.  the worst part is that this happened last winter, and we though we had taken care of the problem.  gah.  so the bathroom will be getting a makeover, with new plumbing, sheetrock, the works. 

a few favorites of 2009

so 2009 was a big year for me, in that i finally began sewing with some really nice quality fabrics.  and man, if you can afford it, why wouldn't you?  they feel so good and are easier to work with.  and i also realized that if you take advantage of the great sales online, you can get them for a pretty good price. 

the katie jump rope collection i won from pickled pear studios is still sitting there, making me happy when i look at it.  one of these days i will put it together in a quilt.  here's some others that make me happy:

Favorite Quilting Weight Cotton Collection - Nicey Jane

AND Sweet by Urban Chiks

- Favorite Trend (Motifs) birds

- Favorite Trend (Colors) I love that gray is taking over chocolate as a great neutral with all sorts of colors.

- Favorite Overall Designer is Heather Bailey and Heather Ross

- Favorite New Designer- Jessica Levit, whose Timber line will come out in 2010!

- Favorite Novelty Print, gotta love this one from Michael Miller!

- Favorite Floral Print, Nicey Jane by Heather Bailey!

- Favorite Organic Print or Collection would have to be Cloud 9, so simple and sweet

- Favorite Juvenile Print: I love this line by Erin Michel, Goodnight Monkey

- Favorite Solid/Nonprinted - Kona

- Favorite Fabric Shop SewMamaSew and FabricShoppe

- Favorite New Fabric You Worked With in 2009 was Girly Girl by Art Gallery Fabrics

so there you have it, a few faves from the last year.  there were so many, it's hard to pick, and you can check out a lot more over at trueup.  all of the images posted above were taken from Kim's flickr group, which is a wonderful resource for fabric images!  and of course, all credit for the fabrics go to the fab designers themselves.  go on and see everyone else's faves, you have 'til friday to blog about your own :)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

lego blocks

all finished!  not my best cake work, but they're still cute!  can i just say that when something sounds too easy, it probably isn't?  those silly marshmallows were so hard to frost!  the buttercream didn't want to stick to them, and i had to hold them in my fingers to get it on all of it.  which was a mess.  i didn't let my cakes freeze long enough, because i wanted to get started, and i regretted it the entire time.  so many crumbs in the frosting.  i didn't spend a lot of time smoothing my frosting either, i was just ready to be done with them.  i'm a little leery now about doing the puppy cucpakes.  they have marshmallow snouts and ears.  but that frosting is put on with a piping bag, so maybe it will work out.  we'll see.  the great thing about a 4 year old is that you can throw sprinkles on it and they'll be happy.

free at last!

i finally got out today! even if i forgot half of what i was supposed to do, it felt so good to be free!  and even if my husband called me twice in the 1 1/2 hours i was running errands.  seriously.  i think he's going a little crazy after being home with us for the last couple days.  he always says he'd love to be a stay at home daddy - but i know he'd never make it ;)

right now i have cake in the oven.  tomorrow we are celebrating all the january birthdays at my sister-in-law's house.  i had planned to make an R2D2 cake, but i'm feeling lazy and my hands are achy, so the thought of piping all those stars, ugh.  is 36 too young for arthritis, i wonder?  anyways, i found some cute ideas on, and decided to follow up the lego gifts he got with big lego block cakes.

photo from

you take a sheet cake and cut it into different squares and rectangles.  large marshmallows cut in half make the bumps on top, and frost it all, you're done!  plus, it will leave me with just enough marshmallows for the pupcakes for school on tuesday.  i love it when i can use up all of something when i'm baking.  i also knocked out the cupcakes, they will go in the freezer until monday night.  i like frosting frozen cakes so much better - less crumbs.

i've been feeling a bit guilty about not sewing.  i found a tub full of yarn while putting away christmas decorations, and so i've been knitting and crocheting a bit.  i have a stack of dishcloths all finished up, waiting for their photo shoot and new spot in my etsy!  maybe tomorrow after the party, the kids and troy will all fall asleep, and i can have some me time.  i can hope, right?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

snow day!

we're being snowed in again!  i see us building snowmen during zach's nap tomorrow.  tonight would have been spent making pupcakes for alex's preschool party, but school's been cancelled.  so next week i will have those to share with you all.  there's a great video here that makes them look super easy.

now it's time for the giveaway!

#6 is mama lusco, congrats!  looks like she can cross one item off her january to do list :)

does whatever a spider can!

good morning!  if you are looking for my giveaway, you can find it here!

this morning is our son's 4th birthday.  we celebrated last week while our family was in town, but i wanted him to have something special when he woke up this morning.  i decided that last night about 9pm.  so in a whirlwind of sewing activity, i came up with this:

a little tote for his beloved leapster and a place to tuck a few games.    this idea had been in the back of my mind, as i was tired of the cries of "i can't find my star wars game!" or sponge bob game.  or spiderman game.

yes, he's a bit spiderman obsessed.  he has been for a good year now.  i'd prefer him to move on, but at least he's not one of those kids who HAS to have whatever is hot right now, and then is over it a few weeks later.  not my boy.  not yet, anyways!

i found the spidey remnant at goodwill and it was just big enough for this.  i have a tiny strip left that can go into i-spy quilt blocks. 

anyways.  i started with a piece cut from an old pair of daddy's jeans.  the denim was going to be the outside, but after making a bag shape, i realized i was essentially making a purse for my son.  and thought i better make sure it had boy written all over it.  my husband came up to see what i was working on, and looked at me like i was nuts.  and i said, "it's not a purse, it's a european shoulder satchel!"  heehee.  anyways, he asked me to not make our son a purse, because he would carry it everywhere.  so instead, it became a wristlet of sorts.  is that any better?  i'm not sure.

anyways, it's functional.  it has 6 pockets and a magnetic snap.  and, as we found out this morning, even holds his spidey sunglasses, a slice of cheese, and a birthday card.  yes, our son insists on bringing along snacks wherever he goes.  he is so like his momma!  don't look too close, because a lot of it was improvised and wonky, but i plan to make another one for emma's leapster.  if anyone's interested, i will share a little how-to for it. 

here's the birthday boy and his new purse.

Monday, January 4, 2010

hold everything!

well, peeps, here it is.  my solution to coupon craziness.

the hold everything! notebook.

i ♥ coupons, and they are everywhere these days.  most grocery trips i can save $20 just by planning ahead.  well, i can when i remember my coupons, & can find them at the checkout while wrestling candy away from aj and the debit pad pen away from zach.   so i schemed and plotted and came up with this.

i know there are those of you out there who already have your planners for 2010 - and if so, you probably aren't the type of person who needs this notebook!  you're a stylishly put together woman, with manicured nails and a daily yoga routine :)  for the rest of us, still in our pjs, the first week of the year might be a record for switching the calendar.  am i right?  and to help you out with that, i am giving away this one to someone!  just leave me a comment with your best organizing tip - be it for coupons, clothing, whatever helps you stay one step ahead.  i'll draw a winner randomly on wednesday the 6th - because i want the winner to get the planner before january is already over!

for the rest of you, i'll do my best to share how i put this thing together.  you know i make tons of quilted list takers, and i love them.  they're small enough to fit inside my purse, so handy with a pen and notepad right there, & when i added a paperclip to the pocket, they could even stash some of my coupons for that days shopping trip.  but my poor planner was feeling left out, and was often left behind.  i decided to see if i could combine them into one big notebook, with an extra pocket or two for stamps and gift cards.  several muslin prototypes were made.  (ugh.  muslin is so boring.  i prefer my usual method of jump right in and pray for the best!)

so.  find a planner you like.  this one is from dollar tree and measures around 8 1/2"x11".  they came in orange and green too.  then choose some matching fabrics.  i went with a fat quarter i got in a swap - i forget who gave it to me, don't know who makes it.  i found a coordinating solid in my stash, and used some linen type fabric that came off a curtain i shortened.  i also used a piece of muslin to back the pocket.  i used flannel as interfacing to give it a little body.

cut three pieces of fabric 11 1/2" x 17".  one cover, one lining, and one flannel.  place the flannel and cover material together, and "quilt" it however you'd like.  i chose to do some straight lines running along the center stripe.

cut a piece 11 1/2" x 8" for the left side pocket.  fold this in half, right sides out, to make it 4" wide.  press, and top stitch the folded edge.  lay along the right side of the lining fabric.

cut a strip to use for the straps, around 14 inches long.  i used the existing hem of my curtain fabric, and made a strip of bias tape from that.  you could use double fold bias tape, or maybe even ribbon.  you may need to interface it where the snaps are attached.  after i stitched the tape closed on the edge, i used my new pliers kit to attach the snaps.  have you used one of these before?  i screwed it up the first go round, but got it right my second try.

make a pocket for the notepad.  cut a piece of fabric and another of muslin about 8" x 9".  you'll want to stitch them, right sides together, along the top and right side.  after you turn this out, topstitch along the upper edge.  align the pocket with the lower right corner of the lining material.  stitch along the left edge, securing it to the lining fabric.  measure in an inch from the left edge and stitch a line for the pen pocket.

i put my straps about 7" from the left.  the top card pocket is stitched on right above the notepad.  i used a ponytail elastic for a closure, and stitched it in the center right hand side. once you have that all laid out, lay your cover material on it, right sides together, and pin along the edges.

stitch together using a 1/4" seam allowance, leaving an opening for turning.  clip corners, turn out and press.  pin the turning hole shut, and stitch all around the edge of your notebook cover.    you can do this with the straps in or out.  in will make them a little more snug, out means less bulk to sew through.  hope that makes sense!  now, press again, and mark where your button should go.  stitch it on.

tuck in your planner, notepad and pen, and give yourself a pat on the back!  you did it!  admire it and take pictures to share on your blog.  make some more and give them away to your unorganized friends.  or keep it for yourself, slip some coupons under your paperclip, and start the new year off right!  don't forget to leave me a comment for a chance to win.  i will randomly draw a number on wednesday afternoon, so be sure i have a way to contact you!  and if you know the name of the floral fabric, let me know, would you?  now, it's off to bed for me...

Saturday, January 2, 2010

happy new year everyone!

our company has all gone home, and it's so chilly here we are all lounging in our pjs and relaxing.  i spent a little time sewing today, and hopefully can show you what i'm working on tomorrow!

look what else i made:

the bib pattern was from a mary englebreit book i got at the library -but i don't remember the name of it.  i used an old pair of troy's jeans to back it and some vintage bias trim.  love the gray.  i need to add some velcro to close it.  maybe some ricrac over the edges of the denim stripe.  i'm going to make a couple more, so i may play around with that.

remember i told you santa brought me another special gift?  well...  we're having another baby!  i'm due this august!   it was so exciting to be able to share the news with all of our family together at once.   we are excited, and hoping for a nice, easy pregnancy.  names, people?  i like sawyer daniel and evie simone.  my husband likes cole and sydney.    that's not happening.  :)

and we also got the wonderful news that my brother and his girlfriend are getting married next year!  they travel all over the world, and just got back from egypt, where he proposed on a boat trip down the nile.  with a ring he carved himself out of a deer antler & inscribed with hieroglyphics that spell out live, love, travel.  isn't that amazing?  they are so perfect for one another, and we couldn't be happier to have her join our family.

it's the most wonderful time of the year!

so it's really late, and i should be sleeping, but my mind is whirling and i can't settle down!  so much to share! AND i wrote this last week but forgot to publish it! 

santa was sweet and brought me a new sewing machine.  actually, it was from my husband, who felt sorry for me when he saw my "new" fashionmate machine from my mom.  i think he may have also been a bit worried about how un-energy efficient it probably is!  (have i ever mentioned that my husband is OBSESSED with how often the furnace turns on?)

sorry, where was i?  oh yes, my new machine!  i bought the brother that target had on sale a few weeks back, for $99?  it came with quilting accessories and 30+ decorative stitches.  so far, i love it.  not a snarled bobbin thread one, and i love the drop in bobbin, & the fact that the zigzag actually zigs and zags!  the needle threader seems sort of silly, but maybe as i get used to using it, i'll appreciate it more.

i waited until the day before christmas eve to take it out and start playing with it.  our soon to be 4 year old came in, and oohed and ahhed and asked what it was.  and i said, not thinking, "it's my christmas present from you and emma and zach and daddy!"  and he was so indignant!  because he had been told, repeatedly, that we didn't open presents until christmas!  and now santa wasn't going to bring me any presents!  the sweetheart that he is, he immediately offered to share one of his with me.  awww. 

so i made our lab einstein a dog pillow to try to get him to stop sleeping on our bed.   and a few cage comforters for the animal shelter. 

and a scarf for emma to wear sledding.  & started a few other projects when i should have been working on my upcoming tutorial!

now, i have to stop sewing and clean the house.  both my brothers are coming to town for a couple days, and i have to revert the sewing room back into it's alter ego as a guest haven.  hope you all had a marvelous holiday!  santa brought me another little gift - but i'll share that with you later.


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