Sunday, October 10, 2010

halloween pictures

My favorite wall in the house is this one going down my hallway. It's a little picture gallery of sorts. It is usually filled with pictures of my kids, but also other family members too -grandparents, great grandparents, anyone who will pose for a cute picture.

I was thinking about past Halloween costumes and thought it would be fun to print them all up and switch out the everyday pictures with spooky Halloween ones. The kids have loved looking at themselves, especially the baby ones. They just can't believe they were once as small as their little brother!

I have a couple spots left for Shrek, Fiona, and Gingy! Gotta get those done!

Saturday, June 26, 2010


I've been a bit preoccupied lately...

We had a BOY on June 4th - 4 weeks early. I was early with my last one by 5 weeks, so I anticipated being early again.

I made these cute little announcements. They are very simple and super easy. The bunting is just 1" triangles sewn on and I stamped on the "hooray" using acrylic paint as the "ink" so it would look painted on. I think they turned out cute.

And my little boy is such a sweet heart. It's all so fun the third time around.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

my baby gift to you: maternity skirt

A couple of years ago my SIL was pregnant and mentioned that I should make a maternity skirt. It took a bit to figure out, but wasn't as hard as I anticipated. I have sold a couple on etsy, but have never known how they end up REALLY fitting.

I believe I am past that "oh, look how cute and pregnant you are" and to the stage of sympathetic looks and "any day now, right?" comments. I guess it does look like I have a basket ball shoved underneath there doesn't it. (sorry, blurry pic taken by the 6 year old)

If you are interested in making yourself one this is essentially what I did:

Supplies: thread, 2 yards cute fabric, 2 yards lining fabric, 3" wide elastic (you have to determine how much, but I buy 1 1/2 yard making a size small skirt), 1/4 yard knit fabric to coordinate w/ pretty fabric.

1. I took the Amy Butler Barcelona skirt pattern (which I LOVE and sew all of the time when not preggo) in my regular size and traced it, front only. This works for me because I only get pregnant in the belly region (although last pregnancy my sister told me my butt looked big...), so I just use my regular size. If you tend to get pregnant everywhere, I guess go up a size.

2. I then took off 3 inches down from the waist. Save this piece (at least the measurement).

3. Cut 2 of your pattern on the fold of your outside fabric and then also your lining fabric.

4. Sew up the sides of both pieces.

5. Take the 3" waist measurement that you cut/determined in step 2. Double that length by 3" width and cut 2. Make sense??? Cut this out of the knit fabric. Sew to make one long piece. Sew those ends together making a giant loop, right sides together. Fold length of fabric in half like a hot dog, raw edges together. Iron (if it makes you feel better, I usually don't...)

6. Take your 3" elastic and cut 1/2" shorter than the length of knit you just sewed. Butt up the ends of the elastic in a loop and zigzag a million times to sew together (not overlapping, just end-to-end). Stick this elastic loop inside the knit loop you just made. Sew as close to the edge of the knit fabric against the elastic as you can (I usually move the needle to one end of the presser foot). Trim to 1/4".

7. With your pretty side fabric inside out put your lining fabric right side out INSIDE the pretty fabric. Sandwich your elastic/knit loop between the two, raw edges matching the raw edges of the skirts waist. Sew all three layers together.

8. I'm not sure how to explain the next part, but I think if you pull the lining part up, flip the pretty fabric right side out and then stuff the lining part back in so that it's on the inside, it'll all work out. If you have the AB pattern, she explains it pretty well, there's just not that 3rd elastic part.

9. Top stitch the bottom of the waist band (on pretty fabric, NOT knit fabric). Hem.

10. Wear!

Please please please - personal use only...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

teachers gifts

As a thank you gift for Mrs. Grove for a great school year I made this bag. I think it turned out cute except that visually it looks lopsided (hence the added flower to hopefully distract). It is all straight though - I meant to make the green fabric strip larger in comparison to the other two, but I didn't make it dramatic enough. I think that's why it LOOKS lopsided. I used some Joel Dewberry fabric I have in my stash and made the bag in just a couple of hours.

We gave homemade jam to the teachers aids/helpers in the class. I found this blog that has the cutest little labels to attach with the jam. The labels are free. Check them out!

I brought this stuff to school yesterday even though we still have a couple of days left. It felt good to check this task of my list (and who knows! This baby could come 5 weeks early like it's older brother.) I think I am nesting, but not in the clean-every-corner-of-my-house way (much to my husband's dismay). I've been getting little crafty things done that I've been meaning to get to for the past 8 months!

Monday, May 24, 2010

a birthday dress

My daughter was telling everyone that I was making her a Birthday dress... I hadn't really planned on it seeing that I've made her a couple of dresses already this spring (which I've been meaning to post).

So, I guess I should make her a dress...I've been meaning to try that Oliver +S Birthday Party Dress pattern. I've had it for nearly a year. One night, or rather 2:00 a.m. I couldn't sleep, as has been the case since I've been uncomfortably pregnant. I got up and decided to trace the size I needed and get the pieces cut out. It's amazing what you can do from 2-4:00 in the morning when no one is awake or calling on the phone.

I just may have to do an actual review on the pattern someday when I'm not so hormonal. It was a pain in the neck to make. I think it turned out darling, and I love love the detail, but it required a lot of mark-transferring and ironing - two things I am barely willing to do. This dress required a lot of it though! After spending much more time on it than originally planned, my pleats turned out all wonky and I didn't blind stitch the hem. That's the great thing about sewing for a 6 year old... she doesn't care. She just loves the fabric "she picked out". And, well, I notice the pleats, but... I just don't care. Again, it's the hormones. And I must post a tutorial on making these flower hair clips. They are super easy to make and come together fast. Typically I make them in the minutes before leaving for church to match an outfit (that's how quickly they come together).

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

scrappy cards

I'm a big fan of sending (and receiving) cards via snail mail. I think email is nice and evites are free, but isn't it great to get something in the mail that doesn't ask for a "payment due by" or "vote for ________". For Mother's Day I made the mom's in my life some scrappy cards. I just picked up a pack of blank cards from Michaels ($4.99 with coupon), and used scraps from my growing bin of scraps.

It's one of those projects that I don't think you can really mess up. It's fun mixing and matching the fabric and seeing these mini quilts, if you will, come together into a fun gift set.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

more birthday love

My sister's Birthday was on the 17th. She's always growing her hair out and then chopping it off to donate to locks of love. She's in the growing out stage, so I thought I'd send her some hair accessories to make it less painful.

I too am growing my hair into a different style, so have been making headbands for myself. I prefer the skinny ones. You can buy a set of 4 head bands at Walmart for only $1. Black/Brown/Gold/Clear. I've been covering the gold and clear ones with fabric. You can find a tutorial here if you don't want to have to think about how to do it. She also has some cute embellishment ideas too. I've got more to show, but don't have pictures - some with feathers!
Yes, my son is the model. He thought he was hilarious. This is just 1/4" of felt rolled into a giant spiral. Hot glue every few inches. I found the alligator clips on etsy at mybeadjoy. They were pretty cheap. I think 25 for $2. There are all sorts of things at this etsy shop that you can't find at Micheals. The prices are great. The only downfall might be that the stuff is shipped from China, so it takes a few weeks...Same concept as the other one, but done with scrap fabric instead of felt.
Covered button super glued onto a bobby pin that has a base. Also from mybeadjoy.
There are two different kinds of bobby pins -black and silver. I've got some silver ones too. I think I prefer those. They are little bit longer.

Happy Birthday Emily!!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010


It is part of my son's "outfit" to shove a bunch of cars in his pockets each day. Unfortunately he just can't fit them ALL into his pockets, so I thought I'd make him a bag to carry them around in (this also helps avoid the fits being thrown because he can't physically carry 10+ cars in his arms at the same time!)

I used (sort of) the bag from Bend The Rules Sewing (the one with the apples), but made longer straps and different dimensions. . . so basically I just made it up as I went - but I had sewn the Amy Karol one before, which was helpful.

I used the "wrong side" of some denim fabric I had on hand and lined it (and appliqued) with some canvas-y type fabric from Walmart. The straps are just the two strips of fabric sewn together with the edges raw.I tried to make the bag as manly as I could (w/o spending hours and hours making it).

My husband is embarrassed when Carson carries around his "purse" full of cars.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

quirky cuff links tutorial

If you are a sewer/crafter I'm certain that when you look at things other people made you think to yourself "I could totally make that".

That's me.

Plus, I was "accused" by my husband a while back that I'm motivated by money. At first I was slightly insulted, but it's true and as long as money doesn't rule my life, I think it's ok. As a stay at home mom, instead of being motivated to MAKE money I seem to be motivated to SAVE money. I craft for the creative outlet, but another reason (among many) I craft is because I like to give gifts and it helps when I can give a nice handmade gift without spending lots of money. Plus, my time is priceless right ;)

Which leads me to a birthday gift for my sister's husband. I saw these Lego cuff links at a local handmade consignment shop, $25 for 1 pair, and thought of him. I also knew I could make them. Check out how easier they are:

Buy blank cuff links off Etsy here. You don't even have to buy a zillion of them. 4 pairs cost me $2.50.
Find Legos. I like these square ones, but I think the ones that are 3 nodes by 2 nodes would work too. Luckily I have a friend that has a big bin of legos that don't complete a set. She let me rummage through it to find what I wanted. $0. Maybe you could find some at a thrift shop perhaps?Super glue the lego onto the cuff link. Make sure they are going the same direction.
See, easy.

Total cost (with shipping) $4.95.

Now I guess I ought to let my sister know that she should give her husband a shirt for his Birthday that needs cuff links.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

birthday gift

My Mother's birthday was this past month. She makes those fancy crochet wash cloths (her's are simple and square, but I thought these apple ones were cute).

I've been meaning to try this.

I even bought crochet hooks and yarn.

I'm not sure where they are at the moment.

Oh well.

I (loosely) used a tutorial I found on Sew mama Sew. There are enough pockets for a small notebook and pen (or pattern I guess), a small pair of scissors, and 5 hooks.

It fit nicely in a 8 x 11 manila envelope with a small ball of yarn.

Happy Birthday mom!

Friday, March 5, 2010

birthday shirts only the mom cares about

Isn't that so true?! What three year old can get excited about getting clothes for his birthday?? Oh well, I had a fun time making them...

Freezer paper stenciled (which I've found an new love for. I hated doing it at first, but discovered that if I cut the image with those tiny finger nail scissors, it's much easier than using a razor. That might just be me...)
My personal fave. He runs around the house "roaring" at his sister with his "scary pider shirt". Only, she's not scared and roars and chases him back. . .
I cut the hemmed edges of the sleeves and bottom to make them roll. (Above two shirts are "remakes" of shirts I saw in Mini Boden).
This freezer paper stencil was totally inspired by this brilliant tutorial I saw over at Made during her (and Rae's) boy month. If you are at all interested in taking your images (or ones found off the internet) and then converting them to larger images to freezer paper stencil, you must read the tutorial. It's awesome! I'm going to try the Lincoln image as soon as I can figure out how to make it smaller. I'm thinking of putting four Lincoln heads on the shirt and paint it sort of Andy Warhol like.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

happy valentine day

happy valentines day!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

i CAN finish this. i know i can. i will. i swear it.

Tracy always tells me how quilting is SO much easier then making clothes. Maybe. But my problem with quilting is that I'm impatient.

It's not quilting's fault.

It's me. Not you.

Tracy sent me a lovely quilt for Christmas that I snuggle in while watching t.v. It's just mine. Reserved for me. Poor shivering husband says to me the other night while under a different (smaller) blanket "maybe you should make another blanket".

Yeah, I guess he's right.

So I started looking at quilt tutorials online and decided on a Stacked Coin quilt. It actually looks harder than it really is. Mostly it's time consuming. The first day I cut all of the top strips and sewed them together. I even cut out all of the white strips too. And then. It sat. Here and there I've sewed a strip or two together. In between it all I've made some headbands - cute ones for moi, cut out two patterns, cut out PJ pants for the boy and just got my miniBoden catalog in the mail yesterday and tore out a bunch of pages of cute appliques that I'm just itching to, ahem, recreate (for personal use, of course).

Today I finished the entire top. I knew I would never get to it if I didn't just sit down and do it. Especially with all of the applique possibilities in my mind.

I love it.

It's beautiful.

I love seeing all of my fabric in one place, and I love that the white balances out the chaos.

Now to finish it. Hmmm... I DO have the batting. And a walking foot attachment for the machine.

And I DO love it.

I'll finish it.

Maybe tomorrow. Maybe.

Next time though, I'll make this quilt instead.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

can i make up for the 1st trimester absence?

I was going through my iPhoto and saw some pictures that I took of a craft show I did in October. I had signed up to do it in September and then luckily sewed a bunch at that time because October through December was no-fun-for-me. First Trimester sickies.
I had sort of given up on craft fairs because I don't make much money and since all of my stuff has to be handmade it's not like I come up with a design and then pay someone to screen print it en mass on t-shirts or something. But this was a real craft fair at an Art Gallery in a nicer part of the Bay Area, not just a local craft show at the local elementary school or something, so I decided to give it one last shot.

I didn't actually make very much money (I'm not sure anyone did due to low traffic), but it was one of the neatest things to participate in. The other crafters were so amazing, true artists. I felt like such a geek with my head bands, hair clips and nursing covers. You could definitely tell what stage of life I was in by all of my mom/little girl items.

Some of my favorites were:

- the most beautiful and creative knit scarves/ascots/accessories. Just lovely.

I would love one of these bird stakes in my yard.

This guy's insect art is a-maz-ing and beautiful and I must have some butterflies.

Oh yeah, it's funny too. Beetles walking dogs and riding bicycles, silly things.

and my favorite were these recycled paper earrings. Oh how I had to exercise some self control!

I was next to a girl who does craft fairs as a full-time job. She said at the big ones she makes $3000-$4000. The entry fee is around $300+. Do you know how many hair clips I'd have to make JUST to make up my fee?? Not worth it in my book. Most of her stuff is screen-printed (her designs), so it's not hard for her to mass produce. She was really nice and helpful.

It was fun doing the craft show (and hey - now I've got a bunch of items made to sell and gifts to give away), but mostly because of the kid free day away and being surrounded by gifted people. I'm not sure I'll be a seller at another craft show, but I'd love to go and buy next time!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

i've been published!

If you ever thought you'd be a scrap-booker, then you know the guilt of falling behind. Way behind! Like you've had another kid since you started your first kids baby book behind. Well, that was me. And it turns out. . . I hate scrap booking. It's just not for me. I'd rather see pictures and know the story then have fancy doo-dads and cutesy paper. Plus, I just don't have a talent for it.
SO, this is where blurb comes in. There are plenty of website where you can get pictures made into a book, but the great thing about blurb is that they offer software that slurps your blog into a book for you. After that you have to go through and choose your book size (this is set in stone once you choose, so choose wisely), add more pictures (like when you have a zillion pictures and you know you just can put them ALL on your blog), enlarge font, etc. The software's not perfect, it's totally SLOW and is crazy time consuming, but it's worth it in the end. I have been blogging since 2007 and thought I'd start there. So yes, I'm still behind printing my books, but it's ok. The pictures and stories are still there. All I have to do is add more pictures and viola. Family history.

My book has 200 pages in it and cost $63. It is the Standard Landscape (I wanted to be able to fit it in a bookshelf. The bigger ones are awesome, but I'm not sure where I'd store the books later). I think the Landscape version is good because it makes the book more coffee-table-like (less text book feeling) and I think you can fit more pictures on the pages. Maybe it seems expensive, but when you figure the book has 360 pictures in it and at IF I got them printed as 4 x 6 prints (and the majority of the prints are 5x7 and 8x10) for $.11 each that's approx. $40 plus having to buy albums to put all of the pictures in. And no story. And then writing dates on the back of 360 pictures. I hate doing that!It was totally worth it and I hope to get some birthday money so I can print 2008. Oh yeah - if you have (grand)parents or family who want a copy, you can always make it available online for them to go to the website and buy.