Monday, June 29, 2009

Monday Moments

I recently read that to get yourself into the blogging habit you should have "theme" days. A post that you don't have to think about (or in my case, craft your butt off for) once a week. I figured, what better day than Monday, the start of the average person's work week, to remind myself that I need to blog...and that in order to blog, I need to accomplish something to blog about.

I started this blog by request of a few friends who loved the things that I made and wanted to be able to see them all in one place. However, more people than my friends are reading this now, and I thought I'd use this one day a week to give those folks a small window into who I am.

So, I give you the first ever "Monday Moment" a photo from the week past and a little peek into the moments that happen when I'm not creating.

This is my son, Gabe. I love this picture. I love how every time I look at it I am reminded of the way he just can't get the hang of a spoon. The way he treats his little shovel like a giant fork and stabs the sand, concentrating with all his might on getting just a few grains into the bucket.

I love how I know looking at it that next year I'll be wondering when, exactly he figured out how to use a spoon, when he got to be such a big boy. I know this, because the big boy in last year's photos, crawling through the waves on a very similar Lake Michigan beach, seems impossibly tiny now.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Keli followed through with the comment she made on my Chicken post and mailed me a button jar! Oh, but she didn't just mail a button jar.

I got an adorable little frog. Two very cool bits of faux fur, some Asian inspired fabric that is just gorgeous a million and one little iron on patches...and this finger puppet lion that is so cute, soft and cuddly.

My son immediately yelled, "Mine!" and grabbed it. He might have said cat and kitty a few times too. Of course, at first he wanted it to cuddle and kiss.

It didn't take long though, before he found what he truly wanted to do with the lion. A favorite pastime of his.

Toys go in the printer. The paper tray gets brought up, the little boy giggles, slaps the paper tray back down, making Mom and Dad cringe every time just waiting for it to break...retrieves the toy and repeats.

I almost forgot my absolute favorite part of the whole package! Keli was kind enough to include this amazing magazine. It has so many different ideas for fabric collages, painting, art stuffed animals...I cannot wait to give some of the techniques a try. I think I have read it cover to cover three times already.

Thanks so much!

Saturday, June 27, 2009


So cute! I finished up the owl part of Melly & me's The Owl and The Pussycat bag pattern to match the dress I made for my niece.

Doesn't it remind you of the Tootsie Pop owl a little?

I decided to do the eyes a little different from the pattern. French knots are cute and all, but I was looking for something a little more retro. I turned to the Softies book for inspiration and it was right there on the cover. The eyes on the treeling were perfect!

Friday, June 26, 2009

The results are in

I was really hoping to come on here tonight with the Owl half of The Owl & the Pussycat duo that I posted the link to almost a week ago. I am pretty far into the purse, but not done. I'll shoot for tomorrow now.

I have been meaning to post though, that the contest has been judged. Not only did I not win, I didn't even make it in the top ten. I like to imagine I came in eleventh place. I put a lot of work into what I thought was a great idea, so it's a little upsetting. Mostly I am annoyed by someone placing in the contest who, from my perspective, clearly broke the rules. It bothers me that just because something was creative and well done it was allowed to also contain an element that should have led to disqualification.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sweet Tweets Complete

The first part of my niece's massive birthday gift is finished. I ended up using this Simplicity pattern instead of the one I had previously posted because I am zipper phobic.

It was supposed to have ribbon trim around the top and between the skirt and the band (as you can see in the above link). When I added my underskirt to the pattern though, I made a small mistake in the sewing order that made it absolutely impossible to add the ribbon. Oh well, I now know exactly what order to go in for the second dress where the trim is a much more important element.

Stay tuned for a second dress and cute purses to match.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Taking shape

It looks like a dress already! Impressive since the sides aren't sewn and the sleeves and band around the bottom are missing completely.

I had a heck of a time with the button holes. I've done them before with no problems, but something about this particular time really did not sit well with the machine. I am definitely going to have to run some practice holes before I start on the next dress. The pattern on the neck of this one really helped to hide the flaws in them. The next dress is going to be solid at the top. Nowhere for flaws to hide there.

I decided that the cottons are too thin on the bottom, so I quit working even though I was on a roll and ran down to the fabric store to buy some thicker cotton to line them. I am not 100% sure how I am going to do that yet, but I do have a couple of ideas. We'll see how they work out soon. I got a little extra, just in case.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


I bought the supplies to make my niece a couple birthday dresses last night. I completely and totally chickened out on the dress with the zipper. I got a very similar pattern with a square neckline and some buttons at the back instead. Buttons are easier. I am a wuss.

Dress number one:

And dress number two:

I got home and realized that these little dresses for my niece would be perfect with matching purses. My mother-in-law brought me over The Owl & the Pussycat purse pattern by Melly & Me (the makers of that giraffe that shows up here frequently)quite awhile ago, and I have yet to make them. I am hoping to have enough left over of the bird fabric to make the owl, and enough of the hippie paisley to make the pussycat. Wouldn't that be so cute? I am so glad that I bought a little extra of each when I went shopping.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Success and Failure

The graduation party was a huge success. No sooner did we finish setting everything up than people started walking through the door. I took a million and one photos, but nearly all of them ended up being of family instead of my crafty exploits.

I followed the party up on Sunday with a trip to the emergency room that convinced me I need my own personal Michael Moore to tag along on future trips. Ugh...

BUT...I did, finally, just in the nick of time, finish my sewing contest entry. The contest was to make a creative apron using a basic pattern provided. I think I did a decent job on the overall construction, but what I am really proud of is the pocket. I had it pictured in my head for weeks. I would applique rain boots in the same fabric as the ties and then use fabric paints to make them look more like actual boots. Having it actually turn out the way it did in my head is awesome! That rarely seems to happen.

So the party is over, I'm feeling mostly better, and I have nothing on my schedule, yet. I have a million and ten ideas for things I want to work on though, so no worries. I'll just pick something out of the pile and see where it leads.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Dreadfully busy

I am still up to my ears in graduation party stuff. Who knew? The worst part is that though there are tons of crafty little things I have done for this party, none of it really makes sense on its own. I will definitely be taking pictures there and letting you all in on the big picture.

Sunday I went to my sister's for a very quick visit, mostly to drop some things off to her because we have an SUV and a trailer and she has a Ford Taurus. Anyway, while I was there she let me know that my niece needs some pillow cases. Her birthday is coming up in August, so I thought that maybe I would make her the pillowcases and a matching blanket.

I am hesitant to do that because she has a beautiful quilt that was given to my sister at her baby shower. So now I'm thinking maybe pillowcases and a dress? My sister did say she needs clothes. I have been googling when I should have been finishing up my contest entry and I really think I like this Simplicity pattern. I have never in my life sewn a zipper though. Every time I hear someone who is an experienced sewer say something gives them trouble (zippers, quilt binding, applique) I get all nervous and unsure of my ability to do it. I need to learn how, because I have the most adorably adorable Halloween costume pattern for Gabe this year that has a zipper.

My mom's birthday was the 2nd, so I took her a cute little penguin I made when I was visiting my sister. I completely forgot to take pictures of it though. I can't wait until Saturday has come and gone and my brain (and crafty exploits) can get back to normal.

How do people plan weddings? Sheesh...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


I must proclaim my love for Shutterfly. One of my graduation party projects was a collage poster of embarrassing and cute photos of my step-son. My mom summed it up nicely when she said, "I can't believe you're paying someone to make a collage!"

Here's why I did. Shutterfly is one of the few sites I have been on that lets you arrange your own pictures, not just upload them. I loved being able to crop and zoom in on the photos instead of the computer randomly placing the entire picture in the collage. That way, when I scan the 4X6 photo of the naked baby running through Grandma's living room I can focus right in on the butt and leave out the early 90's People Magazine on the coffee table. Not to mention, I can put that baby butt right on the wall and not have to worry about damaging that one of a kind (no digital file on the computer, OMG, how did we live?) picture with tape or glue.

It came today and it looks amazing! Being composed of mostly zoomed in and cropped scans of 4X6 photos I was skeptical that it would look as good as it did on my monitor, but it really does! Also, I ordered a 20X30 poster and was fully expecting some thin sheet of paper like a poster you'd buy at a store, even for $25. It's thick! Love Shutterfly...and the $10 off coupon I got didn't hurt either.

Now for a complete change of subject, my mother-in-law brought me this fabric pack the other day. If you know me, you probably know that I love frogs. I dress my son in frogs. I buy a frog or turtle every time I go on vacation to add to my collection. I love this fabric. I just don't know what to do with it. I wouldn't want a frog purse. I'm thinking a quilt, but 10 fat quarters isn't enough to make a blanket. I guess I'm looking for suggestions. What fabrics would you pair with this in a quilt? Do you have a favorite quilt pattern that doesn't use a large variety of materials?

Monday, June 1, 2009

A little bit country, a little bit rock-n-roll

And a little explanation for why I've been missing from bloggyland for a couple weeks. I have been simultaneously working on quite a few projects. The biggest project I have going is planning a graduation party for my step-son, the largest party I will have ever thrown. I like party planning. I think it really inspires my creativity because I am never without a very tight budget for any event. However, the scouring the Internet for every coupon deal I can find and comparison shopping, ugh...I should have started in January instead of April.

I am also working on a sewing contest entry. I asked my mother-in-law to enter the contest with me (you must have a team) months ago, confiding in my husband that I was nervous about it, she could be a bit flaky. When she came over last week she announced she had finished her part of our entry. You can bet that the second she walked out the door my husband was needling me. Who was flaky? How far, exactly, had I come on my half of the entry? Yeah, yeah. Don't let him know he lit a fire under my ass or he'll get on my case more often.

Then, there was this. My sister is famous for asking me to make stuffed animals for every one of her friends' babies, always at the last minute.

I got smart. I called her when the woman in question was five months pregnant and said, "Hey, were you going to want me to make an animal for her?" She said yes, asked me to make something girly and told me I had quite awhile until the shower.

Then, the mommy-to-be committed a huge faux pas by sending her shower invitations out two very short weeks in advance, and my sister made matters worse by not checking her P.O. Box for five days. So this giraffe that I was so on top of now had zero notice. Oh well! She turned out cute and I was able to put my contest entry on hold to get her out in time.

I picked plaid because the expecting couple is very country. They own farm land, and had the baby been a boy I'm sure his room would have been John Deere Green. I went to a fabric store near my house that is just weeks away from announcing it's closing. It is convenient, but getting less and less so as they dwindle down their selection. This plaid happened to be the only pink plaid they had in stock. I didn't have much choice. It wasn't what I had pictured and very hard to match.

I found some mottled pinks, and some different plaid, but nothing looked just right until I found this tiny leopard print. So cute, so girly, and a near perfect match. It turned out a little more punk rock than I had planned, but I'm pleased with it. It could only be better if it reminded me of a Monkees song every time I looked at it instead of Donny and Marie.