Friday, June 29, 2007

A Few Days Away

We just spent a couple of days in Yellowstone with my family and without DH, who had to work. I haven't been here for over ten years - it was fun to go back and see what I remembered from my youth. The kids really missed their Dad and I'm not sure I'll do this again unless he can come or until they're a little older, but we had fun anyway and it was nice to be out in nature.

A hot spring at Norris Geyser Basin.

Baby N showing off his appliqued shirt (I had to include a little craftiness in this post).

Little P refusing to show off his shirt - he was too tired to bother at this point.

Old Faithful Erupts.

Buffalo - I especially loved seeing the calves. I don't know that I've ever seen buffalo calves before. I probably have and just don't remember it.

And we leave again tomorrow to go spend time with family for the 4th of July. Where are you going for summer vacation?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

What I really did last week.

Last week I worked on lots of projects that I couldn't show, but I got them finished and in the mail by the end of the week. Now they have been received (I am impressed with the US Postal System - very fast) and I can share them.

First, I put together some things for Natasha for the Favorite Things Swap. I made her a hostess apron and tote. I also included a subscription to Blueprint, my new favorite magazine and some chocolate. Chocolate is definitely right at the top of my list of favorite things, right behind air.

I also made a bag and diaper wallet for my good friend, Phoebe. I forgot to take pictures before I sent it away, but she blogged about it here if you want to take a look. I used an Amy Butler print and I really like how it turned out. I'll be doing more of these for the shop in the near future.

And, I also got some fantastic mail yesterday. Jenn and I swapped some items from our shops and mine arrived yesterday. Look how lovely! I put them right to use and then took a picture of my great sewing book and pin cushion. It looks like she's got another set in her shop, just in case you want one of your own.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Take a Look

Just in case you don't read Molly Chicken, take a look at these fab free patterns here. She lists two other sites, but I thought this one was by far the best - it had the most variety and had great pictures. They are all in Japanese, but look like they would be fairly easy to figure out as measurements are abundant. I printed one out and it looks great.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

A Little Miracle

Here is my little plant. He has now been alive in my house for a few weeks. This is pretty much a miracle around here. You would think person who worked in a plant bio lab in college and has a biology degree would be able to keep her house plants alive, but that is not the case around these parts. The only way plants stay alive in our house is if DH takes care of them. But, DH, as far as I know, has not touched this little guy. I even had to transplant him this week because he was growing out of his first pot. I think he deserves a name. Feel free to make suggestions.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Trial and Error

Remember the wonky little embroidered bird on the bias tape last week? Were you curious what I was creating with that bias tape? Probably not, but I'll let you in on it anyway. I was working on a diaper and wipes wallet - the sort of thing that could turn any bag into a diaper bag.
As you can see, I've been through a few different versions in the last week and a half.

I finally came up with something I'm fairly happy with, but I still need to tweek it a bit (mostly the closure - how to make it a little more adjustable so it is not too loose when the wallet isn't full), so these two will be in the shop at a reduced price and hopefully I will come up with something I am totally happy with soon. Even though I've been working on this for a week and a half and am still not exactly where I want to be with it, the process has been enjoyable. I haven't done much pattern design until lately. I like it because I can make things exactly how I want to, but sometimes it takes a while to figure out exactly what it is that I want.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

You've got Mail!

There was lots of swappy goodness yesterday. The goods from my first two swaps both arrived and I received my swap partner for the Sweet Goodness Swap. How exciting! And when you see what I got, I think you will agree that I got paired with the absolute best swapping partners! It was nice to come home to these treats after being at the dentist and finding out that I had four cavities - yikes!! After my first baby I had two cavities, so if I have another will it be six or eight? I'm going to try not to think about it!

So, first off the OHC Apron Swap. Stacey really outdid herself with this fab hostess apron! I love, love, love the paper doll print (she says it is called "kids at play 2" - I've never seen it before, but I love it) and the design of the apron (she came up with it herself). I especially love the buttons that hold the embroidered tea towel. What a great idea - I have never seen this before. And the music note embroidery is very fitting for me - I play piano and organ. I taught piano lessons for about two years, between my first and second baby. Also included in the package was a bag of dried peppermint from Stacey's garden and some great cookbooks - a thrifted potluck cookbook from the fifties and a Virginia cookbook. Can't wait to try some of the recipes! Thanks Stacey!

OHC Apron Swap - hostess apron from Stacey

embroidered tea towel by Stacey

cookbooks from OHC apron swap package

And next, the Favorite Things swap. This one isn't even due until next week (I'm hoping to get mine in the mail on Friday), so it was a great surprise to get this yesterday! Natasha sent some luxurious Ahava mineral hand cream, a set of Forever Stamps, and fleur de lis magnet (she is from Louisiana) all in a cute little polka dot bag. The wrapping was all so cute too - personalized stickers and bags tied pink grosgrain green polka dotted ribbon. The hand cream is divine! Smells great and instant relief for my dry hands (potty training is not going so well so I still have two in diapers which means lots of washing). The magnet will be a great addition to our collection - we collect magnets from places we have been. And who doesn't need stamps? Especially me who has lots of thank you notes to write for all of this great stuff! Thanks Natasha!

Favorite things swap package from Natashacute stickers from Favorite things swap package

Monday, June 18, 2007

OHC Apron Swap

OHC Apron Swap - A One More Moore Ruffle Apron

Stacey got her apron from me last week for the One Hour Craft Apron Swap, so now I get to share it! I made a ruffle apron from the tutorial at One More Moore. I made a couple of modifications to give the apron a more finished looked. First, I backed the apron with a piece of the same fabric that I attached the ruffles to (no picture of this). And second, I used iron-on seam tape to cover the unfinished edges (see picture below). This worked great! It was so easy and then I just sewed over it to make sure it wouldn't come off. I should be receiving my apron from Stacey any day now - can't wait to share it. In the meantime, enjoy all the OHC Apron Swap aprons here.

Finished Ruffle Edges with Iron-on Seam Tape

Friday, June 15, 2007

For a Friend

eco-friendly toteeco-friendly tote inside
This bag is for my super eco-friendly friend, Kate (if you're reading Kate, sorry to ruin the surprise) and I love how it turned out - it is made entirely of thrift shop or garage sale items, even the thread! I crocheted the handles, the outside is a tea towel I picked up last week at an estate sale (my last hurrah before joining the Use What You Have challenge), and the inside is a thrifted sheet. I love using thrifted materials - it creates a unique, one-of-a-kind look, I love the thrill of the hunt to find them, and of course, I'm saving them from entering the landfill and cutting down on resources used to make new items. All good things in my book. For more on the subject, read here.

And Christina has tagged me for a to-do list, so here are the first five things that come to mind.

1. Get a notebook so I can make a Father's Day Book like this one for Ryan.

2. Mail the Robocut that we sold on ebay this week. It didn't really work for our family, so hopefully it will get some use in its new home.

3. Start sewing and collecting the items I want to send for the Favorite Things swap.

4. Anticipate an e-mail informing me of my partner for the Sweet Goodness Swap. You still have today to sign up.

5. Figure out what we will eat for dinner tonight. It's Friday, right? Maybe we'll just order pizza.

Have a lovely weekend!

p.s. does anyone know why sometimes I have my lines are single spaced and sometimes 1.5 spaced (that's what it looks like) and how I get them to be 1.5 spaced because it makes for an easier read?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Helpful hints for using bias tape

1. Check to make sure your kids haven't adjusted the tension on your machine before you start sewing.

2. Make sure not to cut the bias tape when you are clipping threads. But, if you do, embroider a wonky little bird over the hole.

3. If you really want help with bias tape, check out this tutorial.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A Question

Frilly Eyelet Bag
So here’s the question of the day - what do you do with something you made that you’re not quite sure you like how it turned out? I imagine this eyelet bag accompanying a young girl to church on Easter Sunday. It’s just not me, anymore. Fifteen or twenty years ago this would’ve made my heart skip a beat. This is one of those things that I planned out thinking it would look different than it turned out, but looking back, I’m not sure why I thought that – of course an eyelet lace bag trimmed with eyelet lace is going to look super frilly! So here’s the question: what do you do with these items? Just put them in a drawer and try not to think about them? Find someone else who appreciates it and give it to them? Use it anyway because you went to the trouble of making it? Normally, I wouldn't have even shown it to you, but I put it in my to-do list yesterday and some were curious to see how it turned out. Now, isn't the perfectionist in me just shining through right now?

On another note, this is what I did while I watched Gilmore Girls on DVD last night (until I fell asleep mid-stitch that is). I'm pleased with how they turned out. Look for some of them in the shop soon.
Decorated Onesies

Monday, June 11, 2007

Today's To-Dos

1. Finish eyelet tote bag. I started this on Saturday as an Use What You Have Challenge project. I have a lot of eyelet. I have always loved it - I had a few dresses made of eyelet as a child. Originally I was going to put ruffled strips of vintage sheets on it, but then I saw all of my eyelet lace and thought, "What goes better with eyelet than eyelet?" I'm not sure about this bag though - it's a lot of eyelet. But, I think I'll hold judgment until it's finished though.

2. Finish comfort blankets for Skip to My Lou.

3. And, oh yeah - first day of potty training. Little P picked this potty out on Friday, so hopefully he'll use it now. He loves having a choice right now. Wish me luck - I have no idea what I'm doing!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Thrifty Thursday

Even though you haven't seen it here, I have been doing a ton of thrifting lately. I am looking mostly for vintage sheets, fabrics, and sewing supplies and have found some great stuff lately. This photo is just part of what I've picked up recently - most of this is from garage sales last Saturday (there were 69 listed in our local paper! I made it to about 10.) and a quick trip into each store (we have 4 different ones that are open during the week, and one that is just open Tuesdays and Saturdays) in town this week.

I love the stash of ric rac and bias tape - based on the packaging, I would say it's at least from the 50's. One of the bias tape packages is marked 8 cents! And the set of crochet hooks I got for 99 cents - there are 7. I think I might already have some of those sizes, but you can always use a spare (especially me - I am always losing things).

And here is my other find - not a thrift find, but possibly a resource for the my fellow Etsy sellers. I bought this custom printed ribbon at to use for labels on my creations. I tried printing my own, but I found it was hard to get a nice edge on them and when I washed them, the ink disappeared - not good! I really like these - it was convenient that they had a polka dot ribbon and the same colors that I use in my Etsy banner and avatar. The cost was fairly reasonable, especially when compared with custom printed labels - $30 with shipping (my only complaint is the shipping was $10 of this!) and I should have 80 to 100 labels on my 10 yard roll.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Rumor has it...

Rumor has it (ok,ok, I know for sure) that my apron giveaway will post on Life is like a Lunchbox's Apronpalooza this evening. In the meantime, here are a few snippets of the aprons I have been working on the past few days that you can now find in the shop. (Did I mention that when I committed to be in Apronpalooza, there were no aprons in the shop and I only had 3 that were made? It's been a busy week.) You have until Friday to enter each giveaway, so get on over there and win yourself a new apron!
floral hostess apron pocketric rac apron bib

ric rac apron  pocketlittle lovebirds apron front

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Another Good Cause

Here is another good cause that's been buzzing around blogdom lately. In case you haven't heard, check out Skip to My Lou, who is collecting Linus blankets for Chinese orphans.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Let's Get Real Monday - the five senses

Randi is hosting Let's Get Real Monday and today's topic is the five senses. I've got two little guys who explore their five senses everyday, so I thought I'd feature them. Luckily, they were fairly cooperative.

Feel: "Mmmm, corn is so squishy!" -Baby N

Taste: "Scones with Nutella - YUM!" -Little P

See: "Don't all the dishes look so much better on the floor? I think so!" -Baby N

Hear: "I DO IT!" -Little P

Smell: "Hoping not to smell anything coming from here." Mama J

Check out more Let's Get Real Monday here.

Saturday, June 2, 2007


Wow - this is a busy weekend for me and blogger. Anyway - just to let you know, Nan is hosting Apronpalooza next week which involves several fabulous apron giveaways, including one from yours truly (see below). Check it out!

Helping Fight Cancer with a Postcard

Christina just posted about Jennifer Dangerfield who has created an interesting and fun project to help fight ovarian cancer. My mother-in-law died of ovarian cancer before I was able to meet her, so this is a cause that touches me personally. It's so simple:
  • Let her know you want to play by e-mailing her and she'll send you a code along with her mailing address

  • Mail a postcard to her

  • And that's it! For every postcard she receives, she will donate $1 (up to $250) to Ovarian Cancer Action. You will be entered into a drawing to receive a jewelry prize as well!
This is the piece she is giving away for first prize. How gorgeous is that?! Check out the others.

Check out her blog for full details. I've told her I will play and she sent me a very nice e-mail with all the details in no time at all. And it's fun to see the postcards she's received so far.

Thanks to Christina for letting me copy her post!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Cut Off, Hangin' Out, and more Swap Fun

Yesterday, around noon, a workman was leveling the ground around our town home to get it ready for laying down sod and he ran his backhoe right over our telephone cable. Now, I was not so upset about losing telephone access (we don't get that many calls and I have the cell to make calls), but we have DSL and I was dying without the internet! I'm not ashamed to say that I could not live without it. I even had to go to the library last night to get my fix of blogs, check my e-mail, etc. I didn't think I would be able to sleep very well unless my mind was at rest that I didn't have any urgent e-mails requiring response in my inbox. It may seem pathetic, but it is true. So, a little more than 24 hours later we are back online and hopefully this never happens again.

Today I finally got around to hanging this mini-quilt I made a few months ago. I guess I was thinking I wanted to hang it on a rod, but then I decided it would look fine just pinned to the
wall and that only took about five seconds to complete.

Close-up of Squares on Point Mini Quilt

Oh, and for more swap fun, check out this one. Have a lovely weekend!