Tuesday, July 31, 2007

My Favorite Things: Podcasts

My latest banner creation, now in the shop.

Last night I was listening to the latest edition of one of my favorite podcasts, Craftsanity, which is produced by Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood. It was a recording of the recent "Art of Craft" session at the BlogHer conference. This was probably the next best thing to actually being there. Panelists included Amy Sedaris, Kristin Roach of Craft Leftovers, Natalie Zee Drieu of Craftzine, and the Crafty Chica, Kathy Cano Murillo. This is a must-listen for anybody who is trying to sell their wares and especially using the internet. Topics included pricing, how to write about crafting on your blog, and many more. I know I'll be listening again! There is a lot to learn from these ladies. I would so love to go to this conference next year - anyone want to be my BlogHer buddy?

And while we're on the topic, let's just keep going. I have been meaning to blog about podcasts for a while now. I have listened to them for about six months now, maybe a little bit longer. They keep me company while I sew. Does anyone else listen to craft or sewing podcasts? I am always looking for new ones. Here are some of the other craft/sewing centric podcasts I listen to:

Material Mama
- This one is from a Mama to three girls. She talks mostly about apparel sewing, but a little bit of craft and accessory sewing too. This was the first craft or sewing podcast I subscribed to. She usually talks about hints and ideas for inspiration, gives a recap of what she's been sewing lately, and often shares links to great sewing and crafting sites. It looks like she has a new edition today - check it out!

Craftcast - Alison Lee interviews a different crafter for every show. One of the first ones I listened to was an interview of the Crafty Chica. It always fun to learn more about each crafter and find out about how they get things done, where their inspiration comes from, etc.

Sew Forth Now - This is a fairly new podcast, produced by Lori, who covers one instructional topic per episode. This would be a really great podcast for anyone wanting to learn to sew. The last episode was on pressing and was an interview with Ann of Gorgeous Things. Ann is an experienced seamstress and talked about all the dos and donts of ironing. I learned some great things.

Craftypod - This is a great podcast. I love that it is a little bit shorter (usually 20-30 minutes as opposed to an hour) than most of the other podcasts I listen to and gives me a different time option for when I don't have as much time to listen to a whole show. Sister Diane of the Church of Craft puts out a great show every two weeks or so. This is more of a topic driven show - each week there is a crafty topic and sometimes it is accompanied by an interview which fits into the topic and sometimes not. Either way, it's a great show!

What are your favorite podcasts? And they don't have to just be craft ones. Let me know!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

the Aprons are in!

Remember how I mentioned boys aprons a little while back? Well, here they are. I wanted to have these finished much earlier this week, but it has been one of those weeks. So, I stayed up late last night to put the finishing touches on them and then early this morning I took them to the playground for an experimental photo shoot. The lighting wasn't quite as good as I had wanted, but I did get up a bit later (OK, a lot later after that late night) than I had intended. I still think the playground made for a fun background for this bright aprons though.

I made them in two different sizes - Toddler (2T - 5T) and Childrens (5-10). I actually first made one for Little P. You can see in the picture that he is not so fond of wearing it, but it does fit his tall 3 year old body quite well. I did get him to happily wear it while he helped make zucchini bread, but as soon as we were done measuring and stirring, he was done with the apron.

Oh, and each neck strap fastens with a snap. I found that especially with Little P, this helped it to fit around his neck properly. Had I made the strap long enough to go over his head, the apron would have fallen too low on his chest.

I tried something new this time and listed them all in the shop at the same time. The denim aprons are already on sale because this denim is so heavy, that my machine had a bit of a hard time handling the layers and some of the stitching turned out not as well as I would have liked.

I hope you're all having an enjoyable weekend! We went and saw Harry Potter today and I loved it! My favorite of the Potter movies by far. The music, the way they scripted the story, watching the characters grown up a bit - all wonderful!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Great Reveal

Jane received my package yesterday, so now I can reveal all of the goodies that I put together for the Sweet Goodness Swap. This was so much fun. Orange and yellow are some of my favorite colors, so it was fun for me to base an entire swap package on them. So, without further delay, here it is:My container was the pleated tote, which I made from thrifted vintage linens and fabrics. I found the napkins holder at the thrift store and then made napkins to go with it. The napkins were a great stash busting project - I used up two and half sheets in no time! I also made her a retro half apron. I threw in some sour tangerine Altoids, one orange and one yellow fat quarter and some orange and yellow ribbons. I love how bright and summery it turned out - that was the point of all that yellow and orange, so I guess I am saying I am pleased the colors served their purpose.

I am loving looking at everyone's packages and I can't wait for the next round!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

We have a Winner!

Congratulations to Kath, comment #26 and the winner of my recent 50th post giveaway! In her comment she said she liked orange, so she will be getting some orange fat quarters and trims and even some orange yarn (she's a knitter) from my stash! Thanks to everyone who stopped by - old and new readers alike and especially all of those who stopped by from Sew, Mama, Sew! Everyone left such kind words - nothing like 57 comments to bring a super big smile to your face!

Yesterday, the boys and I made an impromptu day trip to meet a fellow blogger and Etsyian (is that how you spell that?), Missy, of the Paper Flowers Boutique. What a fun gal with some great ideas! Our kids played as we got to know each other. Next time I think we'll try to plan a kid-free get-together and do ourselves a bit of crafting! Thanks for having us and for feeding us lunch Missy! I can't wait to get together again!

When, I got home I made the raspberry peach jam I'd been meaning to make all week and we had raspberry waffles for dinner. It reminded me of my childhood when I would make jam with my grandma in the summers. I could hear her instructions in my head as I went through the process. Good memories! I wonder what CSA will bring us this week. We'll find out tonight - yum!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Down to the Wire

Have you submitted your bags for the Sew, Mama, Sew Bag Month? Today is your last day, so get on over to the Flickr group and put in your entries. There are some fab prizes, and even if you don't have any bags to enter, the photos are amazing and will certainly inspire you in your own bag making efforts.

On Saturday, I put together this bag, made in the same style as this one that you have seen before, but with Amy Butler fabric, like the one I made for my friend. And now, it's in the shop.

And my pattern review, also on Sew, Mama, Sew, was published today, so here is the bag I made for it. It is Betsy Ross' All for One Shoulder Bag.

Hope you all had a lovely weekend! From your blogs, it seems that many of you were reading instead of sewing. I'm letting DH have first stabs at Harry Potter, so I'll just have to be careful not to have it spoiled for me.

Don't forget to comment on my last post for a chance at my 50th post giveaway. I'm thinking the prize might just be a bag!

Friday, July 20, 2007

A Sneak Peek and a Giveaway

Last night I went out and finished up the shopping for my Sweet Goodness Swaps Package for Jane and tomorrow I'll send it off. Hopefully, it will arrive quickly and I'll be able to share the package in it's full glory, but until then, here's a few pics to give you a sneak peek.

And this is my 50th post! Wow - that went pretty quickly (do I spend too much time blogging? maybe, but it keeps me sane!). So, in honor of this milestone, I'd like to host a little giveaway, although I haven't decided what I'll give away yet. It might depend on who wins. It will either be something pretty or some pretty things - your choice. So, comment away until Tuesday - I'll draw names next Wednesday. If you're lurking, you can de-lurk (no shame in this - I do it all the time!), and if you're a regular reader and commenter, all the better!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

A Lazy Day of Summer

Yesterday was the perfect summer day. We took our time getting ready for the day and then Little P had a playgroup in the late morning. During playgroup, Baby N enjoyed the attention of the babysitter, so we all had a lovely morning.

After lunch, the stars aligned and we all laid down for a nap and all slept for two hours! Mmmm...this was so nice. I love a good nap. I'm not so big on sleeping at night, but a good nap is one of my favorite things. I love staying up late and taking a little nap in the morning, though my kids don't really allow me to do that and before my kids there was my job that was keeping me from my ideal schedule. Maybe someday...

Ryan was home within an hour so of us waking up from our naps and then we all piled in the car to go pick up our CSA share. This week's variety was a little sparse, but there were lots of happy raspberries (something I rarely buy in the store because of the expense), so I think I will make some jam. For dinner we picked up some hamburgers and headed to the park to have a little picnic. The kids and dad headed straight for the playground and I went to take pics of the bag I made for the Sew, Mama, Sew pattern review. And when I was done, I took pics of the kids. And then we went home, bathed the kids, put Baby N to bed and I thought about what a great day we had!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Checked Off

Yesterday was a day for finishing up loose ends. I had a couple of projects around that have almost been finished for a while now, so I worked on getting them out of the way so I can get started on some new things with a clean slate.

First, I finished this pennant banner made from bright, fun fabrics. I made two of these for a custom order last week and I like how they turned out so much and I had enough leftover flags to make another. Most of these fabrics are from my Mom's stash (which is much, much larger than mine), so does this count toward the Use What You Have Challenge? My Mom could probably never use her stash all by herself, so I was glad to help her out - thanks Mom!

Second, I finished this tote. I made the body of the tote a while back when I was making one for Natasha for the My Favorite Things Swap. I wasn't sure if I would crochet the handles for this one, so it got left undone. I finally did decide to crochet the handles and that took a little while too, so now here it is. And if you were wondering, the inspiration for the fun ric rac and trims at the top came from my shower curtain. Maybe you saw it in Target last year - a fun blue curtain with horizontally placed ric rac and trims. I had my eye on this curtain for a long time and eventually found it in on clearance for $7, which made it even more lovely.

It's nice to have both of these projects out of the way. And now they are both in the shop.

I also finished up my sewing projects for the Sweet Goodness Swap. Now I just have to gather up a few more items and send off the package. My partner, Jane, is new to blogging and an amazing artist and quilter, so stop by and say hello.

Monday, July 16, 2007


I admit it - I have been completely and totally obsessed with Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice in all forms lately. I've been watching the movies, all three versions, for the past couple of weeks and then on Friday night, I had to read the book again. I even risked waking up my children (we have books stored under their beds as we do not have enough bookshelves to store all of our books) to find this book. I brought out all of the boxes of books (I did wake up Baby N) and finally in the last box (of course) I found all of my Austen novels except Pride and Prejudice! Aaack! Dissappointed, I contemplated going to Wal-Mart at midnight in my pajamas to get a copy. Patience prevailed, and instead I headed for the mall on Saturday and picked up this lovely little hardback copy (don't you think that print on the cover would make a great fabric?) and immediately started devouring it. I cannot get enough! I'm not sure what sparked this obsession - maybe a visit to one of my dear friends who started a group that dresses up in Regency Clothing (she makes her own - I'll have to feature it here sometime) and gets together monthly for social dancing from the period, or maybe it's just that all of the good TV shows are on hiatus for the summer and I have moved on to something different. Whatever it is, I'm enjoying it and now I'm trying to figure out a way to get it into my sewing. I'll let you know what I come up with on that end. Anyone else a bit obsessed with Ms. Austen?

UPDATE: I just found this via sk*rt. I can't wait!

p.s. I've had several new visitors come to visit in the past few days. Welcome! I'm so glad you came! I'd love to respond to all of your comments by e-mail, but blogger does not require that you provide, or show your e-mail address. You can however, change your settings so that it will show. Find out how here. And if you're a fellow blogger, I will usually visit and leave you a comment within a few days of your comment.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Tag, You're It!

Recently I made a fab etsy purchase that I wanted to share. Amy of Amy Elise Designs has the greatest tags and other stationery products. I first fell in love with the tricycle stamped ones on the left - they had that fresh vintage look to them and then I noticed a variety pack that was too tempting to resist and I got that one too. She has lovely products, great prices, and even threw in a few extra tags. And she blogs - check her out! Thanks for the great stuff Amy!

I promise more crafting next week - I've been working on secret projects this week. That word "secret" probably makes my life seem a little more exciting than it really is, but that's OK - I do have an image to maintain. No, really I've just been busily working on items for Sweet Goodness Swaps (I finished my container last night) and a pattern review for Sew Mama Sew (I was really excited to be chosen to do this! I'm not sure if I needed to keep it secret, but figured it would be better if I did). Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Tonight's Menu

Supper tonight will be creamed peas and potatoes and raspberry almond muffins - courtesy of our first CSA share which we picked up yesterday. Hooray for the Harvest!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Some Recent Thrifting

I haven't posted about my thrifting adventures lately. I haven't been thrifting as much lately. There's only a couple more weeks of the Use What You Have Challenge, and let's just say the temptation is great and trying (very hard, but sometimes not succeeding) to stay away from the thrift store and fabric store is how I'm dealing with it. Nonetheless, I do have a few unreported thrifting finds.

My favorite find - ric rac, seam binding, bias tape, and various other trims. These were all 50% off. Now I probably need to add this sort off thing to my Use What You Have Challenge no buying list.

This fun suitcase was $2. I am going to decorate it with illustrations from some vintage children's books . Until I get around to it, the kids are having a lot of fun sitting in it and dragging their toys around the house in it.

A sweet set of dishes - I love the little birds!

This fun typewriter. It was fully functional until Little P decided it was his new favorite toy and pulled the tape off of the wheel. I think it can be easily fixed though. Part of the reason I bought it was for the kids, so no biggie.

So, no new sheets or fabric, but still some fun finds. It has been hard to resist buying some vintage sheets I've seen, but I have resisted. Can you tell I am counting down the days until I can buy sheets again? I'm not sure why - it's not like I don't still have a bundle of them here. Time to get back to sewing - must use that stash!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Motivated by Friends

Just before I left for Yellowstone, a friend of mine wanted me to make a couple of gift sets of baby items for some friends of hers. So, I made a bib and burp cloth to coordinate with some of my decorated onesies. I was glad she had asked me to do this, because this was something I wanted to do anyway and it gave me an excuse to do it right away. And then last week I got a request from another friend to make a set with a different onesie. Here they are and you can also find them in the shop:

And again, last week when I was talking to another friend who had looked at my aprons and told me that she would love to have some for her kids. Well, this is something that is also in my plans. So, now as soon as I get done with a few other commitments, I know what I'll be working on. And there will be aprons for boys too- as a mother of two boys, I think there are not nearly enough cute things for boys out there.

Thanks to my friends for being excited for me and my little shop!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Take a look...

We had a fun Fourth of July with family and friends. I managed to fit in a couple of visits to old friends, a bit of thrifting (more on that later), and a photo shoot for my hand bags - thanks to my brother-in-law Chad. I needed some high quality photos because I am going to submit them for this book. I love how they turned out, and I must give all the credit to Chad - he came up with the idea (which I loved) and did all the hard work. It's great to have talent in the family! He took over 200 photos - here are a few of the best ones (well, they were all great, but I couldn't realistically show them all).

And now, time to get back to sewing. I took some crochet projects with me on our trip, but I kept thinking of all of the sewing projects that I needed to do when I got home - it was quite distracting. I have so many things to do, but it's nice to be busy. First on the list though is turning some of the zucchini my father-in-law sent home with us into these. YUM!

p.s. I am not so careful with my own photos, but these are not mine, so please do not copy them or use them in any way!