Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I have a small goal to make at least one homemade item for Ellie (and any future kids) for Christmas and their birthday.  Last year I made Ellie a hedgehog softie and a hat.  This year it's a hat and mittens (ignore the wrinkles, they need to be laundered).

I found this new favorite fabric shop in town and last Saturday my friend and I checked it out.  If you are cheap and like thrift stores this is an awesome store.  We dug through piles of remnants and both left with some fun fabric.  I got this snuggly soft pink fleece remnant for $2.

I used the Snow Pixie pattern for the hat (deviating on the edge finish).

And for the mittens I started using this tutorial, but deviated a bit.  Perhaps on a whim, perhaps due to a mistake cutting the sleeve part too small.  It's really hard to say.  I had some leftover material from the braids I did on the hat and added loops to the mittens so I could add mitten clips later if needed.

I love how the braid detail turned out.  To make the rope I took long strips of roughly 2 inch strips (with the most stretch width wise), sewed together, and flipped inside out with a chopstick.  It took a whole night to hand stitch it to the hat, but it was worth it.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Treat Package

Today I delivered some treats to someone.  Pumpkin cookies.  

Although I had meant to grab some paper plates at the store this week I plum forgot.  

I did have cardboard from the cake mix I used in the cookies and parchment paper (wax or brown paper would work too).  So I improvised.  

This is the long version of a short story--it only took two or three minutes.  I cut out two pieces of cardboard and sandwiched them together so you couldn't see the cake box pictures.   Here are the remaining steps I did:

Carpet Bag

Last night I finished my purse!  This is a project I had started years ago and then put down and never finished.  When I pulled it out I altered my original vision of the bag a bit to fit my current needs.  

It's kind of a fun upholstery fabric, and the grey seems fitting for winter.  I've got a thing for asymmetrically placed knots on purse handles--not sure why.  It is, however, handy to include when you have an ugly seem where you lengthened the handle strap.

This is a terrible picture, but here's a glimpse of some of the inside.  

It has two side pockets, a magnetic closure, and some mommy friendly additions I included in the redesign.  I was so sick of finding my daughter's sippy bottle sideways (leaking) in my bag (no-drip sippy cups are a joke sometimes), and the spare diapers always swim around my bag.  

After a day of use I am enjoying my new bag.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Sewing Nook

This weekend I finally buckled down and reorganized my sewing area.  It has been driving me nuts.  Confession my whole house has been driving me nuts--nesting has kicked in (I'm 4 1/2 months along) and I want everything reorganized.  My cutie pie daughter thinks the house is more fun messy.  Baby steps...  Anyway, here is a glimpse at my sewing corner.

I bought the sewing table used before we moved to Arizona and refinished the top half in a cheery green.  I love it!  As we were shortly moving I decided to give the old machine that came with it to a friend.  If I still had the original machine I probably wouldn't have to prop something under the flap (it was very heavy), but my plastic storage thing was nearly the perfect height for the job so it works.

I oddly find it refreshing to reorganize something like a bulletin board.  I should get a few frames and/or a little shelf up next to it so it's not so lonesome.  Another confession, I came across a bag of vintage notions this weekend.  Full of ric-rac, buttons, and other lovelies.  The wooden spools displayed on the board were from that bag--love!

I'm happy with my newly cleaned sewing corner. Enough so that I started sewing a purse, which I have been itching to do recently.  I did have to put a few other projects on hold, but I'm nearly done and excited to have a new bag.  Unfortunately I still haven't finished my quilt...I may ditch the extra quilting rows I wanted to do (purely for looks, it's not really needed) and bind it.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Tree Trimmings

I get nerdy excited for Christmas.  Being such a person I had Corey help me pull out the tree on Friday and got going.  Living in Arizona it just doesn't feel anything like Christmas until the tree is up.  
I'm loving the thrifted ornaments I found (confession, I found another little bag of them on Friday--full of handmade ornaments like the ones pictured below), plus they were cheap enough that if Ellie breaks any it's no big deal.  Can I say I'm glad I didn't invest in any glass ornaments?  Ellie thinks the round ornaments are balls and likes to bounce them on the floor <sigh>.

I made the red garland a few years ago (strips of fabric twisted around beads and then knotted), and added the pom-pom trim this year for fun.  I bought the pom-pom trim to update my tree skirt but haven't had time to work on it.  My star is white, so the trim fits perfectly.  The wooden candy canes were bought on sale at Joanns a few weeks ago.

I love turning on the lights in the evening and enjoying a good movie or treats with my little family.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

It's Starting

I actually should have started much earlier, but I've started a few small Christmas projects.  The first married Christmas I made some pretty melted peppermint ornaments, but sadly they don't store so well (heat=melted sticky mess).  Someday I may try to make them again and shellac them or something to keep them pretty.  I decided to jazz up some of my cheap-o plastic ornaments for fun.   

I got the idea from the chain fabric store, they had yarn ball ornaments.  So I took some hot glue and yarn to my ornaments and I think they turned out fun.  I might make a few more in other colors.

I am also slowly making some yarn pom-poms for a garland.  The fuzzy red yarn works best, but I wanted some variety and dove into white and cream as well.

Sparse Thrifting

Now that my daughter is more mobile and hyper-alert to everything she sees (i.e. grabs everything she can) thrifting has lost some of it's fun.  Which is totally fine, it has been fun being able to take Ellie to a park (especially now that it has finally cooled down in Southern AZ).  So more parks, less thrift shops for me recently.

On one of my recent trips I found this and just couldn't pass it up.  It was the perfect 70's looking yarn embroidery, something cheerful for our bedroom perhaps. 

Whilst looking for the price tag I found this cute note.  No wonder I liked it, it was made with love by someone's grandma.  How cute.

I do have to admit my husband didn't like it as much as me (ok, I don't think he liked it at all), but he's nice and lets me do what I want with the house.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Punch Embroidery

My mom's recent visit reminded me to pull out my punch embroidery needle again.  I drew a simple picture and tested it out after sitting in my sewing box for much too long.  

I think it turned out cute considering I only had 4 embroidery thread colors on hand to choose from.  I love how it looks like a miniature carpet.  It's honestly really easy, and once you get the punch motion down it goes quickly.  You work from the back, which is a bit odd at first.

Here's a picture of the actual needle (the other end of the thread usually comes out the back of the tube, my thread was too short to show).  The tiny threader is next to it--don't loose it or you are toast.

I don't know if this is standard for needle punch kits, but I highly suggest buying one that comes in handy packaging so you don't loose your threader or any other vital parts.

I already have ideas for my next little embroidery once I get a chance to pick up some new colors.  It would be so fun to do some Christmas themed ones too.  These would be a fun little gift for someone.

Monday, October 31, 2011


Happy Halloween! 

I grew up in a house where store bought costumes were rare.  Many years costumes were put together last minute with things around the house and face paint.  

While my daughter is still too young to pick her own costumes I'm having fun dressing her up in whatever I come up with.  Last year she was Rocky Balboa (we already had the grey track suit), and I made a beanie and painted her shirt.  Total cost: $0:

This year I went another direction.  "He turned around fast, and he saw a small Who!  Little Cindy-Lou Who, who was not more than two."
Cindy Lou Who Cartoon image from here.
I found some pink knit fabric at the thrift store (originally I was hoping to just find a nightgown) and went to town.  I used one of her dresses as a guide, and then decided to make a pair of scalloped shorts to go with it.  The dress from the cartoon goes to the floor.  As it's 90 degrees here and Ellie is not a steady walker I decided a cropped gown would work best.  Altogether I spent probably $2.

Kind of random for Halloween, but I thought it turned out cute.  These may turn into a new set of pajamas if they hold up after tonight.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sweater Mittens

I took break from quilting to get some backlog projects done.  

One of those being some sweater mittens that my mom and I started the last time she visited (ahem, in February).  We bought two grandma sweaters at the thrift store and got four mittens out of them (they are two layers thick--extra warm!).  One of the sweaters had some embroidery on it, which turned out super cute on the mittens.

They are a cute grandma chic gift for anyone who is prone to cold hands.  

Here's the pattern I used if anyone should desire to make their own.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Moving Along

Last night I had some time to myself so I started quilting.  It's coming along nicely, I'm about half way done with the initial pass.  I'm going to go back and sew inside every other stripe three or so more times to give it more character.  Here's a sneak peak at the back:

I love stopping at random small thrift shops around town when Ellie and I need to get out of the house (it's still too hot to play at the park during the day).  Today I found a sandwich bag full of wooden spools.  Two-thirds were generic craft store spools and the rest were genuine spools.  The price?  Twenty-five cents.  I was so excited.  I've already strung them on some twine and am trying to figure out where I want to hang my little spool garland (in a few months it will probably be on my tree!).

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Best Intentions

There have been numerous occasions in my life where I wished I could just have a few more hours or an extra day off to get all that I wished done.  I could do so much with even an extra hour!  

To make a short story long, a few weeks ago I found myself with some extra time during nap time (read:  the main side job I was working on kind of ended).  Super!  I could get so much crafting and organizing done!  I started with working on the back of my quilt.  I mentioned earlier that I wanted to use as many scraps as I could, so I was piecing a lot together.  After a good amount of time was spent on it I took a step back and didn't like it.  I wasn't about to finish a quilt I didn't like.  So out came the seam ripper to re-invent the back.  To keep me occupied I browsed online shows and found the newest season of Design Star.  Sweet.  Needless to say I spent more time watching the show than getting anything productive done.  Don't you hate that?

Anyway.  I am turning a new leaf.  I am going to be better with my free time!  Yay for motivation.

Last night I finished pinning together my quilt sandwich.  Oh, what an exciting step.  I don't think I'll be able to start quilting until later this week, but I am very excited!  I think I am going to branch out and do some straight line quilting and dearly hope it works out okay despite the fact I don't have a walking foot.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


This week I have found myself with a little extra time during nap time.  I've put that extra time to good use and have been making some good progress on my quilt!  A few rows have been sewn together and I like it so far.

As I sometimes have the memory of a ant, I keep numbers affixed to my rows so I don't mess up.  A helpful tip I picked up a few years back.

Although I am not a perfectionist in many aspects of my life (just take a peak at my living room right now), I am a perfectionist when it comes to quilt corners.  It bothers me so when corners don't match up.  Pressing, trimming finished blocks, and pinning helps tremendously when matching corners.  Hello, look at that lovely corner!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Gift

My dear mother-in-law requested a pin cushion for her birthday.  She found one on Etsy she liked (this one), but wanted different colors to match her sewing room.  

Here is my version (Karen if you are reading avert your eyes!):

I think it turned out cute, although I wish it was a little rounder and less square.  I knew I should have made a trial run, but with limited craft time it's hard to do so.

I thought this little patch was a fun touch.  It certainly wasn't placed there to cover up a hole...

Perhaps if I find myself with some spare time in the near future I will make myself a cute pin cushion.  I love the old school tomato ones (like here, or here, or here)!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Homemade Play Dough

Today I decided it would be fun to make something with and for Ellie--play dough! 

I plopped Ellie in the sling so she could help pour the ingredients into the pot and help hold the spoon while I stirred.  I used this dough recipe (cutting the recipe in half) and was happy with the result.  Nice silky smooth dough that doesn't turn your hands as dry as a regular salt dough recipe.  It's pretty close to regular Play-Doh minus the smell (which many dislike, but I oddly like).

I loved how sunny the yellow turned out.  Once Ellie gets a hang of playing with dough I think we will have to make a few more batches so we have color options!

Monday, August 22, 2011


This is record time for me.  It usually takes me months to get to this point.  Having a simpler quilt block certainly helps.  

I've got the blocks done, here they are arranged waiting to be sewn.  Kinda bold crazy patterns going on, but I like it.  

Corey starts school again today, I hope I'll still find time somewhere for sewing!

Friday, August 19, 2011

DIY Magnetic Pin Holder

Many moons ago I lent out my cheap magnet pin holder to someone when they were working on a sewing project and never got it back.  While I wasn't attached to that particular holder, I did miss the convenience of it.

Months ago I stumbled across a simple magnetic pin holder tutorial and made a mental note.  I never did find a dish that I liked that much, but I did run across two miniature enambled cast iron skillets.  

Lightbulb.  An even easier DIY Magnetic Pin Holder.

You will need a metal dish of some kind, magnets (I prefer the stronger small ones), and pins.  Unless desired, no glue is needed.  If you don't use glue whatever you choose to use can be used for something else later.  First step:  put magnets in dish.
Second (and last) step: add some pins and bon appetit!
Side tangent I love Julia Child!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Speaking of

...the header contest... I thought about using it on this blog, but it didn't quite fit.  It's not very "peachy" if you know what I mean.  I like it too much to do nothing with it, so...

Would any of you like the header for your own blog?

If interested leave a comment with your blog title and if more than one person leaves a comment I will randomly choose a winner next week (let's say next Friday)?  


Isn't everything.  I was ecstatic to see my little header went so far (it made the top 7!), but alas I did not make the top 3.  It was fun anyway, and it's brought me some new bloggy friends.

Last week my little family and I had a fun trip to Utah.  It was such a breath of fresh air to be "home" for a bit, and we loved seeing our families.

My mother-in-law gave me an awesome pattern/panel of fabric.  She's not really sure why she bought it, but who wouldn't want an apron with a pig head on it?  I'm thinking this will make a great gag gift for Christmas.  Question is, should I made the original apron, or applique the pig head onto something else (sweater, tote bag, etc)?

While I was at my parent's house I dug through some boxes looking for something, and found a few fun things to bring back.  One item I brought back was this little elephant my grandma gave me.  It's old and a little dirty, but I think it's charming.  Maybe I will hang it on our tree this year.  

Who is excited for Christmas?!  I am one of those nerds who is excited for Christmas in February.  I love it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Coming into focus

I love when you have an idea in your head and you start seeing it come into focus. 

I still have more rows to sew (if I'm being honest I still have more cutting to do) before I can start sewing the pieces together, but it's so fun arranging newly finished blocks.  Here's a glimpse at what the quilt will look like.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Quilt Progress

My colorful quilt is in progress!  I've decided to make a zig zag quilt similar to this one.  I wish I had a walking foot so I could attempt the gorgeous zig zag quilting lines Rita did on hers.  Maybe some Christmas I'll splurge and get one.  

I'm attempting to clean out a large amount of my white/off-white stash and scraps inventory to complete this quilt.  I promised Corey that next time we move I'd get rid of some of my craft stash (since moving is a pain), so I'm eager to use up all I can before next summer.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Lace Headband

Here is a small project I made with some of my vintage notions, a dainty lace headband!

If you desire to make one it's so easy!  You will need scissors, lace (I would suggest using stretch lace), and thread (or a machine).  

Measure and cut lace the circumference of your head (for instance mine was 22 1/2 inches).  Put ends together and fold 1/4 inch twice (so raw edges are tucked in), then stitch in place.

Done!  Easy as pie.

And just because I thought the packaging was funny:

You wonder who decided that was the best tagline in their marketing department?