Friday, November 25, 2011


Yeah, I'm just making up new words that start with Pin... that's how I do's it :-).

This week I managed a few different pins.  Yeah, go ME!  Actually I'm sort of surprised I did because my brain was pretty hyper focused on Thanksgiving and the fact that this was the first time I was hosting, the first time we've ever cooked a turkey, and the all other manner of Thanksgiving day preparation!

Anyhoooooo, the pins that I worked this week were:

An earbud case:
It is loosely based on this pattern!

Then there are the hats! I'm in love with making hats. They are simple, and quick!

And last, but not least a food item. I made bacon wrapped green beans for Thanksgiving.  They were super easy to make, and my crowd loved them!  I highly recommend them!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Week of Nov. 14th - Pins

I was super busy with homeschooling and co-op with the kids that blogging about the pins was WAY down on my list of tasks to actually get accomplished... but working on a pin or two was at the top :-).

So last week I did a food pin: Applesauce Pork Loin

It came out so tender, so tasty, and was oh so easy to make!  I served it with mashed potatoes, which was a nice compliment to the apple flavor.  As per my usual take on things (actually hubby thought of it first), the next time I make this, instead of applesauce make an apple compote.  It will just a different dimension to this already great recipe!

My second pin I used was for crocheting hats.  Do the Math!

I have found a great love for whipping out crochet hats.  I like playing around with stitches and patterns, but with that comes a whole lot of guess work as to how many rows, and stitches for each sizing group.  Thankfully, after a few times of pulling out the entire hat in frustration, I clicked on this pin and have since written it out and it sits on my craft table at a handy reach!  A new must have for me!!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Just keep pinnin'

I am fulfilling my Pin It - Make It weekly challenge... I'm just not getting the camera + blog about it portion together.  This is the current set of hats/beanies I've made in the last few days.  Each one is from a different pattern I've found thru Pinterest.  I'm trying as many as I get my hooks into to find ones that work the best for me... easy to fit to the heads I'm trying to accommodate... and which works best for alternation (maybe that is what I just have named this blog... something about alteration ;-)
Anywhooooooo, what you are seeing from left to right: a sweet little doll hat, a cute striped hat for an adorable nephew I had the pleasure of seeing over the weekend, and the lovely bright green and the bright green is for my youngest son.  The multi-colored circle is the eye-ball that will go on the front, for a super cute monster hat!  He's very excited.  Now I just need to come up with fun ideas for the other two sons!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Rose revisited

As I mentioned in my previous post about the rose that I worked on, I wasn't totally sold on how it came out. I pulled it out several time, restarting it, adjusting it... finally I pulled it out and used a smaller hook (H, the smallest I could use with this yarn).  The results really weren't all that different with the over-all size in my opinion, but the stitches seamed tighter (and in my mind a little neater).  I took a few shots so you can see what it looks like before it is coiled up and then after it is coiled.

When all was said and done, you can (sort of) see from the ruler that the diameter is around 6 inches... it is LARGE.  Now, this is about twice the size from the original tute I was working from.  Going back and looking at her finished project she really has a very tight coil, and I was able to get approximately to her size by wrapping it tightly... but the more I looked at it the more I preferred it to be an open flower.  So I cut it from the ball and shored it up.  I think, after a few weeks of working with it and looking at it, that I'm pleased with it and will let it be.  I have a few ideas of what to do with it, but that will take some time and possibly a run to the local craft store... for now I will just set it on my shelf and enjoy it as a finished product!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pin the tale on the croc!

The Crocodile Stitch! Okay, I'm not saying I have it perfect yet... but hey, I just started it yesterday... and I'm starting to get the hang of it!

Now, after checking out this tute, I quickly realized that I didn't really GET the written pattern.  With hook and yarn in hand, I watched the YouTube videos she posted and all became much more clear!

Once I get finished with further along I will post another pic.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Week of Oct 10th - Pinned it

So last week I didn't post, but I did complete a pinned project.  It was a tutorial on a crochet rose found here:

Rose Tutorial with Wreath

Now, I would show a picture of my own work, but the fact is I'm not real pleased with it.  I made it once, and completely took it apart and started over again because I think I did it wrong.  After completing it a second time (does that count for this week's pin?) I'm still not satisfied with it.  So, that being said... go to her blog, and try it yourself and let me know if it worked for you!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pin of the week

Well, I haven't decided if this will count.  First off, I can't find the pin. I was going to pin it, but the page refreshed and I couldn't find it at all... trust me I spent far too much time looking to find it again.  So that's the first reason I'm not sure if I'm going to let it count, the second would be it was a cleaning thing and not really a making thing... which I think is what I had in mind when I took on the challenge...

Anyway, so if it does count, here's what it was:

Drain cleaning...

Pour baking soda down the naughty drain... wait 5 minutes
Pour boiling water down drain... wait 10 minutes
Pour 1 cup of bleach down drain!

Drain will be free of the nasty black gunk you can see just under the rim, and the smell will also be GONE!  I really needed to do this for the boys bathroom, and it worked wonders for their sink!  So there you go, and easy drain cleaner with supers that we moms usually always have on hand!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Pin it, baby

Most people know about Pinterest by now... it's a fun addiction that can pull you into hours of endless pictures, ideas, and ... well, not getting anything in your real life done!  Am I right?!  That is until your best friend lays down a challenge!  And lay one done, she DID (well two really :-)!

The majority of my pinning has something to do with making stuff... food and crafts (mostly crafts).  Okay, as for the challenge... come up with a number (a doable number) of pins to complete in a given time period.  This way it isn't just mindless pinning with no actual usage.  As for me, I've decided a doable challenge is 4 completed pins per month.  I definitely think 1 per week is a doable task.  Honestly, that is what I've been trying to do, but thanks to illness, co-op starting up, a new school year... the list goes on, things have not been moving as quickly as I had hoped.  Thankfully I think I have a handle on life now, and crafting can now make it's way back into the quiet moments in my day!

Challenge number TWO... this is one I am super stoked about... a Christmas pin gift exchange!  I think this is just GENIUS... but my best friend is a GENIUS so I'm not surprised she came up with something so AWESOME!!!!  Here's what I have to do (and you should do this with you bestie as well), comb through her pins, pick one thing and make it FOR her!  Isn't that fabulous!?!

I am really excited about the endless possibilities this holds... and what a great way to come up with a loving handmade gift for someone!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Burp Clothes

When ever I'm in need of buying baby gifts I usually go to the babystore, spend hours standing a staring, and find it head splitting to find just the right thing.  YES, I put way too much thought and effort into it... but if I'm going to get something, I want it to be RIGHT.  That's when I came up with a plan a few weeks ago.

Thanks to my addiction to Pinterest (and all things craft blogginess, really), I seen tons of people decorating their own burp clothes... GENIUS!  My theory is you can never have too many burp clothes.  In the sort 6 months we our nephew stayed with us as a newborn, we went through rags of all sorts for spit-up... more burp clothes - WAY BETTER!

So what did I do?  Well I picked up a package of the 3-ply (organic, fancy!) cotton diapers, and then headed to the fabric store (ok I should admit here, I stood in the fabric isles for probably as long as I would normally stand in the babystore isle.  I knew of one nursery scheme, but not of the second....).

In this first shot, each of the three are different.  Starting left and heading right.  The first is a very simple design, the great black and white fabric is stitched on with a great electric blue thread (her nursery colors).  I love her color scheme, but it is a super sweet baby girl we are talking about... PINK is in order, am I right?! 

The next set of three I put together, well, I just couldn't pass up this fabric.  I didn't know what the nursery scheme was, but I know my gal pal well enough to know that she would love these sweet owls as much as I did!

As you can see here on the first one, I embellished with purple ribbon, and also cut out a few owls ans appliqued them on to the corners.  SUPER CUTE!
With this one, I add an additional fabric to really bring out the girly pink (the photo really doesn't do it justice).
And the last one, again, I wanted to have one very simple one in the set... so the fabric is simply stitched on with a pretty pink.
For those wondering, yep, you will probably be seeing these pop up for sale on my etsy shop as soon as I can carve out some time to sew!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A finished piece

In last week's post about my studio, I had a picture of an unfinished mini quilt I was working on. Well, I was able to get the binding and carve out some time today to finish it up. The purpose of this mini quilt is to sit atop my washer (I will make one for the dryer too) to keep it from getting all scratched up. I know it sounds a little odd, but they are such lovely machines that I don't them to get all junked out before they die! Plus, I really want to make my laundry room a little more colorful. Maybe just maybe by adding a few little touches will help me to get the laundry done in a more productive manner (I don't mind getting the laundry clean... it's getting it all folded and put away that seems to be my down fall).

I've never done anything quite like this before, and it turned out better than I planned (a bonus)! After I finished it up today, it got me thinking that this would be a great type of design (and easy to put together) for making diaper changing pads... i.e. a great handmade shower gift that you can customize to coordinate with the mom's nursery/diaper bag.

It could also easily be a great table top ironing pad. Instead of quilting interfacing/batting, you would use the insulation you use for making pot holders (probably a few layers would be best).

All I know is... now jelly rolls are going to be even more irresistible at the fabric store! I'm in TROUBLE!!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My studio

Okay Studio is sort of a stretch! Really it is just one wall in my master bedroom... but hey, it's mine to work in, right?! RIGHT! I've spent a great deal of time trying to get inspired, making my space both clutter-free and yet conducive to creativity and production. It isn't as easy as I originally hoped. Sure you can do a lot for a little, my problem is coming up with ONLY one style that I like and that I can continue to add to as we go... I don't have 'studio' money to just throw down and buy the perfect set-up all at once!

So I'm starting small. I see something I like, and then I look around at what I have to see if I can replicate it in a temporary way... you know live with it to see if that's what I want. Here is a shot of the wall right behind my sewing table. I think I want a inspiration board or something right here, framed... but for right now I came up with this. Some of my favorite scrap paper, new favorite stamps, and a little help from my Cricut... and I have something pretty to look at as I work.

Sorting and storing notions, boy there really is a plethora of ways to do this. I like little containers personally. I like to see what I have, and if it is colorful, well then, let's put that to good use! On this shelf an old pepper ball jar, and a cherry jar are perfect for storing buttons and bobbins (again, with the help of the Cricut to cut out perfect letters).

Last weekend, while Hubby was hosting a Men's Only conference, I whipped out this little fabric basket. I'm using it to hold my odds and ends of fabric scraps (note the "SCRAPS" on the outside). To be honest, I also really wanted to cut out fabric letters with my Cricut... I NEEDED a project to do that for :-).

And last, but not least, the decorative L-brackets hubby bought me to hang up my shelves were perfect for sliding a wooden dowel through. My ultimate goal is to have my ribbon stash on the rod, but at the moment the only dowel I had was too large of a diameter for my ribbon bolts... but it is perfect for hanging inspiration fabric or works in progress! The latter happens to be the case at the moment. I'm working on a jelly roll (small) quilt. I just love these fabrics! Don't they have a vintage sheet look to them?! Hopefully I will be able to finish this project tomorrow (or next week) depending on the ability to get out and get the remainder of the supplies I need!

Well, there you have it... a spin (more of a pan) around my studio!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Custom Work

Last week a friend from college emailed me about do a custom job. What she was asking for wasn't terrible difficult (although working from measurements alone, not the actual machine in front of me, posed a little more tricky for me)... what she was looking for was a laptop sleeve and an additional bag to hold the power cord and mouse. I gladly accepted, and off I went shopping (my favorite part, of course). Honestly, my iPhone was such a handy little companion. I was able to take pictures of possible fabrics, look at the inspiration fabrics she had in mind, and email her to pics while I was still in the store! VERY COOL!

The fabric she choose was so pretty (the bottom half of this picture), and then I found it's corresponding secondary fabric (LOVE IT)... although I had no intention of buying more than what I needed for the project... well look at it, it is fantastic... I bought more with my own stash of money.
And the finished product, drum roll please (picture is not great, I only got one shot off this morning before I hurried to the post office to mail it to her):

So this makes my first SOLD project! Hopefully there are more, but for now I'm pleased with this success!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Blue and Jade clutch

About a month ago Daddio and I played an out of town concert. While we were waiting for rehearsal to begin at the theater, we wandered over to a home furnishings store.

It turned out that the owner recently passed away, and the estate was selling everything off in the store... all of their fabric swatches were marked $1! We're talking about 1/4 yd of fabric per swatch of a huge variety of materials. Needless to say I couldn't resist! I ended up picking 10!

One of the fabrics I chose was this gorgeous blue/jade silk blend damask! It is really quite stunning in person.

This week (since my car was in the shop) I had some time on my hands in the afternoon... out came the scissors and machine, and off to work I went!

Here's my creation:

Brown Paisley Tote

Last week, I was able to bang out another item for the shop:

The Brown and Paisley Tote!

I'm really pleased with how it came out. Although this is the second time I've used this pattern (once for myself about a year ago), I think that I can improve/change it. I think the next time I end up with a couple of yards of fabric, I am going to give it another whirl!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


I love bargains! I love sales! I rarely buy things anymore (non food related) that aren't on sale. Basically, we rarely actually NEED something right away. I have the time to wait till it goes on sale, before I purchase it... or wait for that great coupon to spring up somewhere.

That being said... I did need little D-rings to finish up a bag I'm working on so that I can get it up on my Etsy shop. This meant I needed to stop by Hobby Lobby to pick up a package... and next to the notions is the bin where they put in all the remnants or returned fabric. Okay, if you have a thing for fabric, we all know you can't not stop and pick through it to see if there is something in there that you just can't leave! The prices are usually a dollar or two... come on... you have to look... To be honest nine times out of ten, I don't see anything that I want. NOT TODAY... I hit the mother load as it were!

So what would have been a $3 purchase for the D-rings, turned into a $12 purchase for D-rings, and 4 fabrics! SCORE!!!

Home Ec.

One of my self imposed summer projects is to re-do, fix, or create alternatives that don't require buying something new to replace something old(er).

Things are going pretty well in this regard. If you've made you way over from my family blog then will remember this recent post about repairing my mattress pad/cover!

Next up was the lining for the dirty clothes basket for the master bathroom. We've had that basket for ages (like 5 years). Every so often I would remove the canvas lining that it came with and wash it. Sadly it became dingy and pilly, and it just needed to go. What to do??? Well, like the mattress cover, I went to my stash of old sheets... and lo and behold I had a little purple sheet, that actually is a match to the bathroom stuff we have (we used to be all matchy-matchy with our master bedroom and bathroom... LONG TIME AGO)...

Now, I don't have pictures of the process... but it isn't hard to follow. I simply cut apart the old lining along the seams so that I could use it as the pattern. I cut the pieces from the sheet, and sewed them together.

The original one had a pocket that the elastic fit into, well, the elastic was shot, but there was no good way to get to it to repair/replace it. So I decided when I made my own, that instead of encasing the elastic, I would simply leave it exposed on the underside (it is flipped under, the outer rim is a finished seam) this way I can repair it over time when it loses it compression.
So there you have it... another quick fix with out going out and buying either a new basket with liner, or managing to hunt down a liner that fits the existing basket!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sew much to do...

When I start titling posts in a corny manner, you've lost the battle for sanity :-)

Over the weekend we had a very rare treat... NO KIDS! My MIL took the boys over night Saturday so that we could play an out of town concert with our band. That afforded us a date night Saturday night after the long drive home (we saw a movie that started at 10:15pm... CRAZY), and a leisurely Sunday. We went out to breakfast, and then went shopping just for fun (well, and for groceries... but that wasn't the fun part, okay it sort of was fun to be able to actually shop for groceries instead of attempt to follow your list, while throwing things in the buggy in a sort of careless manner while answering a million questions and telling boys to get out of other shopper's way!).

Anyway... after all the practical stuff, we ended up at Tuesday Mornings. Mostly we were in search of a little 'Thank You' gift for my MIL for keeping the boys... but of course, one must always keep an eagle eye out for the perfect thing you never thought you needed ;-).

Who knew they would have a stash of fabric... NOT THIS GIRL! But lo and behold they had a little crafty section that had jelly rolls a few fat quarter bundles. I found a great fat quarter bundle for $5 (8 fat quarters where in the package)... and, well, I just couldn't pass it up. Here is a shot of the fabrics included:
If you've stumbled across my blog as of late you will know the love I have for pouches, purses and the like... and my new love for sewing them (thanks to great patterns I've found online). Today was a day to sit at the machine... I NEEDED it. The boys and I have gone round and round lately, my hands needed an activity and the boys needed to go outside and play (which they asked to do right after they got their dishes put away from breakfast)... prayer granted!

What to sew, which pattern to follow, which fabrics would I pull together... did I have any more zippers??? I spent some time looking through my Pinterest account, and finally decided that while I really liked the Gathered Clutch from Noodlehead, it wasn't exactly what I wanted. I wanted something larger so that my wallet would actually fit in there (I'm not one for always taking things apart from one purse to the next... I just want to take my wallet and notebook out, and transplant it to the next bag, I'm less likely to wander off without something I actually need). After a lot of looking and figuring I decided to alter the gathered clutch pattern, and work from the tutorial on gathering here (my last two were not gathered, but pleated because I became irate with how I was gathering).

I enlarged the dimensions so that the pre-sewn numbers were 11x8, and also made a little wrist strap. Here is a shot of the inside panel with the card holder. I really love that yellow material (even though I am not a huge fan of yellow... I really like the butterflies that have the pink flowers from the outer fabric in them).

The other big change I made in this bag is that I notched the corners so that it would have a flat squared off bottom. It's cool, with the wallet inside it actually stands up!
I am totally digging this little clutch...