Tuesday, November 30, 2010

More Embellished totes

Tuesday, November 30, 2010
My aunt asked me to make her some more of these canvas totes. She's going to put her grand kids' presents in them- how cute is that? So, since she is a major animal lover, I pulled out this cute cat print to make a couple of the bags. Then, I've always wanted to try the ruffle version- and I have to say it turned out darling. I think that's what my daughter will be getting this year! And the purple flowers are so fun- I used a dark purple corduroy and the light purple floral print. I'm going to be making a scripture tote using these fabrics in the next day or two- love them!

Here is a detail shot of the flowers with the cat fabric as the centers. I think they turned out so cute!
These are seriously the easiest gift- I made all five of them this morning in less than 2 hours. And that's with kids running all over and getting my two oldest out the door.
If you need any ideas or would like any of the templates I used for the shapes (the flowers or the shapes seen here) leave a comment or send me an e-mail and I would be happy to get them to you. Please make sure your e-mail is included if you're a no-reply blogger so I can send them somewhere!
Happy Christmas Crafting everyone!

Also linking up to Whatever Goes Wednesday at Someday CraftsPhotobucket

Monday, November 29, 2010

Where am I?

Monday, November 29, 2010
I feel like I have fallen off the face of the planet as far as this blog is concerned. I would love to have some amazing eye candy for you, but I have been scrambling to fill orders and get caught up. See all these clipboards? Want one? Too bad- they're all sold! My cousin ordered a dozen, I made 15 thinking I'd have extras. Guess what? My other cousin bought all the extras! But, if you want to MAKE yourself one- I have the tutorial for that RIGHT HERE. :)
Now, I know it sounds like I'm complaining- I am not! Really! All these orders made it possible for me to do some serious damage on Black Friday, and Black Saturday- and made a tremendous dent in the list of gifts! But it has meant that any time not used in my "real" job of being the MOM is spent in pure production mode. Nice for my family- not so nice for my readers.
Does anyone else out there get burned out making the same things over and over? I mean- you want to get good at what you do, become an expert in fact. That's how you make the big bucks right? And you can't become an expert without practice, practice, practice! But, I'm a bit of a craft schizophrenic- I like to do everything and get bored when I do too much of the same thing. It's a balancing act, and right now there's not a lot of balance happening.
Still, there's hope. My sweet friend Gwen asked me a long time a go to participate in her Haul out the Holly event- and my post will be coming up on Friday (don't worry, I'll remind you)! It's gorgeous- trust me! ;) And, soon, hopefully I'll break free from the grind and get to make some things purely for fun! In the mean time, thanks for coming back- I'll make it up to you, promise!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Giving Thanks

Friday, November 26, 2010
So, I know I'm a day late and everything, but I just couldn't get to the computer yesterday. And, I couldn't NOT post these guys. I made them using the tutorial by Craft Goodies on Ucreate! They turned out so cute if I do say so myself. (I think I can say so myself, since they are someone else's idea right?)
The only thing I did different is I glued some clothespins on the back of four feathers. Then I used the printables from Less Cake {more frosting} to make the give thanks note and used the polkadot strips to embellish some index cards I cut in half. Then I wrote a note to each child telling them why I was thankful for them, then I had my husband do it. Then I had each child write/ tell me something they were thankful for about themselves (the boys didn't quite get it- they both said "the DS".). I am going to keep the slips in a notebook and gather them from year to year. Thanksgiving was very low key. It was our little family and my in-laws. It's very different when it's the year to have it with my family- I have 5 siblings and between us there are 19 kids- it's quite the opposite of quiet! Still, each experience has it's value and we love ALL our family so we always have fun.
Then it was straight to bed to get ready for BLACK FRIDAY!!! I swore I wasn't going to do it this year, but I just couldn't resist. I did sleep in and didn't even leave for Target until 6 a.m. But I lucked out and everything that was on my list was still there! I simply cannot believe our good fortune. And, since we were there a little later, we didn't even have to wait in line to check out! It was a dream for sure. So, one power day of shopping and I'm nearly ready for Christmas. Heading out again tomorrow for some fabric at Joann's- 50% off home dec fabric! I'm stocking up to make tote bags! Then over to Kohl's to use my $10 off a $20 purchase (free money right?). I'm totally loving this weekend. :) Hope you all had a wonderful weekend as well.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Wednesday, November 24, 2010
I am posting today about LeeLou blog's favorites giveaway, and one of the prizes for day 3? AN IPOD TOUCH! Seriously folks, that's just one of the prizes. To go see, and enter for yourself- click here! Ooooh how I'd love to win!

Felt pom pom ornament (tutorial)

Pom Pom Flower Tutorial

Even though this tutorial uses Christmas colors, you could simply change the colors of your felt and you'll get totally different results! I have used these flowers on tote bags as well as ornaments. Let your imagination and creativity run wild with them!

The first thing you will need to do is cut your strip of felt. I cut mine 4" X 32" for a solid colored flower. (cut two strips 4" X 16" if you're doing a two tone flower).
Fold the strip in half and cut slits down the folded edge. They should be between 1/4" and 1/2" apart, and try to end the cut approx. 1/2" from the edge (so the strip doesn't tear).

(repeat with the second color- if you choose) The finished strips should look like these.

Line up all the straight, uncut edges (if you're doing one color- there are 2, if you're doing 2 colors, there will be 4) and begin rolling at one end. Take your hot glue gun and dab some glue as you roll up the flower. I glued the layers together in some places, in others I just glued the bottom layer. Continue up the entire length of the cut strip, keeping the edges even as much as possible.

If you're making a flower, you're done, I just cut a circle of felt to cover the bottom and put a generous layer of glue on the bottom. If you're making an ornament, you will need to make a second "flower". Then, take a ribbon and glue the ends to one half. Put a bunch of glue and press the two halves together. Fluff the "petals" and you're finished.

This is a side view, you can't even see where the two pieces are! These would be fun in a garland, or hanging from a light fixture. You could add some embellishments- like holly sprays, or beads or even bells and hang them from a door knob. Run with them and have fun!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Embellished? Bags

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I have a question for you. I have been making these tote bags for 2-3 years now. They sell well, mostly because I haven't been charging enough for them ;). But I'm happy with them, they hold a ton of stuff and they hold up to years of beatings!
However, I am wondering if they might just need a little something? I mean- I'm a simple girl. I like clean lines and don't usually go for a lot of clutter and chaos. But, I also like things to be "finished".
So, I have started adding flowers to them.

I love how they look with just that little extra embellishment. I think it's the missing piece for these bags, and maybe I can start charging what they're worth. What do you think? Do they look more finished, more valuable? And how much would you be willing to pay for this extra little bit of beauty? The finished bags are around 15" long, 13" tall and about 6" deep. A really good size for a tote bag.

This is a close up of the flowers I used on these bags. I'll have a tutorial on how I made these up in the morning. Isn't that a gorgeous felt pom pom? Love it!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Embellished Canvas Tote Bags

Friday, November 19, 2010

Here's a great Christmas gift idea. Embellished canvas tote bags. And you don't even have to make the tote bags- all you have to do is embellish! :)

First, you will need a canvas tote bag. I get mine at Walmart, they are cheaper there than anywhere else, even with a coupon. I think they are like $7 for all three. Get some scrap fabric and an image. You will also need some heat n' bond lite.

Draw your image on the paper side of the heat n' bond, cut it out- but not right on the line. Follow package directions to fuse the image to the wrong side of the fabric. Then cut it out.

Again follow the package directions and fuse the image onto the canvas tote. Using your sewing machine (you could hand stitch this) stitch around the image. I find it easier to shorten the stitch length so I get a smoother line on curves and things. And go slowly, even slow on a machine is faster than by hand!

That's it! Easy, huh? I usually press the tote again once the image is sewn on since it gets pretty mashed up turning it around on the sewing machine.

We use these for church bags in my family. Every year the kids get a new one for Christmas. I fill it with new coloring supplies (I like colorwonder since my dresses don't get stained), books and other items to help little ones stay quiet during meetings. These would also be great for library books, classes- like piano or dance, or just for someplace fun to put "stuff". And all for less than $5!

A couple of things to note:

1. the image will be the reverse of how you trace it on the Heat n' bond- this is especially important if you are doing letters.

2. You don't have to do an image- I just took a strip of fabric, ironed down the edges and sewed it around the tote for the dog tote in the picture.

3. You can embellish with your machine, or by hand after the image is in place. I used a button for the eye on the bird (not shown)

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Thursday, November 18, 2010


Thursday, November 18, 2010
As I was preparing for this boutique, I began to wonder if I was actually getting anything done. I had all these ideas for what I wanted to make, supplies I wanted to use and a growing list of tutorials I wanted to try. With all this stuff buzzing around in my head, I began to think I was just wasting time running around in circles. So, when it came time to price and prepare for the boutique, I thought I'd take inventory of what I had actually made in the last 4 weeks. There are actually 2 tote bags I've already sold, as well. I guess when I lump them all together like this it doesn't look too shabby.
That being said, I never could have gotten this much done without the help of my mother-in-law. She has taken the kids for a few hours a couple days a week which has made a huge difference! And...the house- well let's just say it's suffered a bit. ;) I'm definitely not in the "quit-your-day-job" mode yet. My day job (being a mother) is still the one I want, and I'll be glad when this weekend's over and I can actually get back to it.

Here is a close up of the baby leg warmers and the burp cloths I've made. I added little details to each pair of leg warmers, and I love how they turned out! If they don't sell, they're going to my baby for Christmas- she LOVES putting on "socks". (and shoes, and clothes etc..)

I'm really excited about this weekend and hope everything works out. And I REALLY hope people come! So, fingers crossed, here we go!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Tuesday, November 16, 2010
This is what it's all about. Right here, in these beautiful faces. This is my family. This is the summation of my life- in one picture.
I just read CJane's post about motherhood and how it permeates everything we do, even when we're trying to do something else. And it hit pretty close to home. I love my crafting. I will give you that when kids are screaming, toilets need to be cleaned (after they get unclogged) AGAIN, laundry is piled up, floors crunch as you walk over them, and life is an incessant chorus of MOM!!!- escaping reality seems like a survival mechanism. Hence crafting, and blogging about crafting. It fills a need, for me it's simply part of who I am, like my moles and my extra (few) pounds ;) .
When I started linking up my projects a couple months ago I didn't know really what I was doing. My very first project I linked up was my batty felt pillow- and it went BONKERS! I was featured on UCreate, Someday Crafts, Tatertots and Jello, Eighteen 25, and tons of other blogs. I was totally overwhelmed- and hooked! I mean feedback, positive feedback- mind you, was what this poor mama was really missing- and I got it, in droves. Life became about the next thing, the next project, trying to top the reaction to the bat pillow, getting more followers, link parties, comments, and on and on. Not one item on that list has anything to do with my family.
Then last week I had a couple experiences that brought it all back around for me. First my sweet friend has a daughter with handicaps. And her sweet little girl started having seizures and had to be taken by ambulance to the nearest children's hospital. We arranged care for her other children and took in food to allow them to do what they needed to do for her (she's doing fine now, she has seizures about once a year and they're always scary!). Then, later that week, I had my wisdom teeth pulled. Drugged up on Loritab I was next to useless, (the more useless side of useless). I would come downstairs for my requisite cup of pudding so I could take more drugs and then schlump back upstairs to fall into my hazy stupor. When I finally came to- I trudged back downstairs to see my sweet almost 2 year old toddle over to me with arms outstretched yelling MOMMY! with a huge smile! I realized in that very moment that I LOVE being a mother! I LOVE being the one who takes care of ouchies with a kiss, who reads stories goodnight, who knows what's going on. And in my hurry to quickly come up with the next BIG crafting thing- I was missing out on some of that.
So, after that long winded diatribe, I'll cut to the chase. I love crafting, I always have, I always will. And I love the community of craft bloggers- you are all so sweet and supportive. I am thrilled to my toes to have 74 followers! I hope you all think it's worth it to keep coming around! I saw a button on a blog that said "I'm so crafty, I make people!". And my people are what's really important to me.
So, after this dose of perspective, I'm going to slow things down just a little here on the blog. I will still be linking up, still hoping to come up with great ideas that anyone can use to find their own little bit of creative spark, and still trying to hawk my wares (goal for 2011- stocking my ETSY store) so that I can do it all over again. Just not as often as I have this last 6 weeks or so. My babies will only be babies for a minute- and I don't want to miss it.

It's Boutique Time!

‎3 more days until the Holiday House Boutique! You won't want to miss this event.
Friday November 19th, 2-8pm and also Saturday November 20th, 10-6pm.
The easiest way to get to the Boutique is from 12300 South in Draper UT. Turn South on 600 East and drive for 2 blocks. There will be signs posted.
I'm doing this boutique with my Sister-in-law and my sister as well as some other vendors. We've never done one all together before, so it will be fun to see how it goes! I've been working my little fingers to the bone trying to gear up and have some product to sell. I'm hoping the boutique will look full and lovely- There's going to be some great stuff to be had! If you're in the area (or would like to be!) Please come stop by!
btw. I'm hoping this passes as an excuse for my lack of posting and creative pursuits. It's down to business for the next few days, but then I've got some goodies up my sleeve. So hang on and hang in. Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, November 12, 2010

new pillow

Friday, November 12, 2010
So, I have been busy making things for my boutique. And when I am gearing up for a boutique, I usually don't get to venture off and make new things. I am just trying to stock up on regular inventory (tote bags, scripture totes, banners,etc.).
But, once in a while something creeps up and I'm able to do something a little different. Actually, in this case it was more of a bunch of little things that created this pillow.
I had actually made the pillow cover a while ago, but the part that was meant to be the front (the solid piece) was put on backwards. The lovely pin-tuck fabric, didn't have any pin-tucks showing. DUH! So, I put it away. The next happening was reading some of the CSI entries into the pillow contest. Someone (sorry, if it's you let me know) suggested turning the envelope closure to the front and using it to showcase vintage buttons or whatever closure you chose. Light bulb moment for me! The third and most wonderful happening is that my sister came out to do some crafting with me and in exchange for fabric, I made her help me clean out my crafting mess. In cleaning it out I stumbled upon this cover, remembered about turning it around, and asked my sister's opinion. She has been making dozens of glorious flowers and offered one up to rescue the life of this poor, pillow cover.
Sometimes it's a process to find exactly all the pieces that will come together to create something wonderful. In this case, it think it was worth the wait.

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Snapshots of life: 10:00 a.m.

This is what I was doing at 10 a.m. yesterday: trying to keep my kiddos from mauling my sewing machine. And trying to clean up the house for my mother-in-law to come babysit so I could get my wisdom teeth pulled. Not my most fun weekend.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Into the Ground

Wednesday, November 10, 2010
So, I told you I was going to run this pleated embellishment into the ground, and I aim to be a lady of my word!
The last installment of ideas that I had on ways to use the tutorial I presented on Ucreate. The first was this lovely pillow. Originally I was going to use this chocolate fabric to make a table topper for my mom, but the fabric wasn't cooperating and would have been too expensive to create. So, it found new life in this gorgeous pillow. My husband said I shouldn't try to sell it, he likes it so much he wants to keep it! That's saying a lot right there!

The second idea I had was for this Christmas table runner. I found this lovely sage green burlap at Joann's and thought it would be fun to use for the holidays. My mother-in-law had this great crushed velvet- and a very inexpensive statement for the table. (the burlap is less than $3 a yard and I only used a 1/2 yard cut) Now I just need to come up with a centerpiece that I can easily move out of the way so it doesn't get ruined by all the little hands around here! ;)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Bunches of Bags

Monday, November 8, 2010
Boutique and holiday season is upon us! I have two boutiques coming up- one at my Sister-in-Law's and one with my sweet friend. I look forward to boutiques every season, I love visiting with people and seeing their reaction to the things I make. But, with all the fun comes a lot of hard work! If you're going to sell stuff, you've gotta make stuff! (well, I have to make stuff- there are much smarter ladies out there who sell stuff other people make, which is probably a lot easier ;) )
And so my latest installment of small totes. These are perfect for scriptures. I even made a little one for my baby to use trick or treating. (my oldest told me to stop making the baby new totes, but I can't help it- she loves them! I think she has at least three now)
I tried some new flowers on these bags. I haven't made the singed flowers for totes before, but I love the yellow with the striped fabric.
This flower is from a tutorial I found on Jones Design Company, here. I love how full it is! Anyway, here they are! I'm pretty happy with all of them. Now on to the next project!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Sweet and Simple

Friday, November 5, 2010
You know, I love complicated projects. Ones that take layers and layers of adding and changing and moving and arranging. Like my Chrysanthemum pillow, I mean that proves I'm not afraid of hard work, right?
But sometimes, you don't need layers upon layers. Sometimes a brown paper bag and a few spiral rose paper flowers are all you need to make the point. This is the giftwrap I used for my sister's new baby gift. Blue flowers for a little boy, sweet and pretty for one amazing mama!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Snapshot- 8 a.m.

Thursday, November 4, 2010
The cute girls over at eighteen25 are having a fun linky party called "snapshots of life." They give you a time, and you take a picture of what you are doing at that time, then you post about it and link it up. I totally forgot last week, but I was determined not to forget this week. I almost missed it (and I'm not saying it was...but it MIGHT have been 8:20 when I actually took this picture.)
This is what I was doing at 8:00 a.m (ish). I was kneeling by my unmade bed, saying my prayers. I was mostly praying for my darling younger sister who was going into the hospital to have her third baby! (She had him this afternoon and they are both doing great- in fact I just got back from visiting them- LOVE brand-new/ not even a day old babies!)
Then I took a picture and hurried and made the bed so I could take another picture. (no judgement on those who choose to leave their beds unmade- I obviously choose to let my pictures hang crooked in my house- don't judge me either!) :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Shutterfly Cards

Tuesday, November 2, 2010
I have an opportunity to earn some free Christmas cards from Sutterfly by telling you a little about their cards- and I couldn't be more excited!

Last year I recieved a certificate for some cards and prints from Sutterfly- it's the first time I have ever actually sent around pictures for the holidays. When they came in the mail I was so thrilled. The pictures and colors were beautiful! And it might seem like a silly thing- but the envelops were nice too! I was worried that they'd send those cheapy, fall apart, don't stick shut envelops. But, no need to worry- all I got was quality. So, when the chance came around again for me to get some more of these lovely cards- I had to jump at the opportunity!

I'm thinking I'll use this card. It has four spots for pictures, I have four children...seems like a perfect fit. I love that I can add little tidbits about what they're up to- the perfect "Christmas Spam"- a little info without being over-the-top obnoxious.
I also saw that you can find religious cards. I really like the simple sillouettes. The three wise men graphics, and the simple messages of Hope and Peace- well, maybe they'll make the cut instead.
As I was browsing around, I also saw that they have gift tags! How easy would that be to spiff up neighbor gifts with some of these lovely prints?
Like I said at the beginning- I am being compensated for this post. But, my opinions are sincere, and my experience with Shutterfly in the past is what made me decide to participate in the first place. I love their stuff!

A Harvest of Friendship

I wanted to really celebrate Thanksgiving this year. So, I thought about the things in my life that I am most thankful for. I am fortunate enough to have a group of the most amazing women living in my neighborhood. These darling women encourage, support, help and love me- and I wanted to tell them how much I appreciate all they do for me. Thus was born- the Harvest of Friendship Brunch.

I made these invitations and took them around last week. The pleating on the card was meant to mimic a little the pleating on the place mats I made to use for this occasion.

This is the table setting I decided on. Very similar to what I tried last week, but with a few minor changes. I knew we would have lots of little kiddos running around, so instead of a full tablecloth, I used a square topper in the center. Then I gathered up some oak leaves from my mom's back yard, and used them to fill in the empty spots between the pumpkins.
More leaves adorn the chandelier. I just tucked them in among the loops.

The menu for the event: Hash brown Casserole, pumpkin chocolate chip bread, banana bread, lemon poppy seed cake, cinnamon rolls, homemade applesauce and caramel sauce with apples. A couple friends also added to the festivities by bringing more cinnamon rolls and some cranberry, orange pull apart rolls. Everything was delicious and we enjoyed a great visit. These ladies are the best and I hope they know they are right there on the top of my list of things I'm grateful for!

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