Thursday, March 31, 2011

Easter blocks with Clay Bunnies

Thursday, March 31, 2011
This week has knocked me for a loop. I have a cold, which is much more than a cold. It's an energy zapping, enthusiasm sucking, motivation destroying monster which has invaded my body leaving me with nothing but the desire to get back in bed and sleep. Which, I don't have time for. :) What I need to be doing is making more of these. My new Easter block sets with bunnies. The set only includes two bunnies, but I have two different versions of the bunnies and I'd like your opinion. This bunny set is more cartoon-ish. Skinnier neck, rounder head.
This bunny set is sillier looking. Quirky and charming.

So, for our final spring theme Thursday, the question is, quirky or cartoon?

Now, I'm going back to bed.



Monday, March 28, 2011

Mamas letting their babies grow up...

Monday, March 28, 2011
This is a picture of my two oldest 4 years ago. Man, I can hardly believe how quickly they get big. Last night we encountered one of those "growing pain" moments when kids try to grow up faster than their parents are ready for them to. My oldest is amazing. I've already told you about the challenges she posed for us early on in her life, but now she's a gem. She brings home straight A's, gets good behavior reports from everywhere she goes (school, church, library), she's a great friend and a loving daughter. So, why is it so hard for me to let her grow up? She wants to learn how to bake and sew. She is working hard at showing us how responsible she is. And yet, to me she's still my little girl. So today's mom-day post isn't from me, it's for me. How do you start letting go? How do you give them room to learn to make decisions, to suffer consequences so they can grow, to reward them for their growth and learning? She hates being the oldest. She says it comes with few/no rewards. I'd like to change that for her. I don't want to let her stay up much later because, like her mother, she requires her sleep to function. I'd love to hear ideas on how you reward your children with privileges as they gain the capacity to do more. Also, with a younger brother only 2 years behind her, how do I differentiate between the two, since they often get lumped into the same category by default? I know there are many out there who have been down this path already, or been through it as a child with ideas on what to do/ what not to do, or those who have siblings learning these things. Any suggestions, ideas or solutions would be greatly appreciated. I know as a family we are starting to turn a corner, and as much as it frightens me to let my children start venturing out into their own space, it terrifies me that I will handicap them forever if I don't start giving them the opportunities and strength they will need to be strong capable adults. Help a girl out? (and her mother too. ;) )

Friday, March 25, 2011

March Point of View Reveal!

Friday, March 25, 2011
I have been on pins and needles with excitement this week! I Can Not believe how fun this project has been. And when I saw the collage today- I was floored. I mean, I knew we had some great bloggers involved, but I am completely blown away! And I am totally loving the fact that there are a couple of "skirts" that you wouldn't immediately think of when someone said "skirt" to you- Fab- U- Lous! Want to see more of what each blogger did? I have all the linkage you need:
1. Amy from Ameroonie Designs - you're here. :)
2. Michelle from A Little Tipsy
3. Camilla from Rosy Red Buttons
4. Gwen from Gwenny Penny
5. Stacy from Not Just a Housewife
6. Jonie from Just Between Friends

And don't forget about the linky party over at Stacy's place- go link up your take on "Skirts" and let your point of view be heard! We will be featuring projects from the party early next week.
And now because I know you did not see enough of the skirt I made:

Isn't this skirt precious? It's not even remotely what I was going to make when I started this project, but I love how problems and inspiration come together to exceed your very wildest dreams! Want to make one yourself? Don't worry, the tutorial is already posted, just go here. It was too long to add to this post. :)
I hope you're enjoying our first ever Point of View, A Creative Collaboration! And don't forget- the theme for April's PoV is going to be "Spring". So start thinking about your take on it and get ready for another great chance to let your Point of View be heard. :)

Scalloped Skirt Tutorial

Here it is, at long last! My skirt for March's Point of View theme. :) I LOVE this skirt, it makes me giddy just looking at it.
And I am so thankful for my neighbor who took these pictures for me, since I can never get this little one to sit still or get far enough away from me to take a decent picture.

So, Ready to make one for yourself? These measurements will make a skirt that will fit a toddler size 2-4.

You will need three sections of fabric, the waistband, the over skirt and the underskirt. I used 1 yard of the main fabric and 1/2 yard of the coordinating fabric. You will also need 3/4" elastic.
 Let's get cutting! The waistband will be 5" X 27", the over skirt will be 54" X 11" (I did two 27" by 11" pieces) and the underskirt (coordinating fabric) will be 36" X 12".
 All seam allowances are 1/2" unless noted otherwise.

Sew the short sides of each section to make three tubes of fabric. Zig zag stitch or serge the seams to keep from fraying. Press one side of the over skirt and underskirt into a 1/2" hem. {fold up 1/2", press, fold up another 1/2" press} For the waistband piece you will need to make a casing for the elastic. Fold over one side 1/2" ,press, and then fold over another 1", press. Sew all the hems/casing. {stitch the hems at 3/8" seam allowance, and sew the casing at 7/8" seam allowance- leaving 1-2" open for threading the elastic}
Now we are going to mark our fabric for gathering. Take each piece and on the un-finished edge mark at the 1/4 point. The easiest way is to match up the side seams, fold in half and mark on the fold point. {see picture} Make sure to mark both sides of fabric so you have four gathering marks.

We also need to mark for the scallop gathers. We are going to make 4" lines from the hemmed edge of the overskirt fabric tube. Each of the lines should be 8 3/4" from the side seams. This will divide the front into 3 sections. Repeat for the back side. Make a mark 4" up on each of the side seams as well.

Now, set your sewing machine to the longest stitch length. We are going to sew around the unfinished sides of both skirt pieces at 1/4" seam allowance {over and underskirt}. You will also sew up each of the 4" lines marked on the over skirt {total of 6}. DO NOT BACKSTITCH ON ANY OF THESE GATHERING POINTS. :)

We are going to make our scallops now! {hang in here with me} Turn your fabric over to the wrong side. On the end that is NOT at the hem, pull on the bobbin thread and use a pin or needle to pull the needle thread so it's on the wrong side of the fabric too. Make a knot, but DO NOT trim the threads.

Pull the needle thread to the wrong side of the fabric on the other end of the gathering stitches (at the hem). Pull one of the threads to gather the fabric until the gather is 2" long. Tie a knot. Repeat 5 more times to gather all the scallops.

Put your sewing machine back on a normal stitch length. Sew over the scallop gathers along the over skirt. Make sure to backstitch on each end. You may want to sew over it twice to secure the gathers. Now on to putting the skirt together. {finally!}

We're going to switch fabrics here because when I made the first skirt I forgot to take pictures of these next steps. ;) Take your over skirt and gather the fabric. With right sides together pin it to the waistband. {not shown} Make sure to match up the markings so the gathers are even.

Sew around the seam at 3/8" seam allowance. Repeat with the underskirt, this time though the right side of the underskirt will be matched up with the wrong side of the over skirt. Gather fabric, match up markings, pin and sew with a 1/2" seam allowance.

Trim seam to a generous 1/4" seam allowance, finish the seam (zig zag or serge), press toward the waistband and top stitch.

Now all that's left is threading the elastic and closing the opening. Measure the waist of the wearer and add 1" for overlap. Cut your elastic to this length. Using a safety pin stuck in one side thread the elastic through the casing of the waistband. Overlap the elastic and stitch to secure. Pull the elastic so it's enclosed in the casing and stitch the opening shut! We....Are....Done!!!

And now you have this most darling of skirts to enjoy on your little one. :) I had so much fun making this skirt for our first ever Point of View, a Creative Collaboration! I hope you'll head over to Stacy's blog and see all the other Points of View on "skirts"! And while you're there, link up your own posts and let your Point of View be heard. :)



p.s. Please remember that while you are free to use this tutorial to make your own skirts, reproducing the tutorial for any reason is not allowed! Feel free to link away, but please respect my copyright.

Linking up to Craft Goodies, Spunky Junky, Tatertots and Jello, Sew Many Ways, Think Pink with Flamingo Toes and Whatever Goes Wednesday on Someday Crafts
Tidy Mom this blessed nest

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Forcing Spring

Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Here is a teaser for my Point of View post tomorrow. This is the brooch I made to go with my skirt! Love the colors and fabrics. And totally off topic, but can I just say what a difference quality cotton makes in a project? I am very thrifty (of necessity) and usually don't splurge on quilt quality cotton, but I'm a believer now! {if I can just get my budget on board we'll be set}
I am DYING for spring to get here for real. We've had rain and cooler temps the last week and a half and I'm gunning for some high 50's low 60's! It doesn't seem like too much to ask does it?

Last week in desperation I had my sister meet me at our local thrift store to see if I could find something to brighten up my front room. Well, that was a bust, but I did talk her in to coming out to my house and helping me style my room to make it a little brighter and more colorful.
You may notice in these photos that some things are still in process, the small white pillow in the club chair is now this pillow and the table topper isn't bound. {I'm telling you this so when I blog about it you'll be impressed. ;)}

This wall is where the front door opens up. I'm loving the wreath on this wall, it opens up the room a lot. Thanks mom for the hand-me-down! {she has good hand me downs}

This is the front half of the room. I inherited the secretary from my Aunt. It used to belong to my great-grandmother. I think I'm going to paint it white. I love the shape and function of it, but the color is a little heavy for me.
All the furniture in this room needs to be re-covered in some way. I'm hoping I win the slipcover DVD Char is giving away over on Crap I've Made. Speaking of expensive fabric {we were, weren't we?} I'm not looking forward to the price tag on fixing these, but I'm sure it will be cheaper than buying new furniture. Any takers on doing the slipcovers for me? No? Bummer. :) Guess I better get to it.

Get on with it already Spring! I'm ready for you!

Future's so Bright!

We gotta wear shades!

I was noticing that this post will actually be my 195th post on this blog. Don't worry if you missed a few of them, everybody did. :) I didn't link up anything before last September so I don't know how I thought people would ever find my blog. But, just look at this- I actually have 186 followers {as of this morning}. So, I'm going to do a give away next week sometime. Whenever I hit my 200th post. And hopefully by then I'll have 200 followers (or close enough) as well.

This picture was taken yesterday when my neighbor helped me get shots of this crazy girl for my PoV project. I am DYING to show you the darling skirt I made. Please come back on Friday for the big reveal of our first ever Point of View {a creative collaboration} reveal! And if you don't want to miss the action- follow or subscribe to my blog- then you can be sure to never miss a post!
On Friday there will also be a linky party- so dust off your favorite skirt posts and get them ready to shine! There will be tons of features from the link party as most of the blogs participating will be doing their own feature posts- so spread the word, link up and get ready to party!
And tomorrow will be a new Spring post for Theme-day Thursday! I can't wait to see what I come up with. ;) {still working on this one}

Monday, March 21, 2011

Out of my element

Monday, March 21, 2011

The answer was "No".
The result was heart wrenching sobs."
The question: "Can I have a bake sale this Saturday?"
There were a lot of reasons for the answer: 1. It was going to rain/snow. 2. Even without precipitation, it was going to be cold. 3. Most of the work would fall on me. 4. Things like this make me HIGHLY uncomfortable.
I don't like to haggle, I don't like to ask people to come to "selling" parties, I don't like to hold yard sales. And here before me was my daughter, asking me to let her set up a bake sale and sell cookies to all our neighbors.
I asked her why it was so important to her. She wanted to raise money for the jump-a-thon at school so she could earn a prize, and she wanted to make some money to finally have enough to purchase rollerblades. She wanted to feel like a winner. (her words)
How can you say no to that? Even though I had about 20 other things I should have been doing we spent Friday afternoon and Saturday morning baking cookies for her. She took them around the neighborhood and nearly sold out. The grand total? $14.
All that work and stress and drama for $14. :)
But, in addition to that $14 we both learned a lot of lessons. She learned about hard work and facing her fears knocking on doors offering her treats. She learned about saving her money to purchase an item she was wanting and she learned about paying tithing and giving to charity. All pretty valuable lessons.
I learned that I really need to work on not passing my issues on to my kids. I really don't like selling door to door, but my daughter might be a natural salesperson. I don't like asking people to buy things from me {which is very funny since I sell things I make all the time} but she hasn't learned to be afraid of "no" {which I definitely am, and I think it's silly and I need to get over it}.
She wants to work hard and do good things in this world and I think I am getting in her way.
So I am going to try to get out of her way, and maybe even let her pull me along on the ride, because I have a feeling she's going to some wonderful places.
p.s. don't those treats look yummy? Luckily I saved just enough for the family to have a few. ;)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Pocket Purse, second edition

Saturday, March 19, 2011
I had another order for a purse last week. She picked out this fabric and I think it is so spunky and fun! Just like my friend who ordered it. She asked me to make it a little taller (3 in. to be exact) so she could fit more stuff in it! :) {we all need more room for stuff right?}
I kept the outer pockets the size they were originally, but if I make a tall purse like this again, I might extend them up just a bit.
I think I need to make myself a new purse to take to Creative Estates, don't you?
Happy Weekend!
Linked up to Blue Cricket Design's Show and Tell and Someday Craft's Whatever Goes Wednesday

Thursday, March 17, 2011

For Japan, with Love

Thursday, March 17, 2011
I was sitting here at the computer today, wondering what in the world I was doing worrying about crafting and spring pillows and everything when people around the world are suffering unspeakable things right at this very moment.
The crisis in Japan is escalating, not easing and I wondered what I might do about it.
Then I started seeing this pop up all over, and realized that it's what I don't do that might help. Tomorrow I will not be posting on my blog, or checking other blogs.
Tomorrow I am going to hold my children closer, say more than a few prayers for the people of Japan, and remember. Remember to be grateful, remember to be humble, and remember to reach out and do all that I can to help anyone I see in need. Whether it be a neighbor across the street, or a neighbor half-way around the world.
Please join me in a day of blogging silence while we remember all those who have been lost and those who are struggling to survive.
I'll check in soon.

Bring the Sunshine In! Pillow

I know I'm a little late posting our "Theme"-day post today, but once you see this little beauty, I'm hoping you'll forgive me. I was trying to get this made this morning and that's why posting got put on the back burner.
Here's a mini tutorial on making pin-tucks. It's only the second or third time I've done it- so I'm by no means an expert. But, if you've ever wanted to give this look a try- here it is:
First draw your design on the fabric with a marking pen. I read somewhere to make sure not to press it so it won't set the pen. This one disappears with water. {I marked the first line 2 1/2" from the edge with the next 2 lines each 1" away}

Fold on your marked line and sew as close as you can to the edge. I moved my needle to the right as far as I could and lined my fabric up about 1/8" in, it's probably a 1/16" seam allowance. {let's call it an educated guess. ;)}

Repeat on all the lines, erase your marks, make your pillow cover and stuff that lovely up!
You may notice that I alternated which way I had the seams go when I sewed the cross tuck. I don't know what the "right" way really is, but I liked how it added a bit of interest.
I absolutely ADORE this yellow linen I got as a remnant from Joann's {man I love that place}.
Now, I have one very stuffed, cheery pillow! If you want to see my first attempt at pin-tucking go here.
Also, today I am Stranded on a Crafting Desert Island over at Less Cake {more frosting}. Go on over and check out what crafting item I CAN NOT live without- I'll give you one hint- I could not make pillows without it- and we all know how desolate my life would be if I could not make pillows. ;)
Point of View: A Creative Collaboration,a creative collaboration,point of view,point of view a creative collaboration

Monday, March 14, 2011

Mischevious Mom-day

Monday, March 14, 2011
The other day I was making cookies. As I turned to put the flour up in the cupboard- I turned back around to see this imp quickly shoving something into her mouth.

Then the little character started dripping from her mouth. What is she consuming you might ask?
This! My newly formed cookies just waiting to go into the oven. I was laughing and trying to grab some pictures when I realized that it was not just one cookie shoved in the precious little mouth of hers, but THREE! No wonder it was coming out!

Then, this week I discovered her sitting on the kitchen floor with my sewing scissors! She had found a scrap piece of felt and mutilated it, and when I discovered her she had just begun to turn her attention and the sharp blades of my scissors on the hem of her nightgown! Luckily I caught her just in time! Unfortunately, it wasn't fast enough to keep her from learning that scissors cut clothes, because later in the day she found a pair of safety scissors and immediately attacked this poor unassuming shirt. :( I don't know how I'm going to survive this smart cookie! She's certainly going to keep me hopping.
Diligence is about all I can contribute to her survival, but at times I fear even that isn't going to be enough. It certainly wasn't for her poor shirt- may it rest in pieces. I'm exhausted just thinking about the months ahead until she outgrows this stage. Anyone have some great advice for keeping little firecrackers contained until they're old enough to know better? Do they ever know better? {don't answer that last one- I don't want to know}
Happy Mom-day!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Perfecting Pouches

Saturday, March 12, 2011
In case you were worried that with all the leprechaun nonsense going on around here I have neglected my mission on perfecting zippered pouches and the slouchy corner problem- Have NO fear! I am on the case. They are getting better and better! I am hoping to have a tutorial up soon on how I have achieved my magnificently crisp corners. :) But, as I have been searching high and low and clicking on every zipper pouch link and tutorial I can find- I am realizing that I am perhaps the only person out here who even cares what the top corners of a zipper pouch look like. Am I really the only one who thinks they should be square?

On a lighter note- this is the inside of the pouch/wallet. I am totally loving my new cash stasher! All the fabrics were on sale for $2.49 a yard at Joann's- Yippee! I love me some cheap fabric.
Happy weekend!
Linking up to Sew Many Ways link party

topsy turvy tuesdaysTip Junkie handmade projects
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