Sunday, January 31, 2010

love it

A blog I periodically read gave a new name to one of my favorite places to shop, Red Dot Boutique. Can you guess? It is Target. (= Lately they've had LOTS of long sleeve shirts on clearance, my kind of price range too, between $2-$2.50. I've already got some great ideas for how to transform them into spring/summer shirts!

Wahoo, can't wait for some WARM weather!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

for the boys...

If you've spent much time in the crafty blogosphere(sp?), you will have noticed that there are far fewer crafts and sewing projects for boys than there are for girls. That is while I was OVER THE MOON excited when I saw this post by Dana at MADE. She and fellow blogger Rae are going to "Celebrate the Boy" for the month of February. Wahoo, looks like I may get to do some fun new things for my nephews!

Oh, and more exciting news, I am going to have a BRAND NEW niece or nephew before the end of the year! (yay for my baby brother and his wifey) Can't wait to find out!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

it is fun to give!

I just put this most recent nursing cape in the mail. A friend's mom group is having a fundraiser and asked if I'd donate. A Sunshine Baby Nursing Cape is now in Pennsylvania! I hope the mother who receives it gets a lot of use out of it and enjoys it!

I chose to use this fabric because it was neutral enough for a boy or girl. Isn't it pretty!

Now if I can just get over this cold (yes, another one), I can fill another cape order. Yay!

Monday, January 25, 2010

I'm back! Here's a new FL outfit for Jocie

We made it back alive! It has been a whirlwind since we got back. Thought I'd take a break from projects and update the few followers I might have left. I wanted a new outfit or two for Jocie for FL, the weather was rather unpredictable (much chillier than "normal") so I dug up a few things to work with.

I found these adorable little shorts at Gap (for about $2.50), brown corduroy with little red polka dots. They were too cheap to pass up and I thought they looked wintry. I had an old onsie and scraps from the pants I used for the turtle cut-out lounge pants. I had seen a tutorial for using outgrown tights into knee socks.

Here is what I came up with! We certainly can't go to the playground in MD wearing shorts.

I LOVE these little knee socks

the little ruffly flowers and bow I added to the shirt

Sunday, January 10, 2010

FL here we come!

I can't believe I'm already packed, just sitting here relaxing! Just those few things you can't throw in until the last minute. Anyhow, I can't wait to spend 10 days in warm(ish) FL with Jocie and my parents! Wahoo! And my sweet hubby is staying home, working and trying to finish up our kitchen.

I showed you a sneak peak of my new bag and wanted to post it before I forgot and left. I don't know about you, but I've accumulated lots of tote bags over the years. It never seems like one has all of the features I want/need though. I figured for this trip I'd attempt to MAKE one with everything I thought I'd need when attempting a 1,100 mile trip with my 2 year old.

I had this old braided belt that I thought would work for a handle and I had been given some nice heavy gray fabric that would be perfect for a bag. I had an old pair of black corduroy pants that I cut up and used for the contrasting pockets. I went looking for a tutorial and found one for a clasic tote bag I thought I could use.

I wanted a longer handle so that I had the option to wear it over either shoulder (over my head or not). I added one big pocket and then on the other side I pleated the pocket so that a sippy cup would fit perfectly. Yay! I made my first ever french seam (so the inside is pretty too!) and then made a successful gusset (that is apparently what gives you that nice big flat bottom to the bag). I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. It is packed for our plane ride, we'll see how it does. (=
Remember the flower I showed you?

see the sippy cup tucked in so nicely?

I used the tails on the belt to create a draw string closure for the bag. That is another thing that always bugs me about tote bags, the way they just hang wide open.

Anyhow, I probably won't post any more until we get back from FL. See you then!

Totally worth it

For those who don't know, we bought our first home last summer. It is definitely a fixer-upper. We had a contractor redo the kitchen and bathroom before we moved him. Billy (along with help from friends and family) did a LOT of other work, including refinishing our wood floors and completing all of the work in Jocie's room before we moved in. We have completed some other projects since moving in, including the dining room and creating my space in the basement. Last week, on a whim, Billy mentioned trying to get our bedroom completed before Jocie and I left for FL (tomorrow morning). We had a long week of late nights, but last night we finished! Check out the transformation!

Here is what it looked like when we bought the house. I told you it was a fixer-upper

Once the wall paper came down we discovered this lovely color

Billy finished the floors, patched the walls (no small thing with plaster), and primed the room before we moved in. This last week the room got a much deserved coat of paint (including all of the moldings), our curtains are hung, the new ceiling fan/light is up, and after sleeping for a week in our dining room our furniture is back in the room as well.

I cannot tell you how excited it makes me to have a ceiling fan in my bedroom!

We spent all day walking in and out of the room with a big grin saying, "I just love it!" We still have some decorating to do. The major color missing is teal/blue. I have an old curtain panel that I am turning into a padded headboard. I also have throw pillows and some other accessories in the attic somewhere. I'll have to find them when Jocie and I get home. Just wanted to share my excitement!

I should have another room to share when I get home as Billy is working on our kitchen while we are gone!

Friday, January 8, 2010

FL here we come...with new DVD case in tow!

I'm so excited about our trip to FL! Jocie and I are going to spend 10 days with my parents. It's been so cold up here, I really hope FL warms up before we get there. lol I think I've finally finished that projects that I "had" to get done before we left. Remember me mentioning the DVD case when I made the case for our camera? Well, it is done and will be great for taking the DVD player on the plane with us.

I bought this purple fabric a while ago to make nursing capes, but I wound up with almost 6 yards so I have LOTS of it. I did make my sister-in-law a cape with the fabric and love the way it turned out. I figured it would work well for this project too. I used this great tutorial again, only I made a shorter strap for simply carrying it by hand.

We just have a portable DVD player so I debated whether or not to add the divider inside, but Billy thought it would be good to have a section to carry a couple DVDs as well. The only thing I would change is that I would have skipped the batting for the divider, it really wasn't needed for this one and just added bulk.

Here it is with the player and 2 DVD cases in it. I found two cases that house two DVDs each, I took out the paper cover and put two of Jocie's DVDs in each. That way we have 4 movies that only take up the space of two.

Here is the back pocket with the cords. Yay!

Here's hoping I remember to have it fully charged for our trip! (=

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Tutorial: EASY fabric flower (and a sneak peak)

Alright, I really hope this makes sense because it is late and I am tired.

In order to make this fabric flower you need at least long strip of fabric, several inches wide. I used two colors, a gray cotton and black corduroy, but you can use whatever you'd like.

You are going to cute squares out of your fabric in varying sizes. My squares ranged from 6 to 3 inches, I cut seven total squares.

Here is a really easy way to cut semi-even squares without having to measure, mark and cut. Grab hold of one corner of your fabric strip and identify approximately how tall you want your square to be. Now make one cut into your fabric at that point. Take your first corner and fold it into your strip so that it forms a triangle. You want to line up your existing edge (the side) with the cut you just made. Press your fold down and hold it with your thumb/finger and cut along your triangle shape that was formed by your first corner. Open it up and now you have a square. I hope that makes sense, it is a lot harder to explain it in writing than it would be to show you.

Now that you have your squares you need to cut out some flower shapes. Take one fabric square and fold it so that you have a rectangle. You are going to make two curved cuts, one on either the left and right. You can trace a small round object with a flat bottom if you want your curves to match (I usually just eyeball it, after all flowers aren't perfect, right?). Here I used a spool of thread and a piece of chalk to mark the curve on my black fabric. Notice that my fold is at the bottom and the curve goes out to either of the top points. YOU WANT TO BE SURE TO LEAVE SOME OF YOUR FOLD INTACT, DO NOT CUT ALL THE WAY THROUGH! This is important for your flower to stay together.

Open up your fabric after your first set of cuts. You should have a bow tie type shape. Notice the center is the portion of the fold that you left intact.

Fold the "bow tie" in half with the curves on top/center. Your fold should again be at the bottom between your fingers.

Repeat your previous curve traces and cut along those lines. You can round the tips of the curves at this point if you'd like, I left mine. I liked the slightly pointed ends.

Once you unfold it, you will have a general four petal flower shape. Repeat this with each of your squares.

Starting with the largest working to the smallest flower piece, lay them one on top of the other. Arranging them so that they create a full flower, you don't want pieces laying directly on top of each other blocking the one behind. I cut a small circle out of the black fabric and used that as my middle, you can use anything you'd like though. I put a few stitches through the flower to hold it together and then stitched the finished flower on my new tote bag (for the upcoming plane ride to FL, yipee!). Sorry for the blurry pics

Sneak peek at my new bag! Love it! I'll try to post it soon

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tutorial: use old socks to lengthen sleeves

This idea has been floating around in my head for a while, as I mentioned in my post before, I seem to have longer than average arms and have a hard time finding long sleeve shirts in the correct length. I fear that I may have passed this along to my daughter. She's kind of thin and her little wrists (and tummy) tend to stick out of her sleeves WAY before the shirt is too tight. I just had to buy her all new socks because her feet are growing and I've procrastinated far too long. Now I have all these little socks where the soles are either holey or so dirty that I have a hard time justifying keeping them.

I found this super thick and soft sweat shirt on the clearance rack (see the soft pink fuzzies on the inside). It was a little boring, and it was an 18-24 month, but Jocie is really closer to a 2T. It actually fit ok, but I knew the sleeves wouldn't last too long. I happened to have a little pair of ribbed, fold over socks (triple roll would be even better though!) in the same pale pink in my stash. I figured the ribbing would mimic what was already on the sleeve, so here is what I did!

I cut the top off the sock, straight across right before the heel.

I turned the sleeves of the sweat shirt inside out and then stretched the top (ribbed) part of the sock so that it would fit over top of the sleeve.

There really wasn't a right/wrong side of the sock so it didn't matter which side I paired with the inside of the sleeve. Figure out how far you want the ribbed part of the sock to stick out of the sleeve and pin it securely to the sleeve. Be sure that it is not crooked (you can line it up with the seam on the sleeve) and that both sleeves are even. Because the sleeve was so small it was easier to simply hand stitch it on. I didn't want the stitches to show on the outside so I simply felt as I went and only stitched through the sock and the first layer of the sleeve.

Once you turn the sleeves right side out, you can either use the sock as a cuff or pull it all the way out to lengthen the sleeve. If I do this for myself I will likely snip a small whole for my thumb, but I knew my 2 year old wouldn't go for that.

Now to fix the "boring" part of the sweat shirt, it now had pink cuffs to match the inside fuzzies, but I wanted something else. I cut the top foot part of the sock, as much as I could use that wasn't dirty. I cut as many flower shapes as I could, in a range of sizes. I stacked them, largest on the bottom to the smallest on top. I had some "bling" in my stash and I just stitched it all together on the shirt. Tada! A much cuter sweat shirt that should now last her through the rest of the winter.

I LOVE being able to make use of things that would otherwise have been thrown away!

Monday, January 4, 2010

a refashion, new camera case and one less craft for me to tackle

Why do I buy things that don't fit me? Oh, that's right, because it was stinkin' cheap. Oh well, at least now I am able to do something about it. I think I bought this shirt postpartum because it was loose in the front. I do tend to buy long sleeve shirts a size too big because apparently I have longer arms than the normal people. There is not much I hate worse than having sleeves that are just a little too short. Anyhow, back to the refashion. I snipped up the front, cut the back panel straight across at my waist and then cut a deep angle to the front. I had some cotton in about the same shade of green, so I created this this tie in the front. I think it looks a lot cuter in person than it does in the picture. By the way, sorry for my crappy picture taking "skills".

At some point during our moving around this summer, our poor little digital camera lost it's case. I found an old zippered change purse that it (sort of) fits in. I'm not sure Billy appreciates that it is pink and flowered though. I had seen a tutorial for a tote to carry a portable DVD player and was able to use the concept (yay for quilter's batting in Joann's remnant bin) to make a little padded case for my camera. I think it turned out cute!

the front, with velcro

the back

I'm actually planning to do the same type of thing for my new TomTom GPS that I got for Christmas, it makes me nervous to just throw it in my purse. But first, I hope to get one made for our portable DVD player. I need to get on that so it is done by the time Jocie and I leave next week! Yikes!

I had planned on making Jocie an apron, I even had a couple old, but unused, dish cloths that I was going to use. She has her own little play kitchen, and she has really started to enjoy "helping" me in the kitchen. Then, on one of my (frequent) trips to Target I noticed a cute little apron, AND chef's hat, in their "one spot". It was marked 50% off, but when I got to the register it rang up at $0.25 each. I got both for a whopping 2 quarters! I can't beat that! She surprised me and was actually excited about wearing the hat!