Thursday, February 28, 2013


What to do with a small scrap left from another project? Make a potholder! I happen to have a friend who's kitchen is black and white, and she loves toile. I have realized something about this potholders will NEVER look as nice as Rachel's. I just can't seem to get them to look all nice and neat. Oh, well, it'll do the job.

P.S. No, there is not something wrong with your screen. It appears something was on my camera lens when I took the last batch of pictures.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Clothespin Bag

A few years back I made myself a clothespin bag. I didn't actually use it for clothespins, mind you. I used it for canning jar lids. A friend of mine recently ordered two of these from me because by golly, she actually hangs her clothes out to dry! Sometimes I hang my clothes out to dry, and they come in magically folded and smelling of fresh air and daisies. Then I wake up and remember that the same load of clothes has been in my dryer for the last two days and that there is no way I would ever have the mental wherewithal to studiously hang and unhang a million little socks, jeans and shirts. This is the first of the two clothespin bags. The smocked lace trim is some vintage stuff I picked up at a yard sale last summer, when I hit the mother lode of sewing supplies. I have never seen anything like it before.

Simple Tea Towel

Mom saw a similar towel on Etsy that was done with machine embroidery. She sent me the link as a birthday idea. I sketched it out and traced it on to the fabric. After trying a split stitch, I settled on the basic back stitch so it wouldn't overwhelm the curly lines. If you are ever in the market for tea towels to Aunt Martha's! These are way better than other brands I have tried.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Ear Flap Hat! McCalls 6665

My son has been asking me for an ear flap hat. He was very specific: the outside was to be plaid and the inside, fur. I found this awesome flannel on and I love it, so much that I am tempted to order more and go all logger-chic and make myself a flannel shirt or something of the sort. The fur was an entirely different story. I perused pages of faux fur on and found that fake fur is expensive. Fake fur that looks real is even more expensive. And sold out. I was stumped. Until! I had an idea! I went to Sal's Boutique, also known as Salvation Army, on their family day. I found a large women's coat made of this sheepy-type stuff. And it was half off! For $1.99 I got enough fur to make a few hats. Score! The hat was simple to make, even with adding a layer of cotton batting in the middle for added warmth. If you make this pattern, it runs my opinion. The last hat I made for my son was way too tight, so I decided to use 3/8 inch seam allowances on this to give it a bit more room. The hat is pretty huge, and in fact fits my head just right. I have enough left that I am going to make him another one that fits better, so that the ear flaps actually do their job. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Another Apron!

Yes, my friends! It's another apron....what more can I say? I looked it up and we have posted at least 16 aprons between the two of us. And yet, I am sure before long we will be making more! One of my favorite ones is wearing out, so I just might have to replace it. :)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Dollhouse Makeover: Before and After

Several months ago I spotted this gem on the curb. I took it home and have been working here and there to fix it up since. Here are the 'before' pictures:

It needed a little TLC and a lot of glue. Fortunately most of the missing pieces were in the attic. I re-wallpapered, fixed all the shingles, painted the outside, and added accessories. I printed out clipart from the internet and modge-podged them in for furniture that won't get lost. In the room with the rocking chair, I stenciled the floor. The dollhouse has officially been moved in to, and my daughter and I have made tiny quilts and pillows since. Her dolls seem quite happy with their new digs and it has already entertained her for hours!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Heart Zipper Pouch

Here is a heart-shaped zipper mini-purse I made for my daughter. Tutorial found here.

Stained Glass for Kids

My friend had some plexiglass scraps and the idea to make 'stained glass' with our kids. We used a glue stick to glue down the tissue paper scraps. Then we added the top section of plexiglass and taped it together with washi tape. Fun, quick and very colorful on a dreary day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Carpet Bag by Mom

This Christmas Mom made Rachel and I carpet bags. These pictures do not do justice to the one she made for me. I love it! The top edges have dowels for support, and it zips closed. It has a magnetic snap, pockets and just general all around awesomeness. I have been eyeing up this fabric forever and am glad to have something made from it.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Superfluous Scarf

The infinity scarf: I see it here and there about the webs, looking snazzy (on other people). After seeing several really cute ones I decided to try making one for myself even though I was skeptical for various reasons, one being my chief nagging concern: can I really pull it off? Well, the jury is out. It was ridiculously easy to make. And I like it, but I don't. It sort of feels like a superfluous piece of fabric hanging around my neck. Thoughts? Questions? Concerns? Should I upcycle it into a macrame plant hanger?? P.S. I would never actually wear it with this shirt...I was just trying to get a quick picture of the thang.

Labor of Love - My Christmas Carpet Bag

My mother makes cool stuff. Unfortunately for her this Christmas, that meant lovingly acquiescing to a handmade bag request that then snowballed into making 3...soon to be 4....of the same bag in quick succession. I chose this home dec fabric with cities from all over the world on it. LOVE LOVE LOVE it. The buttons have a reddish hue which really sets off the antique looking black/tan color of the fabric and because she's so clever and detailed, the zipper tab at the end is my first initial...brilliant! I've been carrying it around now for almost two months and keep forgetting to post about it. It is a bag of awesomeness and makes me think of my momma every time I look at it :)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Childrens Artwork Coasters

 A while back on Pinterest, I saw the idea to make a child's artwork into coasters. I have also been wanting to try this technique for a while. We roughly followed those instructions, using clear glue instead of blue. I also dried the glue with a hair dryer which had the awesome side affect of blowing the glue into little scallops.  We used coarse sea salt which made bigger splotches than regular salt. To make the coasters, I got white tiles from Home Depot which happen to be ridiculously cheap. I cut squares from the finished paintings to be slightly smaller than the surface of the tile. I think that narrow edge makes a nice frame for the artwork. I used modge podge to adhere them to the tiles, and I think I am going to put felt on the bottoms to avoid scratches. (You could also use cork) I think these would also be pretty hanging on the wall in a grouping.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Felt Journal Cover

I finished another journal cover this week and this one is my favorite so far. I busted out my sketchbook and came up with the dandelion idea, which I loosely transferred to the felt using a dressmaker's marker. I finished it with the blanket stitch and wove red floss through the edge because I love the way it looks. I really must make myself a journal one of these days. But Rachel, yours is next! :)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Secret Jewelry Box

The first thing I usually do after getting home from work (after playing with the dog) is remove my jewelry. My poor husband is very tolerant because I tend to leave piles of bracelets, rings and necklaces piled all over the house in no particular order which is a bad habit that I can't seem to break. I think part of the problem is that my jewelry box is overflowing and I don't have anywhere else to store my stuff except for the nearest available surface.
In the effort to try to keep my clutter out of sight, I decided that I needed a secret jewelry box or boxes to stash throughout the house. A few Google searches later and I found ideas all over the place to make my own book box.
I had a Shakespeare collected works book sitting on a shelf and while I do love reading Bill's sonnets and plays, it was gathering dust (hello Kindle) and I needed a quick fix.
 The process is simple...

 Mark off the interior lines of where you will be cutting your pages...
 Take a cutting knife and chop within your lines as far down into the pages as you want. This may however take awhile, hurt your hand and break a few blades...but keep at it!
 Once you've cut to your desired depth (mine has two levels with a divider) use 3+ layers of Mod Podge to bind it all together.
 Let it dry and're done and have a fun, new, secret receptacle for whatever you want!
...and it still looks like a regular book when it's closed! 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Serger Love

I finally bought a serger.
How did I ever sew without one? I should back up though....I actually got it about a month ago and have been terrified of it ever since I saw the threading diagram. I took it out of the box, set it on my sewing table and then eyed it suspiciously for the next 4 weeks until I a) finally had enought time to work with it and b) gathered the courage to confront the thing.
After one small hiccup with some threads getting stuck, I figured out which way was up and there is no looking back. The thing is awesome. I had a tank top pattern lying around and some nice knit and decided to see what would happen...I've almost finished a wearable prototype and it only took about 30 minutes with finished seams and everything.
I hardly know anything about the full capabilities of the machine yet but I know that my knit sewing will increase exponentially, I will not have to tediously french seam everything anymore and I wish I could take off work and go on a sewing binge.