Thursday, February 25, 2010

Alone time...

Theta Mom is hosting a fun montly party asking us moms how we spend our alone time. Well since my boys are in school, I have a lot of that but it's at home with duties that need my attention. That is not the same as going out and doing something refreshing for myself. I do that by going to Bible study each week at church, but the last few weeks I have missed due to illness or weather. I can't wait for the snow to stop already!

Other ways I get out of the house are with my hubby on Sunday nights when the boys are at youth group. We hit the bookstore or coffee shop and chat. Or we just sit and read our own books. Since hubby is off on Monday and Tuesday, we also ususally spend Tuesday going out for breakfast or running an errand or two. That time means a lot of us.

The next big time out for me is coming up in March when the women at church are having an overnighter and I am going. I am very excited to go and just rest in the peace of the Lord.

So what do you do? Stop over at Theta Mom after you post and add your link too!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Why I haven't been sewing

my new laptop is to blame as well as my other blog, Italian mama chef. I am having some great successes with the blog and my FB fan page so that has kept me busy. And then this Friday I am hosting Presto Pasta Nights on cooking blog as well.
But the reason my laptop is interferring is because of the fact that I can do webcam more easily with my grandchildren. We have begun a nightly ritual of me reading them a story. They love it. Can you see it on their faces?

I know it's not the best quality but it was a fun picture to grab.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Overheard from my house

I keep telling my husband that I am going to blog about some of the things he says to me. It's funny to me that he says go ahead but I am never one to allow anyone to think less of him. So the things I write that come from his lips are with his approval. Same with my boys. So here are some of the funnier things my guys have said of late.
While sitting in Starbucks, my hubby noticed the cashier and barristas were all crabby and moody. He came to our table and said they must all be PMSing! I asked why he thought that and his response was "well they are all in a bad mood and now they are discussing chocolate"! was funny at the time.
Yesterday I was putting on my makeup, I don't wear more than eye shadow, eyeliner and blush but my son noticed I was putting on eye shadow and he said "You wear make-up?". I said "yes". Next he said "Oh I thought you were just naturally beautiful". Wow....did I mention he is 13? I love my guys.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Make it and Love it giveaway...

Just letting you know of another fabulous giveaway at a wonderful crafty blog. Be sure to click on over to Make it and Love it for her giveaway! There are at least 10 ways to win!!! Tell her you found her through Michelle @ In Sew Motion.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Theta Mom Give-a-way

Get on over to Theta Mom quick and enter her give-a-way for some wonderful jewelry from Alex and Ani. There are lots of ways to win so don't miss out on your chance! Plus today is her birthday so wish her a happy birthday today.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Baby toy

I had a request for a baby toy. One that crinkled, had tags and ribbons and was absorbent for a drooling baby. This is what I made!

Reverse side

Notice the baby name? I used my fancy stitching settings on my machine.
I know it's small and basic but it's ok, I don't need more than that. But having his name on this will make it easy when it gets left behind some place.
I used the very easy instructions from Joy's Hope in this post. This is one of those 1 hour or less projects that really are one hour or less.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Laptops and grandchildren

I'm excited because we ordered a new laptop yesterday. The one we have is a dinosaur. It's a Gateway with Vista but it's old and the battery dies after 20 minutes. So inconvienent! So with the help of my son-in-law, we ordered a new Acer Aspire with built-in webcam and Windows 7! I am excited to make a notebook sleeve and bag for the new laptop. Oh that means choosing new fabrics! Yeah!!!!

This also means I can do webcam with my family a whole lot easier. At least three to four times a week, I get to see these faces via the webcam.

This was taken Jan. 30, 2010. They helped me make the birthday cake for Asher, on the left.  They loved licking the beaters! I just love to watch them grow. Today as I was chatting with their momma, who is 27 weeks pregnant with twin boys, I saw the blanket covering her belly move! Those boys were moving and kicking in there. How cool is that?

We are 2 1/2 hours apart and yet because of technology, I get to see this miracle. Another benefit to having webcam is that when Izzy (Elizabeth) comes to visit me in a week or two, she can visit her momma and daddy via the cam when she gets sad. Although I am the queen of her world when she is around me so there won't be any missing of momma and daddy. Wishful thinking, she is three.

I hope to make her some cute clothes while she is here. Maybe another skirt and a simple summer dress. Maybe I can teach her how to sew with a plastic needle and some plastic canvas. Hmmm...sounds like a plan. I made the skirt in this picture.

Maybe I can pass on my current stand alone webcam to my other daughter and she can then connect with her sister and the kids like I do. And I can see her and Za, even though they live 35 minutes away and we see them at church. It would be fun to chat with Za a few times a week too. I love his cheeks!

Easy peasy wallet

Today I made a few of these easy peasy wallets. I found the tutorial at Craftster awhile back but finally bought the snaps. I also found a snap setter and an eyelet tool in the summer at a rummage sale. Score! Here is the one I made for a special friend.


It's for a dear friend that I went to visit in CA back in November, for a birthday trip. I made her a big tote bag as a thank you for hosting me in her home and showing me all around the town and taking me to Disneyland on her birthday. She tells me all the time she loves the bag. So accessories are always a great idea.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Fabric Valentine

Sew Mama Sew has this tutorial and contest for this homemade Valentine using a fabric envelope and card. After two tries of getting my squares even, I finally  have a finished product I am willing to post pictures of.

My stitching is not great and I tried to learn how to use my sewing machine's fancy stitching and letter embroidery. Not too bad for a beginner at those things. And I did my first snap set! Now I am all ready for those easy peasy wallets I have wanted to make.

How about joining the party or stopping by for more crafty ideas for Valentines Day. You still have time to make something filled with love.


Tinkerbell tea parties and grandchildren

A few weeks ago my daughter and her family came to spend the weekend with us. Since Izzy (Elizabeth) is three now, she remembers things and is getting so smart. I know, shameless grandma brag there. We have a webcam and for a few weeks I have been telling her that she is coming to Damma's house and we will have a Tinkerbell tea party. The plan was for my daughter, Izzy and myself to wear our Tinkerbell pajamas and have a girly tea party.

Well things didn't go quite as planned but we did have our tea party. Our tea party was attended by Izzy, me, her mommy, my two grandsons, who are 2 and 18 months and my other daughter. So we had boys at our tea party and we didn't wear our Tinkerbell jammies. We still had loads of fun. I served tea and miniature cupcakes and the kids enjoyed their miniature tea cup/mug I had just for them. Every time we did webcam, Izzy and Asher would ask to see their special tea cup/mug. I think I was more excited over the whole thing. I took pictures and a few videos. Here are some pictures. Izzy and Asher are siblings and their momma is expecting twin boys in April. Isaiah, or Za, is my other daughter's son and he is a sweetie pie too!

Za could not wait for the goodies!

Asher brought his binky to the tea party.

Here I am helping Izzy pour "cream" into her tea.
It was really cold water to make the tea drinkable for them.

Of course we need sugar!

Brittany and Asher having tea.

Za after his cupcake, he didn't have tea.

Lauren and Za, her messy boy.

And last but not least, my favorite picture of the day.
Damma and her girl!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The journal cover is done!

With the second refill journal:
In order to adjust from the original set of directions, I started with a piece of fabric that was 20 x 24 inches. I used heat and bond interfacing for a stiffer cover. Then I sewed together the 20 inch ends. I hemmed each end of the "tube". Then I turned it right side out and followed the rest of the original directions found at Jenny of Elefantz


Coasters are so easy to make. That is if you can follow the directions! I tried to make a set of coasters for a friend and I am really not sure what went wrong because I measured and cut according to the directions but ended up with very small coasters. I was doing a patchwork design and I was to make a strip using 4 different fabric scraps. For some reason beyond my comprehension, it did not work right. It came up short by 1/2 an inch. So I resorted to my own design and made these.

My friend loved them. I need to make another set for my own home and to have on hand for those last minute hostess gifts. Which reminds me, I need to make that journal cover tonight!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Aprons-the workhorse of the home

Back in the fall, I had someone ask me to make an apron as a Christmas gift. Now, I love aprons and the purpose they serve but I was asked to make a reproduction vintage apron from the 1950's. Guess what? I had never sewn an apron before the request was made. I thought how much different from a purse could this be! lol...

Ok so I bought a pattern and all the supplies for a test apron. That one bombed on me but I found the mistakes and learned how to correct them on the real apron for the customer. I made this for her giftee:

This baby took more than 2 yards of fabric, tons of ironing and about 9 yards of 1/4 inch bias tape. I will never work with bias tape that small again on this scale.
But this pattern included several apron patterns and I decided I needed my own apron. I already own a few but they are blue and basic. I just wanted something that was tailored to me. I do own 2 of my grandmother's vintage aprons but they are too small for me.
I dug through my stash of fabrics and found the fabric shower curtain I bought at Goodwill back in the summer for $1.00. This was a thicker fabric, sturdier than cottons for quilting but totally washable. I bought it to make a few make-up bags with zippers. Those never materialized but I knew the fabric was going to come in handy. So I used one of the other apron designs in the package and made this fun and simple apron. I did use 1/4 inch bias tape but it was only for the edging, not for joining seams like in the first apron.

I love the little piggies and all the fun scenes in this fabric. Let me say that I wear this thing a whole lot around the house. It keeps me dry when I wash dishes. I am one of the last remaining folks who does not own an electric dishwasher.
Today I wore it to make yet another loaf of my homemade Rosemary-Parmesan focaccia bread to go with our dinner of pasta with sausage and vodka sauce. Yum! I simply love this apron. I hope to find another pretty shower curtain to make more aprons because I wash this one every couple of days. It would be nice to have a few more in different prints.

Covered journals

Today I am going to be working on making a reusable cover for those simple black and white composition notebooks. I have a friend who journals so often that each week when I see her, she is writing in yet another new journal. I found some easy directions at Jenny of Elefantz using tea towels over the weekend and will be using that for my base. Instead of tea towels I will use some pretty fabric that suits my friend. I will end up using some good interfacing and making it lined so it's durable. I know it's going to be a bit more work, but honestly, I could not find a towel that "fit" my friend's personality. I will be posting a finished picture tonight or tomorrow. In the meantime, be sure to visit The Girl Creative today for more crafting ideas.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Who doesn't love winning a contest?

Well head on over to Becoming Homegrown and enter her contest. There are at least three ways to enter thus increasing your chances to win a copy of Julie and Julia!

Friday, February 5, 2010

My new purse

I found this red fabric at a sidewalk sale at a local discount store. It was about 1/2 a yard of brocade for only $.10!!! I snatched it up and put it in my stash for a future project. It's hard for me to decide what fabric to use on different projects. All along I thought that red brocade would become a clutch of some sort but I realized that was not going to happen. Clutch purses are not my thing. So I found this pattern, the April bag, on Sew Mama Sew last year but never could figure out what fabric to use.

Fast forward to January 2010 and I have just started to take about my wedding dress to use the fabric. It's not satin but more of a jacquard fabric and it's a cream color. I wanted to make things from this fabric to give to my girls as keepsakes. But I also wanted something for me. I decided the cream and the red brocade looked great together and got to work. Here is the finished product!

This bag measures about 15 inches long X 13 inches wide. This is truly a bag that took only about 1 hour, very little ironing and cutting. The only interfacing needed was for the handles. Even that was pieced together from scraps since these handles are one big loop. I always do my straps a bit different. I double the amount called for, iron in half then fold the outside to the center fold, and top stitch down both sides. No turning tiny tubes of fabric and my straps are very durable.

You can see the cream lining the purse. I have received so many compliments on this bag. I am proud to show it off.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Recycled craft- toddler gift bag

Here is my first crafting tutorial. I have been into the green craft movement for awhile, looking for ways to re-use what I already have instead of filling the landfills or overburdening the thrift store industry with junk that isn't worth selling.
Each day, yes, daily I search online for new ideas. Craft Gossip is a favorite for new ideas as well as Whip Up and the Craftster communities. Today I realized I needed a giftbag to wrap up my almost 2 year old grandson's birthday gifts. He is really into Disney Cars and Lightning McQueen. Can you say Ka-Chow?!!! It's so cute when he says it. Ok, back to the project.
I recently turned a knit t-shirt into two scarves for me and my granddaughter so I am on the t-shirt recycling kick. I figured my heavier long sleeve red t-shirt, with grease spots and holes in the sleeves would be a good candidate for my next project. It almost became more scarves. But like I said, I had a need. So I figured I could make the drawstring bag for Asher's gifts and personalize it as well.
So I found a picture of Lightning McQueen online, printed it on iron-on paper, reversing the images first, and then used some white cloth, doubled, and made my "stickers" for the bag.

For this project, I wanted about three images. Next, I sewed all around each image to join the layers of the white cloth since it was lightweight.
Next, I laid out my t-shirt, it's an x-large size, so this bag was wider than it's height but it works out well. See the grease stain? Yeah, not good for wearing now.

Fold the shirt in half and cut just below the armpit area.

Then cut off the bottom hem and save it, as this will become the drawstring for the bag. Be sure to trim it, the hem was serged so it's not going to unravel.

Next I cut the "stickers" with pinking shears and pinned them in place. I put two on one side and the third on the other side.

I also wanted there to be no raw edges showing inside so I decided to do a French felled seam. These are super easy and give a great finished look to any project. For the French seam, you join the fabric, wrong sides together first and sew with a 1/4 seam allowance. I sewed the bottom of what is basically a tube of fabric from the shirt. Then you turn the fabric right sides together and press that seam allowance. Then sew 1/2 seam allowance on the wrong side. What you have when you are done is this:

This is the inside of the bag, see no raw edges. I did not trim after the first stitching because I used enough of a seam allowance when I turned it to wrong sides together that it didn't get in the way.
Next, I boxed the corners so there is depth to the bag. I pulled the sides out until there were points, as you can see in the picture. Basically the side seam or crease matches up with the bottom seam. I measured 2 inches from the point, drew a line and pinned. Then sew on the line. Ta-da! You did a boxed corner!

Next, turn down the top hem about 1 inch, making sure there is enough room for the drawstring to be encased. Cut two small slits in one layer of the casing, again, knit won't fray so this is safe.
Next, grab two safety pins. Put one pin through one end of the string for threading through the casing and use the other pin to secure the opposite end of the string to the bag so it's not pulled all the way through.

Here is the bottom seam on the outside, and the inside with no raw edges. All ready to be filled with the goodies for Asher!

The loot all stuffed in. I know there will be one happy 2 year little red haired boy at my house come Saturday!

Welcome to my new crafting blog

I want to share my love of crafts and sewing with folks so I thought this is the best way to do that. I have been blogging for over 5 years but with another blog service and well I decided to begin again with an all new place and name. So welcome and I hope you find some great ideas and pass along yours as well.