Monday, December 29, 2008

etsy find

I love all the cute etsy shops. I am usually a window shopper. But, I did find this cute shop - little brown pen. You can buy the pdf images of note cards, tags, calendars and book plates. What sweet gifts. I bought this one - yo yo girl.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

love from grandma and grandpa

We had a special present to open on Christmas Eve from my parents in San Diego. My mom made the sweetest pillow cases for the kids to put on their pillows Christmas Eve. They came with a poem and two wonderful books, Snowmen at Night and Snowmen at Christmas. As kids my siblings and I had special pillow cases similar to these that my mom made. We would each pick a different one each Christmas Eve to put on our pillows. I loved them and I know my kids love these too. Since you can't read the poem in the photo, this is what it says:

Each Christmas Eve I lad in bed
I cannot fall asleep
'Cuz Santa and his elves will bring
some toys and games that beep!

My brain is in a thinking mode
I wiggle and I giggle
Then I get my MAGIC CASE
And slip it on my pillow.

I close my eyes and start to dream
Of gifts and sugar plums.
Then all at once my mother's voice
Tells me that Santa's come.

When you can't sleep on
Christmas Eve
You toss and turn and wiggle
Just slip this MAGIC PILLOW case
Over your soft pillow.

Friday, December 26, 2008

handmade for christmas

I really had a great time making crafts this Christmas season because I really took it slow and gave up on a few projects that just weren't going to happen without a breakdown (my own that is). I always have the idea that I am going to get going early, like October, but it just doesn't feel like Christmas yet, so I just don't have the feelings I need to get me started. I made some (1.)key chain fobs for teachers, friends, and family following this tutorial and adding some rick rack. I made a few (2.)Sunday Bags for friends and family to take to church with them. I filled them with steno pads, crayons and pencils. I made a (3.)Birthday Kit for the family across the street. It had a Happy Birthday banner, candles, ice cream scoop, cake mixes, etc. in it and I made a bag to store it all in. And, finally, I made a (4.)knitting bag for my mom and bought a cute knitting book to go in the front pocket. Of course, on some of the Sunday Bags and Knitting Bag, I cheated and bought the canvas/denim bags at Hobby Lobby and just added pockets and details - much quicker. My grand dream of making new stockings was quickly dashed when I couldn't even decide which shape and pattern I wanted to use. So, there's always next year on that. And, if we get a cold spell in October, I might even feel like starting on them early!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

new favorite wrapping accessory

I am running out of red and white baker's twine, so I picked up these Sugar 'n Cream Twists yarn at Michaels. I love the green and white to wrap all my packages with and to hang on my tags. Now, if only it came in red and white - that would be perfect. I picked up the pink and white along with the blue and white to use on my birthday wrap throughout the year. I looked online and there isn't red and white, but they have a red, white and green holiday yarn that I will now be on the lookout for.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

lemon pound cake

It turned out as good as I had hoped. I loved it. I had to make another batch to make up for the little loaves my family and I ate. I highly recommend.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

ice storm today

And I am staying in to finish sewing and making these mini lemon pound cakes to go in ceramic mini loaf pans I bought last year for this year. I was going to make the orange pound cakes from Barefoot Contessa's Family Style Cookbook which I was told by both my mom and sister that it is amazing. But, I messed up on my first batch because I had a hard time determining how many mini loaves I could get out of the recipe (explosion of pound cake in the oven forcing me to clean the oven), so I am moving on the Martha's recipe. My mom found it and it looks lovely. So, today I will attempt lovely. I have made tons of toffee and think I have managed to eat it at a slow pace. That being said, I have enjoyed many other treats at a relatively fast pace. That's what this season does to me. Yum!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

favorite new ornament

This cute softie ornament (made from elsie marley's half eaten gingerbread man tutorial) is Gage's favorite. He holds on to it like a stuffed animal and always wants it down from the tree. I want to make some more to put on the top of gifts. When Gage first saw it he asked who ate the gingerbread man's leg and head. Since no one around here eats felt, I had to explain to him that I had to cut it to look that way. Check out Gage's awesome Kool-Aid mustache!

Monday, December 8, 2008

english toffee - you will want to make this, i promise

While living with my in laws our first Christmas here in Kentucky, my mother in law made this wonderful English Toffee. She said she got the recipe from a friend a long time ago and made it every year. Much to my embarrassment, I ate almost all the toffee she had in the downstairs freezer and had to learn to make it myself to repay her the toffee I had stolen. Now, I can only make this at Christmas because I seriously can't stop eating it once it is made. I usually break it up when it is all good and hard and put it in baggies which are twist tied shut and ribboned. So, if I do get to where I want to eat it late at night, I have to undo all the pretty ribbons to get to it and that gets me to at least second guess myself. It hasn't saved me every time though!

English Toffee
1 lb. butter
2 Tbs. white corn syrup
2 Tbs. water
2 cups sugar
1 (12oz.) pkg. semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 lb. sliced almonds
1 large Hershey milk chocolate bar - the huge one

(1) Butter a jelly roll pan and sprinkle with chocolate chips and sliced almonds. Set aside. Melt butter, corn syrup, water, and sugar in a large pot (photos 2 & 3) over medium (slightly medium high) heat. Cook until sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally. Stir and cook until mixture is 280 degrees. When mixture comes to 280degrees, remove from heat and pour over chocolate chips and almonds. Break up Hershey Bar and lay pieces over toffee (photo 4). Let the chocolate start to melt and then spread with a spatula (photo 5). Let toffee set in the refrigerator (but I put mine in the freezer because I am impatient). Break in to pieces and ENJOY (photo 6)

Monday, December 1, 2008

packages off and a new wreath

Did everyone survive the Thanksgiving weekend? We had our cabin fever moments, but really had some great times with the family. The one sad moment was when my youngest fell off a chair and cut open her chin, but after six stitches she was back to climbing chairs the next day. She has had more injuries than the three boys put together. I did manage to get this button wreath done. My Boston kept asking to help me, but even I was burning my finger tips left and right with the glue gun and couldn't do that to him. I wish I could have let him help though. I finally got the packages ready to send to the giveaway winners. I always have great ambition when it comes to getting things off in the post, but they will be sent tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

christmas lists

I feel like I don't quite have my Christmas list straightened out when it comes to making things for my friends and family. I know that I am going to make certain things, but who they exactly go to, I am not quite sure. So, I am just making things like a crafter with no attention span at the moment. I jump from one thing to another and need to get this all straightened out soon. In the mean time, I have plenty of fabric cut out and many things partially made. And, I did manage to finish a few of these hair clips for some of our little friends on our lists. I have made these before for one of Gage's friends and they are from this tutorial.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


If you know me then you know that I have a hard time with not making everyone happy. So, this won't make everyone happy, but it will please two instead of just one. So, I did pick two winners. Now, how will this work with one outfit? I have another outfit to give the second name my kids drew. The first winner of the birdie outfit is.....

Emily of t minus freak out

and the runner up, who will get this outfit, is.....

Carolynn of Matt n' Carolynn's Blog

Send me your addresses and I will get these mailed off (maybe) by tomorrow. Email me at traciu73atyahoodotcom.

Okay, I am getting a few boy outfits ready to giveaway. I will get those up boy the first of next week.

Monday, November 24, 2008

giveaway ends tonight

The giveaway for the baby outfit (plus extra onesie) ends tonight, so leave a comment on this post before midnight. I am excited to send it off. Next I am going to giveaway a boy's outfit. I have a few of those as well!

Friday, November 21, 2008

christmas on the brain

back of reversible apron for kathy
front of apron for kathy

I was at the grocery store for just a couple of things because I have been stuck in the house all week for some reason or another. We just needed some eggs and milk, but I saw all those deals on the holiday foods and just started to pile my cart up. Then, I heard the Christmas music and I started to get excited. With all the negativity from news of the economy I almost feel like I should be sad. But, no, I want to celebrate and I want to do it right. I want to be frugal, but creative. I want to think about the reason for Christmas much more. I want my kids to be happy. So, I am getting the work (well, the figuring out of Santa gifts) out of the way, so that I can have some fun and be reflective. I have a lot of saved sites for Christmas gift ideas and crafts that I thought I would pass along.

vinyl jar labels from once upon a design
sugar scrub recipe from recipe zaar *edited version by angry chicken here
felt ice skate ornament from not quite vintage - i am going to try to whip out a lot these to tie on to the gifts i make
scrap fabric ball ornament from plastic hearts
quick sew funky Christmas stockings from full of fluff
button wreath from craftapalooza - melissa, i think we have found a use for our large bag of cream buttons!
pincushion tutorial from paper.string.cloth - this was the first pincushion i made. very easy
bella dia's ultimate gift tag roundup here

sweetening the deal

Not that something for free isn't enough, but I have been trying out some new freezer paper stencils and this one seemed to match the outfit for the giveaway. So, I am including it. It is on a onesie that is not completely new, but awfully white and it's a 6-9 month size as well. So, keep those comments coming and you never know, I might add a few more things as well before Monday comes!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I have a few of these little baby outfits piling up and no babies to give them to. That's where you come in. Do you have a baby for this outfit? Now, I will admit that the pants are a little wonky because I think the flowers are facing one way down one side and other on the other leg. But, it took me a month to figure that out, so hopefully it's not too noticeable. It's a 6-9 month longsleeve onesie and the pants should fit a 6-9 month baby as well. The pants are made from a vintage sheet and the appliqued birds on the onesie are from the same sheet. The pants also have orange grosgrain trim on the cuff. So, just leave me a comment before midnight on Monday, the 24th of November. I will pick a name at random and hopefully, send them off before Thanksgiving.

*edited note* you don't have to have a baby to comment. you can give this as a gift!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

this dress again

I think that I want to use this dress pattern for every dress I make because it is so easy. I used it here and here and just make alterations as I go along to change it up a bit. I used a vintage pillow case this time and it has the look of those simple pillow case dresses out there, but with elastic casings in the neckline and arm sleeves. I love how simple it it.

Then, I made it again for a friend's new baby girl and this time I added the little apron to the front. I didn't want it to be too bulky in the back, so the back tie is just in a knot instead of a bow. I like how it turned out, but I think I could refine it a little with practice.

Friday, November 7, 2008

baby shower

My friend and I put on a baby shower for two friends. I love having the chance to make all the desserts I have been saving in my favorites file for a long time. I made this Kentucky Butter Cake and these awesome Black-Bottom Coconut Bars. Both are soooo dang good and I ate my share before I even brought them to the shower. I also love (really do LOVE) making gifts for the babies. Here are the outfits and burp cloths I made. The cloth diapers that I used for the burp cloths came in that dark blue. You can buy a package (I bought mine at Target) with 3 boy colors (dark blue, light blue, and lime green) or 3 girl colors (bright pink, pink, and orange - I think). Then, I just followed this tutorial and added the fabric. The pants I made of knit I got at a garage sale and a t-shirt that my 6 year old never wore. The one from the t-shirt was easy because the hem was already there - love that. I need to learn how to work with knit a bit better. The needle got caught a lot and I got a bit frustrated, but in the end the pants looked like pants!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

just one more candy corn

I can't stop. It's a good thing I didn't buy my first package of candy corn until yesterday. I knew once I bought a bag, I was done for, so I waited. I sure hope I don't find some on clearance after Halloween. I really can't stop. I think all of the cavities I have had in my lifetime came from candy corn. Evil little candies.

I have a few photos of the projects I worked on this week and at my sil's house.

this is the birthday banner we made - don't mind the messy craft area.

ones I still need a finish.
burlap pumpkin

an apron I made out of a vintage looking table cloth I have had for awhile. I love re purposing something that was just sitting in a cupboard.

orange burlap and a little felt

I got home from our trip Saturday night and have been making something for Halloween everyday since. I think Halloween is my favorite holiday to craft for. I think part of it is that I love orange. I made two more spooky banners to give as gifts. Those are so simple, but just take more time than I always plan for. Then, I made these pumpkin wall hangings like I did last year. I had tons more orange burlap that needed to be put to good use. I saw them at a craft fair and recreated my own version. While on vacation my sister in law had a ton of projects on her list of things to do with me. We stayed up almost every night making bags for her and her girls. It was cool seeing my 17 and 11 year old nieces start a bag and have it almost completed in an hour. Plus, I love the fabrics they picked out. I forgot to take pictures of them though because I didn't have my favorite camera with me and then forgot to whip out the little Olympus that I did bring. Which reminds me, my SLR's flash isn't working and I am feeling all crazy about that. Got to get it fixed! We also made a Happy Birthday Banner for each of us as well while there. And, since the next two months bring tons of birthdays in this family, then it was just in time. I will take a photo of it and post it for next time. In the mean time, each night around here has been filled with caramel apple making, sugar cookie frosting, and tonight is pumpkin carving. Love it!

Friday, October 17, 2008

i was supposed to be packing

Instead I thought I would finish my Halloween banner. I am taking off to Utah this morning and I have all these Halloween projects to get done because by the time I will get back it will be the week of. But, instead of packing, I finished one of my projects. I did get back to packing and as it turns out, I am ready early, just waiting for the perfect moment to wake up a 22 month old to take with bright and early in the morning. Will it before right before we get in the car or 20 minutes before so that she can have time to wake up and eat? I don't know how too awake I want her, so I will keep watching the clock to decide.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Gage is involved in a fantastic playgroup. He and six other 3 to 4 year olds get together once a week for three hours at one of the mommy's houses. When it's your turn to host, you have a theme, a letter of the alphabet to teach, a number, and a color. Today we had it at our house and our theme was pumpkins and our color was orange (our letter P). I found these totes at Hobbey Lobbey half price last week (so around $1.50) and we made some trick or treat bags with them. I put their names and the pumpkins on the front before they came and they got to use paint and stencils to decorate the back. We also pasted faces on our giant paper pumpkins to turn them in to jack-o-lanterns (but I forgot to take a picture). It's fun and exhausting all at the same time. But, Gage loves it (just like his brother before him did) and I love that he is with his friends having fun and learning. Plus, the three hours with Mallory alone is quite nice too!