Wednesday, September 30, 2009

do not make these if

you have little or no self control like myself. I am serious. These are definitely the best treat of the season. Not that you can't make these wonderful pumpkin cookies any time of the year, but I definitely only make them in the Fall. I have to have some cut off date. I have already made them twice and each time I am overwhelmed with thoughts of how much I love them. One good thing is that the recipe only makes 2 dozen and I have found people to give some of them to, so I can save myself. Try them and let me know what you think. Don't let the bad photo in the post fool you. They are better than they look.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

two new prints for my photo wall

I just took down all photos on my photo wall in the great room and replaced them with enlargements of photos taken by my sister and friend. It really needed to be freshened up and because I didn't have any photos of my daughter on the wall (who is 2 1/2) it was time to include her with the rest of us! I ordered a few prints on etsy to go along with the photos from the love shop.
I got this one:

and this one:

I have one more space to fill and I want to get something with our family member's names like one of these or these. Or, maybe not get the family name and go for something like this or this.

Monday, September 28, 2009

have any of you tried this?

Soldering.  I love it, but it's hard.  I have been trying it, along with my mother in law(we split the supplies), for several months now and I think there's a big learning curve (at least for me).  I do see progress, though.  As much as I say that I am not that great at it, I have still given my soldered pendants as gifts!!! I orginally bought my instructions from You Can Make This. And, those were a great start, but I have been reading tips and tricks on the internet for the last few days to help me figure out some things that I am just having a hard time with.  I will say that I do love it even if it has been painful.  I think I expect perfection and then I go and look at the ones I have purchased in the past and realize that they can look a little more "hand made" than perfect.  So, if you have any tips or tricks for me, pass them on.  In the meantime, I am just soldering away over here looking to improve.   

Friday, September 25, 2009

the winner

I am up late planning an upcoming trip and realized it's 12 am. I am going to cry when I have to wake the boys up from school in the morning because I am up so late (early?). So, I put my numbers in to and it came up with #19, which is:

jedigirlz said...
U'Re so creative and cute! We love u! -A
So, miss A, please send me your address to my email - Thank you for all of your really really nice comments. You do realize that I always do have a hard time just picking one, so let's do a tutorial for this? It's simple. I think the only pattern I might have trouble giving you is the actual pumpkin template because it is so big, but I will figure it out and so will you.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

tote for lacey

I live in place that has a lot of dental and medical students as well as medical residents. Over the years I have met some pretty incredible people who have moved in and have been blessed enough to have made some amazing friends with them as well. I was really blessed three and a half years ago when one of these medical resident families moved in across the street. The whole family was cool (but especially the wife, Lacey) and my kids soon became fast friends with their kids. My 5 year old thought their house was his second home and they treated him as one of their own. As what tends to happen with all students and residents...they finally get a job or go on to more schooling and have to move away. This wonderful family has moved on to a job with the Air Force on the other side of of the states and as much as I am happy for their progress, I am sad to have been left here without them. This friend was the guinea pig for all my new projects and sometimes I would just hang them on her door for her to find -making myself at home to her wreath hanger. I made this tote for her for her birthday a few weeks ago and hope that she knows just how much she is missed. The tote is made from the same brown corduroy I used in the dress and fabric from Amy Butler that I have had in my stash for a long time (awaiting the perfect project).  The fabric flower is removable and was made using this tutorial from Wise Craft.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

gauzy ghosts

Because I love to see other people's decorations for the holidays, I thought I would share these ones that are hanging from my chandelier in my dining room (that I am trying to turn in to a library/den/music room if that's even possible).  I made them 3 or 4 years ago after watching Martha make them on her show.  I have hung them from my lanterns above my fireplace before, but I think I like them hanging in this front room.  They are made from gauze (or you can use cheese cloth) and watered down glue hung over a balloon until dry.  Really easy and really cool. Here's Martha's version.  Anyways, I would love for you to share your Fall/Halloween decorations with me.  I really do love seeing what everyone else is doing.  To answer the question of a blogger, I have the pumpkin from the giveaway (mine, not the one up for grabs) hanging in that front room from the knob of the corner cabinet.  That room has most of the decorations and it's great because it's the first room you see when you walk in.  I am excited to pick a winner for the giveaway tomorrow night.  I might to a tutorial on this one because it really is simple.  We'll see.  

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

a little giveaway to get in the halloween mood

While unpacking all of my Halloween and Fall decorations from their storage bins, I found a few *surprises.*  These surprises were crafts made last year with the intention of giving them away. So, I thought I would give one of these "surprise" burlap pumpkins that I found away to one of my dear blog readers.  I have made these for a few years now and I love how easy they are to make. Just a bit of orange burlap, aged with brown paint here and there, sewn felt eyes, nose, and mouth, a thick twig and some wire.  I found 4 more that were partially made in those bins as well.  So, watch out friends and neighbors, you might find something hanging on your door soon!!!  I also found a partially made Halloween apron that I need to get finished as well.  Really, they were all fun surprises.  It's amazing how much you can forgot about in a year.  

O.K. here are the details of the giveaway - it's going to be a short time period - you have until Thursday (the 24th) at midnight (eastern time) to leave a comment and then I will draw a number and get this out as quickly as possible. You can have it hanging up in plenty of time for Halloween.  

Friday, September 18, 2009

my autumn version of the french ruffle dress

I am starting to get in the groove. The start of school takes a bit to get the hang of for me every year. But, I am thinking that I am getting my schedule down. And, like I said in my last post, Fall is in the air and I love it. It really makes me feel so good. So, with that in mind, I decided it was time to attempt the French Ruffle Dress again, but with some Fall colors. I had just the tiniest bit of this brown and orange calico that I used for the ruffle and the chocolate brown is a pinwale corduroy. I used a brown and white polka dot fabric for the facing. And, I love the button I found for the back. Overall, I love the colors. It's such a quick sew, but remember it does run small. This is the 4T and it is just a smidge too big for my 2 year old. Keep that in mind.

*I fixed the link that will take you to my first version of this dress.  On that post I have the link to the etsy shop where I bought the pattern.  But, if you want to just go directly to the esty shop manimina for the pattern, then click here!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

i just need to clean the craft room floor

I can't seem to get in the crafting/sewing groove. I think it has something to do with the fact that you can't see the floor in my craft room or the tops of the tables. I was going to take a photo of it today, but then I started cleaning before I got my camera out and decided it didn't look as bad -hence no more excuse for my lack of getting anything done.
As I was picking up my books from one of the shelves that my two year old decided to climb the other day and ended up destroying, I saw my Ed Emberely's Big Orange Drawing Book. I love this book. It brings back so many elementary school memories because we always made thumb print pictures at Halloween. I think I may even have made this skeleton from the book (found here at his website along with other great projects for Halloween) and I need to find him. Anyways, I am getting this book down stairs and getting my kids to make a few as Fall starts to creep upon us.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

bird applique pattern, personalized tags, and applique tips

Thanks for the nice comments on the skirt. I thought you might want the bird #2 pattern that I drew for the applique on the skirt. I usually draw something or find great patterns on blogs and at martha stewart's site. This is a bird I drew when I was decorating my daughter's room and wanted to make a few shadow boxes that I filled with felt birds and flowers. If you want any of the other patterns I have drawn, just click on them on my side bar and it should take you directly to them on where you can download them as a pdf. They weren't working, but I think I fixed them. Let me know if they don't work.

As for the tag on Eva's skirt...I just used a piece of twill tape (made by Wrights and sold in packages by the bias tape in the fabric department). I have a few sets of tiny alphabet stamps that I bought in the dollar section at Michaels. I use fabric ink markers (I found mine at Wal Mart near the iron on transfers in the fabric department) to ink up the stamps and then just stamp directly on the piece of twill tape. I read the fabric ink pen and it doesn't say that it has to be heat set, so I am assuming it doesn't. But, I haven't washed a tag yet to know. I probably should try that, huh? I will soon! I also used this method to label the eye glass cases here. So simple and you can print any thing you want so it's so much fun.

For those of you new to applique, here are a few steps and tips:
1. You use Wonder Under, which is sold by the yard at fabric stores by the interfacings. It looks like paper on a bolt.
2. Then, you pick the fabric you are using and iron the Wonder Under (adhesives side down) to the back of the fabric.
3. Next, you can either draw the shape of your applique to the paper side (back side of the fabric) with the image reversed and cut it out or do like I usually do and put a pattern on top of the right side of the fabric and just cut around it. Sometimes I just cut it out with no pattern hoping to get it close to what's in my head!
4. Then, peal the paper away from your applique and you are ready to iron it on to your project. Iron it by holding your iron directly over it and counting 3 long seconds. I always check to make sure it is down good.
5. Now, you use your sewing machine to add details and secure it. I usually sew a tight and small zig zag stitch all around the applique working in layers. I will iron on the base of the applique (like the body for the bird) and stitch around it. Then, I add the other layers (the beak, the wing, the legs, etc.) and stitch around them as well. Instead of using a zig zag, you can straight stitch just inside the applique pieces and this will secure it and give you a great frayed look when you wash it.
6. To finish, you add the buttons, french knots, or back stitches for the details.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

for eva

A little friend of ours was turning 4 last week.  I made her a simple little skirt. Really easy, but adding the extras is the most of the fun.  Oh, and matching fabrics - that's fun too.  This skirt takes so little fabric.  I folded a yard of fabric in half and cut 12 inches down (so 44" wide x 12" long) and then cut a strip for the bottom 5" inches long (so 44" wide x 5" long).  I sewed the bottom band on to the main fabric and then sewed the one seam down the length.  I turned that seam to the back. I added a casing to the top and added 3/4" elastic (I guessed at the waist using some 4T clothes I have waiting for my daughter).  And, like I said, I really like adding the rick rack and the appliques. I wonder when I will tire of applique? I guess since there are so many different ways to go with it, I have many years of it left in me!