Thursday, February 26, 2009

craft book and fabric addictions...

I've been too busy reading about crafting lately to actually craft. Does that sound as odd to you as to me when I write it? As you can see, I have a bit of a problem with buying craft and decorating books.

I just got this one. Alicia Paulson's Stitched in Time. (I bought it from this link and got a signed copy - how nice!) I can't wait to do the little family tree project...

And this one. Heather Ross's Weekend Sewing. I was inspired by this take on a shirt pattern inside. Can't wait to try it.

Thus far, I'm enamored with both of them. Serious love. I swap between reading these, and my Doodle Stitching, Bend the Rules Sewing , In Stitches and Seams to Me books almost hourly of late. It is almost like there are too many ideas that I can't do any of them! So what have I actually sewn or crafted? Ta da!

Hee hee...looks like some strenuous sewing, I'm sure. The Coffee Cozy - and it does double as a cute cuff as well. I modified the tutorial from here and stitched this up last night when I was gazing at my new books and fabric. Oh - did I mention the fabric? I've bought so much fabric lately, that I think I may have a problem. I picked up some fat quarters, some decor weight cotton and a few yards (6+) of quilting cotton. What is all this for? No idea. Yes - My name is Emily and I have a fabric buying problem. My mom calls it the fabric disease and claims it is genetic.
Outside of these examples of my problems and issues, Brooke and I are taking on a nice, normal and fun project. Brooke found the premise on this site... but in a nutshell, we are posting one picture each week of our kids WITH us. Ever notice that moms are not normally in the picture? Well, for one day each week we will be. My main incentive is the few pictures I have of my own mother from my childhood. The ones I have are priceless - the loud checkered bell bottoms, her sassy 70's hair dos - all the fun stuff! But do I have many? No! Would I love more? Yes! The plan is to someday give my daughter (and son hopefully if he want them) a bunch of photographs of us together for an entire year. Check us out at Want to play? We'd love to have you! Let me know and I'll get you access to the blog!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Cookies and Thrift Finds

Griffin and I ran to 4 thrift stores on Friday (Aunt Sallie and Uncle Willie included) but did not find what I was searching for. Anyone have an 70's style accordion type mug rack? The ones with pegs at each corner of the diamonds? I normally see them EVERY time I thrift, and now that I want one, they are no where to be found. Don't feel too bad for us though, we managed to find plenty of other things to take home with us. I found this cookbook for $1.60.

Since I have a strange compulsion to buy a cookbook (or 3) every time I thrift, it was pretty much a given that I'd buy it. What is strange and unique, is that we decided to actually use it! Today, my sister Brianna, my niece Chloe, Rowan and myself built two of the cookie recipes from the book. The first are the face cookies featured on the cover. Mostly they are representative of the entire household here (this weekend that is), but if you look close you may find Maui-bound Bumpa and Gooma as well. The hair was made using a garlic press - which I may have hogged a bit and not let the girls use. I'm terrible, but it was fun! Reminded me of the Play Doh Barber set...

I think the book called these "Color Wonderful" cookies or something. I think they look Tie Dyed. They consist of mostly butter and powdered sugar - so they are really light and airy. Delish!

Here are a few more of my finds to share from thrifting. I found these trays - one owl and one rooster. I wasn't really in "need" of them, but they called out to me a bit (called? Hooted? Crowed?)

One last picture to continue the bird theme, prove I've actually been sewing a little and mostly to throw Nancy a bone. They are from the Spool tutorial and are part of the goodies that will accompany me to Texas in May :)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Last Hula Apron and Black Apple Doll

Since we have Monday off of work and school around here, I opted to not clean today and sew instead. Partially this was also due to delaying until the last minute the apron I promised my Mom she'd have in time for her trip to Maui. I'm obviously a slave to procrastination!

Here is my mom's apron. I copied the fantastic one I received from Katy from a past Sassy Apron Swap. I traced it on tissue paper and winged it a bit. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out - though the bias tape got a bit wonky and the corners and circles got a bit difficult. All good though... hope she likes it.

As another sign of my ability to procrastinate, I ran to Kinkos/FedEx on Saturday and printed off all the tutorials I have saved the past year. What was the rush? Well, I wanted to make the Black Apple Doll from the Martha site. I'm such a fan of Emily from the Inside a Black Apple blog. Her artwork and dolls are adorable. Plus her name rocks :)

Here is the Black Apple Doll I made Rowan. Rowan named her Rosie... while she is not perfect, she is bound to be well loved.

Her dress is a vintage hankie my mom picked up at a garage sale for me, and the scarf is strategically placed to cover up her kooky neck :)

I had read a great piece of advice (on the Sew Mama Sew forum) to draw on the fabric and sew the arms and legs first and then cut them out. This worked well - and I can't imagine having to turn them if they had been any skinnier. She is cuddling up with Miss Row right this very minute! Guess that is a sign of a successful day of crafting.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Just a quick post to share some Valentine's Day love. These are the valentines Rowan brought to school this year.

We got the idea from one shared on The Crafty Crow by Mommy Coddle. We then borrowed a template from here and added in some hearts - well, lots of hearts. Rowan shares my crafty inclinations and we had fun making them. Griffin, on the other hand, was only appeased with the purchase of Super Hero valentines. Is it because he is a boy? Or am I only 50% effective in my goal of raising crafty, homemade lovin' kids? Hmmm... I guess we'll see.

Rowan wrote her classmate's names on the outside...

And signed her own on the inside. We then glued stickers to the top flap too.. but they are not in the pictures.

A final picture to brag up my hubby a bit, this is my Valentine's Day gift from Dave and the kids.
A Babylock Imagine! I'm giddy and terrified to actually do more than drool at the box and smile at this point. Lessons are included in the purchase, so I'm hoping that I'll eventually progress to where we can take it out of the box and maybe plug it in. For now, I'm content just to "Imagine" what I can make with it! HA! Um, for my non-crafty friends that read this blog, this is a serger. It means that I can make better things now... possibly as gifts for y'all :) It is a good thing.

Monday, February 9, 2009

busy weekend

I'm feeling guilty that I have not posted in a while. Just because I'm not posting, does not mean that I have not been busy crafting, but Dave was on a snowmobiling trip so things have been BUSY! I've been sewing like a mad woman. Somehow I managed to do so with an absent husband and many play dates and children friendly activities added to the mix (see here for some pics BL took of G on our Friday adventure). Why is it that I go in such energy splurges? There are times that Dave is home and relatively "not busy" at work (read: home at a decent hour like 6 pm), and I barely manage to load the dishwasher during the entire week, make mac and cheese for dinner each night or put away a single piece of laundry. Then he goes out of town (for whatever reason) and I switch to Super Mom mode and successfully battle the forces of evil and dirt, scrubbing everything within the house, washing the insides of cupboards and drawers and vacuuming out the heat vents? Usually in the ultra productive modes, I'm able to craft as well. Maybe it is the "flight or fight" reflex kicking in - since I know that flight is not an option as solo mama:)

It was a semi productive mode that took over this past weekend. While the house did no get it's needed and deserved scrub down, the kids and I met up with friends, crafted, birthday partied, swam, danced and stimulated the economy. I got some of my sewing "to do" list crossed off as well. Here are the projects newly off my list - my long, never ending, constantly being added to list.

First, my mother and step-dad are headed to Maui next week. The go every other year and stay for about a month. Their condo neighbor has become a friend, and my mother asked me to sew her a gift. She left the gift choosing up to me, so I opted to make an apron. They are easy, one size fits most and I seem to have a strange obsession with making them. My mother picked out fabric with pin up girls as hula dancers online from Hart's. When it arrived I fell in love with it, but decided that the girls were a little too tall to be a full body apron - so I played with my Emmeline pattern and my In Stitches book and came up with a 1/2 apron that I like a lot. Here is the fun Hawaii side.

And here is the "pretty" side with some fabric from Joann's. Yes, I'm wearing my "Team Edward" t-shirt. It is OK, I'm not embarrassed...

Next, my niece has been learning to play the guitar and we had picked her up a tuner, strap and case for her 10th birthday this past weekend. To finish off the gift, Rowan decided her big cousin needed a bag to carry a songwriting notebook in. Lucky for me, my trusty Bend the Rules Sewing book has an adorable tote pattern inside. Love that book. Here is Chloe's song writing tote...with an iron on patch from Joann's. I feel a little bad that I did not create my own applique - but there was no time people.

Last, with the left over pink polka dot fabric from the apron, I crafted Miss Rowan a shirt for Valentines Day. I used Simplicity 2711. I like how it turned out... and she likes it as well. This does not happen often with us, so I'm reveling in the moment. My only issue with the sewing process was due to laziness - I did not cut the trim on the bias, so it is wonky at the neck. I hate when I see the results of my corner cutting in pictures - but she still looks pretty sweet to me. Oh - and you a see our snow melting out the rain splattered window - Hooray!

There may have been a few more things crafted this weekend, but some are top secret so I cannot divulge more. What I can say is, I've somehow become the personal seamstress for my mother. Which is a it odd, since she has a nicer machine AND a serger at her home. She has also spent many more years (a...hem.... not THAT many more Mom, sorry) sewing than I have. Turns out I love to do it maybe more than she does...which I'm gauging by the fewer swear words uttered. Oh, and she bribes me with fabric. We both win with this arrangement!