Monday, May 31, 2010

And the winner is . . . . .

And the winner of the funky napkin rings (picked randomly by using is . . . . . .

lajamison who said "I really like Grosgrain right now as she is doing a dress sew a long (A Frock by Friday)." 

Thanks for all your great comments and the new blogs to look at.   I really enjoy your comments!

Sunday, May 30, 2010


I just got back from a 2-night camping adventure.  With me was my husband, two kids, and in-laws.  We stayed at this beautiful cabin at Lake Maria State Park which was a half-mile hike in from the road.  

The cabin had no electricity or plumbing, so we had to carry in all of our water, but wow -- what a view!  Our own little pond with no one around.

Surrounded by beautiful forest.

We hiked,

skipped stones in Lake Maria,

climbed a tree or two,

and stopped to draw some pictures.

Every where we saw signs of life, whether it was just starting

just relaxing in the sun,

or just simply elegant.

The park was alive with life.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Funky Napkin Rings - Tutorial and Giveaway! (Now Closed)

Here's a little tutorial for some funky napkin rings and my very first giveaway!  They have a bit of a worn look to them, a little fringed - so funky and fun!


My inspiration for these napkin rings came from the beautiful bracelets I've seen out there in the blogging world.  I don't know how those are made, but here's my version for some awesome funky napkin rings that are pretty simple and don't even require sewing!

Here's what you'll need:

Fabric (fat quarter size is all you'll need)
Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
Glue gun and glue
Cotton clothesline (from the hardware store) - you'll need 20" for each napkin ring
Empty toilet paper roll or paper towel roll

Cut your clothesline into 20" pieces and set aside.  Then cut your fabric into 1/2" strips.

Now warm up that glue gun!  It's a good idea to keep a bowl of ice water nearby when you use a glue gun.  It's so easy to get that hot glue on your fingers.

To start covering the clothesline, simply put a bit of glue on the end of your fabric strip and start wrapping around the clothesline adding very small amounts of glue as you go.  Make sure you're overlapping the fabric a bit to keep the clothesline covered.  Vary the tension as you're wrapping to give it an extra dimensionality.

Continue until the piece of clothesline is covered.

Using the toilet paper or paper towel roll, start wrapping the covered clothesline around (keeping it snug) and glue clothesline together.   Keep going around until you've coiled up the whole piece of covered clothesline.  Slide the napkin ring off the toilet paper roll.  Don't wait too long or you might get your napkin ring stuck to the toilet paper roll.  

Let the glue harden and you're done!  So simple.

So.. now the GIVEAWAY (NOW CLOSED)!  Since I made two sets of napkin rings I thought I'd give away these!

To enter, simply leave a comment and tell me what your favorite blog is or a new blog you've found.  I love finding new blogs and I constantly get inspired by them.  I want to know your favorite blogs.  Please leave an email address in your comment.

Want a second chance?  Become a follower on my blog and leave a separate comment (from the one mentioned above).  If you already follow, leave a comment (in addition from the one above) to be entered a second time.  If you're new to the blog, let me know where you found out about my blog.  Again don't forget your email.

The giveaway will end Monday, May 31st at Noon (Central Standard Time).  The winner will be selected randomly.  Good Luck!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Teacher Appreciation

The school year is coming to an end.  My son has learned a lot in his first and last year of preschool.  He's learned a whole new set of rules in the Montessori environment, how to work quietly near other children, how to add (he loves writing out equations), but most importantly how to wash windows!  Yup that's right.  He now loves to show off that he can wash the windows.  If only he could reach the top half!

To show my appreciation to my son's preschool teachers, I whipped up a couple of coffee cozies for them.  They love their coffee!  The tutorial can be found here from House on Hill Road.  It was really simple and I love the result.  I inserted a gift card for coffee and a little something extra for their wallet.   

Thanks to all the great teachers out there!

Sunday, May 23, 2010


My son loves to draw.  He will easily spend a couple of hours drawing in the afternoon when the house is quiet while his sister naps.  He, however, leaves paper everywhere in his room (on the floor, in his bookshelf, on the bed, in the closet, etc...).  Yes, ok, he's only 4, but some days it gets too messy even for him!  When I saw Anna's mail organizer tutorial over at Noodlehead for her spice up your kitchen series, I knew it was an awesome idea - except in my house, it needs to go in my son's room. 

So I dove into my fabric stash for some boy fabrics and set to work.  Wow, was this a fun project!

Fabric + Sewing Machine + Glue Gun + Staple Gun = a totally awesome project!

It was so easy and so much fun.  I spent more time on deciding the fabrics and how they should appear, than the project itself.  Thanks Anna for a useful and fun project.  Hopefully, it will go a long way to keeping paper off my son's bedroom floor!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Doll Dress

I made a matching dress for my daughter's doll.  Not as hard as I thought.  I used another doll dress and used it to make pattern pieces like those from the Sienna Dress.  The sleeves were a little snug, but still fit.  This dress turned out a little short (looks like she'll need some matching shorts too!).

My son was my assistant on this photo shoot.  He added the dandelions. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Another day, another dress

I love making dresses for my daughter.  She gets so excited when I give her a new one, she squeals with delight and does a little happy dance.  (She only seems to do this with the dresses I make - such a nice feeling!)  She always says it's beautiful and she loves it, but I love taking her picture in it.  (She loves to pose and show off the dresses.) 


If you're wondering, this was another Sienna dress.  There are so many possibilities with that pattern.  I've said it before, but I'll say it again.  I love it!


 This dress was made with all new fabrics.  

I did change the sleeves and bottom a bit.  Instead of a normal hem, I sewed (wrong side up) along the bottom of the dress and sleeves with a zig-zag stitch that went over the edge.  While sewing, I stretched the fabric so that I could get a ruffled look.

I think it turned out nice ..... although I hadn't realized my daughter had grown so much recently.  I knew she was growing, but she's a lot taller that I thought.

I think I'll have to make a pair of shorts in the blue fabric I used to go with it. 

I think I'll try my hand at making a doll version tonight.  Wish me luck!  I've found that, because they're so small, sometimes those doll versions can be harder than the kid ones.

Monday, May 17, 2010

In the garden

We were busy planting in the garden today.  

The kids liked filling the watering cans from our new rain barrel.

The whole family got involved in the planting.

"I love you daddy!"

The best part ...... digging holes

to find worms!

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Here's my first attempt at potholders.  I think they turned out rather well.  I was trying to go for a french provincial feel with the fabrics - which by the way I picked up at my favorite new local fabric store, Sewtropolis.  Check out her Etsy store here

These were actually a family effort.  My four-year-old wanted to help so he got to push the pressure foot on the sewing machine while I was quilting them.

My two-year-old wanted to help, so she got to use a fabric marker and trace the circle where I was going to put the grommet.

My husband was recruited to put the grommets in since I was too timid to hit them really hard with the hammer.  (I'm a little bit clumsy, and I could see missing the target and hitting my fingers instead.  Ouch!  It has happened before.)

I found this great tutorial for seam binding over at crazy mom quilts.  I used it for these potholders and I really liked the results.  I'll definitely use this method again! It has such beautiful results.  These were a gift for my mother-in-law, so I know I'll be making more potholders for myself.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Gathered Clutch

I love this gathered clutch from Noodlehead. I used some leftover bits from my spring top week entry and I love the result! Thanks Anna for such an easy to make, lovely clutch!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

First Sewing Lesson

My 4-year-old asked me the other day if he could learn how to sew. I stepped up to the challenge. We did a very simple pillowcase - nothing fancy. He actually did very well. I did all of the ironing and cutting straight edges, but he helped pin the fabric and guide the fabric while sewing. He trimmed the strings with scissors and he did use the pressure foot too, but he couldn't guide the fabric then (just not tall enough to do both - how cute is that?). He picked the wild Diego print himself which made it so much more fun for him. His favorite part? . . . pushing the pedal to make it go fast! He's so proud! (and so is his mommy!) Great job Connor!

"Shh.... mommy, I'm sleeping."


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