Sunday, June 27, 2010

Baby Gifts and More Fabric

A friend of mine is expecting a baby and yesterday I had the pleasure of attending her baby shower.  I brought along some presents I made for the baby and a few favorite books (by Sandra Boynton) my kids helped pick out. 

I love making this bear.  I've done it a few times now.  I used fleece for the bear, so he's nice and soft to snuggle up to.  The pattern came from Simplicity 3733.  It appears that this pattern is no longer in print, (which is a shame), but I did see some available on eBay.  It's a very easy bear to make as he is made from only two pieces of fabric! 

The bear's overalls match some of the crib bedding for the new baby.  (Thanks to Anna, who sent me some of the scraps from the amazing bedding she made so the bear could match!) 

The jumpsuit and hat came from McCalls 4632 (which also appears to be out of print).  I like how the colors turned out.  I always like sewing with knits.  They're so soft!

I  had a terrible time getting the snaps on.  The bias tape was made from the same blue knit that I used on the hat and turned out a bit thick.  Getting the snaps through the layers took a while, and several wasted snaps that bent wrong during the struggle. 

I can't wait to see the little one wear it! 

After the shower, I had the pleasure of going to one of my favorite local fabric stores, Crafty Planet, with my friend and fellow blogger Anna of Noodlehead.  It's so much fun to shop for fabric with someone who gets just as excited as I do seeing bolts and bolts of beautiful fabric, buying something you just love having no real idea what you want to do with it.  The fabrics are Riley Blake My Minds Eye and Heather Ross Mendicino Kelp Forest

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Summer Dress

Well, I've had this beautiful Amy Butler fabric for a year now.  I meant to make a summer dress for myself last year, but I never got to it.  This Saturday, I'm heading off to a friends baby shower and I thought it was the perfect excuse to finally make it.

 The pattern came from Heather Ross and can be found here.  I've made small versions for my daughter and as gifts for other little girls, and the larger version was just as simple.  I think I may add some removable straps if I have time before Saturday.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer Boy's Tee

I was fooling around the other day with an idea for a boy's shirt that looks like those baseball style t-shirts we've all seen.  This is my first attempt.

I just used some random knits (from my stash) and modified the Sienna Dress pattern since it had a similar cut at the shoulders that I wanted.  

My son seemed to like it. 

I think I'll try again, but change the sleeves a bit more - and maybe add an inch of length to the bottom.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Love is in the Air

Happy Anniversary to my wonderful husband!  Today we are celebrating 7 wonderful years of marriage! 

I'm still madly in love with him.  I can't believe it's already been 7 years.  I thought I'd share some rare photos of me from the happy day. 

The dress was Vera Wang from the Luxe Collection which I found at Barneys.  Since there's no Barneys here in the Twin Cities, I flew to Chicago for fittings. 

I loved this dress and I felt so beautiful in it.  It has lace all over and a beautiful veil over the whole thing to not make the lace so overwhelming. 

The tiara was a reproduction of what Audrey Hepburn wore in Roman Holiday.  (Definite must watch movie if you've never seen it.

The flowers were all done by my mother.  She's a retired florist and worked for Bachmann's for many, many years making wedding bouquets.  We ordered lots and lots of flowers from a small, local florist and we turned my parents basement into a walk in refrigerator.  It smelled amazing!  (I wish I had a picture to share, but alas we weren't thinking of that at the time.)  My mother made the bouquets, all of the flowers for the church, all of the flowers for the reception site - everything!  She did an amazing job and saved us lots of money.

We were lucky enough to get members of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra to play for us during the ceremony.  They did an amazing job and we had our own mini concert during the wedding.   

We had an old Rolls Royce drive us to the reception site.  We chose the reception site for the beautiful grounds and the amazing dance area.

It was such a beautiful day.

The weather was perfect. 

The cake was a strawberry souffle cake.  So yummy!

We danced and danced!

I still love dancing with him!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Shaving Soap in a Mug

I just whipped up this last-minute father's day present for my dad.  He loves to use shaving soap in a mug with a brush.  So this is for him.  I thought I'd share what I did.  For those of you who have never made soap before, it's super easy.  You can get this done in about 15 minutes (plus cooling time).  So give it a try!  Making soap from scratch is great, but you can get high quality "heat and pour" soup bases now and no one will ever know the difference (unless you tell them, of course).

Here's what you'll need:
White mug
High quality soap base (goat milk or olive oil, whatever you like)
French Green Clay (or other clay additive for soap making)
Fragrance Oil
Glass container to melt the soap in (like a measuring cup)

I got all of my ingredients from Majestic Mountain Sage which is a great online soap making resource.  They have amazing products and I'm always pleased with them.  I used their Goat Milk Soap Base and French Green Clay.  But you can find everything you need at Michaels, JoAnn, or other craft stores.

Cut up the soap base into small pieces and put it in your measuring cup.  Start heating it up in the microwave.  I did about 90 seconds to start.  Stir.  Continue to melt in 20 - 30 second increments, stopping after each to stir the soap.  You want to get it to a nice smooth consistency (no lumps!).

 Add approximately 1 tablespoon of clay per 1 lb. of soap base.  The clay helps the soap have that silky feel to it and it's great for your skin.  Stir well.  It may take a while to get this to incorporate and you may need to warm the soap up a bit to get them to mix completely.  If you get a bit that seems like it just won't mix in, grab a plastic spoon and skim it off the top. 

Add a few drops of fragrance oil (if you like).  I used a honey almond fragrance.  Very nice.

Carefully pour your soap into your mug and let it cool.  The surface hardens rather quickly, but it will take a couple of hours to completely cool (depending on how much you've made). 

Don't forget your shaving brush.  I picked up mine at The Body Shop for $11, but I'm sure you can find them at your local drug store too.

Happy Father's Day to all the dad's out there!


A couple months ago, my brother-in-law and his wife had their couch re-covered.  They found this dragonfly fabric that they really liked and asked me to make some pillowcases for them.  Here's a close-up of the fabric.

I have a list of projects (sewing and otherwise) to do and I finally got to them!  Somehow that list just keeps getting longer (and it gets rearranged now and then). 

I used some simple brown linen for the back and used this great tutorial over at Sew Katie Did to put in invisible zippers.

I've never used invisible zippers, and I'm hooked!  I loved how easy it was and the final result.  Can you see the zipper?  I can't! 

Can't wait to see them on their couch!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Rhubarb is yummy, but it seems like I get deluged with it once a year.  We froze most of our crop, but got more from our crop share.  So I thought I'd share with you two great, simple recipes.  The photo above is from a recipe from Martha Stewart that you can find here.  It's very simple to make and quick!  It has a great flavor.

Another great rhubarb recipe is for these healthy muffins which disappeared so quickly I wasn't able to take a photo.  (I got this recipe from a friend, and I don't know the original source.  No copyright infringement intended.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

1 1/2 cup AP flour (all-purpose)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a separate bowl, mix well:
1 cup buttermilk or yogurt
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oil
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Stir dry ingredients (into wet ingredients) until just moistened.

Stir in:
1 1/2 cups rhubarb (diced)

Fill greased muffiin tins two-thirds full.

Combine and sprinkle on top of batter (in muffin tins).
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnemon
1 teaspoon flour

Bake about 20 minutes. Remove and cool.  Enjoy!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Singing In The Rain

"I'm singing in the rain, just singing in the rain, what a glorious feelin', I'm happy again!"

We've all been under the weather here for the last week and a half. 

We're finally getting back to normal and the kiddos went outside to play in the rain. 

As I watched them playing, I could hear the famous title song from "Singing In the Rain" in my head and when Connor started doing some dance moves, he reminded me of the dance number from the same song Gene Kelly made so famous!  

They had so much fun  "just dancing and singing in the rain"!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A knitting experiment

Do you ever just sit down and start knitting? -- no pattern, no real idea what's going to come out of it.  Well I recently did, and here's what I came up with.

I'm an ok knitter, but slow.  Very slow.  It took me a while to finish this. 

I used two strands of Lion Brand Wool (for felting) and just started knitting.  After a while, I decided to add a brown stripe at the top.

After I got tired of knitting, I felted it.  I just threw it in the washing machine and let it do the work for me.  (I love that part!  It always seems like magic.)  I added the handles and then it sat and sat and sat for a few days because it didn't seem done.  I finally decided on some wool dahlias I saw here and here.  My flowers are a variation on both techniques.  And here we are!  The finished bag! 


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