Category Archives: Projects/ Crafts

Where my peeps at?


On the front door,

fireplace peeps w notes

On the fireplace next to the 5 remotes and White House 2010 Easter Eggs,

but not in our Easter basket this year 😦

My husband requested that no sugary treats be purchased for him this Easter. (Probably because he didn’t want me to be tempted and then be belly aching that I fell off the eat clean wagon. whattaguy!)

But Peeps are his favorite and we couldn’t let more scrapbook paper go to waste during mommy-daughter craft time, could we?

Wanna make your own? Download the template here. I love the internets.


Twirly Whirly

If only I could bank up “mom-you-are-awesome-points”… I would have totally racked up quite a few today.
simplicity 2356

The look on her face and this completely unprompted pose says it all- THIS IS SO AWESOME MOMMY! THANK YOU FOR MY NEW SKIRT!!!

These mom-points, if they could exist, could be traded in for those times when your child is in melt-down mode over the latest catastrophe. We have a lot of those. Ahh… how I wish I could just flip a switch and the tantrum would be over… or whip out a “I made you a really cool skirt yesterday” card and she’d snap out of it….

But I digress.

I was working on the binding this afternoon when a little visitor snuck out of her room during naptime and into the office.

“So, Mom, how is that skirt going along?” she asked sweetly. I told her it wasn’t finished yet, but that it would be very soon. She happily skipped into the living room and kept herself occupied for about 4 minutes before checking in on me again.

“So, Mom, how is everything going? Is it done yet? Do you need anything? What about this?” (holding up a seam ripper) “Do you need this?” She just cracks me up sometimes. Checking in on my progress every few minutes.

simplicity 2356 v 2 signed

Once the skirt was finished, there was simply no postponing the wearing of said skirt. Sweet Pea promptly put it on over her pajamas (yes, she wears pjs for naptime, but that’s another story for another day!) and pranced around the house, twirling, swirling, and singing.

I made her a matching headband too, but I think I’ll modify the pattern to make it thinner next time. The thickness of the headband is a little much for her fine/thin hair. I guess she didn’t inherit my mane, but then again she didn’t inherit my look-at-a-cheeze-it-and-gain-five-pounds metabolism, so I guess it’s better that way!

I used Simplicty 2356, a pattern that I purchased on sale at Joann’s a month or so ago for $1. The fabric was a bit pricier, but I can’t remember exactly how much it cost. Maybe $4-6 a yard? The cute fabrics always cost more. I really need to start keeping track of that sort of thing, especially if I’d like to sell some of my creations! I used about a yard of both the main and contrast fabrics, plus some elastic that I already had on hand. I’d estimate this skirt cost about $8-10 dollars to make in materials. It took me about 2 hours to complete, but I think I could do it in less time if I was making several and made them assembly line style.

Next up is my first recycled clothing project!

The Organza that Changed it All

With baby number 2 on his way soon, we decided to move Sweet Pea into the smallest of our 3 bedrooms. The room has slanted ceilings and a couple little nooks & crannies that we thought would be a fun space for a little girl’s room.

I had ideas and sketches incorporating white eyelet fabrics and soft pink gingham accents…

But then I saw this fabric in the clearance rack at Joann’s:

An embroidered organza for only six bucks. Sold.

Plans quickly changed. I found a great lining on sale with a coupon- I thought the white lining really made the embroidery pop- and the valence project is now my inspiration piece for the room.

I had never worked with sheer fabrics before or linings, but despite the slipping and patience required, I enjoyed it.

I can definitely see the allure of dress-making. With such pretty fabric in my hands I wondered if I would ever sew my daughter a formal dress… or gown… or even for myself! Someday…

The valence is now hanging up in Sweet Pea’s new room. I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of her (big girl) bed while I work on the rest of the space!

Keeping that coffee cozy

Tired of using those cardboard coffee sleeves that waste paper and STILL burn your hand?

Why not try…

… the coffee cozey?

I found this easy cozy pattern from  House on Hill Road. Quite a bit of talent and creativity over on that Hill Road, if you ask me.

This project literally took 20 minutes. I was able to run around the house during Sweet Pea’s nap time and do all sorts (bake two loaves of banana bread, weed the garden, fold a load of laundry) of stuff AND finish this. I kind of thought I would just get to cut out the fabric, but no! I had the whole thing sewn, pressed and ready for a button with time to spare before my child woke up. Not to mention that most sewers have a few 6 x 14 inch pieces of already washed & pressed fabric left over from other projects… so there’s very little cost involved in this cozy. Bonus.

Once the little one woke up, we dashed to our closest Joann’s to get the right button, Starbucks to get a gift card, a little hand sewing action and our thank you gift is complete.

Sprucing up the bistro table

Since I don’t usually spend the big bucks to inve$t in durable patio furniture, I have a bistro table set from Joann’s that is several years old and starting to show it’s age.

The base of the chair is all wonky and starting to rust; I’ll likely have to clean it with a wire brush and repaint it by the end of the season.

BUT! I thought it could use some cushions, since the chairs have never really been all that comfortable.

Enter one of my design heroes, Kristin Nicholas. You may remember I made some wicked cool leg warmers she designed. I don’t wear them nearly often enough, as I am generally more conservative in my color palate than Kristen is, but everytime I do don my legwarmers, it’s a good day.

Kristen shared this fabulous tutorial last summer on printing your own fabric, using a canvas dropcloth as the fabric (AKA- cheap!) and basically whatever paints you have lying around.

I really liked the affordability of the project, because I wasn’t about to shell out $30 a yard for some Sunbrella fabric that was going to sit on my rusty bistro chairs.

I cut and preshrunk my canvas cloth, then I cut out a stamp or two like from kid’s adhesive foam.

A little stamping action with some random acrylics I had lying around, a little striping action, some sewing and stuffing of foam padding…

I only used one color, because I didn’t want the cushions to stand out too much. I wanted the main focus of the flagstone patio to be the garden, not the bistro set.


TADAAAAA! My spiffy bistro table. Now, for some iced tea and some quiet time…

Christmas In January

Whew! It’s been a crazy couple of weeks. Christmas was fun, but then our entire household got sick, with me getting the worst of it. It’s no fun when Mama is ill! Thankfully I was well on the mend before my in-laws arrived for our first annual “Christmas In January.”

As I mentioned a few posts back, this year was a handmade Christmas. We were really moved by the Advent Conspiracy and wanted to participate in helping build water wells for the people of Sierra Leon. By careful budgeting and some craftiness, we were able to do so. I’d encourage everybody to check out the Advent Conspiracy for next Christmas- it was a breath of fresh air!

I think that many people have felt like the meaning of Christmas has been lost, taken over by commercialism. It was estimated that Americans would spend $450 BILLION on Christmas in 2008, and yet solving the worldwide humanitarian crisis of lack of clean drinking water would cost $10 BILLION.

Quite the drop in the bucket, eh?

So, what did we make???

This is one of five aprons I made. This particular one was for my sister-in-law, who is an amazing cook and wore this last week while she and her husband prepared the greatest roasted chicken dinner I’ve ever had.

A cable knit purse for my aunt, gizzly bear pajama pants for my husband, brother, cousin, and uncle (yes, they all match and no, I have not been able to get them to wear them at the same time for a photo-op), and brown and blue paisely lounge pants from Amy Butler’s In Stitches for my mom. My female cousins and my brother’s girlfriend received pajama pants that matched Sweet Pea’s lounge pants. No photo there either 😦

House Slippers from Knit Two Together for my sister-in-law and Keith.

We made Habanero Jelly with peppers from a friend’s garden. We also made grape jelly with grapes we picked!

I made my mother-in-law the Kimono from In Stitches and forgot to take a picture. They haven’t left yet, so maybe I can get a photo before they leave!

Christmas Apron

I present Simplicity 3752, apron A.

My aunt always hosts Thanksgiving and Christmas and I thought she deserved a pretty apron! Her other apron made her look, uh, um, matronly- which she is SO NOT!

The fabric was from Joann’s from my Black Friday excursion. The only problem I had with it was pressing…… the little gold stars almost melted in some places. I had never sucessfully gathered fabric before, as seen in the bustline. I practiced with some scrap fabric first to build some confidence and am quite pleased with the end results.

I have one apron, view C, completed, with fabric for 4 more cut. I wish somebody would make ME an apron!

I am loving a handmade Christmas 🙂