Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sew much to do...

When I start titling posts in a corny manner, you've lost the battle for sanity :-)

Over the weekend we had a very rare treat... NO KIDS! My MIL took the boys over night Saturday so that we could play an out of town concert with our band. That afforded us a date night Saturday night after the long drive home (we saw a movie that started at 10:15pm... CRAZY), and a leisurely Sunday. We went out to breakfast, and then went shopping just for fun (well, and for groceries... but that wasn't the fun part, okay it sort of was fun to be able to actually shop for groceries instead of attempt to follow your list, while throwing things in the buggy in a sort of careless manner while answering a million questions and telling boys to get out of other shopper's way!).

Anyway... after all the practical stuff, we ended up at Tuesday Mornings. Mostly we were in search of a little 'Thank You' gift for my MIL for keeping the boys... but of course, one must always keep an eagle eye out for the perfect thing you never thought you needed ;-).

Who knew they would have a stash of fabric... NOT THIS GIRL! But lo and behold they had a little crafty section that had jelly rolls a few fat quarter bundles. I found a great fat quarter bundle for $5 (8 fat quarters where in the package)... and, well, I just couldn't pass it up. Here is a shot of the fabrics included:
If you've stumbled across my blog as of late you will know the love I have for pouches, purses and the like... and my new love for sewing them (thanks to great patterns I've found online). Today was a day to sit at the machine... I NEEDED it. The boys and I have gone round and round lately, my hands needed an activity and the boys needed to go outside and play (which they asked to do right after they got their dishes put away from breakfast)... prayer granted!

What to sew, which pattern to follow, which fabrics would I pull together... did I have any more zippers??? I spent some time looking through my Pinterest account, and finally decided that while I really liked the Gathered Clutch from Noodlehead, it wasn't exactly what I wanted. I wanted something larger so that my wallet would actually fit in there (I'm not one for always taking things apart from one purse to the next... I just want to take my wallet and notebook out, and transplant it to the next bag, I'm less likely to wander off without something I actually need). After a lot of looking and figuring I decided to alter the gathered clutch pattern, and work from the tutorial on gathering here (my last two were not gathered, but pleated because I became irate with how I was gathering).

I enlarged the dimensions so that the pre-sewn numbers were 11x8, and also made a little wrist strap. Here is a shot of the inside panel with the card holder. I really love that yellow material (even though I am not a huge fan of yellow... I really like the butterflies that have the pink flowers from the outer fabric in them).

The other big change I made in this bag is that I notched the corners so that it would have a flat squared off bottom. It's cool, with the wallet inside it actually stands up!
I am totally digging this little clutch...

Friday, June 24, 2011

What I've been up to...

Yesterday and today I had a chance to spend some time at my sewing machine...

Here's what I put together: Gathered Zipper Clutch

I know they look similar (they are different), they are a little different... you'll just have to take my word for it :-).
I really like them! I also really like the pattern for the most part... yep, I did make some changes, and plan to make even more changes when I have time to make more... but the concept is great (and easy to follow).

Alright, I must run, we actually have a sitter tonight so we can attend a friend's birthday... shocking to have a sitter, and the time to socialize... CRAZY!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Mattress pad woes

So a few months ago I replaced our old mattress cover. The first one lasted 10 years... I was hoping to get a good run out of the new one. Now I haven't a clue how much we spent on the first one, but I didn't think it was all that much. So when I saw this one for $25 I figured that was a good price and I would pick it up. Well, within the first month it began to tear around the sides. I was ticked off, and every time I washed it and put it back on, the tears would get a little bigger... ANNOYING!
So last night, while I laid in bed wide awake (thanks to the thunder, lighting, and hail) I thought about ways to fix it without spending any more money. Then it came to me, I have old sheet sets that fit our bed, but are far to pill-y to use any more (usually I pull them out for camping). Hmmm, if I cut out the middle of the fitted sheet, cut off the crappy stuff on the mattress cover, sew them together... in theory I would have solved my current problem!

So off to work I set this morning...

Once I had to two pieces I wanted, I pinned right sides together (on the bed, it was much easier to work with it that way)...
Once I had it all pinned, I carefully removed it from the bed (I can't stress enough the careful part, good grief...) then brought it over to my machine and seamed it up (you're looking at the wrong side here).
I decided after I looked at it for a while that I wanted to reinforce that seam... I knew I would be tugging and pulling on it often with all the washing I do. So I went back over on the right side with a zig zag stitch.
Perfection... well, maybe not perfection... but WAY better than a ratty torn up mattress cover. And boy does it stay. The fitted sheet I used was a nice snug fit on our large mattress... so no more sliding about under our sheets!

So there you have it... now when your sides start to pull away, here is a no cost solution!

Happy Father's Day

I hope everyone had a wonderful Father's Day. From what I gather from Daddio, he was pleased with his day!

Every year the kids and I do something different. Sometimes it is a store bought gift, sometimes it is a handmade gift. This year, Daddio actually made a request... so obviously we went that direction with it. He had space on his desk to display something that the boys could/would make... hmmmmm, what to have the kids make???? That's always a brain teaser! After a lot of thought I decided to go with a painting. It's been a while since they've done any real painting, and now that they are older and doing a lot of drawing I thought it was time to step up their painting.

First they needed to draw out on paper what they wanted to paint... including coloring so they had a good feel for the design. I tried to remind them that little details would be difficult to translate on to the canvas for them (ie, maybe consider a more modern art approach... yeah, they weren't having it). The only thing I did have to put my foot down about was Kung Fu Panda. We took them to see it a few weeks ago and now everything they draw is KFP (even on their Father's Day cards, I realized that most of them contained KFP).

So here are the boys after they had designed their pictures and were starting to get them down on to the canvas.


His completed painting:


His finished product:


And his finished product:
I have no idea why his aircraft carrier, that is in the water, is green/brown camo... I guess he just likes camo, even though it makes no sense for a water vessel!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Yarn Along #3

I'm once again posting with Yarn Along (last week, where was I... who knows?!)

This is the third reading time blanket I'm working on. It would seem that Bubba has already called it for himself, saying it reminds him of the waves at the beach... which is fitting since I'm doing a wave pattern. I'm enjoying it, and even though it is my first time for this particular style, it is quite fun. Although I really didn't take into account the shorting of length once the wave got going... hmmm, so I think a hefty border will be in order to correct for the lack of length!

And the book I'm reading... well, if you caught the last post about books waiting for me at the library then you will know what is currently hold my attention!

If you missed it:
Fabric: 17 Innovative Sewing Projects that Make Fabric the Star (by Susan Wasinger)
Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts ('nough said :-)
Sew Serendipity (by Kay Whitt)

Waiting for me!

The library is my friend! I really love requesting books, and not having to go around to different libraries to find what I want! The books just make their way to my favorite library, and then I get a call when something is there to pick up... LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!

Right now I have three books sitting on a shelf with my name taped to them!

Fabric: 17 Innovative Sewing Projects that Make Fabric the Star (by Susan Wasinger)
Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts ('nough said :-)
Sew Serendipity (by Kay Whitt)

What is great is that I can check out these books and decide whether or not they are worth owning. When you live on a budget, $20 for a book that you will never use could have gone a long way in another direction!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The last First...

As we headed off to Mass yesterday afternoon I looked back at the banner and thought of all the Masses our sweet Snooker waited for us to return to the pew, and how now our family was going to be complete in the Eucharistic celebration!
Fr. D was the celebrant for the Mass, what a treat! We just love him, he is truly an amazing priest and man! (Doesn't Snooker look snazzy in his little suit?!)
We couldn't be more proud of our little Snooker... man, he is growing up so fast (and tall too)!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Roses are red

A week ago, I guess, I came across this really pretty cake with large roses done in frosting. The blogger showed that you could also translate them to cupcakes and cookies... and immediately I pinned it (I'm addicted to Pinterest). After looking over the blog, I thought there had to be a catch. She said it was easy, and indeed her directions seemed simple enough... but let's face it, it's never that easy! Or is it?

Well, it is! I did just as she said... and now I have cute roses for Our Lady to go along with the cake tomorrow (the cake is was not GF, I ordered it... so I needed to come up with something for Bobcat, and I happened to have had a GF box mix and one thing of frosting stored away for just such an occasion!).

It's gonna be a good day Tater


-So let me run you through why today is a good day... first, I'm still basking in the glow of the game 5 win by the Mav's!!!! YAY!!!

-I have two books waiting for me a the library (be quiet... I love that they are there waiting for me, sitting on a shelf with my name on them, I don't have to scour the many aisles looking for just the right thing... I LOVE THAT I CAN REQUEST THEM ONLINE!).

-I woke up this morning to an email in my inbox telling me I'm a winner (WOOHOO)!

What did I win? Well, a $25 gift credit to the Pleated Poppy! This is a great little shop, and just my style. I love her selection, and the fabrics she picks...well, are just adorably perfect! So I spent a good while trying to make my selection. Boy, it was hard to narrow it down to just one thing for the time being... but drum roll please... I picked the turquoise damask zipper pouch (it was between that and the notebook cover... but I just love pouches!!). If you want to see it, you have to go to her site (this way you too will fall in love with her shop!).

Now you may be asking where I found this great give away?! One of my new favorite spots, the Creative Itch!

-And last but not least for today... I'm finishing up the preparations for our last First Communion for our little family... little Snooker... my little Snooker Monster... our tiny Scooter... after many months of preparing with Daddio is finally receiving the Holy Eucharist for the first time...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Keeping the dust at bay...

Sewing has taken up a great deal of my free time lately. I have so many projects floating around in my head, in my stacks of fabric, websites, and books... what's a girl to do?

That all being said, I needed to have an area where I could work. Our house is cozy, so a craft room really isn't an option, and I dislike (greatly) things in the living room that don't belong there... so while I did set up shop in a corner for a week, that too had to change.

Finally it was decided, after doing a little rearranging, that the master bedroom would be the place. I'm okay with that, it wasn't my first choice, but I'm pretty sure there are building codes about just opening up the roof and putting in one more room on the top of your house :-).

Anyway, now I have a place to sew... and am able to leave my machine out instead of taking it in and out of a crate every time I want to use it. Naturally reading all the craft blogs I saw many lovely dust covers for sewing machines... and I thought to myself, I can do that! Who needs a stinkin' pattern when you have a ruler, paper, and fabric? Off to work I set this morning, once the boys finished up their school work.

It took me some time trying to decide how I wanted to tackle this project. Did I want to make it reversible, did I want it to encase the machine or drape over it and tie on the outsides, what sort of fabric/pattern did I want to go with?

I decided against reversible, that just seemed like too much work for one day! Then I decided I didn't want it to just drape... hmmm, this was going to take a little more time to work out the side angles... no problem, I had time. And fabric... I went with my favorite series that I purchased a year or so ago for a set of totes I made (all coordinating of course:-).

So here's the finished product... side one:
Side two (what, I love both sets of fabric, and I like to change things, so instead of making two, I just made two sides to suit my mood :-).

Yarn Along #2

This is my second installment of Yarn Along with Ginny. This week's project is a second reading blanket (I need at least three, right?!) I'm using many skeins I already have, and will need to pick up a few more to finish it off... but the color combination was inspired by the coast. In the evenings as we would walk along the beach and the waves would come in and go out... all of the beautiful shells (little clam fellows) would be exposed. So in this granny square motif, I've tried to capture all of the pretty muted colored shells that you see just before they dive down below the sand!

The book, Doodle Stitching, is another reference material I'm using for my co-op class. Well, and for myself. I've not done a whole lot of stitching like this, I love the look of it, and really think it would add that little pop I'm always looking for in the things I make!

Happy hooking... hmmm, maybe that shouldn't be the tag line :-)!