a pocket full of hearts


Just in time for Valentine's Day!  I had sewn two skirts from MADE's market skirt tutorial back in August as part of my other daughter's first birthday.  I made a blue market skirt for my one year old and this red one was for my 3 year old.  But it sat without pockets in my to-finish pile until yesterday! 

It's great enough that her favorite color is red, but then since Valentine's Day is just around the corner, why not?!  Any Valentine's clothes I buy for my girls gets worn all year long, so hopefully this one's a keeper.  I think the red and white tiny heart fabric is one of my favorites (and it's from Hobby Lobby - nice).

And what pre-schooler doesn't love pockets?  Especially designed for hiding bouncy balls from your little sister.

The sweetest thing


Warning: This post is not intended to make you mouth-wateringly jealous.

Isn't this just the best?!  I loved this owl that Christina from The Sometimes Crafter printed.  She's amazingly talented and oh so crafty.  I couldn't help myself but ask (maybe I begged) her how I could get my hands on one of her prints and she sent me this lovely package!

It made my week.  My oldest daughter tried snatching these goodies and keeping them for herself, but I convinced her otherwise.  I just love all of it, and I think Christina is amazingly talented (she has some great patterns and an etsy shop).  And if you haven't stopped by The Sometimes Crafter blog, you should.  In the next few weeks Christina is having a series of photography talks, I'm excited to read those - always up for learning new things!

It's coming along...


Coloring fun on Ikea boxes.

A little evidence that things are starting to take shape in my room.

And I think my new favorite decorating color is white.

Lil Blue Boo / Dharma Trading Design Challenge


I finally got to making this hoodie for Natalie the other day.  I had snatched up Lil Blue Boo's hoodie pattern as soon as Ashley released it and was so excited about making one, or two!  Then the Christmas rush came around and well, you know the rest.

I had found two t-shirts at Old Navy for 95 cents each!  Can't beat that price and their softness. 

For a little fun and girlyness I added some silver sparkly butterflies.  I had this Martha Stewart punch hanging around from this project, so butterflies it was.  I used freezer paper and punched out the butterflies, ironed on the paper, and painted away.  A little sparkle on the sleeve, the upper chest and pocket, and don't forget the hood!

This pattern fits my daughter really well, and as an added bonus, she loves it!  My little model was so sick when I took these pictures, poor thing. {Can we stop taking pictures now mama?  I'm tired and have a runny nose.}

3D Drawings


Okay, I admit, I'm pretty into doing this sewing room/ play room redo (feel free to just look the other way and gag anytime).  The other day I was talking over my plans with my husband and I mentioned about wishing I could see my plan in 3D and he said he tried out Google's SketchUp (a free download).  Sounded like my kind of thing, so I jumped in and came up with two different options for my space:

I would highly recommend using this for anyone who has a hard time visualizing different ways a room can be planned out without actually moving the furniture (hey Care, maybe this one's for you!?).  I guess anyone who has any Adobe Illustrator experience would be quite happy using Google SketchUp to tinker around.   The screen shots don't really give this program justice, but trust me, it's fun!  {Just a side note:  I should mention that these drawings aren't to scale at all, I just did a really rough estimate of my room, but there are measuring tools if you want/need to be super accurate.}

I've made my Ikea list and have great plans for going in the near future (okay, well maybe TOMORROW!), hoping some of my items are in stock when they're supposed to be.

Mailman Love


I know, strange post title, but really, there's a lot of love for the mailman this time of year.  Everyone is happily awaiting Valentines.  Lots of crafters have already gotten into the theme (gotta love that stuff, right?).  You can tell that kids just love the mailman and what's better than getting something in the mail?

I had gotten these tees for cheap last season and couldn't wait to make them fun!  I love the postcard tee.  Mostly because I used my Grandma's vintage mini ric-rac to 'cancel' the stamp.  Even better yet, my Grandma is a retired Postmaster!

And what's Valentines Day without conversation hearts?!

Starting point...


Usually I'm a pretty indecisive person when it comes to 'decorating' my house.  Maybe that's why my house is largely undecorated (besides the family photos and some of my old college intaglio prints).  So I thought I'd use some fun artwork for my starting point in my sewing room/ play room redo. 

I came across these cute prints from Printspace on etsy and just couldn't stop thinking about them.  I love the Thoreau quote on the one "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams live the life you've imagined."
I'm totally a quote person - love reading quotes and love being inspired by them.

After ordering the prints, I jumped into paint swatches.  I'm not good at picking out paint, I've already painted this space twice in the past with lack luster results.  I think it's hard trying to find paints that go with the age of the house (built in 1950) and it's woodwork.  How I wish I had white trim, somehow I think that would make things easier.  Anyway...

Here's what's up now:

Another round of Black Apple Dolls


I just couldn't hold myself back from making more of these sweet little dolls.  And since I was making one I figured I might as well just make two.  This time I modified the dolls to be like Emily's Helpful Hannah dolls.  I just love their eyes! 

I'm sending the mermaid doll to my friend whom I'm sending this quilt to, and I'm donating this blue doll to the Craft Hope for Haiti etsy shop!

If you haven't heard, Craft Hope is taking donations of items to sell on etsy.  Perfect for me who doesn't have an etsy shop yet!

Go check it out, there are a ton of cute things.  All proceeds go to the Doctors Without Borders.

She comes complete with her own handmade recycled mini notebook and blue glitter gel pen!

Play Kitchen


Here's the play kitchen my husband and dad helped me with.  We made it for the girls for Christmas, barely got it finished in time.  I had lots of paint to touch up and had gotten two different kinds of knobs for the stove controls.  So it took me this long to get motivated to finish it up! 

I knew I wanted to make the girls a play kitchen a long time before Christmas.  I thought if I had one bigger present they could share it would be more fun!  Then Jess over at The Adventures of Rory and Jess and Sadie posted this kitchen idea.  Looked like the ticket for me, not to big or complicated. 

Now I just need to add some finishing touches: maybe some fabric baskets for under the oven, artwork for above the sink, and if I feel really ambitious a wire rack for inside the oven.   Of course there's also the stuff like play food, aprons, oven mitts, a chef's hat perhaps.  Oh this kitchen could keep me busy for a long time.

I did manage to snag a couple puck lights at the after Christmas sale at Target for cheap, Natalie's always turning the light on in the oven (just like the real thing).  Thanks again Jess for the inspiration and be sure to check out the kitchen she and her dad made for her little girl for Christmas, it's amazing!



One of the least respected tools in the kitchen: the potholder.  It shouldn't be, they've kept my hands from getting burnt a time or two.  I was recently lucky enough to acquire this little lovely from Ayumills' etsy shop the other day.  I've given it a test drive a couple times now, it's lovely!  Hopefully I can add to this potholder a collection of a few more, then those crazy potholders might not go so unnoticed.

I made these two potholders with the leftover scraps from the apron I made - to be included with the happy retirement gift. 

I followed Tallgrass Prairie Studio's tutorial again, but I had some issues with the binding.  Not sure if it's the way I put mine on or what, but I ended up making my binding 2 inches wide instead of her suggested 1.5 inches.  Either way, I like the way they turned out.

If you're interested in making a couple potholders and sharing them with an online friend and getting two in return, stop by Amy's During Quiet Time blog and sign up for her Potholder Pass that she's hosting.  Today's the last day to sign up, so don't miss out.  Be sure to send her all the info she's requesting otherwise you won't be able to participate!  Have fun!

Blank Canvas


1. Thread Rack and Lace Rack - Northern Wall, 2. Fabric storage, 3. Craft Central, 4. New corner in the craft space, 5. Sewing Room, 6. sewing table - handmade accessories, 7. Where the crafting happens Trois, 8. Getting Organized: Yellow, 9. sewing table

I'm sure you've run across many blogs with new years resolutions and cleaning/organizing sprees.  I really admire a neat and organized house, and now a neat and clean sewing area (see above as my inspiration).  I've spent the past few days cleaning and doing a little organizing, but to no avail.  Nothing is really different and I'm still wondering how I can carve more time out of the day to sew. 

Then, this morning -- it hit me.  I called up my husband "can we turn the guest bedroom/sewing room into a play room for the kids?" His reply "that's a great idea and a great use of that space, go for it!"

So I moved out the bed that rarely sleeps any company (most of our relatives live somewhat close by).  Maybe this will be the answer, maybe I can find a few more minutes in the day to sit and sew with the girls with me, coloring, playing, painting right along with me. And now I have this wonderful blank canvas.

I'm so excited with all the possibilities is has.  I love our little old house and it's big windows, I love this sunny happy room and can't wait to make it shine.

Of course, I also have this little mess to contend with.  hehehe (insert nervous laugh here).

Kitchen Apron


Here's a cute apon my mom requested me to make for a co-worker of hers that is retiring.  The directions came out of the book The Impatient Patchworker.  Very cool book, if you haven't checked it out, you should!  Anyway, the woman's kitchen is red, so this should fit right in.  I'm going to be making a matching dish towel and potholder with the scraps.  Hopefully. 

It was kind of fun trying to model this apron.  I felt kind of dorky, but you can't really appreciate an apron unless it's being worn.  I kept finding weird things in the background of my kitchen, so I kept having to re-shoot the picture.  It was fun anyway!  Please disregard the immense amount of sharp knives on the back wall, my husband likes chef's knives (they look kind of scary!).

Here's a pic of my cutie showing off her Cutie.  Hope you've tried these mini oranges/tangerines, not sure what they really are, but cute and Yummy!

Tutorial: Messenger Bag from Cargo Pants


Want to make one of these?

From a pair of these?

Here's the tutorial! 

1 pair cargo pants (from the going to Goodwill pile of course)
1/2 yard lining material
bias tape (store bought or make your own)

{1/4" seam allowances throughout}

Getting started...
Take your pair of cargo pants and cut the inseam of each leg of the pants up to the crotch area.  Cut straight across the leg of the pants in either direction.  This should give you enough fabric to work with, you'll have two large pieces to cut your exterior bag pieces from.

Cut the bag exterior pieces:

  • front flap (this is where the cargo pocket comes in handy - cool pockets you don't have to sew!) 10" wide x 13" tall, round the corners by tracing the edge of a small bowl (or roll of tape in my case)

  • front and back of bag 10.5"wide by 11.5" tall

  • side gusset (cut 2) 12" x 2.5"

  • bottom gusset 11" x 2.5"

  • strap 44-52" long by 2.5" wide (leaving this measurement up to you on the length, whatever you feel comfortable with)  I ended up piecing my strap together because I didn't end up with a piece long enough.

Cut the same size pieces from the lining material.  I used a fat quarter to make the bias tape and part of the lining (gusset) on my tan cargo pant bag.

Make the strap by placing the long pieces right sides together, sew down each side.  Turn tube of fabric right side out with a safety pin.  Press.  Topstitch down both sides about an 1/8" from each side.  Set strap aside.

Now make the front flap. Put the exterior flap piece and lining flap piece WRONG sides together. Take the bias tape and attach it along the sides and bottom of the flap. Set aside.

Assembling the lining: Take gusset pieces (2 sides and a bottom) and sew the short ends together.  Sew one side piece to the bottom piece and then the remaining side piece to the other side of the bottom piece.  Sorry, I guess a picture is worth 1,000 words here.

Lay your connected gusset pieces right sides together on top of the front of the bag piece, pin, sew.  The tricky part is the corners.  Stitch down the right side until you get about 1/4" from the bottom of the bag, lift your presser foot and tuck the gusset fabric to the left side, then turn the fabric 90 degrees and continue stitching the bottom part of the bag.

Lay the back of the bag down and set the front/gusset piece on top, pin in place.  Stitch the gusset to the back of the bag just like you did to the front.

Make the exterior just like you did the lining of the bag.

Assembling the bag:  Turn the exterior of the bag right side out.  Place the exterior of the bag into the lining so that they are facing RIGHT sides together.  Place the strap with RIGHT sides facing the exterior {making sure not to get the strap twisted} onto each side of the gusset.  And finally, place the front flap RIGHT sides together with the exterior of the bag.  Pin all in place. 

Stitch all around the opening leaving a 5-6" opening for turning.  Pull bag through the opening.  Push lining into bag exterior, press around the top edge making sure to tuck in the raw edged from the opening. 

Topstitch around the entire opening of the bag.  You're done!  Now stick some books and your wallet in the bag and you're ready to go!

Let me know if you have any questions!

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