Sunday, January 31, 2010

Busy book

Here is another great idea for D's birthday - a busy book. Little Hands, Big Work has a great tutorial to get me started.

UCreate has another great quiet book idea. 

Friday, January 29, 2010

It's time to restock the hair bling

The hair frou-frou in our house is getting bedraggled. Thanks to this great tutorial at The Purl Bee, K and A have some cute new barrettes. I can't wait to show them in the morning.

My first string piecing projects are looking good

I spent the night piecing and basting 2 baby quilts, and I am very pleased with how they are coming together. My goal is to have them finished by Sunday. I haven't done very much machine quilting in the past. Any tips?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I stashed my stash tonight

I pick up a huge black trash bag full of fabric from my stash at my parents' house on Tuesday so I could start working on quilts and D's birthday gifts. (Yes. I really can't store all of my fabric at my house. Thank goodness my parents have a big garage!) When I got home, I realized that there was no room to store any of it on my shelves. YIKES! I started cutting Tuesday night, but still had a lot of fabric that could not stay in the bag on the schoolroom/craftroom floor. Tonight I pulled all 8 baskets of fabric off my shelves and resorted, folded, and crammed them back into the baskets. Everything is now organized and fits on the shelves except for the pieces I have already cut and 4 pillowcases and 2 men's shirts to turn into dresses for the girls. I even stopped and sewed a quick fleece pillowcase for M out of the scraps from a blanked I made him over 2 years ago. He was so excited! I am really hoping to start piecing my first string quilt tomorrow. I think everything I need is cut and ready to go.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Quilting BOM

Bouquet from Jenny of Elefantz
Words of Inspiration & Celebration from Victoriana Quilt Designs
Sampler from The Sometimes Crafter
Block Central has several years worth of quilts to choose from. I love Patchwork Panache.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Children's records on MP3

My kids love a good story, but I don't always have time to read when they want to listen. Children's Vinyl Records has converted the stories I listened to on my Fisher Price record player to MP3. I can't wait to load up the MP3 player!

Hot chocolate on a stick

I love the thought of homemade hot chocolate on a stick. I can make it with GFCF ingredients and my kids will think they are in heaven. Thank you Giver's Log!

Board game art with storage

I absolutely adore this board game solution posted on Infarrantly Creative. Now all I need to do is find the wall space for our games!

Embroidery sampler barrette

K's Little Keepers of the Faith club needs a project for their meeting next Wednesday, so I have been scouring the blogs to see what looked really good. I have seen several cute heart barrettes, but none had all the stitches that the girls needed to learn. I sketched out a quick design and made a prototype right before karate today. I think it turned out pretty good for a rushed job.

It's snowing!

Even though the weatherman is not predicting snow until Friday, we are already seeing flurries in my craft room. I am so excited to have the first 6 snowflake patterns starched and ready to go. I think they turned out great. I have another 6 patterns crocheted and ready to be starched. For anyone keeping score...
  • 140 needed (20 patterns X 7 sets)
  • 42 completed
  • 42 crocheted but not starched
  • 56 to be crocheted
I am obviously not going to get them all finished in January, but February is looking pretty good.

All of these patterns were free on If you like to crochet or knit and are not a member, you really need to go register now. It is such a wonderful sight.
Star Snowflake

American Thread Company Snowflake (left)

 American Thread Company Snowflake (top)

Pretty Picots Poinsettia Snowflake

Simple Snowflake

Southern Snowflake

Monday, January 25, 2010

Home management

2010 is the year I will get better at home management. I have been working on keeping everything picked up and organized. Things are better, but I still have a lot of decluttering to do. My next big area to work on is meal planning and shopping. I used to do so much better! I'm not sure what happened. We are eating the same few meals over and over and running out of staples frequently. Dayna posted about on Facebook today. I have set up an account and downloaded the iPhone app. Now to see if the prices are really any good. If so, this could be a big help.

I am currently searching for a great price book app for iPhone. I have to reduce our grocery budget while sticking to a gluten-free, cassein-free diet. If you have tried an app you love, please let me know.

Floor puzzle

I have been searching for things to make for D for his birthday. Mer Mag has this great floor puzzle on her blog. What do you think? Would D enjoy this? Since I have TONS of fabric, what do you think about making them out of fabric? Things that are quiet and soft are a definite hit with me.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

K loves the princess hairstyles

I showed K The Story of a Princess and Her Hair and she fell in love. She chose a heart design for church today. I was ever so grateful that it was one of the easier styles we looked at. We both thought it turned out great! We will definitely be trying more styles as we have time. I need to pick up some more elastics next time I am at the store. These styles use a lot of elastics.

The nightgowns are a hit!

I decided to give K and A their gowns today, so I could see if they fit properly. I hate to make too many things from a new pattern without trying it on. I am savings K's doll gown for her birthday. (Sorry for the messy hair. We had already taken down K's braids for today.)

Dining room table tent playhouse

I have been wanting to make a play house tent for our dining room table since before Christmas. Righteous Lou has several pictures featured on her blog. I think I can get this made for Dalton for his birthday.

Learning new techniques

I hate to waste any time or material learning new techniques, so I decided to make a nightgown for K and her doll while learning how to do lettuce edging and adding knit ruffles. My first attempt turned out great, except is was too short for K. I had measured correctly and then decided it looked too long, so I cut off some of the length. Fortunately, it will work great for A.

Then I made one for K (using the original measurements!). Note to self - mark the center of the gown before adding the ruffle.

Finally, I made a gown for K's doll. I really am not that fond of making doll clothes. They are way too small to work on. I think it turned out okay, but I am still not pleased with the neckline. I will have to work on it some more next time. Please pardon the bed-head in the photo. K asked me why her doll had messy hair when she went to bed, but it was brushed neatly when she woke up the last time I borrowed her doll for pictures.

I used the T-shirt patterns I cut for the embellished shirts, but did not add the neck band. The material was a knit duvet cover that had been damaged. The ruffled flowers are the scraps from the volunteer T-shirt. I definitely think we got our money's worth out of that shirt!

Check out all the great projects on Fireflies and Jellybeans Show Off Your Stuff Party!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Felt butterflies

Bugs and Fishes by Lupin: How To: Butterfly Brooches
These are the cutest butterflies! I think they would work great as hairclips also.

T-shirt success - finally!

I have decided that I will never use cheap thread again. I thought this project would never be finished because my sewing machine was messing up when I tried to applique. I tried re-threading, a new bobbin, new needle, cleaning, etc, but nothing worked. Finally, I went and bought some good thread and all the problems are gone!

I started with one leftover conference volunteer t-shirt.
I think these are a definite improvement!
K and her doll will be so stylish! I think I need to make something for their hair, but I haven't decided what will look best with the outfit. Suggestions are welcome.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thread organizer

I have to make several of these thread organizers from Instructables. I am so sick of having to search in several places to find the thread I need and then search somewhere else for the bobbin.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Twirly skirts!

I just couldn't resist any longer. The tutorials for twirly skirts from The Polka Dot Chair have been calling to me all day. After S & I got home from our meeting tonight, I pulled out some fabric that has been in my stash forever and got busy. Both skirts are finished!!! I love making something totally cute without having to make a trip to the fabric store.

Next I need to make embellished T-shirts to match. I am on the look out for a free pattern or tutorial for a T-shirt for an 18" doll.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hairdo's for princesses

Hairstyles for Girls

Princess Hairstyles has some absolutely unbelievable Valentines hairstyles for the princesses in the family. I wonder if I can get K or A to sit still long enough to try them.

Sewing room organization

Thanks to my awesome mother-in-law, my sewing supplies have finally been organized. I have been looking at the mess for months, but just couldn't convince myself to get started. She came over yesterday and in a very short time, had everything put away and labeled. It was so great working on the projects for K and knowing where everything was.

Doll dress and headband

I had a lot of fun sewing this dress from Infinite Freedom. I added a headband, because every well-dressed doll knows that accessories are important.

Doll purse

I finally get to post a project that I have completed this year. Yeah! Since K's birthday is less than a month away, I finally started working on her gifts. This adorable purse pattern is from

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Waverunner quilt

Bumble Beans has an awesome Waverunner quilt pattern that I know Ethan would love. I think this would count as string piecing, wouldn't it?

Brown Dirt Cottage has a picture of her quilt top featured. It is beautiful.

Paper beads

I remember my grandma making necklaces from paper beads a long time ago. Creative Jewish Mom has a tutorial on her blog. I can't wait to do this with K.

String piecing challenge

Loft Creations string challenge is just the push I need to work through my enormous stash and actually make quilts for the kids. (I have been "planning" to make them for several years now. Why didn't I start when there were fewer kids????) It may be a hard to get anything finished before the deadline, but without the deadline, I never seem to get started.

Freehand embroidery

Martha Stewart has a great freehand machine embroidery project on her site. I have been wanting to try this for a long time.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Butterfly mobile

This butterfly mobile from The Long Thread would be an awesome seasonal decoration for Spring.

Draft stopper

Now why didn't I see this draft stopper on Rostichery before the cold snap last week???

Flower Quilt

The Flower quilt featured on Moda Bake Shop is so cute! Maybe this will be the first of 5 quilts that I really want to make this year. I wonder if I could get it finished for M's birthday? Here is another picture that allows you to zoom to see details.

Valentine Garland

I think Oh So Crafty's Valentine Garland will be a great project for M to do next week. This can be the first seasonal decorating of the entertainment center. Yeah!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Menu and grocery planning

Check out the menu and grocery planning forms at Design Sponge.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

18" doll clothes

Since M just got an 18" doll for Christmas, I am planning to make her doll clothes for her birthday. AGPlaythings has American Girl patterns available for download.

Infinite Freedom also has a cute drop waist dress pattern.

Totally cute twirly skirt doll pattern on The Polka Dot Chair with matching child's skirt pattern. I was just telling S that I wanted to make a matching set for K and her doll.

Here is a shoe pattern for 18" dolls.

The Scientific Seamstress has adorable dress tutorials featured on her blog.
T-shirt pattern from Trillium.

Now if only I could find the time to actually get out the sewing machine!

Felt food

I can't wait to make some felt food for the kiddos. I have found several great blogs with patterns.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Hair frou-frou

This felt flower barrette from A Hoot and a Holler looks like a great project to do with M and A.

I love the denim flower shown on Tea Rose Home. You can never have enough hair frou-frou with two princesses in the house!

Guilded lace crowns

Bitter Betty
has a super tutorial for making crowns. These will definitely be a hit with all of my kids!

Disguise kits

Look at the Box of Mysterious Disguises on Hideous! Dreadful! Stinky! I think this would be perfect for K to make for M or D for birthday this year.

Crocheted snowflakes and angels

My grandmother made me a set of crocheted snowflakes and a beautiful angel tree topper when I got married. I absolutely love them and so do my kids. I decided this was the year to start working on a set for each of the kids to have when they get married.

I didn't think to count how many snowflakes grandma made for me. I am thinking about 20 per child would be nice plus a couple of extra sets (You never know when our family will grow again.) So the plan is to make at least 140 snowflakes this year. I would love to find the same pattern that grandma used for my angel and make one of those for each of the kids too, but I haven't had any luck yet. If the angels don't happen this year, I will not be upset, but I definitely want to finish the snowflakes.

I have already crocheted 7 snowflakes from 3 different patterns. As soon as I get them stiffened, I will post pictures. 140-21=119 to go.

Saturday sewing recap

I couldn't handle another year of no sewing until December and then a rush to get Christmas presents finished. This year I started on 1/2. Since I was working on a different machine, I didn't work on anything too involved.
  • Mended a pair of pajama pants
  • Mended a princess dress up dress
  • Mended an old ballet recital costume
  • Mended a skirt for the Princess
  • Mended a skirt for me
  • Made the Princess a nightgown from 2 shirts that were too big for me.
I now have an empty mending pile and am comfortable with my sewing machine. Time to get moving on some more involved projects.

2010 - Time to get busy

2009 was a rough year for our family. Too much happened, and I felt like all I could do was react and try to survive. I am praying to 2010 will be better. Scott and I have been working on getting the house under control and made great progress over the holidays. Now I just have to keep the momentum going.

Two friends and I are working on holding each other accountable on keeping our houses clean and decluttering. We are using a combination of Motivated Moms and the decluttering calendar from My Simpler Life. I took pictures of every room in the house before we started yesterday. I will not be posting those, but hopefully I will post pictures of the house as we get things finished during the year.

I am also trying to not be surprised by birthdays and Christmas this year. I don't know how those things keep sneaking up on me, but they do. Hopefully the countdowns will help me stay focused this year. I am planning to always have a project or two started so I will not be sewing gifts at 3 am on Christmas day again this year. I have already started making crocheted snowflakes and have several other projects in mind.
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