Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, friends and blog readers! I hope this finds you enjoying a wonderful Christmas season!

As promised, I have lots of crafty posts in the works! I've refrained from posting them until after Christmas as most of them are Christmas gifts for friends and family members who read this blog. :)

Oh, and if you're looking for a fun selection of Christmas songs to listen to, check out my sister's music blog, Joyfully Singing! She's been posting a song a day for the 12 Days of Christmas as she has a fun collection of traditional Christmas hymns and some beautiful and less well known carols.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving and a Giveaway!

First and foremost, have a wonderful Thanksgiving! With a busy life lately, full of many not-so-wonderful things going on, I find it's been so easy for me to complain and be grouchy. Really, in retrospect, I have so much to be thankful for! There's always the basics that we all list - a good house, cars, plenty of food, a wonderful family, friends...I am indeed very thankful for all those things, but I've been trying to train myself lately to notice and be thankful for all the little things - the things we sometimes take for granted as part of each day.

  • The thick carpet of autumn-colored leaves on the ground
  • Busy days of work between both my shops
  • Wrapping orders in Christmas ribbon
  • Sorting, editing and uploading pictures of more stuffed owls (post coming soon!)
  • Sipping steaming cups of tea in the evenings
  • Little 8 GB flash drives that hold so many pictures...
Which leads to a quick explanation why this is a picture-less post! A few weeks ago, we had a little hard drive "crash". We thought at first I'd lost everything, including five years of photos and documents. Thankfully, I've been able to retrieve everything that's over a year old. So I have most of the photos and documents again, but lost quite a few posts worth of photos I had planned for these next few weeks, including a post of new sewing projects, a cute scrapbook pager covered gift box tutorial, photos from restoring the Remington machine's new twin brother, Macey "Mack", and a photo tutorial on balancing sewing machine tension. This is in part an excuse for the silence on this blog these past few weeks. :)

However, now that I'm up and running again, I'll start over! In particular, I'm planning on sharing a multi-week series through the holiday season on how I'm doing my gift wrapping and decorating frugally! I know there's lots and lots of these posts out there, but I'll be sharing some favorite little things I've been doing for several years, and maybe someone will find them helpful! Stay tuned!

And secondly, if you're a photographer who loves fun, handmade props, I'm hosting a giveaway for a gift card to Tiny Tiptoes Boutique here on Prop Insanity! Do be sure to go check them out and enter the giveaway! We'd love to have you!

What are you thankful for this year?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Applique Onesies

In spite of a very busy schedule lately, I had some time to sit down to the sewing machine and finish these cute little onesies for the Boutique.

I recently discovered Steam-A-Seam 2! For those of you who haven't heard of it before, it's double-sided fusible interfacing, and it makes doing appliques so much easier, and finished result looks so much neater and professional. It's really easy to use too- cut out your fabric shape, peel off the paper, and position your fabric applique on the sticky side. Cut it out, and decide how you want to position your applique on the onesie (or anything else!). Once you've decided how you'd like it to go on, peel off the paper on the other side, and stick it to the shirt. Iron as you do normal fusible interfacing. It doesn't adhere extremely well, so I wouldn't recommend leaving it un-stitched on children's clothing. You'll see in the pictures below that I've done two types of applique, both adorable on children's clothing - the tight zig-zag stitch all around the border, and the straight stitch around the edge that allows the applique to fray softly to the stitching line.

And the fabrics? All came from my stash! I really enjoy having a fabric stash large enough to find what I'm looking for when inspiration for a new project hits!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Cute Gray Hippo

I wanted to share this cute little hippo I made recently. This adorable fellow was a custom order as a baby shower gift to match the mom's nursery. He was all in a medium gray minky dot and the grosgrain ribbon bow was coral with golden yellow dots.

He was fun to make, and I have plenty more gray minky dot left over from this project, so now I'm trying to decide what fun stuffed animal I should make with it next. Any ideas?

313 Photography Challenge - June

Photo Challenge pictures from June - Enjoy!

Saturday - June 2
A fun, recent sewing project - stuffed owls, the pattern for which I drafted. A lengthier post on the owls is coming soon!

Saturday - June 9
My first attempt at working with pom pom yarn - a fun shaggy pom photo prop blanket. This yarn is fun to work with and works up so fast - I've made several more since.

Monday - June 11
You can read more about my 'startling' discovery in the spice cabinet here on our family blog!

 Wednesday - June 13

Friday - June 15
This is the second pom pom photo prop blanket I made, only knit this time instead of crochet

Saturday - June 16
This was a part of a lovely photo shoot with my sister and her new violin

Tuesday - June 19
One of my current projects - the new twin brother to The Remington

Wednesday - June 20
Photographing one in a shipment of new novelty yarn for CS

Saturday - June 23
This is the first in my new line of OOAK boutique clothing for TTB. A pillowcase dress was a fun and easy project to start with!

Monday - June 25
One of the how-to photos in my first sewing pattern/tutorial for fabric flowers, just released in TTB

Tuesday - June 26
Another photo prop blanket - this one is made from a shaggy, chenille/terry type yarn

Wednesday - June 27
My little brother having fun with dry ice in the kitchen sink

Thursday - June 28
Chicago Deep Dish pizza during dinner with our family from out of town

Friday - June 29
Lovely carnations on our dinner table at a French restaurant

Saturday - June 30
Lovely pink roses from our neighbor's yard

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

313 Photography Challenge - May

313 Photography Challenge photos for the month of May! Enjoy!

Saturday - May 5
  We had the pleasure of celebrating my grandmother's 84th birthday with going to eat! This was my delicious ice cream dessert!

 Monday - May 7
 No editing done on this one - I love how the colors came out so deep and rich in this sycamore ball on a bed of moss.

Tuesday - May 8
A bright yellow flower in our grandparent's yard

Friday - May 11
A fun pumpkin hat I designed for TTB

Saturday - May 12
Experimenting with depth of focus on a bangle bracelet

Tuesday - May 15
Lovely early-morning clouds

Thursday - May 17
The Remington. This was also the featured picture for my guest post this weekend on a friend's photography blog: 4 His Glory: Vintage Machine

Friday - May 18
Part of a newborn outfit I made for a friend's new baby. You can read more about it here: Pink Cherry Newborn Outfit

Saturday - May 19
A new newborn cocoon and hat set for TTB

Monday - May 21
Ssssssssssssnake! Can you spot me?

Saturday - May 26
 Playing around with depth of focus again on a new bracelet I designed for CS

Monday - May 28
My little brother at our church's Memorial Day picnic

Saturday, August 25, 2012

313 Photography Challenge - April

Can you believe I haven't posted by photo challenge pictures since early April? I can! :) I can't believe time has gotten away from me like this.
In order to catch up, I'll be posting them by month until I catch up! I'm finding I've missed alot of days this summer, but I'll share what I did get!

Saturday - April 21
Yummy cheesecake from Costco for a birthday party

Tuesday - April 24
 A new ruffled ribbon yo-yo flower headband

 Wednesday - April 25
My sister got a new haircut and we had fun doing and outdoor photo shoot that evening

Thursday - April 26

 I love this cute little fellow, designed from some of my brown minky dot fleece and an odd piece of soft pink velour.

 Friday - April 27

I had fun doing a photo shoot with handsome 3-week-old (at the time!) William. Aren't his onesie and little jeans just too adorable?!

Saturday - April 28
Boys and working in the kitchen - they always have to find a new way to do things!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Of Upper Tension Assemblies and a Few Small New Projects

I've finished a few smaller sewing projects lately besides doll clothes, and I've made most of these on the Remington. The more I use that machine, the more I love it! Unfortunately, there are a few parts on it that are a little if-y and I'm expecting to break or stop working any time. One of them is the upper tension assembly, and as predicted, it stopped working in the middle of a project. Thankfully, I had a backup plan.

To finish the project, I just took out the numbered dial, turned the spring around, and screwed the end back on. These little Singer 15 clones are wonderfully resilient and I was able to finish the project with nearly perfect tension. After the project was done, I switched it out with the tension assembly and side plate from it's new twin brother (I'll post about that one soon!) I'm either going to try to fix this tension assembly and put it back on, or get a new one if it's past all hope - and by new one, I mean trying to find another parts machine that I can salvage this piece from. I don't like putting aftermarket parts on these machines because I'll be getting plastic pieces, and I don't want to start putting plastic on these beautiful all-metal machines. :)

Now, on the the projects...

 The first one was a reversible checkbook cover. I don't remember where I got the idea - it could have been from looking at the plain blue plastic checkbook cover and thinking how nice a prettier one would be! I'll be putting together the tutorial pattern soon to sell on Etsy, so watch for another post just about this project!

 Another project along the same lines was a strap cover for my DSLR camera. Isn't this one so much prettier than the plain Canon DSLR strap? Like the checkbook cover, I'll be putting together the pattern soon to sell on Etsy, so watch for another post soon!

I made this small quilted tote as a last-minute birthday gift for a friend. I based it off a project from the quilting book "Start with Scraps", but made a few changes such as closing it with a snap instead of a button and buttonhole, and changed the size. This was a fun introduction to quilting, even though it was a really simple one - I just sandwiched the batting in between my quilted piece and my lining and quilted along all the seams of the quilted piece.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Some New Doll Clothes

I got inspired this past week by some fabrics in my stash, namely the cutoff leftovers from a recent alterations project for a friend, and an old dress I had kept for fabric value. I have a hard time deciding which is my favorite of the two outfits.

The black and white t-shirt and capri set was inspired by the leftovers from a recent alterations project. I had turned flared (bell) sleeves into straight ones, which of course is just cutting off a triangle of fabric. So, I was left with two triangles of funky black and white knit fabric. It seemed a shame to throw them away, so I turned them into cute doll capris. I'll explain what I did, and for anyone with some sewing experience, it should be easy enough to figure out.

-I cut off the ends of the triangles (picture below), and cut a notch from the top for the crotch of the pants. I then sewed them up the side, and added those triangles I cut off back in at the back to make the pants big enough around the waist. I then finished sewing them together up the back, underneath, and up the front. They're fitted, and I wanted to keep the bulk around the waist to a minimum, so I just turned the edge under and sewed it with a decorative zig-zag stretch stitch.

The red, white, and blue nautical t-shirt and skirt set was concocted from a red and white striped knit dress I had kept and put away for it's fabric value. I added a little denim from my stash, as well as some red rick-rack from my stash to finish this cute outfit. I even had a chance to try my new Steam-A-Seam2 double sided fusible interfacing with the little denim anchor applique on the t-shirt. I drafted the skirt pattern, making it short and fitted at the waist with a full gathered tier.

For both these t-shirts, I used this free t-shirt pattern from Liberty Jane Clothing. I've often had bad experiences with free patterns, and was prepared to make modifications with this one, but was actually pleasantly surprised. I love the whole look and fit of the finished t-shirt, and it's so easy and quick to make - I can whip one out in about 20 minutes, now. Both these outfits are now for sale in the Shoppe!

Do you have any thrifty, crafty projects you've been working on this week?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Lots of New Sewing Projects!

I (and the sewing machines!) have been busy lately, and here are some previews of my latest projects. For those that are listed in the shops, you can visit the links to see more pictures.

I ran across the fabric while browsing at our local fabric 'warehouse' and it was love at first sight. I bought the rest of the piece which was a 3/4 yard cut and turned it into my first pillowcase dress. It was incredibly easy! I decided to add the contrasting ruffle and yo yo flower as an extra girly touch to an otherwise plain dress.

This dress was made entirely from my infamous fabric stash, button and all! Since the fabrics and colors are so 'autumn-y' I made the dress with 3/4-long sleeves for cooler weather. I think I may be making another one soon with short sleeves.

I love the way this one turned out! These two fabrics matched perfectly and the red bias tape is a perfect accent! Plus, the pattern is one of my own designs which makes it easier to use. :) I have more of this fabric, so I might be trying a peasant dress with these two next!

 Welcome the first in my new line of sewing patterns, just released today! I love the way these flowers came out, and sewn onto headbands modeled by these two adorable little girls...what could be cuter???!!!

Coming soon...the Ruffled Camera Strap Cover Pattern/Tutorial!
I just finished this one recently and am really excited about getting some pictures soon and making this pattern available in the Shoppe! Don't worry...this one I made is so much prettier than how the iPod picture shows it! :)