May 31, 2011

Pattern Sales

Let's just stop for a moment and admire that which is...the JoAnn Fabrics pattern sales.  Simplicity patterns for $1 each?  Yes please!

Costume patterns, dress patterns....I basically go through the bins and find stuff that looks like fun.  Thanks to these sales I now can outfit my little girl in any and all Disney dresses.  Unfortunately she hasn't yet taken to playing dress-up.  I'm hoping that changes....

May 30, 2011

Kids Lanyard Tutorial

There are about a billion different ways to sew up a lanyard.  Here's how I did it....

1.     Cut one rectangle of fabric:  3 inches wide by 35 inches long

 (adjust length as needed – my 35 inch length worked well for a preschooler)

2.     Iron a crease down the middle of the fabric, lengthwise.  Open the fabric.

3.     Fold each edge of the fabric into the center crease and iron.

4.     Fold at the center crease and iron.

5.     Topstitch 1/8” from each long edge.

6.     Zigzag stitch the short ends to keep them from fraying.  You can get fancier if you’d like, but really – it’s for kids.  They won’t care.
7.     Sew a small piece of Velcro to one end (my piece was about ¾” long).
8.     Sew the other piece of Velcro to the other end.  Make sure you sew this piece on the opposite side so that the lanyard lays well when worn.  If you get confused – pretend you’re wearing the lanyard to figure out where to place this piece of Velcro.
9.     Sew a ring to the center of the lanyard.
10.     Attach swag!

I made a set of these for my daughter’s preschool class using some fun toy carabineers and spring loaded clips I got from JoAnn Fabrics.  I attached a lip gloss and silly bands to each.  The lip gloss idea came from blogland and I wish I could remember where I saw it!  If someone knows, please email me!
If you would like an easily printable version of this tutorial, you can find one at:

May 27, 2011

Chocolate-Walnut Fudge Bars

I whipped up a batch of these Chocolate-Walnut Fudge Bars from Martha Stewart a few days ago....and let me just say....there are no words.

I hope you have some friends to share these with.  The recipe makes up an entire 9x13 pan.

May 26, 2011

Coffee Cozy

Since it's the end of the school year and apparently everyone but me is doing something super special for their kids' teachers, I figured I'd show you the little thing I made up for Miss A's teachers at the holidays.

I learned that both of her preschool teachers are big Starbucks fans (well, who isn't?), so I made them each a reusable coffee cozy.  I was given a fabric cozy by friends several years ago, and I keep it in my purse at all times so I can whip it out whenever the need arises (which it does, and frequently)....very James Bond of me, don't you think?  And hey, I figure I'm doing my part in not throwing out one of the cardboard ones each time I get a drink.  I love mine on cold and hot drinks.  It gets lots of use.  Perhaps I should make myself one, come to think of it....

ANYHOO, these are rediculously easy to make.  I took one of the Starbucks cardboard cozies (probably a few years ago now - I think the newer ones are quite a bit smaller.  Kudos to Starbucks for reducing their waste), and traced it to make a pattern.  The ones I make are simply two pieces of fabric with a layer of batting in between.  They're reversable, which is fun.  I used velcro to hold it together so it fits nearly any cup.

For the ones I made the Little Lady's teachers, I embroidered an apple (corny, I know, but it matched the fabric) and the phrase 'I touch the future'. 

Cute, right?

May 25, 2011


I'm  having a love affair with Insul-Brite.

Have y'all seen this insulating batting yet?  <sigh>  It's fabulous.  And you can find it in JoAnn's - and since you can find JoAnn's pretty much anywhere, that makes it easy for me!

So far I've made up several potholders and a teapot cozy using the Insul-Brite.  And what good are personalized potholders if you don't have a few embellished towels to go with them?  Really.

I'd love to make each of my kiddos a lunchbag for the fall out of this fabulous stuff.  It's on the list!  I love this idea from A Lemon Squeezy Home:

May 20, 2011

Teacher Tote

I had a lot of fun at Christmas this year sewing up projects for several family members.  One of my favorites happened to be this red/animal print totebag I made from a tutorial at kojo designs:

Gotta appreciate a little bit of leopard print, especially when it's fuzzy and soft.  I followed the instructions word for word, including all the inside pockets - of which there are MANY.  I'll definitely make this tote again, but I'll probably add a zipper pocket on the inside.  There's no closure at the top of the bag, but the bag is so deep and the foldover flap is so huge you really don't need one. 

May 19, 2011


I am SO excited that canning season is once again upon us!  Last year I collected an assortment of jars (and knowledge) from my mother, who has been canning since....well, forever.  I remember how hot the house used to get - why was it she only canned on the hottest days?

Last summer I tried my hand at canning a round of tomatoes...

And made up a batch of peach preserves, and a rediculously delicious plum compote.

I couldn't figure out how to get the peach preserves put in the jars without bubbles...maybe I'll figure that out this year.  And as far as the plum compote goes...I only got a taste of that.  My husband went to town on it with a spoon.  Yep, it was THAT good.

Thank you Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving!  This book also had a great recipe for pesto and info on freezing the pesto - which was great because I end up with a TON of basil most years.

I cannot wait to get started this year!  Anybody have a good canning recipe to share?

May 18, 2011

Princess and the Pea - embroidery

One of my favorite 'portable' crafts is embroidery.  I mean, you can whip up something super cute and simple in no time at all.  It is easy to learn a basic backstitch - so I don't want to hear any of my friends complain that they aren't 'crafty' enough to learn to embroider!

I also learned that although you can't bring scissors on an airplane, you CAN bring nail cutters....and they cut thread just fine!

So, in keeping with our 'Princess and the Pea' theme, I purchased this embroidery pattern on etsy from Follow the White Bunny.

The pattern is easy to use and I love the suggestions (not that I'm necessarily following them...).  Here's where I'm at so far:

I will tell you though...I got so excited to work on this project that I sat in one position for several hours - and really hurt my back!  Yep, that's right.  I got an embroidery injury.  Sad but true.

This is the most ambitious embroidery pattern I've ever far so good!

May 17, 2011

18" doll diapers

Of course you know our 18" doll gets a ton of, slowly but surely I have been trying to sew up a few things for her.  On the docket last week?  Doll diapers.  My little man is still in diapers, but I tell you, those size 4 Huggies really don't fit the little lady's doll.  NOT. AT. ALL.

I found this idea over at 2 Little Hooligans.  I drew up a pattern and got sewing.  My motivation after my girls trip last weekend has been a bit lacking, so although they probably could have been whipped up in an evening, it ended up taking me the better part of the week.

I think our baby doll looks pretty happy with them, don't you?

I made four diapers in all. 

Here's a picture of the template I used....I'm hoping you'll be able to simply print it off as an 8.5 x 11 'photo' if you have the same type of doll I have.  At least, that worked for me.  Check it out before you cut!

Next up?  Wipes.  Hopefully that really WILL be just an evening adventure, since the wipes themselves don't even need to get sewn if I use some leftover fleece.

May 11, 2011


Oh yes, I did.  I was in New York City last weekend and just had to.  "Thank You, Mood!"

Just because I was there, I had to get a little something I can't normally find anywhere else....and I settled on a 3.3 square foot piece of red leather.  HELLO BABY!  I'm thinking clutch, right?

I wish you could see the color better but I am still working on figuring out this camera.  It's a deep red color, but shiny.  Very, very shiny.


Baby shower gifts

Around the time little lad N was born, two friends of mine were also due with babies (remember the diaper cakes?).  Along with the taggies, I also gave each friend a few baby legwarmers (LOVE me some babies in legwarmers!) and a ring sling.

The baby legwarmers are just too cute....and easy!  I found a tutorial online for you if you want to try it yourself - I didn't do mine exactly like this but I belive this way might be a bit easier than how I did it anyhow.  You can always find cute knee socks at Target.  I really got into baby legwarmers when I was cloth diapering Miss A.  More on cloth diapers another time!

I have made several ring slings since falling in love with mine when Miss A was an infant.  It's really just a big rectangle of fabric, hemmed on all sides.  The rings I purchased online at SlingRings.  You can find instructions for practically any baby carrier online at Jan Andrea.

All this baby writing is making me want to sew up something for a newborn!  Somebody out there give me a little munchkin to spoil!

May 10, 2011

Nothing's easier than a taggie

Do you not just LOVE taggie blankets??

A little bit of ribbon, a little bit of fabric, a little bit of crinkle on the inside - and you're in business!

I accrued a whole drawer full of ribbon while putting these together several years ago.  I haven't met a baby yet who didn't love a sweet little taggie!

May 5, 2011

Scrappy Quilting...

I did finish three blocks for the Crazy Scrappy Quilt-A-Long!

I'm going to use white between them.  Yeah - not sure what I'm thinking with a table runner....but I like it.  I just do.

In other news, I'm out of town this weekend (yay girls' trip!!!) so no more posts until next week.  Have a marvelous weekend everyone!

May 4, 2011

The Perfect Water Bottle....or 'an ode to Starbucks'

Lookey, lookey, lookey what I found at Starbucks yesterday!  A water bottle that fits PERFECTLY in the teeny tiny side pocket of my Cosmo Bag!

May 3, 2011

Rag Knitting

Knitting has always appealed to me.  My grandmother used to knit.  Of course, my other grandmother used to crochet - but for whatever reason, crochet never caught my eye.  I like the look of a knitted item better.  And I like the two needles in my hands.

Shortly before the birth of my son, I took it upon myself to take one of JoAnn Fabrics Knitting 101 classes in the hope that I would learn enough to knit up a little blanket for my gender-to-be-determined newborn.  All throughout the pregnancy I thought he would be a 'she' - so I purchased some blue yarn and figured I'd set to work just in case I had a real shock in the delivery room and 'she' turned out to be a 'he'.  We never did learn the gender of either of our babies before delivery, so it wasn't a huge surprise when the baby turned out to be a 'he'.....but still!

I never did get around to knitting something up for him.  There are only 17 months between these two munchkins.  Need I say more?

Anyhow, I did finally knit something out of that soft, blue yarn.  A scarf.  I'm sure I knit it completely wrong, but I thoroughly enjoyed the process.

After browsing a bit on Ravelry, I settled on this Rag Doily Rug for my second project.  So far, I really like knitting with big needles - chunky knits!  Yay!  And I loved the idea that I could use up some of my fabric to make a rug.

So, I set to work cutting up my fabric per the instructions.

I had to cast on and then completely unravel the project four times before getting to this point.  The good news is that I definitely now know how to cast on, knit stitch, purl stitch, yarn over, and slip stitch.

I'm pretty excited to watch this baby turn into something recognizable!  Once I finish it I think I'll try knitting something 'in the round'.  Surely I can figure that out, right?  Maybe I should wait until I see how this project turns out before I get too ambitious....

May 2, 2011

Diaper Cakes

Has anyone out there ever made a Diaper Cake?  Around the time Mr. N was born I also had two dear friends due with their first babies, and I had an absolute ball helping a bit with each of their baby showers. 

A good friend of mine came over, and over a box of girl scout cookies we managed to put these diaper cakes together with some super easy instructions we found online.  All you have to do is search for 'how to make a diaper cake' and you come back with so many hits you won't know where to start.

These were too fun to make!