Friday, November 30, 2012

Project Christmasfy

Those of you who follow me on Instagram may have noticed me using a ridiculous hashtag on all my Christmas decor shots (#projectchristmasfy). Welp, there is a reason.

Found some more twinkle lights. Had to put them up too! #projectchristmasfy

Brent and I have been together for eight Christmases and every year I say I'm going to make amazing decorations for our house. That I am going to make everything super festive. That we are going to hang twinkle lights and bake cookies and do fun Christmas crafts...

But we never do.

We have a lame tree and a couple of years we have strung one or two strands of icicle lights on our house, but the attempt has been pathetic at best. I want something better for Clara Mae. Christmas is my FAVORITE holiday. It's time I show it.

Operation Christmas-fy is underway.

So I am on a mission to make Christmas beautiful and I am sharing it with all of you by tagging all my Instagram pictures with #projectchristmasfy. I would love if you would join me!

A small bit of Christmas cheer for the little hands. It will have a star when more felt arrives. #projectchristmasfy
Clara's felt Christmas tree

Names of Christ advent ornaments. #projectchristmasfy
Names of Christ advent ornaments

Snowflakes. #projectchristmasfy

Share your Christmas DIY! #projectchristmasfy


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Lizzy House and her dresses

I would love to make some dresses.

For most of my married years, we've attended a weekend evening gathering at church. First we went Sunday nights. Then Saturday. We were the crew. We moved furniture. Unlocked doors. Got there before anyone else and stayed after they all left. We loved it, but it has finally come to a timely end. Now that we have a baby, giving up our Saturdays just isn't working, and being out super late, well, that's not really working for Miss Crabby Pants either. So now, we will start going back to church on Sunday mornings. All this time, I've worn jeans, ratty shirts, and you'd be lucky to catch me running around church with shoes on. Things are different on Sunday mornings. The climate changes. I wouldn't be shunned if I showed up in cut-off sweats and an ASU hoodie, but it's time to make a switch to dressing up and looking like a lady.

I've been creeping on Lizzy House's Instagram feed on the daily waiting for her to post some new, beautiful pictures of dresses she's made with her own fabrics. I even bought a few yards of Hello Pilgrim for my imagined Lizzy inspired dress, but I'm torn on which patterns I should try.

hello pilgrim dress
From Lizzy House's Flickr

hedgehog feet.
From Lizzy House's Flickr

She mentions a few patterns that she's used and I know the Washi by Made by Rae is all the rage right now. But what else? Are there any other tried and true patterns out there that are comfortable and fit well? Any with amazing directions???

I found this image on Pinterest:

I was looking up Anna Maria Horner, as usual, and came across this great dress. But is there a pattern associated with this great dress?! NO!

Or this one? It may have been drafted by her daughter? Or someone she knows??? It was on her blog a few years back, before I even knew who she was. Also pinned.

I have some sewing ideas pinned here, here and my crazy fashion sense pinned here.

So, have you made your own dresses? Have any pattern information you'd like to share?


Monday, November 26, 2012

The Traveling PicStitch Blog Hop

Today it's my turn to show off my part of the world for the Traveling PicStitch Blog Hop! Unfortunately, my lovely ASS Guru counterparts (and leaders of this fine hop), Laura of Quokka Quilts and Katy of The Littlest Thistle, decided they would show you MY BACKYARD for their big blog hop trip last month. So, what's a girl to do? Show you the same dirt other people already showed you? Yep. That's what's up.


I live in Gilbert, Arizona as previously mentioned. While I can find oodles of pretty pictures of our town, most of them are heavily edited and lack the overall haze of dirt that covers everything in the desert. Our skies look more white than blue and the beautiful purple/orange/red sunsets are caused by the sunlight trying to pry it's way through the pollution. We have snakes and scorpions and black widow spiders and lots of coyotes and mostly, lots and lots of dirt.


My area is densely populated with an overabundance of track homes and subdivisions. My house looks like every other house on my street. Boring!


But really, we have loads of wonderful people living here. Great schools. City center only 40 minutes away. Tons of shopping. Bike trails. Hiking trails. I couldn't ask to live in a better place.

BUT... since SOME PEOPLE decided to use MY HOME as their "exotic location", I've decided to show you a place we like to visit around the holidays and is "exotic" to me:

The American Midwest. :)


It is straight up ridiculous how GREEN everything is there!

I took these photos while on our October family trip to Missouri/Illinois/Indiana. Seeing family is great, but I get especially excited about the change in scenery!

We visited Aunt Brenda's farm where Clara worked on her walking skills:


And we made ourselves some homemade ice cream, just like every year!





We took advantage of the weather and played outside as much as possible.



And since we were in the area and the St. Louis Zoo has free admission, we decided to take Clara to see some animals! Animals not hiding in the shade to stay out of the heat. Real animals, like bears (which she proudly screamed when she recognized them!) and seals and penguins. Not the coyotes and cows we show off at the Phoenix Zoo. Oh no. These are animals that you WON'T see walking to your mailbox at night.

St Louis Zoo

St Louis Zoo

She was especially thrilled to see the elephants, since she knows "what the elephant says".

Baby Elephant - St Louis Zoo

And also, she liked picking the gorilla's nose. Save your parenting comments to the end, thanks.

St Louis Zoo

Imagine. Unique homes made with bricks. Lawns that are made of REAL grass (yeah... we have quite a bit of fake grass here). Trees that don't fall over when the wind blows because there has been enough water to help their roots grow deep. Weather cool enough to wear pants AND a sweater! Paradise.

But enough about our vacation. You will be wanting me to get on with the color selection now, I suppose.

Color Palette

I chose the picture of the donkeys, mostly because they were being ridiculous ri-donk-u-lous while I was trying to snap their picture (see what I did there?? Tee hee hee.)

I chose a few fabrics from my stash:

Fabric Pull

...and got to work.


I decided this should become a pillow and a Christmas present for someone who shall remained unnamed. I didn't actually get around to whipping up the pillowcase, but after more than a week with the flu, I was proud of myself for even getting off my duff long enough to get my hand sewing kit!!


This little flower is super easy to make and is comprised of 2" diamonds from who, luckily enough, is offering a little discount for anyone joining in the hop! If you haven't already, head over to and enter code PAPER20 for 20% off your order.

And please don't forget to play along. This is a blog hop WITH PRIZES! Head over here to check out all the details. The short of it: you follow along, you stitch up some EPP inspired by your home/favorite location, you win prizes. That simple!

Thank you again to my lovely friends Laura and Katy for letting me join them on this great little adventure! These two really are the best people ever. Make sure you take the time to thank them too!



Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Apron

An apron created for a friend's bridal shower. I used this tutorial.




Rick Rack Trim

Box pleat pocket
Box pleat pocket


Rick rack trim
Rick rack trim

Fully lined
Fully Lined



Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A New Venture... if I can afford it

I've been rolling around an idea now for about a year of an adventure I'd like to take. It will involve selling handmade items. It will involve fabric. It will involve felt.

I've been researching like mad. Reading books. Blogs. Talking with entrepreneurs. Designers. Asking questions. Formulating a plan.

And now I'm at the manufacturing stage. Let's face it: I already know just about all there is to know about fabric. My stash is big enough to open my own fabric shop, I reckon!! But felt? Felt I know nothing about.

I asked a friend who works with felt on the daily about where she buys quite a long time ago, and drudged up that old email from back when my idea was more of a tiny inkling than a full fledged wish. It got me started on a path down the Etsy, Ebay, local shop lane, seeking out shops with wool felts. The kind I'm looking for.

The first place I came across offered a free color card and a couple samples for me to play with. They want my business. They want me to know what they have is the best. I agreed excitedly! But I fear my excitement was short lived.

As I searched, I found Etsy sellers are asking for big bucks for their color cards, some as much as $30, I saw! Really felt shops?? $30??

I can't afford to pay that kind of money (plus shipping) for pieces of paper with felt glued to them. As much as I want to, I just don't have that kind of cash. And without offering a sample to touch, pull, sew, destroy, I'll never know if their product is right for what I have planned.

I could just ask if they would send me a color card and a couple swatches (even of last year's colors!) but would that be rude of me? They do have to make a living, after all. But by not having those samples, I can't even add them to my "potential supplier" list. Without seeing the colors, I won't know if theirs is the right fit for my new adventure. Without knowing how it washes, shrinks, bleeds, I won't be able to confidently use their product to create something special for all of you.

So now I'm stuck. Do I risk offending potential suppliers by asking for free goods up front? Or do I cross them off my list completely, potentially crossing off a product that will be a good fit for my venture?

What would you do?


Monday, November 19, 2012

The Veil

I have the flu.

Yeah. My thoughts exactly.

Thankfully, Brent and Maze have already been inflicted so we should all be in tip-top shape for the Thanksgiving holiday later this week. And for those of you non-Americans who read my blog, this coming Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is the BIGGEST shopping day of the year! Make sure you check out your favorite American online shops for smoking deals all weekend!

Now that's out of the way, I wanted to share with you a little (very little) about what's been going on. We were on vacation. Came home. Three broken computers. Commission projects. Illness. Beautiful weather. Bikes. Parks. Walks. One fixed computer. Broken SD/USB stick. More bikes. More parks. You get the idea. This is the best time of year here in Arizona and we've been taking full advantage!

So, I'm not dead. I haven't contracted some rare disease (knock on wood). I've just had some technology glitches that I haven't been in a huge hurry to fix because I'd rather be outside with my WALKING daughter!! Yup. You read right. She walks wobbles now.

But I braved the treacherous waters of the broken computer because I wanted to share something special with you I've been working on.

Angela's Veil

My friend Angela got married a couple months ago and asked me to make her veil for the wedding. I was completely nervous as I'd never made a veil before, but also completely honored that she would even think to include me in such a special way.

Angela's Bachelorette Party
Angela is the one in the blue dress.


I took a couple pictures myself, but none of the finished veil (d'oh!) so I was extremely grateful to her very talented photographer cousin who took these pictures for me while she was getting ready.

Close-up of the bead work

Each bead was sewn on one at a time. I wanted this to be perfect! Plus, it gave me an excuse to sit on the couch and watch the entire Arrested Development series again. Bonus!

Angela's Veil

Angela's Veil

I took some pictures of the process in case there was interest in a tutorial. Let me know what you think. I'd be happy to tell you how I did it.

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