Wednesday, September 29, 2010

~Skirt Refashion~

One of my sisters gave our daughter this skirt:

It was really cute but it was too short. She only got to wear it a few times, and as I was putting away the summer clothes I was going to put the skirt in with the other clothes and then I had the thought of adding a ruffle.

So I got out my scrap bin and decided on a red plaid. I cut two strips, sewed the seams and hemmed it. For the top, I pressed it under about 1/2" and sewed one row of basting stiches.

I didn't cut the skirt, I just pulled the basting stiches and pinned the ruffle in place. I sewed right over the basting stitches.

Ta-da! A simple and quick project!

I had planned on making this during the Kids Clothes Sewing Challenge Week, but it didn't happen.

Friday, September 24, 2010


This week has been, hmmm...unproductive? Or not managed well? I think more of the latter than the former. It feels like I've done a lot of wheel spinning this week.

Anyhow, this week is the week that I signed up to do Kids Clothes Week Challenge. One hour a day. I've done one hour of sewing so far (Monday), which resulted in my dining room being a disaster for three days. Ahem.

One of the more productive things I did this week was complete an order for 15 pairs of socks. I already had 8 of them crocheted, but I still had 7 to finish. They are in the mail and winging their way to Australia, as we speak. =)

I decided after all that crocheting that my daughter needed some socks too. And for the challenge, crochet and knit projects count too! One of my sisters gave my daughter a pretty fall outfit, and I had the perfect color of crochet thread to match it.

And I made two beaded pairs as well.

I'm happy that I have a finished project for the KCWC!

I'm planning on putting some of these in my shop soon.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

~Mini Deep-Dish Pizzas~

I saw this idea on a blog post somewhere last week. The recipe wasn't included with the post, and I didn't bookmark the post either. But I really wanted to make them, so this is what I came up with!

You'll need:
muffin tin
pizza dough (one pizza's worth)
pizza sauce
your choice of toppings

I made my pizza dough, then rolled it out in a rectangle and cut it in 12 equal pieces.

Grease muffin tin, and put each square of dough in the muffin tin, working it in so it makes a well and covers the sides:

Put a spoonful of pizza sauce in each pizza, then use a pastry brush to spread it around:

Put your favorite toppings in the pizza. I chose olives and turkey sausage.

Top with cheese:

Bake at 450* for 10 minutes.

These would be fun in a lunch box, as appetizers, at a potluck, or really anytime! Pizza is always good!

Monday, September 20, 2010

~Paint Project~

We had one room remaining in our house which we hadn't painted yet: the bathroom. It's a little tricky, because the claw foot tub is too close to the wall to paint around, yet the wall surrounding the tub needed to be painted, because you can see it. So we've lived here for five years and just left it "blah white".

Here's a before/during shot, which shows the tub disconnected from the wall, and the color of the paint.

And the finished room, looking in from the door:

Looking to the left:

Looking to the right:

At first I wasn't thrilled with the paint color but it's really grown on me. :-) We discussed painting the bathroom a bolder color but decided with a neutral so that we don't have to paint again any time soon!

Oh, and I want to say I'm so proud of Kevin for doing all the plumbing work of detaching and attaching the tub himself! :-) He did a great job with the paint job too!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

~Green Chicken Enchiladas~

I mentioned in a previous post that I made my own green enchilada sauce. I liked it ok, once I got past the smell of the bell peppers, but Kevin loved it.

Tonight I made green enchilada sauce, following this recipe. It called for roasted, skinned, and seeded chilies, which I have never done before. So I did a quick search and found these directions.

Oh my. Yum, yum! Kevin liked it, but I loved it! LOL The recipe made enough for two meals.

I also made my enchiladas differently tonight. Instead of rolling the burritos, I cut them up into 2-3" pieces. In baking dish, I layered 1/2 of the cut burritos, 2 cups cooked chicken, 1 cup grated cheese, and 1/2 a can's worth of enchilada sauce. (One large can is 28 ounces.) Then I topped it with the remaining burrito pieces, remaining sauce, and 1 cup cheese, and baked it for 30 minutes. This method makes more of a casserole, and the whole thing is moist and you get chicken and cheese with every bite!

I'm still going to play around with the green sauce, till I come up with a sauce that we both love! :-)

Monday, September 13, 2010

~Bean Bag Tutorial~

Here's a very simple and fun project that you can make for your children or little friends, or help a young child make. Perfection isn't necessary at all. :-)

First, cut squares. I cut my squares 4 1/2 inches wide. You'll need two squares for each bean bag.

Next, put two squares right sides together. Put a pin in each corner:

Sew around the outside of your bean bag, using a 1/4" seam allowance (if a child is sewing these, cut your squares a little larger and use a 1/2" seam allowance), backstitching at beginning and end, pivoting at the corners, and leaving an opening along one edge about 2" wide.

Turn right side out. Use a pair of closed scissors, a chopstick, or a pencil to gently push the corners out.

Fill about 2/3 full with rice or beans. A funnel is a great help in getting the rice in. Pin the opening shut, with seam allowance folded inward.

Sew along the edge of the opening, making sure to catch both sides as you sew.

Now go find some games to play with your new bean bags!

It's a rainy day here, hence the darkness of the pictures. Also, I would like to note that I just washed my ironing board cover so it is clean, it just has mysterious stains on it. ;-)

~Kids Clothes Week Challenge~

Next week is Kids Clothes Week Challenge at elsie marley. I decided to jump in! The challenge is to spend one hour each day sewing, kid's clothing obviously. This week I plan to spend some time cutting out several projects, so I can sit down and start sewing on Monday.

I went through my daughter's clothes and she has plenty of play clothes in her current size for fall and winter, but she has only one nice dress for church. So I would like to make some church clothes for her.

I'm excited about this challenge!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

~Etsy Shop Notes~

I wanted to share a few newer things I have in my shop:

Crochet-Edged Socks

Jungle Animals Receiving Blanket Set

I actually have a few more things ready to list, I just haven't listed them. I should get on that. ;-)

I recently discovered Alchemy on Etsy. There are several ways it can work. As a buyer, you can request a specific item from a specific shop. Or you can request a specific item on the main section of Alchemy, and Etsy crafters will place bids. The buyer chooses which Etsy crafter they wish to make their item, and then the item is made.

Here is my first (and only) completed Alchemy item: Bookmarks. I learned several things from doing this, and I was glad that it was a small order. First, I learned that once the person has accepted your bid for work, to reword the bid. This will be your final listing description, and as you can see, mine isn't worded very well. Secondly, I ended up using two patterns that I was unfamiliar with. It all ended up fine, but the patterns were free patterns online and they weren't written correctly. It took longer than I expected to make each bookmark. And lastly, I learned to take note of where the item is being shipped before placing my bid. Only after I had been paid did I realize that my item was being shipped to the UK, so of course it cost more than I had anticipated! I was thankful that the person who I was working with was very patient. This was my first Alchemy bid and I wasn't sure how things worked, so I was figuring things out as I went. With anyone less patient, things could have gotten a little hairy! I did make a profit, though I believe I could have made a little more had I been aware of the time involved and the postage necessary.

If you make and sell custom items such as soaps, children's items, sewn items, jewelry, or graphic design, and are looking for a little extra money, I encourage you to give Alchemy a try!

The second thing I have become aware of is tagging. Each item you list can have up to 14 different tags. I read this article and learned to use all 14 tags. I went back through each of my items and retagged them. In just one week I have had 73 more views to my shop! And I only have a few items in my shop right now! It hasn't resulted in any sales yet, but I have definitely had more traffic than I had with the fewer tags.

I really like Etsy. I haven't had a lot of spending money to buy from Etsy sellers, but I enjoy looking through all the wonderful handmade goodness, and when I can afford a little something I enjoy shopping at Etsy! I haven't been a serious seller either, I just haven't found my "groove" yet, I guess! Anything in particular you'd like to see in my shop?

~I Will Never Forget~

I was sitting in the living room, waiting for my two sisters to get ready to go. I had just said “good-bye” to my husband. Our church’s annual conference was in progress, and I had taken work off so that I could attend. My two sisters were staying with us so that they could go as well.

My husband called shortly after he left, telling me what had happened. It was around 7:30 a.m., but because we were in California, both crashes had taken place already. My husband told me what had happened. I asked him several times to make sure I had gotten it right. Stunned, I called my sisters into the living room, and we sat down and prayed for America, for the people affected by this awful deed.

We made our way to the church for the conference. With so many people in the auditorium (I’m going to take a guess and say over 400 people) it was quiet. Very quiet. Those who hadn’t heard beforehand, heard from others.

The morning sessions were different than had been planned. It was a very somber morning.

In the afternoon, my two sisters and I went shopping. It was a special treat to have them visiting me, and we still wanted to spend the time together. The mall we went to was deserted. Stores were closed. The stores that were open were pretty much empty--both of shoppers and workers. We didn’t end up spending much time there.

We lived close to the San Jose airport, and were used to the constant air traffic overhead. It was eerie to have absolutely no planes flying overhead.

At the time, we didn’t have a television. I have never seen footage from 9-11, just pictures. While I didn’t know anyone who was killed on that day, or anyone who knew someone, it was a day I’ll never forget.

I think what I remember most from that day just five years ago is quiet. Less cars on the road. No planes in the air. People, just sitting. Quiet. And sadness. A profound sadness.

Today, I pray for the people who are still mourning the loss of their loved ones, and for our country.

God bless America!

This post was previously published in 2006.

Friday, September 10, 2010

~My $1 Shirt~

So I thought I'd get all cutesie and take a self-portrait.

Apparently I need to take lessons from my 15-year old sister. Ahem.

I took stock of my clothing situation for this coming fall and winter, and came to the conclusion rather quickly that I have nothing to wear! Well, that's not entirely true, but it's pretty close! I have a few skirts and a few sweaters and tops for every day use. For church I have a few outfits harking from 2002. did I get in this situation?

Two years ago, I went through my clothes and realized that 1) I needed to lose weight, and 2) I didn't want to lose weight to get into the clothes I had. So I brilliantly donated almost everything to a thrift shop.

Two years later, and 20 pounds lighter (yay!) I now have nothing to wear!

So I decided to hit a local thrift shop and see what I could find. I don't have anything against shopping thrift stores, but I just don't like to do it. It feels like I'm digging through dirty laundry looking for one good thing.

Well, I found a few nice things, and all the clothes were on sale for $1 each! The shirt I'm wearing in the above picture has 3/4 length sleeves and a nice embroidery edge along the bottom. It's also made by J.Jill, which I think of as a nice brand.

I definitely do not have my entire winter wardrobe yet, I still need to work on that! But I'm happy with the few pieces that I got!

Do you like to shop at thrift stores? Any tips for me???

Monday, September 06, 2010

~I missed it!~

September 3 was my 5 year blogging anniversary. And I missed it! Oh well...

I started my blog with these words:
"Tammy's Times" is the name that my husband Kevin suggested for my blog, so "Tammy's Times" it is!

My blogging style has definitely changed through the years. I've gone from super-chatty to posts with just one picture to somewhere in between. I've shared a lot of projects I've completed. I've shared a tiny portion of my life these past five years.

For my blog readers...thank you! I appreciate the comments and your visits. Have a lovely day! :-)

Thursday, September 02, 2010

~Dishtowel Aprons~

I wanted to share a little project I did last week. A friend asked me about making an apron for her daughter. The project evolved into two aprons for her two oldest daughters.

These were so much fun to make! I followed Randi's tutorial here, which I also used about three years ago to make these two aprons for my youngest sisters.

The towels my friend picked out were so cute! I hemmed them just a little shorter on the undecorated edge so they would be better lengths for her two girls.