Friday, July 30, 2010

~WIP, and a Question~

I'm making this, view A:

and so far it has turned out like this:

See the difference? It's a dress, not a top. Just look at the pattern drawing! If the pattern were for a dress instead of a top and the same length issues were present it would be about 12 inches past my daughter's toes! As it is, the "top" is longer than some of my daughter's dresses in her closet! The bodice fits quite well, with a nice amount of ease. It's definitely my daughter's size. Just a leetle too long.

I'm not feeling the love for Simplicity right now. This pattern should be very simple and for some reason I have had to read every step about three times before I get what I'm supposed to do. And the seam allowances are changed from 5/8" to 3/8" quite randomly. Frustrating.

Anyhow, what do you think? Keep it as a dress? Shorten to make it a top? I already have the shorts done (minus the elastic), but that's not too big of an issue, really it isn't a factor at all. As a dress does it look more like a nightgown? I have another row of ric rac to apply on the top, and then a row of ric rac on the bottom. There is only a 5/8" hem, so what you see is pretty much how long it is. Please feel free to weigh in!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

~I Made it!~

I've been feeling somewhat of a mad scientist lately, what with all the concoctions I've been whipping up in my kitchen (cleaners and toiletries). So when I came across this recipe for finger paint, I figured, "why not?"

We had fun on the front porch painting. Even my next door neighbor came over and got in on the action!

My 16-month old daughter doesn't like to be messy so she took "finger painting" literally. LOL

Please click the button above to see more "I Made it" entries.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

~Refrigerator Pickles~

There is a family at church who has a large garden, and they often bring excess produce to church to give away. I picked up some pickling cucumbers two Sundays ago and decided to make refrigerator pickles.

I started looking online for recipes, but all the recipes I was pulling up were loaded with sugar. I didn't want any sugar in them, much less 4 cups. But finally I found this recipe on (formerly and I gave it a whirl.

They are so good! I love how they turned out. As I was making them, I thought that really, they're about the same amount of work as canned pickles, the only exception really being the water bath. But I like them a lot, and I'm glad I didn't can them. The only changes I made to the recipe were that I used sea salt instead of pickling salt, and I decreased the amount to a half cup. Also I decreased the amount of garlic to two cloves per jar.

I'm saving the brine as the pickles get eaten, so that I can make more. My daughter and cucumber-hating husband enjoy these pickles too, and I love them so I want to keep a good supply in the fridge! The only thing I'm not sure on is how long they will keep in the fridge? Any ideas?

Friday, July 23, 2010

~Ring the Bells~

Yesterday afternoon I was singing "Ring the Bells", but couldn't remember all the words. So I looked it up on Playlist, and the first song I clicked on brought tears to my eyes. It is a beautiful song, and the harmony of this particular group is lovely. But even more lovely is the fact that I used to listen to this song when I was little, it is from a record my parents had. Christmas in July? Listen and enjoy! :-)

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

~I Made it!~

Click on over to Everything Etsy to see other participants!

This week I haven't been as productive with my sewing or crafts. I've focused more on things like dishes and floors. ;-)

We had to buy my daughter new shoes for church since her feet are growing so fast! Of course they are a little on the loose side, so she definitely needs to wear socks with them. I looked for some ruffle socks but apparently they only sell those at Easter.

So I decided to make my own ruffle socks:

This was a nice easy project and I am planning on making some more of these, with different colors of thread and different patterns as well.

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

~Almost Free is Nice Too~

On Sunday, I was given a $10 coupon for Kohl's. It was a gift card that Kohl's had sent this person that could be used for anything in the store, and since she didn't want to go to Kohl's she gave it to me.

My first thought was shoes for my daughter, since her feet are growing so fast and her Sunday shoes don't fit her any more. But for some reason, Kohl's doesn't have a good selection of toddler shoes. They had the soft-soled baby shoes, and then plenty of children's shoes, but nothing in between.

So I still had this $10 gift card and of course I wasn't going to let it go to waste, so what to buy? I didn't feel like going through the whole rigamarole of trying on clothes for myself (even though I desperately need clothes!) and my daughter doesn't need clothes right now.

And then I thought about Fiestaware! I headed over to the home section and it was on sale (is Fiestaware ever not on sale? There is no reason to ever spend full price on it!). My final price for this "gusto bowl"? A grand total of $.53! The full price is $15 and it was 30% off! I'll have to take some pictures of my Fiestaware, I got gift cards for Christmas and now I have 8 place settings, plus a few serving pieces and we've been using the Fiestaware as our everyday dishes since then.

I love getting deals like this!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

~I Made it!~

I decided to participate in this Thursday's "I Made it" blog party! Click on over to Everything Etsy to see other participants!

A friend saw my ruffle totes that I have in my Etsy shop and asked for me to make one for her niece. She wanted purple gingham and a princessy fabric for the ruffles. I went off to the fabric store and quickly found the gingham but had a harder time finding the princessy fabric to coordinate! And then I found some "Fancy Nancy" fabric and it matched perfectly. I don't know who Fancy Nancy is, but she sure is cute! And I think my friend's 5-year old niece will like the sentiment on the fabric: "A princess is supposed to keep her tiara on".

I enjoy custom orders!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

~Sewing machine oil~

This is a post, which, upon reading, my dad would say, "See, I told you so." If my dad reads my blog. And come to think of it, I don't know that I've ever heard him say those exact words. Anyhow.

When I was growing up, my dad got a used sewing machine which, though not "mine", was mine to use. Every time I sewed with it, my dad would ask if I had oiled it. I don't really know why, but I had a particular aversion to oiling the machine (three measly drops of oil! It's silly what teenagers can be rebellious over!) So every time I used that machine, I could have pulled out the oil and oiled it and then I bet my dad would have stopped asking me if I had oiled it. But noooo...I was sneaky and would sew in my room and try to get around him asking me that question. But he had a sixth sense of when I was using that machine and would always pop around to ask that dreaded question!

I was thinking about this today because my machine was making all kinds of noises while I was sewing. I pulled out my machine oil, put a few drops here and there and wouldn't you know? it almost sounded like it was purring at me.

Maybe my dad was right after all!

~Free is nice~

I was so excited to get an email from Sew, Mama, Sew! telling me that I had won a yard of fabric! Decisions, decisions! How to decide???

At first I thought about making something for my daughter, but in the end I decided to do some "selfish sewing" as it is called when you make something for yourself. I thought immediately of my book One Yard Wonders and knew exactly which project to make:

I went through all the fabric choices and finally narrowed it down to three pieces. And then I realized that two of them were out of stock, so it all came down to this:

Lollie Red ~ Weekends

I can't wait to get it in the mail!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


"Do ordinary things with excellence."
~Dave Ramsey

Saturday, July 10, 2010

~And the winner is...~


Who said:
Cute! I would use it for library books, or for crayons and other supplies to keep the kids busy during church, or as a purse substitute, etc.

Congratulations, Melissa! I've left a message on your blog - please send me an email with your address!

Whenever I have a giveaway I feel so bad for everyone who didn't win! My husband said, "well, you could make one for everyone!" Hmmm, I could, but that would be a lot of work, not to mention expense!

So if you didn't win, but would still like to have a ruffle tote, please stop by my Etsy shop and peruse the totes I have for sale!

~With apologies to Starbucks...~

I have discovered a way to make my own frappuccinos. And they taste so fabulous, I don't know that I ever need to buy another one again!

My friend Lisa developed the recipe, and I've been playing with it ever since!

The secret is freezing milk in ice cube trays. My blender does not handle ice cubes very well (it sounds like it is ready to keel over and die when I try ice cubes in it!), but it makes short work of blending the coffee and frozen milk. Perfectly.

For flavoring, I've used blueberry syrup and my own chocolate syrup. For the one in the picture, I used chocolate syrup with pure peppermint extract. Very yummy! You can also use coffee syrups (Lisa recommends Flavorganics).

A huge problem for me is that I can't make these while my daughter is taking a nap. Too noisy. So I have to make them while she's awake. She hovers at my feet the whole time I'm making them, and gets super excited when I pour it into a glass. And then she gets super disappointed when she doesn't get any. And I know she likes coffee because I've given her a sip to show her how gross it is and to my surprise she wanted more! Not that I want her having coffee, or anything. I was doing it to prove a point and she proved me wrong. LOL Lisa told me that a stick blender is quiet enough for nap-time so I just might have to invest in one!

For my blend this morning I used:
1/2 cup chilled coffee
8 milk cubes
chocolate syrup with peppermint extract

Blend till milk cubes are thoroughly blended. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

I think next time I might try 3/4 cup coffee to 8 milk cubes, or 1/2 cup coffee to 6 milk cubes.

For the chocolate syrup, I mixed 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 1/4 cup sugar, a little drizzle of oil (this helps everything stay all mixed up), 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract, and just enough milk to make everything mix together well. Heat until sugar has dissolved and store in fridge.

The above frapp recipe is one serving, and I used about half the chocolate syrup I made. So that means more yumminess for tomorrow! :D

Friday, July 09, 2010

~Stash Flash: Thread~

Sew, Mama, Sew! has asked to see their reader's thread collection. Following are the questions they asked, and my answers!

How did you select colors for your personal thread collection?
Besides white and black, I typically buy thread on an as-needed basis.

Do you always match the color perfectly to your project?
As perfectly as I possibly can!

Do you ever use contrasting thread?
Occasionally, but the bulk of my sewing I use matching thread.

Do you use the same color in the bobbin as the upper thread?
Yes. When I am piecing a quilt I'm not so picky about the bobbin though.

What if a fabric has big areas of very different colors?
I choose the dominant color and go with that.

Do you have any tips or suggestions about choosing thread?
If you can't find a thread that matches your fabric perfectly, go with the darker hue. The lighter color will stand out more. Many quilters use grey thread to piece their quilts, as it blends with both light and darker fabrics.

Can you show us a picture(s) of your thread collection?

I keep my thread in the top drawer of my sewing cabinet:

Do you ever buy thread because you fall in love with the color (without a particular project in mind)?
This question is kind of funny to me. =P I have never fallen in love with a spool of thread.

Do you “invest” in thread?
Only grudgingly! I buy thread for my projects as I need to and I don't like it when I have to buy thread at full price!

What types of thread do you have? (elastic, quilting, all-purpose, wool, etc.)
I use all-purpose for most of my projects. I also have elastic and quilting thread, and some strong thread for hand sewing.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

~Baby Skirt~

So, babies don't really have the physique for skirts, but still, who can resist a cute skirt?

Last year I started the tradition of buying us all a flag t-shirt from Old Navy for us to wear on the 4th of July. This year's shirt for The Baby:

and I had the perfect red and white-striped fabric in my fabric bin! I made a skirt with attached bloomers underneath.

For the bloomers, I used my trusty pattern from Ottobre 3/2009. For the skirt, I just cut a piece of fabric the same width as the bloomers. I sewed them together separately, then attached them at the waist, folded down to make a waist band and then hemmed the skirt to a nice length.

I got a little lazy and decided to make a deep hem, instead of measuring and cutting off the fabric. I figured that if my daughter gets taller, I can just lengthen the hem. Right? And I also figured that the deep hem was part of the "design". And I'm the designer, right? :-) I was pleased with the finished product, though I think if I make any more in the future I would use a lighter-weight fabric for the bloomers. The fabric that the skirt is made out of is not super heavy but all together this is kind of bulky. I like that the skirt and bloomers are attached though!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

~Sundress and bloomers~

I've decided to pursue a new career. I think I will be a shirrer. Or would that be a shirrist?

Whatever it may be called, I love shirring fabric! Who knew it was so easy? Not me! It took me a while to get the "gumption" to try out shirring, and now that I know how, I want to shir everything!

We were invited to a birthday party for a little friend of our daughter's. I decided to make a sundress:

and of course it had to have bloomers to go along with it:

I totally love the fabric I used for the border and bloomers! It is a batik, and it looks like watermelon rind, don't you think? I've never bought batik before, or even cared for it that much when I've seen it in the store, but in this case it went perfectly with my choice of fabric.

The dress is my own pattern, the bloomers are from Ottobre 3/2009. I think I will get my money's worth from the magazine subscription on this one bloomer pattern alone. LOL I like this bloomer pattern because it is nice and full and covers the diaper really well. I've made them and blogged about them here, here, and here, and I used them in another way which I'll be blogging about soon! :-)

Friday, July 02, 2010

~Giveaway Day!~

So...I've seen all kinds of impressive giveaways lately. In fact, just today I've entered in some giveaways that are for $100 or more in products.

Sorry, you won't find that kind of giveaway here! I've never blogged for profit, so I don't have companies lining up asking me to give away their products!

However, my own two little hands have made this:

and I want to give it to YOU. Well, *one* of YOU.

Would you like to win?

There is a very simple way to enter:
Leave a comment on this post telling me how you would use this tote. That's it. :-) There must be a way to contact you! Either an email address, or if you are a blogger a valid blog address.

There is a slightly more complicated way to enter:
Blog about the giveaway! Leave a separate comment on this post letting me know that you have blogged about my giveaway!

Comments will be closed on Monday night. EDITED: I'm extending the entries until Friday night.

Please visit my shop to see more ruffle totes and a few other goodies as well!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

~Storing Children's Clothes~

I wanted to share how I store my daughter's clothes. We are hoping to have another child, so for now I'm keeping all the clothes.

As my daughter outgrew her clothes, I would put them in bags and boxes and trundle them down to the basement. They were here, or there, or tossed over there. I'd lay in bed and fret about it, because I like to lay in bed and fret about odd things like that.

One day I was at Wal-mart and I saw their plastic totes for $3.44 each, or something like that. I bought five. I recently had to buy two more and they were $5.40 each. The price is worth it so I could stop obsessing over it when I was supposed to be sleeping. ;-)

These are the sizes I have:
Newborn/0-3 months
3 months/3-6 months
6 months/6-9 months
9 months/9-12 months
12 months/12-18 months
18 months/18-24 months
24 months/2T

The last two bin sizes are clothes that my daughter is too small for. Now, as my daughter outgrows her clothes I can take them down to the basement and stick them into the appropriate tote. It's also easier to keep clothes this way for when she grows into them.

When I was growing up, somewhere along the way my dad obtained some large plastic barrels that originally had pickled peppers in them, and that's what we stored our out-of-season clothes in. Our clothes all smelled like pickled peppers when we got them out each season. In fact, I still have an article of clothing that got stored with some clothes that had been stored in those barrels and when I pull it out I can still smell those peppers! It was never even in the barrel! We later switched to some cardboard drum containers and those worked much better (and our clothing smelled much better too!).

How do you store clothing?