Tuesday, May 31, 2011

~Green Grocery Bag~

A while back I purchased Keyka Lou's Grocery Bag pattern. I really liked the pattern, and some of my reusable grocery bags are getting worn out. I've been using the same reusable grocery bags for 3+ years now, so I guess it's about time to start replacing some of them!

I used two vintage pillowcases to make my bag. Squee!

I thrifted the green outer fabric and was given the inside fabric. Not counting the pattern, this bag cost just over $1 to make! It's green (in color), green (earth friendly), and didn't cost too much green (cash) to make. ;-) Green just might be my new favorite color! Haha.

It is shorter (much shorter) than my other grocery bags. The checker didn't want to put it on the bag holder for some reason, but I tested it and it fit nicely. She packed my produce in it, which I must say works really well for for its size. When the checkers use plastic bags, they put a measly two or three things in each bag. When you have reusable bags they think you have super powers or something and stuff them full. Which isn't always the best if your grapes are at the bottom. Just saying.

I have plans to make more of these, but I'm going to fiddle with the pattern a little and make them a smidge taller.

Friday, May 27, 2011

~Crochet Pattern: Girls Ruffle Socks~

You'll need:
a pair of socks
#10 Bedspread Weight crochet thread
crochet hook (size 4 or 6)

I crochet pretty tightly but if your crochet is a little looser that's ok too. There really isn't a gauge for these since it is just a ruffle on a pair of socks.

I really like the socks from Wal-mart, made by Faded Glory. They're in the baby/toddler sock section. The socks are nice and stretchy and it is easy to crochet around them. The sizing seems to run a little on the small side, so you might want to go up a size if your baby is at the end of the size range (for example, if your baby is in 12 or 18 month size, instead of purchasing the 6-18 month size socks, get the 18-36 month size).

Turn sock inside out. Start crocheting on the center back of the sock. Here is a picture to illustrate where you will be stitching along the sock edge:

The stitched part of the sock that bumps slightly downward is the stitch you will single crochet in.

Round one: Make a slip knot, and single crochet in center back of sock. Chain 3, *skip one stitch on sock, single crochet in next stitch. Chain 3*. Work from * to * around. Join with slip stitch in beginning single crochet.

Round one complete:

Round two: slip stitch into first chain three loop, chain 4, 5 triple crochet in same loop, *6 triple crochet in next chain 3 loop*, work from * to * around. Join with slip stitch at end of round.

Round three: chain 1, single crochet in same stitch, single crochet in each stitch around. Join with slip stitch at end of round, fasten off and weave in end. Turn sock right side out, and repeat for second sock.

I recommend machine washing, and drying flat. The cotton thread will shrink a little in the dryer.

Enjoy! You are free to use this pattern however you wish, including items for sale, but please do not publish text or pictures without my written permission. Thank you!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

~Gray vs. Brown~

Is it "grey" or "gray"? I know they're both correct, but which one is the preferred spelling? In spite of referring to the dictionary, I still don't know which spelling is preferred, so I'm sticking with "gray" for this blog post. ;-)

So. Gray vs. brown. Brown being my hair color. Gray being the color that is starting to grow in. Yikes. About 3 or 4 months ago I decided to stop pulling out the stray gray hairs because there were too many coming in to pluck! So far I haven't colored my hair. I haven't really decided what I want to do.

I've been pulling out random gray hairs since I was 22. Every so often I would look in the mirror and be shocked to see one long gray hair, so of course I would pull it out!

The hair that is growing in "gray" isn't really gray. It's more like clear white. Goodness me. They glisten. LOL

I told Kevin I'm going to dye my hair pink. He doesn't believe that I'll ever do it. But I will show him, one of these days I really will go pink. Hehe.

I am torn. I don't want to start spending the money to color my hair yet I don't really want to go gray either (I have QUITE a while till I'm gray, I probably have 15-20 gray hairs at this point. I give you permission to laugh at my consternation. ;-) ). I don't want the chemical exposure, the endless coloring. And yet those sparkly hairs mock me when I look in the mirror. For now I'm doing - nothing. What to do...what to do...

Thursday, May 19, 2011


The other day I checked my spam box and I had an intersting email. Usually I don't open spam emails but this one looked interesting. I know, I should be more careful with spam, BUT I didn't click on any links!

Oh dear!
My credit card was going to be suspended unless I provided them with:
account number
my full name
social security number
mother's maiden name
and on and on - basically all the information you would need to do whatever you wanted with anyone's finances

What to do but give them all that information delete the email? Seriously, does anyone fall for this? They must because why would crooks still be trying???

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

~Yellow Calico Top + Denim Shorts~

You may recall this dress:

Made from this pattern:

I made the top, Butterick 4176, view A, and the shorts, Simplicity 7189, view D:

For this outfit:

I changed two things on the top. First, I made an interlined facing instead of finishing the neckline with bias tape. It's so much neater that way. Secondly, I installed a zipper instead of the opening with a button and loop. It's just preference, but I like the way this looks so much better. :)

I don't have fancy printed labels, but when I sew bottoms (pants, shorts, bloomers, skirts) with a front/back, I sew a little loop of ribbon into the inside back to mark the back. It makes getting dressed easier!

I made this about two months ago, but because of our cloudy weather I never got around to photographing it till just now. My daughter has worn it twice now and it fits her well with room to grow. She's a petite 2, so the shorts fit her more like culottes, which I like.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

~Spazzed Out~

Sunday morning, at church, I was standing by the sink washing my hands and all of a sudden my upper back started hurting. It was pretty painful! I was in a lot of pain all day, in spite of taking some pain killers. On Monday I went to the chiropractor, but he couldn't get a good adjustment. By yesterday my shoulders/upper back were killing me. I couldn't move my head from side to side without pain. I went back to the chiropractor and he still couldn't get an adjustment in! He said I'd had a muscle spasm and my muscles were still too tight.

I was in the reception area and the office manager came out and was talking with me. She mentioned Formula 303 to help manage the pain and relax my muscles. They sell it in their office, so I bought some to give it a try.

Shall I break out in poetry? Formula 303...how do I love thee? Let me count the ways! LOL Seriously though, this is helping me SO MUCH. I can tell when I need to take it again, my muscles start tensing up and the pain gets worse.

Thankfully I went back to the chiropractor yesterday afternoon and between the Formula 303 helping to relax the muscles, and the heat and cold I'd applied, he was finally able to give me an adjustment! Whew. Was I ever glad to hear those pops!

My neck and shoulders are still in quite a bit of pain but it is subsiding. This is the worst my back has ever hurt, with the exception of labor pains! I just can't imagine how people with chronic back pain do it!

After this week, I would highly recommend Formula 303. Of course, do your own research. But if you need to take muscle relaxers, this is a natural way to go. :-)

Friday, May 06, 2011


Search & Win

I haven't posted about Swagbucks for quite a while (since last August, I checked! :D), so I thought I'd mention it here today.

Have you heard about Swagbucks? It's an online search engine, and you randomly get awarded "Swagbucks" for doing searches. There is an online store which you can exchange your Swagbucks for many different things. My favorite is the $5 Amazon gift card.

I'm saving up for a Kitchen Aid mixer. I've been so tempted to just go on a spending spree with my Amazon gift cards that I have built up but I'm being patient, and one day my patience will pay off and I'll get my mixer for FREE!!!

If you sign up using my link, Swagbucks matches the first 1000 Swagbucks you earn to my account. It doesn't effect your account at all, and it's a little bonus for me. :-) If you haven't given it a try yet, why not? It's fun! and free! and did I mention you get free things? Cool! :D And once you have an account you can get people to sign up under you.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

~Faux Chenille Blanket~

While I was sewing my daughter's Easter dress, I was mentally making a list for my next projects I wanted to sew. Namely, a skirt (for me), a purse (for me), a pair of pajamas (for me), and last but not least, a reusable grocery tote (for me). This was not on my list:

Pillow case and faux chenille blanket (not for me).

But somehow, before I even knew it I was sewing for my daughter again. *Happy sigh* I just can't help it!

It started with purchasing a crib pillow for our daughter. Well, she needed a pillowcase for it, right? So I got to work making that, with fabric from my bins that matches the valances in her room. Then of course she needed a matching blanket too, right? For the past winter she's used a lovely polka-dot blanket that I was given at my shower. But it is getting small for her and she was quite attached to it. Switching blankets on her wasn't going to be easy. Until I started sewing this blanket! While I was making this, every time I tucked her into bed she asked for the "pink blanket".

For the pillowcase, I just started sewing. :-) For the faux chenille blanket, I followed these two tutorials: tutorial by Dana at MADE and tutorial by Anneliese at Aesthetic Nest. I used lightweight cotton for the back (or front?) and three layers of white flannel for the chenille. This project is tedious. Quite ridiculously so. But fun. ;-) While I was sewing and cutting and thought, "I should just buy chenille at Joann's and be done with it." But when I ran in to get binding for the blanket, I took a closer look at their chenille, and it is not soft like this faux chenille. However soft this blanket may be, this will probably be the first and last faux chenille blanket I make!

I used my walking foot for this project. I don't think you'd want to make this blanket without a walking foot! I just pin basted the layers together, and started sewing. The front and back were nice and smooth. No puckers!

I finished this last week, and my daughter has been using it ever since. She loves it, and so do I!

Monday, May 02, 2011

~Saying Goodbye to My Old Sewing Machine~

*Sniff, sniff*

As elated as I was to get my new-to-me sewing machine, I'm kind of torn about selling my old Singer. It sure was a great machine for me! She shows her years with her name - "Slant-O-Matic". The funny thing is, there's nothing automatic about the machine, except that the needle goes up and down when you push the pedal. :D I have a lot of happy sewing memories with this machine, but I'm looking forward to all the memories I'll make with my new machine!

I'm planning on putting the money I make from selling this machine towards an IKEA desk that will hold my new sewing machine. This one:

So it's a good thing to sell my old machine! Just a teensy bit hard!