Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Stuff Other People Make - Part II

Can you say spoiled? Well, I am. I won a contest on Amy Jo's blog a while back. I've been waiting to show off until Amy got back from Texas (and because I have been very lazy and unmotivated lately.)

This adorable Valentine's table runner. (The cute little pink dish was a gift from my niece Kelsey - she made it in her pottery class!) I don't have very many Valentine decorations so I was so excited to receive this.

Also included in my package was this awesome necklace, which I love!

And one of her new projects - the wonder wallet! It is so cute and works great! Check out Amy's blog for details on the pattern she used.

She also included some adorable handmade cards that I can't wait to use.
Thank you Amy! I love every bit of it. You spoiled me rotten!!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Stuff Other People Make

I received these coasters as a lovely gift from my friend Sara. I am in love with them! The pattern is from the book Last Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts. I have them in my living room and am thinking I need to work that color in the room some more. I love it! Makes things much less drab. Thanks Sara!!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Our Mornings - In Pictures

The ingredients may change, but our mornings are always the same.
I fix Sydney's breakfast of choice.

I fix my own breakfast.

Sydney eats my breakfast.

And I eat hers.

Everyday. And everyday I think it's going to change and it doesn't. 2 year olds are strange beings.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Busy as a bee

I have been. Busy that is. Doing what I don't know. I'm working on too many surprise projects right now, which means I have nothing to blog about. But that does mean I will have plenty to talk about in the coming weeks. Several birthday gifts, Valentines, and some new ideas brewing as well.

But for now, this is all I've got. Rows and rows and rows.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Felt Food Revisited

I've been stitching away at some more felt food. It has been so utterly cold here you can't even imagine it. (Yesterday was the first time in a week we got over zero.) So we have been spending a lot of time snuggled up on the couch watching movies. This has been the perfect project for that since most of the items are sewn by hand.

So, today for lunch we are featuring pizza with pepperoni, mushrooms and green peppers; an apple slice; an orange slice; a serving of sliced carrots; and one large piece of broccoli the size of a tree. (Yeah, that didn't turn out so good but it was a great way to practice french knots!)

Enjoy! Next up on the menu - desserts!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

There goes an afternoon...

A whole afternoon wasted playing with my sewing machine! My mom gave me a darning foot for my sewing machine for Christmas and I decided today was the day to figure out how to use it.
First I had to clean my machine though. If you participated in any of the felted sweater projects, I suggest you do the same! Mine filled up with lint very quickly with all those sweaters running through it!

Then I had to figure out how to get the foot on the machine using only a small (bad) drawing as my instruction. I figured it out eventually, after dismantling a few things!

Then I went nuts! Free motion sewing is so much fun! I will definitely have to think up some new projects so I can do this some more. I think I was probably going too fast, my stitches got a little big in some places and honestly I was scared I was going to sew myself a couple times. So next time slow and steady is the plan.

Here was my first attempt at some free motion embroidery. Looks a little childish, I think I need a little practice!

So that's what I've been up to. Not cleaning, doing laundry or putting away Christmas decorations. Just playing!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I *heart* paper

I was so excited last week to sell one of my pendants. Not just because I sold something (which is always exciting) but because I have been looking for an excuse to show you this paper!

I finally checked out a little independent scrapbooking store that is about 2 minutes from my house. What took me so long? I have no idea. But it was good. Really good. Probably too good, but who cares! I have decided from now on to spend my craftying money in indpendent stores like this one as much as possible. I mean really, this is just another woman trying to live her passion. That's the kind of business I want to support.

Here's the packaging for the pendant.

And here's the coordinating paper that of course I had to have as well!

Monday, January 14, 2008

More Kid Stuff...

Sorry guys, you are probably getting really sick of all the kid stuff going on around here, but well, that's my life I guess!
So my exciting news...I was shopping this weekend, browsing through T.J. Maxx and spotted this dollhouse. I've wanted one for Sydney for so long, but had come to the conclusion I would have to make one to be able to afford it. Which I was okay with, but who knows when it would get done. So I scooped this one up...which was on clearance...for $44!!! I am so excited and so is Sydney. It came with dolls and furniture, but could use a little crafty help to make it homey! I'm thinking some rugs and real blankets for the beds. The brand is Ryan's Room. I hadn't heard of it before, but it seems pretty good. The entire thing is made of wood. As soon as I got home I googled it to make sure it was safe, no recalls, all that stuff. I think this is probably an older model, which I assumed when I bought it, but still the cheapest I found it for was still $99. Woohoo!!! I love bargains like that.
We decided to put it in Sydney's room with the hopes that it will encourage her to actually play in there (it has). And I think this is just what I needed to motivate me to redo some things in her room (I bought curtain fabric for her room ages ago) and maybe even move her to a big bed. She is perfectly content in her crib, and she has never tried to climb out or anything like that...are we just asking for trouble moving her?

Friday, January 11, 2008


I have been obsessed with this project this week...

Felt food! Breanna posted about making some last month. It was adorable! Then I made the mistake of searching for felt food on flickr and I was hooked!

So far I have made (clockwise) lettuce, egg, pancake with syrup, carrot, tomato, bacon, and a piece of bread with optional peanut butter. I have many more ideas in the making. Sydney has been having a blast every morning checking to see what I made while she was sleeping the night before. She thinks they are very fun but taste kind of fuzzy!
So far I have only used cheap acrylic felt to make these, but there are some really cute ideas out there that incorporate a little fabric that are adorable as well. Either way, I am on a mission to reduce the amount of plastic junk in my house! An impossible task for sure, but I figure every little bit helps.
Alright, now eat up!

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the very kind birthday wishes yesterday. It was so much fun to "meet" so many new people. And all of my faithful readers as well. Thank you!

My husband surprised me with the beautiful flowers in the picture. We had a quiet supper out together last night while Sydney played at my sister's house. It was a great day.

And today is another one! Go check out this very cool site Craft and Found. Its new to me, but is chock full of fun stuff. And today Robyn is featuring my new black and white purse from last week! Hop on over and check it out!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Intentional Play

I've been reading bits and pieces from this book lately. I've learned a lot and have tried to incorporate a few things into our daily play that I thought I would share with you.
One of the main points that really stuck with me from this book was the opinion that children learn better, think better, play better in a tidy organized space. Ouch! While I try to keep our home that way, by the end of the day it is chaos. Usually the chaos gets picked up before the next day starts, sometimes not so much. Anyway, I made a conscience decision that this was going to change in at least part of our house (you've got to start somewhere, right?) Sydney and I spend the beginning of our day upstairs in our house. We get up, snuggle a little, have breakfast and play until lunchtime, then she goes down for a nap. So I decided to focus on the dining room and living room. We keep a lot of her toys in an armoire in this room. I cut back what was stored in there significantly and focused the toys to puzzles, games and other things that we like to do together and are at least semi-educational. All the items are organized as much as possible and labeled. (I got a new label maker for Christmas and am loving it!!)

The next principle I took from the book was to provide a mat for the child to play on. This helps them to focus on one thing at a time and to keep a tidier space. I made this for Sydney out of leftover curtain fabric from the living room and a soft decorator weight fabric from a clearance bin somewhere. I sewed them together with some very crooked square quilting and so far have only serged the edges because (believe it or not) I don't own any plain brown fabric to use for the binding.

The mat is about 2 1/2 feet by 4 or 5 feet. We've been using the mat for a little less than a week and I have to say it does really work. She loves to do puzzles and other stuff on her "play mat" as she calls it. I'm not sure if she is more trained, or if I am just more insistent that we clean off the mat before we start the next thing but it works. Our space has remained very tidy and I think she enjoys playing with her toys even more instead of being a little overwhelmed with them all.
Some other things we have done...
  • Set up this art easel in the corner of the dining room.

  • Rearranged my china cabinet to make room for a "project jar". I keep all my scraps of fabric, paper, ribbon, etc. from my projects and put them in here. She loves to cut and glue them onto paper. I also cleaned out one drawer in the cabinet to house things like glue, scissors and paints.

  • Made number flashcards. Numbers on one side, correlating dots on the opposite side. Also a good way to learn colors. I printed these out, trimmed them up and covered them with contact paper. I could totally feel a little Kindergarten Teacher coming out in me when I was making these! :)
  • Bought a "movable alphabet" of sorts. These are foam letters I got from Michael's with my 40% off coupon. Much cheaper that the real Montessori thing and I think they work just as well. So far I've only sorted out one set of letters. I plan to do more.
Sorry, today's post was pretty wordy! If anyone out there has any other ideas to add to the discussion I would love to hear them!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Guy Bags

I made a couple of these little fabric bags this week loosely following this pattern, but much smaller.

They were extremely easy and fun and a great way to use some wild fabric in a small dose.

One of these was for a gift, the other for Sydney. Perfect for holding a family of "guys".

P.S. Thanks for all your complements on my new purse! I am still loving it...but the haircut not as much. Why is it always so much better when they fix it at the salon than when you do it yourself at home?

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Needed Something New

Earlier today I got a fancy new haircut and I decided that called for a fancy new bag.

My inspiration was an Anthropologie bag (of course). But really I've seen this general design all over the internet. It was fun and easy to make and I love how wide the bag opens so you can actually find something inside it!

I finally cut into some fabric I got during my last Ikea trip to make this bag. I love the weight of it and luckily I have enough to make more!

I was a little worried about carrying a white bag in the winter - is that a horrible fashion faux pas? Clinton, Stacy, are you out there?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A Quick Game of Catch-Up

The rush of last minute Christmas projects made me put my Quilt Along squares on hold for a bit. I'm trying to not get overwhelmed with it, since that was the point of the whole thing, so I am only doing one square a day.

Here is my week 2 square. A little wonky, but I am pretty pleased with how my corners match up!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

Welcome 2008!

I've been thinking a lot lately about the new year and what I want to change. Not resolutions per say, just goals I guess. At some point one needs to create a plan for their life, set some goals, grow, learn. The rest of this week my husband is going out of town for a "Strategic Planning Retreat" with some co-workers. He works for a small engineering company that has grown very rapidly over the past 15 years and has had a sort of "fly by the seat of our pants" mentality regarding growth and running their business. They are are at a point where they need to re-evaluate and actually plan for the future, and I guess I feel like I am at that point too.

As I think about the things I might like to accomplish in 2008 I keep coming back to the word intentional.

intentional: (adj.) done or made or performed with purpose or intent.

There is nothing specific that I can say I am going to stop doing this or start doing that...I just want to try to live more intentionally. And the more I think about it the more I realize it relates to almost every aspect of my life. I want to be more intentional in the way I cook and the foods I choose, in the things I buy and where I spend my money, in my time with my daughter, in my home and how I care for it, in the way I write, in my health, in my faith, in my relationships with others. The list just goes on. I think I will probably be talking more about all of this here as the year stretches on. And maybe you would like to join me in making 2008 an intentional year.

I wish you all the best for 2008. I hope we can spend a good share of it together! I appreciate each and everyone of you that stops by to read my blog. Take care!