Friday, March 28, 2008

Favorite Friday

I guess I'll take a little break from kid's clothes to share a favorite Friday with you. My favorite today...

This book. I hesitate to call it a favorite because I technically haven't made anything out of it, but let me tell you the background story. I saw this book at Sam's Club for $15. I thought that was a great deal and thumbed through it a little but nothing caught my eye (I probably wasn't hungry at the time.) I saw it again at the library on Monday and thought great, now I really don't have to buy it! On Wednesday night I started "reading" it and marking recipes that I wanted to photocopy and try. Here's how the book looked when I got done.

I figure with the (ridiculous) cost of ink for my printer I might as well just go buy it! So, today we are off to Sam's to pick it up. Hopefully that's all we will pick up. Buying in bulk is a weakness I have!

Like I said, I haven't actually tried any of the recipes yet, but I would describe them as simple, with basic ingredients. They aren't mind-blowing intricate recipes, just simple stuff you would actually make. I think of it as more of a "what to make for supper inspiration" cookbook rather than a "measure out exact ingredients and follow exactly" cookbook. Does that make sense? One major plus is that there are gorgeous pictures of every single recipe. I love that!

On a separate note, here's another favorite of mine today.

Thanks again Sara!

Hope you have a weekend full of favorites!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

More Kid Clothes...

I'm cranking things out like a mad woman over here! I just need to remember to stop and share them with you! This outfit started with the top from Children's Place. It was on sale for less than $5. I was probably crazy to buy white, but it was too cute. I couldn't resist.
The little capri pants are made from a wild purple flower fabric that has been in my stash for a very long time...I'm guessing 4 years. It is heavier than a standard cotton and has some stretch to it. I love the funky pants paired with the simple top.
To tie the outfit together I cut out 2 flowers from the fabric to applique, but then thought of a better idea. Since it is a white shirt it is inevitable that it will need to be bleached so I didn't want to permanently adorn it. I took the two flowers and cut white canvas for backing then free-motion quilted the two pieces together. I added a little safety pin to the backs and they were done! (And so much fun! I need to free-motion more!)

Next up - two more pairs of capris, a pair of shorts, some more lounge pants, maybe another skirt and then some dresses (which means I will have to actually break out a pattern! Yikes!!) And then I supposed I should actually make something for me!
Happy Thursday all!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Kid Stuff...

I've got kid clothes on the brain these days. More on that later... Did you all have a good Easter? I certainly hope so. We had a great time with my family. (Thanks again for coming guys!) Sydney loved playing with all her cousins. She especially loved the egg hunt - here's a running shot of her finding one.

Anyway, back to the clothes. I am feeling very inspired to sew Sydney clothes for summer. We have some major expenses coming this summer (new siding and windows for our house - ouch!!) and this seems like an easy way to save a couple bucks - and it's fun! Here's what I whipped up today.

Some easy flannel pajama pants. Since we still have snow I figured she will still get some use out of these! Sydney thinks the Chinese lanterns are pumpkins!

I also made this little summer skirt. I used part of the twirly skirt tutorial (in theory anyway) to make the drawstring/elastic waist.

I made both of these during nap time. I did have to wait for Sydney to wake up to finish hems, etc. Otherwise it took almost no time at all! I'm currently going through the summer clothes I have for Sydney (clearance from last year) so I can make some coordinating outfits. So look out - more kid's clothes to come!!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Favorite Friday

Well, I can tell you what's not my favorite...looking out the window this morning and seeing this:

Seriously, it's Easter! Here's a shot of our deck - which had absolutely no snow on it yesterday.

On a happy note, Sydney is feeling much better today, just in time for my family to come for the weekend. Should be lots of fun. I'm hoping I will finish up these little guys before Sunday...

Chocolate Wee bunny anyone? I used some soft fuzzy brown felted sweaters for the back of these. I also shrunk the pattern to 75% - because anything cute is only going to be cuter in miniature, right? :)

Happy Easter all! I wish the rest of you warm sunshine and a renewed spirit.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Easter Twirly Skirt

I decided to go the skirt route for Sydney for Easter. It will be cold here for Easter (maybe even snowing) so the summery Easter dresses you see in every store would just get covered up by a sweater anyway. So I figured I would make a skirt and just pair it with a sweater she already has. (Not with the shirt pictured, but with a nice cabled cream sweater with a little bit of sparkle mixed in. And hopefully the sunglasses won't be going to church with us, but who knows.) (And please ignore the disaster in the background!)

I had an uncooperative model the other day when I took these pictures. And she isn't feeling well today, so this is as good as it gets.

I used the twirly skirt tutorial from House on Hill Road, but with a couple modifications. I made the band on the bottom a little narrower than the instructions called for. It just seemed more proportionate for these short little legs. I also skipped the ribbon in the waste and just went with the elastic. This skirt is seriously well, twirly I guess. There is almost 80 inches of fabric gathered up to make this skirt! Wow! I love how it's put together though and will definitely use the pattern again, with maybe a little less fabric next time. The waist ends up being a little uncomfortable because of all the gathered fabric - 80 inches smooshed into 18 inches is just a little too much I guess!

The fabric was a bargain from Mill End Textiles - 40% off of $4/yd. I had the elastic and cream accent on hand, as well as the sweater she is going to pair it with. So, a cute Easter outfit for less than $3. Not too bad! :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

An Easter Doll

Did you catch Emily Martin on Martha Stewart's show last week? She shared a pattern for an adorable doll that I knew Sydney would love. So I gave it a shot!

This will be Sydney's gift for Easter. But this is no Easter Bunny gift - this is all from Mommy! (I'm a selfish gift-giver, I admit it!)

My favorite part is her polka dot tights. I made her a couple little things so Sydney can practice changing clothes. Just simple stuff - a red felt skirt with velcro closure, an apron with ric rac ties, a wool jumper with velcro straps, and of course a little green scarf.

The face was a little intimidating. Emily's pattern says to paint the face on with acrylic paint. But this seems scary! So I used Sharpies. I felt like I had a lot more control and it didn't bleed much. It's not perfect...I've been trying to figure out a little smile or something, but I don't want to screw it up at this point! Maybe just some rosy cheeks will be enough.

I also made a little doll quilt to go with her. While it is what I had pictured in my head, I don't really like it. But it works and I guess I can always make another one later. (Try to ignore the binding - it's not sewn down on the back yet!)

If you try out the doll pattern, be sure and watch the video as I think Emily gives some good hints that aren't included with the pattern.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Hope you are having a fabulous green Monday! I had a really productive weekend, it's almost hard to believe! Did some thrifting on Saturday morning, then spent the rest of my free time sewing up a storm. So I hope to have a lot of things to show off this week!

I was tagged by Sara from Luna Feliz to share 7 random things about me. Since I did something similar last week I thought I would share 7 projects that I hope to make next. Call it a little preview for 2008 - because it will probably take me that long to get to them all! Anyway here goes!

1. Fabric crown
2. A rice bag using Wisecraft's tutorial.
3. Soft turtle for Sydney (plus a couple extras to have on hand)
4. Placemats
5. Summer clothes for Sydney
6. Jewelry rack for my bathroom
7. Rug for my kitchen

Sad thing...that was just off the top of my head. If I checked my "list" I could go on for days!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Favorite Friday

Another installment of Favorite Friday! This week, my favorite thing is my new Spring purse!

It's bright, it's huge - I love it! The main fabric is a decorator weight woven fabric. The handles are made from a corduroy shirt from the thrift store. The lining is also a thrift store find. As you can (sort of) see from the out of focus shot, the bag has become a long dark tunnel. But I just don't care because I love it and it holds a ton of stuff!! I can see lots of long skinny zipper pouches in my future!
Happy Friday Folks!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Just me...

Last week Sally from Polliwog's Cakewalk tagged me to share 6 things about myself. I think I did this once before, but it's been awhile and I'm sure there are 6 more things I can think of. So here goes...
1. My sister and I are 5 years apart (I'm younger!) and don't really look that much alike, but we have a couple strange things that are exactly alike. For example, our hands look exactly the same (my identical hand twin!!) Our legs are the exact same length from hip to heel, but I am 3 inches taller than her through the torso. We also dress alike all the time without ever planning it. We don't buy matching clothes or anything, we just seem to coordinate a lot. And we do a lot of stuff together so there is usually a phone call to make sure we aren't going to match too much.

2. I have a degree in marketing, but my minor was in Economics. My advisor pretty much told me that was the dumbest thing he had ever heard, but I liked it! I liked economics - what was wrong with me? But now, my husband thinks I'm smart because of this. Yep, I've got him fooled.

3. Speaking of my husband thinking I'm smart - I pretty much ruined that this morning when I slipped and fell in the shower. To give you an idea of his reaction - no I am not 80 and no I didn't break my hip. I am however really black and blue and I feel like a truck hit me. Not my proudest moment. I can't believe I am telling you all!

4. I have an addiction problems. Luckily instead of drugs or alcohol I chose fabric and paper. What? You already knew that? Oh, sorry.

5. My husband and I got married a year, a month and a day after our first date. We met while I was dating his roommate. Oops!!

6. I bowled in the lane next to Kimberly Locke (from American Idol) here in Chicago about 4 years ago. I used to go to Chicago a lot back at my pre-baby job. Don't miss the job, but do miss the free trips to the Windy City!! Anyway, she was really nice (but she kind of sucked at bowling!) Exciting celebrity siting, huh?

So that's all I've got, sorry to bore you! I do have a fun project to show you though...

I made this little apron yesterday to send to Sydney's cousin Chiara. Her mom just had twin boys (the recipients of the turtles from a while back) and we thought she should have a little something fun too.
It was so easy! I made it from a dishtowel that I got on clearance (I bought a ton of them just for this purpose). All I did was cut and sew the sides and made tubes for the strap to go through so the neck and waist is all adjustable. Making the strap was the most time consuming part of the whole project!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I mentioned last week that I was working on some knitted Easter eggs. Well, I've finished three and I guess the excitement has kind of worn off. Funny how that happens.

Here is my first attempt. Love the colors and the look, but the size is way off. This sucker is huge. Like ostrich egg big.

Attempt number two. Knitted with the smallest needles I own (3) out of plain old white. Much better size, but kind of boring.

And attempt number three. Cuter yarn, decent size, but badly misshapen. Can you even tell this is an egg?

I think they would have turned out much cuter if I had just put the knitted egg over a Styrofoam egg instead of stuffing them. But, I knew they would be hugged, thrown, and generally played with a lot so stuffing was the best route. One thing the experience has shown me is that knitting a ball would be really easy. I think I will work on that pattern - I'll share it with you when I get it perfected!

In other exciting news around here... this arrived in the mail and has found a special place in my craft room!
I am the proud owner of a Birthday Crown from the lovely Vallen! I was so excited when I opened it! Isn't it fun?!? It had some adorable pinwheels that were supposed to be stuck in, but Sydney swiped them and has been having a blast with them. Hopefully I can steal them back soon! Thanks again Vallen, I love it!!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Favorite Friday

Sydney and I were working on our favorite Friday breakfast (buckwheat pancakes with a mashed banana mixed in to cut through the buckwheat flavor!) when I realized what favorite I had to share with you today!
This rotating tray holds my most used kitchen essentials - extra-virgin olive oil, kosher salt, black pepper, red pepper, italian seasoning, Montreal Steak seasoning (by McCormick) and the standard salt and pepper shakers. I actually got it for free, another reason why it's a favorite probably!
Last fall when we were at my in-laws house my MIL was cleaning her house and had a huge pile of stuff she was planning to donate. Of course, I dug through it and found this tray. It went with a set of serving dishes that fit on top. Not sure why I didn't nab those...maybe she was missing one of them. I can't remember. Anyway, I knew this would be a very useful treasure! And I was right. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't use it, and it has kept my spice cabinet neat and tidy since I no longer have to dig around in there for the items I use everyday.
Hope you all have a great weekend planned! We are experiencing (HOPEFULLY) our last cold streak around here, so we will be hanging low at home patiently waiting for spring.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

It's boo-full

That's what Sydney said anyway. She's a sucker for beads though, so she's a little biased. These are just some of the beads I bought last week. I have no idea what they are called or anything (the darker green ones might be jade??) They were just pretty and 50% off! That's all I need!!

They just happened to match what I was wearing yesterday!

As with all necklaces in my house, now you see it....

now you don't!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Squared Table Runner

I think 2008 just might become the year of the table runner!

This runner was sent off to live at the lovely Mary Ann's house as a little thank you for a gigantic box of goodies she sent to me and Sydney - think vintage sheets for me and endless art supplies for her (her favorite being crepe paper that is cut up and hung all over the house.) Thanks again Mary Ann! Hope you enjoy the runner - which in Sydney's head means you put it on the floor and run back and forth on it as fast as you can. Just something to try in case you get bored!! :)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Playing catch up...

Somehow I've found myself behind. On e-mails, laundry, blog reading, blog posting etc. Not sure how it happened, but please bear with me while I try to catch up! In the meantime, here are some things that have been going on around here...

I attended my last knitting class for the mittens last Thursday. They just need to be felted and I will show them off! My husband wants me to knit him a pair in camouflage next. Not sure they make yarn like that, but I'll come up with something.

Last Friday we went to my sister's house for a Wii party. Oh my goodness, so much fun! And I'm really not a video game person. Sydney had a blast too, even though she didn't quite get what was going on. Funny story though....the kids were playing Wii bowling that night. Sydney thought it was very fun, even though the ball usually went behind her head. At home on Sunday the TV got left on ESPN and professional bowling was on. Sydney came running to find me, very excited because she thought she was playing Wii again. Hilarious!! Funny how her game improved dramatically!

Just made a quick trip to Wal-mart. (Doesn't sound very exciting, I know.) This particular store is relocating soon to a Super Wal-mart so they have been clearancing everything. I made a haul on a ton of yarn ridiculously cheap. Like Lion Brand Thick and Quick for $2 cheap, among other things. I'm all ready for Christmas scarf making!! (Thanks for the tip Stacy!)

Speaking of knitting, I am currently working on one of these knitted Easter easy and quick, I can't wait to show you how cute it is!

Not that I really care, but I find it funny that Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony named their kid's Max and Emme....just like the kids from Dragon Tales on PBS. Anybody else watch that show?

I snuck out to this fabulous bead store on Friday. I am starting to get hooked on jewelry making. Just what I needed! I'll hopefully show off my creations soon!

Sometimes a little whining pays off! Remember my zippered pouch from last week? (I'm sick of linking, just scroll down if you don't.) Well, the very sweet and thoughtful Katherine has made a tutorial to show us all how to make a lined zippered pouch without hand sewing the lining! Thanks again Katherine! I knew there had to be a way, I just couldn't wrap my head around it until you explained it. You're the best!

One more thing...someone asked about the frame I used for Sydney's painting. It was a after Christmas clearance score from Michaels, came in a pack of three different sized frames. Really nothing special - any old frame will do! I found the mat at Hobby Lobby - with my 40% off coupon it was $1.50.

Alright, that's all I've got. I'm off to catch up on e-mails.