Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

I won't get to see the looks on my kids' faces when they wake up this morning, but I will be getting relieved a few hours early so that we can open presents together, and they won't have to be tortured waiting all day for the unwrapping-fun to start.

We hope you have a wonderful day with loved ones.

Sending you tidings of good cheer, joy, happiness, love, and prayers for a wonderful Christmas and fantastic New Year!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Crafty Christmas

I have been working hard, and long, on projects for the holidays. I have declared myself finished for the season. 

Done. Finito. No more. 

Mostly likely. 

If I come up with something that can be done quickly then I will be sewing some more. Actually, I have a couple of hair bows I want to make before Christmas, but it's not a major project.

Here are the results of my hard work:

My son is loving all things Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I found a T-shirt in the bigger boys clearance section ($5) at Wal-mart and decided to use it to make a battle shell for him. I added interfacing, cut out the shape, sewed a lining to the insides, and added straps to go over his shoulders and around his waist. On the back shell I added a couple of "pockets"- to hold weapons that we don't have-and I am ok with that. All he needs are some masks and some pillow fight weapons and he will be ready for some harmless fun--Ninja style.
I hope he likes it.

I made the girl's skirt and the boy's tie for picture taking. Love it.
I made a panel skirt in holiday fabric and added an ornament embellishment to a t-shirt. So cute.

I made some more ties and some holiday bow ties for my son, as well for another kid-cousin. I turned some bow ties into hair bows for the girl. She took one of my son's bow ties and held it up to her head because she wanted to be a present and it was adorable. How could I not make her some?  

And I can't forget about the three matching golden Christmas outfits.

These are the reversible dresses I was talking about in an earlier post. They can go from Christmas to Valentine's Day.

I finally did add buttons to them. A word about reversible dress buttons: they are kind of awkward to sew on, and really hard to get through the button hole because of the other button behind it. But super cute still. The pattern for the dress came from the book Stitch Savvy by Deborah Moebes. The pattern ranges from xs-l. I looked on her blog to see the what sizes the ranges were actually for and lo and behold there was information on it. A welcome change from the peacoat pattern. The small can go fit a 2-5 year old and go from a dress to tunic to top. The pattern calls for ties at the shoulder line,  but I adjusted the pattern to make it more like a jumper with buttons instead of ties.

I made some leg warmers from knee socks for my girl. Some knee socks were longer than others, but I love how easy they were to make and how adorable they turned out.

The final projects were these uber-cute baby doll baskets and a round stuffed cow. I made one basket for a kid-cousin (R) and one for my girl (L). I love the pattern that Dana from MADE released. I made the medium sized baskets. The instructions were wonderful (as always with Dana's stuff) and it was a fun project. I can't wait for my girl to see hers. I hope she will love it. 

I love the pink on pink checkered fabric with the gray on gray dot fabric (all from Wal-mart). I was going to do my girls' one in different fabric but I loved the pink and gray so much I went to buy more of it. I was lucky enough to find the perfect color of gray bias tape as well.

One of the kid-cousin babies loves cows so I made her a stuffie. I hope she enjoys it. 

We also did baking and Christmas ornament crafting and teacher gift making. I didn't get many photos of that stuff because of time issues, but we had fun.

A full range of holiday craftiness. 
And I enjoyed it all.
I am 99.99% done with everything. There were some projects I didn't get around to doing but I can do them when I have more time off. All I have to do now is wait on Christmas to arrive, play Santa and put the stuff under the tree. 

That wraps it up for my Christmas crafts and sewing projects. Next year, if I have any projects, I will try to start earlier in the year, but the last minute stuff is pretty fun too.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Busy-ness ensues...My Week

I am still deep in Christmas sewing projects. 
The end may be in sight, maybe. 
I finished three outfits, fixing one of them. 

I've got four dresses cut out...they will eventually become two dresses and reversible, so still four dresses. 

I've got ties and bow ties cut out. 

I'm still working on the baby doll baskets, two of them. At least one of those needs to be completed before the week of Christmas. And I think I need more fabric to make the handles. :/ Didn't think everything through completely.

I did wrap my kids' presents on my day off. I figured I could wrap 
the kid cousin presents in their sight...they might even help.

I've got Christmas crafts prepped, if we have time to get to them.

I've bought some stuff for Christmas baking, hoping we have time.

Things we did do recently:
Christmas parade. 

Christmas photos.

Work holiday gathering.

Calendar photos and Christmas cards ordered.

Little Bethlehem, which my girl calls "Jesus Live". Ha! She was all excited to see baby Jesus in the stable. When she looked in the manger and realized he wasn't a real baby, the look of confusion on her face was priceless. Poor thing.

Reading our Christmas advent books. We get to the end of one of them about Santa Claus and his new suit when my daughter gets an epiphany. "Santa can bring us presents?!" I sort of saw her mind working in that she was thinking she should have asked the Mall Santa for more than a toy Christmas tree, or whatever she did ask him for. She did change it from a candelabra. We have neither confirmed nor denied that Santa can bring presents.

At bedtime she said she was going to ask Santa to bring baby Jesus a toy rattle for Christmas. A Christmas tree, noisy rattle. ♥ 

I got my Black Friday fabric from Joann's in the mail yesterday. Cute!

I've got projects planned that I can do at work (Shh!, no telling) over the weekend since I won't be at home sewing.

And on the way into work this morning I hear the Kenny Chesney song "All I Want for Christmas is a Real Good Tan"...that would be totally awesome right about now as it is cold, and I could use a break, a nap, some quiet time, some relaxing time, I could use everything in the song. *whine, whine, whine, complain, whine* 

I am almost there though, well, except for the part about being on a warm vacation, but the slow down time is coming so I can enjoy the rest of the holiday season.

Back to work-work for me. Have a great weekend!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Wooden Fabric Circles + My Week

My Week:
I'm deep in sewing projects for Christmas, decorating, and shuttling kids to holiday events. Busy, busy, busy. And loving it! Can't wait to show you what I am working. My studio is a mess, a lovely mess. I won't show you that...maybe.

Anyway, here is a project I finished for the studio!

Have you seen the cute embroidery hoop fabric decorations on Pinterest, or magazines, or in a fabric shop? I love them. I first saw them online, and then when my hubs and I went on a trip to Savannah I stopped in a fabric shop, Fabrika, and they had some on the long wall separating the shopping area from the staircase.

I knew that once I got my studio built I wanted to hang some in my space. The problem: embroidery hoops aren't cheap. And I wanted several of them. 

Solution: wooden circles.

I found these wooden circles at the Hob Lob (Hobby Lobby). They were also most likely on sale. The large circle is 10 inches ($1.43) and the small circle is 6 1/2 inches ($.79). Decently priced even when not on sale.

I gathered my supplies:
-Wooden circles
-Hot glue gun and glue sticks
-Adhesive Velcro

I ironed some remnant pieces of fabric that were big enough to fit on the large and small wooden circles. The fabrics have been used in other projects, or were other projects, and will now be decoration.

Place the fabric wrong side up and the wooden circle on top of the fabric.

I put the price tag side up so it wouldn't show through the fabric when I turned it around to the side it would be viewed from.

Make sure there is enough fabric to pull around to the back of the circle to glue down. Slowly put hot glue on the circle and pull the fabric to secure it to the circle. Careful, the glue is hot, which seems odd to have to say, but it is.

Keep going around the circle gently pulling the fabric so that it will conform to the circle and look pretty on the other side.


Once you have done the whole circle, place the finished product somewhere to cool off. Continue doing the other circles.

When all of your circles have been completed and cooled off you can trim the excess fabric to reduce bulk on the back.

The only fabric that wasn't a remnant was this awesomely cute turquoise, white, and red sewing fabric that I got from JoAnn's. It matches my room perfectly and I thought that was so cool. I only bought a quarter of a yard. There's a little remaining to possibly make some simple projects out of. Maybe a pin cushion? I'll think of something.


So cute and fun. Quick, too.

I did all of these is less than an hour and a half. They are ready to hang.

I got some adhesive Velcro to attach to the circles. You can use anything you want to hang yours up (some ribbon/string attached to the back and a nail would be a good idea as well). Place on the wall, or wherever you are going to put them, and stick them up. That way if I wanted to change up the look I could just move the circle to a different velcro spot.

I used some extra circles as a template for spacing. It gave me a good visual before I put the permanent adhesive on the wall, that way I could make slight adjustments as needed. I put some tape on the back of the non-fabric circles for temporary use.

My girl had fun helping me. She wanted to play with the circles. Then, she wanted to help hang them up. I let her do one. She was very proud.

The wall before and after:

I hope to find smaller circles (3-4 inches) to add to my wall. It will give it some variety and add more interest. 

I have a few more wooden circles left over, and as I complete future projects I can assure you that more circles will be added to the wall. I have some fantastic girl super hero fabric I am going to use for a project (not sure what I am going to make, as usual) for my girl. I am hoping there will be enough to make a couple of circles so I can put one in her room.

You could use this project in other ways as well. Maybe a mobile or d├ęcor in a kids room? Bathroom? On a flat ceiling? For the various holidays? There are many possibilities.

As always, thanks for visiting. :)

Friday, November 29, 2013

My Week + Glowing Leaves

My Week:
-Work, Thanksgiving, work. Also, lots of planning and prepping for the holidays. Getting excited and making sure to not miss anything this year. It's going to be busy and I am going to enjoy it.

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Glowing Leaves:
The end of November is upon us and even though winter is still a few weeks away, fall has essentially come to an end. The changing of the season has been quite nice this year. A little odd as well. The leaves on the trees are turning colors and look spectacular, some are fighting to stay green, and on some parts of the trees the leaves are already gone. It's like the trees are confused. But they do make for pretty photos.

Some photos were taken at one of the buildings I work in. I loved the staggered color of the trees when I looked out of the glass doors. Always a pretty sight. The rest were taken at a park near the house. I love the way the sunlight streams through the leaves to make it look like they are glowing. So pretty. 

Enjoy the fall colors.

Monday, November 25, 2013

My Kiddos, More Fall Photos

I took the kids to the park because it was a warm day, the leaves were pretty, and they could use the outdoor play time, and I could take some photos. Win-win all the way around.

They are getting better at posing for me and following my directions so that the process of taking photos doesn't lead to frustration on my part, and theirs as well I am sure.

 love his eyes. beautiful.

lounging. sweet faces.

model kids. i am not sure why she is giving him the mean look. he didn't do anything to her.

i think she could be a child model. that adorable face.

so could he. cute.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Baby Goodies

A couple of the ladies at my kids' daycare are/were having babies. Each their first. One lady had a baby girl around mid-November. The other lady is due in December with a boy. She also has a step-daughter, so now they will have one of each in the family.

They've been wonderful to my kids since they started working there. And I love a chance to sew for babies since I don't have any littles like that any more. It also gives me a chance to get feedback on what I make.

Boy and Girl Baby Goodies

Most everything came from fabric I already had on hand. Some of these projects were remnants from other projects and there was just enough leftover to make baby things.

Baby Boy Goodies:
puppy dog plush.

 Flannel oversized receiving blanket and a fleece ruffle-y blanket.

As my girl got older she still liked to be swaddled, and the regular size receiving blankets were just not big enough, but the oversized ones worked great later on.

I used an oversized receiving blanket as a template to make my version, then just serged the edges to prevent fraying. I bought this flannel fabric at JoAnn's on sale.

The cute argyle fleece was in the remnants bin. Hooray for 50% off listed price! I used some brown ribbon to make the ruffle and just sewed it to the fleece. Easy enough. The end result was bigger/longer than a normal baby blanket. He will be able to use this one for a few years before he outgrows it.

It's ok to put a ruffle on a boy blanket right?

Of course it is.

I thought so.

Burp cloths: Mostly extra fabric I had on hand. I did buy the doggie fabric because it was boyish and super cute. All are made of flannel and cotton. The sizes differ a little depending on how much of a remnant I had left.

Taggie blanket, hat, and bow tie.

Let's take a closer look: 

Loving the bow tie. The baby is due before Christmas. I thought the bow tie would make for some cute photos.

Baby Girl Goodies:
Oversized flannel receiving blanket and fleece ruffle-y blanket. I left the ends of the ruffle "open". It won't fray there and the ends overlap somewhat so when you use open it up you can't really tell it's not closed.

I made this purple ruffle with some fabric from the free-must-get-this-stuff-out-of-my-mom's-house person in one of the buildings I work in. It frayed so much until I could sew it together with the serger. I am happy with the way it turned out though. Fleece and flannel came from JoAnn's, just like the boys'.

Cute pink elephant fabric from JoAnn's.
 Burp cloths: Flannel and cotton fabrics. Sizes varied depending on remnant pieces.
Taggie elephant. Pretty cute. I could have done a little better job on it, but this was the first time I made something like this so it's fine.

Circle skirts: I made these for when the baby turns about 6 months old and the weather is warmer. 

So tiny and cute! Love 'em.

Everything was finished and ready to go.
I found some plain brown bags for the goodies.

Packed and almost ready to go. 
I placed a note card in each bag detailing the items made and that most everything could be washed and dried in a normal laundry cycle (toy excluded for obvious reasons). I added some tissue paper and took them to the daycare center.

Since one was out on maternity leave I just left hers in the office. They will get it to her. The other lady was driving the bus so I left hers in the office, too. Won't she be surprised when she comes back. I love leaving surprises like this.

I hope they like what I made.

Friday, November 22, 2013

My Week

Oh, how time goes by so quickly. The holidays are coming. Have your heard? I'm getting excited. I'm looking forward to it this year. Last year at this time I was not feeling well. So I tried to rest. But I got worse. Then, eventually I got better. And then got sick again. I'm not quite sure my lungs are 100% even now, but I can't wait for the holiday season to be in full swing.

Here's what I have been doing this week:

*I made banana bread muffins. The house smelled very nice for a few hours. Mmmm.

*One of my November goals was to get the house ready for the holidays. Which means cleaning. I'm off to a good start.
My view from my spot on the couch before...

And after...
No judging me on the photos, just keeping it real. There's still more to do.

*A late birthday gift arrival from my hubs. Last year (Christmas or Birthday, I don't remember) I got the hands free wireless remote control thingy for my camera. Nice, but not useful if you don't have a tripod.

*I tried the tripod out and I love it!

Family Christmas photo session here we come! I don't think my family realizes what is in store for them now. Bwhahaha.

*I made some gifts for a couple of my kids' daycare providers who were/are expecting new bundles of joy. One girl already had her new baby girl, and the other is having a boy next month.

*I did some straightening and organizing in my studio and began a craft project. I have several projects I want to do for Christmas and time is marching on quickly. Slow down, time.

Have a super fun weekend!