Sunday, June 29, 2008

Drumroll Please

I totally hit the jackpot with my swap. I really couldn't be more happy or excited about what I received. Tonya had me and made an absolutely beautiful apron, matching dish towels, and a pin cushion. This apron is so detailed and must have taken her forever to make. Thank you so much Tonya! I love it all! It couldn't be more fabulous.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Super Summer Savings Spectacular

Like my title? It's very Walmart commercial, don't you think? I've spent the morning marking down lots of items in my shop so be sure to check out the sale section. Purses for as low as $25! There are some fabulous new fabric lines coming out in the next few weeks so I'm trying to prep my craft room for stacks of new material and make room for the bright and funky bags I'll be making. And don't forget about this month's coupon which I extended through the 30th.

I'm hoping to get a chance to sew this weekend. I'm still trying to learn more about zippers but unfortunately, I've been battling a stomach bug since Thursday night so I haven't even gotten dressed the last two days, let alone attempted to do anything productive.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

More Fabulous Swap Items

This is what Marie sent to Jenni. How freakin cute are those dish towels?! I'm totally going to borrow that idea for the girls' bathroom. And the apron is fabulous too! Great job Marie! And how cute is Jenni?! We met through our husbands about 3 years ago and have become great friends. We have a lot in common and our husbands joke that we're morphing into the same person. We're about the same height and weight (ok, truthfully, she's done way better sticking with her weight watchers plan than I have so she's about 10 pounds lighter than me now...and that's all I have to say about that:( ), dress fairly similarly, she chopped off her hair so we have virtually the same cut now, she used to wear glasses that were like mine...kind of freaky. Anyway, she is the nicest person and so easy to get along with. I only get to see her every few months but we usually spend the whole weekend chattering away. They're coming to visit next month and I'm so looking foward to seeing my wonderful friend.

I got my items today from Tonya and they are beyond wonderful. I'll post pics as soon as Crafty Papa gets home and can photograph me modeling them. I'm so loving seeing the results of this swap. Hopefully everyone will be up for a holiday themed swap in a few months.

Think good thoughts, pray, whatever you do...

for my good friend and neighbor, Sharon. Not only did she suddenly lose her husband last month, now her mother-in-law is gravely ill and the doctors don't know what's wrong. She was out gambling with her almost 90 year old boyfriend all day Friday :) at a local casino and then felt so bad the next morning, she had to be rushed to the hospital. She's steadily declined since. This isn't your typical mother-in-law/daughter-in-law situation either. Sharon calls her "Mom", treats her like her own mother, and has been best friends with her for a long time. She's really Sharon's only local support besides myself and another neighbor and I know she isn't ready for her to go yet.

Please, please keep Sharon in your thoughts. She's battling her own long term, life-threatening illness so her strength is really being tested. I absolutely hate seeing a friend go through this.


First, let me say, I was going to not blog for like a week so that my fabulous zipper bag would be the top post for several days and eventually, every crafter in the world would learn of my success. But, I've decided to sacrifice and share some fabulous swap items that were received this week.

First, the bag that Connie made for Cindy. Can you believe how great this came out? I'm trying to figure out why Connie is one of my biggest customers when she can obviously sew in a zipper much more successfully than I can. Cindy said her favorite color was orange and Connie found this bright and funky batik to use for her bag. Cindy told me she loves it!

Then, a bag Cindy made for Lori. Cindy is a wonderful seamstress who makes really elaborate, theater quality costumes for her family at Halloween. Oooooo, and coordinating flannel pj pants for their Christmas card picture. How cute is that! I've gotten to see pics of some of her amazing projects over the years and think she would do really well on Etsy. Maybe I can get her to send me a picture of the cutest little ballerina tutu bag she made last year.

Now, lets shift the focus back to me and my zipper success:) I was so excited, I had to give the zipper another stab last night and I think I was able to improve upon the bag I made for myself. I made a cute pink and brown zippered bag that I'll list in my shop later today, once I decide whether it needs an accent pin to finish it off.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mama's Got a Brand New Bag

I was overdue for a new bag and decided to get motivated to make myself one today. I knew I wanted to use black instead of brown this time because I seem to have a lot more black in my closet now as opposed to the brown that I always used to wear. I adore this fabric and am really happy with how it turned out.

No, your eyes aren't playing tricks on you, THAT'S A FREAKIN ZIPPER!!!! A real life, functioning zipper. Can you tell I'm excited? I am seriously so proud of myself, I'm considering making some kind of girl scout style sash with merit badges. So far, I've earned the serger, button hole, and zipper badges. Maybe this isn't a big deal to other seamstresses?

I've always been excessively afraid of zippers but since sales in the store are down right now, I thought it would be a perfect time to learn a new skill. And, a skill that might make my bags stand out. So, I read about 20 different tutorials last night and walked away from the computer just as lost as when I started. I finally decided to sit down today and make it up as I went a long. You can see it's not perfect...

I used a glue stick to keep the zipper in place while sewing (read that trick online) and it turned my fabric blue. Not sure whether that will dry clear or not. And I don't even care. Seriously, Matea can draw all over this bag with a Sharpie and I'm so damn proud of myself, I'll still happily carry it around. I also had to shorten my zipper - I'm sure I did that wrong. And making the gusset, or whatever that piece is called - definitely needs some tweaking. All in all though, I'm really happy with the result (in case you hadn't figured that out) and hope that my family will throw me some kind of congratulatory party tonight - although that most likely won't happen. Go ahead and have some ice cream in my honor.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Quick Update

I did a little bit of sewing today and just added these new items to my shop. First, a messenger bag featuring an appliqued natural linen flap and some more of the fabric I bought from Japan.

Then, after making mini rag quilt lovies for my girls today, I thought, "Hey, I should totally make a few for my shop"-I actually said it out loud but no one responded. I listed this Sundrop one and plan to make a few more tonight. I find unusual excitement in getting the rag quilt out of the dryer and seeing it all fluffed up. It's the small things that entertain me. And, they're priced really well at only $12.99.

And my other project this weekend was really special. You may remember me mentioning on the blog last month that my neighbor died very suddenly. A few weeks ago, I told his wife, my good friend, Sharon, that if and when she was ready, I would be happy to make her 5 month old grandson a monkey lovey from Grandpa's old jeans. She told me she wasn't ready yet but would definitely be up for the project later. She showed up at my door unexpected last week and handed me the jeans through tears. It had been so hot recently, I was totally avoiding my craft room and the crazy heat in there but really wanted to finish the monkey this weekend since Baby Jacob was visiting. The heat finally broke this morning and I was able to take the monkey across the street and see how much emotion it brought out in Sharon. A very special project.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Two New Projects

First, an item for a swap on a scrapbooking board I go to. My person wanted something to hang on her kitchen wall that was red and aqua and shabby chic. I decided to make a magnetic message board and was so happy with the results, I plan to make one for my own kitchen.

I was at Walmart this morning and saw this absolutely adorable animal print and had to have it. I had been thinking about making my first rag quilt for a friend's baby and decided this flannel would be perfect. It came together really easily and only took 2-3 hours. And as a bonus, the flannel was only about $3/yard so my cost was only $12 for a cute, handmade baby gift. I'm thinking about making a few for the shop and see how they do. Walmart has some seriously cute flannel, including lots of stuff for boys which is hard to come by.

The girls seem really excited about the fraying on the blanket so I'm thinking about making them each one for Christmas. We decided a few years ago to drastically scale down on our Christmas spending. Each kid gets three gifts - one from each other, one from us, and one from Santa - and a few small stocking stuffers. I love the idea of the gift from mommy and papa being a handmade blanket that they could keep for a long time as opposed to a toy they grow out of in a few months. And bonus, we're planning to buy bunk beds for them at the beginning of the year so they'll be due for new bed blankets anyway. I can totally kill two birds with one stone. I'm rambling.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday Favorites

First, these prints from this Etsy seller. I don't know why, but I think they're really funny and make me smile. When the Crafty Family Spending Freeze is over, I'm going to buy these for my craft room...

Slim A Bear ice cream bars from Klondike. My new addiction. Only 2 WW points.

Heather Bailey's new Pop Art and Bijoux collections. Bright, fun, and funky...just what I like. Just a total bummer that we have to wait over a month though for these to come out. Things better pick up soon in my shop so I can go crazy buying one of every print from Jona's shop.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

One small step for Matea...

one giant leap for motherhood. This freakin dress/top has been a thorn in my side for over a week now. I made it last week, and didn't use a pattern, thank you very much. I was insanely pleased and proud of myself, probably too much so. And guess what...the freakin kid wouldn't wear it! I tried it on her right after I finished and she threw herself on the floor screaming. She ended up choosing to take an early nap rather than stop crying and let me take a picture of her new outfit.

Since then, I've tried to put it on her everyday and have had zero success. Crafty Papa suggested that I put it in a bag and pretend like I bought it since she seemed most upset by the idea that I made it (She kept screaming, "Nooooooooo Mommy Shirt!"). I decided that today would be my last attempt and that if she didn't suck it up and wear it, I was going to make matching bloomers and list it in my shop.

I guess the thought of another little two year old girl wearing "Mommy's Shirt" was enough to wear her down and she finally put it on. Five minutes later, she conveniently spilled water all over it and insisted I take it off of her so I really think this whole thing is some psychological game that she's winning.

Also, while I have you, not that I've ever had you (name that line...I want to know tv show, who said it, and the episode), it's so freakin hot where I live right now. I live at the beach. I pay big bucks to live in a manufactured estate about a mile from the beach so I can enjoy the coastal air and cooling marine layer. I did not pay for 100 degree temps with no air conditioning and a house that is already 88 degrees at 11:00.

I prematurely mailed

I was so excited to finish my swap item for Marie, I mailed it on Monday without taking pics first. So, you'll need to go to her blog to see it. And please try not to get stuck looking at pictures of her cute kids and rather attractive husband, focus on the bag at the end of the post. I used some of the fabric my fabulous customer, Heather sent me and I'm really happy with how it turned out (and hope Marie is too). When I opened the fabric, this pink and brown combo said "Marie" to me immediately. Since I've never met her though, maybe my little voice had no idea what it was talking about. Hey Marie, is your husband a fire fighter or am I making that up? That has nothing to do with the bag, just would totally add to the cuteness factor.

Don't forget swappers, that you only have until the end of this month to send your item. I can't wait to see what everyone gets and hope we're all happy and willing to participate again. I'm already thinking about a Christmas themed swap.

On a side note, I've been in a total funk lately. Very little sewing, lots of pity parties, etc. I think it's just a combination of a bunch of stuff - slow sales, money spending freeze sucks, stay at home mom-ness wearing on me, stuff going on with a friend - and I'm trying to decide whether I need to indulge my lack of motivation or force my lazy ass to get back into the craft room and make something.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Bella-approved Creation

I've done lots of sewing for the girls in the last week, including my first Anna Wrap Dress. As Jona promised, it came together quick and easy. I was confused by the directions so I just put everything together on my own and realized when I was finished that I had screwed up the apron tie attachment but it's still functional so I'll cut myself some slack.

Quality of fabric definitely makes a difference on this one. I used cheap Walmart fabric and I really think it's too stiff and just doesn't hang well. But, Bella picked it out and REALLY wanted a Tinkerbelle dress so we compromised. She got to choose the fabric, I chose the style, and she showed slight appreciation. She's wearing another outfit made by mom today and I'll post pics of that later.

And be sure to check out my shop today. I just added a few new bags (you may recognize them...they're oldies that didn't sell in the boutique) and my 15% off $35 or more is good through the end of the month.

Monday, June 16, 2008


My niece, who just graduated from 8th grade, has a birthday coming up soon and as resident gift picker-outer in the Crafty Family, I've decided to give her a glass tile necklace from Etsy. I'm having trouble deciding, mostly because I want one for myself but we're on a money spending freeze right now (I think I'm going to post about the freeze later this week. Maybe share some of my money saving tips and have a give away for the person who shares the most helpful tip or something like that).

Anyway, back to the necklaces...which one is best for a young teen? Maybe Tonya and Jona and anyone else with daughter's near this age group can ask their opinions. I love them really, really love them and want to sell one of my possessions so I can buy one...but don't know whether I'm doing a good job of looking at them for a teenager versus my own taste. I mean, I am just a few months shy of being a 30 year old old lady:)






Sunday, June 15, 2008


First, I'm extending the "June Special" through the end of the month. Spend $35 or more and get 15% off your entire purchase. I'm sure you haven't noticed, but the economy is in the crapper. You need a discount and I need income.

Second, and totally random, any "Gilmore Girls" fans out there? I used to watch the show every Tuesday night and then kind of gave up during the last season because it just go to be too dramatic with Luke and Lorelai and I hated Logan. We stopped by the library yesterday so I could find some good movies to watch/listen to while I sew (yeah, you need to get to your library much more often if you didn't realize they have a good movie selection) and I picked up season one of "Gilmore Girls". I've been watching it all day, just what my husband wanted to do for Father's Day...not. Anyway, I realized that I had no idea how the show ended so I hopped on Television Without Pity to read a recap. Holy Crap! It's one well written recap and I was totally teary eyed. Naturally, I went on the library's website and put a hold on season 7 so I can really ball my eyes out. Do towns like Stars Hollow really exist? I want to move somewhere like that...and have a man like Luke running the little cafe, that's really key to my dream.

Long time no post

I haven't posted much this week, mainly because I haven't done much "business" sewing. I did manage to make two new outfits for each of the girls but since Bella has a fever and Matea is almost two and totally against the idea of cooperating, I don't know when I'll be able to post pics.

I bought two new patterns from "Bit of Whimsy Prims", a monkey and a kitty. I'm listing this monkey in my shop this morning and am hoping to work on the kitty later today.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Weekend Update

Didn't do a lot of sewing this weekend but I did manage to crank out two new bags in between yard sale chaos and a still feverish baby. The first one features some of the fabulous RAOK fabric that my wonderful customer, Heather, sent me. The second bag is made with the new Bell Bottoms line and I absolutely love how it turned out. I tried to sew several times yesterday and just wasn't feeling inspired. I kind of forced myself to make this one so I'm surprised at how pleased I am with the result. Kinda sweet and kinda funky.

As I was clipping coupons yesterday, I thought it was time to post another Crafty Mama Creations coupon here. So here you have it...

Friday, June 6, 2008

Friday Favorites

Bet you thought I forgot. I've just been busy all day with our yard sale (made $200 and still have another day left!) and a fussy baby who must be getting sick because she developed a fever tonight. So here goes...

Crocs. I know some people (cough, Lena, cough) really hate them and I'll definitely admit they're not the cutest shoes ever. But you can't deny that they're one of the most practical inventions ever. Between playing with the sand table in the backyard, going to the beach, and camping, we've definitely gotten our money's worth from ours. I love being able to just hose them down and they dry super quickly. And they have so many new styles that are much, much cuter than the original, super ugly clog. We have the mary janes and ballet flats and love them.

Scrabble Tile Necklaces. Ever since my awesome friend, Jenni, sent me an adorable birdie one a few months ago, I've spent way too much time looking at these necklaces on Etsy. Here are some of my favorites:

Cricut Paper Doll Dress Up cartridge. I've become mildly obsessed with this cartridge recently. It's totally not my scrapbooking style but I think the girls and I would have so much fun creating different dolls and outfits. And I think it would be fun to make some handmade card sets for my Etsy shop that feature the paper dolls. It seems like there are tons of handmade cards out there that are perfect for adults but the little kid card market is lacking. Crap, I just looked at that link and the price is even lower than I thought. Hmmmm, I've sold a bunch of scrapping stuff this weekend and if I give Bella a microphone and tip jar tomorrow at the yard sale, she might be able to bring in the rest of the money.