Thursday, August 28, 2008

Friday Favorites

1. Short Sleeved, Hooded, Zippered Sweatshirt from Kohl's. Just got one last weekend in Barney purple :) and already wishing I got one in every color. It has some gathering here and there so it looks cuter than your average mom sweatshirt.

2. Funtainer from Thermos. We had to buy a drink container to go with Bella's lunch box for pre-k and after a ton of research, we decided on the Funtainer. These are hard to find if you're not looking for High School Musical or Hannah Montana (and we're not) so I when I found two pink camouflage ones at Target, I scooped them up. Both girls love them, I like that they're durable, keep their drinks cold forever, and the top closes for straw protection. Crafty Papa likes that they're moving us one step closer to his ultimate goal of the one cup per person system (never gonna happen)

3. Jona's first pattern offered in her shop, Fabritopia. Tried it for the first time this weekend and because I'm cheap and lazy, omitted a few things and it still turned out totally cute. A great pattern with fabulous pictures. But most importantly, the final product was accepted by my client (a 4 1/2 year old named Bella with firm fashion opinions). I'll post pics of Bella's skirt in a few days. It's for her first day of pre-k outfit so it needs it's own grand unveiling.

New Favorite

A definite new favorite bag...

Not only is it my favorite color, green, but it also features a new favorite collection of fabric (Heather Bailey's Pop Garden - yep, finally arrived!). I had been in a bit of a sewing funk lately and then got caught up yesterday looking at pictures of bags I've made in the last year. I saw a few that re-inspired me and here you have it. It's very generously sized, perfect for a mom of more than one or a mom with a newborn. (Or someone like my friend, Beth H. who apparently carries enough stuff for a week that must weigh a minimum of 50 pounds)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wallet Watchin' Wednesday

I know it's been a few weeks since I've done this but I'm getting back on track so here goes...

Change from disposable to reusable. This is another money saving tactic that is not only better for your budget, but also better for the environment. There are a lot of little ways to implement this in your household and all of the little changes will add up to a big change in the amount of money spent.

- Cut out ziplocs except for cases when you really need them. Instead of storing snacks, leftovers, etc. in plastic bags, we use reusable containers. Better for the budget and they store much more nicely in the fridge or pantry than baggies.

-Replace paper towels with kitchen towels. We were going through an insane amount of paper towels here and they're not exactly cheap. I switched to using rags at the same time that I started making my own cleaners and can't believe how much I've saved. I had been going through 2 rolls a week, now that can easily last us a month. I use towels for everything except "contamination" messes like meat/poultry cleanup and the toilet seat:)

-Find ways to recycle materials with your house. I save dish soap bottles and lotion containers for the kids to play with in their sand/water table or bath. Applesauce and yogurt containers are great for paint or sorting. Pasta jars became an art project for the kids (making painted vases) and I also save them for giving salsa at Christmas.

-Reevaluate how you pack your child's lunch/snack for school. We don't do juice boxes except occasionally for parties or travel. Not only do they create excess waste, they're also much more expensive. Instead of using disposable juice boxes and ziplocs in Bella's lunch box for pre-k, she has a reusable thermos and snacks are packed in reusable ziploc containers. Better for the budget and the trash can.

Look around your house and see what other ways you can switch from disposable to reusable and post them here in the comments. I'll be back in a few days with my "Friday Favorites".

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I'm not all complaints

I actually did manage to work on two projects yesterday in the midst of my Heather Bailey Store complaints.

First, I made this fall floral bag. Kind of funky, very practical with SIX pockets...

Then, I worked on this fabulous Amy Butler Lotus baby quilt. I pieced the top a few months ago and then set it aside and kind of ignored it. It's been over 5 years since I've quilted and I guess I wasn't ready to jump back into it at full force right away. Last night, I added the borders, quilted the whole thing, and got half way through the binding. I'm hoping to work on hand stitching the back side of the binding today and list it in the shop this evening. It's not a perfect piece, but it's handmade and one of a kind which I think, makes it a perfect gift.

Update to the Heather Bailey Frustration

So, I emailed HB's shop last night asking for the status of my order but I found the following statement in her store now regarding Pop Garden and Bijoux...

"If you'd like to purchase yardage of these two collections, please visit your local independent fabric retailer."

So, because I like to jump to conclusions, I think she over pre-sold, ran out of fabric, and that's why we're sitting here waiting. I definitely should have stuck with Jona at Fabritopia on this one. Not saying she wouldn't ever make a mistake, but I certainly wouldn't have been waiting this long for fabric with no communication from her.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Is everyone else who did the early bird order with Heather Bailey's new store still waiting for their fabric?

I'm at maximum frustration level right now. First, I feel like I was mislead about it being an "early bird" special. I thought the early bird applied to getting the fabric early, not getting to order early and then sit around for over a month waiting for my order. Yes, my fault for not reading the tiny print in the store's side bar. After ordering, I see orders won't start to ship until 8/14 and it will take several days. Well, 11 days later and my order is still being "processed". So not worth the 10% discount. I really want to cancel my order and go through Fabritopia but I'm worried about getting the credit in a timely manner.

Just hoping the rest of you are waiting too. Misery loves company.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Owls on the Brain

Apparently making some owl onesies yesterday wasn't enough. I had to listen to one hooting outside my window ALL night long last night. We live in a freakin wild kingdom. We usually have an owl making noise all night throughout the fall and just found out this morning that we have a pair of baby skunks living under our house.

So, as my "ode to the owl", I made a few more onesies this morning. Don't expect any skunk designs.

Oh, and thanks for voting in the poll to the right. Customer feedback is important to me so for those who think my owl design needs some improvement, I'd love for you to leave your thoughts in my comments.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Hoot! Hoot!

Unless you're living under a rock, you know that owls are all the rage right now (does saying "all the rage" make me sound old? I am almost 30, you know). They're in fabric, scrapbooking, clothing...everywhere! I've been wanting to create an owl applique but really wanted something whimsical yet simple so I could keep the costs down.

I used a nightgown I bought for Bella as inspiration and came up with this little guy. I'm really happy with the design and at only $11.99, I think the onesies are a great bargain. Make sure to check out the owl poll on the right.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Pumpkins Gone Wild

Seriously. That really is the name of this fabric line from Moda.

I bought a charm pack (or whatever it's called) from my local quilt shop today, I think mostly because I liked the name. Crafty Papa came home for lunch and said, "Can you actually use that?". Huh? You mean there are people out there who buy more fabric than they could ever use? Are you detecting the sarcasm?

Anyway, he's working late tonight so I may solidify my bid for Mother of the Year 2008 by parking the kids in front of their second movie of the day while I go in and whip up something with these little squares just to prove Crafty Papa wrong. Ooooo, maybe they could make a cute little border on a twirl skirt? Or a funky patchwork bag? Someone here needs to do some homework for me and find uses for these little 5 inch squares.

Oh, and you can see I stole the above image from Fat Quarter Shop. They have some really cute stuff I've never seen before and I like to think I frequent my local shops and my regular online places enough to have seen virtually every fabric out there. Some of it's a little more cutesy than I normally do but how could you not love these snowmen? I collect snowmen. Go ahead and make a note of that now so you'll know what to get me at Christmas time.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Adding to the shop now...

These two fabulous, fall-tastic bags...

Fair Warning

I'm doing some sewing today.

Fall. Harvest. Earthy. Neutrals.

Check my shop this afternoon for the finished products.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Hello and Goodbye

After taking several days off from sewing and blogging, I'm back to let you know that I'll be taking a few more off. "A few" being 1-2 weeks. I have some health issues going on and in addition to not feeling very creative, I'm just too damn tired in the afternoon to sew. So, sit tight and try not to fall in love with any other seller's bags while I'm gone.

I did just list one more one of a kind bag in case you need to get a Crafty Mama fix before my "vacation".

I've also posted a new poll over to the right. Although there are tons of bag makers on Etsy, I'm finding that I'm part of a very small group making one of a kind bags rather than producing the same style and fabric combo repeatedly. Wonder how important this is to buyers.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Not Too Shabby

I think it's pretty much a fact that this bag is fabulous so I have no problem stating this...Wow. The fabric, the lime ric rac, the fun shape, and the not too big but not too small size equal perfection. And what do you think of the new cleaner pics? I'm still learning where lighting is best in my house. I'm currently taking pics in my front doorway and getting plenty of weird looks from neighbors walking by.

I don't think this one will last long. However, I think it may be too big for #1 Stalker, Connie so the rest of you have a fair shot.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Pop Garden

Did I mention how beautiful this Pop Garden fabric is? The colors are really vibrant and stunning in person. I've been working on perfecting my pics and I think I'm inching closer toward doing the fabrics a little more justice.

Just listed this Pop Garden bag in my shop. It didn't really turn out how I had planned but I'm happy with how the simple style really shows off the bold floral print.

I have a little treat arriving with my mom tomorrow. My grandpa's cousin (got that?) sent a trunk full of fabric for me, some vintage, some new, some really expensive, and I'm sure some really ugly. Anyway, I love me a freebie and I can't wait to go through it all tomorrow morning. You can definitely look forward to some pics of the new stash.

ETA: It looks as though Connie, my number #1 favorite stalker is back and in serious business so this fabulous bag is already gone. You've been warned. She means business so everyone else is really going to have to step up their game too.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Home Sweet Home

I'm back home after a long weekend Scrapbooking Retreat in the mountains near Big Bear. This was my first time away from the girls, the longest I've ever been away from Matea has been 3 or 4 hours. I had a lot of fun and really enjoyed meeting some of my online friends in person but I was really missing my babies by yesterday and was ready to be home. When I walked in, Matea threw her arms around my neck and said, "I missed you Mommy!". She couldn't stop hugging and kissing me and telling me she loved me for the next two hours. It was one of the sweetest mommy moments ever.

I know I stick out a full head taller than all of the other ladies but I swear I'm not that tall. I'm only 5'8", not a giraffe by any means, so they must just be a bunch of shorties. It's weird, I didn't notice it all weekend and then when we were taking a group pic right before leaving, I realized I was towering over everyone.

I'm happy to say I completed all of the page kits I took and am now all caught up on all of the books I work on. And from now on, you should address me as "Grand Prize Champion" - I won the biggest prize of the weekend, a $50 gift card to Michael's. And I was lucky enough to win another $20 gift card for a sketch challenge so I get to go on a little shopping spree.

Tomorrow is my 8 year wedding anniversary. I need to make a card for Crafty Papa tonight (remember, last year he welded an awesome card for me) and tomorrow we're taking the girls to McLintock's for dinner for the first time and then maybe we'll head over to Michael's and spend some of my money.

I'll get back to sewing soon too. I have a few custom orders to complete this week but my new Pop Garden fabric just arrived from Jona this afternoon so I'm hoping to play with it a little tomorrow.

Friday, August 1, 2008

And the free bag goes to...

HcayH - Heather Howell! As you know, I'm heading out of town later this morning so I'll get your back shipped out to you on Monday or Tuesday. Congratulations!