Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Unintentional Mini Makeover

First I got my hair did. Super short and darker. Then I got a mini shopping spree this weekend courtesy of some nice family members. I got lots of fun clothes for work (some with a little retro flair...or is it flare?), comfortable stuff that isn't my standard mom tshirt and jeans. I even got some of those slimming Lee jeans that Stacey London from What Not to Wear pushes on the commercial. I didn't intentionally pick them up but when I tried them on and was surprised at how good they looked, I had to check out the tag and saw "Lose ten pounds, instantly slimming jean". Ok, it's a deal.

Next step in the mini makeover is fun jewelry. I can't stop making these chain necklaces. I think they add such a touch of femininity and sparkle to any outfit. I made this one a few days ago and realized it coordinates perfectly with my outfit. (Don't worry, I realize the necklace is copper and the earrings are silver. I'm not actually wearing the necklace today because it's going into my shop later with the matching earrings. Also, as a bonus, I don't look totally pissed off in this picture like I usually do. The girls were standing next to me being silly so this is proof that I occasionally so really smile.)

I think they're the perfect length and can coordinate with a variety of different styles from casual to dressy. This set is currently listed in my shop at a reasonable price of $22.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

New Listings

With summer vacation here and Bella out of school, it's even harder for me to find time to sew. Instead, I've been sitting at the kitchen counter, making jewelry, while we watch dvd's borrowed from the library or the girls sit next to me and play pretend restaurant.

I've made more than one trip to my local bead shop this week and also did some shopping online this morning. I'm so excited about the supplies I have coming! I tried working with chain for the first time and I think I'm officially addicted. I love the look of the antique copper and really like that with chain, you can achieve a casual or formal look as opposed to heavy beading which usually looks more dressy.

I made this set recently which I love. These lime green beads are among my favorite and I really like how they look paired with the copper. In fact, I liked it so much, I ordered only antique copper supplies.

I've listed several pairs of new earrings in my shop. I found these gorgeous stone flowers at my local shop and had to have them. I originally bought them for myself but figured I would share the love first and then be selfish later (like next week maybe). Just click the picture to link to the listings.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Channeling my inner Duggar

It's no secret that I love me some Duggar Family. In so many ways, I couldn't be more opposite from them (I check the "none" box on the religious preference question) and although my mom would laugh hysterically at me, I actually have learned a few things watching their show.

So, I'm reading their book. My mom was here last week and saw it lying around and choked back laughter to ask me whether I bought it. Um, no. In true Duggar fashion, I checked it out from the library so as not to spend money that I don't have. Ooooo, and speaking of spending money and the Duggars, I got my hair cut last week. A very un-Duggar pixie cut.

But, to make my favorite family proud, I got it cut at the local beauty school for $10 and colored and highlighted it myself for $14.99 plus tax. Not too shabby.

So, back to the book. I've been employing two Duggar techniques that really seem to be working for me.

First, I'm constantly deferring to Steve Bob and his infinite wisdom. It's sort of a joke but sort of not. Saying that I like to argue is an understatement. I thrive on confrontation and disagreement. So it's not unusual for us to go to the drive in movies and discuss our parking spot for 15 minutes. It's not really arguing, just lenghty stubborn disagreement. Now, on all of those little issues, I just say, "Steve Bob, I'm deferring to you and your infinite wisdom." Actually saying it outloud makes us both laugh, lightens the mood, and then I follow up with a brief evil eye so he knows I really do want him to just make the freakin decision. Michelle looks at Jim Bob lovingly when she says this so we do differ slightly on our approach.

Second technique I'm using is bribery. No, seriously. I got this from Michelle. When we go out to run errands, I decide on some kind of small treat for good behavior (usually 5 jelly beans). Before we leave, we have a pep talk in the car. "We're going to xxx, and yyy. You're either in the cart or out, no back and forth. No running in the store and no beating each other up. No stomping your foot at me or screaming or telling me what I "have to do!". You get one warning. If I have to give you a second warning, no treat."

Maybe the magic will wear off but at Vons this morning, an employee told me how lovely my children were. According to Michelle, it only takes 2 or 3 instances of one child not earning his/her treat to see that mama means business.

Hope you've enjoyed your Duggar lesson for the day. Really, I just wanted to write something about a family other than The Gosselins.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


In the six months or so that I've been working at Carters, I've seen one of my bags walk through the doors five times. Five times! How cool is that? Twice it was people I knew and the other three times it was complete strangers who either purchased from me via Etsy or at one of the events I used to do. I always go through the same routine. Gather all of my coworkers and whisper and point. They usually seem totally uninterested but that doesn't deter me. I still approach the bag owner, and with a stupid smile on my face I say, "Um, I made your bag". Thus far, no one has gotten scared and run away so I think I'm keeping the stalking at a socially acceptable level. A few weeks ago, a lady came in who had been carrying one of my bags every day for a year. She said it was her favorite bag and she really loved everything about it. Totally made my day.

A few nights ago, a lady came in with a gorgeous handmade bag. That wasn't mine. I casually asked whether she made her bag and she had. I wish I had a picture of it to share. It was really stunning. A beautiful large floral print (that I recognized but can't remember who it is...Kaffe Fassett?) that she free motion quilted with a sort of matching abstract floral design. Definitely a bag that looked handmade but not homemade, if you know what I mean.

We chatted for a bit and I resisted the urge to secretly clock out and go out to dessert and coffee with her (not that she asked me to, but I felt like we could be friends). She was so inspiring. I decided that I would no longer put off trying out free motion quilting on a bag. And that I would attempt to dress as cute as her. She was just as stunning as her bag and I want to look like that. She had on a pink and white polka dot sort of retro looking top with a bright turquoise sweater. She looked like one of the "good" mannequins on "What Not to Wear".

So, in honor of Raye Ann (she commented on my blog so now I know her name!), I did some free motion quilting yesterday and wore three bracelets to work (that's the extent of my dressing up attempt for now). Thanks for the inspiration Raye Ann!

A quilted owl bag with a great zipper closure. I read an online tutorial about doing "zipper surgery" when installing a zipper. After completing this bag, I can verify that you really should be a real surgeon to perform zipper surgery.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

30 Days

I made it.

30 days without any Diet Pepsi (or really any drink with artificial sweeteners) and I'm still alive. On the up side, I'm really proud of myself for sticking with it. Will power and self control aren't exactly my specialties. On the down side, I don't really see any change in how I feel and I was really hoping I would. I still have constant pain in my face (weird, huh?) but after 2 1/2 years, I'm learning to just deal with it and not let it affect my sleep or daily life anymore.

To celebrate my small success, I bought myself two clearance shirts and some clearance jewelry today. My total was $30 plus change. 30 days, 30 dollars, coincidence?

So, in keeping with the theme, I'm offering 30% off all purchases above $30 in my shop now through Sunday. Happy Shopping!

Just purchase as usual through Etsy and pay with Paypal. Send me an Etsy convo or email and I'll refund you this discount.

Monday, June 15, 2009

I haven't been sewing nearly enough for my shop lately. Instead, I've been making homemade bread, brewing Lipton Red Tea iced tea, reading The Duggar Family book, napping, and spending too much time on the internet. I've been toying with the idea of just closing down my shop since I can't seem to find the time to sew anymore and most people don't have money these days for the fun stuff on Etsy. But I just bought $50 worth of fusible fleece for bags so apparently, there's a part of me that wants to keep going.

I listed this beauty made with Anna Maria Horner's Good Folks line today...

I'm hoping to complete two more bags this week but I'm not making any promises.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Reject Camera Bags

$15 each which includes shipping. Regular price will be $22 plus shipping. Email me at craftymamacreations@gmail.com if you're interested.

Mod Girls Camera Bag - hard exterior sewn as one piece, no fleece interfacing on inner layer, lining is a little bunchy, short/wide velcro pocket, top stitching is a little shaky (thanks to the freakin peltex!)

Heather Bailey Pop Garden Bag - hard exterior is pieced, also lined with heavyweight fleece, tall/narrow velcro pocket, button clasp is sewn on a little too low

A quick note

I'm working on perfecting the camera bag design and trying out different materials. This, of course, will result in a few cast off bags that aren't quite perfect but still cute and in functioning condition. I'll be posting those here later tonight or tomorrow at an awesome price so if you're interested in one, check the blog again soon or email me.

And after receiving feedback from Crafty Papa and Marie, I've added a small inner pocket with a velcro closure for holding an extra memory card, lens cap, and battery. Hoping to get it perfected and into the shop soon.

Monday, June 8, 2009

New shop addition?

My ever-practical husband is often reminding me that my $600 camera shouldn't really be tossed in my purse along with stray Cheerios and boogie covered baby wipes. Since I've been feeling extra creative and motivated lately, I decided to make myself a camera bag today.

I looked all over Etsy and Google for an e-pattern or at least some kind of inspiration but couldn't find anything at all so I just went for it. And I'm really pleased.

I actually took the time to measure carefully, note my dimensions on each piece, and really put in the effort to make sure that if I was happy with the end result, I could create it again. This is very unlike me. I usually just like to dive in and then be disappointed when it doesn't turn out how I (didn't) planned.

I wanted something simple. Just a bag to throw your camera and battery charger into. Something small so you could easily wear it along with your purse or diaper bag while on family outings. Something fun and funky and not black. I think I got what I was going for.

The outside is hard...well, it's fabric but behind the fabric is hard. The inside is soft flannel lined with a heavy fleece. So lots and lots of padding and protection. I went with the button closure because it seems so much easier than the buckle type things on most bags.

I initially planned to just make this bag for myself but after looking for a pattern or inspiration on Etsy, I realized this seems to be a missing piece in the bag market. So, I'm definitely planning to make a few more for my shop. No customs for larger needs at this time (really, out of spite toward the jerks who have the zoom lens I want), just some super cute simple camera bags. I'm thinking about $22.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

More swap fun

I received my swap item from Laura yesterday and it's GORGEOUS! A necklace and matching earrings in the the most beautiful shade of soft green. I'm wearing them to work today and expect that I'll get lots of compliments from customers (they always seem to notice my jewelry).

Thank you Laura! I really love this set and am sure I'll wear it frequently. Make sure you check out her shop, lots of beautiful stuff there.

Also, I think I need to put a mirror up somewhere in my house other than the bathrooms. Taking my pic in there is starting to get old. I don't have a ton of wall space and zero money so we'll see how I figure this out.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

I did it

I actually started and finished a rather large project in a timely manner.

And I couldn't be happier with it.

I have to be honest, as I was finishing the quilt last night, I was near tears. I didn't realize that stippling a large quilt is not the best idea for a beginner. But all of the puckering and gathers on the back of my quilt definitely proved that free motion quilting is best left to more experienced seamstresses. Even though my local quilt shop lady had assured me that all would be ok once I washed and dried the quilt, I was still really upset last night, thinking that I'd be too embarrassed to show my final product to anyone.

Not so. It definitely isn't perfect but it's all made by me and for this project, that's what was important.

I was up late last night working on my masterpiece, washed it and threw it in the dryer at 11:00 and went to bed. It was like Christmas when I woke up this morning. I flew out of bed to see what was waiting for me in the dryer. The quilt shop lady was right, all of my flaws on the back almost (almost) disappear after drying.

I tried lots of new things with this quilt...a new pattern, stippling, decorative stitching on the binding, larger size...and am really proud of myself for sticking with it and finishing things. Last night when I was debating whether to try something new on the binding or do the hand tacking I've done in the past, I decided that this quilt was meant to be a learning experience for me so I dove in and did the decorative stitching and am so happy with the result.
I think making the quilt gave me a little more confidence in trying new sewing projects and definitely made me see the value in sewing for myself and my family. Is there a big project you've been afraid to tackle? Do it! The result may not be perfect, but you'll feel great about it.

Friday, June 5, 2009


I just listed today's second bag on Etsy (thank you very much) and came across a listing for a yard of fabric.

Using this picture.

Say what? What does the scary mannequin have to do with the fabric? I'm sure the seller is very nice but she should reconsider her picture set up, wouldn't you agree?

I'm sewing today

For you, my people. I promised myself that I'll get two new bags listed in my shop today. It's rainy and windy out, a perfect day to set up my machine at the kitchen counter and sew while the ladies do play dough or water color maker paintings.

I'm drinking my new favorite iced tea (Lipton's Red Tea), have a loaf of bread rising in the bread machine, and am about to start ironing my fabric. First up, some lovely blue florals from Amy Butler. Be sure to check out the shop in a few hours.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

My humps, my humps, my lovely lady lumps

I totally had to use that title for this post, right?

If you're a regular reader, you know I like to cycle through addictions. Mild, socially acceptable addictions like making bread. I inherited my grandpa's bread machine and I think I inherited his tendency toward addictions too (he had a smoothie phase, milk shake phase, fruit drying phase). Ok, I didn't actually "inherit" the bread machine, I just kind of told my grandma I was taking it along with grandpa's bulk Swiffer supplies from Costco.

I had the bread machine for over a year before finally using it recently. Now, I can't stop. I want to feed the world's hungry with bread made in my kitchen. Or, maybe just ease our grocery budget a little by baking my own bread. Yeah, that seems like a way more achievable goal. I've made honey whole wheat bread that my baby ladies love, worked on a bread experiment for a friend (that didn't go well), and today I made rolls to go with dinner. I have no idea how they taste yet but I think they look pretty and they allowed me to use a ridiculous title on this post, so that's a bonus.

I'm still keeping up my addiction to baking. Yesterday was Bella's pre-k graduation and I made cupcakes with homemade frosting, piped on about half of them (then I realized it was an hour until school time and I wasn't dressed, brushed, or made up). And to overachieve in the domesticity category, I paired the cupcake display with fresh hydrangeas from my yard. Please refer to me as Kelci Stewart from now on.

And speaking of addictions, I'm on day 18 of being Diet Pepsi free!


You may remember that I started an "anything crafty swap" last month on my blog, and maybe you even decided to join. I was paired with Laura, who at first glance appeared to be my complete opposite in taste but after digging through her Etsy favorites, I found that we really like many of the same things. She asked for a clutch and said that she leans a little more toward the neutral and conservative side but is trying to be more adventurous with color and likes brown and aqua.

So, here's what I came up with...

I think it's a nice balance of neutral with a touch of funky color and will hopefully coordinate with almost any outfit.

I also sent her a back and white paisley oil cloth make up bag, but in my excitement to ship out the clutch, I totally forgot to takes pics. Can't wait to see what everyone else in this swap is creating!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

What to do?

I'm about to pop in "The Velveteen Rabbit" movie for the girls and ignore housework for a few hours. Should I work on my quilt (yep, I was able to buy the back fabric and batting so I can start quilting!) or a new bag for the shop? Hmmmm.

Random thought. Several years ago on a scrapbooking message board I used to go to, one of the posters (several readers will remember who) said "poop in a movie" instead of "pop in a movie". Still makes me laugh.