Friday, February 27, 2009

What to do with all of those BEADS!

Sorry about slacking off with my posts, we have all been fighting the stuffy noses around here! The constant change in weather has our sinuses in turmoil! I haven't been able to concentrate long enough to get anything new created! But now that the bon temps have roulled and the last traces of Mardi Gras have been cleaned up along the parade route, what do you do with all of those beads? My suggestion? Get out the hot glue guns and empty plastic containers and create craft buckets!

This is a great way to get rid of those beads and they make pretty containers to hold pencils, crayons, markers, etc... I made these last year and they have held up pretty good. We have had some issues with the Middle child trying to pull the beads off, so you probably don't want to use them around small children who still like to put things into their mouths! But these would be great teacher's gifts! Other suggestions for getting more use out of beads could be making beaded "curtains". I also made some of these a few years back and of course tried to make it more complicated than what it should have been, involving heavy duty staples. There is really no need for those, just snip the beads to the desired length and wrap around a dowel, twist the beads to hold then tie a pretty ribbon to the dowel to hang!

I will be back to sewing hopefully this weekend now that I am starting to feel better, so hopefully next week I will have new things to post. I got some great new patterns from the Habitual blog that I have a link to on the left that I can't wait to try out! There is a Kimono tutorial that I am going to lengthen a little and make Ms. Priss and the Middle Child robes with. I love the sewing community on the internet! They are so generous with their creations and go to great lengths to give you all of the information you need to create your own pretty things. I only wish to get as good so one day I can write a tutorial and "give back"! Until later...

Monday, February 23, 2009

We love a parade

Happy Lundi Gras! We made it to the Children's parade on Saturday, but yesterday was not a good day. We all have runny noses and the hubby and me are fighting fatigue. This is not how we wanted to celebrate our Mardi Gras weekend! Hopefully we will feel better tomorrow. Here is a picture of the tu-tus in action! We got loads of compliments, and all the one's at Bundle of Joy were sold. Maybe we will see them tomorrow. There is a parade tonight that we are hoping to make, and tomorrow there are parades all day and a carnival with rides. The children are very excited! Hopefully whatever it is we have will be gone so we can enjoy the day! I've managed to get a picture of an actual King cake that I have made. I tried to do a braid with this one, not too bad, but definitely not as good as the picture of the King cake I got off of the internet! Go figure! The hubby wanted this one filled with vanilla pudding. Kinda messy, but very tasty! As you can see, I NEVER get my colors right. The girls had fun decorating this one! There is nothing like slinging sugar around! Take a look:

As you can see, there was no waiting for mom to take a picture! Until later...

Friday, February 20, 2009

My First Handbag

Well, technically it is a shoulder bag. I got this pattern from Tiny Happy, which is on the left under "The people I learn from". It was so easy and very easy to follow! I did not however, read it carefully enough to realize that I put the pocket and the monogram on the wrong part of the bag!! But I think it works, I will find out once the recipient uses it and lets me know all the "wrongs"! In the picture to the right, you can kinda see the monogram on what I call "the front" of the purse. I call it that because when you are walking with it on that is the part you see first. "The sides" are a bit floppy, because it is a floppy bag and I didn't put any interfacing in it to make it more stiff, so that is why I think the pocket and the monogramming works on "the front & back".
Here are some more views, which can also be seen under "The things I've made" slideshow on the left of the page.
The outside of the bag is canvas, this is the striped fabric I ordered that I wasn't sure of. I thought it was a quilting cotton, but once it came in and I felt it I knew it would not be going in any of my quilts! But I am very happy with it because it is the only sorta purple and yellow outdoor fabric I've been able to find and I will be using it to make pillows for the patio furniture and swings!

The inside liner is also a cotton, I chose not to use the silky fabric that is usually used for lining handbags. I think it will make it easier to wash.

I added the blue background to try to show the colors of the bag. My pictures are far from professional quality, but if you look you can see that it is more of a purple than a blue. Well, all in all I am happy with the outcome and will probably make one for me. I will work on the closure of the bag, because I know some people like their bag to close fully, so maybe a zipper or a couple of snaps. I also found a pattern for an actual handbag that has the wooden or plastic, whichever I choose to buy, handles. I know someone's birthday is coming up, so that would be good practice! :) Until later...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My favorite dress pattern

Good morning! Today I will be telling you all about my new favorite dress pattern. It is by Sew Baby! an I love that it is all one piece!

And it is reversible, so you get two dresses for the same amount of work! The greatest. It is an A-line, but the back crosses, which I have been told is an old pattern. Many who have seen the dress or was told about have said that their grandmother or mother use to make this dress for them! It must be making a comeback! Here are some more views, I have also added these to the slideshows on the left.

I did find a problem once the dress was on the Middle Child, the front was longer than the back. I am waiting to hear from the other dress recipient to see if it is a pattern problem or a "my sizing/ sewing" problem. All in all, it looks very cute on and it was very easy to sew. I did hand stitch the buttons on because they are back-to-back because of the reversible element, but did the button holes on my machine quick and easy.

The "panties" as they call them, I call them bloomers, were just as easy. They have the 3 seams pattern cut, which I prefer. This means they seam up the front and back, at the crotch, and down the "inside" leg, if that makes any sense! I don't like pants/bloomers that have the seams at the "inside" and down the outer side of the leg. This pattern does sew the crotch a little differently than I'm used to and I think I like it better. It has you sew the front and back seam first, then strait across the crotch, I think it makes the crotch part more flexible for a better fit. For all of you non-sewers, sorry if you don't understand a word I am typing! And for all of you sewers, sorry if I am not making any sense whatsoever!!
Well, I am back to my house shoveling. Until later...

Monday, February 16, 2009

For my Godson...FINALLY!!

I finally finished my Godson's Christmas gift! I've been working on this for 2 YEARS! Not because it was so difficult to do, but because I wasn't sure how I wanted to do it. The knitted and crocheted "squares" have been done for about a year and a 1/2, then I started piecing them together, then it sat for about 9 months, then I finally decided it was going to be a Christmas gift so I finished "sewing" the squares together and gave it to him unfinished for Christmas! I took it back after he opened it and started "blocking" it and trying to decide what was going to be the backing and how I would attach it! I started with a striped flannel, but it was too busy and didn't go with the colors of the quilt top, so I decided on a solid flannel. I settled on doing a wrap around binding, that is how I do most of my quilts and it works for me! There is no batting sandwiched in because I thought it was heavy and "lofty" enough, so to "quilt" it I just did embroidery floss ties in the corners of the knitted squares and DONE! Since he is 4, it wasn't a great big WHOOP for him to finally get this quilt, but I know he will appreciate more as he gets older! At least that is what I am hoping! Here is another view:
This week I have decided it is time to STOP sewing and SHOVEL out my house! It has been so neglected because of all of my projects! I only have a couple of shirts to monogram so once that is done, I am NOT GOING TO SEW anymore this week! I have to keep shouting it so I will convince myself! Anyway, I did enough last week that I will feature one item a day. I have added more slideshows to the left to try and keep them from becoming to big to view, but you can click on the photo and it will bring up a larger view and let you choose what to view, neat trick huh?

One quick personal note: Our "Beauty" is now a real beauty! QUEEN that is, she won the title in the Strawberry Festival pageant this past weekend! Congratulations, we are all so proud! Can you believe her parents were actually SURPRISED? We all know how beautiful our family's children are, but I guess there is something to say about being humble! We will see her at the parade, on the Queen's Float!

Well I am now off to put laundry away, vacuum floors, dust, pick up the massive amount of TOYS thrown around the house and possibly GET RID OF THEM!!, but first I must make lunch for the home bound children! Until later...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

King Cake recipe for bread machine

First and foremost, this is not a picture of a King Cake I made. I haven't taken any pictures of mine, but I wanted an image so you would know how to shape it, so I googled it and found this picture. Anyway.... here's the recipe I use.

4 Tbsp melted butter
4 Tbsp water
1/2 box (3.4 oz size) instant vanilla pudding
1 C milk
1 egg
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4 C bread flour
2 1/2 tsp yeast

Fill with:
1/2 C softened butter
1 C brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Place ingredients in machine following the specifications of your machine. Set for DOUGH cycle. After complete on DOUGH cycle, remove from machine and roll out to approx 17 x 10 rectangle.

Filling: Mix together brown sugar and cinnamon. Spread softened butter over dough. Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon mixture over top. Roll tightly from long end, pinching edges closed when completely rolled. Shape into oval or circle, some like to braid or twist, whichever method you prefer. Tuck one end into other and close tightly. Place on greased cookie sheet, cover and let rise until doubled in size. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
Do Not overbake!

Frost with:
4 oz cream cheese (softened)
1/4 C butter (softened)
1 1/2 C confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp milk

I choose to fill mine with fruit or cream cheese after it has been baked by using a large tip cake decorator, then frost. I have never baked one with filling inside so I am not sure how to alter the recipe for that. If anyone tries it, let me know how it turns out!!

Add purple, gold, and green sugar sprinkles and you are done! Happy Mardi Gras!
Les bon temps Roule!

Monday, February 9, 2009

My favorite far

Not to take away from any of the other quilts I have done, but this by far is my favorite. I don't know if it is the material or the pattern or even because I decided to do applique, but I think this quilt just pops! I sure hope the receiver of this quilt likes it, because I would have kept it for myself if I hadn't monogrammed it already! So anyway, on to other things. I made it through the week and got everything done that I wanted to do. This week I plan on working on Valentine's outfits for the girls and an outfit for my niece "beauty". It is, I've been told, an old pattern, but I just "discovered" it. It is an A-line reversible, with a criss-crossed back. I can't wait to see how it sews up. The pattern is ONE piece, so I have high hopes of unbelievable ease! Here are a few of the other things I finished last week.

A three piece pillowcase set for my cousin's new baby. The bloomers are interchangeable with either dress. The last couple of pillowcase dresses I've made were cut to fit, so they wouldn't have an excess amount of material like traditional pillowcase dresses made out of actual pillowcases. The problem was they were too narrow and looked more like a tube. So to not have that problem again, I used the measurements of a pillowcase, now I think the dresses are too wide! But that's just me. I hope to find a happy medium, so I will be practicing alot more.

This next creation was a challenge, which I enjoyed! I wanted to put an alligator applique on the hooded towel I was making for a birthday gift, but couldn't find one I liked. The Boy has an outfit that has the cutest alligator, so I decided to trace it and make my own applique. It came out pretty good, if I do say so myself! Here is a picture of the applique up close, I've added the the hooded towel and the rest of the creations to the slideshow on the left.
I have a week without the Middle Child, so I hope to get alot accomplished. I will post as I get things done. Until later...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Update on CPSI Act

Good Morning, this is just a quick post to let you know that the new law that was to start February 10th has been delayed for a year. Hopefully this means they will look more closely and take into consideration one-of-a-kind handmade items. This is not to say that I am or have ever been opposed to this law, I am all for keeping our kids safe. I think this law is awesome, but I am not sure why it is only coming into effect now, we have been aware of poisonous lead levels since the 70s, so why now? Could it be that somebody was not doing their job when importing all of those items from China or wherever? Shouldn't anything that comes into the US that is specifically sold to children be tested?? Shouldn't this already be happening that it didn't take this "blanket law" to bring more awareness and threaten American made products that are certainly more watched over than anything being brought in from oversees? I'm just saying... anyway, if you are interested in reading more about it, click on the Save Handmade icon on left of this page. I will hopefully have something new up by the end of the week, but the baby shower is this weekend as is the birthday I am doing the quilt for so I might not be back until next week! If that is the case, happy weekend! Until later...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Busy Weekend

I had a very busy weekend, starting Friday with a call from Bundle of Joy ordering six more tu-tus! Needless to say, I was very excited. I was shopping when I got the call and rushed home to fill the order before they closed at 6 pm. I think I did a pretty good job, considering. These were a little different because the colors are a little brighter. I also finished up a short set for a 2 year old boy. My awesome man had to have a "white elephant" gift for his company Christmas party, and since most of the ladies are my biggest supporters, we thought it would be a good idea to give a "gift certificate" from me. I was told there was alot of stealing going on and the lucky winner decided to use it for a gift for her godson. I will be sending it with my man this morning so I hope she likes it. I got to use my birthday present from my folks for the first time and I love it! It is a dress form for children. I am working on my sizing and it is helping out tremendously. Here is the dress form.

And here is the outfit I made. It is denim shorts with LSU pockets, and a TShirt with a little tiger face applique, and the child's name monogrammed. I did something similar for The Boy when he was born.

I have a week to finish up the birthday present, quilt order, and shower gifts for this coming weekend, so I will hopefully be able to find the time to post. I am also working on Valentine's outfits for the girls so I am staying pretty busy. And you never know when those tu-tu orders will come in! Whew, I'd better get some sleep! Until later...