Thursday, October 13, 2011

Table Runner Swap

Life is crazy and hectic with several ups and downs right now.  I don't exactly know why I do this to myself, join a swap in the midst of chaos.  Then a friend said this the other day:

We need to be involved in things that have a beginning, middle, and end.  Cleaning the dishes, keeping your house clean, laundry, and other housewife duties do not fulfill that.  You're in the middle of raising your children right now, so you need to create things.

It really minimized my guilt when she said that.  I also have to explain that this woman is a mother of 8, (4 are already out of the house) and her youngest 3 all have autism.  This woman is an AVID seamstress and makes most of her little ones' clothing.  Total inspiration.

Anyhow, right now I am involved in Shawnee's Autumn Table Runner Swap (usually she does aprons, and I was actually really excited she switched it this time).  I got 2 table runner tops DONE on Tuesday.  I went to sewing time at church (an unofficial little group of women sew on Tuesdays, and another kind woman from church offered to babysit my 3 boys, and another little girl in the Nursery).  I decided to do a disappearing 9-patch style runner.  I cut out enough squares to make 3 9-patch blocks, sewed one of the blocks, then finished the rest at home (sewing the other 2 blocks, cutting up all three blocks, then piecing them back together to make two table runners with 6 blocks each  I decided to keep one for myself of course). 
 Like my new wire dress form?  I found it on Craigslist about a month ago.  She models my aprons.

 This shows most of the runner.
 And a close-up.  This shows all of the fabrics, except the green.  I love all of the autumn colors.  You can't really tell how pretty that cream one is, but it sparkles with gold.  Love it!

I like the way the tops turned out, and I really hope that my swap partner enjoys hers.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Ch Ch Ch Ch Changes

I am terribly sorry I have been neglecting this creative little blog.  Ya see, I've been busy living.  And life is pretty good.  In fact, it gets better every day I spend more time experiencing it. I recently began homeschooling my kindergartener, and having 3 boys kind of wears me out a bit.

However, I do have plans for this blog.  At least for my personal organizational purposes.

I've been keeping track (I use that term pretty loosely) of my kitchen endeavors over at Chilton Kitchen, but I am realizing that my posts are pretty sparse over there as well.  Thus, I will be starting the process of moving food posts over here (anyone know an easy way of doing that?).  Making food is an act of creating, right?  And celebrations are usually accompanied by edibles, so I am hoping to spiff things up a bit over here and making a compilation of all the things I do and enjoy: family, crafts, and food.

As far as crafts go, I have a lot on my plate right now which I will soon be posting.
I am busily making aprons for a Christmas boutique in November.  Eeeek!  I really need to get on that. I have a goal to make 30 aprons to sell.  Pretty ambitious, but you've gotta have goals, right?  A friend taught me how to make fabric flowers recently, and it all-of-a-sudden clicked for me, and now I am wondering why I hadn't tried this before.  Great use for scraps, and I've made nearly 30 in the last few weeks.  I also need to get my rear in gear to make my oldest son's Halloween costume.  He decided long ago that he wanted to be Batman, and I waited.  And since he hasn't changed his mind in about 6 months, it's safe to say that we will stick with Batman this year.  I am just excited that he is not going to be Mario for the third year in a row.  I found a great tutorial, via Pinterest, for me to make his Batman costume.

Speaking of Pinterest, if you're not on there, you really should be.  It's pretty much my new favorite time waster, fun thing finder. Seriously though, it's great.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Shutterfly Books

I've had a lot of friends ask me about the photo books that I make for my family.  Hands down, Shutterfly has been the BEST photo site I have worked with (and I have worked with several).
I've also had them print off pictures (they have really good deals ALL the time), as well as Christmas Cards (great time to start planning that for sending). (I made a really cute Valentine's Day card for JD this year).
I really wish I knew about Shutterfly's Wedding Announcements when we got married.  Seriously, so much cheaper than the invites we had done, and way cuter.
If you are into scrapbooking, they have recently updated their photo book department, giving you more options when creating.
Compared to the competition, Shutterfly's photo books have a higher quality of paper (I know because I have a book from another place and it is not as nice as my Shutterfly books).  Shutterfly has very prompt deliveries as well.  I don't think I have ever had an order rushed simply because I didn't need to.  Shutterfly orders arrive quickly.  And one of my favorite things about Shutterfly is that it's site is so easy to use (far superior to other sites).  We are grateful for all of the options, and opportunities to explore our creativity on Shutterfly.
We love Shutterfly!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Aprons for Treats

I am lagging in the craft department lately.  I guess that is what happens when you have 3 little ones.  I am learning to be a little more selfless, which means my selfish hobbies are set on the back burner. 

Some awesome friends of ours requested a swap: aprons for treats.  I was in!  They make some delectable homemade marshmallows, and this time, they were going to do toasted coconut, just for me!  They are on the verge of starting their own sweets business (I hope!), and these guys needed some aprons.  I had the challenge of finding fabric that was manly, but funky.  Very tricky, let me tell you.  I didn't want these aprons to be girly, though the fabrics could be used either way.  I think I did an alright job, and I am so excited to make the swap tomorrow and enjoy my special treat.

Both are reversible, as usual (it really is easier in my opinion to do a reversible apron).  This swap was a long time coming.  I think we arranged to do this, oh, maybe 4 months ago, but life happens.  I had it on my to do list and it was aching at me.  My goal has been to complete a few items a week.  The kids were being particularly helpful and mellow that day, so I went to work on these.  They've only been cut for a couple months, but this week, they became complete!

I have many more projects, mainly aprons, in the works.  If you are a friend of mine, expecting an apron, it will definitely be a surprise when it is done.  I finished another one a few days ago (that someone has been waiting for since before Christmas), but I will have to keep it a secret until the friend receives it.  Hopefully, I will be having more good days in the future.  I have at least 3 more aprons to do before I can feel complete.  I think I am almost ready to move on to another type of sewing project.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Things I forgot to Post

In all of the busy-ness of life, I always forget something.  I have a few creations that were made last year that I need to post about.
In no particular order...
First, I made this apron for a friend who has a birthday right around mine.  She said she loves purple, and when my mom gave me this fabric, I thought the deep jewel tones would be perfect for this friend.
 This was the pile o' aprons I made when a friend commissioned me to make a bunch of aprons for her friends.
 This was a {VERY} late birthday gift for a friend from church that I used to visit.  I am modeling it, and you might be wondering why it is so short.  Well, this friend is very petite, and it just happens to fit her just perfectly.  She loves turtles, so I used some Hawaiian turtle fabric from my stash.
 Another friend from church heard that I made aprons and she asked if I could do a last minute Christmas gift for her granddaughter.  She caught me on a good day, so I said of course (and she is a really awesome lady and I'd do anything for her), so I whipped this up for her.  Did I mention that I got sick right before Christmas?  Seriously...December 23rd, I had strep throat so bad, I went to the ER.  I think next year, I will not be sewing as many projects at the last minute.

I love this halter-style apron.  I made another for a friend in this style, and one of our other friends saw it and said she wanted that style for her birthday present too (This was actually from June, but I just never posted a picture).  I love this fabric, it looks like watercolor.
 reverse side:

Even though I was busy, and then I got sick right before Christmas, I was determined to actually make something for my own children.  So I took some felt with me to my in-laws on Christmas Eve, and made the gifts just hours before they were opened.  I looked all over the internet for a good cape tutorial and didn't find exactly what I was looking for, so I improvised.  I made a collar band a bit bigger than their necks, put little velcro tabs for closures, then sewed the collars to the capes.  That was it!  Super easy.  I think I was done with both, cutting & sewing, in less than 30 minutes.
And the boys love them!  Every day is Halloween at our house now because of these capes.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

New Year New Goals

Welcome back everyone!  All...uhhh 10 of you!  So glad to be back.

During Christmas and all of the wonderful festivities, we got hit pretty hard with some illnesses, but everyone in our family is doing well once more. 

I ACHIEVED MY GOAL!!!!  I did not spend more than $30 on crafting last year.  AMAZING!  I have to pat myself on that back for that one.  So now it is a new year, and I need a new goal.  I want to make more things.  Just just stuff, but useful things.  No offense to other crafters, but there really is a lot of junk crafts out there, junk decor, and just plain junk.  I will not involve myself in it.  I want to have a purposeful life, and in order to do that, things in my home have to have a purpose.

My husband got me this book for Christmas.  (I asked for it...don't worry, he wasn't trying to drop hints or anything).  I LOVE it and highly recommend it to everyone!  The week after Christmas, and up until round two of strep throat a few days ago, I purged our house.  Our place is probably less than 1000 square feet and I easily got rid of 10 garbage bags full of stuff.  Yeah.  Wow.  I am not even done either.  After the life-altering experience of diving into this book, I physically can't put things back into my home unless they are beautiful or useful to me and my loved ones (that is a theme throughout the book---if it is neither beautiful or useful to you, why are you allowing it to take up precious space in your home).  There is so much more to the book than that though.  Just get it.

So for my goals this year, I will continue with last year's goal, sort of.  How about, I won't spend a LOT on crafts.  How about, I will only buy supplies that are necessary. I will only make things that are useful and beautiful to myself and others (in order words, I won't create more clutter).

I will try to make something every week, and something different every month (oooh variety! so at least 12 different things this year).

what are some of your goals for 2011?