Saturday, March 21, 2015

Scrappy: making potholders

I desperately needed potholders.  I can't even show you my old ones, because I didn't have any.  I threw them all away in disgust months ago and have been limping along with dish towels ever since.  Which is sad, because I bake and/or cook almost every single day.  Seeing all the pretty patchwork potholders on pinterest (say that three times fast,) I was finally inspired to scrap-bust and whip some up for my own kitchen!

Now, I really should have looked at some actual patterns, or at least browsed some tutorials first, before I started, but I didn't. I completely winged it and guessed at measurements, and my potholders turned out a little narrow, but they're better than a flimsy dish towel any day!  They still work fine, even if my stitches are a little wonky and imperfect. . . .

And by the way, if you're drooling over those chocolate cookies, you should be. Those are Texas sheet cake cookies and OH MY GOODNESS they taste just like the real thing.  I was a total skeptic and now I'm a total believer.  Go make them.  Now.  I'll wait.

Ahem.  Back to the potholders.  They're cute. . . .

and they'll bust a little fabric scrappy stash. . . .

Here's how I structured my potholders:
-- top: patchwork (scrappy) layer
-- fusible fleece (fused to patchwork)
-- Insul-Bright
-- fleece
-- bottom: plain scrap fabric

NO heat is going to break that barrier!  :)

fusible fleece remnants

I sandwiched Insul-Bright between the fusible fleece and some regular fleece for the bottom layer.  I don't think the Insul-Bright is necessary, but I had some on hand left over from a project from years ago, so why not use it?

I used thrifted bias tape for the edges.  I buy brand new packages of bias tape at the thrift store for literally pennies.  I'll never, ever run out of bias tape.

These work great for me, and used up a tiny bit of stash, but next time, I'll try one of these cute patterns.  You should give one a try, too!  Perfect for a weekend project or a quick gift!

by Felicity Quilts

by Stumbles and Stitches

by Jenny Ryan

by Miss Mary Sewing Classes

by Nancy Zieman

by My Girl Thursday

by Martha Stewart

And one more. . . no picture, but be sure to check out this really cute, really good tutorial for simple quilted potholders with binding.

Have fun, and talk to you soon!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Loving my lashes

I didn't mean to be gone so long.  We have major issues with our internet provider (as in they cap our data usage at 10 GB per month -- yes, we have more data on our phones!) so I had to wait until mid-month to have internet juice to post again.  *sigh*

But here I am, and don't my lashes look AMAZING?!  Here's what happened. . . .

I kept seeing something about 3D mascara pop up in my facebook feed, so I messaged my friend, Amy, about it.  She offered to send me some Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lash Mascara to try, in exchange for a review.  **This, my friends, is my full disclosure.  You also have my promise to be completely honest about my thoughts on this product.**

You guys, you know me.  I don't normally get worked up about makeup.  Lipstick, sure.  Especially red lipstick.  But mascara?  C'mon.  I'm usually too lazy to bother with it, and regular mascara doesn't seem to make much of a difference on my thin, short lashes anyway.  (scroll down to see my embarrassingly skinny lashes.)

I was dubious that this mascara, or any mascara, would make much of a difference.  And you want me to do TWO WHOLE STEPS?!  I can barely handle one-step mascara!  But once I tried the Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes. . . .

I was a believer!  It was actually a pretty quick process -- unscrew both tubes, swipe on the transplant gel to one eye, then apply the fibers to the tips of the lashes, then seal with the transplant gel.  Repeat for the other eye, of course.  That's it!  You can then comb out with an eyebrow comb (I don't) or curl with a quick, low-heat, low-air blast from your hair dryer (I sometimes do.)  You can wear it over your favorite mascara, but I don't.  I think they look great without it!  (whoooaaa... three steps?  are you crazy?!)

And it's actually pretty fun.  I don't know (nor do I care) how it works, but it does, as you can see. . . .

I've been wearing this mascara for six weeks now, and I've had no flaking, no smearing, no smudging, no breakage.  It washes off with soap and water, and my natural lashes are in soft, perfect condition -- not brittle or damaged in any way.

The ONLY negative thing I experienced wearing this mascara was the very first time I applied it, and it resulted from my own haste in not reading the directions:  I applied the fibers from root to tip, so I kept getting some of the fibers in my eyes throughout the day.  Not fun, but again, my own fault.  You don't want to apply the fibers to your entire lash.  It's just not necessary.  Only apply fibers to the tips.

It's all-natural (beeswax and green tea fibers and such) and was recently featured on The Doctors.  :)  Anyway, this commercial is now coming to a close.  I promised an honest review, so here you have it:  I love, love, love this mascara, and will continue to purchase this for myself and for my girls.  I've purchased two for my daughters so far. . . .

If you have any questions, please leave me a comment below!  If you'd like to try some of this mascara (or other Younique products,) please give my sweet friend, Amy, a holler.

** PLEASE NOTE... MORE DISCLOSURE **  Amy did not ask me to share her link, info, or any other stuff here.  She only asked for an honest review.  I'm sharing this info with you because A.  Amy is super-sweet and awesome and you guys would love her, and B. the mascara is super-awesome.  :)

Crafty stuff. . . .

It seems the exercise and sewing has flip flopped, as opposed to my last post, as I've been able to sew a lot and exercise a little due to feeling pretty awful lately (more on that later.)  

I've also been able to write up some blog posts, even a tutorial -- offline, naturally (stupid ISP) -- so I'll have some posts scheduled to pop up here and there over the next couple of weeks.

Shop announcement. . . .

I will not be reopening my Etsy shop.  I'm utterly fed up and disgusted with Etsy.  I cannot say it any better than April Winchell did in this article.  I have loved and appreciated every one of my Etsy customers, and I thank each and every one of you for supporting me and my work, and for supporting true handmade.  I simply cannot support Etsy's greasy ethics any longer.

I will, however, continue to make and sell my eco-friendly totes and bags on a custom order basis, and soon, I am launching a blog-based shopping cart. You will be able to order ready-to-ship items right from this blog!  Easy!  You'll be the first to know when it's ready!

Talk to you soon!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Exercising and not sewing

So much for more frequent posting.  After that last tutorial, I was all sewed out / blogged out for a bit.  Since then. . . .

we've had new babies. . . .

Our rescue dog, Maybe, had a little too much fun while Brendan was last in the hospital.  I sincerely wish the neighbors would keep their dog put up. . .  the very same dog that killed our chickens and barn cats.  >:-[  grrrr!  Anyway, the pups are here and adorable and opened their eyes today for the first time.  Sweet!  And don't worry... Miss Maybe will be having her lady surgery as soon as she's able.

  I mean, who doesn't love a puppy pile?

We also have a new smile. . . .

and new plumbing. . . .


and sweets. . . .

my valentine

and then Lent whispered in.

half the brood, after noon Ash Wednesday service

our Lenten prayer journals

Somewhere in all of that, there was this light bulb. . . .

Last summer, I went to the gym almost every day, and went down 2 dress sizes. And then I got all sad and mopey and depressed because of my frequent migraines, and then I thought the migraines were keeping me from the gym.  I all but gave up on exercise and health and stuff.

But then, a LIGHT BULB!  I reframed the migraine vs. exercise dilemma:  even if I have 8 migraines a month (I've actually had 5 so far this month,) there are still 20+ non-migraine days every month.  20+ opportunities to work out!  So, for the past couple of weeks, I've been going to the gym every day that I haven't had a migraine.  It. feels. wonnnderfuuul.

And I decided to get really serious about it, so I started tracking my food intake on MyFitnessPal again.  You can follow me there, if you want.  My food diary is even open to friends.  Don't judge....  Actually, you can if you want.  I just won't care.  ;)

I also found all sorts of fabulous instagram accounts (like this one and this one) of positive, happy people getting in shape naturally, the old-fashioned way -- hard, sweaty work and good, healthy eats.  They inspire and motivate me, especially when I really don't wanna leave my warm bed at 5:15 in the morning to go to the gym.  I've got to start somewhere.  Baby steps.

I've lost 5 pounds so far, but I'm staying off of the scale for a long while.  I don't even think I'll take measurements.   I used to obsess over numbers BIG TIME, and I refuse to fall back into my old eating disorder ways.  I'm using the my-clothes-are-getting-all-baggy method of measuring my progress for now.

Sewing and shop update. . . hello?  helloooo?

I have some other heavy-duty stuff on my plate right now, so I'm not sure when I'll update my shop.  The sheer enormity of writing all new item descriptions, styling new products, photographing and then editing hundreds of photographs... that pretty much overwhelms me just thinking about it.  I'll probably sew a wee bit when I find some snippets of time.  But in all honesty, those things are not really on my radar.  That's life.  My life, your life, our lives.  I'm sure you understand.

I'll be back soon.  I promise.
Talk to you later.