Sunday, August 31, 2008

ETC First Monday Sale! And pincushion swap spoiler! No peeking, Calster!

It's time for our monthly First Monday ETC Sale! Dozens of our Etsy Texas Crafters members' shops are having sales, freebies and discounts beginning tonight at midnight, and lasting until midnight on Monday!

Please join us in our forum thread here, to see the list of all of the participating shops, and even join us for a little chat!

I'll be offering 20% off everything in my shop! (excludes shipping)

Shhhh! Swap spoiler alert! Calsters, stop now!

My partner in the Pincushion Swap said she liked Dia de los Muertos themes --- YAY! I couldn't wait to get started. She also requested a medium-sized pincushion, and likes red, orange, yellow, purple, black and white. Sooo... this is what I came up with:



As you can see, it's quite a bit larger than a bottlecap, my usual pincushion base. I also used some trim around the sides, instead of knots or beads. I really like that look, but am not happy with the seam bulge on the side. If I ever use the trim again, I'll have to come up with a way to layer that seam and make it lie flat. This pincushion is weighted with a small pouch of lentils inside, in addition to being stuffed with polyfil. I'm so excited about it, and hope she likes it, too!

I'm having so much fun with these swaps! I'm probably going to host another pincushion swap as soon as this one wraps up, so if anyone's interested, check back here for sign-up information!

Just one of many little surprises


Friday, August 29, 2008

Almost finished.... and a new tote

I am almost finished with all of my current swaps! I finally finished my t-shirts for the Week of Onesies Swap and got them in the mail today. I had so much fun trying new techniques while making those tiny shirts! I can only share a hint with you, but once my partner receives the shirts, I'll be sure to post all the pics and links to some tutorials I used. I promise you -- they are so much fun!
I'll be finishing my pincushion for the Pincushion Swap tonight. Then on to the huge pile of wallets I have in the making.

I also made a new tote this week:

The handles are made from an obi -- so soft and quilty!

I also whipped up this little pouch, but while doing the final pressing, discovered a tiny blue spot on a white flower. . . . so Monkey 5 was happy to claim it! Darn it, this pouch was so cute!

I hope you all have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend!

Oh! Speaking of this Labor Day weekend, I am having a free shipping offer in my shop from now until Sunday night. . . . pass it on!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Baby cuteness ahead! You were warned!

Owen just got totally spoiled in our Week of Baby Onesies Swap on Craftster! My partner, QuiltersBlock, sent an adorable package of embellished onesies for my little guy.....

She made this shirt -- from scratch! I am impressed. I can't sew knits at all. This is so soft, too.

This onesie features the number 8, for our little Ocho (so named by his uncle Josh.)


Here's the king of our brood. He thinks so, anyway.

Sweet little puppy applique!

Cute leafy dino!

And check out the little dino track on the back!!! (Owen finally learned to push up while on his belly, too!)

This last shirt is my favorite.... she added sleeves! Sooooo cute! Oh, the possibilities!

Owen likes it, too.

Thank you SO much, QB! We just love these! If anyone would like info on how my partner added the sleeves to the onesie, she has kindly posted instructions here! She can also be found as refibered at sewingmama.com, a website I really need to check out!

Monday, August 25, 2008

My back-to-school ETC Design Challenge entry

I began working on this yesterday afternoon. It almost beat me. I picked this up again last night. And it almost beat me again. But I kept working at it..... and here it is:

It's made from 100% reclaimed fabrics, and reinforced with heavy-duty interfacing for shape and durability. I drew and stencilled the octopus. I like how it looks old and worn already.

It's large enough for big binders, notebooks, and/or some text books. It also has two pockets on the inside -- one skinny double pocket for a cell phone and pens or pencils, and a wider pocket. I also made a wider handle for comfort in carrying. There's a loop with a split-ring for keys on the inside side seam.


I did have fun with this challenge, and look forward to next month's theme! Be sure to drop by Etsy and search keyword DESIGNCHALLENGE to see all of this month's entries.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

No peeking, Mimikachu! More swap goodies!

OK. I can't take it any longer. I have to share what I made for my Go Green and Recycle swap partner. So if you've wandered over here, mimikachu, STOP NOW! Avert your eyes!



My partner is a teacher in the Bronx (wow!) and I thought maybe she could use a bag to fit a binder or two, or maybe some books. So I came up with a new design, and this messenger bag is completely constructed from reclaimed fabrics.

The interior has two pockets; one is divided for pens/pencils.

But I think I'm most proud of this stencil! It was my second attempt ever at a freezer paper stencil. I found the image at a royalty-free, public domain clip art site... that is now defunct. (I included the link just in case it decides to work again, as it was one of my favorites, and I have used it many, many times.) The stencil's not perfect, but I was pretty happy with it. My partner mentioned somewhere that she loved old typewriters, so I hope this works for her.

Next, another item I hope she can use at school -- a reusable lunch sack! I know these are everywhere these days, and now I understand why. So simple to make, cute, and practical. Here's the tutorial for the lunch sack. This one is made from new, imported fabric on the exterior, and reclaimed fabric for the lining, and a reclaimed button.

Oh -- this is washable, too. The tutorial says to insert cardboard in the bottom, but I just sewed a plastic canvas rectangle in between the exterior and lining to form the bottom.

Not shown, but tucked away inside, I made a removable lining made from fused plastic bags. I made it the same way as the lunch sack, but a bit smaller, and it folds over and closes with velcro. I made this in case she has a leaky or drippy item inside, or maybe wants a tad bit of insulation. It can be wiped clean, too.

The next items were another first for me -- journals from recycled materials. (It's funny how we made each other some of the same items!) There are sooo many great bookmaking sites and techniques on the internet, but as this was supposed to be my "easy" or "small" item, I didn't want it to get too complicated. I decided on this tutorial for the larger journal. I LOVE the way it turned out, and can't wait to make myself a few. (I just may make a few for my Etsy shop, as well!)

The cover of the larger journal is a record album cover from The Lovin' Spoonfuls. The journal is filled with recycled papers. Many of them were pictures I had printed out from Dover's free samples I get every week, and the kids hadn't gotten around to coloring yet. . . . so now maybe my partner will have some coloring to do if she likes.


The smaller journal's cover is made from some cool retro shelf liner I found at the thrift store (still in its wrapper, 85 cents) that I sewed to cardstock. I filled it with some recycled notebook paper. I used this technique to make this little notebook.

I hope my partner likes her items, and I hope you'll try out some of these techniques and tutorials. I had so much fun with them!

Friday, August 22, 2008

A new Eco-Indie feature on Smidge!

I am being featured in the Eco-Indie section on Smidge, a stylish, crafty, handmade-lovin' site! So exciting! You can see me on the front page now, or here's a direct link to my little feature. Please be sure to drop by!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Grab some coffee or tea -- it's a long one.

I'll give a basic run-down of today's post, so you can skip to what you feel like reading.
  1. Wee Wonderful's Pointy Kitties
  2. Go Green and Recycle Swap goodies
  3. new additions to my shop

1. Wee Wonderful's Pointy Kitties

I came across Hillary Lang's Wee Wonderfuls blog quite a while back, and instantly fell in love with her sweet little creations. I printed out a few of her free downloadable patterns (what a sweet lady!) and filed them away in my massive "Someday" pile.

"Someday" came on Sunday, when my daughters and I decided to make the Pointy Kitty. It is easy enough for beginners to make, but they did need my help a few times. The girls each chose their own fabrics. It's funny how their personalities shone through their fabric choices! I chose to make mine completely from reclaimed scraps, left over from my bag and tote projects. I love the way they all turned out.

This kitty brings back memories of my curious cat, Sally. She passed away about 2 years ago from feline leukemia. She always "helped" me with my sewing, usually by stealing my bobbins or laying down in the middle of fabric while I was cutting. I still miss her.

2. Go Green and Recycle Swap goodies!

I received a lovely package from mimikachu today! She sent me these neat recycled goodies:

These earrings and bracelet are made from a New York City map! I need to learn how to make these paper beads. My Monkeys and I were just talking about making them the other day!

And how did my partner know I needed a journal? This is perfect for my design sketches and ideas. No more stray scraps of paper! And that pencil is made completely from recycled newspapers -- AND it smells like chocolate!

A cool record bowl, to hold some of my crafty supplies:

And a bag made from recycled materials! A hand-sewn bag, no less! This will be perfect for shopping trips.

Check out those stitches! Nice.

Thanks so much for swapping with me, Melissa! :)

3. New additions to my shop. . . .

I haven't made a zipper pouch in a long time, especially not one with an embroidered patch. I thought it was time to make one yesterday. This one is made from a lovely skirt:


This little box pouch was also contructed from a skirt:

Ooohh, I wish I had more of that fabric! I only have enough for a tote, and that tote is going to a boutique in Minneapolis. (More on that another day!)

Well, if you've made it to the end, congratulations. And thanks. :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Pincushion giveaway winner! And a new pouch

Thank you for all the sweet responses to my pincushion giveaway! The lucky winner is La Mia Designs! She also has a neat Etsy shop, so be sure to drop by there and say hello. Congrats, La Mia!

I finished another little pouch today. . . .

I just love that fabric! (And the pouch is 100% reclaimed!)

My little 4 year-old Monkey 6 loved the fabric, too.

He demanded a shirt from it. Mmmmm, no, not this time, sweetie. I didn't have enough fabric for that. But that's OK. He still has his bird pants that he wears every other day.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

100th post giveaway! And finally the box pouches!

I can't believe this is really my 100th post. Wow.

I wish I had some amazing, fantastic thing to write about, or some great news to share. Well, maybe I can share this. . . .

Would you like to win one of my mini bottlecap pincushions?
I want to make one lucky reader a mini bottlecap pincushion of their choosing, just for putting up with me for 100 posts. Or just one post. It's all good. You can choose from one of the above pincushions, or check out my Sold listings in my Etsy shop for a pincushion I made long ago that catches your fancy. . . .

Just leave a comment on this post sometime over the next few days, and let me know which pincushion you would like to win. Let's say, you have until Tuesday. On Wednesday, I'll draw one lucky name, and post the winner here in my blog!

And now for a couple of box pouches -- finally!

I made this one from some imported Japanese fabric (so cute) that I bought from fabricsgalore's etsy shop:

The cotton fabric lining and the zipper are both a lovely muted apple green, and both reclaimed. This bag has some interfacing in it, to make it a little boxy and stiff(er), but still soft enough to collapse or fold.

This next pouch is made from 100% reclaimed fabrics:


I just love the tiny owls! This pouch puts me in the mood for autumn, my favorite season. The interior is a rich, butternut color -- so pretty! I did not interface this pouch at all, so it is quite squishy and soft. I thought that it would be perfect for tossing into a backpack or gym bag, where it wouldn't matter if it got squashed or not.

Well, I'd better get busy. . . . I finished my second (medium) item for the Green and Recycled swap today, and have a pincushion to make, and some onesies to embellish tomorrow. I can't wait to share the pics with you!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Lazy summer days, and an eye pillow

I am having a hard time being productive these days. Sometimes we just have to slow down. The younger Monkeys decided to take their studies outside yesterday, under our make-shift fort (the best kind of fort, in my opinion.)

I did overhear big plans being discussed. . . something about sleeping outside and watching falling stars. (The Perseids are giving a good show this year. . . they peaked early Tuesday morning, but I think it's possible to still catch a glimpse of some. Thanks for the reminder, Cathie!) The camp-out didn't happen, due to predicted thunderstorms and the ever-present fire ants in our yard (to which my daughter happens to be severely allergic.) But they did enjoy the change of scenery for their studies.

And speaking of my friend Cathie. . . .

She runs two eclectic and cool Etsy shops -- SweetWolf and UltraTrixie, and is a fellow member of our street team, Etsy Texas Crafters. I recently purchased an exceedingly cute eye pillow from her shop:

This little pillow is quite a life-saver. It's filled with flax seeds and native Texas lavender, which is much sweeter and milder than the pungent French lavender I use for my sachets. The pillow can be heated or chilled, and the weight of the flax seeds is just the right amount of pressure I need on my eyes. I've been having a lot of migraines lately, and this pillow has helped my migraines dissipate quickly! Impressive. Please drop by her shops and check out her other unique items. Thanks for the fantastic product, Cathie!

My, my, my....

. . . look who's weighing in at a whopping 18 pounds. . . .

Monday, August 11, 2008

Swap talk, and some new sachets

I am so excited! I designed a new bag over the weekend, and it turned out even better than I imagined! I love it when that happens.

Unfortunately, I can't post a picture yet, as it's for a Craftster swap (Green and Recycling) but I'm hoping to ship it early, so I'll be able to share it with you soon. I do have two more items to make for it, and those should be fun, too!

I'm also organizing a couple of swaps on Craftster... a pincushion swap, and a baby onesies swap. I'm still working over the ideas for the onesies, so I haven't started on those yet. The pincushion swap is still in sign-up mode. . . we only have a couple of slots left, so if you want to join us, please do!

In shop news, I listed two more sets of rose petal sachets. . . .

I just love these sweet fabrics! The early feedback on these new sachets is good -- my customers like them, and have said they are "just lovely." Yay! I'm currently working on a spice blend sachet for fall. . . think pumpkin pie spices. . . yum! I hope these turn out well, too.

I have a stack of cut-out pouches to make tonight. Remember my last-minute box pouches? Yeah, those! I have some adorble pumpkin-colored fabric with tiny owls, and some light apple green fabric with little elephants, ready to be sewn into box pouches. Maybe tomorrow. . . .

Friday, August 8, 2008

Hooray!

My lavender dryer sachets made the front page of Etsy tonight! Yay!

I wasn't very productive today. I don't have any new items to show you. I did make a little papercraft Prince with my daughters this afternoon -- it really was fun. I didn't take a photo of him yet, but he's perched atop my sewing machine, and he makes me smile.....

OH! We did plan our Halloween costumes today. I haven't sewn Halloween costumes for the kids in quite a few years, not since my I-wanna-be-Super-Mom-fiasco years. But this time, it will be fun, easy, and we're doing it just for us. And we're super-excited!
What, you ask, are we going to be? Katamari cousins! I, of course, am going to be the queen... but I'm not so sure we can talk sweet husband/daddy into wearing the king's costume (tights!!) I'll keep you posted.....