Tuesday, September 30, 2008

An invitation, and more fantastic news!

Grand Opening! How exciting! If you're in the area, please drop by and say hello. (This is the handbag boutique that is carrying my totes and wallets! Yay!) Their website is still under construction, but you can still visit anyway. . . here.

And more fantastic news. . .

Have you seen Immortal Longing's amazing Shakespearean artwork? I'm a big fan of Shakespeare, and a huge fan of Elizabeth's art. So beautiful and stirring. . . . Please check it out!

And the fantastic news? About a year ago, Elizabeth asked me to make wallets from her artwork. I jumped at the chance!

Elizabeth designs and creates artwork for Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London . . . and the theatre loved the wallets! They carried our wallets in their gift shop. The theatre recently said that the wallets were so popular, that they were having problems with them being stolen! I'm sorry that they were being stolen, but ecstatic that they were such a hit! So long story short, the good news is that I'll be working on more wallets for the theatre in the next few weeks!

Monkey update. . . .

Four have recovered from the strep outbreak, one is still feeling puny. Please say a little prayer for her speedy recovery.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Another swap item!

NO PEEKING, TRICIA!!!






I signed up for the quarterly gift swap for our Etsy street team, Etsy Texas Crafters. My partner had mentioned liking my poppy ipod cozies months ago, so I decided to make her something related to that. I wanted to make her a tote that was large enough for shopping, trips to the gym, or pretty much whatever. The tote had to be tough, yet pretty, and able to be folded or rolled up for storage. So here is what I came up with:


This tote is similar to the Gathering autumn tote I made last week. . . that tote was actually the prototype for this one! I used new (but donated and rescued) fabrics for this tote. The poppies are made from a 100% wool sweater that I fulled and recycled. The stems are made from ribbon ends that I have left over from a large sachet order (I tie a tag on each one.)

I sooooo wanted to keep this bag! I wish I had better photos, but these colors seem to be hard for me to photograph, especially on the white background.

I loved the lining fabric, too! I don't have enough of it to make another tote, though. I may make one of these totes for my shop, but with a different lining.

Tonight, I'm finishing up 2 dozen cupcake pincushions for a California boutique, and a few things for the Newborn and Pregnant Swap. (I can't wait to share those cute swap goodies with you!) Now I'm off to sew!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Awesome autumn earrings

Aren't these gorgeous?

Not only are they mod and trendy, but handmade from recycled materials. Very cool. And for $8, they're a total steal. Check out my friend Cathie's shop, SweetWolf, for more of her recycled and trashion goodies!

Not much else to post on the crafty homefront. We've had an outbreak of strep throat in the ReFabulous household, and as you can imagine, everything slows down quite a bit when the Monkeys aren't feeling well. Hopefully I can squeeze some work in while the Monkeys are vegging and watching movies. Poor babies.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Front page! Yay!

My little goldfish pincushion was on the front page of Etsy on Sunday (sorry this is a bit late):



Thanks for the screenshots, Milly (ThistleCraft) and Cathie (SweetWolf)!

Monday, September 22, 2008

My new design. . . and I'm longing for autumn

Today is our street team's monthly Design Challenge. We were invited to create an item for Halloween, or Autumn Beauty.

I chose Autumn Beauty.


Autumn is very, very short in our area of Texas. The leaves on the trees can change colors, and then fall to the ground, in the course of one weekend. We can have 90+ degree days well into October, and have to wear shorts on Halloween. When we do have a cooler day, we have to really go out and enjoy it, as we know it's a fleeting phenomenon.

This bag was inspired by feelings of drawing together, bringing close, and gathering up. You can read more about this inspiration in my tote's description, here.

Hopefully, autumn will come visit us here soon, even if it is for just a short time.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Gooey Goodness

I recently came across Peggy's Gooey Butter Cake recipe. My grandma used to make these when I was little. She made cherry or pineapple variations. My grandma passed away a few years ago, and I don't have her recipe for this decadent cake. I was so happy to come across Peggy's!

If you've never had one of these, there is a buttery crust on the bottom, and an almost pudding-like filling on top of that. You can add fruit or other flavors to the filling. While baking, a fragile, slightly crispy crust forms on top of the pudding. Sooooo good.

We decided to try a cherry version:

Just spread a can of cherry pie filling over the crust before baking, and then pour the gooey mixture over the cherries. It took about 45 minutes to bake at 350. I wanted to take a photo of the cake once it was cut, but um, yeah... it didn't last that long.

(Thanks for sharing, Peggy!)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Another quick post

Why quick?




Because I now have to sew these 100+ sachets closed. All of this lavender is going to put me in a coma.

Some of my cloth diaper supplies arrived yesterday from SewZannes -- talk about speedy shipping! I also discovered that SewZannes is cheaper than wazoodles on many products and has a larger selection (in case anyone's interested.) SewZannes specializes in children's fabrics in general -- not just cloth diapering supplies. So I'll be starting my cloth diapering experiments very soon! Can't wait!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Just a few new totes

I've recently made up a few new totes. This is a sneak peek, as they aren't listed in my shop yet:


This is a short post today. . . . lots of sewing and work to do! More later (or tomorrow!)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Yesterday's thrift store find


I'll be drinking my coffee from a goblet this morning.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Some happy news, and other things

We were pleasantly surprised when Monkey 1 spotted something very interesting in the latest issue of one of our favorite magazines, Faith and Family. . . .

A drawing of St. Francis by our very own Monkey 2! (I know it's hard to see in the photo -- sorry.) The funny thing is that she submitted the drawing two years ago, while we still lived in Texarkana, and we forgot all about it. We had no idea it had been chosen, so it was a nice surprise to see it here!

Other happy news. . . .

A sweet lady mentioned my umbrella pincushion in her neat blog this weekend -- thanks, Amy!

And other things. . . .

Don't forget that The Spotted Box goes on sale at noon EST, and that they sell out quickly! You can get one here, or you may have better luck at the Etsy Shop here, where boxes will be added a few at a time.

And lastly. . . .

I've made the decision to start using cloth diapers! I am SOOO excited about that! I was completely ignorant and unaware of modern cloth diapering with all of my other children. I did not know a single person that cloth diapered. I started reading about cloth diapering while I was pregnant with Owen, and seriously considered doing it. However, my husband was very much against the idea. . . . he reasoned that we can hardly keep up with laundry now, and here I was wanting to add to the pile. But now I think the expense of disposables is starting to change his mind.

I have read that you should try several different types of diapers to find out what works best for your baby. Since I don't have the time or money to experiment, this is my plan: I am planning to sew my own. I figured that if I purchase the materials and fabrics, I can then try different patterns with minimal expense.

I'm thinking of trying these two options first -- tie-on prefolds with a cover, and pocket diapers (mostly for my sweet husband.) If you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them. I'm especially interested in what types of laundry detergent you use, and if there are any DIY detergent recipes that you recommend!

Oh my gosh. . . can you imagine Owen's chubby little legs in a pair of warmers?? Eeeeee!


I must learn to knit, just so I can make these.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Today's surprise. Frightening.


(Last year's gory Halloween prop. I can't thank you enough, husband, for buying that.)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

And yet, even more swap goodies!

Now this is a swap package! Mimiw made this amazing package for Owen, for the Baby and Preggo Swap on Craftster. And I mean, amazing.

Owen is teething, and is very drooly these days. Mimi made him these adorable bibs:


The bib on the left has shower curtain lining on the inside! (brilliant) And the green bib, very thick and soft, is almost too pretty to use. Almost.

Owen protested modelling today.

To further combat the drool, she sent these super-soft, super-cute burp cloths! They have already come in very handy.

I think my most favorite part of our package are these:

They are soft, squishy, bright and just plain fun. Monkey 7 claimed the medium one for himself. Mimi said she got the pattern from Purl Bee -- here. That is definitely a pattern for bookmarking!

Owen's a little happier now. He loves these!

This blankie is great in so many ways. It's cute, practical and light-weight. It doesn't get that cold here where I am, at least not until January. So we're always needing light blankets, but the standard receivers are too small. This one's just right:

And one final piece of practical cuteness. . . a little wet bag, for paci's or spoons while we're out and about!

Can you believe that cute fabric? And it's lined with a brown vinyl for easy cleaning!

This was such a fantastic swap package -- very thoughtful, incredibly well-made, practical and just plain cute. Thank you so much, Mimi! Oh -- Mimi has a very cool shop of her own, Smiling Octopus. . . please drop by and visit her!

Friday, September 12, 2008

My new pincushions!

Ahhhh, I love swaps. Did I ever mention that? I organized a Pincushion swap, and received two really unique pincushions from Calsters, who "claims" to be a beginner! That's in quotes because the pincushions she made me are very well done, and I am so excited to show them to you!

I think all of my pins may find a home now:


Gorgeous vintage beach-style fabric (and she included the extra fabric! Yay!) and a great size! And check out this fantastic wrist pincushion -- a surf board!

I like that she attached the cushion to a plastic band, so my wrist won't get poked by pins sticking through. I never would have thought of the shape and design of the pincushion. . . . I just love it! Thank you, Calsters!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Have I told you about this yet?

Have I told you about The Spotted Box yet? I don't think I have. . . It's a promotional opportunity that I am so excited to participate in! It's a lot like The Sampler (which is very cool, by the way.) I feel that The Spotted Box caters more to my customer demographic than The Sampler would-- moms that are interested in healthy, eco-friendly, alternative, natural products for themselves and their families. A perfect fit for me! I submitted 35 dryer sachets for this month's box.

The Spotted Box will go on sale on the 15th of this month. . . . and they sell out within minutes! You can purchase your box here, or on Etsy here. So exciting! I'll keep you posted . . . !

For some general FAQs about The Spotted Box, check this out.

Monday, September 8, 2008

More totes!

I'm almost finished with the mountain o'totes I have cut out. Here's a peek at what I've been doing:




This one was listed in my shop tonight. . . it's extra-special, so you'll have to drop by my shop to find out why:

Only two more to go. . . .

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Lots of wallets

I have been working on lots of wallets lately! This batch is going to Pursecution:

Pursecution is that boutique I've mentioned in a previous post! The designer's bags are amazing, and I feel honored to be invited to have my totes and wallets placed there, as well. That being said, I have to go and finish up my totes! More tomorrow. . . .

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

More swap shirts!

My fantastic partner, QuiltersBlock, received the t-shirts I made for her cute little tot in the Week of Baby Onesies Swap! (That was lightning-fast delivery for the USPS, wasn't it??) This swap was a challenge for me theme-wise because her interests were so very different from mine. She said that they liked science, math and brainy themes. . . . my weaknesses! They are also fans of Dr. Who, whom I had to look up to see what that meant. I just had so much fun with this swap!

OK. . . enough yapping already. Here are the tees I sent her:


This shirt has a freezer paper stencil of Dalek from Dr. Who. I was kind of proud of it, as I drew it myself! OK, so it's not super-complicated; I just don't have much confidence in my drawing abilities.

A cute robot applique with her initial:

A happy water molecule. . . the light in this photo makes the shirt look orange, but it's more of a coral color:

My favorite shirt, apple pi:

And a flask of happy cherry goodness, done in reverse applique:


As for techniques and tutorials, the stencil and applique tutorials are already listed on the left-hand side of my blog. You can find a tutorial for reverse applique here. It's not the one I used, but that's just because I made mine up as I went along, and it's pretty much like she described in the tutorial anyway.

I had a great time making these, and organizing this swap. . . . so I plan to organize another soon! If you want in on that action, drop by from time to time to keep posted on sign-ups! If you are not a member of Craftster, but want to join in all the fun we have there, why not sign up?

More quick pants, and a batch of wallets

Monkey 5 has been eyeing Monkey 6's bird pants for quite some time. She felt that she needed a pair herself. She chose this fabric from my favorite fabric shop, buyfabricsonline (awesome!)

And she left it draped across my sewing machine. Hint taken.

The pattern I used is It's So Easy Simplicity 9882. I couldn't find it on the web to link to it, so it must be an old one. Well, I know it's an old one, as I haven't bought a pattern in years. I'm sure there are plenty of other super-easy patterns out there for jammies!

Now a few wallets. . . .

I haven't made wallets in quite some time, and have a huge stack of covers waiting for me. Later this week, I am sending some wallets to a boutique (along with the totes) so I was motivated to get some completed. Here are a few in my shop:


I have several more in my shop, and an even bigger pile under construction next to my work area. Then, it's time to make more totes. . . .