Sunday, February 28, 2010

Big news!

Big news and a busy week here in the ReFabulous household!

First, my daughter opened her own Etsy shop!

She's very excited, and works hard, almost daily, on her shirts -- from the shopping and washing, to the pairings, designs and sewing. . . with very minimal help from mom.

Really, the only time I get to help is with the photos, and I really enjoy it. These girls are crazy and so fun to work with!

She is working on a few more shirts, and already has a custom order! She is eagerly anticipating our upcoming marathon-thrift-store-hunt in the big city. I'm so proud of her!

My daughter also plans to offer some hair accessories, similar to my hair flowers, but with her own young, bright twist on them. Please drop by her shop, and leave a heart or two -- she will be thrilled!

And some even bigger news. . . .

A new baby Monkey is on his / her way! We are very excited, and look forward to meeting this precious little blessing in October!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Which is cutest?

Ooooooh, this is a tough one.

My tiny new thrift store finds. . . .

A boy and his boots. . . .
My new portrait, created by Monkey 7. . . . (I think I've been eating too many carrots.)

Rico, our newly-adopted 4 month-old mutt puppy. . . .

What do you think?

Friday, February 19, 2010

The last of the January Birthday Swap posts, I promise.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Birthday Swap! I received so many thoughtful, well-crafted gifts, and I am so thankful for the kind and generous Crafsters that swapped with me!

I received this lovely house throw pillow from sunspotted:

I'd love to have a whole row of house pillows. . . sewn, crocheted, appliqued! How sweet would that be?

And I also received a box of traditional hawaiian goodies from my old swap-friend, puamelia!

I love that she found this house dress (for wearing or fabric) at the thrift store. . . .

Such a great swap! I'll be organizing and participating in the April Birthday Swap. . . I'm really looking forward to it!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

Here's hoping your day is full of sweetness. . . .

. . . and love.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Another find on the farm

We have the barns that keep on giving. We were cleaning out another shed the other day, and look what we found:

I thought it was a piece of cardboard, with all the dust covering it. I had no idea it was a mirror! It's very heavy (and large) and I think it could clean up nicely. We found it hanging in this nasty corner. . . .

. . . of this nasty shed:

This is a photo of the shed mostly cleared out. . . it was a huge mess. Three truckloads of junk, including 30 POUNDS of beer cans (which we recycled.) This shed has to be repaired with good, clean wood, and given a nice coat of paint. We're going to put the chicken coop here. It turns out that the first owner of the home used this as a chicken coop, too. Lots of work ahead! Let's keep this photo in mind as the "before," and hopefully next month, I'll have an awesome "after" to share!

Here's what we found in another barn. . . .

I wonder what we'll find next? ? ?

But for today. . . .

I'm going to bake Valentine cookies with Monkeys 6 and 7. That should be interesting!

Later, we're all heading out for a thrift store trip -- I'm really looking forward to that. We haven't been in quite a while. The main reason? No offense, West Texas, but your thrift stores stink. As in, they aren't very good/stylish/stocked. But I suppose we'll have to make-do until our next trip back to the big city. I'm on the lookout for some bright, springy plaids and maybe some bold florals. *crossing my fingers* My daughter is also wanting to make some more of these shirts, (so she can eventually open her own Etsy shop!!) so she has her own thrifty shopping agenda. Wish us luck!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Felt Valentine brooch tutorial

These little felt brooches are so simple to make, and a sweet addition (or alternative to) cards. And they are relatively eco-friendly, if you think about it. They won't be tossed out after Valentine's day, and can be used year after year. They're also made from felt scraps (and eco felt, at that!)

This heart was inspired by the conversation candy hearts (which I loathe) but I think this one is so simple and sweet.

To make. . . .
Sorry, no pictures, but I doubt you'll need them.
  • I first embroidered my message, using two strands of embroidery floss, on a scrap piece of felt.
  • When I was finished with the embroidery, I simply cut a heart shape around the message. Of course, you can cut out your heart shape first, but I found that holding a slightly larger piece of felt is easier to handle, especially since these are pretty small.
  • Using the heart you just cut out as your pattern, cut out a second heart from scrap felt.
  • Now, stitch a pin backing to this heart.
  • Next, stitch the two hearts together with whatever stitch you like (I used the blanket stitch above, and on the brooch below, I used my sewing machine.)
  • If you want your brooch a little puffy, leave a very small hole for stuffing with polyfil or a cotton ball. Stuff the brooch.
  • Stitch the opening closed. VERY easy.
I attached this brooch to a [pitiful] handmade card. (Card making is NOT my specialty. Obviously.)

Here's another brooch I made:

Tiny lettering! I didn't draw the lettering or follow a pattern. I just stitched it. . . and I like the hand-written look to it.

Stress-free, simple, fun. I plan to make a couple more soon. . . . I hope you'll give them a try, too!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Sewing away

Sometimes you just get in the mood to sew, and sew a lot.

I whipped up 11 diaper covers yesterday, from reclaimed fabrics and stash. I had been using gDiapers, and they're great and all, but it seemed like I was doing a lot of laundry -- 3 separate pieces for each diaper change. I used cloth prefolds for the insert, as I couldn't justify the cost of disposable inserts. I think I'll keep using them for outings (because of the waterproof lining,) but for home, I'll stick to this simpler method. . . .

For several days, I tried just using a cloth prefold. No wraps, covers, soakers, anything. I really like the simplicity. The only drawback is squeamish teens and dad with pins (no snappi here!) and a very strong and wiggly baby. With these diaper covers, we just lay a prefold inside, and velcro the cover closed. Easy! Although a diaper cover is a bit more laundry, everyone is more comfortable using them. Plus, they're cute and very snug. . . which the prefold cloth alone was not.

(Look at that naughty boy click-clicking on my facebook! I'm not responsible for those posts! hee-hee!)

I need to make about another dozen or so. Very easy to make, and cheap, too. I used Rita's Rump Pockets Classic pattern (free!) and just left off the pocket. I found that her pattern for a diaper cover was too small, or just "off" somehow for a good fit on Owen. The Classic pattern is perfect for him.

More sewing. . . .

This is a new design, an eco market tote, and I'm really excited about it!

It took forever to make. Sometimes new patterns/designs just do, I guess. It's made from reclaimed denim and floral fabric, and the interior is new Amy Butler Honeycomb cotton fabric. It's a huge bag! I'd like to make myself one some day. . . .

More sewing is planned for today -- more diaper covers, and I think I'll be making some flower hair pins, too. Red and pink would be pretty, and just in time for Valentine's Day.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Favorites, new and old

Monkey 1 and I made this shirt from two old/thrifted shirts. . . .

She says it's her new favorite! We plan to make many more.

An old favorite pattern. . . .

I also finished this eco tote last night. . . .

. . . made from a thrifted pair of jeans, a skirt, and some new quilting cotton for the lining. If the sun peeks out at all today, I hope to take some photos for my shop.

My new most favorite thing. . . .

I've been going to zumba classes at our church! They are held twice a week, for an uber-cheap $2 per class, and I am so in love with them! I am terribly out of shape, but I enjoy the class, and the instructor is fabulously patient and encouraging. I wish the classes were offered every day. . .

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

January Birthday Swap, part 4

The birthday that never ends! More goodies in the mail! Some pretty crocheted dish cloths handmade by Troublet. . .

And lots of extra goodies!

Out of the goodies, I was most excited about the embroidery needles! I have ONE, bent, pitiful and pathetic embroidery needle that I use (almost daily,) so I was quite excited to receive some new ones! (But I have to wonder where all my other needles have gone. . . ?)

Thank you so much for your thoughtful package, T!

Monday, February 1, 2010

A project finished, and a one-day sale

FINALLY! A new bag completed! This was a custom order. . . .

Made from 100% cotton reclaimed fabrics. The exterior was a high-end pair of slacks, and the interior was a thrift store shirt (still with original tags.) I like the rocket print!

I learned so much from this project, mostly in the pockets department. (My totes don't usually have a lot of pockets, and certainly not zippered or flap pockets.)

My second time making an adjustable strap using a slide buckle -- and the first time I did it right. (So embarrassed that I messed up the first one so badly. . . sorry, Jane.)

This was also my first unisex design. I'm looking forward to making more of these. . . if I can ever get my sewing to-do pile under control.

Time for a SALE!

It's the first Monday of the month, folks, and you know what that means -- Etsy Texas Crafter's First Monday Sale! There are almost 60 shops participating this month, so be sure to drop by and find some fabulous bargains. Don't forget Valentine's Day is coming up, and this is a great opportunity to shop handmade and get a good deal at the same time!

'Til tomorrow. . . have a blessed and peaceful day!

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