Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Monkeys are on the mend, and a new tote

I kept thinking the Monkeys were recovering, but I was wrong. Every day, when one child would begin to perk up and feel a wee bit better, another child would come to me with flushed cheeks, 102+ degree fever, and a head ache/ear ache/sore throat/(insert complaint.) I was beginning to lose hope that life would ever return to normal.

But today marks Day 2 of Fever-Free Living. Thank God! And thank you to all of you who emailed your kind words, and for your prayers. Your sweet sentiments are deeply appreciated!

My new tote is finally completed....

This tote is constructed from 100% cotton fabrics, and from 100% reclaimed fabrics. Some khakis and skirts were transformed into this:

I also whipped up this sweet little pouch last night... perfect for springtime!

This pouch is constructed from a little cotton sun dress, a lemon-yellow cotton lining (from a skirt,) an invisible zipper (new, but rescued from the thrift store,) and a sweet yellow felt flower applique.

I'll be posting a new wallet tomorrow -- Alice's Adventures in Wonderland! So cute!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Front Page! and a few new wallets

Thanks to sweet Carolyn, I found out that I was on the front page of Etsy tonight! Well, not me, exactly, but my little goldfish pincushion was:

How exciting! Thanks for the heads-up, Carolyn! :)

A few new wallets....

I was able to make a few new wallets today. I haven't had much time for more, as a few of the Monkeys are now on Round 3 of whatever horrible illness is plaguing them. Mostly sinus or ear ache related, but no fun for anyone. While they were napping, I made these wallets:

The top one is from The Milagro Beanfield War. The second is from a copy of Moll Flanders, and the last wallet is from The Taming of the Shrew. More to come tomorrow!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Fun with lavender, a new wallet and the promise of a jelly fish

A couple of months ago, I came across some reusable dryer sheets online. I wish I could remember where I saw them so I could share the link! Basically, the dryer "sheets" are really simple sachets, filled with dried herbs or flowers, and sometimes have essential oils dropped onto the sachets. Toss them in the dryer with your laundry, and the heat from the dryer will warm up the herbs, and disperse their gentle scents throughout the load. No weird chemicals or fake fragrances deposited on your clothing! I was intrigued... and I wanted to make some for my family!

Weeks pass, and I finally get around to ordering some lovely Provence lavender from the sweet Etsy seller, PoPkO. I ordered a pound. The package arrived.... I had NO idea just how much a pound of lavender was! (It's a LOT.) I'm now swimming in lavender.

I decided to get busy and finally make those dryer sachets. I was nervous at first -- this lavender is very strong, and I wasn't sure I wanted quite that much scent in my laundry. I shouldn't have worried. The laundry came out smelling so softly of lavender. Such a pretty scent! The first sachet lasted through about 10 loads of laundry... large loads. I tucked that sachet into my sock drawer; it still smells nice.

I made several more sachets today. I have only used half of my lavender stash! I decided to list a few of my sachets in my Etsy shop.

And about that new wallet...

I forgot to mention an AMAZING score of paperbacks we made last week at one of the thrift stores.... at least 25 good ones! I made this wallet today from one of my finds:

I really liked writing back in college, and this reminds me of the excitement of writing all those papers. Sometimes I miss it. I'm not very good, but I did enjoy it. I like this wallet.
I have several more wallets on the way, and the ever-in-progress totes, as well. I really need to get busy on Monkey 8's bedding -- only a few more weeks until she arrives! I'll be making a sweet little jellyfish toy for her, just like the ones I sent in the Preggo/Newborn swap. I plan to make a tutorial, and post a pattern for it next week! Here's a sneak peek at one:

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Fruit bib applique pattern and tutorial

I want to share my appliqued bib with you!  Both the bib and the applique were fairly easy to make, so if you'd like to make one, too, here's how I did it. . . .

I used this super-simple pattern to make the bib itself.

Next, you can download the pear shown above, plus a cute carrot, apple, and pea pod, from my printable HERE.  Totally free, totally safe.

  • Once you downloaded and printed the pattern, cut out the desired fruit pattern.
  • Cut 1 piece from fabric, and one from fusible web.
  • Fuse your fabric to your bib, following the fusible web's instructions.  
  • Embellish or embroider the face, stem, and any other details on the fruit now, using embroidery floss (2 strands) and whatever simple stitches you like using.  Keep it simple!  These bibs are going to have drool and food splatter all over them, so this doesn't have to be a masterpiece.  ;)
  • Finish your applique with a close zig-zag stitch around the outline of the fruit (like I did, and like this easy tutorial demonstrates.  
  • You can also do a rough applique, where you sew a simple straight stitch just inside the edge of the fruit.  SO easy!  And that's it!
And now the swap stuff. . . .

I am so excited about what I received from my lovely partner, Jaclyn, in the Preggo/Newborn Swap on Craftster! She totally spoiled me with these adorable baby booties for my baby:

She even shared the pattern! You can find it here. I can't wait to make some myself!

And I am so excited about these bibs she made for me. They are very well-designed.... wide for extra coverage, and topped with vinyl for easy cleanup!

I just love the hand-stitched details on the binding!

Next, I found this sweet hat and super-cool blanket inside my package!

And last, but not least, a cute little bunny for my littlest Monkey to play with! She said it's a Wee Wonderfuls pattern!

This swap was definitely one of my favorites! I'll be sharing more of what I sent to her in a later post. Have fun crafting!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Baby bibs!

Well, I spoke waaaayy too soon about the Monkeys getting better. THREE of them developed secondary infections -- double ear infections, and two of the poor babies had ruptured ear drums. They've all been on antibiotics for a few days now, and really are feeling better now.

I was able to complete all of my projects for the Preggo/Newborn Swap this weekend. I was sewing for two identical twin baby girls -- FUN! I was pretty happy with the way things turned out. Here is one set of items I made:

I used this simple, free pattern from nested. I just omitted the pocket on the front. I used this tutorial by jayneysews (on Craftster) to do the applique. I'd never done applique before, so it's definitely not perfect, but I still liked it.

You can download my free printable applique pattern, if you like it!  I also have a carrot, apple, and a pod of peas drawn out for bibs, as well.  My next post will have a brief tutorial on how to make the appliques.
I have so much more to post... it will have to wait until the Monkeys are in bed and asleep!

Monday, March 10, 2008

New tote FINALLY finished, and thrifting finds

The Monkeys are feeling much better now. There are a couple of Monkeys that still have a lingering, hacking cough, but if they follow the route the others took, the cough should be gone in a week or so.

Yesterday was a very productive sewing day. I FINALLY finished the tote I'd been working on for days. Here it is:
I also completed a few projects for my Preggo/Newborn Swap, but don't have photos of them yet.... I think I'll wait until I'm totally done to take the pics.

The Monkeys and I went to two thrift stores today. I was looking for some Jane Austen or Bronte sisters' books (I had a special request for wallets made from them.) Those authors' books are usually plentiful in the thrift stores, but today, I had no luck finding a single one. In fact, I only found a few books worth picking up today. A couple of them are dark, creepy selections:

I picked up several "grab bags" of kids' books, coloring books, educational tools, and blocks... for $1 - $2 each bag (= great bargain!) This adorable lucky kitty was hiding in one of the bags:

I also found some aMAAAAZing bargains on (yet more) wool sweaters -- $1 each, and on bags full of denim and khaki jeans for -- yep -- $1 for the whole bag.

Now I am completely stocked up in the fabric/felt department. Or overflowing, really. I really have to get busy sewing!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Another snowy day

I don't have any new projects to post today. I did work on a tote (am STILL working on that tote.) But I mostly rocked feverish Monkeys, delivered tylenol and cough medicine to said feverish Monkeys, and was summoned to the window to look at the snow dozens of times.

I came across this quote today.... it was just what I needed:

“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” — St. Francis of Assisi

Pretty much sums up my day. :)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

More progress, and some wallets

I went to bed early last night.... I was having a lot of Braxton-Hicks contractions that were becoming quite painful, and just wanted to get some peace and quiet. I fell asleep right away, and slept very hard. (I love it when that happens.)

I also woke up very early this morning -- around 3:30, when my sweet husband was getting ready for work. I was wide awake, so decided to enjoy more peace and quiet before the Monkeys awoke. I was able to make my coffee (decaf, of course) and read my emails, the news, even some Scripture. Ahhhh.....

Then I worked on one of my swap projects -- and completed one! It feels great to be able to cross a project off my list. I am almost finished with a second project, as well. I may go ahead and post some of my projects on here, and just warn my partner to stay away from the spoilers! Maybe I'll take some pictures tomorrow.

Some wallets....

I also finished four wallets today. I have listed these two in my shop already. This one is called Star Wars: The Courtship of Princess Leia.

And this one is called Star Wars: Book 2 of the Black Fleet Crisis -- Shield of Lies.

I think they're fun. When I saw them at the thrift store, I just envisioned these wallets, and now here they are!

I also made these two wallets, and they will become available in my shop tomorrow. The Hamlet one is my favorite:

This next one is a bit dark. I wish I could say I remembered what this novel was about, as I was supposed to read it (at least once) in college. Unfortunately, I was a slacker in one or two of my English classes, and this class was one of them. I never did read this.

For tonight, more work on totes, and maybe some more work on swap projects. But right now, I'm craving some ice cream!

A snow day in Texas, and reclaimed fabric pouches

I haven't had much time to post, much less craft or sew, lately. A few of the Monkeys have been ill. They can't all be ill at the same time, mind you. Only one at a time, with an occasional overlap. But I think we're on the mend now... hopefully.

A rare event happened yesterday -- it snowed! Snow. In March. In Texas. (It's pretty rare where I live, anyway.) The kids, sick and well alike, were ecstatic. We all had to run and play in the snow for a bit.

It was Monkey 7's first time to see snow. The first thing he wanted to do was eat it. So he did. And he liked it.

I wish I had better photos, but my camera batteries died right after this shot. By 3 pm, all of the snow had melted (and then my sweet husband went to the store to buy more batteries for me. And a carmel frappaccino. Necessities, of course.)

Reclaimed fabric pouches

After all of that snowy fun, I was ready to sit down and get to work on another pouch. I made this wristlet a couple of days ago:

I actually made one for myself last weekend, using this same fabric. I liked it so much, I made one for the shop. It was taken from a lovely skirt I picked up at the thrift store. I thoroughly washed the fabric, then dismantled it. The strap of the wristlet was once the waistband.

This is the pouch I made yesterday:

It was once a simple, sweet Ann Taylor dress, and also a thrift store rescue. The fabric is a linen and rayon blend. I just love the foliage, and the black-on-ivory contrast. I thought it needed a tiny bird residing among the leaves. I used the zipper from the dress as the closure for this pouch.

I have some fabrics all laid out to make totes today. I am hoping to get at least one made. We'll see, though.

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