Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas crafting, part 3 -- DIY raccoon scarf

I instantly fell in love with this orange flannel and minky fox scarf on Pinterest, and pinned it with the intention of making it for Monkey 3, my fox-obsessed teen (who ended up with this adorable fox pillow instead.)  Suddenly, it was Christmas Eve, and I didn't have orange flannel, I didn't have minky, and I didn't have any motivation to go to a fabric store on Christmas Eve.  I also didn't have a handmade gift for my sweet baby girl, Monkey 5 (who's really not a baby any more, but a bouncy, bubbly tween.)   I pondered my fabric stash, and a cute grey plaid jumped out at me, begging to be made into. . .

a cute raccoon scarf!


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas crafting, part 2 -- DIY fox pillow

Another last-minute sewing project!  I made this gift for my lovely 15 year-old daughter, who is completely obsessed with all things fox.  This sweet fox pillow was so easy, and so much fun to make!  I used this DIY Plush Fox Doll tutorial on the lovely blog, A Beautiful Mess, and crafted the pillow from all stash fabrics and materials.  I used a unique rust-colored diagonal corduroy for the body, gifted to me by my sister, and a thrifted upholstery fabric sample for the belly.  The face is made from eco felt scraps, from my stash.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas crafting, part 1 -- super-easy pajama pants

Nothing motivates me like a deadline.  I figured the perfect time to start crafting and sewing for Christmas this year would be December 23rd.  Totally reasonable, right?  I mean, I bust out so many sewing projects in the last few hours before Christmas, I wonder why I can't be that productive every day?!  *sigh*

Well, I'll ponder that... some other day.  For now, I wanted to share some sewing projects I completed for my Monkeys.  This project is an old stand-by for me...

Pajama pants for the little boys!

I had lost my favorite pajama pants pattern, so I was really, really glad I had picked up this vintage pattern (1984 - vintage?!) at the thrift store awhile back.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A long, loud Merry Christmas!

Overheard, by more than one child, and more than once today:
"This has been the best Christmas ever!"
My heart swelled a little more each time, and I have to agree.
Our day was long, loud, wonderfully chaotic, abundantly blessed, and blissfully simple.

Many blessings, many prayers, and much love to you all on this Holy Night of our Savior's birth.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Duffel, and the 1,400 Mile Journey

I am happy to report that for the first time since early October, every single Monkey in the ReFabulous household is healthy and well!  First it was the flu, then a stomach bug, and then a knock-out ONE-TWO punch combo of more flu and more puking.  ALL of the kids.  Well, except for Monkey 2.  Yes, the one with the weakened immune system.  Yeah, I don't get it either.  But anyway....  With the kids well, and a little sleep logged. . .

I'm finally able to reveal the story of...

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

DIY Teapot Trivet and Coasters Tutorial

This project was inspired by a tutorial shared on Etsy way back in November of '08, by Kristen Couse aka cakehouse.  I designed the teapot and teacup coasters for a Craftster swap.  Unfortunately, I didn't write down any measurements, or even keep my pattern (*palmtoforehead*) so I've tried my best to recreate this tutorial from memory and a couple of lousy photos.

Monday, December 3, 2012

It's Giveaway Day! Teapot Trivet and Coaster Set + a surprise!

This giveaway is now over.  Thanks for dropping by!  :)
Check out how to make this cute teapot trivet and teacup coasters HERE!

I've been promising to host a giveaway for months now (*cough*JUNE*cough*) so I was super-excited when I saw that it was time for the famous Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!  A perfect time to make good on that long-ago promised event, right?  So I am giving away this handmade patchwork teapot-shaped trivet and coaster set. . . .

made from a selection of designer and vintage fabrics

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

This, 2, is ReFabulous.

I'm easing back into blogging with a simple post.  I realized this morning that I never formally introduced you to my new Etsy shop!  Friends, meet ReFabulous2!

and I have LOTS of help.

Back in September, I opened an Etsy shop for cool vintage finds (the ones that I can bear to part with.)  I curate an assortment of home goods, such as these. . . . 

I love these cozy, handmade afghans, especially the granny squares!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Easing in

I've been feeling a wee bit overwhelmed these days, with sick kids (again!) and no sleep (still!)  I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, with 3 of my Monkey Teenagers now working in the public sector, and coming in contact with any number of assorted germs and whatnot, and bringing them home to share with the rest of us.  Lately, any time I even thought about sewing, or writing, or posting anything at all, my heart would get all tight and panicky -- it suddenly becomes all TOO MUCH.  My new mantra:*
I decided to back off, take my time, do what I can, and let things run their course.  So, a big thank-you to those of you still around to read this!  I can't promise more posts, more frequent posts, or any posts at all, but I'll do my best when time allows.  OK, I can actually promise ONE post, only because I've already written it.  It will be up tomorrow.  YAY! 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

sick... fixed.

a peaceful nap after surgery

He choked on a sliver of bread the other night.  Baby Monkey couldn't breathe at all for terrifying-eternity-long seconds.  A rush to the ER and some quick chest x-rays revealed a glowing coin lodged in his tiny esophagus.  Surgery (an easy scope) was done the next morning and my little Baby Monkey was promptly bouncing around, babbling and happy, a couple of hours later.

The cause of my poor baby's upper respiratory ailments. . .

Sunday, September 30, 2012


Baby Monkey and I are sick today, so I have neither a tutorial nor a giveaway to share.  Isn't that how it always works?  I'm so sorry... hopefully we'll be better tomorrow or the next day, and can get on with the crafting fun.

Meanwhile. . . .

I visited this thrift shop near our home a couple of weeks ago.  It was a bizarre hoarder-style shop with extremely narrow passages throughout the shop, with stuff stacked floor to ceiling.  It felt very suffocating!   My kids went with me, and I was so nervous the entire time of an avalanche of junk falling down upon us.  (They won't be going back, IF I ever go back.)  Anyway, I found this large oil painting tucked away under a table stacked to the ceiling with boxes of cheap prints and empty frames. . . .

Friday, September 28, 2012

And a DIY for you: dollar store leaf garland tutorial (seriously easy!)

We are on a garland-making roll around here!  After the boys made these sweet paper leaf garlands the other day, I decided to make a leaf garland, too.  Mine was even easier, quicker, and cheaper than theirs.  This cute leaf garland used about $2 in supplies sourced from a dollar store and some scrap ribbon I had on hand, and 10 minutes of my time.  And it only took 10 whole minutes because I had "help" and sewed most of it with one hand.  I simply used the same chain sewing technique that I taught the boys

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Kid craft: watercolor leaf garland tutorial

I LOVE FALL.  I look forward to it allll year long.  And since my kids love autumn as much as I do, today we made a quick paper autumn leaf garland to hang in our classroom, and in the windows. . . 

Honestly, these leaf garlands may be the only fall color we get in West Texas!  Our autumns tend to be very... abrupt.  First, our trees start to look a little dry, then the leaves will shrivel a bit, maybe turn brown around the edges.  And then one good thunderstorm comes along and suddenly all the leaves are on the ground!  That's it!  In one fell swoop, the trees are bare.  *sigh*  But I digress. . .

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hello, old friend.

It feels AMAZING to sew again.  To design, draft and actually sew a bag. . . and all the way to completion!  *sigh*  I didn't realize how much I've missed it.  It's been over a year since I had sewn a bag!  Crazy!

I made a ginormous duffel bag for my Oldest Monkey.  I used fabrics purchased from the thrift store, including these sturdy canvas fabrics for the exterior, a vintage table cloth for the zipper panel, and a vintage sheet for the interior lining.  I flat-lined the bag with new fleece for body.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Thrifty Thursday: embroidery hoops

(artwork by my oldest daughter)

Is it Thursday already?!  This past week has been such a blur, but at the same time the longest week EVER.  Baby Monkey has been sick since last Friday and is thankfully, FINALLY, on the mend.  Days of rocking said fussy baby and nights of fitful sleep have left us both quite exhausted!  Now, two more Monkeys are ill, so I felt the above embroidery hoop art is appropriate. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

One of those weeks

I'm sad to say there will be no Thrifty Thursday post today.  It has been a week, folks.  One of those weeks.  I've been handling this crazy baby. . . .

Majorly fussy.  Going through a Wonder Week, the wonderful 37 to be exact.  Nine kids later, and I finally learn the name of the clingy-cranky-fussy-crying-crazy phase that accompanies big mental leaps.  Did I mention he's not sleeping after 2 am?  Is there a fancy name for that?

And in 15-minute increments, I was doing this, which may have preserved my sanity during said Week 37. . . .

folding all the pretty fabrics!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thrifty Thursday: school supplies

Is it too early to be thinking back-to-school?  Some may think so, but if you want to find some neat school supplies and educational aids, NOW is the perfect time to hunt them down in thrift stores!  I usually find the best, most unique supplies and learning aids right after school ends, and right before the new school year begins. 

Typical finds (and usually pretty good buys) . . .

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Easy t-shirt tote tutorial

This is such an easy project, it barely qualifies for a tutorial.  Probably THE easiest tote you can make.  These t-shirt totes are strong, roomy, durable. . . washable!  We've been using t-shirt totes for a few years now, for shopping (when I remember to bring them in the store,) for picnics, hiking, day trips.  If they can haul lunch for a gaggle of hungry Monkeys, you know these suckers are roomy and tough.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Thrifty Thursday: sewing notions

The thrift store is an excellent place to source sewing notions!  I usually find notions in lots, done up in plastic bags, or sometimes in boxes or baskets.  (Always peek inside shoe boxes at the thrift store.  Always.)  I usually find these lots priced very cheaply.  If the price of the lot is about the retail price of one or two of the items inside the bag, I buy it.* 

Like zippers.  Once in a while, I find a giant ziploc bag stuffed with zippers for around $2 or $3. If I were to shop at Joann's, a couple of zippers would easily cost me $3.  This batch of zippers was a mere $2.  BOOM.  Bargain.

and the cute wire basket was $1.99... it's going to become another project soon!

A great tip from a facebook fan -- be sure to do a sniff test before you purchase your notions!  They're unusable (and therefore not a bargain) if they stink like smoke, mildew, mothballs or the crazy cat lady.  I don't purchase them if they smell funny.  These notions, however, passed the sniff test with flying colors.  :)

don't you love the packaging?  and 30¢ for a zipper?!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I must have made God laugh. . .

. . . because I made some plans.  Simple plans, like "do school," or "sew," or "take a bath."  The Littlest Monkey has been sick for about a week now, and demanded to be held 24/7.  (I wouldn't mind so much if my arms didn't cramp up from holding the chunky little guy, and an occasional hour of sleep would have been nice....)  He's still not 100%, but no more fever, no more puking in the past 48 hours, so I'll take a little crankiness and be grateful.

While I've been in a sleep-deprived daze, my girls have been busy. . . .

These 15-pound boxes arrived a couple of weeks ago.  They contain a never-ending wellspring of silky fabric goodness!  I opened the boxes, and more and more and more colorful, gorgeous fabric scraps ooooozed out.  They were all medium- and large-sized pieces, too, and so many lovely colors.

The cutting of circles has begun. 
These are the scraps of the scraps. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Thrifty Thursday: cloth napkins

Welcome to my new weekly feature, Thrifty Thursday!  Every Thursday, I'm going to post either a cool thrift store find, or share a thrifty, eco-friendly tip you can try.  Today's post is both thrifty and a thrift store find!

Several months ago, I blogged about our dependence on paper towels.  And I don't use the word "dependence" lightly.  We were using a case of paper towels every few weeks!  We used them to clean up messes large and small, as dinner napkins, baby wipes... everything.  I committed to using fewer paper towels, so I sewed dozens of cloth napkins for our family. . .

. . . and my family actually loves using them.  In fact, each of my kids has their own favorite print, and some are quite protective of "their" napkins!  ;)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Happy Cloud Baby Toy Tutorial

Finally!  A tutorial!  (And a cute one, at that!)  I like this little plush cloud and rainbow because it can be a toy, a teether, or even a nursery decoration for boys or girls.  It's easy to make, and great for using up little scraps of fabric!  I made this one from 100% stash fabrics and scraps.

Let's get started!

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