Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Gifts: Carly's Laptop Sleeve

Yesterday's post was about a picky customer, and today's is yet another gift for a discerning family member.

As one sister (out of 5!) told me, I needed to make it "trendayyy". Carly is a hard-working, FIDM attending, 2-hr commuting fashionista, and luckily, HATED her current laptop cover.

So, enter my Victoria's Secret-inspired laptop sleeve.

I used the same Dixie Mango tutorial as Trevor's iPad cover (her formula is perfect!), and everything but the lace is actually repurposed flat sheets.

We hate flat sheets.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Gifts: Trevor's iPad case

First up, of my many Christmas gifts, was Trevor's iPad case.

Trev LOVES his iPad. It's perfect for his 2hr BART commute to and from SFO, and the case that came with it was just not up to the task.

Trev is however dubious of my crafting skills. While he's proud of everything I've done, he is skeptical until it's completed. While this is great motivation (like telling me reupholstering the couch in a week before the baby's birthday is "a bit ambitious") it's daunting when making a present for him, knowing it will find its way into a hidden drawer somewhere if he's not thrilled with it.

Truth be told, this is the first item I've made him. Luckily, he WAS thrilled at how manly it was! Then, of course, he found a link on NBCBayArea.com about how handcrafted tech accessories are all the rage.

I found Dixie Mango's tutorial, made it a bit more manly and boxy, and bought the Ni-co Camera fabric during a 10% off all Japanese import fabric sale at FabricWorm.com.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The day after....

Christmas has come and gone, and so has ended my late-night sewing sessions. (Mm, well, for now.)

The living room bore the brunt of the chaos, and we didn't even host the holiday! No, I've just been crafting wildly, and have barely had time to sleep, let alone fold up the ironing board. It seems as if every spare piece of fabric exploded from the various secret hiding spaces, and landed willy-nilly in the common areas. Add to this copious amounts of packaging from baby birthday gifts, and a pile of scored Christmas presents, and well...it wasn't a pretty sight.

So, before revisiting any Christmas presents from the day before, or even THINKING about posting pictures of the presents I handed out, it was important the baby and I cleaned up.

She wasn't much help.

However, we finished within a few hours. I purged ugly fabric I'd been holding on to, color coordinated everything, and even lint-rolled the couch (recently recovered in time for the baby's birthday! Pictures soon.)

Now, a week of showing off, and bad iPhone pictures can begin!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Late nights and tree skirts

My man is in Dallas for the next few days, so I've been using those lonely nights to get things off my Christmas list!

So far the past few nights have been very productive, but mostly cleaning and organizing before the baby's birthday party. I've rearranged some artwork, finished my lovely little forest banner from Purl Bee, and worked on a few Christmas surprises that obviously won't be made public until they're seen by the recipient ;)

I do have something to show for myself the past few days, however. We finally pulled out the Christmas tree at work, and I guess the tree-skirt was lost in storage somewhere. So, what's a crafty girl to do? Ask for petty cash to whip up a new one over night :)

It was SUPER easy! I used this tutorial from Design*Sponge. I did all my cutting while the baby was happily pulling DVDs out of the entertainment unit, and finished the whole thing in probably 45min total. What a difference a properly working machine makes!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I fixed my tension!

No, not my shoulders. They still need some help.

My sewing machine has been the bane of my existence recently...and by recently I mean the last, oh, year. The tension was all messed up, with the top thread way tighter than the bottom thread. It made for ugly top stitching, and scrunching fabrics, and flimsy seams. I've loved sewing, but I always had to accommodate for that.

My issue was the bottom right one.

This awesome instructional article on Threads Magazine, however, finally saved me! There IS a Singer shop literally across the street from my house, but the thought of lugging the baby and my machine over there was just not working for me. Turns out my bobbin was loose...and I'd been adjusting the top like I was looking for my favorite song on the radio.

To think of all the projects I've done recently... (including finishing THIS!) How much better would they be if my damn machine actually worked right?

Oh well. Back to work!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Who wants to buy this for me?

I found this beaut on Craiglist (I'm somewhat obsessed with a chancy for my bathroom.) it's colorful, and simple, and kinda looks like grandpa would have made it. And its in my hometown! Merry Christmas to me? (click image for post.)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Felt flower embellishments

Love this girl! Linda over at Craftaholics Anonymous posted a cute tutorial of how to add felt flowers to, well, anything! With the multitude of christmas gifts I need to do....this could be an easy addition to a Goodwill find, perhaps?

Ps. I reeeaallly need to start taking better pictures. Linda's simple shot makes my iphone photos below look that much crappier. :(

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Creating a forest!

Oh my goodness. My sweet baby is actually sleeping in her own bed after actually "putting her down" for a nap. (Recognize the QFH she's snuggling with?) So, it's back to trees! Hoping to get the front entirely pieced today... I still have 3 more of these to get done by Christmas!

After today, I have exactly two weeks to get everything else done! Before her birthday party, I need to recover the couch, get the house decorated for holiday/birthday, clean up the front yard, make that centerpiece that Goodwill inspired ...etc etc. The list never ends!

And, once her birthday party is over, it's back to work on Christmas gifts. Ai yi yi, hope people appreciate their homemade goods!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Hannie's Purse and Jeni's Horsey Bag!

Well, I promised I'd at least *try* not to disappoint! The past week I've been quite productive - even figured out the best way to photograph my stuff! Now, if I could only loosen the leash on my iPhone, and use our point and shoot every once in a while....

Anyway. First up, Jeni's bag. Now, Jeni's bought a yoga bag from me previously, for her own uses.She came back for a Christmas gift, for a family member who will stretch out on her yoga map after a long horse ride. This thing will be thrown around in a horse trailer, so I had to figure out a way to make it durable, but pretty.

Voila. Some burlappy canvas I had on hand, and Pink Bandana from Moda's new line, Rawhide. Perfect for a stretchy cowgirl! (Notice, this picture is before I realized the perfect lighting situation I could create.) I didn't get a shot, but there's a bright red lining inside, to match bits of red in the bandana fabric.

Then, this weekend I HAD to finish my sister's purse. She's been a dream lately with babysitting detail, and I needed to make something for her a priority. Did I mention she watches the baby for free, multiple times a week? Seriously. She's a dream. We had gone to Hancock Fabrics weeks earlier, when she picked out what she wanted - this beauty was WAY over due!

This is easily the hardest, and BEST purse I've made...I found the tutorial online, and while I have it printed out here, of course I don't remember where it's from. I've been holding onto it so long!

Next up is a yoga bag for my mom, some sort of commuter/clothes drawstring bag for Trevor, the same purse with different fabric for Hanna, mug rugs for coworkers, and christmas tree banners. Lots and lots of Christmas tree banners. (Okay, maybe 4).

Back to work!

PS, this blog is getting a HUGE makeover soon - with all the Christmas gifts I'm making, I'll be printing up some calling cards, and it all needs to sync. Maybe even a URL change! We'll see.....

Friday, November 19, 2010

Inspiration : Rainy Day at Work

Yep, I'm still at work. Normally I'm gone by now, but we're down to a skeleton crew this afternoon, and honestly, I can use the hours!

However, either the rain or the holidays are keeping folks away, so I've been killing the last half an hour of my day searching for inspiration.

I mentioned in the last post that I have plenty to do for the next month or so, here's some of the things that just might make it onto my list....

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It's getting serious now.

Hi everyone - pardon my absence. Our life has been so crazy, I barely have time to think, let alone craft and blog!

However, the winter is upon us now, and "The Holidays" start in just a week. With no extra cash, it's time to get to serious.

That's right, I've finally carved out a niche for myself, instead of sewing on the coffee table. I'm currently working on a yoga bag, which is actually a commissioned project for my best client, Ms. Jeni O. While "best client" really means she's the only one who has paid me for items, she is a graphic artist herself and it's extremely flattering that she keeps coming back.

Still to come is recovering that couch that put my blog on hiatus earlier this year. I finally got some fabric, during a killer sale at Sorelle Eleganti. Originally easily over $20/yd, it was marked down on clearance to $5/yd. Then, I was able to use the 40% from the sale they were running, which brought the grand total for 12 yards to $39. And I had a $40 gift certificate! Nothing like "free" to motivate you.

The baby's birthday is a mere month away, and we're having the party here. At our house. I know, insane. But, when balancing families, I decided it's just easier to have it at our place, and whoever wants to come can. So, I need to have the couch recovered by then, the house spotless and attractive, and about a million pom poms for garland. This is on top of all the Christmas gifts I'm going to end up creating because I can't afford to buy anyone anything.

Needless to say, I needed a space away from the crawling/almost walking mischievous little one. So, I took this gorgeous, sunny day to stay inside while playing hooky from work (no babysitter!!) and knock out some items.

Stay tuned, there'll be plenty to show.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Hi crafty blogging world! It's been a little bit, hasn't it? Well, to recap on the past few months : I've been working more. I joined a bootcamp! I have not recovered the couch, or completely transformed the backyard.

Not a whole lot of crafting going on right now. No time, energy or cash, really. (The latter of course is just an excuse, as I have a ton of fabric and notions downstairs, I'm just too swamped to even attempt much.)

However, I did whip up a little something for a team run I did with my mom this weekend. It was a "family fun run", so I brought the baby in the stroller. The three team members were all wearing Pilates Napa Valley logo gear, and I figured Delaney needed something too!

This was the initial version, whipped up in about ten minutes while waiting for participants in a chat for my online management class to make a group decision. Isn't the whole POINT of online classes to do everything on your own? Anyway, I digress. I used a Garanimals white onesie (size 12 mo!!!), $1 black felt and no-sew fabric adhesive. Printed out the logo, reversed it, and traced onto the adhesive paper.

Pretty good, huh? I thought I could get away without anything representing the ropes, but my mother/art director/brand manager insisted that it looked unfinished. She was right, I was just getting lazy.

So, I took some all-purpose black thread and tied two "rope" strings from the feet to the brackets on the end.

Et voila! Happy little baby in her fancy Pilates Napa Valley onesie. All the pilates grandmas are going to want one :)

Monday, May 31, 2010

So much for no more projects....

Transformation coming soon :)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Check It Out: Local radio DJ gets living room makeover

Not just ANY radio DJ, mind you. This is Vinnie, from Sarah and Vinnie, of RadioAlice fame. You NorCal people know what I'm talking about. My mom started listing to Alice way at the beginning, when it was catering to women's music taste. Alanis and the like.

Well, I've been listening to them ever since. When Vinnie was fired, when NoName joined the crew, when Vinnie came back. Vinnie now has a new lady friend, and Sarah nominated him for a room makeover from local talk show, The View From The Bay.

Most of the furniture and tchotchkes were sourced from IKEA, something you know I'm a BIG fan of. Check out the video!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Inspiration: Film in the Fridge

Inspiration comes from many places, and today it comes from Ashley of Film In The Fridge. I always read her blog during my late-night "mommy time", and am constantly inspired by her mix of colors, patterns, and solids. Makes me want to quilt again, but better. (and after the yard is done, of course.)

Today, I'm not just inspired by her quilting, but by her home! She recently set up a space in the family room for her sewing, and I was able to peek into the rest of her home. I LOVE the personalization of the neutral walls and couches with the quilting... but it's done in such a fun way it hardly seems stuffy or old fashioned!

See the bright bursts of color against her beige and white couches? Nummy. Makes basic, classic furniture look so personalized and welcoming! (Also, I'm pretty sure my BFF Emmalie has that dining room table. Pottery Barn?)

We're looking into a new couch (aren't we always?), and definitely think a white slipcovered couch is the way to go for this messy family. Can't be boring with pillows like Ashley's!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Inspiration: Etsy Window Shopping

Lets be honest: We're in no position for me to purchase any sort of fabric or crafty items at the moment. New parents, super limited income, lots of hospital bills.

Fine. But it's free to window shop on Etsy!

Linen Newspaper

LOVEing this. It might be my previous career in high-school journalism, or my current career in printing, but I love love love this print. I might just leave it folded up neatly (like the picture) rather than actually DOING anything with it. How can you cut into that anyway?

Canvas Cute Bird

Actually, I know EXACTLY what I'd do with this fabric... make wide ribbons (we're talking maybe 6-inchers here) and use them as tiebacks for the hot pink thermal curtains in Delaney's room. They currently hang loose, and make the room super dark. Except, when the sun comes thru, they shine red like some brothel mixed with a teenage boy's dark room. Just perfect for a baby, hmm?

Blue Bird Canvas

How can a Japanese fabric look so Swedish, and well, Ikea-ish? Love loving this, would be great in a quilt or throw pillow even, as an accent stripe or something.

Custom Fingerprint Wedding Band

With our baby around, I find myself stumbling when referring to Trevor. "Baby Daddy" is a little too ghetto for my taste, "husband" or "fiance" is just lying (and feels akin to tatooing someone's name on you before being together 50+yrs), "boyfriend" is far too causal, and since I live in California, using "partner" would give a different impression all together.
Either way, we WILL get married, and it's kinda on my mind. A lot. I found these the other day and fell in love. It's an affordable, and perfectly quirky option for Trevor and I. Something so unique and personal, without being the before mentioned tattoo.

Dreams and Pearls Pillow

Speaking of romance, our bedroom is still lacking it. I want something light and airy, but glimmery and pretty. Like a Candance Olsen design. C'mon, if you watch as much HGTV as I do, you know what I'm talking about. I love the texture and the shine on this...almost enough to actually make the bed after I drag Trevor out of in before I go to work. The seller is The Home Centric and actually has 304 items of equal or more beauty!

Silver Love Necklace

Clearly the one glass of wine I've allowed myself tonight has gone to my head, and I'm all sappy. LOVE the font, love the size, love the sentiment. I miss my signature ETSY necklaces...they all need to be re-strung on stronger chains. I'm not a big jewelery person, but having a statement piece that nobody else would ever have was fun there for a while :)

That's it for my rainy, late-night post. Mr. Weatherman says sunshine is on the way, and with my first paid day-off on Monday, I've got a weekend full of yardwork. Looking to make some serious project, and a nice tan at the same time :)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Jungle: Machete time

You know, if Machete = WeedWhacker. And in this case, it does.

Remember how overgrown my backyard was a few months ago? Here's a reminder:

Well, being that I took those pictures exactly two months ago today, the yard had grown a bit more. So add a good two feet onto everything. I meant to take a picture this morning, but forgot because I only had a limited amount of time to be outside (but I'm sure shame played a small part in that oversight).

In an hour, I yanked out a bunch of weeds, and weedwacked the entire lawn. Since everything had pretty much turned into a nature preserve, at times I was concerned about a possible attack by a snake, possum, or particularly violent mama bird. But, I made it through unscathed, and have now defined where the lawn previously existed.

Isn't she helpful? Thought she'd do some digging to remove some weeds.

I left all the tall weeds in the lawn area for another day. Reason 1: The pansy .065 trim line I bought couldn't handle 1/2" stems (trunks?) Reason 2: Even if I did hack them down, our mower couldn't handle the leftovers.

So, here's the plan of attack to get this yard in BBQ party shape:
1. Pull out ALL the weedtrees. On the side of the house (behind my garden patch), within the lemon tree, in the "lanscaped" area behind everything, and on the right side of the deck.
2. Mow lawn progressively shorter and treat with turfbuilder w/ weed control and water the heck out of it.
3. Prune back lemon tree, monster lavender and palms.

After that, I should be left with a clean slate to "decorate". We'll talk flowers and groundcover and sun shades then.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Catching up

It's been a while, hasn't it? Time flies when you're working/mommying/cleaning/cooking/scrambling for cash. I feel like I'm always doing SOMETHING, and yet nothing ever gets done. I can't tell you the last time my sink wasn't filled with dishes, let alone whipped out my sewing machine.

I've been trying to spend as much quality time with baby girl as possible. With working in the morning, and Trevor leaving a mere 4hrs before her bedtime, I feel like I don't get enough quality time with the munchkin. So, while she's awake I don't clean, don't exercise, try not to watch TV, don't blog or craft. I just hang out with baby girl.

Tonight was a rough one, where she needed to be in my arms the entire time, not a single nap her entire day. I couldn't seem to provide enough milk for her, which is easily the MOST frustrating thing for a mom. At least, for this mom.

I desperately want to get in the backyard and fix it... I ran across a picture from when we first saw the rental on Craigslist, and it's laughable to think they're the same yard. But, I just don't have the time. I get crap from my family for not going back up to town, when I just desperately need someone here to help me. Someone else to hold my precious one so I can get outside and fix up my yard, or do 17 loads of laundry. Trevor and I hardly have anytime together with him picking up doubles, and the last thing I want to do is chores the few hours we have.

Sigh. It's just been a rough night, and I need a creative outlet. I'm slowly clearing out and reorganizing the office for our new desk (which I need another able body to help me lift into the house, of course). I moved all the books into the living room, into the bookshelf that still needs to be put back on top of the TV like it was before the Epic Leak of 2010. For now, this rainbow will do it for me. (Oh, notice the new paint color, and white curtains in the living room? Very nice.)

Oh, I also made this cool washable fabric basket I found from HowAboutOrange, who found it on JezzePrints. So, I didn't iron the fabric in the first place, but it's not bad for a first try! Jezze's instructions were super clear, and easy to follow. It now resides in my linen closet holding baby medicines (and nail polish). I'm going to make two bigger ones to hold all the bottles underneath my sink.

All in all, I guess I haven't been completely neglecting the home (as I promised in the last post), I just don't have time to blog about it! I work on the dining room while I can, but pretty much any other projects (quilts, gifts, bedroom, etc) have had a kibosh put on them until I can get the yard under control. I want to have a BBQ at the house for my birthday at the end of the summer, which gives me 4mo to get it under control.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Attention, neglected home.

Dear Alabama,

Don't think I've neglected you. These past few weeks have been a challenge. First, I started work. Then the Minnesota cousins came. Then, Dad almost died from food poisoning (almost=not really, but I'm being dramatic) and was unable to tackle your 6ft weeds on his day off.

But, don't fret little home. Saturday is the end of our sabbatical, and with Sunday's sun comes a new cleanliness and order you've never experienced since we've rented your tiny floorplan. And yes, we'll deal with the litter strewn about the house. We're grossed out too.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

The plus side... this quilt looks easy!

How can I list the ways I love this quilt?

A. Colors are beautiful.
B. Fabrics are sassy.
C. Pattern is unexpected.
D. is for Ducks. LOVE them!
E. Actually piecing it looks EASY. Simple patchwork squares.
F. THIS is definitely my next quilt. :D

I found it on Sew Mama, Sew, in a Quilt of the Day post. It's by Ara Jane, for her nephew. Very very lucky boy.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Inspiration: Riley Blake

I was my making my blog rounds this evening (when I should have been updating my mom's website, oops!) and I ended up on Homemade by Jill, where she was praising Riley Blake's fabric patterns. This led to some more clicking, and I ended up at Cutting Corners College, Riley's tutorial central.

The first tute is for a notebook/binder/folder type thing, called Writey Tidy. The fabrics are adorable, and the concept is fabulous! (Plus, it looks super easy).

It looks like there are only a few tutorials up there, but I'll definitely be checking back for new ones, as what's there now is certainly quality!

where do you find your favorite tutorials?

Monday, April 12, 2010

My man is a crafter.

Oops, I mean gamer. Crafty gamer.

Except he doesn't play video games THAT often.

Um. Shoot. Why don't you just read his blog and let him explain why this monstrosity has taken over our garage.

Retro Refab

Friday, April 2, 2010

Getting Organized

I know everyone's on a Spring Cleaning kick right now, to clear the house of clutter. For me though, I need to clear my head of clutter.

I've started already, by finally taking the plunge and deciding NOT to return to my previous employer. There was a lot of things learned, and lot of experience gained, but also a lot of time and energy wasted. But, whatevs, I've moved on.

Next, I need to seriously cut TV out of my life. Our living room is really the room we LIVE in, and the television is always on. I find myself hoping the baby sleeps so I can watch a show. How lame is that? We have OnDemand, fercry. We go upstairs to sleep and clean, and go into the kitchen for sustenance, but mostly we sit in front of the TV when we have some down time. It's just learned habits, but those can be broken. I'm starting that change with creating a real dining room, where we can actually sit and enjoy meals together as a family. Delaney is almost ready to get in a high-chair and have applesauce smeared all over her face! I don't want to miss that for a crappy season of American Idol.

I have way too many things to do to keep watching TV like I do. Like, working out, or cleaning, or working, or enriching the baby's mind, or crafting, or gardening, etc etc. In fact, I just turned it off. You'll be there in the morning, Real Housewives.

The BIGGEST reason for this revelation is that I start work on Tuesday. It's just part time, but I'm already feeling like I've fallen behind on house work. Add 4hrs taken away from my day, and nothing would get done if I didn't nip this in the bud.

I have a million excuses for why I'm so lazy. Baby nurses for 20min every two hours. Trevor is gone all afternoon and all night. I worked my ass of the past few years, who says I can't spend a couple months lazy? TV is background noise. Blah blah blah.

So, I have some scheduling to keep me in check:

- Pilates in the morning before work. I'll have to get up earlier, but it's important I take care of myself. (So far, I've lost 15lbs this month! But that's another story for my other blog)
- Do laundry Monday night, so Trevor has his Tuesday-Wednesday "weekend" to put away his share. (HUGE pet peeve of mine)
- Dishes done, kitchen cleaned, house swept before bed. Always.
- Clean the bathroom once a week. . Gross I know, don't judge, but I haven't been doing this. Lets say Thursday for this, after said "weekend".
- Get in the yard twice a week. Pull clovers in the front yard, attack various parts of the backyard. This will be easier as it gets warmer, and the baby gets older.

How do you other mommies keep it all together?

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Why, hello beautiful.

Yeah, be jealous. This mid-century modern beauty is headed into my dining room in about a week. The woman selling it is a friend of my grandma's, as she's had to move into a home. Her realtor wants to keep it staged as long as possible, and I need to clean out our office/dining room/storage/cat play pen to properly house this piece of art.

I think I'll reupholster the cushions, just because as funky as the fabric is, it's not exactly our style, and looks like it would collect a TON of cat hair.

What do you think of this buffet? Kinda ugly, but it has to come with the table. So, I'm thinking about selling it, or painting it. Then selling it. Maybe. Bright blue, perhaps?

Friday, March 26, 2010

New Gap Kids line!

Oh my jeez. Why would I even CONSIDER making my own clothes for Delaney, when GapKids has these things around??

Photos via CocoPerez, obvs.