Monday, August 31, 2009

My First Pin

Call it what you will--brooch, pin, rosette, pretty (if you're my 2 y/o)--I just LOVE these delicate little things. This is my first one. I'm planning to make more. Nick thinks they're tacky, because he thinks of pins and brooches as fine jewelry. But I think they're perfect for everyday embellishment of jackets, shirts, bags, etc. As intricate or as basic as you please, they're an easy and relaxing creative outlet (unless your thread tangles at the end of your border stitch and you have to redo the entire thing--AARRRR!).

Oh, by the way, I got a few embroidery books from the library. There are tons of little stitches, each with its own name or two, but in the end I think you can still do it however you want and be okay. However, I'm learning "right" ways, just for the fun of it.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Due to peer pressure and ease/convenience of the site, I'm giving another go! That means you can go to and buy lots of very reasonably priced (perhaps TOO reasonably priced!) lovely little creations a la my sewing room. How exciting!! I'll be sure to post here when I add something new, for my avid readers. (Can you hear me laughing!? lol)

Let me know what you think! It's good to know that I'm not talking to myself! :D
And, as always, if you see something you like but would like it tweaked for you, I do take custom orders. Just email me!

Also, in honor of shutting down, I'm posting a small snapshot of the projects from that site which you haven't seen here already. Most of these are now on If you'd like to know more about a project, or would like to custom order anything, leave a comment or email me!
So, what have we here? Hawaiian print shoulder bag, 2 red corduroy flatbags, small blue and white toile belted tote, Hawaiian print wallet to match the bag, basket o' wallets, small blue and yellow toile belted tote, creme and vintage green/yellow floral purse and tote, pink and green baby doll tote and blanket, 3 corduroy pleated purses, 6 white fleece baby bonnets, very big red canvas tote.

My Lacey Pillowcase Top

I'm always please and surprised when a project that starts out purely experimental ends up wearable. This is a pillowcase. Was. This WAS a pillowcase. Now it's a top. It's as easy as opening the end of a pillowcase (open the sides for arm holes, too), hemming or finishing the edges, turning the ends down an inch or so and hemming, running ribbons thru it, and hemming the bottom at your desired length. I also put lace at the bottom, because I cut it too short and needed a few extra inches.

The pillowcase was 25 cents at the Salvation Army, the lace was a recycled free-be from a friend (thanks, Connie!), and the ribbons came off of a Christmas gift. Total investment: a quarter and about 45 minutes to figure it all out. Whoops--I just remembered that I sewed in a small piece of elastic across the back to gather it up a little. You don't have to do this. Not doing it will give you a less-fitted top.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

T-Shirt Grocery Bags

This was not my original idea. It's probably on every DIY, crafting, and green site on the Internet. It is a very good idea, and incredibly easy. This is a perfect beginner's project, or just a good way to fill a few free minutes. (I'm assuming; I don't actually have any of those, so...)
I don't think I've ever used these without getting compliments on them. They're very durable, and perfect for milk. And, if you use a tank top, you may not have any cutting to do at all--hem the bottom and square off the corners if you wish.
Oh, and another thing--these are excellent for laundry! When we go on trips, dirty laundry goes in a big one of these bags, and it all gets washed when we get home. And I gathered up the front and back of what used to be the neck with elastic so that it stays closed a little, making things less apt to fall out. I'm thinking that these would be perfect for people who live in dorms, or who use laundry mats.
I've got 3 of these, but this is the only one that isn't in the laundry right now. When they are clean, I'll add more pictures. :)

Product Review

Yet another reason to love ALDI! My skin is terrible for a number of reasons. Among them: 1. acne that never goes away; 2. wrinkles are starting to show up; 3. a few months after I find something that works (mainly for acne), my skin develops a sort of tolerance to it and it stops working--forever.
I used to use Mary Kay oil free moisturizing gel, which was super. It made my skin feel like velvet without feeling heavy or greasy. The best part was that it did not exacerbate my acne. I hated the price (about $33/1 oz) but the product was worth it. But like everything else, my face let me down and it just quit working. My breakouts got worse, and my skin didn't feel as smooth when I put it on. BIG bummer.

But I found something else! It's the closest thing I have found to the Mary Kay gel moisturizer. It's Lacura Hydra Complete Cream with Sea Minerals. It's very lightweight, hasn't made me break out (I've been using it for about a month), and makes my skin feel very soft, but not oily or sticky. I love it! And the best part: it's $4.99 for 1.7 oz!!! There are not enough exclamation points in the world to tell you how excited that makes me!

Apparently Lacura is a multi-award winning product line, and they offer lots of products. So far I have also tried the Moisturizing eye cream with coenzyme Q10 and the Q10 Anti-wrinkle day cream. I can't say a lot about the eye cream because I haven't used many, but I do like that it moisturizes without feeling heavy or greasy. For that, I'd recommend it. (I don't have wrinkles around my eyes yet, but from the looks of my parentheses, I'm sure they're coming soon.) The day cream is a little too heavy for my face (which isn't saying it's "heavy"; I just need super-lightweight), but I'm going to use it on my neck and the backs of my hands, where it does a bang-up job of moisturizing.

Stitchy Pictures

The stitchery extended past the card foldie. My bathroom is in the throes of redecoration (which has been going on for months, and is likely to remain a work in progress throughout our ownership) and was really itching for something on the walls. Until now, all I have had is a big mirror. Some simple embroidery that I saw on (which contains an abundance of adorable, quaint little things) gave me a small burst of inspiration.

As I mentioned before, I am severely limited in the area of embroidery. All you need to know for this project is how to thread a needle. I stitched some little flowers on a small piece of cloth, all in the colors of my bathroom, and then put them in a couple of cheap old frames that I painted. (I put an unruled, white 4x6 index card behind it to help with the color.) I didn't realize until later that the fabric (which was the last remnants of the stuff I used for my card foldie and bag lining) might clash with the wall, but it ended up being exactly the same color. Lucky!

Again, even tho I'm unfamiliar with the finer points of embroidery, I'm pleased with my results. Scrap fabric + embroidery floss + 4x6 cards + old frames + spare paint = less than $3 investment.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Pretty, Stitchy Things

I have decided, after this weekend's fruitful stitching, that I like a simple, pretty hand-stitched thing, even if it's nothing special. I'm quite satisfied with how this turned out.
A couple of people have asked me to make a card/cash holder, so I decided also to make one for myself to go with my new bag (my Minnesota bag). I made it out of the same fabric as the bag's lining, and I stitched swoopy flowery lines in it, in the style of the design of the outside fabric. I can't stand to be idle, so when I go on trips (this weekend we went to my in-laws') I bring a book or a project. A weekend away from home means hand-stitching everything, so this was done 100% by hand.

I just have to say that I do not know how to embroider. If there's a right way, which I'm sure there it, I'm not doing it! My husband's recently deceased grandmother, who I was very fond of, taught me a very basic stitch and I make that into whatever design I think is pretty. But I decided that, even tho it's not done the "right" way, I still think it's nice. :)

Oh, one more thing: after much deliberation, I have decided to call this a "cash and card foldie". Even tho I refer to a sandwich with only one piece of bread as a foldie, I think it's a perfect fit for this simple little wallet. "Wallet" is so broad. "Foldie"... now, doesn't that conjure up just the right image?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Another Bag Boy

This time for my mother-in-law, and her unruly stash for plastic grocery sacks.. I'm assuming that she doesn't read this blog, because this is a birthday present she won't receive until this weekend. lol (Don't worry, we have other presents for her, too. She's getting more than just a bag boy.)

A dish towel tube with elastic at each end. Embellish how you may. It's really that easy!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Meet Picnik is a free photo editing site. This is perfect for photographically challenged people like me! Here you see some original, run-of-the-mill photos (the first ones), and then some edited versions. Go try it! It's fun! They also have an auto-fix button if you just want your picture to look better in a normal, non-artsy way, and pre-set effects, like 1960s, if you don't have a knack for editing.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Rhyl's Green & White Pillowcase Dress

I cannot get Little Miss into this today, which is fine, because it'll be clean for the trip to Minnesota this weekend. This is made from the remnants of the $1/yd WM fabrics that I bought originally for my skirt, which turned into my new bag. I used the same white material, which is textured (I don't know the proper name for it), for the ribbons, pocket, and bottom tier.

I have a couple dozen butterfly appliques (which are VERY pretty and I put them on everything they'll go with!) left from my last order from Home-Sew, Inc. ( which were really cheap. I love how the pocket turned out--now I'm wishing I'd paid more attn and put it on straight! All in all, this dress cost me maybe half an hour and less than $1! And I'm just tickled with it!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My Minnesota Bag

I had a messenger bag in my head, and this is not it. But this is what I made today, and what I will be taking on my trip. It's not that I don't like this bag--I do--it just feels more like a diaper bag than I wanted it to! lol

I bought this green material, which I love!, for $1/yd at WM, and used about 3/4 of it. The other stuff was large scrap that I had in my stash, which was all free, or practically free. Oh yeah, I also used a Salvation Army pillowcase on the inside as interfacing to give it some substance. The rings on the strap came from a belt that my brother gave me (the belt itself is now handles on another bag I made!).

The strap is adjustable--it can either be a shoulder bag or a messenger bag. Either way, it'll be a heck of a lot easier to travel around with than the bag I've been using, which had shorter handles that slipped off my shoulder a lot. And on the inside, there is one large pocket on one side and three small pockets on the other. I didn't really think too hard about the pockets when I was putting them on, but they ended up being perfect for my credit cards, cash, pens, and sunglasses. The rest will go to the diapers and toys.
I'm not really done with this yet. It's too plain, even with the decorative stitching. I will add a little flare at some point.