Jul 30, 2014

Wooden Project Love

Ever since I got a table saw for my birthday I have been on a wooden project kick. I think I'm using every excuse possible to use it. I have build a built in shelf for my studio. ( I'll have pictures up when I do an update on the studio.)

We bought a house plant over the weekend to try to spruce things up in the living room. What we don't have is a plant stand.


My plant stand in progress right now (sitting next to that shelve that is waiting to be painted, shhhhh..). I've been working on it in the evenings after the kids go to bed. Right now the glue is setting.

Website Credit

 This is pretty much my inspiration. A cube. Yep.

Until it's ready, let's share the wood project love with some I found on Pinterest. Because it's like a craft hoarders dream. All the photos, none of the paperwork.


This is made out of one sheet of plywood. Get the plans for this Retro Shelf.
Or how about this Mission Style Plant Stand? 

And I love this console table for behind the couch.
Are you looking for something dirt easy? What about these shelves? 3 pieces and they're done!
Interested in seeing what other wooden things I have a crush on? Check out my Pinterest Board!  And check back in later to see my modern cube side table/plant stand.

Jul 25, 2014

Happiness in Song

Ever have one of those days that start off wrong? You can't find the shirt you want to wear, your kid dumps his soggy cereal all over the floor, or every road you need to take to work has decided to have construction at the same time.

We all have days like that. Sucks, doesn't it?

But what seems to help me in the morning is a good song. I think it's the best pick me up you can find.  A good song lifts up my spirits, calms me down and gets me ready for the day. It mellows me out and talks to me. It's never too busy or in it's own funky mood like people get. These songs are good friends to me.

I was in that funky mood today and after a few good songs it was like a fresh restart. I thought I would share some of those with you. These are my personal happy songs, not found on some chart or list online based on what is cool right now. Some of these you may have never heard on the radio.

Hey Mama by Mat Kearney

This song is just happiness in a bottle. It's upbeat and peppy and so far I love all of this album I have heard.

American Girl by Tom Petty

If you don't love one song  from Tom Petty (even if it's not this one), we just can't be friends.

Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison

It's classic, simple and good. Enough said. And it talks to all us girls that don't have blue eyes. Mine are hazel, but close enough!

Restless Heart by Matt Hires

When I first heard this song I could not get enough of it. It's still wonderful and it's been over a year.

Brave by Sarah Bareilles

This is a new happy song. It is empowering and strong. It will knock the bad feelings out.

I don't wanna be by Gavin Degraw
This is just about being who you are. Sometimes if you focus more on being you, that morning stress caused by others just melts away.

Sweetness by Jimmy Eat World

It might be the guitar that wakes me up. It is so full of energy and then add to it that great outcry of Wooooooah!

Have you got any favorite Happy songs? And, no I don't mean anything by Pharell.

May 28, 2014

Not So Very Step 1

SO, my last post was all about how I was on Step 1 of Patternmaking, which was research. Well,
I did that and I haven't made it to my expected Step 2.

Instead I made it to.. what shall we call it?  Oh Yeah. Step minus 2.

After my successful Step 1 I went to start my Step 2, which was to select designs and start drafting. I pulled out my homemade scrappy sketchbooks I've been filling every week and perused through my designs. I put stars next to the ones I liked and wanted to develop a pattern on. Then I took my happy little notebook and wandered down to the studio to get to work.

And after that I stopped. I saw the gigantic mess in need of cleaning and stopped dead in my tracks.

This is just a small sample. I can't fully disclose this or the authorities will find me.
Then I'll end up on Hoarders with my pile of craft supplies suffocating me.

May 21, 2014

Step One of Patternmaking- Research

I'm gearing myself up to get back to patternmaking after taking a very long break. How long. Like ten years, but who is counting?

My first step has taken me deep into Pinterest, searching the internet for all kinds of free patterns and indie pattern companies. Want to see my Pinterest board of Free Sewing Patterns for Women?

You know what I found out? There really aren't that many Free Sewing Patterns for Men. It's pretty abysmal.

After I pinned my brain out on all those patterns I did start to get a good feel of what was out there. At the same time I got a good sense of what is not out there.  So, now I have a direction of which way to go.

I have notebooks full of ideas, so now I'll be picking out a few and giving them a proper illustration. Then drafting and sewing sample time!

Yay for motivation!

*Oh and if you see any other great free patterns for men or women, let me know. I found many of the skirt patterns were just regurgitations of each other. How many dirdl skirt patterns does one really need. It's a big rectangle, HELLO! lol

May 20, 2014

Back to Patternmaking

Four score and several million years ago... (okay, like a decade ago) I was a fashion school student. I was the portfolio carrying, tackle-box of art supplies wielding, taking up too much space on the university bus with my crap, starving fashion student.


And I wasn't starving because I needed or wanted to be a size 2. I was starving because I was so stressed. The Fashion School was so stressful that I changed programs. I changed programs and banished all the things associated with it. I buried them or threw them away.  Do I regret leaving? Sometimes. But did I love creating and the positive environment I went into studying art instead.

May 15, 2014

I think I Pinned by Brain Out

Ages ago I signed up for Pinterest. It was tiny at the time and only was open by invitation. Yeah, I know.


Honestly, I didn't think much of it. I didn't see a point to making a digital bulletin board. I figured if it was really that great I'd print it out, or save the link, or some other nonsense.

Then the kids came. And I would print things out or write them down thinking I would get to them later. Later sometimes never happened. Or when it did the item in question had something spilled on it, ripped, or was missing a piece. So now I am a true convert to the Pinterest bug.

My only problem is now I have so many reminders of things I want to do. Like, I've become obsessed with finding free sewing patterns lately. So much so that if I was to sew one item a day I'd be well into fall by now. If you don't believe me, check out my board here.

It is jam packed with all kinds of goodies and now I don't know where to start. So, in order to gain some sort of footing and make some headway I've decided to make another list.

A LIST?!?!

YES! I know. I don't really like them written out usually, but if they are on the internet it doesn't really count. I technically didn't write them out. I typed them.

Besides, if I post it here I feel more inclined to show that I made some progress. It's weird. But it seems to work in my funky little brain.

This is my list of Sewing Projects that I wish to try out this summer. They are in no important order or preference. I just want to try them.

1. Breezy Tunic Pattern by Me Sew Crazy
2. Gemma Skirt by Tamanegikobo
3. The Garden party Dress by Honig Design
4. Ms Eliza Bennet Shirt by Meanie Greene
5. The Brigitte Dress which looks a lot like the Coco Dress by Tilly and the Buttons
6. The Weekend Blouse
7. This Short Dress

Besides, we can consider this all research because I want to start making my own patterns to share and perhaps sell later on. I didn't go to fashion school for 4 1/2 years, change majors and graduate from art school for nothing!



I'm talking crazy. Blame Pinterest because I think I pinned my brain out.

May 14, 2014

Princess Tiger Lily and the Lost Boy

Many moons ago (count that as last May) my daughter's preschool was holding their Pre-school Prom. Since it was her last year at Pre-school before taking the big jump to Kindergarten I wanted her to have a nice outfit. Something to make it feel special.

The theme of the event was Never, Never land and after some long thoughts we decided on making her a Princess Tiger Lily costume.


May 12, 2014

Fairy House and Garden Adventures!

I haven't been crafting that much lately. I'm going to assume it's because my ridiculous list of things to finish is smaller. After finishing my Circle Fun Granny Square Blanket, I think I need a breather anyways. So I've been working outside instead. The weather is getting nicer and the yard was a bit scraggly.

In the past month I have done gobs and gobs of things outside. But my favorite thing happened yesterday. Mr. C (the middle child) helped me plant the flower bed. Then Miss T. and I made a fairy house.


May 8, 2014

May 1, 2014

Do you have Mashed Potato Pillows?

That's right. You read that right.

Do you have Mashed Potato Pillows?

Mashed Potatoes in Their Natural Habitat

Before you think I'm completely batty, let me tell you what they are.

Apr 22, 2014

Happy Earth Day!!

It's Earth Day! Earth Day!

Earth Day!

* do a little butt wiggle if you like*

Why not celebrate Earth day by doing an earthy project?

Apr 18, 2014

Almost There, Baby!

I feel like I have been working on this circle fun granny square blanket for AGES.


Well, at least a month. That counts as ages, right?

But the end is almost upon us! I think I only need about 10 more squares. I currently have 53.

When you stack them up they remind me of pancakes. Floppy, furry square, and inedible yarn pancakes.. But yeah, pancakes.

Just look at them all. It's like a sea of floppy pancakes.

Sorry, syrup not included.

Apr 16, 2014

How to Make Yarn from Plastic Bags - AKA PLARN!!

Earth Day is almost here. To celebrate I'm going to share with you how to make your own plastic bag yarn, otherwise known as PLARN.



If you haven't tried this, I recommend doing it at least once. It's not for everyone but it's definitely Earth friendly and unique. It's also a great way to use up bags. You probably get at least a few dozen bags every week from grocery shopping. Do you throw them out or do you try to re use them?

Apr 8, 2014

Taking Care of Business- List Style

I have been incredibly busy the past week or so. The weather has started to look promising, even if it still yo-yos back and forth between winter and spring. And because of the promise of nice weather, I've been motivated.

I'm been running around trying to finish up all the projects I have going on. Both ones from my home improvement list and my craft list. And I have to say I'm starting to plow through it. LIKE A BOSS!

And OMG. It feels wonderful!! It's like this burden has been lifted off my shoulders and I am almost, almost free to start any of the new projects I want to start.

But, no. Not now, brain. Not now. You still have a few things left to accomplish before you add on to your ridiculous list.

Let me show you a few things I am so stupidly proud of. Not because they are beyond amazing, but because they are done and I am so, so tickled that they are. FINALLY!!

Mar 31, 2014

Why Kraft Paper is Awesome

I finally dug in and bought a big roll of Kraft paper on Amazon. When it came I did the happy dance inside.

This roll of paper is 4 ft by 200 ft. That is 800 square feet. It is huge and lovely and AMAZING.

Mar 24, 2014

Easter Egg Wreath

Easter is almost here! ALMOST HERE!! That also means it's past the time to get out your obnoxiously colored decorative flags. And grab those ducks, bunnies and chicks!

 Don't you know that the moment the holiday before it is over, you must immediately and quickly pack all the crap away and switch to the next holiday?


So, you know what that means, right? I haven't done a LICK of decorating for Easter yet. Not that Easter is a big holiday at my house in general but I like excuses to buy and make things, too!

Even though it's not a big holiday for us, we always seem to end up with an overabundance of plastic Easter Eggs. I'm pretty sure I don't buy them every year but somehow they are multiplying. They must be bunny eggs (shhh....don't ruin my delusion that bunnies don't come from eggs). And because the kids love them, I always end up with too many. In fact they plague our house for months afterwards because the kids have secretly squirrelled them away.

Mar 21, 2014

My little "Thing 1"

Last week was Dr. Seuss week at my daughter's school in honor of his birthday. On Friday they were allowed to dress up as a character from a Dr. Seuss book.

We talked it over and chose Thing 1 since it was a relatively easy to make using supplies I already owned.


Mar 17, 2014

Some Rough Sketches

I've been drawing a lot. I mean. TONS. I've had better ideas on a whim that I ever did in fashion school.
Oh, yeah. Did I ever mention I'm a fashion school drop-out?

I say it like I really dropped out but really that term is directly inspired by the "Beauty School Dropout" song in Grease. I just loved Frenchie for some reason...

Mar 15, 2014

Too many Unfinished Projects

You know what I envy sometimes? Organized people. Well, organized people and people that only do one craft. ONE CRAFT! I can just dream about how organized that is and how much they get accomplished by having a single craft.

And, no. Don't think I am knocking anyone who only does one craft fabulously and amazingly well. I just envy their stick-to-it-ness. I don't seem to share that.

While doing spring cleaning in my studio I came across far to many projects that are half done and I was actually amazed at how many different ones there were.  I totally have craft A.D.D. It's a serious affliction.

Let's do a small recap.

Mar 11, 2014

Make your own scrappy notebooks for FREE!

A few weeks ago I had an idea and wanted to sketch a women's shirt design. When I do sketches like this I use a flat pattern spec template and place it behind some copy paper to draw my design to scale. Sadly, all I had that day was my sketchpad and it's paper was too thick to use this method.

Instead of doing a "woe is me", I just decided to make a notebook using scrap paper in the office.
So I grabbed some scrap paper and got to work.

Sketching Away- This is your brain on thoughts

Yesterday I spent most of my awake life on the internet. I was pouring over blogs and indie pattern companies. Drowning in the vastness of the web.

I saw a great many patterns and lots of ideas started. I picked up my little homemade sketchbook that fits perfectly in my purse and got to work. Sketching and smudgy penciling away. (Is penciling a word?)

This is your brain on ideas. Lots and lots and lots of ideas.

I must have sketched over 15 different pieces of clothing today!! And I don't even know how many yesterday. I think my brain is getting fried. 

I'm guessing you can tell because of my amazing prowess at paint.

Mar 10, 2014

Spring Cleaning Time in the Studio!!

Lately I've felt like my studio space is a dungeon. It's in the basement, it has fluorescent lights and gray block walls. All and all, it's pretty depressing.

Oh! And don't forget the lovely electrical box mounted on some plywood in the corner.

Here we have the beautiful chandelier. 

Then there is the 'closet' that holds the well pump. My, my, my...  Doesn't that sound.... uh, lovely?

Add to it that I have so many things out and half done that it's a giant clusterfork (I think you know what I mean) and it's utter chaos. No wonder why I've been dragging all my yarn upstairs to work on my Circle Fun Granny Square blanket (you can get the pattern here).

Well, no more. I want a right and proper room. You hear me? I said right AND proper. So Sunday I took some personal time away from the kids bouncing off the walls and sorted.

And let me tell you, I have PLENTY of craft supplies that I had forgotten about. So if you see me walk near a craft supply store without an exact item for an exact project, please send me packing! My husband will thank you.

I sorted yarn, glue, markers, paint, thread, and elastic. Beads, needles,  pins, paper and stamps and scissors. Yes, Scissors!! I found scissors everywhere. I didn't even know I had this many. And don't you know, whenever I go looking for a pair, I can't find a -single- one.

But after all this sorting I was happy. So, so happy. Things are in their place, I have free drawers (to shove more crap in) in my storage bins. And I can see more of the floor!!

Phase One of Beautify the Studio is almost complete.

Mar 3, 2014

The Parisian Skirt

In my last post I said how I was distracted from my granny square blanket. This little baby is one of the reasons. Lucy is modeling it for me. I'll introduce you to my dress form Lucy later on.

I call it The Parisian Skirt. 

Why? I have no idea but somehow it reminds me of France.  Perhaps it's the colors or the print. It looks rich and fancy to me....No matter. I'm in love with it. Love that magenta in the print!! I am so proud, too.

The Parisian Skirt is a dirdl skirt with a wide elastic waist and side seam pockets. But just look at that fabric. It's AMAZING.

First I cut two pieces of cloth the length I wanted plus about an inch. I used the full width of the fabric so each panel was roughly 20 x 45 inches wide.  I serged the top and bottom edges to stop fraying while I was working (I didn't know how long this would sit half-done to be honest). I also cut a piece of 3 inch elastic the length of my waist minus about 2 inches.

Next I drafted and cut out my pockets. Four pieces, two for each side.  I LOVE skirts with pockets. Even wee baby ones like this since I apparently forgot to add seam allowance.

 Oops!! At least my change will never fall out. And I will never be a victim of pickpockets.

I pinned the pockets right sides together on each side seam of the skirt and stitched down to attach them. Then pressed the seam allowance towards the pocket and stitched around the pocket and down the side seams.

For extra "fancy" I edge stitched the pockets to make them darn near invisible. Would you look at that? Blink and you miss them. 

I joined the elastic by overlapping and using a stretch stitch on my sewing machine. Then I trimmed it down really close and used a fray stop to prevent unraveling.

The final steps were gathering the waist and basting it to the elastic. I used contrasting thread so I wouldn't go completely mad. Then using two rows of stitching I attached the skirt and then removed the basting stitches. I hemmed it with a double rolled 1/4. 

Doesn't Lucy look great? And she just happened to have a magenta sweater to wear with it. 

Wait a minute, how dare she raid my closet without asking. That tart!!

Mar 2, 2014

Crochet Blanket Progress and Other Distractions

I've made some progress on my Circle Fun Granny Square Blanket lately. If you would like to grab the pattern, you can do so here. It's not quite perfect but I'm working out the bugs.

So far I can cover a 2 x 2.5 foot area roughly. It's not as far as I had hoped but I got sidetracked.
 I made my Parisian Skirt, the Easiest Ever Jewelry Set, I am sketching out some new clothing pattern ideas,  and am reorganizing my studio. Reorganizing is hard work. What do you do with all that stuff?? I think if I get shelves to hold it all, there will be no room to work.

I did manage to get to the craft store this weekend and got to cross off a few things I needed for some projects. I picked up some ball point needles, white serger thread, and elastic thread. None of these items were from my Reading Makes me Want to Buy Things list, though.

Perhaps it's better that way. New items means new projects that I won't be able to do for a long while.

Feb 27, 2014

Easiest Ever Jewelry Set

Over the weekend I had some Mother/Daughter time with Little Miss. Part of it was going to the craft store where I bought some items for making some necklaces.

Most of the items I bought were clearance pieces that were Styled by Tori Spelling. I didn't know she made a jewelry supply line and I didn't really care it had her name on it. But it was clearance and good "bones" for jewelry so I grabbed several pieces.

Here is how I made this one little piece into a full jewelry set.

First I took some needle nosed pliers and removed the two extensions with the rows of crystal beads and closed the jump rings that the extensions came off.

I slid the extension pieces onto some silver wire earring hooks I had (my ears are fussy with metal) and clamped them down lightly to prevent the chains from sliding around.

Then I separated the double chain and turned it into one long chain instead of two.

And that is how I made my jewelry set I am wearing today at work for a whole $3 plus earring hooks. Ain't $3 fancy looking?

Reading Makes me Want to Buy Things

The problem with sitting in front of the computer all day is severe but it's not what you think. It's not lack of movement. It's not eye strain. It's not the possibility of losing feeling in your legs or turning your butt into a flat pancake.

It's about reading. And I read about making things.

During my free time during the day I read about crafting and jump from blog to blog or search with google about ideas I have. Even better worse are the tutorials on how to make things. Those cause the most damage.

I gather up all these ideas and all these projects and inevitably come up with a list of things I have to buy to make them.

Here is my current list of the week of things I think I really need:

Each of these things represents items I need for some brilliant masterpiece!! TBD at a later date. HAHA

Feb 26, 2014

Circle Fun Granny Square Pattern

As promised here is my pattern for my Circle Fun Granny Square I created. I usually only write patterns for myself so if anything is unclear or if you right-handers need the images flipped ( I'm a lefty- SORRY!!)  please leave me a comment and I'll get back to you!

This pattern will follow the color way of my sample so almost each row will be a different color. Finish off each row and join on the next color the way you feel comfortable. I prefer to finish off and start a little to the right of the last join to prevent an easily seen seam.

I am rocking it with this pattern though. I currently have 15 squares of various color ways! I'm getting there. Only one bazillion left.

*Please note that this pattern is written in US terminology and that when using this pattern that stitches will wrap around any open chain stitch loops.*

I used crochet hook size I or 5.5mm size. This made my squares about 6 1/4 inches x 6 1/4 inches.

Round 1  -Lilac yarn

Ch 3. sl st to 1st ch to close, forming a circle. Sl st into hole and ch 2.

Round 2 -Lilac yarn

Work 8 sc in hole and join to the ch-2 stitch. Finish off.

Round 3 - Blue yarn

Join on and ch 3. Work 2 dc in each sc from previous row. You should end with 18 stitches. Finish off.

Round 4Green yarn

Join on and ch 4. (Skip the next st. Sc in 3rd st and ch 3) Repeat all the way around the circle. Sl st to close and finish off.

Round 5- Pink yarn

Join on at one of the ch-3 spaces from the previous round. Ch 3 then work 3 dc on the same ch-3 space. (Ch 2 then work 4 dc in the next ch-3 space) Repeat all the way around the circle. Sl st to close and finish off.

Round 6 -Green yarn

Join on the 3rd dc of a 4-dc group of the previous round. Ch 3 and work 3 dc in the same st. You should have a grouping of 4 dc in the middle of the previous 4-dc grouping. (Ch 1, work 2 dc in ch-2 space from previous round, ch 1. Work 4 dc in the 3rd-dc of the 4-dc group) Repeat all the way around the circle. Sl st. to join and finish off.

Round 7 - Blue yarn

Join on at the 2nd st of a 4-dc grouping on previous row. Ch 2. Work 1 sc in the next 2 stitches. In the 4th st work 2 sc. Work 1 sc in the following 3 stitches. You should have 8 sc stitches in a row with 2 coming from the 4th stitch. (Ch 3 skipping 3 stitches on previous round, work 1 tc in the 4th st. {Work 1 tc, ch 4, 1 trc in the next stitch} This will be your corner.  Work 1 tc in next stitch. Ch 3 skipping 3 stiches on previous round. Work 1 sc in the next 3 stitches. Work 2 sc in the next stitch followed by 1 sc in the next 3 stitches. ) Repeat ( ) 2 more times to complete your square. Join and finish off.

Round 8 - Cream yarn

Join on and ch 3. Work 1 dc in each stitch of the previous row. When you reach the Corner stitch { } work 1 sc the tc stitch. In the ch-4 space work  2 dc, ch 3, 2 dc. Continue working 1 dc in each stitch going around except corner stitches.  You should end with 22 dc on each side.


Later on I will be doing a round by row photo shoot for anyone who thinks I make no sense.

Feb 19, 2014

Peace, Love & Understanding Printable

Lately, I've been getting into more and more printables. I like that I'm able to do it at a computer and don't  have to drag out countless art supplies that will, undoubtedly, not be put away again promptly.

I heard one of my favorite songs from Elvis Costello today and it made me want to make a printable. So I did and I'm sharing it with you.

You can download it HERE.

And just like my Starlight Printable it's made to print on a standard sheet of paper and to fit nicely in a 5 x7 frame.

Feb 18, 2014

Circle Fun Granny Square Success

I've been working on that granny square motif that I was creating over the weekend. And working and working. Then finally there was success!!

After trying to turn my circle into a square 4 times, I finally did it!  And not in any way that I have ever been taught or have seen before....

I actually traced my circle onto a piece of cardstock and drew some lines to visually turn it into a square. I counted the stitches in the circle and determined where my corners would fall. Then I used my brain to find the correct stitches to fill the voids based on their height. It was a totally avant-garde attempt but it actually worked.

My sample is complete and I wrote out my pattern. Today I even managed to produce my second and third square so I could double check it. I am very happy with the outcome and proud to say I made this pattern all on my own.


Once I triple check this pattern I will be sharing it with you.

Feb 17, 2014

A New Granny Square Blanket

Everyone in my house has been sick lately with one thing or another. To stop the spread of icky germs, we've been washing all the bedding and sheets. In this great wash-fest it had dawned on me that we may not have enough blankets to cover us while the germy ones are being washed.

So with some inspiration to de-stash from a fellow blogger at Attic24, I decided to make a granny square blanket with my scrap yarn. It's the perfect way to use up scraps and I have never actually finished a full-sized one of those....

I started working something up Saturday night and now have a lovely multi-colored round of my own design. The round is lilac, sea green, variegated blue, and pale pink so far. I will have to be careful washing it because this is all mystery yarn!! No labels.  Regardless, I think it will look fabulous.

So far, the only yarn I've bought for this project is a nice cream colored Red Heart Super Saver yarn called Aran. I bought it because I thought I needed something neutral to pull it all together and border all the squares. This is for a blanket that kids will most likely spill things on, so I'm going for functionality and lasting power. That and we all know how inexpensive the Super Saver Yarn is.

I swear it's a nicer color than the photo but cream can be such a hard thing to photograph.

My next big hurdle is actually turning my lovely circle into a nice even granny square.  I couldn't possibly go with a pattern. Nah. That would be easy and something someone has already done before. I'm going for original and probably more difficult. Ha ha!Wish me luck!

And once I get one square done and am happy with it I am going to be posting instructions.  I doubt everyone wants to do it the hard way like me.

Feb 14, 2014

Starlight Printable

Lately my boys have wanted me to read Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to them. It seems to be one of their favorite books at night. We have this one by Iza Trapani and the illustrations are just wonderful. They are colorful and expressive, which is what they enjoy.

In honor of their new found adoration of the book I made a printable to share. This is the first printable I've made and actually wanted to share because I think it turned out well.

Click HERE to get it.

It is made to fit a 5x7 frame and printable from home since it's on a standard size paper.


I'm going to get this printed out and framed this weekend. I'm thinking a blue frame would be rather fetching.