Thursday, December 30, 2010

Baby Blanket

Another baby blanket....for some special little girl. All my friends (who haven't been gifted to yet) who are currently expecting seem to be having boys so I'm not sure who this is for, but I found the fabric on sale and had to buy it.
I rounded the edges and zig-zagged to top stitch the whole thing!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Top 5 Posts of 2010

It's fun to look at my blog's stats. Here are the posts that have been most popular this year among the readers.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Want to Make: Tasty Recipes

I have got to make this french toast recipe.
Love this woman's blog.

Also, found these brownie covered oreos on another favorite blog.

My mom makes this great chocolate sauce for Christmas dessert (it is good on ice cream or ice cream pies, which we also have made!)

...Nothing says "Merry Christmas" like Pink Eye...

My poor little boy has pink eye. Thank goodness for the great doctor who had hours today on Christmas Eve and could see him at 8:45 am! I should have taken him yesterday but I didn't really know what pink eye looked like. Now I'll ALWAYS know!

But anyway, just wanted to thank everyone who has been reading and watching my blog this year. I've gotten more followers than I'd anticipated and have had a ton of hits, especially the last two months. It has been a busy month for me; we moved all of our things from our house, will be closing on our old house and our new construction home next week, and oh yeah, my sewing machine was in the shop for about two weeks. So that's why I haven't had any tutorials lately! I'm planning to come back strong in January, though. I have a few projects in mind.

Merry Christmas. I hope you all take some time to reflect on who Jesus Christ was and is and think about hows our lives can be lived in glory to Him.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Want to Make: Gifts for Men

Have trouble making things for the men in your life? I sure do. Probably should've thought of making some of these before today...but here are some ideas:

paint chip business card holder

my husband desperately wants a bow tie. I was planning to make him one with this tutorial. I haven't yet.

This is a neat idea for making a zippered case. Every guy needs one!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Stockings

I got on a Christmas stocking-making kick last year. I had bought fabric the year before and just hadn't done anything with it.

-I just cut a pattern out of a cereal box (I do wish I'd made the heel of the stocking a little squigglier)
- cut 4 pieces of fabric for each stocking (I lined them)
-pin the ribbon for the stocking holder in between the right sides of the outside of the stocking
- sew two together for the outside (if you want to sew anything on it, do that before sewing it together)
-sew the lining pieces together (leaving a hole for turning in the lining, just like you're making a bag
-and then put them wrong sides together at the top, sew a seam, and then turned the whole thing

Then I just sewed the hole in the lining together.

Now you can decorate it with felt shapes or letters! I used the fusible interfacing to iron on to the felt, peeled off the back, and then ironed it to the stocking.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Frugality Musings

There are so many deals online, especially offering 'free products, you just pay shipping'. Is that an honest-to-goodness money saver? My answer: unless you were about to spend the money anyway for that exact item, it isn't a money-saver.

Well, one got me yesterday. I decided to order address labels for our new home. (It isn't built quite yet, so it wasn't an immediate need.) I saw on this website that you could get 140 for free. I paid $3.62 for shipping.

Impulse buy? Yes.
Christmas gift? Yes (for my husband!)
Do I feel bad about spending almost $4? Not really.

Then I ordered my hubby a desk calendar for work (I was going to make him a photo collage) but I'm just not feeling it. So I spent $12 on the calendar.

Worth it? Not sure.
Impulse buy? Possibly.
But it seemed like a good, thoughtful gift idea at the time. (Everyone loves pictures of their kids.)

Do you ever get snagged by these types of 'deals'?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Blogger Problem: Scheduling Posts

For all you other bloggers out there:

I'm having some trouble scheduling posts on Blogger. I used to be able to do this with no problem (by going to "Post Options" and then enter future date/time I wanted the post to publish).

However, it now publishes it immediately. I didn't think this was a problem til I started researching it and found this immediate posting causes Blogger to email all the subscribers that you've created a post!

Scheduling will work once in awhile for me, but not more than one time/day.

Any ideas? Is anyone else being driven insane by this problem?

I'm moving tomorrow and Tuesday, so this is why I won't be posting. I did get one scheduled for Tuesday.

Jewelry Making How-To: Crimping

Did you see some of the jewelry I've made?

This is a key step in making simple necklaces and bracelets. Crimping is how you attach the clasp to both ends of the wire or string. In this example, I used tigertail. I sometimes use fishing line for lighter beads.

You will need needle-nosed pliers (get some especially for jewelry, not the same type electricians use!) , a crimp, clasp and some tigertail.

You will use the pliers to squish the crimp and hold the tigertail together. Thread it in this order: crimp and then the clasp. Then thread the loose end of the tigertail back through the crimp. Squish the crimp with your pliers.
It will look like this:Thread the first bead over the end of the tigertail right up against the crimp.You can buy special 'crimp covers' to cover the crimp, but I usually don't do that.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Banner

I used a whole bunch of scraps for this banner. It matches the stockings I've made for our family. (Honestly, the stockings are still in production. And I can't find our son's stocking in the midst of moving and living in multiple places.)
What I did, I cut triangles from two pieces of fabric. For the second (back) piece, I used fleece and flannel. Then I sewed the pieces together and used pinking shears to chop up the raw edges.
I had enough fabric to make six triangles:
I made some smaller triangles with some knit fabric I had from a t-shirt. I sewed scraps of red and green ribbon to the knit fabric to dress it up a little bit. Then I sewed all of the triangles to some scraps of double-fold bias trim (red and white to go with the theme!)
An easy and free Christmas decoration. Now I just need a mantle to hang it on!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Want to Make: Organizers

Wall Organizer.
Art Table Storage for kids (or big people!)
slipcovered plastic crates! no more hurt fingers.
A mail organizer!! Seems like you need a lot of supplies, though. Maybe I need to modify this for the frugal people in the crowd...!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Baby Gift Set

Thought I'd share this set!

A teacher my mom works with just had a baby and so my mom asked me to make a gift! She picked out the fabric and I made a blanket, two burp cloths, and a pair of shoes.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Soup Bowl Cabbage Rolls

This is a great recipe I've found from Taste of Home.

It just uses cabbage, tomatoes, rice, ground beef, and some spices! Wonderfully frugal yet flavorful and healthy!

  • 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 small head cabbage, chopped
  • 2-1/2 cups water
  • 2/3 cup uncooked long grain rice
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, optional


  • In a nonstick Dutch oven, cook beef and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the cabbage, water, rice, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, basil, cayenne and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until rice is tender.
  • Stir in tomatoes and salt; heat through. Sprinkle with cheese if desired. Yield: 4 servings.
Note: I add taco seasoning sometimes. It makes it really yummy.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Baby Shoe Tutorial

I went a little crazy making baby shoes this past weekend. I had a baby shower to go to, so I wanted to make something cute. And then, they were just so easy to make, I cut out a whole bunch. (11 pairs, to be exact!) Here is how I made them. I used this pattern but adapted the steps here and there.

To start, you'll need to cut all your pattern pieces out. You won't need much of any one fabric so this is a great way to use up scraps! I used parts of old denim jeans for the soles of the shoes.
First, sew the toe lining and outer piece right sides together along the curve. Turn right sides out and press.
Meanwhile, no picture for this step, but sew the casing together at the edges leaving a 1/4" hole at the TOP of the casing for the elastic.

Take the sole lining and put it wrong sides together with the sole bottom. Pin the toe pieces to the sole bottom with right sides together. (Further explanation: you'll be turning the shoe and want the sole on the bottom to be right side out.)Pin the casing to the back of the shoe. Make sure the elastic hole in the casing is right side up.
Also, check that the casing ends INSIDE of the toe. You don't want the raw edge showing after you turn the shoe.
Sew the seam all around the shoe. Turn it. Now add the elastic through the casing and secure with some hand stitching.
Push the stitching through the casing so it isn't showing.

Last, sew the ends of the casing together. Secure to the top of the shoe with a few neat stitches (these will show). All done! Some lucky baby will have pretty feet!I also adapted this pattern to make bigger slippers for my 18-month old. I just traced around his shoes for the bottom and then just cut the top and back pieces to fit!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Recovered Dining Room Chairs

Sorry, no tutorial for this project. But there are TONS of tutorials out there.

My before picture was very blurry, so I deleted it! But these were covered in navy blue needlepoint covers. This is a big improvement!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Stuffed Hippo

We have a slight hippo obsession at our house. Ever since getting our son this book, we all love hippos. They're just funny.

But whatever the case, I made several stuffed hippos this weekend. I learned a new technique to invisibly close my seams from this blog.

Here is one of my stuffed hippos. My son loves it.
Stuffed Hippo

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ideas for Using Fabric Flowers

Remember all my fabric flowers I made?

Here are some ways to use them:

a wreath! (and I am not really a wreath person!)
here's another wreath.
cute idea for a headband.
tattered flower headband.
a great necklace.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Toddler Winter Hat Tutorial

Now that it is cold, we're always looking for my little guy's I decided he needed another one.toddler winter hat
I got the sizing and the idea for the ears from Martha Stewart's site.

Want to know how to make your own? I started with a scrap of polar fleece that was 10" wide by 19" long (I measured my little boy's head circumference and found it to be 18.5" so I left 1/2" for seam allowance).
After folding it in half, I sewed it into a tube and then sewed across the top. I folded it up about 2.5" from the bottom to make a brim and then sewed it into place. To do the ears, you're going to tie thread about 1" from the corner. This is just for marking purposes, so don't tie it in a knot.
Take a needle and thread and sew through the ear to secure it, about 5-6 times.
Tie off the sewn thread and remove the wrapped thread. Then repeat for the other ear and you're all done!
fleece toddler hatYou could make these for anyone of any size (but without the ears for adults!)
I think this was a pretty frugal solution--as much as I love Target, I don't think I need to pay $9.99 for a spare winter hat when I can make a super cute one that just might become a favorite hat!

Here's the only decent picture I got, and it isn't all that great:

Friday, December 3, 2010

Little Makeup Pouch

I have an obsession with bags. Even when I don't really need another one, I decide to use up some scraps anyway...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Flocks of Birds

I've started a bird factory! Just kidding.

My mom needs ornaments for an exchange and she asked me to make some. These are the prototypes! She wants to pick out special fabrics. I just sewed these with scraps.

I got this pattern for the following birds from this blog.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Toddler Slippers

We don't wear shoes in the house all that much. It keeps things cleaner and I think it's just comfy. So our little boy runs around in his socks most of the time. I decided he needed some slippers.

I made these very much the same way as I made the baby shoes I shared last week. I did make my own pattern, though.

To do this, I traced the bottom of his shoes and added about 1/2" for a seam allowance. I free-hand drew a shape for the toe and then just measured around the back to determine how much fabric was needed to make a casing.

Last, I assembled them in the same manner as the baby shoes and added the elastic inside the casing! He loves them and they fit perfectly.

**The red pair is for Christmas.**