New Digs

My Sewing "Studio"

I moved and I love it!

Dark Industrial Corner

I say that alot about alot of things, but I really, really do *love* my new sewing space.

Even More Storage

I waited and waited and waited. I blame myself as well. I didn’t put too much effort in moving. My old sewing space was my dining room. You saw my giant mess the minute you walked through my front door. And for a person as messy as I am, that’s so not good.

My Stash

We’ve been so wishy-washy about what was going down in our basement that nothing was ever done. The sad thing is that it’s the largest room in the house.

All my machines lined up

So, I finally convinced Chris that it was time. I had sewing things on every floor of our house. I had totes in the living room, dining room, red room and basement. I couldn’t remember what I had.

The Mega Table

I moved everything! Opened every tote, box and bin. Sorted through piles of stuff.

Sewing Alley

I got rid of a lot.

Tools Hang Close

Then, my favorite- I made a spot for everything. Every item now has a home.

More Storage

And now my home is at peace.

**** If you want all the juicy details where I’ve labeled just about everything in the room, click on over to my Flickr page. ****

I’m Three

My blog that is. I hit my blog’s anniversary again on March 13th and like every year, I totally forgot about it. I should like mark it on my calendar as a reoccurring event huh? Maybe I won’t miss it.

My Favorite

Anyway, I do have a couple things I made recently from free tutorials. Goodness, I love those free tutorials. It’s how I discovered the world of blogs way back when I started. I wanted to make a zippered pouch. I typed in how to make a zippered pouch or something like that. Low & behold- I was directed to some blogs and Flickr. Who knew?

There were sewers out there. They were hip, crafty and were even stay at home mamas! They made stuff for their kids, homes, friends and they had gobs of cool fabric… Fabric! Not material as it has always been called in my family. There were designers and patterns that were modern.

She's Happy

Anyway, you all know this so I won’t go on and on like I usually do.

Ms Designer

This is Ms O’s dress. We call it her project runway dress because she basically made all the decisions about it. She picked the pattern, fabric and of course, the rows of chiffon.

Chiffon Ruffle

The pattern is actually a free online tutorial for a shirt, but we just made it longer into a dress. It’s the Ruffle Sleeve Top Tutorial. I love this! So easy and it turns out so cute. The chiffon is some leftover from the pettiskirts. I just made a super long ruffle and went around the bottom of the dress cutting the ruffle at the end of each row and moving on to the next row until she told me to stop. I would love to make her something like this Can-Can skirt someday soon- I love ruffles!

Hairkerchief

I also made some hairkerchiefs from JCasa’s free tutorial. The tutorial says to cut a 7.5″ square to make one, but you may need to go up or down to fit your child’s head. Ms O is a small 4 and I made mine from a 10″ square. It fits perfectly.

Hairkerchief

She wears it quite often and they stay on nicely as well.

Reversible

To cap it off, I will celebrate like I’ve always done and will make a little something. I’ll try to whip it out sometime soon so stick around!

Crafty

Back again and with something crafty!

Finally finished poor Eddie’s school bag- um, 6 months late.

Eddie has a bag!

Augie has had his since the beginning of the year, but I was too lazy to do two bags.

Ready!

The size of these was important. Remember Augie’s Kindergarten backpack? That thing is a pain to get things in and out of! These were going to fit everything including their lunchbox and huge library books, but not too big that they couldn’t carry them.

Dimensional pocket

There aren’t any inside pockets since I know they’d never use them. Girls maybe, but boys don’t use inside pockets.  The outside pocket is a must since their morning snack must be in there for fast and easy access. I learned how to do this “dimensional pocket” from Cindy Taylor Oates’ great pattern for Backpacks. (I recommend highly this pattern!) It was so easy to do and came out perfectly every time.

The tricky part!

The hardest part is that top zipper. Since this was my pattern, I had to work hard to get all the pieces to fit.  Now I know why patterns with top zippers are never sewn in at the ends. I did sew my ends in. I had to rip it out many times because it was hard to get the corners neat and everything matched up.   Do you see my mistake?

I think I went through 10 needles sewing these two bags. There’s stiff peltex interfacing throughout and two layers of home dec fabric. Then there was the handles which were interfaced as well. There was some major cursing going on!

Boy's School Bags

Needless to say, my trusty Singer was put to the test! I love that machine.

(The mistake was the top piece with the zipper. The lining camo fabric is on one side and the outside skateboard fabric is on the other. I know it’s hard to tell and the fabrics match, but I can tell. It drives me nuts.)

Half An Hour

I’m giving myself a 1/2 hour to write this post. I always think, it takes too long or I don’t want to load up the photos, I don’t want to write… so I don’t blog.

Grandpa's flowers

I decided to change that and just write for 1/2 hour. That’s it. I can manage 1/2 hr on the ol blog- no problem. Let’s see if it works and keeps me blogging!

So! Here’s a quick run-down, aka a journal for me & my family regarding the past few months:

Coloring Wallets

Christmas was excellent with just enough sewing to keep me busy, but not drive me mad. I sewed some more skirt outfits for all the girls and some pjs for all the boys. Also made 11 of these great coloring wallets. I made some fingerless gloves for the first time and loved  it. It’s really easier than you think!

Washington Windmills

We went to Walla Walla to visit family. Drove up to see the ginormous windmills we’re getting our power from. Celebrated 3 family birthdays which totaled 100.  Did a little geocaching in the freezing cold!

Geocaching

Enjoyed the beauty of the Gorge on the way home.

Columbia Gorge

Augie turned 8. EIGHT! I’m already preparing myself for 10. Dear Lord. (BTW- how come no one told me how challenging 8 is?)

Augie's 8!

Had another great trip to the beach with good friends.

Boys & Water

Can’t wait to go again in a couple months when tarp town doesn’t have to be erected.

OR Coast Yurt

Oh, I have much more to show you, but 1/2 hour is up dude. Gotta get back to reality.

OR Beach

I promise, the next one will have more crafty things!

Winter

Winter has definitely hit around here. It was in the lower 20’s last night and I made a garland.

Garland

Another Sew-Along was started in the Forum and it’s one that I’ve been wanting to do forever. Jessie started it and even has a super easy tutorial. I made mine from one of my favorite collection ever: Jenniger Paganelli’s Pretty Please line. I love all the Sally & Jackie prints. How can you go wrong with these?

Tree Hunting 2009

And since it’s so darn cold out, why not drive up into more cold and hunt for a couple hours for that perfect tree.

Our Tree!

We did have fun although round trip, it took 7 hours. ugh.

And lastly, since it’s to remain in the 20’s for the next few days, why not turn the front yard into an experiment.

Experiment

Christ started this last night. He turned the sprinkler on low and let it run just about all night. We had a beautiful ice-scape in the front yard this morning.

Ice-Scape

Needless to say, the kids are having a blast with this. Hope you are staying warm!

Rotting My Brain

I’ve been watching alot of TV lately and I totally believe it rots your brain. I mean, I used to be productive. I used to whip out projects left and right. I would sew, read or just sleep. Then, we got Netflix.

My favorite hat

Now, I watch movies whenever I want. You can watch them on your computer or your TV. How genius is that?! Seriously though, I’m not going to go on and on about this, but man- I love it.

So, back to some things I do manage to get done:

Growing

My mushroom log has gown. We watched it grow amazingly fast. We would walk away for a couple hours and I swear there was noticeable growth when I returned. And the growth overnight was amazing.

Done!

We cooked them up as appetizers for some guests the other night along with some Shitake’s which were also grown on a log. It was so very yummy.

I’ve also managed to get alot done on my newest quilt:

Quilt Kit

I adore this quilt. I’ve been eying quilt kits for the longest time and finally broke down and bought one for mother’s day this year. Kits are nice, but I’m not sure if I’d buy them again. For me, it seems like it takes the originality out of a quilt. I thought I wanted a no-brain-er type quilt, but now that mine is almost done, I feel like I almost cheated. I still love my quilt, but I just don’t know if I would recommend buying a quilt kit.

(BTW- the kit I bought included the pattern and all the fabric for the quilt except the batting and backing which is what most kits include. You still have to make all the cuts for the blocks, but it takes the guess work out of the fabric choices.)

Next up is this tote I made many months ago. I wanted to share it because I use it 24/7.

Project Tote

It’s not my usual tote. This one is lined, interfaced and has pockets on the inside as well as outside. I bought all the fabrics used in this bag from Ikea and I must say that their cotton solids have a nice weight to them.

Inside

I’ve been using it by my bedside to keep everything from library books to my latest knitting project. The best part is that it easily comes with me. We are constantly takes little trips so this bag works well for the on-the-go project that I feel I always have to take with me so I don’t get bored.

And lastly some quick links that I have to share:

I just made these Fudge Babies tonight and man, they are awesome. You’ve got to try these simple, 4 ingredient, no baking desert. Even Chris liked them although he said they immediately made him think of Schweddy Balls.

I just discovered Made. And let’s just say that she is my hero.

I need to cram in a new hobby so I can make this, but also want to sew myself a really, really good pair of jeans and maybe huge leather wallet.

Anyone have any tips on sewing with leather?

*******

ps- The first photo of my favorite hat is a free pattern called Foliage by Emilee Mooney that I found on Ravelry. I made it with some luscious Malibrigo worsted yarn and the color is called Molly. I have more hats to share soon.

Watching

This year’s Halloween was a blast as usual. The kids have been wearing their costumes for weeks since I was finished with them super early this year.

Halloween 2009

Augie was Anakin Skywalker- he cracks me up posing like that!  For his costume, I made the bottoms with a pj pant pattern and for the shirt I simply traced around him while he laid on the fabric. Since the whole outfit is rough I used a thicker burlap-type fabric and did not hem any edges. I loved it- so very easy.

Young Anakin Skywalker

Eddie was a vampire with wings. His was even easier since it was mostly the make-up. We used one of their Harry Potter robes from a few years ago and I gently basted the wings under the arms. The seam can be taken out easily since I worked so dang hard on these robe- I wasn’t about to ruin them.

Vampire

And lastly, Ms O was a fairy. And yes, I cut her hair again. This time it’s way too short, but she insisted that she wanted her hair like Augie’s. I will not do that again. So back to the costume- it’s made using Simplicity 2872. This was a great pattern even though it was hard to understand all the directions as to what was the lining, sheer and outside fabrics. I ended up skipping the tulle and tripled the sheer skirt. I really can’t remember what I did since I wasn’t sure how it was going to work out. I never really paid attention to what I was doing, but kept my fingers crossed that it would work out.

Fairy

It did and she loves it. I made her a size 4 even though she’s barely in a 3 so that she can wear it for some time to come. I do have to warn you to be careful around velcro. Her wings just about ruined her dress before we figured out the velcro on the wings’ waistband was causing huge runs on the dress.

We had a blast with our friends who hosted an amazing party full of food and fun. Trick-o-treating was perfect since the weather cooperated with clear skies and mild temperatures. Now, what the heck am I going to do with all this darn candy?

Oh, and I also wanted to mention that our mushroom log is blooming!

Blue Oyster Mushroom Log

These little baby blue oyster mushrooms have just started. I bought the log at the yearly OMS mushroom show. (What? You’re not a member? Get on it! If you’re not in Oregon, I’m sure there’s a chapter in your neck of the woods. It really is a great community of people.) The logs are a measly $5 if you are a member and you can get others like shiitake, maitake and other varieties of oysters.

Aren't they cute?

I picked the blue oyster because I wanted something that was easy to grow and was very successful so that the kids can watch it. The log has been sitting on my table in the kitchen for about 3 weeks before the first blooms started.

And one last thing that I highly suggest you do with your kids. It’s an autumn leaf garland.

Autumn Leaf Garland

I did this with my kids this morning and it was fun. We walked around the neighborhood for about 15 min collecting leaves then brought them home to iron between pieces of wax paper. The longest part was cutting them out, but overall it was a quick and easy project.  I love my garland- it looks so pretty in my window.

I don’t know how the heck Valerie has time to do all these cool projects, but she does! This will be our next project. You should wander through Valerie’s site if you have time- she has a ton of ideas.

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