Saturday, March 27, 2010

Romantic Ribbon & Pearl Necklace, and the WINNER is...

Bunny B.!
Drop me a line girlfriend and I'll get your fabulous necklace shipped out Monday morning!
 and of course, many thanks to all you girls for your kind posts. :o)
Have a blissful weekend!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Making Panoramic Sugar Eggs!

We made some sugar panoramic Easter eggs last night!

(For those who aren't in the know, they are hollow eggs made out of sugar that you can peek into and see a sweet little scene inside.)

Be sure to click on the image to get a good peek at the chick inside!

Have you ever made these?
They are so much easier to make than they look, and they last forever.
I've seen vintage sugar eggs in antique shops!

Plus, it's a minimal investment to create your own family heirloom.
Heirloom -is that a stretch?
all you need to get started  is egg whites, a ton of sugar, and some icing.
And of course, an egg mold.
or several.
they come in different sizes, ya know.
I like the itty bitty ones.

We made blue eggs last night and filled them with tiny Easter eggs and fluffy chicks.
I'm hooked -  I plan on making more with my kiddlets over the weekend.
Now I want to run to the dollar store and see what I can find to decorate the inside of my Easter eggs!

Want to know how to make these? Check out this post for a tutorial to make your own!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Romantic Ribbon & Pearl Necklace Tutorial + GIVEAWAY!

I'm celebrating Spring with a tutorial to make these lovely Ribbon & Pearl Necklaces!
And for those of you too busy with Easter preparations to make one for yourself, that's okay too,
because I'm offering my first giveaway!
Yay me!
Yay you!

Romantic Ribbon & Pearl Necklace Tutorial


  • Satin Ribbon (I used 5/8)

  • Pearl Beads

  • Beading Needle

  • Thread (I used clear)

  • Fray Check

  • Bead Board, Ruler or Mat

Gather your supplies and lay the beads out to desired length.
(I like the beads to only go to my shoulders, not around my neck)

Leaving ribbon on the spool, measure 12 inches from the raw edge.
At the 12 inch mark, secure knot and take a large stitch, about 1 inch wide, from bottom edge of ribbon to top edge of ribbon with a pearl on your thread. 
On the back side of your ribbon, slide another pearl on your thread and take a large stitch from the Top down to the Bottom.

You will be creating a zig-zag pattern with your stitches, with pearls on both sides of your ribbon.
Repeat Stitching in zig zag pattern until you have sewn on all your pearls.

Your ribbon should look like this now.

Gently pull your thread to gather up your ribbon and pearls.
Now you should see your necklace taking shape!

Secure the end with a knot.
Cut your ribbon 12 inches from the last bead. Use Fray Check to seal the ends of your ribbon and prevent fraying.

You can shorten or lengthen the ties to what ever your preference is.
You aren't limited to ribbon or pearls for these necklaces either.

As you can see, I loved making these!
The center necklace is made with a vintage french lace and soft green and cream pearls. It turned out so delicate and romantic looking!
I also made one using mocha and rose colored pearls, the effect is an elegant neutral that would go with so much.
Of course the black and white combo is stunning with it's contrast and would be perfect for an evening out!

I couldn't decide which one I liked best - so I'll let you choose!

Post a comment below and let me know which necklace is your favorite, and you'll be entered in a drawing to win the necklace of your choice!
If you mention this tutorial or giveaway in your blog - post another comment for an additional entry!
Contest will close and I will post the winner on Friday

Friday, March 19, 2010

Awesome Find for Organizing a Creative Space!

I {heart} Junk.
I love digging through
Thrift Stores
Yard Sales
Estate Sales
Things People Leave on the Curb

However, I did not have to dig to acquire this pretty little baby.
My wonderful, thoughtful friend Jackie stumbled upon it  
-and of course - 
she thought of moi.
Calling from her cell, she gets about half way through:

"around 3 feet tall with a bunch of drawers - "


"should I send a picture?"

"NO, Buy it! Buy it Now!"

Long story short
it's MINE!

It's a light vintage-y shade of green, and has 10 narrow drawers.
Most of the drawers have labels like elastic, bobbins, bias tape, etc. I have no idea how long the labels have been stuck there, so this weekend I'll try to soak them off and hopefully leave the paint underneath intact.
...cross your fingers...

It will go in my studio, but not sure exactly where just yet.
I already have a great organizing/storage system for most of my sewing paraphernalia, and lo' and behold, most of it involves small or narrow drawers.
What can I say? I have a thing for drawers and cubbies!

 I'm thinking this baby came into my life to hold my dies.
Or stamps.
Maybe ink?
Something definitely paper crafting related
...since I have seemingly grown out of my scrappin' armoire.

I am very aware that
I am lucky to have a friend who knows me well and has my style pegged.
I feel even luckier that her style differs from mine,
so when she comes upon something like this
she doesn't feel tempted to keep it for herself!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patricks Day!

Wishing you Irish bliss, and a day with no pinches!
...unless you want to be pinched, that is...

Finding Comfort in Patterns

Okay. So after my, ahem, fitting issues... I needed to buy another copy of McCall's 5800.
Hancock's has their McCall's on sale for .99 - and that's a big deal 'cause patterns rarely go on sale for 99 cents anymore, a buck ninety-nine, sure. But a dollar? Yeah Baby!

I admit it.
 I sought comfort the the pages of the pattern catalogs, and then later, in the drawers themselves.
I came away a much happier girl, head full of ideas, heart full of bliss and a bag full of promises, eyes sparkling with the hope of a better fit...
Or maybe that was the glare of the fluorescent lighting... anyhoo...

Among the choices I made tonight,
M5717 - a trench coat - with *gasp* CUP sizing! Yay me!
It actually goes up to a D cup, but from watching the others in my group I've noticed these patterns require much less altering to fit a D+ cup than an average pattern.
Honestly, I probably wont touch this until next fall, but I don't care. I want it now.
And you understand, that's why I love you!

I had to get a jean pattern as well. I have enviously been watching the Selfish Seamstress brag blog about her amazing jeans and I oh-so-badly want a custom pair for myself! I asked Tamara a.k.a. my Fitting Goddess if we could tackle jeans eventually and she said yes - so now I'm prepared!

And lastly I picked up this simple shirt pattern.
It doesn't have the built in alterations for different cup sizes.
I don't even know if the drape-y neckline would look good on my girls.
But I love the back, view A.
And it's a knit, so that should be forgiving, right?
I'll be seeing the Fitting Goddess on Thursday, so I'll get her opinion on it.
After all, it was under a buck!
And, did I mention I really love the back?
And I also happened to buy the fabric to make it while I was shopping....

All pictures are from the McCalls website

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Princess Seam Progress a.k.a. Full Blown Tantrum

Last night some friends and I met up for our monthly Fitting Group in Salt Lake.
This is the 3rd month meeting  that I have worked on my princess seam bodice.
And I know everyone is waiting with bated breath, wondering
"Just how did that princess seamed fitting thing work out for you?"

wait for it....
It Didn't

This is what it looks like after I have thrown a tantrum.
Not pretty.
I have spent hours measuring, slashing, spreading, taping...
And not alone, either. Tamara, my Fitting Goddess has helped me every step of the way.
No matter how we adjusted it or what we did we couldn't get it quite right.
At the end of the night, we agreed it was possibly salvageable...
 ...we both just really wanted to shred it and start over.
So, that's exactly what I'll be doing.

Now, saying this, I realize it wasn't fair to just share a picture of my resulting tantrum.
So, I smoothed it back out (sort of..) and took another picture so you could appreciate all our efforts and understand why I'd like to set the friggin' thing on fire.

Isn't that crazy? There is more Swedish tracing paper than pattern tissue!
And this pattern is my size - really! All this for just a bust alteration.

I seriously intend to hit this hard and get it right next month...
because, well once I master the princess seam, I've got a few more patterns I want to take on...

McCalls 5800 is the pattern I am currently dueling with. I'm using view A currently, but might just opt for B's neckline this next go 'round. For 0598 I like the raglan sleeve and full skirt. CUTE!
I find a fitted bodice and flared skirt is the best way to balance my girls with my (boyish) hips. KWIM?
I can't wait to make them - and have them really fit!

Persevering Pansies

Our snow has melted away, leaving only a few icy traces in our back yard so I decided to trek around and check out my flower beds and see if anything has survived the winter. 
With our warm weather this week I thought I might come upon some greening, or tiny signs of life.
 Imagine my surprise when I came upon a sweet single little Pansie!
Then, after snooping around some more, I found little clusters popping up all around - and what I would guess to be bulbs - although I don't remember having any last year...

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Inspired by Alice

Kadence and I saw Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland recently - and holy cow!
I am in love with Alice's "Um" dress.

(This is the dress she wears when she while in the Red Queens court, as "Um from Umbridge". It is suggested the dress is made from curtains...)
The first time this dress appeared on screen I leaned over to Kadence and whispered "I want to make that!"
She thoroughly agrees it is awesome.

With rows and rows of delicious chiffon ruffles I can see this will be a hot boutique item from eBay to Etsy.
I don't think it would be terribly difficult to recreate either, so maybe for Halloween next year...

This was not the only beautiful frock on screen,  Alice's Blue dress seems to be inspiring wedding dresses also.. Check out this link for more Alice-y eye candy:  Wedding Trends inspired by Alice-in-Wonderland

I think it's pretty cool that a movie can influence fashion trends, especially ones as lovely as this. If anyone comes across some more amazing photos, links or knock offs please share!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Card Swap & Paper Play

Today we broke out the die-cuts, punches, stamps and paper for some quality paper play. 

These are the cards I put together for a "spring" card swap I'm participating in.  

I picked up this little bird punch in my last Stampin' Up order, isn't it cute?!
This is the first time I've used it, and I love it!!
Using my Xyron sticker thing-a-ma-jig made the branch/leaves super easy to make.
I punched the branch in both brown and green. I trimmed the leaves off the brown, leaving just a branch. I ran it through my Xyron and stuck it directly on top of the green punched branch w/ leaves. 
Ta Da!
There are 10 of us participating, and I can't wait to see all the other cards when they come in.

While Kadence was cranking out several dies just for the hell of it
- hey, i can't blame her! It's like preforming a magic trick each time you turn the handle -
I whipped up a few basic simple cards for some long over due notes I need to send out.
I had done enough measure, cut and tape on the swap cards to last one day so I just used a white card and added some pretties to spiffy it up.

Kadence cut most of the butterflies and flowers for me. :o)
The embossed butterflies are a favorite of mine, and now I know what's on my next Stampin' Up order - the coordinating punch and stamps!

Monday, March 8, 2010

New Yummy Fabrics!

Lots of dreaming, planning, sketching and sewing coming my way with some new additions to my fabric stash.
 A box of wonderful flannel goodness arrived at my door this weekend! It is quilting quality, soft, smooth and begging to become some awesome lounge-wear for little people!

On a recent trip to a quilt shop Kadence picked out her own fabrics.  I must say she has excellent taste - I love everything she chose!

This is Flora & Fauna, Patty Young's new collection for Michael Miller - she loved every print in the Lime colorway. She got some of the hummingbird print and the dandelion, she wants me to make it up in a tiered skirt.
(I think next trip I'll grab some of the stone border print to make myself a skirt!)

She also got some Timber, by Windham fabrics. I love this print, and the colors are some of my favorites.
This is begging to be made up soon,  I'm sure she has a plan for it as well - but I'm kicking around an idea or two of my own. glad I got enough for us to share!

New fabrics = Bliss

Don't Forget to Floss! (your serger, that is)

If the tension on your serger is giving you headaches, it may be time to floss!
After my last post about my pain in the butt serger I did manage to get my little stitch finger glued back on and working properly - but I was still fighting with the tension on the left needle. Ugh!
After screwing with the dial for a million hours and going through a million yards of fabric just to "test" the settings, I had a total "duh!" moment. ...maybe there's thread, dust, or something caught up in there and irritating it.
(kinda like when you get a raspberry seed stuck between your back teeth, right?
Sooo, I ran some dental floss back and forth through the tension disks,
(hey, it works on raspberry seeds...)
 Voila! No more Tension Headaches!!
Seriously - check out these before and after pics and you'll see why we were constantly battling:

So, for now we are getting along. But I won't hold my breath...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My Ugly Relationship with My Serger

Yesterday started off with so much promise...
A dress nearly done, new projects cut and ready to sew. A new design to plan out for a friend.
Why did it have to go bad like that? Why?
I take excellent care of my serger - I do. I clean it, oil it, change it's needles.
When others scoff at it's El Cheapo price tag & quality I always rush to it's defense. I stood by, when light bulbs repeatedly fell out for no reason. I handled it with grace when my stitch finger broke - over, and over, and over... I've replaced brand new needles repeatedly to fix unexplained skipped stitches, and even played with dials for hours to get the tension just right.

I ask, is this any way to repay my adoration?

I should have known from day one that this would be an unhealthy relationship.  There were signs from the very beginning. This model has a history of giving ladies trouble, breaking stitch fingers all over the country. Less than a year into it, mine broke as well... I refused to give up, and gave it another chance. Then another, and another... Then I started to notice other things as well. It refused to hold onto a light bulb, and I began serging in the dark. Tension built as we couldn't agree on  settings, first the loopers, then the needles - it didn't matter what I tried - it was always playing games with me.

Why did I put up with it all these years? 
I know this serger like the back of my hand, I could thread it with my eyes closed. And I guess I've just grown submissive,  this serger is my first - and only - could I ever be with another? What if I did leave, would I end up with another machine just like it?  

Enough is Enough.
My stitch finger has broken for the last time. Yesterday I super-glued it together - again - and the next time it pulls this crap on me I'm out the door and  finding a new machine. One who appreciates all I do for it, and respects me enough to serge in return. Oh sure, I'll keep this one around for a rolled or narrow hem every now and then, but as for all 4 threads - this is it's last chance.

And this time I mean it.

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