Sunday, March 28, 2010

Tutorial - Trash Bag for your Car (or Truck!)

Sooo... here it is!
  The Trash Bag Tutorial!

What you'll need:
1 Fat Quarter of Fabric A (cotton/quilting material) - if you use a print, be sure to line up patterns during assembly
1 Fat Quarter of Fabric B (PVC,nylon material)

  From Fabric A, cut two 9in x 12in rectangles and one 9in x 2.5in rectangle
From Fabric B, cut one 9in x 12in rectangle and one 9in x 10in rectangle

Take the 9x2.5 piece.  Fold hem under 1/4 inch.  Repeat.  Press seam and sew using straight stitch.

When you are finished, it will look like this:

Now, set this piece aside.

Place one 9x12 (B) and one 9x12 (A) with wrong sides together -set aside.

Now place second 9x12 (A) and 9x10 (B) with wrong sides together.

At top of piece, fold Fabric A under one inch, then fold down another inch so the fabric overlaps Fabric B.

Pin the seam and press.

Using 1/4 inch seam allowance, sew a straight stitch.

Repeat on opposite edge.

It will look like this when you are done.

Now the fun part!
Layer your fabric pieces in this order:
9x12 B (right side down)
9x12 A (wrong side down)
9x10 sewn piece (A right side down)

Pin fabric layers together at sides.
Your layered pieces should be in this order:

Then, pin 9x2 A to top of piece (right side down)  Your edges should meet all nice and tidy...

Using 1/4 inch seam allowance, sew a straight stitch or serge around the outer seam.
Note:  I prefer a serger for this to keep the edges from fraying, but I'm showing this with the straight stitch for the purpose of the tutorial.

Trim corners and turn piece right side out.  Use a chopstick to help push out the corners, but don't use too much force or you'll risk tearing your threads!

Press seams.

Now, this next step is optional, so you may skip it if you choose... but I prefer the look of a topstitch, so I'll add one in here along the outer border.  Stay as close to the seam as possible.
(If you don't have a serger, this also helps reinforce those frayable edges...)

You're almost done!
Now, you just need to add a buttonhole.
Important!:  Check your car to see how large of a buttonhole you'll need.  (This will depend on where you plan to hang the trash bag.  I hang it from my lighter and sew a 1.5 inch button hole.)

On top flap, fold fabric in half length-wise and mark line with fabric pen.

Now sew along the line using the button hole feature on your sewing machine.  Trim the opening.

That's it!  You now have a fabulous trash bag for your car!!

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial!  If you have any questions or feedback, please contact me - I'd love to hear from you!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Girls Night Out

We'll be heading out early in the morning to my sister's house, where we'll have a jam-packed weekend.  Tomorrow will be all about the chicks... in the evening, they will be dressing up all frilly and going on a date with their daddy and Uncle Duwa to a "Daddy-Daughter" dance coordinated by aforementioned fabulous sister.  And the theme?  Pinkalicious!  My girls love the book, and they're so excited for tomorrow night...

True to her fab nature, auntie has picked out some adorable pettiskirts for the girls to wear.  I put together some special shoes and sparkly tees to coordinate - I have to admit that it was crazily satisfying adding those little rhinestones to the shirts, to the point I want to add them to everything.

What can I say?  I loves me some sparkle.

Stay tuned for pictures!

Oh... and Dana is giving away some of her Peep bunny buntings!!  Get over there and sign up for a chance!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Diagnosis: CADD

Craft Attention Deficit Disorder!

So I started on my new Trash Bag tutorial idea tonight and got interrupted... by Easter decorations.  I was cutting my fabric when I caught a glimpse of my pink tree covered in hearts.  I.  Couldn't.  Help.  Myself.

Right then and there, I put away the V-Day decor and pulled out the bunnies and pastel. 


I feel better now.

I hope to get this tutorial out to you soon... maybe in time for the new blog design reveal?  Danielle emailed me today that I'm on her list for this week - woohoo!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Tutorial Interrupted...

Have you ever been working on a project that you've had in your mind for a while, the plans drawn out so carefully so as to make it into a tutorial and then whilst sewing said project, realized you could've done this a whole lot easier?!


I hate it when that happens.

I've had an idea in my head for a few weeks, since making a weekend visit for a oil change.  While there, I picked up one of those little plastic trash bags for the car, you know the ones that fit onto your lighter or your A/V outlet?  Anyhoo, I realized how handy that little booger was for all those pieces of trash that accumulate in my truck.  The gum wrappers... the snot hankies... the half-chewed Jelly Bellies whose flavor was not a hit with the chickies... yeah. 

That little litter bag didn't last long, and it wasn't quite time for another oil change, so I decided to make my own.

Enter the aforementioned plans for tutorial.

And the finished product:
I used some leftover fabric from the apron I made my sister a couple of years ago and some PVC fabric I bought when I was in my cloth diaper phase as a liner in case of leakage... or sticky jelly beans.

Pardon the lack of auto action photos, but I wasn't crawling out in the truck at almost 11pm!  LOL!  I promise I'll deliver when I post the tutorial.

It turned out well, but like I said, I thought of a better way to make it while I was making it, and once those edges were serged, there was no turning back!! 

Stay tuned... and while you're at it, Follow Me, Would ya?!

Peeps Bunting Tutorial at V and Co.!

Me either!  It is so sad... but I still have my heart hanger on the front door, I'm still rockin' my Valentine mantle, and my Valentine tree still graces my dining room. 

Yes, I know Easter is just in a couple of weeks, but I've been lazy, er, busy.  Plus, I really do love that pink felt topiary...  Maybe what I really needed was some inspiration, and I found it!

Dana from made came up with this fantastic idea, inspired by the ever-popular marshmallow Peeps!  Go see her tutorial over at V and Co. and be inspired too...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Butterfly Whisperer

Our afternoon trip yesterday was supposed to end up at the dinosaur exhibit, but once we saw the long line that wrapped outside the museum and down the entire sidewalk, mommy  we changed our minds!  Luckily, the zoo is right around the corner and we have season passes so we busted out a Plan B and went to the zoo instead!  (Live animals are better anyway, right?!)

Big Sis, the brilliant thing she is, decided to seek out the warm exhibits seeing as it was pretty chilly outside.  We spent a good deal of time visiting the snakes, lizards, iguanas, etc.  We hung out in the aquarium with the fish and other sealife.  And then, we went to the butterfly exhibit.  That was where the magic happened!

How fun to be in this neat little world, surrounded by butterflies and about 80 degrees of pure heated bliss...

Big Sis was like a flame to a moth... the butterflies just surrounded her and willingly let her carry them around.

She was in heaven, my little nature girl...

Leave it to Big Sis to have a giant bruise between her eyes when this kodak moment occurs, right?  She had a little incident with the parallel bar at gymnastics last week - ouch.

Lil Sis was not as amused to be partaking in the butterflies...

She was not pleased to have little beauty land on her - I wish I could've captured the look of sheer panic on her face right after this, but I was too busy laughing!

Now that is one happy girl, right there!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Old Mother Hover

When I was growing up, I never understood the fear, the worry, or the perceived over-protectiveness of my mother.  As a pre-teen, I'd roll my eyes when I would leave for a bike ride and she'd yell out "Check in with me in 30 minutes."  As a hormonal teenager, I would grumble under my breath when she wanted to know where I was going, who I would be with, and what time I expected to come home.  As a college student, she got a toll-free number for the house so my sister and I didn't have an excuse not to call home. 

I felt annoyed.

I felt hovered over.

And now...  I understand.  And I am grateful.

It's amazing how my perspective of the world changed after I became a mother.  Before you are in the position of being a parent, it really is hard to see how scary the everyday goings-on around you really are.  I guarantee you that before I had kids, I never would've thought twice about hitting the gas as soon as the light turned green, oblivious to the reality that people speed through red lights.  I never would've questioned if a peculiar middle-aged man with a small dog was watching children play at the park.  I wasn't aware of my surroundings in a dark parking garage.  I just didn't think anything would ever happen.

Ah, the veil of invicibility is quickly lifted, isn't it?

Having these little people who are dependent upon you for their safety makes one keenly aware of all of the dangers surrounding them.  Survival of the fittest, no doubt.  I'm sure some brilliant scientific researcher spent years studying this, comparing the defensive parenting tactics of animals versus humans, all in an effort to prolong the species... or something.

A researcher I am not.

A mother I am, a self-proclaimed "hoverer".  I watch my children like a hawk whenever we are in a public place.  If I can't see them for a split-second at the park, instant panic sets in, survival mode, until I again see them in my line of sight.  (They're learning that one of mommy's rules is they have to stay where they can see me.)  By any body of water, I am their lifeguard, or in some cases, their life vest police, insisting they wear them no matter how much whining is soon to follow.  In the car, I strap them in their carseats as if they're taking off for a space flight.


Can you blame me?

Every day, the news is filled with the horrific reality of... life.  The things you hope will never happen - but when it does, especially if it hits close to home, it tightens that proverbial parental rein even more.  Car accidents, perverts, drownings, kidnapping, rape, murder.

Can you blame me?

Can you blame any mother?

I wish my mother were alive, so I could apologize for all the grief I ever gave her, and thank her for caring enough to hover and to be involved in my life.  I'd thank her for, unknowingly, teaching me the mothering ropes.  What seemed, at the time, like intrusion, was actually her way of making sure her baby girl was safe.

And now, the reins are passed to me, so I may keep my baby girls safe.

It's a scary world out there.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got some hovering to do.

I knew it was too good to be true!

Just when I'm bragging about how gorgeous the weather has been and how great and refreshing it is to be outside...

This is what's in store for us today!
(It is helping the kiddos sleep in a little, so I won't complain too much!)

This afternoon, we'll be braving the wind and rain and heading to see the dinosaur exhibit at the Witte.  I hope it doesn't disappoint!

And what are you doing this wet Saturday?!

Friday, March 19, 2010

A New Season...

"And everything that’s new has bravely surfaced
Teaching us to breathe
What was frozen through is newly purposed
Turning all things green
So it is with You
And how You make me new
With every season’s change
And so it will be
As You are re-creating me
Summer, autumn, winter, spring"  Every Season by Nichole Nordeman

Everything is so gorgeous right now... green and alive and in bloom!  The bluebonnets are finally here!

Time to sit the kiddos in the yard for some pictures, right?

Tiny little peaches are making my mouth water thinking of a summer filled with peach cobbler and peach ice cream.

The apple blooms are dropping, preparing to turn into some juicy green apples.

Even my plum trees are making a comeback after a harsh summer and early winter freeze!

I love springtime and its recurring theme of all things renewed and born again.

Happy Spring to you!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Etsy Eye Candy - Pinch Me!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  In honor of the holiday, I bring you all things green!
(All photos courtesy of Etsy sellers.)

I think I could juice everything with this gorgeous thing from AbbyTPottery.

Don't you just want to wrap your neck in green delicious-ness?  This is from Ayca.

And thses are just too friggin' cute!  From flytrap.

Have a great St. Patrick's Day everyone!

Monday, March 15, 2010


Wow.  Daylight Savings Time.

I stay up too late.

I have to get up too early.

This is painful!

There will be some tweaking of ye olde blog going on around here as I prepare for a blog facelift from Danielle.  I'm making my way up the wait list!  Although I loved my blog makeover from Lindsey, I'm ready for a new, clean look for 2010. 

And I'm ready for more coffee.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

X is for...

Big Sis' preschool class has been working all year on their alphabet book.  Every week, she comes home with a piece of construction paper with the "letter of the week", and her homework is to find pictures of items beginning with that letter and glue them to the paper.

Okay, so technically we find the pictures... but she identifies what they are and glues them, alright?

I digress.

We've done really well up to this point, finding items that a five year-old can recognize.  And trust me, some letters just aren't that easy.  Take this week: X.


Not a lot of kindergarten-level words beginning with that letter.

So... dh found the ones that are in nearly every alphabet book around.

Xylophone.  (Score!)

X-Ray.  (Yeah!)

But wait!

He found another one she'd be sure to know.


I'm pretty sure that fish doesn't start with X.

Au contraire.


Love that man.

And in case you're wondering...

Yeah..... No.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Fabulous Vintage Tea Towel Transformation

Centsational Girl made some of the most gorgeous pillows ever out of vintage tea towels! 

photo courtesy of Centsational Girl

Just look at how amazing those are!

I have been whipping up some new pillows for my couch lately, but they're nothing close to this!  Then again, I've never found such pretty things at a thrift store... which brings me to this question:

"How do you navigate all the crap at thrift stores to find the great stuff??!!"

I can't ever seem to find more than clothes that are worse for the wear and household items that barely missed the trash pile.

All you thrifty chicks - give me some advice!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Fingermel Porish

Is there anything sweeter than teensy little red fingertips?

Lil Sis was so excited after bathtime to paint on some "wed fingermel porish". 

*sigh*  They grow up so quickly...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Etsy Eye Candy - 3.8.10

While waiting for my kitchen prints to arrive and a chance to hit the fabric store, I'm browsing Etsy for more kitchen inspiration.  Etsy delivered, as always:

This gorgeous hanging bowl set is from seller vesselsandwares.

I love this!  From dearcolleen.

I've been eyeing some of these reusable snack and sandwich bags for awhile, seeing as we go through quite a bit of the plastic ones and I'm certain that habit is not so great for the environment... these are from sacksavers.

So, what are you eyeing today?