Sunday, January 31, 2010


I am a tired girl... too much driving (and bowling) this weekend makes one pooped mama. I'm off to bed to recuperate and rejuvenate - I've got some crafting to do this weekend.

What's in store, you ask?

I've got a superhero cape to make for a certain little guy's birthday this weekend... more cookies for the Etsy shop and perhaps some aprons as well... and I've got a pettiskirt that's been awaiting my return.

Better get some shuteye while I can - I predict some late nights at the Singer this week.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

got cookies? GIVEAWAY!

I've been whipping up some of my lollipop kids cookies for my Etsy shop, and I thought... giveaway!

So... got cookies?


Wanna get some?

Then leave me a comment!

Giveaway ends on Friday, February 5th... so these will arrive just in time for that special little one's Valentine's Day!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Conversation Heart Tutorial!

Okay... I have really been in the Valentine's mood, and kept thinking how cute it would be to have some Valentine's pillows for my couch. I saw some at Hobby Lobby but was not going to pay that much for a pillow I could only use for a short time - ouch. Then I rounded the corner and saw the inspiration for my first tutorial: the conversation heart!

Here is my conversation heart pillow tutorial! Now, this is my first tutorial ever... so be patient with me (and kind!) Disclaimer: I am not a professional seamstress, so don't expect perfection. And I didn't perform a trial run... I've learned from that one!

You will need:
About 1 yard felt (color of choice) for body of pillow
1 8x11 piece of contrasting color felt for lettering
felt glue

First, draw a heart shape onto your felt, cut two (one for front and one for back).
Next, determine your placement for your lettering. Using a ruler, draw a line with a disappearing ink pen as a guide for lettering.

Next, trace your chosen phrase onto the felt with your disappearing ink pen. I went with "Love Ya", and used some basic letter stencils to trace it onto my guidelines.Now it's time to cut out your letters. I used my Martha Stewart craft knife to cut along the straight edges, then cleaned it up with craft scissors. **Note: Use firm pressure while cutting with the craft knife. Otherwise, you'll just pull your felt and make it stretch, leaving a not-so-pretty edge to your letter.Ta-da! Be sure to save the inner portions if letters require them, as in the "O" and "A" above.

Now, you're ready to add the contrasting felt. Trim felt to fit within the borders of your pillow. Apply felt glue to the wrong side of the pillow front around the cut edges of your letters.

Then, apply your contrasting felt piece and allow to dry.
Add inner portions of letters with glue, and add extra glue around letter corners. It should look something like this when you are done.
Next, cut a three-inch wide section of felt for the side portion of the pillow. The length will depend on how large your pillow will be. Mine was about 40 inches long for a 10x10 pillow.Beginning at the pointed end of the heart, pin the felt strip to the wrong side of the fabric. Join the ends with a straight stitch. Using a straight stitch, sew around the edges of the heart using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Repeat for the pillow front, pinning right sides together along the edge. You want your pillow front to hug the inside of the pillow back after pinning (see picture).

Sew the seam with a straight stitch, being careful to not catch the pillow body fabric in the process. Leave a two inch opening to allow for turning and stuffing.

Now turn that baby inside out and fill generously with polyfil.

Use a needle and coordinating thread to close opening with mattress stitch.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saturday Loves

It is a gorgeous day here today... sunny, 70 degrees, perfect. Here are some things making me smile:Valentine's decorations. Yes, that is my t-shirt refashion scarf masquerading as a table runner!Impending signs of spring - these are the first buds on my apple tree... And two little chickies snuck these flower headbands into my basket at Hobby Lobby - how could I resist?!

I'm working on more sets of lollipop kids cookies, determined to update my shop with sets for V-Day!

And... my pantry has been taken over by the power of new canisters and a labeler. How cute are these? I might start labeling everything in the house!
Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Patience Watson...

Me thinks me needs a crafty post, but I haven't got anything for you yet. Stay tuned - I'm working on a few things!

Work has been... weird. I'm supposed to be "winding down" from my management role, but feel more like I'm being treated like a secretary and gopher. Whatever. I'm trying to exude grace during my final three weeks, so I'm praying for the Lord to help me cause He knows how much my tongue wants to betray me!

Big Sis passed her tummy bug onto Lil Sis, so I'm hoping tonight will be pukey-free. *fingers crossed*

Oh. And I just sent in my application for graduate school.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Pleats Make Me *Smile*

I love my round breakfast table, but the top is mosaic tile, which doesn't jive too well with two little girls who like to spill things. A lot. I've used store-bought round cloths, but the fabric is usually longer so when my girls go to sit in their chairs, they inevitably pull the tablecloth down with them. So, I decided I needed a tablecloth that was more like a slipcover and this idea was born. And what would a slipcover be without pleats? If that doesn't make you happy, I just don't know what will...
I made mine out of unbleached cotton so it would go with anything, and hopefully it will outlast the many spill challenges it will be up against.Ahhh... can't wait to sit here in the morning and have my coffee!
In fact, I like it so much I might be tempted to make another and do a tutorial. What do you think?


I finally put away the Christmas decorations yesterday and began decorating for Valentine's Day. I just love filling my house with hearts and pink and red - *swoon*. I really wanted to make the Felt Heart Wreath from the previous post, but was out of luck in the heart-shaped form department. Soooo, I opted to make the topiary instead. An hour and lots of felt circles later... here it is!

I just love how this turned out. I used a prefab topiary form found at Hobby Lobby and attached some moss with spray adhesive (thanks for the idea, sis!). I then proceeded to add the gazillions of little pink circles with straight pins.A little ribbon border and tulle-wrapped dowel later... and it's pink valentine perfection!

Friday, January 15, 2010


Man, am I glad it's Friday. This week has to have been one of the most stressful, draining weeks of my life and I am in serious need of some recuperation, especially considering I have a pending visit this afternoon with a higher up that I am not looking forward to.

Perhaps a little weekend crafting is just what the doctor ordered?

I'm thinking of finally taking down my Christmas decorations (Yes, they're still up) and pulling out the pinks and reds for Valentine's Day. Have you seen the Felt Heart Wreath tutorial over at The Idea Room? Fabulous! Oh, and check out her Valentine Topiary as well! I am in love...

Oh... and I got a certain little something in the mail yesterday and I'm dying to take some pictures but I have to spiff myself up a little to make sure I do the necklace justice. God had impeccable timing with this unexpected gift... amazing.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


It's 4:30 am... and I'm awake because I'm just a big ball of nerves.

Yesterday I accepted a new position.

Today I turn in my resignation.

This is so scary for me, because it is so uncertain as to what will happen once I resign. Will there be words? Will I be asked to leave immediately? I just don't know. I'm going in prepared to be dismissed though, so I'll be cleaning out my things as soon as I arrive, just in case.

This is sad for me, because I love the people I work with... I just can't work like this anymore and I don't believe the situation will change... and I've already sacrificed enough of my family life.

This is disheartening for me, because I have a great deal of integrity and obligation to my workplace. I feel like I'm abandoning everything.


This is also exciting for me, as I have a new opportunity awaiting with (I hope) less stress, less responsibility, and the ability to have my life back.

It's exciting that I might be able to go back to school.

And it's a leap of faith. I'm trusting the Lord opened this door for me because He knows it's time for me to close the other one.

Now if only He could take away the butterflies in my stomach!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

It's Tough Being a Woman

That is the understatement of the year.

I sat in on my Sunday women's bible study this morning. They're doing Beth Moore's Esther study; one which I began with them a while back and had to abandon as I couldn't make the time for the homework. Anyhoo, the subtitle of the the book is that it's tough being a woman, and boy is that ever true.

Tomorrow, I am contemplating making a huge change in my work life. Without releasing too many details, I'll just say that I don't have the best work-life balance right now. Some of it is my own doing, but the larger portion of it is simply due to the expectations and responsibility placed upon me. This has been causing me quite a bit of inner conflict for some time now, for several reasons, and it's just gotten to a point where I have to make a change.

I bring up the premise of the Beth Moore tagline for Esther because I think, if I were a man, I probably wouldn't feel half of the way I do. I wouldn't be feeling the stress and loneliness that is management. I wouldn't be contemplating a work change primarily directed by my obligation to my family. And I wouldn't be feeling so guilty for wanting to make this change.

It's tough being a woman. It's tough being a mother.

Because I am a woman, I do feel that I'm missing out on so much of my children's lives when I drop them off early at daycare and pick them up late and when I'm having to take calls during dinner because there's some crisis at work. I do feel sometimes like I'm so busy building a resume that I'm not able to build a life. And I do feel, as someone who lost her mother at a young age, that I want my children to remember me as being not just there, but present, in the moment, absorbing it all.

I dread tomorrow and dread knowing that I'll probably be having a very difficult conversation with my boss which will more than likely include how he thinks I'll be wasting my talent and destroying an opportunity and making a mistake giving up my current success.

The problem is that to achieve this success, I've had to give up so much more.

It's tough being a woman.

J Crewtification

I've completed my first refashioned clothing item, a la J Crew. After browsing many fabulous tutorials, I decided to try my own hand at adding ruffles and roses to an old tank. I started with a Banana Republic outlet cardigan I bought two springs ago - it buttons a little low, which looked alright when I initially tried it on in the store, but after a few trips in the washer and dryer the fabric shrunk and made the buttoned area tight and awkward. I decided to use pieces of the cardi to spruce up the coordinating tank, which I still like to wear.Using my rotary cutter, I cut four long strips and sewed the gathering seam. I played around with the strips a little, gathering them loosely, then tightly, to try and decide what I wanted to do with them.I decided on a right-sided placement of two ruffled strips with two gathered rosettes.
I wore it this morning to church with a mohair sweater I just rediscovered in my dry-cleaning bag, complete with a felt rosette broch that I made this morning. I'll save the sweater for another day - it's a work in progress!
I'm having so much fun with this!

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Happy Saturday everyone!

It is sooo cold outside - 13 degrees. In Texas. I don't even know how to function in that kind of cold! Nevertheless, I'll be venturing out with the chickies this morning for a playdate at McDonald's, gymnastics class, and a trip to the gym for me! (Resolutions, you know...) If the girls are cooperative after that point, I'm thinking of making a Goodwill run, since it's conveniently located next to a certain chicken place that makes crazy-good waffle fries. Ahem. I mean fruit salads.

I'm hoping to get in some sewing time today, as my mind is filled with new ideas. I also have some pettiskirts to finish and need to whip up some cookies and valentine aprons for the Etsy shop. Oh yeah, and there are certain decorations that I need to put away this weekend too. Yikes!

On a completely different note... prayers are needed. I've had an opportunity present itself for a new job and I have a very tough decision to make. I am praying for guidance that I take the right path for my family and my future.

That said... I'm eyeing the brownies I made last night. Breakfast, perhaps?!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Thanks Disney!!

Okay, so my crush on Disney of Ruffles and Stuff has just become stronger because...

I won her awesome jewelry giveaway!!!

What a way to start my day... off to pick something out!

*** The wind's picking up outside, and the temperatures are dropping. It's supposed to be in the 20s this weekend, people! Perfect weather for crafting and refashioning. I think a trip to Goodwill is on my list of to-dos to see what I can find!

Monday, January 4, 2010


noc tur nal (nk-tûrnl)
1. Occurring at night.
2. Most active at night. Many animals, such as owls and bats, are nocturnal.

Right now, my oldest child is screaming and crying cause daddy just took away the last of her stuffed bedmates since she won't stay in bed, a routine we go through each and every night and one that is becoming most annoying...

"I need to go potty!"

"I need to go potty again!"

"Daddy, I want another animal!"

"Daddy, I'm scared. Give me an animal right now!"

"Daddy, I'm gonna get out of my bed!!"


Teddy Bear, the nocturnal hamster is running away on his little wheel, quiet and content as could be.

Do they make exercise wheels for four-year olds?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Stash Bustin'

My mind has been filled with ideas of refashioning things in my wardrobe, but I couldn't squeeze in enough time today to bring those ideas to fruition. Dangit. I did, however, dive into my stash of charm packs and felt scraps and whipped up one of Retro Mama's pear pincushions. Me thinks my pins are much more happy in their new home :)!
On a completely different note... my big girl reached a crazy milestone today. She has given up her beloved "silky" for - get this - a pet hamster. "Teddy Bear" is the newest member of the family - pics to follow soon for our new arrival!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Let the Wardrobe Refashioning Begin!

Before my first child was born, I decided I was going to buy an outfit to wear home from the hospital. One, of course, that was not maternity. I ended up buying a pink "lounge set" online from the Gap that looked cute and comfy. When the day came to wear that outfit home, there I was with a post-partum belly that hung over the flimsy elastic, a drawstring that had to be double-tied to stay shut, and a kangaroo pocket top that only emphasized that I'd just had a baby. Nice.
It was a learning experience for me, for sure.
Lesson number one: don't ever buy something called a "lounge set" unless you intend to do nothing but lounge in it.
Lesson number two: Maternity clothes are perfectly acceptable to wear not only home from the hospital after baby is born, but for as long as you darn please. You did have a baby, after all. Take advantage of that four-inch wide elastic waistband as long as possible!
This pair of pants was the first thing I thought of when I decided to try Disney's T-Shirt Scarf. Here they are, pre-slaughter.


And here they are after... wheee! This is my new favorite scarf! Dh's taking us all out for dinner tonight and I know exactly which pink lovely I'll have around my neck... thanks Disney for a great tutorial!

Off to go find more treasures in my closet!

We have some winners!

Congrats to aunt TT and Marina (The Mommy Homemaker) for winning the You Can Make This giveaway!

Greetings from Pettiskirt Hell

I spent my afternoon ripping out seams on what seem like miles of pink chiffon, destined one day to be a gorgeous pettiskirt. What began as this:

ended up as this, after I realized that I did a little too much gathering on the second tier of the pettiskirt. All 468 inches of it. Yeah. Just when I hit that point when I was screaming inside "WHYYY???!!! Why did I decide to make these?!"... I remembered. These two little chickies are worth all the effort, and the glee in their voices when they finally put the famous pettiskirts on will totally be worth it.
It's started out as a rather crafty little year thus far, pettiskirt disaster and all. I actually picked up my knitting needles and cast on for the first time in a very very long time. I'm using the Rowan Cashsoft that I scored on ebay to make the Kim Hargreaves sweater but after careful consideration of a pattern that uses size 1 needles, I changed my mind. I'm using a free lace pattern from Jimmy Bean's Wool. It's meant for larger needles, but I wanted to use my lovely Rosewood needles (thanks hubby) so I sacrificed size for the warmth of wood. It's knitting up nicely, and I must admit, it's rather comforting returning to my yarn and needles. It's been far too long. Looks like 2010 is off to a great handmade start...

On another note... I'm thinking of changing the blog background to something a little softer. I know I'd lose the fab MNATO look, but I'm itchin' for a change. Whaddya think??