Friday, April 30, 2010

What's to Come

I didn't have time to write up the tutorial today due to a sick kiddo :o(.  I promise I will have it ready for you on Monday.  In the mean time, here is a sneak peak of what's to come.  Like I said, it's easy sewing and uses small pieces of fabric that you never know what to do with. 

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, April 29, 2010


There are moments in life when I can't believe that I am where I am.  I am doing exactly what I always wanted to do with my life.  I get to spend all my time with my daughter.  I know that being a stay-at-home-mom is not for everyone and I get that.  It is what I was made to do though.  I love taking walks to see the ducks, spending time explaining things to Ava when she constantly asks, "What's that?" 150 times a day, coming up with things for us to make together, and singing all the silly songs that we make up about everything.  When I say everything, I really do mean everything!  I am so lucky to live the life that I live and I don't want to take that for granted. 

My husband is a HUGE reason for my happiness.  He works so I don't have to.  He misses out on so many things with Ava because he is working.  He more than makes up for it when he is home with us though.  We cram as much into the days and nights as possible when Daddy is around.  Ava loves him so much and squeals everyday when he comes through the door after work.  He takes time to explain things to her, builds forts, lets her help him with whatever he is doing, teaches her to ride her trike and wrestles and tickles whenever she wants.  What more could a little girl ask for.

I don't know what I did to deserve my life but I thank God everyday that he gave me all he did.  Life is not always perfect but I'm pretty sure this is as good as it gets!

On a side note, I have been making a bunch of useful party favors for a friend and I will share as soon as I get them all done and off to London for her.  I think they are great and easy starter projects for beginners on the ol' sewing machine. 

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sewing Success #2

I finally got out my new sewing machine and I am definitely in far.  This machine was about $50 dollars more than the last one, and it has so many more features that I know I am going to love.  It is computerized and has speed control.  Yay!!  I have NOT touched the tension dial and I don't plan on any time soon! 

Before tackling Ava's quilt again, I wanted to do another small project.  I made Ava a tank top the other night from a pattern by Heidi and Finn.  It turned out pretty good.  It is lined so it feels like a nicer end product but I also realized I want a serger :o)  There is a ruffle attached to the front.  This was the first time I attempted a ruffle.  It lays a little wonky but I still think it's pretty cute.  Next time I will know a little better how to deal with the ruffle.

One thing is for certain, it's a darn good thing that my family doesn't have to rely on me making all our clothes because I am very sssllllooooooooowwwwwww. 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tutorial: Twisted Flowers

Here are some fun flowers to whip up as pins, clips, headbands, or really anything that needs a flower!  Here's what you need:

1.  Using the felt tipped marker trace several circles on the felt.  Cut out all your circles just inside the line and set aside.  I did a lot at once just so I wouldn't have to do this over if I wanted to make more.  I found the stiff felt at Michael's right next to the normal felt. 

2.  Cut a length of ribbon, about 2 feet or so, and using a lighter seal the ends of the ribbon.  This prevents fraying later.  Tie a knot at one end of the ribbon as close to the end as possible.

3.  Hot glue the knot to the center of a felt circle.

4.  Now comes the part that takes a little practice.  Take the ribbon and start twisting.  You can twist tight or loose and get a different look with each flower.  I twist in the middle, I would say.  I twist a few inches then lay a bead of hot glue and press the twisted ribbon down.

5.  Keep twisting and glueing until you have reached the size flower that you want.  Trim extra ribbon, if you have any, and reseal the end with a lighter.  Make sure your flower is all glued down and trim excess felt from the back of the flower.  I added a strip of felt to the back of my flowers to slide onto headbands and barretts for Ava.

You can whip a bouquet of these up in a short amount of time.  Like during naptime perhaps!  I even made a few with strips of fabric, too.  Very shabby chic!  These would be so cute as pins on purses or scarves.  As with anything, the more you make the better they start to look and the less hot glue you see :o)  Happy flowering everyone!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

It's Serious Business, You Know

Blowing bubbles, that is.  Yesterday was a beautiful day in the Lou.  I had all these crafty plans but when you've been away for 4 days without doing any cleaning and seriously missing your kiddo, you clean the house as fast as you can then play outside all day.  We spent at least 2 hours outside playing with bubbles and walking on our landscaping walls yesterday.  Then we did it all again after Ava's nap.  One thing is for sure...if there was a bubble blowing contest measuring concentration, Ava would win hands down.  Check out the serious face and lips on that kid!

I have been making cute little ribbon and fabric flower pins and headbands.  I promise a tutorial soon.  As long as the weather is this nice though, it's really hard to *not* be outside.  Hope you all have a great day!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Vegas, Baby!

Our girls trip was a blast.  Relaxing and busy all at the same time.  None of us are gamblers, (I think I lost a total of $3 in the penny slots) but there was plenty for us to see and do. 

We saw almost every major hotel.

We stayed at the Paris Hotel, and it was perfect for us.  Very cute and great restaurants.  Not to mention the Eiffel Tower, too!

We ate a ton of food but ironically this was the only picture I had of all our eating.  This was a pretzel from Serendipity 3 at Ceasars Palace.  We also had the frozen hot chocolate...yum!!!

The Cirque Du Soleil show was in a word, AMAZING!!  All 4 of us agreed we would see it again.  It was unlike any show I have ever seen before.   

The Bellagio fountains were across the street and gorgeous to see especially at night.  If only George Clooney would have shown up...

Lots of art to take in...

and lots of beauty to soak up.

Each day, my mom and I hit the pool for a few hours to relax.  Great weather and people watching.  (The book I read was really good too, in case you were wondering :o)

I had a great time with Amy and our moms.  It might be something that we do every other year or so.  New York was talked about for our next trip.  I'm glad to be home and back in a routine though too.  It's good to be a mommy again.  I've got that itch to create and my new sewing machine arrived while we were gone.  I've got just the project to break it in, too.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Little Break

Taking a short break from the blog while I go on a girls' trip to Las Vegas.  See you all next week! 

I've had flowers on the brain, so I think another tutorial is coming soon :o)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Book Club: Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

I'm sure you've seen the trailers for the movie and you've probably heard of Nicholas Sparks.  So without further ado, our book club thought the book was...meh.  As reviews go, there's not much for me to say.

Was it a bad book?  No. 
Was it an easy read? Yes. 
Was it a page turner?  No. 
Was it a sappy love story?  Yes.
Did it give us much to talk about at book club last night?  No. 
Did we still have plenty to talk about at book club other
than that book?  You bet!

I don't know why I didn't join a book club years ago.  We have such an eclectic group of women and the conversation is never dull.  What we realized is just how many of us have read wonderful books that no one else in the group has heard of.  We voted on our next 2 books: House Rules by Jodi Picoult followed by The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.  We decided that after reading those 2 we are going to let each woman in the group take a month and recommend the book for that month.  The thinking is that we will all branch out of our norms and try reading some of these authors that we never would have tried on our own.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Post Nap Rituals

Our daily post nap rituals include Simon trying to jump over my clever pillow barricade, apples for everyone, and running and hiding from each other with squeals of laughter from Ava.  I think if rabbits could laugh, we would hear Simon giggling right along with Ava.  She loves her furry little buddy so much!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sew Much for That

For Christmas, my dad bought me this little guy from Target.  It's a Brother XL-3750.  I didn't open it until February and a piece of the bobbin threader was broken so I exchanged it for the same machine.  I made Ava a pillow case dress, and I was loving my machine.  I then started Ava's quilt.  I pieced the quilt together, made my quilt sandwich and then attempted to free motion quilt it.
That's when I ran into trouble.   

The tension was messed up and I thought I fixed it.  I was getting into a real rhythm and was about 1/3 of the way finished with the quilting when I ran out of bobbin thread.  I put in a new one and the tension was HORRIBLE.  I read the manual thoroughly, several times and still kept getting loops of thread on the bottom of my fabric.   I put my bobbin in several times following the manual to a T.  I adjusted the tension all the way up and all the way down and I was getting the same results...huge loops of fabric on the bottom.  The tension wasn't changing at all.  UGH!!  I decided to exchange it for another machine.  The exact same machine.  Target didn't have any more and they were discounted to $35 bucks so I returned it then and there.  My dad had given me the original receipt, so they gave me the full price for it. 

After reading several reviews, I ordered this machine, a Brother CS6000I.  I'm patiently waiting for it and praying that it will work like a dream as all the reviews say.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Lemony Goodness

Lemon Still from KristineNoel Photography

Silkscreened Seaweed Tote from Willywaw

Lemon Sugar Cookie Soap from Anderson Soap Company
I just got this in the mail and it smells amazing!!

Yellow Flower Beanie from Nuxie Made
Ava has one of her hats and every time she wears it people want
to know where I got it.  Best hat ever!

I've been in a bit of a mood lately and for no good reason.  We had a great day at the zoo today which was a last minute trip on a gorgeous day.  We had an amazing Easter weekend.  I have a trip to Vegas next week with my BFF and our moms, so I should be on cloud nine...but I'm not.  I guess that's just part of being a girl....hmmmpf!  Anyway, browsing Etsy always makes me feel better, so I went to their search tool and typed in lemon.  Can you believe all the cheerful things I found.  Yay, Etsy, you made my day a little brighter!

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Blessed Easter

We had a fun-filled, busy weekend with all our family.  Lots of family, egg hunting, eating, and giggling by all the little girls.  I'm still recovering from all the fun so I hope these pictures will do until I can start making complete sentences again!  Hope you and your families had a great Easter too.