Saturday, November 29, 2008

Giveaway: Week 1 - Winner!

The winner of the scarf from giveaway #1 is... quitecontrary1977. Congratulations!

Thanks so much to everyone who entered this week. Don't forget to check back Wednesday for giveaway #2!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Give-away: Week 1

"I think winter wear is communal. You get some gloves and a scarf from a lost-and-found box, wash them, wear them for a while until you lose them. Then somebody else does the same thing."
~Adrian Grenier

But just in case you don't like that idea, then here's a brand new hand-knotted scarf for you to enter to win!

Made of super soft wool blend yarn, this scarf makes a great accessory for an outfit or to keep you warm on those fall or spring days when you just need a little extra warmth.

Just leave a comment describing your FAVORITE accessory and you'll be entered! Everyone is welcome! I'll gladly ship anywhere in the world if you're the lucky randomly chosen entrant. Just post by midnight CST Friday 11/28 for your chance to win. Be sure to include your email address or a link back to your own blog so that I can contact you if you win! The winner will be chosen in a random drawing and announced Saturday 11/29.

I'm looking forward to reading all about your favorite accessories!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Christmas giveaways

"For centuries men have kept an appointment with Christmas. Christmas means fellowship, feasting, giving and receiving, a time of good cheer, home."
~W.J. Ronald Tucker

In the spirit of Christmas, I've decided to take on a Christmas challenge. That challenge is:


to have a giveaway every week between Christmas and Thanksgiving!

Every week, starting the week of Thanksiving (next week!) I will feature an item that you readers can enter to win. I'm going to try to make them christmas-y in some capacity - either a decoration, or something that would make a nice gift, or something that's decorated in christmas insignia, etc.

If the item is something you'd like to have or would like to give as a gift to someone else, then just leave a comment on that week's giveaway post to be entered to win!

Stay tuned, the first giveaway will be posted Monday!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Bookworm award

My friend Miss Linda of Threads of Loveliness nominated me for a bookworm award.

The rules of this award are:
-pass this on to 5 friends

-Open the closest book to you, not your favorite or most intellectual book, but the book closest to you at the moment, to page 56.
Write out the 5th sentence, as well as two to five sentences following that...

The book that is closest to me is The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger and the 5th sentence on pg 56 is:

"'You knew, you knew that was going to happen and you didn't say a word. Where is your sense of self preservation? What the hell is wrong with you? What use is it knowing the future if you can't at least protect us from humiliating little scenes-'"

And my 5 blog friends that I would like to pass this on to are:
1. (the new) Dr. K at Perpetual Entropy

2. Sue from Quilt, Sew, Sew Sue

3. Becky from Sew and So

4. Regina from The Queen Bee's Buzz

5.Caity from Caityquilter

Thanks Miss Linda!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bloggers ornament exchange

"The love of ornament creeps slowly but surely into the female heart."
~Anna Maria Hall

I received my ornament from the blogger's ornament exchange today. Check it out!

I love it! I do hope she likes what I sent her too...
**actually feeling a bit nervous about it**

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Back to the Future Wednesday

"Once again, we come to the holiday season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice."
~Dave Barry

While I too will be going to the malls this holiday season (heaven help me) to buy presents this year, I'm also making some presents as well. I don't have all the details worked out just yet, but I have a few ideas in mind. Alas, I cannot post them here at this time because the people I will be making them for may read this. But I can show you the supplies I have bought so far.

These came in the mail yesterday:

an assortment of glitter and beads from the Glass Glitter and Beads Store. They are having a fabulous 15% off sale right now with the coupon code HOLIDAZE3! Looking at that picture makes me realize I didn't really buy a very colorful assortment, but they are they colors I need (I hope) for my crafting.

Next I bought these supplies from JoAnn's and Winn Dixie tonight.

2 skeins of yarn, multi-purpose craft glue, pearly blue beads and parchment paper.

Now all of these supplies will not necessarily be used together (I bet you're thinking "thank goodness for that!") But they will all be used in some craft or another this holiday season.

*note - during the Christmas holidays this sewing blog will also feature non-sewing crafts*

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Christmas ornament exchange

"It is the beautiful bird which gets caged."
~Chinese proverb

I finished the ornaments for my bloggers ornament exchange. I used a bird pattern from spool sewing and tweaked it a bit to make three fun fabric bird ornaments.

Here's how I did it:

First I downloaded the bird pattern as mentioned from spool sewing. I knew I wanted three ornament so I chose 4 fabrics, the crazy striped one to be the belly on all of them and then one for each of the 3 bird bodies.

I cut out the two pieces from the contrasting fabrics - one bird body, on the fold, and one bird belly.

Next as per the directions on spool sewing (just want to be sure I give them their due credit), I pinned and sewed the belly, first to one side of the bird body, right sides together, then to the other. Spool sewing touts this as a good simple hand sewing project, but I went ahead and carefully and slowly used my machine and I think it turned out ok.

I will mention that always starting from the tip of the belly no matter which seam I was sewing made the intersections come out quite nicely.

Next, I inserted a piece of looped gold cord so that the loop was on the current inside of the bird (which flipped to be the outside).

I found it easier to sew if the two ends of the cord were side by side rather than on top of each other.

Then I carefully stitched the bird's head closed stitching the cord into the very back edge of the seam.

You might notice that the thread I used in this demonstration picture is red, but I found it very important to use matching thread for the real deal because I liked to stuff my birds pretty tightly which caused the stitches to show a bit.

Next, I clipped the corner of the beak and turned it right side out. With the cord on the right side it made it much easier to flip the bird right side out. I found the tip of my closed scissors worked nicely for popping the beak right side out.

I then stuffed the bird and hand stitched his tail closed. I repeated these steps three more times with the other fabrics and my fabric bird Christmas ornaments were born!

But did I stop there? Oh no! I thought they needed a bit of je ne sais quoi, so I sewed on a few beads with gold metallic thread to give them a bit of shininess and flash. They sparkle nicely in the glow of the Christmas tree now. Though, I think the simple fabric birds would be quite lovely hanging on a tree as well!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Christmas theme

"A turkey never voted for an early Christmas."
~Irish proverb

Every year, it seems, I sort of unintentionally pick a theme for Christmas. It's not really that I pick it, it just sort becomes the focus of what I like in terms of decorations, handmade gifts, etc. Last year it was snowflakes. This year it's birds. It seems that something just sort of catches my eye early on, gets associated with Christmas, and then becomes the theme. So don't be surprised if you see alot about birds on here during this holiday season. :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fabric Scraps

"People always say congratulations. When you’re a successful bidder it means you’re willing to spend more money than anyone else. I’m not sure if that’s congratulations or condolences."
~Eli Broad

For the ornament I think I've settled on for my blogger's ornament exchange I need fabric scraps (as the deadline for this project is quickly approaching). So I decided to take a chance on a fabric scrap auction on ebay. For $5, with free shipping, I'm supposed to be getting "alot of fabric" in my scrap pack. I don't really buy much from ebay and I've certainly never bought anything without seeing it. But I did look at her other auctions which included fabric and fabric crafts and it looked like pretty nice stuff, so we'll just have to wait and see how it goes. I figured for $5 it could be an interesting gamble at the very least...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Back to the Future Wednesday

"America is an enormous frosted cupcake in the middle of millions of starving people."
~Gloria Steinem

I really really really LOVE these pincushions:

by Betz White. I need to buy her book, Warm Fuzzies and make them. They're made from old sweaters which is what gives them that neat texture. The only problem is that when I moved to Florida from Reno, I decided I didn't really have any need for sweaters anymore so I gave all mine away. Sigh... That's ok though, I'm still keeping them in the back of my mind as a future project. They're just so cute and sweet!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Life moves pretty fast...

"Sweater, n.: garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly."
~Ambrose Bierce

My parents came to visit this weekend. As mentioned in an earlier post, I am making Simplicity 4193 (the skirt and jacket) for my mother as a Christmas present.

I was able to get the "muslin" skirt basted together before she arrived and we fitted it to her. She's a short lady, so I had to cut off something like 3" from the bottom to get the right length. It seems to fit pretty good now, and it's ready to be deconstructed and cut out of the fashion fabric.
She actually really liked the pink butterfly fabric on the skirt, so once I cut the new pieces out of the fashion fabric I'm also going to reconstruct the "muslin" so she'll have 2 skirts!

I wasn't able to get the jacket put together before she left but I worked on it today. Here's the "finished" skirt (still the muslin) and as far as I've gotten on the jacket.

The jacket is HUGE! There's no way it's going to fit her. I think I'm going to have to make it a few sizes smaller. They're coming back for a very brief visit on Friday because my dad has gotten us great seats to see the shuttle launch. I had intended to have the "muslin" jacket done by then, but now since I have to basically redo the whole thing, I'm not so sure that's going to happen. Now I'm torn between starting to redo it and just leaving it as is so that she can at least get an idea of what it'll be like to make sure she's happy with her choice.

We did have time this weekend, though, to make a trip to Joann's and she picked out the fashion fabric for the skirt and the jacket. Here's what she chose:

a pink silk for the skirt and a gorgeous brown silk brocade with a turquoise, pink, and white paisley/flower pattern for the jacket. There's more turquoise than pink on the brocade, so the skirt will highlight the pink in the jacket quite nicely, I think.

It's interesting, when I was working on the muslin, I had almost no motivation to work on it. It was a chore and I just couldn't get excited about it. Now that we have the fashion fabric, though, I'm really excited about working on it, even the muslin! I'm quite amazed at how just having fun fabric for a project makes such a huge difference in my excitement and motivation for that project.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Back to the Future Wednesday

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."
~John Lennon

Ok so I'm starting to run out of future project plans. :) I'm not completing them fast enough to get more added on.

Though I guess the project that is most looming that I haven't talked about yet is an ornament for the bloggers ornament exchange that I'm taking part in. I'm still in the design stage and haven't really settled on anything yet, but I have a few ideas, and have made a few prototypes.

I implore you, though, if you know of any cute handmade Christmas ornament tutorials, I'd be interested in seeing them. :)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Penguin Progress Finale (lots of pics)!

Riddle: Who's the penguins' favorite aunt?


And the winner of Floyd the Florida penguin is Wendi! Congratulations Wendi!

Answer: Aunt-arctica Christine! :D