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Handmade Christmas

2 Jan

This year I decided to make many of the gifts that we gave for Christmas. I’ve been meaning to write a post about what I made, now that Christmas has passed, but I’m struggling with the photo part of this effort.


First I made the girls Christmas dresses. The pattern is the Carla C Precious Dress, and the fabric is Tanya Whelan Darla. I also made them matching hair bows.

And then I went overboard, and made their dolls, the matching dress, sans bustle.


The girls got only handmade items from us for Christmas this year too.  They each got the sleeping bags for their dolls, a bathrobe for them and one for the dolls, and then I had my cousin make them aprons for them and their dolls.

The bathrobe is a Simplicity 5874 pattern with soft and cozy dotted minky from Joann’s.

I also made nightgowns for the girls and myself  using Grinch Flannel and the Butterick B5433 pattern, and matching PJ pants for my husband that went horribly awry and could not be worn. I thought i could sew them from memory instead of following the tutorial along like last time.  First I sewed 2 tiny legs instead of a waist, then I sewed one ginat leg and two crotch halves.  When I finally discovered that these errors were due to cutting errors not sewing, I fixed the problem, but by then the pants were too small to fit over his knees.  I sewed in panels and fixed it as best I could but in the process, the waist and crotch ended up short.  The end result was PJ pants that were obscenely tight and revealed more than a little plumbers butt.

I made my husband a log carrier, which turned out nicely, so I think it made up for the bad pants.

The kids and I made Christmas card wreaths and snowglobes for friends, family and teachers.  All of which were big hits!

It was nice to make so many things, and maybe next year, I’ll start everything sooner!


the Polkadot Chair


Wine Cork Letter

26 Nov

Having seen all of these wine cork letters on my beloved Pinterest, I added them to my list of items to give people for Christmas.  Tonight I’m giving one early! A friend of mine is being married for the second time and while they didn’t register for any gifts, I couldn’t go to their wedding celebration empty handed.

I wanted to give them something small but something that would be significant to the two of them as they start their lives together.  I thought the wine cork letter would be nice since she is taking his last name. Having the same last name really represents a couples union. It’s cheesy I know, but I love sharing my name with my husband and now with my children.  It’s something we all share.

At any rate, I got to work on the project.  First pulling up photoshop elements .  It’s the best kept secret in the world! It costs a mere $90 (as compared to the $600 full fledged photoshop) and contains all of the elements of photoshop that I need for work and play. And it’s 50% off until November 29th!!!

I opened a Legal sized document, selected a font that I liked, American Typewriter, and blew up the letter until it filled the page.  Then I printed it out and grabbed my husband’s bag o’ corks.

I laid the corks out on top of the printed letter, taking some creative license to enlarge the letter just a bit.  I glued each cork to the corks next to it, working from the top of the letter down to the bottom.

20 minutes later and my letter was complete! For reference, the letter is about 15 inches tall.


Chair Re-Do

23 Nov

I can’t believe I didn’t do this sooner!  Armed with a screw driver and a staple gun, I reupholstered my dining room and kitchen chairs today!

In between posting updates for clients, emailing clients, brainstorming contest ideas, fleshing out contest rules, and taking calls from clients.  Because that’s how I roll.

I ordered the fabric from Calico Corners.  For about $75 I got enough  indoor/outdoor (translation: I can easily clean it when my children spill food and drink) fabric to re-cover 4 kitchen chairs and 6 dining room chairs.

It was so simple to do, seriously!  First of all, 3/4 of a yard of fabric is more than enough to cover 2 chairs.

I cut my fabric into 3/4 yard increments, then cut those in half.

Next I unscrewed the base of the chair from the wooden part.

I laid the cushion upside down on top of the fabric and pulled the fabric to fit tightly around the edges, trimming the excess.

I started on the front edge of the cushion and stapled as I went.  The corners were the trickiest, but with a little pulling and folding I got a snug fit.

Then I screwed the cushions back into the wooden part of the chair.  And THAT’S IT!

Each chair took about 20 minutes from start to finish. So $75 and a little more than 3 hours later and my dining room and kitchen tables have a full makeover!!




27 Oct

The birthdays have passed, Halloween costumes are complete, my work is at a manageable level and my sewing machine is in the shop.  This is NOT GOOD for my wallet.

I have a shopping problem.  I can curtail it most of the time, it’s best if I’m busy too.  But right now there’s nothing standing between me and my shopping binges.  It’s focused on home elements right now due to my recent fascination with sewing.  And thanks to Pinterest my creative juices are working on overtime.  I’m desperate to create things and make my home new.

Yesterday’s shopping involved a trip to IKEA where I procured this rack to hang on our metal kitchen shelves.

As well as some hooks from which to hang things off of the shelves.  I’m using the shelf to hold our bread and the hooks are holding up pans, lids, and bananas.

I also found this mirror.

Which I will be painting bright pink and hanging in my dining room.  There are future plans to reupholster the chairs myself and make some wide pink and white striped curtains in an effort to make my dining room a more casual environment.  I’m taking my color palette from my love of pink and from our monogrammed china.

I also found some great frames for my children’s silhouettes.

I’m still debating whether or not to turn those black.  What do you think?

The day before, I shopped at Target and got some bright pink and grass green 8 x 10 picture frames, which I will use to frame our fabulous family photos from the beach this summer.  9 pictures in a square pattern, alternating the pink and green frames, also for the dining room.

I’m stalling the urge to shop now, by writing this blog post, because in reality, there is nothing I need, but if I leave my house now, I will go to a store and I will almost certainly, find something to buy.  For no reason.

Also, I could be cleaning my house, doing laundry, or any number of productive things to prevent the shopping, but I’m not b/c I hate all of those things with a passion.