Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Since Saturday, I've heard. "Phew, it's over.  Finally!" about a million times.  When you work retail, that is to be expected.  However, I have a confession.... unlike everyone else working in this field, I actually love the holiday season!  Strange, I know.

This year it was great, we actually put up lights and decorated a tree! Almost picture perfect, except for the whole snow thing.  Not one flake 'round these parts, I wish.  Just plenty of rain.

If I could say one thing about our tree this year, it has "us" written all over it.
Yay for Tree-Bots!
Yes, that is a real pine cone on our tree!  How cute is that?!  We were lucky enough to find two of those little guys on the tree once we brought it in.  As for the pickle, I've heard some debate as to whether or not it's really a German tradition.  Oh well, even if it isn't, I still love pickles.  So why not one for the tree?

Christmas included wearing PJs (Jammers around here), Scrabble, cuddles, football, movies and tasty beverages all day.  We exchanged awesome gifts and basically took advantage of a quiet day together.  A rarity.  I hit the jackpot with my presents, lots of cute things to share with you.  And lots of supplies to make cute things to share.  Oh, my babycakes knows me so well.

At the moment, I'm taking a break from crafting to enjoy a cup of coffee...Santa brought the house a Grind n' Brew.  Yum!  

I hope that you enjoyed a lovely holiday with the ones you love.  Wishing you many more in the future.  I also hope you are having a craftastic day.  See you soon!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

My 1st Caturday!

Have I mentioned that I just love Becky of Becky's B-Thrifty Blog.  Becky is a sweet, stitchin' lady who just so happens to be a teacher!  (Anyone who is a teacher has a special place in my heart!)  She's also in love with the same things as me- kitties, thrifting, embroidery, old TV, Elvis...should I keep going?  Anyhoo, she's wonderful and has the sweetest feature on her blog, Caturday!  Isn't that cute?  I thought so, which means I'm totally going to have a few Caturdays around these parts.  I figured with three cats, I'll have plenty of material.  A big thanks to sweet Becky, for the inspiration!

Everyone likes pictures of cats, right?
Oh...you don't?  
Sorry!  You'll probably want to avoid my blog for the next few Saturdays Caturdays!

Hmmmmmm, what to share??  As my first Caturday, I should probably kick it off with the OGK, (Original Gangster Kitty) Mama Sass.

It all started with her. A crazy lioness of a cat.

The guy was pretty anti-cat for a long time.  Understandably so, after several bad experiences with an old roommate and her kitty.  However, after getting the big guy, Tequila (Yes, we're aware of the female emphasis there.  It's a long story, for another time.) he warmed up to the idea.  One night a co-worker called to tell me she was bringing over a stray kitten.  However, she  arrived with a "teenage" adult kitty who was promptly scared away by the dogs in the house.  Eventually she came back and we became one big happy family- Dillon, Jackson, Tequila and Mama Sass.  We were surprised, but not the least bit upset, when this skinny-minny gave us 5 kittens!!! (That, too, is another story entirely!)

Sadly, after having her litter and being fixed, she changed quite bit.  When the babies we kept were old enough to be developing their own personalities and exploring their space, she became very hostile towards them.  She fought them all of the time and eventually ran away.  We put up posters and checked every shelter around for months, however we never saw her again.   After seeking some advice we found that this was pretty common with feral cats who become domesticated for a short period of time.

I was still pretty devastated.  Having grown up in NY, I didn't even know what a feral cat was until Sass came along.  With the weather being so temperate here, most people let their cats out all year-round.  I'm still torn on the subject.  (It's been the topic of many a heated discussion 'round these parts.)

After she left I felt so guilty, however, I'm convinced that she only moved a few blocks away.  There is a huge college that maintains a colony of feral cats (with controlled breeding and health-care, of course.)  There is one that looks just like Sass.  She has yet to approach when I call, so I mainly look crazy, but I'm used to that.  I still think it's her.  I also still miss her terribly.  Maybe it's wishful thinking but I still hope that it's her.  And that maybe she cruises by here every once and a while, just to see how her babies are doing.  You never know, crazier things have happened.

So, yeah.  That's Mama Sass, our first kitty.  She's a beauty, no?

Thanks for tuning into my first Caturday!  I'll be back very soon with more fun stuff.  Having missed you guys so much lately, I'm trying to make up for lost time. See you soon.  Have a craftastic day!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Hey, guys!  Long time, no see.  I've missed you.  The days are flying by in the form of one big blur, too fast for my liking.  Before I know it, it'll be 2011.  Isn't that just plain crazy?  I need to hurry up and get caught up with 2010 projects to share with you.  A fresh slate sounds nice, wouldn't you agree?

A while back a friend of mine mentioned that he would be turning a room in his house into a wine bar.  I mean, we are in "Wine Country", after all.  So, after a little brainstorming, I made him something to contribute to the decor.

Don't mind the terrible photos...I swear, I wasn't partaking in any Vino at the time!

It's simple enough, but I'm new to this whole piecing thing, so I was quite pleased with it.  Hope he is too.  

Hmmmm, un bicchieri de vino does sound mighty good but it'll have to wait.  We're supposed to get our Christmas Tree tonight! Yay- should be lots of fun.  The guys put up the lights outside last night and they look great.  Hopefully by next time I check in, it'll be nice and festive around here.

Monday, November 29, 2010


 Howdy, folks!  Been a while, eh?  I've been a busy gal...working my buns off.  I'm working two jobs, so hopefully I'll be all caught upon expenses soon.  And you know what that means?  Craft store, here I come! Ha, actually I don't really need anything, but it's nice to know I can get it if I do need something.

I noticed something, even though I have the hobbies of an old lady and I'm often told I'm "mature" for my age, I still have my moments of childish behavior.  I have proof.

Given the choice, I will always go with the cartoon bandages.

 I still buy crayons.

I stashed the last Hershey's Bar, from Halloween, away in my crafting area.  For a moment of frustration, I suppose.  I'm happy to report it's still there.

So, yeah.  I guess no matter how old I am, part of me never seems to grow up.

P.S.  Need more proof?  I still shop for coloring books.  I want this one sooo bad!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sewing Case Tutorial!

The little case I showed you guys last time is pretty easy to make, so now I'll show you how!  Oh, and I'll just go ahead and apologize right now for the terrible photos.  I'm not sure if my photography skills have improved in the last few months or it's the new camera we recently acquired, either way these shots aren't so hot.

Materials you'll need:
* Plastic container- this can really be any type of container.  Even the clear deli take-out kind will work, (although I have a different method for that kind, I'll share with you later.) you just have to be more conscious of your jump stitches.
*Embroidery Patterns-  I used Sublime Stitching's Dress Up patterns. I also used a photocopy since I would be chopping it up and writing on it.

*Embroidery Floss and normal stitching stuff like needles- Duh, you already knew that!

*Drill- with a 1/16 drill bit (teeny tiny!)

* Tape- for your pattern and reinforcing your container if it's on the flimsy side.



Optional Stuff:

*Rotary Tool- Sandpaper will probably work just as well.

*Transfer Paper

*Felt (with hot glue)

*Scrapbook Paper (with glue stick)

Let's get started!
I wrapped the whole jar with masking tape to reinforce it while I was drilling.  I wasn't sure if the plastic would take it well.  It was probably unnecessary, however, it also helped with the transfer method so it wasn't a total bust.  I also taped my lid down so it was more secure when drilling. 

To transfer the pattern I used a scrap of Saral Transfer Paper.  (Most of my fellow stitchers know how much I love this stuff.  I carry on about it in our forums all of the time!)  I tape the pattern onto it and traced it with a ballpoint pen.  Easy Peasy.

*Tip- If you have a particularly sturdy container or lack transfer paper, you can probably just tape your pattern to the jar and drill right through it.  I just like to plot out my holes first.  You'll see.... 

Okay, so at this point I plotted out where the hole for each stitch would go.  I find this part helpful so that I can make sure that two holes aren't to close together.  (Notice how I crossed one out?)  Plus, I would probably just start drilling, willy-nilly, that usually doesn't end well around here.

 Notice on this one, I had to adapt the pattern a wee bit based on what the plastic would allow.  Keep that in mind when you're plotting out your stitches.

Now it's time to drill, baby, drill.  (Ewwww, did I just quote Sarah Palin?  Gross.  I'm sorry, it won't happen again.)  I didn't take a picture of this step, but I think you can handle it ;)  Just be sure to be safe- wear those silly looking goggles!  Also, hold the container securely, taking special notice to the placement of your fingers so you don't drill yourself.  You want those fingers to be ready for stitching in just a few minutes.

Here's where the rotary tool comes in.  On the inside, where the holes are, there were lots of little plastic burrs.  I sanded them down with the rotary tool so that it wouldn't snag my floss.
  *Tip- if your container is completely clear or you don't have a rotary tool, snip the burrs as close as possible with sharp, pointy scissors.  I don't think the snags will actually cut your floss, just makes it irritating.

 Since my container was frosted, my sand marks on the inside were visible.  So I did the outside too.  It's most evident in this photo.

Now, stitch!  I used all six strands of floss for the designs and just knotted it at the end.  When it was time to finish off a color or design, I simply ran the needle with floss back through a few existing stitches on the inside.  Since I was using the back stitch there is enough floss in the back side to keep it nice and secure.

 As for the optional stuff, it's really just to gussy it up.  I added beads to some of the designs.

To cover the stitches, I added felt and scrapbook paper.  

For the paper, I just made 2 tubes, one with the design on the inside.  The other with the design on the outside.  (The outer one is so there is a pinkish tone showing through the frosted plastic.  It looked better with the sanding.)  I put one inside the other, squished it up and let it open back up once it was in the jar.  Since I didn't glue the paper into the jar itself, since the glue would have shown on the sides, I added a circle of felt at the bottom.  This keeps the paper from moving around too much.

That's it!  Lots of little steps, but pretty easy.  I hope that this tutorial is clear, if not, please let me know.  Don't hesitate to ask me questions, I don't mind at all.  

So now that you know the secrets, I hope that you can find even more stuff to stitch around your house.  This ability is especially helpful when you're broke...trust me.   If you make something with the tips I've shared, I'd love to see.  Crafty geeks....unite!

Enjoy a craftastic day!  And don't forget to recycle :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Upcycled Sewing Case

Hey there, guys!  Remember the other day when I said I was at least a month behind with sharing projects with you?  Well, holy smokes, I just found something from all the way back in June!  Shameful.  Well, despite being little bit behind the times, I think that you will like this project.  A little bit of everything went into it- stitching, upcycling, felt, pretty paper, beads, power tools!  Fun all around.

You guys know that I love to recycle.  So when I find a product that I like and it also has nice, sturdy packaging, it's like a bonus!  Silly, I know, but something has to excite me.  (Fun Fact:  I hoard glass jars...it's true.)  Over the summer, before we went camping, I decided I need a little something to store my embroidery projects in.  I whipped up a little case made from the packaging of face wash wipes.

 It's pretty big too, considering the jar was excessively large for the product.  (Sorry, Aveeno, it's true.  I love you, but you went overboard on this one.)  Which is one of the main reasons I decided to reuse it instead of just tossing it in the recycling.

The inside of the lid and jar.  That had to be pretty too!

Want to see more photos of it?

You'll noticed I used a set of Sublime Stitching patterns and of course, metallic floss.  (I'm an addict.)  It's certainly not my prettiest stitching but I'm happy with it.  And I think Mother Earth would be too.  
What do you think? If anyone is interested I can throw together a tutorial.  Just let me know.  Hope you are having a craftastic day!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Remember What's Important...

Every once in a while, I get into a funk.  Everything turns into, "I hate this...and I hate that..." I have to stop and reevaluate what's really important.  And I realize I'm just being silly.
A little girl that used to live across the street drew this on the sidewalk this summer.  I got to see it on my daily jaunt over to the big, blue mailbox on the corner.  For some reason, it's really stuck with me.  I think I'm going to get one printed so that I can hang it somewhere as a daily reminder. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Day Off

I'm kind of a boring person but I'm ok with it.  On my day's off I rarely have big plans unless my guy has the day off too.  However, this time of year his Sunday's are spend cuddled with the pup, watching football.  And since I have a funky schedule too, I've just been doing my own thing lately.

My day off tends to revolve around drinking warm beverages from cheesy cups.  (Occasionally, obliging when said cup is branded with the Kahlua logo.)

Later I eat lots of yummy soup.  With TONS of fresh cracked pepper.  I'm a soup junkie.

I'll also do some cleaning, some stitching, and some dog walking.  Perhaps take in a bit of guilty pleasure television.

And if I'm lucky, I'll be doing all of this while wearing my favorite sweater.  My Freddy Krueger sweater!!  The only picture I have is terrible, want to see it?!  I think Dillon must have yelled, "Jackson!" right before he snapped this one.  I seem to look a bit confused.
(Oh yeah, and this was last year.  I've already mentioned our tragic lack of pumpkins this season.) 
I pulled my trusty, old Freddy sweater out for the first time this season, despite the fact it's pretty nice outside.  It's November, it should be sweater time.

So, I guess what I'm trying to say, is I'm a creature of habit.  If I was an old wiseguy, I'd be easy to whack.

How about you?  Are you a homebody or always on the go on your day's off?  Whether you're out and about or cozy at home, I hope that your day is craftastic!

Monday, November 1, 2010

I love the Candyman!

So, want to hear about my super uneventful Halloween?  I bet you do!  After work I was determined to have a scary movie marathon under a blankie on the couch.  However, the guy was writing a paper in the living room.  So rather than sit there and bug him, I decided to catch up on house stuff.  Yep, I'm the boring person who got to celebrate by scrubbing my bathroom and doing the dishes.  We suck, we didn't even carve pumpkins this year.  I was so bummed about that.

One thing that did cheer me up about my less than festive holiday?  I could enjoy a fat free trick or treat bag!   I won this sweet little prize on Kym's blog.
Isn't it cute?  And guess what?! It fits in the palm of my hand.  You guys know my love of tiny things.  

Good thing that's fat free, because this certainly isn't-
 We are left with a ridiculous amount of candy because we didn't even get one trick-or-treater.  (Well, one but since she was a friend of ours who's in her 30s, that doesn't really count.)  I just think that is crazy!  It's not like we live out in the cuts, we have the corner house in a family neighborhood.  Weird, I think.

And just because I have this song in my head all of the time.  Especially when I think of candy.


I hope that you had enjoyed a fun, safe holiday!  Did you dress up or do anything fun?  Manage to catch the premier of The Walking Dead?  I caught a few minutes here and there, but not enough of it to register some sort of opinion.  Hoping to see the whole thing soon.

Have a craftastic evening!  Until next time, my lovelies...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Where to start?!

Wow!  Time flies when you're...being productive.  Bet you thought I was going to say having fun didn't you?  Well, I'm doing that too!!

I've spent the last couple of weeks getting settled into my new job.  I really must say, I love it.  I get to work behind the scenes at one of my favorite stores!  Yay.  It's the fun, busy environment of retail mashed up with an office job.  Basically, perfect.  And it's almost like a reunion of sorts, I worked for this company before, years ago.  And now that I'm back, I get to work with some of the nicest people that I encountered the first time around.  It's great!

I am most definitely a note-taker, especially when learning something new.  So I whipped up a little notebook to jot down all the important info I need to keep track of at work.  Given my fashion forward new employer, my Project Runway fabric was the natural choice.  (Yes, I love me some Project Runway...But I assure you, it's the only thing I watch on Lifetime.)
 I used a piece of fabric slightly larger than the book when it was wrapped around it in a closed state. I coated the backside of the fabric with spray adhesive and placed it on the book.  The spray adhesive is nice because then you can just wrap the edges of the fabric around to the inside of the cover.  It sticks!  If you snip a bit in the corner areas it's easier to fold and less bulky.

I traced the shape of the cover onto some colored card stock and glued it on the inside to cover the edges of the fabric.  I also added a bit of ribbon, you know, just for fun.

Before I added the card stock to the back cover, I glued in a bit of elastic between the red piece and the original cover.  It stretches around to keep the front closed or can be flipped onto the back cover when not in use, make sense?  I used a headband that I had lying around.  (I've developed a bad habit of picking out the little contrasting stitches, as evidenced in the above photo.  Hmmm, how long will they last?)

And because I absolutely LOVE Tim Gunn, I had to get this part of the fabric on there somewhere.  Make it work, designers. 
So, are you a note-taker too?

I'll be back later with more stuff to show you.  I'm easily a month behind on sharing projects with you.  Isn't that terrible?!  Oh well, that just means lots of great stuff coming your way.

P.S.  I noticed a few new followers since I last checked in.  Hello!!  Welcome and thanks for reading.  Remember, questions, comments and rude remarks are always welcome :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Find Your Floss Bunnies a Home!

A big thanks to everyone who commented on the last post, I love craft talk.  Yep, I'm a big nerd.  

It seems like some things are universal.  Such as walking around with random bits of floss stuck on you.  Or the compulsion to store pins and needles anywhere but a pincushion, preferably articles of clothing.  And let's not forget the floss bunnies.  Those little bits of floss that seem to sneak off into the corners and under furniture...and seem to multiply on their own.

Becky brought up a very good point, that those little guys are dangerous!  If an animal is to get a hold of one of those little floss bunnies and eat it, they could end up seriously ill.  Embroidery floss is not friendly on an animal's digestive system.  Her poor kitty required surgery to correct the problem.  So in addition to being neat and tidy, it's a good idea to pick up those flossy bits for our furry friends.  Safety first, people!

I know lots of people have thread catchers in their sewing areas or placed over the arm of a couch.  These are great since they also have the pin cushions right on top.  Someday I'll make one for my sewing machine, Ol' Bessie.  However, until then I'm perfectly happy with my current arrangement.  

A glass jar. 
It doesn't take up much space on the desk and I can easily take it from room to room.

Plus, it's nice to look at and changes with each new project.
 It's also good for those times when I just need a little bit of a color.  Or when I'm sewing something that will be turned inside out and you won't even see it.  Since I don't need to worry about keeping track of a floss #, I can just grab a bit from there.  Saves time and resources.

How do you keep your floss bunny population from getting out of control?

p.s.  Sometimes when I'm making tiny stuffies or puffy applique, I use the leftovers from this jar as stuffing.  I just weed out the really longs ones that are still good for stitching and stuff the rest.  It makes me happy to think about colorful guts!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Seemed like a good idea at the time...

I found this embroidery needle stuck in a little planner that I use sometimes.  I tend to find needles and pins in all sorts of my stuff.  I never want to leave them around for animals (or bare feet) to find, so I stick them in my stuff.  Like papers, or my shirt or my pants.  Our couch is leather, so luckily, I've gotten out of the habit of putting them in the couch ;)

This is one reason why I love listening to Stitching 'n' Junk.  I can always relate to the silly stitching stories- like random floss sticking to you in public or stitching yourself to your project.  

What silly stitching habit do you have??

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Bag Bag

Like I mentioned in the last post, I've got a ton of happy mail lately.  Getting the mail really is one of the best parts of the day.

I won a giveaway on Cynthia's blog, The Sewing Dork.  
Check out the cute handmade bag she sent me-
It's a bag of bags!!  And it's huge, great for me since I tend to haul around a lot of stuff.  I can't wait until Spring rolls around again so I can bust this out.  It's so bright and cheery!

And inside was a whole bunch of fabric!
She said that she was just including some scraps, but let me tell you, she was very generous.  Some of these "scraps" were bigger than fat quarters!  So many cute prints too.... I'm already brewing up tons of ideas to use them for.

A BIG thanks to Cynthia!!

Be sure to visit her blog, she makes tons of great stuff.  And posts tutorials for them, too.  Right now she has the "Sew What Holiday Challenge" going on.  It's already a week in, but I'm still thinking of playing along.  Anyone else want to join in?

Well, it's time to enjoy a bit of South Park and eat breakfast for dinner (the best!!!!)  Despite the fact that getting appliances as gifts used to irk me, I LOVE the waffle iron the boy bought me.  It creates such yum for my tum.

See you guys tomorrow!!

I love Strumpets Crumpets!!

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this or not, but I <3 Strumpet's Crumpets!
I see you!
(Click on the photo for the source, Becky's Flickr!)

Becky has the cutest blog!   It's jam packed with crafty goodness, plus pictures of her sweet little dog, Mickey.  What's not to love?!  Please, go check out her blog!  From embroideries to afghans, paper crafts to aprons, she really does it all.  And fabulously, I must say.

I mean, just look at these invites.  Printing black on black...genius.
2010 Halloween Farley Family Function Invites
(Click on the photo for the source, Becky's Flickr)

Remember a few weeks ago, I mentioned her crafting supplies swap?  Well, so far it's been a raging success for me.  I was able to send some supplies to loving homes where they will come to good use.  I'm sure that I will be able to come up with lots more to giveaway when I deep clean the crafty closet.

And Miss Strumpet's Crumpets herself sent me a whole pile of wonderful!  Thanks, Becky!
Yay!  Business cards!  Exactly the kind I was planning on buying, since I'm making my own.  I love it when things work out that way.  Now for a little stamp carving.

A few days later, I found another little surprise in my mailbox.
What a sweetie!  And with perfect timing, how did she know that I needed all of these bookmarks?

I had just gone on a library binge the day before.
 Again, just funny how things work out.  Don't you think?

Well, off to craft a bit.  And clean a bit- meh.  Having a job again is making me super conscious of time, so I'm cramming in as much as possible.  Yay, for super productive days! 

I'll be back later today though.  I have lots of happy mail to share with you, I've been such a lucky girl lately.  Hope you are having a super productive day too!  See you soon.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Bluework Quilt Square

Little 5x5 squares stitched up for the "Bluework Quilt Square" Swap.  Bluework....one word?  Two?  Please, enlighten me.

I made this little gal.  The pattern is from Sublime Stitching.
I'm not sure if it's really Bluework since I added the crayon tinting, but my partner liked it so that's all that matters.  Right?

My partner, Courtney, made this tea themed square.  (Also with Sublime Stitching patterns.)  Courtney and I also did a private swap on swap-bot, so you'll be seeing more of her work shortly.
Perfect for a little tea wallet, wouldn't you say?  I'll have to whip one up for my bag when I'm at work, I've been on such a Chai kick lately.

Bye for now!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Robot Round-Up!

Everyone knows that I have a special place in my heart for Robots.... I mean, I wouldn't have one tattooed on me if I didn't really, really love 'em right?  Well, I've been lucky enough to receive 2 robot related crafty things in swaps lately.

Thanks to the ladies who asked me about the "Embroidery in Yellow" swap, I totally forgot to share with you... I received this piece from Ozduchess.  It's hard to tell from the picture, but she stitched it onto printed fabric.  I love it when people do that!

Next up, the sweetest little robot sewing accessory from Shainyeo in the "Sublime Stitching Embroidery" Swap.  It's so perfect for me, you have no idea!  Perhaps she was stalking me a bit because she really nailed my style.

She was even kind enough to include a little hoop and some needles.  What a sweetie!

I decided it wouldn't be a "Round-Up" with only two things so I'm throwing in this oldie but goodie.
Atop the fridge is where we keep some of our robot army...and kitty treats.  (Please excuse the water damage.  Thankfully, that has since been fixed!)  Boris likes to try to help himself to treats and catnip.  Notice he's passing up the soft ones and headed straight for the dual-flavored crunchy ones.  Our cats are spoiled and they each know exactly what they want.  

Oh, guess what?!  When I was looking for robot photos I came across some Boris and Natasha baby photos.  It has been exactly 1 year, to the day, since we got them! What a crazy coincidence, no?  I sense a kitty post coming on :)

Hope you are enjoying a craftastic day!