Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas to everyone - I hope that you had a wonderful time with your family and friends and that your days were merry and bright ;o)

I made it under the wire with my handcrafted Christmas - well about 99%   I had my mom's casserole carrier complete and just needed to add the velcro - the last step, and one of the easiest... but where oh where did the velcro go???  Don't you hate that, when you have something in your hand one day -set it aside for later - and when later comes you can't find it!!!  Gah - I seriously need a better system of organization, or some kind of system of organization.  You neat and clean crafter/sewers would cringe to see my sewing space.  I work in a system of piles.  This pile is fabrics I may want to use soon, that pile is projects in some form of assembly, and those ten piles over there are my 'stash' -hahahah.  And then it isn't exactly cordoned off from the kids, so my husband is constantly trying to 'help' me by moving sharp and dangerous items out of their reach - which creates the daily 'where is my seam ripper' hunt.

But out of my chaos comes beauty - both in sewing and life I think.

So anyway, my mom returned her almost completed present (which I did wrap and give to her) with some velcro from her -much more organized- stash, so that I can finish it tonight.

I'm also starting the final details and finishing touches of look one for PR&P today.  I can't wait to share my finished projects with you all - and the stories of how they came to be (yeah there is a reason that I have been in a daily hunt for the seam ripper ;op).

The New Year is right around the corner and I think 2013 has great things in store!!!  

4 of the 7 sets of PJ's that were gifts this year - not a great pic, but the winter kiddos all have matching pants and the 3 boy cousins got t-shirts with an appliqued polar bear from the pants fabric. *Yep - the photographer didn't remember to take any of her 4 cameras to Christmas, so photo credit goes to
Uncle Art ;op 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Light at the end of the tunnel...

So when I set out to do a handcrafted Christmas, I think I seriously underestimated how much time it would take to accomplish.  Maybe next year I'll start in July - or go the 'skipping Christmas' route.
Luckily the boxes for my brother and sister's families are in the mail and slated to arrive on Christmas Eve.
I have sewn 9 pairs of PJ pants and finished coordinating T's for most of them.  Along with many other projects.
I also had no idea when I set out on the project that I would audition (let alone MAKE IT) for Project Run and Play.  My brain feels fractured in these last days leading up to Christmas - trying to finish the final gifts while designing and testing outfits for the competition.
Layer onto that a wedding last weekend that I am committed to finish editing this weekend, and a family photo session on Sunday, and then another wedding on the 29th that I need to do final prep for.  Oh yeah - and there is Christmas in there somewhere too.
We are staying home this year which helps.  And I can't wait to see my inlaws when they arrive and share food, laughter, and new memories.

Now if only someone could find the missing parts of my brain for me - I would be ever so grateful!!!

Merry Christmas to ALL!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Guest Post: So You Think You're Crafty

I almost forgot that today I am guest posting over at SYTYC!!!!  AND I AM SO EXCITED.
I'm sharing a great gift idea for all the little girls in your life along with a pattern for these awesome bows!!!

Friday, December 7, 2012


I can't believe it, but I made it into the top five of auditionees for Project Run and Play!!!!!

I'd love for you to vote for ME, but everyone is super talented, so just go vote!!!!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Puttin' On the Ritz...

Wohoooo - I made it to the top 5!!!  Help me get on Project Run&Play by voting 
(voting closes Sunday)

So, most of you probably saw my original post for my JCREW knock off dress last week over and Elegance and Elephants (if not, go check it out - there is a full tutorial for making your own, if you dare ;op)  And you may have noticed that there was a lack of pictures of baby girl IN said dress.  Well, every dress needs the perfect accessories - the accouterments/bling/shall we say 'FROSTing' (name that movie!) that make an outfit perfect.  And I was just slack on putting together the finishing pieces after finishing the garment itself.
Here is the knock off comparison:


I knew all along that I wanted some kind of sash and every girl needs something in her hair!

The sash is just this great sparkly black ribbon tied in a big bow - I didn't want it to take anything away from the dress itself.  And the Headband is an extra  ruffle gathered into a rosette with a button jewel sewn into the center with silver thread.  The rosette is sewn onto one of those great elastic headbands you can find in a 6-10 pack at the $1 store.  Easy peasy.

I am absolutely in love with the finished look - so thank you Leslie, for asking me to be a Bridesmaid in your wedding 7 years ago, so that this dress could someday come to be!!!
(*Oh yeah, everything is upcycled - except the ribbon sash and elastic band for the hair piece)

I am so excited (read nervous) to be entering this ensemble into the Audition pool for Project Run & Play.  If I learned anything by sewing along last season, it is that there is no shortage of talented women in the world sewing for their 'littles'.

And here is baby girl (who I think, just maybe, enjoys all the modeling her mama forces her to do):

what says 'Christmas dress' better than hanging it in a fir tree?

Thanks for stopping by - I hope you like what you see ;o)

Smitten with Pattern Testing

I had my first opportunity to test a new pattern this past week for Seamingly Smitten.  They create cute patterns that even a beginner can sew (although there are often options that allow you to use your creativity in color and style).  The directions are clearly written and easy to follow.

I tested the comPLEATly perfect peasant dress.  I will admit that peasant dresses aren't my usual go-to style, but I just fell in love with the pleats in this dress.  I also made the matching headband (only to discover after the fact that my ingenious creation already has a tutorial over at Craftiness is Not Optional - well, great minds and all ....there are a few differences in how I made mine, but her tutorial is great if you want to make your own).

One of the things I enjoy about the Seamingly Smitten patterns I have seen so far is that there aren't a ton of pages to print.  Shaped pieces (like the bodice) are printed, but the pleated ruffle and sleeves are made using measurements explained in the directions.  The simplicity of this system is awesome and accommodates their design styles very well. (and gives me fewer pieces to store and misplace)

If you and thinking about starting to sew, I would highly suggest these patterns as a place to start.  Jennifer has done an outstanding job making sure all areas of her patterns are tested and re-tested so that you wont get confused.  She is also happy to answer you might have if you run into a problem with one of her patterns.

I have two more patterns that I can't wait to finish and share... and since Seamingly Smitten is producing new patterns at a fairly rapid rate, I'm sure I'll have even more in the future!

Here's baby girl in what Dada calls her 'Angel' dress:

 Look at those pleats!!!  The dress is actually meant to hit below the knee and will be fixed in the released pattern.  I'm still going back and forth over whether or not I will shorten this one - it would probably get more use shortened ;op

I think this little angel loves her dada!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Magic Monday: When numbers are more than numbers

Yep, this downer post is all about weight... if you are looking for a craft, sewing project, or happy/cute/crazy story about my kiddos; feel free to come back later in the week.

I know that I am not the only woman who struggles with weight, body image, or post baby clothing size issues - I am one of millions.  I have never been a small girl, I've always been curvy.  At my smallest, leading up to my wedding, I was a size 8 - I hadn't been that small since middle school.  An 8 on my frame looks pretty dang good if I do say so myself.  Sadly I didn't stay an 8 very long.

Stressful jobs, starting my own company, & not having that goal of fitting into a dream dress all led to inconsistent eating and working out and a gain of about 15 lbs over 3years.  Add to that coming off birth control and dealing with infertility and you can add another 10 lbs.  So we can just say I wasn't at a happy weight when I finally got pregnant with my twins, but who cared - I was finally pregnant!  I lost the baby weight easily after the boys - but gained a ravenous appetite.  An appetite that didn't really go away when I miraculously/unexpectedly found myself pregnant with baby girl.  I gained more while pregnant with her than I had while carrying twins!

I gained about 30lbs in that pregnancy - which isn't bad, but not great when you weren't at a healthy weight to start with.  At about 3 months postpartum  I had lost about 25 lbs... wohooo only five to go!  But remember that appetite I mentioned???  Well it was there and increasing with a vengeance.  I wasn't getting any sleep and I didn't have time (or the desire) to eat anything healthy with three babies underfoot, so I went to sugar, carbs, and caffeine to stay awake and functioning.  In three months I gained back 10 lbs that I had lost.

So here I sit, 15 lbs above my pre-pregnancy weight - which we can already see is 25 lbs above my wedding weight  and a number shows up on the scale that I haven't seen since I was in college.  I depressingly large number that pushes me to the bottom of a pool of guilt, shame, anger, and hopelessness.  I have fought and swum to the top of this pool before, but I know exactly how hard that fight is.

And we can all say: 'But weight is just a number' or 'What matters is how you feel inside' or 'At least my husband still loves me'.  But the truth is, I don't feel good inside - and that reflects into every aspect of my life.

A month ago (when I stepped on the scale and saw that number) hubs and I made the decision to join the Y.  I know from past endeavors that I can't loose weight without adding exercise to my routine.  So I started working out, I would run on the elliptical, stretch, and do some crunches.  Pick up my babies from the free child care, drive home, and sit down and eat a large bowl of ice cream.  You can see how this would be problematic.

It isn't that I don't know how to eat right, or what to eat and what to stay away from - it is just that I was/am constantly hungry.  I never feel full or even satisfied.  I had an eye opening experience a week ago at my bridal conference.  There were sandwiches for the vendors to eat and everyone kept commenting on how HUGE they were, and how they couldn't finish one.  When I finally got a break to grab something to eat, I polished off a sandwich and could have easily eaten two and still been looking for something sweet to finish it off with.  While perusing pinterst the next day I stumbled upon an article about B.E.D (binge eating disorder).  I fit - every possible marker could have been traced in me that day.  It wasn't that I sometimes wanted dessert or could occasionally eat a large amount, it was that I could sit down and eat an entire box of crackers and not realize it was gone EVERY DAY - and after those crackers I would still be looking for something else to eat. Something in that moment clicked - my brain and body were not connecting on this whole food thing and it was time for a change.

I'm the kind of person who needs rules and fairly strict directions, so I decided to go back to a place I have used successfully in the past.  In order to re-teach my body what 'full' and 'satisfied' feel like, I need to only give it what it should need to feel those things.  I also know that I don't have the time or energy to make myself real meals during the day.  So I need something quick, easy, and nutritionally balanced.  Introducing: the meal replacement shake.  I can't over eat it (honestly who would want more than one serving at a time?). I get three snacks of fruits and veggies to spread out through the day and keep me from getting too hungry.  And then I eat one healthy meal - usually dinner, because honestly I am less likely to overeat in front of a witness.   I will probably need to do this for a month and then I will most likely restart the Weight Watchers guidelines (I did WW pre-wedding so I still have all the materials and tools).  I wouldn't want to live on shakes for the rest of my life, but this is a period of training that my body needs.

Today is day 5 and I can already tell a difference in my mindless need to keep eating - although I am still hungry.  I have a long way to go, but hopefully I can fight to stick with it for myself and my family.  I would LOVE to lose 10 lbs by Christmas, but 5 would still be 5 in the right direction.  I'd like to loose 30 lbs all together - I think it is an amount that I will then be able to maintain   It won't be pre-wedding weight, but I am ok with that, it will still be a healthier place than where I am today.

And for making it through this whole post you get a crazy picture of my children:

A: "Deck the squish with this big wreath... Falalalala"
B: "This is boring, I'm outta here..."
Baby Girl:  "YOU - get back here, YOU - get that wreath off of me, mom wants a picture"

Merry Christmas!