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!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Guest Posting about personalized ornaments

Today you can find a quick and easy Christmas decoration - one you could even do with your kids - over at I Should Be Mopping The Floor.  When Kristi put up a call for guest posters, I JUMPED at the opportunity - and for some completely unknown reason, she said yes!!!  WOOOHOOOO ;o)
Which means that I am guest posting at two places today (since the Knock it off Series was pushed back a week - thankfully Heidi's daughter is home from the hospital and doing much better!) - I feel so popular (And now 'Popular' from Wicked is stuck in my head ;op)!
So, go check out how to make your own Personalized Christmas Ornament!!!
Happy Thursday!

Knocking off JCREW at Elegance and Elephants

WOHOOO I am finally guest posting over at Elegance and Elephants today!!!!!  Can you tell I am just a little bit excited?!?!?!?!  Head on over for the full tutorial of how I created this JCREW inspired knock off -and read THIS POST if you want to see how it almost never came to be ;op
Thank you to all my readers who pushed me to keep going on this dress - I am so glad that I did!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Thanksgiving Knock Off

Today I thought I would be sharing with you my knock off dress for baby girl via Elegance & Elephants.  But since the series is currently on hold (send your thoughts and prayers to Heidi's family), I decided to share a smaller knock off I did for B.

Here's my inspiration:

And B's:

Far from perfect, but fun none the less!  I think I will try this again in a monotone to capture more of the feeling of the original.

This is what my Hubs thinks it looks like:
ummmm - that means he thinks it is all manly and macho, right! ;op

Happy Thanksgiving EVERYONE!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Making Changes to Give Thanks

My family has a history of HUGE holiday celebrations. Even if we can't get a huge group of people together, we never skimp on a feast for thousands. Food is one of the love languages of my family... food, food, and more FOOD.

Here's the problem: since adding 3 little ones to the picture, elaborate meals mean stress rather than a joyous time of celebrating. I have two toddlers - they aren't picky eaters, but they are toddlers. They also have a schedule. They need to eat and sleep at certain times otherwise they are TERRORS. I think 1 terror at a family event can possibly be pacified, but TWO just feed off each other - then add in the baby's needs and it can become a circus of crazy.

So, this year Hubs and I talked and decided to scale down. Simple nice meal that is kid friendly at a kid eating time~ 11:30-12.
Boneless Ham (super small, will cook in the crock pot)
Salad Rolls (Kings Hawaiian are a family tradition)
Green Bean Casserole - provided by mom
Potatoes - provided by mom
Banana Cream Pie
Apple Pie 'A la Mode'

 That is it. No crazy huge turkey. No stuffing. No cranberry jiggling goop. No random recipe creations made out of squash.

The result of this scaling back is that I get to spend the morning WITH my family rather than crammed in a kitchen trying to perfectly time 20 dishes to the end time on the turkey. I can cuddle my babies, watch the parades on TV, and listen to my mom tell stories (rather than listening for a timer to go off).

And after lunch the babies will go down for a nap and we will be able to relax rather than spending the next 3 hours cleaning up and packing up all the left overs.

I'll be honest, my mom is NOT as thrilled about this year's event. But I think we will all be happier in the end. And since I don't have to focus on menu planning for tomorrow, I can focus on what I am Thankful for. 

-My three gorgeous babies
-Spontaneous hugs
-An amazing mother
-A Business that slowly continues to grow
-Friends who love me
-My church family
 -MY HUSBAND (save the best for last)

 Have Great Thanksgiving!!!!
From My Zoo to Yours

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Hand Crafted Christmas

I got ONE present made this weekend... for A, well this present is going to be replicated for a few others, and I needed to make one pair first to make sure they will work right.  It seemed best to make the test pair for one of my own kiddos.

This was on my list of Wearables, and seriously - what child doesn't need a few spare pairs of PJ pants.  Particularly toddlers who sleep through the night but often have diapers that don't hold out ;op

I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE this fabric.  It is a lightweight flannel that I picked up at Joanne's during their Moonlight Madness sale.  It isn't the softest flannel ever, but the print is so cute and boyish; and it is still soft.

(hmmm grey, black, and red - wonder why I love it so much ;op)

I will hem these once I try them on my insanely tall boys

I even made a little tag out of the fabric to distinguish the back - I might write something on it with a fabric pen.
and the back

I'm thinking of picking up a package of white T's and appliqueing one of the bears on it so that he will have a matching shirt... we shall see......

I'm also considering buying a coordinating fabric to make cuffs, but that means more shopping, and more work.  The greatest thing is that these pants whip up so quickly.  I could add pockets too, but do 20 month olds really need pockets???


And a little peak at something I've been working on for a niece

And some awesome vintage patterns my mom has lent me for a little bit - I really need to go look through her stash!!!

I want to make this for baby girl... It would work as an awesome top with a little bit of added length, as well as the cute PJs it is supposed to be ;o)

What have you been up to - anything crossed off your list so far?????

Monday, November 19, 2012

Itty Bitty Booties...

Maybe I am the only one, but I am having a hard time with shoes on baby girl.  She is at that starting to crawl stage where she just wants to kick everything off.  She arches her feet so much that I can't put anything with a hard sole on her.  And even though I have some cute dressy shoes for her, they aren't practical for the cold months blowing in.  With the boys, I just had them wear socks all last winter and snubbed shoes.  But, socks get lost and for girls they are soooooooooo PINK.
I want to have something neutral that baby girl can wear and keep her itty bitty toes warm.

And then I stumbled upon Whimsy Couture's Fleece Bootie pattern download (while it was free no less - score for me!).  YIPPEE!!!  The pattern is for a knee high boot that can be folded down for a shorter boot look.  I decided to use the fold line as the top length for this first pair of boots.  I used a sweater of the boys from last year because it is such a yummy warm fuzzy fabric.  I also liked the tan - reminds me of Uggs.

They turned out so cute - I can't wait to make more.  Now I just need to figure out a simple embelishment... they are a little too simple at the moment.  I think a little pair made of fur would be sooooo cute!

One of the best things about this pattern is that it goes up to a size 5T, I'll be making boots for years to come!

*Baby Girl still pulls them off, but they are easy to slip right back on - I need to take a picture of them on her ;o)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Handcrafted Christmas: Wearables

So this week I have been entrenched in finishing my knock off submission for Elegance and Elephants.  It has been an adventure to say the least ;op

But thanks to one of my amazing friends, I got 2 hours to go out shopping BY MYSELF!!!  I was able to pick up most of the remaining supplies I need for my gift making, WoooHoooo.  Hopefully this weekend I can start making at least one gift per day to be on track with enough time for shipping - gahhh shipping ;op

Today I have  round up of great wearable gifts for all those loved ones - who ever has enough clothing???  I'll have a separate jewelry/accessories post!

Easy peasy, and could work for Men or Women

How sweet are these!  You could use the tutorial above and then add the smaller sized half on top.

Coordinating outfits are easy if you find a cool fabric print - don't forget a great bow ;o)

Every baby and toddler needs a gazillion of these, why haven't I made any for my kiddos yet????

Warm and toasty tootsies - they take so little time to make, and could work well for little boys with the right fabric.

For siblings, the whole family, cousins... the possibilities are endless.  And all kids need pj pants.

HAHAHAH, these would be great for kids and kids at heart!

*this design is a bit complicated, but here are great instructions for freezer paper stenciling

*you could also use the freezer pencil stencil method above rather than embroidery

A great gift for that master griller in your life

This trend is so popular, and these are so easy to make.  Use any fabric and vary lengths to get scarves with different looks.

Hope you like these ideas!!!  What have you been working on this week???  Can you believe that Thanksgiving is less than a week away, WOW!