Monday, January 31, 2011

Coming February 2nd: Socks Education

Join us on February 2nd for the first installment of our in-depth, six part series called “Socks Education.” 

This series is for you if:
  • you’ve never knitted socks before, but have always wanted to try
  • you’ve had a bad socks experience, but would like to try again
  • you’ve knitted socks for years, but would like to learn some new techniques
  • you enjoy a heavy dose of innuendo with your knitting
As part of this series, you will design your own socks!  Sarah will walk you through each step of the design process and at the end of the series, you will have a “Build Your Own Pattern” (BYOP) template that will allow you to design socks for any foot.

Sara, who has never made socks, will be knitting along.  Here’s the Socks Education class schedule (subject to change).  Why not knit along with us?!

February 2nd – Part 1:  Making It A Pleasurable Experience
February 3rd – Part 2:  The Anatomy of a Sock
February 4th – Part 3:  Diving in with Gusto!:  Casting On, The Cuff, and The Leg
February 11th – Part 4:  Taking Your Socks Life in a New Direction:  Turning the Heel
February 18th – Part 5:  Finishing Off: The Toes
February 19th – Part 6:  Doing It Over and Over:  BYOP for Basic Crew Socks

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Unruly Reindeer Tableset - Tammis Keefe Project No. 8

Project No. 8 *may* be my favorite! (for more information on our Tammis Keefe lineup, click here). Who can resist these ridiculously cute Reindeer with a couple Santas with a Lasso trying to keep them in order? We couldn't; they practically make me want to keep the Christmas decor up a little longer!

Sarah had this green linen tablecloth in her stash that was just begging to be spruced up! We thought the Unruly Reindeer and some Red Pom Poms were the perfect addition. Sarah sewed wide strips of Unruly Reindeer to the existing tablecloth ...and then attached the awesome red pom poms to the edges.

Here's a closeup of the fabric. Santa looks like he is going to lose it, right? He's very outnumbered.

We cut out some of the Unruly Reindeer and two Santas and fused them to the center of the tablecloth. Darling, huh?

We had to add a "tammis keefe" tag on there.

Aren't the layers of these pom poms beautiful? I do have a thing for pom poms!

We also made coordinating cocktail napkins with three different Unruly Reindeers and one Santa.

It's a lovely set!

The final project - Number 9 - is tomorrow, and the giveaway starts on Wednesday!
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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Tomato Cats Fringed Pillow - Tammis Keefe Project No. 7

When Sarah came over the other night, we were brainstorming about other Tammis Projects. I had asked Sarah to bring over some black "trims" (there is a picture below of ALL the stuff she brought!). We got to thinking about what would be a good combo and came up with a black fringed Tammis Cats pillow!

This is an envelope back style pillow and the fringe is sewed onto the completed pillow cover on the RIGHT SIDE (instead of between the two layers - front & back).

The pillow is adorable, but admittedly not perfect (and that is bothering me, so I'm trying to figure out how I can fix it - pics below).

In typical fashion, I wanted to accent some of the cats, so I added a few beads and sequins here and there.

^^ I love his collar! ^^

Little necklace & beaded nose.

It's a good thing I took pictures right away. After being awake less than 5 minutes, my two-year old ripped off 2 beads. Grrr.
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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Aprons! Tammis Keefe Project No. 6 ... A Joint Project

It may be that the purpose of our little blog is to have "friendly" competitions against each other - every other week, you know trying to figure out which of us has the best spin on a challenge (examples of past challenges are: valentine's, felt, knitting for little girls, and the like). However, ...

We really like to craft together ... and eat together, and drink wine together. So, here's presenting our joint project: Tammis Keefe Aprons!

A couple of weeks ago, we took a trip to our favorite local fabric store together to pick up some coordinating fabrics for the Tammis Keefe pieces. This particular store has this awesome policy to give you 20% off an entire order during your birthday month. Score! Since I was getting 20% off, I decided to pick up an official pattern for aprons. I choose "Mother & Daughter Aprons" by Cindy Taylor Oates (TMB-172). It was pretty easy for Sarah and I to choose which one we each wanted to make (the pattern has 4 adult patterns and 4 child patterns).
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Friday, January 28, 2011

Tammis Keefe Day 5 - Pet Bed

Pet made made with "Tammis Dogs"

I’m going to be honest.  I had a frustrating night of sewing last night. My thread kept breaking.  I tried 4 different spools of thread and it happened with all of them.  So, I tried changing the tension.  That caused the needle to break.  I put in a new needle and then the bobbin thread ran out.  What I planned on doing had to be revised over and over again, and most annoying of all, Copper the beagle was being extra “helpful.”  Grrrr.....
Copper the Beagle helps by sitting on the fabric when I need it.

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Patchwork Scarf - Tammis Keefe Project No. 4

So, what do you make when you have SO MANY awesome fabrics to choose from? (I'm referring to the Tammis Keefe tribute line by Michael Miller of course!) ... You make a patchwork scarf, that's what!  

  • blue owls DS4714_Blue Hoot
  • red dogs DS4720_Tomato Tammis Dogs
  • alligators (wait til you see what else we've got with this alligator fabric!) DS4793_White Later Alligator
  • birds DS4593_Multi Cage Free
  • red owls DS4714_Red Hoot
  • pink / grey dogs  DS4720_Gray Tammis Dogs  

Sarah and I picked up some Michael Miller coordinating fabrics to add to our projects. In the scarf, I have:
  • black with white dots CX 4540 Dinky Dots
  • white with black dots (lost my selvege edge, but looks like Dalmatian spot the dog)
  • red / white / pink (hmmm, another lost selvege?)

As usual, I couldn't resist adding some pom poms to the scarf! The turquoise blue coordinates and sets off the owls JUST RIGHT!  

I went with a "ragged edge" scarf ... and I have no idea if that's a technical term or not, but it was really fun and easy to make this. Sarah showed me the trick of tearing fabric vs. cutting it, and let me tell you I. AM. HOOKED. The rough edges that it creates are perfect for a project like this; and it's MONUMENTALLY faster.

To make this:
  1. Snip and tear some fabric squares (mine are 7" x 4") and I have 13 of them in total.
  2. Sew squarers together - WRONG sides together - using 1/2" seam.
  3. Press.
  4. Cut a piece for the back of the scarf that is the same length and width as the front "patched" piece. I used some awesome white Minky (with dots) that I had leftover from my oldest daughter's baby blanket! It's been in the stash, just begging to be used. Flannel would also be nice.
  5. Place wrong sides (of the minky back and the patchwork front) together. Pin well. If you want to add pom pom fringe, then pin that in between the layers on both short ends.
  6. Sew around all edges using 1/2" seam.
  7. Clip / Notch all exterior edges, being careful to clip JUST TO, BUT NOT OVER the seam!
  8. Clip / Notch all joining lines of the patchwork piece.
  9. You're done ... just throw it in the wash and dryer to "fluff" it up!
I love the minky back on this scarf, it's warm and soft. And I love the color variety in all the Tammis Keefe fabrics - I think this scarf goes with just about everything in my closet! I am so thrilled with this, I am going to wear it today. :-)

PS: If anyone has any tips for additional "fluffing" of the clipped edges, I am all ears. I washed & dried it. Then, I dried it another 30 minutes in the dryer with a tennis ball. Does it just get "ragged" over time, or is there something else I can do to accelerate the look? I want really ragged!

Another PS: Stay tuned for more projects and remember our first giveaway is just around the corner!

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tammis Keefe Tea Towels

Embellished tea towels made with Michael Miller Fabric's Tammis Keefe Tribute line.

Have you ever looked at the price of Tammis Keefe Tea Towels on eBay?  They can get pretty darn pricey.  No worries.  Thanks to Michael Miller Fabrics, you can make your own Tammis Keefe tea towels!

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Beaded Birds for Beverages - Tammis Keefe Project No. 2

As Sarah mentioned, we were thrilled when we received the big box of awesome fabrics from Michael Miller! I had a moment of inspiration upon seeing the prints ... I knew that I wanted to embellish one of the adorable prints in some way using applique.

During one of her many thrifting expeditions - using her thrifting mojo - Sarah picked up some awesome plain white Pottery Barn cocktail napkins. Score! I decided to spruce up those plain cocktail napkins with the two BIRD themed fabrics ( blue hoot (owls) and multi cage free (birds)) from the Tammis Keefe Tribute line.

If you've been reading our blog, you know we have a thing for sequins & beads (here & here)! And then it may come as no surprise, that I just had to use sequins & beads on these adorable birdy fabrics!

Here are some close ups of each finished cocktail napkin....  

this is my favorite one! I was going for an accent of the branches here ...

the cages here are highlighted with alternating bright and light pink sequins with black beads

little branch accents - teal sequins with silver beads

highlighting the BIG bird here with silver on silver (sequins & beads)
Making these was a breeze -a little time consuming, but nothing you cannot do while sipping a glass (or 2) of Two Buck Chuck!

  • Tammis Keefe Fabrics from Michael Miller - to cut out the BIRD shapes
  • Iron - On Adhesive / Fusible Interfacing (I like Heat 'n Bond Lite, or Wonder Under)
  • Coordinating Embroidery Thread
  • Coordinating Sewing Thread
  • Sequins
  • Beads
  1. Pick the part of the fabric you want to cut out and use on a cocktail napkin. In my example, this is the owls on branches ... and the birds in cages.
  2. Fuse interfacing / adhesive to wrong of that fabric - follow packaging instructions.
  3. Precisely cut around out the shape. (This is easier to do once the interfacing is on there. It makes the fabric stable and so much easier to cut). I would recommend cutting about 1/4 inch around the shape so that when you embroider the material, you are not stitching OVER the cute cutout!
  4. Remove paper backing and iron cutout onto cocktail napkin - follow packaging instructions.
  5. Pull out 2 strings of the embroidery thread and whip stitch around the edges of the shapes (for decoration & to prevent fraying). You can go with a contrasting thread to highlight the cutout (like the green used on the Owl Fabric) or a coordinating thread that will not show up as much (ex: white thread on the birds). The Heat 'n Bond will keep the shape adhered to the napkin, but it may fray after washing(s) so this will help with that.
  6. Using the sewing thread, highlight or accent the shapes or animals with a sequin / bead combination. You'll see that with each of these four napkins, I tried to accent something different! With the Owl Fabric, I went for highlighting the branches & owl eyes. With the Bird Fabric, once I framed the cages and on the other I outlined the big bird.
  7. When you're using sequins, you'll see they are "dome shaped" ... place it life a "cup" such that the "dome" is upside down. Make any sense?
  8. Pull thread from bottom of napkin to the top - thread on a sequin (like a cup) - thread 1 bead - push that combo taut to the napkin. Then, using the needle, go back down the middle of the sequin (beside your original point of entry) to secure placement. Repeat this step as desired.
These napkins would make a great gift for any entertainer  ... or a fun treat for yourself!

Oh, one more thing! I "tagged" the napkins by cutting out the "tammis keefe" name from the fabrics and sewed them onto the wrong side of the napkins on the edge. I love this added touch!

Thank you Michael Miller for letting us get creative with your Tammis Keefe Tribute line! We'll be back tomorrow (and lots more days!) with another project featuring these fab fabrics!

At the end of our showcase, we'll be offering a very generous giveaway (EIGHT YARDS of fabric & perhaps one or two of our completed projects from this Tribute... SO, be sure to stay tuned for the contest next week. In the meantime, you can like us on Facebook or become a Follower to catch the latest!

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Tammis Keefe Project #1: Decoupaged Desk Organizer

Desk Organizer with a retro makeover.
Yay!  Our Tammis Keefe celebration is underway!  Sara and Sarah will have a new project everyday using Michael Miller's Tammis Keefe Tribute fabrics.  Don't forget, we'll be giving away no less than 8 yards of this fabulous material.  You can enter to win online starting on February 2nd.
The box that arrived from Michael Miller Fabrics.

The second it was open, Sara and Sarah dive in!

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Ponytail Holder Bracelet Tutorial

Ponytail holder bracelet

I've been thinking about jewelry a lot lately.  Because of a sensitivity to metal, I've not been able to wear jewelry without developing a rash for at least a decade.  I've been thinking that the answer to this lack of accessorizing in my life might be to make my own jewelry out of mostly non-metal materials.  

As I go out in the world, I try to be mindful of what interesting stuff I could utilize to make my own jewelry.  When I was at Dollar Tree last week, I came across a package of ponytail holders and inspiration struck!

Essentially, I used the ponytail holders as "links" to make a chain.  I used metal jump rings to hook them together, but that tiny bit of metal doesn't touch my skin so it's not a problem.  There is enough stretch in the bracelet that a clasp isn't necessary.  Bingo!  The Ponytail Holder Bracelet was born!
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Friday, January 21, 2011

Runs in the Family - Driftwood Cruisers

So I must take a minute and brag on my amazing husband and his ridiculous skills ... check this out:

You guessed it, or did you? It's a WOODEN CRUISER. Totally rideable. Totally handmade. Totally engineered by my other half ... first of its kind and ridiculously awesome. I love that we share the desire to create  & to figure stuff out & to make it ourselves. Those are things that we certainly want to instill in our girls. I've got to hand it to him - he really outdid himself this time!

Want to see more? Check out his website at and if you're local to Arizona ... better yet, come see us at the Barrett Jackson Auto Auction in Scottsdale, AZ this weekend. I'll be there Fri / Sat / Sun!

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Special Announcement: SvS Celebrates Tammis Keefe!

About a month ago, I came across some photos of the new Tammis Keefe Tribute line from Michael Miller Fabrics.  I flipped!  I’m a Tammis Keefe fan, a fan anything retro (no big surprise there), and a huge fan of Michael Miller Fabrics.  I wrote what could only be described as a fan letter to the folks at Michael Miller and they agreed to send us some of the fabric!  Consequently, SvS will be celebrating Tammis Keefe for the next 3 weeks!

Starting next Monday, January 24th, Sara and I will be posting a new project made from Michael Miller’s Tammis Keefe Tribute fabrics.  We’ll post at least one new project everyday through Tuesday, February 1st.  On Wednesday, February 2nd, we’ll pick our favorite projects and let you pick the winner of Challenge No. 12:  SvS Celebrates Tammis Keefe.  

Also on February 2nd, we’ll start accepting entries into our very first giveaway!  We are giving away a total of 8 yards of Michael Miller Fabric’s Tammis Keefe Tribute fabrics.  Yes, I said 8 yards!  We may have a couple other prizes in there, too.  Be sure to check back on February 2nd for details.  In the meantime, if you want to get a head start on your entry, be sure to become a follower of Sara vs. Sarah and like us on Facebook!

Did I mention that all royalties from this great line of fabrics go to cancer research?  It just keeps getting better!

So, who is Tammis Keefe?  Tammis Keefe was a brilliant mid-century textile artist with a singular whimsical style and off-beat color palette.  Her career lasted only 16 years, from 1944 to 1960.  She may be best known for her handkerchief designs which became collectors items almost as soon as they were released.  You can read more about the life and career of Tammis Keefe at Kathy Miller’s blog Making It Fun.

We’ll be posting more information about the work of Tammis Keefe during our three week celebration.  Please contact us if you have photos or other information you would like to contribute.

Sara and I would like to express our appreciation to Michael Miller Fabrics for making SvS Celebrates Tammis Keefe possible!  Pin It

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

And the Winner of the Valentine's Challenge is.......


Sarah's bracelets made with candy hearts encased in resin is the winner of Challenge #11!  Sarah is hard at work on a tutorial so you can make your own candy hearts bracelet.

Check back in tomorrow for an announcement about our next event!  We're doing a little something special thanks to the good people at Michael Miller Fabrics!

The Challenge

The Projects

(Winner ) Candy Hearts Bracelet, posted here.
(Runner Up) Ribbon Tie Toddler Belt, posted here.

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