Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pieced Jersey Dresses & Happy (belated) Easter!

I don't know how I've missed it before, but I've recently discovered this blog and really like alot of their stuff! Particularly, their Tutorial for Basic Pieced Jersey  Dress. These are SO easy to make and an excellent way to use up old shirts or knit items - I love a good refashion!

I decided that my girls just had to have a couple, so I went digging through my ridiculously obscene "recycle" pile and came away with the green, purple, pink & orange stripes. Then I hit up their closets to find identical tank tops I didn't mind cutting ... I settled on the grey American Apparel ones (I LOVE their tanks!).

I cut all the pieces for both dresses, and THEN sewed all the pieces ... I find it's faster that way. The tutorial explains the process precisely, so check it out! The only change I made was to use a tank top vs. onesie (for the obvious reason). ;)

These pictures are from Easter and despite my best attempts and begging, I could not get really good pics of the girls together (or even facing the camera) ... ha!

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Resin Casting Project 3 and Giveaway: Making Molds

Can you tell which roses were store bought and which were cast at home?
Hey y'all.  It's Sarah.  I've been MIA for a couple of weeks as I've been feeling poorly, but I'm back now and I have one more resin starter kit from the folks at ETI to give away.  Woo-hoo!  All you need to do to win is leave a comment on this post.  You can comment about anything--what you like or don't like about the blog, resin crafting, the weather, your favorite tv show.  I'm not going to be picky this time.

The contest is open to anyone with a U.S. address.  One entry per person.  Be sure to leave us a way to contact you in your comment.  We'll accept entries until Monday, May 2, 2011.  Now, on with the crafting.

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Quilt Class, Part 3

My experience from this four-part class I am taking reveals: if you can get past week 1, you can do it. There was TONS of "homework" after class 1. We had to CUT all the fabric (and even though I started w/ a jelly roll, it was a lot) and MAKE all 20 of our squares. It was doable, but definitely a lot of work.

During Class 3 - we cut & attached the front border. I was initially unlucky and then turned out to be lucky because ... I thought I had 1.5 yards (as required in the pattern) of my border fabric, but I only actually had 1.0 yards. And the fabric is now all sold out (of course!). SO ... I decided to make the border more narrow and just use the 1.0 yards - it totally worked and I don't really care if the quilt's smaller than anticipated because I'm not sizing it for a bed (it's going on my couch). How did I get lucky? Well, I'm backing my quilt w/ Minky which is sold in a 60" width (you know where I'm going w/ this?). My completed front was around 56", so I didn't have to piece Minky together for the back! Woo-hoo ... I saved money, time and I think it'll look better w/o a seam down the back. Yay!

Homework from Class 3: make binding. This picture (above) is an incredibly long 2 1/4" strip pressed in half lengthwise. My teacher is doing the quilting for me, so tonight we attach the border and I'm *almost* finished with my quilt! I'm told that there will likely be some hand stitching that'll be completed after class, but I'm still thinking that I'll have my first finished quilt w/in the week! Cannot wait to show you ...

Tip from Class 3 - do not turn wheel of sewing machine away from you as that's working against the motor and the machine does not like. I do this all the time - had no idea it was "bad."

See you in a week - with a completed quilt that is! :)

Related Posts:
Quilt Class, Part 1
Quilt Class, Part 2

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Our Next Challenge

This one could take a million directions ...between resin, sewing, mod podging - anything can be created!

Projects due here on the blog next Wednesday, and then the competition begins!

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Limoncello, Definitely Worth the Wait (with recipe)

My twelve 10 oz. bottles of limoncello all lined up.
One month ago, I decided to make limoncello. This is not a quick process and I’m not a patient person. I can barely stand to wait 24 hours for a resin project to cure. How am I going to wait an entire month for my lemon peels to steep?
 I went ahead with my plan and fought my urge to mess with the brew for a full 30 days! Yay me!

Here’s what you do to make your own limoncello. First, you need to acquire 14 lemons. I acquired mine by picking them off of my neighbor Norm’s lemon tree. I’ve come to think of Norm’s lemon tree as an extension of my own yard and he doesn’t seem to mind as their are fewer lemons for him to deal with. If you don’t have a guy named Norm with a lemon tree living next to you, the grocery store may have to do.
The lemon zest gives it the pale yellow color.
Next, you follow the instructions in the recipe card I have very conveniently created for you here (link will take you to Google docs):
Now, technically, after you bottle the limoncello, you’re supposed to wait again for a day, a week, or two weeks, or a month, or 45 days... all depending on to whom you listen. Well, if you listen to me, you wait long enough for the bottle to get cold in the freezer! In theory, the limoncello mellows out as it ages. I think this is a giant load of crap. You decide for yourself.
This is what it will look like if you let it mellow after bottling.  We've already determined that I don't have the patience for that!
There are lots of ways to drink limoncello, but my favorite is the simplest. I like to keep the bottle in the freezer, pour an icy cold shot, and sip it on a hot Arizona night right before going to bed. That’s the stuff!
I came up with this apothecary-esque label for my brew.

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And the Winner {of Challenge No. 18} is ...

...Sara! who created the Ribbon Flowers

That means that Sara gets to wear the Tiara for the next two weeks! We'll announce our next challenge tomorrow :)

The Challenge:
Craft with Ribbon

The Projects:
Ribbon Flowers (winner)

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Owl Love You Forever - Giving Back

Pregnancy & Babies. I remember almost a year ago, a good friend telling me the sad news that her sister delivered her twins way too early and that there was no way they would make it. As if that wasn't sad enough, this wasn't her first try at having children ... It's hard to imagine much less describe that kind of devastating loss. Especially because I come from the fortunate and incredibly blessed perspective to have had only two pregnancies and two healthy baby girls as a result. To have had any other outcome is a loss I don't care to think about, ever. However, when something happens to someone you know, or a friend's friend / family, it makes you think.

In the months that followed Shayla's loss, she decided that she could help parents with similar circumstances - whether it be stillbirth, miscarriage. So Shayla formed a non-profit organization called Owl Love You Forever whose purpose is to prepare and circulate (to hospitals) boxes containing care or therapy type items to parents who find themselves in this situation. What's in a box?
To kick-off her non-profit, Shayla is having a "birthday party" on the day that would have been the twins' first birthday. At the party, many people across the Valley (we all live in the Phoenix area) will gather to put the boxes together. Those boxes will be donated to local hospitals and used to help others.

What's up with the stack of flannel up there in the picture? I am making blanket sets to contribute for the boxes - and they have to be made with flannel. Each blanket set has a regular size receiving blanket and a premie size one. So, if this suits your fancy and you too want to participate, you can get more information here: How you can help and if you have questions: Who to Contact

I'll post again once my blankets are complete! :) I'm hoping to make it to the box prep party in May because I always love hanging with the girls from Sassy Soirees and Modern Cupcake (they're both contributing to the big event!)

...and in the meantime, give your kiddos a special squeeze!

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Crafts 'n' Cocktails, Springtime Edition

Hi all, Sarah here. I’ll be talking at you in red today. Wednesday night was Crafts ‘n’ Cocktails, springtime edition for Sara and Sarah. 

An Assortment of Fabric Flowers - crafted @ the party
Crafty frivolty at the second crafts 'n' cocktails party.
The big event was, once again, held at my place as I have no kids to keep awake with all the tipsy glue-gunning revelry going on. {Thanks Sarah - this would be a disaster @ my house! -Sara} All I have is one very obnoxious beagle who continually demanded attention from all the guests, one somewhat obnoxious cat who chose the middle of the party to get stuck behind the washing machine, and one sweet, shy, little beagle who is the cutest thing in the world.

The sweet, shy beagle--Little Ruthann--makes an appearance, then quickly decides to go back into hiding.
Because we knew the weekend before was going to be dominated by the Creative Estates conference, we decided to keep the menu simple. Simple yes, but still yummy!

Enjoying some food and conversation before the craft
Tasha & Sara before being embellished with fabric flowers :)

Two kinds of Finger Sandwiches: Egg Salad and Chicken Salad
Pepper Jelly with Cream Cheese and Crackers
Pound Cake with Lemon Curd

We offered a choice of red or white sangria.
Click on the links for recipes (you'll go to Scribd or Google Documents)!

Sara handled the craft and she did an outstanding job. I was busy taking photos and filling drinks so I didn’t get to make anything (being the host sucks sometimes). But I’m going to make up for it this weekend. I’ll let Sara tell you more.

Ok, Sara here in purple. The craft ... yes it was super fun! We decided that fabric flowers would be a great springtime craft that everyone could have fun with. We had samples ready for three different types and let the creative people just go at it.

First, the rolled rosette that you see everywhere. 
Second,  the Rolled Fabric Flower using KojoDesign's Tutorial 
Third, No Sew Flowers using MADE's Tutorial.

We had all the supplies prepped, including a colorful array of beads for embellishments.

Of course, there were pin backs, earrings, adjustable rings & hair clips.

Fabric strips torn and rolled, just waiting to be picked and rolled into flowers.

Lovely picture of me there, showing everyone how to get started with the flowers! LOL

This is Joy above and she is a crafter / jewerlry maker extraordinnaire! She always takes an idea and runs with it - creating some really awesome things! :)

Joy's lovely Rolled Rosette Earrings - beautiful!

Joy's coordinated set.

Sangria and glue guns...  maybe not the safest combo.

Julie made a trio of the Rolled Rosettes ... all three are backed together onto a piece of felt. I LOVE hers!! (-Sara)

Rolled Rosette Earrings - too stinking cute! (Sara says: I wore these to work on Thurs & received LOTS of compliments!)

another flower with the Kojo Designs tutorial - this one wound up really tight and embellished with a couple of beads
ring close-up ... made this one LOOSE and added a couple beads to the middle
We love that Terry & Denise went wild with the flowers and just to be funny wore them the same time! Adorable ladies.
The party was once again a success ... and once Sara and Sarah catch our breaths, we will think about having another one. In like 6 months. :) Thanks for everyone who came and joined the fun - we truly did have a wonderful time & love getting together with other crafty people to CREATE (and drink Sangria of course){and eat ;-) }!
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And the winner is... Terri!

The winner of this week's Resin Starter pack from ETI is Terri!  Congratulations and we'll have that off to you as soon as possible.

I've got another resin project coming your way either tomorrow or Wednesday.  I had a little "oops!" on my first attempt which means I'm waiting for attempt #2 to cure.  Sorry for the wait!

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Quilting Class, Part 2

My quilt top is *almost* done - yay!
my little model cannot resist being in the pics!

This week in class, our assignment was so "square up" the 20 blocks. In a perfect world with perfect seamstresses (of which I am so not), the blocks would be 12.5" squares. Let me tell you, NOT ONE of my blocks was this size! I blame the Minky ... ok?

My squares were almost all 12.25" (that's good right? that they were consistently wrong?) so that's what I cut them down to. Quilting is apparently all about uniformity. I like it.

The cutting to squares took me a while so I spent most of class on that. But then, the FUN part ... Arranging the 20 "perfect" squares into their final spots! As I am quite indecisive, this too took me a while. I had about 10 arrangements before I was happy with it. Then, I sat down for more stitching, more pressing. Finally - all 20 blocks were together!  I am pleased w/ the placement and my nearly perfect squares. :)

Next week in class, we'll learn how to properly cut and attach the front border pieces. Then ... the quilting. I've made an executive decision that I wil opt to have the teacher quilt mine for me - because, well she is a professional and I know it's going to look fabulous if she does it! I still want to learn / attempt  machine quilting, so here's what I am going to do (i.e., my homework for Monday's class) - use my scraps to make coordinating pillows. The 'teacher' says that if I do my pillow fronts and bring in batting / muslin to get me to three layers, I can totally learn the quilting - but I'll get to give it a try on a much smaller item which will be easier for me!

One more pic in closing ... someone "real loves" HER new blankie. And insisted on sleeping with it ... she loves those minky squares because  -- her special lovie is backed with white minky and apparently all the minky in the world is meant for her.

More next week!

Oh, and our cocktail party was a big success last night ... if we get our act together, we just might have a post on it tomorrow. Teaser - this party's craft was a raging success and I'm  wearingTWO of my creations today :)

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Challenge No. 18 {Ribbon} - The Submissions & Voting Time!

Sara and Sarah were tasked to create something with RIBBON ... here's what we came up with. Now YOU pick the winner by voting for your favorite project! :)


Voting closes Tuesday at midnight. Which is your favorite?

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Challenge No. 18 Submission: Ribbon Basket

When it came to the ribbon challenge, I have to admit, my response was, what the hell do I do with ribbon?  The one idea I really liked was doing streamers for my new bike.  Alas, it hadn't been delivered yet so I abandoned that idea.

Somewhere in my brainstorming, I came up with the idea of weaving a ribbon basket.  I didn't know if it was really feasible, but I did it!  I needed to use a sturdy, grosgrain ribbon
I formed the basket around a box, using pins to hold the ribbon in place as I worked.  I was surprised at how quickly the process went once I got going.  I had woven baskets before so I had experience with it.  It's actually easier working with ribbon.
For the handle, I glued wire onto a length of ribbon.  I then glued another length of ribbon over the wire so it wouldn't show.  I couldn't find any pre-wired ribbon that was heavy enough to do the job.

I was convinced the entire time I was weaving this that when I pull it off of the box I was using as as "mold," the entire thing would collapse.  The finished basket is actually very sturdy.  The adorable ruffly ribbon around the top edge gives it the support it needs to hold its shape.

The bottom was the key to this project.  I started with a narrow width ribbon and used it exclusively to weave the bottom.  These ribbons then became the warp for the sides of the baskets.

Now, who has got a bag of jelly beans I can use to fill this thing?

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