Monday, March 31, 2008

Challenge Update

I have thus far had no submissions to the Disney challenge, so I thought I'd post some inspiration (with permission of course)

I personally, decided to cross stitch a few "Princesses" on a pillowcase for my Daughter. Just now realized I probably should put her name on it. Oh well.

First we have some GORGEOUS paper quilling
(check out her other awesome quilling projects, too)
<a href="" title="&quot;Princess&quot; paper quilling 8X10 by Hope's art, on Flickr"><img src="" width="500" height="375" alt="&quot;Princess&quot; paper quilling 8X10" /></a>

Next are plushies!

Anyway, hopefully that'll get your thoughts going, I really, REALLY want to see your Disney projects!!

knock it off

Why won't my brain just STOP thinking of ideas. I have too many of them I am working on or planning on already. Why oh why does the list get longer and longer as time before baby gets shorter and shorter?

I started making aprons for my kids for Easter, but haven't finished them. Then yesterday after having to scout down our "funny hands" aka oven mits for the third time, I thought, duh, why don't I make their own? Now I couldn't just leave it at Aprons and Funny Hands, could I? No, no. So I thought the perfect "first" crochet project when I learn will be mini washcloths for them and their kitchens. Oy!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Before I forget (again)

I was tagged by Jeanette like.... a week ago!!!
The Rules:
1. Take a picture of your bag
2. Take a picture of ALL the contents in your bag & name them - NO CLEANING OUT FIRST!
3. "Bag Tag" five to ten people
4. Leave a comment on their blog that says "You've Been Bag Tagged!"

Now, inside my purse was crazy (and a little embarrasing w/ the stack of trash I found!)
Alright, we've got 3 notebooks, 2 toilet seat cover packs, shout wipes, hand sanitizer, outdated appt reminder, 3 lotions, 2 glosses, candy, my wallet, temple recommend, 4 pens, 1 pencil, a few bits of changed, and an entire pile of garbage. :D

Friday, March 28, 2008

Tutorial Friday: Makeshift Ribbon

Ok, I don't have a guest crafter this week. *sniff* SOoo.... I did a tute myself. I thought today about things I use often, love to do, and could actually explain! I decided to show you how I make ribbon when I don't have time or money to go buy any, or if I just can't find the "RIGHT" ribbon to go with a project.

What you'll need:
Material (make sure it's at least the LENGTH you want your "ribbon" to end up and at least twice as wide)
Sewing Machine

FIRST: Pick your material and cut ROUGHLY to size. The fabric I grabbed happened to be a good length and width. I didn't have to cut it at all (this time)

Next, if you're a perfectionist, measure how wide you want your ribbon to be, then pin the the material into thirds (right side out) and iron down

Iron down the other "third"

Now, sew them down. Here's the beauty! I sewed mine straight down the middle in a zig zag. You could get cutesey and sew straight stitches down each edge.

Alright, here are some ones I've finished (this included). On one I've added ACTUAL ribbon (I needed a wider ribbon for that project, so I used old khakis as the "makeshift" ribbon. Another I covered my sloppy middle stitches w/ fiber (again, I needed wider ribbon for the project)


Thursday, March 27, 2008

A Schedule

First, I don't have any links from challenge-takers yet, so that's why there aren't any up yet.

Second, after talking to my great friend Kristin, I decided to start jumping on Christmas gifts and gave myself a schedule. I decided that I'd try to do ONE a week until I have the baby, then take a good 3 weeks, then try 2 a month. Now this will also include any bdays coming up as well. So here's my schedule for April.
    6 felt mail set (sorry, I can't remember where I got the pic. If anyone knows, please let me know so I can give proper credit)

13- ribbon streamers (yup, by Kristin herself!)

    20- barrettes and/or bobby pins
I'd like to do pretty barettes, but I have two friends who are INCREDIBLE at making them. I'd like to support them, but I rarely have the means to do so. I'll probably start out w/ the bobby pins anyway.
Maybe some like this (by Just Add Charm on flic
kr) 2226600963_27e02939f1

27- purse tissue holders- from my great friend Jeanette at Keep Me In Stitches

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

In a Rut means a challenge

Ok, I've been in a little bit of a creative rut the last day or so. Yesterday I made two cards, but I just don't know if I really like them or not. The other day I cut out aprons for both my kids, but I haven't felt like finishing them yet. I should just do it. It'll only take me a couple hours to do both of 'em.

I think part of it is that I got these gorgeous Disney books and have thought of some cute quotes to go w/ some of the pics, but just don't know how to go about DOING it.

SOOOOOO..... I think I need a challenge!! Let's do a Disney Challenge. I want to see all crafts Disney this week. As a matter of fact, Carla, from Thriftin and Craftin had the right idea. I don't know how to do Mr. Linky box, but I'll do a DAILY post of linkbacks to those who leave comments here and want people to see their challenge pieces. This challenge will last for, let's say one week and we'll go from there. If I'm still getting responses, we'll extend it.

Thanks for playing!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

    Just thought I'd share a couple of pics from today!

these are my daughter's eggs (some hardboiled, some cascarones, some plastic)


these are my son's eggs


my son's cute shoes


and my daughters

I just realized the time, so I'll post more tomorrow. I REALLY need to make some more cards at least. And I've been itching to try Jeanette's Tut. I have 2 shirts PERFECT for it!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

An Easter Dream Come True

Ok, so I've had a BLAST doing all the Easter stuff for my kids! I made Cascarones (although we aren't going to crack 'em on people's heads, we're going to use them more as poppers to crack on the ground)

Cascarones Set #1


Set #2


Set #3


Set #4

I had blown the eggs out to fill w/ chocolate, but couldn't figure out how to get the vinegar water inside them to sanitize. So instead I painted them, filled them w/ confetti and split peas (for noise), then sealed the hole w/ hot glue. (I have full pics if you need them)

Tonight I SCORED on freecycle. I got a box of 38 vintage disney books! They're GORGEOUS. I'm not sharing w/ my kids anytime soon!

Last night I got a lot done. In 2 hrs I cut out 2 aprons for my kids (they'll get 'em in the middle of the week sometime), started an embroidery project (my son's drawing of him and grandpa), and painted the rest of the cascarones. I felt like I got SO much done!!

I'm certainly ready for Easter. Here's what my kids'll be getting


Thank you so much for those who have been asking about Juliana. Here's her in her sling (from a hunt on Friday)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Tutorial Friday: Shirt Pillows

Ok, so I'm so excited about this tut! Today we have Jeanette from over at Keep Me In Stitches doing our tutorial. She has also posted this in her blog so you can get it either place!

Have you ever had an article of clothing that you loved, but for some
reason could no longer wear, and you just couldn’t bring yourself to
get rid of it?

That is exactly how I felt about this pair of
pajamas. They were given to me by one of B’s co-workers when I was on
bed rest with the twins. She wrote a sweet little note saying that they
were the perfect pajamas because they were cotton, so I could be cool,
and they had buttons which would allow easy access for nursing.


I fell in love with the sweet print and I did indeed wear these pajamas
to nurse my twins, and then again a year later when their little
brother was born. I nursed all three of my babies in these jammies.
They have been spit up on, slobbered on, had snotty noses and dirty
little hands wiped on them. And they hold a lot of happy memories.

pajamas are so old and worn out that they are literally falling to
pieces, I have had to stitch them back together and now nine years
later, they are beyond their usefulness, but they have been in my
drawer, unused for the last year because I loved them so much, I
couldn’t bear to throw them away.

Then I had an idea…they would
make such a darling little pillow to go on my bed. That way every time
I looked at the little pillow, it would bring back all those happy

I started by blind stitching along the edge of the button front, we don’t want any stuffing squishing out between button holes.

I then lay the top out on my sewing table and checked for any holes
that I would have to work around. There was a hole at the end of each
pleat, so I had to make my pillow shape end just before the end of the

Flip your top inside out so that your right sides are together, then
simply measure and cut a rectangle out of the useable parts of the top.


If you have ever had any doubts about how sharp these rotary cutters
are... I cut the petals right off of this poor sweet little flower
button darn it. The rest are all salvaged and resting comfortably in my
little botton jar. (Insert by Robyn: They're also sharp enough to cut a little boy's finger 1/4 of the way through his fingernail)

Pin your pieces together and head for the sewing machine. Because of
the delicacy of my poor worn out fabric, I did a slightly larger than
1/4 “ seam allowance, then also zig zagged the edges for added strength.

forget to leave a hole for turning right side out! Because I thought it
would be difficult to sew through some of the thicker pleats, I made my
hole over toward a corner; I normally don’t like to do that.

Clip your corners, and then flip your little pillow shape inside out. We are almost done!

your pillow form so that it isn’t all wrinkly when you get it done. Pay
special attention to the open areas to iron your seam allowance, it
makes it much easier to have a straight seam when you blind stitch the
opening closed.

Stuff with the stuffing of choice, I like
polyester fiber fill for pillows. Remember to smooth it out as you go
so your little pillow isn’t lumpy and deformed when you are done. (Fig


Last but not lease, blind stitch your opening closed. Take your time
and do it neatly. A sloppy “blind” seam can totally ruin an otherwise
beautiful pillow. Take small stitches and make sure that you aren’t
leaving any puckers behind.

A little tip, I always leave the
space where I am blind stitching a little under stuffed, then when I
get down to where I only have about ¾’ left I take a pencil and use the
eraser end to gently push a little more filling through the hole and
into the under stuffed space. Leaving understuffed until the blind
stitching is nearly done makes it much easier to blind stitch and makes
my seam much easier to disguise. It also makes it a lot easier on your
hands; you don’t get such a bad cramp trying to hold that seam closed
while you sew.

And that’s it, you are all done. You have taken something treasured and turned it into a keepsake.


Ps, look at the left side of my pillow, half on one pleat is completely
gone, I had to sew one big tear back together and this is how it had to
be. I am weird though I don't think this detracts from my pillow at
all, I think it just adds that much more character =0)

There are so many things you can convert into pillows.
Your daughter’s darling little infant dresses
Your son’s overalls with a gingham button down shirt sewn inside (I would love to try this).
Your old pajamas obviously LOL
Wool Sweaters

Give it a try and please send me pictures if you try it, I would love to see your darling pillows!

A little bit about Jeanette: She and I have been friends for.... about 2 1/2 years now. We met on an old message board forEVER ago, that I have since left, but she is so cool! She has 3 kids, 2 of which are twins. She is an AWESOME quilter and scrapbooker (even if the scrap supplies have sat on the shelf for the last 4 yrs).

I can't wait to try this tut. I have the PERFECT shirts and a PERFECT place for them! Hopefully I'll get a chance today, but if not, you'll see a shirt pillow from me soon!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


I finally finished the door handle!

Ok, I chickened out. That wasn't good enough I decided, to give to that couple. I'm not sure if they appreciate that kind of stuff or would think I was being "cheap" by giving something handmade. So I changed my plan and yesterday made this:


and gave it to them instead. Still homemade, but also less mistakes on it.

Ebroidery and the ER

So I finished the embroidery part of the piece I"m making for the wedding gift. I did re-do the letters (and in doing so tore the fabric, but there wasn't enough time to start over so I patched it as best as possible). I finished the last half of the words last night in the ER.

So here's the story: We put the kids to bed about 8:00/8:15ish and Juliana fell out of bed. Now, her bed is a toddler bed, about 1' off the ground, so super low. We have hardwood floors, but she has this huge rug on her floor. She's fallen off lots of times, usually, gets up w/out a fuss and goes back to bed. Last night, however, she cried BAD. I just figured it was because she didn't want to go to bed. Anyway, we put her back to bed, and I had to run an errand. So I left.

When I came back, she was on Daddy's lap downstairs. He said, "Every time I lay her down she screams and wakes up, even if she was out cold." So I thought for a while.... it must be her ears, right? That's what wakes kids up at night. Well, she was on Daddy's lap on the couch and I came to the computer. She decided she wanted to sit on my lap, so she came over and I picked her up under her armpits to lift her to my lap. She SCREAMED. I thought, now THAT is odd. So we asked her about all her possible owies. Do your ears hurt? no. throat? no (unless you pointed to it on the left side) back? no tummy? no. So we narrowed it down to throat and figured she must be achy. Our friends left and I went and joined Daddy on the couch. Juliana stayed awake the whole time, being totally good unless you lifted her up or raised her left arm. We finally found a tender spot between her neck and shoulder.

Thinking we'd leave it to the next day and just watch it, we decided to go to bed. We told her that she could sleep in our room (we have a matress on the floor for just such occasions). While Daddy made her bed, she layed on ours. I looked at her and she was trying to sit up, but after an effort, cried out in pain and layed back down. I knew something was wrong. So I took her to the ER.

We got there about midnight. They got us back into our room quickly, but there were bigger emergencies (like a finger stuck in SOMEthing that they'd been trying to free for hours). Juliana was SO patient. She was as goofy as all getout due to being tired. I, luckily, had my embroidery with me. Apparently, at 1 AM, watching the needle come up from the back of the fabric to the front is HILARIOUS. Finally, we got to see the Dr (who apologized profusely for being so busy). He had us do X-Rays (which she was SO good during, esp since I couldn't be next to her). She finally fell asleep after X-Rays. Sure enough, her collarbone was broken. They can't do much for that. I finished my embroidery while waiting for our paperwork to come back. We got home at 3:30AM

Tonight I'll be washing it and putting it together so it'll look nice, but here's the embroidery part. I hope my 2AM work cuts the mustard.

in front of the G is where the fabric tore.


I still have to french knot the i in goodnight, that's all I didn't have done.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I could cry!

    So you know that piece of embroidery I'm working on? I finally finished the edge. The entire edge. Then I went to unpick the words so I could properly do the letters. And I TORE the fabric. I was bummed the rest of the night. Luckily it's a very small tear and I think I can fix it. But still. After all that work!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

An Apron

Ok, so after a few VERY close calls w/ acrylic paint and my pants, I decided I should cut my risk down and wear an apron. I made one when Roger and I were first married, but I could NOT find it today, so I grabbed one of DH's old ones. He used to work at a grocery store deli. Anyway, it fit great, but it was kinda ugly. SOOOOo.... I decided to make my own! I would love to have one of the emmaline aprons, but alas, I couldn't afford the pattern. And even if I could afford it, I"m not sure I'd ever have the guts to try it. Anyway, so instead I made this apron:

Please excuse the bizarre proportions. 1. I'm pregnant and showing and 2. My husband didn't bother standing up to take the picture, so it's at an odd angle.

Also, anybody know how to clean out acrylic paint from sinks? Mine is nasty! It looks like this:

It's as sanitary as sanitary gets- I tried scrubbing w/ vinegar. But even that hasn't TOUCHED the acrylic paint I've used. And I know I'll add more to it. So do I just let it be a gross looking sink or is there a secret to cleaning it off?

Friday, March 14, 2008

orange, pink, and green

I set out to make a bookmark tonight, since I started a new book. The book is called "A Murderous Yarn." It's by Monica Ferris. I'm only 5 pages in, but it looks cute. Apparently she has a series of "Needlecraft Mysteries." Anyway, I read a lot and every time I read a book I think to myself, "You really should make yourself a bookmark." Somehow, I never do. Tonight, I figured, would be different. So I picked my colors and cut my bookpage. After I painted the bookmark, however, I got carried away w/ the paints and made a bunch of things! This is what happened!

Ok, here's the bookmark, on the left. Not sure how I feel about the paint/stamp letters. But I'd been itching to try to use stamps w/ my paints, so I'm glad I did.

The one on the right is a card. I got SO lucky to actually happen to have the Bazzil cardstock that matched my acrylic paints. Makes me want more!
The "find peace within" stamp was a last minute addition. I think I like it.


This one was just goofing off. It's like 2"x4" or something like that. Don't know what I'm going to use it for yet.


This is just some artwork I did. I was wondering if I was capable. I think if I practice it might end up kinda cute next time!

Friday Tutorial: Sock Monkeys

Oh my gosh! I cannot believe I didn't do this earlier today. I feel so bad! I'd like to have a guest spot every Friday, or as often as I have people willing to BE the guest spot. This will include a tutorial from them.

First up, we have Liz Rhamat. She makes the CUTEST sock monkeys ever! I found her on Flickr and she helped me make MY first sock monkey. I hope to make many more now that she's shown me how. She has taken the time to write a tutorial JUST for this blog, so I hope you all enjoy!

REMEMBER: Any of the photos can be enlarged by clicking on them!!

Tutorial: Making Your Very Own
Sock Monkey

What you need:

  • Pair of socks

  • Thread

  • Sewing Needle

  • Pins

  • Scissors

  • Poly-fill Stuffing

  • Tailor’s Chalk (Optional)

  • Chopsticks (Optional)

  • Sewing Machine (or
      you can choose to sew by hand)

Steps for Body
and Legs:

1. Turn the socks
inside out and lay out the socks as shown in Picture 1 below, with the
heels facing up.


2.  If you’re
a new to sewing, you may want to use running stitches or use pins to
guide where your final stitches should be. If you’re comfortable sewing,
you can skip this part and start sewing two rows through the centre
with some space in between. Stop before you reach the heel (refer to
Picture 2). Both sides should be of equal width and these will form
the legs and the top half will be the monkey’s body.


Please take note
that you should use matching coloured threads, or as close as possible
to the socks otherwise the stitching will show when you turn the socks
over. For this tutorial, I am using contrasting colour threads so that
you can follow easily from looking at the pictures.

3.  Once you have
securely tied the ends of the stitches, cut in between the two rows
of stitches (refer to Picture 3 below).


You should stop
cutting before you reach the heel but slightly above the end of the
stitches (refer to Picture 4). This will come in very handy when you
need to turn the sock the right side up as well as to stuff the sock


4.  The next step
would be to sew the “feet” on the monkeys.
straight down all the way, to almost at the end of the sock and then
sew across (slightly
curved for a nicer effect)
 for both legs as shown in Picture 5. You an also be creative and try
different “feet” design if you like. 


There is no hard
and fast rule as to when you should sew the feet. Some prefer to do
all the sewing before cutting but thanks to my short concentration span,
I like taking breaks in between and switch from sewing, cutting and
go back to sewing.

Once you have
done both feet, you are ready to turn the sock inside out
through the gap in between
the legs
and have the sock
right side up (refer to Picture 6).


Steps for the
Hands, Ears, Tail and Mouth

5.  Congratulations.
You’re half way through creating your sock monkey. The next part would
be to repeat steps 1 – 4 again for the
. These will be your monkey’s
hands. Remember you need to stop a little before you reach the heel.

6. Once you have
finished sewing the two rows of stitches, cut across as shown in Picture
7 below. Then cut between the two rows of stitches and you have your
monkey’s hands!


7.  With the top
half of the sock, you will need to mark out where the ears, tail and
mouth will be. Study Picture 8 and use a tailor’s chalk to draw the
outline. You can then use some running stitches or pins to help hold
the sock together.


8.  The mouth is
where heel of the sock is. Sew a ‘V’-shaped pattern where the heel
is (refer to Picture 9 below). Remember to leave a gap or an opening
as you will need to turn the sock inside out LATER.



9. Next would be
the tail. Go wild here as you have options. You can make the tail straight,
curved etc. If you’re not too sure, go ahead and start with a straight
tail. I’ve made mine with a little hook at the end (refer to Picture


10. Next would
be the ears. You can make them squarish, roundish, one big and the other
small, go ahead and be creative. Stitch up anyway you want but just
remember to leave one side open so that you can stuff the ears.


For me, I usually
stitch al
l three sides as seen above in Picture 11. Then what I do is
just cut a small opening (see Picture 12 below). That’s the lovely
thing about sewing sock monkeys, there is no right or wrong. You just
keep at it until you find THE way that fits you best!



11.  Next, cut
the different parts of the monkey (refer to Picture 13). Do remember
that when you are cutting, do not cut too close to the stitches but
leave a little space.


12. What you need
to do next is tu
rn the socks to the right side and get ready to do some
major stuffing. And this would be where the chopstick will come in very
handy. Use chopstick that tapers at one end as this will help you stuff
any toy with tight corners.

Let’s start
with the body. Stuff the b
ody until it feels firm. Don’t rush through
the stuffing stage as it’s not as easy as it seems. I have had bad
stuffing days where I had to remove the poly-fill stuffing and do it
several times before I was happy with the result. So do not be discouraged
if you don’t get it right the first time. When you’re stuffing the
legs, you might want to use smaller portion of the poly-fill instead
of huge chunks at a time.


When you are done,
you will have to stitch the body. Pinch and tuck the raw edges together
and slip stitch the opening (Picture 14 below). Sometimes, I make a
point to stitch the opening twice to ensure that it doesn’t split




13.  Next, stuff
the hands and leave the openings as they are. Do not stitch them up
just yet. Move on and do the ears next. For the ears, after you have
stuffed them, use simple stitches to seal up the opening for the ears
(Picture 15 below).



The mouth is a
little tricky so do this slowly. Stuff the mouth and stitch up the opening
(see picture 16 below).



Hold the mouth
in the same posi
tion as shown in Picture 17 below. Stretch it a little
and adjust it so that it looks like that in the picture.



Attach the mouth
to the body of the monkey. You will need to pull and shape the mouth
until you’re happy with how it looks. Picture 18 below shows how I
like my monkey’s mouth to look. When I first did
this, my two hands
were just not enough and nowadays, I find using pins to hold the mouth
in position while I tug a little or push the stuffing around to get
that full look. Once the mouth is in place, use simple slip-stitch or
any stitch that you prefer to firmly attach the mouth to the face of
the monkey.




14.  Hope you’re
feeling totally excited now that you can see your monkey taking shape.
Next would be to sew on the ears (Picture 19). Again, I find it useful
to use pins to position the ears before I sew them to the head.




15.  Let’s attach
the hands next. Use pins to hold the hands in position, tuck the raw
edges in and stitch the hands to the body (refer to Picture 20). Where
should you position the hands is totally up to you.



16. And next would
be the tail. Yes, like the hands, position and secure safely with some
pins and stitch the tail to the back of the sock monkey as shown in
Picture 21.



17.  Well done,
you have just made you
r very first sock monkey. Well, just need to add
a few more things and then we’re done. So take a few minutes to sit
back and admire your handy work. I usually get very excited at this
stage and spend a few minutes just grinning real silly looking at my
monkey. And many monkeys later, I still do this and love this part best.
Picture 22 below is how my monkey looks like.



18. Next stage
is heaps of fun as
you get to be real creative. Let’s start with the
lips of the monkey (or some say the mouth). I find using back-stitch
handy (Picture 23) for this but once again, use what you find most comfortable.
Any kind of stitch will work. I prefer to use red thread for this but
it’s pretty much up to you.



19.  Let’s give
our monkey


some eyes. And here you can use buttons (refer to Picture
24) if you want to. But if you’re making this monkey for any child
below the age of three, you should avoid buttons or anything that the
child can choke on.



20. For me, I prefer
to use bits of felt for my sock
monkey. And here’s how handsome he
looks with his new pair of eyes (Picture 25).





I hope you have
found this tutorial useful. It
takes a lot of patience to complete a
sock monkey but it’s really a lot of fun so if you get stuck along
the way, put it aside for some time and come back to it later. More
importantly, always remember there is no such thing as badly made sock
monkeys because they have always end up looking darn cute despite their
“imperfections”, that’s h


ow forgiving they are! I was asked if
we need to use matching socks to make the sock monkey.
You have the artistic freedom to use mismatch socks
if you wish to. Remember, it’s going to be YOUR monkey, so you can
use any kind of socks. So go forth and experiment!

These pictures
were taken when I made the sock
 monkey for the tutorial. I would appreciate
if you drop me an email or link to my blog at if you would like to use them.

About myself:


My name is Liz
and I am a crafter living in Singapore, a small little island in South-East
Asia. I taught myself how to sew these sock monkeys a couple years ago
by searching online for ideas and (many socks later) through trial and


error, combined different methods to one that I find suits me best.
Other than sewing sock monkeys, I also make other plush toys as well
as switch between other crafts such as jewellery-making, mosaic and
currently, am getting my hands all dirty with ceramic pottery

Thank you SO much Liz for the tut!! And if you can, please support Liz in her etsy shop!

Liz's Blog:

Liz's Etsy Shop:

Also, here's my FIRST sock monkey, thanks to Liz!