Saturday, February 27, 2010

all 70 done!

I'm a day late again for Sew & Tell Fridays (as usual,) but I didn't finish these until just last night! I'm so happy to have all 70 nine-patches made for my quilt! It's been awhile, so here is the inspiration quilt, if you want to see. Awesome, right? Mine is going to be huge because I didn't know the block sizes when I first started so I guessed, and started with 3 inch squares. Later I found out that 2.5 inch squares are what was used, but that's okay because Casey always wishes we had a huge quilt that covered his 6 feet, 2 inches from head to toe. This may do the trick!

Right after I finished those up, my friend Angela came over for some scrapbooking! Both our husband are gone right now, so it was a good excuse for some girl time. Here's the Kelby page I made:

And here's the one I had started last weekend and go to finish up last night:

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


So, my blanket listings were removed from Etsy because Taggies complained about several sellers infringing on their Trademark. That's that. I could fight it, but I'm not going to. There are a ton of other venders on Etsy selling baby taggie-style items and I could point them out to Etsy and to Taggies in my defense, but I'm not going to. So, I will leave the baby shoes listings up until they sell or expire, but I'm going to put the shop on the back burner for now. I don't have the time or money to start over with new ideas at this time, PLUS I don't think I've mentioned yet that I have gone back to school! I have five years under my belt and now is the time for me to finish. I'm very excited about it, I found a great school online that is perfect for me, so for now, that's going to be consuming much of my spare time.

SO, these blankets will still be available to friends and family, so if you are interested in one, contact me directly. And please don't be upset with Etsy over this and do continue to support Handmade!

Here is something to be happy about--my Valentines Day daisies from Casey are still beautiful. It's the little things :)

open for business!

So, it's happening a month later than I had planned (gee, I wonder what I could be so busy with) but my Etsy shop, Fancy Me Fabrics has opened! Like I mentioned before, I'll be selling handmade items in order to eventually (hopefully by mid-summer) be able to sell fabric!!! I'm very excited about that prospect.

For now, I have listed several ribbon tag baby blankets (the only full-size tag blankets on Etsy...) and several pair of soft baby shoes (two different styles.) Soon I'll be adding some Happy Birthday Banners, very different from anything else on Etsy, so I'll of course let you know when I post those!

Happy shopping! and tell your friends ;)

Monday, February 22, 2010

more from Archivers...

I realize these pictures aren't the greatest. My lighting wasn't good and I'm too lazy (or busy :) to take them all again, so without further ado, here are the pages I got done at Archivers the other night!

This one's not quite done. I'll post it again when it's finished maybe :) And really, all the photos on these pages look so much better than they do in these pics. Sorry about that.

While I was there, I did something kinda silly. I bought these two papers as decorating inspiration. We're hoping to move soon, so I have decor on the brain :) The one on the left is what I'd like my kitchen to look like someday and I think the one on the right would translate beautifully in the girls room, don't you??

Thursday, February 18, 2010

my wrists are so warm :)

I laughed as I typed that title because it's so cheeeeesey. Ha! But really, my hands do get cold sometimes here in the house and as it doesn't make much sense to walk around with gloves on, wrist warmers are the perfect solution. So, I went on the hunt for the perfect pattern! I wanted it to be a crochet, not a knitting pattern and of course they had to be pretty. On Ravelry last week, I came across the perfect one, finally! It was not one of the free ones, but it was a PDF download for $4.50 (I LOVE being able to download a purchase because the shipping cost would be a deal breaker!)

I used Patton's Bamboo Silk yarn from Hobby Lobby and WOW what a product. This is the softest, best yarn I've ever worked with and as it's not expensive at all, I'll be using it again for sure--probably with the same pattern because these would make great gifts :)

Here's the pattern pic:

...and here's where you can find it! If you're a "fiber artist" (fancy title for Granny-artist, lol) and you haven't yet joined Ravelry, you absolutely should! It's free and all you have to do is wait a few days to be "accepted." There are loads of patterns, free and otherwise and even more inspiration. Plus yarn guides and forums and on and on. Have fun!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Luuuuuv :)

Okay, so I know I have some (or one ;) readers who do not like Valentines Day, but I happen to l-o-v-e it, so I'm posting this anyway! My Dad always made the day special for my sister and I as kids and it's really a great memory for me. We don't do candy here, but I did make the girls these twirly skirts. All from my stash, too!

My friend Jenn let me borrow her Girly Stripwork Skirt pattern. (If you make this and don't have a serger, add 1/2" to all cutting measurements so that you can take 1/2" seams, which makes it so much easier to pinking shear the edges!) I used black corduroy for the hem and waistbands, given to me by another friend and it left black specks in it's wake for the next several days, since they wore these every waking hour from Sunday til Tuesday until I insisted on putting them in the wash!!! Now I seriously need to vacuum...again. Needless to say, they love them so much, I'll definitely be making them again!

While I was at it, I used the timer on my camera to take this pic of all of us. Not pro-quality obviously, but I still love it because it's a picture of all of us! and we need more pictures of us!

P.S. Isn't curling the coolest Olympic sport EVER!!!! We watch it religiously, like big dorks :)

Friday, February 12, 2010


There has been a lot of art that's been catching my eye lately! Thought I'd share it with you :)

In Barnes and Noble the other day, I came across The Sweetly Diabolic Art of Jim Flora and flipped through it for more than a few minutes. Jim Flora's work is so much fun. Like this piece, for instance:

And this one...

And then, as I read this lovely blog (amazing girls' clothing, so stay to check it out,) I was introduced to Maxfield Parrish. I really love the nursery rhyme illustrations. Like this one:

And Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater...

And then there's all that AMAZING art to be found on Etsy. I've been wanting an ABC print like this one from The Wheatfield...

Or this one from Orange Studio by Helen Dardik

Both these shops have GREAT art to offer. Here's another one of my favorites from Orange Studio. Check out the moka pot!! Awesome.

*sigh* someday soon when we have our own place and we have a school room (or area :) I will buy one of those ABC prints!!!

In the meantime, if there are any inspiring artists' links you could give me, I'd be happy to drool over them :)

Lastly, have you seen this video?? Pretty cool.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

a lotta latte

When I first started making lattes at home, I found it really frustrating that I couldn't find a "recipe" with actual measurements. They all said things like, "pour your milk over your espresso and....done!" But, I needed to know how much milk and how much espresso!! So, this is a basic little latte tutorial for you :)

First, you need to make some espresso. I have had a big, whiz-bang espresso machine in the past and it really only caused frustration before it finally stopped working altogether. So several months ago I bought a moka pot on my sister's recommendation and my life was revolutionized ;) This is what mine looks like in three pieces:

After putting the water and grounds in, it sits on the stove and when it gurgles, it's done! Just like that. Plus, these only cost about $25 so they won't break the bank AND they don't take up valuable counter space! Whatever method you choose, you need between 2 and 4 shots to make a "grande" latte.

While your espresso is brewing, put your flavoring in the bottom of your mug. I use a packet of Truvia and a splash of vanilla. And if I'm not using already flavored coffee grounds, I may add a 1/2 tsp of cocoa. However, if you want it to taste more Starbucksy, you can buy flavored coffee syrups all over the internet, and at Target. If you go that route, put in about 2 Tablespoons of syrup.

Once your espresso is done brewing, pour it into your mug and stir it a little bit into the flavorings.

Next, you'll need to warm some milk. 1 cup is what you need . If you're using a machine, it will warm and froth the milk, but I use this little hand-held milk frother (found this on Amazon) and so I need to heat my milk in the microwave first. Not too much! you don't want it to boil. 1:40 is perfect in my microwave. Then use your frother until the milk just about doubles in size. (Follow the instructions on your machine or frother. It may take some practice.) If you don't have a frother yet, it's okay, just pour in your heated milk!

When you're done, pour the milk in on top of the espresso and add some froth!

Sprinkle on some cinnamon or sugar in the raw and there ya go! Done and done.

Oh and one more note on making espresso. I sometimes buy pre-ground espresso grounds and sometimes I buy beans and grind them myself. The grounds for a stove-top espresso maker don't need to be quite as fine as in a big machine, but finer than regular coffee grounds. (Also, don't tamp down the grounds for a stovetop maker.) However, I have been know to be lazy and used regular old coffee grounds in my moka pot. Maybe it wasn't quite as strong, but it tasted fine to me :) AND, if you don't yet have a way to make espresso, some really strong coffee will work for now.

For an iced latte, add the ingredients in the same order, but do not heat or froth the milk. Add the ice last, stir a little and enjoy!

Monday, February 8, 2010

boy vs. pancake

Casey made pancakes for the kids on Saturday morning. While we were all distracted, Kelby spied the last one still sitting on the counter. After deliberating over what to do, he found himself something to stand on and dug right in.

I can see these photos on a scrapbook page very soon :) Little stinker.

Speaking of scrapbooking, I made this page for Natalie's book on Friday night at a friend's house. This was right after she was potty-trained (at 3 & 3 months!) and she looks sooooo little to me in these pics!!! I enjoyed her then, but I sure am enjoying her now too, as a big girl :) *sigh*

I had a just a couple of comments on the latte-making, so today I took some pics of the process and will post a little how-to tomorrow! Have a good snow-day, any fellow Coloradans!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

like list

I'm back with yet another list of things that are making my happy lately :) Hope you enjoy!

1. My new stove-top espresso maker. I stopped drinking drip coffee and now I only make lattes for myself here at home. I had a cheap aluminum one of these (that I've blogged about before) but I ordered a new stainless steel one and am really enjoying it! (It's this one.) And, since I don't eat refined sugar, I thought I'd share some natural options with you. You can use any combination of the following, along with a packet of Truvia (or other Stevia product): cinnamon, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, peppermint extract, or any other extract you think would taste good for that matter. I like to sprinkle some cinnamon on top too. Mmmm. I could share an entire home-latte-making tutorial here if anyone expresses interest :)

2. This book, Freedom of Simplicity by Richard Foster. I have enjoyed his books before, so I knew I would like this one. Here's a quote:

" Jesus Christ and all the writers of the New Testament call us to break free of mammon lust and live in joyous trust. Their radical criticism of wealth is combined with a spirit of unconditional generosity. They point us toward a way of living in which everything we have we receive as a gift, and everything we have is cared for by God, and everything we have is available to others when it is right and good. This reality frames the heart of Christian simplicity. It is the means of liberation and power to do what is right and to overcome the forces of fear and avarice." (p. 58)

3. Tulle on a Spool. Have you seen this?? I needed a little bit of tulle to make a Groovy Girl tutu and this spool was perfect. It comes with something like 35 yards! and I have great plans for the rest of it already.

...Such as some skirts like these ones, perhaps? (from Old Navy)

4. Magpie Patterns! I stumbled on this site the other day and ordered both a crochet pattern and a Princess and the Pea embroidery pattern. Since they were pdf files, I downloaded them right away and didn't pay shipping, obviously. Great site and awesome that they support artists like that.

5. I'm looking forward to celebrating my boy along with MADE through the month of February. It's only the 2nd and I already want to make everything she's posted so far for Kelby :) Lots of giveaways, tutorial and general boy inspiration. Super fun.

6. Last night's dinner. YUMMMMY! I had some deli pastrami in the freezer, so I pulled it out and started looking for sandwich ideas online. The first one I clicked on was an Emeril recipe (with beer, of course :) and it was REALLY good. I would type it out, but why would I do that when I can just direct you here? Also, after I took the meat out, I spooned some of the marinade into a skillet and sauteed some julienne zucchini slices in it. Again, YUM. Casey loved it all, which means it was a success :)

7. Last, but not least, some new music I've been enjoying:

  • Layla (Unplugged) by Eric Clapton (We got Layla's name from this song. Casey used to play and sing it on his guitar and my sister reminded me recently that Layla had never actually heard it!)
  • Hey, Soul Sister by Train
  • I Love by the Avett Brothers
  • Turn Back Around by Lucy Schwartz
  • Lay 'Em Down by Needtobreathe
  • Hymn by Brooke Fraser
  • Angel of the Morning by Blackman & the Butterfly
  • What I Wouldn't Do by A Fine Frenzy
  • Bird of the Summer by A Fine Frenzy
  • Everybody by Ingrid Michaelson
  • Fireflies by Owl City
There ya go! If you read this far, thanks for sticking with me :) I'm off to eat a leftover pastrami sandwich!

Monday, February 1, 2010

just for fun

Life is carrying on as usual at our house. We had a minor bug last week and since we weren't feeling very well, things were a bit relaxed--in a good way. I forgot to show you these pot holders I made for my friend Becky's birthday. She had seen the ones I posted earlier last month and requested some brown, turquoise and lime green ones. I was happy to oblige :) Pot holders are such great gifts--they are fast and fun and use up scraps. Although, after I made two of these blocks, I was imagining how fabulous an entire quilt of these would be. I mean, come on, she's on a VESPA! ;) Awesome.

I've been plugging away at some Groovy Girl clothes for Natalie for her birthday (pictures to come) but I need to buy some tulle scraps for the tutu so I sort of came to a stand still. SO, I used the time to make this little crochet hook cozy! I checked out Sew Darn Cute from the library, just for this project and I finally got around to it. I love it, it will make crochet even more fun...cause everything's more fun when it's cute, right??

It fold up into a little wallet. This project was fast, it only took about an hour from start to finish. There are some other great projects in the book too, just FIY :)

Yesterday I took this picture of Casey and Natalie. I think it's so sweet. He's really good about letting the kids in on whatever he's doing, even if they waller him. (I don't think that's actually a word, but you know what it means, right?)

Then, since I'm determined to get on the other side of the camera more this year, I asked Casey to grab the camera and get a shot of Kelby's cuddliness :) He's my most affectionate baby by far.

I know this post is getting long, sorry :) but I want to share this pic of my friend Kellye and I. We met while living in Georgia, just before our husbands were deployed to Iraq. She was in Colorado for the weekend and we were able to spend a day together for the first time in more than five years! It was so much fun, we did some reminiscing and I've been thinking a lot about our Georgia days. Isn't it funny how you can think you want life to change so badly, but when it does, you immediately miss the way things were?? That's the way it was for me when we left there. I missed it almost immediately, in so many ways. All this to say, reflecting on that has convicted me to try and truly live where I'm at and embrace my situation, whatever it may be (which, when I'm honest with myself, has always been pretty good.) Thanks for the awesome Saturday, Kellye, I hope it happens again sometime :)