Friday, February 26, 2010



You have the world's best care bear stare, and are a trooper for going in to work today in a blizzard. I can't wait to celebrate your special day! TODAY! (And any additional days it may take to appropriately party.)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I'm A Winner!

Tons of craft blogs have giveaways, right? It's a great way to get people to check out your site, comment, and share your handiwork. I've entered a bunch of these contests but haven't won anything yet. UNTIL NOW!

Check out Blue Cricket Design!

This awesome blog has great tutorials and ideas, like this cool Tulle Corsage Embellished Tee.

Plus, Becca at Blue Cricket showcases other cool blogs to keep things fresh! For example:
Dot and Line!

This is a really cool shop that sells handmade lampshades (my fav is the green one on the left) - one of which I get to pick out, thanks to the $50 gift certificate I won! Woo hoo! Thanks so much to Blue Cricket and Dot and Line for their generosity. I am thrilled.

I hope you kids check out these sites, and maybe you will be the lucky one on the next go-round. I've been inspired to do a giveaway of my own - stay tuned!

Pictures, Please.

Today only, you can get a free 8x10 photo at Walgreens. Here's how: go here for the printable coupon. (Print it out landscape, otherwise it gets cut off).

If you don't already have a photo account, go to the Walgreens site and set one up - load the picture you would like printed. When you order it, make sure to select 8x10 (not 4x6 which it automatically does for you).

At checkout, make sure you select your local Walgreens for pick up, and choose the pay in store option. Bring the coupon with you and a FREE 8x10 photo is yours!

A great way to (finally) print out some of the digital pictures you've got stored up! Thanks to Surviving the Stores for the heads up.

UPDATE: I picked up my picture at Walgreens successfully! A note to save some time - enter the last 4 digits of the coupon (6335) into the coupon code box at checkout, so the purchase comes up as $0 when you pick it up.
You can also bring a copy of the coupon with you, but the guy at the store got cranky because he had to enter it in manually and said I should have done it when I ordered it. (Not that it said anywhere for you to do it that way.)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Don't Fear the Robot

Especially when he's cooking you breakfast!

This is real life, people. Get used to it.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Free Books!

I just found a cool new site that I am so happy to share with you -!

It's free to sign up, and all you need to do is post the 10 books you have and are willing to part with. Once you do that, you get 2 credits for free books to start, and can pick from any other title posted on the site by other users.

When someone wants your book, you ship it out, and when you want one, they send it to you (sender pays postage). You can get a new book for each one that you send. Sounds like a great way to get some new reading material, save some money, AND recycle - LOVE IT! Three of my favorite things.
So far I just posted three titles I know I have sitting at home, and already someone has requested one! You can also make wish lists for titles you want, and will be alerted when they are available.

Now I just have to decide what to get...cookbook? Fun novel? Crafty book? So many choices. Check it out!

(Thanks to my new swapbot friend/follower Karen (check out her blog here) for alerting me to this!)

**UPDATE: Apparently PBS has been attacked by a hacker and some members have gotten viruses. They say that the problem is resolved, but use at your own risk. Be careful out there, kids!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Let there be light!

FUNKY light, that is!

I came across this cool tutorial at Mother Earth.

I had some scraps of fabric from my first attempt at boot liners and decided to try it. It was so easy and really jazzes up the joint.

After attaching the fabric to the plate I poked through the switch whole using a seam ripper, then scissors, and did the screw holes with a food thermometer. Perfect fit! I love it, and luckily have many more switch plates to mess with.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

...Before the storm

I love my rain boots! They make me feel powerful, like I can walk through anything. However, when the temp drops my toes get a little chilly. So I was thrilled to find this tutorial from Sabbe Interior Design.

Every time we get some snow here in New York (which has been quite a lot lately!) I kick myself for not putting these together already. FINALLY, I did, and I love them! The tutorial was lovely to look at, but a little tricky to follow for me but I got it eventually.

If you want to try it out yourself, here are some tips: When it says you need 2 pieces of patterned fabric, 9X4, they really mean per sock. So, for 2, you would need 4 pieces - or, you could use 2 pieces of 18x4 instead to make things a little less complicated.

I couldn't find the boot pattern - maybe I'm just clueless - but I traced my own boot and it worked fine. You can pull out the insert of your boot or a sneaker for the sole, or trace your foot like I did.

Sew together the boot parts first, then pin and sew on sole, not all three at once.

When you're sewing on the patterned piece at the top, stretch the fleece to fit to it, since the patterned cuff will be larger than the fleece. You want that, though, so the socky part stays snug to your leg and the cuff part has enough room to fit around the outside of your boot.

Also, it calls for 1 yard of fleece and 1 yard of elastic - you don't need that much. I think you could pull it off with 1/2 yard of fleece, and for the elastic, you just need enough to go around the widest part of your calf X 2 (so you have enough for both legs).

I hope this makes sense - I think if you try it it will, but let me know if you have any other questions.

Now I'm pumped for precipitation this week! Wishing you toasty toes, too.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Flowery Festivities

Sew Mama Sew is one of my favorite blogs - their Handmade Holidays is epic (and a great source for gift ideas you can make year round!). 

I was thrilled to see that they are featuring a series of wedding inspired tutorials and ideas this week, like this lovely flower boutonnierre.  (You could use it for headbands and party decor too!)  Since not one but two of my very dear friends are newly engaged I am already brainstorming ideas for them - I'm so excited to try these out. 

You should too! 

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mardi Gras, Mardi Gras!

Bonjour Mes Amis! (A special welcome to all of my new swapbot pals - so glad you are here!)

Happy Mardi Gras to you all. I thought I'd share a festive recipe today: King Cake!

Paraphrased from here, but here is the idea: A king cake is a traditional New Orleans recipe, baked and eaten between Epiphany (Kings Day/12th night - as in, the day when the 3 Wise Men arrived after following that Star of Wonder) and Mardi Gras (the day before Lent, when you go crazy and eat and drink whatever you want, before giving up the good stuff).

This oval shaped coffee cake is decorated with icing and the traditional Mardi Gras colors of green, yellow, and purple. BUT WAIT THAT'S NOT ALL. There is a BABY inside! YES! You bake a little plastic baby into the cake, and whomever gets that slice will be lucky. (Plus you have to bring the cake next year, too).

Now, I realize it is already Mardi Gras today, and you might be pressed for time. Here is a shortcut to King Cake: Canned Cinnamon Rolls!


•1 can of cinnamon rolls, with icing

•3/4 cup of sugar, separated into 3 parts of 1/4 each

•food coloring

Separate the cinnamon rolls and roll them out by hand so that they look like a hot dog. Shape the roll into an oval, pinch the ends together, and place on a cookie sheet. Cook as directed.

While they are cooking, use food coloring to dye sugar. Make one part purple using blue and red, one part green, and one part gold using yellow. When they are finished cooking, ice the tops with the white icing. Sprinkle the different colors of sugars alternating as you go around the oval. Enjoy!

Now, I don't want to get in trouble from the purists out there, so if you do have the time, here is Emeril's traditional recipe.

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Kickin' It

This is what I did on my Friday night:

Kind of cool, huh?  After a long week of crazy weather and feeling kind of blah I spent the evening sewing together scraps into this delightful ball, courtesy of Seams to Me (which I'd written about previously.) 

I think it came out pretty well!  It wasn't nearly as tricky as I thought - closing the final patches after filling it with fluff was a little tough,  but overall I think its delightful.  And I do hope a certain soon to be one year old will enjoy it on her upcoming birthday! 

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snowy Day Dog

Yes, there is a little dog in the picture.  Can you see it?  Kind of like Where's Waldo, but instead, Where's Doggo. 

I was just reminded today as it snows a TON in New York, where I live (check out my neighborhood) when our dog Pepper used to run around like crazy in the snow and we called him Snowy Day Dog. 

I had a book when I was little called Snowy Day Bear, which is where that came from.  It is out of print now.

Not much else to report, I suppose, except that I wish I had a snow day today.  Oh well. 

Friday, February 5, 2010

My Favorite Boy

I was so happy to see that these cool blogs Made and Made by Rae have deemed February 2010
Celebrate the Boy month!

They have put together a month full of craft/sewing projects geared towards little guys like this one: 

Lots of ideas that I come across are full of frills   - which I love, but I was hoping that I might come across a good source of fun clothes and treats to make for my friend here. 

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Make My Day

Ok I am now officially obsessed.  Swapbot is amazing!  I think everyone should do it, I love it so much.  Here is what I got in the mail today:
My partner in the Big Fat Stuffed Envelope swap sent me all of this awesome stuff!  Hair do-dads, cute pins, stationary, a mix cd, neck warmer and I giant lolipop!  It seriously made my day.  This past week has been a tough one and this really cheered me up so much.  It is so funny how a total stranger can do that*!  Thank you Rachel.   

(Also, please forgive the crummy pictures, again - I really should just bring my camera with me at all times.  For now just pretend its a polaroid and I'm so retro chic.) 

But that is not all!  What a lucky girl am I that I received not 1 but 2 packages in one day!

Another one I'd signed up for was to exchange tea kits: 2 packets of tea, one coaster, and a bookmark.  I really got lucky with this one.  My partner Katie happens to be an awesome cardmaker and sent me all this cool stuff! 

You should definitely check out her blog, Kate and Oli, and her etsy shop to see her amazing wares.

Like this Llama! 
So cool!  I love being a part of this network where I can share my own crafts and also see what else people are working on themselves - it is really inspiring.  Speaking of, I need to restock my own shop...hopefully there will be some new items in the next week or so.  Check back. 

*Brian's homemade baked ziti last night put me on the right track too. 

Football Fun...for me

The Superbowl is this weekend! Although I have tried to get more into football this year for Brian's sake, I'm still not sure that it is my thing. (Perhaps losing every single game in fantasy football has something to do with it.)
However, one thing I do like is theme parties! So I am excited to pick some fun football food for Sunday. Here is a cake I made for our joint birthday last year that seemed appropriate to share. (I tried to crop the boxed wine out of the pic, to no avail. It was free though!)

I've made this before too! So fun. Kraft Foods has some great game day ideas.

For some more, check out Birthday Girl's post here for a round up of some more fun ideas like these:

So, while I might not be a gridiron girl, I can find some things to keep me occupied with the game. Even though my attempt at Cat Team Jerseys was a total fail (maybe I'll figure it out for next season).

Now I just have to get invited somewhere...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Valentines Delights

Valentine's Day is only a few days away friends!  I don't really go in for the whole mandatory roses and candy = love thing (not that I don't like flowers and/or candy) but I do like to show the special people in my life that I love them. 

Yet here is a heart I sent to a stranger!  WHAT!  Thanks to my new obsession, swapbot, I joined the Flat Flat heart swap and crafted (you guessed it) a flat heart out of fabric scraps to send to my assigned partner.  It came out so nice I wanted to keep it, but I think I'll just make some more.  It was easy!  And I think it helped me practice some quilting which I want to do more. 

To put it together, I sewed together a square of scraps then affixed them to an equal size square of interfacing.  I folded the square in half and cut out half a heart shape, so when I opened it up it was a full heart, even on both sides.  (Remember doing this in elementary school with construction paper?)

I pinned it to a scrap of felt I had then attached it with a zigzag stich for fun, trimming away the extra felt when it was done.  Sew Simple!

But wait, what if you don't sew but still want to make your own Valentines!  I've got some super simple options for you, don't worry. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Shoes for Haiti

The victims of the Haitian earthquake need so much, but here is one more way to help.  

 50 000 shoes is working to raise money to provide 50,000 shoes in 50 days.  $5 =2 pairs!  You can donate at their website, or if you need a new pair yourself, check out Recessionista. They have partnered with Soles for Souls and 50,000 shoes, and for each shoe they sell (all discounted, by the way) they will send a pair to Haiti, along with 20% of sales for their non shoe items. 

Dining Room Delight

I wanted to share with you some pictures of a Christmas gift I made for my mom - I wasn't able to showcase it here in December because that would ruin the surprise. 

I did get some shots of it in action over this past weekend while visiting, so check it out!

I sewed a plain navy tablecloth, a set of placemats, matching napkins, and a table runner.  The tablecloth was pretty simple - I just sewed a double hem on all 4 edges of a big swatch of cotton sateen.  I got the rest of the fabric (upholstery) at Ocean State Job Lot for $2/yard - not too shabby!  (If you are lucky enough to live/visit Rhode Island or Connecticut where these stores are located, DEFINITELY take the time to do so!)

As for patterns, I sort of made it up as I went along, with some help from (a really great resource for all sorts of DIY home decor ideas).  Next time I might use thinner fabric - the upholstery weight was a little tough to work with and made for some thick hems, but overall, a success! 

If you're not up to doing a whole dining room set, start with just a few cloth napkins.  You can probably use scraps you have left over from other projects, and its yet another way to be green! 

Monday, February 1, 2010

Happy Birthday Emily!

This makes me so happy I just had to share. My cousin Emily (hip girl in pink, flashing the peace sign) had a sleepover birthday party this weekend, and my crafty aunt Allyson made the girls some awesome scrunchies using my tutorial!

They look stunning! Great job Allyson. I'm so psyched my tutorial was of use!

Today is Miss Emily's actual birthday, so:


I hope you had a great party, and an amazing year!