Friday, December 30, 2011

New Years Resolution 2012

Putting this out there so that I cannot wimp out and continue to live in chaos...  I am joining the 52 Weeks To An Organized Home.  I like the idea that I will get an email each week with the challenge for the week; plus it means that I have 7 days to complete the task.  There is a master list that I have skimmed, but I kind of like the idea of waiting for the emails to see what I will need to tackle.  {This fits, as I never find out the gender of my baby while pregnant or open Christmas gifts early} - I suppose that I enjoy the element of anticipation and surprise.  So some weeks I'll cheat and check, but other times I will wait with baited breath to see what I must tackle for the upcoming week.  

This whole house was attacked in a thorough manner in October, but for some reason the past 2 months have taken their toll - perhaps due to:
  • end of a pregnancy taking a mental and physical toll on the mother
  • said mother's need of creative output (spending too much time at the sewing machine - so shoot me - I sew instead of scrub)!
  • arrival of a precious honey requiring above person to spend hours bow-bowing on her chair completely smitten with our baby girl (no, I do not have stump bum from sitting so much - must be for some other reason).
  • maybe because the big kids know that I am not moving too far off my chair and therefore do not feel the need to actually complete or start tasks given to them.
  • a lack of actual caring from me that has result from all of the above.
52 Week Organized Home Challenge

But this will all change, because I am going to get a handle on this house - I have some great systems in place for the school paper clutter - counter top filing system, magnets for each school kid on the fridge {We all need to just make sure that they are used consistently by all parties}.
I have some semblance of a system set up for our household bills/papers, but I need to make sure that I actually use those systems - it is so easy to just let things go and then become buried in needless work when it comes time to pay the piper.  Also the family info binder and 'Mom's Planner' need to be kept up better, because they sure make my life easier with they are functioning properly.
Then there is the other things that I am not so great at keeping track of - weekly cleaning schedules, meal planning, master to do lists, projects for the house.  {Many of these are part of my planner binder - I just need to figure out exactly when and how to keep it all up to date}

This is my 2012 New Years Resolution:  By the end of 2012, this house will be more organized and functional to the lifestyle of this household.
Oh and the standard I will lose 25(ish) pounds as well! - what about you, do you have any grand plans for 2012?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Coffee Cozies

Cold weather, dark nights, snowy roads - all things that lead me directly to the local coffee shop.  I do not love regular coffee, but add chocolate, frothed milk, and whipped cream and I am hooked. Mochas are my downfall - I will take a cup of black coffee occasionally just to keep people on their toes.

Every once in a while I get my that lovely cup of chocolate yumminess and the kind barista forgets to put on one of the ugly but serviceable coffee sleeves. 
I found this lovely little pattern in a magazine and decided to make one (or two) of my very own.  Now I just need to remember to actually put it in my purse so that I can use it on a regular basis.

In other news a pink bundle arrived at our house this week, so this crafting and blogging may slow down a bit for a while.  Although I have a lot of stuff that I want to make for her and for this house.

Linked up to:
Fun Stuff Fridays,

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Wire & Bead Wrapped Ornaments

A long while ago, I had found this through Pinterest.  I love the colors and modernish flair that the ornaments had and decided that I could make my own.  Although I wanted glass beads (not sure why, but I did).
The one on the right was the first one I made - I kind of like the lopsided look.
Anyhow these are the steps (with out photos):
  1. I threaded beads on a long strand of thin wire I found next to the beads at Joanns  approximately 3 ft. worth of beaded wire for each ornament (Leave a bit of excess wire to wrap around the frame and so that it shows a bit on the tree).
  2. Next, I took a wire hanger and bent it into a tree shape using needle nose pliers, seriously requires more muscle than I though it would.
  3. I wrapped and wrapped:  The first one kept sliding up to the corners, but for the next one I got smart and looped the bead strand around the frame to help keep the beads where I wanted them.
  4. For the top I used a couple of larger beads for the 'star.'  I made a hanger by leaving a larger loop of metal for a hook. 

All said and done they were a fun quick project and I love the non-traditional colors I used.  Now I think that it would be fun to make other shapes and maybe keep them out year round - the options are endless.

What are you making to put up on your tree?  Do you stick to the traditional or are you drawn to the more whimsical and different options out there?  What other shapes should I make - I'd love to hear your ideas.  Have a great day!

Linking up to:
Fun Stuff Fridays

Shine on Fridays

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pennant Banner {Gift for tween sister}

I had my baby sister's name in our family gift exchange, and our spending limit is small - more of just a gesture than anything else.  I found fun girly (not baby-ish) fabric at Joanns:

From there I created a fun pennant banner - hopefully she liked it.  

I had some left over pieces, and I made a couple headbands following this tutorial.  As often happens, I spaced out and mailed them before photographing them.  I hope to make myself a couple before I have this baby - they seem like a handy way to keep my hair out of my face {it is getting WAY too long).

Have a lovely day!

Linked up to:
Fun Stuff Fridays

Shine on Fridays

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Thinking Pink {Baby Girl Blanket}

One of the first projects I began this fall during my weekly sewing days, was a sweet baby blanket.  So, so, so easy to put together the top (I bought a jelly roll on a whim a while ago); it took less than an hour - not counting the interruptions I had that afternoon.

The blanket top - all patterns in the Havens Edge fabric line by Tina Givens
After I put the top together I attempted to find a fabric in my stash that I could use for the back, but the pinks were wrong, greens had too many other colors, and nothing else seemed to 'go.'  So I ordered 2 yards of one of the fabrics in the line and began the quilting process about 1 month after I made the top! {Have no fear there were other projects started and finished in that time (see previous posts)!}
Quilt with backing showing

I did not do anything too fancy on the quilting.  I machine quilted diagonal lines across the layers at a 45 degree angles, making squares (or diamonds).  I initially created the lines with masking tape that I sewed along the edge of - sometimes I think that I was not on the correct side of the tape, so there are a few places that they are not perfect squares, bit honestly I love how it turned out.  I bound it with satin blanket binding, and that took the longest - as I hand sewed the back side with an invisible stitch.  It was a relaxing project to have to work on in the evenings.
A close up of the binding and quilting

The fabric is not actually my style {not that I do not like it), but I have a sister who will love it.  Kind of hoping for a girl at her house so that I can send this along to welcome a little niece.  Otherwise I'll have to whip up some kind of boy thing quickly!

Have a wonderful day!

Linked up to:

Happy Go LuckyTodays Creative BlogTip Junkie handmade projects

Toys in the Dryer - fun stuff Fridays
Blue Cricket Design - Show and Tell

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Handmade Gift Exchange {gift I gave}

So a while ago I was reading Craftaholics Anonymous, and Linda was talking about wrapping up the Handmade Gift Exchange for the fall season.  Super curious and intrigued, I marked the sign-up date for the next round on my computer calendar {when it actually came time I almost forgot}.  
I so enjoyed making these gifts for my newest friend!  I have never met her, but maybe someday in this small world we will.
I first started out with some fabric baskets similar to the ones that I made before:
This time I appliqued the letters of her sons' name on them - hopefully somewhere she can use little places to catch his toys, collections, etc.  This was actually my very FIRST attempt with applique and Heat n' Bond adhesive - such a great way to personalize items.

With the left over fabric I decided that she needed some decor to go with the boxes:

This was also a fun project - my friend Chartreuse has been making these on our sewing days, and as I shopped for fabric the past few times I have been coordinating with pennant banners in mind - although this was the first one that actually happened!  Funny how you can be influenced by the people you craft with!

 And I may have included a surprise for her {actually, I did not take photos, so you'll have to wait until I finish the next one}.

Thank  you to Linda for coordinating all of this exchange business - I know that it must be a huge job.

Linking up to the Handmade Gift Exchange Linky Party

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Owl Taggies {Pinned Projects}

Oh for the love of Pinterest!  I have spent hours of my life that I can never get back perusing that site.  To justify the hours spent browsing other people's creativity, I think that it has actually been a great addition to my life.  I have implemented several of the organizing strategies into my household and it has inspired me to get moving through my stash of fabrics.
{These are my take on the pin below}
Source: via Amy on Pinterest

I created my own pattern, but cannot claim to be the first parson to come up with this idea, but I will say that I love the design of my owls; I am just partial to creating my own spin on things.
Boy Owl Detail
This was one of my first attempts at applique - It is such a fun way to embellish a project or in this case incorporate it into the design of the object.  I hope to add much more in my future crafty endeavors.
{Girl Owl Detail}
Seeing as how I did not find out the gender of this baby, I could use one of these for my own little bundle.  The other will likely be a gift to one of the many babies that come in my life.  Having gifts on hand... wonderful.  
{Suede is the backing - making it kind of stiff for now, but I think that with use it will soften up.}
 Now to just find a baby or two to give these to.

As far as the items I mentioned in the previous post, I have made couple of the beaded Christmas tree ornaments, but so far no photos.  The other items I mentioned are gifts for others and I am going to wait to share until those people have received their gifts - hold tight you will soon see them!

Linked up to:

Happy Go Lucky

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Busy Preparations

The next two weeks are going to be crazy busy - Shopping trip, Thanksgiving, hosting a Christmas party, all happening while I am beginning the nesting stages of this pregnancy!  Oh well, it keeps life interesting.
I just need to be on the ball for Christmas Eve in this house - I would love to have the time to revamp my decorations.  I am hoping to try making a few ornaments like this:

Source: via Amy on Pinterest

It is just fun colors moving beyond the traditional colors of red and green.  Oh and I dream of a tree like this:

Source: via Amy on Pinterest

I had grand plans of creating an advent calendar this year,

but I have run out of time.  This is a cute idea for those stray socks, although I am not sure that I have enough Christmas-y singles.

So for the week I have to make a few more fabric baskets - thinking of trying a different pattern, make a few ornaments, relax and read a book (ha, in my dreams), finish up all my Christmas shopping - moving to the ordering stage now, so all will be delivered to me door!

Have a lovely day and happy preparations!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Craft projects

Finally I am getting around to posting my projects for last week.

First up - the baby blanket that I made.  It is of the 'rag' variety, but thinner than some, because I like them that way {try feeding a baby while sweating - NOT fun}.  Only one piece of fabric and one piece of flannel.  Still cozy and fun!

With some of the left over scraps I put together a few checkbook covers following this tutorial.  It is a great 1 hour (maybe 1.5) project.  Plus way cuter than the blue plastic ones you get free from the bank!

Finally the fabric baskets that I made {and did sell a few of!}.  I love these little projects, you can make them in so many different sizes so you can customize them for specific space.  These ones were made following this tutorial, although I cut my first square an inch too small, so I modified the rest of the tutorial to work for my 'error.'

So did you accomplish any fun crafty projects this week?  I love when I feel like I have balanced the mom, wife, cook, maid, and crafty hats that I wear!  The past couple of weeks have been a good balance for me - now to just stay on that 6" beam for a few more weeks.

Linked up to:

Happy Go Lucky

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