Wednesday, February 29, 2012

50% - 60% off sale at my Etsy!

Things are going to be changing in my Etsy Shop very soon, so to make way for new inventory I am currently selling all items in my shop for 50% - 60% off regular prices. Current prices reflect the discount. Many items are selling at cost! Seriously. Take advantage of this great sale! Head on over to...

and check out the real deals!

{currently for sale at 50% off!}

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Master Bath Redo...

The other day we started renovations on the half-bath on the main floor of our home. That's when it occurred to me that I never posted the final images of our master bath redo back in November/December. I imagine the holidays took over my life at that time, which caused me to forget posting the "after" photos of that redo. I thought I'd share some of the "before" and "after" photos now. This was a complete renovation -- nothing was spared but the walls! It was a huge job, but we've been really happy with the results. We can't take credit for the work. I painted walls, but we had a professional do all the tear out and installation. The colors in the pictures below aren't very accurate -- we painted the walls a taupe color, but the photos don't reflect that change very well. In the first photo we had already torn out the carpet and I had "tested" the new paint on the walls...

We have a separate room in our master bath that houses the shower...

It's a wonderful feeling at the end of a project not have any regrets. We wouldn't do one thing differently. I hope when our current redo (1/2 bath on our main floor) is completed we are just as satisfied!

To see where some of the furnishings were purchased for our bed and bath remodel, 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Stenciled curtains...

My husband was out of town last week, which always puts me in "project mode." It's a productive way to pass the time when the hubs is not around to be the preferred distraction.

A couple of months ago I stenciled our bedroom walls with a gorgeous stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils. I loved the tone on tone of that stencil on our bedroom walls. Last week I decided to use the same stencil in a different way to create some stenciled curtains in our kitchen and nook. As you can tell from the pictures below I have a blue and white kitchen. Along the soffit above my cabinets I have a collection of blue and white plates that loved ones have given me or I've collected. The plates hail from places like Italy, China, Boston, Williamsburg, antique stores and Pier 1 Imports. It's an eclectic bunch that I love -- mostly because of the story behind each plate. Here's a shot of 17 of the 38 blue and white plates that surround our kitchen...

A few years ago I bought some blue and white fabric and made valences {below} to frame the kitchen and nook windows and to compliment the blue and white theme of the rooms. When all was said and done I didn't like the valances. At. All. But, money had been spent so I put up with them for a few years. When my husband skedaddled to Italy to eat ravioli {and work} and left me home, I decided it was high time for a change.

Originally I went to local stores to buy the curtains, but couldn't find anything I loved. Eventually, however, I came upon this tablecloth...

and this kitchen towel...

I snatched them up and knew I'd come upon my inspiration. I thought of using these two items to make the curtains, but instead I decided to use my previously used stencil and some muslin fabric. For less than $15 {that includes fabric, paint and thread!} I made all the curtains for the two windows in my kitchen and the two windows in my nook...

I took down the prehistoric metal blinds that were behind all the valences and I snatched the valences off the walls pronto-like. It felt so good. Then I lowered all the hardware and made the curtains cover the bottom portions of the windows to provide complete privacy, but allow the sun to shine through! I love being able to see the blue sky and the tree tops! If I choose I can part the curtains to see into my backyard.

I love the simple nature of these curtains. I only used the top portion of the stencil that I used for my bedroom on the bottom part of these curtains. I wasn't necessarily looking for a less-expensive option when I decided to find some new curtains. I just wanted something that I loved. It's an added bonus when you get both!

Linked to: 
Handmade Tuesdays @ Ladybug Blessings; Sew Cute Tuesday @ Creative Itch;

Thursday, February 23, 2012

February Plaque Attack...

I must admit I was selfish in creating the wording for this month's Plaque Attack. I like choosing a goal or mantra at the beginning of each new year. This year I neglected to do so, but recently this phrase was dropped in my lap and placed on my heart, so I designed a plaque and situated it on my night stand.  This phrase is a worthy aspiration.

I've found when life demands more of me than I think I am capable of giving, that is usually the time I realize with God's help I am made of stronger stuff than I had imagined. I'm grateful that we never get too old to learn and "become more"...

Collect the following materials to make a plaque of your own:
  • 6 1/2" square wooden plaque {available online or at craft stores}
  • 1 piece of scrapbook paper 
  • acrylic craft paint to compliment your paper
  • Mod Podge {I like the "matte" finish.}
  • paint brush
  • Rust-oleum Matte Clear Sealer
For a tutorial on how to make these plaques, go here.

If you would like a copy of this document, please follow the directions below: 

1.) Leave a comment below 
 (Usually about 30 people give me feedback in the form of a comment, 
but hundreds request the document...geesh!)

2.) Become a follower of my blog,

3.) Then send me an email with the words 
"February 2012 Plaque Attack" 
in the subject line of the email.
My email address is on my sidebar under "Welcome -- Contact Information."

I will reply to your email with the Microsoft Word document attached. 


Linked to:
Friday Favs @ Naptime Crafters;

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

"Mommy Card" Give Away Results...

Many thanks to all those who participated in the "Mommy Card" Give Away 
and to Tawny who is our talented sponsor!

The lucky winner chose to receive a custom 
"Mommy Card" in the yellow chevron pattern {so cute}! 

Congratulations Ashley!

Remember ... you can order your own "Mommy Cards" from Tawny. Just go to her blog and send her an email with your request. Her email address is located on her sidebar. Tawny sells a PDF for custom Mommy Cards for the reasonable price of $10.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Snap Trap {Lil' Kids} Wallet Tutorial...

What a mouthful. You'd think I could think of a more succinct name. From here on out we'll call this kid-sized wallet the SNAP TRAP!

Last week I introduced my Snap Trap wallet for kids. Although the Snap Trap looks similar to my Snappy Bag, the pattern and tutorial are really quite different. My Snappy Bag is great for business cards, makeup or treats, but the measuring tape closure is not secure enough for money. For the Snap Trap wallet I devised a way to add a pocket with a zippered closure to keep money or other valuables safe. This wallet could, of course, be adapted to be an adult bag with more adult-like fabric choices!

Below is the "pattern" and tutorial for my Snap Trap wallet. Please remember the little printer icon at the bottom of this post that enables you to print {with ease} this tutorial.

Materials Needed:

Front pocket and pocket lining: Two - 6 1/2" x 3 1/2" pieces of cotton fabric
Back: 6 1/2" x 4 1/2" piece of cotton fabric
Lining (& casing for measuring tape): 6 1/2" x 12" piece of contrasting cotton fabric
Interfacing for front pocket: 5 1/4" x 2 1/2" fusible interfacing
Interfacing for back: 5 1/4" x 4" fusible interfacing
Interfacing for front casing: 5 1/4" x 1" fusible interfacing
Zipper: 9 inches or longer
Two 5" lengths of 3/4" wide metal measuring tape
Finished bag: 5 1/2" wide x 4 1/4" tall


1. Before Sewing: Cut out all pattern pieces.

For front pocket and back: Attach the fusible fleece by centering it horizontally on the front pocket and back and 5/8" from the bottom of the pieces as shown below. The fusible fleece does not cover the seam allowances on the pocket front or back of wallet. This ensures less bulkiness in the seams.  

For lining (and casing for measuring tape): Turn over one 6 1/2" edge 3/8" and press. Then tuck the interfacing into the folded crease and center the fusible fleece horizontally on the lining as shown below. This interfaced edge will be the casing on the front of the wallet.

2. Making the front pocket: Now to make a little fabric sandwich:  a.) Place front pocket piece right side up, then place the zipper face side down with the pull tab at the left. b.) Place the pocket lining right side down on top of those pieces. Pin.

3. a.) About 1/4" from edge of fabric stitch together using your zipper foot. b.) Flip pocket front and lining so the wrong sides are together and zipper is exposed. Press fabrics away from zipper "teeth." Stitch through lining, zipper and front pocket 1/8" from edge of fabric.

3. Attaching front (pocket) to back: With right sides together pin bottom front pocket {and front pocket lining} to bottom back. Stitch using a 1/2" seam allowance. Press seam toward back.

4. Front measuring tape casing: Measure 1 1/4" from the previously folded edge of the interfaced lining and press. This will become the front casing for the snap (measuring tape) closure. Pin the folded edge to the zipper and stitch 1/8" from folded edge. You should have a 1 1/4" casing and the total measurement from the top of the casing to the bottom seam should be about 4 1/4". (see photo below)

5: Back measuring tape casing: Fold the lining over so it is 4 1/4" from the bottom seam to make the back casing and press.

Then fold the unfinished edge over just enough so the casing is 1 1/4"...

a.) Pin casing to back. b.) Stitch 1/8" from folded edge...

6. Stitch in a ditch: Secure the lining to the front of the wallet by running a stitch in the bottom seam through the lining. (See broken line in photo below.) This method is called "stitch in a ditch." If you are unfamiliar with this, go here. Important: the bottom seam allowance should be pressed toward the back of the wallet. This step should not be skipped as it will make a "bottom" for the zippered pocket.

7.  Finishing Zipper: Bring tab of zipper to the middle of the wallet and stitch over the ends of the zipper 1/4" from the edge of wallet side on both sides.

8. Here's where I get a little picky. Trim about 1/8" off both sides of the wallet with a rotary cutter so that the edges are clean and neat. The rotary cutter will easily slice through the zipper to make it flush with the sides. You can see the before and after in the photo below...

9. Finish one side of wallet: Fold the wallet in half right sides together. (The lining will be on the outside.) On one side only stitch 3/8" from the unfinished edge. Trim and zig-zag seam and put the wallet aside.

20. Measuring tape "Snap" Closure: Now for a little carpentry work. If you haven't already, dismantle a tape measure. Just undo the screws on the side of a measuring tape and take it apart. Be careful as you take it apart as the tape measure can "explode" when released from its confining metal case. Put a sturdy piece of tape on the end of the measuring tape to keep it wound.

21. Cut measuring tape lengths: Cut two 5" lengths off the measuring tape (with the crummiest scissors you have in your house), round the corners and tape the ends with masking tape to prevent the sharp edges from damaging your fabric...

22. Insert measuring tapes: Slip the metal measuring tapes into the casings at the top of the bag. The number side of the measuring tapes need to be facing toward the lining of the bag as shown in the photo below. Note one tape is facing "up" and the other is facing "down" because they need to be facing the lining on each side.

23. You're almost done: When you have the tapes shoved all the way inside the casing, pin the sides together and sew 3/8" from the unfinished edge of the side. Trim and zig-zag the seam.

24: Finished: Turn right side out, press and you're done!

If this tutorial was helpful, please take a moment and leave a comment below. Your comments give me the encouragement to continue sharing and creating!  Enjoy!

Linked to:

The CSI Project

Make it Monday @ Brassy Apple; Made by you Monday @ Skip to My Lou; Made Monday @ Toastie Studio; Get Your Craft On @ Today's Creative Blog; Party @ Northern Cottage; Ta-Da Tuesday @ Mommy by Day Crafter by Night; Sew Cute Tuesday @ Creative Itch; Show Me What You Got @ Not Just a Housewife; The Inspiration Board @ Homework; Show & Tell @ Blue Cricket Design; Hookin' Up @ House of Hepworths; Strut Your Stuff @ Somewhat Simple

Friday, February 17, 2012