Monday, April 26, 2010

No more ugly zero

The baby clothes quilt is done!
I love all the little things on it that remind me of my little babies.
And it's a perfect size for a lap quilt
or a girly tea party.

6 more things on my Spring to Finish list.

If they feel as good to get them done
as it did to get this honkin' quilt out of my craft room
perhaps I should stay up all night and do them all!

But probably not.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Do You Blog?

One Blog - One Tree

Never gave it much thought.
My blog leaves a carbon footprint?

Which reminds me...
when I was little
there were Menehune footprints
at our airport here on Maui.
When you got off the airplane and climbed down the stairs
(no jetways, people)
you followed the footprints to baggage claim.
Much cuter than carbon footprints.

Stay focused, Em...

Okay so the point is
there is a program which started in Germany called
My Blog is Carbon Neutral

For every registered blog
they will plant a tree
thereby neutralizing your blog's carbon footprint for 50 years.
50 years!

That's almost as good as the load of money we just shelled out for photovoltaics.
Better, really, because it's FREE (:

Just go here to join.

P.S. Is that ugly little 0
for my Spring to Finish
screaming at you like it is me?
No, I didn't think so.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Should & Am

What I should be doing:
quilting the girls baby quilt
fixing dinner for out church group tonight at our house
(mmmm... sweet & sour pork and lemon chicken)
anything on my Spring to Finish list!
ironing (oh boy)
cleaning the mess 4 little ones made in the bedroom last night
preparing something fabulous for my daughter's incredible teacher

I was thinking this from eighteen25:

I made a box like this last year full of things Bailey's teacher uses in her
class: paints, construction paper, pens, and a gift card.
But this one is decorated so very cutely!

But I really wanted something all the kids in her class could add to or participate with.

What I Am doing:
thinking about our upcoming vacation
wondering what I'm going to plan for the kids this summer
and making plans to learn how to solder jewelry

Okay, back to work!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Spring to Finish

I have eluded that I may have some unfinished projects that need, well, finishing.
To be honest, I have more than a few.
So when I found out that Jacquie from Tallgrass Prairie Studio
is doing a Spring to Finish Challenge
in which we challenge ourselves to finish those undone projects looming over our craft rooms.
I immediately thought of how wonderful it would be to have an empty sewing "inbox"
What's even better is that
the challenge is six weeks long.
And guess how much time I have until school is out...

So here is my list:
Girls' Baby Blanket quilt
Family Name Sign
Organize & Put away photos (ouch)
Finish Kids' Arts & Crafts room
Scan Family Photos
Copy Grandma's Recipes

This is in addition to all the new things I had planned to do this month.

Wish me luck!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Inspired Date Book Cover

Have you ever been to Just Something I Made?
Cathe does some really cute crafts
{lots of goodies with paper}
and she provides adorable downloads.

Yesterday she posted about covering her

It was adorable.
And her drab day-planner that she covered?
It's the same one I've been toting around
for four months now.
It was an IHTDIN project.
(That's technical terms for I Have To Do It Now
also known as I will not clean the toilets until this is complete!)

I went straight to my book shelf to find a suitable book.
This is when I learned I really love all my books.

What was a girl in need of instant gratification to do?
I sewed one!

You need:
an outer fabric
liner fabric
heavy duty stabilizer
pocket fabric, if you want pockets.

Start by cutting your main outside fabric.

I cut the top and bottom each about 3/4 " larger than the book.
I cut the each of the sides about 1 1/2" larger.
Cut a liner piece the same size.

Cut your heavy duty interfacing to the size of your planner.
Cut two out (one for the front, one for the back)

Then sew on your decorations to the outside fabric.
Be creative!
You could monogram your name
or print your kids' picture onto some fabric and add that
I had a vintage napkin I sewed on
and then cut it to size.

I also added some ribbon.

Fold the outside in half and slipped your planner in.

Then fold the flaps inward and make a mark where it would be creased.
This way you know where to put your pockets.
Remember to close your book all the way before marking-
it uses more fabric closed than when it's open.

Cut out your pockets and hem the top.
I used the other side of the napkin and used
the existing hem.

Then pin it in place
and sew it on.

Lay out the top you just finished decorating.
put the lining on top of it face down.
Right sides of the fabric should be together.
Pin and sew around the edges
but leave one entire edge open.

Turn it inside out and press.
Topstitch the left edge (the short side).
Lay your book in it again and pin the finished side
where it should go on your book.

Then take your unfinished side and measure up where it should go.
Fold the extra in on itself so that it is the correct size.
Press all your creases but don't sew yet.

Open it all back up and slide you interfacing in.

Use the creases as a guide. You want the interfacing to
be as close to the crease as possible.
(That was when we sew around the edge we'll be sure to sew the
interfacing down, too)

Pin the left side in place. Then insert the interfacing for the right side.
Again make sure it is close to the other crease.

Pin and topstitch the right edge.

Pin and topstitch all the way around the cover.

You're Done!

Clear as mud.
Confused? Email Me (:

If you make one
I'd love to see pics!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Dishing It

Amanda at Serenity Now is hosting a "Dishing It" party.
I don't have to plan it, cook, or get a sitter
and I get to hook up with some fancy new bloggers.

Sounds good to me!
So today I'm going to tell you a little about my blog.

1. How long have you been blogging?
I've been blogging for a couple years on my
family's personal blog then started this one less than a year ago.

2. Why did you start blogging?
I needed to vent my creativity to someone
other than my poor husband.
And I didn't want my family who reads my other blog
to have to read one more post about fabric or my sewing machine
when all they want is cute pics of my kids (:

3. Tell me about your blog's title. Why did you choose it?
It's the crafty side of me, Mrs. V!

4. What do you blog about?
I blog about the goodies I make and
things that inspire me to be creative.

5. What's your favorite thing about blogging?
Meeting other people
and getting inspired.

6. If you had to choose one famous person to become your
blog's next devoted reader, who would you pick?
I think if someone famous started reading my blog I would
be very self-conscious and have a hard time doing it.
So all you famous people reading this please comment anonymously (:
I love it when people become readers and
I already read their blogs.
It's a small bloggy-world after all.

7. What's the funniest comment you've ever received on a blog post?
I don't know that I get very many funny comments.
Except my friend who keeps telling me I'm crazy
But I think that's more accurate than funny (:

I hope all you guys link up to Amanda's party
I would love to find out more about you!

Pattern Review: Bit of Whimsy Dolls

I found Bit of Whimsy through Pumpkin Grace.
Jessica was giving away a pattern
and I was immediately smitten
with the adorable faces and endless possibilities.

Then I found out Amber over at Strawberry Lane
had made a little lamb for her cutie pie for Easter.
It was adorable.
And then she told me it was easy.
And I was sold.

I made Violet.
My girls are in love
And it was so very very easy.
Great pattern for a beginner.
The instructions are simple and she
even has YouTube posts that take you through the steps.
And the best part-
it needs such a small amount of material
I made them from scraps.

On the other hand, it's a horrible pattern if you have difficulty making up your mind.
It took me two days to figure out which of the adorable patterns I would get.
And it took me longer to choose my fabrics than to actually sew it.

Now if I could just finish that baby clothes quilt...

Friday, April 9, 2010


A few days ago Flat Andrew came to visit us.
My cousin's son had read the book Flat Stanley at school
and the class made their own "flat self".
(click on the picture to see more Flat Stanley)

Andrew mailed his "flat self" to us
and we have been taking him on all sorts of excursions.
Bailey's teacher loved the project and ran with it.
(I love Bailey's teacher. Mrs. J, will you teach her in second grade, too?)

Flat Andrew has been all over with us.
(But I won't say where because I want the real Andrew to be surprised)
We're taking pictures and sending Flat Andrew
back to the real thing soon
with lots of stories to tell.

Needless to say, we've been thinking a lot about
mail and letters.

One of our favorite books is
It's a cute little story of a postman who delivers letters
to fairy tale characters like Goldilocks and Cinderella.
Every other page is an actual envelope with a letter tucked inside
and they are cleverly written
(for instance Goldilocks writes an apology to
Baby Bear for breaking his chair)

On library day at school last week Bailey chose
Dear Polar Bear
also a sweet little story with it's own letters inside.

And thinking about letters,
a while ago I found this little letter
I love how casual the note is.
No need to wait for a birthday or Valentine's day.
Perhaps mailed?
Or make one for the kid's lunchbox as a napkin.

Have you heard of the
Look how tiny Lea writes them!
World's Smallest Postal Service

And Just Something I Made has great letter things, too.
You can print this little stamp house out and
make one for yourself

And I love the way she decorates her mail with

Then today Ashley over at Lil Blue Boo
showed us how incredibly creative she is and posted
this Letter Package she sent
complete with letters that tell little bits of their own story
and souvenirs!

Have a fabulous weekend-
I hope you get lots of good mail!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Pattern Review: Recycled T-Shirt Dress

So I've been crushing on this pattern
ever since I bought it a couple weeks ago.
Recycle T-Shirts into sewing projects and clothing for my kids?
I'm IN!
DIY PDF Pattern and Tutorial - Recycled T-Shirt Sienna Dress - Sizes 6M to 6 Years
So it took me a while to get around to making this
(I was too busy procrastinating Easter projects...)
but I finally made a few.

This is the first time I've worked with jersey/t shirt material.
I won't show you the first dress I made.
Let's just say that getting the hang of it was
a bit of a challenge.

But the second time around?
I am in LOVE.
Once you get used to the little nuances
of sewing with this fabric
it is CAKE.
(sweet and over fast!)

I must admit I didn't use our t-shirts.
Mr.V wears shirts until they are no longer considered material.
So I had him bring a couple home from work
and I got a couple red ones from Goodwill for less than a dollar.

I love that the pattern is for 6 mo-6 years
I'll definitely get more use out of it!
Not to mention the instant gratification of a PDF pattern
(no waiting for the mail).

I would recommend this pattern to someone
who has some sewing experience
(don't use this as your first pattern!)
and be prepared to do a "trial run"
to get the feeling of how the fabric comes together.
(The first dress I made is wearable
just not that cute...)
Take all of her suggestions
and use LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of spray starch
the fabric is so much more managable (she's not lying!)

Have to say it's one of my new favorites!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pillowcase Dress

Good Friday found me without an Easter dress for my oldest daughter.

(What? Procrastinate? Not me!)

For Chloe, I had an adorable hand-me-down dress I wore as a girl
that was hand-smocked by my lovely (and much craftier than I) Aunt Cindy
But Bailey had nothing. Not even a pattern.
So I scavenged through my sewing area and found the makings for this.

I thought about dying one of my white sheets pink
(I always have a stash of white sheets for sewing-they really come in handy)
but found a pink cotton that saved me the time.
I found pink ruffle edging at Goodwill last week for less than $1
and used those for the straps (I still have a couple yards left, too!)
Then I pulled out one of my vintage embroidered pillowcases and made a little apron.
I love how everything came together!

I have a few more pillowcases that my
wonderful mother has found for me over the years
and after seeing how sweet Bailey's dress turned out,
I can't wait to put the others to good use.

Perhaps matching dresses
like the tutorial found here.
Pillowcase Dress

Or maybe I could put together something like

Isn't that lamb the sweetest?!

Or maybe I'll make a skirt
for Bailey with a sweet little vintage sheet
layered underneath
Two Matching Vintage Floral Twin Flat Bed Sheets with Pink and Orange Flowers

So many fun ideas!
I'd better get to work...