Sunday, November 24, 2013

Giveaway at

There is an AMAZING give away going on at
Blurb is giving two (2) lucky winners each a $75.00 CREDIT towards a photo book and one (1) winner a $50.00 credit. ($200 in prizes!)

Check it out!
Enter to win! Good luck! :)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy 2012!

I know-- I have been MIA most of 2011.

I had a bunch of things to deal with in my personal life.

Ian and I are having a baby! I'm 28 weeks along, due March 27, 2012. We know she's a little girl-- Lorelai Aurora Lynn Gallagher. Every doctor's visit I have, the doctor points out how active the little princess is. She's a mover and a shaker. I started feeling her move around week 22-- on November 12th.

 Here's little Lorelai curled up in a ball shape. I do this all the time (well, did before I grew a big tummy...) When I saw this image in the ultrasound, I heart just about burst. She's a little me :)

In other exciting news, one of my older sisters is also pregnant. We are both due the same day! She is having a boy, naming him Nicholas James. I'm excited to play with both babies!

I wish I could say I have been busy crafting up a storm for the little ones but in reality, I have been too worn out to sew a stitch. I am starting to feel a bit more energectic, though slower and with more aches and pains. I am hoping I start with the crafting soon... I miss it and have a laundry list of things to make.

Let me know if you know of any must-haves I can make my sweet little one or for my sister. This is my first and my sister's second.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Bet You Miss Us Too!

A girl I work with is leaving on maternity leave soon. Mom and I got together and made her a cute little card to tell her we'd be thinking of her while she is out. I think it looks adorable. Mom stamped the image and colored the baby. we also did paper piecing to make the little purple sleeper. 
Too cute.
The caption says: "We'll miss you... Bet you miss us, too!"

I love babies.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Domo Kun! Softie

I made my first sewn softie this week for a swap on

I found a tutorial on Cut Out and Keep that I liked for the general idea of the little guy. I made him with a faux fur remnant I bought at JoAnn's. I have never used faux fur before but have used materials that shed such as terry and minky. This was by far the messiest material I have sewn to date. The end effect bascially was a Domo-in-need-of-a-Haircut. He's cute and about to devour my soup... oh no!!
I liked him-- just wish I had used Ami eyes and not buttons. Aside from that, job well done :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Swap-bot - Fun with Mug Rugs!

I joined Swap-bot.a few weeks ago and am having SO much fun!

I am hosting a swap right now (my fourth, actually). I found this super-awesome tutorial on making a Color Block Mug Rug on Sew Fantastic. This swap is senders choice on the style so you don't have to use this particular tutorial to join.

I have never made a mug rug before. TO be honest, I haven't really done too much quilting either.I am always scared that once I piece the top, I will ruin all my hard work somehow and don't get into the actual QUILTING part. I think doing a mug rug (or a mini quilt) will be a good jump in the right direction.

Please come join in if you are interested. You can sign up until July 16th and should mail out your rug by August 16th. You you aren't already a member of Swap-bot, you should join! Swap-bot seems a little intimating at first but it is really easy to use!

If enough people are interested, I want to make this a mug rug series on the site.
Other theme ideas: pennants/banners, home sweet home, woodlands, whimsical, color-specific, modern, with a pocket, humorous, medieval, food, words ..... I'll have to brainstorm some more. Let me know if you have any suggestions too!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ahoy, Maties

Don't worry-- I haven't abandoned ship!
I have been out there, crafting, and .... I cut my hair! Dyed it too. I haven't had dark hair since I was in high school. I'm a natural blonde but I've always fancied myself a red head.
Look see--

Here is a preview of my latest Scrapbook Challenge entry. I need to take a picture of the finished product. I just took this one to get an idea of the spacing before I glued.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Kiwi's Blogger Follower Swap #5

Welcome, my fellow Swap-bot-ers :)

Wondering what Swap-bot is? Come check it out!
Swap-bot is a community for people that love giving and receiving mail (be is snail mail or emails).
(From Swap-bot's main page)
"Do you like sending and receiving snail mail? Do you like writing letters, making crafts, or putting together fun packages? You should try swapping! Swap-bot is a online service that organizes group swaps and a community of creative individuals. Swap-bot takes the hassle out of participating in group swaps by organizing all of the participant information and doing all of the partner assignments. On Swap-bot, you can host swaps, join swaps, and chat with other swappers from all over the world. Give it a try!"

Friday, April 15, 2011

Mini Ami Octopi

Super Cute!
I made a few of these little critters over the weekend. These two have taken up residence on my sister's desk at work. I love how customizable that they are. I played around a little with the eye type and size as well as the accent pieces. I am not sure which I prefer. I do know that I need to bust out all my plastic safety eyes to size and label them. They are all over the place now and I never know if I am using the pattern recommended eyes.

As for the pattern itself-- it was very easy. I have already recommended it someone that wants to make her first Ami. Basically, you make a ball, stopping close to the end to add eyes and a hair jewel. Close up the ball. Next, you make a ring of stitches and chain out like spokes. There is very very very little seaming which can be frustrating to new crochet artists. In this pattern, the tentacles are all made together-- you just join the bottom of the ball to the top flat area of the tentacle ring. The curly legs are so cute and allow you to even entangle them if you want to.

My sister also found out that the little guys are stack-able! I should have taken a picture in hindsight but she had 5 stacked on her desk and they were very stable.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Ian Art with Photoshop

Tonight, I tried my hand at making some Word Art using a photo I had of my boyfriend, Ian, and a tutorial I found at the psdtop blog.  It was certainly interesting to try. I have seen a few How-Tos across the web, though I haven't really seen any for non-Adobe programs. To do it, I looked through my files to find a picture of a front-on face that had a good mix of light and dark. I chose this one of Ian because I knew it would annoy him!

I think when I do it again (and I will, with a better picture and more definite concept), I will follow the directions exactly as laid out rather than fiddling with the tutorial before executing it the correct way first. I always seem to do that-- try to "make it better" before I have actually done it the other way first. I had used 3 different shades of gray rather than just making the word usage smaller and less dense as the tutorial instructs. It wasn't until I was finished with my image that I could see the value of what they were trying to do with those directions.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Family Scrapbook Challenge #2 - The Monochromatic Page

 Here are the entries for Challenge # 2 -  The Monochromatic Page. The rules were pretty simple. I wrote down 12 different colors and put them in a cup. Each contestant pulled out two colors. The goal was to create one page using only one color. Thinking that this would be maybe too big of a challenge,
I gave the option of making one 12x12 page in a solo color or a two page spread using the two colors they pulled.

 I pulled red which I do not use very often so that was a pretty big challenge for me. Red seemed obvious for a romantic page. I made my first shaker box for the challenge down there on the right inside the heart. I also crocheted a few hearts for the page-- pulling in one of my other crafty sides. All in all I liked how it turned out.

My sister Colleen won for the week with her black on black layout. I was jealous of the colors she pulled-- black or white. She made an awesome page. It was simple but she used alot of different textures to make it pop.

What is on the horizon for Challenge #3? Col set up a holiday theme. More on that as the judging comes to a close!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Family Scrapbook Challege #1 - Same Picture and Some Ribbon

My youngest sister, Maureen, came up with a terrific idea a few weeks ago. There are 6 people that scrapbook in my immediate family but we often do not make the time to craft like we should. Maureen already participates in online scrapbook challenges and really enjoys them. She finds they encourage her to craft and try new things. Well, don't we all want that?

My family agreed to host challenges. The rules:
1. Participation is volunteary from challege to challgne. We understnad sometimes we can be too busy to play.
2. The previous winner dictates the rules of the upcoming challnge
3. The family agrees on the time length (so far, it has been a standard 2 weeks)
4. The previous week's winner chooses who will be the judge for the pending challenge

 Clearly we are not stringent people-- we're just looking to have some fun, try something outside of our norm, and do a little more scrapbooking along the way.

Maureen chose the requirements for our first challenge. The requirements-- You must use the picture below somehow and use at least a bit of ribbon on the page.

I'll introduce you to my sisters since I have the picture right here : ) I an the blond on the top left. Next to me is my little sister, Maureen. On the couch is my sister Caitlin and her new puppy Lulu. Cait is 18 months older than me. Colleen is the oldest of my siblings there in blue. Directly behind us are some of mom's papercrafting books and magazines. Did I mention the whole family is crafty?

Moving on...

Here is my entry to Challenge #1:
I cut up the picture along with two other shots of us from the same day. The ribbon is mingled in with the paper punched borders that I used as "ruffles". There are 2 pieces of ribbon-- orange ric-rac at the top and the purple with white stitching strip there at the top of the bottom section. The quote is Dolly Parton. You would be surprised how hard it was to find a quote that involved rainbows and anything having to do with family, sisters, or friendship.

Excellent news, readers-- I won! I was really honored and had a ton of fun working on it. My prize? I got to set up the next challenge! This week, I have been working on my entry for Scrapbook Challenge #2- The Monochromatic Page. More on the rules next week. I want to wait for the judging so I can post my entry and a picture of the winning page with the requirements all together.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Homemade Peppermint Patties


I found this recipe for Homemade Peppermint Patties and I have to say-- they are amazing! They melt in your mouth, which is delightful. I made them with milk chocolate, not the traditional dark chocolate... mainly because I didn't have any dark in the house and was too lazy to go out and get the right stuff.

I brought them into work for our St. Patty's day celebration and got rave reviews. Since I didn't have the recipe with me for my co-workers, I wrote up a variation to the steps. I have posted them here below... and who knows, if you make them, my explanations may be helpful. For the complete recipe, please see In Between Laundry. I did not want to re-print her work without permission!

Directions: Makes @ 100 patties, dependent on size
In a bowl, combine the potatoes, butter, peppermint, and powdered sugar and mix well (I used an electric beater). Add more sugar if your mixture is loose--it should feel like a tacky cookie dough. (I ended up using almost exactly 3 pounds.)

Lay wax paper down over a few cookie sheets (for easy cleanup later). Scoop teaspoonfuls of the dough and shape into patties. (The easiest way to do this is to scoop with an ice cream scoop or two spoons since it will be a little sticky. Once you have the whole cookie sheet covered, go back and pat them flat with your hands. The balls will lose their tackiness as you are scooping out the rest of the tray, making them easier to shape.) Refrigerate for a few hours so you can handle them to add the chocolate.

Melt the chocolates with the oil and dip the chilled patties, covering completely. This step takes some practice since the dough balls can melt with the hot chocolate. The best method I found was chocolate-ing the bottoms of each patty with a knife and going back once the sheet is done to cover the tops with chocolate. There are probably better methods out there, but I am a novice at baking. Chill until set.

Yum! Give it a try-- they are tooooo tasty!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Beginner's Bias Tape Bag (by Prudent Baby)

I came across this super cute bag on Prudent Baby's website this week. Check it our for yourself-- I highly recommend it.

This pattern was amazingly amazing-- quick to work up and simple to understand. I also now feel like bias tape isn't as scary as I was feeling before. I made three of these bags this weekend. The tutorial shows how to make the smaller bag on the bottom that I have done in green and orange. It works up to be the size of a small handbag, using 2 fat quarters and 50 inches (or less) of bias tape. It fits my sunglasses, wallet, camera, phone, and chap stick easily. Jaime also recommends using a photocopier to enlarge the pattern to make a larger bag. I enlarged it to 200%. It took two yards of fabric and approximately 95 inches of bias tape.

After finishing the larger green-toned bag on the top, I ran out to the fabric store full of inspiration. I was invited to a baby shower for my good friend and her husband (also a good friend). I always have a secret giggle watching men struggling with carrying a diaper bag or holding their wives' purse. I was thinking it would be great to make a reversible bag for Kim and Jim-- pink for her and Superman for him. Kim is having a boy (her second) which means she is surrounded by super heros and blue all the time. The girl needs a good shot of pink in her life-- and I am just the pink-lover to give it to her.

 Here is how it came out! This is going to be my new go-to baby shower gift, I think. After all, it is the parents that are carrying the bag, not the kids. They should be something they want to have under their arm!

My one disappointment is that with it being reversible, I was unable to add any pockets. If I had more time, I would have made some organizers that they could use on the inside of either (so probably in neutrals like black or white). Regardless, they loved the bag and I was happy to give it to them!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Linders Skirt

Here is the fruits of my labor the other weekend. I spent a good amount oftime refashioning sweaters and things and I made this skirt!

A co-worker had given me the cotton fabrics after he had discovered a bag of scraps in her basement. I think she said she made curtains a few years ago. Anyways, her nickname at work is Linderes-- thus the skirt name.

I have been rapidly loosing weight all year so I do not have clothing that fits me to use as a sizing template for the underskirt so I had to improvise. I took a pair of jeans I had been wearing this week and cut around the waist and hip areas. I eye-balled the basic length I was going for and figured I could hem it if it ended up too long. I cut out two pieces (a front and back) and added a little to the top for the elastic casing.

This project made me realize how much I need a serger, by the way. Those ruffles were a nightmare but I can't help myself- I love ruffles. So as a next step, I went about sewing my ruffles. After making piles and piles of them, I attached the ruffles starting from the bottom hem and working my way up. I originally was trying to go for straight even lines but abandoned that idea once I had three rows up and loved the variation when you made them wavy.

Anyway, take the ruffles up to as high as you want them to go. I made mine a little high I think. My hips are looking a little wide there. Anyways, once you have a height you like, sew in your elastic and volia, done!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Refashion Weekend

This weekend, I have been spending my free time refashioning some of my too-big clothes. I made this little teaser graphic for you to enjoy. I will have pictures of the finished products, references to tutorials online if they are out there, and maybe a tutorial or two from me.

Let's see how it goes!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Pattern Review: Pieces of My Heart

I used Melissa Mall's Pieces of My Heart crochet pattern to make this pink and green pillow, modeled by my boyfriend, Ian. See, he even showed us that the pillow is fully-functioning!
 Thank you, sweetheart.

As far as patterns go, this one was quick and easy. The heart is made up of three parts, two half circles and a square, all seamed together. The sides are just straight lines of single crochet that you seam to the sides of the two hearts. You stuff the heart with Fiberfil, not a pillow form so it is up to you to make the pillow shaping work.

Love the Art Work, Hun!

I just wanted to give you a little peek of how the canvas I made for my sweetie looks on our bedroom wall. He came home and noticed it right away, bless his heart. I am an awkward present-giver so I went ahead and had it on the wall before he even came home. No unwrapping-- easy peasy. AND it gave me an excuse to hang up the mini canvases we made as presents for each other a few years ago. The idea was we made a canvas about ourselves and a canvas about each other.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine's Day Canvas Tutorial

A couple of notes for advice:
1. Use card stock if you are going to make your own stencils. That will help you avoid bleeding. Also, try to match the card stock near/close to the color you are painting with. The edges of my letters dried into the paint. I used sharp-edged tweezers to remove these little paper pieces but had I used white paper, this would not have been a noticeable issue.
2. I stippled my painting to avoid obsessing over perfect paint coverage. I made a nice mix of red, white, and pink which works well for the look I was going for.
3. I used my Gypsy to meld together the letters in the words that I made larger for emphasis. That made it alot easier to lay out the letters and make it work.

Monday, February 7, 2011

How I Spent my Winter Vacation

So, things were happening too fast and too furious during the Christmas season in December for me to be a very effective blogger. What that means now is I keep thinking about all of the cute projects and presents I gave away without a peep on the blog (or in some cases without even a photo snapped for prosperity).

You see here, I crocheted the little tree using a Lion Brand pattern available on their site. I made the people-shaped crayons in the upper right using veggie spray, a silicon muffin tin, and broken crayons from the dollar store. Next down on the left, I made cute little wristlets for all the ladies in my life. The one shown there I made for my boyfriend's brother's girlfriend, Erin. She loved it, which was very rewarding.

Below that, I made 11 new stockings for all of the newer members of my family that didn't have one yet at my mom's house. It was great to have a stocking for everyone-- they turned out really cute AND I made it off the top of my head with no formal pattern. All the nephews, brother-in-laws, and girlfriends now have an important piece of Christmas at mom's. She has always made our stockings when we were children herself so I know it really meant alot to her to have the handmade holiday decor.

On the right in the middle is a gift card monster. I made a couple of these cute little guys to hold gift cards for my 3 nephews and a present for a co-worker. I thought that it would be a cute side present in addition to the gift cards. I'm not usually one for giving gift cards as a present but all of their mom's kept saying that they didn't need anything right away so... gift cards for when they do!

Moving to the bottom row on the left, I made a viking hat for Lucas (my youngest nephew) using crochet again. I made it from my own head without a pattern-- it still needs some work. It turned out a little short for his skull. It can be really hard to make something for someone when you don't have accurate measurements!  I wanted to surprise his mama and daddy so I didn't want to obviously size him while I was working on the hat. This is the result of that (lol). Oh well, imperfect makes it homemade!

And finally, the bottom right picture is of my boyfriend, Ian, in a Charlie Brown scarf. To my disappointment, I have not seen him wearing it outside of our house, but that isn't too suprising. He isn't really a scarf-wearer. So why did I make it then? The idea just came to me suddenly-- He loves Charlie Brown and while looking at a chevron pattern for a blanket, I thought of how great this scarf would look. I love it, anyway, and that is what is important. I also sewed him slippers with Charlie Brown fleece to wear around the house. They turned out cute. He wears those much more than the scarf so win on that front.

And there you have it, a few more of the projects I worked on. There are still a number of other projects I tackled in December that I haven't shared. Maybe I'll get around to it soon :-)

Friday, February 4, 2011

As Promised-- Photos!

I *finally* got the camera situation under control! Also, I bought Photoshop!! I used to have it back in college but that was many versions ago. Ian bought me a laptop for Christmas so I have a new machine and new new Photoshop.

As promised, here are the pictures from the two purses I made as presents last week.

As I had mentioned before, I used the Buttercup purse pattern by Rae. The black, white, and grey purse with the sunken zipper was made for my boyfriend's mother (as a Pollyanna Christmas present). I gave it to her at Christmas part 4 this past Sunday. She loved it and so did our cousins and aunt. I see some more purse-making in my future.

The orange lined glitter-fest I made for my friend Sam. She was super-great to me two weekends ago when I really needed a friend and she totally deserves a surprise. I hope she likes it.