Monday, December 21, 2009


Blue and Brown - Don't you just love the Christmas color theme? Shouldn't it be 'silver and gold'? I'm finding that at the ripe ol' age of 30, I have become way too practical for my own good. Why purchase 4 matching dresses that the girls can only wear a total of maybe 4 times? Of which, just finding can consume a lot of my extra time. (Really? Extra time?!)

So, my solution this year, besides just skipping the purchase altogether, was to find something cute but that could span time, defy weather and have hand-me-down potential. This was the result. Cute - If I do say so myself.

Now the challenge? Making them snazzy enough for Christmas. Dilemma was solved by creating these pretty and fun hair accessories.

The cute little flower loop hair bow tutorial can be found here along with many other free tutorials on The Ribbon Retreat. Another great site I've used for bow making is Girly Things.

This is a little different shot of the loopy flower bow. I hot glued this directly to the plastic headband. I had originally planned to cover this with ribbon, as well, but ran out of ribbon. A crafter has to be ready and willing to improvise, right?!

I had SO much fun making this woven headband. I've seen these different places and just love the look of them. It looks much more complicated than it really is. And, thanks to a great tutorial by Laura at HairHardwear on YouTube, both woven headbands were completed in no time.

My ever present, always helpful baby girl is modeling the loopy flower bow that was put on an alligator clip. In the first picture above, it is clipped to an elastic headband. I didn't want to attach the two permanently, and I'm very hopeful that one of these days she will have enough hair to hold the bow in longer than just the time it takes to snap a photo. :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

So Proud!!!

This is what came walking around the corner to greet me the other day. That's right! My one year old had the tape measurer draped around her neck, smiling from ear to ear.

Does a momma's heart good to have an aspiring seamstress in the house, no matter what age. :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Cozy Blanket

I really have been busy with a little creativity and not just the mundane, everyday house work. It's hard to sneak in the time, but I did.

Here is one such project. My brother-in-law recently married a wonderful lady, and I wanted to make them something special. Plus, it's been a bit of a running joke that I would make a blanket like this for him when he got married. (I made one for the in-laws a few Christmas's ago.) When the ring was on the finger and the date set, I started planning - and sweating.

This cozy blanket was so much fun to make! Plus, I loved working with all the soft, beautiful flannels. It's been a while since I've done a project of this scale, so it wasn't finished by the wedding deadline. However, the recipients have been very gracious and forgiving in the lateness of the gift. (Sorry for the sideways pics. At least I remembered to take them this time!)

The blanket is big enough to be placed on a twin bed, if desired. My main goal, though, was making it big enough for both newly weds to be able to fit under comfortably. No complaints about stolen covers, here!

The full blanket:

The panel:
Here are a couple of close-ups of the panel. All the pieces are ironed on and then satin stitched around to secure and keep the fraying at bay.
I did just a little bit of hand stitching in different areas. The smoke coming from the chimney is just a running stitch placed a bit randomly. Obviously, the buttons, eyes and beads on the snowmen where done by hand as well. The last hand work was a blanket stitch around the bear. There was just no way I wanted to try and maneuver those curves through my machine.
I have enough left over material for a good start on another blanket. My husband is now wondering when HE gets a blanket! At least it's a good excuse to do some more sewing in the near future.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Confessions........ and Surprises!

I was so looking forward to last week. We already had a planned trip to my parents place for a family reunion. So, when my mother called and suggested I throw in some extra clothes for the oldest 3 kids to stay for the week, I was psyched!

The list seemed ENDLESS! But, oh, the things I could get done with just the baby along for the ride. Can't you just imagine?!

Would you like to know what I got done? I bet you would!

Well........ I spent the entire week being literally sucked into the world of Edward Cullen and Isabella Swan. You read right - the ENTIRE week! All those plans of finishing the kids' bedrooms, painting every room in the house, working on any craft project I decided and finishing my brother-in-law and soon to be sister-in-law's wedding present. It all seemed so doable in my mind's eye!

And, then I picked up Twilight.

This confession has helped me feel some better; but, knowing the opportunities for such weeks are few and far between, keeps the irksome feeling I have at my lack of self-control at the forefront.

The only other thing that makes me feel a little bit (and I do mean little bit) better is the fact that the morning sickness set in that week. (Yep. Little bundle #5 is on the way and will arrive at the end of March.) Morning sickness bad enough that I had trouble smelling the cleaners while scrubbing down the upstairs bathroom. I couldn't even imagine opening all the paint cans that waited for their turns to be put on our bare walls.

So, a huge apology to my wonderful mother for wasting the time that was gifted to me. But, I do truly appreciate the time that I was able to lay on the couch most of the day and not have to take care of all 4 kids the first week of my yucky morning sickness. I'll just have to wait patiently for my next opportunity at such a week.

But, that wedding present has a deadline of Sept. 5 th. Hoping to be able to share that triumph with you all soon!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Busy? .... To Say The Least!

I feel as if our summer is flying by. Anyone else in the same boat?

I've been able to do several projects, but remembering to take pictures has been a problem. Distractions? NO! Not in my life. So, after yet ANOTHER trip out of town, I hope to share with you all the many different small and large projects I have been able to, er.... start.

So, coming soon - an announcement or two, completed projects revealed and current projects in progress.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A New Skirt!!

There is a tutorial for an adorable little skirt here at The Crafty Cupboard. I'm soooo itching to get a piece of fabric out and start working on this right away. Alas, there are already too many projects on my plate in the works right now. (And I wonder why I can't seem to get anything done around here!)

Look around her site. Melanie has some really cute ideas and projects on there. Several things are on my mental to-do list.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Lazy Days Skirt

This has been done by many people, I know. The tutorial can be found here. I'm very proud of the fact that I was able to get 3 of these skirts done in one day and still managed to get all my other responsibilities done. (You know it's UNBELIEVABLY easy, if that's the case.)
This particular fabric is a St. Jude print. I loved all the happy flowers and wonderfully bright colors. I used gross grain ribbon for the hem. Very easy and such a fun color!

The second fabric is one I picked up somewhere along the way. It's another happy little fabric that the girls all seem to like.

The best part is the happiness that I get to see on the kids faces when I get projects like this finished. A bit selfish, maybe, but a definite win - win situation for all of us.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Snug As A Bug

This was one of those rare moments when everyone was getting along and quiet. The blankets are made of fleece and were a gift from my MIL (a crafty lady herself). They have come in handy on those evenings when the girls are tired and need a little something to cuddle up with. Grandma was smart and made them all the same but different colors so we know exactly who's is who's. Even the youngest in the picture can tell you which one is hers without knowing her colors. Aren't grandmas smart!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Room Revamp- Part 2

The Painter:

The Irony:

The Colors:

The Question: Am I going to be able to live with these colors?

Monday, April 6, 2009


*Cough!** Cough!*

(Wipes off cobweb and blows away dust)

Yep, I'm here. The past two + week hiatus was very unplanned. However, I have a beautiful new niece! After that visit, time was spent at my parents home (an Internet wasteland) since Mr. K had several business trips.

I'm hoping to get back into the swing of thing, but I am miserably behind in all house work and blogging. (Unfortunately, the house does come first.)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Fluffy Banana Cake

We don't usually have any bananas left on the counter long enough to fully ripen. The times that they are this is my favorite way to take care of those sweet, brown freckled fruits.

Fluffy Banana Cake

(set oven to 350*)

1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

2-3 ripe bananas
1/2 cup sour milk (2-3T lemon juice or vinegar plus milk to make 1/2 cup)

2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Grease and flour a 9x13 dish. Pour in mixture. Bake at 350* for 30 to 35 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Happy Monday

No, I don't usually have such a good outlook to the start of the week. What's changed? My hubby has the day off! One more day of help around the house, help with the kids and a guaranteed shower! Yeah!!

May everyone's Monday be as happy!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Butterfly Valance: Tutorial

This is a tutorial in, somewhat, the loosest sense of the word. My disclaimer is coming at the beginning, so that you might know right away that I am no expert. I was basically flying by the seat of my pants the whole time; however, I do think it turned out rather nice.

My problem was a naked window. Just a plain, ordinary window in my kitchen. But this plain, ordinary window allowed full sun to come in our home every morning practically blinding us while we ate breakfast. My kids and I needed to be able to eat our food in a half-conscience way or else the day was just not the same.

Solution: Curtain. (No-brainer, I know.) Now, I'm not someone who just runs out to get whatever I need from the local store. What kind of crafter/sewer would I be if I didn't first think I could make something. I just happened upon the above fabric while browsing the local Joann's. Originally $12.99/yd, this beauty was located in the remnant bin at $9.99 for 3 yds! Bonus? It just happened to match my new set of kitchen towels and washcloths. (Thank you, Larissa!)

So. Here we go.

What you will need:

1) Measurements for the window you will be clothing.

2) Outer fabric

3) Fabric for lining

4) Spool of ribbon or contrasting fabric (I used ribbon)

5) Curtain rod (or some method for hanging)

6) Usual sewing supplies - scissors, thread, sewing machine, ect...

7) Iron and ironing board

8) Paper for template

9) Air/water soluble fabric marker

I made a paper template for the exact size of my window. If you decide to make a template, you might want to add the seam allowance. I decided to leave it out of my template, but I did mark around the template with an air soluble fabric marker. Also, add an extra 2 inches or so at top for hanging purposes.

Lay your material out on a solid surface nice and flat. An entryway works well.

Place template on top of fabric (wrong side up), pin in place, cut out. Trace around template, if desired. Remember your seam allowance when cutting. It would be awful to do all this work and not have the curtain fit properly when done!

Place on top of your lining fabric, right sides together. Smooth out and pin in place. Trim. Sew together on both sides and bottom leaving the top open. We need to be able to turn this baby in a minute.
Get ready to turn. Clipping close to the seam in the corners will help get a nice sharp point after turning. Having something like a knitting needle will help in this endeavore, also.

Press the seams nice and flat. I had some trouble keeping the material where I wanted, so the pins came out to play once again.

Sew a 1/4 inch top stitch around the perimeter. This will help the material stay put and give it a nice finished look.

Next, do some measuring and playing with where you want your ribbon. I split mine into 3rds, but you might prefer a different spot.

Pin the ribbon in place the full length of your curtain on top.

Determine the length at which you will want your ribbon to hold up the bottom of the curtain. My window measurement was just over 46.5". I decided I wouldn't have the bottom of my curtain any higher than 23" when tied up. I then marked this spot on the front with a straight pin through the ribbon.

Do all this and then turn your curtain over. Find your pin that you marked with and start you ribbon for the back at this point. This will save you some work and save you some ribbon.

Secure the ribbon at the top of your curtain and at the spot at which you determined you will be tying. You should be able to catch both front and back ribbon when stitching.

Use the extra 2 inches (or whatever you decided) at the top of your curtain and make a pocket for your rod.

I found it easier to lay your curtain out on a flat surface to tie, rather than tying it while hanging in the window. Get it gathered and tied, then hang in window.

Stand back and admire your work. I love this feeling of accomplishment! Now, finding time to get the other one done......

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Butterfly Valance

Humor me and just imagine this hanging in my kitchen window.
Tutorial on Friday.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Perfect Bedding

I can't recall just how long the search for washable, bleachable, solid white comforters (at a reasonable price) lasted for my older children's bedroom. It seemed the perfect bedding was as elusive as the perfect pair of jeans. The search finally ended when Bed, Bath and Beyond had a clearance sale. The elation was short lived as the realization set in that the two full size comforters were just too big for the twin size beds.
While contemplating what direction I now needed to go in, I came across a set of sheets that Wal-Mart had on sale. The colors were a great combination of the kiddo's favorite colors, pink and purple, in a stripe pattern. Plus, the solid sheet set was also on sale. SCORE!!

So, what does any delusional sewer do? Why, get out the scissors and start cutting, of course!

Here is the way the comforter started. Very simple and sweet.

The panels are made from one of the sheet sets. Behind the stripe fabric is a white fabric to give it more body when on the bed. I even got up the nerve to try my hand at making my own bias tape from the solid sheets. Sew some rope in the bias and you get piping for a little something extra.

Here is the assembly stage. As you can see from the picture, I put the piping on first and then attached each of the panels. This just made it easier for me. I'm sure someone more skilled would be able to do it all in one step.

Here the kids are enjoying the new bedding. It's so nice that they can't see all the flaws that are so glaringly obvious. Or if they do, they don't say anything.

This picture was taken in our previous home. Funny thing is, if I were to take a picture of the new diggs, the only difference would be the color of the walls. Paint will be applied as soon as windows can be opened without freezing our little booties off.
Plenty of fabric is left from the sheet sets - some solid, some stripe. Pillows and curtains will shortly be added, hopefully.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

New Look

I decided to take some time and revamp my blog while the youngest two were sleeping. Nothing too fussy, but definitely not too plain. While searching for ideas and inspiration, I stumbled across this little gem. The Cutest Blog on the Block has some great things for those of us that are graphically challenged. (Not to mention time challenged.) Check it out for some great free stuff and wonderful ideas.

Monday, February 23, 2009


Apple Crisp

5 cups sliced, peeled apples
2 to 4 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup regular rolled oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter

Place apples in an 8x1 1/2 inch round baking dish. Stir in sugar.

For topping, in a mixing bowl combine oats, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Cut in butter till mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle topping over apples.

Bake in a 350* oven for 30-35 minutes or till fruit is tender and topping is golden. Serve warm with ice cream, if desired.

(Recipe from Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book, pg 125)

For best flavor, use two or three varieties of apples. (I used gala and granny smith.) This makes the dessert have a much fuller flavor.

What better dessert to have on a cold winter day with friends?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sweet Booties!!

Hubby and I had a very nice and unexpected Valentine's weekend. My wonderful in-laws decided to make a last minute trip for a visit. They even suggested we take some time for ourselves and actually have a Valentine's day date. Let's face it, they really came to see the grandkids and not us, anyway!

I was, once again, spoiled by my sweetie - eating at P. F. Changs (yumm!) and going to several different stores at the local malls. The highlight was when at Barnes & Noble bookstore, I was told to bring the craft book I'd been drooling over to the register. I felt a bit guilty, since I knew I could probably get it off of cheaper, but who am I to argue?

Image via

There are so many yummy little project to keep me busy and surrounded by happy colors until summer is in full swing. Booties? Of course. Hats? Yep. Bloomers? I'll take two, please!

The cherry on the top was going out again yesterday to Joann's and getting to pick out some material to actually do the projects instead of just looking at the book. The ones on the left are fat quarters (for $1) and those on the right are knits. Aren't they pretty?!

Now, there has been no sewing at this point, but the material is washed and that's a step in the right direction. Next will be cleaning up my sewing area so a full scale project can be done without chaos creaping in around me.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


This is something I have been wanting to try for quite a while now. The clicking of the needles can be somewhat hypnotic when in the presence of someone who is proficient at the craft. I finally worked up the nerve to try it out for myself over the weekend. My mother liked to knit years ago and my sister-in-law started about 2 years ago. So, I figured between the two of them, I ought to be able to learn the mystery that's behind those needles and yarn.

Unfortunately, and maybe fortunately, my archaic digital camera is on the fritz right now. I'll have to post pictures of my sad little practice squares another time. For now, look at Knitting Help for some extremely good help and cute patterns. Free video tutorials are available for all the visual learners out there. They are even kind enough to slow things down so the needles aren't just a blur on the screen.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


It's always interesting trying to find fun activities for 3 highly active girls in the middle of winter that we didn't do the day before. The cold or mud (once we get a warmer day) seems to keep us inside most of the time, leaving idle hands as a result. Solution? Get out the beads and make some beautiful jewelry!

Some tips for helping the little ones be able to do this on their own. 1) Double the string. This will keep the necklace nice and strong when played with for hours as a jump rope. 2) Tie one end to a bead to keep all the others from falling off. 3) Wrap tape around the other end to make it easier for the kids to get the beads loaded on. By doing this even my 2 year old was able to do most of it herself.

Results: P.S. I highly recommend doing all this in your PJ's.

Monday, February 9, 2009

on the road

My family and I are on the road right now visiting family. Lord willing, I'll have another post put up for your viewing pleasure on Wednesday.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Tooth Pillow

My oldest daughter has her first loose tooth which is literally hanging on by a thread. A promise was made before the tooth was even loose; and, in my true fashion, I have waited until the last minute to fulfill my promise of a tooth pillow.

Thankfully, there is a very easy PDF pattern available for download at mmmcrafts. The basic shape is there, but the sky is the limit as to what theme you might like.

Ours, of course, had to be girlie. The theme was settled on a ballerina fairy after about 2 seconds. Trying to determine the exact outfit and process took me a bit longer. After making the first one, and learning from mistakes, we have a finished product.

A couple of tips for anyone who might be wanting to do this. Try to plan out everything before you start sewing. The shoes probably would have been much better had I sewn them in with the basic shape instead of after the fact. Also, don't try to attach anything with hot glue. Doesn't work. I'm sure a good fabric glue would work well, but I didn't have any on hand.

I was never able to figure out how to get a crown on the tooth. My daughter was gracious enough to settle for a bow that was made several months ago and never attached to a barrette.

The promise of spaghetti once the tooth is out should be much less time consuming.
Overall, I'm very pleased with my first blog project!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Or at least it ought to be.

Once again, I am putting just one more thing on top of my life's already precarious balancing act of 'just right' verses 'too much'. I love to craft, sew and any general DIY activity I can think up. I'm hoping that by having this little space in the ever expanding cyberspace, I can force myself to be better about delving into my creative urges. Having a place to post what I have done, or what I stumble upon and want to do, will keep the juices flowing. There is no promise of routine posting at this time, but hopefully as time goes on, that will occur.

So, why not! I'll do This, Too!


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