Friday, December 19, 2008

Coptic Binding

Pin It Now! Christmas is around the corner and it's almost time to close my Etsy shop so I can work on my own family's gifts. I find it a bit tricky to come up with ideas for handmade gifts for men. Most men aren't into cutesy little coin purses, tissue holders, or scrabble tile pendants. Leather. Now that's manly. Looks manly. Feels manly. It even smells manly. Mix leather with paper and you can't go wrong. This is my first attempt at bookbinding using the Coptic stitch. Coptic binding is really nifty because it enables the book to lay flat when opened. I used some scrap olive green leather for the cover and strap and waxed linen thread for the binding. If you have a Tandy Leather store in your area, they usually will sell their leather scraps for about $7 per pound... nice big chunks good for baby shoes, small books and patchwork leather pants if that's what floats your boat.
This practice book is tiny... only 3 inches square. It has nine signatures (those little folded sections of paper). 5 pages in each signature. Front and back that's 180 pages in this particular book. I'm planning on making 2 to 3 more in a small journal size to give as gifts. If you're interested in learning the Coptic stitch, I encourage you to do a search on YouTube for a tutorial. I had a lot of fun putting this little book together and loved the actually stitching part of it... I found it very relaxing and therapeutic. Just what I needed during this merry, yet extremely stressful holiday season :)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bridesmaid Dresses

Pin It Now! Remember those rad wedding garters I made a few posts ago? Well I also made 4 bridesmaid dresses for the same wedding. I drew out the pattern and did a test dress on some cheap fabric to work out the kinks. You learn a lot from making the first dress, and by dress #4 it's a cake walk. Overall, I was happy with the final product. The pleats were a pain, but worth the extra effort in my opinion. Special thanks to my dad for taking the pic... and for possibly photoshoping a flattering tan on me. I could have sworn my skin is more of a pasty shade. Dad, you rock!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Cake: More fun to eat than to make.

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My friend Heidi is expecting a mystery gender neutral baby, and this is the cake I made for her shower. There aren't a ton of gender neutral colors besides green and yellow, so I decided to add a bit of brown and orange and do an autumn cake. I know, I know... autumn is SO last season, but I do like the finished results. Special thanks to Janell for sharing her techniques with me ♥

So here is the breakdown of the cake:

6-inch top tier of Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
9-inch bottom tier of Chocolate Cake with buttercream frosting.

Covered in Marshmallow Fondant and trimmed in satin poppy flowers and ribbon. Hand painted with amber cake luster dust.

The fabulous recipes are courtesy of Janell, my amazing cake decorator of a sister, and believe me, her cakes taste as amazing as they look. (She just won 3rd place in a Halloween cake decorating contest. Way to go, Janell!)

PS... want to know how I kept two little monkeys out of the kitchen when making this cake? I pulled out all our Christmas decoration boxes from storage and told them to have at it! I had ornaments, tinsel and lights hanging from every doorknob, lamp and chair in my house. Guess it would have helped them if i put up the tree first :)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Chicks with guns rock

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I made this for my sister's husband's brother's fiancee Alisa (did you follow that?). It's a "keep" and "toss" wedding garter set. I bought the charms from a fabulous Esty seller called PinkSupply. Allow me to explain... Alisa is a cop and is always packing heat. I liked her from the moment I met her. Way. Cool. Chick. Anyhoo, I'm also making her bridesmaid dresses, which I'll post in a couple of weeks...holsters not included. Stay tunned.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Winter Wear for the Kiddies

Pin It Now! It's FINALLY getting chilly in Houston, and my kids have no winter clothes to their name. So instead of working on the 4 bridesmaid dresses I should be sewing, I decided to expand the kids' wardrobe.
Denny has no long-sleeved shirts because it's usually so stinkin' hot in Houston. So I whipped up a jersey knit shirt for him and asked him if he wanted any pictures on front. He's obsessed with Star Wars right now and insisted on a Jango Fett applique. Not bad, eh?
There's this great outdoor fabric store in Idaho where you can buy high quality technical fleece by the yard. I just used wind resistant fleece for this tester jacket, but next time I'll opt for the wind stopper fleece. I used my 5 year old's REI fleece jacket as a guide for making this smaller version for Ashlyn.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

2d Zoo Crib Bedding

Pin It Now! My best friend growing up is having her first baby in November and I begged her to let me make her little boy's crib bedding as my gift to her. I really tried to convince her to let me use my all-time favorite little boy fabric ... Alexander Henry's 2D Zoo, and she was nice enough to give me full reign on the design. I love the end results and just had to post the completed pics before shipping it her way. Do you like my ghetto make-shift crib? It's my tiny kitchen table with my daughter's toddler mattress on top.

This is the quilt that I entered into the Etsy Handmade Kids Contest in August. I was so excited when it made it to the finals! In the end, it didn't place, but I was happy that it got seen by so many people.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

WOW! Front page again!

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I'm totally on cloud nine. My Lone Poppy top made it on Etsy's front page for the second time this weekend! This treasury was compiled by a fabulous artist on Etsy (Here's her shop: Siiso).

Saturday, October 4, 2008

I love poppies and so does Etsy

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This morning I woke up to a nice surprise. I found out that my Lone Poppy Top made it to the front page of Etsy! The front page is selected by Etsy admin from a list of Treasuries built by Etsy members. There are about 400-600 treasuries at a time, and this beautiful treasury was so stunning, admin chose it to be featured on Etsy's home page for a few hours. It was put together by Etsy seller Papavier (cute shop... check it out!). I got a ton of new hearts and views from it, which totally made my day!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Spandex can be your friend

Pin It Now! I don't like Ike. He has disrupted my etsy addiction and even forced me to close my shop for a week. No worries though, it's up and running again and I even added a new hot little black dress. I'm LOVING creating with cotton/lycra knit fabric. Think of non-shiny swimsuit fabric... that's the good stuff I've been using on a lot of my clothes. It's hard to believe that a dress this flattering could be so dang comfortable to wear. AND I'm all about low-maintenance, which is why this dress is rad to the MAX... no need to hang in a garment bag; just fold it and stuff it in your luggage with your t-shirts. Packs small and light, plus there's no need to iron! Now go buy it. You know you want it.

I received a fun custom order for my Bambino Blocks this week (baby's initials). Here is the finished product:
G is for Giraffe
A is for Alligator
E is for Elephant
K is for Koala
I used memory foam in the center because I love how soft it is and it holds a nice crisp corner. FYI, if you want to cut foam nice and neat, use an electric knife (yep, the kind dad uses for carving the Thanksgiving turkey).

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Cake for every meal

Pin It Now! My good friend Janna ( is expecting twin girls, so these are the cakes I made for her baby shower. Chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting and wrapped in Ghiradelli Double Chocolate. The one on the right turned out very sad, but it tasted divine nonetheless. My sister ( is the most amazing cake decorator ever, and she's so nice to be my free 24-hour cake helpline.... Thanks, Janell!

There was a whole cake leftover, which was good because cake is my all-time favorite breakfast! Chug a glass of whole milk with it and you've got your carbs and dairy covered for the morning. Oh, what a blissful meal... maybe I'll make it my lunch, too.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Patience of Quilters (not me)

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I am by no means a quilter, but I definitely have gained an appreciation for the art of quilting by making this quilt. It all started last May when I came up with the brilliant idea of making a “Summer Quilt” for our bed. It gets stinkin’ hot here in Houston, and I thought, “Gee, I’ll just make a fast and simple quilt to use just in time for summer.”… FOUR months later, I finally finished. The actual piecing of the quilt top only took me 4 hours. So far, so good, right? Then I basted the batting and backside together, bought myself a 14-inch quilting frame and started hand quilting. What was I thinking? I already know that I’m not a patient woman, so what made me think I could finish quilting a queen-sized quilt at anything more than a snail’s pace? Long story made short, after 12 hours of hand quilting, I went to the store and bought a walking-foot. Two hours later, I was done quilting. I must admit, I love the vintage look of hand quilting much better than machine quilting, but for my “simple summer” quilt, I threw up my hands and said, “screw it!” So all you quilters out there… I am in awe.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

1st Consignment Gig

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*Update: My Business Bib Pattern is now available for purchase in my shop.

My first consignment gig! Scribbin' Sisters just opened a retail store in my area and they wanted to set up a baby boutique corner in their shop. My friend Janna hooked me up and will be selling her adorable baby items as well. Anyhoo, I adjusted a consignment agreement to suit me (pulled from the wonderful etsy forums), and I passed off 12 bibs to the store owner yesterday.

I wanted to make something classy to display my Business Bibs on in the store, so I cut some square wooded dowels into 12 inch pieces, stained them, coated them with polyurethane and screwed little hooks into them. I was happy with how they turned out. Here's a cute idea... make them a little shorter and a little girl could use them to hang her dollie's wardrobe.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Embellished Tops

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I've been having a lot of fun creating these new women's tops! They're flattering and feminine, yet totally modest. My favorite is the Branching Out Top. I'm really into browns and turquoise lately. The Pinwheel Top is actually a Mommy and Me set that I sewed... some people think it's cheesy when families coordinate their outfits, but you can't deny that there's a market for it! I'm curious to see if I'll get any takers. I just listed them in my etsy shop this morning so check them out!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Little Hikers

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Denzil and I tried to teach our kids at a young age to appreciate the outdoors. I'm always so proud of how well they do on the camping trips we take. Denny is a ball of energy and can out-hike any adult (without complaining). I had to carry Ashlyn in most of the way because it was too steep and rocky for her, but she pretty much hiked the whole way out by herself. They had a blast!

Blue Lake, ID

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We love backpacking and camping, but there aren't many great spots in the Houston area. Eventually, we'd like to move back west so we can indulge in our recreational passions again (snowboarding, hiking, and mountain biking). Once a year we visit Denzil's family in Boise, ID and we get our outdoor fix by taking a brief overnight camping trip. This is Blue Lake. It's only a one mile hike in from the road and it is utterly breathtaking.

Hello Me

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So here is my rad husband and stinkin' cute kiddies. My husband Denzil is a CPA and counts beans all day so I can stay home with our kids and feed my sewing addiction. My oldest kid, Denny (4) is totally obsessed with Star Wars right now. When his little sister (Ashlyn, age 1) crys at night, he goes and lays down next to her and sings the Star Wars theme music to help her go back to sleep. Ashlyn adores her big brother. Sure, they drive eachother nutso every so often, but for the most part they're buddies.