Saturday, November 30, 2013

Shop Small Saturday!

Hey everyone! I hope y'all had an amazing Thanksgiving Holiday, and if you're one of my international friends, I hope you had a great Thursday :) I wanted to share something really awesome with you today. You may not know that today is Small Business Saturday, and I am fortunate to be a part of the small business community.

One thing I love about being a small business owner, and especially having a handmade sewing business, is the community that I am a part of. There are so many fantastic women and men out there who make such magnificent things!

Today I am fortunate enough to have some of my handmade items from my Etsy shop in an Instasale put on by the wonderful Terri of Sew Fantastic. She has put the entire event together with several different artisans who make a variety of things.  If you want to following along follow @sewfantasticshop on Instagram and the sale starts at 11am PST.

My etsy shop doesn't have me rolling in the dough by any means, but it is a creative outlet that I love and I find great amounts of joy in making things for others. That is why I ask for your support. When is comes to small businesses every little bit helps. 

That is all for today! I hope the rest of y'alls weekend is fantastic! And don't forget to Shop Small today!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Craftsy Black Friday Sale!

Well I know some of you have been out and about shopping bright and early this morning, but your shopping doesn't have to end when you get home! Check out these awesome sales happening over at Craftsy :)

Black Friday Sales at Craftsy!
Craftsy Yarn and Fabric sale up to 80% off from 11/27-12/2!
Craftsy has brilliant savings on the craft supplies you want! With up to 80% off yarn and 65% off fabric, get the best prices of the year while you can.

Craftsy Class Sale up to 66% off from 11/29-12/2!
Craftsy has brilliant savings for a limited time only! All their online classes are on sale for $19.99 or less. With classes priced up to 66% off, now is a great time to get the classes you've been eyeing all year! Craftsy classes also make a great gift, so do some holiday shopping for the crafter in your life. 
I definitely plan on checking out the fabric sale! I can never pass up a good deal on fabric :) And don't forget that you can purchase a Craftsy class and watch it whenever you want. They never expire or run out!

Winterbound Quilt

I was super lucky to get to test a pattern for the very talented Kristy from Quiet Play. She has tons of fantastic paper piecing patterns in her Craftsy Store, and there are several that are free downloads. This pattern is her first full quilt pattern rather than just individual blocks.The name of this pattern is Winterbound!

The blocks are paper pieced so you don't have to fret about not having perfect points on your arrows :) Plus I love Kristy's description on how she came to the name Winterbound.

"I’ve decided to name it Winterbound. Kind of  like… flying geese… geese fly south for the winter… quilts are made for winter… so winter bound. Well it makes sense in my head ;)" --Kristy

This is the first quilt that I made completely out of solids. Honestly, I was really hesitant about it at first, but I fell in love after a while. I used Moda Bella Solids and Michael Miller Cotton Couture solids. The background I believe is Bella solids in Lead, and the arrows/geese are Bella Solids in Purple, Bright Sky & Betty Teal, and Cotton Couture in Citrus & Watermelon.

The Citrus yellow was super bright when it was by itself (like highlighter yellow), but it plays so nicely with the deep grey background. This quilt is going to my little cousin Jordan for Christmas, so that only gives me a couple weeks to get it quilted. Wish me luck!

Paper Piecing Party

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope y'all have a fantastic day with your loved ones! I know I will :) 

Happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

25 before 25 Check In

I almost didn't realize that today was the 27th. My days have been all out of whack since getting home from our trip to Louisiana. This past month has been pretty darn slow as far as progress goes, but slow and steady wins the race right?
  1. Finally lose those 10lbs that have been hanging on since having William. 
    • 'm still stalled where I was last month. With Thanksgiving coming up (ie tomorrow) I have a feeling I'll be eating my fair share of extra calories. If you use My Fitness Pal or RunKeeper, add me as a friend and we can cheer for each other!
  2. Complete 10 quilts (binding & all). 
  3. Start making significant & consistent money from my Etsy shop.
    • I've had steady orders over the past few weeks. Right now I am brainstorming about what items I want to focus on making once it's not the holidays anymore. If you haven't checked out my shop then you totally should :) 
  4. Exercise at least 4 days a week. (this goes hand in hand with #1)
    • Still haven't been doing this. :(
  5. Go camping as a family. 
  6. Go to the beach as a family. 
  7. Balance our finances and stick to a budget.  
    • Doing the same thing we have been doing.(does that mean I should cross this off?)
  8. Be able to run 5 miles without stopping. (again goes with the exercise thing) 
  9. Grow my blog to at least 300 followers. 
    • I'm up to 257 followers! GFC & Bloglovin combined. Love y'all!
  10. Feel comfortable in a bathing suit again. (again exercise)
  11. Keep in touch with my girlfriends more. 
  12. Save money and upgrade my camera to a DSLR.
    • I was checking out Black Friday sales for a good deal on a camera, but I couldn't find anything that really caught my eye as an awesome deal.
  13. Visit a state I have never been to before.
  14. Bake soft pretzels from scratch.
  15. Get a family portrait taken.
  16. Start planning a wedding. This one hinges on Jeff's decision to make us "official" :)
  17. Have a pattern published in a Magazine or Moda Bake Shop.
    • I just submitted an idea to Moda Bake Shop! Hopefully they like it and I will do a tutorial on their site.
  18. Read at least 25 books. 
  19. Read to William more consistently. 
    • We haven't been reading as much with how crazy things have been, I really want to get back to it thought because it really helps his schedule.
  20. Have an organized meal plan each week. 
  21. Teach William how to do age appropriate chores
    • He is still doing great at helping with the dishes and laundry :) 
  22. Visit my brother more often. 
  23. Open a savings account for William, and start saving for college.  
    • DONE!
  24. Finish William's 1st year scrapbook.
  25. Make The Weekender Bag & The Aeroplane Bag.
I hope everyone has a safe and Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow! We're spending it with Jeff's family and he is very excited about having fried turkey.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Favorite Things to Watch When Doing Something Else

When I'm sewing, I love to have some noise in the background. It can either be a movie or some music; I don't know why but I just can't sew in silence (but I always drive without the radio off). But since I need to concentrate on sewing, I normally don't want to watch anything too interesting i.e. Braking Bad or Once Upon a Time.

Instead I have some go to shows for watching, but not watching while sewing.

        I love this show! I remember when it first came on TV and I would watch it with my dad. This one is great to "watch" because I have seen the episodes so many times that they are interesting to listen to but I don't need to actually watch the TV to know what is going on. 

2. Any Disney Movie. 
        The great thing about watching Disney movies is that if you don't watch them, it's like you are listening to music :) I think I drive William crazy when I sing along, but he's getting used to it!

 3. HGTV
        Well this one applied when we still had cable. So I can't do it anymore, but watching HGTV was always great because well lets be honest you only care about the big reveal after all the DIY stuff in the middle of the show lol.

4. Stand-Up Comedy
          Netflix has a huge selection of stand up comedians to choose from, so I don't have to listen to the same jokes over and over again. I don't always watch them, but it is a nice grown-up distraction to listen to after William has gone to bed.

These are my main 4, and well technically 3 since we don't have cable anymore. Plus I will listen to my Pandora stations. (mostly Disney & Musicals with a little Macklemore in there too)

What do you like to watch or listen to when doing something else?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Our Busy Weekend

This past weekend was really great! We went to Louisiana to visit Jeff's grandparents and to go to the A&M vs. LSU football game. The game didn't turn out like we wanted it to, but we had a great time with friends and family.

Jeff's brother Brent drove, so William and I were hanging out in the back seat. Thankfully he slept most of the time and I was able to work on my hexies. I love working on these in the car.

Friday morning we went to a Thanksgiving presentation at our cousin Quincy and Noah's school. William had a blast climbing on the roots of this huge tree.

Then later in the day, I taught Quincy how to make hexies :) she loved it and picked it up really quickly! I think I will be getting her a little sewing kit for Christmas.

Plus I worked on my hexies some more! I love these things. I am using the Tula Pink charms I got from the Tula Pink Charm Sqaure Swap I did a few months ago.

Saturday morning a huge cold front blew in and it was freezing cold and raining, but we went to the football game anyway.

 My first time going to Tiger Stadium aka Death Valley. It was pretty cool, but Kyle Field is way better :)

All bundled up in jackets and ponchos. Jeff was ready to leave before the game even started because his shoes had a hole in them and his feet were wet and frozen :(

 Jeff's cousin Taylor and brother Brent in their LSU gear :( Thankfully we have a friend rivalry in this family and there were no hard feelings.

 We got to see Johnny Football play football lol unfortunaltely it was not a very good game for him :(

And my favorite the Fighting Texas Aggie Band! They were fantastic as always. We actually ended up leaving the game after the band played because it was sooo darn cold, the sun was going down, and it started to rain again. It was nice to get back to Granny & Paw's house to have some food and thaw out from being out in the cold.

William playing with toys Sunday morning.
We had a lazy Sunday morning filled with more family and food before heading home to Houston. Now it's time to get back into the swing of things with sewing and my other mom duties lol

How were y'alls weekends?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

What is Craftsy?

 *This post contains affiliate links*

Remember back when I shared this finished quilt, and I said it was from the Craftsy Block of the Month 2012. Well I thought I would share a little bit more about what Craftsy is, and how you can learn so much from their classes. If you've ever wanted to take a class to learn a new crafty skill, then you should check it out.
My Craftsy 2012 BOM Quilt
What is Craftsy?
Craftsy is a worldwide craft community offering online classes. It also has a patterns marketplace where independent designers can sell their patterns; a supplies shop with great deals on yarn, fabric, and class kits; and a projects section where members share pictures of their latest craft successes. With over two million members and counting, Craftsy has something for just about everyone, in categories ranging from quilting, sewing, knitting, painting, photography, cooking, and more.

Craftsy Logo Behind the Scenes: The Making of a Craftsy Class
Before filming even begins, hours and hours are spent determining what content will be covered in each class, and how to best teach specific techniques to the camera. Instructors work with an instructional designer to create an in-depth outline of each lesson, and decide how to best prepare props or “step-outs” that show what your project should like at different steps. Instead of a scripted class, instructors follow their outlines on camera to create an authentic and engaging teaching experience.

Most Craftsy classes are filmed in one of five Craftsy studios in Denver, CO, assuring that every part of the production process goes off without a hitch. They fly in instructors from all over the world to spend several days filming, then spend several weeks turning hours of footage into a two to three hour class experience that has been watched, rewatched, and reviewed by industry experts. The final result is an HD-quality video that takes you in-depth into specific topics in any given craft category- from cooking and fine art to sewing and knitting.

What IS the Craftsy experience?
Craftsy classes are designed to have all the benefits of an in-person class, with none of the drawbacks. Available online and on-demand, you always have world-class instructors at the tip of your fingers. You can retake the class as many times as you want, and the 30-second repeat feature allows you to watch the same section over and over again until you get every technique just right. 

I love that you can watch them over and over again. Since I am a stay at home mom and Jeff has late days at work most of the time, I can't make it to most traditional craft classes. With Craftsy, I can watch the lessons whenever I want and I don't have to worry about making it to an in-person class or finding a baby sitter.

Watching a Craftsy class is like having a first-row seat with some of the best instructors in the world. Even better, classes have a 100% money-back guarantee.

Try online learning today with a free mini-class from Craftsy! Choose from 23 Free Craftsy Classes ranging from drawing and painting to sewing and quilting, from knitting to cake decorating and more. 

I definitely recommend you check it out! I've only taken their quilting classes so far, but I really want to check out their cake decorating classes and the garment sewing classes.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Happy Birthday Mickey Mouse

So I just wanted to give a quick shout out to the best former boss ever lol Today is Mickey Mouse's 85th birthday!

Disney College Program in 2009

I have so many happy memories from going to Disney as a kid, and I love that I can share my love of Disney with William and he can create some magical memories too!

William's 1st Visit November 2012
Is it bad that I am already counting down the days until our next trip :)

Weekend Update

This weekend was pretty great for the most part. William and I had an awesome play-date on Friday with some new friends, Saturday I had my HMQG meeting & later Jeff and I got to go on a date and see the new Thor movie (it's awesome btw), and Sunday was a lazy day around the house.

With the good came some bad though. William has had some rocky behavior the past few days, and I am hoping this week he gets better. His schedule has been all out of whack, and I think that is a big part of his behavior issues.

Bedtime Sunday night was an ordeal, and that's putting it nicely. I definitely needed some coffee and sewing to unwind before bed. This week is starting out with a good grief, so we can only get better from here, right?

How were y'alls weekends?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

WIP Wednesday

It has been a semi-productive sewing week so far. I did get 2 Etsy orders for stockings last week, and my friend's mom is about to order 7 stockings!

I made these 2 stockings for a father and son, I had the A&M fabric in my stash but I had to order the Oregon fabric because it's not something readily available her in Texas. I have to say, I think this is my favorite way to make stockings. I love their scrappiness :) I wish I would have taken a better picture before mailing them.

I also made this scrappy little nine patch block (6.5" unfinished) for the Scrappy Nine Patch swap that Brenda from Pink Castle Fabrics hosted. I loved making these because I used fabric I already had, and it was something to sew that was easy. Sometimes I just need an easy thing to sew to get my mind on track.

That's it for me this week. I'm hoping to have a but more progress to show next week. I have a HMQG meeting Saturday and I am hoping to have something finished to take for show & tell.

BTW today is the last day to enter my giveaway for a copy of Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine :) check it out because I'm picking the winners at midnight!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, November 11, 2013

Speaking of Free

Going off of my post from last week about free stuff, I am super excited about the fact that yesterday we got a FREE king size bed from friends of ours!! Considering we currently have a full sized bed, the king is going to be a magnificent upgrade {plus I get to make a jumbo sized quilt for it, super sized Swoon}.

What I am more excited about are my plans to make a headboard for this beast of a bed. If you remember when I redid our current bed, then you know I am no stranger to big DIY projects that aren't sewing related.

I have been super busy on Pinterest checking out some DIY headboard ideas. I know for sure I want to make an upholstered headboard {can't stray too far from fabric :)} but I am not sure if I want to make a complete frame for it or just the headboard.

We got a frame with the bed but it is just the basic metal frame and it is pretty low to the ground. Here are a couple of ideas I found this evening while searching Pinterest.

These are just a couple of the things that I really like. Most of the tutorials are pretty straight forward, and I know my dad and I can do something like this over a weekend. Now I just need to figure out exactly what I love and want to live with, and of course get Jeffrey's vote :) Have any of y'all ever made a DIY headboard?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Everyone Loves Free Stuff

One of the things that I loved most about Quilt Market and Quilt Festival, were all the chances to win awesome prizes and giveaways. When I left festival I didn't think I walked out with many goodies, but I was pleasantly surprised when I got home and looked at everything all together.

First off I am over the moon for getting that Mood bag!! I have watched Project Runway for years and I have always dreamed about going to Mood Fabrics. So when I saw it was one of the goodie bags at the meet-up for the HMQG I just knew I had to have it. Thankfully I helped Sally with the goodies bags and I got to pick mine before the party started :) Being early pays off people!

I was lucky enough to get a color card from the amazing Alex at Aurifil Threads. I love that I can now see the colors in person before ordering in line, or before hauling William to my LQS. I love Aurifil thread, it sews gorgeously and it comes in a fantastic array of colors.

I also bought a bottle of flatter from a company called Soak. It is amazing! It is a starch-free smoothing spray and it is made from planet derived and renewable ingredients and it is great for sensitive skin. Plus is smells amazing. I got the Yuzu scent and it is citrus-y. I'm gonna do a full review of it later on :)

The amazing Aurifil thread I won playing putt-putt in their booth! It was so much fun and I love the colors that I got.

The ironing board cover I got for my grandmother for Christmas. She has been using the same silver ironing board cover for yyyyyeeeeaaaarrrrrssss! It belonged to her grandmother and it is bad shape. She tried to fix it with scotch tape because it is falling apart but she swears by it and won't do any ironing without it. When I saw this ironing board cover I didn't even have to think about buying it. I just did it.

I was lucky enough to get Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe in my goodie bag at the Houston Modern Quilt Guild Meet-Up. I have wanted this book for the longest time, and I am so glad it is finally mine! Once I knock some things off my WIP list, I want to make some of the patterns in this book. I also got Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine but I'll talk more on that in a bit.

 Of course I have a stack of business cards and an amazing button from Purple Daisies, LLC.

I'm a huge nerd and saved my name tags because I was so excited about this being my very first time going to Quilt Market and Quilt Festival!

Ok back to the Magazine!  We were lucky enough that Love Patchwork & Quilting donated magazines to the HMQG to give away in the goodie bags. It is a fantastic magazine and I am itching to make some of the projects that are in there.

It is a sister magazine to the Mollie Makes magazine. I've personally have never picked up a copy of Mollie Makes, but I have heard it is fantastic! Plus if it is anything like Love Patchwork & Quilting, then I really want to get it now. They ran a few trial issues of LP&Q earlier this year, and is now launching their first official issue.

This issue of Love Patchwork & Quilting will be available in the U.S. on November 13th. You can check out this post by Jennifer of Ellison Lane to get a sneak peek inside this issue. Trust me you are going to want to see the amazing projects that are inside this thing :)

Here is the awesome news! There were a bunch of extra magazines left over after the meet-up, and I got to bring some home to giveaway to y'all! Six of them to be exact.

How to Win:

  1. Follow my blog, Instagram, or Facebook.  
  2. Leave me a comment telling me what your favorite crafty magazine is, and how you follow :)
That's it. Make sure you leave your email address if you are a no-reply commenter so that I can have a way to contact you if you win! The giveaway will be open until next Wednesday at midnight and I will pick the 6 winners via a random number generator.

Good luck with the giveaway!!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

For the Boys Blog Hop

I was really excited when I got the opportunity to be a part of the For The Boys Blog Hop. I want to thanks Madam Samm, from Sew We Quilt and Amy from Sew Incredibly Crazy for putting it together! It's easy to sew for a little girl, but being the mom of a boy means that I sometimes need to get a bit more creative to make something that is both adorable but not girly.
So when I came across this awesome pattern for the Small Fry Skinny Jeans from Craftstorming, I just knew I had to make them for William. It took me a little while to figure out what fabric to make them out of, but I have always wanted to make him a cute little outfit for Christmas so I went with that. I used a fabric from Kate Spain's Joy collection, and it worked out really well. Winters here in Texas don't get that cold, so these will be perfect to wear on a sunny winter day.

We've had some nasty weather around here recently, and outside is basically a mud hole. That makes taking pictures with a non-cooperative toddler quite difficult.
I have to say he looks pretty darn adorable in these red pants, and they fit really well. The pattern is only a size 2T which is just perfect for William. I think a t-shirt with an appliqued Christmas tree will really complete this look.

So we love the show Big Bang Theory, and one of the characters named Howard always wears bright colored skinny jeans. It wasn't until I was halfway through making them that I laughed about these being William's Howard pants.

You can tell from how he is moving around in all of these pictures, that he has plenty of room to play around.

Once I got them off of him, I was able to get some better detail shots.The polka dots are a bit wonky like snowballs and I love them.

The waistband has a casing with button hole elastic so that it can be taken in or let out. This was my very first time using button hole elastic and it was so much easier than I was thinking. Plus I used this adorable red and green zigzag print for the facing.

 I used the same zigzag fabric for the pocket lining. It looks so cute peeking out from inside the pockets :) Cute in a manly way of course!

These pants had 3 button holes that needed to be put in, and I am really happy with how they turned out. I have made button holes before in the past, and they would always turn out wonky. One thing I loved about the tutorial I used for the pants is that she tells you exactly when to serge your seams. And if you don't have a serger, then she gives you other options for finishing them.

I loved making these pants for my little man, and I want to go buy some corduroy because I think they would look awesome made out of corduroy! Be sure to check out all the other awesome blogs in the For the Boys Blog Hop!

November 6th

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