Wednesday, April 27, 2011

cut, sew, freak out...repeat

remember the sweet monogram appliqued aprons I made for my daughter's birthday party last month?  i'm getting pretty good at them from the 9 i made for the party and the 4 requests for a custom aprons from the show i participated in. 

i have received so many nice compliments on them that i decided to throw them on my etsy shop to share the love.  

fast forward 2 weeks later to when i actually got around to listing them.

the *very next day* i got a request.  great! 

from a mom in texas.  great!  

who was planning an art party.  great!  

for her daughter's 7th birthday. great!
she'd like me to make aprons for party favors.  great!

she needs 23 of them.  gulp!
for a party in a week and a half.  double gulp!

my inner monologue:  "i have to do this.  i can do this.  i CAN do this.  can i do this?"

complicating factor #1:  i have a full time job outside of the home

complicating factor #2:  my husband just left this morning for a business trip and won't be home until Sunday (no help with the kids!)

complicating factor #3: i cannot say no.

so i said yes, absolutely, no problem...then i freaked out a bit. that was yesterday.  

tonight after work, i got to work.  my awesome mom pressed 20 yards of fabric today that i pre-washed last night so it'd be ready for me.  i cut and cut and cut and cut and cut.  

i'll update you on my progress. 

if anyone has tips for fulfilling a large order, working under pressure or a deadline, consuming more than 1 grande americano from starbucks (in my near future), etc., please leave me advice!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

i dig on these...

what am i diggin' on right now?  

check 'em out.  
these are great!

Cassie over at Something from Cassie made this Roy G. Biv cake for her daughter's birthday.  

A very practical and pretty idea for upcycled candy jars from Amy at Increasingly Domestic!

love this fabric and paint transformation at Seven Sisters

perfectly adorable (and practical) shelves for little ones.  see how from Tricia at

my daughter would dig on this angry birds inspired hair bow!  see the tutorial at Hello My Name is Momma

another great chair transformation!  see the before at Three Boys.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

laptops shouldn't go sleeveless :)

so I whipped up a few sleeves so the laptops won't be self-conscious about their upper arms.  ha!

the sleeves with the flap open

i used elizabeth hartman's pattern that she shared on sew mama sew.  It was very easy to follow.

i *highly* recommend picking up a walking foot for your machine, if you don't already have one.  (i wish i'd learned sooner about this little work horse!)

Kenmore Walking Foot w/Quilter Bar for Embroidery/Sewing Machines
photo from
 it makes easy work out of sewing (straight!) through lots of layers because it adds another set of feed dogs on top so the layers don't bunch up or shift (as much).  i ordered mine online for less than $20. 

a perfect fit!

the exteriors (dots) are michael miller quarter dot in clementine and kiwi.  interior is michael miller flower shower black flannel.

tip:  if you're running short on yardage, look for ways to improvise.  i didn't have enough of the flower flannel for two sleeves, so if you take a look inside, you'll notice the bottom half of the interior is white flannel!  no one noticed!

i skipped the velcro closure and just left it without, b/c i didn't care for it.

the first one i made (flowers below) was rather wonky and i think the magnetic closures made the problem even more obvious so i left the polka dotted ones free from closures at all.

eek.  the magnetic closure required a firm interfacing which caused a ridge in the flap that i don't like. 

the flower one is a fun print i found at hobby lobby. interior is white flannel.

these sleeves will keep your laptop modest and free from fashion faux pas.  

Tip Junkie handmade projects


Saturday, April 9, 2011

personalized sand art tutorial (attention: wine drinkers)

my first silhouette project [a tutorial]

my in-laws visited recently.  the kids love doing crafts with grandma. this visit they made sand art in mini wine bottles.  luckily, grandma sacrificed and drank all 5 single-serving bottles of wine so each grand kid would have their own container to create their art.  ;) tee hee.

here's proof of how crazy things have been: i ordered and received my brand-spankin' new silhouette and i've barely had time to plug it in.  

yep, i've officially joined the aren't-you-jealous-of-all-the-things-i-can-create-with-my-sweet-silhouette club and was booted from the i-hate-you-and-your-freakin'-craft-cutter-but-secretly-i-love-looking-at-all-your-awesome-creations club.

i learned the secret handshake and everything.  

so, i was fiddling with the silhouette and sent a piece of copy paper through to cut the kids' names...just as a practice.  no project in mind.  went to bed.  [insert sun setting, then rising, and a rooster crowing here]

after grandma and the kids had their sand art fun the next day, we put 2 and 2 together and ta-da...the first silhouette project was born: personalized sand art.  

here's how to make yours: 

step one: drink wine :)
pick your favorite *mini* bottle of wine, enjoy, rinse, remove label, air dry.  this stands about 7 inches tall and holds 187ml. they come in 4 packs at my local grocery stores.

step two: create sand art
buy a kit (michael's or hobby lobby - don't forget to use a coupon!) or purchase a variety of colored sand and a funnel.  

pour the sand to create layers.  

push a chopstick or skewer down the sides to add a little  detail.  hold the bottle at an angle to create diagonal layers.  be creative!

tip: run a thin line of hot glue along the inside edge of the screw on top to secure the lids.

step three: cut your letters
this can certainly be done by hand, but the nifty silhouette sd makes quick work of it.  

use a name, a shape, initial, anything your little one wants.  because we had the names on hand (from my practice round), that's what we used.  

my first attempt at the silhouette sd (using a free font i found online)

step four: mod podge it
dry arrange your cut outs before you stick them so you can be sure to like the placement.  

tip:  try to keep your sand art upright as much as possible.  tipping it causes the sand to move and may change your little one's artistic masterpiece.  

then using a paint brush (we used a 1 1/2 inch one that was in our junk drawer) to brush a little mod podge on the glass as a base layer.

the magic goop

brush on as glue to stick your letters, shapes, etc.

stick the cut outs on the mod podge being careful to arrange them the way you want.  you can move them a bit, but if you use thin (copy) paper like we did, it might tear. 

the first letter

lookin' good so far

 gently brush mod podge on top of the cut outs.  smooth any wrinkles or other imperfections with a skewer, toothpick, your fingers, etc. 

had to smooth out a few wrinkles as we went along

step five: touch up
use a wet paper towel to carefully clean up any excess mod podge.  get as close as you can without disturbing the cut out.  this step is not necessary; the mod podge dries clear.  but i found it gives your project a nice finished look.  

look closely to see the clean edge

this one is ready for wine time, er, i mean drying time.  ;)

step six: drink more wine while it dries
when dry, add another layer of mod podge. repeat step five (clean up with wet paper towel). let dry for a couple hours.

adding second layer of mod podge

optional step seven: repeat step one. ;) 

here's how they turned out!  awesome, huh?  the kids were thrilled!


Tip Junkie handmade projects

Saturday, April 2, 2011

whew! the show was great!

the spring bling show was a hit! i can now make the first notch in my proverbial craft show belt.  

my throw-it-together-at-the-last-minute booth.  thanks to mama jane for the beautiful tulips!

i was so lucky to have my friend, melissa (of melissa k hoy jewelry designs) and her family (mama kemps and three sisters) coach me through it. mama kemps was the brainchild and event planner extraordinaire!

melissa's booth makes me REALLY want my own banner

also could not have made it through without the uber efforts of my friend, jenni. she was invaluable today! she's always invaluable...but even more so today.

thank you to everyone who came to the show [insert an extra special shout-out to gina]. i had a lot of fun.  made some sales. took some custom orders. and learned a lot!
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