Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tutorial~Little Girl's Leg Warmers~

It was sooo cold today where I live, but I was grinning big for a reason...

I found these socks at GAP last week in the women's section. They were 3 for $15, then I found the price tag saying 1.99. ON TOP OF THAT, it was an additional 40% off. I only paid 1.19 + tax a pair. I don't wear socks like these, but there is a reason why I wanted them.

I have been wanting to buy leg warmers for Rachel, the ones I saw at the stores cost around $10 or more. I didn't want to pay that much so, desided to make one.

Here is the quick tutorial:

You will need:

One pair of women's socks

Thread that will match the socks

1. Cut the foot part off the socks

2.Turn the sock inside out. Fold the edge twice and slip stitch all around.

3. That's it! They are ready to wear! If you are making this for a littler(is that even a word?) child, it might be a good idea to leave an opening to put elastic in; so, it is not too big and flappy for them.

Rachel was sooo excited and with today's cold weather, it was just perfect.

Monday, September 28, 2009

It is my duty and responsibility...

It is my duty and responsibility to do something with these tomatoes!!! I was avoiding it, but I didn't want them to go bad, so I decided to make a meat sauce. I started it last night and today it was simmering while I was cleaning, organizing part of the house, mending, and hemming eight articles of clothing. The whole house was filled with the aroma of meat sauce and I felt like I was doing the things that good house wives are surpposed to do...

So, needless to say, our dinner tonight was this:

It was very good. I guess knowing that those tomatoes came from our garden made it taste better.

I had planty of left overs in the pot, I am going to freeze them and make lazagna sometime in the near future.

It is a blessing to have so many tomatoes, but when I looked outside, I saw at least 10 more tomatoes ready to be picked... What should I do next?!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Tutorial ~ Tutu ~

A few days ago I hinted at doing a tutorial for something. I see them everywhere, the mall, craft booths and other stores. After the church function, I got the materials and started making it right away. It was so simple and easy, I finished it within 30minutes or so.

I didn't know exactly how much material I would need. I kind of just eye-balled it. Please read the instructions to the end, before you dash out to buy materials.

You will need:

2 rolls of tulle, each different colors-- I found mine at Joann's. It was in the wedding decoration section.

The color choices are limited but it is the easiest way to make a tutu. It was $2.99 a roll. If you want to cut your own amount instead of buying a roll, they have more color selection in bolts; the ones I looked at was $1.99/yard.

3/4" elastic

flowers and ribbons if you would like to accessorize the tutu.

1. Decide how big you want the tutu to be. I mesured my little girls tummy and sewed the ends together to make a big circle. I cut the elastic 20" long. Because you will lay them together and sew, the finished waist will be about 19".

2. Cut the tulle in desired lengths. I went with the length of my cutting mat, which is 36". Now, the roll of tulle I bought was 6 inches X 25yards. With two rolls I had 50 strips. Near the end I felt that I did not have enough tulle to cover the 19" waist, so I used tulle I had from before and mixed them in. I didn't want to buy another roll of tulle when I only needed such a small amount. (I only needed 6 or so more strips).

If you make the waist a little bit smaller and cut the tulle a few inches shorter, you will be able to make one tutu with 2 rolls of tulle. My daughter is 4 years old and I wanted to make it slightly bigger and longer so she can wear it for a while.

3. Fold the strips of tulle in half to make a loop. Hold it against the elastic and take the ends of tulle and put it through the loop.

4. Tighten the loop. Move on to the next color. Repeat the process.

5. Accessorize the tutu with flowers and ribbons as you desire. Then, you will have a beautiful tutu for your loved ones to enjoy!

I had so much fun making this. The only sewing part was attaching the ends of elastic. I want to try different color combinations next time. This will be a perfect Holloween costume for the coming season. They can be a Princess, a ballerina, a fairy, and if you make the tutu using black tulle (and a little shorter) it will be so cute to dress them as a black kitty too! I hope you will try making this tutu. It is too much fun of a project to pass up!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Down Memory Lane---Quilts for Christopher---

Christopher 3yrs old

Sometimes people would ask me if I make stuff for my boys... YES I DO! But, I guess the question is totally valid, because I post things I've made for Rachel all the time but not the things I've made for the boys.

Well, let me tell you some of the things that happened to the things I made for the boys.

I made a small back pack with a pocket and a tiny teddy bear that had the letter "C" on it (this was for Christoher. I thought he could put his toy cars and snacks in there when we go out. The teddy bear was his little "friend"... Well, everytime I try to put it on him, he screamed and also, he took the bear, and kept throwing it, so, I have no idea what happend to the bear.

I stitched several pillows for both of the boys to decorate their room. I didn't see them for while and I was wondering about that. When I was going to wash their beds, I found them between thier beds and the wall. All, squished. I asked them why they stuffed the pillows there, and they said,"We put pillows in there, so the monster won't come and get us!" Hmm... lovely.

The things I made and they use and love are the super hero capes (although, they out grew the capes...) and passenger bags to carry thier gameboys. I guess for the boys It has to be something they use, and is practical; not something I think is cute or decorative and not supposed to be protected from dirty hands and stuff.

We girls love pretty things don't we? Eventhough, some... or lots of the things we buy are not something we need, we love to beautify our space.

This is probably why I make more stuff for Rachel. It is not that I love my boys less, she loves pretty things and appreciates them more. Also, I just can't help myself from picking up pretty fabrics!

Well, I just want to share with you all, some quilts I made for Christopher. Here is the proof that I love him too! :)

I made this one, before he was born. I was at the Baby Gap and saw a quilt, I loved it so I drew a quick sketch. That same night I started making the quilt and came up with this. I call it fake gap quilt.

This one was for his first birth day. I saw it in the Pottery Barn catalog. I loved the colors and the simple applique design and decided to copy it. It is only for personal use, that's ok, right?

I made this one as part of a Christmas gift for the boys. I used cowboy theme flannels. They use it all the time.

I wish, I could make more then of couse, I had two more children and I made them some quilts too. There is one quilt top waiting to be quilted for Christpher, whenever I feel I am ready, I will do it.

Those pictures remind me of when he was little. I should go and tuck him in.

I will post Michael and Rachel's quilt's pictures in the near future. Thank you for coming down memory lane with me!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Little Break

The church function on Saturday was fun! I thought I would be swamped with my class, I didn't sign up for anything. There was a class for something I really wanted to do for long time. It was next to my table, so I was looking at how they did it. and I am going to do it when I can find the time; hopefully soon. I want to do a tutorial for this and I am not telling what it is, until the day I can actually post it. Call me a tease...:)

After that, my family and I went up to a family BBQ. It was fun but I left early to go home and sew. I was up until close to 3 AM. I was so focused on sewing and didn't even realize the time. I was working on little girls' handbag to send to Japan. I will post the pictures of them in my next post...(Sorry, I am so exhausted to go downstairs to get the camera).

When I do so much in a short while I get really tired. I have several ways to take a break and relax. One of the things I am going to do tonight is to get ready to go to bed, do a facial massage and read. Sounds lame or boring but it works for me. I know tomorrow will also be a busy day. What your favorite way to unwind and relax?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Getting Ready

Do you remember the felt food I made and posted several posts ago?

I have been given the opportunity to teach a class at a church function tomorrow. I am only doing the cookies and I put the stuff together to make kits for whoever signed up for the class. I have been busy and didn't plan it very well, I cut felt even in the car while I was waiting for the kids to get out of school. Ahhh! (That's what happens when you wait untill the last minute... I know...)

I am pleased to announce that I just finished packing the last kit. I can sleep better.

People tell me all the time I don't look like I am stressed out when I am. I get very nervous and stressed when I don't meet a deadline, especially, when I am doing something for other people.

Also, I am getting ready to ship some items from Tea Rose Company to my friend in Japan. I mentioned this before, but she is doing the exhibit for her and her students' stained glass art. Since the place she rented is very spacious, she asked me to join in to showcase and sell some of my stuff.

We started talking about this before summer and I thought that I would have planty of time...WHERE DID THE TIME GO!! I am not ready! The exhibit starts at the beginning of October, it will take about a week for the package to get there. I realized I only have a week or so to ship them.

This morning I took the picture to e-mail to her for the poster. I am starting to get totally nervous! I guess I will get extra busy over the next few days sewing and putting things together like mad.

I will post how the exhibit went when I hear back from my friend in a few weeks.

Well everyone, have a nice week end!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Not So Pretty + Ugly = Beautiful

I bought this cabinet during our humble start at a thrift store. I wanted an entertainment center for our 13" TV (we were using a moving box as the entertainment center). It was only five dollars. In fact, it was an ugly peppermint green with some spider webs inside. Wow, that was about 13 years ago...

I took it home, and painted it white. A few years later I painted it black. For a while, I have been tired of looking at this cabinet. The kids bump into it so many times with their toys, the paint was scratched off in some areas and it didn't look pretty. I want to keep this cabinet forever to remember where we started after we got married. This cabinet holds special value to me.

The other day, I was at a thrift store and found this;

I forgot to take a picture before I took off the back, but this book shelf had a back and drawer. It doesn't look pretty, but it is very well made and stable. I decided to take a chance and paid 15 dollars for it and went home.

Lots of... I mean LOTS and LOTS of elbow greese, I came up with this;

I have to say... I LOVE IT!! It took me such a long time to scrape the paint off the cabinet. There were actually four layers of paint, the black, white, peppermint green and a pinkish orange! Who knew, there was one more layer beneath the peppermint green. I probably lost some brain cells from the strong paint remover... but all the work paid off. I have to give credit for my supportive husband for helping me big time with this project. He cut out new back for the shelf, carried heavy stuff for me... Why is it, when ever his wife has a GREAT IDEA somehow he get busy too...

I couldn't wait to get up in the morning today, so I could start decorating the shelves. I went all over the house gathering "white stuff" to decorate my new found furniture. I alway wanted something like this to showcase my white collections (which more than half of them are from garage sales or thrift stores).

I can't stop smiling everytime I walk by. Now, what else can I transform?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Way to Make Money--Six Year Old Style--

This happened a few weeks ago, I wanted to share this with you all before I forget.

One day, I picked the boys up from school as usual. I could hear Christpher and Michael in the back of the mini-van whispering to each other. Usually they are loud kids, they can't keep whispering for too long. Eventually, it got to a point that I could hear what they were talking about. I pretended that I couldn't hear anything.
Here is a part of thier conversation:

Michael: I want a Ferret and sword for Christmas.

I was thinking to myself (What? No living thing for Christmas, and no parent in their right mind would give a weapon as a present to a six year old!)

Christopher: But, remember? Mom said, you don't get living things for Christmas.

M: But I want them.

C: Maybe you can save up your allowance and buy a ferret.

Then, they started talking about how they could increase their income. They were thinking about doing a lemonade stand at a park or the parking lot at Walmart. They asked me if I could help them. I said that I would think about it.

After their homework, Michael was quietly drawing something. I got close and looked at a couple pictures, and said, "Wow, Michael, they are nice!"

Picture One:

M:Thanks, I am going to sell them.

Me: Well, who're you gonna sell them too?

He shrugged and said "I don't know. but I need the money to buy a ferret, so I am going to sell them."

The second one was a picture of a bird with no color. I asked him if he is going to color it. He said, "No, this is a swan, so I don't need to color it." He told me he was going to sell it for six dollars. Wow! What a rip off!

After a while, he showed me the new and improved bird picture:

He said it is a duck now.

Then the starving artist needed a snack and was off to play.

I have been working on a furniture makeover since last week, it is almost done!! I am so excited how it is turning out and I am going to post about it in my next post. Make sure to come back! See you soon everyone!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Tutorial--Sweet Scarf for Little Girl--

Well, its tutorial time! Have you noticed in the morning and at night, the air is getting cooler? I created this for my little girl using the Honey Bun from Moda. Don't worry, just in case you want to make this with your fabric stash, I included the measurements.

You will need:

1 Honey Bun (you only need five strips from this)
3 1/2" x 50 1/2" minky strips
Lace (optional)

How to make:

1. First pick out your favorite fabric strips from the Honey Bun.

2. Lay them on the cutting mat and cut into 5 1/2" strips. The Honey Bun is 1 1/2" wide, so the each strip will be, 1 1/2" x 5 1/2".

3. The top and bottom strips will be assembled from 11 pieces. The middle strip will be assemble from 10 pieces. Lay them out and keep arranging until you like what you see. Remember to slide each row, like a brick wall, so that the seams do not line up. Look at picture to see what I mean. Sew each row first, then sew the long strips together.

5. I used a small bowl to draw a half circle then gave the scarf ends a round edge.

6. Right sides together, lay the pieced top and the minky. Minky is very tricky fabric it moves and slides easily, so use lots of pins to secure it.

7. Leaving 4-5 inches opening sew all around it.

8. Turn the fabric inside out then press with an Iron. Fold the fabric at the opening inside and pin it, sew all around the edges to secure the fabrics. If you would like to add lace like I did, you can do it at this stage.

9. All done! Enjoy the fall.

I came up with this after I did a Five Fat Quater Scarf for myself. Since I only used a little bit of the Honey Bun, I am now making a small quilt with the rest of it. You can make several of these scarves out of one Honey Bun... Perhaps, that would be a perfect Christmas gift if you have several daughters, grand daughters, and nieces.

I hope you enjoy this. Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tomatoes, Tomatoes, and more Tomatoes

This year, our garden was semi-sucsessful. We had leaf lettuce, cucumbers, parsely, lemon balm, and tomatoes. Tomatoes are so strong, it is still producing. It does not produce enough to can, but it does produce too many to eat. On my kitchen counter, there are many tomatoes...

Have you ever seen the TV show called "Iron Chef"? It is a very popular Japanese TV show that aired in the US and it was a big hit. Basically, the show will bring two chefs on the show to compete, then they will tell them the secret theme ingredient to be used during the show. Those chefs then have to come up with several dishes featuring the ingredient. Then there dishes will be judged at the end of the show and the winner picked... Anyway, I felt like I needed to use many tomatoes as if they were the themed ingredient.

I made one of my favorite salads. Diced tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, a little bit of red onion, and parsely. Mix them in the bowl with Mayo (I use Japanese mayonase called kyupi.) and salt & pepper. That's it. It is very easy to make. Just remember to mix them before serving, otherwise, it will get too watery.

Since I had so many tomatoes, I decide to make a tomato bowl and stuff it with the salad as a special touch. I cooked the chicken with seasonings then a few minutes before turning the heat off, I added diced tomatoes. The juice from the tomatoes made the chicken so moist and good.

For dessert...

Did I get you? No, that is not tomatoes, They are strawberries. I have been craving for some sweets since yesterday, so, I decided to make this.

I was in a cooking mode today. I love to cook and I enjoy it, but not everyday.
Somedays I am just too tired to even be in the kitchen. You know the first word my hubby said after he saw all the dishes I made?

"Wow, were you bored today?" He loved the dinner.

Monday, September 7, 2009

More Great Finds and New Items in My Etsy Store

Ahhhh... I had a great time during the Labor day weedend. Lots of family time, family get together, BBQ, bowling, movies. My sweet husband kindly gave me "Me time" too (while he took care of all three children!). I was able to go out by myself and also, squeeze in some sewing time.

I found some GREAT items at DI again. Whoever decided to donated them, thank you so much! You made me very happy!

The first finds are Cath kidston look-a-like mugs! Aren't they so cute? I always wanted to order some mugs from her catalog, but it is so expensive that I only admire them on catalog...

Those mugs I found were 50 cents each!! They will be perfect for the fall and winter when I take a break from sewing at night and drink some herb tea.

The next great finds are, Fire King casserole dishes! I have been a fan and collector of Fire King dishes for a while (I will share my collection someday). These dishes are brand new and have never been used! The original stickers were still attached. The color is orangeish with copper tint. It is so pretty and I am so thrilled to cook up some fall dishes in these.

The oil cloth fabrics I shared last week... I turn them into bibs! I whipped up eight of them and am going to post them on my etsy store soon. I am very happy with the results.

I have a new tutorial coming up. I am planning to post it sometime this week, hope to see you there!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Sashiko Bag and ...

Around Rachel's birthday, we received a package from my mom who lives in Japan. She sent the kids lots of Japanese candies, some books for me, and a birthday gift for Rachel. My mom has been taking Sashiko lessons every week from a lady for almost a year now. She made a beautiful Sashiko bag (my mom did Sashiko, then her tutor made it into a draw string bag).

Basically, Sashiko is a traditional Japanese quilt design. Here is what I found out from a Sashiko book. In winter, a single layer of cloth wasn't warm enough, so people layerd two fabrics together and did Sashiko to stableize them. Then, when some parts of the cloth wore out, they added more layers of fabric and did sashiko to make it stronger. In olden day, Sashiko was used for practicality, but now people enjoy Sashiko design as a hobby. Like my mom.

Look at the stitches...

I called and thanked her and we talked for a while. Time like this I get little bit sad about living so far away from my mom. Usually, I am so busy and don't even have time to feel that. Looking at something she made, one stitch at time made me miss her.

Rachel loved her new bag and immediately started putting things in to carry around the house. Hmmm... where did she get the bag lover quality from... my husband?...

By the way, guess what I found at a quilt store the other day...

YES! New oil cloth!! They are so pretty, I had to buy some for my etsy store.

I have been sewing a lot lately. My friend who lives in Japan is going to exhibit her and her students' stained glass. The place she rented is so big, she wanted me to send some stuff from my etsy store to showcase and sell them. Also, my sister makes amazingly beautiful jewelery, so she will have a booth there too. My friend is making post cards to send out and posters to get the word out. I wish I could be there to decorate my own space and everything but I trust my friend's style. We have been friends since 10th grade and the distance and lack of seeing each other for years hasn't changed our relationship much. I guess only for better, because we are both busy moms who enjoy our current stage of life.

I am so excited about the exhibit!!

I am going to make more oil cloth bib from the new fabric. I already picked out the fabrics that I am going to use for the bias tape. I think they are going to be cute! I am going to sew some more before I hit the pillow. Well, every one, enjoy your labor day weekend!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Great Finds and Their Transformations

Last Saturday, I just had this urge to go to a thrift store. I felt like there was something waiting for me. I only had one and a half hours until I had a get together with our friends. I hopped in the van and I was gone like the wind.

Yep, I was right, I found some great items! I will not post everything in this post, but I will show you some of the things I found and transformed. All I needed was a can of spray paint.

I found these wooden frames for a dollar each. I love the moulding on these frames.



I love them! I found mats at dollar store while ago, and they fits perfectly.

There is another find that I am REALLY EXCITED about... take a look at this before picture...

I spotted this with a bunch of junk I mean stuff and loved the detail. I didn't care for the color but I decided to buy it anyways. It was actually made out of plastic but it looked brand new inside and out. I was wondering what this box was originally used for... it looked a little bit churchy to me, so I wanted to make sure that people didn't store ashes or something. If that was the case, I would be a little bit uncomfortable buying this. On the back of the box it said "Mark Clein INC, Baraboo, Wisconsin".
So, I googled the name and after a few tries, I found out that the box was indeed a sewing box! According to the picture I found, my box was missing a tray on the inside, but I didn't mind. I transformed the sewing box my way, with help from a few coats of spray paint, it looks like this...

I have been looking for a sewing box for a while. I have a sewing room on the second floor, but most of the time I work downstairs in the kitchen area. I thought it would be nice to have something beautiful, and functional to store my basic sewing items. And, the box was only two dollars! I love it so much that I can't stop looking at it.

I had some paint left over, so I painted other things I bought a long time ago, and needed some TLC. (White is my most favorite color... I don't mind if everything is white.)

Little piggy bank

The "A"

I just have to say spray paint is the greatest invention of mankind! I wish I could thank and hug who ever came up with this!
Blog Widget by LinkWithin