Monday, December 20, 2010

Cutter Blade Sharpening Tricks

In only 9 days, my little baby girl will be 1 year old! Holy Moly! In the midst of Christmas, we are also working on her first birthday party. I have been cutting a lot of cardstock and am watching my blade dull so I did a search online to see how to sharpen the blade.

Here's some ideas:

 Blades can be sharpened with heavy duty aluminum foil. Simply cover 
your mat with the foil. Create a file with several straight lines, a couple of 
circles, and a few squares. Set the speed to slow or medium in case the 
foil comes loose from the mat and you need to quickly abort. Set the 
thickness to 1.  Repeat with all three blade caps. 

When a blade is slightly dull or you have a thick cardstock and 
need to cut twice, try copying/pasting the image on the screen on top of 
itself. The cutter will then automatically cut it twice. 

Also, pieces of lint can occasionally get caught up in the blade. 
Remove the cap and check  the blade under a magnifying glass to see if 
any fibers are present. 

I will definitely be doing the aluminum foil trick! And how smart to double the image to automatically cut twice! Brilliant!

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Giveaway Winner!

Congrats Lil Misses' Mama! You won the pattern of your choice at  Noodles & Milk!

....and everyone, don't forget to use "sparklinbecks" for a dollar off each pattern purchased in her shop!


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Friday, December 10, 2010

market skirt from made

Today is the last day for the Noodles & Milk giveaway! I will pick a winner tomorrow!

This week, I have been busy sewing up a whole bunch of stuff! One of the things I worked on was my own spin off of the Market Skirt, This pattern was VERY easy to follow, and I will use it again, however, I will NEVER use satin again. I was going for a dressy look, but it turned out a little messier than I had hope for, and I just do. not. like. satin. for sewing. Accessories, yes, clothes, no!

I added the tulle to the bottom by doubling the tulle and gathering it. Its a shimmery tulle too, which seems to be a bit softer than other tulle.  The pearl and lace trim was just sewn on.

(She just started walking the week of Thanksgiving and is impossible to keep still now for pictures!)

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Monday, December 6, 2010

Noodles & Milk Review and Giveaway

I am pretty excited to be doing a giveaway this week for the fabulous Noodles & Milk

Have you seen her cute patterns? Baby items, pants, dresses, skirts, the possibilities are endless! Her patterns are easy to follow and she even adds beginner's tips for those that would need them (and you might even learn something new in the process like I did!) 

Sabrina is a stay at home mama of two with a seven week old baby boy and a 2 1/2 year old daughter.  Prior to staying home, she had the greatest job on earth. She was a buyer for a major jewelry retailer. Yes, she got paid to play with jewelry and travel the world- oh and it was just icing on the cake that she had a super boss, the best coworkers and a non-existent commute to work. She had no plans of anything changing. When her daughter was 3 weeks old, she looked at her husband with tears and told him that she could not leave her with strangers and that she had to quit her job. They promptly sold their house and downsized and the rest "is history"

Here's a little bit of info about her shop:
After about 4 months of staying home with my daughter, I started to get antsy. I had no creative outlet. I had nothing that was "mine". I desperately needed something. So, I decided to take up a new hobby- something that I have always wanted to try-sewing. That is right, if you do the math, I have only been sewing about 2 years! To say that I took right to it would be an understatement. Within a few weeks I had an enormous fabric stash and could not stop creating and trying new things. Within about a month I started selling custom baby gifts on ebay (yuck) and then etsy (yea). The shop grew really quickly and I loved all the custom work I was creating for little ones. Custom gifts grew into custom clothing. In January, when I found out I was pregnant with our son, I knew that the shop had to change. I knew that at least in the beginning, I would not have the hours at naptime and nighttime to sew custom orders. I decided right then to try pattern writing. I have found pattern writing to be as addicting as sewing. I love it! I can't say the shop will always be patterns and that I will never go back to custom orders, but for now I am loving the new direction that Noodles & Milk has gone.
Well I am definitely loving the direction Noodles & Milk has gone too! Isn't this Sadie Scrappy Peasant dress adorable on Ellie?

I loved the scrappy strap!

I also thought the pattern for the diaper clutch was great...I have tried to make them without a pattern and they are a pain to think through! This way, the thinking has been done for you!

and this Elizabeth outfit is adorable!

Which one would you pick? Go to her shop, pick a favorite and then comment to let me know and you could win a pattern! Get another entry for following her blog and/or becoming a fan on facebook 

And if you are interested in purchasing her great patterns, she is offering a code: "sparklinbecks" for $1.00 off each pattern. Valid for 2 weeks! These would be great gifts!

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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Fairy Romper inspired by Samster Mommy

I read this post back in the summer and wanted to do one for Ellie. I have looked casually for cheap green tshirts but hadn't really seen anything that I was willing to cut up. I guess really, I could have bought some knit fabric, but this was more fun. I would say this is a size that would fit 12-24 months? Its long, so it will last awhile on my long legged little girl, and since its shirred and has adjustable straps, it will grow with her.

I ended up not finding anything in adult sizes, but noticed these two green tshirts at old navy this week on sale, and thought I would go for it. At first, I was afraid to cut it up in case there wasn't enough material, but there ended up being enough for the romper AND shoes to match!

Mine is the same concept as Samster Mommy's, except I did not make it into a romper. If you want it to snap and be longer, you should probably follow her great tutorial!

Here's how I did mine:

After I cut it out this way, I used her tutorial to put it together. The straps were cheater straps though, and i cut off the collars of both shirts and sewed them on as straps, and knotted the ends to finish it off better.

I also made the leggings out of a tshirt I had bought to cut up for ruffles for another shirt (gotta love when you stretch a 1.99 white tshirt into two projects!) 

The shoes are from the sleeves in the shirt using the Stardust Shoes pattern here  I lined it with felt, so they are sturdy and thick to keep her toesies warm. The pompoms are just simple pom poms made with white felt.

Cant wait to dress my little tinker in her own outfit!

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Friday, December 3, 2010

Online shopping time!

One of the things I dread about this time of year is having to go to any stores to buy anything. I love to online shop instead, because crowds just drive me crazy! CSN stores are perfect for this because they sell anything from clothes and shoes to counter height stools

I have shopped with them before, and their shipping is fast too! I put an order in on Monday night and it was here yesterday.

They even have art supplies! I can't wait to use these:

So if you are looking to just stay home and not fight crowds, I definitely recommend CSN stores! Pin It

Choose your interfacing

While at the store recently, I needed to buy interfacing and would have loved to have read this article prior! I thought I would share it here!

PS. Stay tuned, because on Monday I have an exciting giveaway coming that sewers new or experienced will enjoy!

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Looking for some gift ideas?

I love November at Sew Mama Sew because that means a whole new list of gift ideas that I can use all year round!

Here is this year's list!

And because no post is complete without a picture (and I seem to keep posting without them lately), here's one of my sweet babies. Nothing is more snuggly than a fresh bathed baby in snuggly jammies!

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Socks aka stockings

With a new addition to the family, I had to make a new stocking this year to add to our other ones. Sometimes its still hard to believe we are a family of five! I had bought plenty of extra felt last time so I didn't even need to buy anything for this project, and used one of the previously made stockings for a pattern.

One of Ellie's nicknames is "daisy" so this is her personalized stocking, or sock, as my boys call them. These are so easy to make because they are felt, and felt is so fabulous because it doesn't fray!

I also have a kindergartener who felt that the cursive J looked like a "b" and asked politely if he could have a "Jaden" instead of a "Baden" for a name. It's so exciting to see how well he is picking up on his reading! Smart guy.

It was also pointed out that we have an extra hook on our holder and that he needs another baby. A boy this time please, he asked. Ha!

Sorry for the blurry pictures. I am on medication right now that makes me really shakey and I was too lazy to get the tripod out. 

Thanks for looking! :)
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Monday, November 29, 2010

What are you doing for Christmas cards this year?

When I was growing up, I loved getting the mail and seeing all the Christmas cards that would come in for my family. Each year, I would see my mom sit down and write out Christmas cards with pictures or letters of what was going on in our family.

Now that I have a family of my own, I love sending out and receiving Christmas cards. I used to sit down and make each card. I love the personal touches that making your own bring. Unfortunately, the costs and time would add up fast. As my family as grown, I have had to adapt to that, and for awhile would just go buy a quick box of store bought cards and sign them and send them with a picture.

In the past couple of years, I have really enjoyed all the fun photo cards that have come about. I enjoy sitting down with a family picture or two and personalizing a photo card that is printed out and shipped! I cant find a copy of my card last year, but this is the picture we used:

One of my favorite places to order photo cards is Shutterfly. And why not? The pictures printed there are always of great quality and there are so many other products you can get with your pictures as well! I am even looking into making a calendar this year!

Shutterfly has great offers, especially this week. Make sure to check it out here! Pin It

Sunday, November 28, 2010

T Party Dress Link

If you are looking for a fun and easy (and versatile!) pattern, make sure you check out the T Party Dress by Lil Blue Boo.

(and I might be a proud mama to have Ellie modeling her version on there as well ;))

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Monday, November 8, 2010

Lil Blue Boo Giveaway!

I had the opportunity to be a pattern tester for Lil Blue Boo for the "T" patchwork dress. 

I love sewing with Lil Blue Boo patterns because of the variety of sizes, the thoughtful and thoroughness of her patterns and directions as well as the other options you can do to make the pattern different over and over again! Underneath, I added a pair of the leggings that has paid for itself over and over since buying the pattern. These leggings were made from sleeves of a long sleeved shirt, and the body of the shirt can still be made into a skirt!

It's almost impossible these days to get some good shots of Ellie, but I did what I could. Here she is modelling our version of the T patchwork dress! I used an old onesie from Jackson for the top:

Love that fun optional flower!

Right now, Lil Blue Boo is doing a giveaway to 4 lucky winners! Hop on over for a chance to win!

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Gorgeous FREE online magazine!

I really enjoyed looking through this FREE online magaine, Gifted, tonight, and can't wait to really dive in more. So many fun links and ideas. Brain overload!

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Hippo Dress

Even though we are still needing our a/c out here in Arizona, it is starting to cool off! In the morning when I take my son to school, we all have to at least wear jackets. That's something, and I will take what I can get!

With the weather changing, we need to start looking at colder weather clothes. I bought a pattern from Dear My Kids to make my daughter some long sleeved dresses. I have been buying patterns on etsy here and there because for the most part, the sizes tend to range from tiny to larger, which makes it a great value since I can just print them out as each size happens. I originally bought this for the tunic to match up with those cute leggings I can't stop making, but I thought for the first attempt, I would go for the dress. I also skipped the inside pocket and the elastic sleeves.  I like the bell sleeves on this.

It has a fun button closure on the back

and its reversible! I lined this with corduroy so its a bit heavier and stiffer than I normally would have done.

I am about 3/4's done with another dress from this pattern that is a lot lighter and flow-ier (is that a word? because it is now!) and I added elastic to the sleeves this time. 

Happy Sewing!

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Outfit for my Night Owl

Remember that tutorial I said was coming soon? Well, sad story, my laptop died, and took those pictures right along with it! Thank goodness I had kept up on backup up pictures up to that point!

I thought instead, I would show a picture of what I was going to write the tutorial on, and just explain it here!

This entire outfit was handmade, from the bows to the toes :) Well, the leggings anyway. I'll break down how you can do it too.

Bows: two pieces of fabric right sides together, sewn into a rectangle, leaving a small opening to turn right side out. Once, it is right side out, close it and top stitch around. Accordian fold it in the center so that you can wire it for that nice pinched center. Cover with a ribbon and glue onto barrette. 

Onesie: I love decorating onesies, but white ones tend to get old. Instead, I dyed this that fun caramel color using tea! I used about 6 teabags and made tea, and then soaked the onesie for 30 minutes. To help keep the color, soak onesie in fabric softener first. Then once desired color is achieved. rinse in cold water until water is clear. Different flavors of tea produces different shades. This is great to antique something as well!

The skirt: was made from a tutorial here and is the same material as the owl on the onesie as well as the bows in her hair.

Finally, the leggings were made from an old  tshirt I had here using Lil Blue Boo leggings pattern here: I can say I have used this pattern in a variety of ways and it has definitely paid for itself. This way was ruched legs :)

 Sorry for a lack of pictures, but hopefully the links will help! Feel free to ask questions as well! 

Happy Creating!

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Let's get personal here.

Hi everyone!  (if anyone is out there anyway :))

For a few days now, I have been struggling with keeping my blog or deleting it. We have a family blog that I post pictures on and keep things up to date pretty regularly, but I miss this one. My little tiny blog.

Sometimes, my time is questioned as to how I spend it. Isn't that silly? Anyone that knows me knows that for the most part I am pretty busy. I don't really need to explain that. I guess because I "stay at home" with my kids makes me susceptible to scrutiny. I sure do see that happen a lot in real life. I think the worst part about it all is that I actually took it personally. I let someone judge me and let it affect how I am living.

Truth be told, it doesn't matter what anyone thinks of how I am living. I have nothing to be ashamed of. First and foremost, God does need to come first in my life. Then my husband. Then my children, Everything else will be taken care of. Each day, I strive to be a Proverbs 31 woman. We make sacrifices so that I can stay home and raise our children. Each day I strive to learn more about God's love, so that I can let HIS light shine in me; not someone else's idea of what that light should look like. Daily with my family alone, I pray, teach my children how to pray and love God, keep up on my household responsibilities, drive with small three children back and forth to my oldest's school, make meals, and support my husband as he works fiull time and seeks his role in our faith, ministering to those who don't know Jesus...and those who do too. And thats just the normal stuff that happens within our family.  Can things change for the better? Of course. Everyone has things that they need to change.

No longer am I worried about what people think of me, or what I should be doing. As long as I am living how Christ instructs us, and as long as I am doing everything I can to reach out to those who need to see Christ as well, everything will fall in place.  Really, I didn't have to sit down and explain what I do during very short nap times (while listening to sermons on podcasts or praise music), or when my husband is home watching football. My blog never is first priority (anyone that does read on a regular basis knows that!) I don't have to explain anything at all. God knows my heart, and He judges me. (Which is a scary thought on its own and not to be taken lightly!)

So I will continue to sew, to capture my family's memories, to cook and maintain a happy and clean home. I am not super woman. I don't ever claim to be. But if I want to blog about how I do those things, then I will.

Til next time! :)

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Pullen Pleater

Today, my mother in law dropped off something that she came across while yard saling.

 I have been wanting to make a smocked dress for Ellie for awhile, and I have a cute apron here too that has smocking on it, but I never took the time to sit down and figure out the process.

So I was pretty excited to see this little machine that does it!

I hopped on Google and came across a link that was selling them new. 160.00! I called her up and told her how much it was selling for. She told me she bought it for 5 in box and all the pieces with extra needles were there! Fabulous!!

I am still looking around for some how-to on this, but I am excited to figure it out. Anyone have any tips or tricks or even an explanation?

I have a fun little mini tutorial in the works as well for something completely unrelated and probably not even needing explanation. See ya soon, I am off to a play date.

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