Friday, June 24, 2011

The Lauren Wallet

My dear friend has a daughter who needed a wallet to keep track of her very important things.
You know, that first library card, a house key and money for the pool snack bar.
 And I needed a quick, fun project to help aid in the process of pushing me out of my creative funk.
So. . . tada! The Lauren wallet.

Made from a conglomeration of tutorials across the world wide web and a whole lotta "just wing it".
I suppose that's appropriate considering the butterfly and bird theme of the fabrics.
I crack myself up.
Totally just thought of that. . . right off the cuff. . .
And you are getting this for FREE folks!
Learning to make zipper pockets has rocked my sewing world.
You think I am exaggerating?
Well if that zipper isn't cool enough for you, check out the amazing pink ruffle trim I scored on sale at Hobby Lobby.
A little inside and a little outside.
I think it totally makes the wallet over the top awesome.
You know, if you are six.
And a girl.

  I think I'm well on my way to being de-funked.
(and if you think that sentence doesn't make me laugh out loud to the point of snorting and nearly falling off of my chair. . . well then, you probably don't know me very well)


Monday, June 20, 2011

Sewers Block. . .

Is there such a thing? If there is, I have it.

I just can't seem to motivate myself.  Yeah, I've been sewing but I'm not excited about anything right now. It's not that my list of projects is any shorter or less interesting.
I'm just in a funk.
In an effort to yank myself up by the boot straps, I made myself a skirt.
I NEVER sew for myself. 
Not clothing anyway. Purses and bags, yes.  
Things that require measuring and fit? No.

But I had a glimmer of project excitement when I saw the bias skirt tutorial by Corinnea on Crafterhours and I thought I'd better take advantage of it.

Not one to "waste" good fabric on myself (self esteem issues? who me?), I opted to use a vintage sheet.  I love the sheet and it was cheap so if I screwed up I knew I wouldn't be out much. Add to that an up-cycled tee shirt waistband and unbleached muslin lining and my thrifty excuses were out the window.

In addition to my sewing funk I am also in a "I hate every pair of work pants I own" funk. And since a skirt is way easier to sew than pants well, this fit the bill for potentially catapulting me out of not just one but two major funks. 

I'm not sure I succeeded at either.
I like the skirt o.k. but I kind of feel like I'm wearing a bed sheet.
I braved wearing it to church Sunday and no one laughed in my face so maybe it doesn't scream "bed sheet" to others? Or maybe they were just talking behind my back?

I am open to thoughts on the matter because as you can see, I'm in a funk and I'm not seeing things clearly.
And please forgive my photos. I had a very irritable 3.5 ft. photographer who could only be bothered to take two photos.  You see her second shot here. Prop styling was all her as well. The lamb really sets it off though, right?  Yeah well, you take what you can get around here.


Friday, June 10, 2011

May 1st Showers bring September 1st Babies?

A good friend of mine is expecting – in September – so we threw her a shower in May!  Yeah it was a little early, but there were a number of people that wouldn’t be around for the summer (college students & missionaries) so to accommodate everyone being able to come that wanted to celebrate this little life – we threw and early shower.
The new mom is in the doctoral program for linguistics at U of C – can we say smarty pants! And in general we had multiple conversations about classic children’s books – so it seemed like a good theme idea.
I had seen a number of similar “book” themed showers ideas (like here and here.)
Shower R
Now I can’t take all the credit for this party, I had two co-“hosters”.  We divided up the work load; one in charge of invites and general organization, one in charge of food, and ME in charge of games. 
Decorations were simple, we just had classic children’s books around – the best part for the first time mom – all the books went home with her!  It felt good to help her start her stash – and I had fun classic book shopping with my mom (educated in such matters.)
Shower U
The basic idea with the food was to get food that worked with a book title.  The above was a bit of a stretch in the classic book department (The Littlest Angel – angel food cake.)  But we had talked about having angel food cake – and I had just inherited my grandma’s angel food cake pan, so we just looked for a book about angels.
One of my co-host decorated the cake with berries in honor of the baby – whom the expectant parents refer to as “Berry” or “Baby Berry.”  It was a nice personal add.
Shower P 
Peter Rabbit – Veggies & Dip (just to prove not all the book-food ties were a stretch.)
But back to my contribution to the shower.
You may not know this about me – I LOVE GAMES.  I used to literally FORCE my sister to Family Game Night – I think she tried every excuse in the book to get out of those nights. However, I have one exception to that rule – I dislike (most) shower games.  You know melt the chocolate in the diaper – take a close pin if you say the “B” word (baby), gift BINGO – okay that one can sometimes be fun.
I had been wanting to try freezer stenciling for a while – and using pre-cut stencils of classic children’s book characters we were able to tie the craft right into the shower theme.  There is a great tutorial here – if you are interested in the “how to.”
Shower H 
It was a little involved for a shower game/activity, but the party was small and we had a couple people come late, so we had plenty of time for the craft.  And it was a pretty easy thing for people to get started on as they arrived.
Shower 12
I got a lot of compliments from the party guest on the “great idea.”
What I really love about this was it required as much or as little artistic talent as you had.  We had multiple pre-cut freezer paper stencils ready for those not handy with design or an Exacto knife.  But we also had a station set up for those that wanted to make their own stencils.
Shower F
Only the guest of honor ended up making her own stencil, but it was a great opportunity for her to personalize a little onsie with a fun graphic beach design (the parents to be are from California originally.) I am sad that I didn’t get a picture of that one – you will have to take my word for it.
Shower 39
Though some people feeling a little more artistic went off reservation completely – skipping the freezer paper all together.  Did you catch the “Baby Berry” reference?
I was expecting it to be fun and for her to come away with some cute onsies – but I honestly didn’t know HOW great the stencils were going to turn out!Shower 41
This one is my personal favorite – I love the color scheme! (note “Berry” is expected to be a girl – though you may have picked that up by the pink plates and flatware.)
And if you are interested in seeing the other creations, here is a little montage of all the “one”derful onsies (wah wah – sorry for the pun.)
Freezer paper
This post is getting really long – I apologize!
But one last shower game idea (not really related to the theme – but I couldn’t resist)
“Baby Face”
Shower 28
Each guest got a template baby face (an oval with ears and a little curl) and then I had printed out a lot of different pictures of mom and dad.  Guests were then instructed to cut out features from mom and dad and create a picture of what Baby Berry may come out looking like.
I highly recommend this game if you enjoy ruckus laughter…
Shower A
Or if you want to scare the mother to near death!
None of the creations pictured above are mine – so feel free to comment freely – especially on the make-up wearing baby on the left!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Crafting Hope

Our sewing group met again last week. 
This month we sewed little dresses and bandanna shorts for Haiti.
Since last time I posted that super cute photo of Jessica (to her chagrin) this month I give you a photo of myself. 
I gave my camera to the grand-daughter of one of our sewers to help keep her occupied and boy was it fun to see what she deemed photo worthy!
Liz from Little Lizard King patterns was sweet enough to give us a pattern to work with!
I love that spirit of generosity! Thanks so much Liz!

Please go check out her shop. Her patterns are super cute and there are several that are perfect for beginners.
We chose the Catie dress because of it's simplicity. Cute, quick and easy! I can't recommend it enough!
We didn't want to neglect the sweet little Haitian boys though, so we also made bandanna pants/shorts. The pattern we used was straight out of the Craft Hope book.

And we decided that there needs to be a little more quality control in bandanna making factories! Who knew, but no two bandannas are the same size? In fact, they are quite irregular. It made things an itty bit more difficult, not gonna lie.
This is one of the coolest things, in my opinion, about these sewing nights.  We have three generations participating.  Granddaughter is learning from mom (not pictured) and grandma.  I have such a soft spot for this handing down of the sewing bug since it was my own grandmother and mother who taught me to sew. Makes me tear up a little when I think about it.
I tried to get Jessica to model this little dress like she did the bib but she's onto me.
How cute is it that dress? She came with that striped fabric that she has had a hard time matching and I came with the green that I've had a hard time matching to anything and shazaam! They were perfect for each other!
And here is a pair of finished shorts!
The super cool thing is that this is the first item of clothing she has ever made!
I do love the "giving" aspect of gathering together and making items to donate. I think that's a really neat thing.
But even more than that, I love that several of the participants are new sewers. It's such a joy to share something I love so much with friends and then to see that moment when they see what they've made and are so proud.  That's what it's about for me. 
The real joy is in the sharing.

Thanks ladies for coming back each month and for all the work you are putting into this.  You girls rock!