Saturday, September 28, 2013

Spooky Birthday Invite

So my son is going to turn 7 in a couple of weeks and his birthday is pretty close to Halloween therefore I have the greatest excuse to throw a Halloween theme birthday party.  We did it before a couple of years ago and I think it will be great for him to have another one.  Since My Crafty Corner is all about crafts here goes my first tutorial.  It was Pinterest inspired, to tell you the truth I have no clue what the pin was all about, all I saw was a couple of googly eyes and this card wrapped in cheese cloth that made it look like a mummy.  After this tutorial I am going to go check it out to see if I am creative enough.

First lets start by collecting our supplies.  It should be very inexpensive if you have most of this things at home.  I found Halloween stickers at Joan's for $1.00 which was really nice.

Cheese cloth
Card stock... it doesn't need to be Halloween theme, that is what the stickers are for.
Googly eyes
Permanent marker

 Once you gather your items get to work and look happy while doing it because no craft is fun if you are not actually having fun right?
I start by folding the square piece of card stock in half and attaching the googly eyes about an inch or two from the top. I left the white on the outside so it looks more like a mummy but it would work either way if you have a pattern on it.

 Then fill out the information on the inside, sorry for the messy picture but I didn't want my info out there so I blocked it using Photoshop and since I am a self taught person I don't know how to do it all fancy. This is the part where the stickers come in handy.  Decorate the inside with as many stickers as you want or make it simple that is up to you!
 Then cut a long piece of cheese cloth about 3" wide and 36" long.  Glue the end of it on the back corner of the card and start wrapping it around the entire card being careful not to cover the eyes, they need to pop out to look cute. You could use a sticker instead of the glue and it will work better if it's a clear sticker or white.

 Once you are done wrapping it use another sticker to set the end of the cheese cloth in place.  I had thought about using a string and attaching a tag on it saying something like "unravel the mystery" or something like that but I am on a budget so I am keeping it simple.

 Now that you know how to do them go ahead and make a few or a hundred of them, they are so fun!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Time for a Review!!

This week I was lucky enough to test a Halloween Treat Bag  for Charming Doodle and I have to say it was a fast and easy project.  Of course having little kids around made it a little tricky but I managed to finish way ahead of schedule and get pictures done right after.  My little KBoo was more than excited to give the treat bag a test drive and played with it for the rest of the day.
The pattern itself is very easy to follow, simple instructions and pictures that will guide you through the entire process step by step.  I was a getting way to excited as the bag was getting done because I really wanted to see what is going to look like, it didn't disappoint.
I used purple felt to match the Princess Sophia inspired dress I made for my KBoo and tulle for decoration to go all around it, I added a couple of flowers to make the bag pop.  Elisa sent me a personal message letting me know how much she liked the bag and dress as well :)
There you have it, if you feel like getting crafty before Halloween head over to her blog or check out her Etsy Shop.
 Of course I had to take tons of pictures of my princess.  She loves her dress.

 Close up so you can appreciate the flowers a little better.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

I Like Sewing!!

There are a lot of things that I like to do but sewing is probably my #1 thing.  Cake stuff comes easy just because I learned how to do it when I was younger and did it for years for my mom.  I do love both activities and they are both an outlet to my craftiness I guess.
Funny thing is that I hated sewing when I was little, I would not pick up a needle if my life depended on it which was the case when I was in school and I almost failed Home Economics because of it...
I always think back to when I was 19 years old and was working for our family business as the secretary, it was lunch time and I was reading the adds in the newspaper.  They had a particular add that was showcasing these beautiful sewing machines that looked a lot like the old fashion Singer ones, the price was ridiculously low and I thought to myself that it would be a good idea to buy one.  That same day I asked my mom for the money and promised to pay her back as soon as I got payed.  My brother took me over the place where they were selling them, it was a huge storage place, the company went bankrupt and needed to get rid of their inventory ASAP.  After what seemed like ages we got all the paperwork done and went home with a brand new sewing machine.  When I say old fashion I mean it literally.  It had the pedal on the bottom that you have to move with your feet so it can work, the faster you pedal the faster it will sew.  I had never in my life used a sewing machine before and had no clue how to use it.  Our neighbor next door was a seamstress and her husband was a tailor, she had done some dresses for me in the past and I asked her if she didn't mind teaching me how to thread the machine and how to make it work.  The husband came over and gave me a 10 minute lesson, he said that was all he was going to teach me because he didn't want me to become their competition.. yeah right. But that is all it took.  I spent hours mastering the art of sewing, it was pretty pathetic.  My sewing machine came attached to a table so it was very convenient and it had lots of drawers.  When I sat to sew and really get into it the table would move all over the place because we had granite floors and they are very slippery.  My mom always made fun of me and said that it looked like I was going to take off any moment.
I started sewing pillowcases, then I made my own bedding.  Got about 7 yards of some nice flannel with the smilie faces all over it, it turned out really cute.  My older brother liked it a lot and asked me to make one for him, then I made one for my mom and pretty soon some friends started to request some for them too.
I tried selling some things but I never have luck with that  and it went nowhere so I just did things for my family and friends for free. I was simply enjoying the experience and learning a lot.
My best friend at the time who was 6 years younger than me had a sewing machine that was way better than mine. It was a Singer, it worked with electricity and that was a whole new world for me.  She had the instruction book and I taught myself in a day how to make it work.  We wanted to use the button hole attachment so bad that we used one of my favorite skirts as a pattern and got some cute fabric, cut the pieces and put it together. The button holes came out pretty nicely and the skirt actually didn't look so bad, from far away of course.  I used to come and make use of her sewing machine as much as I could and really enjoyed it. When it was time for me to leave home one of the things that I really had a hard time leaving behind was my sewing machine.  I was just getting started and I had to leave it for ever.  After I got married I knew that buying a sewing machine was not going to be in the picture for a long time but I really missed it and one day Dan took me to a department store to buy a mini sewing machine.  It was more like a toy sewing machine but I did a lot of things with it too. Later on while living in WV I had a friend who loved making quilts and sewing all kinds of things.  One day she called me asking me to come help her translate a pattern she had bought at the store.  She was making the baby blessing dress for her daughter.  I had never seen a pattern before and I found it very interesting that they gave you step by step instructions on how to put it together, what pieces to cut, etc.  I wasn't much help because I didn't understand how to read the pattern so she ended up getting help from somebody else but that day changed everything for me.  My SIL had a sewing machine that she wasn't using so she let me have it for a while, a sister in the ward had some fabric scraps that she was going to throw away but thought I could use them to make a quilt, she even gave me a book on how to make a Log Cabin Quilt in a day.... everything landed on my lap so I just started working on it.  I was pregnant with Victor when I started working on that quilt and finished it for Father's day and gave it to Dan as a present.  I used a bed sheet as the backing, didn't spend one single penny and I was able to turn scraps into a quilt, funky looking but still a quilt.  When Dan and I got our first credit card he took me to Walmart and bought me a real sewing machine, a Brother.  With all kinds of stitches and attachments.  I LOVED it! It wasn't until I started working at Hancock Fabrics that I decided to finally try my luck at buying a pattern.  Got the fabric for a dress for Shayna and that's how everything started.  We were going to go to the Renaissance Fair and I wanted her to look nice so I made her a dress.  I liked it so much that I made one for  me and then my friend asked me to make one for her too.  They were not perfect at all but decent enough to wear them.  Then I made a dress for my niece who was in a choir and then her friend asked me to make one for her and payed me for it, that was exciting.
I had since then made my boys baby quilts, lots of dresses and all kinds of cute outfits for Shayna, Kahlan, Halloween costumes, dresses for me, outfits that were on display at Hancock Fabrics, backpacks, diaper bags, skirts for my friend, mended my friend's clothes, etc. etc.  I am not the greatest seamstress on earth but I do enjoy sewing.  Sadly my awesome Brother sewing machine died a couple of years ago when I let a friend use it.  Lucky fur me my husband had bought me a heavy duty sewing machine (Necchi) back in Utah so I still had something to work with but all the fancy stitches that I was able to use before were gone.  Last year I got my second Brother sewing machine, this one does fancier stitches and even does letters, I love it.
So recently I decided to try something new.  Since I love sewing so much and I always have some kind of project I am working on.  I came up with some ideas and put some of my items on auctions.  Some sell and some don't but a few of the people that buy them come back and request for more items.  I am pretty excited about it and look forward to the auctions every week.  Shayna helps me to come up with ideas for the mini quilts that I make, one of them sold a couple of weeks ago and they requested another one.  I have been making lots of boy ties, reversible super hero capes, totes and chalkboard mats which seem to be a favorite to many.  I hope I can keep doing this because it keeps me entertained and makes me feel like I an doing something in my spare time.  I have the office half way set up with my sewing station and was recently given a desk and wall unit by a friend, I am using it to store my fabric that I have been collecting over the years and it feels like a nice working area.  I am really enjoying this experience.  I would love to find a way to get into a craft fair or something like that so I can go even bigger.  For now I am just going to keep doing what I am doing and keep enjoying it.  When it gets to be too much I can always take a break :)
Something else that I have been playing with is "up cycling", I have been using old clothing to make Kahlan and even Shayna new clothes, I have turned shirts and socks into leggings, shirts into vests, men ties into boy ties.  My next project is to turn some tops I got at Dollar General into dresses for Kahlan and I can't wait to see how they turn out.  I have so many ideas in my head it is crazy.  I have come a long ways since then and I still have lots to learn but yup, sewing is fun!

 A cute pioneer dress I made for one of my nieces back in VA
 At the Reconnaissance Fair back when we only had 2 kids.
 Hung and Linda Le (my best friend)
 Shayna with her first princess dress ever.
 Shayna with her pioneer dress.
 First fancy dress for a family picture.
 Reversible super hero capes, the other side has a Barman logo on it.
Below Aaorn and Tristan sporting their men ties turned into little boy ties.
 Above my first mini wall hanging quilt.
 A big order I had from a customer.
One of my favorite items, the chalkboard mat.
 Another mini quilt and a cute tote with ruffles.
My favorite quilt that already sold, the customer that bought it has been requesting many many more items and I am working on a big order for her right now.  She really likes my quilts and requested a toddler bed quilt for her nephew.

Pattern testing.

So FB is great for a lot of things and one of them is finding people who love what you love.  A friend of mine follows a page that give you the chance to test patterns for her before she puts them on the market.  She always comes up with different ideas and needs testers for them.  Every time I volunteer she already had 15+ people in line so never got a chance to do it until now. Last week she posted a picture of some cute PJ's and I noticed there only 4 comments so I took advantage of it and let her know I was interested in either size 2T or size 8 for boys.  I got an email the next day with her e pattern and I was asked to work on size 2T for girls.  I cut the fabric last night and finished sewing it this afternoon.  The pattern is pretty easy and not hard to follow.  The one thing that I know would have helped is having a serger, knit material is kind of hard to work with on a regular sewing machine, not impossible but a little hard at time.  And here is our little model, the cost to me $1.00 only because I already had the material except for the ribbing.  I have to say that I learned a new technique with this pattern and I like it.  Also I used my double needle to sew almost the entire thing and do the top stitching.  I love it.

More pattern testing.

 Once again I was given the opportunity to test a pattern for the same company and it was really cool because I love making dress coats for Shayna so having a dress coat for Kahlan was very important to me, they don't get to use them a lot in Texas I guess but they do need them when it gets cold on Sundays.  I had a hard time looking for the fabric for this one, it took me almost an hour to decide. In the end it turned out really cute and she liked my pictures too so she used them for the official pattern release (just look through all 5 pics), here is the other one.
 There are two patterns, one for the dress coat and one for the hat and muff.  I did one for a doll too and that one was tricky but with a few adjustments which I got to advice the lady to make to the pattern it is just perfect now.
 This is the pic that made it into the pattern release and here is the pic of the doll.  I took Kahlan to the Old Humble town park that's really cute for pics.  

 Last week I got to test another pattern, this one was for a nightgown and I think it's the first time I see something that was good enough for Shayna, I was lucky to get it and she even used this pic for the pattern release.  It makes me so happy to see my work on an official website.

 Here is a close up of the trim and buttons, I can do better than this but was running out of time and patience.

Easter dresses

Since we were sick Easter Sunday my girls did not get to wear their Easter outfits.... at least it gave me time to finish making a dress that had started as a project for my mom but never got around to get it done.  Since she is in Utah and I kind of fit into it (I made it too small for her) then I took the opportunity to buy the last piece of the puzzle which consisted of a long zipper and finished it for me.  I think it turned out really cute and it is a little loose on me so she can probably wear it next time she comes back.
The girls looked so cute in their outfits and they also turned out really well.  I went with what is hot right now which is the lace fabric, Shayna loved it and wants me to make more for her.  Of course it was super cheap to finish this outfit since I had half of the material already at home and only bought two yards of lace fabric on sale for half off, coming down to only $5.00 for both.  I also made the hair pieces which complemented their outfits really well.
I love my girls!!! Also so glad to be able to keep my tradition of making Easter dressed every year, well mostly since Shayna was like 4.... I only skip it if I am too pregnant and tired or if I find a good deal at the stores for a nice dress.