Getting My Life Back

So I've been back to work for a few months now, guess I should find a routine now right? I've felt so antsy and just crazy that I thought I would just get rid of my machine because I can't stand to look at it. And then there's this whole blog thing.... It was going great and I could post regularly. First my camera stopped uploading abilities, I started working nights so my blogging days turned into cleaning and sleeping days.

How shall I fix this???

oliver + s Love

When these patterns are for sale, I promise I will buy them! Oh thank you oliver + s for your amazing designs!

I bought a dress like this for Leigha, but Eve's size was too short so I have to make this for her. Besides it is way cute in this gingham!

This is perfect for Wisconsin, and it has the option to add quilted liners etc. I do need to say I am a bit intimidated though, but I believe I can.

Note to Self

Dear Self,
Until further notice you ARE NOT allowed to purchase more fabric for projects. That is until you finish 85% (it sounded like a good %, you know about B level) of the projects that you already have cut/planned/or bought. Yes, we know your love for fabric is great, but just think of the satisfaction you'll get when you see your finished creations in everyday life and not just your dreams. And of course there are the "oohs and ahhhs" that are sure to follow, which you can never get enough of!

Remember this,

Simplicity 2711

and this,

or how about the one you picked up today,

Yes these want your attention!!!!
Also on my plate is attempting shirring. I picked up the elastic thread today, and of course fabric for the project. Which I think is going to be a skirt. I saw one here , and a million other places I can't remember, so I'm thinking of giving it ago. Plus I think I might like a skirt with this kind of waist because it wouldn't create "the roll" like regular elastic waists tend to do on me.

I'd also like to try to make something like this, minus the $34.50 price tag LL Bean has on it.

I've seen so many reconstructions of clothes lately, it's making me feel confident that I could try something like this. Especially after I master elastic thread!

And then there's this,

I saw this pattern and fell in love with it! I wish I lived when clothes were beautiful. The women wore dresses that were flattering and full, and sometimes had a hat to match. And gloves, gloves would be amazing! So to pay tribute to my love of beautiful things, I waited for this to go on sale and bought it for $4. When my list of projects is done, this will be the first one on the new to do list. Does that even make sense? A new list for when the old list is done? Well anyway this is the reward for making it through what I've gotten started already.

Ok time to get sewing!

In my head I want to sew, and I can even speak it. But when it comes to actually doing it, I can't find myself there. Looking for some reason for this odd behavior, I've decided it's going back to work full time after 4 years of not really working. I still can't find a routine that works and that it's summer isn't helping the matter. Sew or go play in the sun at the pool? pool. Sew or visit blogs I never get to read anymore? Read blogs. Sew or do the 2 days worth of dishes? Dishes. See what I mean?

And it's like I want to, but I don't. Ever feel like that?

I did buy the Jane Market Bag pattern, and spent to much money on fabric for the bags, so maybe I should tackle that project so I don't feel like it was money wasted. I mean I love fabric stash, but I should love using it more right?

Oh why me and A fun Craft- Forward for You!

I have projects done, not oodles, but done and pictures ready to load. Why me and why my camera and all things included with this hate me is unknown. I just want to take pictures, load them, and blog about my craft adventures. And my camera wants me to create, take pictures, and hog them all to itself. Not fair! Not fair I say, you must share. So while I work on figuring out a way to get this to work a bring you this....


Craft it Forward is sort of like the movie "Pay It Forward." The object is to do something nice "just because."

Here is the fine print: The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me! This offer does have some restrictions and limitations so please read carefully:

* I make no guarantees that you will like what I make but I will do my best.
* it will be done in the next couple of weeks or maybe months (hey it's summer)
* you have no clue what it’s going to be - that’s the fun part! But it will be handmade.

It could be a handsewn item, stationary personalized for you, baked goods from my kitchen. So basically it's something you won't find on the shelf at your local big chain store. What will it be? You’ll have to wait and see! I reserve the right to do/make whatever seems fun but sane at the time.

In return, all you need to do is post this text into your own blog and make 5 things for 5 others. (If you don't blog you could send a mass e-mail to friends and craft for the first 5 respondents.) What could be more fun! Some ideas you could do for others: artwork, CD’s, burn a DVD, write a poem, crochet a scarf, make a mini book, send a photograph (a printed one, not e-mailed. etc…).

If you are interested, leave a comment below with your email address (if you don’t have a blog-based email address and are not comfortable leaving your personal email address, you can also email me at jrae_228 (at) yahoo (dot) com). Craft on and craft it forward!

I found out about this wonderful from from Becky at Sew in Stitches. Check her out!

Promised Pictures

Here are the skirts I made using this pattern.

This was fabric I bought one late night online from Fat Quarter Shop. This is the Treetop Fancy for Free Spirit. Online it looked like it would be such a cute skirt and in

Abe thinks the aqua band at the bottom doesn't match. I told him it does, it's the same line, and really it's staying that way!

Leigha got to pick from Treetop Fancy or this Moda Sultry, and her pick was the more pink of the 2! From the directions I added an extra row and only went 6 wide. Leigha's only 5, and with the band it's mid-calf, so I suggest measuring your child first (which I did NOT do with Eve and ended up reworking her skirt, which still needs a little adjustment) and go from there.

She mentioned her ties seemed short and wished she cut them longer. I cut mine the same length as the directions and added a leftover square to the end of each tie.. that way it had that pieced look like the skirt and was a bit longer.

And now because I'm terrible at getting the girls in for pictures... when it was one child no problem, but as we kept adding it seemed more and more forgotten! I need to get a 5 year picture of Leigha for in the living room. These were taken at the park at her school picnic. Which one is your favorite?

It's kinda blurry and off center..wish it would have turned out better!

Loved the clouds, but is the hair in the wind to crazy? And I'm not sure how much it looks like a smile.

Thought this one was good, aside from her ear.

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder...

It also makes my house get clean and some sewing done!

School is done for Leigha, just a picnic tomorrow, and Eve goes until Thursday and she's done for the year. And then I'll have to reshuffle the daily to-dos, the want-tos, and the not-really-going-to-happens around to try to keep chaos at a minimal.

I have the top done on the quilt and it's pinned. Now I need to learn how to quilt....

Pictures tomorrow as I need to get Eve and get ready for work!

The Winner Is.....

Thanks so much to everyone that stopped and shared their summer plans. Summer is my most favorite season so it's nice to hear how others are going to be spending their time. I finally have most of my flowers planted so for the rest of the summer it's going to be weeding and watching them bloom!! Oh yeah and there will be some boating too because I can't have a summer without going out on the lake. Oh how I love summer.

And now to pick the winner (by the process of everyone picking a number from the number of comments and dividing by 5, yeah math is my hubby's favorite we couldn't just pick 57 or something).
The winner of my give-away is:

Z Family said...
SO cute!! We are having a baby... I know, not like planning a trip or anything, but thats what we are up to. Im loving the second to last pic

And having a baby, and a summer to enjoy them, sounds perfect to me...well not so perfect because I'm pretty sure I''m past the need for another baby...and maybe not...

And if I am unable to contact her, I will pick another winner (obviously).

If you didn't win and you can't live without one of these lovelies you can contact me and we can arrange something I'm sure.

Give-Away Day!!

How fun are Give-Aways? Well they are the best, and even better if you can win! I will apologize in advance for these somewhat crazy pictures I've not been getting along with my camera (see previous posts). I know you're on the edge of your seat waiting to see what you can win so here it is:

Yay a fabric rectangle!!
But it's so much more....
It's a checkbook cover!!! And it will come with a matching coin purse similiar to this one. And possibly some bonus fun that finds it's way in your package before it leaves my house.
Your fabric choices are any of the following or you can let me pick from the mysteriously growing stash that is taking over my closet. It's all up to you, and you being THE WINNER.

Leave a comment telling me one thing you hope to do this summer. Please include which of the above 6 pictures is your choice or if you want it from my stash-o-mystery. I will pick a winner(which means family will pick a random number from the number of comments left) at the end of the give away on May 31st. Make sure you leave email info either in your comment or with a link back to your blog containing it.

Finding Different Ways

I had so much I wanted to share, and it's kinda getting stock piled. My camera still isn't cooperating with me so I figured I'd use my card and daughter's camera. And guess worked so now the problem lies somewhere within my camera/cord system...errr technology!!

Any way I finally compiled enough polka dots for my quilt
(the bottom one was eliminated because the dots weren't definite enough, yeah my husband didn't understand)

Problem solving isn't really a strong point of mine. Here is attempt number 2 on trying to lay out my quilt.

I'm on piece number 9 with this. I really wish I had done it different, but I'm pretty sure ripping it all apart and attempting it a different way isn't really an option. Plus I might not have enough of some of the material and the polka dot quest is done for this project. Although I am afraid that I might be disappointed in the end and be wishing I had done it with 3 inch strips instead of irregular width pieces.

And here's a skirt I made for myself. I used a pattern because well see above.

No Abduction Here

See it seems like forever since I've been here. It almost seems like it would be easier to turn my back on this than to try to fit this back into my life. But then what's the sense of having everything easy?

If technology was cooperating with me today, I'd show pictures of pajamas I've made, a new project, and the bestest of all my new stash of polka dots for my quilt and other fun fabrics for the above mentioned new project. But alas, either my camera, cord, or card is not liking me today.....

The weather is finally sunny and warm! This is making me want to make a bunch of light cotton skirts for those warm sticky summer days that are soon to be on there way.

I finally broke down and ordered fabric off the internet. I know you are thinking - What!! You are sooo behind the times!- but really there's something about going to the quilt shop and slowly strolling around while you take in bolt after bolt on the shelf. And I think you use a little for level headed thinking when you are actually out in public shopping instead of in your p.j.'s sitting in front of the computer spending your children's college funds on fabric while they are sleeping.

I also bought this pattern, and can't decide which to make first and for who! With 3 girls this is going to get a lot of use. I picked this up while I was buying fabric from SewMamaSew.

I saw this skirt here, and already have the fabric ordered for it. Ok actually for 2 skirts like this...seriously I couldn't stop myself and there weren't kids distracting me so I was all to focused on clicking "add to cart."

And for a very exciting finale, SewMamaSew is sponsoring another give-away! Go here and check it out!

We are NOT Getting Along

So the above, aka Ruby, and I are supposed to be tight, you know like BFFs. We are supposed to compliment each other and work hand in hand making the other one happy. Well one of us is NOT living up to their end of the deal, and it's not me just so you know.

Last night I wanted to start a project with Eve. She was going to sew all the straight edges and I was going to put the zipper in. No prob! I've put zippers in a ton of times with no 4 letter words crossing my lips and images of the sewing machine flying out the window. But yesterday after breaking 3 needles within seconds of each other, I had to just walk away before the mental image of the flying machine became reality. Abe suggested I needed to have someone show me how to put a zipper in. Yes this is the way I learn- monkey see, monkey do. The whole monkey read directions with accompanied illustrations doesn't really work for me.

So today I may try it again, although my needle supply is down to 3 extra. And aside from the needles breaking, I can't seem to get very close to the zipper. I'm just not getting any love from Ruby and her zipper foot. Hopefully my next attempt goes better. And I'm definitely going to try it when I don't have an 8 year old audience, just in case I have to get creative.

Tollipop Give-Away

I think give-aways are the best! Although I have yet to actually win one, each one does have a winner, at least that's what we are led to believe. But you want to make sure you get in on this one. It starts out 3 paintings in frames all ready for your wall and then she just kept adding and adding. So yes go quickly, enter here, and good luck.

Easter Outfits Completed and Other things Completed in a Week

Although I finished the last skirt 30 minutes before we left for church, I finished it. The day before we were in Joann's, Sara saw that same pink that I used for her jacket, grabbed the bolt, and said, "My jacket." I was amazed that she could put it all together. Leigha was already asking me when she could wear hers to school (no surprise there), and we decided next week for star of the day. Eve informed me that she doesn't like to dress up anymore so this may never see the light of day on her body again.
Sara in pink and not having anything to do with picture taking, Eve in green wanting to change so she can ride bike, Leigha in purple just waiting to spin

This week I also made my niece her birthday present. Although I didn't actually see her open it, Chuckie Cheese is quite overwhelming, I did hear she wanted to try it on right away so that must mean she liked it. I appliqued a "H" for Hope on the shirt (thanks Wal-mart), made a simple skirt with an elastic waist, and matching hair clip.

Although I wanted to give my sewing machine a break, I just got this cool patchwork material for a skirt for myself so I may be a little busy with that for awhile. I also picked up some gray jersey to try to make a skirt from the Alabama Stitch Book. I also got this red minky on sale for my first ever quilt. Which is going to be this one once I collect enough polka dot material. I knew there was a reason I waited to make myself a blanket, and this is it!

This was in the spring issue of Quilts and more, which I would have never bought if I hadn't seen it at the hockey coach's house. I'm going to have to rework the pattern a bit so I can make it bigger, but that's easy right?

While Eve was at Grandma's house for a few days over break I also got her room painted and her bed set up for her. I hauled the desk up to her room too. When we got home from the game Thursday night I sent her up for p.j.s, she didn't stop smiling for over an hour. I found out yesterday that she was so excited she almost peed her pants!! I'll post some pics of her room after the crib's out of there and curtains are made/up.

I wanted to post with a picture but not sure I could find one that really portrays the chaos that is going on inside my head. Sewing and craftiness is at a stand still. I realized something was wrong when I was trying to cut 8 curved petals into the fabric and was somehow getting 6 cubes. Time to put the scissors down and breath.... and speaking of breathing there is less than 2 weeks to finish 2 outfits!!!!!

Whirly Twirly 80's

Once I started cutting, I just couldn't stop. And what was supposed to be a simple twirly skirt turned into pleats, tucks, and a zipper. Yeah wish I could take that part back now that I think the zipper is broke! But she's in love with it and is all smiles over it. Yes all smiles as she leaves a trail of glitter all over the house, again what was I thinking!?!

I think all it needs now is a side pony tail all ratted up and some of those short high heeled boots and maybe fishnet fingerless gloves and she's ready for an 80's Madonna video.

She went for clips, curls, and clomp shoes instead!

Scissors Please

So this is one of Leigha's gifts for her big day coming up. Doesn't it look like a beautiful sparkly princess skirt? Yeah I know. Not so much. I'm just not sure where to start and with the remaining budget of $0 there is no room for error, which actually seems to creep it's way into every one of my projects. Will keep you posted on the progress, that is if I get brave enough to pick up the scissors!

Easter Outfits

This is what has been keeping me busy...

Sara's outfit got to be the trial one only because it would use the least amount of material in case I had a major mishap and had to start over. Sara is so different in shape from my other two, that alas, I think this will look better on Leigha and Eve. Stay tuned for #2 and #3.

The jacket was McCall's 5697 and the skirt was a combination of the lazy day skirt, Erin's skirt, and an idea of my own.

Of course with just my vision the skirt was slightly trying, pinning the glittery top layer on backwards didn't help either. After seeing it together, it really needed a straighter fitting skirt. But maybe on someone with a little height and a little less belly it will look different.

A Great Give-Away and What's Accomplished

I'm not sure there is anything better than waking up on a Monday morning and seeing that there's a lady (or 2!) having a great give-away. Not only can you win a pattern, but also $25 towards fabric!!!! And she has a wide variety to choose from, trust me I have an "I want" list started. This could be an awesome give-away to win, and for my birthday too!!! Check it out here.

And now if that wasn't exciting enough check out my latest accomplishments:

A wrist cuff using this pattern. It's not as wide as her pattern, but when I made my patch work pieces it was to small to use the whole pattern, yet another kink to work out next time.

I picked up a magazine last summer while on vacation, and it had this pattern in there. After I made my fronts, I could see how people can love making quilts! These squares turned out sooo cute! And because I'm currently having a love affair with polka dots it makes me love them more.

Backs of the super cute pot holders!!

Sara's Cute Shirt

Try all I could to just get her to stand and smile at me!!! I'm so in love with this pattern. I think it's really a p.j. top pattern, but when you make it, you make it what YOU want it to be. There is definitely more of these in the future....

It only Took one Day... finish and now my 2 year old insists this is hers, boy is she wrong!

All the pieces finally cut out (and figuring this out was sooo fun)

We interrupt this sewing for --handles-- Apparently I overlooked this somewhat important part of my bag

And look there's the pin cushion I made from this pattern. I'm so excited that I finally get to describe something I made as "wonky"!! I now understand the definition of this word, sort of unfortunate yes, but here is my wonky pin cushion and yeah my handles for my bag

Ready to be turned, or as I like to say, birthed

Yeah for me! This isn't the shape I pictured and the polka dots section isn't they way I imagined. I'm not surprised that it's not my exact vision, but no one else knows this isn't what I was dreaming of

A recessed zipper

I put more pockets in this one to try to keep track of the small stuff (and keys!!)

I've seen so many cool quilts with just random pieces wherever so I put some random placed and sized polka dots on my straps.