Trying Something New, Learning From Mistakes & Why I'll Stick to What I Know for a While

***Warning, this is a long post, but it would mean a lot to me for you to read all the way to the end!***

I've been ignoring my blog lately, the days have just gotten away from me.  One thing I have learned since I started blogging is craft blogger mommies always put their family first, which is basically what needed to be done lately.

But, I have been trying to get some crafting done!  A while back, I decided to try something new (to me)... Quilting.  I joined in the Retro Inspired Pillow Challenge over at Ricochet and Away and Sew La Vie.  The guidelines were fairly simple, a 20x20 inch pillow quilted with retro inspiration (fabrics, patterns, etc).  Per my nature, I procrastinated in the beginning, finding ideas and concepts and adding them to Pinterest.  Then I attempted a few different things, but they all flopped (sorry, no pics!).

Finally, as time was running out and I was getting ready to head out of town, I decided to go simple.  My true inspiration, I don't have a picture of, was the quilt my mom made out of scraps and worn clothes for her college dorm room in the 70s.  I don't know what ever happened to it, but it was one I always liked.  This kinda reminded me of it:
Source: etsy.com via Emily on Pinterest

So, I cobbled together pieces of retro-ish fabric, some new fabric, some from funky shirts I'd picked up that coordinated with my living room, and even some from old sheets, but all from my stash (still stashbusting!).  But there was something still not working with it.  I set it aside and decided I just wasn't meant to quilt, and headed out to Salt Lake City for my cousin's wedding.  While there, I got to spend an afternoon wandering around Gardner's Village all by myself!  I may not be a quilter, but that doesn't mean I don't love the beauty of them.  Seriously, here are a few I loved:
Not only is the Village Quilt Shop amazing with its beautiful finished quilts in a rainbow of color, but a wonderful fabric shop, Pine Needles, that was fabric heaven!  One of the things I noticed on several of the quilts and patterns was the simplicity of rows of straight quilting.

Back at home, I decided to give it one last attempt. Rows and rows of red stitches later, I'm actually pleased with the results:
It matches my living room and has a funky vibe, so I'm happy.  My machine is jammed and I don't have the patience left to deal with that now, so it is pinned closed.  Want to see how everyone else's turned out?
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Be sure to hop on over here and vote, you can vote once a day from October 1 to October 31st for your favorite.

I have learned, I was not meant to be a quilter, I just don't have the patience.  It doesn't mean I won't try again sometime in the future, it just means I'm not going to beat myself up trying to quilt.  For now, I'm going to stick to what I know, clothes!  I love to make clothes, especially upcycled clothes.  Watch out for some new things to be added in the next few weeks.

When I started my etsy shop I knew I wanted to donate a portion of my proceeds to an organization, but could never settle on one I truly felt passionate about.  Then last month something big happened in my family. 
This precious sweetie, my wonderful nephew "Tatertot," was diagnosed with Kossman's Syndrome, or severe congenital neutropenia, causing his body not to be able to fight bacteria to save his life (literally).  Treatment has started:
Wait, that's not it!  No, seriously, he will have to have a shot daily for the rest of his life or until a cure is found.  Since only two in a million people have this disease, research and treatment is still in it's infancy.  Sister Baby has started a fundraising effort, The Long Race 4 Tate to benefit the Ella Jewell Foundation.  Not only will I be supporting The Long Race 4 Tate, but a portion of all my etsy sales will be donated to finding a cure.

The Ella Jewell Foundation has a Wine Tasting Event on October 21st, 2011.  I won't be able to attend but this weekend I'll be working on what I know, clothes, and in that, something to donate to the accompanying silent auction.

Peace be with you,

I'll be linking up to some of these parties, stop by and check out the talent!


Farm Fresh Friday: Corn and Zucchini Bean Salad

What do you do with a bumper crop of zucchini?   I mix it in to everything in some way if I can.  Ok, the picture doesn't do it justice but this was delicious hot or cold!
Corn and Zucchini Bean Salad:
4 ears of fresh corn cut off the cob
3 zucchinis shredded
1 small onion finely chopped
1 can black beans rinsed
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Tbsp butter

In a pan, melt the butter.  Add in the corn and onion, simmer for about 3 minutes, constantly stirring.  Add in black beans for about another 3 minutes.  Stir in zucchini, salt and pepper and cook 2-3 more minutes until everything is hot.   Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to a week.  This was a great side dish for lunch for a few days

Peace be with you,

I'll be linking up to some of these parties, stop by and check out the talent!


September Stashbusting Style

The other week I did a guest post over at The T-Shirt Diaries if you missed it, here it is again!  Enjoy!
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Greetings Stashbusters!  I'm so excited to be participating and grateful to Robin for hosting.  I'm Emily from Domestic Deadline and I see stashbusting as a way to take a different look at the supplies I already have on hand.  If you haven't guessed by now, I hoard fabric.  I can't pass up the remnant section at the craft store.  To me remnants and scraps can be put together like a fabric puzzle.  So, when my oldest asked for a bubble skirt after September 1st, it had to be done from my hoard stash!  There are several bubble skirt tutorials out there, and mine really isn't all that different... except for the fact that the fabric that met her red, white and blue requirements were a quarter of a yard or less!!!  This might work for a little one, but JuneBug, my 9-year-old is very skinny but fairly tall.  I'd like to introduce my

Fat Quarter Reversible Bubble Skirt

1.  Measure your recipient.  JuneBug has a 21 inch waist (and has for at least 3 years) and I like a length of 17 inches for skirts on her.  You will need 1 inch wide non roll elastic (waist size less 1 inch) and approximately 30 inches of 1/4 inch elastic (or in my case 1/8 inch was in the stash, went with it).  I'm assuming basic sewing knowledge here, but if you have any questions please ask!  My seam allowances are 1/4 inch

2.  Grab a few fat quarters in coordinating colors, I wanted mainly blue on one side (her fav color) and patriotic on the flip side.  When it comes to a traditional two color reversible bubble skirt I would use one piece that was standard width (about 44-45 inches selvage to selvage) with a length of 1.5 inches longer than my desired finished measurement (so for JuneBug, that would be 18.5 inches).  The second piece would be 3.5 inches longer than the first (21.5 in my case) *Note 18.5+21.5=40.  Sorry to be so wordy, but I figured I should explain the measurements so you understood how I pieced my fabric together.
3.  Cut those fat quarters down and sew them back up!  Fat quarters are typically 22x18 inches we need to turn them into about 44 inch long strips by whatever is left (would be about 9 inches, but apparently mine were partially used since I didn't have a full 18 inches, just go with it!).  Once I had strips of fabric that were (almost) 44 inches wide (give or take a bit of seam allowance), I sewed them all together, resulting in a 43 by 40* inches rectangle.  If you would like to top stitch, now is the time (yeah, just do it).
4.   Now we're going to sew that baby into a tube, sorry the above picture was the best I could do to show this, my photography skills aren't pro.
5.  Turn half of the tube onto itself, wrong sides in.  The swirly strip will be the bottom band on BOTH sides, the star pattern is the waist on both sides.  Iron a nice crisp crease into the bottom (my swirlies).
6A).  Just above the bottom edge, on the right side, we're going to sew almost all the way around (my scissors are acting as an arrow) wide enough to fit the 1/4 inch elastic.  6B).  Since you sewed almost all the way around, there should be an opening to feed the elastic through with a safety pin.  Please note, you have to reach in between the two layers since your finished piece will have no exposed raw edges.  6C).  Once your elastic is all the way through, decide how much you want the "bubble" to gather and sew the ends together.  Sew that opening closed.
7.  Congratulations you are almost done!  The last step is the waist band.  7A).  Fold over your waist band a quarter inch and iron.  Then fold it down and iron again, this time about 1.25 inches, covering the raw edges.  7B).  Stitch almost all the way around again, making a casing for your waist elastic.  Feed it through the opening, sew your elastic ends together and stitch the small opening closed.
8.  You're done!  If you work after the kids are in bed like me, leave it in her room to find it in the morning.  After you relish in her excitement, don't be too disappointed when she insists on wearing an old t-shirt with it, refuses to brush her hair again and just be glad she lets you take the pictures.  (Ignore the random waffle holding arm that tried to work his way into your picture).

Peace be with you,

I'll be linking up to some of these parties, stop by and check out the talent!


Just When You Think You'll Go Crazy

Well, it's been a bit crazy over the past week.  I had all kinds of plans that went down the drain... literally!   We managed to survive the hurricane and record amounts of rain with a dry basement, but last Monday, on a beautiful sunny day with no rain in sight, our basement flooded.  Yup, the washing machine died.  Apparently it wasn't getting enough attention since the fridge had been leaking and we'd been looking into replacing it.  So, Tuesday was spent cleaning, moving and drying the contents of our basement.  Several hundred thousand dollars later, the replacements were delivered and we're back on track... except for all the displaced things that still need to be put away.

Despite the hassles, a few totally awesome things happened too.

First, I finished up my first official custom Harper N Co order!!!!!  I love my sisters and friends but getting a custom order from a complete stranger is just so awesome.  My customer's daughters' favorite colors are red, dark purple and dark pink... no pastels for this little lady.  The finished product will be shipped off this afternoon
Please excuse my kitchen floor and poor photo quality... not sure where I put the camera (this is from my phone) and the little photo space I'm attempted to use to learn to take better pictures has displaced toys in it.
Here is what I am most excited about, my awesome new labels!  Wonderful custom made iron in tag-less labels by Ragademalion on Etsy.  I love supporting other Etsy shops!  I got to select exactly the font I wanted from probably 100 choices and just a few days later received a biodegradable package in the mail filled with a beautiful baggie of my own labels and complete instructions for use.

Second, I got to spend Saturday with friends scrapbooking ALL day!  It was one of those charity events where you pay a fee, crop from 9am to 9pm, food provided and funds are raised for a cause.  Of course, there were raffles that I just had to enter.  After dinner, 40 some prizes were won by everyone but me.  I was a bit bummed, but that's the way it works when you drop your ticket in.  Plus, my friends won some nice things so I was happy for them.  Then they drew for the grand prize... which had it's own special tickets... and I WON!!!!!  Wanna know what I won?!?!?!?!
That's right, a Cricut!!!!!  I am still in shock.  It's a Cricut Expressions and came with 3 cartridges and vinyl samples in the bundle.  I can't wait to try it out.  I've only used one once or twice.  If you have one and have any tips for me, I'd love to hear them.  Any idea if I can use it to cut fabric?

Peace be with you,

I'll be linking up to some of these parties, stop by and check out the talent!
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