Monday, September 26, 2011

Return to Sewing

I spent some time this weekend in front of my sewing machine.  Oh how good it felt! :)  I *finally* finished Asa's 2nd birthday quilt.  I would like to make our children a handmade gift each year for their birthday.  This year, I planned a dog themed quilt for Asa.  He had a puppy birthday party, and while the gift was not ready RIGHT on time (I was 9 months pregnant!), it IS done now.

I purchased some dog machine embroidery applique files for each square of the quilt with nine squares total.  I received a free motion quilting foot from my husband for Mother's Day, and I decided to try it out on Asa's quilt.  Lesson #1:  free motion quilting is a LOT harder than it looks!  I thought it was simply a matter of having the right sewing foot and lowering my feed dogs.  WRONG.  If you have any tips for me, especially for achieving even stitch lengths, I greatly appreciate it!

I pressed on, regardless of my free motion newbie foibles.  I read a post by another blogger who said a quilt for her child was a great first project because your child will love the quilt regardless of the mistakes that will glare at *you.*  That encouraged me to finish what I started and be glad I could make something special for Asa as I learned. :)

This evening I finished the free hand quilting and added a silky blanket binding.  He likes "soft" things, so I thought the silky binding was a good choice for this particular project.

Without further ado, here is his quilt--my second quilt but the first I've completely finished (my "first" is waiting for binding), my first attempt at free motion quilting, and a happy return to crafting after having a baby. :)

 I stitched a random boxy pattern to go with the blue boxes in the background of this patch

 I traced around and around the puppy for this center patch

I "drew" little bones all over this patch for the quilting... to go with the bone applique

 My favorite... I took a deep breath, summoned my courage, and wrote "ASA" all over this patch. :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Maybe, Just Maybe

I'll be able to whip out some holiday outfits for the kids.  I have been craving craft time the past few weeks.  I think we're almost there.  I know I could take an evening or two with Matt tending to Anna Reaghan so I could bury myself in yards of fabric in the sewing room.  We're not quite to the point I can reclaim nap time for craft time, but that possibility is in sight at least. :)

What have I been dreaming of creating?  Well, Pinterest has given me about a million plans. :)  But here are a few I am especially considering in light of the changing seasons.

I want/need to milk the matching bro/sis outfits while I can (i.e. before Asa's too old), so I love the last 2 pictures.  Not SURE about the spider motif, but the rickrack web the spiders are hanging from is so cute and Asa loves "buggies" of all types. :)  How will I ever choose?!  And which to make first?! :)  I'll keep you posted.  I know I need some orange material, and then I can get started on a few ideas!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Little Hello

I have been quite noticeably absent for the past many, many months.  I see I mentioned our move from Florida to Ohio in the last few posts here, and that our sweet Asa finally started sleeping through the night at 14 months making me less of a zombie and  more able to craft.  What happened the very next  month threw me right back into the land of the overtired. ;)  We found out we were expecting again!  Enter exhaustion, nausea, another move (same town, different house), and I fell off the crafting wagon.  Or at the very least, blogging about it.

I'll be you can tell just from these pictures below whether we welcomed a baby boy or baby girl to our family!

Anna Reaghan had a happy belated arrival (following in her big bro's footsteps) on July 14th.  She is such a sweet baby girl, blowing her brother's sleep habits completely out of the water, and a delight to us all.  She IS sleeping amazingly well, but I still feel a bit of that newborn fog especially with chasing Asa around even if/when she is napping.  I am planning some holiday outfits for them, so I thought I might try to pick back up with this blog.  And Pinterest has given me all sorts of inspiration for crafting of all types!

Another minor change I made is getting this blog set up to post from the google account I use the most.  Originally I had it tied to a different email address I don't use as much, and it was a hassle to sign in and out of accounts in order to post.  With that remedied, this is much more of a simple "point, click, type" process.  Yea!

Here's to more crafting!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Craft Tote

 Awhile back, I saw a pattern for a craft tote in Ginia18's Etsy shop.  I saved it to my favorites and would periodically go back and look at it.  I think I was really trying to work up my nerve to try something that seemed like it might be a bit complicated.  I always get nervous before trying a new pattern, especially if it's for a new KIND of item to create.

Christmas provided the perfect opportunity for me to purchase and try the pattern.  I thought my 2 year old niece would love an art tote filled with coloring books, stickers, markers, crayons, etc.  I had the vision in mind, the tricky part was convincing myself I could bring it to fruition.

The seller promptly emailed the pattern and made herself available to answer any questions I might have as I worked through it.  I stared down the pattern for a few days before I found the courage to cut into my fabric and get started.  Fun aside:  Asa and I had the BEST time choosing the fabrics for the bag!  As you might imagine, I don't have a lot of pinky, girly fabric in my stash, so we roamed the aisles of the fabric store collecting fairies, tea cups, and more!  There was no need to contact the seller with questions--the instructions were great and I actually put the tote together in one night!  Well, I spent one evening cutting the pieces I needed and prepping them with stabilizer.  Another evening was spent actually constructing the bag.

I am so pleased with how it turned out!  Pockets galore filled with all kinds of crafty goodness. :)  My niece was pretty excited when she opened it on Christmas morning as well. ;)

I cannot wait to make this tote again!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Long time...

... no post.

I have been grossly absent from posting here.  I am finally getting into a routine around the house here in Ohio now, and with fall activities like Bible study beginning, some order and familiarity are returning to my days (yea!).  Asa still takes 2 naps, and I try to use his first name for Bible study and housework so I can use his 2nd afternoon nap for whatever I want (read: crafting!).  That Asa started sleeping through the night about 2 months ago hasn't hurt either. ;)

One of the first things I made when I felt a little of the "old" me returning after Asa started sleeping through the night was some drawstring sacks for a few of Asa's toys.  He has a set of wooden alphabet blocks (thanks, Holli & Todd!) that needed a storage solution for when Asa isn't knocking down towers of blocks. :)  He also has several matchbox cars.  He loves to drive them around on the floor (and sometimes the couch) and he loves to take things out/put them in containers.  I knew he  needed a car bag as well.

I whipped up this dog fabric bag for the blocks (Asa loooves dogs)

and this car fabric bag for his cars :)


Monday, September 13, 2010

Asa's Lamb

Asa's lamb did not turn out exactly the way I had it pictured in my head.  There is a smidge of a puppy look about it (partly from the nose, but the minky I used on the face was super fluffy and embroidery was just lost in all the fluff--a lesson for next time), but unless I finish all the other projects on my list of dream projects (which seems like a laughable idea with a 15 month old who is in love with his newest trick--walking--as of the past month) and make a version I love TONS better, I'm willing to let its imperfections go.  Which is big for me.  Really big.

I had to modify a couple of the pattern pieces I drafted.  They just did NOT look right overall.  And I learned a valuable lesson when I went to turn the lamb in order to stuff it and sew it closed.  Stuffed arms and legs do NOT fit well through little lambie necks!  Next time, I will leave my opening in the torso instead of the head!  Whew! I was afraid I would pull it to pieces as I tugged and tugged and the seams strained and strained.

I love the verse God gave me for the lamb as well.  I searched and searched wanting just the right thing to speak of salvation and God's goodness and comfort.  I considered parts of hymns.  And then God led me to this:

I am excited to try a scripture animal again.  I don't know if my next one will be a lamb or something else, but I just love these scripture dolls--whatever form they materialize in. :)

I love the tail!
You can also check out the scripture dolls I made for my niece and nephew last Christmas! :)

Monday, August 30, 2010


J. Leigh Designz is hosting an upcoming Bump 2 Baby giveaway.

There are all sorts of incredible prizes up for grabs, including the new Britax B Ready stroller!  It has 14 single and double, forward and rear facing configurations!  Too cool!  Go check out the giveways for yourself! Contest begins in September!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A New Pattern

For my birthday, my parents gave me a sewing pattern I asked for from an Etsy seller.  It's the A Girl's Best Friend wallet pattern from Jennalou06. I was a bit intimidated by it; I'm still working through my anxiety about sewing from a pattern instead of drafting my own pattern or just figuring things out on my own.  It also has a zipper, which I have never done before... until now!

A sweet friend of mine graduated from high school this spring and will be attending the University of Alabama.  I was trying to think of something fun for a graduation gift.  Eventually, I set my sights on a Bama themed wallet with this pattern.  I look at Bama fabric, but none of it was very pretty.  So I did an Etsy search for "University of Alabama" and was quickly reminded that black & white houndstooth is signature Bama!  Woo hoo!  Now I could make a houndstooth wallet with crimson accents for my newest favorite Crimson Tide fan! :)

I spent part of one evening cutting the pieces, affixing the interfacing, transferring marks, and reading over the instructions.  During the following day's afternoon nap I completed the first three steps (out of six), and during today's afternoon nap I completed the remaining 3 steps!  It is a deceptively simple pattern that I had NO problems with!  I am really happy with how the wallet turned out and can't wait to get a gift card to put in it and send the gift on its way!

Here are my quick shots of it from this afternoon. :)

front exterior, velcro wrap-around closure

Interior.  The top half has a pocket big enough for cash, 6 card holders, and an elastic loop for a pen.
The bottom half has another cash pocket and a zippered (coin) pocket.

With some cards in it for example.

bottom large pocket

both big pockets

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Back from Vacation

I am back from 2 wonderful weeks in TN with my family!  My grandmother, aunt, and cousin were visiting from California, and not only did *I* want to see them, I was desperate for Asa to meet them, too!  He is named after my grandfather, after all (they have the same middle name). :)

It was a fun time of relaxed schedules, lots of cousins (there are 5 now on my side, and Asa has been ousted as the youngest on my side, though he's still the baby on Matt's side :) ), delicious food, and good times.  The only down side was that Matt couldn't stay the whole time.  He drove us down on Saturday and came back to OH on Monday.  What a servant heart!  Asa and I got to stay and play in TN and then my mom drove us back to OH (another servant heart!).  We are settling back in now, and my mind is turning to.... new craft projects!

I figured I'd make a list of the things I have in progress that I'd like to finish, some short term goals, and some longer term goals.

In progress:

  •  Asa's strip quilt (quilt top done, needs to be sandwiched, basted, quilted, and bound)
  • I really thought there was something else, but of course now I forget!  I'll have to check my "to complete" bin in my sewing cubbie :)
Short term goals:
  • try new wallet pattern
  • make Asa's scripture lamb
  • 2 other scripture dolls
  • 2 casserole totes
Longer term goals (I am sure this list will evolve):
  • 2+ sets of Jesse Tree ornaments
  • True mural on canvas for Asa's room
  • diaper changing stations
  • traffic cone
  • a couple painted signs
  • maybe try another quilt (stacked coin?)
 Maybe since these goals are right here in print, I will actually get to them!  I hope I have some update pictures to post soon! :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

I am still learning my way around my new grocery store (and sorely grieving the loss of Publix.  I am recalling a certain Sinead O'Connor song "Nothing compares to youuuuu!").  It takes a lot of "fun" out of grocery shopping when you have to wander up and down aisles repeatedly because items are not stocked where you expect (at your old grocery store).  But the only way to get rid of that icky, unfamiliar, can't-I-just-go-to-Publix-already feeling is to forge ahead and learn my way around.  Thankfully, I have a patient baby as grocery trips now take considerably longer than before (that wandering I mentioned).

Another by-product of grocery shopping truly feeling like a chore at a new store is fighting a huge lack in motivation for cooking.  Who wants to cook when it means you have to go to the grocery store that reminds you about not being at Publix anymore (so I liked Publix a little...)?  On top of that, I went from my DREAM refrigerator in FL to a dinky, old, (TINY) refrigerator here in OH.  I used to stock up during sales.  It saved us $$$ and I always had extra meals in the freezer. I have no idea how to do that here.  It's a bummer.  I admit, I have cried over my fridge (it was my anniversary present.  No fear, Matt has promised me a new one where next we settle... but it won't fit in the place we're currently renting).  Amazing how you can get so spoiled in 6 shorts months of refrigerator bliss.  I told Matt I tried to ask myself if I could just be thankful for the 6 months I DID get to use my refrigerator.  My honest answer to myself was, "No.  If I'd never had it, I wouldn't know what I was missing."  And there you have a transparent look into my heart during the transition of this move.  I never thought I would miss Florida so much.

This menu plan is my attempt to get back on track and feel a piece of normalcy I've still been lacking even as the house has come into order.  Getting back into my cooking routine might help things feel a smidge more like home.... (I hope, I hope, I hope!)

Monday:  fractured tacos
Tuesday:  spaghetti pie, corn on the cob, salad
Wednesday:  crock pot chicken cordon bleu, potatoes, salad
Thursday:  Matt's birthday!  He requested pork tenderloin, potatoes, corn on the cob, and peanut butter cake with peanut butter buttercream frosting.  And ice cream.  He LOOVES ice cream
Friday:  frozen pizza, per tradition
(weekend = July 4th plans)

Back from Blogging Hiatus

Wow, I haven't blogged here since April.  What has happened since then?

  • (background:  Matt accepted the OH job and moved there mid-April leaving Asa and me in FL)
  • I spent 6 weeks packing, packing, and more packing at our house in FL
  • we unlisted our house with agent #1 and relisted with agent #2
  • house went from listed to CLOSED in about 3 weeks!!!  AMAZING and totally GOD-ordained turn of events!
  • Matt, mom, and movers came for the big load up
  • Matt drove to OH with my car and our dog
  • Asa had his first plane trip as we flew to OH to be reunited as a family
  • movers delivered our stuff
  • my incredible mother came to help me unpack
  • we celebrated Asa's bday
  • my in-laws came to visit
  • gearing up for Matt's bday
There is some crafting involved with the recap of Asa's birthday, so that will be coming soon.  I also have Independence Day outfit plans for Asa.  Hopefully they will come to fruition!

I am back! :)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Follow THIS link for an update on the family in my last post. :) You will not believe how God moved! :)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Will you join me in the REALLY FUN give-away and help this family bring their little girl home from Ethiopia? You can see the full details and purchase your 10.00 entry here:

Here is the run down...

See all these shirts and the beautiful pendant?

Well...they can be yours. ALL OF THEM !!

So this is how this puppy works...
You enter into the give away and you choose how many times 1, 2 or 3. It's easy!

One entry is only 10.00 and if you are quicker than me you have already done the math and figured that is less than a dollar a shirt. Yeah, really.

To sweeten this a bit more, you can have two entries for 15.00.

Really, really want this ensemble of shirts? (Me, too!) Receive a third entry by blogging, tweeting or facebooking about it. They will even send you the wording so you can just repost. Not on their facebook? You can fb friend them by clicking on the fb badge on the left side bar of the blog.

So just head on over to and give it a shot. You will be helping in bringing home a PRECIOUS one...and what is better than that? And if you already have one of the shirts in the set, imagine the blessing you will be to gift it to another person who God may be calling to love the orphan.

Seriously, lets blow the socks off this family and bless them. We are ALL in this together...and helping one another

Friday, March 26, 2010

Craft Favorites Friday RETURNS!

I haven't had as much time to cull through blogs for ideas as I'd hoped. But here are a few ideas that are super cute (and look simple enough to complete for Easter)! :)

1. Easter Egg Wreath

I love how my Christmas ornament wreath turned out. This is a similar idea from Frills, Fluff, and Trucks. Oh that I would make a wreath for each holiday. :) Once again, the main ingredient (plastic eggs) is from Dollar Tree! But you can find those eggs pretty cheap anywhere, especially if you are willing to forgo the wreath this year and buy them on clearance after Easter! I have a door hanging similar to this that is a cross covered in eggs. You could fashion styrofoam blocks into a cross and make something similar. So many possibilities!

2. Fabric Covered Birds

Since Asa's room with forest themed with an emphasis on all things avian, these little birdies at The Creative Maven immediately caught my eye. What a fun way to use some scraps... and more Dollar Tree materials! Another idea to store away for when we're on the other side of this move! :)

L.O.V.E. these. They were originally posted on The Purl Bee, and then MADE went and created a lamb family representing her own family. I must make a daddy, mommy, and baby lamb. Seriously. I love the ruffly edges. I love the ears. I love the simple face. 5 thumbs up from me! :)

The Purl Bee doesn't stop! These felt bunny finger puppets are adorable too. Asa loves puppets... I might have to scout out some felt! I really like how the white felt is paired with another bright, springy color. Perfection with ears (and a cotton tail).

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I know I have been absent around here lately, but I promise I have good reason! We are in the midst of a whirlwind MOVE. That's right, we're packing up in sunny Florida and headed for Ohio!

A few weeks ago, my husband and I decided it was time to throw a few of his resumes out "there" and see what happened. Before we even sent a single one, a former coworker called and said he had a position open... and he wanted my husband for it.

That began a 2 week period he was home for approximately 3 days (and throw a little stomach flu in there, too, while you're at it). He interviewed at the company, came home for 3 days, and then left for a conference. When he returned from the conference, he received an offer at the new company. It is even better than we were hoping for, and God has put every detail into place. Yesterday he gave 2 weeks' notice at his current job, and life is definitely in the fast lane.

Thankfully when my mom was here a few weeks ago, we knew this was stewing. So we painted over Asa's walls (sniff, sniff) to make them neutral and buyer friendly. :) We also cleaned out every closet, the laundry room, garage, and many nooks and crannies. Tonight we officially sign on with a realtor and the "real" fun begins. ;)

We are almost done with our "house" to do list. It has occupied about every spare second I have, thus not much crafting has happened around here (plus most of my fabric is already boxed up!).

We will be separated for a time as Matt begins his new job and finds a place for us to rent. We are praying, praying, praying our house sells quickly! Since we'll be apart for a little while, Matt's taking some time to have 2 "family" weeks before he leaves for Ohio. The first week will be just the 3 of us here in Florida. We plan to take Asa for his first Disney World trip (we have some time on passes we bought a while back)! The next week we're meeting my family at the beach (Asa's first time at the beach and first "vacation"). I'm so thankful we can make these memories together!

So, hopefully the house to do list will be completed soon. HOPEFULLY then I might be run out of my home frequently for showings ;), but maybe I'll get some sewing or something in there, too. I have been trying to hang onto links this week (still woefully behind in my google reader) to post a Craft Favorites Friday this week. There are sooo many cute Easter ideas I am excited to pass along!

Stay tuned.... :)