Thursday, December 30, 2010


Available here
I had a friend over today for some sewing. I taught her how to make these pouches, as well as some mini-wallets, and she put together a cell phone case all on her own! I was able to finish up a few of these makeup pouches, as well. I added little charms to the zipper so they would be easier to be open and closed, since the zipper pull is fairly thin. I really like how it all turned out. Hopefully other people like them, too, because I've uploaded them to my etsy! Right here

Monday, December 27, 2010

I haven't had much time for any interneting lately. Our new pup, Ripley, has been keeping me pretty busy. I'm also doing a three week mini-mester statistics course over my winter break, so I come home around noon and get stuck on puppysitting duty until 5pm or so. I wanted to be able to make a tutorial and a big last minute Christmas crafting post a few days before Christmas, but I haven't even touched my sewing machine in two weeks, except for some last minute sewing at 11pm Christmas Eve. I was able to make my stepmom a set of makeup pouches following this tutorial, and it was a lot simpler than I had anticipated (or else I would have just stopped after one pouch)

I normally try to avoid zippers because I don't have a zipper foot and I have no idea what I'm doing with them. I like the look of the covered zipper ends a lot. I think it makes it easier to sew, too.
I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas. I got tons of Longhorns stuff, a Pulse smartpen for school,  my first ever mani-pedi, and a bunch of yummy molasses cookies that I hoarded in the breadbox and ate ALL of on Christmas, so I would say it was pretty good.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Last Minute Christmas: Holiday Treats

grapefruit marmalade and blueberry lime jam, blogged by me here
lemon coconut bread from Baked Bree

Are you a little short on funds and time this year and still need Christmas presents? Bake up some treats for the people you love! Just take a little extra time to package them up carefully and they'll look sophisticated and make lovely gifts. I've compiled a few recipes that will look elegant when simply wrapped up with a bow or placed in a tin, and arranged them according to skill level/time. After they taste the treats, people are sure to ask for the recipe, so write it down on a index card and hole punch the corner so you can thread your ribbon through it before you tie it onto your gift.
These are just suggestions some to get you thinking. I like to try find recipes that use interesting combinations of flavors and are something that the recipient might not have tried before, but you could use old family favorites or whatever you like. Don't feel confined to cookies... quick bread or yeast breads, jams and jellies, pickled items, and candies are all surprisingly easy to make and would make wonderful gifts. All of these recipes can be made at least a week ahead.
Stay tuned for the next Last Minute Christmas post with gift and crafting tutorials.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas time!

All you need are candy canes, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, pom poms, and a hot glue gun.
All last night I had dreams about making Christmas decorations with Martha Stewart. It was the best dream ever. I've already made some candy cane reindeer over the weekend. They're so easy and great to stick on the tree, give away to people you know but don't know enough to give them anything for Christmas, and tie on to Christmas presents. I'm currently working on making some stockings today. I was trying to wrap up some Christmas presents yesterday and realized I didn't have any wrapping paper or paper bags, so I thought the only logical thing to do was to make everyone a stocking to put their presents in instead. This makes total sense, right? It's slow going for the first one because I'm still trying to figure out exactly how one goes about making a stocking, but hopefully the next two are faster.
 These mini wallets are also great for small Christmas gifts. You can put all of your gift cards in them so you have them in your purse but they aren't crowding your wallet. How many times have you forgotten your gift card at the house when you were at the store? I do that all the time. I always forget I have gift cards. I will be making a tutorial on how to make these wallets in the next few days, and will make a big post for a bunch of last minute Christmas crafting ideas.
Left to right: homemade marshmallows, caramel corn, almond toffee, chocolate and French sea salt caramels
The post will also contain links to recipes. Having such a big family, I used to just make them cookies or candies for Christmas and put them in nice tins. You can find tins just about everywhere, and they normally don't cost more than two bucks. You could also try your luck at a thrift shop and see if you can find any nice vintage tins. The tins look like a lot of work, but they're great if you have tons of people to give gifts to and not a whole lot of money. Just make a few batches of different candies or cookies and distribute them throughout all the tins. They'll think they're getting spoiled with all the different goodies. Christmas is coming up fast, and if you're like me you've left everything to the last minute. Hopefully my next post will help out just in time.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

More of Ripley

I wanted to save these for tomorrow, but she's too cute not to share. I love her giant paws and teeny little nails.

Meet Ripley!

This little girl was abandoned out in Humble, TX. My friend found her at his work on Friday and didn't have the heart to turn her away, so he asked if anyone could take her in. Half hour later and I was hopping in my car and making the drive down from Austin to Houston, and then over to Humble.
Normally I'm a cat person, but she's so snugly and adorable that I want to take her back to Austin with me, but she's staying at my dad's place. They've already spoiled her rotten. We've never had a girl dog before, so I think my stepmom and I bought just about every pink dog thing they had at Petsmart for her. She has scabs all over her from living outside, poor baby. It's so sad that she was abandoned, but she'll have a real good life from now on, that's for sure. We had been wanting to get another dog for the past few months, but all of our animals are strays that ended up finding us, so it was hard having to go and pick one dog out from all the ones that needed homes. I'm so happy she found her way into our lives, she's just sweet as pie. What a great early Christmas present!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I'm finally done!!

At approximately 8:36PM CST I walked out of my last ever calculus exam. The semester was certainly a test of drive and endurance, but I'm proud to say I made it through. I feel like I should have been given a handshake and a commemorative t-shirt upon turning in my final exam, but atlas, I just quietly slipped out through the door. I've just got to keep chugging along for the next year and a half, and then I get to do it all over again for grad school. Sigh.
 In the mean time, I like to imagine what my life will be like when I'm old. I honestly can't wait to be old. Grandmas know what's up, I'm telling you. Baking cookies all the time, wearing sweaters, telling all the young whippersnappers that I had to walk up the hill both ways.. IN THE SNOW. That's the life. The first thing I want to do when I retire is get a cute little vintage trailer and tote it all over the states. I've seen a few people who have the trailer in their back yard and use it as a craft room, how great would that be?

  Constance 1956 Vintage Caravan, originally uploaded by vw camper hire.

Hopefully I won't have to wait until I'm 70 before this stuff happens for me, but I can be patient. It certainly provides inspiration for me to keep up with school, knowing that one of these days all of my time and hard work will pay off in big shiny wood paneled or two-tone cars and cozy crafting trailers.

Here are some more of my favorites from flickr. I'm off to watch movies and cut paper snowflakes out of my calculus notes that I will never need again! I also honestly thought about burning my Texas Political History course packet because I hated that class, but I think it might be wiser to just recycle it.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


I've lost my point and shoot camera (or, rather, I'm too lazy to look around for it) so the past two entries have been with cell phone pictures. Hopefully this will change soon.
I have my American Literature and Calculus finals tomorrow and I have zero motivation to study for them right now. All I want to do is listen to my Christmas with The Rat Pack cd and start on my Christmas presents. At this point the system is one hour crafting, and one hour studying. On one of my allotted hours last night, I made these little toys for my dog for Christmas. I saw them here, but since Jenny over at Allsorts (which is a fantastic and inspirational craft blog that I encourage you to check out if you're interested in that stuff) was all sold out, I made my own. I used leftover fuzzy fabric from cat beds I made a year or so ago, with cute Christmas cat fabric by Robert Kaufman that I bought a fat quarter of a long time ago. I put leftover squeakers in each one and took apart an old pillow to stuff them with. And viola! My first present done and I didn't have to spend a dime. Rocky is older and only cares about cleaning his toys now, so he'll have fun with the silky soft faux fur and I won't have to worry about him destroying it on the first night. Hopefully Santa will bring us a puppy so Rocky can have someone to share his presents with. (hint hint)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Finally sewing again

Over the weekend I was able to get a little sewing done. I haven't touched my machine in over a month, which is a long time for me. I have about a million yards of leftover red satin from my dad's quilt binding so I made a cute little bow belt. There's a tutorial for it over at Tilly and the Buttons. I also made one out of black linen which was so much easier to work with and came out a lot nicer, but photographs terribly. I'm in the middle of trying to make another belt out of gold lamé, which I'm dreading the sewing, but am excited about the end product. I also managed to make a few pairs of potholders, too, which I am really happy with. I used to use bias tape for the binding, but I've started to make my own binding and I think it looks so much better. I also use two layers in insulated batting and quilt each top, so I'm really pleased with the overall quality. What I'm NOT pleased with, however, is Artoo's new favorite hiding place. I've been in my apartment for almost a year now and he has never bothered my stash of fabric before, but lately that's where he has been hiding out. At least he's laying on the pile of fabric that I never use. I'd be pretty irked if he chose to start sleeping on my nice designer fabric.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Very Vintage Christmas

O tannen bonbon, originally uploaded by boopsie.daisy.

I inherited my love of vintage and kitsch from my mom, who has a truly envious collection off vintage Christmas ornaments and other knickknacks. Now that I've grown up, moved away, and am trying to get a handle on this whole "being an adult" thing, it's up to me to start to build my own collection.
Growing up, we would each pick out one new ornament a year to add to the tree, which we always got from my uncle's tree farm. My cousins and I used to playwork on the farm (my cousin Katie and I were mainly on hot cocoa duty while the boys helped cut down trees), and I can't tell you how many times we tried to shove each other through the tree bagger (a shoot and funnel type thing that put netting around the tree) the first year my uncle got it. It didn't matter how pretty our tree looked all decorated up, and believe me, most of the time it was a "so ugly it's cute" kind of tree, each of the ornaments was special.
Last year was my first Christmas since I moved away from home and I got the first ornament for my very own collection. My dad's neighbor hosts an annual ornament swap, which I thought was a really cute idea, in a kind of Yankee swap fashion. At the end of the whole thing, I think I ended up with some weird metal star or cross thing. Either way, it really wasn't my style, so my dad traded me for his glittery frog ornament, which is still pretty weird, but at least it's my kind of tacky. So now every year I'm going to have a giant sparkly frog on my tree. Maybe when I get more ornaments I'll be able to kind of hide it in the back or something. This year I have my sights set on a cute orange kitty in a santa hat.

Growing up is kind of bittersweet. While I miss being able to make candy cane reindeers and watch the Rankin and Bass stop motion Christmas movies (which are still some of my favorite movies ever) with my mom, I look forward to being able to share all of the Christmas traditions with the family of my own that I'll create some day.

After the link are a few inspirational Christmas pictures that I found on flickr.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Dear Santa, I've been good.

I'm proud to say that I only made this Christmas wish list AFTER all of my homework was done! See, I told you I've been a good girl this year.
I don't need/want all that much for Christmas this year, but I absolutely NEED a new jacket (I like this one from ModCloth) and a new pair of Vans. I don't like going out clothes shopping all that much, so I end up wearing one article of clothing until it falls apart. I finally had to retire my Vans after they wouldn't hold together anymore (believe me, I thought about duct taping them together so I could keep wearing them) and my jacket is on its last leg.Other than that, I really don't need much. But in case you're wondering what extras I might like..