Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I made a Scoodie

I wanted to make a few gifts for the holidays, girls are easy to make gifts for.. skirts, bags, dolls — there's so many options (and with 2 girls of my own I have quite a few patterns collected).  But I have a sweet little nephew that I really wanted to make something special for this year. I was racking my brain trying to find something quick and fun and then I remembered... THE SCOODIE!! I saw it on Happy Zombie's blog this summer (BTW I love this gal's blog - her style, her humor, and she's uber talented!).
So I whipped this one up over the weekend (yay! instant gratification for a finished project). It's a really quick project. I added some extra 'mohawk' prairie points at the top for a rockstar effect (he's also getting a sweet Paper Jamz guitar - so it needed a little extra rock start touch). Then I had my girls model it before I wrapped it up for the nephew. 
Inspired by the Happy Zombie post, I also had Flora try out modeling. She was a little less enthusiastic about helping me out. Blog modeling might not be her thing, but she liked the cookie pay out at the end.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Oh Thank Cuteness!!

Happy Thanksgiving! Generation Q asked readers to share their cute blessings this Thanksgiving. So here are my FIVE awesome kids. I never thought I'd have five kids, but life has a way of working out a little different than a girl "thinks" sometimes and lucky for me it did. I LOVE having this big family!
For a few years it was just me and my sweet girls. Miss Charlotte who is always ready with a big smile when a camera is nearby. Seriously, ever since she was a baby she has a great big smile in every picture. That is definitely — Oh Thank Cuteness!!! 
And my other sweet girl, Miss Josie. She can be a real fire cracker but I just adore this spunky girl. So it was us three lovely ladies, 'til the one day when I met this fellow, and we knew it was much more than a hunch, that this group would somehow form a family....  (sound familiar?)
Anyway "POOF"... I end up with five kids. Kyle my oldest step-son who is so helpful and sweet. And just like his dad, he loves taking things apart and putting them back together. He even taught Josie to ride her bike without training wheels this summer. 
And Alex who is so funny and entertaining. Also one heck of a sweetheart and always ready to help out however I need him. Plus he is so clever, he's always coming up with a punchline. 
And little Jacob. Look at that smile!! Heartbreaker! That little guy is always smiling too, he's so easy going and funny. So there you go. Lucky me to have all of these blessings in my life this Thanksgiving, plus an awesome husband who's making an AMAZING homemade, New York style cheesecake for dessert tomorrow (HEAVEN!) 
There's rarely a dull moment in our house with all of these kids running around, and I'm so thankful that life worked out a little different than I planned.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Cool Stuff I Found at the Craft Bazaar

I went to a few craft bazaars this weekend. I love checking out crafty stuff other talented folks are making. It's inspiring and energizing. Plus I always bump into a few peeps I haven't seen in a while, or peeps like my awesome realtor -- I didn't know she was also a talented jewelry maker! Here's what I ended up taking home with me.
That's a Hello Kitty wallet made out of Duck Tape. It was made by Ben's World of Duck Tape - a 12 year old boy trying to save up some Christmas money. He was such a sweetie and Hello Kitty Duck Tape, I had to have it. The cute flower barrettes were also made by a couple of young ladies who started their own little business last Christmas to save up some spending money. I was so impressed by all these little entrepreneurs at the craft bazaar this year. Plus those barrettes are going to look darling in the girls hair for Christmas! And I really couldn't resist the Garlic Lady and her tasty treats - Spicy Margarita Mix, Garlic Jalapeño Olives, and Habeñero Garlic Cloves. YUM! The salesman promised if I ate a Garlic Clove everyday I'd never get a cold again, I guess it's worth a shot.
I finally finished up this lovely bright quilt for mom. The quilt label I made says Summer 2011.... oops! But at least we're still in 2011 and I did start it in the Summer of 2011. I took it to a longarm quilter to finish up. The girls helped me pick out a paisley quilting pattern. I'm looking forward to seeing it in a couple of weeks.
I wanted to share this gorgeous bag. I DID NOT MAKE IT. My friend Teresa made it for me. I picked out all of the fabrics and she whipped up the pattern from Kay Whitt's new book Sew Serendipity Bags. Isn't it gorgeous?!?!? Love the ruffles and bright colors.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


We went to Pinkalicious the Musical presented by Oregon's Children's Theatre last night. It was so cute! I got the girls and their cousin Cambelle all dressed up for the event. Pink! Pink! Pink!
I won tickets this summer from a local radio station. And we've been anxious to go ever since.
Pinkalicious is a children's book that I've read many many times to the girls. It's a cute story and I like how the artwork is done. It's a different style, sort of like a collage.

We met the cast afterward and had them sign our poster. And the girls told Pinkalicious they had all of her books (Pinkalicious, Purplicious and Goldilicious). So funny they were acting like long-time fans.

Dr. Wink did a tap dance routine which the girls really liked too.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Papa's Packing Heat Zinfandel

What else do you give a guy who's turning 70? A bottle of his favorite wine decked out with a birthday label of course! This is the first wine label I've made —usually it's the hard stuff— but I think this turned out really cute. First it's orange, and I'm still loving orange lately, and second, check out the AWESOME pic I had to work with — serious, vintage, pro bowling shot! 
Saaaaaaaa - weet! I totally love old pictures.

The back of the bottle has the logo and a little tribute to the birthday fella. It says "A wine for the master of unusual sports. A champion of pole vaulting, trap shooting, arm wrestling and bowling. This spirit is aged to perfection for a man who is an amazing husband, father and grandfather — Papa."
I had a lot of fun with the typography on this one. I wanted a funky vintage look for this label. I added a toile background to the orange to give it a little texture and I stayed really simple with the colors. The joke is Papa is known for always being armed and dangerous, so they wanted to have a little fun with that — "Always Locked & Loaded" and "Papa's Packing Heat Zinfandel".  He used to be quite the rough and tumble sort of guy and he has a knack for mastering unusual sports like arm wrestling and bowling — he sounds like a pretty fun guy to me. 
Special thanks to my helpers. Josie provided entertainment dancing around the original bottle while I worked on the computer and my dear, sweet, perfectionist of a husband helped trim away the excess pieces on the label. He has the eye for detail and patience for perfection that I am sometimes lacking. You guys are the best :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What A Ghastlie Bag!

I just LOVE Alexander Henry's Ghastlies Fabrics. So I decided to make myself a lovely new purse out of the collection. The more I look at the illustrations the more details I notice. LOVE.
My favorite is this sweet little girl with the ballerina dress and if you look closely she's holding a hammer. Yikes! And of course I love those big, round, pink cheeks. There's another print where all of these characters are sitting at the dinner table together and this girl has her hammer sitting in front of her on the table. They put the whole story together on the fabric... I just love those little details. 
I used the Mail Sack Pattern by Pink Chalk Studios. This is the second time I've made this pattern and I really like it. The bag has a long handle that's meant to cross your body for hands-free carrying. I'm really tall and I'm usually packing a ton of odds and ends because everybody hands me their stuff to hang on to, so this BIG bag is perfect for me. And I think it's quite stylish too. There's also a "mini"version of the bag that I might make one of these days when I'm not packing so much stuff. 
Here's Sparky posing with the Mail Sack Pattern. She likes to help.

And I can't resist sharing my my spooky witch finger cookies from this weekend. So creepy looking, one little girl refused to eat one at our pumpkin carving party.

Eww! Look at the broken fingers nails!! I used the Witch Fingers recipe from Allrecipes.com and added some green food coloring for that "witchy" effect.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

WIP - Mom's Bright & Beautiful Quilt

Here's a quilt I'm working on for my mom. She loves bright colors so I went a little wild with this one. All of a sudden I'm noticing orange in a lot of my projects. Maybe it's the season for orange?? I have been drinking a few pumpkin spice lattes and wearing my orange sneakers lately too. Hmmmmm....
Anytime I try and lay fabric on the floor Sparky (full name: Cinderella Sparkle Rose Barrett Roth - the kids named her) likes to help. Or maybe she just has a wicked sense of humor and enjoys running through my project on the floor for laughs. I can't tell what she's thinking, she's got a good poker face as you can see in the photo above. Here she is right before she starts doing her trademark "Tasmanian Devil Spin" through the middle of my block arrangement.

And speaking of orange in projects, this is my new favorite fabric. The photo doesn't do it justice, the colors are amazing! Orange, purple and cyan all mixed together with a lime green. So bright (OK, like my mom I love bright) and beautiful. I just keep staring at it draped on my couch.  It's Pom Pom Dahlias by Philip Jacobs for Rowan. So pretty!! I'm headed to International Quilt Market in Houston next week and I've been thinking about making a skirt out of it. I think it might even pair well with my orange sneakers.
Here's my other little project. I've been doodling away with my new Painter app. Isn't it cool? It looks like I doodled that little jack-o-lantern on paper with water colors. I'm finding that I'm really rusty with my doodling skills though. It's been awhile since I've just drawn a picture without going back and adjusting nodes or combing shapes and adding gradients etc, etc etc in Illustrator. I'm really enjoying practicing again, I forget how much I enjoy drawing until I get back to it. Hopefully I'll pick up my "style" soon with the Painter app. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Oh Mylanta! Birthday Label Fun

Here's a vodka bottle label I made to celebrate Hailey's 21st Birthday. My step-mom asked me to make one for her granddaughter's BIG birthday. Cool! Then I started doing the math and realized - wait a minute, Hailey was born in 1990 ... and now she's 21.  I clearly remember 1990, I was just starting high school, how could that be 21 years ago!? It took a little bit to get over that shock and then I started playing with some typography and ended up with a pretty fun bottle label.

There's even a drink recipe on the back for the "Haileytini." I started with a bottle of Pinnacle Whipped Cream Vodka. I measured the bottle and label area and then designed a label that will fit in that area. My step-mom told me Hailey LOVES pink (how fun, I do too) and her favorite saying is "OH MYLANTA!" So with that in mind, here's the design I created.

After the design is done, I take a PDF file to my local Kinko's and have them print it out on bright white laser paper. The stores are officially called FedEx Office Print Centers, but I used to work for them way back when they were Kinko's Copies and I can't think of them as anything other than Kinko's, besides Kinko's is a way cooler name anyway. My next step is cutting out the label and spraying adhesive on the back and slap it on the bottle. Ta da!! Super cute, personalized and unique gift.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I finally finished my first quilt!

Ta da!! I finally finished my first quilt. I started this quilt in May with a class I took at a local quilt shop. I zipped along on the quilt top, I even got the back and borders put together pretty quick. Yep, I was thinking this quilting thing was no big deal. I had a local longarm quilter do the quilting for me. I chose a teal thread which blended nicely on the front and contrasted really neat on the solid brown back. It was looking lovely and going so smoothly and then came the last step... hand sew on the binding. WHAT?! Hand sew?!

Really, hand sew on the binding. This quilt is big (well, only twin size but that seemed big to me thinking about hand sewing on the binding)! I didn't really pay much attention to binding "talk" before this little step popped up on the instructions... How come more quilters aren't complaining about hand sewing this thing on at the end? *Sigh*... So I set off on hand sewing the binding on in late June. I would work on little bits of it here and there and it was so SLOW going. In late August I was still working on whipstitching this binding on (yep, I said whip stitching *shudder*), then along came this smart new gal at work who let me in on a little secret - YOU DON'T WHIPSTITCH THE BINDING. Oh man!! I'd already gotten half way around this twin size quilt, diligently whipstitching along when I could find time (have I mentioned I sometimes have up to 5 kids running around the house and I work full-time?). ACK! What was I thinking?? I'd seen quilt backs and hand sewn binding, and now come to think of it they never looked whipstitched.
I just thought those other quilters were better and stitching than me (which they probably are) but they were actually just using the right technique *sigh*. Well, I decided to just start doing it the right way "blindstitching" the rest of the way around. I guess it makes my first quilt a little more special with the learning mistakes making it uniquely mine.

 In other news... I need to convert these bottles into my world famous, fancy "birthday label" bottles. Stay tuned for before and after pics.

AND!!! Look at this sweet new program I just purchased. Corel Painter Essentials 4. It's like painting on the computer. I'm super excited to learn all of the bells and whistles and hopefully master it soon for my 2011 Christmas Card.
Thanks for stopping by to read my rambling blog post.