Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Messiness and thrift finds

I really have no idea where my time goes. I thought with John home during the days, that this summer would be such a productive one for me. Instead, I'm finding myself under piles of laundry, dishes, fabric, and crumbs. You'd think that since my house is such a mess that we would have been doing some fun things during the day too. Not the case. So seriously, where is my time going? Probably to thrifting and computer time. And I'm not kidding when I say my house is a mess. Here's what my sewing room looks like right now.
Did I mention that this is also our dining room???? I did finally manage to update my etsy shop with some things and packaged up items I sold on eBay. What a joy that was.

Anyway, hopefully I'll be able to make a dent in it this week. Hopefully. I have had some success thrifting lately. Probably because I can do it uninterrupted. I found all these things last week. Two very cute Alice in Wonderland mugs, for a total for .60.
This very cute pink platter and french gravy boat. I couldn't resist them.
And one of my favorite finds, this tablecloth. Oooh, it wants to be a bag so badly. Maybe for the fall.

And just a reminder that today is the last day for the challenge. So go ahead and add your photos. There's already over 200 items added not including things Karyn and I did. Wowzers, you guys rock!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Why Raesha Rocks!

I received my Summer Fun Swap from Raesha today after much anticipation. She outdid herself, lemme tell ya. There was so much goodness stuffed into this box, I can't even believe it. My pictures probably won't do it much justice because we just had a much needed heavy rainstorm.

Anyway, here are my goodies. Raesha made her "bucket" out of a thrifted pillowcase. This will be perfect when I'm at the beach in a few weeks. She found this huge orange blanket at the thrift store for $3.99! Amazing!
She also made this beautiful doll quilt for an addition to my wall of quilts. It will be a perfect fit.
There's so much in this box, I can't even name it all! Cute cups, a quilt kit, magazines, lemonheads (which I looove), water bottle, and many other things.
To see what I sent here, go here. I didn't end up with very good pictures of what I sent. This was such a great swap. Thanks so much Raesha!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Silly Me

Ok, so I'll be the first to admit I'm a moron. I went away for the day, posted the PIF thingy, and totally forgot that my comment moderation is on. Anyway, the first three people were Runner Gurl, Miz Smoochie Lips, and Lori . Send me your addresses and I'll send you guys something bigger.

For the rest of the peeps that left a comment, send me your addresses too, and I'll send you something as well. It probably won't be as big or complicated, but it'll be something good. I promise.

Anyway, everyone that left a comment yesterday, please e-mail me your address to katiebhandbags@gmail.com . And feel free to post it on your blog too!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Pay It Forward

I've seen these around blogland and I was happy when Raesha posted hers, so here it goes:

“PAY IT FORWARD. The first three people that leave a comment and pledge to pay it forward to three others on their blog will receive a handmade gift from me within one year (July 25, 2008) of this posting. I will read your blog and get the essence of who you are to come up with an idea.”

Hopefully it won't take me a year! Anyway, have at it, and I will ship internationally for anyone that wants to do this.

I'm off to the beach for the day!! Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Whatever gets you through the day...

What's keeping me laughing today:

I decided against posting the one wear he fell into the play garden. That was funny too though.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The one without the patchwork bag

No patchwork bag to show today. Last night Isaiah decided that 9pm would be his bed time, so I didn't get any crafting in. I did, however, manage to whip this little pouch up this afternoon.

I wanted to try Ginny's tutorial for zippers and let me tell you, it's fabulous. So now all of you go run over there and try it if you haven't already.

I also got around to finally taking pictures for my etsy shop. My mother-in-law had picked up all my bags that were at a post office/ gift shop a few months ago. The owner had sold a few, but he was trying to make some money too ( I don't blame him), and had priced them very high. He also had them in an odd place. Plus, I have a suspicion that he has a very regular customer base, so after a while, no one was buying. Anyway, so I now have a few bags that I am happy to have back. That means I have stock for my etsy store without even trying! ha! Hopefully I'll get around to updating my shop tonight. It really is time consuming, and after writing up all that eBay stuff, I sure do need a break!

Monday, July 23, 2007

What a bunch of squares

I'm officially in love with Amy Butler's patchwork bag pattern. This time I decided to wing it a little and just follow the process for making the bag. I was inspired by Denyse Schmidt's "What a bunch of squares" pattern so I made 4 squares and sewed them into panels.
After making some of these I was almost tempted to make a quilt instead. Then, I remembered that I wanted to start a project that I could actually finish, so luckily no quilts were started here. Anyway, I used the creme fabric around the squares for the top and bottom and quilted it with orange thread, Denyse Schmidt's fabric for the side panels, and a vintage orange zipper I found at the thrift store.

This bag came together a lot faster than the first one did, even with the modifications in size. Although, after finishing it, I was joking with John that it looked like a toaster cozy and he told me I should google it to see if people make them anymore. I said, I don't need to google it, I know people still make them!! So, if you see someone carrying this around, rest assured it's just a bag and not some crazy lady carrying her toaster with her.
For those if you asked if I'm putting these in my etsy store, I probably will be doing some shortly after I've made a few more. I want to wait until I can upload a bunch of things at one time.
Oh, and not to advertise myself even more, but I've put up all my American Girl things(among others ) up on eBay finally, so if you're interested, they're here.

Friday, July 20, 2007

If at first you don't succeed...

try again. Which definitely held true to form on my second attempt of the patchwork bag.

It was far easier to put together this time, and I'm really happy with the results. I cut out all the pieces last night and did the patchwork. I was able to finish the outside during Isaiah's nap and hand sewed the lining in this afternoon.

Now that I've finished two of these, I am in love with the pattern. The quilting of all the pieces is a little time consuming, but is definitely worth it. Plus I used fabrics from my stash and from my swap with Stefanie. It feels good to use some of my favorite fabrics!

Have a great weekend everybody!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A WIP finished!

With the end of bag month looming, and beautiful bags like this, I thought I'd finally finish my patchwork tote from InStitches. I have had a love/hate relationship with this bag since I started it. It was the first project in the book that really caught my eye and I think I was a little ambitious in starting it. While Amy Butler has great detail in her patterns, it is pretty much lost on me. Completely too wordy for my craft ADD. Seriously. I start reading, then the middle starts getting boring, skip to the end of the pattern, start sewing, then realize, shit, I should have read that more thoroughly. Which wouldn't be that much of an inconvenience if my seam ripper hadn't broken like 3 months ago and I never replaced it.

Oh, anyway, where am I going with this. Last night I finally got it together to finish the bag. I even stayed downstairs after dark when John was at work. I only got a little freaked out. So I happily sewed along until I realized, hmm, these handles are a little far apart. Riiiiiight, reading the directions problem again. Followed by the seam ripper issue, again. Those puppies are staying right where they are for now.

All in all, I'm not entirely happy with how the bag came out. Not enough disappointment to deter me from trying again though. After I finished sewing, I realized that the pattern isn't as difficult as I thought it was. I was just getting too confused by all the words. I used fusible fleece and I think it's perhaps a little too bulky for this project. Next time I'll try some flannel and maybe some of my 5" squares. Hopefully next time will be more successful.

And in other news, I have placed some water catching containers by our gutters in anticipation for some rain. (I'll try to send it up your way Lera). Kelli has declared this Green Week, and I'm really loving reading everyone's tips to better our habits for the environment. Now if only I could get Isaiah out of diapers. Although, now that I think about it, that may bring up some more poop problems.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Another Doll Quilt

Well, I think obsession is hardly the word to described what is going on over here at casa de Katie. I've totally been stalking the doll quilt swap, and I'm so jealous of everyone's beautiful little quilts, but it's also been quite inspiring. While perusing flickr (completely addicting), I found a few groups for doll quilts. One is the Doll Quilt Challenge and July's challenge is the Confetti Quilt with a tutorial by Lady Harvatine. It is a wonderful tutorial and a fun technique.
I finally finished up the binding today and I think it came out pretty well. It is a little puckered, but what can you do. I did some handquilting again, only few straight lines around the squares.
I'm trying to decide if I should keep it, or offer it as a prize for the Use What You Have Challenge. Speaking of, it is almost the end of July. Remember to add your projects because the amount of projects you add equals the number of entries you get for the prize!! So get to using up your stash, it's only a few weeks before you'll all be running out to the fabric store!

Monday, July 16, 2007

I heart IKEA

Since we have a very small house, I have limited crafting space. With only 2 bedrooms, our dining room has become my sewing room. We never have meals on our table, and the hutch has been home to most of my crafting supplies. When it started looking like this, I knew things were out of control. A quick little trip to Ikea and I now have a somewhat organized space. It's not able to hold everything, but it defintiely cleaned the space up.
I may get some more of these organizers for my bedroom/office area. Most of the rooms in our house serve a dual purpose, and I just love little things like this that make the space more functional. Ikea rocks, seriously. We are lucky enough to have one down the street. Unfortunately, me and the rest of the D.C. area likes to shop there, so it can be quite crowded. At least they have .50 hot dogs to keep Isaiah entertained!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Doll Quilt Finished

Oh, how I loved all your poop stories. I am happy to report no more pooping instances have propped up. Thank goodness. I finally finished my first doll quilt in my quest for a wall of quilts. It's really small, but I do love it. I'm glad that it is all mine and that I don't have to swap it!! I hand quilted it, which was an experience. The stitches are long and uneven, but I kind of like it like that. I don't know how the Amish do it so neat and perfectly. I suppose practice makes perfect. I also used Heather Bailey's tutorial for quilt binding and it is brilliant! It is written so clearly and couldn't be easier. I didn't take a picture of the back of the quilt, mostly because I forgot, and partially because it is not too pretty to look at. The backing is from the same fabric as the binding. Now that I have a lot of 5" squares I see many more doll quilts in my future!

The pictures aren't the best because I think we're getting ready to have a thunderstorm. I love when it rains in the summer! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Thrifty finds and a story about poop

It certainly is nice having John home for the summer. One of the perks is that I actually get to go to the thrift store by myself, and on the 25% off day nonetheless. I was trying to find a few finishing touches for my swap (for which I was successful) and ended up finding some other goodies as well. I swiped up this lot of See, Hear, and Read books with records.
They're so cute I can't stand it. Even a Strawberry Shortcake one. I had these books when I was a kid and had one of those tiny little record players in my room. Oh, how I loved them.

I also found this cute vintage paper tablecloth. I think the print is just so darling and I wish it were fabric!! Anyway, it is still in the package and I'll probably use it for some papercrafting.

And now, the reason why you're probably really reading this post. The poop story. Now, if you don't like poop stories, stop reading!! It goes something like this:

Last night Isaiah went to bed surprisingly easy. I said yesterday that he hadn't been sleeping well, so this was a much welcomed easy night to bed. Ohh, wishful thinking. He woke up around 10ish and I brought him into my bed where he promptly fell back asleep. Sometime after My Life on the D-List, I fell asleep next to him, only to be kicked and pushed by Isaiah in his sleep. Shortly after that, he woke up and stayed up until 1:15 at which time I called John at Outback and asked him if he was going to be home soon because I was too delirious to deal with Isaiah. Long story short, Isaiah stayed up and played until about 3ish and then slept with us, only to wake up at 7am. Being the good, tired parents we are, we put him in his crib. I thought we were in the clear and we heard no noise until 8:15. I just thought it would be o.k. for him to play in there for awhile. No one told me that a kid screaming and making monkey noises meant that the child needed something. Who knew. I walk in the room, only to find Isaiah standing naked in his bed, a poopy diaper on the floor, and several poop smears on the crib, activity box, and sheets. Oh yeah, and all over Isaiah's face. Why didn't I think to take a picture!?!? Surely he'd want to see that photo in his wedding collage.

Several notes to self next time (and hopefully there won't be a next time)

1. Do not put child in bed in just a diaper. Pants with suspenders are necessary.

2. If a child is screaming loudly and making strange monkey noises, one should check on him pronto. Don't play the waiting game with your husband to see who will get up first.

3. After child won't go to bed at 3am, put a note on him "Free Cute Baby" and leave him on the curb. Just kidding, I'd wait til morning when there are more people awake.

I know I'm not the only delirious poopy smeared mama out there. Please tell me someone feels my pain!! Oh, and my favorite quote from John. "Did he think that if he made monkey noises that it would be ok for him to smear his poop!?!"

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Everything's coming up...

Orange and yellow. I haven't been sharing a lot of crafting lately mainly because Isaiah hasn't been a very good sleeper lately. Any crafting that has been done has been for my Bucket Full of Sunshine Swap. At first I was having a hard time figuring out what to do. Generally orange and yellow are not among my favorite colors, but suddenly, I started having yellow and orange tunnel vision. It was everywhere. And I loved it. Now I'm almost finished, but I'm just finalizing my container which is giving me a little trouble. Grrr..

Anyway, my partner Raesha tempted me with a little sneak peak, so I thought it was only fair to do the same.

Look, even the Zinnias and the surprise tomato plant in my yard followed suit.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Thank you, may I have another?

Oh Martha, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways... This morning I'm enjoying an excellent muffin baked fresh earlier from Martha's Baking Handbook. Plum Coffee-Cake Muffins. Yum. I have made this twice this week. The first time I substituted peaches. This morning, plums from the farmer's market. Baby plums to be exact. I also made a struesel topping that the recipe didn't call for it. Odd because I when I think of coffee cake, I think of crumbling topping. But maybe that's just me. Anyway, I'll share the recipe. If you don't have this book, you should get it. It has some great recipes in it. These muffins are so easy to make and really quick. Well, that is, if you remember that you don't have eggs and your husband doesn't have to run out and get them in the middle of baking. Otherwise it'll take 1/2 hr, baking included.

Plum Coffee-Cake Muffins

1 stick of butter, melted

3/4 cup sugar, plus 2 T for sprinkling

3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon (add more if you like spice)

2 cups all purpose flour

1 T of baking powder

1/2 teas salt

pinch (or 2) of nutmeg

2 large eggs, room temp

1 teas vanilla

3/4 cup of milk (I used skim and it's fine)

3 ripe red plums ( about 1 pound) cut into small chunks

Preheat oven to 375. Butter 10 cups of muffin tin. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, 3/4 cup sugar. set aside.

In another bowl, (I just used my pyrex measurer) whisk together wet ingredients. Using rubber spatula, fold the wet ingredients into the flour mixture until just combined. Fill each cup halfway, smoothing batter flat.

Distribute the plum pieces even among the cups. Spoon remaining batter over top. Sprinkle tops with cinnamon sugar mixture (or make a streusel topping, as I did).

Bake, rotating pan halfway, until the muffins are puffed and golden brown, about 16-18 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let stand 5-10 minutes. Turn out muffins on a rack to cool for a few minutes. Serve warm.

I'm enjoying mine with a nice cup of coffee, made from coffee beans from the farmers market. Lucky me. I acutally had great pictures of the process, but John gave me the camera without the memory card in it. And since I still don't have my cord, I have no way of getting them off the camera. grrrrr.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

More Swappy stuff and Winners!

On Monday I received my swap package from the swap I organized. Stefanie was my partner and boy did she send me some great stuff! I was like a kid in a candy shop going through all the delicious items to sent me.
She also included a Martha book because she knows I have an unhealthy obsession with her (but who doesn't, right??) With all my new fabrics I've been receiving, I really need to get to sewing!

Speaking of Martha, I'm putting my ideas together for my upcoming swap idea. Anyone have any input on what they'd like to see? I'll probably get the details out within a week. I have to finish up my swap things for the Sweet Goodness Swap. My partner is Ms Raesha and I'm hoping that she'll love all the goodies I'm going to be sending her!! Once that is all sent out, I'll put up the details for the swap. So, be on the look out next week.

And finally, thank you thank you for all your sweet comments on my 100th post!! Without further ado.... the winner of the box of goodies is... Kirsten and the winner of something I'm making is... Felicia.

So ladies please e-mail me your address to katiebhandbags@gmail.com

Felicia, you'll have to wait a few days until it's finished ;) Hope you don't mind!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Quilty goodness

Perhaps you remember saying that I'd like to have a wall of quilts. I started my hexagons, which oddly enough, have still not been sewn together. So much for finishing my 4th of July quilt. At least that happens every year.

Partially to blame for the unfinishedness (a new word I think), was my new stack of 5" squares. They were just so yummy and cute I had to start using them. Awhile ago I stumbled across this tutorial at Allsorts blog, which is a great blog by the way. Anyway, she used much bigger squares, so it was a little difficult maneuvering my tiny ones. (BTW, check out her awesome quilt!)
I just love how this is coming out. (I also just realized these pictures are quite blurry.) Don't look too closely, or you'll notice that the squares in between don't quite match up right.
All I have to do is quilt it and then do the binding. That should be an experience.

I also paper pieced a few more blocks from Amy Karol's mailorder.
I think that I should have put some border in between the blocks, but they're sewn together now, and they're going to stay like that. I also have to quilt this one. I'll probably do them at the same time. I just have to work on getting fabric for the backs.

Thanks for all the congrats on the 100th post. Don't forget to comment on the post below if you want to enter for the giveaway.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Fabric Happiness and my 100th post!

Ohmigoodness, where have I been!??! I've been waiting and waiting for my camera cord to arrive all week and it was driving me nuts! My mom had told me that she sent it out on Tuesday and I bargained with John that if it wasn't here by today that we could buy a memory card reader (which perhaps may have been one of my reader's suggestions.) Anyway, it didn't come today, so while I was waiting for an hour to get our new phones, I found a reader on sale for $10. Sold! Ahh, it feels so good to be able to upload pictures again!

Anyway, I have lots of new things to show off. I certainly won't be lacking in things to post for the week. You may remember I was involved in the "my fingers hurt" swap. It was one of the best swaps ever. Wednesday I received a box with 9 different packages of 5" fabric squares. Oh, the joy. These girls outdid themselves with the fabric choices.

I've had so much fun playing with my new fabrics, and can't wait to show you what I've used some of them for. Our lovely organizer, Jen, sent along her fabrics with this cute little pin. I just adore it!

Oh, and perhaps I should just spread the love. This happens to be my 100th post! (And someone else's as well) I seriously thought it would take me forever to get here, but at some point, I started posted almost every week day. My first blog was in October of 2006. And there is a very cute picture of Isaiah. It's just making me laugh right now.

When I first heard of blogs, it really confused me. I didn't quite understand the point. Then I found some craft blogs, and I became addicted (to say the least). I think the first blogs I read were Posie Gets Cozy and Little Miss Meshell. I still read these blogs and love them! I love the connections I have made through blogging and certainly the input on my crafty endeavors. So to thank you all, let's have a little giveaway, shall we!?!?! Some might think this is a way for me to get rid of my fabric for the challenge (ahem, Karyn), but since I've been getting some fabric goodness, I thought that you should too. Anyway, rambling. Let's see. How about 2 winners. One will win something crafty made by me (a surprise) and one will win a stack of fabrics, maybe some trims, buttons, we'll see what else makes it into the box.

Ok, you know the drill. Leave a comment to enter. If you're a lurker, de-lurk and tell me about yourself. I'll do the drawing on Wednesday. And, thanks again to all my bloggy "friends."