Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Patchwork Everything Pouch

I am always looking for fun and practical ways to incorporate my fabric scraps.  I decided to try this new twist on The Everything Pouch.

I love these pouches!  I used one to pack my make-up during my trip to Rome, and even I was surprised as to how roomy it was!  The best thing is that I can make these in any size!

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

La Vita Bella

I know I don't normally blog on Saturdays, but I have just been so busy since returning from my vacation that the week has flown by.

Besides coming home with two bags full of laundry, my dryer was broken for a week prior to my trip. So, I am STILL in the process of tackling about 18 loads.  The good thing about European jet lag is that I've been up and at 'em by 6 a.m. every day.  Let's hope it stays that way!

I promised some photos from my trip, so here goes...

Here we are in the Colosseum.
At the Circus Maximus
At the Trevi Fountain
In front of the Colloseum
At a fab beer shop in Rome
In front of the Tiber River
The Vatican
The beach in front of our hotel in Lido di Ostia
At Anima Mundi Bar, with a beautiful church just steps away!
I have to post a disclaimer on my appearance.  Inasmuch as I wanted to look all hot and European on my vacation--it was impossible.  Our power converter wouldn't heat up neither my curling nor my flat iron, hence the not-quite-flat, not-quite-wavy hair thing I had going on.  The blow dryer in the hotel room was basically a vacuum cleaner on reverse.

Also, this was technically a business trip, and we were generously put up in a beautiful hotel on the beach of Lido di Ostia.  Unfortunately, Ostia is 2 trains and 45 mins away from the center of Rome.  This means I had to layer my clothing to account for the changes in temperature in the 8 hours we would ultimately spend each day between visits to our hotel room.

Even so, I had such a wonderful time!!  Maybe next week I will post some photos of all the ah-mahzing food I ate!  YUUMM!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Featured on: Reduce, Reuse, UPcycle!

Buongiorno bellas!  I am back from an AH-MAHZING weekend in the beautiful city of Rome, Italy!  I will share photos soon, but I just wanted to pop in today to say "hi!"

Also, while I was on vacation, my Pillow Sham Messenger Bag was featured on Reduce, Reuse, UPcycle!  I am totally stoked since upcycling is my favorite form of creativity! 

Check them out!
Reduce, Reuse, Upcycle


Friday, January 20, 2012


Hi my lovies!  By the time you read this, I will be-- God-willing--enjoying a well-deserved vacation and celebrating my (gasp!) 36th birthday (which isn't til the 24th, but we are starting early!)  I will be back to work sometime next week, depending on how it takes me to recover.  ;)

Please take a moment to browse my site.  Visit projects old and new.  Become a fan on Facebook.  Follow me on Twitter. Leave me a comment.  Follow my blog....

I'll be sure to share some photos upon my return.  Love you, and enjoy your week!


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Bunting iPhone Sleeve

I had some left over pennants from Tuesday's iPad 2 Sleeve project, so I decided to make a mini version for my iPhone:

I made it big enough to fit my iPhone in its hard case and added fusible fleece for extra protection.

 I don't think I mentioned last time that the fabric I used for the exterior was a drop cloth!

One fat quarter was enough for both projects and I had enough scraps left to make a lot more pennants for any future bunting projects.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Pillow Sham Messenger Bag

One of my biggest passions is repurposing items.  You might remember my Placemat ClutchSheets to CurtainsMan's Shirt to Flirty Skirt or Tea Towel Curtains.  It gives me such a thrill to turn one item into something completely different.

I was shopping at Marshall's last week with Hubs when he got a call from an old friend.  I used this slight distraction to pop into the home section and rummage through the clearance aisle.  Sitting there, just waiting to come home with me, was a king-sized, quilted pillow sham in a gorgeous paisley and leaf print for just $3! I didn't think twice and tossed it into our cart.

King-sized pillow sham.
My mom had been asking me to make her a new purse, something with a long strap that wouldn't fall off of her shoulder.  I have to admit, making hand bags isn't, well, my bag (wah, wah).  I have a couple of friends who make phenomenal handbags, and I tend to lean more toward accessories and clutches...

Anyhoo, I got a spark of inspiration and decided to give it a shot using the fabric from the new pillow sham.

This isn't going to be a tutorial, exactly, since I don't have step by step pictures or measurements, but maybe it will inspire you to make your own!

The first thing I did was remove all of the stitching.  This left me with one large quilted piece (beige), and two smaller pieces of a thin cotton (pink).  I then cut the quilted piece in half (through the short side) and used that for the exterior and one of the small pink pieces as the lining.  The other piece of pink fabric I cut into strips and sewed together to make the strap.

I didn't use a pattern or any specific measurements.  I just played it by ear and hoped for the best.  Here is how it turned out:


I mitered the corners, and added a fabric flower with some left over lining fabric.

I added two interior pockets for Mom's cell phone and keys.


Roomy and comfy, and all for $3!

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

iPad (2) Sleeve

Last week I came across Just Another Hang Up's Bunting Kindle Case and I fell in LUH-HUV (too bad I don't have a Kindle, yet!) The next day I stumbled upon Sweet Verbena's iPad Sleeve (GORGEOUS!)

I decided that I would blend both of those ideas and came up with my own version of a Bunting iPad Sleeve:

I had such a fun time going through my scraps and cutting out little pennants!  My mini-me cut out a bunch more for my next bunting project...oh and there will be another!

I used a funky fat quarter for the lining and added fusible fleece.

In the end, it turned out to be a bit too snug on my (Hubs') "original" iPad, but should fit an iPad 2 perfectly!! Hint, hint, Hubby! (if you didn't catch that Kindle hint at the beginning!)...somebody has a birthday next week.... ;) Just kidding, I already got my birthday present! More on that to come!

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Monday, January 16, 2012

15 Minute Infinity Scarf

I love scarves!  Half the time I don't even wear them to stay warm, I just love the way they look!  A few months ago I posted my first DIY Infinity Scarf.  I love that it's been repinned so many times on Pinterest!

I had a little extra time this weekend, so I decided to make myself a more neutral infinity scarf with a remnant piece of gray knit I picked up for about $2.  Fifteen minutes later this is what I had:

I love that you can wear these in so many ways!

My favorite way to wear an infinity scarf is doubled up.
I also dig tying a knot along the bottom.
My mini-fashionista reminded me that I had picked up another remnant knit awhile back.  I have to admit, she's been waiting patiently for her own infinity scarf.  Easy peasy...and voila:

Long enough, that Mommy can borrow it sometime (maybe!)
Doubled up...
She asked if she could model her new scarf herself, and of course, I obliged!

Isn't she the cutest?!?  :)
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Friday, January 13, 2012

Fabric Lanyard

I got the idea for this next project from my cousin, J, who is a pharmacist at a major hospital.  She is required to wear a lanyard to display her badge and was tired of the plain industry standard lanyard everyone else was carrying around.

I was excited to find a project to display some gorgeous fabric I picked up while on vacation in Florida.  (Of course, since it was in the clearance section and probably out-of-stock, it will become my most requested print!---get it while it's hot kids!)

Funky Fabric Lanyard
This particular lanyard has a 20" drop length including the swivel clasp, but can be made in any length.  After I made this, I decided that I needed to make one for myself to hold my keys and card at the gym.  Now, to choose my fabric...

Do you wear a lanyard to work? To the gym? Do your kids where them at school?  Tell me in the comments!

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Work-at-Home Mom Seeks New Pharmacy {and not by choice}

This post brought to you by Walgreens. All opinions are 100% mine.

My husband and I are both self-employed, and one of the main causes of stress in our home is the cost of our family's prescription medication.  A dispute that includes one of the biggest pharmacy chains in the country has many of us searching for a new place to fill our prescriptions.  When I was approached by Walgreens to discuss their current situation with Express Scripts, I agreed, as the topic hits close to home.

So what is going on, anyway?

I am sure that many of you have seen the signs pop up at your local pharmacy, "We accept Express Scripts" or "Welcome Express Scripts Customers". 

Express Scripts acts as a middleman between the drug companies, pharmacies and their customers.  They negotiate prescription pricing for their customers and determine the reimbursement rate for the pharmacy.  The Walgreens company offered to hold rates for a new contract, not seeking an increase in rates.  However, according to Walgreens, Express Scripts proposed to cut the reimbursement rate to Walgreens below industry standard to provide each prescription, as well as to define contract terms such as what does and does not constitute a brand and generic drug.

In short, the contract Walgreens had with Express Scripts expired as of December 31, 2011.  Walgreens' customers, including those with Tricare, the military's healthcare and prescription program, must now find a new pharmacy to provide its medication.

Many of Express Scripts' 6 million patients have been customers of Walgreens for  years and have formed a relationship with their local pharmacist.  They will now have to utilize services from other pharmacies, many of which do not provide 24 hour or drive-through convenience.  This adds another hurdle for patients already dealing with medical issues and high drug costs.

Walgreens has taken some steps to minimize disruption to its customers. This includes offering a special discount on the Prescription Savings Club at Walgreens.  Through January, customers can join for only $5 for an individual and $10 for a family. Regular membership fees are $20 for an individual and $35 for a family.

Click on the following link for more information on Walgreens and Express Scripts.

For the most up to date information on this situation, follow Walgreens on Twitter and like Walgreens on Facebook.

Customers impacted by this dispute can go to the local media to voice their dissatisfaction.  Have you had to switch pharmacies?  If so, tell us in the comments.

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Birds of a Feather

I can't begin to describe how blessed I am.  As some of you may know, my move to Virginia from Florida this summer was not the easiest transition for my family. Let's just be honest.  Moving sucks.

I spent the six months prior to my move packing up the last seven years of my life. I was losing 1500 sq ft worth of living space and had to decide what to keep, what to donate and what to put in storage.  I was busy, overwhelmed and basically neglected all of my friends and family. 

Fast forward to my move.  The first couple of months were super tough.  Hubs was traveling weekly and while I loved hosting family and friends (every week.  for two months.), I was still settling in and learning the ropes myself.  The summer ended, the kids started school, and 4 months passed before I was able to see family and friends again.  That's when it hit me.  I missed "home".

My trip to Florida this Christmas was wonderful.  Our cousins hosted our family of six (two dogs included) for two weeks.  My good friend and former neighbor went above and beyond to help me feel at home, as well. We planned a trunk show, which was a success.  All of my friends were so supportive of my business...I could go on forever.  In fact, I haven't even scratched the surface.

When I got back home, I knew I wanted to send my friend and my cousin little "thank you" gifts for all they did for me those two weeks.  I stumbled upon a funky bead shop in town and found the perfect charms to make them each a necklace.

Feather Necklace
This 26" necklace features a 1 3/4 " feather charm,and a matching .5" mini feather charm,
and was clearly Made With Love.

The necklaces arrived yesterday, and they both loved them.  Makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Arts and Craftsy Owl

People often ask me what I "do". It's such a weird question to answer.  I usually just say that I own a business where I create handmade items and write for a blog that features those items (as well as some DIY, decor, and fashion stuff.)  That's usually where I lose them.  People will then ask, "What kind of handmade items?  Like arts and craftsy stuff?"  Bless their hearts...

Am I the only one who HATES the term "arts and crafts"?  It makes me feel like I'm putting together items with Elmer's Glue and construction paper.

Even so, I am crafty, and I like to think that what I do is some form of art, so I suppose "arts and crafts" isn't too far beyond what I "do".

Here is my newest work of arts and craft (warning: no fabric was cut in the creation of this piece!)

Owl Charm Fashion Necklace

I decided that as much as I love incorporating fabric into most of my pieces, there are times that I just want to wear something simple and understated.  This necklace is 18" long and features a 1" owl charm.  The perfect length for a scoop neck top or a button down blouse.

There will be more charm necklaces featured soon, so keep your eyes peeled my lovelies!

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Key Rings and Resolutions

We all make New Year's Resolutions.  Over the years I have resolved to lose weight, get in shape, get organized, drink less soda....I won't tell you what this year's resolution was, except that I already fell off the wagon, and I am OK with that.

I also made a business resolution, and that was to blog every Monday through Friday.  Yep, fell off that wagon, too.  I have a good reason (excuse) though.  I've had my mom staying with me since before the New Year.  I don't know about the rest of you, but I have to keep a routine, otherwise I am completely worthless.

I also have a few quirks that my handsome hubby has grown to tolerate love.  I can't write with someone else in the room. It is hard enough to share office space with Hubs, but to have Mom sitting next to me, telling me the latest gossip about a Latin American "celebrity" (who?!) while I try to be smart and witty, just doesn't work.

Somehow, I have found a way to make a few new items to share with you.   Here is my latest re-invention:

Key Rings for GUYS!
Of course, they aren't just for guys, but I have had a few requests for something less floral/colorful/girlie, and here they are.

What do you think?  Manly enough for you? :)

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