Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas Purse

Are you tired of hearing about my Christmas sewing? Here's the last post. I made this purse for my friend Lorelei. She likes when I send her my old purses, so I figured I'd be nice and make her one specially. I've improved a great deal in my skillz since I last sewed her a purse. Side note: not only have my sewing skills improved, so have my blogging skills apparently. What was with the spacing? Also, I still have the headband and the shirt I'm wearing in those pictures. You probably didn't click the link until now to see the shirt did you? I knew it. 

It's a modified version of this pattern. I made it square, not rounded, and the bottom is flat like a tote bag so it stands up on it's own. The fabric is fake suede again. I bought tons of it. I like the way the purses turn out, but get nervous I am going to burn it into my expensive iron. I'll be glad when my stock pile of this type of fabric is used up.

Since Lorelei is super cool she has an iPhone so I made her a pocket that hopefully fits an iPhone, I even looked up the measurements.

These are my new tags. I like them. Same font as before but on a fatter tag. Sorry for the blur. I'm still getting used to the different lens for my camera.

Okay, that's all for Christmas handmades. I promise.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Feather Pillow

I finally figured out what to do with my pieced feathers. I did what I originally planned to do, make a pillow. This one went to my other sister in law. She's spunky so I figured she would like something with some pizzaz. 

 I tried to quilt the feathers with silver thread but it kept breaking so I settled for purple thread.

Check out this invisible zipper. The first one I accidentally broke/melted so this one is white. Only the pull showed though so I am quite impressed with myself. I tried to paint it with dark nail polish so it wouldn't show, but that did not work. So alas, the white zipper pull it is.  

Since Danielle lives in Las Vegas and has to travel with all of her presents I just gave this to her unstuffed with a $5 bill inside so she can buy stuffing when she gets home. I'm so dang smart, how does my brain not explode?


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Embroidered Pouches

Merry Christmas peeps! I went into an embroidery kick this holiday season. Here are the two things I embroidered. 

The first is a camera accessories pouch for my brothers girlfriend Jaimie. I bought her some cleaning tools and a few lens leashes (a must have if you ask me) to go inside. I had fun embroidering the camera on the front. Jaimie likes bold colors so it was nice to use colors I wouldn't normally use (orange, neon green).


I wrote "snap" "flash" "click" in cursive thread on it too. I really liked it, and kind of didn't want to give it away. 

Next up was my sister in law. I couldn't think of what to make her, but I kept thinking about pickles. She likes pickles, she even eats them when she runs instead of "eating" Gu. I decided to make her a pickle pouch. Inside are a bunch of things you would need if you were "in a pickle". Doogy poop bags, tylenol, chapstick, toothpicks, a few hair elastics, etc. 

After I sewed "In a pickle?" I felt like the In and a were too close so whenever I look at it I think it says "Ina pickle?" What do you think?

More soon on the Christmas front.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Pistachio Christmas Cookies

I wanted to share my favorite holiday cookie recipe. I make these pistachio chocolate chip cookies at least once during the holidays. They are delicious and the green pistachios give it a holiday color.


  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 package pistachio pudding mix (instant) 
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  1. Heat the oven to 350, and lightly grease a baking sheet. 
  2. Mix butter and sugar together until blended, then add eggs, milk, and vanilla. 
  3. Add flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix a little bit. 
  4. Add the package of pudding mix. Mix more. The flour and pudding mix should be just blended together, in other words, don't over mix the flour.
  5. Add the chocolate chips and mix just a bit more. 
  6. Put spoonful sized balls on the baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes until the bottoms are golden brown. 
  7. Enjoy with a glass of ice cold milk or bring to a holiday party to impress your co-workers with your awesome baking skills. 



Sunday, December 16, 2012

Salt Dough and Wrapping

Charlie must hate Pinterest. I see lots of cool ideas and then force him to help me make them a reality. Last weekends project was salt dough gift tags. 

I used this recipe, but if you google salt dough you can find 100 recipes, mostly all the same ingredients, just of varying quantities. Some say to bake the ornaments/tags, but we let them dry for 2-3 days and they were fine. Baking them would make the tags puffy, and I wanted flat tags. 

Charlie did an excellent job of rolling out the dough, then he pretended to be busy so he wouldn't have to actually make any. He says he has crafting anxiety and I put him under too much pressure. We/I decorated the dough with rubber stamps. After cutting out shapes with cookie cutters and being sure to poke a hole for ribbon/string, we let them dry for 2 days. This wasn't hard because we were both sick and didn't really go in the kitchen very much. 

Once they were dry I painted them. Painting them makes the stamped effect stand out more. 

Then come the fun part; wrapping. In an effort to be eco friendly I primarily used old newspapers from the library as well as some raffia, ribbon and tissue paper (even though I swore to never touch tissue paper again). 

This one is my favorite. I don't have much else to post, because all the things I've been sewing are gifts and I don't want to ruin the surprises like I ruined my breakfast. 


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas Cards

Every year around Thanksgiving I remember that I like making Holiday cards to send to my friends and relatives. Every year thinking of a creative/new idea becomes more challenging. If memory serves me right I talked about this a few years ago. Yep! I did. Pinterest makes this a bit less challenging. The idea for this years card came from Pinterest. Before I show it to though I thought I'd show you the past few years cards. 

2007. To this day this one is still my favorite. Skates and mittens made from paper, blades of the skates are paperclips. My grandmother always e-mails to say thank you for each years card, and then says that this one is still her favorite. She still has it on her bulletin board in the kitchen.

2008. Reindeer thumbprints. I liked doing this one, but the individual painting of each card took a long time, and a lot of space. This was when we still lived in our tiny apartment and I remember cards being strewn everywhere. 

2009. I liked this card too. It was made with paper lunch bags so the back had the opening in it, which is where I put the picture of Charlie and I. This was the last year I used brads (the little star) on cards because I had to pay 20 cents extra for each card since the envelopes were not flat. What a pain.

2010. The next two I cut up to put in a scrapbook so just the main part is saved. This card took a while too. It's made out of four different potato stamps. I love potato stamping, you should try it.

2011. Last years card idea came from Pinterest as well. It's the bottom of a celery stalk.

2012. This years card is made from paint swatches. They were pretty fun to make as well. I always complain about the process but then I have fun making them, and I love to hear from my family that they liked the card.

Here is the picture we included this year. Thank you Jaimie for taking 100 shots of us. Charlie liked it this year because I blamed the bad shots on Penny, not him. And, if you really like us you can read our holiday letter. I'd never done one before, and felt kind of weird writing it because I thought holiday letters were only for people with kids, but it was fun to review the year and think of what was most important. Charlie made me cut out all of the funny parts. He also signed half of them with his full name, like he would sign a check. Jeeze! 


Friday, December 14, 2012

Meteor Shower

Charlie, science nerd, knew there would be a meteor shower last night. He's very into outer space stuff. Remember? We drove to Hebron to a big piece of property that was going to be made into a development, but never got any father than clearing the land and building driveways. Perfect spot for viewing stars and meteor showers. I also brought my camera and a tripod.  After many attempts, a few of which I know meteors went through the area the camera was focused on, I realized that the shutter speed was too slow to catch the streaks of light. Oh well, I got some great shots of the stars. Enjoy!

Newfound Lake and Bridgewater where the lights are.

And us, bundled up. In case you're wondering faux fur hoods are great for keeping warm, but obstruct your peripheral vision when viewing meteor showers.

Have a good day!


Monday, November 26, 2012

Cardboard Christmas Villages

Over the holiday weekend I knew my two cousins would be around, and I decided that it would be fun to do a craft together. Sure beats Black Friday shopping if you ask me. I e-mailed my family members a week or two in advance and requested they save and bring cardboard, cereal box weight, to be used for the crafting. I got inspired by many things; first was Dana's Ghost Town, as well as a dozen or so gingerbread houses on Pinterest, and this Martha Stewart idea.  Here is what we came up with:

Each row of houses is one cereal box unfolded. I drew a rough idea of the house outlines on the cardboard then cut them out before hand. For one I cut the windows out before we started and for the other three I waited. Waiting means you have to cut through a few layers of cardboard and paper. Cutting the windows and doors first meant the houses were a bit more flimsy to work with. I also used another cereal box to make trees to go behind the houses. 

We all went to the movies then came home and started working. Rich was nice enough to let us all work on the floor in the living room next to a roaring fire. He set out a huge piece of cardboard so we would paint, glue and glitter to our hearts content. 
 The houses are painted or were made with scrapbook paper. We decorated each house with paper, paint, glitter paint and or course lots of glitter and snow paint. Then we hot glued the cardboard to a strip of plywood to make them stand upright. I love how they turned out. In the day time they are pretty to look and notice to details. At night, with some electric tea lights or a string of white lights behind them, they are a great silhouette.

This turned out to be a really fun project. Charlie came home from a visit with his friends and said "Wow that turned out way better than I thought it would." He's always underestimating my crafting skillz. The project kept my 10 year old cousin, my aunt, and myself busy and for at least 4 hours if not more. It also kept the rest of the family entertained with watching us. The only trouble was that my back hurt from sitting on the floor for 4+ hours and I still have glitter in my hair from 3 days ago. 

All and all it was a great time. I love sharing my love of crafts with others. We all inspired each other and shared ideas. It was a great time.


P.S. I am officially paying $2.99 a month to continue blogging and uploading pictures. Hope you enjoy these posts people! If I post 4 times that's 74 cents, talk about motivation to blog! 

P.P.S. I spelled "skillz" incorrectly on purpose Dad. I was feeling like a gangsta. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Milkweed Stars

It's no secret that I love milkweed. It's one of the only things I like about fall. I get excited when I go running and see the pods open and the white fuzzy seeds floating everywhere. A few years ago I shared a tutorial for making Milkweed Pod Santa Ornaments

 A few weekends ago when my family was visiting I suckered them into going out to collect pods.

 Fill those bags you suckers! Penny ran around in the field, I took pictures and everyone else did my work for me. Sometimes I wonder why my family likes me. I swear they had fun, I think.

Garrett at least had fun. He posed for these wonderful shots, what a good sport. In case you're wondering he does have guards on his glasses, wouldn't want any milkweed seeds getting in his eyes. Seriously though he wears them all the time. I digress.
 After giving the milkweed adequate time to dry (in other words I was lazy and left it all in a bag for a week) I got my craft on.

All this project entailed was hot gluing five pods together, then gluing dried flowers or berries to the inside of the star to hide all of the glue globs. Then I glued ribbon to the back so I could hang them. totally simple; a baby could do it. (Warning: do not let babies use hot glue guns.)

 The only place I had to hang them was on my purse wall. My milkweed stars kinda snazzy next to all of the beaded glittery purses.

Now that I finally got around to posting about this I think it's too late to collect milkweed pods. Sorry. Store my fabulous idea in your noggins until next year.

We're going to Maine for Thanksgiving so I won't post anything until after then. Hope you have a great holiday.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Snaps from the Weekend

We've been hiking every weekend in November. You're probably bored of hiking pictures. Oh well. I switched things up and use the prime lens I got for Christmas. 

1, 2, 3 over the river. 

We hiked Welch-Dickey. Two 2,000-ish footers in Thornton, NH.

Aside from hiking we went shopping, running, and I've been embroidering while watching Parks and Recreation. Thanks for the recommendation Natalie! 

 Hope you had a good weekend too!


Friday, November 16, 2012

Life Updates: Ugly Hat Edition

I am totally in love, head over heals in love, with "Call the Midwife." I've been trying to restrain myself and watch only one episode then waiting a few days. This goes against every scrap of American nature I've grown to embrace since Netflix invented instant streaming for the ipad.

This sweater is taking me forever.

Sandlot reference anyone? I have started over 3 times, and ripped out thousands of stitches and am still only on the first sleeve. I am taking a break and waiting until mom Mum can help me over Thanksgiving break.

I hate cooking. That's not news to you is it? If so you must not know me well. I hate cooking so much that I have started to not even like eating. I obviously still do, as is apparent by my weight. If I wouldn't get all cranky pants and probably kill someone I would just skip eating in most cases. Can't someone invent a pill I can take that would replace the need for me to eat? It's 2012, let's get on this.

Do you ever feel like you wish you were either smarter or dumber. I see a lot of things around me that should be changed, and have a lot of great (to me) ideas, but I don't have the brain power to execute these ideas. If only I were smarter and could figure out how to make my ideas a reality, or dumber so I didn't have ideas in the first place. Having a solidly average (self diagnosed, no proof) IQ can be so exhausting sometimes. Also, being a prissy know it all who can be doubly as exhausting.

I finished my last ornament today.

It's Friday. For reals, look at a calendar. Woot! It's Friday but it's not Thanksgiving yet. I wish it was. I am already 1/15 packed, which means my crafting supplies are packed.

Charlie and I bought season passes to Ragged Mountain. We have been skiing at Cannon for the last two years, but the Student discount Charlie was getting is over now that he went and graduated. It's also farther from our house and we'd feel bad leaving Penny home alone for that long on the weekends. I just need to invest in a coat that looks like everyone else's and a face mask so none of the kids I work with will recognize me there. I wouldn't look too obvious in this would I?

Speaking of winter wear. Every winter I pull out my homemade hat and Charlie says he won't go anywhere with me if I wear it. I knit it before I learned how to knit in the round so it's just a large piece of knit knitness folded in half and sewn up the sides. I used to wear it all the time in high school. Today he said he would let me continue wearing it if I wrote a blog post about it. That happened after he ripped it off of my head while we were going outside to walk Penny. He purposely lets me get way ahead of them and then crosses the street so he won't be associated with me. Then he said wearing the hat would be comparable to him having a picture he drew in 5th grade on his desk at work. I see no comparison  What's wrong with wearing a silly hat that gives you joy? What's wrong with being proud of how far you have come in your "talents"? (I use the world loosely here.)

On second thought, who needs a panda mask when I can just do this.

Guess I'll be skiing alone a lot.

Did you ever think to yourself in college "Oh boy I can't wait to be 26 so I can write stupid blog posts on a Friday night instead of ragging with my friends." Yeah, me either. I did spent a lot of Friday nights stuck on a coach bus watching "Remember the Titans" and other movies that my teammates had on VHS. I say teammates because I was a division 1 athlete. Was.

My friend told me she liked the first post I did like this one so I decided to do another one. If nothing else it give me some good laughs on a Friday night.

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