Monday, January 31, 2011

Mommy Monday

So this is what a sleeping toddler looks like.

 As a side note I've really enjoyed reading Under the Sycamore. Ashley not only shows glimpses into an inspirational world, but she also has great tips for photography, even for us point and shoot users. She wrote a tutorial for Lil Blue Boo and I used tip # 6 for the photo below. When I focused on Whirlwind's face versus the snowy background I got two very different pictures. Take a look and learn something new!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Abandoning One Project for Another

I've had a grocery bag full of black and white scraps sitting on my bedroom floor for awhile. God bless my handsome husband for not cursing my overflowing fabric bin!

I had an idea to make black evergreen trees on a white background in a repeating pattern.
Then I made this tree quilt for a wedding gift and now I'm hooked. So I cut out some leaves and even found some solid black fabric for the tree trunk. I pulled out a soft gray fabric for the background....and saw faded spots! No!!!!!!!! I washed it in hopes it was just from storage, but alas, the fade spots stayed.

Not happy.

There goes my idea to make a quilt with only materials I have on hand.

 So while I mourned the death of that idea (for now) I moved on to making a quilt for Whirlwind. She's been quickly outgrowing all the baby blankets that were lovingly gifted to us when she was born. I "accidently" bought too much fabric for baby #2's quilt, so I've decided Whirlwind needs one too, but big enough for a toddler bed. I saw an excellent pattern in a quilt magazine that Santa put in my stocking.

Wish me luck that I can actually finish this one!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Adventures in Printing

I've been collecting interesting shapes from nature lately. Every time I go outside in the farm fields across from my house my eyes are searching for unique shapes that I think might translate into printing. I'm brand new to printing on fabric, so every time I try my hand at it is an experience and an experiment. I was using water soluble ink for block printing, but I couldn't get it to stop bleeding or fading after heat setting. Plus the heat setting was tedious. Perhaps I'll learn more in that arena later on.

So I tried some basic fabric paint that does not require heat setting. It's thicker, but I still like it. Hey, I printed our Christmas cards with finger paints! I'm not picky.

Well I took this scrap fabric and tried some printing with some dried flowers I had on hand.
You may have seen the one on the right before. I used them for our Christmas cards. 

But the ones of the left are new. I love how it looks like a cross from fireworks and stars. 

I also love how each one comes of different. Sometimes I want to create blocks for stamps so I can create uniform designs, but there is something about how organic and original the print is when it comes to using the original material. It goes against my perfectionist nature, but I'm going with the flow. Or at least trying to!

Now what to do with this fabric? I chose a color I didn't really like in case it was a disaster. But it wasn't. So now what? Any ideas?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

More Adventures in Hand Sewing

Of course I couldn't stop after just one craft!
As I made the heart barrette for my daughter and then for the Seamingly Sarah shop I decided to just keep on sewing. I made some heart magnets for the upcoming Valentine's Day. I used some magnets from some broken name badges I had been saving for over a year now. Does that make me a pack rat or a frugal woman?

Then I made three new sea creatures to replace some broken ones from a set I made my daughter (also over a year ago now).

New guys.

Old guys that aren't broken.  

The old set of sea creatures can be found at Purl Bee. I'm not a fan of following directions to a T, so I made mine in different colors and eye balled the shapes. Just be forewarned: make sure the felt sea creature is big enough for the magnet! And expect the Jellyfish to break first. Their dangly legs are prone to tugging and my toddler is none too gentle!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I Couldn't Help Myself - Valentine Craft

I was snowbound last week when a snowstorm brought several inches and some "wintery mix" to our doorstep. Good thing it was a "work from home day!"

So while my now napless daughter gave me a few minutes of alone time I frantically searched through my overflowing bin of fabric to find a sanity saving craft to do. I've been wanting to make a felt heart barrette for about a year now. I whip stitched one up and loved it so much that I made one for the shop too!

Whirlwind* here is modeling the one for the shop by the way. I've given up on trying to hold my arm over my head and wait for the perfect product shot after 100 some odd clicks.

Isn't it cute? I just love it so much. If you don't buy it, I will. =)

*I've decided that Whirlwind will be her blog name, because let's be honest, it describes her. This girl regularly breaks things, even classic long lasting tinker toys made out of real wood. You should see what she does to plastic! And when she gets going things start flying. She is a force of nature to be reckoned with. And I love her all the more!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Shop Make Over

There is a weekly challenge on Etsy to participate in a Shop Make Over. It took me two weeks to complete the uniform photo/shop make over challenge. So I'm a bit behind, but I'm impressed with how much more uniform and pulled together the front page of the Seamingly Sarah shop looks! Hop on over and take a look for yourself. What do you think?

I'll have a variety of small and big projects I've been working on to post later. Stay tuned.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Excuse the Absence

I'm in the midst of focusing on a Seamingly Sarah shop makeover amongst other projects. So bear with me while I spend my spare moments snapping, editting and uploading photos.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Valentine Day Bags!!!

I've been busy at work perfecting some reusable cloth gift bags for the Seamingly Sarah shop. I'm smitten with the burlap like fabric of the off-white bags, but I could be bias. Take a look and tell me which ones you like best, or even what you would do/want differently. I am always open to suggestions and criticisms. I'm a big girl, I can take it.

Monday, January 10, 2011

After Christmas Sales

Have I mentioned how much I love sales? The only thing I love more than not spending money at all (my mother openly calls me tighter than bark to a tree) is seeing how much I saved during a sale.

So I hit up Target and JoAnn's after Christmas to stock up on supplies for next year's Christmas bags. There will even be Hanukkah bags this time! 

I'll admit I feel like I'm taking a gamble on some of these fabrics, but I couldn't resist them. I do believe the pink, red and green dotted one will be a hit though, so I bought extra yardage of that.

Forgive the low lighting/flash photos. Sometimes the only free time I have is at night. That's my life.

The 2010 Christmas bags are on sale at my Seamingly Sarah shop. Stop by and find out how you can save during the after Christmas sales as well.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Check Out This Feature

Ever wanted to find out a little bit more about me? Just check out this Q&A I had with The Art of Craft. Of course, you could just browse through my old blog posts for hours, but perhaps this might be a better use of your time! Enjoy!

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Zoo's Side Show

I had quite the productive weekend over the New Year. Not only did I finish that purple table runner, but I FINALLY made a project I've had in my head for months!!!

I saw similiar toys floating around on the internet (I can't remember exactly where), but when my nesting instinct kicked in for this pregnancy I knew I had to make some. Then I found out some friends of ours are pregnant too. So my in pregnancy haze I made another one as a gift. Is it just the hormones that are making me flippin' crazy excited everytime I hear someone else is pregnant?

I think they're cute and oh so not perfect. Mostly I'm more excited that I finally sat down and made them. I put little jingle bells in them and the giraffes have ribbon tags for along their necks (if you can't tell from the picture). The only weird thing is when you actually pick them up to play with them it is suddenly very evident that they look better in 2-D rather than 3-D. Welcome to the zoo's freakish side show of two legged elephants and giraffes! It's slightly disturbing.

But overall I love them and want to make a million more. Would someone else please get pregnant?!?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Table Runner that Wouldn't Finish

I finally finished this table runner. I posted over a month ago about the origins of this table runner. It was supposed to be a quilt, then I didn't have enough fabric, so it was down sized. Then I didn't have anything quite right for the back. This past weekend I also found out I didn't have enough fabric for the binding. Ugh. Get this thing out of here! So I just sewed it together inside out, flipped it right side out and then top stitched it. Done. Finally.

Now do I give it as a gift to someone? Or try to sell it at the Seamingly Sarah shop?


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Promoting Myself

Etsy may or may not be the only avenue for me to sell products from Seamingly Sarah.

So I got the idea to approach some stores about selling my items on consignment (I'm looking into craft shows as well, but let's face it, I have my 2nd baby coming in March. I'm going to be out of commission for awhile). I know there are pros and cons to almost every approach of selling your handmade goods, but I need to try them out for myself and figure out what works best for me.

But before I approached shop owners I needed to be able to show them my products. That's where Shutterfly came in! A photobook (after waiting for a coupon!) was just the way to go.

I put my shop photos on my Shutterfly account and created a slim, pocket sized, photobook that I can carry with me and whip out (with business cards of course) at a moment's notice.

p.s. - so far no takers, but life is all about trying!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Our Christmas Corner is No More

This is what our house looks like after the Christmas purge:

This is what it looks like 15 minutes later when Handsome Husband is bored and decides to test out our new Christmas present:

To his credit he did wait all weekend to set it up. A big thank you to my parents for a present that will continue to give and shape our family vacations from now on. We are all TOO excited to go camping this summer.

Monday, January 3, 2011

A New Year...

Handsome Husband and I both agree that New Year's Eve is a bit hyped up. We have spent many nights trying to attend parties, throw parties, stay up bleary eyed until midnight and celebrate like teenagers. But alas, I don't think either of us were ever really your typical teenager. We like to go to bed and wake up early. So that is why for the third year now we've especially enjoyed our little family tradition. We go to the local Mexican restaurant (toddler included) and we eat food we don't have to cook off of plates we don't have to clean. We come home and put the toddler to bed and then we follow suit after watching less than stellar tv/movie. No staying up, no watching a ball drop, no noise makers, no confetti. We love it.

Another little tradition we try to do is ask each other what we're looking forward to in the new year. Don't get me started on resolutions. I just don't do them. Handsome Husband on the other hand made a resolution to slow down and think about situations before diving in. I asked him if this meant he would start skiing more slowly. He said "no." I love him.

Well when I started thinking about what I'm looking forward to in the new year it started to come out like a to do list (my most beloved of handicaps) and it went something like this:

get through this pregnancy
finish up some projects at work
make more things for Seamingly Sarah
sell more things on Seamingly Sarah
give birth
work how to be a mom to two
try attending/selling at craft shows

Then I stopped myself when I realized I sounded like a to do list. I narrowed it down and I really feel that what I want to look forward to in the new year is being a mom of two and how I want that to be. I want to make sure I'm in the moment with them, present and engaged, and not going over another to do list. Handsome Husband said "good luck." I still love him in spite of himself.