Tuesday, August 31

Check out the counter, check out the award!

50 subscribers! I'm flabbergasted it came so quickly. Now, the Google Friend connect is still a bit behind. So yes, the first giveaway is coming soon, as soon as the Google counter hits the magic number.

Oh and this very sweet award and shout-out from the Punk Rock Mom were waiting for me when I got home from a not so awesome day at work - Thank you! You are rocking my bloggiverse :)

Here are my recipient duties
Thank the blogger who awarded it to you. (check) 
Reveal 7 things about yourself
Pass it on to deserving fellow bloggers

7 things you didn't know about me :

I'm grateful blogging doesn't involve handwriting, and so should you. Think about the horrible cat scratch you are being spared. 
Twice a year, my kitchen gets transformed in a chocolate and cookies factory (That's for Christmas and Easter). 
1/3 of my closet is occupied by shoes. I think I need a bigger closet. Hubby disagrees. 
Mosquitos on this side of the Atlantic Ocean appear to think I'm a particularly delicious meal. I'm a way more popular dish here than I ever was back in Europe. Exotic food attraction maybe ? 
I love black sweet cherries. My dad has a home movie to prove it's been that way ever since I was 3 or 4 years old. 
I wish my mommy-mobile wasn't an automatic. Driving a Standard is so much more fun. 
This blog is 100% made on a Mac.

And here are the blogs and bloggers I'd like to pass the award to: 

Monday, August 30

Something sweet to start the week

Sunday, August 29

Tutorial - Ruffled headband

 I'm not much of a girly girl. I'm more like a black pants (or jeans) black or solid bold colors t-shirt kinda gal. I even had a goth phase in high school (black everything including hair and nail polish). So it came a bit as a surprise when my little girl turned out to be a ruffles/frills and pretty dresses loving little girl. I'm still resisting the pink tsunami she would rather see in her wardrobe but I caved in for the pretty dresses and ruffles and frills.
Little girls that like frills also like pretty barrettes and hair things. I can do this. 

So for a girly ruffled headband here is what you need: 
- One strip of satin fabric 4"x 1.5 times the measurement of the recipient's head - Longer if you like a more ruffly look
- 3-4 foot of thick yarn/ribbon  Must be at least a couple of inches longer than your fabric
- Elastic band length 
- Matching thread
- Pins
- Sewing machine
- Iron and ironing board
- Something to embellish the headband (optional)

  • Cut your fabric strip
  • Fold in half lengthwise
  • Slip the yarn/ribbon in the fold and stitch the short end making sure to catch the end of the yarn/ribbon in the seam
  • Stitch the long edge (1/4 inch seam allowance) - i.e. into 1 long tube

  • Make sure the yarn/ribbon pokes out at the end of the tube and pull the free end to turn the tube right side out . (I love that trick. It is so much easier to turn the tube right side out and it works for really thin tubes too)

  • Iron the tube making sure the seam is in the center (not the edges) 
  • Measure and cut a piece of elastic band (measurement of the recipient's head  minus 1 inch)

  • Thread the elastic band through the tube and secure it at each end leaving about 1/2 inch of fabric at each end
  • Pull the elastic taut 
  • Pin the elastic every 2 inch to the center seam

  • Stitch the elastic along the center seam while pulling every 2 inch section taut one by one
  • Fold in the non-elastic ends, insert one end of the tub into the other and stitch along 
  • Top stitch each side for a more finished look

  • Optional : Add some embellishment like a fabric flower / rosette 
  • You can find my daisy tutorial here

Update :  This tutorial was featured

Saturday, August 28

Blog award: A Blog with Substance

It started like any other Friday: get up, get ready, coffee and then work. Then I received this little note from Lisa @ Twin Inspiration: 
I was given a blog with substance award, and was allowed to chose 10 other blogs to give one to. I hope you stop by my blog to pick yours up.

Thank you Lisa, that really really made my day!!

On to the award:

The Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who awarded it to you.  (check)
  • Sum up your blogging philosophy, motivation, and experience using 5 words.
  • Pass it on to 10 other people you feel have blogs with real substance.

5 words to sum up my blogging
  • Colorful 
  • Creative
  • Rewarding
  • Learning
  • Sharing

My 10 blog picks (in no particular order) : 
  1. Kimberly @ Bugaboo, Mini Mr & me
  2. MaryAnne @ The Punk Rock mom
  3. Robin @ The T-shirt Diaries
  4. LeeAnn @ View from the Hamster wheel
  5. Amanda @ The Hand Me Down House
  6. Terrell @ Frou Frou Decor
  7. Meg @ A little Knick Knack
  8. Susan & Adrianna @ Crafterhours
  9. Nikki @ Nikki's Nifty Knacks
  10. Karen @ And So I Sew
I felt this was a great occasion to give a shout-out to those wonderful ladies that blog with humor and enthusiasm. 

    Friday, August 27

    A little bug growing up

    There is a big project in my future (near future). My little girl just turned 4. I can hardly believe it. Only yesterday she was a toddler, and the day before that a baby!!

    Time to move out of the tiny nursery with fluffy ducks and bunnies and on to a big girl bedroom with a big girl bed and tons of room for play (and storage for toy).

    The project has been maturing in my head over the past couple of weeks.  What would make her happy ? How to make it girly and cheerful but not a pink explosion ? The answer was right there in front of me. My little bug loves Tinkerbell, flowers, butterflies and ladybugs. Her bedroom will be a meadow in the spring.

    I'm planning to paint at least one big mural with grass, blue skies and white fluffy clouds. And of course flowers, butterflies and ladybugs. I still have to figure out a few details but we are ready to start on the room, starting with the ugly and dirty: some of the wallboard needs to be replaced. Ugh ! The hubs and I are going to empty and gut the room as soon as possible. We will leave wallboard and mud job to someone with a bit more experience to save ourselves a lot of time (and aggravation).

    In the meantime, I got started on the accessories.

    Thursday, August 26

    Social Parade Friday

    To my wonderful visitors

    Welcome and thank you for taking the time to stop by.  I hope you will enjoy the ride through my pages and that you will come back soon !!

    Smart and Trendy Moms

    Giveaway teaser

    The counter is creeping up... I was flabbergasted by the number of feed subscribers too ! You get to preview some of the items I made for the occasion. Soon this could be coming your way:

    Wednesday, August 25

    Photo challenge - Part 1

    I love a good challenge. The Punk Rock Mom is taking photo classes and is asking her friends/followers to take the same assignments as her class in a photo challenge she is hosting. There will be a prize for the best entry which will be picked by her readers. See all the details here.

    Challenge of the week : Perspective
    My problem : I can't decide which photo to enter. What do you think ??

    Tuesday, August 24

    Sweet magnolia

    I was browsing through the blogs I subscribe to and stumbled on this post from Ashley @ Make it and Love it. She published a magnificent picture of a Magnolia. I figured my glue gun would be the tool of choice for this quick project. White and yellow satin, a cardboard template for the petals and 30 minutes later something pretty. 

    I'm thinking about putting it in a shadow box with a couple more and hang it in my bedroom that i've been planning on decorating for quite some time already. 6 years after buying our 35-year old (never updated) house, all the major jobs are finally tackled, time to turn from the utilitarian and try to please the eyes. 

    So here is my first attempt at a fabric magnolia:


    Monday, August 23

    Getting organized

    To my great surprise and delight, I have received a lot of comments on my posts this past 10 days. I've been trying hard to keep up and respond to everyone... and failed. Sorry dear readers. I promise to do better. 
    I am a mom, work a full time job and even though the hubs pitches in, there are all the household chores to be tackled. I don't want to neglect all of these things. But I don't want to let my readers down either. The blogging universe is still very new to me. Time to learn to be better at it. Off to Borders. I bought a book about blogging. Verdict is: I need to be more organized to keep up. I've been working on it little by little over the past 3 days, I made progress. Not only do I have a posting schedule setup, but I also spent quite some time sorting and tidying my crafting and sewing supplies. 

    No before pictures .. too embarrassing.  But here are the after pictures of my fabric stash:

    Fat quarters on the bottom shelf
    Chiffon and brocades on the top left
    Satin on the top right

    Cotton prints by color on the top left and bottom shelf
    Special prints/fabrics on the top right (seasonal, japanese inspiration, wool cloth)

    All the fabrics that are earmarked for special projects are now set in big zipper bags together by project in a separate bin. 
    I also :
    - Sorted my trims and ribbons in plastic bins. 
    - Put elastic, velcro tape, grommets and zippers in plastic zipper bags
    - Gathered all buttons and snaps in one location
    - Sorted glue and paints in a plastic bin trolley with all the paintbrushes, foam and other.

    And since all of my crafting is done from my (walkout) basement and it is also my little bug's playroom, I also organized all the toys.  

    Then the hubby got the power tools out and helped me with my computer mess by drilling a couple of cable management holes through my countertop. He also dug up a wireless keyboard and mouse that I can just put away in a drawer when I don't need them. Much better. 

    Something sweet to start the week

    Sunday, August 22

    Tutorial - Dressy scarf

    Remember those lovely chiffon prints I found in the remnants bin at JoAnn's ? First I paired each print with some satin I had in my stash then with a bit of work they got turned into dressy scarves and here is the how-to: 

    • Trim the chiffon prints to be rectangular and cut a piece of the satin of the same size

    • Pin the two fabrics the right sides facing each other 
    • Hem all the way around leaving a 2-3 inch gap to be able to turn it right side out (1/4 inch seam allowance)
    • Trim the excess fabric in the corners (i.e. clip off little triangle at each corner)

    • Turn the scarf right side out and poke the corners nice and square  (I used a knitting needle)
    • Iron carefully making sure the fold is right at the seam
    • Topstitch all the way around - It helps if you have the special foot for it 

    • Wrap it around your neck and look pretty !

    Here are some pictures of the three finished scarves. 

    Looks like I'm getting ahead for Christmas
    My mom would absolutely love this blue one so I'm putting it aside for her

    The other two are also pretty good don't you think ? 
    I even added some black lace on this last one

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