completed: printed magnet

sweet alphabetic magnets, right?

Today, while at Wal-Mart, I picked up a pack of Avery magnetic printer sheets for $4.00 on a whim. I took a pretty picture of Adam and myself and printed it out on one of the sheets. Here it is on the fridge - pretty nice, right? I edited the photo and added the text using PicMonkey, which is a pretty awesome website. I wish the photo hadn't cut off the bottom of "est. 2011", but that's okay.
I love my new magnet!

awesome poses

completed: painted coasters

two-dollar paint pens

Today, while shopping at Wal-Mart, I found paint pens in the clearance section. I had seen painted coasters around on the Internet, so I picked up one of each of the three available colors with that project in mind. Just now I pulled my stash of cork board (available at Lowe's) out of my craft storage box, and got to drawing with paint. It was fun!
I have plans to make all sorts of painted coasters now! I just need better colors of paint...

painted coasters


completed: bow bag

new little bag

Today, while browsing One Pretty Thing, I found a link to a tutorial of a little zippered bow bag on Prudent Baby. I decided then and there that I would make one. I wanted a quick little project, and this was perfect!
The tutorial was super clear and easy to follow. The pattern calls for a half-yard of exterior fabric and a quarter-yard of interior fabric, but I only had a quarter-yard of exterior fabric and a fat quarter for interior fabric. I made it work, though - I just made the bow out of the interior fabric. I also used contrast stitching rather than using matching thread.
I like the changes that I made - I think the bag is more dynamic this way. I also used a teal zipper to add an extra punch of color.
Overall, I'm very pleased!

complementary colored zipper and matching lining

april showers...

... bring almost-May flowers

Today it is raining. Tomorrow it will also be raining. While the rain is good for my productivity (I am not so tempted to go sit outside and paint my nails, for example), it is not so good for my mood.
I have about a million pages of academic papers to write, and about a million things I would rather do than write stupid academic papers.
But such is the life of a graduate student.


craft room

my wall of creations
Today, at my husband's request, I cleaned my craft room. It's official, people: I never need to buy fabric again. Ever. Ever ever ever.
But I probably will!
I love that room. It's dominated by a large black lounge chair, which is Adam's, and a large black bookcase, which holds most of my crafting books and magazines, along with a silver fairy and "wish" sign (both of which were at our wedding). There are two big windows, and two low rocking chairs (kindly provided by my mother) underneath the windows. Those chairs are perfect for cross-stitching. My sewing desk sits in the corner, and is honestly my least-favorite part of the room. I love that it's white and multi-leveled, but it's just too small for quilting! Which is why my sewing machine is currently in my dining room on my awesome and massive black table.
I am going to move back into my sewing room - as much as I like sewing in the same room as Adam and his ubiquitous computer, I miss my little sewing room! And I especially miss all the sun that room gets. And I would like my dining table to be nice and clean again.
I spent some time today decorating the craft room - I hung up pictures of the self-esteem groups I ran at my practicum (which I obviously cannot share here) and the silhouette I made of Adam ages ago (above). (I also arranged the mother's day gifts that Adam and I will be sending out this year - so if you are one of my lovely mothers, get excited!)
I like the decorations on the walls of the sewing room - I also have two printable posters hanging on one of the walls above my desk. By the door and above a small bookcase, I have the beautiful set of photos and poem that my mother made/wrote for me. I see it every time I leave the room, and it reminds me of her and of my marriage. Another one of her photos hangs on the opposite wall, so I see it every time I enter the room.
This all makes it sound like the walls are cluttered with decorations, but I assure you the room still feels spacious and open (or as much as possible with a giant chair in a small room!).
The room overall feels comfortable and very me. I hope my description of my craft room gives you a little insight into all that is me, and gives you an idea of the environment in which I like to create.

thank-you bag feedback

Happily, the recipient of my second, zippered thank-you bag loved it! And now she has asked me to create bigger tote bags for herself and a friend for the summer. I am happily obliging, and I am super excited to create someone else's vision. I just hope I can live up to expectations!


completed: thank-you bag, take two

looks familiar, right?

but it has a recessed zipper!

this is a sweet shirt, right?

 I know I made a thank-you bag already, but after some thought, I just wasn't happy with the fact that the bag had no closure. For a busy woman on the go, I really prefer a zippered bag. So I sat and thought about how to add a recessed zipper while maintaining the same bag design. I've done recessed zippers on tote bags before, but it was trickier on this bag because the top of the bag is curved.
  I'm not a very 3D thinker, so making bags can be difficult for me, but I managed to figure it out! I only had to rip out a few seams...
  I am super happy that I made another bag and made it fit the vision I had. I'm not sure what to do with the first one (it's still lovely!) - anyone want it?


completed: thank-you bag

the bag
 A few days ago, I decided I wanted to make a thank-you gift for my supervisor at my practicum, because she's been awesome. After consultation with my mother and some thought, I decided to make my supervisor a nice little everyday bag.
I've made tote bags before, but never a real purse, so I scoured the internet for some inspiration (and maybe a tutorial). I found quite a few things, but settled on the Penelope Tote Pattern (although I really don't think it's much of a tote, but I digress).
I bought some pretty patterned duck cotton and some plain black canvas for the exterior, and some even prettier floral fabric for the interior. I made the straps out of the black canvas, and I made slip pockets inside the bag.
This bag took awhile because a) my scissors are terrible and b) I've never pleated anything before or c) ever made a dart. But I persevered, and after some googling on how to make pleats and darts, I successfully made the bag! I'm very pleased.
Hopefully my supervisor will like it, but she won't be getting it until next week.


fun with spray paint

t-rex prints

first coat

for plastics!

all yellow!

Today I did not feel well. While in Wal-Mart to get some meds, I decided to check the toy section to see if I could find any plastic animal figurines. I've seen spray-painted animals around on Etsy (usually around $30), and it seemed like a good idea to try and make my own. Crafting always makes me feel better.
I found a T-Rex for a dollar in the toy section, and picked up some bright yellow spray paint (the kind especially made to apply to plastics, since I wasn't sure the spray paint we had would work). It took quite a few coats to cover up the ugly green the dinosaur was originally.
For a grand total of $6 (plus left-over spray paint), I now have a yellow T-Rex! He will live in my sewing room with the silver stegosaurous I am going to spray paint next.


happy easter

completed: floral pinwheels quilt

About a week ago, I finished the floral pinwheels quilt, but due to the rainy weather, I never got any pictures taken of the completed quilt. So today, I took it out into the sun and snapped a few shots so that I could finally blog about it.
The quilt finished at a square 57 x 57 inches. (According to the pattern, it was supposed to be 60 x 60, and I'm not quite sure what happened to those extra inches!).
The front is a set of nine pinwheels with a scrappy border.
The back was Adam's idea - a giant pinwheel utilizing the leftover yellow floral print fabric featured on the front of the quilt and also incorporating some white-and-pink floral print flannel. The giant pinwheel was a nightmare to create, but it looks (and feels) awesome now that it is completed.
I quilted around each pinwheel with a tight zig-zag stitch, and also quilted over each seam to add extra strength to the quilt. I did loop-de-loop free motion quilting in the border.
We ran out of spray-baste while basting this quilt, so the bottom two layers were lightly spray-basted and the top was pinned on. It worked out alright, but there are a few puckers that I could live without. I used medium-loft batting (as opposed to my usual low-loft) to give the quilt a little extra oomph.
closeup of the quilting
Overall, I'm pretty happy with the quilt. It will be gifted to someone special pretty soon!