[completed] easy-peasy diy craft show cards

diy craft cards
So I have signed up for a craft show in November. I'm a little nervous about it, but I have a month to prepare. I plan on selling my Aragon bags, some quilts, small zippered pouches and maybe other small items such as matching lanyards. I also plan to have a sign detailing pricing and options for custom quilts and bags to maybe get some commissioned work.

So here are the steps I took to make some easy-peasy DIY craft show cards.

1. Locate a business card template (I used the modern business card template in Pages).
2. Choose cool fonts for your information (I used "fabric" and "always forever" from dafont.com)
3. Print out on pre-punched Avery business card stock.
4. Stamp some fun word on the back of the cards (I used an "enjoy." stamp and black ink).
5. Punch the cards out.
6. Enjoy!

stamped back

[completed] aragon bag, take two

So I decided to make another Aragon bag. I am smitten with this pattern, although I have to admit that it is not the easiest to create! I just love the finished result - the bag has structure but is still pliable, the shape is fabulous, and the creative possibilities involving fabric, color, and pocket options are great.

This one is my homage to Betsy Johnson. I mixed two similar red and pink and black floral prints with brass hardware. I used one print for the main body and exterior pockets and combined it with the busier floral print for the exterior snap pocket, straps, and lining. For this bag, I experimented with using gold rings in the straps. I love that extra touch!

I also used a bright red as my accent color for the interior of the pockets. I love that little pop of extra color with the prints and the brass zippers.
 The back of the bag again features a long zippered pocket. Here you can see the red around the zipper. Love it!

 The lining is the same floral print as the exterior pocket. The inside of the bag features a zippered pocket, a label of mine, and two gathered pockets for phones, pens, etc. All the raw edges of the bag are trimmed with bright green bias tape for an extra fun pop of color.

it stands without support!
I added more interfacing to this version of the bag than I did with my first, and the result is much better. Although my first bag stood on it's own, this bag stands taller and feels more structured. The finished bag is 16 inches wide and 10 inches tall with 13 inch straps. Perfectly sized for carrying, well, anything!

Once again, I love this pattern and the resulting creations, and you'll definitely be seeing more Aragon bags in the future!


[completed] aragon bag and pattern review

While pinterest-ing the other day, I found a new Sew Sweetness bag pattern, the Aragon Bag. I knew instantly that I had to make one. So I did!

finished aragon bag

Although I've admired several of the Sew Sweetness bag patterns, I've never taken the plunge to buy one. But for $9.00, this pattern was mine! I went to Jo-Ann's to get all the necessary materials, and found this great gray cross-hatch fabric. I combined it with a fabulous colorful peacock print on gray (for the lining and the straps) and used hot pink as an accent color. 

side view

I splurged on metal zippers, since they look so much better than plastic zippers and seem more durable. There is a 22inch zipper for the top of the bag, and a 14inch zipper for the zippered pocket on the back. The bag also has gathered pockets on the sides for stashing small-ish items. There was also supposed to be a zippered pocket and gathered pocket inside the bag, but I ran out of fabric. 

the back
The front of the back has a nicely sized pocket with a magnetic snap (my first time installing a snap!). 

the front snap pcoket

Overall, the pattern was easy to follow. I had no trouble figuring out what to do, just how to do it. But there were a multitude of helpful photographs of the tricker steps. My only complaint about the pattern is that I didn't end up with enough fabric for all the pattern pieces. I'm not sure if I cut wrong (there is no cutting diagram) or what, but I would definitely buy extra fabric next time. That aside, I love the end result, and I am so pleased!


[completed] scented sachets, take two

Remember these scented sachets? Well, today I made more! This time, I made them for a care package, for my sister. I used brightly colored felt in fushia, two shades of green and royal blue, and stuffed each sachet with rose-scented potpourri.

ready to be sewn up
I made a total of six sachets, which took me about the length of one (1) Twilight movie. Each sachet has machine-stitched petals and is backed with a cotton print from my stash. One of the sachets was machine-stitched around the edges, but the rest I hand-stitched with either a whipstitch or a blanket stitch. I actually kind of enjoyed the hand-stitching part of the process, which is unusual for me.

pretty scraps
 These will be in a care package with some other goodies, and will hopefully will be well-used!


[life] adam's 26th birthday

adam and his mean balloon

On Friday, Adam turned 26!

the cake

I made this chocolate coconut cake for him, which definitely stretched my baking abilities. I had to do things like temper eggs! Also, baking this cake took approximately all day because so many elements needed to chill at various steps and I needed to toast coconut and stir things for 10-15 minutes, etc etc. I was very afraid that the cake wouldn't be delicious after all that work! And I couldn't taste the completed product until Adam got home from work.

adam tasting the cake
Adam, of course, tasted it first and made a face. I believed him! But no, he was just teasing me, and the cake was delicious. Huzzah!

Adam reports that his birthday was good.


[completed] pigs in mud cake

our finished creation!
While my dear mother-in-law was visiting last week, she suggested that we make a version of this pigs-in-a-mud-barrel cake. So we did!

She made the cakes, trimmed them down so they were flat, frosted them, and assembled the kit-kat barrel around the edges of the cakes.

my mother in law constructed the barrel
While she did all that, I made the pig figures out of delicious marzipan colored with red food dye. This was difficult - I kneaded the marzipan with the food dye and tried to get an even pink color but only achieved streaky red-and-white-and-pink piggies.

I made three piggy butts, one sitting pig figure, and one laying-in-the-mud pig. It took a few tries to get the shapes and cartoon-y realism that I wanted, but fortunately marzipan is a forgiving (albeit very sticky) medium. I used a toothpick to carve out the booty cracks, the smily-face snouts, bellybuttons and the folded ears. I looked at the inspiration photo a lot during this process.

positioning the piggies
Once the piggies met with my and my mother-in-law's approval, I carefully placed the pigs on the muddy cake. And then the cake was done!

proud cake-makers
Adam ended up taking the cake to work. He came back home without any cake! We should be famous around there now! The cake was apparently both hilarious and delicious, which is exactly what we wanted. Even the marzipan pigs were consumed and appreciated.

swimming pigs cake!
That was a fun little project. I'm a little sad that I didn't get to eat the cake or the marzipan (although I consumed a bunch of it while making the pigs), but I'm happy that it was well received at Adam's work!


fabric stack

blue fabric stack

Last night, I decided to play around with my fabrics and pull out a stack. This stack of ten fabrics was the result! I love the colors. I have varying amounts of each of these fabrics, but certainly enough for a project. Maybe a new quilt is in the works? I haven't decided on a pattern, though. I'm not sure what these fabrics are calling for...

Gandalf approved fabrics and book


[completed] embroidered pillow cover

pillow cover!
An embarrassingly long time ago, my younger sister embroidered a semi-original (she stole a little from Shakespeare) poem for our mother. 

my sister's hand-embroidered poem
She used our mother's favorite colors for her bedroom - dark red, light blue, and cream - and sent me the fabric to make a pillow cover. Today, I finished that pillow cover!

hidden zipper closure
I decided to try my hand at a zipper closure. I followed this Design Sponge tutorial (although there are others like it on the world wide web). I had to rip out quite a few stitches because I didn't thoroughly read the entire set of instructions before beginning. Let that be a lesson to you!

I am pretty pleased with the end result. The zipper works and everything.

the back
For the back, I used a subtle dark red polka-dot print, since there was not enough of the blue fabric to make the backing. I like the contrast of the backing against the pale blue of the front fabric.

I cut my fabric 19x19" but I found that to make a loose pillow cover for this 18x18" pillow form, even with a 1/2" seam allowance, so I stitched closer seams to give the pillow cover a closer fit. (This was a good lesson to learn, as I intend to make more pillow covers for my kitchen seat cushions).

kitten approved
This project has the Gandalf seal of approval.

[completed] tea cozy

teapot cozy and pad
For my mother's birthday, my younger sister and I decided to collaborate on a project. She had requested a new teapot and a tea cozy. So I suggested that my sister handpaint a teapot at a local (to her) paint pottery place. Which she did. She was kind enough to measure the teapot for me so that I would be able to make a snug tea cozy. Since she lives so far away, I never got to get my hands on the teapot personally.

I decided I wanted to use tea-themed fabric that would go (or at least not clash) with the color scheme in my mother's kitchen (which is yellow and green). I found this fabulous tea bag fabric on etsy, and promptly snatched up a half-yard. Which then sat in my colorwheel dresser for ages.

I finally sewed up the tea cozy and teapot pad a few weeks ago and mailed them both off. It only took about an hour to whip up both pieces. I followed the directions from a few different online tutorials, and then made the teapot pad using the leftover scraps. I followed a tutorial from V & Co for the heart block, and echo-quilted lines around the heart shape.

I am happy to report that the gifts were well-received - and the tea cozy fits (albeit a touch snugly).

This project had the Gandalf seal of approval.