Tuesday, May 29, 2012

the Bebe dress: pattern review

As soon as Kay Whitt posted a preview of this pattern on her blog, Serendipity Studio, last month, I knew I needed to buy it and make at least one! There are several awesome variations (go ahead and look now! I'll still be here when you get back). Cute, yes? And you get all the sizes in the pattern so I could make the smallest size for my sweet Leigh Anne, one a bit longer for miss Ally and even a, um, slightly larger size for me! Awesome!
 I did in fact order the pattern from Kay's shop the day she made them available (neurotic, I know!) and it arrived very quickly. While Leigh Anne was here she chose fabric for her dress, and today I finished it up!
I think it turned out darling! I followed the pattern exactly and it was easy to follow. The details are great, lots of finishing details, etc. The only thing I had an issue with was the invisible zipper. Mine is, um let's say, NOT invisible! I have tried and tried to do these before and have never been able to get it right. Sigh. I do believe if (WHEN!) I make this pattern again I will use a regular zipper and put it in my own way. I guarantee you it will be more invisible than this one is!

Nonetheless, this is a terrific pattern and I think you all should  make one.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, May 28, 2012

again with the spraypaint

This little telephone bench is older than me (that's old!). My mom & dad bought it before I was born. It was always in our home when I was growing up, with a telephone setting on it (remember the old rotary phones? Attached to the wall? No? You're really young then!). I remember spending many hours curled up on that bench, gossiping with girlfriends, giggling at boys....
 When I was in college (living at home) my mom decided she had had enough of it and she was going to throw it away! No way was I going to let that happen. I took it to my bedroom & made a little cushion for the seat. When I got married, it went with me! That telephone bench has been tucked in a corner of every home I have ever known and I love it.

Well, it has gotten pretty beat up over the years. Lots of scratch marks on the top. So I got out my spraypaint this morning & went to town on it....
 All those spindles were a challenge! Every time I thought I was finished I'd see another spot I had missed.
 Finally it is done! And back in it's corner in my dining room. I think it might need a cushion. And maybe an old fashioned red phone? hmmm....
I hope you are all enjoying a nice long weekend with your family!

Friday, May 25, 2012

giveaway winner!

Thanks to all of you who entered my Sew Mama Sew giveaway! The giveaway is now closed. I had so much fun reading all of your dishwashing stories and hearing what you were eating for dinner. Seriously, a couple of the comments made me laugh out loud! I love the blogging community. During this week I hit 100 followers on my blog and nearly reached 100,000 all time hits! Thanks to all of you for reading it.
Now, on to the winner. I had a total of 265 comments on the giveaway! Random Number Generator chose #250 as the winner. 
#250 was Brandi who said.....if by "wash the dishes" you mean load the dishwasher... i do that. however if dishes get washed by hand it is done by my mother in law because she doesn't believe in waiting on a dishwasher load to finish washing before loading the rest of the dishes into the machine! she's old fashioned like that!
I have emailed Brandi & as soon as I hear from her I will pop her package in the mail. Congratulations Brandi!
So many of you said nice things about my dishcloths, I have decided to stock them in my Etsy shop. Check there in the next couple days and you will be able to order some for yourself. Thanks for all the kind comments. edit: dishcloths now available in my shop!
Have a wonderful long weekend everyone!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

family room finish!

I know what you're thinking! "Oh goodie, another picture of Ellyn's  family room! I can't wait to see what else she's added" Right? No? More like "seriously? again? Doesn't she know we're tired of watching her decorate?" Oh well... this is the last one, I promise. For a while anyways.

The ottoman came yesterday! The first time Steve saw a picture of it on Facebook he called it the "Christmas ottoman". I guess I see that. But, you know what? I love it! So there. It's my very favorite thing in the room & it was worth waiting for.
While Leigh Anne was home she helped me find a rug. I'm not gonna lie, it was harder than I thought. Took two tries in fact. The first rug we brought home looked cream colored in the store, but when we got it here it was, umm, gray. Ick! Back it went. This one works much better

 Over the weekend I made a table runner from some of my leftover red & cream swap blocks for the desks behind the loveseat. Makes it look more like a sofa table I think...
 And there you have it! my family room is finished (ok, I admit, I do have paint swatches laying around.... so maybe the gold walls will go away. Don't worry, I'll consult you all first!)
Don't forget, my Sew Mama Sew giveaway is open until Friday. You can find it here....

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

in my mailbox...

First off, have you entered my giveaway yet? You have until Friday! You can find the giveaway post here...

Now, on to the mailbox post. A couple of weeks ago, I won a giveaway over at Cinderberry Stitches. Natalie agreed to send me a complete set of her The Red Fox embroidery patterns! They are so adorable and well written. Complete with a traceable sheet, an iron on sheet and a color coded sheet. Yesterday they arrived all the way from Australia. I always mean to take a picture of my wonderful packages before I tear into them! Really I do, but then the excitement takes over. You know how that goes, right?
I can't wait to start stitching these adorable patterns! Oh, and the color references she gives are for the COSMO threads, everyone has been talking about these embroidery threads so I think I had better find some and check them out! Don't you think so too?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Giveaway day is here!

update: the giveaway is now closed. Congrats to Brandi, #250, my winner! Thanks to all who played along.

Today is the day we've all been waiting for! It's Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway day!
 If you found your way here from the Sew Mama Sew blog, welcome! I hope you'll come back again soon. If you're a regular ellyn's place visitor/follower/friend, bet you're glad you stopped by today. I'm always happy to have you.

What's that? Get on with it, you say? Oh, right... the giveaway! How's this...
 If you dropped by over the weekend, you saw that I've been crocheting dishcloths. They are yummy 100% cotton yarn, perfect for cheering up your dishwashing duties (and they're green. so if perhaps dishwashing is hubby's job, he won't object to the color, right?). I added in two kitchen towels with a bit of patchwork to make you (or the kids) smile while the dishes are being dried.

I'm pretty sure there will be some other little surprises that will make their way into the package too! And I'll be happy to ship it anywhere in the whole wide world...

All you have to do is leave me a comment on this post by this Friday, May 25. Tell me who does the dishes in your house. Or, what you're cooking for dinner tonight. Or anything you want (you can just say "pick me pick me" no guarantees though). If you want to click "follow" on my sidebar that would be awesome too! It won't help you in the giveaway, but it'll help you find your way back here when the madness is over. I will use the handy dandy random number generator to pick a winner on Saturday... oh, make sure I have a way to contact you. If I pick a no-reply-blogger with no email I'll have to choose someone else. That would be sad!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

instead of sewing...

You might have gathered from my last couple of posts that there wasn't much (ok, any) sewing going on at ellyn's place the last 10 days or so. I was so so lucky to have all of my chicks in the nest over Mother's Day! We had so much fun just being a family. This morning we sent this pretty girl back to her home in Arizona.....
 While Leigh Anne was here, she was staying in my sewing room which converts into a guest room. Nope, she doesn't even have her own bedroom here anymore! But it's ok, she has an apartment that she loves all to herself. Don't feel too sorry for her!

During our down time (you know, watching Nate decorate on TV, chatting the day away) I decided to do some crochet...
 Cotton dishcloths! Nine of them to be precise, from this pattern which I spotted on Pinterest.
It whips up very quickly and turns out so cute! I bought one giant cone of white cotton yarn and three small colored skeins and you can see that I still have some leftover! So there may be another dishcloth to come? Maybe a striped one using all four colors! Who knows.

Today I am back in my sewing room, finishing up something splendid for Sew Mama Sew Giveaway day (it's Monday! are you ready?). Bet you can guess one thing that will be a part of my giveaway?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

I hope your Mother's Day was as happy as mine! These three blessings have had me laughing all weekend long....

Friday, May 11, 2012

fabulous friday... and a giveaway winner!

First thing this morning I popped on my email (like always!) and there was an email from Jenna at Sew Happy Geek letting me know she had featured my giveaway on her blog! Thanks Jenna! Several new folks made their way over here today through her blog. It's always so much fun to welcome new blogging friends. Welcome to all of you!

The next email I read was from Natalie at Cinderberry Stitches telling me that I had won her recent giveaway! It wasn't even 7 AM and already I had 2 bits of wonderful news. You really must go check out both of their awesome blogs.

I have really enjoyed all of your comments on my giveaway post! I wish I had time to make a little bag for each of you, but alas, I do not. So here we go... according to the random number generator, the winner is...

Number 27
Sandra Strickler

Congratulations Sandra! Look for an email from me so I can get your mailing address and pop your prize in the mail.

Don't forget, the Sew Mama Sew giveaway day is coming up on the 21st, so you'll all have another chance to win a prize from me! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

family room transforming

I nearly forgot, I promised you an update on the family room transformation! The newly painted tables were only the beginning. Last week this sofa and loveseat were delivered.....

 I love how my red & brown swap quilt matches them so nicely! The sofa is awesome, it's 102 inches long! Heck, I can stretch out and nap on the loveseat! They really fill up the room nicely. Well, except for the big empty space in the middle. We're still waiting for my favorite piece, the giant ottoman, to arrive. I am looking for an area rug too, just haven't found what I want yet.

This furniture arrangement left about 6 feet open behind the loveseat, between the loveseat and the windows. Here's what we did with that....
Two small desks from Ikea, black to match the tables I painted. Each one has a small drawer for storage. And two upholstered dining chairs from Target. A great spot to sit and do my Bible study in the mornings, or eat a snack! And the chairs add extra seating when we have guests. I'm really happy with the way it's all coming together. Can't wait to show you the ottoman! It should be here in a couple of weeks.

You still have a couple of days to enter my 400th post giveaway! Just leave a comment on this post. I read today that the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway day is coming up in a couple of weeks! I'm plotting what I can give away this year. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

May ticker tape blocks

I just finished up ticker tape blocks 19 and 20! Only four more blocks (2 months) to go. This has been so much fun. Bettepat called this one "baby diaper gold" Haha! Too bad she put that vision in my mind because I kind of like how mine turned out and now every time I look at it that's what I think of!
 And here's my maroon block. Can you see the mistake I made? What I forgot to do?
Did you catch it? All of my other blocks have 2 triangles in one of the corners, but this block is the odd man out. Oh well! I'm not redoing it, so there (rebel!).

Have you entered my 400th post giveaway yet? Hurry! You have until Friday....

Sunday, May 6, 2012

400th post... how about a giveaway?

Who knew when I started this little blog four years ago that 400 posts later I'd still be at it? Certainly not me! And who knew that a simple little accounting of my crafty adventures would lead me to so many wonderful friendships all around the world? This blogging community brings me so much joy! So, in celebration of my 400th post I decided to do a little giveaway!

Today I made another wristlet for someone special (shhhh it's a secret!) and before I knew it, I had made a second one (purely by accident mind you!). Maybe it will be on it's way to you?
 How about I toss in a copy of my Town Square Bag pattern? Would you like that? Go ahead, twist my arm...
 All you have to do is leave me a comment here on this post.... maybe let me know what you're making right now? Or, what you plan to make next? Or anything at all... I don't want to make you work too hard! Where's the fun in that? If you're a follower of my blog (or become one) leave a second comment for another chance. I'll leave the comments open until Friday then I'll choose a winner.

Thanks for being here! You make my day.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

London bags

On Monday, at The Quilt Asylum, I was happily wandering around with a few fat quarters, content to look and not buy a lot (for once!) when Joellen pointed out the awesome London fabric by Makower UK for Andover. Love! So of course I bought some (1/2 yards of 5 different prints) and a bag pattern by Pink Sand Beach designs (the Tahiti bag. I love their patterns, such attention to detail, easy to follow). 
 There was another lady looking at the London fabric too. We started to chat & I knew immediately that she was British. She actually grew up in London! When I told her we are going this summer she told me all kinds of things to see & do. Awesome!

I whipped this bag up yesterday. Actually it took me several hours. There are lots of lovely details, 2 zippers, lots of pockets. I didn't skimp on interfacings either.... used fusible fleece, peltex and sturdy fusible that the pattern called for. I'm so glad I did! This bag is amazing!
 Then, about a half hour after I finished my bag, I was browsing different blogs & I saw this tutorial at Sew Happy Geek. Well yes, of course I need a coordinating wristlet to put inside my London tote for the trip!
I followed Jenna's tutorial pretty closely, using her measurements & step by step directions which were very clear and easy to follow. The changes I made: I put little fabric tabs at both ends of my zipper, just like on the tote bag. It's just a nice little finishing touch. I also boxed the bottom corners of the wristlet.

Now I can't wait to pack these bags up & hop on a plane to London! My countdown chain is getting shorter day by day....

little pouches

When I saw this tutorial I knew I had to make some little patchwork pouches! I have several friends with birthdays this week and next and I thought these would make adorable gifts. I made four. The tutorial was awesome and they went together really well. These 2 came out perfect!
 But this one, well, let's just say it's a little wonky. Totally my fault. 1) I didn't topstitch the patchwork seams which would have stabilized them & helped me to line them up better.
 2) I managed to sew through my finger with the machine needle as I was putting in the zipper! I don't recommend this. It HURT! I did not get a drop of blood on the patchwork (and there was plenty of blood to be had, believe me!) but I'm sure this little activity didn't help my sewing any.

This last one went together pretty well, but when I had it all done I realized I had the little ribbon loop inside out! DUH!
so, two of the four will make lovely birthday gifts, don't you think?