Saturday, November 27, 2010

I'm a Lucky Gal

I have a lot to be thankful for this year. I am especially thankful to be home for Thanksgiving among family and friends. It feels so good to come home :) Dusty and I also were successful in looking for apartments in Philadelphia this weekend and I am STOKED to announce that I will be teaching classes at Spool on South St. in Philly. I stopped by yesterday and met with the owners, Laura and Craig. They also own Loop, a delightful knitting/yarn shop next door. I picked up two skeins of lovely Blue Sky wool and alpaca yarn.

christmas gift makings :)

{diy update}
Inspired by my Built by Wendy dress class I have been trying my hand at garments. I talked a few posts back, about revamping a moo moo I found at a thrift store- I'll save you the painful photos of how that turned out. It's amazing that I was able to make a moo moo look scandalous... guess my measurements on the side seams was a little off... So, I thought I'd try a simple skirt. I found some lovely printed chiffon (which was rather difficult to work with) on an incredible sale. It's a little big, but with a few tweaks it should be rockin'. 

the skirt has a pretty pink lining and sweet little military buttons

{new product sneak peek}
Handcrafted leather handles by Champlain Leather in Burlington are now available! They are SO effing lovely!!!! I was so excited I whipped up a bag for me, yes FOR ME! I used some fabric from the newest line by Echino. Will be available on Etsy soon!

pretty fantastic right?!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Saying Goodbye to Vermont

Today I went into Burlington and sat on the pier looking out onto the lake. The wind was freezing and the lake was choppy. At first I was just killing time, I had put tons of change in the meter and didn't want to head home yet. But as I sat there with my mind rushing,  I realized that I was trying to make the moment stick. It was as if I wanted to keep that picture of the mountains and lake in my mind forever. A mental snapshot summing up our time in Vermont. It's sad in a way but I also know that this isn't the place for us. So I sat there, as my feet and thighs burned in the cold, willing myself to feel a sense of balance. There has been so much change in my life and not just recently- there's always been tons of change in my life. And as resistant to it as I am, I think it's also comforting in way because it's what I know.

So as my living room is strewn with empty boxes, and as I dismantle another "home" in preparation of yet another move- I need to CHILL. I made myself sit there this afternoon, staring at the most beautiful lake I've ever seen until I accepted that our move wasn't a failure and that we're going to make it- that everything will work out.

I just always have that feeling like I'm waiting... waiting for my "real" life to begin. I think I'd better go ahead and start that life before I'm eighty and feeling like I've somehow misspent my life. So, as scared and excited as I am for our move to Philadelphia: finding an apartment, finding a job (and not just any job- a job I will love going to everyday)- I'm just going to go for it. Even if we end up pimping Dusty out for grocery money... :)

It's not that I don't think there were good things that came of our time up north I mean, while it was scary to not have full time work and to rely on freelance work and handbag sales- I had time to do things I've always wanted to do like, upholstery and sewing garments. I've even had more time to develop my handbag designs. I was able to teach sewing classes for the first time and I made a great friend in the process. VT was also good for Dusty. He gained confidence in his design and woodworking skills and realized that perhaps he is ready to do it for a living. In fact, he has an interview with a very famous woodworking shop in PA and I couldn't be more proud of him. It's just hard to move again and that's what this post is about. thanks.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Clutch That Vermont! {and a photo update}

This past Sunday I taught my second clutch class at Nido! Despite being nervous about having a full class, it went really well!! We had a blast and some students even sent me a picture of their finished totes! Julianne posted a pic on our FB page- and check out Jessica's post on her blog, Jessica Domestica- which is super pretty! 

{photo update}

saturday: free beer tasting at Magic Hat

then a quick hike up to the gorge!

it's crazy that 15 minutes up the road they have snow on the ground

{good eats}

stuffed winter squash with maple syrup, apples, cinnamon and walnuts.. YUM

Roast chicken stuffed with lemon and bay leaves {the secret is in the brine!}

breakfast of champions! Grilled pb with pear and banana on homemade bread with fruit salad

{etsy update}

Just listed a bunch of adorable and affordable stocking stuffers- check them out!

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Very Etsy Christmas | Week Two

Yes, we're one week closer to Christmas and have one week less to shop. I love the items on this week's gift guide- I guess I'm in the mood for tea this morning?! There is only one really expensive item but I ADORE everything from this shop! I realized I need to have some manfriend gifts as well and I don't know what it is about a leather cuff/bracelet on a man, but I think it is so hawt!  These cuffs are super affordable too. As for the pet hat... I have no words. I just know someone out there probably needs one, haha.

1. Fabulous coat from Little Houses
2. Sweet little knit bear by XMoonBloom
3. Customizable knit tea cozy from Knit Storm
4. Sexy leather cuff (unisex) by Martin1206
5. Monster pet hat from XMoonBloom
6. Fantastic knitting mug from Circa Ceramics

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Rainy Day Blues

Thank goodness it is sunny outside today. For the past week it has been cold, dreary, rainy and gray.  You'd think I wouldn't mind working inside when it's so gross outside but I actually feel less like being crafty. I love to walk the dog in the morning, get a healthy dose of vitamin D and go inside refreshed, invigorated and ready to make things.  And by things I don't mean baked goods, which is another thing I crave when it's cold and dull outside. I'm not saying I don't enjoy baking or even eating baked goods but I'm seriously packing on the pounds. Especially since we live on a road that's way too dangerous to run or walk on, we're an hour from any gym with classes, and I'm not motivated enough to exercise in the living room by myself. Anyhoo, I did indulge my sweet tooth a few days ago and made brownies from scratch. The recipe was super easy and the brownies are delightful!  Grab the recipe here and try them out for yourself :D


with the upcoming move, looking for jobs and constant rain I've been a little stressed-
this tea is amazing!

honey that our friend Vicco 'harvested'? from his bees

lovely earrings my friend Sarah sent me to incorporate in a barely bag!
{thank you}

embracing the vt cold- a little wool hipster jacket for Gristle

ps. We were in Nido yesterday in Burlington and a woman stopped and asked where I got his jacket. I said I made it and she asked if I would make one for her dog, Remy. She bought fabric right then and there and gave it to me to take home! Crazy huh? Later a homeless man shouted at us- saying that he knew Gristle was from the movies... Wishbone perhaps?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

New Bags and Gift Certificates Available!!

After being completely burnt out for almost week I'm back at it- I wonder if that's how it works? Work like a mad woman and then rest. Maybe I could just get the hang of working at a steady pace... I do know that I'm excited at the prospect of working a regular 9-5 again. For those of you who don't know, Dusty and I are planning our move back south. I actually just put in my first resume yesterday. We've settled on Philly. It seems like a perfect choice, we have tons of friends there, we'd be 1.5 hours from our families... and we love it there! The only thing I'm dreading is moving again... ugh! All that packing.. and UNpacking! Such is life.

ANYWAY, check out my new bags on Etsy. I just love them! Annnnd, gift certificates are now available in $10, $25 and $50 amounts. Perfect gifts for birthdays or the holidays.
bits of fabric and paper sewn to recycled card stock

card exterior.. I'm obsessed with hand stamping!! (I blame Phiona :)


matching envelope 

A holiday-ready clutch:

lovely tartan taffeta... ahh tartan taffeta :)

amazing vintage rhinestone brooch

magnetic snap with soft felt lining

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Very Etsy Christmas | Week One

There are SEVEN weeks until Christmas!!??!! How did that happen?? I don't know about you but the holiday season has really crept up on me this year. I went on Etsy to book some showcase spots and guess what, they're all booked! SOOO, I thought I'd do some promoting of my own. Each Monday for the next seven weeks I'll be featuring different gift-ready items from Etsy shops. I'll try to keep them all budget friendly, cause everyone knows money will inevitably be tight... what do you think? Is this helpful? Do you have a great gift item that you'd like to promote? Leave me a comment with a link and I'll throw it in my barely showcase! Happy shopping :D

1. ADORABLE paper ornament from Paper Lady
2. Lovely decorative pillow from Three Red Apples
3. Hand printed table runner by Flower Press
4. Hysterical Christmas cards handprinted by Chocolate Cake and Beer
5. Beautiful bracelet handcrafted by Marci Accessori
6. The sweetest little baby shoes from Fiesta Kids Boutique
7. Who is buying this wrap for me? from Tickled Pink Knits
8. Charming little owl great for a kid OR an adult! by Bits and Pieces

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Upholstery? Yes Please!

Yesterday I took an upholstery class and it ROCKED! I had a blast! I was a little worried my ottoman was too simplistic and that I wouldn't get to learn as many tricks, but the instructor, Rick was awesome and even helped me incorporate a decorative edging to my piece! I think everyone will agree that in it's original state, this ottoman was pretty sad looking... I'm hoping I can find another cool piece of furniture {hopefully a piece that isn't too expensive!} for next weekend's class.

Upholstered Ottoman Project
dingy and gross

Upholstered Ottoman Project
removing the legs

Upholstered Ottoman Project
a cool place right down the road where I got a new piece of foam 

Upholstered Ottoman Project
the new foam, pretty hot right?

Upholstered Ottoman Project
trimming the excess cotton

Upholstered Ottoman Project
an additional layer of foam and sassy fabric

Upholstered Ottoman Project
my tacks were lost on the print so Rick suggested adding a black edging
that allowed me to learn a technique using tack strip

Upholstered Ottoman Project
my oh so lovely tacks!

Upholstered Ottoman Project
black enamel for the legs 

Upholstered Ottoman Project
Dusty as my camera man 

Upholstered Ottoman Project
the finished ottoman!!

Upholstered Ottoman Project
I am SO happy with how it turned out!

Upholstered Ottoman Project
pleased as punch!

Upholstered Ottoman Project
and yeah, Gristle digs his new ottoman too..

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Tidy Up Your Plastic Bags Tutorial

Usually I try to remember to take my reusable shopping bags with me when I go shopping but inevitably I forget once in awhile and I'll end up with some plastic bags. Up until yesterday I'd been shoving bags wherever, in a drawer, a cabinet, behind the cookbooks... it was pretty sad. So I whipped up this SUPER easy, fast and cheap bag to hold them all.

Materials: 1 fat quarter (these are like $1 at JoAnns), one piece of .5" or .75" elastic (about 6 inches long)- again, this is sold for about $0.50 a yard, scissors, pinking shears (optional), an iron, pins (optional), thread

*You can also do this by hand! I'm not a huge fan of hand sewing but this project is to so small it wouldn't take long at all :D

Cutting Out the Main Piece:
1. Lay fat quarter out lengthwise, right side up. 
2. Take the left edge and fold in towards the middle about 8" or so 
(this will be the main body of the bag)

3. Cut fabric along edge of "main body"

The Handle:
1. Lay main piece aside for later
2. Cut extra strip in half- discard one

3. Fold handle strip lengthwise with right sides together

4. Stitch raw edges together using a .75" seam allowance

5. Turn strip right side out

6. Press handle with seam centered and facing up

Optional: Use pinking shears to snip each end

Top Hem of Bag:

1. Fold the top edge of your bag (shown with top at bottom) over 1/4" or so
2. Repeat to hide raw edge

3. Stitch top hem using a 1/4" seam allowance

Sew Bag Together:
1. Fold bag in half length wise with right sides facing together 
(top hem should be at the top and raw edges to the right)
2. Stitch along raw edges using a 1/4" seam allowance

3. Lay out on ironing board and center seam in the middle

4. Press seam open flat

Optional: Cut edges with pinking shears- be careful not to cut stitches!

5. Press seam open again for good measure :)

Making the Bottom Casing:
1. Fit the bottom edge on the bag on the narrown end of your ironing board
(wrong side up)
2. Fold raw edge up 1/4" and press
3. Fold edge up again 1/2" and press

4. Sew as close as you can to the edge (top) of the casing
(it might help to remove the free arm of the sewing machine so you can fit it right on)

5. Leave an inch or sew to fee the elastic through
Add the Elastic:
1. Attach a safety pin to the end of your elastic to help fee it through the casing

2. Pull both ends of the elastic until desired 'scrunch' is achieved

3. Stitch and backstitch over both pieces of elastic several times
4. Trim excess

Optional: Stitch casing closed- honestly, for the purposes of the bag- you can skip this part

Attach the Handle:
1. Flip bag over so top hem is ready to be stitched (wrong side facing up)
2. Stitch handle (wrong side up) to top hem of bag

3. Repeat for other end of handle

3. You may want to zig zag or topstitch the right side of your top hem so handle hangs straight

Ta da! You could also embellish these with ruffles or buttons or flowers. 
They would make great Christmas gifts too!
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