Saturday, March 27, 2010


Don't you just love these earrings???? I adore them! They were a surprise from happyasaclam and I feel quite like that happy little clam wearing them right now! They are beautiful! Does she know me, or what?! Please, if you have not already, stop by her shop and check out her beautiful designs. The craftsmanship is excellent. They would make a great gift - for yourself ;) Thank you, Ketti! LOVE them!

I made this tunic recently with this sweet dot fabric I found on sale at Sew, Mama, Sew!
The pattern can be found here. You all know how I love Sew Serendipity patterns. This one is from the Juliet Tunic. I used sleeves from my latest sewing book . . . photos and projects to come later.
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Monday, March 22, 2010

SALE! is discontinuing its fabric selection and has major mark downs on beautiful fabrics. I ordered 10 total yards of the cotton supreme solids (pictured) plus some peacock ribbon. All for just $23. Look how beautiful the colors are! And the fabric feels just beautiful! This is a real bargain. I just got these in the mail today and am so happy with them that I ordered a bit more today. You have to build your stash when the price is right, right? Well, if you are interested there are still a lot of colors and prints and canvas options left.
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Spreadable Strawberries

Well, I made my first successful batch of home canned goods all by myself. I went with strawberries, they are my favorite food. I have had a hard time finding a canning pot with a rack in a decent price range. I'm told it is not the season for it. So, I sat with my head in one hand, the basic canning kit my mother-in-law got me for Christmas in the other, feeling a bit discouraged. Then I had this great idea! I have a multi pot (if you don't have one I highly recommend them!) and it has a really deep sitting pasta insert that could easily be used as a rack. Well, it was a bit space constrained for anything larger than these tiny 4 oz. jars. But, I had already bought them, as Adam and I have thrown away so many jars of homemade jelly that was only half eaten because it goes bad before just the two of us can conquer it. I found that it held 5 jars just right. Until I find a better canning pot, this is working swimmingly.
Does anyone have any suggestions? I'd love to hear. And any cool canning experiences, recipes, or advice you have. I'm just getting started with this domestic self-sufficiency.

This recipe is found here on, and I follow it with the canning instructions. I doubled the recipe and got these twelve 4 oz. jars and a little extra that we ate right away.


Makes 1 3/4 cups

  • 1 quart hulled strawberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


  1. In a food processor, process strawberries until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a large skillet and stir in sugar and lemon juice. Cook over medium-high, stirring frequently, until jam is thickened and bubbles completely cover surface, 9 to 10 minutes.
  2. Transfer jam into prepared jars (they need to have been sterilized by boiling them and still warm). Leave about 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles if necessary. Wipe rim. Have prepared the sterilized and still warm lids and bands. Center lid onto the jar and screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.
  3. Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars and let cool for 24 hours, and store.

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Panel Napkins

Have you ever noticed those cute book panel fabric prints? I have seen a few and wondered what else I could do with them. My mother's birthday was approaching and I walked the aisles of the quilter's shop looking for inspiration when I noticed a bunch of lovely Beatrix Potter fabrics. My mother loves her stories and artwork. Well, I thought about a few different things I could make, but I needed something that wouldn't take too long because her birthday was just a few days away. These are what I came up with.

I made her these Beatrix Potter napkins. I bought one yard of fabric which completed the panel, there were 12 different scenes from the Beatrix Potter books measuring about 11 x 11. I also bought 1 yard of coordinating Beatrix Potter fabric for the back of the napkins. I layered the 2 fabrics on top of each other, wrong sides together, and cut out each scene with my rotary cutter and set them aside. I also bought 1/2 yard of tiny floral printed fabric for a decorative binding. I cut them into 2" wide strips and made the bias tape. I then proceeded to frame each napkin with the binding. Easy as pie!

What do you do with these adorable and unique prints?
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Friday, March 19, 2010

Loving Amy Butler's Love

I finished this dress a while back but I haven't been able to wear it because of the cold and rainy winter we've had. But spring is approaching and its time to whip this baby out!
I bought this fabric from Amy Butler's Love line and thought it would make such a lovely Easter dress. I pulled apart an old dress that has been traveling around with me for 3 years unworn. I made pattern pieces from each piece and came up with this dress. I somehow lucked out and did not have to use a zipper!

The dress is 3 pieces: 1 solid piece for the back and 2 for the front. To make room for my size b's I made the empire waist with two tucks or folds. This helped give it form, and made room so that I could skipp out on the zipper.

I'm working on a top right now that has this dress' same basic form.

The Juliet Tunic
Here it is.

To add sleeves, just use a sleeve pattern from another pattern. With this dress I needed to make my own sleeves because I did not have a pattern I could use. I wanted to do a tutorial on how to draft your own sleeve pattern but, honestly, I do not remember how I did it! A little bit of luck, some tape measure, and mostly just going for it and hoping it turns out wearable!
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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cherry Blossoms and Goldfinches Triptych

I got a commission to do a cherry blossom and goldfinch triptych based on a similar watercolor painting from my etsy shop. The client, happyasaclam, has her own shop where she uses recycled sterling silver, among other things, to design and create beautiful jewelry. You should definitely take a look at her shop. Each piece is unique and sophisticated.

Last night, at 3:30 am I could not sleep because I had all these ideas for the painting and I just had to work on it. By 8:30 I was happy with what I had done, and could declare it complete. :)
I wanted to share the finished product with you all. They're each 11 x 14 and will be framed above her bed, individually.

Above is a picture showing you how each connects to each other.

I must say that the pictures really flatten out the color, and I believe they look a lot better in real life. The cherry blossoms are based on photos I took of the cherry trees in the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris.
I hope she, and you, enjoys them!
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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Homemade Book Plates

I found this really great blog: The Graphics Fairy.
It is a blog dedicated to providing beautiful, vintage, free clip art with ideas for using them. There are so many images that I love. One in particular was a set of vintage images that she made into bookplates. Which I used above. I bought label paper from Online Labels. This is a great site where you can buy MANY different types and sizes of label paper, and in a variety of colors. It is also great because you can buy them in bulk, or just buy exactly as many as you need. I used a piece of light blue label paper, the label being the entire sheet so I could cut them according to their different sizes. I wrote in my email address and name with a pen.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Baby Birthday

We celebrated my daughter's first birthday over the weekend. I did two tiny crafty-ish things for her party that I thought I'd share.

She has a stuffed bear that she's had since she was 4 months old, from our camping trip in Yellowstone. She loves this bear. Sleeps with it, talks to it, snuggles it. It's her lovey. I made her a little bear cake for her party by baking a cake in two 9-inch pans and cutting the snout and ears out of one of the rounds and frosting them onto the other round. I realize there are much better bear cakes out there, but this was my little attempt.

I also made a photo banner for a decoration. I took pictures of her from the day she was born and one for each month of her first twelve months and sewed them all together with a zig-zag stitch, leaving 3-4 inches in between each one. I made two strands, since they wouldn't all fit into one in the space I wanted to use. It was really simple and cute and easy and a nice way for guests to see how she's grown in the past year.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Making your own stamp - **Update

Kallan came over the other day and, so generously, with all of these supplies to show me how to make your own stamp! I couldn't believe she did that for me! She got me started on this stamp and I have to say it was SOO fun! All sorts of ideas were coming as we made this: making your own stamp to print your own fabric with was my favorite. I have wanted to make my own printed fabric for a while and learning this was the shot in the arm that relationship needed!! ;)

thanks kallan

this was so easy, I think all of you scrapbookers out there should give this a try.
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Monday, March 1, 2010

Candied Pecans

I've tried a few recipes for candied pecans and this one is my favorite. They come out nice and shiny and the sugar isn't too overpowering. Put them on salads, ice cream, or just eat them plain! Make one batch and you can snack on them for the next two weeks.

2 1/2 cups pecan halves
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 cup granulated sugar (I usually use less because they lose their pecan flavor)
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract
candy thermometer (optional)
wax paper

Mix pecans and oil and spread out on a baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes at 300 degrees. The pecans need to be cool before you can do anything with them. In a saucepan, stir sugar, cinnamon, salt, and water over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Using a candy thermometer or the Soft Ball Test to boil the mixture to 236 degrees. Then turn off the heat, stir in the vanilla, and stir in the pecans until well coated. Using a slotted spoon or fork, transfer pecans to wax paper and separate them (a lot will be stuck together). Let them dry and then enjoy!

Soft Ball Test: After the sugar mixture boils for a few minutes, drop a small amount of it into a glass of ice cold water. If it forms a ball and is soft enough to roll around with your fingers, it is the right temperature.