Sunday, August 31, 2008

My Octopus Bag, and Iron on vinyl

I made my octopus bag after getting home with my working sewing machine yesterday. Interestingly, this was my thrid bag and the WORST one! :( I messed up when I did the top stitching so it's not all lined up right and that makes a tiny pucker that no one but me will ever notice. Also my LEAST favorite bag error. One strap is slightly longer than the other. This is the PITS. When this happens that strap tends to slide off your sholder making you look like a slovenly twit. Errrrrrr! But if I put that strap on first, like make sure the other side of the bag faces out it stays on, so I'll just do that because I love my bag too much to not enjoy it.

So that being said here is my bag! Same Amy Butler Frenchy pattern. I am getting Kim's money's worth out of that pattern I tell you what!

Here is the inside view. I somehow cut the seahorse fabric wrong and didn't have enough for the interior pocket, but I don't mind the interior pocket being cut from the octopus fabric at all, so that's fine.
I felt I needed a zip pouch too. I'm a HUGE fan of Lola... again. She sews a lot, and is generally crafty and fabulous. Anyhow recently she bought an entire bolt of iron on vinyl. I am jealous, but as entire bolts of vinyl are not on my budget just yet I bought a yard of it a few days ago at Joanne's. (before the no-buy of course) So I ironed it onto a scrap of the octopus fabric. I read on the literature that comes with it that you can iron on both sides for double sided vinyl. So I did that. Then I made this zip. Oh and I LOVE LOVE LOVE my zipper foot. I really thought I was so clever sewing zips with no zipper foot, but SHEESH, get a zipper foot people!The yellow zipper I had in my thrift store find zipper stash. (which is getting low! the horror) I keep my son's epi-pen, sunscreen, chapstick, medicines, tampons... all that stuff you don't want getting burried in the bottom of your purse. I love it! I'm so pleased. I took it all to church today. I fully expected to show it off and collect my compliments. (I love compliments) but only my friend Savin saw it. Then I got asked to substitute in Nursery. It was fun, but alas, the 2 and 3 year olds didn't care about my awesome purse! Stinkers! haha.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Machine is Fixed!

I looked all over the net for a new machine. I was bummed. I mean, mine is so great. It's a beast of a thing but never gives me problems (until this recent garbage) and runs and runs and runs. So I was torn between getting a cheap basic machine, expected live 2 years or forking over lots more money for a nicer one but then do I really NEED any more fancy pants features?

So anyhow I decided to try Brian's plan of taking it to the repair shop. I took it to ABC Vacuum & Sewing Center. It was AWESOME. I want to first mention that it's directly across the street from the Stamp Store I hang out at! Which means walking distance. I did drive though, because it's 100 degrees out and sewing machines are heavy. Anyhow turns out I'm an idiot. (we all knew this, but now the good man at the sewing store knows too!) I wasn't always threading the bobbin right. I'm totally shamed to admit this. Anyhow I wasn't always doing it right, but often enough doing it right to THINK I knew what I was doing. This is why taking all the thread out and redoing it would work sometimes, because I'd take the bobbin thread out too and then thread it correctly.

So he showed me the right way. Then took it out and made me do it the right way. Then had me sew, and so on. All was well. No charge for this. He also took a quick look at it and said it's all running fine. He didn't open it up or anything, just looked it over for me. No charge.

You may remember my zipper foot issues? Well of course the awesome people at ABC had my zipper foot in stock for just $6.99. So I bought it of course. I asked about a walking foot or some other great foot for quilting. He sold me a... crap hold on I fogot... an Even Feed Foot. It will pull the fabric from the top and bottom for me so that it all moves at the same speed and I don't get wonky quilting. It's also great for anything with layers where they might slide off each other and get wonky. So I'm all excited about that. That particular piece was $30.

So for $40 my machine is better than ever. And I have confidence about using it and knowing it's a good machine.

Of interest: They had TONS of machines in there. More than they do at Joanne's so if you are in J-Ville and want a machine you should check them out. Also they repair tons of stuff. People in front of me were leaving an ancient Kenmore (I think, do they make machines? something with a "K") machine. And they had every brand I've ever seen back there for repairs.

But he said my machine is good, so I'm very happy. It's not fancy, but it works and I am so pleased.

I'm soooo bummed

Yesterday after the post about my purchases I decided I've spent enough. I have more fabric than I could ever put away and we ALL know I have a lifetime supply of paper, stamps and ink.

So I went on a No-Buy until October.

That' was cool.

Then last night I happily sewed up two dolls, a special request from a friend. They are super cute I'll show you later after she gets them.

This morning I got up early and cut all the pieces to make my octopus Frenchy bag. I had promised myself to make all the other stuff I needed first, all the stuff for friends. It was finally my time! I REALLY want this bag people.

My freaking fracking machine is on the fritz!!! I'm heartbroken. For some time it's done this thing where the bottom thread doesn't pull the top thread down, so the top sits on the top with loops of the bottom thread. Like the tension is off, but all random and adjusting the tension doesn't help. Usually if I rethread my machine it fixes this problem for me. I'm not sure what's up but whatever, rethread was working. Well now rethreading will NOT work. I can't sew my octopus bag! :( It's all cut and stuff too, and that's my least favorite part! I'm so angry and sad and I don't know what to do. Brian thinks I should take it to get serviced. I'm mad at it and want to buy a new one. I mean I don't want to spend a bunch of money getting it serviced just to find it won't fix it, then still have to get a new one. I only need a super simple machine, I need straight and zigzag, and I'd like a normal foot, a zipper foot and a walking foot. I think I could get all that for not a ton of money right? I don't need 65 fancy pants stitches. Anyhow I'm so sad.

I thought I'd share.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Recent purchases.

I ordered these awesome Octopode metal charms from and they came in like two days. Hurray! And of course they are stinking cute. And they included these fun charms with my purchase.
I also ordered some octopus fabric from It also came really quick. This fabric is so nice.
Here this shows the other print.
I'm going to make this Amy Butler bag again. This one for ME!!!
We stopped at Ikea on our way to Sea World yesterday. *yes, I'm blessed* I HAD to stop because I read somewhere on a blog that they sell fabric. And boy do they! Not tons and tons of selection, but what they had was all fresh and fun. Also CHEAP. The most expensive was $7.99 a yard. But it's decorator weight fabric, and wider than quilt fabric too, so it is really great. I got a bunch see:
Yummy close up shot.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Painting in a thrift frame

While I was down at my mom's I picked up this cool frame. I wasn't sure what I'd put in it but it spoke to me and for a dollar I allowed it to come into my life.

When I got home I remembered this painting I did a few years ago. It was stuffed in the space between my desk and the wall. That's where everyone keeps unframed original artwork right? So I took it out and it was a perfect fit!

So now this hangs in the hallway between the kid's bathroom and Stephen's room. :)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Zip bag for Frenchy Bag.

So remember THIS bag I made my friend Kim? Well it's a pretty big bag so I'm sure a smaller zip bag for inside will be appreciated. That way she won't loose the necessaries.

So I made this today:

It has a flat bottom, I JUST learned how to do this. Thank you internet.
It's a shame this pic is blurry, but this is a flower cut out of the floral print, then fused onto the stripe, then satin stitched on with my machine in the teensiest little satin stitch.
Here is the inside view. Lined with the floral. I have to say though I thought, "hey I'll make it in the reverse colors from her bag, that way it will be cool." But it goes INSIDE the bag of course, and so it will be stripe on stripe. Good thing I used that Thrift Find lime green zipper, maybe that will help her find it in the bag. *I'm sorta kidding, the bag is large, but not so huge you can't find a zip bag*
Let's not discuss the stitching error right here on the zipper. It's the inside of the zipper on a bag that goes on the inside of a bag. Also I'm sure Kim won't mind. She's cool like that.

Oh another thing about this bag it is my first time shortening a zipper! It totally worked. You just figure out where you want it to end, stitch there a few times, NOT with your machine with a needle and thread. Stitch it closed there. Then cut a bit past there. Bam, shortened zipper. It's important knowledge for me because I bought a ton of really long zippers at the thrift store. I wasn't thinking about what I'd make with them, just liked the colors. but they are all 24+ inches! I'm not making a zipper bag that big. At least not to night.

In other news:

Me and the boys have had colds. I still have a touch, so do they, but we are feeling lots better.

Power stayed on all day today, thank heavens, If you have a touch of a fever and no power and it's hot and humid, it stinks.

Sue had to go BACK into the hospital. Apparently they tore or punctured her heart putting the pacemaker in. This was causing it to leak blood in the area around it. *I know, ewww* So apparently this is NOT uncommon! And they think it will heal on it's own, they just have to keep it drained. The idea that it's not uncommon sorta gives me a tummy ache, but I guess it's good, the mood was not one of panic when I spoke to them. Last I heard she was coming home today. I will find out the latest tomorrow. Thank you all for your continued prayers.

Robot swap sneak peeks. And a little birdie

Well I've been of with the Tropical Storm coming through and an entire day of no power, AND I had a cold. But I have stuff to share!

I'm in a Robot Swap hosted by Claire Payne. It's entirely likely that my partner might stumble upon my blog so I'm just going to post sneak peeks of what I made her.
And also this item:
I also made this today:
Why, it's a little text print birdie!
He came in the house for a bit too.
Bird pattern is found HERE. *thank you pattern designer*

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My SU wish list

With the excitement of a new Stampin' Up catalog I thought I'd share my wish list, with comments

Page 100 Inspired by Nature. I LOVE this set. More than any set I've seen in a long time.
Page 163 Earth Elements watercolor crayons. I know they are not new, I just don't have them yet.

I already have the new In Colors and LOVE them. :)

Designer Series paper:
Urban Garden
Hawaii Papaya
Washington Apple
Green Tea
Bella Rose
Ghostly Greetings
Sweet Always

Page 182 Flower Fusion Too

I won't really get ALL of those papers though. I probably won't get enough to get a hostess set. If I do I'm not sure which one to get. They are all nice, none that I MUST have though ya know? So I'll probably do a smaller order now and then make a huge order during SAB. If they have that again, they are right? Anyhow that's what I want. Inspired By Nature more than any others.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Giant Mouse

A few weeks ago while thrifting I found a mouse pattern. HERE is a post on my Thrift Finds blog about it. It's Avon and it's really old. REALLY old. 1973.

Well I finally sewed it up today. HOW CUTE IS HE? I'm totally in love. I thought he was going to be a lot smaller, but he's huge.
Here is a close up of his cute face.
Sorry the pics are not the best. I only get great pics in sunlight and we are having a tropical storm today. *It's not bad at all, just rainy and keeping me from taking great pics*

My stepmom is still in the hospital. There were some complications with the pacemaker they installed. It should all be fine, but she is having more tests and adjustments made. So your continued prayers are appreciated. Her name is Sue if you are interested.

On the Frenchy Bag: The pattern is copyright to Amy Butler. I cannot copy it for anyone. You can buy one on Etsy and probably other places. It's a GREAT pattern and I highly recomend it. I also cannot sell bags made from it, although the idea that you want to buy a bag I made is very flattering. Amy Butler's copyright is very clear on this issue. *I also found out that MOST patterns are copyrighted to where you cannot sell things made from them* I hope you all understand.

More on the bag: I AM going to get me some of that rad octopus fabric to make one. I just have to figure out which colors I want to use. But seriously, the idea of an octopus handbag is more than I can resist.

And finally, I just found out that I need a whole new AC system. Mine is crappy and old. It's not worth repairing. So head over to the Etsy store and help mama pay for a new AC! haha *kidding about that part, you buy stuff if you wanna*

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Frenchy Bag

So few weeks ago Kim *Oh look, Kim's got blog candy today!* and I were chatting online while looking at Etsy. She found THIS bag pattern that she loved. *Buy anything Sewlovefabrics has. She shipped super fast, included fabric samples and had great presentation.* I offered to sew it for her if she bought the supplies AND let me keep the pattern. She agreed. So I found some cute fabric at Hobby Lobby, which Kim liked as well and made the bag!

Here it is: There is actually a flaw here at this part, I'll show a better pic in a second.
It closes inside with a magnetic snap.

Here you can see the inner pockets. Although I'd call them more of dividers. I mean they are as big as the whole bag. See how closley those strips are lining up? It was chance. I was thrilled! Here you can see the divider pocket thingie better. So there are three inner sections.
Here is where I screwed it up. See how the stitching goes all weird at the button? I wasn't careful enough to keep the lining in place as I stitched this part. It doesn't affect the bag really though.

And there you have it! I just finished. Kim already saw it in email. If I was better at suprises I'd have mailed it but I can't wait to show it off!

Now I can't decide if I want to make this same one for me or if I want to do it with some of THESE fabrics.

Oh and the Amy Butler pattern is SUPER nice, really easy to follow.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Gnomes and Mushroom

Firs I'd like to thank my yard for sprouting a patch of mushrooms right in time to take pics of gnome crafts.

This is a little pencil bag. You could put makeup stuff, or whatever you want in there.
Inside view. It's lined with sweet yellow fabric. There is also interfacing in there because I felt this particular bag needed it.
Here is a more squareish one.
Inside view of square bag. Still has the yellow and the interfacing.
If you have a pumpkin tummied kid on hand you can use them to hold your bag by it's little loop made of ricrak.

*Stephen just said, "hey there is me and there's my little pokey button thing" while pointing out his belly button in this pic*

Today is Cute Monday!

I almost forgot. Today is Cute Monday.

I've been terribly busy this week so I don't have TONS to share, but lets get going:

The entire Tiddlywinks Etsy shop
Catnip Eyeballs!
Same seller has Octopus Ware for your dog!
Mushroom Pirates
Cupcake jewelry with scent
Softies with something to say
Floral Elephant
Wicked fun Monkey
Wicked cute owl (same person as the monkey)
Red Monster Fish
Prim Rag doll

Also if you are ever looking for cuteness go to Cuteable she rounds up cute things every day, often more than once a day. She has pics and everything, then links where she got them, it's just adorable over there.

Also I've been using the "share" feature in google reader. So on my side bar thingie you can see the most recent 4 things I shared, then click for more and see all the stuff I love. Well not all of it, I forget to use the feature often. *me rolling my eyes at myself* But lots of fun cuteness there.

Another Lola

This Lola is the first one I'm selling in the Etsy shop. She's made entirely from fabics and stuffing I got at thrift stores. I love thrift stores. I'm calling this one "Prim Star Lola" as a nod to this fabric and how she looks a little pirm to me.

Also if you are inclined to prayer please pray for my Step-Mom Sue today. She's having heart surgery. Thanks so much.

Friday, August 15, 2008

I opened the Etsy store!

I opened my Etsy Store just now!

If you want to look it's

There are a few pouches, an octopus and a notecard set in there. I hope to add some of the dolls very soon.

Thanks everyone!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Stephen's Rabbit

I'm sure it will only be moments until Ethan ripps it. But look what Stephen made:

He brought me all these little scraps and said, "Mommy, these things are making a rabbit" I didn't see it at first so he arranged it for me. There wasn't the nose. I tried to tell him a heart makes a nice nose, but he said, "My nose isn't a heart, it's two circles, so can we make two circles for a nose" Of course we can. So I glued it all down for him.
The circle is actually from stickers from the dollar place at Michaels. Because of this all the stuff isn't sticking. After I took this picture I covered it all with tape to help it not fall apart. If I had a laminating machine I'd break it out, I think this bunny is super duper cute.

Robot X6

Look! I stamped something! On PAPER. Amazing. It's been weeks sense I stamped.

So it's a robot card. I'm sure you can see that right? The robot is by Odd Bird Planet. I love it. I started with a piece of gesso painted cardstock I made ages ago. Then I stamped the robots on with black stazon. Colored with tombow markers, embossed over that. *You can emboss tombow markers if you are working on gesso, I assume due to magic* Then brayered over the whole thing with yellow, then a bit of rasberry Vivid! ink. Wiped off some extra ink that got on my robots. I could just wipe it off because I had embossed them. Then embossed over the whole entire piece, three times. Mounted on gray, then a white card.

:) Do you like it? I really do.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Zippered Pouch

I can't remember what started it. I blame Kim or Etsy or both. But I had a hankering to make a zippered pouch. I made one earlier today based on what I SAW when I looked at the finished. That's usually how I sew. It was pretty crappy. The zipper isn't straight, but the thing is like a tube.. I'll just show you later. Anyhow it wasn't what I had in mind.

So I googled and such and found THIS awsome tutorial. It is really truly awesome. If you have ever wanted to sew a zippered pouch you must go read it, I had to print it out to be honest. Oh and it says you really do need a zipper foot. I'm gonna buy one tomorrow, but if you must sew a pouch tonight I just took the foot off my sewing machine entirely. It totally worked. I think the foot helps feed the fabric? Anyhow I just used my hands to make sure everything was going through correctly. I'm not sure if it's safe or wise to sew without a foot, so if you are wanting to be safe or wise then maybe not?

Anyhow it went exactly as she said it would. The girl is brilliant.

And here is my pouch:
Here is the inside, see how it's lined, see also how neat the zipper is and how you can't see any edges or anything? *PS black zipper because I get all my zippers at the thrift store and I had black on hand*
Here's another view of the top, where you can see that it's zipped.

I'm thrilled.

Octopus Softie

Today I made this cute Octopus Softie. I've never made anything round. The head isn't great. I was really just playing with scraps, trying to get a round shape. It needs work. But the overall Octopus is so silly that I like it.

First of all she stands, and I love that in a softie.
She has a flower on her head. *it is this detail that makes her a girl for sure*
She has a cute tummy. *although I think this is where a real octopus has it's mouth.*
She can sit on your head. *that's my super handsome husband Brian*

Introducing Emily. A very special doll.

I made this doll for my friend Terry's granddaughter, Kylie. Kylie has seen her picture and tells me that her name is Emily. Emily is earning me the new Stampin' Up! catalog. Me and Terry did a trade. It was SUPER fun to make a doll that I knew who it was going to.

Emily's "skin" is linen. I'm not thrilled with how much it tended to fray. I just double stitched everything to make up for it. :) I have a TON of linen I got to make dolls with so I will have to learn how better to work with it.
Oh and the cute little chair she is on is from my Thrift Store that I always go to. $2 and the perfect size for my dolls to sit on and get their picture taken.

In other news:
I plan to get some things onto Etsy to sell next week sometime. Happy Monsters, dolls, tote bags, maybe needle books. We shall see.
I'm also working on a Robot Swap I'm in. I have some cute ideas. Well I think they are cute anyhow.