Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Ever have projects that just sit there and tempt you?! I've been itching to making an adult version of my patchwork skirt for weeks now... it has sat there patiently in my TO DO basket, all cut and ironed and ready to go... I paired 2 fun Freshcut prints that I know Gina (friend, fellow sewer, and willing guinea pig) would love. But I couldn't start it b/c I hadn't finished a few other things in the works. It's been killing me!

Finally, yesterday afternoon I finished up the last of my big orders (a slew of wetbags for Erin at Diaper Daisy) so when Higgy (my eldest pooch) woke me up at 5 am today to go out , I decided to stay up and attack the skirt. Coffee and cat by my side, I was in complete bliss :) The rest of the house was asleep and would be for a couple of hours yet... ahhhhh...

By the time Syd woke up, the skirt was done:

I was happy, but... (there's always a but), it just didn't look right - too wide and frumpy. (in the picture I pinned the back of the skirt to keep it on the hanger - it wasn't that fitted). Humpfh... "I'll have to have Gina try it on" I told myself, and quickly packed it in my beach bag to take to the lake later in the morning.

Gina loved the print and design, and quickly put it on to see how it fit. Another friend (who happens to be pregnant as well - we are due 4 days apart!) asked Gina if it was a maternity skirt... hmmmm.... it was indeed too big. Back to the drawing board! I made some fixes today and will have to change the pattern in the future.

Anticipation...elation...frustration...who'd ever think crafting would be so emotional?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Up and Running!

Hi everyone! It's been another busy week here in NH - summer is in full swing and we're trying to enjoy every minute of it :)

I've got lots of custom projects in the works, but my biggest news is that my website is finally up and running! (Please pop in and leave a note in the guestbook :) Lisa and I worked through the final details late last week. She's great to work with and I *highly* recommend her for all of your web / Ebay pages needs. She also has a pretty fun blog :)

I've added all of the ETSUKO fabric to my site, plus some of my most popular handmade items (belts, bags, baby goods). I'll post some pants and skirts sets too within the next week or so - everything will be custom so I'll just have a couple of pictures, but lots of fabric options. I'm really into the ruffled pants like I made for Sandy's Sam, and hopefully Syd will soon have 4 new pair herself (they are cut out and just need to be sewn now). I also need to make some more of these (2-tiered circle princess skirts):

We went to a friend's daughter's birthday party this week, and being as how she absolutely loves princesses, I couldn't help but make this for her! I actually found both fabrics at Walmart - I was shocked (and delighted b/c that meant I didn't have to schlepp to Joanne's). I also picked up a few yards of purple princess fabric - same characters, but different design. Seems like every little girl adores these little ladies, so I think this will be my favorite birthday gift to give this year :)

Aside from squeezing in some crafting when I can, we've really been trying to spend some QT outside. Hubby was on call for a hospital in Wolfeboro (the "Oldest Resort Town in the US") so we spent most of the day with him on Sat. It was a tad crazy down there b/c of Motorcycle Week (thousands and thousands and thousands of motorcyclists come with their bikes from all around the country for rallies/shows and to tour NH - they are like the locusts... interesting: kind of; loud: heck yes!; are we happy when they leave? YEP!!). Everywhere we turned there were motorcyles...

On my way into town:

and the view while sitting in town:

After helping Syd walk around a bit (I'm 6 months pregnant- the belly is starting to show a little!):

(she actually is walking all by herself all around the house this week - it's amazing what can happen with a little confidence and a couple of days!), we did manage to find a secluded park (without motorcycle noise) within walking distance of town. Syd managed to take a nap, and Frank and I had a nice long stretch of peace and quiet. We sat on a bench for a while and chatted, enjoying the scenery and eachother's company. In the craziness of the day-to-day, we tend to not do this as much as we should...

and then he decided to take a nap on my lap. So with Syd asleep to my left:

and hubby sound asleep on my legs:

I quickly dove into my bag to get THE CRAFTER'S COMPANION, which I picked up while walking through town (just in case an opportunity like this came up - score!). I'm about half way through it, and *LOVE* it! In case you haven't heard of this book, it's about some popular craft bloggers - they share their inspiration, patterns, and give a glimpse into their day-to-day lives. What you love the most is that they are just like us - they don't live in enormous houses with spacious craft rooms. Nope. Most of them craft at their kitchen / dining room table and have stacks of fabric and crafting goodies strewn around the house. Such a neat collection of women- I really recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun read.

I also picked up a couple of other crafting books this week, but I'll post more about them later.

It's late and time for bed! Hope you all had a great weekend! ~ Kris

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Sam's New Duds & Free US Flag Link

Yey! Yesterday afternoon I finished up the 5 outfits for Sandy's darling daughter, Sam. (I have a special place in my heart for the name Samantha... it was the name of my Cabbage Patch Kid that Mom and Dad gave me in 3rd grade. She wasn't one of the blonde ones like everyone had - she had short curled brown hair and I loved her so!).

Anyways, here's pics of the goodies on their way to WA. ( The outfits look a little out of proportion b/c I used one of those hangers that holds a shirt and pants/a skirt)

Brown/Blue Flowers:

Lightening Bugs:

Fresh Cut:

Pink/Black Paisley:

Black Sakura:

My favorite? Hmmm... I love the Sakura set. I was going to make a top with the same fabric as the pant cuff, but it would have been a *really* busy outfit. I hope Sandy sends some pics of Sam in these!

And my irises in the front yard? FULL BLOOM! Gorgeous!

(a little later.....) I just checked out a site mentioned in the magazine REAL SIMPLE for a free 3'x5' polyester American flag (you pay $6 shipping)! I am embarrassed to admit that we don't yet have a flag to hang (well, up till now!).

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Sydney's new Hoochie Momma Upside Down Bird Pants

Hmmmm.... there's a reason that I practice patterns first... Sandy (my dear customer who ordered the Robert Kaufman Sakura set a few weeks ago), asked me to make some more goodies for her daughter, Sam. She sent me some fabric to make 2 skirt sets and 2 capri/pant sets with ruffles at the bottom. I've never made pants before, so I figured I'd make a sample pair for Sydney with some fabric that Tara sent a couple of months ago.

At first glance, they look pretty cute, right?

Looking closer you'll see that yes, I laid out the fabric wrong! Urgh! I actually caught the mistake early on and the Type A person that I can be immediately wanted to ditch the project and start over. Then the Type B person that I can also be, took over and decided that well, it won't hurt for Syd to have some super cute play pants / pajama bottoms. So I continued...

All in all I was pretty pleased with these cuties... until I put them on Syd. When I held them up, the rise looked short to me... and well, it is. Looks like I'll have to tweak this pattern a bit to get the correct measurements for Sam. This definitely wasn't time wasted - gotta love the learning process :)

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Back from North Country & getting caught up...

Hi everyone! Syd and I got in a bit ago from the gorgeous "North Woods" in NH, a.k.a. "the stix".

It's only about an hour or so from here, but it's a pretty long hour, filled with winding roads that travel through small towns with free roaming chickens and fire wood for sale at every other home or so. Hubby is on call at the hospital up there this weekend so we headed up there for the day to keep him company. We've been there several times before, but this time of the year is by far the most beautiful!

The lupines are out everywhere:

And the covered bridges are the perfect accent to the lush green grass and acres and acres of sprawling farmland...

We visited our usual antique/salvage stores and I picked up a vintage sampler and apron. Any ideas of what I should do with this sampler?

I've been looking for the perfect halter style bib apron pattern for a while now and haven't found it... so I'm going to make a pattern based on this apron. I love the hand-embroidered leaves and the style.

And it looks like I've found another use for my hanging flower baskets :)

This week has been a bit crazy... I love these long summer days, but they honestly feel shorter in a way! Sydney wakes up at 6 am, takes one nap, and goes to bed much later than in the winter (despite my purchase and installation of blackout shades). I'm doing much less sewing than I'd like, but it's getting done when I have the chance, and when I know I'll enjoy it. No sense in being stressed about it!

One day this week I attacked our yard for ~ 4 hours while Syd napped/stayed under Hubby's watch. We have yet to landscape the yard (we are having a big excavation project done within the next couple of weeks, so it made no sense to spend $ on something that will be destroyed by all of the big trucks); I also never got around last year to digging up the dead "stuff" in the front flower beds... so..... after mowing I went to town and now it looks great! Can't wait to add some plants/bushes! While clearing out the front, I found a small patch of irises that quickly found a new home on the downstairs bathroom sink:

And this morning while shooting some belt pics outside, I found another grouping of irises starting to bloom - gorgeous!

On the craft front, I have to admit that I've been bitten by another bug.... Jewelry making. I've fought this one for a while, but like knitting, I guess it's time has come :) Two friends up here love making jewelry, so at our craft night last week we all decided to try it out (and are now hooked!) Here's a pic of some of my loot- most is from North Star Gems in Bristol, NH - cute shop with a friendly and helpful owner:

Could I possibly have any more earth-toned beads?!

Here's a necklace that I'm working on - I'll get a better picture taken when I'm done:

Aside from being another fun thing to do with "the girls", I'm enjoying this craft b/c it gives pretty immediate gratification. Not like spending 2-3 hours on a bag.... Or knitting a sweater or scarf. You can have a new necklace or bracelet in less than an hour! I'm still very much a beginner, so I'm sure there's lots more complicated techniques out there that take more time. I doubt I'll strive to make anything too complicated - I like simple and pretty. Luckily that's fast :)

Speaking of knitting, I picked up some new goodies last weekend in VT to make Syd a warm fall/winter sweater. I even get to learn to make a pom-pom! The pattern is #27 from Monkeysuits, and the yarn is Baby Alpaca Chunky by Cascade Yarns. I'm hoping to start this once I finish up the website next week. I haven't knit in a while and miss it!

Oh! Almost forgot about these goodies! I made some embellished towels for "the girls" with the ribbon that I mentioned a few posts back. Definitely check out LFN ribbons - they are so unique! My favorite is the little veggies... or the pears.... or the cutlery... it's a hard decision! The lab ribbon is a stnd. novelty ribbon (not by LFN), but it is reversible and features yellow labs with a black background.

And this was a little something for a friend in MA - yes, it's still cold enough sometimes at night to need a fleece sleeper (on the left). The onesie on the right has a little "j" for Josh - check out J.Caroline Creative's link for the perfect letter appliques (click and print - love it!)

Lastly (I promise!) I made another of my favorite bag (I'm thinking of calling it "THE POUCH" - anyone have any other ideas?) for a friend and myself. I love how functional it is - I put my keys and cell phone in the front pouches, and my wallet, diaper, wipes, etc. inside. There's another outside pocket on the reverse side that's great for other odds and ends. My friend uses the front elastic pouches for baby bottles. At last a bag that will be used after the bottle years! I'll definitely be featuring this on the website!

Have a great weekend! What are you all up to? :) Kris

Saturday, June 02, 2007

We're having a....

Mornin' everyone! I'm headed off in a bit to VT to meet a friend for the day- I'm really excited to see her and to spend the day outside with the fam :) She is running the Covered Bridges Half Marathon in Queechee, VT - such a fun local race! I was going to sign up for it back in January (it literally fills up in a day!) but I was gung-ho on being pregnant by June and didn't want to waste the race spot. It's now June and we're 21 weeks along!

Speaking of which... we had the *big* ultrasound yesterday - by far the most exciting OB visit in the bunch. We saw it all... heart, lungs, bladder, umbilical cord... it's so amazing! I've been thinking all along that we're having a boy, and guess what?! I was right!!!! I'll spare you the "detailed" pic (looks like he's sitting on xerox machine), but here's a cute side view of Baby V:

I love how his little mouth is open!!

Before I jet off to the shower... I've gotten a few requests to share a pattern for the skirts that I've been making for Sydney. Initially I used the purse pattern that Autum posted:

patchwork bag instructions (it's the second tutorial in her post)

And since I've played with it a bit depending on who I'm making it for (ex: Syd's skirts are 9" long, 3T/4T are 11", etc). I use 1" non-roll elastic at the top and I line the skirts (mostly to cover up all of those seams!). The thing that honestly takes the most time is doing the feather stitching on the seams - I love the look though :) Hope that helps!

PS: The fabric that I posted on last time is in!!!! I've got a deadline for myself to get my website up and running by 6/14. If you're interested in the fabric before then, the ETSUKO is $17/yard and the others (squirrels and hedgehogs) are $13/yard - drop me a line at and I'll put together an invoice for you.

Have a great weekend!! :) Kris