Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday Favorites

I haven't had time to work on the rag quilt tutorial (I promise I will this weekend!) so I thought I'd share some of my favorite items on Etsy right now. Oh, how I wish I had time to make everything I'm inspired to create when browsing Etsy and the World Wide Web. Glad to see others creating!! Here are some of my faves:

I found this one yesterday when searching for embroidery patterns. I hope to purchase it REALLY soon because I think it just ROCKS and would be so much fun to create:D But the burning question is what to put it on....

Princess and the Pea Embroidery Pattern by kloin

I just love the colors on this keyfob. The two different shades of green go great together and it also has a great message. So beautifully handcrafted, too!

Fabulous Fob - Save our Planet by MYHODGEPODGERIE

Isn't this sheep just fabulous? I have a few nephews who would probably just love him! I'm in awe of the talent it took to create this.

Little Sheep by GARsticksandstring

GlamourDamaged always has great, funky pouches, so it's hard to choose. But I guess this one is my favorite in her shop right now. She has great vision.

Flower Fiesta Zipper Pouch by GlamourDamaged

Love the color combo on these earrings and love the design. Pretty much love everything about them! I've had my eye on them for awhile.

aubergine meets ruby red. glass abacus and sterling earrings by sherrytruitt

even smaller sig

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Rag Quilt Part 1

I am about to start working on the rag quilt for a baby gift and decided to create a tutorial! It's really easy and quick! If you can sew a straight line, you can do this. Here's what you'll need:

~3 coordinating flannels, 1 yard of each (you can substitute cotton fabric if you prefer, but flannel is really soft for babies)
~1 package of high-loft quilt batting (crib size)
~rotary cutter, rotary mat, and straight edge (you can use scissors if you don't have these)
~coordinating thread
~sewing machine

For inspiration, this is what the finished product will look like:

*This tutorial will be for a baby-size quilt, but you can always add fabric for an adult quilt.

Next time we will cut out the squares of batting and fabric, so go get your supplies ready!

even smaller sig

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Ahh, Wednesday

As per my usual M.O., I have taken on more this week than I really have time for. I have to finish working on my mom's birthday gift for Friday (shhh! It's a secret!), make a rag quilt and onesie for a baby shower, and embroider a blanket for a wedding gift. And, of course, this all must be done by the weekend. Today is already Wednesday and I have started on Mom's gift, began cutting out the quilt blocks for the rag quilt (not one stitch has been made), and haven't even purchased the blanket for my friend yet. Needless to say, I have a lot of work to do after I get off work at my "real" job. I will probably get very little sleep this week. The wedding blanket can really wait until later, I suppose. The wedding is this weekend, but I can always deliver the gift late. However, the rag quilt and onesie really need to be finished no later than Saturday. Oh! Did I mention that when cutting the quilt blocks on Monday night I nearly sliced my thumb off with my rotary cutter? Maybe that's a bit dramatic, but there was a lot of blood. I even had to wake up Mr. Savvy Stitcher to tell me if he thought I needed stitches or not. He said his arm would have to be hanging off before he'd go to the hospital, so he was really no help at all. Plus, I had woken him from a sound sleep, so I don't think all of his neurons were firing anyway. In the end, we decided I probably didn't need the stitches. Hope we were right.

Anyway, after I stopped the bleeding and cleaned the blood off the carpet (no blood got on the quilt blocks, thank goodness!), I called it a night. So, needless to say, very little progress has been made. Maybe I will make a little tutorial while creating the rag quilt and share it with you since I really haven't even gotten started on it yet. First piece of advice: Keep all appendages clear of the rotary blade.

This is the first rag quilt I made.

I'll keep you updated as the week progresses!

even smaller sig

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Blog Giveaways

I just found a great thread on Etsy and wanted to share. This is a great list of sites for registering for blog giveaways. You can also advertise your own blog giveaway on some of these sites. Hope you find them helpful!


even smaller sig

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Happy Anniversary to Me!

Tomorrow is mine and my husband's one year anniversary and I just had some GORGEOUS flowers delivered!

Daisies are my absolute favorite and he always comes through for me :) Happy Anniversary to me!

even smaller sig

Friday, May 22, 2009

Unbirthday Swap

Last month I signed up on Miya's blog for an Unbirthday Swap. The deadline to send out the package is Monday, which is, of course, Memorial Day. So, have I sent my package out yet? Those of you who know me well know the answer to that: No. Will I be sending it out tomorrow? "All signs point to yes!" *thumbs pointing at the 8-ball on the back of my leather jacket* (If you don't LOVE Seinfeld, this probably goes over your head. You gotta love Putty.) Anyhoo...I will be sending the package out tomorrow and I hope my partner loves what I have for her! I can't wait to get mine and see what's in store. I know she did an awesome job and I will post pics when I get it! She sent it out on Saturday last week (she's a good partner!), so it should be here anytime. Yeee!!! I love surprises!!! I'll post pics of her package, too, after I'm certain she's received it.

This will be my first experience with a swap, so I really can't wait. I love getting fun packages in the mail that aren't bills or junk mail. Who doesn't? If they ever do away with snail mail like they threaten, I will be inconsolable.

even smaller sig

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Weekend Crafts & Graceland Part 2

During the 3-hour drive to Graceland this weekend, I decided I would work on an embroidery project that I had started a few weeks ago and never got around to finishing. I just love this little robot from a previous post and wanted to add him to a burp cloth. I decided to hand embroider him so I could do multiple colors.

I was really pleased with how he turned out and it really only took me about an hour or so total. I started on another burp cloth as well that I am hand embroidering. I'll post pics when it's finished! I think it will be really cute. If only I can find the time to sit down and work on it.

So, on to Graceland. After the tours, we decided to check out some of the gift shops, and lo and behold, but what did I find? The Elvis Craft Section!

There was an entire rounder dedicated to Elvis-Loving Crafters. How exciting for me! Too bad it was all way over-priced. Oh well. I had fun looking anyway.

First, there were 3 sides dedicated to Elvis fabric, which was super cool.

You can't make it out in this picture, but the sign says, "Just imagine what you can create." Oh, I'm imagining. On the other side was the really exciting part: Elvis Cross Stitch

This one was my favorite.

How cool is that?! Again, way over-priced, so I didn't get one. Maybe I can find it online. (Who knew Elvis was a crafter? I sure didn't.)

To make my weekend complete, I had lots of machine embroidery to get done on Sunday. For those of you who don't know, I have a side business that takes up much of my time when I'm not at my "real job." I do lots of machine embroidery for friends and family and anyone who gets my name and number from those friends and family. It's actually becoming quite a booming enterprise! Yay!

I have a friend who is getting married at the end of May, and she had me embroider some gifts for her wedding party. Of course, I failed to take pictures of any of it except these tumblers, which were made for her flower girls.

The tumblers were ordered from Sewphisticated Stitcher, which is a site where you can get lots of embroidery blanks. They have great prices, too.

I spent about 5 hours on Sunday afternoon embroidering, so it was a really long day. My friend was really pleased with her finished products though, so that brought a smile to my face :)

In addition, I have 8 pillow cases to embroider for one of my dad's employees, and 5 burp cloths to make and embroider for a friend. I actually got the burp cloths finished last night, though, so I have made some real progress. (I will post pics of them later this week.) Needless to say, my embroidery business is off to a good start!

even smaller sig

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Our Trip to Graceland: Part 1

Graceland in one word: FANTASTIC. I went as an Elvis admirer and left a true Elvis fan. I have heard this from others as well, but I was skeptical. I guess you just have to see it yourself to believe it.

We arrived in Memphis on Friday night and stayed at the Heartbreak Hotel. I don't advise staying there. It was kind of yucky. But the bed and bathroom were clean, so we survived. Plus, it was right across the street from Graceland, so it was quite convenient and we didn't have to pay for parking. Good deal! (Oh!--and there was a heart-shaped pool. Neat.)

Our tour started at 9 a.m. on Saturday.

Everyone kept telling me how small Graceland was for someone who was so famous. Though it may not be considered a mansion by today's standards, it certainly would have been in the 60s and 70s. I was not at all disappointed.

That's me!

When you enter the foyer, the formal living room is to the right and the dining room is to the left. Everything has been left as it was originally arranged and decorated. We were alowed to take pictures, but no flash photos, so they're a bit dark. Over time, the flashes would damage the artifacts, which can't be replaced.

I especially loved the stained glass windows in the living room. (I dowonder how he kept the carpet so clean with all of the guests constantly coming and going...)

Next was the kitchen, where Elvis spent lots of time with friends and family, talking and eating. Very 70s.

Down in the basement was a den with a 15-foot wraparound, blue velvet couch with lots of white and yellow throw pillows. The room has a bank of 3 tvs so Elvis could watch multiple shows at once. Not sure how that works where sound is concerned. This was my favorite room.

Also in the basement was a game room with a pool table. The room was covered in drapery fabric from the center of the ceiling all the way to the floor. He had pretty crazy decorating taste, which we would see more of upstairs in the famous "Jungle Room".

Back up the stairs, and there it is: the famous Jungle Room. Not quite as wild as I expected, really. I guess it had just been built up too much for me. It was pretty wacky though, I'll admit. Green carpet covered the floors, walls and ceiling, and the entire lefthand wall was a rock waterfall.

This was the last room we got to see before moving on to the rest of the grounds. The upstairs is offlimits to the public. When he was still alive, the upstairs was Elvis' private santuary, so to speak, and very few people even saw it then. So out of respect for him, the estate keeps it private to this day. Apparently everything is exactly as Elvis left it when he died, down to all of the clothes in the closets, and cosmetic products on the bathroom counter. I did find some pics online that are thought to be legitimate, but we may never know.

Here is a picture of the back of the mansion. Simply gorgeous, I thought.

This was quite a lengthy tour and there was much more to see, but I will just share one last picture here, because I probably took over 200. You'll have to go see the rest for yourself. It's definitely worth it.

This is Elvis' final resting place, in his meditation garden, which was his favorite place to relax.

All in all, we spent close to three hours touring the mansion and grounds. It was all very educational and intersting. I really learned a lot about Elvis' life and passions. We even got to tour his personal airplane, the Lisa Marie.

If you get the chance, definitely get to Graceland. You won't regret it. It was really enlightening and, more than that, it was a blast!

P.S. Tomorrow I will share the CRAFTY part of my trip!

even smaller sig

Monday, May 18, 2009

Savvy Seller: Teri of The Beaded Branch

As an Etsy lover and seller, I want to begin featuring some fellow Etsians and their crafts. First up, my plurk buddy, Teri, of The Beaded Branch. She is the creator of some fantastic handmade jewelry and the mother of some adventurous twin boys.

Teri, tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Teri Landow, and I’m the owner and chief designer of The Beaded Branch. I’m the mother of identical twin boys, wife to Tim, and a jewelry maker. I have been crafting and creating for my entire life, in one way or another. I grew up in a home with a mother who sewed almost continually and was always trying her hand at some new craft, and a father who has been working with wood in his spare time for as long as I can remember, so I guess I come by my need to create honestly.

Jewelry, however, is my first love. I fell into it about 10 years ago when I took a class on hand knotting pearls at a local bead store. I loved it and soon became addicted. My designs, I feel, are very eclectic. I can’t seem to settle into one crafting medium or another, so I try to incorporate them all into my jewelry making. I love to learn and take on the challenges of a new medium, then figure out how to use it in my jewelry making.

What type of jewelry do you like to create?

I create one of a kind, handcrafted jewelry, mostly beaded, because it is my first love. However, because I love to craft, I seem to have trouble contenting myself with one medium. I have branched out, and play with a lot of different mediums. I play with silver clay, embossing powders, anything I can get my hands on. And the fabulous thing about all these different mediums is that I can incorporate them into the jewelry I make.

What inspires you?

Everything. Books I read, nature, architecture, photography, art, friends, family, magazines and movies. I try to glean inspiration from wherever I can get it. People inspire me the most. I’ll pick a person I know and create a bunch of jewelry that I believe they would like. I think about the colors they wear, or should wear, what styles they like to wear, how they carry themselves, everything. I believe that if one person in the world likes it, then there is a pretty good chance that there is atleast one other person in the world who will like it, too.

How did you discover Etsy?

I was looking for a new selling venue because running my own Web site was taking up way to much of my time. I did research and started asking about different selling venues on some of the e-mail groups I was on at the time. I joined Etsy and the world really opened up to me.

Where can we purchase your designs?

I started off selling at alocal craft show, which I still do, Fluvanna County Old Farm Day. I also do one or two other very small local craft shows, as time permits. After starting to sell at craft shows, I started an online store at Over the last year, I finally decided to start slowly moving all of my stock over to my store on Etsy, I also sell on consignment at a small local store, the Palmyra Country Store.

What is your favorite thing to create?

It really depends on my mood. I love working on my Present Past Treasures pendants because they are always going to be unique, and I never know what they're going to look like when I’m finished. I also love working on my Angel Feet line when time permits. They take longer because each charm is hand carved out of a tiny lump of silver clay, then filed, fired, polished and antiqued. I guess I just can’t concentrate on one thing that I love to create.

What have you created that you are most proud of?

My twin boys. But craftwise, I’m terribly proud of my Present Past Treasure pendants, which I refer to as my “happy accident” jewelry. They are completely unique and I’ve never seen anything like them anyplace else.

Is Etsy your only job, or just a hobby?

This is a difficult question to answer. Jewelry making is a hobby for me, but what I do on Etsy is a business and a job. Part time, at best, though. I don’t have a job outside the home, since I am a mom and housewife. I’m lucky that my hubby makes enough in his job that we can generally squeak by without having to scrimp too much.

What do you do when you're not creating?

Chase my identical twin boys around and try to keep them from killing themselves or each other. When I’m not doing that, I also read a lot, clean house, and basically do all the stuff a housewife and mom of two active toddlers does.

Tell us anything else you'd like us to know.

I also do custom work and minor jewelry repairs. Information about this can be found on my Web site:

Thanks, Teri! It's been great getting to know this wonderful mother and Etsian. Please check out her shop. I know you'll love it as much as I do!

even smaller sig

Friday, May 15, 2009

Graceland, Here We Come!

So next weekend is mine and my husband's one year wedding anniversary. I can't believe how fast a year flies by! Well, we wanted to get out of town and do something fun, but also didn't want to go too far away. I decided we should definitely check out Graceland. I mean, we only live a little over 3 hours from Memphis and neither of us have ever been. How crazy is that!? Now, I'm not a huge Elvis fan or anything, obviously, or I would have been there already, but I definitely respect what the King of Rock 'n' Roll did for the music industry, so we need to pay our homage to the man.

We decided to go this weekend to miss the Memorial Day traffic next weekend. I'm excited! I will take lots of pics and tell you all about it next week. Oh--and we're going to do it up right and stay at Heartbreak Hotel, too. I'm not sure what to expect on that front, but it should be interesting. I may actually hate Elvis this time tomorrow, but we'll see.

People keep mentioning the Jungle Room at Graceland....I'm intrigued.

I also plan to do some hand embroidery on the ride down. I'll post pics!

even smaller sig

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Project Pincushion

I recently realized that my pincushion is absolutely, ridiculously absurd. It came from a box of sewing notions that I bought at an estate sale. It's ugly, but it works. Here, take a look for yourself. This is basically it, but mine's tomato red.

Aww! Look at the cute little sumo wrestlers holding hands! haha! Hysterical!

Anyway, I found this tutorial on making your own pincushion with fabric scraps over at Paper.String.Cloth. It was super easy to make and really only took me about an hour from beginning to end (including picking out the fabric and buttons, which always takes me a while). Here's mine!

I thought it turned out pretty good for my first time. What do you think? I did, however, make some small adjustments to the tutorial. I only used 2 coordinating fabrics instead of four. Also, instead of measuring out a 2 1/2 inch square for tracing, I used my rotary mat and cutter to cut four 3-inch squares of each of the two fabrics I chose, then sewed them together using a 1/4" seam allowance. I hate tracing if I don't have to.

Next I think I'll try this tutorial over at Make It and Love It for covering my camera strap! :D I definitely love it!

even smaller sig

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Stay Tuned for Tutorials

Sorry I haven't posted in a bit. I plan to work on my hand-embroidery tutorial tonight, though. Please stay tuned!

Until then, here are a few of my favorite places to visit for inspiration:

Homemade by Jill

Little Birdie Secrets

Feeling Stitchy

You Can Make This

Craft Gossip

Craft Bits

So Lovely Creations

Ric Rac

even smaller sig

Friday, May 8, 2009


Yay! One of my onesies was featured on! Too cool for school.


New Graphics

For the last couple of months I've been trying to come up with a good theme and "brand" for my Etsy store so that I will be easily recognizable. I'm very indecisive, so it's been quite a tough process. But finally, I decided upon a "button" theme, since I use them frequently. I also wanted to incorporate a needle and thread and the font I had chosen. Now to find a graphic designer!

My cousin is in graphic design school so I contacted her and she began working on it. However, I have really bad timing because she's right in the middle of finals and free work is the last thing she has time for, that's for sure. Anyway, she came up with a basic draft but has been swamped with school work and unable to finish (poor girl! I know how that goes!).

Then, I serendipitously came into contact with Amy Proffitt of Proffitt Productions on Etsy. Basically, I showed her what my cousin had worked up and she said she could easily come up with a similar design with "real-looking" buttons. After a few back-and-forths with her, we ended up with this beauty of a banner for my shop! (I picked out the colors and font and she did the rest.)

Don't you just LOVE it?! I seriously go to my shop hourly just to admire it. It's ridiculous, I know, but I'm just that crazy about it! She also made me a matching avatar:

I hope to use the avatar to order some stickers for packaging soon. We'll see what happens.

Anyway, Amy is such a breeze to work with and I think she might have even read my mind a time or two. I've gotten tons of compliments on my avatar in the Etsy Forums, too! So if you're looking for any graphic design work, I highly recommend Amy.

You can find her on Etsy at She has a really great Etsy store and makes some really cute nursery art, too, if you're interested.

Next, we'll be working on my blog layout, but one thing at a time, people!

Check her out, and tell her I sent you!

P.S. She also created my signature, which I also love!


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Fun Embroidery

I recently (and by recently I actually mean about 6 months ago) got my first embroidery machine. I wanted it so that I could add personalization to my projects and gifts, but never used any of the built-in designs. In my opinion, most of them are just too much like something someone's un-hip grandmother might use for handtowels--just not my style. I kept wishing that there were some trendy sites online where I could download contemporary designs for crafty chicks like myself, but I Googled and Googled with no luck. (Apparently I don't know the official "keywords" for finding "hip embroidery downloads".) Then, one serendipitous day, I came across Urban Threads. Finally! This is what I have been searching for! Hip, contemporary designs for the crafty gal in us all. No more embroidery samplers from the 19th century (not that there's anything wrong with them, they're just not for me.)

The first design I fell in love with was this one.

This little robot might be one of the cutest things I've ever seen! I decided to put him on this baby onesie. Isn't he precious?

I actually gave it away in the Etsy Spring Baby Shower and the recipient loved it so much she decided she wanted a couple more onesies. She chose two great designs which are just as cute and they are one their way to her right now. I hope she loves them!

I'm pretty crazy about the little squirrel now, too. I might even put him on a tote bag or something for myself. He'd also make a great gift!

Besides the fact that the site has such fantastic embroidery designs, it's also extremely inexpensive. I think that all of the designs are under $5 a piece. How great is that? Also, if you don't have an embroidery machine and you're into hand embroidery, you can download most of their designs in that format as well. So really, there is no limit to your craftiness! I really loved this little hedgehog and decided to hand embroider him onto a coffee cozy. It only took me about 30 minutes, which was super quick craft satisfaction. Don't you love quick crafts? I sure do!

I will be working on a hand embroidery tutorial for you soon. It's super easy and tons of fun. All you need is some Aunt Martha's Hot Iron Transfer Paper and transfer pencils (I think I got mine on Amazon), and your pattern, of course.

Happy embroidering!