Monthly Archives: September 2013

Make Stuff Day


DSC_0049Last fall I had the pleasure of attending my first Make Stuff Day.  A full day of crafting, eating delicious food, hanging out with friends, and meeting new people!  It really did feel like a day of pampering.

DSC_0061It all began with coffee, doughnuts, and a complimentary (adorably embellished) tote bag.  Seriously, if the day had ended right there I would have been thrilled, but it kept getting better.

DSC_0068Everything was so lovely!  It was obvious that a lot of thought and work had gone into making the entire day special for the ladies who came to craft.  I could easily get lost in describing all the beautiful decorations and thoughtful touches, but it really was all about the workshops.  A day full of fun classes, a chance to learn something new, and come away with lovely finished projects.

DSC_0105The workshops featured fresh, fun projects.  The teachers were great; very knowledgeable, and hands-on.  Each class was well supplied with everything you needed to get the creative juices flowing.

Then we stopped for an amazing lunch!  I like to craft but man… I really love to eat and this lunch was delicious.  We were each given a gourmet box lunch, refreshing drinks, followed by a cookie bar… you heard me… a cookie bar.

DSC_0142It was a fantastic day, and I had every intention of signing up again this year but instead I get to teach a workshop!  Last week I got a sneak peek at this year’s classes, and I had the pleasure of meeting all the teachers, and I’ve got to say this Make Stuff Day looks even better!


DSC_0012 So if you live in the Modesto area and you’d like to sign up for Make Stuff Day 2013, now is your chance.  This is were I tell you that space is limited and the classes are expected to fill up quickly, so don’t lolly-gag and miss out on a fun day!  This year Make Stuff Day will be held at Brethren Community Fellowship (3731 Woodland Avenue, Modesto, CA).  There are 8 new workshops featuring everything from making your own terrarium to Basic Watercolor.

I’m super excited to be teaching the Basic Embroidery class!  Here’s a little taste of what we’ll be doing in my workshop OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA If crafting, hanging out with fun gals, and eating good food is your thing, be sure to stop by the Make Stuff Day website and register.  On the website there’s a complete list of the workshops and detailed information on what to expect this year.  Did I mention that the classes are fun and they will fill up fast?  They are, and they do, so don’t wait.

I hope to see you at Make Stuff Day 2013!  ~April

Baby Love

Before Pearl was even born, I recruited my talented sister-in-law Alli, to photograph Pearl for her birth announcement pictures.  We had a fun morning of dressing her up, trying different poses, and backgrounds.  Three hundred and something pictures later, we had some great shots.

pmonMG_6411-001cc1It was a hard choice but this was the pose I ended up using for her birth announcement.  I used Picmonkey to design the card.  All of the editing, graphics, and fonts were free.

This is what they looked like when I mailed them.  I chose simple craft paper cards and envelopes, with a little bit of Washi tape to seal the envelope.  I found some darling “Thank You” cards at Target to send to people who had brought us dinner or a little gift for Pearl.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI love the way the announcements turned out but I thought I would share with you some of the “runner-up” pictures.

IMG_6305I brought along a vintage quilt to use as a backdrop.  I loved the soft colors of the quilt and being able to see Pearl all stretched out.


IMG_6337-p-001We also tried a few pictures of her on her tummy in Alli’s cute stuffed chair.

IMG_6341I liked this simple black and white pose but in the end I decided I wanted something that was colorful.



IMG_6461-p-002The look on her face in this picture just gets me!  I was standing over Alli’s shoulder, talking quietly to Pearl and she was just staring at me with those big, serious eyes!

IMG_6432-p-002She was a peach during all of the outfit changes and poses but finally she was just done!  She wanted to eat and have a nice long sleep.

Thanks again to my sweet sis-in-law!  Alli I couldn’t have done this without you!

From the Sewing Room

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI have been having so much fun in the sewing room lately!  I have picked up, and been giving some really fun fabrics that have inspired a lot of sewing for Miss E.

I’m still on my Geranium Dress kick.  This is Miss E’s fourth Geranium.  She has two dresses and two tunics.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s just a wonderfully versatile pattern with very user-friendly instructions.  Every dress I’ve made from this pattern has had it’s own distinct look.  My Mom surprised me with this citron fabric that I used for the bottom half of the dress (the fabric is Moda, and it’s called 2WENTY-THR3E by Eric & Julie Comstock).  I LOVE the colors of this fabric!  I added the solid colored top and decided it was a bit too plain, so I dressed it up with the ruffle and tiny buttons.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne of the things I love most about sewing is the freedom I have to personalize her clothing.  I decided to embroider her name onto the dress pocket (although she has informed me numerous times that her name is NOT spelled “all fancy like that!”).

I’m trying to include more pictures of Miss E wearing the clothes that I make, so that you can get a feel for how the pattern fits.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPersonally I really like the way the Geranium pattern fits her!  The little capped sleeves are my favorite.

These days there are more online pattern companies than you can shake a stick at, and while I really love PDF patterns not all pattern companies are equal.  Some children’s pattern companies are only interested in churning out a new pattern every few weeks, instead of really perfecting one good design.  That’s what I love about Rae’s patterns, she takes her time.  She designs clothes that fit well and look professional when finished.  She doesn’t release a pattern until it has been tested many times over and the attention to detail shows!


This is one of the Geranium tunics I made Miss E about a month ago.  The tunics take very little fabric so it’s a good way to use up smaller pieces of fabric, especially if you mix and match like I did with this one.




OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is a picture of E wearing her tunic with some pants I made her last week.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThese little pants are so much fun to make!  They are a really satisfying project that only took an afternoon to finish (I should mention that making these pants in an afternoon meant that dinner did not happen,and my husband kindly suggested that we order pizza).  I used Meg McElwee’s Basic Pocket Pant pattern from her book Growing Up Sew Liberated.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMiss E doesn’t like to wear jeans.  She hates how thick and scratchy they are and how they bunch up around her waist.  So all last winter she wore dresses and leggings or already worn-out thrift store jeans.  This year I decided to make her some.  I used some really soft denim I found on the flat-fold table at my local fabric store.  It was crazy inexpensive, felt nice to the touch, had a cool crosshatch texture, and it was 60 inches wide!  How cool is that?…very!  I made the all denim pants first and used the opposite side of the fabric for the contrasting pockets and cuffs.  I had Miss E try them on and she looked at me with a confused look and said, “But there just pain ol’ pants!”.

So for attempt number two I decided to dress them up a bit.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOnce again I used the opposite side of the denim for the pant legs and a floral and dot fabric for the contrasting cuffs and pockets.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe cuffs look so cute with her little feet peeking out from under them!


Just some pictures of the pants on E.  I did have to do some alterations to the pattern.  Miss E is four-years-old and usually a 4T fits her perfectly.  I cut out the 4T and was surprised when the pants were a full 3 inches too long!  Fortunately shortening the pant legs and redoing the cuffs was no big deal, and for the second pair I just cut three inches of the bottom right away.



She was very happy with the second pair I made her!  I can tell that she really likes them because she’s always fishing them out of the dirty clothes hamper.




Lastly, I made this slip dress one morning a few weeks ago.  The fabric is called Neighborhood Houses by Timeless Treasures.  I found it on Etsy and just fell in love with it!  I made a simple slip dress with bias tape finish.  This is another dress that Miss E seems to favor.  She tried to wear it three days in a row, but on the third day I put my foot down and insisted that the dress must be washed!


And that’s all the buzz from the sewing room.  I already have more fabric on order and new patterns to try out!  I’m looking forward to tackling some new projects for the littlest member in our family (who is growing out of her cloths every time I turn around!).  So stay tuned… more to come!


PS- as always if you have any questions about the fabric or patterns please feel free to ask!