Tuesday, May 31, 2011

my pride and joy

this past fall i was at a nearby antique store with my mom.  on a married student budget, i was not looking for much, maybe a few linens or something small. (that day i did walk out with this old vintage colorblock flag that the owner gave me for FREE! i am saving it for my someday little boy's room)

but then...something caught my eye that kind of made me feel sick:


 i was obsessed. i had seen similar things on ebay and places like 1st dibs for $700-2000, so i automatically assumed it was in the same price range.  i was too scared to find out myself, but i asked my mom to ask the owner (ha ha).  but he quoted her $250.  now, to some of you [camp A], this old cart seems like junk that should be taken to the dump.  but you are wrong.  people like me, [camp B] see this as my kitchen island with a butcher block top, or an amazing shelving unit, or even an entertainment center. and to me, $250 was a steal.

so i went home and talked to my perfect understanding husband [camp A] who helped me find money in our tight budget for this investment.

it sits in our front yard for now, and i smile every time i see it.  we are moving in august to dallas, and it will be one of the few prized possessions we move with.

Monday, May 30, 2011

a wedding present

i am big on these two things lately.  

at the beginning of this year, my brother-in-law got married to a girl from madrid! the wedding was there so all of my husband's family got to go to spain to be there, and it was such a great trip.  i will have to post some pictures when i get around to it.  anway, for my wedding present to them, i thought i'd incorporate both embroidery and maps in a "quilt"--a map felt appropriate since this was an international union.

some of my preliminary planning

i don't pretend to be a quilter.  this is actually more of a pieced blanket.  also, the pictures aren't the best because we had to take them quickly in a cramped spanish apartment while the bride and groom weren't around.

 the breakdown:

i used mostly muslin for the main parts and then pieced some nice thick cotton solids in navy and green. i  filled it with 2 layers of thin cotton batting.  to get it to spain, i put it in a vacuum bag in my suitcase.

i sewed the layers together with a chevron pattern.  it took a bit of measuring but the result was cute.  i bound the edges with a striped seersucker that i love.

also, you can barely see it in the photo above, but in the upper left hand corner of the blanket i embroidered their names and the date.

i embroidered a world map on a separate piece--this is what i worked on for most of the plane ride.  i highly recommend this project for the plane (if you can sneak the needle and tiny scissors past security like i did) because the time went by so fast.  it was relaxing and almost mind numbing.  after i finished, i ironed all the edges and then slipstitched it onto the quilt by hand.

i absolutely love how the embroidered map turned out.  i am definitely going to do this in future projects.
 if you look closely, you can see where i made little x's in both texas and madrid (their homes) and connected them with a little dashed line.  there are also x's where both of them served full-time, 2 year LDS missions (this was long before they met each other). brian's was in ukraine and noemi's was in utah.

and here is the back.

i hope they enjoy it as much as i loved making it!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

accidental knock-off

it all started about 6 months back.
i found this great gray-and-white-striped knit at hancock's. it was love at first sight so i bought a few yards.  fast forward at least 6 months, and that same fabric was stashed away until i found the right project.

present day.
i started my swimsuits and knits class last month, and decided to use it.  i looked through my patterns suitable for knit fabrics, and found this pattern:
i decided to make this view:
while i was cutting out, i thought i'd like to make the built in "collar" (the fold over band) in a contrasting solid white knit.  so i changed the pattern a little bit and did the contrast.  as i was talking to my TA about my plans for this project, i mentioned that i might do some little tabs on the fold over collar as a cute detail.

then a little lightbulb went off in my head....i have seen this before!!

i went to a file of inspiration pieces i have on my computer.  and look what i found:
my "original" design is shockingly similar to this cardigan that i have loved for a couple years from anthropologie! a shameful knock-off.  but if i'm doing it, i might as well do it right, right? so i did the cuffs and i am just about finished.  the main difference is that mine doesn't have the white trim around the hem and mine has raglan sleeves.

i will post some pictures when it's done.  i am happy with my little accident!

Monday, May 23, 2011

stork part II

as promised...here is a baby present i made a few months back.  it was so much fun.  my favorite part? cute baby clothes with no character or cutesy saying on it.  i am a little snobby about baby clothes ha ha.
i made a little hoodie, t-shirt, and pants.  they all had the same detailing and striped seersucker accents.
close up of the hoodie

close up of the pants with contrast back pocket.  it was my first time with snap tape, and it turns out it's pretty easy to work with.  i also finished off the hems with the same striped binding so the pant legs can be cuffed and still look cute.
close up of the t-shirt. i just stitched some stripes on for interest.

so there it is.  i love sewing for babies.  i kinda wanted to keep it.  but the mom liked it, so i was happy.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

a stork delivery

i went to a friend's baby shower this week.  i usually like to make cute baby presents...but i just didn't have time, so i got some things she was registered for.  since i felt lazy about the gift, i at least had to wrap it cute.

i think this may be my new formula.  kraft paper gift bag + glue stick on a doilie + some japanese tape...

easy enough.  tomorrow i will post a baby present i made a few months ago for another friend's baby boy.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

pugly pixel

awesome free honeycomb pattern download here

lots of other great graphics from pugly pixel

Monday, May 16, 2011

i can't believe this is one minute away from my house.
makes me wonder what else is hiding right under my nose...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

the secret's out

sometimes i wonder if i'm not a better curator than creator.  
but i definitely enjoy creating things, so that is what i mostly do.  
in this case, the design for mine and my husband's 
double graduation announcement was heavily influenced by 3 sources.  

here is the finished product:

i couldn't decide if i wanted the photo in color or b+w. so i did half and half.

a close up of the text:
first of all, and most obviously, i totally copied this layout 
from seesaw's studio opening invite. 

seesaw is a really great "creative studio" complete with 
blog, letterpress, graphic design, vintage etsy shop...

you probably already know about them but if not, go check them out. now. 

 i cropped the corners of my photos with a rounded "corner chomper". 
i got the idea from this christmas card:

source unknown
and then i added a little "class of 2011" card, which was inspired by this:

source unknown
so now you can see what i mean about the curator thing.  i just pulled ideas from other people's creations....and made my own product.  (of course, this was just for personal use). 
but, i am happy with how it turned out.

in other news, i helped my friend design her wedding announcements 
recently as well.  i can't take any credit for the 
photo or the printing that make my work look nicer...

but i did do the announcement design:
(which was inspired by this)

extra extra

i almost forgot! a special DELIVERY came to my house yesterday! my floral swimsuit fabric is in. i'm so excited....

navy + linen

i have been searching aimlessly for probably over a year to find the perfect cropped navy blazer.  i have come to the conclusion that i don't think one exists, ha ha.  just kidding, but not at my price range.  so i realized i should probably just make one.  this thought intimidates me.  but with my advanced patternmaking and construction classes, i actually do know how to.

so this weekend i started the patternmaking and i made a muslin.  i have listed the changes i want to make to the pattern before i make it out of the navy linen/rayon blend i picked out.  i am nervous because sometimes i get so antsy to finish something that i rush. but not today, soldier.  i am going slow on to get the perfect thing, something like:


or this

navy + linen. can't go too wrong, can it?
to be continued...

p.s. doesn't the girl in the top photo look like lynette from desperate housewives (felicity huffman)?? don't tell me you don't watch it.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

swimsuits part II

garnet hill
shabby apple
via pinterest
juicy i think... via here
marysia swimstore


keeping yesterday's fabric post in mind....
these are a few ideas i have for swimsuit pattern inspiration. 
 it is always a little bit hard to visualize what a particular fabric
 will look like made up... 

Monday, May 9, 2011


i just ordered this swimsuit fabric from spandexworld.com...
i have seen it in real life (a girl in my sewing class has it) 
and i love it! i am so excited for it to get here.

i am going to make the pattern for the swimsuit.  i haven't decided for sure
what it'll look like but i have a few ideas i'll post tomorrow.

Friday, May 6, 2011

dress delivery

i am kind of in love with this dress/outfit from cupcakes and cashmere:

simple and so cute. the possibilities are endless....

p.s. amazing shoes huh?

Thursday, May 5, 2011


i don't know if i'm just late in the game, or what...but i just discovered mellowmint in the last few months, and it is such an amazing source of free [with credit] graphics and textures.  i think her name is zeldona--whoever she is, she has got interesting, vintage style that i really appreciate.

where i got the stamps on my header.

there are so many things that i love, i just want to gather them together and hoard them.  ha ha.  i don't even know what to do with all the excitement and ideas i get when i look through her gallery.

go look at this very cool resource.  here are some examples from her site of her packages:
and here are a few quick collages i put together with her downloads, just to show the potential:

there are tons of great map textures....here, for example. i am considering getting one printed large scale to hang in my house.  
 maybe this one, the colors are amazing.

thank you zeldona for such amazing graphics!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


i am loving botanical prints in homes these days.  they are the perfect mix of
vintage and current, scientific and feminine.. 

for inspiration, i searched "botanical print" in pinterest. here's some of my favorites:

katie's pinterest via

su's pinterest via

via dominomag

maggie's pinterest via

ellen's pinterest via
one of my favorites

michelle's pinterest via
pansyeye's pinterest via -- another favorite of mine          

a while ago, i painted my own botanical print for our bedroom
using watercolor, gesso, and ink. i tea dyed the water color paper before painting for an aged look.
 i think that part was key.

i painted an old thrift store frame and sanded it a bit.  i backed my print just on some muslin.  
i quite like how it turned out.

i have some more botanical projects in mind for my bedroom.. 
so hopefully they show up here soon.