An anniversary re-mix

I married an engineer. Usually that's all I need to say to describe how romantic he is. But sometimes he surprises me. Like this past weekend. A few years ago we decided to stop celebrating Valentine's day (it's pretty overrated) and celebrate the day we started dating (February 27, 1997). There tend to be less crowds and you never feel like you are putting the babysitter (or the grandparents) in a bind by sacrificing their own Valentine's day plans. It works for us. We made plans to head to beautiful Alderbrook resort where we have celebrated a few anniversaries and birthdays in the past and on the way down on the hour long car ride, my very thoughtful husband presented me with the CD version of all of the mix tapes he made me when we were dating in college. We spent summers dating long distance (he lived in Washington and I lived in Indiana) and we sent many a letter in our day (e-mail hadn't quite caught on yet...crazy that we are that old!) including some various mix tapes that were played over and over again in my tape player. Isn't that sweet? He even put pictures of us when we were dating on the CD and meticulously wrote down every song title and artist. So if any of you wives are married to fellow engineers, know that they sometimes do have it in 'em.

Isn't this a beautiful view from our balcony?
Too bad it was a typical Washington day and it rained buckets!


A follower!

I was so excited when I peeked at my inbox today and saw a nice little e-mail from a friend from church. She's been reading along on the blog and was inspired to make her own version of the spring votive seen here

I think she did a wonderful job. Secretly I like hers better than my original! I love to see what my followers (or stalkers) are making, and if you are inspired to make something that I have shown you how to do, please e-mail me or link to it in the comments section. I would love to share what other people are doing. So thanks for sharing Terri! You rock!

Seven Things About Me

7 Things About Me 

Remember those little notes that went around the internet? Mostly on Facebook. I love getting to know more about people, so here are 7 things about me you may not know.

1.I was married when I was 19 years old and 26 weeks pregnant. I signed onto this whole mom gig a whole lot earlier than I would have wanted but after having three kids (they are 11, 7 and 4), I am thankful that I did. I've been told by several midwives that had I not had kids in my early 20's, I might have had some real troubles getting pregnant and I don't think I would have dealt with infertility well. Despite the odds stacked against us, we are happily married and will celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary in June.

2.I'm a closet hippie mama. I believe (and practice) in selective vaccination, extended breastfeeding (I have a total of 5 years experience), using cloth diapers (sure makes potty training daughter trained at 9 months!), and recycling and reusing whenever I can. Garage sales are my favorite way of doing that and you can find me every Saturday garage saleing (yes, it's a verb) from April to September.

3.I have been on national television twice in one day (American Idol and Ellen) and our family can currently be found modeling on the Kelty camping gear boxes at your local Target.

4.I love to save money (see number 2 re garage sales), and often make a game out of how much I can save on my groceries each week (I even have the checkers and baggers playing my game with me!). Our family of five eats well on around $425 a month. And thanks to garage sales, we spend around $15 a month on clothes and shoes per person per month.

5.I love to travel, especially to warm places. I am from Indiana and moved to the Seattle area 10 years ago. I would prefer the weather to be either hot or cold, not mild, so I tend to try to escape to the sun as much as possible during our mild (aka dreary and yucky) months from October-April.

6.I am not a morning person but I wake up at 5:15 am four days a week to go to the gym and get in an hour and a half long workout. My working out started as a new year's resolution over two years ago as I was quickly approaching my thirties (yep, I kept mine!)! I used to be the person that said that I would only run when I was chased and my hubby and I made a pact to only start running or working out when we saw someone who had a smile on their face while doing it. Believe me...I looked, and those people are hard to come by! I do experience exercise ADD and need to change up my routine often so I won't get bored. My latest kick is spinning and weight training.

7.I was inspired (you could call it convicted) a few years ago to follow the example of a Proverbs 31 woman. It's why I do what I do on this craft blog, it's why I wake up early to hit the gym, it affects my parenting and the way that I look at my husband and our marriage, it's why I use my time as effectively as I can to squeeze in all the things that I can during the day. My hope is that as you join me on my journey to become this woman, you will also be inspired by what happens at this little blog I call Holy Craft.

Another t-shirt refashion

I happened to be at Wal-Mart today (I generally hate the store so I don't frequent it very often) and happened upon these cute juniors t-shirts on clearance for $3. I remembered seeing a refashion of one of the other shirts here this week. So I picked it up and literally 10 minutes later had a dress for my peanut.

I started with this Large t-shirt (and really, it ain't that large!)
I put one of my daughters t-shirt dresses down on top to use as a guide for taking in the arms and chest.

I chalked up the line that I was going to serge on and set to work. I serged out the notch (almost looks like an upside down L) and then sewed along the seam to reinforce it.

And that's that! Sorry for the crummy shots, my daughter wasn't feeling well, so she wasn't the best model today.


The apple doesn't fall far from the tree

My seven year old daughter is constantly asking me to "do something crafty" with her. I wish I could come up with something on the spot, when she asks, but I just can't. In fact, tonight she asked while I was in the middle of making dinner. Thankfully, she found an outlet on her own. She pulled a bunch of scrap paper together and her and her 4 year old brother threw together this apple tree complete with squirrel and nuts.


Baby goodies

My daughter has had a student teacher in her classroom for the past 6 weeks. He is finished with his tour of duty in the second grade classroom and will be welcoming his first child (a girl) in May. I recently cleaned out my fabric stash and found not even 1/4 yard of this cute squirrel fabric and knew I had to do something with it. I decided to make a squirrel applique. Since he is having a girl and the fabric is blue, I thought she needed a little acorn hair clip to go with it. Because we all know those hairless infants all look alike and no new parent likes to hear "oh, your son is so cute" when it's really a girl! So this is what we came up with. I think it turned out really cute!


Someone stole my camera!

This is what I get when I leave my camera lying around! What a goof!


How to Make Fabric Coasters

How to Make Fabric Coasters to Match any Decor

I just spent a whole weekend repainting the furniture in our living room, I wasn't about to mess up all my hard work with water spots and stains, so I took some fabric scraps and made some coasters.

Here's how you do it. I was going to measure a square, but I found this handy little cardboard template just laying around and decided to use that. It's from a fat quarter and it isn't square, but almost. I thought it would work perfectly.
Then I pulled out some coordinating fabric that I had lying in my scrap bin and set to work. You need to fold your fabric in half (you need two of each piece to make one coaster) and use your template to cut the proper size.

I cut out batting to go inside as well (cut that just a tad smaller on all sides). Put the two right sides together and place the batting on top of one side. Stitch around closely to the edges and leave a small hole for turning. Trim your corners before you turn, then turn your fabric, press the open seam down, pin in place and then stitch around the outside. That's it, you are done!


Ruffle flower

I made this dress for my daughter yesterday and knew when I finished it that it needed a little something else. I had some fabric leftover, so I thought I would use that and make a few flowers to sew onto the bodice. It's not the best tutorial, but it will give you an idea of how to make a fabric flower to sew on to your next project.

I made three flowers, so I took three strips of fabric ranging in size from 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide and about 25 inches long. You can make them shorter both ways, however you don't want to go too short in the width or you won't have much fabric to work with.

I then set my tension on an 8 and my stitch length on a 4 and sewed along the edge of one side. It ruffles right up and will look like this.

Sorry about this picture, not quite sure what happened there, but it shows how I started with the inside of the flower by taking one end and wrapping it around and around pinching it at the base. I then took out my needle and thread and hand sewed the base of the flower where I was pinching together. Then I sewed that directly on to the dress. Easy as that!


Out with the old-- make it new

I was a child bride. My husband and I were still both in college when we got married, I was 19, my groom was 20. We were young! We both moved straight from our respective fraternity and sorority houses into a new off campus apartment. With some of our wedding money we bought a new living room set. We were trying hard to make our little college apartment a home. We got these two end tables as wedding presents straight off our Target gift registry and nearly 12 years later, they were in need of an update. I mean really, we still have furniture from college. No, it isn't a futon or a papazan chair, but I needed something different to feel like I wasn't living in married student housing! So, a gallon of paint, some sanding and a few hours of work and I feel like our house is just a little less ghetto.

This is the table that came with our living room set. The sofa set was replaced by a new couch and chair, but we kept the table. My hubby likes to fold laundry on it (can't fault him for that!), so he won't let me get rid of it.
And here they are with three coats of antique white dutch boy paint. My amazing groom spent several hours sanding them down for me (anyone else like me and can't stand sand paper or the sound it makes?! It's like nails on a chalkboard.) and I spent several days doing three coats of paint and then resanding them to distress them a bit. My youngest kiddo couldn't believe that we were taking the paint off after we just put it on. And to be honest, it was hard for me to do after I just put all that work into meticulously painting every square inch.

And that, my friends, is what I have been up to. Here they are in the room. They match the fireplace and the existing armoire that I have the TV in. And what do you think of my free couch that I got at a garage sale a few years ago?

The Shabby Chic Cottage


Bean Ball

I saw these little decorative balls at Michael's last week and thought, "hey, I can make that", and then less than a week later, I started seeing them pop up all over the craft blog circuit, so obviously everyone else saw the same ball and had the same idea. I have a large mouth vase that I put some little decorative balls in that I got at a garage sale a few summers ago. The balls are sort of big and they take up a lot of space but leave some empty space in there too. So, I thought if I made some smaller balls to fill the voids it would look better.

My 7 year old daughter and I set to work with some Styrofoam balls, beans, and a hot glue gun. We tried the random approach, placing the beans in all shapes and size all over, but I like the look of the more defined orderly beans in a row around.

Sorting the beans is a good activity for younger hands while you do the gluing with the hot glue gun.

Can you tell why I like the ball with the red beans better? The one where we put them on in a crazy pattern looks like a ball of old gum or something. Oh well, live and learn!


I fell off the wagon

I love Pottery Barn but I try so hard to stay away from the store and I definitely try my hardest to stay away from the catalog. I could really do some damage at that store if I had the money, but since I don't, all I do is covet, so I choose to stay away from both...but I slipped. I clicked on that little box that said, please send me a catalog and not even a week later it came in all it's glory and landed in my living room where I have poured over it page by page. This time though, I found inspiration to do something on my own.

I love these banker boxes. I think they are so classic, and when I get around to finding some nice black boxes like these, I want to replicate it but in the meantime, I used what I had.

And what I had were these stickers from Joann's and a jar from Ikea that we store our q-tips in on our bathroom counter top. I am probably the last crafty person alive who doesn't have a cricut or even know how to make vinyl letters/numbers (seriously I don't...someone point me in the direction of a good tutorial!) so when I came up on these letters, I thought they were similar to the font on the original. If you notice I used an I for the number 1. Is it obvious?

I like it. I think it made this little jar that's plain and classic and given it a little umph. It's not boring anymore that's for sure! Now to head to Ikea and pick up more jars...after the holiday rush!


Auntie Anne's pretzels

I grew up in Indiana. I like it either hot or cold, not mild. I have lived in the pacific northwest now for nearly 10 years and I am still not used to the winters here. They are my least favorite part. So while every other state (even the warm ones!) are getting hit with snow, we get torrential downpours that no one wants to play outside in. At least with snow you can head out and build a snowman or go sledding. No one wants to play in rain. Anyway, I launch into that long rant about the weather here because I spent some time the other day taking the kids for some exercise at the mall. Yep, that's what we do here...lots of indoor play areas and window shopping. I came home from the mall with a major hankering for a pretzel from Auntie Anne's. I did a quick google search and found a recipe that is worth sharing. I balked at the addition of the powdered sugar, but really, it made the pretzels perfect. I don't have any shots of the after but here are a few of them while my kiddos and I were making them. YUMMO!


Another re-purpose men's t-shirts into a women's ruffle skirt

I'm still working through a pile of clothes that my husband decided needs to head to Goodwill. I pulled a couple of his old t-shirts out this week thinking that I would attempt to make a skirt for myself and I think that it turned out pretty darn good. Heck, if it didn't what would I have to lose?! I thought I would share with you how I made it.

I started with two old shirts that were in coordinating colors. They were both a size small so I didn't have as much material to work with as I would have wanted, so if you try to make one, the bigger the better!

The light brown was was a bit larger around the middle, so I used that as my base. I cut from armpit to armpit straight across. And then cut up one side seam so that you have a huge rectangle.

Then I took the bottom hem of the coordinating shirt and cut an inch and a half off of that to use as my drawstring. Set that piece aside, you won't need it until the end.

Then I started using what I had left of the shirt I used as my base and cut as large of a strip as I could. I even used the print in the skirt, I thought it was kind of funky.

Take that strip, measure it, and then cut it into equal parts for your ruffle. I ended up with nearly 6 inches, so I cut that into two equal strips of nearly 3 inches each. Because you are trying to salvage as much material as you can, my two strips were actually four (the seams were cut) so you will need to sew a new seam making a long seam on each of your pieces. That seems complicated, but you will end up with two long strips of fabric with one seam down each center of your material.

Then set to work on your other shirt. This shirt will be used only for the ruffles (aside from the hem that you set aside for your drawstring). I cut up the side of one seam to start with.

Then I continued to cut 3 inch wide strips from the bottom up. These are the materials that I ended up with: From top to bottom, 1 1/2 inch hem for the drawstring, 2 pieces of sewn together 3 inch wide strips from your base layer, Four 3 inch wide strips of the coordinating shirt, and your base layer.

Now you are ready to ruffle your layers. I set my machine to the highest tension setting and the longest stitch (on my machine it's an 8 tension and a 4 length stitch). You then sew at the top of each strip of fabric that you have. Do not back stitch. It should look like this when you are done.

Then line up your first strip along the bottom of your base right sides together. I had to stretch the ruffle out a bit and still used one and a half strips on the bottom layer to make it fit the length. Sew along the first layer.

Add your second ruffle of coordinating fabric hitting about 3/4 of the way up past your first layer. Pin and sew across.

Continue to add layers until you run out. I wish I had one more layer, but I ran out of material, so I stopped where I did, about 8 inches from the top. I serged the top edge to prepare it for making my casing for my drawstring.

Fold your skirt in half now making sure your ruffles are flat (I usually hold it together and shake it down). Sew the side seam from top to bottom.

Make sure you leave about two inches at the top open on your seam to add your drawstring.

I like the rough look of the serged edge so I folded the top layer and made the casing on the outside. Iron it down into place about an inch down. Pin and sew into place. Thread your drawstring through leaving equal lengths of material on both sides to tie.

That's it! Two shirts made one cute ruffle skirt!

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