Thursday, January 27, 2011

Is it Friday yet?

With grading mid-term exams and a lot of interruptions from snow days and such, it's been a tough week.  I'm needing a craft night.  It's coming tomorrow.  Yea!

Friday, January 21, 2011

This Moment

{this moment}

*** *** *** 
{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.  (From Soulemama- see link in sidebar)

Enjoy the snow!  We've had two snow days this week plus a delayed opening.  I'll be trying to craft today while working around two crazy kids with cabin fever!  

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tabula Rasa or Inspiration Journal Structure

My friend Erika surprised me a package one day.  If there is one thing that I love, it is special mail that you were expecting. To be honest, sometimes I even like junk mail.  She had sent me a Down Downey inspiration journal kit that she thought she was going to do, but never could seem to get around to it.  The kit was super cute so I decided to use my surprise snow day to put it together.  That's another thing I love, suprise snow days!

The book is done to the point that I put the bones together.  However, it is still a blank slate or tabula rasa at this point.  I'm not sure what I'll put on the inside but I am inspired by the title: inspiration journal.

Here is the outside:
The instructions were to use a fabric piece sandwiched with a piece of canvas.  My one complaint is that the cover ends up being quite wiggly as a result rather than stiff.  I had to smooth out the side by the elastic to get it to stay flat.  
The kit came with some lovely brown ribbon with white dots.  However, the directions were a little unclear about how to bind it.  I decided to bind each signature or section with some book-making thread that I had on hand.  That way I could fit the five signatures through the grommit holes.  I also "had" to upgrade to a "Big Bite" because my Crop-a-dile would not reach to make the holes.  I had been eyeing it anyway. 

On the inside of the journal, I used some of the papers in the kit but then added these libraray pockets that I have had forever and ever.  I keep meaning to use them on something but have never found the right project until now.  I think it'll be fun to be able to tuck things into the pocket.  In fact, maybe I'll start using those pockets much more often. 

As you can see, I sewed most of the pieces on.  Mostly because my sewing machine was right there and I've been meaning to do more sewing on my scrapbooking.  Now, I just need to fill it.....


Monday, January 17, 2011

Beautiful Winter

Just a reminder to myself that winter is so beautiful; I just need to open my eyes to see it.  This is a picture from our snowshoe on Sunday.  More snow expected tomorrow...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sewing into the Night

Both my friend Alison and Rosy want to learn to sew, so I decided to give them a little "lesson" using the bag pattern that I have been using.  So, we adjusted the size to something that they would find useful and sewed along.  There was a bit of seam ripping and machine rethreading but both Rosy and Alison ended up with two bags each (and I made two as well).  Here are our completed bags:
The fabric was all things that I had left over from various projects.  You can see that I even tried out a three tone version of the bag as well. 

Here is a picture of my extremely tired students at about 1:00 am.  They were both sick with terrible colds but were good troopers anyway.  Yeah sewing!  So this is the first time that I have taught anyone to sew.  They were great students.  Success!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Two New Layouts

Here are two new scrapbooking layouts that I finished this week.  The pictures are from this December. I finally got around to printing a bunch of pictures and am now ready to go back to scrapbooking.  For some reason, i was inspired to do single page layouts (more often I do double layouts).  I am particularly happy with the Pizzeria Regina layout.  I struggled with it a bit, stared at it, and end up putting the title on last.  However, I think the title makes the page.  Don't you? 

Winter pictures coming next....

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sewing on a Snow Day

I just can't stop making these bags.  They are a varation on the Christmas treat bags that I made for the kids' teachers.  This directions are here but I adjusted the dimensions and made my own handles.  It took about a quarter of one fabric and half of another to make the two bags (you might have been able to get away with two fat quarters but I am not always the most efficient cutter (that's what happens when don't make a plan).  

I made them because of all the little toys that the kids got for Christmas were starting to wander around the living room.  Phoebe got some lovely Melissa  and Doug velvet horseys but couldn't seem to keep them in one place.  Thus, the idea for the horse bags.  Then, typically, Elliot got jealous of Phoebe's bags and I had to make another yet.  I had the gear fabric stashed away and had to buy the black and white dots to match.  Not bad for a virtually free project.  

I did motify the pattern a bit: 
1.  I obviously made them bigger and simply kept the ratio the same.  
2.  I made my own handles with the same fabric rather than used ribbon.  
3. I actually  squared off both the bottom of the bag  and the lining with a 2 inch square and then used this to sew together before turning.  This makes the  flat bottom stand up (the pattern calls for folding in the edges but I can never seem to get this right.)
4.  I also top-stitched around the top edge to keep the lining in place.  I thought about tacking the lining on the inside but thought that if I ever needed to clean the inside then it would be easier to pull out. 

I think these bags would make great lunch bags, maybe using a laminated fabric?  I also thought about putting some sort of closure at the top but my kids love to stuff their bags so I decided against it.  However, if I was making a lunch bag, I might add that. 

This was a great beginner project and took me about 20-25 minutes or so per bag.  


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Craft Space Remodel with a Desk Skirt

I would love to say that I whipped up a lovely linen skirt for myself but I didn't; I made a lovely linen skirt for my desk.  In an attempt to reclaim our dining room as a dining room, I switched to a smaller desk and then decided to "skirt" it in an attempt to have a place to hide all the multitude of scrapbooking supplies that are taking over.  The bonus is that the kids have been hiding under my desk and now they have a real "fort". It took three returns to Lowe's to get it right, but I think I got it with an advanced wire system for hanging.  I've had the linen forever- since I went to a yard sale and someone associated with the Malden Mills had about 8 yards of it.  I've been hording it ever since and decided to just use it.  Just ignore the bunches of things on top of the desk, I'll still working on the organizing part. New year, new organization!

Friday, January 7, 2011

This moment

{this moment}

*** *** *** 
{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.  (From Soulemama- see link in sidebar)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Mysterious Pictures Returned

Even though the photos were lost on my computer they mysteriously returned.  Sounds like a job of the Scooby-Doo Mystery Kids that my children are currently obsessed with... hmmm.... Couldn't help but to share these:
Waiting outside of Pizza Regina after we finally got under the amazing heat lights!

The HUGE line at Mike's Pasteries.  If you look closer you can see the flavors of the canollis.  AMAZING canollis, amazing!  

My little ones almost got lost in the crowd.  They couldn't hardly see anything but somehow Elliot has a real nose for the sweet stuff and he managed to slide his way to the pastery cases and drool all over them.    He's got quite a sweet tooth!  I tried to tell him not to lick the actual glass but I'm afraid I was unsuccessful.  Sorry, Mike's Pasteries ladies!

Dad and Jan just moments before Dad bolted out the door to wait outside.  He can't stand a crowd. 

What to choose?  What to choose?  He finally decided on a chocolate cupcake with chocolate icing and a gingerbread man.  It was a hard decision, though because everything looked so good.

All wrapped up a cute little box with bakery twine.  Everything looks better wrapped up like this.  Maybe if we put some vegetables inside, Elliot would eat them?  Maybe?  Probably not. 

Monday, January 3, 2011


A highlight of our Christmas vacation this year involved a trip to the Boston Meuseum of Science.  They have a great exhibit with K'next where the kids loved to both observe and build:

They also have one of thos light exhibits where your shadow is multi-colors.  I remember it as a kid.  Very 1970s and very hard to take a good picture of, but here it is:

Phoebe danced and danced and danced.  She just loved it.  She had quite the audience as people walked by which just fueled her running, skipping, and jumping. 

We also went to Pizza Regina which involved getting lost (as usual because it's on the most back road of North Boston).  For some reason my pictures of the best pizza in the whole entire world has gotten erased from the camer along with a fabulous picture of us in the hour-long line outside of the resteraunt.  Yes, we are talking a PIZZA place.  The pizza is amazing!

Then, because we were in the North End, we went over to Mike's Pasteries where they box up your pasteries and wrap it with blue baker's twine.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the boxes.... and the cannollis.  Yum!  Those pictures misteriously erased as well.  Don't ask me where they went but they aren't on my computer any longer.  Shucks!

Well, school started again this morning.  No more dancing or museum visiting for us for awhile.  Sigh.