Weekend Away

This weekend I traveled up to Lancaster County with four friends. We holed up in the Walnut Lawn Bed and Breakfast all weekend and "crafted". It was wonderful to be able to spend some time away relaxing and sewing all with some fabulous ladies. I can't say enough about the Walnut Lawn B&B. Innkeepers Tom and Sarah were fantastic. This historic house was so comfortable, clean, and interesting, I would highly recommend it to anyone that wants to visit Lancaster. Also, as a bonus, they let us use the whole B&B so we had it to ourselves all weekend. We just set up shop and crafted.

Saturday, I was able to visit a local quilt shop, Burkholders. It is FABULOUS. My mom has ranted and raved about it and she was dead on. This place was totally overwhelming. They had EVERYTHING and cheap too (well at least cheaper than I can get it around me)! I found some great Dr. Seuss material to make pillows for C's preschool class on Dr. Seuss' birthday, I found some beautiful springy material to make dresses out of, and I found lots of great circle prints. I am obsessed with circle fabric and think that I will make a quilt out of them someday:)

Everyone was working on something a bit different. There were two scrapbookers, a hair bow designer, and two sewers.
My first project was the Buttercup Bag. This was a great, easy project. I really like the fabric that I used and the finished product. I made one for myself and one for a friend for an upcoming birthday. I plan on making a few more of these, but maybe next time with a little heavier of a fabric. I used a cotton blend this time and I think I need something sturdier.

A twirly circle skirt was next. This was super easy. I used one of my new scores from Burkholders for this one. C tried it on tonight and was "in love". (Of course she did, it was pink;)

YAY! G finally gets something! This is the perfect present for a little boy that chooses his own clothes everyday and everyday he chooses a "workshirt" and neck tie. I LOVED making this. It was so fun and so easy. I can't way to make more fun ones for him to choose from. The pattern I used was one that I had bought from Dainty Couture on etsy.com. I did however, change the pattern quite a bit. Most specifically, instead of using a plain elastic around the neck, I chose to build a casing and attach velcro at either end to secure it. G has other ties that close this way and this and the clip close seem to work the best. He just loved his present!

Lastly, I started some more baby blocks. this time, I decided on making six half size ones. I did them in the same way as the Big Baby Block, only each of the six had it's own texture. These I cut out were 5"X5". They were slightly bigger than I imagined, so I think if I were going to do a number of them again, it would be a bit smaller. But really, they are turning out great!
Here is the first one (minus the stuffing):

We accomplished quite a bit this weekend, but the best thing was relaxing! It was so nice and cozy. I feel refreshed and ready to face the week! Thanks to the husband for the weekend off!


Getting Ready

I sent off a very special package yesterday...I hope it is liked!
Now I can share my goods that were included. The first half of the week was spent creating and putting the finishing touches on it.
Here is the diaper holder/changing pad that I made, courtesy of Cluck Cluck Sew's tutorial found here. This project was super fast and easy. It is a GREAT gift idea. I would have loved one of these compact all-in-ones for C and G.

Then, there is the craft near and dear to my heart, knitting. I decided on matching knitted hats.
This pattern was Children's Cotton Hats by Kim Hamlin from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I used Debbie Bliss Pure Cotton yarn and size 7 dpns. This is a pattern I had knit before, but with a different yarn and color. It is so fast and simple. I love the look of the i-cord that circles the hat. I can't wait to see the girls. I hope their heads haven't grown too much yet:)

Lastly, there was the Big Baby Block. I am really curious to hear what they think. The babies are too small to play with it now, but soon enough...

I have spent the majority of the second half of the week getting ready to go away. Four friends and I are going on a fantastic, fabulous, crafting getaway. I have been attempting to organize. I have put all of the patterns I want to sew along with all of the materials and cut out material in ziploc baggies, I have printed off the templates I want to embroider, and I have packed some knitting and pictures to organize. Each of us does something different, there are scrapbookers, paper crafters, sewers, knitters, and those that are great with a hot glue gun! I am psyched. We leave this evening and come home on Sunday, so Sunday nights blog post should be WONDERFUL, stay tuned...


The Big Baby Block

YAY!!! I created my first original pattern! This is too exciting. The fact that I get to finally develop my own tutorial is really awesome. Here is the start of it. Honestly, it is a super easy pattern, if you can even call it that. The idea was sparked by the birth of some new little ones. I was hoping to make a toy that they would love, but something different than a softie (which I do love making by the way). I figured that all babies love different textures, and that this pattern allowed lots of flexibility for creativity. No two blocks will be the same.
I really enjoyed picking the fabric. I loved the idea that scraps can be used from other projects. I then loved picking the textures that would go on each block.
Here goes...

First, pick out six designs of fabric. For this block, I used one corduroy piece, a terry cloth piece, a flannel piece, and three cotton pieces of fabric.I then cut each of these six pieces of fabric to a 10 inch by 10 inch square. I knew that I would be allowing for a 1/2 inch seam allowance on each side, so the finished project would be a 9 inch by 9 inch square.
After all the pieces were cut, I picked what the textures would be for each side.
For the first side, I used felt hearts, stitched onto the flannel fabric piece.

The second side (my favorite) was a cotton flower fabric with minky fabric patches in it. I cut out the squares and then sewed the minky fabric underneath. One tip I have if doing this is after you cut the squares out, if you cut a slit at each corner so you can fold the sides under for a nicely
hemmed edge.

The third block was an ABC cotton fabric with grosgain ribbon tabs sewed on. I took the ribbon and sewed each end onto the fabric, making a loop. Each grosgain ribbon piece was 5 inches.

The fourth block was the terry cloth block. I scored some half off chunky ribbon trim at JoAnne's today. I made an "X" pattern on the terry cloth and sewed it on using the zig zag stitch.

The fifth block was the yarn block (another favorite of mine). I used the corduroy fabric as a base. Then I used a beautiful blue yarn. I stitched the yarn on in a swirling pattern. This one feels really neat!

Last but not least, here is the sixth block. I chose some satin ribbon (babies love satin, right?). I formed these loops, the same way as the third block, only I cut these pieces at 6 inches and after sewing them into a loop, I sewed down the middle to make two loops. This is the bright pink cotton block with off white satin loops seen in the first picture. (I forgot to take a pic at this step).

Now for the most difficult piece of the project. Let me start off by saying IT WORKS OUT, I PROMISE. Sew the first three blocks in a row, right sides together.

Sew the rest of the blocks, so that there are two stacked on the top of this center block in the main row and one stacked on the bottom. You will now have one funky tetris shape. After this, you literally just sew all of the right sides together, forming a square. Keep in mind that you will be using 1/2 inch seam allowances so that your end result will be 9X9. Piecing all of the blocks together will get more difficult as you get farther in, but it WILL ALL WORK OUT!
When you get to the last block, stitch halfway down, leaving a 4-5 inch opening.
At this point, flip your block right side out.

Iron each crease. Topstitch using a 1/8 inch seam allowance around all sides of the block (leaving the side with the opening unstitched at this point). The point of this top stitch is to form a more defined square so that when you stuff it, it will look like a block and not just a ball.
At this point, use a poly fill stuffing to stuff your block. Use a pencil or wooden dowel to get the stuffing in corners. I made my block fairly firm because I feel like stuffing condenses over time, but to each their own. Then top stitch your last side. Voila!

Please email with any suggestions or questions. I would be HAPPY to answer them as this was my first tutorial and I am sure I left something out: laurynrb03 [at hotmail.com]
Thanks so much for reading and ENJOY!


An Afternoon Photo Shoot...

I finished my first "me" piece. I LOVE how it turned out (minus numerous flaws when looked at up close). I made a "Party Skirt" using the tutorial over at Creative Spaces. This was a great first piece. I am just getting into sewing, so I am far from experienced! There are lots of beginner techniques that I still need to learn. This tutorial incorporated a zipper into it as well as ruffling, which was great. Both were much easier than I thought they would be.
I used a pink linen fabric from JoAnne's that was on clearance. C is obsessed with the color and wants her very own Party Skirt, so I just may need to attempt the kids version. She was very intrigued by the whole process. C is definitely going to be my arts and crafts girl. It is such a THRILLING feeling to know that she will someday be so interested in learning how to knit and sew.

The only pieces of the tutorial that I changed or would change are:

-I used double my waist size in length of the fabric piece as suggested by the tutorial. Next time I would use less. After ruffling, it was super poofy.
-I would definitely make the bow detachable as suggested. It looks great that way!

After I finished the skirt today, C insisted that we have a fashion show. She took my pic and I took hers...Enjoy!

Photos courtesy of "C"!


Totally Outdone...

My husband ROCKS! There are no other words to use. That Valentine's gift was the nicest, most thoughtful, beautiful gift in the world! He is SO sweet... The only bad part was that he totally showed me up. His post was awesome, along with his pictures and his idea!

Here were the small gifts that the kids and I made for him...a classic original scrapbook full of their valentines and artwork and a mod podged picture on wood for his office. It turned out great!


A Valentine's Day Gift

This blog has been hijacked!!

Well, not really... This is Ben, Lauryn's husband, and as a part of her Valentine's Day gift this year I'm posting the craft I made for her.

Let me preface by letting you know that I am NOT a crafty person. Creative, yes. Thoughtful? I'd like to think so. But in the realm of cute crafts my skills have already been surpassed by our 4 year old daughter.

That's exactly the reason I think Laur will appreciate this gift so much; because it's a stretch for me. It pulls me out of my comfort zone and wasn't easy for me to do. Writing a song, a letter, or a note: no problem. Creating something real, and visually appealing is a different story. But seeing the smile I anticipate will be on her face when she receives this hand-made craft is worth 10 times the discomfort of doing something new and outside of my normal skill set.

I had the idea for "a craft" before I had any clue about what craft to pick. So after much searching around the interwebs, I came upon a project that seemed both feasible and a great way to express how I feel about my wife.

It's an accordion book that consists of words and phrases that describe what my wife means to me.
From the Marta Writes blog: http://bit.ly/fmbNz7

Marta doesn't give any instructions on how to complete this project, which is just my style. The idea was enough for me.

So here's how I did it:

1. I stole some crafty looking paper from Lauryn's stash and cut it into even strips that were about 6 inches in width.

2. Then, I taped them all together using clear packing tape (resisted the urge to use duct tape) so that I had one long paper, 6 inches wide and a lot of inches long that changes color and pattern regularly.

3. Next, I folded the long sheet into equal parts that made 14 "pages" for me to fill in content. So that gave me a pseudo book with which to work.

4. Now comes the thoughtful part: finding the words.
I grabbed a few magazines and began my search. I had a handful of words in mind that I simply had to have, but also left room for the available content to guide me. And since I only read and own music and pro audio magazines, I certainly had a different set of words and phrases than most magazine cutout scrapbooks I've seen. :-)

5. Once the words were cut out, I arranged them in a timeline for how they might appear in the book to tell the story I was after. Now that I knew what I wanted to say and in what order, I used this rolling adhesive thingy I found on Laur's craft table to paste the words in place.

6. Lastly, I cut out some nice paper to fill in the gaps and wrote using fancy pens and my best handwriting to expound on the words where needed and add some personality throughout.

7. One more thing, folded it back up and added a nice little ribbon for a touch of class.

And there you have it! I can only hope Lauryn likes it (and this blog post).

Wish me luck!

Happy Valentine's Day!




A week filled with love...and a nursing research paper, work, kiddos, chaos, and school board stuff...so, par for the course!
I will say that though I am a bit behind on posting, there has been a lot going on in this new craft year of mine. I have been sparking some creativity by reading some fellow bloggers (ones that are much more experienced than me). It has been working. Man, there are some ultra creative people out there. I am totally inspired! This week was a particular fun one to read up on blogs. Valentine's has such a crafty feel to it.
Many of my projects from this past week will be revealed after tomorrow of course. I need my valentine to see them first!
I tried my hand at mod podge. It is SO easy! Where have I been all these years? What a great way to spruce up any craft project. I made some "love blocks" after noticing that we are at a loss for Valentine decorations. Thanks to my trusty neighbor and friend, he made the blocks for me, a miracle woodworker. I then used some dollar bin scrap-booking paper and paper letters. Super quick too!

Next up...C and I made some crayons today. We put them into a heart candy mold and then refroze them. She has been saving all of the broken crayons for months now. It puts our little "Harry the Hoarder's" mind at rest to know that we will be reusing them! They go hand in hand with her hand painted valentine's for tomorrow's party at school. She did a beautiful job!
Though it isn't a craft per say, I made these ROCKIN' Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes
from the blog Kevin and Amanda. They were SO good and such a hit. I can't wait to try these with brownie batter.

So...this week, we welcomed into our world some of our best friends new twins. They did not know what they were having, so I ANXIOUSLY (and patiently) awaited the news. Next week is dedicated to making BABY GIRL stuff! Welcome V and H. What a crafty mom you have (and a strong one too--kept them hibernating for 38 weeks)!



So today was a day of making my favorite project so far! Thank you for the idea The Long Thread! After reading her post on recycled Valentine's Day Softies, I decided to create my own! I used her heart pattern and arm pattern. C of course wanted a heart, but good old G wanted a monster. I had a couple of button down shirts that were in the give-away pile that I picked out and used the material. Then add some scraps of vintage fabric bought at my LYS, Remnantz, some buttons, and embroidery floss, some yarn scraps for the hair, and VOILA....a heart and monster softie! I can't wait to see the kids reactions tomorrow. One would think that I would just save them for a little V-Day surprise, but those don't know me very well. I am not the most patient gift-giver.
Anyway, I just LOVED creating these and think my mind could run away with it.
I will have to follow up with a pic of C and G holding these because they are going to LOVE them!
We have been cooped up inside for the last couple of days because of this crazy weather. First some snow, then tons of ice! It kind of stunk because at least with the snow, we can go out and play, but with ice falling from trees, probably not such a great idea. The kids are ready to be out and about again. We have exhausted baking (an apple cake today), paper crafts (Valentine decorations for the door), and dressing up as batman/batgirl and spiderman/spidergirl.

Leaving you with my newest cast-on...basic easy lace socks for C. Some red bamboo variegated yarn of course. I will say, C happens to be my biggest fan! She gets SO SO excited to get homemade items, from hair clips to dresses, she will be the one that follows in my footsteps. These will be her first handknit socks.