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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Brave Butterflies Digital Scrapbooking Kit Freebie

New to digital scrapbooking? Never downloaded a digital kit before? What in the world are .rar files anyway? Get your answers here: How to Unzip Files So You Can Digi Scrap.

After the monsters last week, I was ready to design a girly kit. 

This kit has fresh colors and graphic butterflies. I'm surprised at how well it goes with these pictures I took at my aunt's house two weeks ago (I designed the papers before picking out the photos). Aubrey is getting so brave about things. She's super cautious and didn't walk until 16 months, so this is big. I also love that I don't have to follow her around although she would have me push her on the swings forever and it's never high enough for her.

I have no idea how that got to be so large! Sorry about that. As always, I'd love to see if you make anything using this kit. :)
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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Toiletry / Make Up Bag Tutorial

A few weeks ago, before we went out to California to see David's parents, I sewed myself a toiletry bag. I thought I was making a huge bag, big enough for everything, like shampoo and facial cleanser and maybe even a bottle of Tums, but it shrank while I was sewing it and I got a cute bag about the size of an average make-up bag.

When we got home, I was determined to sew a bag that was the right size. We still have a few trips coming up and I wanted something that was the right dimensions for all those things I think I'm going to need. I've tried to pack light. I'm incapable. My brain must be prepared for every last contingency. Who knows? I could have an attack of bad BO and use up a trial size body wash! Everyone else at the family reunion could not remember their toothpaste, and I could find myself providing toothpaste for 60! I could suddenly develop heartburn the size of Texas or be out of treats in the car! Then, I will resourcefully and triumphantly pull out my full-sized bottle of Tums and keep us all sane by feeding Tums to the animals (errrr, children) riding in car seats in the back until we reach the next gas station and can buy treats like caramels or gum, something that will stick their teeth together, thereby allowing David and I to successfully conquer the deserts of Nevada in a mini van, keeping heartburn and insanity at bay. I will never be caught without enough deodorant, Tums, shampoo, a spare set of contacts. etc and so forth. This is my only superpower, and I have to do it well.

So, this is the bag I came up with! It's big enough! It's cute! It was made from stuff I had lying around the house! Triumph.
The cute zipper pull I made with a wrapped loop and some beads.The jean lining peeking through.
If you want to make your own giant-sized lined toiletry bag, I've provided instructions below. If you want to make a simpler bag, Heart of Mary has a super-cool, super awesome, super easy tutorial here.

Ok, first of all, you need three different fabrics for this particular design.
Cut out these (seam allowance is INCLUDED):
2—3.5x12” floral (for across the top)
4—4.5x13” jean (for sides)
2—4.25x13” green (for down center)
1—4x12” jean (for handle)
2—1.5x45” yellow (piping)
2—12x14.2” jean (for lining)
2—12.5x15” approx. fusible fleece interfacing (you can use regular interfacing, but it won’t be as stiff and I would suggest interfacing the lining if you go this route)
Other supplies:
Cording (about two yards)
Thread to match
Zipper (at least 12”)
Charm for zipper pull
Your pieces for the front will look like this once they are cut out.
You can see I use a quilting ruler, mat and rotary cutter. If you are going to be doing a lot of sewing (particularly bags or quilts), I highly recommend getting yourself some of these babies! They are awesome!
Next, sew the cording between the yellow fabric. There’s a great tutorial on how to make your own piping here. It’s super simple and really adds a lot to your project. It should look something like this after you are done.
Ok, next is sewing the middle green to the jean sides. First, lay your jean right side up. Then layer the piping with the rough edge against the edge of your jean (the distance between the stitches and the edge should be your seam allowance, about ½”. If it’s not, trim it down so you don’t have to mess with uneven edges. Then put the green right side down on top of your piping and jean. Your piping should stick out a little past your fabric. Should look like this (except your edges should match up better than mine):
Sew. It will look like this opened up. If you didn’t get your stitching close enough to the piping, sew over it again, closer to the piping (but don't get too close. It needs room to breath.
Repeat with other side and the along the top with floral fabric. Your finished outside should look something like this:
Repeat with the other outside piece.
Next, fuse the fleece to the back side of your outside pieces. Trim up any corners or fleece that overlaps the edges. If you are a bit off in your measurements, it’s not going to matter much as long as you are square and both sides are the same.
Make sure your lining is the same size as your outside.
Now, here comes the zipper. I loath zippers, but this isn’t too bad to put in, especially because I left mine exposed as part of the design.
First, line up your zipper on the edge of your fabric, right sides together. Both ends of the zipper should hang off the fabric a little. Make sure the pull is off the end so you don’t have to mess with it while sewing.
Sew, with about ¼” seam allowance. You don’t even have to use your zipper foot if you don’t want to.
Ok, do the same for the other side.Once you open it up, it will look like this:
I really wish I had a picture of this next part, but I think I can explain it. You are going to flip down one of the sides of the front, so the edge that you have sewn to the zipper is exposed and the whole piece lies flat. Flip so one edge of the zipper is on top and ignore the other side you've already sewn to the zipper. Put lining piece along edge, right side down. Sew along the seam you already made. This is the trickiest part, but you can do it! Here's a diagram:
Turn to other side and repeat. You will end with with the lining looking just like the front:
Press flat. Keeping fabric in this configuration, topstitch along zipper, about 1/8" away from edge of fabric. Phew! That was the hardest part.
The handle. This is super simple after that whole zipper thing. First, fold your fabric in half, hot-dog style, then press. Then, turn in the edges of the fabric to the center fold and press (see photo). Then fold along first press and press again.
Topstitch along the edges (do the open side first) and you have your strap.
Baste your strap in place as shown. Only sew through the top layer and not the lining.
Open your zipper at least half way. Now you are ready to sew this bag into a bag. First, put right sides of the outside together and the right sides of the lining together. Sew around the outside, leaving an opening in the bottom of the lining for turning. Sewing the lining slightly smaller than the outside. My red lines on the photos below show were your sewing lines should be. Sew over the zipper (it should be folded in half). Go really slowly and hand-crank if necessary.
This is the last step before turning! You're almost done. Now, stand your bag upright and match the side seam to the bottom seam. You may need to clip the corners. It should form a right angle. Press.
Next, draw a line to make an triangle. Your line should be square with both your seams. Your line should be about four inches long.
Sew along your line and repeat with other three corners. Trim off the excess, leaving a 1/2" seam allowance. Turn your bag out through the hole in the lining. Press all the seams you can reach, then sew up the hole in your bag. I just realized I got so excited to finish my bag that I forgot to get a picture of this part. Gotta go take a picture now. . . Ok, back with it.
Hold the opening closed and sew across it. Trim your strings. You will probably do a better job than I did trimming yours. I was in a hurry. I get this kind of nervous excitement when I'm about to finish a project and I don't always pay attention to the finishing details. Since there happened to be a pair of scissors on my computer desk, I'm trimming them right now.
Tada! The finished bag, perfect for my trips.
I've started a new blog: Come follow my crafting adventures on my new blog. Find me at:

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Question answered. :)

I got a question in my comments! Since I didn't have enough room to really answer it in the comment section, here is a post with the answer (is anyone surprised I needed more room? Anyone?).

How do you create these? I am not looking to swoop in and steal your idea-I just am boggled by it.

No one is more boggled than I am that I can create digital scrapbooking stuff. When I started digital scrapbooking years ago (I'm bi-scraptual, which means I can't commit to either paper or digital), I used to make my own papers, but they were super simplistic. A few years ago, before Griffin was born, I went to UVSC (now UVU) for two semesters and took a bunch of graphic design classes where I really learned to use the Adobe programs: Illustator, Photoshop and InDesign. I also took a typography class which turned me into a font snob. I somehow finangled my way into getting copies of Illustrator and Photoshop, so I use those to make my papers, which I believe is how most digital designers make them.

Most of my drawing is done in Illustrator. I'm not that great with a pen and paper, but I can fake drawing skills a little with Illustrator. I mostly use the pen tool, which is a difficult tool to figure out. I curse at it every time I sit down to make something. Other than the pen tool, they are mostly super simple to do, although time consuming and addicting.

There are so many amazing effects you can do with Photoshop. I know mostly nothing. I love how many digital designers can do amazing things with Photoshop that I can't even begin to emmulate. It's a good thing I like my papers clean and crisp. I'm thrilled that other people like them too.

Some awesome designers to check out!

Thanks for the question! That was fun to answer. If any of you have a favorite digital designer, I'd love to check them out. Tell us about them in a comment! There are so many talented people out there, it's amazing.
I've started a new blog: Come follow my crafting adventures on my new blog. Find me at:

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Project Progress: Baby Clothes Quilt Week 4

A day early, because I won't be able to get to it tomorrow.

This is the most bland post ever. I've sewn a few more rows on the body of the quilt, but it basically looks the same as last time you saw it. Dang! I've been doing other things this week and it was low on my list--right now I'm supposed to be packing for a weekend trip, but instead I'm updating my blog. I really hate packing and loading the car, especially by myself. I promise next Friday, you will get some good progress on that thing. I'm really looking forward to picking out a back and starting to quilt, but I'm getting ahead of myself now.

Check back next week for some new pictures. :) I'm going to leave you with a picture of Aubrey wearing one of the outfits that made it into the fabric of the quilt.
I've started a new blog: Come follow my crafting adventures on my new blog. Find me at:

Thursday: Fruits of the Crop

Maxton and Aubriana. I love the blue and brown in this one. The paper is Making Memories, the sticker is Heidi Swapp and the rub ons are American Crafts.
I think I've shown off this dress/shirt on my blog before, but here it is all scrapbooked. I just love this fabric. I made a bag with scraps that I will show you soon. :) The letter stickers are Basic Grey and American Crafts. The paper is Doodlebug and K and Company (I think). Flowers are Prima and Imaginisce. You might regonize the journaling box from my Garden Pops digital scrapbooking kit.
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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Monsters under the Bed Digital Scrapbooking Freebie

New to digital scrapbooking? Never downloaded a digital kit before? What in the world are .rar files anyway? Get your answers here: How to Unzip Files So You Can Digi Scrap.

This week's kit is all about the monsters. Monsters are very popular in our house right now. Aubrey especially loves to pretend to be a monster and stomp around, being mighty and fierce. This past weekend, we saw Monsters vs. Aliens and she has been talking about it constantly. Xander asks me every five minutes if we can get it on video DVD (what century am I living in, anyway?), despite me promising him that we would buy it before we even saw it in the theater. Griffin is denying any possibility that he might have slept through half of the movie, even though I personally saw him slumped over.

Anyway, that's the inspiration behind this kit. I hope you like it!

I've started a new blog: Come follow my crafting adventures on my new blog. Find me at:

Monday, June 22, 2009

I made my kids clean the bathroom today.

Actually, I asked David to make them clean the bathroom. We only have one bathroom. With four males using it, it gets grody. I hate cleaning bathroom, especially when I'm not responsible for missing the toilet entirely and then not cleaning up after myself. I never miss and I'm always neat and sanitary. Boys are gross.

Proper toilet seat usage is something that Griffin has decided not to care about. I will go in and the seat will be down, with pee sprinkled generously on it. After gagging and wiping with a Clorox wipe, I have to cross my legs and do a little dance until it dries so I can use it. I will come in to find him going #2, clinging desperately to the rim of the toilet, with the seat up behind him. Lectures are ineffectual. Someday I'm going to have to fish him out of the toilet. I will be in my bedroom, wondering why he's taken so long in the bathroom and then I will go in and he will be in there, arms and legs flailing helplessly. Then maybe he will listen to me and realize that I am actually smarter than him and I do have some method to "irrational" things I ask him to do, like not eating his boogers and putting the toilet seat in the proper position for the task at hand. In the meantime, I wipe the seat every time I need to go.

So, David made them clean the bathroom. This is pretty much how it went. (Warning: whining, bickering kids ahead. I think Xander hits pitches in his whining that only dogs can hear. But there is cuteness at the end). David took this video with his point and shoot camera. Super easy and faster than our regular video camera, so more videos to come.

Isn't she so cute!? "It's yucky, Daddy."

Today she was sitting at the piano, singing. I was laughing so much at her lyrics, "I love Mommy. I like her shoes." Hehe. So dang cute! Only two and already composing music.
I've started a new blog: Come follow my crafting adventures on my new blog. Find me at:

Friday, June 19, 2009

Project Progress: Baby Clothes Quilt Week 3

It's Friday! Not only does that mean that the weekend is upon up (can I get a whoop! whoop!), I'm updating on my quilt progress. I'm thrilled with my progress this week. It's really starting to take shape. It doesn't hurt that the blocks themselves are super simple, so once I got them cut out it was just a matter of sewing them into rows and then sewing the rows together.

I confess that I get bored sewing quilts. It's such tedious work. The only reason I keep doing it is that I love to see them come together. There's something deeply satisfying to me about cutting large pieces of fabric into tiny little squares and then sewing them back together again. It's just so pretty! I love the charm and mystery of quilts. You just never know quite what they will look like once they are finished.

Ok, now to the fun stuff! The photos. . .

Here are the stack of squares that still need to be sewn into rows. There are a total of 13 rows. I have 5 more rows to sew.
The sashing that goes between the squares. This is so hard to get right. You have to be so precise. I'm not a fan of being precise. I usually fudge it and wiggle it to make it fit. By the way, these pictures are taken in my mom's dining room. She's a huge fan of the Queen Anne style. I like it, but if it were my home, there probably wouldn't be any Queen Anne. Just so ya know.
Rows sewn together, ready to be sewn into the quilt.
A close up of one of the blocks, after it's been sewn in. I broke a needle sewing with too little caution. There are snaps and zippers and stuff all over the place, so I'm learning to take it slow and examine each square before sewing it. Did I mention I use my mom's machine? She has a beautiful Pfaff and I would hate to break it (since my sewing machine death count is 3 to date, I'm trying to be nicer to my machines instead of sending them scurrying for shelter at the sewing machine repair shop).

OOO, five of the rows sewn together. Hanging out on the ironing board.
Another close up of one of the squares:
The five rows so you can really see them! I wasn't too sure about the colored squares between them, but since the people had spoken. . . you all were right though. I think it looks great!

My goal for next week is to have the top all the way done!
I've started a new blog: Come follow my crafting adventures on my new blog. Find me at:

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thursday: Fruits of the Crop Day!

I have been not so good at sharing the layouts lately. Partly because I've been doing other things besides scrapbooking and partly because without the motivation to post them online, my poor layouts lie languishing without finishing touches and dates. Poor lonely layouts. This brings me to my idea for a new feature: fruits of the crop. Since I do most of my scrapbooking at crops with my sis now, I'm going to feature one or two layouts each Thursday. I hope you enjoy!

I love the bright colors of this K and Company line. So pretty! I used my Cricut for the slides and the circles. The white was free-hand cut. The stitckers are American Crafts, of course.

I keep thinking that I haven't scrapbooked many Maxton layouts recently, but as I was looking through my nearly finished stack, I had quite a few. I guess I just haven't been finishing Maxton layouts. Yesterday at the crop, I forgot to bring my cord for my Cricut. I was frustrated, as I use that thing on nearly every layout. Plus, I needless expended time and effort packing and carrying an Expression and all the carts to a crop in a huge, black suitcase. I was forced to free-hand cut the leaves and the @. I think it still looks pretty good though. The Paper is SEI, one of my favorite lines ever. Letter stickers are American Crafts.
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Friday, June 12, 2009

Exercise: Why I Hate It

I’m trying to lose weight. I like being skinny. I like my clothes to fit. I’ve been slowly losing both of those over the last year. I’m not sure what to blame. I’m betting that being depressed and on medications on and off has something to do with it. I like food and hate exercise. Another problem is that I’ve always been able to eat whatever I want, not exercise and still be disgustingly perfect. I still think I should be able to do that and “eat whatever I want” has come to mean Costco sized portions of cheese and chocolate. I have never weighed this much while not being pregnant/losing weight after being pregnant.

So, this came to a crisis came to a head when I went to the doctor and they weighed me and the number was 168. I just about flipped. In high school, I was 150 and the perfect weight (I’m tall and have heavy bones, so 150 was just right skinny for me). I’d been avoiding the scales, because I knew I was not going to be happy with what I saw. Luckily, ours is broken, so it's been easy to do.

After Xander, I got down to 135 and that was way too skinny. My head looks huge in pictures. See:

I mean, I wouldn’t mind being that skinny all the time, but it’s really too skinny to be realistic. I look a bit sick. Or like I’m a female doctor on a medical drama. Ever notice how those girls always have tiny bodies and huge-o heads and their teeth look like they could at any moment elongate and eat a patient?

Right now, I’m about here:

I’d like to be right in between those two. Around 156 or so. Like the picture below. That is me in Vegas 14 months ago. Perfection! (Except for that double chin. Only because I was looking down! I swear!).

Two weeks ago, I started getting up the willpower. I’m done being like this. I hate how my pants don’t fit. My clothes have clearly had it too. My “fat” pair of jeans has given up the fight and will no longer stay zipped. Poor zipper looks like it’s trying to escape to Mexico. Then another beloved pair of pants split in the booty. This made me muy muy sad and I’m only holding it together by telling myself that they were beloved and very, very worn. My clothes are screaming for help.

Over the past two weeks, I haven’t been eating candy. I’ve been cutting down on cheese, snacks and fast food. I even exercised. Twice. This is a huge deal.

I hate to exercise. Here are the steps I take when I’m going to exercise. I make sure to follow them to the letter every time:

  1. Dread working out. Make David make me agree to exercise. Make David hand me my shoes. Make David agree to be tortured with me. Make David make me leave the house. Poor David.
  2. Change into exercise clothes. I hate changing my clothes. Really. I try to only do it once a day. You have to decide what to wear, which is always difficult. You are creating laundry, which I despise. Laundry and I have a feud going that stretches long back into my childhood. You have do decide if things go together. I’m over it, and have been since I started dressing myself all those long years ago. When I was in high school, I slept in my clothes to avoid having to take them off at night and put on a pair of pajamas. If you exercise, you have to put on special clothes, then they make you change back into regular clothes after you are done and usually after a shower, which is a whole ‘nother ball of venting wax. Having to get ready after taking a shower is about the only time I wish I were a man.
  3. Figure out what to do with four small children. Make David ask my mom to watch them for us. Poor David.
  4. Spend the whole time wanting to stop, wanting to puke, or wanting to stop to puke, or wanting to puke so you can stop. Exercising makes me physically ill. This is why I never exercise enough to stop feeling like that. I try to take it easy. Really, I do. I just don’t realize that my definition of “easy” really means “slow walk.”
  5. Come home after 15 eternal minutes and die on the bed. Refuse to get dressed. Refuse to move. Drink water so I’ll stop feeling like I’m going to puke. Almost puke after drinking too much water.
  6. WAIT! I feel good! I feel endorphins! WOW. I love exercise. I’m going to do this every day!
  7. Lie awake in bed until 1:00 am. Kids get up at 6:30.
  8. Wake up the next morning and everything hurts. I’m never exercising again.

You can see why this is an effort. I really need to just suck it up, feel like puking for a few weeks, and get into a routine.

By the way, I weighed myself yesterday. I gained three pounds.

I've started a new blog: Come follow my crafting adventures on my new blog. Find me at:

Project Progress: Baby Clothes Quilt

I am making good progress on my quilt. This is a tough one because the cutting is so very tedious. My brain in numb from it and I'm spacing things like where I put my keys and Xander's piano lessons and whether or not I've changed Aubrey's diaper yet today and if I still need to brush my teeth this morning.

I'm finally finished with the larger squares. This makes me gleeful. There were 134. I'm debating on what to do for the smaller squares. I need some input from you all! Pretty please?

Remember, this is a "sketch" of my quilt:My original thought was to do the smaller 2" squares from clothing fabric as well. I don't want to do this because it's tedious, but I'm thinking it will look the best. I have plenty of fabric. So, what do you all think? Substitute some other fabric (probably flannels in orange, pink and green) or keep on with the little squares?

Here's the quilt laid out on the floor to get the placement. I do with with the random ones to get even distribution. It's a technical process, involving lots of time down on the floor analyzing things that no one is going to care about in the end.

I lost my wide-angle lens (I know, how could I lose it? Yet, I have). There was no way I was getting the whole thing in and my photos do not want to merge, so this was the best I could do. This is the top half:I love the way it's looking. I was worried it was going to look too random and not cohesive, but they actually go together beautifully. I love all the ruffles and buttons and embroidery! And the memories--I've haven't cried yet and I'm enjoying remembering her in all these outfits.

You can see I turned over the squares and used a water-soluble marking pen to write numbers and letters on the back. This was a stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. No second guessing which way the squares go, no worrying if the squares get mixed up by some child. I'm doing it this from now on. It was especially easy since the squares are all backed with flannel.

(I really hope that all made sense. I'm getting a migraine and I feel like I'm under water and my neurons are drunk off pain. I took some meds, so hopefully soon light will stop stabbing me in the eyes and the world won't tilt anymore.)

Hey readers! I added a poll to the side, so vote away. I could really use some feedback.
I've started a new blog: Come follow my crafting adventures on my new blog. Find me at:

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Summer Breeze Digital Scrapbooking Freebie

New to digital scrapbooking? Never downloaded a digital kit before? What in the world are .rar files anyway? Get your answers here: How to Unzip Files So You Can Digi Scrap.

These colors make me want to eat an apple and go swimming! I was really inspired by the beginning of summer to do something crisp and summery. The layout is pictures from last year of us on a picnic--one of our favorite free summer activities (well, except the cost of food. . . suddenly, I'm channeling a Nutrasystem commercial--I just wish I'd lost the 20 pounds along with the voice over work). Hope you enjoy and if you create any thing with it, I'd love to see!

I've started a new blog: Come follow my crafting adventures on my new blog. Find me at:

Monday, June 08, 2009

Baby pictures! Graham is so dang sweet!

I've started a new blog: Come follow my crafting adventures on my new blog. Find me at: