Category Archives: mom

Baby Shower Gifts

With a few new babies coming from friends and family, it’s the perfect opportunity for me to use my new multi-needle embroidery machine and make those cute gifts I’d been dying to make for awhile.  With my single needle, it’s not as easy to make these so I had shyed away from making bigger named projects just because it’s so complex.  But no longer will I do that!! I LOVE my new Brother Entrepreneur PE-650e!

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I made this matching set for my old co-worker/friend who is due with a little girl around Thanksgiving.  We are throwing her a little shower today with some co-workers and it will be fun to see all my old friends!DSC_0217-1

The gown was ordered and I appliqued her name onto it.  I found this fabulous fabric at Hobby Lobby, so bright and cheerful!!  I made her a matching bib with the pattern that my aunt mailed me when I was pregnant with my son 9 years ago!  It’s a great pattern and perfect size for babies!!  And homemade is WAY better then store bought!  I also purchased the little knit hat and put her name on it too!  Perfect for hospital pictures!DSC_0221-1

Making this tag blanket was super easy.  Just use a 12″ x 12″ piece of fabric and minky backing, along with various ribbons and stitch it together.  Babies love these things!DSC_0222-1 DSC_0224-1

made her this beautiful gown out of a onsie and fabric.  I saw a few patterns on Pinterest and kinda made up my own.  I didn’t take pictures, but maybe next time.  It has elastic on the bottom just like the regular gowns.  Matching bib with minky on the back and a personalize burp cloth for Miss Sophia!DSC_0226-1 I can’t wait to see her open it today, which is why I set the blog to publish later on so she won’t see it til she opens it at the shower!!!  Congrats Matt & Amanda!

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Jo-Ann Fabrics Waverize It! Challenge- Floor Cushion/Pillows

I was given the opportunity to partner up with Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts again to show you Wavery Fabrics 90th anniversary with some new fabrics they came out with!  I was given a sample to make something with for part of the Waverize It! challenge.

The following review is a part of the Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores Waverly campaign. I received fabric from Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores for this project, however, this is my personal, honest opinion based on my experience.

I searched through Pinterest for ideas on what to make and came up with floor pillows!  My son’s like to play video games in the basement and since we don’t have anything for them to sit on to play, I thought this fabric was the perfect opportunity for me to use it and give them a seat to use!

I was inspired by the blog Living with Punks. She made 2 of the cutest little pillows for her children and I was excited to follow along with her easy steps to make them too!

DSC_0990-1If you’d like to make your own, here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 yard Home Dec Fabric
  • 2 pkgs. 1/2 ” pre-made piping
  • Contrasting Thread
  • 16-24oz. Fiberfill, depending on how lofty you want it

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Since I didn’t have a compass to draw a straight circle (which would be easier by the way) I just took my measuring tape and fabric marker and measured out 17″ acrossed.  I marked a dot on each side of the tape and then found the center of that.  I just rotated around the center mark, marking around until I had enough dots around the fabric to connect the circle.

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This is what my circle looked like on the pattern.  I then cut it out.  I was able to cut 2 at the same time because I had the fabric folded in half and that way they’d be measured the same.

You will need:
 2 of the 17″ circles (top and bottom)
1 piece cut at 9″x51.5″ (side) **you will have to piece this together if your fabric is 45″**
2 pieces cut at 3″ x 12″ (handle)

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Then you attached the bias tape around the circle, matching up with the edges so it forms a circle.  Make sure your lining up the raw edges, as when your sewing, you want the piping to be towards the middle.DSC_0994-1With contrasting thread, sew around the circle stitching the binding to the fabric.  Do this for both circles, making sure your sewing close enough to the edge to grab both the fabric and the binding with no spaces.  Don’t forget to sew up the long edge of the fabric once you get to that point.  Don’t want to leave a big hole on the side of your pillow!

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Next you’d make the handle, but I guess I didn’t take any in depth pictures of this.  You take the one piece of fabric, add the binding like you were on the circle, but add a piece of piping on both sides.  Sew this onto the fabric.  When this is done, put the other piece of the handle upside down on top of the piping and sew on each side matching the same stitching you just sewed on.  Fold the fabric inside out and iron down flat.  Fold the ends in to hide the raw edges and stitch the ends closed. DSC_0998-1

Adding the handle was fairly easy.  Just pick a side of the pillow and pin the handle to the middle of the side.  Remember to leave a little give room as you want to make sure there is spacing in the handle to put your hand through.  Stitch on each side of the handle and sew a cross through each side to add support and strength to the handle.DSC_0999-1Pin around the other edge of the circle to finish making the pillow.  Pin around all bout a couple inches of the circle so you can leave that open to turn the pillow the right way, and leave a spot to fill with stuffing.

DSC_1000-1 Picture with hole before flipping pillow outside in.DSC_1001-1Pillow before I added any stuffing. DSC_1002-1 I stuffed the pillow with as much stuffing as I thought it would need.  With having boys, I overstuffed it because I know it will break down fast as they are rough and tough kids! I’m sure it will be used as a weapon against each other at some point.  Fill it up with as much cushion as you’d think it will need.DSC_1003-1 Hand sew the opening shut.  I’m not very good at doing this, or hiding the thread but do the best that you can.  DSC_1004-1Tada!! Finished pillow!!!  It turned out so cute! 🙂  I just need to make another one now to match it so they both have a place to sit. DSC_1006-1Standing on it’s side. DSC_1007-1My youngest son modeling the size to show you how big it is.  He’s 4 so it’s perfect size for him! DSC_1008-1He’s even modeling that you can carry it, as he says “no mom, I want to carry it on my arm like this”

Now if you like the fabric you see, you can go onto Facebook and be entered to win the grand price of $1,000 in Wavery fabric or a $250 Jo-Ann gift card!!! Head on over to JoAnn’s Website to enter the contest!  Make something unique of your own with some of Waverly’s amazing fabrics and post it on their site for a chance to win!  You can enter the contest from Sept 1-22!  Winners will be chosen after that date.

I’ve used Waverly fabrics on purses, tote bags and pillows before.  I love that they have so many cute patterns and designs to choose from!!  And for a purse, the fabric is much sturdier then just a normal cotton fabric you might use.  If you enter the contest, don’t forget to come back here and show me what you made!

 

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Crunchy Kosher Dill Pickles- Canning Recipe

So this year, we planted a garden and I planted regular cucumbers and pickling cucumbers.  We love pickles and my aunt was always making awesome pickles so I thought, I should be able to do this.  She sent me her recipe she used, and I found one online and this is what I cam up with!  I canned them 3 weeks ago and we just opened up a jar, YUMMY!  They taste great!

I found this recipe on the website Mama Economics and they are GREAT!

Crunchy Kosher Dill Pickles
Author: Jennifer Williams
Recipe type: Canning
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 7 quart jars
Ingredients
  • 7 wide mouth jars with lids and rings
  • fresh or dried dill
  • cucumbers washed
  • 7 cloves of garlic
  • 7 hot peppers (optional)
  • 8½ cups water
  • 2¼ white vinegar
  • ½ cup pickling salt
Instructions
  1. Wash jars
  2. Fill stock pot about ¼ cup of water set on burner and turn to high heat
  3. In medium saucepan fill ⅓ way with water set on burner and turn to high heat, bring almost to a boil, remove from burner and put lids in saucepan
  4. In a large pot bring water, vinegar, and salt to a boil
  5. Put garlic, dill, and cut peppers in jars ( I use kitchen shears to cut my peppers)
  6. Load cukes into jars tightly until you reach the neck of the jars
  7. Pour brine into jars, leaving ½ inch head space
  8. Add lid and ring to each jar and tighten
  9. Place jars into canner making sure water is JUST to the necks of the jars
  10. Bring water to ALMOST a boil, about 15 minutes
  11. Remove jars from canner, set on towel turned upside down
  12. Cover jars with a towel until cool
  13. Once cool, check for seal, label, and store in a cool dark location
  14. Pickles are ready to eat immediately, store in fridge once jars are opened

Here are some pictures to go along with the process:

Clean jars before canning

Clean jars before canning

Boiling lids

Boiling lids

Chop up your cucumbers whatever way you desire.  This time I sliced them, next time I'm gonna do some hamburger style slices.

Chop up your cucumbers whatever way you desire. This time I sliced them, next time I’m gonna do some hamburger style slices.

Dill and Garlic

Dill and Garlic

Jars filled with dill and garlic.  This is where I added a few hot peppers to a couple jars to see what they'd taste like.  You can also add red pepper flakes.

Jars filled with dill and garlic. This is where I added a few hot peppers to a couple jars to see what they’d taste like. You can also add red pepper flakes.

Fill jars with cucumbers.

Fill jars with cucumbers.

Pour the brine into the jars.

Pour the brine into the jars.

Jars closed and ready to boil so they can get their seal.

Jars closed and ready to boil so they can get their seal.

Boiling in the stockpot, waiting for them to seal.  Boil for about 15 mins.

Boiling in the stockpot, waiting for them to seal. Boil for about 15 mins.

Make sure you check the seals, no popped tops.  Store in a cool place for a couple weeks then enjoy!

Make sure you check the seals, no popped tops. Store in a cool place for a couple weeks then enjoy!

Up close shot after they were boiled and sealed.  They are now in the basement on a shelf.

Up close shot after they were boiled and sealed. They are now in the basement on a shelf.

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WAHM vs Working Mom

I know that there are tons of discussions and posts about the benefits of a working mom, or the benefits of a stay at home mom out there.  I’d just like to take a few minutes and tell you what I feel like is going on in our household.  After moving back from Arizona last year, I finally found a job that was great.  But after 6 months I was laid off, and left without a job right before Christmas.  I had been crafting on the side for a few years now and decided, well, I’m gonna get unemployment for awhile, so why not PUSH sales to my Etsy Shop.  This started to grow and grow, and I decided that it was finally time to purchase the cutting machine that I knew would help me be successful at home too. Since I already had a Brother PE-770 Embroidery Machine, I purchased a Silhouette Cameo and never looked back again! silhouette-cameo

It has been a constant flow of sales from then on.  I finally registered as a business, have a Sales Tax ID # and buy things wholesale.  But deep down I still want to work out of the home.  I want to meet new friends, I don’t want to sit in my craft room all day and I want to find other mommies that like to do the same stuff as I do.  My youngest was pulled out of daycare when I was laid off, simply because we couldn’t afford it at the time.  But as time is wearing on, I’m thinking about sending him to 2-3 day part time preschool just for him to be able to interact with more kids and get him out of the house when I’m crafting.  He gets so bored, but I can’t really do much if I’m “working” at home too.

This is my struggle.  I went to school, got my Bachelors and I know that I’m using it with my own business, but it’s scary having your own business.  Your at the mercy of other people wanting or needing your products!  Just like last year in November, I did a craft show and I didn’t make anything.  But here on Etsy, I can sell like crazy.  I guess people want certain things at craft shows and I wasn’t what they were interested in.  But now I’m wanting to do more this year, just to get my name out there again in the local areas.

And then there is blogging.  I’d love to be a successful blogger.  I see so many mommies that blog about their daily lives, their DIY projects, they get sponsors to help them do giveaways and I am like, I can do that! I can write, post about DIY stuff and talk about my Etsy Shop too!  And then I see all these conferences that I’d love to go to.  One in particular is the Snap!Conference next year in April.  After hearing about it a couple years ago, I just want to go!  I think I’d learn so much stuff, but then again, it’s spending money on admission, plane ticket, and hotel, and what if???

For right now I guess I am content, working from home, doing things around the house to save on money, help us out in the long run, and maybe in a year when my youngest is ready for Kindergarten, things will change?  But then again, maybe not? 😉

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UpCycled Scarves ** Your Favorite Sports Team Shirts Turned Scarf **

This is the summer of thrift shopping!!  We LOVE going to Goodwill and other thrift stores to see what we can find!  My mom is/has always been a bargain shopper, sorting through racks of clothes, we always had great things at the stores on clearance and sale!  Saving money is key since I was laid off in December, so just finding cool things at the store is a great thing!! As Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are singing in “Thrift Shop”, it quickly became a favorite song of my oldest son.  But now it’s our theme song for the summer.  We are making UpCycled/Recycled Shirts Scarves! 🙂  What a better way to give a shirt a new life!! With the help of my mom we are selling them on my Etsy Shop.   
 We can use any knit shirts to make them! If you have some old shirts from your college days, or your local high school and you’d love another way to show them off, perfect way to do so!!  You can send us your old shirts and we can turn them into a scarf!
 I can’t wait to go to a Detroit Tiger’s game and ROCK my new scarf!! Too bad it’s mid-summer and I’d be dying of heat right now! 🙂  But come fall, I’m ready!
Don’t forget to check out my Facebook and Etsy Site!

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