Friday Favorites No. 320

Is it March that the "in like a lion, out like a lamb" saying belongs to? If that's the case, I guess we're looking at a crazy end to this month, but the break from the rain and snow is appreciated for now. You've probably heard Oregon mocked for its ridiculous amount of rainfall, but we've been breaking precipitation records here lately. It isn't so much the water falling from the sky that gets to me, it's what sits on the ground. I'm so over all the mud!

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I might be the only one left who hasn't made a casserole dish carrier, but I really like the way this one from Little Bit Funky comes together. Besides, anytime I can sew and end up with a finished product in under half an hour, I'm in.

If you've considered dabbling in leather, this pretty traveler's notebook cover from Unhurried Home might be a good place to start.

Oh, how I love chimichangas, but when you're trying to avoid fried food they're not usually an option. Thanks to this baked version from The Girl Who Ate Everything, I don't have to give them up!

It's not too soon to get a jump on Easter, especially if you're making anything by hand. This woven fabric basket pattern from SundayGirlDesigns on Etsy is adorable, and would be even more so full of colorful eggs.

With no little ones in my house, I don't make a lot of stuffed things these days, but this book has me looking for a reason. Tilda's Toy Box by Tone Finnanger has so many sweet things in it I'd buy it just for the photos. I can't decide if I love this doll's hair tie, jacket or bloomers the most!

You can find these, and my previous Friday Favorites, on my Crafty Staci’s Friday Favorites Pinterest board!

Book Review: Basic Black

I’m here today to share another book review courtesy of Tuttle Publishing.  They have provided me with the book, but the opinions are all my own.

I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing Happy Homemade Sew Chic Kids, Happy Homemade Sew Chic and Stylish Skirts so far, and I loved things about all of them, but I’ve unintentionally saved the best for last.   I have lots of black clothes in my closet, so I was bound to find a few things here I liked, but I was pleasantly surprised at how many that turned out to be. 

Book Review Basic Black - Crafty Staci 1

This book was written by the talented Sato Watanabe.  It started as all the Tuttle books have so far – with photos of each finished garment.  Not that it has anything to do with the sewing aspect, but one thing I really liked about this book was the cheerfulness of the model.  With all of the garments being black, the happy expressions versus a typical starving model pose set a good tone.

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I had a hard time narrowing down which favorites I wanted to share with you, but the first one that stood out to me was the Dress with Stitched Skirt.  I love the look of white embroidery on black.

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While a good part of the book features cold weather items, like this Zip-Up Vest with High Neck…

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…there are also plenty of things for the warm season too, like this Whimsical Vest in Chiffon Lace.

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This High Neck Shirt with Three Quarter Length Sleeves would be great for that transition from summer to fall.

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I love the neckline on this Flannel Short Coat. 

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I haven’t made anything from this book yet, but it seems like there’s a pretty broad range of skill levels required for the different projects.  There is a page detailing the different tools needed, as you might find in a book for beginners.  There are many projects with only a small number of pieces to cut out and one page of instructions, like this Asymmetrical Blouse with Tape Trim.

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But there are also a few more complex projects for those who’d like to stretch their wings, like this Seersucker Shirt with Collar, which requires several pieces and has three pages of instructions.

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The patterns come in XS, S, M and L and need to be traced onto drafting paper or pattern tissue to use, as they’re overlapped on the pattern page included.  If you wonder why they do this, here is what 26 ordinary sewing patterns look like.

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Compare that to this book, with it’s skinny envelope in the back.  Makes sense, right?

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My thanks to Tuttle Publishing for asking me to review their books.  It was a real pleasure!

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Book Review: Stylish Skirts

As I mentioned a couple of months ago, Tuttle Publishing contacted me and asked if I would review some of their sewing books here on my blog.  I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing Happy Homemade:  Sew Chic and Happy Homemade:  Sew Chic Kids already, and today I’m here with Stylish Skirts.  The books were given to me by Tuttle, but the opinions here are completely my own.

Stylish Skirts Book Review - Crafty Staci 1

I was really excited when Stylish Skirts by Sato Watanabe arrived in the mail.  I love skirts, and every year around this time I vow to wear more of them.  They also tend to be one of the easiest clothing items a seamstress can make, with so many options for variations.  This book arrived with 23 choices available, almost every one of them something I would wear. 

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I like the unique touches to classic styles, like this Slub Denim Wrap-Style Panel Skirt, with its extra bit of extended hem.

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Irregular hem skirts have been in style for a few years now, and this version just looks like someone should dance in it.

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The Tiered Look Frilled Skirt adds a twist to the usual tiered skirt by making the layers end at different lengths.

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I really like the white stripe coordinating with the white buttons on this one.

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There is quite a bit of embroidery in this book, which I’ve been loving lately.  Since this skirt is so easy to sew, the extra effort to add the embroidery isn’t much work.

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As far as the way the book is laid out, it’s very similar to the others I’ve reviewed from Tuttle.  It starts out with photos of each skirt on the same dress form, along with page numbers for the instructions.  I miss the personality of human models, but it did make me feel a bit less intimidated that I’m not the size 0 shown in the photos.

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The book includes several helpful pages for beginners or anyone needing a refresher, like this one that covers different closures.

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I really like the way they have diagramed the sewing instructions.  Like my cookbooks, my sewing books can’t have too many photos. 

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The one issue I have with this book is that you have to draft your own patterns.  I understand this is necessary because there’s no way 23 skirt patterns in a variety of sizes are going to fit in an envelope.  However, I was disappointed to find no “How to Draft a Pattern” page, and even with my 40+ years of sewing experience and help from my husband I couldn’t figure out how to make my favorite skirt.

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Granted, I don’t often draft clothing patterns, so this problem may be confined to me.  I did understand some of the other patterns.  My suggestion would be to make a muslin, especially for your first drafted pattern from this book.  I’m still hoping to figure it out, because I have a piece of fabric that would be perfect for that skirt.

The other thing I’d like to see is clearer fabric suggestions.  There are some, but if they were to add that and a page explaining pattern drafting, this book would be perfect.  Still, Stylish Skirts is definitely worth checking out, especially if you’re a skirt fan like I am!

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Book Review: Happy Homemade Sew Chic Kids

I’m going to start this off with full disclosure.  Tuttle Publishing contacted me and asked if I would review some of their sewing books here on my blog.  Having flipped through a couple of them in the past, I was happy to do so.  The books were given to me by Tuttle, but the opinions here are completely my own.

Sew Chic Kids Book Review - Crafty Staci 1

I’m starting off this week with the first title that caught my attention, Happy Homemade: Sew Chic Kids by Ruriko Yamada.  Put a cute kid on the cover and that’s all the marketing strategy you need for me.  Three of them, wearing my current favorite color palette, and I’m all in.  Fortunately, the rest of the book didn’t disappoint either.

If a beginning sewer were to pick up this book and flip through it, they might assume it was for a more intermediate skill level.  The sheer amount of information and diagrams could be intimidating at first glance.  But that’s exactly why this book would be great for anyone.  The sections on basic tools, needles and thread and sewing machine tips bring a newbie up to speed on what they need to know to get started, then the explanations on how to deal with the pattern pieces and fabric bring it home.  My advice is to read it through before deciding whether it fits into your skill level.

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The book starts out with some basic information on sizing, then dives right into the simple, clean photos of each garment.  I’m not just saying this – I love every single project.  I kept deciding on a favorite, then turning the page to find another.  I did finally narrow it down to four.

This sweet little dress could be made in so many fabrics and worn with leggings, with a top underneath or all by itself.

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This top is really my absolute favorite thing in the whole book.  There’s just something so fun about it.

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The author didn’t forget about the boys either.  I remember when my son was small it was always tough to find things to make for him.  These shorts are simple but easy to customize.

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This shirt is classic, and yet just a little different with the stand-up collar.

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There are 20 projects included in this book.  Needless to say, in order to provide full-sized patterns for each one they needed to be printed in such a way that they would all fit in one envelope.  That means they are overlapped and printed on both sides, so you need to plan on tracing all of the pieces.  If you’ve ever tried to use one size from a multi-size pattern, you know that’s probably going to make your life easier in the end anyway.  You also need to add a seam allowance, which is easy enough since you’re already tracing and is detailed in the book.  The one thing I found odd was that the suggested seam allowance was 3/8”.  I’ve always been told to use 5/8” with garments, but since you’re adding it yourself you can do whatever is comfortable for you.

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I’ll admit, I was a bit puzzled when I read the instructions for the first project.  Steps 2 and 4 are on the page, but no others.  It wasn’t until I spotted the guide telling me make it according to the instructions on another project, substituting the two steps, that it all made sense.  Rather than repeat they just redirect.  Again, it cuts down on what would otherwise be an enormous book.  There are handy flip-outs on the inside of the front and back covers to help keep your place when you need to go back and forth.

The layouts for cutting the pattern pieces are very clear and the diagrams for how to complete each step are very helpful.  Like my cookbooks, I want my sewing books to have lots of pictures.

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Overall, I really love this book.  The garments fit kids sizes 2 through 8, and I don’t currently have anyone to sew for that fits that demographic.  However, all of the projects are so simple and classic, I feel like it’s a book I can pull off the shelf a few years from now and none of it will be outdated. 

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Next week I’ll be reviewing Happy Homemade: Sew Chic by Yoshiko Tsukiori.  Have you sewn with any of the Happy Homemade books?

Friday Favorites–My Birthday 2013

Since tomorrow is the day to celebrate my entrance into the world a few years ago, instead of my normal round-up of crafty goodness I’m going to share some stuff I like.  Just because I can.  I get a little princessey on my birthday – just ask my husband. We bought a brand-new Jeep a couple of months ago, which I absolutely love, but I might be willing to give it up for this Wonder Woman Kia Sportage.  The funny thing is, my daughter drives a black Kia Soul with a big Batman symbol on the hood.  How great would those look together in the driveway?


I had my ears pierced for the first time when I was nine years old, in the bathroom at my house with almost-pointy-enough earrings.  For the next nine years, I wore any earrings I wanted with no issues whatsoever.  I even got a second row of piercings somewhere in there.  The day I turned 18 I went and had a third piercing added to my left ear.  That was the day I developed an allergy to nickel, but only in my ears.  It’s only gotten worse since then, to the point I can now only wear stainless steel earrings.  Fortunately, Etsy seller LaraOwensArt has some beautiful options for me.  And she’s in Florence, Oregon, which is where I spent my honeymoon!


When we remodeled our kitchen a couple of years ago, we included a double oven and I’m very glad we did.  It’s been really useful, especially for parties.  The one flaw is that there are two ovens, but one control panel with one timer.  I’m always scrambling to find the little timer that gets thrown in the drawer.  This Vintage Streamline Kitchen Timer at ThinkGeek is so pretty I could just leave it out on the counter.


I only discovered Fiesta dishware a few years ago, but my kitchen cabinets are pretty full of it already.  Since we’re hosting our daughter’s wedding at our house next year, I think some larger serving pieces are in order.  I love this new color, so that might just be my excuse.


My feet are always cold.  Combine that with track season spent out in the weather watching my son and these Heated Rechargeable Insoles from Bass Pro Shops are almost a necessity.

ThermaCell insoles

I used to always order meat well-done.  I didn’t want to see even a hint of pink.  One day I got brave and ordered seared tuna and realized I’d been completely wrong about myself.    Since then, I’ve also discovered I have a love for sushi and I can almost wield a set of chopsticks without embarrassing myself.  These Rainbow Chopsticks from the MoMA Store would be perfect with my Fiesta dishes.


I absolutely hate to have to rip out a seam when I’m sewing, but this Seam Ripper with Retractable Blade from Gingher is sexy enough to make it almost bearable.


I don’t have an official, down-in-writing bucket list, but one of the things I’d like to do before it all comes to a screeching halt is to visit all 50 states.  This USA Scratch Map from Perpetual Kid would be a fun way to keep track.


I have a tattoo.  I got it for one of my big round birthdays.  In Las Vegas, no less.  While that sounds kind of impulsive on the face of it, I actually spent months in planning.  I drew the design, got one of my artistic sisters to help me clean it up, worked out placement, researched tattoo establishments, spoke to the one I chose on the phone and talked to artists when I got there until I found The One.  I’m pretty wild.  The one thing I didn’t consider beforehand is that with my immune system disease, getting a tattoo was pretty risky, so I won’t be getting any more ink.  However, I still love the style, so I’ll just have to find other places for it besides my skin.  This Flight of Imagination design from Urban Threads (currently in their Freebie section) might find it’s way onto a shirt or bag.


Apparently I’m never going to get tired of cookie dough.  If my hips didn’t like it so much too, I could probably eat it every day.  I can’t believe the Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook even exists, and I want it.  Badly.

Cookie Dough Lover's Cookbook

I’m off to see what kind of trouble I can get into tomorrow.  Have a fantastic Mother’s Day this weekend!

Friday Favorites–My Birthday

I would swear I just had one, but according to the calendar today is my birthday.  My oldest child is graduating from high school soon, so my husband is taking me shopping for a dress.  I feel like I need a button to wear that says “Call me ma'am and suffer the consequences.”  But they’re welcome to ask for my ID, should I choose to order a beverage containing alcohol.  Wait until you see how cranky I’ll get when I have really big birthdays.

I came across a few things that made me much less cranky though.  For starters, how could I, being a crafter, not smile at this little beauty?  It can be found at Joann, and I just can’t get over what a great job Singer did combining the old and new.


When I was a kid, in the olden days before computers, I actually loved to type.  My husband gave me a tablet for my birthday last year, so this USB Typewriter from Uncommon Goods just seems like a perfect fit.


Speaking of my little tablet, the reason I wanted one in the first place was to read books on it.  I don’t read a lot of non-fiction, but I think my next one will be Imagine:  How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer.  I always find it fascinating to hear a scientist try to explain why we do what we do.


If you understand the references on this t-shirt, you know why it’s one of my all-time favorite movies.  If you don’t, go find The Princess Bride and watch it.  Right now.  But don’t read the book – it’s truly awful.  Inconceivable.


I have ridiculously sensitive teeth.  Not because I’m getting older – they’ve always been that way.  I rarely even bother trying to drink something cold without a straw, so I’m pretty sure I need these Bent Glass Straws from Etsy seller ManyMinis.


I already got a fabulous coffee cup for my birthday from my sister.  It came from Amazon in a GIANT blue velvet bag, which made it extra fun to open.  In case you’re new here, I’m a big Wonder Woman fan.

Wonder Woman

I’ve been on a search for some cute red heels.  I don’t know where I’m going to wear them, it just seems like something that should be available in my closet when I figure it out.  This pair from DSW might be The One.

DSW red shoes

As a graduation gift, we’re taking our daughter and her friend to Disneyland.  This cute Dooney & Bourke bag might not be in the budget (after high school comes college), but I will have to find it there, just so I can see it in person.  No really, I just want to look at it.  Really.


When my husband and I got married, almost 21 years ago, we decided we didn’t need or want formal china.  A few years ago, I found my “china” in Fiesta ware.  I have quite a bit of it now, but there’s always a new piece or color on my radar.  Right now, it’s this chip and dip set.  Love.


Do you remember the brownie/cookie dough/cake dessert from last year?  It was heavenly.  This year, I’m leaning toward these Salted Caramel Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars from Made with Pink.  Tell me your mouth is not watering right now.


I’m off to do some celebrating.  Have a great Mother’s Day this weekend!

Anniversary and Spring Apron Giveaway Winners

First of all, I’d like to say thank you to everyone who entered both of these giveaways.  I asked you to tell me something that would make me smile and you definitely did.  In fact, some of them made me laugh out loud, which was even funnier since I was out in the world reading them on my phone.  There are a couple of establishments I may not be allowed back into.

Anyway, with no further ado, the winner of the book and fat quarters is…Mindy Bohn!  I’ve sent an email to Mindy and have her prize ready to ship.  According to her comment, she’s expecting a baby, so I can only imagine the adorable things she can do with her book and fabric.

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And, the winner of the Spring Apron goes by the initials B.M.!  I’ve sent an email, and it appears from the address that this winner is from Germany.  My very German husband will be happy.

Spring Apron Giveaway 3

Congratulations to both winners and thank you all so much for reading and entering.  Be sure to check out the apron tutorial on Wednesday!

Second Anniversary Giveaway and Etsy Sale

As I mentioned last week, I’m celebrating the second anniversary of my blog.  And what’s a party without presents?  I wish I could send something to every single one of you, but this is “Crafty Staci,” not “Hey Look, There Goes That Lottery Winner…Into Craft Warehouse…Again.”

This is the first of two giveaways I’m planning this week.  Because I’m here to encourage you to flex your sewing muscles, I’m starting with some supplies.  The winner of this giveaway will receive Stash Happy Patchwork by Cynthia Shaffer, a cute book full of fairly simple projects using scraps and small pieces of fabric.

Second anniversary giveaway 1

AND this springy little bundle of fat quarters! 

Second anniversary giveaway 2

Here’s the details: 

To enter, leave a comment on this post you’re reading.  Something that will make me smile, like a project you’ve made recently or where you’re going on vacation or something cute your two year old said.  No extra points for that, but it would make me happy.

For a second super-bonus entry, follow me somewhere.  I’m not talking about stalking me at the grocery store and shaking your head when I put Captain Crunch in my cart.  I mean Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, email, RSS, whatever.  Leave a SECOND comment here telling me where you follow me.  If you were already following me, say that. 

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To be clear, you can enter twice.  Once with a comment, a second time with a comment about where you follow me.

You have until next Sunday night, April 1, 2012 at 11:59 pm to enter.  I’ll choose a random winner after that and announce who it is on Monday, April 2nd.  Please make sure there is an email address attached to your profile or included in your comment so I’m able to contact you.  If I’m unable to reach the winner within one week, I’ll have to choose a new one. 

This contest is open to anyone, and international entries are welcome, provided your country has no limitations on whether you can receive books and fabric from the United States.

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I’m also having a celebratory Etsy sale!  From now through April 1, 2012, you can use the code TWOYEARS to receive a 15% discount off anything in my shop, including custom orders.  I just added lots of new items and some new fabric choices!

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Be sure to come back on Wednesday to enter ANOTHER giveaway!

Friday Favorites–Harry Potter

Today is the end of an era for me.  Ten years ago, when the first Harry Potter movie came out, I started reading the books aloud to my two kids.  They were 7 and 5 at the time.  We all wanted to read it before we saw the movie, so we sat together for hours on the couch, pronouncing Hermione wrong the entire time, until we reached the end.  After that we watched the DVD, which had been sitting next to the t.v. waiting for us to finish.  Naturally, we were hooked and immediately started on book two.

We went through several books until, somewhere around The Order of the Phoenix, we caught up to J.K. Rowling.  We had to wait for the books to come out like everyone else.  By the time the last one was published, the kids were 14 and 12 and I was certain they’d want to read it themselves instead of sitting there listening to me.  I was picturing arguments over who would get it first, and almost had myself talked into buying two copies.    Imagine my surprise when I asked them if they wanted me to read it to them and they both looked at me like I was crazy…because of course they wanted me to read it.  We started this together, we would finish it together. 

codi and tucker 2003

Circa 2003.  Yes, I made their costumes.  I think bits of them are still floating around here somewhere.

We haven’t been as faithful about watching the movies together.  We’ve seen them all just not necessarily as a group.  My daughter attended the midnight premier last night.  This was never about the movies, though, it was about that precious time I got to spend with my babies sitting on each side of me, even after I had to look up at them.  Those 4100 pages will always be one of my favorite memories and for that I’m forever grateful to Harry Potter.

One of the interesting aspects of the Harry Potter world is the way they treat the various illnesses and maladies that befall the characters.  How many times have I wished I could wave a wand and fix an injury?  This Fever Fudge from Instructables user starshipminivan gives us a little taste of what magical medicine is like.


Simple Simon & Co shares a couple of Harry Potter party ideas here, but my favorite is this t-shirt.

shirt pic

I think my son’s main reason for wanting to be Harry for Halloween years ago was so that he could carry a wand.  Learn how to make your own, using paper and hot glue, from Instructables user KaptinScarlet.


Design Dazzle has a round-up of several great Harry Potter ideas, but I really love this car photo prop from Flickr user ACPL.

Who hasn’t read or watched Harry Potter and wished they could play Quidditch?  I say crochet this Golden Snitch from Pane, Amore e Creatività and give it a try…you’ve already got a broom, right?


Whenever I decide to see the last movie, I might have to make these Harry Potter cupcakes from Sift in celebration.  I guess the big question is whether I’ll be eating them on my couch watching the DVD or sneaking them into the theater in my purse.

Harry potter cupcakes

When I made the costumes for my kids, I cheated on the scarves.  I sewed pieces of fleece together to make the Gryffindor stripes.  This yarn version from Tangled is much more authentic. 


I’ve heard of the big Harry Potter fan site known as The Leaky Cauldron, but I just found out they have a large section devoted to craftsMad-Eye Moody’s Eye, shown here, is just one of the many projects available.


I’m not usually much into dolls, but I can’t even tell you how much I love this felt Harry Potter doll from My Paper Crane


This is how I know I could survive at Hogwarts – it seems like almost everything they eat contains sugar.  I am absolutely, positively going to make this Homemade Butterbeer from Bakingdom.  There are lots of recipes for it floating around, but this blogger tasted it at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter park and imitated it at home.  Now I’m really leaning toward waiting for the DVD, so I can drink this while I watch the last movie.


I have a sudden urge to go read…

My Birthday 2011

Today is my birthday.  I won’t go into which one this is for me, let’s just say that in high school I danced to most of the songs from Glee.  Anyway, I thought I’d share my little wish list with you again, even though I’m still waiting for my titanium spork from last year. 10.  I’ve had my eye on these framed photos of letters for at least a year.  I’m thinking about trying to photograph my own, but if not I’ll be visiting Uncommon Goods for their version.  The hardest part is figuring out what I want to spell.


9.  I love to read, even though I don’t have as much time to do it as I’d like.  My favorites are sci-fi, fantasy, mystery and even a little horror.  I’ve wanted to read the Game of Thrones series since they started advertising the new HBO series based on it.  Maybe I’ll just give up sleep.


8.  Remember when you could actually rest the phone between your ear and shoulder while you were talking on it?  Well, I do.  I miss being able to multi-task while I talk.  Now the phone either slips or I hang up with my cheek.  Retro Bluetooth Handset from ThinkGeek to the rescue.


7.  We were in Seattle a couple of years ago and I saw a typewriter key bracelet in the window of a jewelry store.  I’ve wanted one ever since.  Luckily for me, they can be found on Etsy, like this one from HauteKeys.

typewriter key necklace

6.  Let me start by saying I cannot pull these off.  I don’t have the right shape.  However, we saw a woman wearing these ruffled pants in a capri length at Crafty Wonderland who looked fantastic in them.  The fact that these, from SweetassDesigns on Etsy, are red and black makes them even better.


5.  I mentioned last year that my best ideas come to me in the shower.  My second-best ideas come right before I fall asleep, creating a need for the I Can’t Sleep Journal from Uncommon Goods.  It would work perfectly with the light-up pen I keep in my nightstand.


4.  Since I have a couple of different books listed here, I’m going to need something to hold them up.  Enter James the Bookend from the MoMA store.  And his twin, to hold up the other side.


3.  I work from home, so I don’t actually need to carry my lunch anywhere most of the time.  However, I love these Bright Tiffins from Twine so much, I’m going to find an excuse.  I might use them to carry it out to the back deck.


2.  A local boutique had some cowboy rain boots last year that I was completely in love with.  I never went and bought them, and I regret that.  I live in Oregon.  If I could ever justify a shoe purchase, it’s rain boots.  Even though the ones I really wanted are no longer available, I think I could bring myself to substitute these from Amazon.


1.  This is the one thing on this list I can guarantee I will have on my birthday.  I saw it last week when I was working on my cookie post.  I already told my husband and daughter all about it.  The supplies are in the pantry and they are going to make it for me.  This thing is a brownie, cookie dough and cake bit of heaven.  Thank you Cookies and Cups for providing the nirvana that will hold my candles this year.  I’ll be in touch again after I come out of the sugar coma.


Friday Favorites–Flowers

This won’t be the last time I have a floral theme in my Friday Favorites.  There is nothing better to cut through the gloom of the end of winter than some bright blossoms.  As I look at the snow outside my house and the two kids inside it who have been home more than they’ve been at school lately, thanks to sickness and weather, I’m ready for some springiness. I imagine this Felt Dahlia Flower Brooch from Holidash would take a while to make, but it looks worth it to me.  I love all those petals.


I thought the technique to make this Chrysants Silk Brooch from Innocentia was interesting.  It makes a pretty, fluffy flower.


This book is on my wish list.  It’s called Kanzashi in Bloom: 20 Simple Fold-and-Sew Projects to Wear and Give and they, of course, have it on Amazon.   I want it even more since I just found out the author, Diane Gilleland, is from my area.  If you’re not familiar with Kanzashi, it’s the Japanese art of folding fabric squares into flowers.  I can’t wait to try it.  In fact, stay tuned, some of them will probably turn up here soon.


Kusudama is another Japanese folding art, but it involves making multiples of an origami shape and attaching them together to create a ball.  This Kusudama Tutorial from Folding Trees shows how to make a flower commonly used.  The directions to make the ball itself can be found here.


These Felt Rosettes from Mrs Priss start out as a swirl and end as a rose.  Two of my favorite things.


I know these Felt Flowers from Blue Cricket Design look similar to the ones above, and they are made the same way, but I liked the mixture of the two different shades of felt.


Love, love, love.  I love that they’re roses.  I love the polka dots.  I even love the little drawn leaf in the photo.  Thanks to Calamity Kim for sharing how to make her Fold and Twist Fabric Flowers.  I need some.

Twisted rose

This is another Oregon crafter whose blog I’ve been following for a little while.  Her name is Amanda and she just opened an Etsy store called Ninth Street Notions.  I love these Chrysanthemum and Rose rings she has.  The filigree bands are really pretty.  When I talked to Amanda about featuring her store here, she offered all of you a 25% discount on anything in her store!  Use the code BF643 when you check out.  Thanks Amanda!  One of these babies turns up in red and I’m all over it.