Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Summer Tank Top Applique Tutorial

I fell in love with this fabric when it first came's vintage transistor radios in an array of blues and oranges (my favorite color combination as you may notice on my blog design.)

 After making a pillows I couldn't let the remaining fabric go to waste, so I decided to soup up some tank tops for Mr. P. and his friends. 

Happy tank top = happy boy! 

p.s. If you decide to make an applique tank / shirt / skirt / me! I'd love to feature you with a link back to your site at the end of July!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Everything Etsy's Tutorial List

Look at this comprehensive tutorial list on Everything Etsy!!!

It's like an exciting summer "to-do" list! I don't know which one I want to try first?

And look at who is #61...that's my fabric envelope tutorial!!!

Which one will you try?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Free Giveaway!! Get to Know a New Vampire- CLOSED

(I'm trying out a new font.....)

You all read the Twilight series....I know you did. 
But did you know about the Stephenie Meyer novella called The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner?

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner

Remember those nasty newborns that formed an army to attack Bella Swan and the Cullens? Well, this is the story of Bree Tanner, formerly human, now a vampire and part of the newborn army. 

Summer is a time to take it easy. Too tired to even read? No problem, this novella is an audio book (CD), read by Emma Galvin. Pop it in before bed, while lounging by the pool or on a road trip. 

This giveaway ends on July 10th at 8 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. The winner will be chosen using

There are two ways to win this audio book:
1) Become a public follower of this blog
2) If you are already a follower, leave a comment on this blog post!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Iron on = FAIL!

Remember that cute shirt I made last week?

Well, sadly, it has decreased in cuteness.

I was so excited to use an iron-on applique to iron on a line drawing Mr. P. did of Darth Vader.

I used the same iron-ons for these snack bags I made a few months ago and they came out great!

But they were ironed on to natural-colored fabric.

Apparently ironing on to a bright color like green, doesn't work so well.

I thought the iron-on would become translucent and I'd just see the line drawing.

Live and lean.

The good news is Mr. P. could care less and he's really proud of the fact that he has his own original drawing on his shirt!


Monday, June 20, 2011

Happy Monday!

Not to much to report over here! So instead, I'll leave you with a few images from the past few days....

My son has been working on self-portraits this year at his school. Here is one of his versions of himself. You can see what features are important to him: his curly hair, his long eyelashes and his teeth!

A peach and coconut pie with a cobbler topping. This was taken before it went into the oven. Thank you, Martha! 

Impulse purchase....what was I thinking???

Fresh mint and chamomile from the garden.....the perfect afternoon tea blend!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Fabric Envelope Tutorial

I have a lot of scraps. Lots and lots. So when I was trying to come up with a card for my mom's birthday using my newly acquired stamp set, I came up with this idea for a fabric envelope. It's a quick and easy way to put those great scraps to good use! 

The first thing you'll want to do is iron your fabric (which I obviously didn't do in the photo above....did I mention I'm a very lazy seamstress?)

Next, cut your fabric into a rectangle - the exact dimensions are up to you, but for the tutorial, I cut mine 12 inches x 5 inches. 

Iron the long sides inward 1/4 of an inch. You can repeat this (so for a total of 1/2 inch) for a more finished look. 

Now repeat on the short sides.  

Now, iron about 1/3 of the way up the envelope (see below). You are basically making folds so that the envelope will close nicely on it's own. There's no right or wrong here. You don't have to be exact or precise and it will still look great! 

Decide where you want the top third to fall, covering your envelope and iron. 

Isn't this a silly sewing project? You haven't even done any sewing yet! Okay, once you figure out how the completed project with look and ironed it all in place, open it up and just sew down one of the shorter ends. 

Fold the lower third up in place and sew along the lines as indicated below. 

You're almost there! You need to cut all of those dangling threads. 

And here you have it!!

You can add Velcro to close it or a button if you know how to do something like that (I don't!) You could silkscreen or stamp a message on the front...."Open Me!" Or personalize it with a name. 

Then I just cut my card stock to fit into the envelope. 

Make a bunch in an afternoon and have them ready to go for any occasion! And watch that scrap pile disappear! 

I used the orange one as a baby card to send to my sister-in-law. I made her one of my baby changing pads. You can find the tutorial here

He's Done it Again!

Oh Sweet Paul, how I love thee!

The summer edition is out!

If you haven't acquainted yourself with Sweet Paul yet, you're in for a real treat.

Amazing recipes, crafts, interviews.....

Check it out! 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Beans are the Musical Art!

Cleaning out my pantry this weekend I came across a surplus of beans so I thought I'd let the kids experiment with bean art. 


To lengthen the project time, I had them draw their pictures first and then try and cover their drawings with the beans (and popcorn). 


I even tried my hand at a bean portrait. 

The end result....more like a bean orgy than recognizable images....but a fun 20 minutes nonetheless! 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Greek-Inspired Brunch

I'm married to a Greek - which means our home feels warm and festive, filled with lots of Greek food and even an occasional trip to Greece. 


One of my favorite meals when we visited Santorini a few years ago was the incredibly varied Greek breakfast that we had at our hotel. It was one of those meals where you really had to only eat once a day because so much food was involved. 

This is pretty much what we did after all that eating!!


In a moment of nostalgia, I invited my parents and sister over for a "Greek Brunch". I'm using that word loosely because my husband kept running around the kitchen watching what i was doing saying, "that's not Greek!"

We even got to eat outside! We had  fage yogurt and honey, cheese, baguette, 

poached eggs, 

homemade granola (see my recipe here!),

bell pepper, feta and cilantro salad, 

and my husband made frappes which can be found in Greece and other places in Europe. They're so good! I really didn't want to mess them up so I let my husband make them. Here's his authentic Greek frappe:

2 teaspoon of instant coffee
fill cup an inch high with water
use immersion blender to whip it or just shake until frothy (it will fill up the glass pretty high)
add milk and ice

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Raw Box

 Last week, I ordered a box of raw food from Euphoria Loves Rawvolution, a raw, vegan restaurant in Venice California. 

I was so excited when it arrived, filled with a week of raw food! My box included mock-chicken salad, Italian pizza, cucumber salad, peach cobbler, soft tacos and cheesy broccoli (instead of cheese they use cashew paste). 

This is what I loved about the box: not having to think about or prepare my meals, knowing I was eating organic, healthy food all week. 

This is what I did not love about the box: I had food leftover, after a while, the raw food starts to taste a bit the same. It was expensive. 

While I'm quite sure I won't be ordering the box once a week, I would order it again, once in a while to clean out my system. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Versatile Blogger Award

Guess who just received this Versatile Blogger Award?


Thanks so much to Bella Boutique for bestowing this award upon me!

And as tradition goes, I'm to share 7 random things about myself with my readers.

Hm....I feel like I have SO many random things about me in the appropriately titled "about me" section of my blog....but I'll add a few more:

1. I LOVE to dance!
2. When I was little I wanted to be a vet or a marine biologist.
3. I sang in the soundtrack to the movie Hook as well as the Home Alone movies.
4. I spent my summers on a farm every year from age 8 - 24.
5. I really would like to travel to Costa Rica, Vietnam and Thailand (in no particular order).
6. I have dual citizenship with the US and Canada.
7. I think that reading is sexy.

And there you have it! I am excited to be able to pass this award along to some other here you go! I have been reading and admiring these three blogs since I started blogging over a year ago!

Lorajean over at Lorajean's Magazine
Delia at Delia Creates
and Leya at Curious Bird

I hope you enjoy these blogs as much as I do!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Easy Peasy T-shirt Tutorial

Mr. P. plays hard. The evidence can be found on the grungy looking t-shirts that pass through the laundry room at the end of each day. There's only so much cleaning one can do before a shirt is retired. So I thought I'd try and make him a t-shirt. Cheap and fun! 

So, without further ado, I give you the: 

Materials: for the T-shirt, you will need 1/2 a yard of knit fabric for the body of the shirt (assuming you're making a child's shirt) and a very small amount of rib-knit in a contrasting color for the lining around the arms and neck. 

To begin, fold your main fabric in half, get an existing t-shirt (you can see Mr. P.'s wear and tear on this shirt) and then trace the outline of just the body (no arms) on your main fabric. If you're very precise (which I am not) please know that in tracing, you will automatically be giving yourself a 1/8 sewing margin. 

Here's what my tracing looked like. Notice to the naked eye, it's not symmetrical in the arm area! An easy fix! 

Just cut out the pattern and then fold it over on top of itself. Then cut the arms (or wherever else you think you messed up) to make them even. 

Now, you need to go back and do the same thing for the sleeves. Folding your fabric over, trace the sleeve shape onto your main fabric. Do this once for each side. 

When you're done tracing and cutting, you should have the following: 1 pair of sleeves and a shirt front and back that look identical, so two arm pieces and two body pieces. 

Now, you need to cut two binding strips of your rib knit for your neckline.  I left my two strips two inches wide and then just measured the length of the t-shirt neck and doubled it in order to get the right size. Keep in mind it's always better to over estimate on length as you can always cut it. 

Take your rib knit strip and pin it all the way around the neckline of one of your body pieces....right down the middle of the rib-knit so that one inch hangs on one side of the t-shirt and one inch hangs down the other side. Sew together using a zig-zag stitch. 

Repeat for the second body you now have two separate body pieces each with ribbed knit sewn to the neckline. 

Take the two body pieces and place them right sides together, pinning at the shoulders. Sew the shoulder seams together using a zig-zag stitch. See that extra piece of ribbing? Don't worry, once the shirt is done, I'll turn it inside out and trim the fat, so to speak. 

Okay, time to tackle the sleeves. Get one sleeve and one sleeve binding ready (all I did to cut the sleeve binding in red was make sure that it was two inches wide and then I doubled the length of the sleeve) In the picture below, the straight green side will get attached to the red ribbing, while the sloped green side will get attached to the body of the t-shirt. 

Open up that sleeve and pin the binding you've cut to the arm side of the sleeve. Then sew using a zig-zag stitch. Look at all the extra binding I have! No problem, I'll trim it later. Better too much than too little! 

This is the trickiest part (but really not that tricky in the grand scheme of things.) With right sides facing down on the table (as well as right sides together at the seam), slowly pin the rounded part of the sleeve to the rounded part of your body piece where the arm goes. Then sew using a zig-zag stitch. 

Repeat on the other sleeve. 

Now, with right sides together, you need to sew up each side of the shirt as well as curve under the armpit and then sew up the shirt sleeve in one fluid line. See below. 

Repeat on the other side of the shirt. 
Now, while the shirt is still inside out you can cut any extra fabric you may have. 

Still inside out, iron the bottom of the shirt 1/4 of an inch all the way around. Repeat and iron another 1/4 of an inch around so that your shirt is now 1/2 shorter. Pin and sew. 

Here's a close up of the bottom of the shirt once it's been sewn. 

Turn tightside out and here you have it! A brand new shirt!!!!! Easy, peasy!! 

If you make this shirt, be sure and email me a photo! I'd love to see it!!