Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 in Review


I like seeing all of the bloggers' top ten lists these days. It’s fun to see them remember their “best of.” I thought of doing one of those posts as well, but a few of my most viewed posts from this year aren’t actually my favorite projects. They’re just the ones that happened to get featured on the bigger websites were exposed to more viewers. So instead, I’m going to look back over the year and show you my favorite project/post from each month. Thanks for helping make this year great by inspiring me to create!


three tops

I used my Christmas money to buy a serger and have loved that decision ever since. My first project was to make three different tops using the same pattern. I’ve loved each of these tops and have worn them so many times!



February brought the Crafting With The Stars competition… a fun challenge in which I was in way over my head. I do love how I made over this old trunk though! It now stands in my craft room and is used to store supplies.


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While not something I actually made, but something I utilized! I turned a two sided jewelry holder into a great storage solution for my thread and buttons. I love having it and it’s one of my favorite elements of my craft room.



This is probably one of my all time favorite projects. It was for So You Think You’re Crafty… the competition that I felt challenged and pushed my creativity in a way that I now miss.


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I introduced you to my all time favorite presser foot for my sewing machine—the Rolled Hem Foot. Used in so many of my projects, it’s the best time saver for sewing I’ve ever seen.



I love this project because it’s for a boy! There are so many adorable clothes for little girls, it was fun to make something for my Jace. And he loved it too!


I’d say my all time favorite post of the year was when Nolan hijacked my blog and gave me my camera. But my favorite project in July was another sewing tips post on Sewing With Knits.

knits collage

I see so many people who are nervous about sewing with knits. Or I’ll read through a tutorial where a blogger instructs to sew a knit fabric in a way that will just cause all the stitches to rip under normal wear. Knits are great if it’s understood how to sew with them. For that reason, I love being able to refer people back to this tutorial.


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One of my favorite projects from around our house this year was when we rearranged our living room in August. It still makes me smile to walk in and see it set up that way.

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And with our rearrange came the purchase and slight modifications to this antique radio cabinet. I love this cabinet!


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I still love this shirt. I really made it in August, but the tutorial went up in September, so I’m glad I can put it on this list. I actually used this top as my audition piece for the upcoming competition, So You Think You Can Sew and made it! It’ll be starting in January. I know, I’m a glutton for competitions.


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I had so much fun making these for my nephews and niece!


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November was a bit of a dry creative month for me, but I do love this project!


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I love this project because it took us one step closer to a completed living room. Funny story for you—I meant to make a cute Christmas tree banner for the chicken wire frame, but thanks to one sick bug after the next, I just didn’t get it done. My dad is in town for the holidays and asked, “So, what’s the significance of the chicken wire?” Oops! Guess I should get something up there!

Thanks for being a part of 2011 for me, I’m excited and looking forward to 2012!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Gifts for a Guy: T-shirts!

My husband is very difficult to shop for. He either wants something electronic and expensive, or is completely content and makes no requests. This year he wanted half of his Christmas money to go toward buying a tablet later on, and the only suggestion he made for what I do with the other half was a water bottle. Whoop-de-do… that’s my idea of exciting, I bet it’s yours too, right? Well, about a week or so before Christmas he and I were browsing through Etsy and saw several t-shirts that he thought were awesome. Too late for me to order any, plus they were more than I could justify spending. But not too late for me to make something!

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He loves this one. Sorry to those of you vegetarian and vegans out there. But I’m guessing from this post, you already know we’re pretty big meat eaters around here (it’s in my blood—my grandpa was a cattle and pig farmer in addition to lots of other crops).

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This one was inspired by a shirt I saw online way early in the Christmas season, but they were sold out and didn’t have an expected date of having more. I used my silhouette for designing all of them, then cut the images out of freezer paper (I LOVE this stuff!!!) and followed Sheri’s tutorial from I am Momma, Hear Me Roar.

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The fork shirt ended up being his favorite. He liked the subtle contrast. He’s a t-shirt lover, but very particular, so I’d say I did pretty well. The shirts were on sale at Target for $4 each, and the freezer paper cost $8 but will last me FOREVER. I found it at my grocer store, but Sheri also suggests Walmart. Target doesn’t have the stuff. I also had the paint on hand, so this became a really inexpensive way to give Nolan three gifts! And it makes me so proud when I see him wearing them.

Thanks for stopping by!

So I Married A Craft Blogger

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tutu Cute!

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When I saw this idea/tutorial from Kelly at Sewing in No Man’s Land, I knew it would make the perfect Christmas gift for my nieces. I gave it to one niece on Christmas, and the other three will receive theirs on New Year’s Day.

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I made mine a little differently than Kelly though. I sewed slightly wider strips of tulle onto the skirt base, and ruffled along the top edge rather than down the middle. This made for more of a cascading ruffles effect, which seemed a little more appropriate for older girls. I initially just sewed the ruffles on using my ruffler foot, but that stitching would pull out once the knit was stretched, so I went back over it with a zig zag stitch.

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I also made it just as a skirt with an elastic waist instead of attaching it to leggings so she can change out what color she wears it with. I gave her bright pink leggings, as seen on Christmas Eve, but like the look of the black leggings even better.

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I loved her ensemble (which she picked out) for when we bowled as a family a few days after Christmas!

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I think there must be few things cuter than a just-turned-four-year-old bowling with a big fluff of tulle for a skirt!

Thanks for stopping by!

Parties I Like to Link Up With:

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Incredibles Peg People

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. We had a sweet time celebrating and look forward to even more family time in the coming week. The majority of the gifts I gave to family members this year were homemade, and I had to throw a special little project for Jace in there too!

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“The Incredibles” is Jace’s favorite movie. According to him, it’s just called “Movie.” He likes to run like Dash, will mimic Elastagirl’s sounds from when she fed Jack-Jack while eating (something like “Uh-room"), and we’ll catch him acting out certain movements of Mr. Incredible. So when I saw these adorable peg people super heros, I knew what I had to make Jace.

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I picked up my pegs at Joann’s and then had a lot of fun painting them. I followed the movie case for the correct details in their uniforms. I didn’t have any orange, so I had an odd time trying to mix red and yellow and ended up with more of a peach, but Jace doesn’t mind.

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They remind me of Veggies since they don’t have arms. But since Jace loves Veggie Tales, even better, right?

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On Christmas morning they were the first thing Jace opened. He pulled one out and squealed, “Movie!”

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As he took each one out, he lined them up on the ground next to him. I’d say this was a very satisfying gift to make for my little guy.

Thanks for stopping by!

Parties I Like to Link Up With:

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Most Merry of Christmases to You!

bigger family pic

A nasty case of the germies has hit our house royally this week, so we’re spending Christmas Eve resting up with the hopes of health and energy tomorrow! You have all been such a blessing in my life this year and I hope this Christmas finds you well and surrounded by those you love.

I’m excited for this upcoming week here at Made it on Monday. Of the 21 family gifts we’re giving, 15 are handmade, which means I’ll have some fun projects to share with you!

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Handmade Gift Ideas

Are you getting excited for Christmas? I've been cleaning my house (parents arrive tomorrow!), making and wrapping gifts, and feeling the Christmas cheer. A few weeks ago I guest posted at Maybe Matilda for her Handmade Holidays series. If you're still looking for some last minute ideas and missed my original post, here it is!

...All this crafting and creating has made the holidays a lot more affordable and fun. I’m really excited for this year’s gift giving. Between my husband and I we have seven siblings, five sibling spouses, and eight nieces and nephews. Handmade is a must if we want to be generous. I thought I’d break down a few categories for either what I’ve made in the past, or what’s inspiring me this year.

For the big girls…


A few years ago I made all the ladies in my husband’s family messenger bags. I chose fabrics that fit the ladies, and if she had a daughter, the little one got a small version of the bag too. You can read more about the messenger bags here.

This year I’ll be doing a lot of crocheting!

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Thanks to Rachel’s Crochet Along, I’m HOOKED on crochet! I’ll be making head wraps and short versions of the time out cowl (from the CAL) for the girls in my husband’s family.

For the little girls…

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I recently made one of my nieces Disney Princess Finger Puppets. She LOVES them. I think one of my other nieces will be needing these for Christmas.

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The niece modeling the the finger puppets has a birthday right before Christmas, and she’ll be receiving felt paper dolls.

For the big boys…


Since it’s hard to come up with something the guys in our families will like, I give what every man is guaranteed to like: food! Each guy receives a can (upcycled formula cans were used last year) full of Christmas goodies.

For the little boys…


Felt books with finger puppets for the littler boys.


And I’ll be following Delia, from Delia Creates’ Lego belt buckle tutorial for the bigger boys.

For all our family friends…

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Special families in our lives (pastors at church, neighbors, etc.) will be receiving a tree bread—a tradition in my husband’s family where you make a large cinnamon roll goodie in the shape of a Christmas tree. I shared a step by step tutorial on my blog here.

Wow! Now that I’ve listed all this out, I’m realizing just how much work I still have to do!

Thank you so much, Rachel, for having me. Happy crafting and Merry Christmas!