Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pottery Barn Inspired Garland

My mom is visiting (she lives in Annapolis, Maryland). Each time she comes to visit (about 6 times a year… gotta see the grandkids!) she brings presents. My nephews and niece can’t wait for Grandma to arrive so they can see what she has hidden in her suitcase. This time Grandma’s surprises included something for my sister-in-law and me!

The Pottery Barn Kids catalogue arrived in my mom’s mailbox and with it came fun inspiration. This adorable Glitter Easter Garland was on the cover:

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Using her Cricut Cutter, cute spring scrap book papers and some pink cording, she made us some adorable garlands

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I’ve been wanting to add some spring to my house and this was the perfect touch for my mantle!

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She alternated eggs, bunnies and crosses

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The eggs made from the pink paper with white design are glittered on the white part.

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Be sure and stop by the wonderful parties I’ll be linking up with. Their buttons are in my left side bar as well as on my Link Up Parties page.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Vote for Round 1!

Round One of So You Think You’re Crafty is up! I had a lot of fun with this project. Our theme was Dollar Store and I’m proud to say I met all of the criteria I set for myself in this contest:

-Work on my projects on my time—during Jace’s nap time and while Nolan was working out in the evenings that way it wouldn’t take away from our time.
-Make projects using only materials I already have or use my fun money to pay for it.
-The projects have to actually benefit us in someway.

There are a lot of great ideas this round and I feel really good about what I did. So head on over HERE and vote! 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Shirts I’ve Made: Where are they Now?

Do you ever see cute clothes on blogs but wonder if they’ve actually held up to real life? I mean, most people post them right after completing the project. Are they really washable? Did they fall apart after holding a baby for more than a half hour? Is it really something that gets worn out in public?

I’m pleased to say that my Slubby Ruffles Top has become one of my favorite shirts to wear!!!

Here it is just after I finished making it:

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And here it is, as I wore it today:

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It has been through the wash (and dryer!!!) several times and I’ve worn it more times than I can count. I LOVE this top! I have paired it with cardigans and cute jackets, worn it with jeans and slacks, and get compliments on it every time. The ruffles have just slightly ruffled more since I left the edges raw. Today I wore it with a cardigan and the ruffled belt I made a while back. Compliments on both today!
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How have my other tops held up? Here’s a run down for you:

Layered Strips Top: For the most part it’s done well. I’ve worn it several times, but one of the side seams didn’t finish right so it’s coming apart. Just need to re-stitch it and it’ll be good to last!

Basic Black Shirt: Been washed and dried and still doing great!

Turtle Neck Refashion: One of my favorites to wear. I think I may have worn it twice last week??? Washes, dries and holds up just fine.

Ruffle Collar Top: Been worn a couple times but haven’t washed it yet. I’m thinking I need to find a white cardigan to wear with it as well. Still loving it though!

Comfy Chic Anthro Inspired Ensemble: Only worn it once. It takes a bit of fiddling to get to sit right so that stops me from wearing it. The snaps were placed perfectly for it being worn by someone else, so I think I need to adjust where they are so it fits me better. I also need to figure out a different rosette pin to wear with the cowl—the current one is just too heavy for long wear on your collar.

Pleated Ruffle Shell: Been worn, washed and dried several times. Doesn’t have the same crisp look to it as when first made, but I still like it. I think I want to take it in a bit at some point so it has a little more shape to it.

Raw Ribbons Top: Another one of my favorite shirts to wear. It has held up great in the washer and dryer!

Sweater Turned Cardigan: I’ve worn this one several times as well! It’s really warm, though, so I don’t think I’ll be wearing it much more for a while.

Red Ruffled Tops: I haven’t worn the 3/4 sleeves one much, mostly because I need to figure out a better sweater/jacket to wear over it. The short sleeve one hasn’t been worn much either because it’s short sleeved. Looking forward to wearing it more soon!

Blue Flutter Flower Shirt: Wore it several times, washed it and laid it out to dry. Two of the flowers fell off in the wash because I hadn’t tied them off well enough. Just need to sew them back on and it’ll be good to wear now that the weather is warming up!

Thanks for stopping by!

I’ll be linking up with Nina’s Real Momma, Real Style. Check it out!

Momma Go Round

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Some Spring Shopping {Coupon Code!}

I’m running a sale in my Etsy Shop—Ruffles ‘n Such—right now! Just enter code SPRINGSCARF at check out and you’ll get 10% off your entire order! And, no additional shipping charge for the Spring Scarves when bought with another item!

Curious what’s in the shop?

Decor (2)

etsy shop (2)

etsy shop1 (2)

SCARVES (2)

Plus a few more things… so head on over to Ruffles ‘n Such and enjoy your 10% off using code SPRINGSCARF!

Thanks for stopping by and have a happy Saturday!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Scarf-ing It Up

I thought I’d have a fun craft/guest room project to show you. That is, I thought it would be completely successful on the first try. And the second try. The part I made worked, but I had some other technical difficulties along the way. After the room is no longer taken over by cute nephews and niece who are spending the night I might be able to get some help from Nolan. I need his engineering brain to make it work.

So for now, I thought I’d show you the scarves I made for Blackberry Junction (only one or two sold at the show).

This one is from a yellow nylon knit that my mother-in-law found a HUGE bolt of at a thrift store. It’s the perfect light weight material and color for a sunny spring scarf. I made this one by just pushing the fabric through the sewing machine to ruffle it along the way.

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I actually wore one of these the other day for a bowling event with our small group at church. It was so fun to wear!

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And a close up of the ruffling/gathers

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This one is made from the same “Olive Mist” nylon knit I made my layered strips top out of.

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I used my ruffle foot on this one, so the pleats are more uniform and closer together. I think it looks like a pretty fern branch.

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I gave one of these to a friend of mine for her birthday. This color of green looks great on her!

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This one is made from a cream colored, soft, textured knit. It would be a little warmer to wear than the nylons. It looks so soft!

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It looks more ruffley and less drapey than the others since it has more structure to the material.

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I love how easy these scarves are to make and how versatile they are when wearing. One of these days I’d love to work with elastic thread. My machine is one of the only brands that I’m finding doesn’t work with elastic unless you make some modifications to your machine (which I don’t want to do). I did recently realize I could just use my old machine for this (silly Jill, it’s just sitting there for a reason, right?). Maybe I’ll do that once I finish my Easter dress??? We’ll see.

If you’ve fallen in love with one of these scarves but don’t feel like making one for yourself, they’re listed in my Etsy shop—Ruffles ‘n Such.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Thread & Button Storage

My guest/craft room hasn’t been anything impressive—it’s full of mismatched furniture (most of which I do love) and, until two weeks ago, I hadn’t found a good arrangement in there to make it look less than thrown together. But then I needed to clean the space to make room for the mess on my dining room table (sadly, that mess got worse before it got better). And I really didn’t feel like cleaning, so I rearranged the room instead! I now LOVE the set up. I found a furniture arrangement that gives me more floor space than I’ve ever seen in the room, which will be great when the nephews and niece or my parents spend the night. Since I love the new set up, I’m loving getting everything organized. I’ll show you more pictures as I go, but for now I’m going to share what I’ve done to organize my thread and buttons.

My mom gave me a hanging jewelry organizer for Christmas. She got it at TJ Max but has seen them in lots of stores since then. I already have a good system for my jewelry, so I decided to use it in my craft room.

One side holds all my thread… nicely organized in rainbow order.

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(It was good to finally see how many spools I have of each color. Maybe I will stop buying white thread for at least a little while…)

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The other side holds all my buttons, also sorted in rainbow order.

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(I bought a GREAT pack of over 800 buttons at Joann’s a while back for $8 regular price, and then I had a 40% off coupon!)

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I hung it on the wall instead of in the closet so it’s easily accessible. I love seeing the colors all together!

And now to go sew some more for another fun element of the room!

Visit thecsiproject.com

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Doing It All???

A sweet reader wrote me an email the other day asking how I get things done while also finding time to craft. I’ve seen many other bloggers answer this questions, and to be honest, I often times feel guilty after reading what they write. After all—they talk about putting their families first, cleaning their houses, etc. I feel selfish because of the fact that I do craft with a disaster of a house around me. I surf the blogs while my son plays happily with his toys (and sometimes fusses at me too). And my husband does [almost] all of the dishes (I do a dish here or there when company is coming over and he’s at work!). And I’m guessing there just might be someone else out there like me who just needs to know that while yes, your family does need to come first, sometimes it’s ok to use your glue gun while plugging your nose because the kitchen sink has an odd odor wafting from it and you’re just too grossed out to want to look into the cause of it.

So here’s my answer to, “What are your tips on getting the things you need to done and still having time for crafting?”

Being a mom really turns your life upside down while also making it right side up, doesn't it? I feel like the wrong person to be giving advice on how to get things done. To be honest—there are way more things that I don't get done than I do accomplish. So much of the time I feel like my house is a crazy mess around me—dishes are dirty, laundry is on the floor, papers are in piles all over the place and pet hair is my dominant element of decor. I'll have friends ask me how I find the time to craft, and I half jokingly tell them I don't clean my house.

While things are pretty crazy in my house, there is some order behind it all. My husband and I like to say that our house is always a half hour from being company ready. These days, an hour would probably be a little more accurate (that is if we both pitch in and get the cleaning done).

I'm finding that I really need an organized house. That way, when it does get messy (which is guaranteed), I have places to put everything away. If everything has a home, I don't have to waste my time figuring out where to put the mess. After Christmas we found ourselves with a house FULL of toys and no place to put them all. So we traded in our cute console table for an antique buffet with lots of storage space (seen here). I bought a bunch of storage containers at the Dollar Tree, and sorted and then labeled everything. We have tubs for: blocks, cars and people, noisy toys, misc. plastic toys, etc. I also have a basket for stuffed toys and a basket for books. Our coffee table has two large drawers in it and they also hold specific types of toys. This makes cleaning up pretty quick (as long as my son isn't following behind me and pulling everything back out). It also allows my husband to be able to put things away in their correct places—which means he's more likely to help. If he doesn't know where something goes, he probably won't pick it up.

My husband makes a big difference in our home—he does 98% of the dishes (I'm a blessed woman!) and he does a lot of picking up around the house as well. There are so many times that I feel guilty for him having to help out so much—after all, he works full time while I only work part time.

That leads me to my next point: I have to keep a realistic understanding about what life as a mom is all about—just because I only work part time doesn't mean my days aren't full. The same would be true for if I was a stay at home mom. Being a mom is time consuming! I find that if I just sit on the couch with my laptop, my son is content to just play and play happily. But if I dare stand up and try to clean he has an absolute melt down. It's like he can sense when I'm motivated and wants nothing more than to crush my dreams of a clean house. There are days when I have both the energy and the happy son to clean my house. And I love those days! And then there are days when I just have to accept that I will not accomplish anything until my husband gets home.

As I'm sure you've figured out by now, my house isn't generally clean. But it's happy! And a big part of why it's happy is because I'm happy. And a big part of that is because I spend time crafting. I don't make myself have a clean home in order to craft. I will sometimes set goals for myself—like I can't do anything crafty until I've spent a half hour cleaning up around our downstairs (and it's amazing how much I can get done in that time. And sometimes I love the sense of accomplishment I feel so much that I just keep on cleaning and within an hour my downstairs is in really good shape!). Or, I can't plug in the glue gun until I've started a load of laundry. I need to set these kinds of goals for myself more often. But I don't always do that. Sometimes I just keep crafting away regardless of the chaos around me.

I do little things here and there... like I might do a little glue gun work one day, cut out fabric for another project the next day, etc. Mondays and Fridays are my days off, so I find myself doing my biggest projects on those days. I also choose projects that I can finish in one sitting. I have a short attention span, so if something takes me more than one day, I'm unlikely to finish it any time soon. I LOVE the feeling of finishing a project!

I found that my time to do projects greatly increased after my son became mobile. He was able to entertain himself so much more once he could crawl to what he wanted. That allowed me to be able to craft while he played (I also make sure to spend time playing with him as well). I do a lot of projects in the evenings after my son has gone to bed, while my husband and I watch TV. He works out every evening from 9-10, so I do a lot of crafting during that time as well. 

Really, there isn’t any way to “Do it all.” But you can choose what to do and what not to do. And I haven’t mastered the evaluation process for what’s right and what’s not. But I’m getting there. And in the mean time, I’m having a lot of fun and just going crazy part of the time!

How about you? How are you doing at getting it done while doing it all?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Some Lovely Pillows

I picked up all my unsold items from Blackberry Junction (explained here) Saturday evening. I’m really pleased with how the sale went as a whole—it was a great experience for figuring out what sells, for how much, and what people seem to be looking for. Initially, none of my pillows sold. Sad, but not too surprising consider they’re pretty taste specific thanks to their colors. But as I was gathering my items up, another vendor saw two of my pillows and bought them. How fun is that?

And since I’ve been staring at my three unsold pillow for the last few days as they sit on my loveseat (the gathering place for anything I just feel like dumping when I walk in the door), I thought I’d share them with you!

This pillow makes me smile. It’s in the same Mint Jule fabric I’ll be making my Easter dress out of. It also matches this pillow I made a while back. This pillow is 14”x14” and has three lines of ruffles. Oh, how I love ruffles!

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This pillow is in a heavier upholstery fabric and the best way I can describe the color is golden olive. It has a neat shimmer to it. It’s 16” x 16” and the pillow is 6” wide. I love the way the rosette turned out!

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I would have thought that if any pillow was sure to sell, it would have been this one. It is 14”x14” and has a neat pleating-like detail to it. I just rolled hemmed 5 strips of fabric, 1.5” wide and then sewed them down the middle to the pillow. They’re close together, and the two strips on each side of the middle one are folded down the middle. They layered really nicely. I’ll have to make this style in other fabric. It might be a cool detailing on a skirt too!

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Like what you see and want to own one for your home? The Mint Jule and Golden Olive pillows are in my Etsy shop!

Take a moment to stop by the great parties I’ll be joining in on! Their buttons are in my left side bar.


Visit thecsiproject.com

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

Thank you so much for all your feedback for which color I should go with for my Easter dress!

We had 35 entries for the Bright Pink Single Ruffles Scarf

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And the winner was comment #11

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Ashley (bandgeek_22)
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And the winning color is…

Mint Jule

Mint Jule!

Now I have no excuses left, it’s time to get sewing!

Ashley—send me an email at nolanandjill {at} gmail {dot} com in the next 48 hours and I’ll get that scarf to you!

Wish you won? I have another Bright Pink Single Ruffles Scarf in my shop, as well as a scarf in the same color with three lines of ruffling! Check out my shop HERE.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Feeling a Little Inspired?

***Don't forget to help me choose the color of my Easter dress and enter for a chance to win a ruffled scarf!***

So much of what I make is inspired by other bloggers. So when someone comments or sends me a note that they made something inspired by my project, it’s seriously my greatest blogging honor! I thought I’d share some of the projects you all have made!

Katie, at Not Just Decorating, made a purse inspired by my Pants-Turned-Purse

purse

Kristy followed along with my Sewing Simply Series and sewed her first pillow! It’s the front, lumbar shaped pillow and it turned out so cute!

reader pillow

Kimberly at Bugaboo, Mini Mr. and Me (also one of my fellow So You Think You’re Crafty competitors) made a vest inspired my my Raw Ribbons Top. I like how she varied the colors in her strips of fabric!

top

Joanna at What I’d Do if I Didn’t Have to Work made a super cute headband inspired by the one I made for Jace’s babysitter… but she didn’t stop there, she also made a tutorial for it!

headband

Rita at Country Maverickess sent me an email a little while back. She was doing a sweater refashion and wanted tips on how to finish off the raw edges so they wouldn’t fray over time. I gotta admit, I was pretty nervous about giving advice! She finished her sweater and it turned out beautifully!

sweater

I’ve been following Kaysi at Keeping it Simple and participating in her Motivate Me Monday party for quite a while. Just imagine how excited I was that a project I linked up inspired her to make one as well! She saw my turtleneck refashion and also made one. I love her cute take on it!

turtleneck redo

Have you made something inspired by what you saw on my blog? Comment here with a link to it, or email me pictures at nolanandjill {at} gmail {dot} com. I’d love to see it and share it!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Help!!! {And a Giveaway}

I told you in THIS POST about how I’ll be making my Easter dress soon. I’ve found inspiration from a few other dresses that I LOVE from Mod Cloth

Love this one for the skirt…
mod 1

…and this one for the ENTIRE dress…
Mod 2

…and this one for the wrap/ruffle/bow.
Mod 3

I’m really excited about how this dress will come together. The style I choose will be determined by the fabric I use. And that’s where you come in! Help me choose my fabric color and you could win this scarf, The Bright Pink Single Ruffles Scarf, from my Etsy shop

Single Ruffle Collage

All you have to do is leave a comment telling me which color you like best (oh, and be a follower of Made it on Monday first)! We’ll keep the giveaway quick and sweet (since I need to get going on this project) so all entries need to be made by 10 pm Pacific time on Sunday, March 20.

And now for the color options!

Bright Berry
Bright Berry

Lilac Shimmer
Lilac Shimmer

Mint Jule
(also seen here)
Mint Jule

Olive Mist
(also seen here)
Olive Mist

Purple Pin Dot
(also seen here)
Pin dot 1

Pink Love
(also seen here)
Pink Love

Plumy Pink
Plumy Pink

Rhubarb
Rhubarb

(I made up some of the color names, others were the names on the ends of the bolts. All the fabrics are from my awesome stash. And I’m sure I could show you the colors a little better in daylight, but I got the idea to include you in the color-choosing process at 9:30 pm and just couldn’t wait ‘til the morning!)

Ok, get voting! Leave those comments, possibly win a scarf, and help me choose the color of my Easter dress!