Saturday, December 7, 2013

Handmade Christmas

Every year I make a list of Christmas gifts to give, full of wonderful handmade things.  I make this list thinking that time will magically stop around December 1st and only restart when my projects are all done.  Right.  I think you know how the rest of this story goes.  You would think that I would learn my lesson.  Nope.  What can I say, I'm pretty stubborn.  One of these years my plan will work.  Maybe even this year. . .except for, you know, that whole part about time stopping.

I've been working diligently on my handmade gifts this year and I think that I just might have everything accomplished by December 24th.  I wanted to start posting my progress so that I can have a more visual of what I have done and what needs to be done.  

 First the lists:

Doll clothes
Animal families (owls, mice, hedgehogs)
Felted tree house
Tiny hammock
Sewing kit (pincushion, needle wallet, fancy pins)

 Knit monster
Knit octopus
 Tiny felted village
Animal families (hedgehogs, gnomes)
 Matching game

Knit socks

Everyone Else: (in no particular order)
 Norway Hat (R.S.)
Wallet (4)
Slippers (2)
Kitchen Set (3)
Monster (3)
Hat (4)
Fish Wind Chime (3)
Scarf (3) (1)
Covers/Belly Band 
Dress (1)
Pajamas (1)

Wow, it looks like I have plenty to finish. . .  Luckily, I have some of the things not crossed of in various stages of completion.  Not all of them, but hopefully enough.  I'll start posting pictures of the finished products soon!

Wish me luck getting my list done, and good luck to you on yours!!


Tuesday, November 26, 2013


At the beginning of 2013 I made a list of goals that I hoped to accomplish this year.  I know that it's not quite the end of the year yet but I already have a new set of goals for 2014.  First, I wanted to revisit the old list to see what worked out and what didn't.

 #1. Blog better.  I want to be more consistent, have better content and a snappier look. - Umm, since this is my first post in some number of months, I'll call this one a fail. . .

#2. Make more!!  This means that I want to sew every day.  Even if it's only for a few minutes. - This I actually did, even if I didn't blog about it.
#3. Design more!  I have tons of ideas floating around, it's time to not only put them down on paper but to make them as well. - A wash.  I did manage to put loads of ideas on paper, now I just have to make them.
#4. Submit at least one project to a magazine. - Nope.
#5. Open an Etsy shop.  I'm a little bit terrified of this one. . . -  Yay!  I did it!  My shop is The Peppered Goat on Etsy.  I think it looks really cute!  And I'm so excited that I accomplished this goal.

#6. Get in shape. - Another win.  Kind of.  I started running at our new gym.  They have an awesome daycare so I don't feel guilty about dropping the kiddos off.  I usually run when Chickadee is at her Homeschool Gym Class.  Yes, we are official homeschoolers this year.  YIKES!!

#7. Be Debt Free. This year I'll be on a strict fabric and yarn diet as I try to follow Dave Ramsey's plan and to be completely debt free.  - I can't call this a failure because we're still mostly on track.  We're just not all the way there yet.
#8. Sell the house. We're moving again, this time up to Virginia.  So, I'll be working like crazy to get the house ready to sell.  Wish me luck! - Nope.  We still own our house in NC.  We had a renter for a couple of months but now, not so much.  

The New List:
#1. Blog more and blog better. For realsies this time.
#2. Make more.  Sew all the time.
#3. Sell some things in my Etsy shop.  Now that it's open it's time to make some sales!
#4.  Open a second Etsy shop.  Since the first one was so fun.
#5. Submit at least one project to a magazine.  
#6. Make my own deadlines and stick to them. I'm hoping that by blogging more, I will be more accountable.
#7. Be debt free.  
#8. Be more organized.
Can you tell that I'm already looking forward to the new year?  And just because I feel like every post needs a picture, here is a picture of the first thing I listed in my Etsy shop.  A rainbow minky quilt.  I love it!



Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Happy Birthday

To me! Not only is it my birthday today, but I was also chosen as a finalist in Rachel's latest mosaic contest, Sweet Contrary. Here is my entry: 

Mosaic #2

What do you think? I think you should go vote for me, it is my birthday after all ;-). Even though I totally voted for myself, there is a mosaic I like better.  I won't tell you which one until the voting is closed.  I mean, we're talking about free fabric here.  Free fabric is amazing any day!  

I'm off to make some scrumptious strawberry cupcakes for myself.  Maybe I'll remember to take a picture or two before they're gone. . .


Wednesday, April 17, 2013


I totally forgot to link up with Rachel's Scrap Attack yesterday!  That's what finally motivated me to take this project from drawing to actual, real live quilt.  That and finally figuring out how to start it.  Even when I had it sorted out in my head, I was still skeptical.  But it's working out. So far.

Scrap Attack Quilt

Here's my official link up button.

Scrap Attack {String Fever}

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Scrap Scraps

Today I finally finished cutting out 2 1/2 inch strips for a new quilt.  I drew up the plans for this fella a couple of months ago.  I knew that I wanted it to be made out of scraps of vintage sheets and be amazing.  So far, so good.  

First came the scraps.

Vintage Sheets

This stack of beauties came from Jeni.  She was having a sale. . . so all six of her rainbow scrap stacks came to live at my house.  I'm a sucker for a sale.  Especially on fabric. Or yarn. 

Then came the cutting.

Vintage Sheet strips

At first I was keeping things nice and orderly.  Cutting one finicky scrap at a time and meticulously folding each strip and placing it on the stack. . .

Then I got bored.  The scraps were like "What the heck man? Neat, schmeat, just toss us in!" So I did.  I threw caution to the wind and started cutting three at a time and then shamelessly tossing them on the pile.

Messy Vintage Sheets Strips 

Even Danger got in on the action.


This is where I'm at so far today.  

Scrappy Strip Set

I can't wait to get these sewn together.  I have no idea how exactly this is going to come together but I have faith that it will. 

I even have plans for this pile of scrap scraps.  Crazy, right?

Scrap scraps

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Scrap Mail

Lately I've found myself drawn to the scrappier side of town.  I love the endless combinations, the possibility of bold contrast or sweet subtlety, the play on colors versus patterns and the surprisingly pleasing busyness of it all.

In every day life I like things tidy, simple and clutter free.  Emphasis on the clutter free.  I am by no strange stretch of imagination the queen of organization but I like my disarray well hidden behind a facade of neatness.  So it surprises me a little that I'm happy being scrappy. (I know, I'm so punny). 

So finding myself inspired to create blissfully scrappy things and sadly lacking in the scrap department I did what any young, confident, good looking crafter would do in my position, I bought some.  Hawthorne Threads offers scrap bundles for a very reasonable price.  I ordered a pack of each of their three offerings: cool, warm and fresh. 

This is what I got:

Scrap Packs

Fresh Scrap Pack

Cool Scrap Pack

Warm Scrap Pack

Scrap Packs

A wonderful assortment of beautiful, current fabrics.  I'll admit, the packs weren't as scrappy as I was expecting but I like the feeling that I have enough of each piece to finish a project.

I have more scraptacular goodness planned, I can't wait to share!


Monday, February 18, 2013

The Problem Is. . .

Me!  Lately I've felt behind the 8-ball.  Like way behind.  Way, way behind.  I've been blaming it on the business of trying to sell the house, the fact that I'm babysitting for my neighbor now, the kids being cranky, Girl Scout Cookies and pretty much every possible thing going on in my life.  Turns out, the problem wasn't not enough time, it was time management.  In other words, me!

So, I hitched up my big girl panties and got some stuff done the past couple of days.  I've been painting like a woman possessed.  And I managed to finish two months worth of bee blocks for the Cheer Circle in a night.  Let's not talk about the fact that I just realized that it is actually February and was therefore two weeks late with my January blocks, mmkay?

I also finished the very pink socks I was working on for my brother-in-law and started a gift for a friend's baby.  I feel GREAT!!  Productivity makes me so happy!  Also, I'm blogging right now.  Double score!

Here's a snapshot of what I've finished.

January Bee Blocks

January Blocks for the Cheer Circle of do. Good Stitches.  This block was very fun to put together.  I love the pink block with the mermaid.  It might be my favorite bee block, you know, so far.

These two beauties were also for the Cheer Circle, February edition.  These were simple to put together, quick and so, so fun to do.  I could definitely do a quilt this way.  The pattern is a Jelly Roll pattern by 3Dudes.  I used this tutorial by the Missouri Quilt Company.

Michael's Pink Socks

Oh, these glorious pink socks.  Not just pink, sparkly pink socks.  I thought that using the cable pattern would add a little masculinity.  The yarn is Dream in Color Starry in Pinky.  My little Chickadee promised her uncle these pink socks about 4 years ago.  He's been asking for them ever since.  I wanted to finish them in time for Christmas last year but just didn't quite make it.  As in I didn't cast on until January.  They're done now.  Wear them proudly Mike. . .

Hopefully I'm back on track now.  I'll have more to share soon.


Friday, January 25, 2013

Many hands

make light work.  And light is exactly how I felt after dropping this top off the other day. As much as I enjoyed working on this project, it was nice to send it on it's way for the next step.

 Many hands have helped make this quilt top and more hands are involved right now in making it a whole, usable quilt.  This quilt is the one I've been working on for the Quiltcon.  The individual blocks were from the Quiltcon Challenge.  These are a handful of the blocks that didn't make it into the "official" Quiltcon Quilt.  They are all very different and very beautiful.  I love each of them. The quilts will be donated to the Austin Children's Shelter in Austin, TX to be put to good use.

When I laid the blocks out I wanted a scattered yet cohesive look on a plain background.  Sort of like a gallery of art work.  Which it kind of is.  I chose white because it really was the best fit.  It seems wrong to send a mostly white quilt to a kid, but hey, the back of the quilt will be dark at least. 

When I was working on the quilt, sans design wall, I laid the squares out on the floor of my workspace, aka, the living room.  Since I couldn't get the top done all in one go, I used blue painter's tape and a picture on my phone to remember the correct layout as I worked.  I decided in the process that I really, really need a design wall. 

This quilt is being put together by the Coastal Carolina Modern Quilt Guild, just started late last year.  It's our first project as a group and although only a few of us have worked on the quilt so far I know that every guild member is invested in it.  I am very fortunate to work with such talented and generous ladies. I am very excited to see the quilting and to send it off to Austin.  It's due by February 1st and I'll post the pictures of the finished quilt when before I put it in the mail.

Now I'm off to finish my Cheer quilt!  


Monday, January 21, 2013

What I'm working on. . .

It's still busy as ever here at our house.  I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that we're actually leaving.  I'm more sad about it than I expected.  We've been here, in this house, for six years now.  This is the longest I've ever lived in one place.  My dad was in the Air Force growing up and we moved a lot.  As in every couple of years.  I did manage to stay in one place for all four years of high school but then immediately moved again.  Then I joined the Air Force, married a Marine and I'm still moving.  So, I'm used to change. I like the nomadic life actually.  I get to try out new places and I've lived in some amazing areas.  Monterey, California anyone?  So I wasn't expecting this move to be so difficult.

Of course, since I've been here I've made tons of wonderful friends, bought my first house, remodeled my kitchen, started a large organic garden, bought a horse, started a business, sold the business, and generally imbedded myself in the community.  So, this move is going to be tough.  Luckily we're not going too far away so we can still visit often.

In between bouts of painting and cleaning I have been managing to sew every day.  Here's a little snapshot of the things I've been working on.


Gorgeous quilt blocks go in the taped boxes.  I'm working on a quilt for Quiltcon.  It's part of the Quiltcon challenge from last year.  The quilt squares that didn't make it into the official Quiltcon quilt got parceled out to various Modern Quilt Guilds to be made into twin sized quilts for the Austin Children's Shelter.  I'll show you more on that soon.

Michael's Socks

These are the very pink socks that Chickadee promised her Uncle Mike a long, long time ago.  I'm finally working on them.  The pattern is Boyfriend Socks.  They're going pretty fast for size 12 feet.


Oh, how I love this project.  I'm hoping to have it done by the first of February since I'll have a group of ladies over to show it off to on the second.  

Mendocino Windows


I hope you're enjoying your MLK day today.  


Monday, January 14, 2013


It's amazing how a small change in your routine can lead to big changes in your life.  Ever since we returned from our Christmas break I've been changing my routines.  Mostly, because we're in the process of listing our house for sale, I've been uber focused on keeping the house clean.  That means that I've been putting away all of my sewing things when I'm done, even if I know that I'll be dragging them out again later the same day.  It's not as bad as I thought it would be.  I timed myself, it takes about 4 minutes if I don't rush.  Crazy right?  The thing is, I've been feeling so productive during this time.  I feel like I've had more sewing time (I've been sewing every day!!) and my house is still clean.  Not just picked up, but actually clean.  I even cleaned the light fixtures the other day. 

So it turns out that the time is there, it's just how I use it that's different.  Cleaning up a mess immediately as I go, instead of waiting to do a chore "all at once", has been the key for me.  Doing breakfast dishes right after breakfast, then lunch dishes immediately after lunch, that kind of thing.  I've also been doing a little work out routine right before I take my shower, every day.  It's amazing.  I'm amazed that I've finally found  a system and that it's working.  I think that this year may just shape up to be a great one.  

Here's what I was working on today. . .

 Spiderweb Quilt

My October blocks from the amazing ladies of the Cheer circle over at do. Good Stitches.  I can't wait to show you how I plan to quilt it.  Assuming of course that it works out the way I planned it in my head. . .

Wish me luck,

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Postage Stamp Basket

Fantastic Finish #1!!!  

Postage Stamp Basket

 I love this basket.  It turned out almost exactly like the picture in my head which rarely happens around here.  Even the little tiny piecing wasn't as tedious as I thought it would be.  I used my vast collection of very unorganized scraps to make the rainbow.  Once again, I refused to make a list of the materials I needed and had just enough to finish. Like, I was one slip of the rotary cutter away from not getting this basket done this week. 

When I was working on this, I was thinking that I would write up a neat little tutorial on how I made this.  Then I realized that there are so many good fabric basket making tutorials out there, unless someone really wants mine specifically, I think I'll just share the pictures for now.

Postage Stamp Basket

Postage Stamp Basket

Postage Stamp Basket

Postage Stamp Basket

I really want to make several more of these for the house.  Mostly so that I can appear organized.  The key word there {obviously} is appear.  Once I got going, it only took an hour or so to put it together.  No, that does not include the time it took to cut out all the 1 1/2" pieces and then sew them together. I refuse to think about the time that took. . .  


Wednesday, January 9, 2013


So, in light of my New Year's resolution, I planned to blog way before today.  However, despite my best laid plans, the universe conspired against me.  I had a beautiful project to share, my first finish of 2013, my own pattern and of course wonderful pictures.  Alas, when I sat down to blog, my camera rejected me.  Apparently it was too full to do anything but stare at me.  Yeah, I got the 'ole stink eye from my camera.  Creepy right?  Then my computer spaced out.  Like the lights were on, but nobody was home. It was very frustrating. 

Well, I finally figured out the computer and by figure out I mean threw it out the window reset the beast from safe mode.  Then I tackled the finicky camera which was still staring at me with it's beady, glassy, one eye.  I fixed that by purging all the photos.  Luckily, they all made it onto my computer (not that I feel that secure about having them there. . .). 

Anyhoo, while I was waiting for the 400+ photos to evacuate my camera, I discovered that Rachel over at Stitched in Color (one of my favorite blogs), is hosting another one of her fantastic contests.  This time it's another mosaic contest.  The basic idea is that you chose a select number of fabrics within a certain theme and put them together in a mosaic.  At the end two winners will be chosen to receive a half yard bundle of each of their fabric choices.  

So to recap, I got to play with color, look at great fabric and I get a chance to win free fabric.  The theme this time is "Emerald".  This is my take on it.  You are allowed to make up to two mosaics so I will definitely be making another one. 

Emerald Mosaic Contest

Don't worry, I'll share my marvelous project tomorrow!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy New Year!

Hey there friends!  I'm so excited to be back here again!  I felt like I ran out of {blogging} steam at the end of the year there.  Which is kind of unfortunate because I made tons of handmade things this year for Christmas that I would love to share with you all.  I will share the ones that I remembered to take pictures of.  

Like this adorable Hedgie:


This hat for A's cousin's boyfriend:

J's Brown's Hat

This pillow for a friend:

Laura's Pillow

And certainly not least this vest for my little Danger:

Danger's Vest

What I didn't get pictures of:

Pirate Lovey Blanket
Knitted Hat for my Brother-in-Law
Knitted Socks for my other Brother-in-Law
Pajamas for Chickadee, Danger and A
Knitted Hat for A's Grandfather
I'm sure I'm forgetting something but boy, was that enough!  

Now in the spirit of New Year's, it's time for my resolutions/goals for the year.

2013 Goals:

 #1. Blog better.  I want to be more consistent, have better content and a snappier look.
#2. Make more!!  This means that I want to sew every day.  Even if it's only for a few minutes.
#3. Design more!  I have tons of ideas floating around, it's time to not only put them down on paper but to make them as well.
#4. Submit at least one project to a magazine
#5. Open an Etsy shop.  I'm a little bit terrified of this one. . .
#6. Get in shape
#7. Be Debt Free. This year I'll be on a strict fabric and yarn diet as I try to follow Dave Ramsey's plan and to be completely debt free.  
#8. Sell the house. We're moving again, this time up to Virginia.  So, I'll be working like crazy to get the house ready to sell.  Wish me luck!

I'll be back soon with my list of projects for 2013.