November 27, 2011

All Homemade

Found this great new website called DIY Natural. Love it!!! I started making homemade concoctions right away from their site!

Their recipe for Pumpkin Spice Sugar Scrub & Lemon Sugar Scrub (from left my hands smelling and feeling so smooth and awesome!

And then I made this flexible-hold hairspray on the stove. I was using Pantene. I like this better. (I can't seem to link to it, but go to

And because it was on their site, and my sister has used this forever & loves it....

....shampooing my hair with only baking soda. I'm in week two of trials. Liking it so far.
(also found at

And while this one is not on their site yet, my sister highly recommended it as well, so I'm giving it a try too....

....Facial toner using apple cider vinegar. There were MANY rave reviews and testimonials online about using this! I followed THIS recipe mainly (except mine has raspberry pomegranate green tea and about a Tablespoon of Witch Hazel as well).
Yea for Homemade and saving money! I've really started into the essential oils now...

And I've been using Jojoba oil on myself, and for my baby's eczema, and it's cleared it completely up! What will I make next? I can hardly wait!

If you try something out too, let me know what you think of the results!

November 23, 2011

A Toy Bag for Nathan

Saw this idea first HERE for the fabric bags. Love Maya's burlap ones, and will probably make this version soon, but it gave me the idea to make Nathan a toy bag. From watching my sisters' and friends' kids, I observed that kids love to carry around a small amount of favorite toys, like to church, Grandmas house, or in the car. I thought this little kid-sized one would be perfect for Nathan!

I made the pattern up by myself and my first mock-up bag in about an hour during naptime, and fell in love! So easy! If I had used stiffer fabric, the bag could have stood up more on its own, but I still like my version. Felt monogram letter stitched on front, Ikea car fabric on outside, and red velvet fabric on inside.

And it holds a lot!
Just his size, Nathan couldn't wait to dig into it and discover what treasures I hid inside!

I know he's too small to carry it himself, but it still works for now. Maybe we'll take it along on our Thanksgiving outing tomorrow, filled up with his favorites to keep him busy!

So what do you think? Could you use one or ten of these around your house too?
Can you think of more uses for these fabric bags?

November 15, 2011

Tree Wall Mural Completed

This was Inspiration #1 for me. Wall art decal available HERE at Expressingyou on Etsy. 
Inspiration #2. Looksugar design wall art on Etsy.
And this one found in a book I borrowed from the library. Sorry, don't remember which one at this time....but I fell in love with how the real brach was incorporated in this mural, with the hanging frames from it.
This is what Nathan's bed corner looked like this summer. Pretty boring, even with a cool ikea crib.
I do paint and draw....well, sometimes.  I took my inspiration photos to his room, and started sketching a modern tree on his wall. (Later on I realized it could have gone a lot faster had I framed out the tree with painters tape and just filled it in). Instead, I guess I chose to struggle and let it take me 2 months : ).

And part of the time my little man required some holding, so I held him with one arm, and kept drawing with the other.

And 2 months later, (yesterday), this is how it turned out. Many adjustments later, I am finally pleased with how my painted wall mural turned out. I painted it with basic acrylic paints.

PROS: It was created for N by Mommy, it cost me only $3.00 (for more paint), & makes the crib area look fantastic now.

CONS: took me forever to finish it & I may have to paint over it if we ever move (we rent).

But, I'm happy with it, so that's enough for me.
Love these photos! Our family friend, Justin Spivey, took these photos of our family this year in April. He did an absolutely awesome job! You can check out his website HERE.

The frames are wood/plastic (so baby grabbing safe), and from Ikea  for only $1.99 each. I placed black photo corners on each photo and mounted them on white cardstock. There is no matting involved.

I drilled 3 small holes in the wall with a drill bit, and screwed in small, copper hooks. Then, I tied a ribbon on the hanging mount behind each photo frame and hung them up.
And baby loved them right away too! And then Mommy scooted his crib a bit away from the wall : ).

And here's Nathan's corner now. Much better. What do you think?

November 9, 2011

A Clothing Tree!

I came across this fabulous idea in a craft book I recently checked out from the library, and then bought on my Nook Color called, Handmade Home, by Amanda Blake Seoule. This is called Nathan's Clothing Tree. It is to be a memory keepsake for my Nathan, holding fabric memories of all the cute handmade items I made for him as a baby (or that he wore as a baby). I've also made THIS from her book too.

You were suppose to put iron-on interfacing on the tree trunk and each leaf first, then hand quilt it. I don't have that kind of time right now with a little baby on my own, so out came the fabri-tac and the trunk and leaves got glued on. Then, the blanket stitch was added, in different colors, by my wonderful Singer sewing machine. And I was done with it in about 2 hours, instead of 2 weeks. Horray for shortcuts.

I put the clothing tree on a fabric background, and then cut down the fabric to fit inside the frame that I purchased at Hobby Lobby for $5.00. It's an unfinished piece, but I'm leaving it that way for now. I also cheated and just taped the fabric to the back side of the cardboard.

Okay, so the only real work I did here was stitching Nathan's name and birthdate on. Don't bother noticing that the birthdate is a little off size-wise. I know. That was the second time I did it, and I'm not doing it again. I'm denying my need to be a perfectionist here. And that is perfectly fine with me.

And then I hung it the wall in his room.....And added these cute hooks underneath (also from Hobby Lobby).

And here's what that corner nook now looks like. See the rest of Nathan's room HERE.

Oh, and I looks like there are a lot of leaves on the tree, but only 9 of them represent something I had made for him. My leaves for Nathan resembled: a bouncy seat cover, car seat cover, matching pj pants with Daddy, a diaper cover, his crib bumper, a layette he slept in, a changing pad, and Army pants to look like Daddy. I know what you're thinking... he was my first. I will never have that kind of time on my hands ever again, right? : ) Well, you may be right, but I'm quite an avid sewer...even now. I just love it!

November 5, 2011

Tutorial: How to make an EASY rag doll

Went to another great birthday party today for a one year old! There is just something special about your baby turning one! I asked my friend, Arren, if she had any gift requests for her little Lille, and she said she loved the pillow & friend I made for Charlie last week. So, on with the project this past week!

In my fabric stash is also a pile of "clothing". It's composed of donated clothing items, wool articles I've bought at the thrift store to "felt", and clothing items I intend to cut up at a later time. This skirt from Express was one of those items. I wore it a few times, and think it's very pretty, but think it would look better as something else.

I made the pillow out of this skirt, and decided to make an easy RAG DOLL this time to go inside the front pocket. Here are the directions:

Start with a square piece of fabric. Depending on what proportion you want the doll, is how big the square (folded in half) should be. Mine happened to be about 16"x16".  Note: this project is meant to be made with what you, cut up old tee shirts, skirts of your own, or any material you have laying around. (I only finished some edges in the pictures, because I was sewing it for a baby, but it's really intended to be a non-sewing project). This project would be great for young girls to make themselves!

Place a small amount of fiber-fil or fabric scraps in the center of the square.

While leaving batting/scraps in the center, pull fabric up from middle (like you're making a ghost for halloween).

Now I have a "head" with stuffing, and a flowing body.

Now tie a long ribbon in a knot around her neck. I used double fold bias tape here. Keep the ribbon long at each ends, as that will become her arms.

Fold another scrap of fabric in half so the fold is at the top, and cut a shape out similar to this.

When the fabric piece is opened, it looks roughly like this. The hole needs only to be big enough just to squeeze the doll's head through.

Place the pinafore over the dolls head (kind of like creating a sandwich board sign).

Wrap another ribbon around the dolls waist and knot it in back.

Cut the arms to desired length.

For the hair, I cut 6 strips of fabric.

Then I stacked them on top of each other and sewed across the stack. (Note: The no-sew option here is just using yarn pieces and then adhering it on with fabri-tac glue).

I sewed the hair scraps to her head in the center.

And she can be done at this point, .....or you can add a face.

I chose to add a face. Stitched with embroidery thread. (the no-sew here is just to draw her face on with a non-bleeding marker).

And this was going to be Lille's only gift, until I decided last night at midnight that the doll just didn't look right in the pocket. So, back to my sewing area I went, and 20 minutes later came back down with a bunny.

I made a pocket in this one too for a blanket.

So, Lille ended up with this pillow and friend, & the rag doll, &......

this tutu. (My Mom had this one, so I didn't need to make it this time).

If you are interested in a tutorial on the Pillow and Friend, please leave me a comment either below, or on my facebook page.  Due to all your wonderful encouragement and this project's popularity, I also intend to put some Pillow & Friends up for sale in my Etsy store after the first of the year. Thank you!!!!!