Friday, November 30, 2007

Bath Bombs

I've wanted to make bath bombs for a while now. After reading as much as I could and making notes about them, I set out after school on Wednesday to gather the necessary supplies, baking soda (easy), cornstarch (easy), oil (I already had), colouring (easy), essential oil for scent (easy), citric acid (NOT so easy!).

I went to the health food store first and bought an itsy bitsy jar for around $7.00. That was enough to make one recipe. Then I went to the Bulk Barn and bought the same size (itsy bitsy) jar for $4.50.

As I was driving home I was completely discouraged bacause I realized this was not going to be the cheap and fun project I was hoping for. I really wanted to find an affordable little gift to give to people that I wouldn't normally buy gifts for.

I came home and made a batch. Everywhere I read stressed NOT to add too much water so I was very very skimpy when adding it. My first few attempts to mold the bombs failed because there just wasn't enough liquid in the mix. Once I got the mix "right", things seemed to me moving along quite well.

It became apparent as they were drying that cracks were forming. I went back to the Internet and realized it was because I didn't pack the molds tight enough. Lesson learned.

The batch I made yielded three bombs and a mini-bomb. I used the mini bomb yesterday morning and Joe used one last night. We both loved them!

I didn't really follow one particular recipe, I took bits and pieces from many different ones. If you "Google" "bath bomb tutorial" you will get a million hits. Most recipes are the same, you just need to decide which one you're going to follow.

On a positive note, I found a place online that sells 2 KILOGRAMS of citric acid for $11.00. I've ordered some, along with some different fragrances to make more bombs for gifts.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Great mail and buttons

I received the lastest issue of Marie Claire Idees last week and I can NOT stop looking throught it.

I completely adore these stockings:

And these ornaments:

And I want the mittens this snowman is wearing!

I've decided that I absolutely HAVE TO come up with ways to use my embarassingly HUGE button collection. Last night I spent quite a while surfing the Internet for ideas. I made my first button bracelet using this great tutorial by Creative Kismet.

Her tutorial is GREAT with extremely clear instructions. Trust her though when she says to apply glue to the tips of the embroidery floss, I didn't, and it probably took me twice as long to make the bracelet.

I just might take this bracelet apart and make it again. I'm not happy with a couple of the button placements, but I will certainly be making more of these.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I feel like a thief!

On Saturday, Joe and I met a bunch of friends for breakfast and then we carried on to go and find a couple of geocaches and did a little Christmas shopping.

One of the caches took us to a church cemetary. Lucky for me, there was a Christmas bazaar at the church, so while Joe hunted for the cache, I went to the bazaar.

I just about fainted on the spot when I saw these hand-knit wool socks!

Yes, those price tags say $5.00!!

I knit my own socks and I know exactly how much time goes into knitting a pair. Not to mention the cost of sock yarn!!! I bought the only two pairs that were left, and believe me, if there had been any more I would have scooped them up too.

My feet are so happy!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I truly hate surprises

Yesterday afternoon I got a very cryptic e-mail from Joe saying you've got plans today from 6:00 on. Of course I replied asking him "what" and of course I couldn't get an answer out of him.

He came home with an envelope which I knew had tickets to SOMETHING in it. I had it in my hand and asked him if I could open it. When I flipped it over, it was SEALED with the words "do NOT open" written on it. Figures.

So, I had a bit of time on my hands and I wanted to make a new purse anyways, so I made this to go with this.

It's completely inspired by a bag I saw SOMEWHERE. I'm not sure if it was on Flickr or Etsy or on another blog. If I find the link to it in my travels, I'll be sure to link back to it.

Anyways, back to my story...

I grabbed the envelope and stuck it in my new purse. We were on a bit of a time schedule and had to stop for Wendy's on our way to wherever it was we were going. Joe told me I could open the envelope after we eat. After quickly scarfing my spicey chicken sandwich I asked if I could open the envelope. "Yes". Finally!! So...I rip into it and there's a folded piece of paper which reads.."I told you not to open it". GRRR!!!!!

After much whining and telling him that "this isn't funny anymore" we got back in the car.

I was driving and he navigated to what appeared to be an old school in a residential area. I was getting less and less happy. The sign out front said "Niagara Performing Arts Centre" (I think). Still no clue.

I parked (not so well) and he FINALLY gave me the REAL envelope. He had his camera poised, so I knew this was going to be good. It was. He had managed to get tickets to see Brent Butt from Corner Gas which happens to be my absolute favourite television show EVER!

I was beyond excited. I'm really NOT a fan of stand-up comedy but I was so looking forward to seeing Brent perform. He was the third of three comedians in the line-up and BY FAR the funniest!!! There were some peeing-in-the-pants funny moments (I didn't, of course).

I will say this. When he walked out on stage I was slightly star-struck. It was a little weird seeing him right in front of me (we were 8th row, by the way).

So, this morning we are going to have breakfast with a bunch of friends and I'm sure this story will be told with "his" and "hers" versions. Joe will brag about how funny it was to "trick" me, I'm sure.

Have a super weekend! I hope to get some more sewing time in tomorrow.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Simplicity 3835....again

I went to Fabricland yesterday to purchase the pattern, Simplicity 3835 for my Mother. It was on sale for $2.49 and I think she needs it. While I was there I fell in love with this brown print fabric. I had no idea what it was but after a quick consultation with the experts who work at the store, they agreed it would be perfect for this pattern.

The fabric is polyester. That scared me very much. I remember polyester as being scratchy and looking like plastic, but this was soft and flowy and I decided (since it was dirt cheap) to give it a go.

It was a little trickier to work with than the cotton was, especially when sewing the casing for the elastic around the neck and the hem. The pattern is very forgiving though thanks to that elastic neckband. My little oopsies are hidden in the gathering of the fabic.

I had purchased those iron-on labels a long time ago to use on my change purses and I really didn't like them much then. I think they are awesome now for clothes. There isn't much of a difference between the front and the back of this top and the label makes it a breeze to put on.

Embarassingly, I already have the fabric for two more of these tops. I think I need to find another pattern that I love and move on.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Simplicity 3835

After seeing this pattern on many different blogs, finally Lisa of Polka Dot Creations gave me the push I needed to buy the pattern and give sewing clothes a whirl again.

I just finished hemming it this morning and I'm going to wear it today but I was determined to get a photo of it before I did, thus the crappy picture.

I love it and I've already bought fabric to make two more!

I'm thinking of pairing it up with one of my button pendants.

Ok, now I'm going to be late for work, but at least I have a new sassy top to wear. Have a great day!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Stitched Christmas Cards Tutorial

Step 1: Gather your supplies

You will need:

Assortment of patterned Christmas-themed scrapbooking paper
8½” X 11” sturdy cardstock
Buttons (or other embellishments)
Photo Squares (or other paper adhesive)
Tacky Glue (to glue on embellishments)
Paper trimmer, not mandatory, but it makes things easier!
Sewing machine and thread

Step 2: Cut your cardstock

Cut the cardstock in half so that you have two 5½” X 8½” pieces.

Cut one of those pieces in half, so now you have 1 - 5½” X 8½” piece and 2 - 4¼” X 5½” pieces.
Fold the 5½” X 8½” in half for the actual note card.

Step 3: Cut your patterned paper

Cut your background paper to 4¼” X 5½”.

Cut a triangle out of the other paper and a little square for the tree trunk.

Step 4: Assemble pieces

Using the photo squares, attach the background paper (4¼” X 5½” scrapbooking paper) to the 4¼” X 5½” piece of cardstock. Assemble the tree and attach it to the card front.

These pieces are going to be sewn so at this point, we are simply tacking it down to prepare for the stitching.

Step 5: Stitching the tree

Stitch around the tree, starting and finishing at the top.
Trim the loose threads.
This will be covered by a button.

Step 6: Stitch the perimeter of the card

At this point I stitch around the border of the card.

Step 7: Attach stitched card to note card

Using the photo squares I permanently attach the card front to the note card.

Step 8: Embellish the card

I attach a button to the top of the tree, but you can embellish it at this point any way you like.

And you’re done!

Here are some of the templates I have used but feel free to create your own!


Using this technique, you could make cards using any holiday shape, stars, snowmen, gingerbread men, candy canes, etc.

You can use fabric instead of paper by using Heat’N’Bond to attach the fabric to the card front.

You can use rick rack and other trims to embellish the cards.

You could trim the paper (or fabric) with pinking sheers to give the edges a “pinked” look.

You could use rubber stamps to further embellish the card.

NOTE: Make sure you change your sewing machine needle before sewing again on fabric, the needles get very dull when sewing on paper!

Thanks to Karen from Cotton Spice for inviting me to to participate in the Last Minute Gift Countdown!

Cute as a cupcake!

I have no idea (at all) why I had to do this, but I just HAD to knit the cute little cupcake from the book One Skein.

Here's cupcake number one:

And cupcake number two:

They are completely useless, but cute as ever and terribly fun to knit!

(There you go Lera!)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

an International Crafting Fairytale

Once upon a time in lands far, far apart, there lived two little girls. These girls liked so many of the same things that it was almost as if they were twins separated at birth. And the biggest thing they had in common was the love of crafting.

Turns out that even though these two crafty gals were growing up hundreds of miles apart, in two different countries, they had so much in common that they even grew up to have the same day job as librarians.

One day they ran across each other’s blogs and discovered that they had the same love for the outdoors, kitty cats, and books. Then they discovered that they both had Etsy shops and their friendship was off and flying.

Our two heroines did have one big difference though. One loved to make totally groovy tote bags while the other loved making plush creatures. One day a light bulb went off over their heads and the idea to combine their crafts became overwhelming. Now these two talented ladies from Canada and the United States have teamed up to provide a fun and useful product.

tote bag + creature = functional & fun

Karyn of Trail Mix Designs and Felicia of Fluffy Flowers present you with the best their combined creative talents have to offer. They hope you will enjoy these innovative creations of international crafting combination.

And they all crafted happily ever after.

Gnome Creature and Tote

Tree Sprite Creature and Tote

Kitty Creature and tote

Hop on over to Felicia's blog to see three more truly groovy internationally crafted creature totes.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I finally sewed something!

Insipired by the the awesome quilted pouch my Mother made for me, I made a mini (non-quilted) version.

Can you say cute?? (Notice my new mushroom prop!)

And a Christmas-y one.

I made a ton of these over the past couple of days. You can bet your bootie that my friends and family will be getting their very own pouch for Chrismas (probably filled with goodies they would like).

This is what my scrap pile looks like right now. I haven't cleaned it up yet.

I'm not done yet, back to the sewing room I go!

Thursday, November 08, 2007


This is what you get for $1.49 at VV.

Some really cute salt & pepper shakers and matching toothpick holder.

The pepper shaker (I think) is chipped, but how could I resist????

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

A little thrifting

Finally, I got lucky at Value Village! It's been a while since I've found anything there that I want to bring home.

Today I found this cute cotton fabric, and after a little bit of looking, I found a HUGE bag of vintage buttons! I can not explain why buttons make me so happy, but they do.

I'm in a sewing rut. Ever since the hunt for my new car began, I've barely entered my sewing room. First of all, it's a disaster area. I need to de-stash and go back to "using what I have" for a while. It's unbelievable how fast I accumulate "stuff". (This after I just posted about my new VV finds!).

Secondly, this time change is killing me! When I get home from work, I tidy up the house, make dinner, and then I'm done! I have no energy left for anything! I have a zillion things I need to do/make, but honestly, by the end of the day, I just want to "park it" on the couch and do nothing. Not good.

I think I need to sit down and make a to-do list. If I do that then I might not seem so over-whelmed. Maybe I'll start by just tidying my sewing room tonight.

Be sure to check out this Quilted tic-tac-toe-to-go game. It's today's featured project for the Last Minute Gift Count Down at the Cotton Spice blog.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

My very talented Mother

Every few months my Mother, DianNe, and her friend Carol pass through town on their way to and from cross-border shopping in the States. It has become a bit of a ritual that I meet them on their way back home.

My Mother signed up for a free-motion quilting class about a month ago. I had taken a similar class several years ago and I found it VERY hard. I had warned her before she went that it was going to be a nightmare. Well it wasn't. Apparently she picked it up very quickly and asked me "what the big deal" was.

She is going away to a quilting retreat this weekend and they have to make a quilted pouch and fill it with toiletries to be donated to a women's shelter (or something).

I was the VERY lucky recipient of one of her practice pouches. I love the shape and I'm especially in love with the GREAT free-motion quilting! I'm completely in awe of her talent.

It's hard to see, but the quilting IS amazing.

Thanks Mom!!!!

If you're looking for Christmas gift ideas to make, please check out the great cell phone pouch tutorial which is today's feature project for the "Last Minute Gift Countdown". I think that this would also make a super little camera case and I may have to make one or two of them myself!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Last Minute Gift Countdown begins!

Today is the first day of the Last Minute Gift Countdown. Please be sure to check out today's great gift idea by by Tracy at Plum Cute Designs.


I've made some more Christmas cards. I do have other projects up my sleeve but with buying my car I really found myself with little time to be creative. I'm really hoping that changes this week.

Today I have to go BACK to the dentist (regular visit, not for emergency root canal!). I THOUGHT my appointment was for tomorrow after work, but when I called to find out the time, I was HORRIFIED to discover it's today! I was even tempted to cancel, but when I went down that road I discovered that the penalty was over $100.00 for missing an appointment without 48 hours notice. I think I'll be going to the dentist.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

It's been a cozy weekend!

I'm in all out Christmas present making/planning mode. We have lots of friends who are geocachers who survive on Tim Horton's coffee while out geocaching. I thought it would be a great idea to give them Timmy's gift certificates and a reusable coffee cuff as a little Christmas gift.

My first thought was to crochet them with this incredibly funky yarn. Ya, if you really aren't very good at crocheting, do NOT attempt to crochet with fancy shmancy yarn. The first several crochet attempts were BEYOND disasterous and were ripped out.

My next thought (which came very quickly) was to knit them. The first one I knit was way too large and was way too slippy. The second was way too small and wouldn't fit around the cup. This is my last (and still failed) attempt. It fits around the cup (barely) around the top and bottom but it's still pretty slippy and loose around the middle, which won't work.

So, this morning I decided to just sew them. This is NOT my first attempt. After about 1.5 hours of tweaking the size, this is what I have.

It's slightly quilted with raw edges that have been zig-zagged. Simple to make and I think they will make cute little gifts when combined with a gift card.