outdoor play mat - S.Y.T.Y.C.

I was so surprised to win last weeks craft. In the midst of all the chaos last week, it was the last thing I had expected. I was just hoping to make it past the round. So, thanks to all of you who voted. I will have the tutorial up very soon.

The pictures were such a chore to make as Eli, my 8 month old was screaming his head off. He did well though.

The mat has already been put to use... we LOVE it!!!

Outdoor Play Mat

Every little baby needs a place to sit down outside without getting poked by the grass, wet from the dew, or dirty. Most of us moms use blankets that we end up having to wash all the time.

The outdoor play mat has a waterproof backing to prevent wetness and allowing for easy clean up. Just wipe it off!

Best of all, it's portable! It fits nicely in the diaper bag or easy and light enough for little hands to carry.


so this is what I've been doing

Remember how I mentioned we were preparing for a bridal expo? It had been INSANE for a few weeks around here. I had so much to get ready for the show that it about threw me over the edge. But I was creating. Just not the normal crafting/sewing I normally would do.

Here is a pic of our booth. It is not a good photo as I just took it with you cell phone, but at least you get the idea. I will be posting better pictures eventually... Just have to find the time to et them ready to go.

I made the table clothes and table runner the night before the show... a bit hectic! but the whole thing came together so well!


felt learning mat and wedding craziness

Did you guess which craft was mine for the "science" theme? It was the felt learning mat! I ended up with second place this time around... not bad.

I have a lack of posts... I know. I want to keep up, but right now I'm just trying to get through this busy weekend. I had a wedding today and I have a bridal expo tomorrow! Those two things have been taking up SOOOO much time. But, check out these pics from the wedding I did today. I have to share, I'm super excited about them! I'm also sharing because this wedding was the most crafty wedding I've ever seen!

I love this one! We did photos in Milwaukee's historic 3rd ward.

All the dresses were made by the brides mother! I was flabergasted! I've never met such a great seamstress! Not only did she make the dresses, but she made all the girls purses, table clothes and chair covers, and cushions and pillows for the amazing furniture the brides father made for the lounge area at the reception. Such an inspiration!!!

I love this!

And one more just for fun! Check out those flowers? Aren't they amazing?



Your little magician will be doing all kinds of fun illusions with this spectacular set! With a huge, flowing cape, your little one can twirl around with great drama.

Every Magician needs a wand to do awesome tricks! With a little magnet attached to the end, the possibilities are endless!!!

What would a magician be without a magic hat? With the "false" bottom, all kinds of things can be pulled out of the magic hat. To add to the fun, the shiny scarves can be knotted together to pull out the infamous endless chain!

*** This idea comes with permission from Lorraine at Ikatbag. Check out her site! I've used lots of her stuff.... all of the dress up clothes on my blog come from her site! She's great!


I want to craft... but

I really am around still... just unbelievably busy with my business, S.Y.T.Y.C., being a mom of 4, a wife, and the commitments that follow as a result. We have a bridal expo that we will have a booth at in just over a week and it has been consuming so much of my time. So much so that I haven't even started the next S.Y.T.Y.C. craft and that has me so stressed. Who knew crafting on demand would be so draining. However, I have to say, I have learned so much about myself in the process! I have never made my own pattern before this session started. I have never written a tutorial. I have never had confidence in myself. But I have learned that when I set my mind to something, I really can accomplish it! My confidence has grown. I've written tutorials (even if they need work). I have made my own patterns!!! Who knew? Me?!?! I can really do this thing. If you are considering doing S.Y.T.Y.C., do it! The things you will learn are incredible!

Anyway, here is a bit of what I have been doing this last week. I know it isn't "crafting", but I am making these things with my art! That counts for something... right?

This is a 10x10 flush mount album:

This is the cover page.

I love this... it says, "Love is patient. Love is kind. Love does not boast." etc

It finishes here on the next page with, "And the greatest of these is love"

And this is my FAVORITE page!

So, this is just a bit of my week. My late nights, messy house, and very heavy eyes prove the length of time these take to create.

You can check out my business website here.


teacher tote tutorial

Teacher Tote Tutorial

Materials needed:
1 yard each of cotton fabric (This is the flower and stripe fabric I used)
1/2 yard solid color fabric (this is the yellow)
2 zippers - 2-"-22"
medium to heavy weight interfacing (I just used what I had on hand)

1. Cut.

For reference, this is what I will refer to the pockets as:

First, cut to pieces for the main part of your tote, being the outside (flower) and the inside (stripe). This piece, with 1/2 inch seam allowance is 32"x15". Cut 2 large pockets (both flower fabric) 13.5"x15". Cut 1 medium pocket (yellow) 7"x15". Cut one Pen pocket (stripe) 4"x15". Cut two straps (stripe)31"X5". you can make these longer or shorter as you need. Cut 8* pieces to attack to the zipper (yellow) 18"x3" (this gives you a bit of room to play with).

*I only did 4 pieces, but 8 would look better and give more stability because you will have fabric on both the outside and inside of the zipper.

Cut interfacing an inch smaller than each measurement as your above pieces for EACH piece EXCEPT the zipper pieces. Example, for your two large pockets, cut 2 pieces of interfacing 12.5"x14".

2. Iron on your interfacing to all of your pieces.

3. More ironing. iron 1/2 inch seams on pen pocket and medium pocket.

4. top stitch the tops of all of your pockets.

5. Marking. Lay the pen pocket on top of the medium pocket. Starting at the left side of the pen pocket, make a mark 2" from the edge (this is giving you that 1/2" seam allowance for later). Then make three more marks 1.5" apart.

6.Sew on your marked lines, starting from the bottom. However, those seams you just ironed, make sure you don't sew them down, leave these open for now.

7. Attaching large pocket. Now lay your medium pocket on top of one of your large pockets and fold the pen pocket out of the way.

8. More sewing! Make a mark in the center of the medium pocket. Starting at the top of the medium pocket, sew a line down your mark.

9. Even more sewing!!! With your large pocket folded out of the way (just like we did above), sew a line down the middle of the pen pocket.

Set this aside.

10. Iron your 1/2" seams for your two large pieces so they look like this:

11. Now take the pockets that you just sewed and lay them on top of your large stripe piece that you just ironed. Lay it 2" down from the top of your raw edge on your large piece. First, fold under the bottom of your pockets that you previously ironed, making sure the pen pocket seam covers the other pockets as pictures above. This way, you don't see a sandwich of fabric, just one fold. Top stitch this to the large piece. Just roll the other side of the large piece so it is out of your way.

12.Top stitch the other two sides of your pocket to the large piece.

13. Now lay your other large pocket down on the other side of the large piece. Top stitch this piece on three sides.

You should now have this:

Set this piece aside for now.

14. ZIPPERS! This is much dreaded for a lot of people, but hang in there, it isn't that bad... really!

First, lay your zipper down, right side up and place one of your yellow pieces of fabric on top (right sides together).

Pin this and sew it down using your zipper foot. Don't be intimidated... this is really not hard! You can so do this!

15. fold this over and iron the fabric down so it looks like this.

16. lay another zipper piece on top of the zipper, right sides together.

sew this down, just like you did the other side.

17. Now flip it right side up and iron down the other side.

18. now, here is the part I do not have pictures for because i didn't do this step, but should have (forgot to). On the wrong side of your zipper, attach two more strips in the same fashion as above. this way you will have fabric on both sides. There may be an easier way of doing this, but this is how I did it. If anyone has tips on how to make this easier, let me know! If you want to skip putting fabric on the back side of the zipper, simply top stitch the fabric down to the zipper at this stage... that's what I did.

19. Repeat on the other zipper.

20. Straps. Iron 1/2" seam on the two long sides of your zipper.

21. Iron the straps in half.

22. Top stitch your strap closed.

23. Sew your straps to the large piece you sewed the pockets to. Go over a bunch of times to make it secure enough to hold weight. You may even want to sew a box shape over the strap. I sewed my straps in about 3 inches from each side.

24. Attaching zippers. On both of your zippers, fold down the top and stitch it together, just like below.

25. now you're going to take the large piece that has all of your pockets sewn on and fold in the corner where your zipper will be. You could make a mitered edge, but I forgot to so this is what I did:

26. Lay the zipper on top of the large piece like this:

Notice that the zipper is not on top of the large piece, it is hanging off the end. Sew it down and stop just below the pen pocket.

27. Now turn the zipper so it goes down the middle of the bag on the back side of the large piece.

Sew it down.

28. now unzip your zipper and do the other side.

It should now look like this in the middle of the tote:

29. Sew down the inside of the zipper the same way as above.
It should now look like this.

30. Now you're going to sew the end of your zipper so you can shorten it. Go over it with a hand needle a whole bunch of times so that it looks like this:

31. Trim the zipper:

32. ALMOST DONE! Top stitch the middle of the other large piece (the flower piece we haven't done much with yet). *(scroll to the bottom to see what I mean here) When I say the middle, I mean the part that will be over the zipper where it zips under the tote. (I forgot this part or I would have shown you a picture). oops! I hand stitched it.

33. FINAL STEP!!! Lay your large flower piece on top of your other large piece with the pockets and zipper attached so that wrong sides are together and top stitch them together. Try to line them up nicely.

when you get to the zipper... STOP! you don't want to sew over the top! This is the point you should stop:
Back stitch at this point and keep working around the other sides.
*(See the part by my thumb? Thats where you should top stitch in step 32)

Congrats!!! YOU ARE DONE!!!!


Teacher Tote

Here is my entry for last week! Thank you everyone for your votes!!!!

It is no secret that every teacher takes work home to do on their free time. Why not give them a tote to carry that work home in style?

At first sight, it looks like a traditional tote, but the zippers on the side make it far more functional for any teacher!

Once the zippers on both sides are open, items in the many pockets are easily accessible. It also makes a handy place to do work when at Starbucks or any outing for that matter. On the right is a large pocket to hold a pad of paper (or to use to carry the grade book). On the left are 5 pockets plus 4 pen pockets to keep everything (including papers that need to be graded) organized and easy to reach. Any teacher would be thrilled to have this!