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We’re all about fairies, princesses and now, after our trip to Hawaii and a television program starring a large-headed Spanish-speaking character, mermaids too. Since I’ve started sewing, the kids are asking me to make things (often unrealistic, elaborate things, by the way).

My younger daughter wanted a fairy crown yesterday so her sweet sister made her the one pictured above and fitted it properly with no assistance from me; just the stapler. Are you tired of me showing my child’s drawings? If you’re my mother, you’re not. Today the little one once again requested a mermaid crown, so I obliged with this fabric, some leftover shells from our beach trip last year and a glue gun.

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What? The holidays are over? We have a dead Christmas tree and I just now completed my ornaments for the Holiday Ornament Swap.

Now granted; I never did receive my list of swapmates, but finally got the list from someone who graciously sent me an ornament. Thank you! So here are my ornaments all made and ready to ship. Better late than never? The first photo shows all nine ornaments stacked up and makes me wish I’d made little yo-yo accordion ornaments, but the next photo is what the ornaments look like on their own. This is the first time I have made fabric yo-yos and I love them! Here are some very nice instructions. So many possibilities and you can make them while watching Project Runway.

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So I managed to get a large number of toys to Goodwill before the onslaught of birthdays and Christmas, and I think we have it pared down pretty well. But our playroom has always been a mish-mash of furniture with toys thrown in baskets. I got some great storage from IKEA last year and I decided to finally put it all together last week. I had a few yards of the fabric pictured above (also from IKEA) that I had been planning to use for another project. Since it looks like there will be only female children around here, I went with the flowers.
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I made these felt stool covers (for IKEA stools) with appliqued flowers. I made a few floor pillows and some quilted chair cushions. We painted our table and chairs by mixing up some leftover house paint (which sort of came out as weird colors), and now I need to add a coat of polyurethane. I say “we” because I let my very young children help. Oh how frustrating, but they enjoyed it. I’m also working on a checkerboard quilt and hope to have that completed this weekend. I really didn’t have to buy anything new, we just rearranged and renewed what we already had, which was nice.

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In the midst of an unruly number of projects, holiday shopping, birthday planning and vacation preparation (not to mention that I can’t walk across a single room in my house without stepping on a bead or tiny toy), I’m thinking about spring.  Perhaps this is a form of escapism?  But I’ve had these Liberty of London fabrics stuck in my head all day. They are very expensive, but I’m thinking of Easter dresses now. I’ll need to hone my sewing skills a bit because it’s a different ball game when you’re working with fabric that’s $35 a yard. But aren’t these embroidery hoops such a nice display? I keep running across this image from PurlSoho.  Ahh, I love fabric!

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Finally made these jumpers from corduroy and matryoshka doll fabric that I bought from Reprodepot Fabrics a while back.  I made some other corduroy jumpers last week and despite the fact that they are homemade, my almost-five-year-old actually likes them.  She is reaching that age when she wants to wear whatever her friends are wearing.  Oh, the drama of being a girl!  I had some problems ripping through a buttonhole, but other than that, I think I am getting a handle on dresses (without sleeves) as long as you don’t look too closely.

Since I started my monogramming and embroidery business I have developed a great appreciation for antique monogrammed linens.  There’s something really endearing about hand embroidered linens created in a time when life was slower paced and things weren’t mass-produced. These linens were often made for a bride’s trousseau and would be passed along to future generations. Other than on ebay and digging through stacks at flea markets and estate sales, one great site for finding these linens is Em’s Heart. You can occasionally even find your initials (like these beautiful damask napkins my mother found for me, pictured below).

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Technology has greatly improved the field of sewing and embroidery during the last 20 years.  Almost any design can be scanned into a computer and digitized for an embroidery machine.  This has allowed me to create my own designs and modify existing alphabets to make custom creations.  Here is an example of a design that I created for my mother-in-law:

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Here’s an update to this post.  I’m adding .pdf files of the un-personalized craft can labels.  Here they are:

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I’m sharing the birthday gift that we gave to a five-year-old today.  My husband brought home paint cans with some kind of promotional materials in them, so they’ve been sitting on my shelf waiting for a good use.  I created a personalized label and filled the can with craft supplies.  The outside of the can reads “miss paddy’s craftcan” and the top says “make. create.”  I filled it with felt, embroidery needle and floss, glue, beads, buttons, stamps, stickers, etc. 

I also made this cute little crayon travel case with Kaffe Fassett fat quarters that I bought a few weeks ago.  I came up with a pretty easy pattern that you can make from start to finish in under an hour.  I will post the pattern soon.  The case holds 12 or 24 crayons securely.

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Not at my house, but definitely everywhere I look these days.  So today, thanks to Melissa, I’ve been thinking about crafty wreaths.  Here are a few nice ones that I’ve seen.  This recycled sweater wreath (pictured above) from Viva Terra got me thinking about fabric wreaths.

This wreath from Syd and Goose would be great re-interpreted for the holidays.  Just some stuffed fabric tubes braided? 
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Or this one from Jane and the Ducks:

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And I especially love this Mayan Worry Doll Wreath from Mayan Traditions:


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Since I have two little girls who will wear nothing but dresses, I’m always looking for inspiration for new designs.  I love these holiday dresses.  Here’s a very stylish one from willarie.  I love the fact that it looks like something your grandmother might have worn to a cocktail party. 

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Check out this sweet snowflake jumper from adornique.  Precious and looks like it will really twirl!


And this one from birdsong is modern and looks comfortable, too!

How about this fun peppermint swirls jumper? From Originals by Mary Elizabeth.

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About a year ago I mentioned to my husband that I’d like to make a quilt from his old tees after we saw one at a friend’s house.  Justin had several large bags full of unnecessary tees dating from high school!  So for our anniversary I surprised him with this quilt.  It was only a little bit painful for him to see his tees disassembled and I think he liked the fact that he can see them all the time.  This might not make a pretty quilt, but it allowed me to recycle 24 t-shirts and it’s really warm and soft.  I backed it with a sheet and used an old throw blanket for the batting.  I did not quilt it because I think I would have made the knit fabric pucker all over the place.  I also made a couple of sweater pillows while I was at it.