Happy December

Wow, been a long time. Oops. A lot has been going on, it’s been super busy and I’m barely staying afloat. So buckle up, it’s gonna be a long one.

Lets start with my first hot mess canvas. I know what you’re thinking, “but Ashley, it doesn’t look messy (too messy anyway).” Maybe not when it’s finished, but underneath it looks like this:

Hot mess indeed. I went a bit rogue with my technique here, painted the whole canvas dark blue. Then I painted on my dabs of other colors, it worked very well actually.

Around this same time I got a lot of cricuting done towards Christmas, so I can’t really show much. Not that anyone reads anyway, but it would be my luck.

So instead you get the cute shirt I put together for my niece.

And her little dress, the dark around the decal fades, it’s just from pressing. That holographic vinyl near about kills me every time. Doesn’t want to stick to anything!

And of course I needed a new sign for outside, doesn’t my model just look Thrilled? I think I’m finally getting the hang of this stenciling thing. Now that I say that, the next one will be a disaster of course.

We had a last minute invite to go to the Very Merry Christmas party with a friend of ours, how do you say no to that? So I recycled last years shirt (this years wasn’t ready yet) and away we went. It was a lot of fun, kind of a dress rehearsal for our party we already had tickets for. Which needed cool shirts, of course. Red is hubbys, I found his on a site I’m a member of. Green is for our family friend that went with us. His was inspired by Pinterest but designed by moi. I’m particularly proud of the ears on the “a”, they turned out super cute. Snowflakes were on the site I found hubbys file.

And of course I had to make myself a new shirt. Luckily I had preordered this fabric (and completely forgot, if we’re being honest) because I didn’t get any other Christmas customs. Pattern is Classic Tee by Love Notions, I did the full bust version and boy was I glad I did.

Hubby benefited from scraps, new pair of Boxerwear by stitch upon a time. At last, something I can make him that he wears a lot.

I got a new pair of underwear too, Bunzies by stitch upon a time. As a bonus I used up the last of the freaky Aladdin print I got in a mystery box.

We had a blast at the party, it was a little more crowded than the first time but still fun. It was also cooler, which was a nice reminder that winter does still come here.

I think that’s about it, finally all caught up. Catch you on the flip side, I’ll post pictures of Christmas crafting once they’re safe with their recipient.

Happy Haunts

A while back I was browsing in Michael’s and found a cute three tiered sign. I knew I wanted to make a fun Halloween sign, even getting the perfect colors of paint. And then it sat, and sat, and sat. Until today, when I decided it was time, before my Halloween sign turned into a Christmas sign.

This is the best stencil attempt I’ve had yet, the last time I tried this technique it bled everywhere. The foolish board near about killed me, I had to re cut the whole word because it was too big for the board. But I’m still thrilled with how it turned out, and immediately hung it outside on my hanger thingy I got from my sister in law last Christmas.

It’s a good thing I had some success with the sign, because my other crafting attempts have gone awfully tonight. I’m trying to make my sister in laws birthday present and the piece is not going well. To the point where I’m going to have to start some of it over.

I gave up for the night, and thus leave you with my favorite sewing helper.

Testing, 1,2,3…

It finally happened! I was chosen to act as a tester for a new pattern by 5 out of 4. It was so much fun being one of the first people to get to try it out.

Pattern is Eleanor by 5 out of 4 patterns. And bonus! It’s on sale through Sunday October 7th!!

I made my muslin out of an unknown sweater knit that I found while I was digging around in the stash canopy. My serger was having issues with tension so it was all sewing machine for this version. The lightweight fabric and my machine did not get along, but I adore the finished product and have been wearing it at work pretty much every shift I’m there (I swear my sleeves aren’t uneven, it’s just super drapey fabric)

My second (and final) version was made with another mystery mid-light weight sweater knit. This time my serger performed beautifully and the sweater was just as perfect to assemble the second time around. All in all a highly enjoyable experience, and I have a feeling I’ll be making many more of these for some of the women in my family. Ok, and maybe some for myself too.

No Excuses

I almost kind of forgot I had a blog to be honest. I’ve been sewing and crafting up a storm though, so let’s jump right on in. I’ll try to go oldest to newest if I can keep track.

Starting here, with an Easy Tee by 5 out of 4 patterns.

I had some difficulties with neck and arm bands, I’ve been debating ripping and trying again to see if I can get them better fitted. So far though my motivation to do it has been minimal, time will tell I guess

Next up for hubby is a Nancy Raglan by 5 out of 4 that I put together because I knew the tunic length was long enough to catch most of my panel.

And this panel is just too cute to have most of it get chopped off. Unfortunately I had some server tension issues that I didn’t notice at the time, hopefully it stays put together. But I love it and have worn it a couple of times already.

Hubby got some sewing love too, a Rocky Tee by…5 out of 4 patterns (starting to sound sponsored aren’t I? I’m not, I just like their stuff)

I think I’ve mentioned his shirt before but he finally wore it!

A pic of the glorious back fabrics, I love them both but the snacks just push me over the edge.

Next up are the bags I customized for our Halloween party experience (if we decide to go, which we probably will). It was difficult to get a pic of them all together so here they are as individuals.

There are 2 Minnie Mouse spiderwebs, one for me and one for mom. Mickey and Minnie spiderweb files and the dripping Halloween file came from Etsy. Mickey pumpkin and Frankenstein came from Auntie Tay as part of the files available to her Patrons. I’m planning on using them for the Not So Scary Halloween Party st Disney (assuming we decide to go.)

Last but not least, a Safari tank by pickletoes patterns for Aiden.

Found this while I was digging around in the stash and found the pattern pretty much the same way. Decided it was kidney and went for it. At least I seem to have gotten my neck/armband mojo back a little. Now to do one with a cute ruffle for his little sister, I’m pretty sure I’ll have enough.

I think that’s about it, I did test a pattern for (you guessed it,) 5 out of 4 but I’ll give that its own post soon.

And as always, ending with a cat photo. I actually got Jack to sit still long enough to get a halfway decent one this morning.

Caramel Corn

I have a confession, I hate sweet popcorn intensely. Really the only flavor I truly like is butter, and maybe sour cream and onion. Cheddar, nacho, caramel, just not a fan. Until today.

Meet the start of caramel, the first I’ve ever made. An cup of butter is melted in there and it smelled so wonderful cooking it was distracting.

Pour it over the popcorn I popped earlier and plop into the oven. My house smells beyond heavenly and there are few words to describe the buttery, crispy goodness that this resulted in. Like I said earlier, I don’t like caramel corn, but I may have to make an exception for this particular type, for it is heavenly. Here’s the recipe, but be warned, it’s easier to make than I was hoping: Salted Caramel Corn*

*I used what is known as mushroom popcorn, from what I had read it’s most commonly used to this type of popcorn because it’s huge when it pops. And it lived up to its expectations and provided large surface area for the caramel to adhere to. Not that you can’t use any popcorn you want, just figured I’d mention what I found at my local bulk nation store.


I was so afraid to sew up my rug that I was coming up with reasons to procrastinate. But pretty soon the cats had enough of me, there weren’t any dishes and I couldn’t think of anything else to cook (I could’ve cleaned the house, but I wasn’t That afraid).

The time had come, the first strip was pretty easy. But it’s really easy to fold the thing and sew a straight line, I can do that. The part I was afraid of was the first few tight corners.

And they are a challenge, you can see how they’re puckering up here. My biggest challenge was keeping the stitch going into both sides, for the whole thing but especially in the beginning.

Luckily a hot iron and a ton of spray help a lot to flatten things back out. And the thing grows fast! You start out with this little oval and quickly it grows into…

This beast of a thing that is quite heavy and bulky. But it’s so interesting watching the pattern develop (this is the same reason I love self striping yarn btw).

You just keep on folding it around and pushing it through, until you get here…the last few feet. Insert mixed sigh of relief and disappointment that it’s over. The directions call for the end to be tapered, but I’m lazy and trying to fold the raw edges in on themselves looked like a lot of work. So I said forget it and just tucked the end under like I had seen in one of my tutorials.

Worked like a charm, you can’t hardly tell where it stops. I’m so in love I’m working hard to ask people to not step on it, especially with shoes on. The other day I caught myself straddling it because I had shoes on and didn’t want it to get dirty. Of course it’s completely washable, but no one said I was reasonable. Now I’m debating who else needs rugs, and how would a smaller rectangle one look in front of my door (would never work, that mat Will get dirty).

Assistant credit goes to Gracie, from assembling the strips to sewing the rug, she was there.

Today’s goal was to get this decal ironed onto a shirt. Problem was that I hated the cheap shirt I bought at Walmart last night, it’s too tight and I just hated the fit. Then I thought about having some cheap Walmart knit fabric laying around and decided that I would just make my own.

Just in time for the rays game (we lost). It’s yet another all seasons tank, shirt length. Mom admired it, so she’ll probably get one too. I’m curious to see how a panel will fit with this pattern, I’d love to have some custom tanks with my many panels. Time will tell, I might mess around a bit tomorrow.

I leave you with Jack, who basically thinks that sewing machines are scary and steal his lap snuggle time.

And So It Begins

I stumbled upon the most amazing tutorial for a sewn rug made from 2.5″ strips (basically from a jelly roll) about a week ago. I thought, “I can do that, where’s the pattern”. I figured I have at least 2 jelly rolls somewhere, plenty of batting, what could go wrong. Fast forward to me digging through my stash dresser for a jelly roll that apparently got used up a long time ago. Oops, oh well, amazon to the rescue (thank you prime!).

This is the Feed Sacks True Blue by Linzee Kull McCray. Super pretty blues with a nice pop of red that I think will look amazing in my kitchen.

It began with bias sewing every single strip together to make one enormous length. This part wasn’t too bad, maybe 30 minutes start to finish. Then on to trimming and pressing, a bit of a daunting task at the time.

Little did I know that the fast, easy part was done. Next was making my enormous sausage roll with my bias tape and lots and lots of batting. Since I was trying to use some of the resources I already had I didn’t buy the pre cut batting, though it does apparently exist.

Thank goodness for my Accuquilt and a 2.5″ strip die. Took about 10 minutes to cut apart a wall hanging sized batting into nice, neat 2.5″ strips. Unfortunately one was not enough, took probably a twin sized batting total to fill my entire tape.

Here’s my filling station, laying batting on the strip, folding both edges toward the center and clipping into place. This was the most tedious thing I think I’ve ever done, and so far has taken the longest.

Luckily I had a “helper”, she would probably say “supervisor “.

Here we are mostly stuffed, isn’t that fabric gorgeous? I love these colors so much, I’m hoping it’s as perfect in my kitchen as it is here.

Then comes the second sewing, the closing of the worlds longest hot dog strip. This takes longer than forever, you don’t really realize how long 42, 42″ strips really are until you have to sew it all in one long, straight line. It looks so good though, it’s all I can do to not hug it’s messy, tangly self to me.

The third sewing has yet to come, I was kind of hoping I could be motivated to start today. But it was a stressful weekend at work and so far my brain is just not ready to handle this workload. But it will begin shortly.

So to distract you from my pitiful lack of follow through, I leave you with a cat picture and a link to the rug pattern; Jelly Roll Rug