Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It's Fair time!

It's time for the East Texas State Fair!  Doesn't that name sound grand?  I think that's why they use it. 

My little family and I (plus my husband's friend) trudged out to the fair on Saturday night.  I forced them to go that night because the Bellamy Brothers were in concert on the "big" stage at 8 pm.  I've loved the Bellamy Brothers since I was about 12 and heard them in concert at Fan Fair (a country music festival in Nashville, TN) way back in the early 80's.  They were really funny and entertaining back then and they still are.  Plus, they're songs are fun and catchy.

Our first stop was the Arts and Crafts building so that I could see my pincushions and see what ribbons I got, if any.  Excitement!  My "Flower Garden" set got a blue ribbon!  YAY!  First place!

And my Christmas ornament set got third place.  yay!  I was not as excited about that but I do realize they could have been better.  I'm going to start working on more and I'm going to take Nancy's suggestion that I put the ribbons on the outside with decorative buttons.   Thanks for the suggestion, Nancy!!  I'll let you all know how that turns out.

Then of course, we gorged ourselves on foot long corn dogs and batter fried brownies.  We got pie to go and brought it home.  The food is actually the best part of our fair.  We have tons of food booths that are owned by local churches and restaurants, so it's not the usualy carny food.  It's yummy!!  And fair food calories don't count!!

At 8 pm, I ditched the family (they went to watch my son ride on the rides and play the games - he won a stuffed penguin) and I went to the concert.  It was awesome!  They've just gotten better with age.  Still fun on stage and I still love their songs.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Monday, September 20, 2010


Every Monday the EtsyMom Team features a different EtsyMom and this week the feature is ME!
Read all about me and Handmade Whimzy here.

I'm also doing a promo during my feature week.  15% off total purchase from Handmade Whimzy from today (9/20) until Sunday (9/26) - does not include shipping charges.  All you have to do is put "Etsymom Team" in the notes to seller to get your discount.  You do not have to be a member of the EtsyMom Team to get the discount but I would love it if you read my feature article :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Christmas already!

I've listed my first Christmas apron for the upcoming holiday season. 
Christmas is only 3 months away so we need to get ready now, right?  Plus there's only 1 more week of summer so that means it's practically winter!  LOL

Here it is:

Fabrics by Moda's Twelve Days of Christmas line.  Very sweet and festive.

I have 2 more Christmas aprons cut out and fabric for several more.  YAY!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Etsy Treasuries

I've created 2 treasuries on Etsy.  One for each of my teams!

Here is the link to the Chartreuse?  Lime Green?  Treasury of Etsymom Team members:

And here is my Fall in Texas treasury for the Etsy Texas Crafters team:

Both are full of beautiful items from both teams.  Please click and comment!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

More pincushions!

On Saturday, I took my 2 sets of bottlecap pincushions that I had made to the fair grounds to enter them into the Arts and Crafts contest.
I'll be sure to post what I win (if anything!).

Here is the second set that I made.  They are bottlecap pincushion ornaments.  I'm not happy with the way I sewed the ribbons in so if anyone has a suggestion for a better way, PLEASE let me know.  On the tree and 'be merry' ornaments, I just stuffed the ribbon into the pincushion and blanket stitched them in place.  On the snowman one, I sewed the ribbon to the inside of the pincushion first and then blanket stitched around the top.  You can see a little pucker on that one so I'm thinking that wasn't the best idea.

These little buggers are addictive though.  They make you want to see what else you can make little and tiny.

I'd like to make some of the Christmas ones for gifts this year but I need to perfect them first.

Here's a pic where you can see the pucker on the snowman pincushion:

Also, yesterday I bought some metallic silver embroidery thread, so the next one I make, I'll use that for the snowflakes and maybe even around the snowman.

I'd love to hear comments about my little creations!  And please leave suggestions on how I can fix my ribbon problem!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Blondie Brownies with Maple Butter Frosting - YUMM!!

Last week I made Blondie Brownies for my family.  I've had the one at Applebee's before and it is yummy good.

So, after searching AllRecipes.com for a recipe, I settled on the Tollhouse Blonde Brownie recipe which is actually surprising because I don't like their cookie recipe.
I did add chocolate chips to them just because I like them but my family has requested that I leave those out next time which would make it more of a true blonde brownie.
I also added Maple Butter Frosting to them - yumm! 

They were really good.  I highly recommend them.  If you add chocolate chips, they resemble a chocolate chip cookie cake but taste a little bit different.

Here are the recipes:

Tollhouse Blonde Brownies


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (12 ounce) package NESTLE® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels (optional)

1.PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 15x10-inch jelly-roll pan.  (I didn't use a jelly roll pan.  I just used a 9x13 pan)
2.COMBINE flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Beat sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl until creamy. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract; gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels. Spread into prepared pan.
3.BAKE for 20 to 25 minutes or until top is golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack
Maple Butter Frosting Recipe:


2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 tablespoons cream (I used skim milk instead of cream)
1/2 teaspoon maple flavored extract

1.Beat the butter or margarine, confectioner's sugar, milk, and maple flavoring in a bowl until smooth. Add more milk or confectioner's sugar as need. Makes enough to frost one 8 or 9 inch round cake or 1 8x8 inch square cake.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Finally, my pincushions!

Finally, I'm ready to show you my first set of 3 bottle cap pincushions that I've been working on and that I plan to enter in our county fair arts and crafts contest.

As I mentioned here, I used the tutorial on Craftstylish for the basic pincushion but the tops are all my idea.  I'm calling them "Flower Garden".

The Turquoise Flower

The Ladybug Daisy

The Butterfly Has Landed

I learned a new embroidery stitch for the white/turquoise pincushion - the Lazy Daisy stitch.  My embroidery skills are all a bit rusty but I'm getting a lot better at the blanket stitch and I 'think' I'm doing the whip stitch correctly.  Sometimes, if I can't figure something out, I just wing it.  But I think that's kind of good because you can be more creative and what you make is truly your own.

I worked really diligently on my stitches for these (not that they're perfect).  I didn't want any stitches under the flower petals, so I sewed the ladybug and butterfly onto the top layer of felt of each flower and then attached another flower layer on with the blanket stitch.  So each petal is actually 2 layers of felt.  If the judges are experts at embroidery, I'm sure they'll catch all my mistakes.

I'd love to hear any comments you have about my little flower garden.
And keep your fingers crossed that I win a ribbon :)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Free Shipping all day!

Free shipping to the US all day today (Labor Day) in my Handmade Whimzy shop!  Myself and other members of my Etsy Texas Crafters group are honoring Labor Day by having a Free Shipping sale in our Etsy stores.  For the complete list of shops participating, click here:  http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6620042

Plus, I've finally listed the apron I was working on last week.  YAY!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Project Runway Season 8

For several years now, I've been a fan of Project Runway.  I'm not a die hard fan because if the designers I like all get eliminated, I usually stop watching and never see the finale of the season.  I think I've seen 2 finales.  So that kind of tells you something.

I also never watch on the first airing - mostly because I forget or I'm busy or too tired.  I usually catch a repeat or watch on Lifetime.com (love how they post the full episode almost immediately so you can view it, not like Bravo.com).

Anyway, just tonight I watched this last episode which aired this past week.  It was the bridesmaid dress episode.  And now, I'm so ticked off that I had to make a blog post. 
Where did they get these people?
My child acted more mature than most of these "designers" when he was 2 and had a limited vocabulary.

Gretchen Jones seems to think the show is about her and has since the first episode.  I have to admit, I kinda liked her dress the first episode but she started showing her true colors by the second episode and was acting all high and mighty.  That's when I stopped liking her.  Yes, I realize this is a design challenge and not a popularity contest but what these people have to realize (and the Top Chef contestants too!!) is that we are all watching them.  And if the public doesn't like them, no one will go to eat at their restaurants or wear their clothes - even if they are the best.   I mean really, what's wrong with these people.  Someone has even started pages on Facebook that you can "like" if you want to keep Michael C. around and a Gretchen is a b@@#$ page.

The way they are bullying Michael C. is insane.  Almost the entire group is ganging up on him.  Isn't this the type of behavior we have been trying to get OUT of the school systems.  Aren't kids getting into trouble now for bullying?  And there have been cyber bullying cases that have made national news.  Bullying is no longer acceptable behavior.  It is now considered wrong.  I guess these people didn't get the memo.  They think they are still on the playground making fun of the kid who dresses differently from them.  

I have to say this last episode actually made me sick to my stomach.  I was soooooo glad when the judges gave Michael C. the win.  I don't care what he creates, he needs to go to Fashion Week and win just to put aweful Gretchen, Ivy, Valerie and all the rest in their place.  Sometimes the bullys DON'T win and they shouldn't - EVER!!!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

What I bought in Dallas

In my previous post, I mentioned my little family and I took a little trip to Dallas this past weekend.
One of the reasons we went was so that my boy and his dad could go to the Comicon convention in Richardson.  Well, I didn't want to go to that.  So I dropped them off and took myself off to a sweet little fabric store that I found by googling called CityCraft.

They describe themselves as a modern fabric store and sewing lounge.  That sounds like heaven.

It was a sweet little store.  They had lots of fabric from Michael Miller, Alexander Henry, Moda, Amy Butler, Robert Kaufman and more.  I usually order my fabrics online but it's so nice to be able to see it before you buy.  Of course, you pay more to see it than you do online.  But it still makes for a nice trip.

Here's what I bought.  Those will make some nice aprons, eh?

This is the apron that I'm working on right now.  I should have it done and maybe even listed by the time this post is up (I'm putting it on the timer!).

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

So many blog posts, so little time!

I always have several blog posts in my head and it's usually just a matter of time - time to actually type them into the computer and post them.

This past weekend - after a whirlwind of a first week back to school - we treated ourselves to an overnight trip to Dallas. 

This was my project that I worked on during the trip there.  I wasn't driving.  LOL

Why did I have a box of embroidery thread that was all knotted up?  Where did I get all that messy thread?
Well, actually, some of it is over 20 years old.  I've had it since I was a teenager and was desparately trying to complete the stamped cross stitch kits that you can buy at Michaels, etc.  I hated doing those kits, so I never finished them.  That's how I ended up with a bunch of thread. 
Some of it I got at the Salvation Army sale.  A big sack of it for a quarter.
Some I actually purchased recently. 
You know how socks disappear in the dryer and no one knows where they go?  Well, embroidery thread ties itself into knots when it's left all alone in a box.  I'll bet you didn't know that :)

So I bought these little cardboard floss bobbins and set about winding the flosses onto the bobbins.

And here is the result.  I still have some new threads that I've recently bought and I plan to wind them to the bobbins once I start using them. 
Looks pretty neat now doesn't it?

Have you finished any messy cleanup projects lately?

One day left for the EtsyMom Team blog giveaway this week!  See post below!