Friday, August 27, 2010

Back to School Etsymom Blog Giveaway

The Etsymom Team is featuring several Back to School blog giveaways and this weeks featured giveaway shop is Handmade Whimzy (that's me!).

My giveaway is a set of my mini ribbon bookmarks.  So if you didn't win the set that I gave away here on my blog a couple of weeks ago, you have another shot.  Just go here to the team blog and see the many ways to sign up.

You could win this:

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


One custom order, completed.  YAY!  It took me several days but I'm finally done. :)

School started back on Monday.  So far, so good.  My Ben is never real excited about school.
And, it was only 87 degrees today, here in East Texas.  Wow!  I hope the cool weather hangs around for a few days.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Red Gift Swap

I participated in Etsy Texas Crafters August RED gift swap.  We had to swap a handmade gift that used the color red prominently.

Here is my gift that I received from Rita of SoyComfort

She sent me RED melting soy tarts in 4 different yummy smelling fragrances: Poppy and Papaya, Carmel Apple, Apple Jacks and Peel, and Cranbery Chutney.  She even sent me the tart warmer since I didn't have one.

I love my red gift.  Thanks so much Rita.  I highly recommend Soy Comfort if you're in the market for scented candles and tarts to make your home smell wonderful.
Funny thing too, my son (whose 11) LOVED them.  He thought they were so cool!  He told me it was the best gift I had gotten - of course, he usually thinks my swap gifts are just girly junk. LOL 
The only other one he's ever liked was the crocheted bone that Danielle of Z and D Art sent his dog, Mac.

Have a great weekend everyone!  It's back to school on Monday here in Tyler.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

And the winner is.....

My first ever blog giveaway has officially ended.  I got 16 comments!!  YAY!!

So I went to and put in 1 and 16 and the randomly generated number is.................


The winner of my mini ribbon bookmark giveaway is Amber owner of TwistedRibbonsBows on etsy.  She is actually having a giveaway on her blog RIGHT NOW!  She sells the cutest hair accessories for little girls.   Check out her blog here and her etsy shop here.

Thanks to everyone who participated!!  The Etsymom's blog is having a back to school giveaway featuring another set of my ribbon bookmarks starting August 26th.  Check out the team blog for more details.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


My great pattern haul!

Hobby Lobby is having a sale on McCall patterns - 99 cents each!  Usually, McCall patterns are regular price and if you want a sale, you have to use your 40% off coupon.  So when I saw 99 cents, I almost hyperventilated. 

I had just found a pattern for a cute top that I wanted to try but since it was $18.95 and there was no coupon that week, I decided to wait.  And my waiting paid off big time!

I ended up buying 9 patterns - there was a limit of 10.  But hey, the sale lasts until Saturday so maybe I'll go back. :)

**Don't forget - today is the last day for my blog giveaway!  See below.

Monday, August 16, 2010

First ever bottle cap pincushion

I've long admired the bottle cap pincushion - in all their tiny goodness.  There are many sold on etsy using recycled soda or water bottle caps as their base and they are adorable.  Little tiny works of art in felt.  In fact, I bought this one from Refabulous almost 2 years ago.  I long to start collecting them. 

I started making one several months ago but never got past sewing the bottom to the band that goes around the side.
So this past weekend, I made one from start to finish.  I followed the instructions on Craftstylish written by Jen Segrest who I believe has been selling these for some time.  Instead of using a soda cap, I used a peanut butter jar cap - so my pincushion isn't little bitty, it's fairly big - about 3 inches across.  I made the flower and leaf on top using my own flower drawing.  It's alittle bit primitive but I tried really hard to keep my stitches uniform and it was good practice for me.  I can't wait to make one with a soda cap.

The only complaint I have about the instructions is that it leads you to believe you can embroidery the side of the pincushion after it is completely finished.  How do you do that?  You have to bring your needle and floss up from the back of the felt but the back is all sewn up into the pincushion.  You can't get to the back because your pincushion is complete.

Huh.  That was a stumper for me.  There I sit, all ready to embroider pretty flowers around my base but couldn't figure out how to do it.  Next time I'm just going to embroider each piece before attaching them all together.

I really enjoyed making this.  I think I've come up with a Christmas idea that would make cute teacher's gifts.  I'll keep you posted with how they turn out.  I have to collect more bottle caps first.

**Don't forget to enter my blog giveaway.  Only 2 more days to enter.  Just click here.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Heat Wave Blog Giveaway!

I'm having my first ever blog giveaway!  YAY!

In celebration (or despair) of the horrible heat wave that has hit us all this summer, I am giving away a set of my mini ribbon bookmarks in sunny citrus colors. 

You will get the set of 3 ribbon bookmarks - one red ribbon, 1 yellow ribbon, and 1 orange ribbon with white spots.  The charms dangling from the bottom are silver plated laser cut hearts with sunbursts inside. They are topped off with orange cat's eye beads and red and yellow glass flower beads.

Total length on each one is approximately 5 1/2 inches (14.5 cm) from the top of the beads to the bottom of the charm.  These are perfect as a back to school gift or to keep!  They work great in any book as the bookmark lays flat while the beads dangle out of the top.  I will wrap this in a sweet little handmade pillow box before I ship it.

**This giveaway is limited to shipping addresses in the US or Canada due to shipping costs. Sorry :(

Ways to enter the giveaway:
1.  Follow my blog and leave a comment on this post that you are now a follower.  If you already follow, just leave a comment that you were already following.

2.  Go to my etsy shop - - and leave a comment on this post with a link to your favorite item in my shop.

The winner will be chosen by using the random number generator.  Blog contest is open through Wednesday, August 18th.  I will randomly generate the winner on August 19th  (a week from tomorrow).

Monday, August 9, 2010

Last Vacation Pics, I promise!

These are the last of the vacation pics that I'll bore you with, I promise. 

On our last full day of Washington, DC, we went to the Red Velvet Cupcakery.  I don't think they've been on Cupcake Wars yet but that show has been making me want cupcakes, so off we went.  First, I'll say the address I had written down for this shop (which I got off the internet) was 675 E. St NW.  It's not on E street.  That's an office building.  It actually faces 7th street - the nice lady at the office building was kind enough to tell us this after we banged on their locked door.

Anyhoo, I was ready to shell out $3 for a cupcake and be awed.
Eh, it was good.  But I'm pretty sure I could make some just as good.  That was also the reaction I got from my hubby and son.  Of course, my son shoved his in his mouth so quickly, I'm not sure he tasted it.  He got a red velvet with cream cheese buttercream and my DH got some kind of mocha flavored one.  I got a double chocolate with peanut butter buttercream icing.  It was yummy.  I'm going to try to make them.
Mine was the only one I got a pic of.

We also went to Ford's Theatre that day and to the Peterson House across the street where Lincoln died.  This is a pic of the room where he died.  The actual bed where he died is at a museum in Chicago but they've tried to recreate the room with historically accurate furniture, etc.

And last, but not least, here is a pic of us with our state representative, Louie Gohmert.  He gave us and about 20 other people from our area a tour of the Capitol building.  It started at 7pm and lasted until about 10pm-10:30pm or so.  Ben had completely wilted by then.  We all look pretty ragged. 
We appreciated the private tour though.  Mr. Gohmert is a history buff and really knew some interesting stories.  He would make a great history teacher.

Ok, I promise - no more vacation photos.  :)

Up next, a blog giveaway!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The National Mall

I swear I only have one more day after today when I'm going to show vacation pics.

Today's pics are all of the National Mall.

The Washington Monument taken from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.  You can see the Capitol right behind the Washington Monument.  It was raining.  It started raining just as we got to the Lincoln Memorial so we just stayed there for about an hour until it was all rained out.  It cooled things down nicely.

Part of the Korean War Memorial.  I thought this memorial was very poignant.  There are full size soldiers with all their gear on including rain coats, walking as they would during the war.  It made me cry.

In this shot, we are actually up inside the TOP of the Washington Monument and this is a shot of the White House and Eclipse.

Also inside the Washington Monument, you can see the World War 2 Memorial, the Reflecting Pool and the Lincoln Monument in the back.

Next time, cupcakes!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Pics from the Smithsonian

At the Museum of Natural History - The Hope Diamond, a very rare blue diamond.  They also had another famous blue diamond on display near the Hope.  Apparently, it's very rare to be able to see 2 blue diamonds.
At the Museum of American History - Michelle Obama's Inauguration Ball gown, shoes and jewelry.  They had alot of the different First Lady Inauguration gowns going way back.  Pretty cool.

Abraham Lincoln's Top Hat - worn to the Ford's Theatre the day he was shot.

Carol Burnette's "Gone with the Wind" dress.  Remember that episode?  It was so funny, I almost peed my pants.

They had lots of cool stuff that I have pics of but I don't want to bore everyone to death with all of them. 
I highly recommend a visit to Washington DC though, especially if you have middle school or older kids still at home.  My son learned so much and since history is his favorite subject, he was able to build on stuff he already knew.
I'll be posting a few more pics in days to come.  Mostly because I just can't resist. :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Where was I last week?

Where was I last week while my etsy shops were all closed?

Here we were -
 Me and Ben by the Reflecting pool at the Capitol

Family vacation in Washington DC!

Korean War Memorial
We had a good time and walked ALOT!!  My feet hurt.  So did my poor Ben's - he got 2 blisters.

Ben and David in front of the White House (our state rep arranged for us to have a tour - YAY!)

I'll be boring you to death with more vacation pictures in the days to come.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Pet Swap Gift

I want to share with you the gift that I made for Danielle of ZandDart for the Pet themed July swap in our Etsy Texas Crafters group.  When I finished it, I was so excited about it that I almost wanted to drive it to her house and give it to her.

I wanted to make a bed for her cat, Archimedes.  One of Danielle's favorite colors is blue and since Archimedes is a boy, I thought that would be a good color to use.  So, I went online and started looking up how to make pet beds.  I went through several ideas on how to do it and also several ideas for decorations that I wanted to attach to it.  For example, I wanted to make some of those corker bow ribbon thingys and attach bells to them, then attach them to the pet bed.  But when I found the instructions on how to make those, I found out you have to bake them.  I had no idea.  Bake them.  Huh.

Anyhoo, I didn't like any of the instructions or beds that I came across so I started thinking to myself that what I'd really like to make was a box pillow and use that minky fabric and stuff it with fiberfill so that it would be all squishy and squashy - and that's what I did!

I found instructions on how to make a box pillow here.  I didn't have Archimedes to measure so I just winged it.  I wanted the bed to be big for him so that he'd have plenty of room to squiggle around.  I ended up making it 24 x 16 inches.

The first one I made, I put buttons in for the closure.

I wanted Danielle to be able to remove/replace the fiberfill as needed and also to be able to wash the cover.  And as we all know, cats puke on everything - so it needed to be washable.  But once I got it finished, I realized that smart me had sewn the side band that goes all around the pillow, upside down.  I had even sewn the buttons on upside down.  It was really noticeable too because I used this cute cat and dog fabric.

Then, I realized that the 3 buttons I had put in wouldn't be enough because it left huge gaps on either end of the closure.  Ack! I said.  But hey, it was my very first time to make a box pillow and to use the minky fabric (which sews real well but tries to suffocate you when you cut it).

So, that was when I decided to just put in Velcro to close up the big gaps and give it to my cat.
Look, she likes it!

I then forced myself to return to Hobby Lobby (only kidding - it's my favorite store!) to get more cat/dog fabric so that I could remake the pillow.

This time, I was smart and looked up how to put in a zipper on  Isn't it great how you can find instructions on how to do almost anything online?  So this time I got the side band on right side up AND there are no gaps in the zipper closure.

The finished product turned out great.  I thought it looked very professional.  And Archimedes the cat looked happy in the pic Danielle sent me.  I learned 2 new skills - how to put in a zipper and how to make a box pillow.

The finished pillow is very lumpy and squishy looking.  That was intentional.  My cat and dog both like to wiggle/knead/squoosh and squash their beds until they get them just right.  I'm hoping Archimedes is the same.  I had some thick foam but I felt it would make the bed too ridgid and who wants that, right?

Let me know what you think!