Project 6 : Whew !

My latest project, is a most adorable felt applique tote.  I hesitated at attempting this project, with a seemingly huge lot of pieces to cut and hand sew, the effort seemed daunting.  But the cute design won me over.

My savior for this project was TRACING paper, using it for pattern pieces, placements, and embroidery lines.
...and you know what?? ... this project turned out to be a joy ... and it didn't take as long as I expected. 

I'm going to have to add this book to my FAV book list ! It is full of delightful bags with simple shapes and pretty designs, from whimsical to modern.

I'm liking the number SIX...only four more projects to TEN.  Oh yeah. know me, I can't leave without talking about FOOD.  I found this incredible Dr. Seuss Cat in the Hat bread on the blog cakestudent.

image from
not impressed? well's about this panda bread from the blog taste for adventure?

Both blogs include the how to's...I'm itching to try my hand at this...but not today, for I have to start working on PROJECT 7. 
happy day (^*^)

Project 5 : A Prototype for a Fussy-Less Bag


 I daresay that this bag was a bit of a challenge.  I always liked its silhouette .. casual and unassuming fussiness.  I took up this bag many moons ago but never finished it. The reason, you ask? ... the !!#&#!! instructions mystified me.  As much as I stared at the instructional pictures, I could not decipher how one got from point A to point C.  What made this time different?  A couple of things ... I glared at the pictures of the finished bag to catch any clues plus since my first try with this bag, I've gained a bit of sewing experience. 

It was the handles and its casing that threw me off.  Now that I've gone through the process, it all seems so obvious! sigh.

I'm so happy that this unfinished bag is no longer in my 'I don't want to throw this out yet because I may finish it one day' pile.  HMMMM..there just might have another 'precious' lurking in that pile to be finished in this challenge....

Now for food talk...The other week, my son wanted me to try a recipe for BRIOCHE hamburger buns. I'm not sure a BRIOCHE is but hey, I was game.  The recipe is from a blog SHE SIMMERS: THAI FOOD HOME COOKING.  

How gorgeous are these hamburger buns??!! The recipe is fairly simple, with a Kitchen Aid stand mixer doing all the work.  The recipe includes 4 eggs and 3/4 cup of butter, making a very sticky dough.
My favorite part when baking bread (yes, the smells from the oven) is the pillowy softness of the dough after the first rise, when it's ready for shaping.  I cannot explain in words, but that soft, smooth, cool texture startles and delights me each time.

My son loved the buns but HATED my hamburger patty ! He's a grouchy man like his dad. :0(

Until next time...
Happy Day (*^-^*)

Project 4 : I'm ECSTATIC

This book has been haunting me ever since I bought in Seattle about a year ago.  I cannot tell you how many times I have looked through this book, drooling ... wanting so badly to make one of its gorgeous embroidered emblems.

 I've had a few failed attempts...but today I'm ECSTATIC.  For I have accomplished the mission...see?  The project in the book is way cooler but I'm happy.

I found that transferring the embroidery pattern is the number one obstacle I had in prior attempts.  Thanks to the internet I found this most helpful tutorial on the Early Bird Stitcher blog

For this embroidery project, I used the SULKY PEN ....

and tracing paper ..... using a light hand to trace the pattern (if you push down too hard on the pen, you may end up with too thick a line for the embroidery floss to cover entirely).

I ironed the pattern onto the fabric and the transfer pen worked out beautifully.

Not great pics, but here's a look at the yummy-ness inside of this book ~


4 Projects Done - 46 more to Go (what the hell was I thinking???!!)

happy day (^*^)

My Fav Japanese Craft Books

A facebook friend, Jennifer, who wants to add a few Japanese craft books to her collection, asked a very challenging question : What are my top favorite Japanese craft books?  Yikes ! It was very difficult to narrow it down, and I already anticipate that the many books in my collection will shuffle through this list.  Jennifer, if you're reading warned...Japanese craft books are addictive (^*^)

First Row:
  • Smocking for Beginners : ISBN978-4-8347-2378-0 : In an earlier post I attempted my first smocking project (well, my first since 13-ish years old).  It was fun and I hope to do more smocking projects in the future. 
  • Patchwork book : ISBN978-4-8347-2783-8 : I don't do patchwork, yet. But I do love looking at the projects in this book. Maybe ... one day.
  • Bags with Felt applique: ISBN978-4-592-73260-0 : I really do love this book; filled with inspiring project. Although I never made anything from this book, it inspired a few of my projects using appliques.
Row 2 :
  • Japanese Embroidery: ISBN4-8347-2421-2 : Cute Cute Cute
  • Softies Book : ISBN978-4-471-40062-0 :  This is one of my newest books. How cute are these softies? This book is a definite for my Holy Moly I have too Many Craft Books challenge
  • Cross Point : ISBN978-4-02-190415-8 : Hedgehogs, Cats, Elephants, Seals, Butterflies, Rocking Horse...and so much more.  Designs that are cute and simple
Row 3:
  • Bag Bag Bag Book : ISBN4-391-62071-5 : At a price for just $6.00; this is surely my lucky book!  I got this one at a BOOK OFF store in Hawaii. A lucky find indeed. 
  • Petit a Petit Book : ISBN978-4-14-031170-7 : Filled with projects using dark, rich fabrics and threads; a nice deviant from the many muted linen fabric bags.
  • Half Day Project Book : ISBN978-4-8347-3177-4 : Simple projects are good. I made about 3 things from this book...and that's a good thing. 
 Other books worth a mention are :
Cotton Time and Cotton Paint are craft magazines, that are issued monthly (I think).  Not all editions contain great projects so it's best to be able to view the contents before making a purchase.

If you love embroidery projects, then the book on the left, STITCH IDEES, is treasured-filled.  The book is published several times a year.  Take a look-see at a more current edition, loving the cover !
Not into embroidery? What about crochet? I love Japanese crochet kawaii.  The book, Marache, is also published regularly.

Some tips when buying a Japanese craft book ~
  • I like it when a book includes patterns pieces; so if you find a book you like with patterns..SCORE ~
  • Not all Japanese craft books offer clear-detailed explanations (via images for non-Japanese speaking folks); so it's always a good thing to take a look through the instructions before making a purchase
Happy Day (^*^)

Webby Friends

Happy Valentines !

I was gifted this beautiful lollipop bouquet by a third grade fellow.  He found the project on the computer, then created this lovely with his own hands.  A fellow after my own heart.....I wonder if his mom wouldn't mind if I adopt him as my grand kid ^-^

I, myself, spend a lot of time perusing the internet, looking for that one gorgeous project, be it one that takes place in the kitchen, or at my sewing machine, or with paper and glue.  

But as much the internet has to offer in the way of information is the making of wonderful friends that is beyond comprehension at times.

Yadira, of Yadira's Crafty Adventure is a super duper friend.  She chit chats with me; leaving comments.  And supports me, with my teeny tiny blog. 
Yadira makes these kawaii clutches
 Yadira presented me with a LIEBSTER BLOG award.  Oh first award ever. THANK YOU, Yadira ^*^

Liebster is German and means 'dearest' or 'beloved' but it can also mean 'favorite'. The idea of the Liebster award is to bring attention to blogs with less than 200 followers in the hopes that it will bring many new friends/followers. So, in the spirit of good fun I am passing this award on to other bloggers. Stop by and visit them!

1. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
2. Reveal your picks for the award and let them know.
3. Post the award on your blog.
4. Bask in the love from the most supportive people on the blogshare-other bloggers.
5. Finally and the best rule of all..........have fun and spread the love!

Passing on the love to my webby friends ~
  • sewing B:  Beth is often the model in her pics of her creations. I like that.
  • this so called life : Amber is a self-declared refashionista!
I thank you all for being here.  Your visits mean a lot to me, providing my soul with quiet resolute to keep on blogging.

happy day  (^*^)

Project 3 - A New Technique Tried

For my third project for my HOLY MOLY I HAVE TOO MANY CRAFT BOOKS challenge, I decided to venture into new territory...smocking.  

The project comes from this book, Smocking for Beginners. 

The book's title is very misleading...Beginners?!!??  With a crafter's eye glance through the book's content, I beg to differ.  Just look at these projects :

Pretty gnarly stuff.  So why did I buy this book?  It was this one pouch, with a polka dot smocking that called to me.

After practicing for a bit, I jumped into this project, enjoying every minute of handwork.  The smocking was easier than I anticipated but sewing the pouch was another story.  There was one thing about the smocking though, my eyes went wonka wonka with all those dots!
** TA DAH**

Here's a close up of the smocking

Itching to give polka dot smocking a try?  Here's a tut for you  ~ 


Black Marks = Sewing Guides for this tutorial only
Red Floss = For this tutorial only
1. Thread your needle with a 6-strand embroidery floss; knot one end
2. Starting from the back of the fabric, poke the needle UP through one polka dot as shown in the pic

 3. Next, run your needle through the bottom of the second polka dot

4. Repeat step 3 for the third and fourth polka dots.  Then poke your needle through the bottom of the first polka dot as shown in the pic

5. Slowly pull the threads together

6. Knot the thread on the back side.  Cut thread.

7. Repeat steps for next cluster of 4 polka dots.

8. For this particular project, the polka dot clusters in the second row is in the between the clusters in the first row.  Repeat as many rows as your smocking heart desires.

3 books down - 47 more to go ;o)

happy day ^*^

Valentines Is In the Air

I am sitting on the sofa, in my pajamas..and it's 1:45 PM.  It's cold, it's dark, it's dreary.  I wish for a fireplace to warm me up...but a fireplace in Hawaii?  A toasty cup of cocoa will have to do ... with a delicious Valentine brownie ...

I must confess though, these are BOXED mix brownies.  Wait, don't throw my brownies out the window!  These delicious brownies are doctored up for one with more flavor with a cakey texture.
I've had my share of tough, dry, skinny, over-chewy brownies from mixes.  So I am in love with these brownies! 

Doctored Up Brownie Mix Recipe
9 inch x 13 inch pan
350 degrees

2 boxes brownie mix (either Ghirardelli or Duncan Hines or your own fav)
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate morsels
1/2 cup water
1 block (1/2 cup) butter, soften until almost softened
2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla

Mix ingredients until well combined.  Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 25 to 35 minutes.
Add nuts if you like.

 Since I'm on the subject of Valentine's, I made these cards for my pen pals in North Carolina...

I added a bit of fabric tape to the cellophane envelope.  Fabric tapes are a wonderful way to use fabric scraps to add a bit of whimsy to gift wraps, scrapbook pages, handmade cards, gift tags ... and they are so easy to make.

Cut fabric strips into desired width
Place double sided sticky tape on the back side
Cut to desired lengths

I did a google search on 'fabric tape tutorials' and was amazed at what's out there. Here's a popular tutorial on how to make packaging tape from fabric from Simply Modern Mom

Image from Simply Modern Mom
As much as I love fabric tapes.. I'm really loving these gorgeous paper tapes from Cathe's JUST SOMETHING I MADE website...
Image from JUST SOMETHING I MADE website
Happy Day ^*^