Hippy-Dippy Birthday

Hey y’all – today is my birthday!

Celebrating my first birthday with a Hostess cupcake... back in the day before "smash cakes" were a thing.

Celebrating my first birthday with a Hostess cupcake… back in the day before “smash cakes” were a thing.

Today’s (self-serving) blog post is all about meeeeeeeeee! And more specifically, my personality as determined by my birth date and Disney character pairing, outlined in the book Disneystrology — which “combines astrology, numerology and the magic of movies to help readers understand their own personalities.” I was introduced to the book and this concept some years ago in a team building event at work where we all learned which Disney character was matched up with our birth date, and therefore, was supposed to be a reflection of our personality.

<i>Disneystrology</i> by Lisa Finander

Disneystrology by Lisa Finander

I had to laugh when I was told my birthday, February 7, had been paired with Fillmore – the hippy-dippy Volkswagen bus from the movie Cars. My first reaction was, “Ummmmm what?” I mean, there are definitely more awkward characters out there to be associated with (Stinky Pete? Did anyone out there actually get paired with him? LOL…) but I failed to see the connection to this one at a glance.

282px-Fillmore

Then I read the description for Fillmore a little closer, and the connection actually makes a lot of sense give my love of creativity and crazy ideas. Since then, I’ve been emotionally attached to this hippy-dippy bus!

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Once upon an audiobook

I love books. I’ve always loved books. As evidenced by this 1991 photo I once shared in an earlier blog post.

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In my younger days, reading was my number one hobby, closely followed by crafty and creative activities. I LOVED trips to the library and my mom usually had to talk me out of bringing home giant stacks of books (but don’t be fooled — “giant” stacks were merely reduced to “semi-giant” stacks). I once got a $100 gift certificate (yes, they were “certificates” back then) to a bookstore and I WAS ON TOP OF THE WORLD. It was basically the equivalent of someone handing me a million dollars today.

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In defense of making doll clothes…

As a baby of the eighties, my most defining childhood moments took place in the 1990’s – so just add me to the long list of millennials who get a misty, nostalgic look when reminiscing about American Girl dolls. Yes, American Girl dolls are still around and have continued to exponentially grow in popularity… but there’s something special about those early years when there were only three historical dolls and purchases only followed hours and hours of pouring over the snail mail catalog.

For anyone who has ever had an American Girl doll, there’s something sort of defining about declaring who “your” doll was – your first doll, or your doll of choice, that is. For me, that was Molly, the character representing the World War II era. I received the book Meet Molly as a gift in 1990, and the rest is history. I quickly plowed through all the books in the series and the Molly doll was at the top of my Christmas list for Santa that year.

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Over the years, I received a few additional outfits and accessories for Molly from the beloved, dog-eared American Girl catalog that arrived in the mail every few months. Then I received a gift for my First Holy Communion from a family friend — a First Communion dress for Molly that even included a clip-on veil. Whaaaaaaat??? My eight-year-old mind was blown. There were doll clothes out there that weren’t in the catalog. There were people out there who could make anything I wanted for Molly. This was all news to me.

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Countdown to (sewing) fun!

A big thank you to all of my family, friends and blogosphere buddies who reached out to make my birthday magical this week. From Tinker Bell cupcakes  by day to an artsy-crafty painting party by night, it was a truly wonderful birthday and I wouldn’t change a thing! I’m being completely truthful when I say it’s the best birthday I’ve had in years.

I finally got a chance to open some gifts last night, and I have two exciting sewing books to add to my collection! I talked about one book, Fabric-by-Fabric One Yard Wonders, in a blog post a few weeks back. The second book is called Countdown Calendars and just came out last July.

Countdown Calendars sewing book

Countdown Calendars: 24 stitched projects to celebrate any date!

I first discovered the project shown on the cover  – a birthday countdown calendar – about two years ago when I was thinking about buying a sewing machine. It was a finished project listed for sale on Etsy, not a pattern, so I saved a photo for inspiration.

It’s such a fun concept – just add a fabric candle to the birthday cake on the wall hanging each day leading up to your birthday! Advent calendars were always a big deal in my house around Christmastime, and I know I would have loved this birthday calendar if we’d had one in our family.

I can already imagine an infinite number of color combinations in my head and can’t wait to give this a try. It would make a great gift for all of my friends who are exploding my social media newsfeeds with photos of their new babies! Plus – the book has lots of other fun countdown calendar ideas too, including a Christmas advent calendar.

Happy counting! Not gonna lie – all of this talk about countdowns and I can’t get the Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun Parade music from Disney’s Hollywood Studios out of my head… Five, four, three, two, FUN! 🙂

One-Yard Wonders… take two!

You all know how much I adore the One-Yard Wonders book I picked up last year. It’s where I discovered one of my favorite patterns in the world – the adorable and convenient jewelry roll.

So of course, I was elated to discover that there was a SECOND One-Yard Wonders book released in November!

One Yard Wonders

I already have my eye on the insulated wine tote in the bottom left-hand corner…

My mom picked it up from the library while I am home in Chicago this week. After leafing through it just once, I already know that I want it for my birthday in February. I won’t let myself pour over the book in detail until it’s officially mine!

This version is arranged in sections by fabric type versus project type. I think that’s pretty neat – now when I have a yard of fabric laying around with no specific sewing intentions, I can turn to that fabric type section in the book and look at all of my options. There were a few patterns in the first book that deterred me when I had a piece of lightweight cotton to use and then was disappointed to discovered that home decor weight was required.

Is anyone else out there as excited about this book as I am?

On a (jewelry) roll

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! If you hadn’t already guessed, the surprise project I referenced in my last post was a gift for my amazing mom. It’s a jewelry roll!

One Yard Wonders Jewelry Roll

I’ve been excited about it for a few weeks, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to brag until Mother’s Day or I’d ruin the surprise. Like a crayon roll for grown-ups, the jewelry roll has zippered pockets for various jewelry pieces and trinkets, a ribbon tie for rings and the whole contraption rolls up and ties closed for safe travels.

One Yard Wonders Jewelry Roll

It was the first project attempt from my One Yard Wonders book. I have nothing but glowing reviews for both the book and this project. The pattern was included with the book. I’m still a little new to zippers, so I moved slowly and followed the directions to a tee. The biggest challenge was evenly sewing the half circle curve along the top.

My mom lives across the country, so we Skyped this morning while she opened her jewelry roll and she loved it! I told her I almost didn’t include the ribbon for rings since she doesn’t wear a lot of rings, but she pointed out that she can use it for her Troll beads. Duh – I can’t believe I didn’t think of that. She loves her Troll beads!

One Yard Wonders Jewelry Roll

Like mother, like daughter - I used my own jewelry for this photo, but the only ring I own is my high school ring!

Now I’m faced with this challenge: stick in this comfort zone and make some more jewelry rolls, or continue experimenting with projects from One Yard Wonders? Hmmm. Decisions, decisions!

I hope everyone is having a magical Mother’s Day!

Hooked on my nook!

      Remember when I said I was going to recycle

the Hot Seat

      into the draft of a new project?

Ta-da! Introducing… a cover for my nook! (My Barnes & Noble e-reader) …

Nook e-reader cover draft

I searched for a nook cover pattern awhile ago, but there wasn’t much out there since e-readers are still fairly new to the world. I recently stumbled across this amazing pattern on etsy.com that included patterns for the nook, nookCOLOR, Kindle 2, Kindle 3, iPad and KOBO, all in one PDF file!

E-reader Nook Kindle iPad Cover Pattern

Click here to visit the etsy shop, BirdfulStitches, where I bought this pattern!

I printed the pattern at home and decided to use scrap fabric – the fabric from my old “Hot Seat” – for a first draft to make sure I knew what I was doing before invested in new fabrics. The pattern was easy to follow with lots of helpful photos, and I couldn’t believe how quickly I finished the project! The cover is sized perfectly for my nook.

Only one boo-boo took place during the first draft – once I finished, I realized I had some leftover fabric pieces, and my nook cover didn’t have any extra pockets on the inside. I read the pattern ten times over and realized the reminder to sew the pockets inside must have slipped through the cracks, because it was never mentioned. I sent an e-mail to the person who created the pattern, who thanked me for my input and said they’d update the pattern. Yay!

With my first “draft” safely behind me, I excitedly allowed myself to buy new fabric for the cover I actually planned to use.

E-reader nook cover

I even got adventurous and strayed from the pattern, using a magnetic snap instead of the recommended button. My first magnetic snap!

E-reader nook cover magnetic snap

I was so excited to take my freshly covered nook to my book club last week… with the second set of pockets and all!

E-reader nook cover

E-reader nook cover with pockets

It’s projects like this one that make me truly appreciate the power of the internet. With e-readers being such a new product, it’s unlikely that I’d be able to find an “official” pattern like this anytime soon… so I’m thankful that I can tap into the talents of others via the world wide web!

One-Yard Wonders

Really excited about this book I picked up at a Borders going-out-of-business sale this weekend…

One-Yard Wonders book

One Yard Wonders: 101 Sewing Projects; Look how much you can make with just one yard of fabric! by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins, complete with a packet of patterns inside!

Now, I don’t think I can adequately review this book until I actually try some of the projects, but I am already excited about a whole bunch of them! I’ll be sure to note which future projects are “One-Yard Wonders” so y’all can follow along as I attempt to make every single thing in the book. Okay, maybe not every single project, but the thought sure is tempting…

I hope everyone had a magical weekend!