Thursday, February 27, 2014

Coraline Clutch: A Swap {Swoon Sewing Patterns}

*This post contains affiliate links. All views expressed are my own.*

I loved sewing a bag to send to someone else! It was an amazing experience: signing up, receiving the info, trying to pick out something that you think they would like (hard since you don't really know the person), sewing up the item, then shipping. But, the anticipation of whether or not they liked it. Sending some extra goodies too... Just so much fun!

I already have some ideas for my next Swoon Sewing Patterns Coraline Clutch! :)

Here is what I sent my swap-ee...

The Berry Bunch: Coraline Clutch: A Swap {Swoon Sewing Patterns}

Those handles turned out so much better than my first one! It's amazing what a little bit of practice and reading things correctly, does... (facing does not mean interfacing, HA!)...

And the goodies I sent with the bag: Butterfly zipper pull, cactus candy, post card, key ring wristlet, Arizona magnet and 2 fat quarters from my stash (not pictured).

The Berry Bunch: Coraline Clutch: A Swap {Swoon Sewing Patterns}

I'm so glad she said she loves it, and enjoyed the candies too! 

Here is what I received... I love it! Super sturdy and just gorgeous!

The Berry Bunch: Coraline Clutch: A Swap {Swoon Sewing Patterns}


The Berry Bunch: Coraline Clutch: A Swap {Swoon Sewing Patterns}

I love the zipper pull too!

The Berry Bunch: Coraline Clutch: A Swap {Swoon Sewing Patterns}

And the lining is sparkly, how awesome is that!?! The picture really doesn't do it justice. But don't you just love the contrast between the light outside and that beautiful purple inside? I do! Not to mention the outside fabric weave looks like it is covered in a lace, love it!

The Berry Bunch: Coraline Clutch: A Swap {Swoon Sewing Patterns}

The whole lot..

The Berry Bunch: Coraline Clutch: A Swap {Swoon Sewing Patterns}

It was an amazing experience, participating with the amazing ladies on this swap. You ask questions, you got answers. All of them were incredibly kind and offered some great feedback. If given the chance, I would totally participate again! 

Also, they are doing a sew along right now for the Eloise Wallet. Head over to Swoon Sewing Patterns and pick up the wallet, then head over to Ali Cat & CO: Day 1 Swoon Eloise Wallet Sewalong and join in on the fun! I have the pattern but debating. I don't really need a wallet yet...

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Why I Love to Sew: Thankful for the Ladies of the Tucson Modern Quilt Guild

There is something about the sound of the running sewing machine that sends my mind into a trance and all that exists is the machine, my hands and the fabric. It's an escape, an alternate reality of threads. When I return to the real world I hold in my hands something tangible, something that can be used and is loved.

I enjoy the sounds, smell and feel of the fabric. 

It's an escape.

The craft room is my 'mommy time' room. Most of the time Nikolai listens to me and does not enter when I am in there. But really, it is an activity necessary to complete during nap time. 

Nikolai's nap times are becoming fewer and farther between, if at all. This means that sewing time is less and less frequent as well. 

Yesterday, I was lucky. I got to head to a local quilt shop with a couple members of the Tucson Modern Quilt Guild and just sew. Socialize and sew. No kids. I managed to finish the border on Nikolai's dinosaur quilt and cut and start the piecing on the chess quilt! I got so much done, it was wonderful!

Not to mention, when I was on my drive home, I felt relaxed! I felt it in my shoulders! And, I wasn't just making something. I was taking a much needed, kid free, mommy break. I was gone for nearly (drive time included) 5 hours! That is so long with no kids! Thank you Tucson Modern Quilt Guild! And the hubby for watching the kids!

It is amazing how much more I can appreciate my own kids when given the time away...

I needed that...

There is something, a feeling that comes, from taking something plain (beautiful, but plain) and turning it into something completely different. Like sheets of fabric, cutting them up, and making an incredible blanket, or clothes. Function and beauty together. I feel proud of myself. 

It doesn't require that much thought, it comes easily, almost naturally.

I still have a lot to learn and that makes it even more fun! 

I think moms, or at least those parents who stay at home, need something for them. It is so easy to loose yourself in the midst of kids, diapers, cartoons, children's games, toys, potty time, etc. The list goes on and on. We adults need something to remind us that we are adults, that we are our own person. I sew.

If you don't sew, I hope that you have that niche or special something that sets you apart from your kids. 

Don't forget to find the time to be you! 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Kenzie's Party Dress - Blog Tour 2/14-2/21 {EYMM Patterns}

Welcome to my stop on the Kenzie's Party Dress Blog tour for Everything Your Mama Made! I was so excited when I got the email to participate in the blog tour! So many fantastic options! Check out her introduction to the tour here!

Don't forget to check out all these other lovely ones made by the group of talented ladies!


blogt

BLOG TOUR DATES:

2/18 bebelambs
2/20 The Berry Bunch (you are here)

The Kenzie Party Dess comes in two sets: NB-4T and 5-18... Hurrah for a tween/teen option! She also has a bundle where you can buy the full range of sizes! Awesome! There is also a discount! Now until 2/24 use the code “kpdblogtour” on a Kenzie’s Party Dress order of $8.95 or more from www.eymm.com & get $1.95 off.  This makes individual patterns just $7 & the bundle with both size ranges AND the bonus doll add on just $12.47.  Limit 1 coupon per person.

I love the look of the flounces. It is just incredible and when I first saw this pattern I felt I had to have it. It's just beautiful! I had the hardest time picking out fabrics from my stash! I finally decided on this small floral print that my Grandmother gave me. Simple and elegant. I thought it would look lovely with the standard skirt. I thought it would be adorable as bubble skirt.  But, I couldn't make up my mind! 


The Berry Bunch: Kenzie's Party Dress - Blog tour 2/14-2/21 {EYMM Patterns}

The Berry Bunch: Kenzie's Party Dress - Blog tour 2/14-2/21 {EYMM Patterns}

I eventually decided on the bubble skirt after giving a go of her wearing it both ways. She is crawling, everywhere, and gets caught up on dresses. This is a great way for her to wear a dress and still be able to crawl. :) I just did a casing hem at the bottom of the skirt and inserted elastic. I left the small opening for now in case I want to take out the elastic.


The Berry Bunch: Kenzie's Party Dress - Blog tour 2/14-2/21 {EYMM Patterns}

She kept crawling away. and she likes to pull on the sash. Now That I have finished pictures I've managed to get it to stay tied! 


The Berry Bunch: Kenzie's Party Dress - Blog tour 2/14-2/21 {EYMM Patterns}

The Berry Bunch: Kenzie's Party Dress - Blog tour 2/14-2/21 {EYMM Patterns}

I had to cut the sash a few inches shorter in width because it turned out that I did not have enough fabric for the full 8" width. But I think it worked out ok. I wish I had the purple left to make a diaper cover. Oh well, catching glimpse of diaper every now and then isn't too bad. ;)

The Berry Bunch: Kenzie's Party Dress - Blog Tour 2/14-2/21 {EYMM Patterns}


The Berry Bunch: Kenzie's Party Dress - Blog tour 2/14-2/21 {EYMM Patterns}

She wanted to move around... So hard to get pictures of a mobile infant! :) But gotta love their facial expressions!

The Berry Bunch: Kenzie's Party Dress - Blog tour 2/14-2/21 {EYMM Patterns}

The Berry Bunch: Kenzie's Party Dress - Blog tour 2/14-2/21 {EYMM Patterns}

This was my first time making a garment of the heirloom quality. I did french seams and love how the raw edge of the fabric is hidden. Turns out it was the first time I had done french seams too! I love this dress. I love the way that it looks and I loved sewing it together.

I was scared of the lining and the fact that this is an heirloom quality pattern scared me. But, the directions were clear and simple to follow. I am so proud of my work! I have even picked out the fabrics for the signature style of skirt. What do you think?

The Berry Bunch: Kenzie's Party Dress - Blog tour 2/14-2/21 {EYMM Patterns}

I was thinking of fussy cutting around an elephant and using the other colors as the flounces (or just the first two and do it as a summer top?). It may have to wait though. I am not positive I have enough of the fabric for the flounces. But I love the idea!

Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to check out the previous posters for the blog tour! And don't forget to see what Sunflower Circle has in store for your eyes tomorrow! :) If you want to sew one up head on over to www.eymm.com and use the discount code "kpdblogtour"!

Happy sewing,

Friday, February 14, 2014

2012 Craftsy Block of the Month Quilt - Finished {2014 Sew-A-Long}

The Berry Bunch: 2012 Craftsy Block of the Month - Finished {2014 Sew-A-Long}

I am so excited that I FINALLY finished this quilt! It took long enough! But, I think that it looks awesome and I actually (can you believe) hand stitched the binding on the back! My finger tips still hurt from the grabbing, pushing and pulling that darn needle... All I have to say is... never. ever. again.. (right, like that'll happen).

The Berry Bunch: 2012 Craftsy Block of the Month - Finished {2014 Sew-A-Long}

Some blocks had FMQ and others were just straight lines. 

The Berry Bunch: 2012 Craftsy Block of the Month - Finished {2014 Sew-A-Long}

I love how it turned out and the colors! It brightens up the room when it is on the floor and the kids are playing on it. 

The Berry Bunch: 2012 Craftsy Block of the Month - Finished {2014 Sew-A-Long}

The Berry Bunch: 2012 Craftsy Block of the Month - Finished {2014 Sew-A-Long}

The Berry Bunch: 2012 Craftsy Block of the Month - Finished {2014 Sew-A-Long}

The Berry Bunch: 2012 Craftsy Block of the Month - Finished {2014 Sew-A-Long}

The Berry Bunch: 2012 Craftsy Block of the Month - Finished {2014 Sew-A-Long}


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Sewed Up My 1st Bag: Coraline Clutch {Swoon Patterns Swooniversary & Discount Code}

*This post contains affiliate links. All views expressed are my own.*
*Neither myself or the pattern company received anything for this review*

I have been wanting to sew up a bag for a while. I just wasn't sure where to start or what to do. If you follow me on pinterest you have probably seen my All in the Bag board where it is just all bags...

The Berry Bunch: Coraline Clutch Pattern Review {Swoon Patterns}

Well, I finally sewed up a bag, the Coraline Clutch from Swoon Sewing Patterns! I love it and have already started using it for a particular purpose. Grocery shopping! I keep my lists of normal purchases and average costs in this bag! Hurrah for a bag and keeping things organized! I discovered it also holds a small wipe case and a few diapers too! So I am gonna be making a couple more! ;)

The pattern is awesome! It comes with 2 sizes: 11" and 14" wide. It also has directions for a wrist strap instead of the handles. It also lends itself to alterations. I've seen some do block work on the outside shell and a full strap.

The Berry Bunch: Coraline Clutch Pattern Review {Swoon Patterns}

I know this is not perfect. I totally messed up the handles. But, not because the directions were hard to understand. No, it was all user error. I sewed this up in a series of late nights after multiple days of with lack of sleep. Once I saw my mistake it was a total *facepalm*! Despite my error, I think it doesn't look too bad (aside from the over topstitching in white). 

The Berry Bunch: Coraline Clutch Pattern Review {Swoon Patterns}

This size was the large 14" wide one. Perfect for the cash envelope, coupons, shopping lists and everything I bring with me when I am grocery shopping. I am an avid ad matching, grocery shopper. I am not much of a coupon-er, mostly cause I don't buy a lot of what the coupons are offered for and what they are offered for, I usually buy at Costco anyway.

The Berry Bunch: Coraline Clutch Pattern Review {Swoon Patterns}

While I was out yesterday, grocery shopping with my new grocery shopping bag, I received several compliments. Yay! I cannot wait to make more!

I will be sewing another up soon to send out for the swap going on right now. I will share it with you once I can and will share what I receive. So excited! Love it!

There will be a sew along going on starting the 24th for the Eloise wallet! A cute wallet and goodness knows I am in need of a new one. 

Also, it is the anniversary of the start up Swoon Sewing Patterns and they are having a 25% off discount at the website if you use the code swooniversary (until 2/20/2014) at checkout! Awesome! I plan on making the Dottie, stella and laptop bag! So many great bags!  * discount has ended*

Head on over to Swoon Sewing Patterns and check them out. They are also having a giveaway too! *giveaway is over*

linking up

Building a Better Wardrobe Giveaway

Sunday, February 9, 2014

If You Give a Cat a Cupcake - Sprinkle Counting Activity {Virtual Book Club For Kids}

We had such a hard time with this one this month.
1. my printer is not working with color
2. my original plan was a puzzle (under partial request from little man)
3. little man was not interested if it did not involve a puzzle... Finally got him to color!

The book we picked was If You Give a Cat a Cupcake. *affiliate link*

The Berry Bunch: Give a Cat a Cupcake: Counting Game {Virtual Book Club For Kids}


But now, we have it! It's a counting game using sprinkles, a cupcake printout coloring page and dice of some kind. We used punched cardstock in the shape of flowers but you can use sprinkles and then eat the sprinkles when you are done! ;)

Cupcake Sprinkle Game


The Berry Bunch: Give a Cat a Cupcake: Counting Game {Virtual Book Club For Kids}


  • Color the page


The Berry Bunch: Give a Cat a Cupcake: Counting Game {Virtual Book Club For Kids}

The Berry Bunch: Give a Cat a Cupcake: Counting Game {Virtual Book Club For Kids}
  • roll the dice and count out the number of sprinkles/punches and place on cupcake like sprinkles. We started with 6 on the cupcake and worked on taking away and adding to.
  • eat sprinkles, or, glue down the final amount of punches.
    The Berry Bunch: Give a Cat a Cupcake: Counting Game {Virtual Book Club For Kids}

Thanks for stopping by! Please, check out these other sites contributing to the Book Club. If you have anything you want to share too, feel free to contribute!

There are a few rules for this blog hop that we ask you to follow, so make sure to read them: 
  1. Link up only posts inspired by Laura Numeroff that share children's book inspired crafts, activities, recipes, etc. Any other posts will be deleted.
  2. Visit other blog posts on the linky and comment on or share the ones you love!


see you next time,

Saturday, February 8, 2014

A Little Bit of Reality... Needing Some Quality 'Me' Time... {The Orange Rhino: 30 Challenge to Stop Yelling}

I love my kids so much! But, these last few days have been so hard! I'm a yell-er. I didn't used to be until after I had started working. I thought it would go away once I stopped working... it didn't... I don't like it... I hate it...

Nikolai is taking every toy away from Samara when she starts playing...
Samara has not been napping well. That makes for one cranky and tired baby...
Nikolai refuses to nap and has been giving me attitude/back talking...

The only ounce of me (by myself, alone) time I have is in the evening, after everyone has gone to bed when it is late. Or a rush to the grocery store because we need something. Then, I'm in a rush to try and make the most out of my me time that it becomes more stressful than relaxing...

I have gone a week without showering! Yuck! At least I have clean clothes...

My phone has not been working (not charging and wont turn on) so I haven't even really been able to have a good conversation with a friend in almost a week. I miss a good convo with a friend...

Mostly, I usually only get out of the house is to run errands (grocery shopping)...

If you haven't noticed, I am feeling the need for some 'me' time, time with friends, or just peace without children. I feel like I am on the verge of a break down. Unfortunately, it is real and hiding it is not healthy. So I am trying to get it out and just not sit down and cry...


Today (Day 17) of the Orange Rhino, 30 day challenge to not yell at your kids, is to make goals to take care of yourself...

My Daily goals:
- eat breakfast (you think it would be easy... but I need to remember coffee is not breakfast)
- read a book or a chapter, or even half a chapter, just to read some for me
- go to bed earlier than 2am 

Short term goal:
- get a haircut (I want it short, it would be a bit of a drastic change though) *feedback?

Long term goal:
- take photography classes and/or clothing pattern drafting classes (a maybe because of expense)
-or-
- get together with a friend for coffee or lunch or something (no kids) at least quarterly


What are your goals for yourself? How do you make sure that you take care of you? How do you get some quality 'me' time in?

Friday, February 7, 2014

Tie Dye Diva Patterns: Baby Peasant Top Review {TDD Patterns}

*This post contains affiliate links, all views expressed are my own*

I was so excited when I received an e-mail from Jen of Tie Dye Diva Patterns asking if I would like to be an affiliate for her patterns. I had just missed an awesome sale and the opportunity to pick up some of her adorable patterns that were discontinued! But, that is ok because she has a lot of cute stuff! You should check her out; Click here to visit Tie Dye Diva Patterns.

The Berry Bunch: Tie Dye Diva Patterns: Baby Peasant Top Review {TDD Patterns}

One of the products she offers is the Peasant Top. You can get it either 0-3 months to 18-24 months (or) 2-10 years and the pattern has the option of short or long sleeves.

The Berry Bunch: Tie Dye Diva Patterns: Baby Peasant Top Review {TDD Patterns}

I used woven materials again, trying to branch out a bit more. I made the 6-12 month size, something she can wear into the summer when it is warmer hot.

The Berry Bunch: Tie Dye Diva Patterns: Baby Peasant Top Review {TDD Patterns}

The Berry Bunch: Tie Dye Diva Patterns: Baby Peasant Top Review {TDD Patterns}

I don't know if I am just getting better at sewing, or if I have developed a knack for picking easy patterns (or maybe both), but this only took about an hour to sew. I am not sure exactly because it occurred in several days for mere minutes each day. The kids have been pretty demanding lately.. ;)

The Berry Bunch: Tie Dye Diva Patterns: Baby Peasant Top Review {TDD Patterns}
I love the ruffled hem too!
One great thing about this pattern is she briefly explains the different ways to gather the sleeves and neck, giving option. Of course these are not detailed in length on the tutorial (it would take way too long) but it did peak my curiosity. I had never heard of shirring before; I had to look it up and now I want to try it!

The Berry Bunch: Tie Dye Diva Patterns: Baby Peasant Top Review {TDD Patterns}

One thing that I would suggest, is adding the optional ties. I think it would look much cuter if it had the ties. I wasn't sure if I wanted to add them and now I wish that I did.

The Berry Bunch: Tie Dye Diva Patterns: Baby Peasant Top Review {TDD Patterns}

The Berry Bunch: Tie Dye Diva Patterns: Baby Peasant Top Review {TDD Patterns}

I look forward to the ideas that have sparked in me for this pattern! Check out Tie Dye Diva Patterns.

And a couple more close ups...

The Berry Bunch: Tie Dye Diva Patterns: Baby Peasant Top Review {TDD Patterns}

The Berry Bunch: Tie Dye Diva Patterns: Baby Peasant Top Review {TDD Patterns}

Ducky (he was mine when I was a baby) and Nikolai needed some pictures too!