Thursday, January 26, 2012

Finalist in Pillsbury People Celebrate More Photo Contest!

So, I know I don't have many followers (yet) on this blog, but I have some EXCITING news to report.  I am one of only 10 finalists to be a winner in the Pillsbury People Celebrate More Photo Contest.  Well, if that doesn't sound exciting enough, the grand prize is $10,000.  Yes, I said $10,000!  There is a public vote and one of the 10 finalists will win the prize.  But perhaps even more exciting is that the winner gets a photo shoot at his or her house with the Pillsbury Dough Boy.

I had submitted a picture of my son, Ethan, and I baking cookies last Valentine's Day.  And yes, we were using Pillsbury frosting and sprinkles on the cupcakes!  Maybe that gave us an edge!  :)  
And although I won't put the same picture that is up on the site (so I don't violate any rules), here are a few others that we took that day.

If you'd like to vote for me, the link is  I am Sarah Z. from Port Matilda, PA with the red PJs and crazy "just-woke-up hair."  There are lots of cute pictures on the site, although I'm certainly biased for the one of Ethan and me. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Back to crafting and baking

I took a hiatus from sewing bags and basically crafts in general.  But recently, I have become addicted to Pinterest and am getting the bug to be creative again.  So, with inspiration from photos I saw on Pinterest, I did some crafting and even some baking today.  First, I made some fabulous blondies with pink and red M&Ms.  Ethan loved making them.

Then, we baked a cranberry pie.  It was delicious, although I would probably cut the sugar by about half.  I really enjoy the tartness of the cranberries and don't think it needs that much sugar.  But it is still absolutely fabulous. 

And finally, I've been thinking for a while that I wanted to create some felt hearts for Valentine's Day.  I'd like to make a garland for the fireplace, but I think it might take a while to complete it.  But I'm going to see how far I get.  And so far, I've made one heart!  I had some inspiration from a photo on Pinterest, but I created my own design.  It took me about 2 hours to make one heart, so I am not sure if I'll be able to finish the garland.  Maybe the other ones will be simpler.

With wintertime here, hopefully I'll get more crafting done!  

Monday, August 29, 2011

August's "Moon" Bag

This month in the Amy Butler challenge, we were supposed to make a Fringed Hobo bag.  I opted out of the fringe and used some piping instead.  I made the large version of the bag.  I'm not entirely happy with the bag.  As is typical with many of Amy Butler's patterns, the bag is huge.  I don't mind the biggness of the bag.  However, the straps for the large bag end up being really short.  And I feel like the opening is a bit too small for the size of the bag.  I mean, this is a big bag.  You should be able to fit some big things in there.  But, nope.  The opening is too darn small. 

Because of the overall roundness of the bag, I call it my "Moon Bag."  I'm sure I'll find a use for it, even given its flaws of the small opening.  I like the fabric selection and I think the piping is cute.  I think next month's bag might be a little more useful to me, though.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Key Keeper Coin Purse

Okay, I've had this key keeper coin purse thing done since June, but I've put off posting about it.  Mostly because I was not really happy with the way it came out.  I'm fairly new to zippers and had a tough time making this look neat. 

Look, it's all crooked.  Sigh...  Not my best work.

I did like my choice of fabrics, but am just not proud of how it came out.  And I thought this month would actually be easy, given the size of the little thing.

But it does look cute with my teardrop bag from last month, which I get lots of compliments on, by the way!  Maybe I'll do better with the big giant fringed hobo bag for next month.  Sigh...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

No tears over the Teardrop Bag

When I first saw June's pattern for the Teardrop Bag in Amy Butler's Style Stitches book, I wasn't that thrilled.  I'm not sure why, but I just didn't really like the bag all that much.  However, now that I've made it, I quite like it.  I love the fabric I picked out.  And I thought it was fairly simple to make.  I hit a few snags with the pattern, but overall, it wasn't too bad.

 The fabric was Moda's Fandango, designed by Kate Spain.  I will say, the most difficult part of this bag was probably turning the handles inside out.  I think it took me longer to get those handles the right way than it did to sew the whole thing.  The handle is quite long, so it was an effort.  And Amy's suggestion to put a safety pin at one end of the handle did absolutely nothing for me. 

Can't wait to make the coordinating coin purse to match my cute new bag!

Monday, May 23, 2011

My Not-So-Perfectly Pleated Clutch

I had been dreading making the May bag from Amy Butler's Style Stitches since I started this challenge.  I had been quite scared of making the pleats.  Well, it's done.  Not quite as perfect, but good enough, in my opinion!  The pleats are not straight in certain spots, but I'm not terribly disappointed.

The fabric was a cotton voile that I bought at Fat Quarter Shop.  The flower was from Ann Taylor Loft.  It's probably a little bit for the bag, but I still like it.  My only regret is making the small bag instead of the medium size.  I think the flower is a slight bit big for the small size.

I've been doing lots of other crafts lately, but haven't been taking many pictures...  I'll catch up one of these days! 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

No procrastinating around here!

I'm quite proud of myself that I have already finished my April bag in the Amy Butler Style Stitches Challenges.  Ahem...what is the date?  Why, it's only April 5!  And I actually finished it on April 3, but just needed to take pictures and upload them.  Very proud, I must say.

So, this month was a checkbook cover.  I had the same reactions of other people in that I wondered, "what on earth am I going to do with a checkbook cover?"  I write about 1-2 checks per month and haven't had a checkbook cover in years.  I admit, I don't balance my checkbook as I rely heavily on online banking.  So, what will I do with it?  I think I will pass it along to my mom, who hasn't quite yet adapted to the ATM era.

 The finished checkbook cover

A slightly pathetic picture where I am trying to show all three fabrics at once.

The inside of the check cover.  It includes a pen holder!

And here's the outside, just so that you can get a better glimpse of the fabric choice.

I already had the fabric in my stash.  I purchased it at a cute quilting shop in Connecticut called TheYankee Quilter.  I don't remember what the fabric brands were.  I used regular quilting fabric, not home decor fabric as the pattern suggested.  I think that home decor might have worked a little better, as I feel that I can see the outline of the snap through the olive green quilting fabric.  But overall, I still think it came out cute.

The pattern was the first in the book labeled as being "intermediate."  I thought it was fairly easy.  The hardest part was sewing around the curve of the flap, but I just took things slow and the stitches came out pretty good.  I think it also feels pretty easy because I'm getting used to Amy's directions.  Although this is the first time I used magnetic snaps, I still think they're easier than zippers!

I'm really excited about next month's bag and already have all the fabric selected.  It's going to be really gorgeous, provided I can get the pleats to work!