Sunday, December 30, 2007

'Tis the Season!

I have to start off this post by saying how much I love this little blog world :) Check out the goodies that Krista Walker sent last week! She was one of the winners of the Japanese Fat Quarters set that I had in last month's give-away and loved them so much that she sent a little "thank you" package chock-full of fun (mini purse, business card holder, coffee cozy and dipes/wipes holder)! I think that Sydney will be fighting me to use the mini purse (on the left) - it matches her pants!

Before I forget, Happy Holidays everyone! And for everyone who celebrated Christmas last week, I hope you had a fun day filled with carols, cookies and friends / family :) We spent Christmas Eve day with my in-laws in Boston and had such a fun time - a big part of the day's success was that the kids were incredible! Sydney was a champ and gobbled up all of the attention (I finished the skirt!)

... and Ben was in bliss being held all day by everyone. Definitely a ladies man! Christmas wasn't really as fun - hubby was on call at the hospital and spent most of the afternoon there. Sydney was cranky from not napping the day before and generally being off schedule, and Ben decided to start an eating marathon at 2 am (and didn't stop until ~ 10 that night). We did have fun opening gifts and hanging out all day - just wish we were all well-rested!

I didn't get to make as many hand-made gifts this year as I'd have liked to, but there's always next year :) One of my favorite gifts are these fun coasters (from this book):

I love them! The perfect little something for anyone! I used 2 layers of batting and added a layer of PROCARE (the stuff that I use as the inner liner of my wetbags) to help make them waterproof. They aren't flimsy at all - I definitely recommend making them! I also made a matching bird. I tried to be true to the bluebird and give him a tan chest and white lower body... kind of silly, but my Dad is nuts over bluebirds and he'd be disappointed if he saw that I gave him a white chest :)

I'm not crazy about how he turned out - I haven't sewn a ton of "little" things like this before, so I found the smallness of it a little hard to manage. It is an adorable pattern though, so I'll definitely try it again. This gift set went to Auntie Re, one of Frank's Aunts who now lives in the nicest assisted living facility I have honestly ever seen (and I've seen a ton!).

I did finally finish Auntie Lou's scarf - I flipped out though one night when I lost one of my knitting sticks... I had a couple inches left to go! Luckily I found it under the sofa:). It has a keyhole opening at the end so you can stick the other end through it and keep it snug against you.

Hubby loved the scarf so much that he wants a "really long one" for himself. I've got about 10 inches done so far and a loooooooong way to go!

I do have a few other gifts to share, but I have to wait until they've been gifted (I'll be seeing my family in NJ/PA in the new year - can't wait!)

Didn't know if you all had checked out Amy Butler's Free Patterns lately, but she's got some FABULOUS things posted there!

Off to bed now... sweet dreams everyone! We'll be getting lots more of this stuff tonight...

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Mark of a New England Mom

I was at the dentist earlier today, looked down at my legs and saw this:

Hmm... Couldn't quite figure it out, but then it dawned on me - that's just the level that the running board hits my legs when I reach into the back to get the kids in and out of their carseats. I am so done with winter already and it's only December.

I've finally shipped out the last of my wholesale and large custom orders and have started to work on Christmas gifts. Auntie's scarf is 2/3 the way done (I've figured out how to knit while nursing!). Hoping to also get a few cute things made from this book and this book.

Last night I thought that I'd be able to finish up this twirl skirt for Sydney...

...but ran out of the cute snowball trim. URGH!!!! Luckily there is a Joanne's near the dentist, so I was able to pop in there with Ben after my appointment. I needed a little retail therapy after that visit... he cried for most of the time (I was having the prep work done for a crown, so we were there for a while). The women at the office were incredible though, and held /walked him the entire time that I was there. Made their days to have a baby around - and I think they also like seeing who was the best at settling him down :)

Before I sign off, I have to share a new pattern line that Adrienne recently introduced me to: Montessori By Hand. I love the Reading Pillow idea - quite clever. Meg, the designer, will be releasing a cute new apron pattern as well in Jan - looks quite femmy, yet functional!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

All prizes have been accounted for, so it's safe to resume to posting again :) That was so much fun that I think I'll start hosting monthly give-aways. Stay tuned!

As most of you know, we have a relatively new baby here at home with us (2 month old Ben). I'd be lost without my baby carriers (Baby Bjorn Active and my sling) - he spends most of the day being carried and he (and I) love it! I made a sling last week for a buddy up here and really like how it turned out. It has a padded shoulder, regular tail, velcro pocket on the tail (for keys/cellphone), and sling rings. Pretty simple design, but comfy and fashionable.

I'm thinking of carrying them on my website next year -


Crafting news? Check out these adorable elephants by Ljungbergs:

And.... the Kimberly Bag Pattern by Amy Butler should be available in a week or so -finally another bag pattern with a zipper!

Monday, December 03, 2007

And the winners are.....

Thanks everyone who entered the drawing - I loved reading your comments and checking out your blogs!

The process: I entered everyone into a WORD document (one person emailed to be added so I added her comment at the time she wrote), assigned a number to everyone and then used the random number picker to select the winners of the drawing (I was going to cut out everyone's entries and have Sydney pick them, but that seemed a bit labor intensive and not too environmentally friendly - besides, I think that you all wanted to find out before the end of the year who won!)

The 3 winners of the Apron Pattern are:
1) Kate (#1)
2) Shannon (#2)
3) Michelle P (#3)

The 2 winners of the Japanese fabric fat quarters are:
1) Krista Walker (#44)
2) Melody (jefalody) (#15)

and the winner of the SIMPLE GIFTS TO STITCH BOOK is...

Kath (#38)

Please email your mailing addresses to and I'll get your goodies out to you this week :)

I'm starting to think that life is starting to return to normal (whatever that is...). Ben is sleeping well and Sydney has taken to being a big sister like a champ. Some days are rougher than others, but we're getting by pretty well and have some kind of vague schedule that we follow day-to-day. I'm really fine as long as I get to do some "stuff" during nap time- get orders together and in the mail, sew, email, etc. Hate to say it, but I often don't even pick up the phone during nap...

Anyways, this past weekend we got into the swing of things and had a belated Turkey Day feast with hubby's sis (we had to cancel our plans due to a nasty cold that Syd and I got the night before we were supposed to leave) and cut down our Christmas tree. It was a balmy 10 degrees here (probably less than 0 with the wind chill), so we basically chopped down the first respectable looking tree we saw.

Trimming the tree this year took no time at all b/c (1) it is a pretty small tree - it looked much bigger in the field... and (2) I had to keep the lower third void of any breakables b/c of our little elf who likes to hug and dance with the tree every morning when she gets up...

I don' t know about you all, but one of my favorite parts of Christmas is pulling out all of the old decorations and goodies that have been collected over the years. Ornaments are the most special to me - here are a couple of gems that need to be shared :)

I grew up in a blue bi-level home that was built in the 70's and one year a grade school art project was to make a pressed tin (?) ornament of your home. I probably colored it with Sharpies (I doubt those fruity smelly ones would have such staying power) and I love it. Not sure why, but I do. Probably b/c I was lucky in that this was the only house I ever lived in until I went to college... and my parents sill live there! The color has since changed, but it's still home.

This next one just cracks me up. It's supposed to be a self-portrait stuffy (I think I actually sewed it by hand?)... Scary... The sad thing is that I can't draw much better than this now!

My third favorites are yearly ornaments that mom makes - there is a cranberry and pink one in the first ornament pic and a green and yellow one in the pic above. For some reason I have 2 "1997" ones. Don't tell her...!

I just realized that I haven't shared any pictures of the "new" back room! The long and the short of it is that the room was poorly built, so we had it gutted and rebuilt it from the studs out. Also added a room underneath it, so we have storage next to the garage (yipppee!!). We LOVE this room and it's finished at just the right time (we got 2 feet of snow today!). We still need to hang some pictures, and I'd like to make some quick x-mas pillow covers, but so far we're happy with it. The guys are still working on the new back deck - pics to come!

Here's the view from standing in the kitchen, looking out to the left:

And to the right...:

And from sitting on the sofas in the last picture:

On the craft front, I've been trying to get some wholesale orders finished up so I can get to the fun stuff - Christmas gifts! I have started working on a scarf for Frank's Aunt, and I can't say enough fantastic things about the BABY ALPACA GRANDE yarn from Plymouth that I'm using. I scored this yummy yarn on EBAY about a month ago and am in love with it... Luckily Christmas is a few weeks away b/c it's taking me a while to get this one done. I've tried knitting while nursing Ben and it wasn't pretty. I can do a lot while nursing, but knitting is tough...

If you've been wondering about Amy Butler's new SWEET LIFE BAGS, I'll tell you from first hand experience that they are wonderful! The one shown above is the ASHBURY in Pewter and it's a fantastic knitting bag. Tons of pockets inside and tons of room - check it out!

Speaking of Amy Butler, I just added the fantastic LOTUS TUNIC and CAMI pattern to my EBAY store!!!

and restocked the new Sophia Bag Pattern (oh how I just want to have a day to myself to make this!):

I've got to scoot - it's almost midnight... Have a great night everyone! :) Kris

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Big *100*!!!

Wow! 100 posts already! I can't believe it... It's been a fun year or so and I've met so many fun and inspirational people on here - thank you! I am truly in awe of so much of the talent that is in the homes of so many - I had no idea when I started blogging last year :)

In the spirit of today, I'm giving away a bunch of fun goodies! The drawing will run through Sunday night (12/2) and I'll post the winners on Monday (I'll need the winners to send email addresses to gather your shipping info.). You must post to this entry to play! You won't see your post right away - I moderate the comments to avoid those horrible SPAM messages!

If you are having problems leaving a post, just drop me a line at and I'll enter you into the drawing ;)

To the FIRST THREE people to respond to this post, you will receive a new, sealed in plastic Reversible Skirt Apron Pattern from Hoodie's Collection:

I'll also randomly draw TWO people to receive a fat quarter bundle chock-full of fun Japanese fabrics, including these (and a few more!):

Lastly, ONE lucky winner will be drawn at random for this fun (and timely) book!

PS: My website sale ends on 12/15! Click on THIS LINK to receive 15% off your order :)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Bag Love (and a website coupon link!)

Yey! I was *actuallly* able to start and finish a bag on Saturday! Ben has been super fussy in the evenings so we hung out together last night and got this little bit of gorgeousness done. Probably should have saved the last step (binding) to this morning...hindsight...

(and a sneak peak at the chocolate walls & new door hardware in our bedroom!)
To backtrack, the pattern I used was Betsy Ross' One for All Shoulder Bag - the first pattern by them that I have tried (but not my last!). The pattern is rated is a "One Star", meaning that it's for beginners and an easy project for an afternoon.

The bag instructions are only for the outside and binding, but it's easy to extrapolate a bit and add an interlining, lining, pockets, etc. These days I need as much help keeping organized as possible, so I went with adding a few things: lining, interlining, large divided pockets on both sides, interior bottle pockets with elastic, key clip, and magnetic snap closure. If I add up all the time between nursing and burping sessions, I'd say the bag probably took me 3 hours (cutting to completion).

All in all I liked the pattern - aside from the things that I added, the other change that I made to the pattern was to make the handles longer (I'd recommend cutting the large binding piece at 1.5 times the size of the pattern piece). I'm definitely going to make this one again - need more practice with the binding!

Inside Shot:

Initially I was going to use the Amy Butler Forest Woodfern as the outside fabric, but the Aqua Primrose was begging to be seen :)

This morning I finished up a small zippered waterproof pouch and keyfob - now I'm all set to use the new bag on Monday!

PS: Click on THIS LINK to receive 15% off everything at

Happy Turkey Day everyone! ~ Kris

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Hi everyone! I'm still here :) Just haven't had the time lately to sit and post anything. I've missed it! Ben is a month old already and we're starting to get into somewhat of a routine (I think...). Overall he's a great baby - sleeps 6-7 hours sometimes at nights, is pretty relaxed during the day, and takes lots and lots of "help" from Sydney without many complaints. Poor kid has some bad acne and gas right now, but I keep telling myself that it's just a phase... He is going to wonder, though, why there aren't any pictures of him from the age of 2 weeks - 3 months...

I'm slowly getting back to sewing again (just in time for the holidays!) :) House renovations continue, but we have moved my sewing stuff back upstairs to the middle room. I'll take pics of the rooms sometime soon. I still have to make some new bedding and accessories for our room and the guest room/office/sewing room, but the 2 bedding sets that I found on will tide me over for a while:

For our room (with chocolate walls and ivory curtains) - stock photo:

For the middle room (with sage green walls and white curtains) - stock photo:

I've got some fun projects on the horizon, like this bag (I'll add a lining and pockets), and this bag (trying to decide between the Forest Water Lotus, Spinach Water Lotus, or one of the primrose prints, and these placemats (I'm hoping these are easy to make - perfect for Christmas gifts!).

And check out this AMAZING bag that Lynn made - I have always wanted to make this bag, but now I think that I *need* to make it. GORGEOUS!!

I finished up some gifts, like these PJ's for Alex (the son of a friend in NY)

And some new scrub hats for hubby: (who doesn't love Charlie Brown?!)

We finally got to see the new Spiderman movie, so when I saw this fabric in Walmart last week, I had to snatch it up - it had red Spidey (left) *and* black Spidey (right)!

And in light of the recent HUGE win by the Sox, Syd got herself a new coat :) I used the Wonder Jacket pattern by Sew Baby and it was pretty easy! I think that I might take it apart and make the lining out of flannel though... A touch more cozy would be nice (and warm!)

I planned on posting more about new patterns and bags, but that will have to wait 'til next time!

Oh! I have posted one new Sweet Life Bag (Nolita: Dark Green) in my Ebay store:

I love this one! Perfect for your day-to-day goodies or as a project/knitting bag. Mention code MONKEYFREE at checkout and receive FREE SHIPPING! (just send me a request for the updated invoice).

I've also updated my website with a SLEW of new belts, so pop by and check 'em out :) I'll be posting a coupon link soon, so check back here within the next day or so!

Hope everyone's been well and are thinking yummy Turkey Day thoughts! ~ Kris