Simple Baby Blanket

I love this blanket and you wouldn't believe how FAST it is to make! Who wouldn't want to cuddle up with something so soft?!

You know how I am with hand-made things, too! This blanket is definitely not perfect but because it's hand made, I think it has character!

Wash, dry, and press your fabric. In this case, I have a piece of cotton fabric and a piece of thick, fluffy polyester blended fabric which you SHOULD NOT IRON! It will melt.

Make sure you cut off the bands on both sides. This part of the fabric isn't stretchy and messes up the form of whatever you're making.

Lay out your fabric pieces - wrong sides together. Give yourself about 2 inches all the way around with your cotton fabric to eliminate bulk.

Turn under once, and then under again. Pin in place.

Now you're ready to stitch! I like to stitch right where the edge of the cotton fabric meets the soft fleece.

I like to start at a top corner, stitch all the way down until I'm just over the edge of the next turned-under corner, backstitch there, and end my row. Then I'll start again just like before. This way you don't have to hand-sew the corners down.

If you're comfortable sewing, this blanket MIGHT take you 20- minutes from start to finish.

Country Cottage Apron Instructions

Well gosh, this picture came out blurry. Sorry. Anyway, you get the picture. I'm too tired to go take another shot!

This was a fun apron to make, and I didn't even need a PATTERN! Here's how you do it:

You'll need: 1/2 yard for top piece, 1/2 yard for bottom piece, 1 yard for trimmings and belt ties. Anything else is just from scraps.

I like to make a template with tissue paper. With the iron setting on VERY low, the very lowest, press the tissue paper flat and then fit it to your body to figure out where you want your apron lines to go.

Fold the tissue paper in half and make a sketch of the shape you want. Cut it out - and you've got your pattern!

Now cut TWO pieces with that template - a top and bottom piece.

Here's what my shape ended up looking like. Because I've saved my tissue paper pattern, I can now duplicate this apron as much as I want.


With your contrasting fabric, fold it LENGTH-wise. You want three strips of the full yard's length. So you'll take the longest part, fold that in half, in half again, and again until you are able to cut straight lines out of it.

After I cut my three strips, I had enough left over to cut two little strips, which will be my trim and ruffle edge.

Stitch all three pieces together, end to end, press seams open, creating one long, enormous belt.

Fold the belt in half, RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER. Press down flat to make sewing easier.

Starting in the middle of the belt, sew all the way around the raw edges, leaving a 2-3" opening so you can turn it inside-out.

Make sure to give yourself plenty of room around your seams so your fabric doesn't fray. I ended up stitching a 5/8" seam (the line just to the right of the presser foot, whatever that is) and then zig-zagging beneath that all the way around. My fabric started to fray and I need it to be sturdy!

Once you have it all stitched, turn the fabric right-side-out through your little opening. Iron the belt carefully. To get my corners pointy, I dropped a mechanical pencil (without the lead) down to the ends and used that to gently push out the fabric to a point. Worked pretty good!

POCKET: (optional)

If you're NEW to sewing, SKIP THIS PART. If pockets don't freak you out, keep going!

Cut two pieces of contrasting fabric in whatever shape you want. I used an Ikea cheese grater for my oval template!

Because I'm using a circular shape, I stitched once around close to the edge to secure the fabric. I stitched again, more carefully this time, just above that with a 5/8" seam allowance.

Clip close to the edges and since it's circular, carefully make cuts around the whole thing, without cutting your stitching. This will help the curves to curve!

RUFFLES: (optional)

Pocket ruffle - approximately 8 inches long
Bottom ruffle - 1-yard length, should already be cut. See "ties" cutting above.

For the pocket ruffle, I wanted the edges to be stitched from the inside, so I stitched them right sides together, leaving an opening in the middle to turn them right-side-out. (just like we made the belt tie)

Stitch, clip edges, cut corners tight, turn right-side-out, press flat. Don't worry about the bottom opening.

To make it ruffle, sew two running stitches (long stitches) without back-stitching, leaving long pieces of thread.

Then pull the top two long strings until the fabric starts to gather - continue carefully until your ruffle is the length you need.

Notice that I didn't do this ruffle the "inside-out" way - like the pocket ruffle. I wish I had. However, I ended up turning the edges under and stitching them down. You don't want the raw edge to be exposed and start to unravel.

For pocket ruffle:

Trim the bottom edges of the ruffle to prevent bulk. Pin between pocket pieces, top stitch pocket shut.

Now you can top stitch your pocket in place. It's easier to determine where you want it when you put the apron up against you.

Almost DONE! Now you can assemble the apron!

So with the bottom piece RIGHT side up, pin your ruffle in place. It's easier if you straight-stitch it onto your bottom piece before you pin the top piece on. You don't have to make it fancy, just stitch close to the edge to hold the ruffle in place so it doesn't slip all over - and so you don't have to pin and re-pin.

Make sure your ruffle does NOT get stuck in the side seams. Since I didn't do the "inside-out" ruffle method, I cut my ruffle right at the side seam, tucked it under and stitched the edge down so it wouldn't fray.

If you're not careful about the two side edges, your ruffle can get caught in the corner turning. You don't want that! The only exception is if you have a rounded bottom apron, where there aren't corners to turn.

With right sides together, stitch the apron sides together. While you're making your way around, make sure you sew ABOVE your ruffle stitching. Remember when you made running stitches to gather the ruffle? Those will show up if you don't stitch high enough from the bottom. Just look to make sure how far up you need to sew before rounding the turn.

Press everything down nice and neat. ALMOST DONE!

Turn the waistband under twice, press down.

Finding the center of both the apron and the belt ties, pin in place starting at the middle of the apron. Make sure you get the very bottom edge of the tie and the waistband pinned down together (back shown here).

Because I didn't hand-stitch my belt tie hole (where I turned it right-side-out), and because it's in the MIDDLE of the belt, my top-stitching is going to seal that shut, as well as the turned under waistband. So with the belt side up, carefully top stitch the belt to the waistband, making sure you are catching the waistband underneath.

Because I like the look of top stitching, I went ahead and started at one end of the gigantic belt, and stitched the whole thing all the way around. You don't have to do this, but just make sure you stitch the opening where you turned it out.

Top-stitch around the apron, as well. Make sure you catch the very bottom edge where the fabric and ruffle meet. It makes everything look finished.

And now you're DONE! Not that painful, eh?!


Apron Tutorials

I'm currently working on my own simple apron tutorial for some of you who might want a little help in creating an apron, but until I'm done, HERE is a great tutorial by "Lululollylegs". Whether you're taking part in the Apron Swap or not, these are FUN, EASY, and such a great gift for yourself or someone else!


Apron Swap Anyone?

What better way to ring in Spring than to have a new, hand made apron? This is such a fun thing to do because you get to buy and sew cute fabric, AND you're going to get to know someone wonderful you never knew - so come join in the fun! Read the criteria below and then email me if you're interested. (click on my email link on sidebar to the right)

Also, your aprons do NOT need to be fancy or frilly. Just be sure to throw in your personality and create something you'd love for yourself.

So here are the rules:

1.) Apron needs to have a "Spring" theme - standard adult sized
2.) Apron needs at least 1 pocket - can be a half apron or full, you decide
3.) Apron MUST be hand-made, whether you purchase a hand-made one or do it yourself
4.) Don't forget to pre-wash all fabric before you sew
5.) Aprons MUST be in the mail by March 4th (one month from next Monday)
6.) Include a funny story about yourself or something special about you, and a recipe

Anything else you want to add is up to you. Email me your name, address, and blog if you have one and anything else you need your partner to know about like if you HATE the color pink or things like that. I'll put a list together and you will not have the same person who has your name, so it will all be a surprise.

Tell EVERYONE you know because the more, the better!

I'll have a finished list one week from today - MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4TH.

Apron photos above are from Anthropologie. For great ideas, check out my Aprons links to help inspire your creativity.


Apron Swap

I recently signed up for an Apron Swap (thanks, Jenni!) and the theme is supposed to be "Spring." However, being the retard that I am, I got the entry email address wrong, so I'm waiting to hear if I can still participate. If not, WHO CARES?! I'm gonna have a cute apron no matter what!

Here are my findings for my creation so far and I couldn't be more excited! Finally - something to get me out of my RUT! Now I'm on the hunt for some vintage jeweled buttons...


I know, I know...I'm sorry!!!

So there's nothing new and exciting - I'm so sorry for you bored Bloggers out there!!! However, I'm torn up every single day because there are SO many things that I have to get done - on top of babysitting a 2-year-old and his 3-month-old brother, and keeping up with my little guy!

Maybe I mentioned it way back during the Christmas holiday, but at the time, all I wanted to do was get the holiday over with and then do NOTHING but sit and read for days! Well that's what I've done and it's been fun! I started reading the Twilight books by Stephenie Meyer and I'm just beginning the 3rd book, so as you can tell, I've been highly preoccupied! I'm not utterly taken with these books, but it's been kind of fun to get into a story and follow it through for a while. Anybody else read the Twilight books? What did you think?!

I'll post something interesting soon!!!


Cooking 101 - Chicken Mole (ak.a. Chocolate Chicken)

Because of the fact that, for whatever reason, I have no time for anything but housework, taking care of kids, and feeding people, (and did I mention housework? and feeding people?) the only thing I have to offer right now is a recipe.

HOWEVER!...This recipe is a fun one and I hope everybody at least tries it. This isn't something I like to make on a regular basis, but my kids beg me for it all of the time! A friend of mine, who grew up in Mexico, lives down the road and we've fast become friends. She invited me over one day and showed me how she makes her Chicken Mole (Mo-Lay) and it was SO amazingly wonderful! The best new thing I'd ever tasted! And the best part....it has CHOCOLATE in it! (I can hear you panting already!)

So here's what you'll need:

1 whole chicken, washed
Chicken stock ingredients: carrot, celery, onion, parsley, peppercorns, bullion cubes, and whatever else you use.
1 jar Mole (pictured below)
Semi-Sweet baking chocolate - about 4-6 oz. - maybe more if you like
Queso Fresco - it's a crumbly Mexican farmer's cheese you can get at most grocery stores - GOTTA have this.

(Sorry for the bad pictures - I took these before I got my good camera!)

Time to cook the bird. Wash it, put it in a pot with enough water to cover it, add veggies and seasonings.

For you squeamish girls out there - JUST DO IT! You won't die!

When your chicken is cooked, set it aside on a plate to cool - cover it with something so it doesn't dry out.

Strain your broth and pour about 5-6 cups of broth into a large, wide pan. With heat on medium-high, stir in the entire jar of mole, as well as about 4-6 oz. of the baking chocolate. My friend added a little brown sugar to her sauce, but I don't like it so much, so you decide if you want to or not - but she used about 1 T. of brown sugar.

(This is where it gets tedious) Bring mixture to a boil, turn heat down a little, and stir until mixture becomes thickened. Taste as you go - if you want more chocolate, add more chocolate. Just don't over-do it!

Your sauce should be a thick gravy.

In a large bowl, tear the cooked chicken into large chunks. Gradually pour your mole sauce and mix it into the chicken until you think there's enough.

Save the rest of your sauce either in the fridge or freeze it.

YUM-O. I want some right now.

To serve, give everybody a little bowl of chicken and a plate with warm corn tortillas, queso fresco, and any other taco topping you enjoy like lettuce, tomato, sour cream, salsa, etc. I just like it plain with the chicken and crumbled cheese on a tortilla!


Okay, Okay...Last One!

I got tagged again! However, this one is different than the usual tag, so I guess I could play along this one time! (I had fun, thanks Charyce!)

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: Perna Odyssey
(first pet & current car)

2.YOUR GANGSTA NAME: Mint Chocolate Chip
(fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie) -

3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: A. Wel
(first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name) -

(favorite color, favorite animal) -

5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: Gale San Manuel
(middle name, city where you were born)

(the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first) -

7. SUPERHERO NAME: The Green Diet Pepsi
(”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink) -

8. NASCAR NAME: Dale LaVell
(the first names of your grandfathers) -

9. STRIPPER NAME: (oy!) Magnolia Blossom Chocolate
( the name of your favorite scent/perfume/cologne, favorite candy) -

10.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: Gale Reay *can I move to Del Ray, FL?*
(mother’s & father’s middle names ) -

11. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: Nicholson Newark
(Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter) -

12. SPY NAME/BOND GIRL: Summer Sunflower
(your favorite season/holiday, flower) -

13. CARTOON NAME: Apple Jammies
(favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”) -

14. HIPPY NAME: Eggs Aspen
(What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree) -

15. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: The Sewing Sunny Tour
(”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”) -


Cute Fabric

I found the greatest fabric from Retrodepot last week and it just came in the mail! I'm SO excited. Now what on earth do I do with it?... It's retro kitchen and candy so I'm thinking about doing a really cute apron. Any other thoughts?!

Just a Little Fun

Okay, so Chanda had the GREATEST thing ever posted on her blog and, Chanda, I hope you don't mind if I share this with everyone else but it HAS to be done! Chanda found these awesome greeting cards with a twist - they're sarcastic and highly offensive! How great is that?! All of those things you WISH you could say but don't dare - well this Etsy shop helps you do that in style. I'm DEFINITELY gonna get me a few!


And for some more fun, here are some of my favorites that I've enjoyed from Etsy:

These little felt cameo pins are so fun - I love these. I need to get one someday.

Empty George
Another card designer who tells it how it is.

This site has some of the coolest earrings: bacon and eggs, Pop Tarts, cafeteria trays, etc. They're great!

More sarcasm - magnet form.

Do you have any fun, favorite sites with some high-class, high-fashion like this?!


Valentine Bead Danglies

Here's my Valentine danglies! I like to wear these dangle-type earrings, not everyone does - so this is for those of you who DO like them!

I happened to drive by a bead shop on my way home from somewhere yesterday and although there wasn't a whole lot to choose from, I found these cute Oriental heart beads. They're made from cinnabar ,which I've learned is a common material used in a lot of Oriental carving work. Anyway - I liked the beads so I grabbed a few.

So here's how I made my little earrings:

Like I said before, stack your beads on a headpin any way you like. Then cut the headpin with your wire cutters leaving enough at the top to curl over and make a little loop.

Then attach your earring to your loop and finish off by tightening your loop and securing the earring piece.

If you're nervous about making a necklace with all of the tools, clamps, and hardware - just make a little charm and get a simple necklace at the store to hang it on.

To make a charm, use a little "O" ring instead of an earring piece.

Here are some different Valentine-type samples I came up with.

This honestly takes 2 minutes!!!

(I apologize for the ugly photo display but I'm too lazy right now to spend any more time on this!)

Call me nerdy, but these are some sets that I made about a year ago and for playful, casual occasions, I'll wear them. (I'm missing an earring as you can see on the bottom left...and I think my daughter lost my CUTE bracelet that goes with the necklace set there.)

The bracelets and the necklace are made with that stretchy cording. Nothing fancy - just string them on and tie them tight without breaking the cording. I wouldn't use those fancy, expensive beads this way - just cheap-o beads that you don't care about in the event your bracelet or necklace gets ripped off of your body by a curious, aggressive 2-year-old, and beads shower the floor. (I KNOW this...)

And now for the packaging! A gift is SO much more appealing and fun when there's cute packaging, so here's what I did for this jewelry:

Punch holes in the card - two tiny ones for the earrings and two notches at the top for a necklace or bracelet. Obviously I didn't measure - so if you care enough to make everything aligned, go ahead and measure your hole distances.

A little trick I like to do before I tie my ribbon on anything like this is to wrap the plastic with a clear rubber band - ponytail holder thing. Now you can tie your ribbon without having to fight the plastic!