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I {HEART} Christmas Cards!

December 16, 2009

If you do too, swing on over to the and view the Christmas Card Carousel (via Walk with me by faith)- I'm sure you won't be disappointed!

In the past I've been a 'one picture Christmas card giver', however this year I decided to spice it up bit! I absolutely love how the cards came out, and the colors/flowers are totally my style!

The photo on the left is of Mr. D and I ice skating on the cruise we took in September, the middle photo is from Thanksgiving (thanks photographer Dad!), and the picture on the right is from our trip to Georgia in April.

Christmas cards were created and printed through

Tonight I'm Baking!

Tonight I'm getting my 'bake on' in preparation of Thursday's cookie swap (can you tell that I'm a bit excited?). I'm not a prodigy baker, however I do make one mean Russian Teacake (not to mention it's practically the only cookie I've ever made- HA!), which will be my contribution to the swap. My goal is to make three dozen cookies, which means that I'll have to limit my raw cookie dough intake for the night (look at the recipe, as this cookie doesn't call for any eggs- score!).

A quick update to Monday's post: Last night I finished the half apron that I started over the weekend! I also ironed on most of the interfacing onto the tote bag that I'm making for Christmas. I'm hoping that I can multi-task tonight and sew a bit while my cookies are in the oven!

Photo from

Snooze Fest!

December 14, 2009

Not much sewing/crafting has been going on in my house, thus not much posting has been going on here! This is the first year that I decided to gift a couple of handmade items, and I'm procrastinating like the gifts are for next Christmas- not good! For example:
  • I'm working on a tote bag, in which I cut out the pattern pieces 3-4 weeks ago (plenty of time before Christmas), and the pieces are patiently waiting for me to attach the interfacing (which is not a task I enjoy!).
  • I'm also working on another half apron. I picked up the project Saturday, after weeks/months of not touching it. I'm probably about a third of the way complete! I know I'll make the deadline for this one, I just have to buckle down!

  • On a brighter note, I did finish the remaining clutches from my Christmas order! The seven clutches were delivered this morning and were well loved- which brought a smile to my face! If I've calculated correctly, I've made a total of 31 clutches since August- crazy!
As for Christmas preparations:
  • All of the Christmas presents are purchased and wrapped under the tree- woo hoo!

  • I sent a flat rate box to Georgia on Saturday and was notified that it was delivered today- go USPS, go! (Yes you read it right, the pajama pants and child's apron were finally sent out!)

  • I'm participating in my first cookie swap with my women's small group from church on Thursday! I'm looking forward to tasting all of the cookies and bringing home the recipes (and some samples) to share with Mr. D!

  • Sunday afternoon I got together with my women's small group from church and delivered food and hygiene bags to the homeless as part of our Christmas project. Yesterday was the first time I came in contact with the homeless in these circumstances, and it was definitely an eye opener. The entire time we were driving around looking for individuals to donate to, I wished that as well as the food and the hygiene products that I could have provided handmade blankets for each of them, but it wasn't in the cards this time around. I learned a lot about myself, what I take for granted, what I'm thankful for, and most of all that a stranger is able to make a difference in someone's life. Sunday was a good day!

Mod Podge Rocks!

December 8, 2009

I'm almost a week late with this post, however I wanted all to know that my Mod Podge plaques were featured on Mod Podge Rocks (awesome blog- go check it out!).

A special thank you to Amy for hosting such an inspirational blog, and for including my plaques!


December 7, 2009

Thank you all for your interest in the Christmas tree napkins and the quilt pattern! I've read everyone's comments and plan to 'borrow' some of your holiday traditions- I hope that's okay! :) I'm also trying to make it to everyone's blog to see what you've been up to; if I haven't stopped by yet- I will!

Let's get down to business, as the random integer generator has spoken!

The winner of the red and green Christmas napkins is lucky # 19!

The winner of the red and gold Christmas napkins is lucky #56!

Last but not least, the winner of the quilt pattern is lucky # 40!

Congratulations ladies! Be on the look out for an email from me later today!

Monthly Craft Challenge- Christmas Edition!

December 3, 2009

If you're looking for my Sew Mama Sew giveaway post, scroll down or click here.

After missing out on Blue Eyed Blessings, Fall Craft Challenge I'm super excited to be participating in this one, as I whipped up some Christmas tree fabric napkins! I used four fat quarters and a pattern that I received at the Holiday Shop Hop (not to shabby!).

Head on over to Heidi's blog to check out all of the participants! Also, if your interested in winning a set of napkins, scroll down and enter my Sew Mama Sew giveaway!

Welcome Friends!

December 2, 2009

Welcome Sew Mama Sew friends! I'm so happy that you found my blog, as I started blogging in March '09 in hopes of inspiring others to find their 'inner craft diva', as I've found great joy in sewing and crafting since I found mine this past January!

I was a b
it too new to the blogging world to participate in Sew Mama Sew's May Giveaway Day, and thus am very excited to be offering three great giveaways today! The first two giveaways are a set of four Christmas tree cloth napkins (a red and green set and a red and gold set). The napkins are festive and are the perfect addition to any kitchen table!

Lastly, I'm giving away a quilt pattern from Threaded Pear Studio, Swiss Kiss. The pattern is an easy applique which is fun and festive and would make a great scrappy quilt!

1. Leave a comment on this post about your favorite HOLIDAY tradition.
(I'll start, as my favorite holiday tradition are Christmas cards- I LOVE sending them and LOVE receiving them even more!)

2. Become a follower of my blog.
(The button is located second from the bottom of the right-hand column.)

There are 2 possible entries, so please be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry, and make sure there is a way for me to contact you (leave your email address in your comment if you don't have a blog or if you post as Anonymous, as I need to be able to contact you when you win!).

Feel free to mention if you'd rather the red and green or the red and gold napkins and/or the quilt pattern- I can't make any promises, but perhaps I'll be able to make it happen! :o)

This giveaway will close the evening (PST) of Sunday, December 6, 2009, and is open to US residents only.

Winners will be selected via

P.S.- A special thank you to my Momma who donated the fabric for the red and gold napkins!


The Giveaway is now closed.
Winners will be announced Monday (12/7) morning!

Thank you for everyone's participation, and to all of my new Followers, I hope you stick around! :)

It's Calling My Name!

November 30, 2009

I stumbled across The Toy Society (TTS) today, in which volunteers (like you and me!) spread love throughout the streets of the world. Per TTS's blog, "Nothing to it really just a bunch of handmade toys looking for a nice home. What started as a small street art project in Australia is slowly spreading around the world. Should you come across a member of The Toy Society on your travels collect them up and take them home with you!".

The whole concept makes me smile- the thought of handmade toys replacing the dangerous mass-produced toys, the surprise on a child's face, the joy of giving. My December is proving to be a bit hectic, but I'll make sure to carve away some time for the question is where should I leave the toy?

One last thing. If you're interested in participating and questioning what kind of toy to make, TTS offers links to a couple of tutorials on their blog (left hand column). I have my eye on the Softy Scottie Dog!

Online Fabric Purchases...

November 27, 2009

Hello friends! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving day! Mr. D and I spent the day at my parent's house surrounded by good food, family, friends...we couldn't have asked for a better day! :)

I've been toying with the thought of starting a new adventure, and would love for everyone's input. The new adventure consists of opening an online fabric store, full of bold and vibrant designer prints- the kind of prints that inspire creativity! (I don't know about you, but when I see beautiful fabric I always feel like running home to my sewing machine!) My goal is to provide customers with a user friendly website, solid customer service, excellent prices, and a customer rewards system. When you browse the internet to purchase fabric online, what do you look for?

Photo from

The Pioneer Woman!

November 20, 2009

Have you heard of her? She's witty, updates her blog daily (I wish I was that devoted!), recently released a best selling cook book The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl (debuted 10/27/09), and has documented the happenings of her transformation from living/working/going to school in Los Angeles to becoming a cattle rancher's wife (Black Heels to Tractor Wheels- it's better than a romance novel, as it's at true story!).

A copy of her new cook book is headed my way, and since I've been a little more active in the kitchen this week (don't laugh Mr. D!) I would love spotlight some of her recipes upon my trial and error way of cooking.

Orange County Holiday Quilt Shop Hop

November 19, 2009

Hello faithful's me again, remember me? :) I'm using the same excuse as I did last Friday- blogger's block (it's the worst!).

I briefly mentioned the Holiday Quilt Shop Hop here, and am back to give the locals more details! Friday, November 20th through Sunday, November 22nd nine Orange County quilts shops (Bear's Quilt Shop, Cozy Cottage Fabrics, Flying Geese Fabric, Fresh Picked Fabrics/Cranberry Quiltworks, Orange Quilt Bee, Quilter's Garden, The Calico House, The Quilt Cupboard, and Timeless Quilts) are participating in the 2nd annual Holiday Quilt Shop Hop in which each shop will be giving away a free pattern and free fat quarter. Get your passport stamped at all nine stores and be eligible to win 45 yards of fabric! In addition, each shop will be giving away a basket worth $100, and a $25 gift certificate.

I'll be participating in the Hop on Sunday with my Mom and Grandma M. (my Dad will also be joining us as it is my Grandma's birthday weekend- how sweet is that!). Perhaps I'll see you there...

Shame On Me!

November 13, 2009

I know, I know...I've been a really bad blogger this week, and I'm so sorry! I'm blaming it on blogger's block, as it's the worst!

A couple of updates:
  • I've been working on a Christmas clutch order this week after work. The fabric is a "collection" of blues, greens, and browns. I hope to be able to deliver the first six clutches on Monday!
  • Looks as though Saturday is date night in our house- woo hoo! Perhaps a movie (I vote non-scary...I hope I win!) and dinner- good times!
  • I hope to start on my Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day project this weekend. I have big ideas and I hope it all works out! :)
  • My small group (aka bible study) is having a cookie exchange this year- I'm very excited!
  • Lastly, do you read The Vintage Pearl's blog (if not, you really need to check out her jewelry- it's beautiful!)? I'm proud to say that I do, and was tickled pink this morning when I saw my name on her blog! I've heard such great things about the Pioneer Woman's cookbook and I love her story (excuse me for a second...Mr. D- don't get any crazy ideas!). Thank you again Erin!

Craft Swap #2...and I'm Ready for #3!

November 8, 2009

Saturday's Craft Swap was AMAZING! We started with brunch (yummy!) and then proceeded with the Swap. Have I told you lately how amazingly creative my family and friends are? If not, see for yourselves below!

Craft Swap reveal (doesn't it look like Christmas?)!

A proud and happy Craft Swapper (details of the crafts I received below!).

French memory board by Megan
(Love it- great fabric, beautiful frame, and great details!)

Give Thanks pillow by Debbie
(She painted the leaves on using cookie cutters as guides- so innovative!)

Embroidered hand towels by Robbie (aka Momma)
(So cute that I'm afraid to use them!)

Camera bag by Sherri
(I love the fabrics and am excited to use the bag the next time Mr. D and I go to Disneyland!)

Countdown calendar by Kiara
(One side says 'Days til Christmas' and the other 'December'- so versatile!)

Happy Craft Swapper Megan with the goodies she received.

Happy Craft Swapper Debbie!

Happy Craft Swapper Robbie (aka Momma)!

Happy Craft Swapper Sherri!

Happy Craft Swapper Kiara!

Craft Swap #2 Item- Revealed!

November 7, 2009

I'm happy to report that we had another successful Craft Swap, and are already talking about meeting again in the Spring! :) I'll post photos and a recap of today's events before the weekend's end, but in the mean time I hope the following photos satisfy your curiosity!

My Craft Swap project were
Mod Podge scripture plaques, with verses hand picked for every member of the Swap! I'm so very happy with how the plaques turned out and hope that they are displayed proudly (I know our plaque will be {that is once I get around to making one for our house- isn't that the way it always goes?}).

Megan's (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

Debbie's (Isaiah 41:10)

Robbie's {aka Momma's} (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Sherri's (Joshua 1:9)

Kiara's (Jeremiah 29:11)

A bit off the Craft Swap topic, however in addition I was commissioned to make a Mod Podge scripture plaque by my friend Kara. I love the colors and tone of the plaque, and I must say Kara was a happy customer- woo hoo!

Note to all- I'm thinking about/working on opening an Etsy shop in hopes of offering my Mod Podge scripture plaques to the world (however first things first I have to figure out the shipping issue, as I hate to pay a great deal for shipping and I'm sure my future customers feel the same way!).

Have You Heard the News?

November 6, 2009

Sew Mama Sew (SMS) is hosting another Giveaway Day- woo hoo! The last Giveaway Day they hosted was in May and my oh my it was great (sadly I didn't participate as I was a newbie blogger and didn't get enough forewarning, however I'm definitely participating in the December event!)! There are so many creative bloggers around the world and with SMS's help it is easy to visit/meet/read about what everyone is up to!
Now I'm off to figure out what my December 2nd offering to the crafty blogging community should be...
One last thing- the second meeting of our local Craft Swap is tomorrow morning, followed by a trip to the quilting/sewing show at the LA County Fairgrounds. Stop by Saturday evening for the Craft Swap reveal- I think you'll like what I've been working on! :)
P.S.- Notice the floating periods in between my paragraphs? For some reason I have not been able to format my posts this week (thus a floating period is required to insure a space between paragraphs). Ugh!

No 'I' in Sewing

November 4, 2009

I think it's safe to say that I've been a busy sewer since purchasing my first sewing machine in January! I made a handful of projects before creating my 'Handmade By' tag, in which I produced 25 tags in June- as of today I've used 23 of the tags (which means that I have to make more tags before starting any new projects [aka my second Christmas clutch order- an additional 12 clutches!!!]!).

A family friend is coming down this weekend for the Craft Swap (so excited!), she mentioned that she wanted to see the projects that I've been working on which got me thinking- I haven't made (nor kept) anything for myself! (Although that's a-okay with me, as I love to give handmade gifts, that and I did join the blogging world to document my work in hopes of inspiring others!).

My goal for next January (after the crazy holiday season!) is to make something for myself! I'm thinking couch pillows...any other ideas?

Just a couple of pillow styles that caught my eye while browsing Etsy...





P.S- Welcome Strictly Simple Style visitors- thank you for stopping by (and I hope you come back!).

Homemade Meal Monday (#10)!

November 2, 2009

Saturday morning I (and my helpers- thank you Mom and Megan!) will be preparing brunch as part of our Craft Swap festivities! On the menu is Paula Deen's Baked French Toast Casserole (although I haven't yet tried the recipe which makes me a bit nervous, then again with the amount of butter Paula uses in her dishes- I doubt it will be a bust!). :)

Has anyone tried Paula's recipe? If you click on the link above you'll see that there are a whopping 1,277 comments/reviews- crazy! Quite a few of the reviews indicate that the casserole takes much longer than 40 minutes to cook- I'll definitely be on the look out for that!

Saturday's brunch menu will also consist of a quiche, fresh fruit, salad, and pumpkin dessert. What's your favorite brunch item (am I missing a must?)?

Happy Halloween!

November 1, 2009

I hope everyone had a Happy Halloween! Saturday morning started by participating in a local Quilt Shop Hop in which my mom and I went to two shops and received free Halloween fabric at each (anything to build my fabric stash!). :o) There is a larger Quilt Shop Hop in which we will be participating in on November 21st- it should be a good one (I'll post more details for the locals as the date approaches). November 21st is my Grandma M.'s 84th birthday! She is a quilter and crafter as well, and will be joining my mom and I for the Quilt Shop Hop- I'm looking forward to it!

Back to Saturday's festivities- Halloween 2009 proved to be the year of the cutest jack-o-lantern and Hillbilly (I may be a bit biased, but take a look for yourselves!).

I'll be back tomorrow (daylight savings is really kicking my hiney today!).

Thursday Randomness

October 29, 2009

I enjoy writing these random posts and hope that you enjoy reading them! :)
  • I don't watch too much TV, but I sure did miss my dose of Glee last night (anyone with me?).
  • Mr. D and I made peach cobbler together Tuesday evening. I really enjoyed being in the kitchen together! Note to self- next time more peaches, less cake mix, and a larger baking dish!
  • Speaking of baking, my mom and I have a pumpkin bread baking date tonight- so excited as I've wanted to try out this recipe!
  • Stuart is dressing up as a jack-o-lantern for Halloween- I'll definitely be posting photos!
  • Only in Orange County do you see a lady running for exercise while talking on her Blackberry- seriously! (I wish I had my camera with me.)
  • There's a guy that works in our building that reminds me so much of Sheldon from Private Practice! They don't look exactly alike, but have the same demeanor and a knack for awkward elevator conversations!
  • Back to bullet #1- I love House Hunters! However I wish they would disclose the career path the potential buyers have chosen, as some of them are quite spendy (especially House Hunters International!).
  • Stuart is dressing up as a jack-o-lantern for Halloween (he was a bumble bee last year- see below). I'll definitely be posting photos!

Homemade Meal [Helper] Monday (#9)!

October 26, 2009

Happy Monday everyone (I should mention that I secretly prepped this entry on Sunday and scheduled it to post on Monday?- quite nifty if you ask me)!

I'd like to start this post out with a disclosure, as I will not specifically provide you with a recipe today, however I will introduce you to a system that will cut your cooking time by more than half. (P.S.- I'm also not a Tupperware consultant, nor have I been paid by a Tupperware consultant for my following review. However should you believe me and want to try the Stack Cooker set for yourself please feel free to email me [address is listed to the right] and I will get you in contact with my Tupperware consultant- easy as that!)

I recently attended a Tupperware party (I should say I've recently been to a couple as every time there is a party someone new decides to host the next party, and I keep coming back for more. Not to mention that every month Tupperware has sales flyer [that's where I like to shop from!], which also keeps me coming back for more) where the consultant demonstrated how to cook a full meal (chicken, vegetables, and rice) in 25 minutes while not dirtying a single pot or pan! {This is where you gasp and ask how's that possible!?!} :)

Thursday evening I stepped up to the plate and prepped white rice, cauliflower, and two chicken breasts for a nice quick dinner for Mr. D and I. I simply added the rice and water in the bottom layer of the Stack Cooker, the cauliflower and a drop of water in the middle layer and the defrosted chicken breasts in the top layer. I turned the microwave on for 25 minutes and tah-dah! The white rice was cooked perfectly. The cauliflower was delicious (especially with the cheese I added), and the chicken was cooked completely (and very moist)!

The Stack Cooker comes with a handy recipe book that, which makes it easy to pull a main entree, a vegetable, and starch together in no time. The recipe book also includes desserts! I bought the ingredients to make an apple crisp (although I dipped into my apple stash over the weekend, therefore might have to go back to the store- don't you hate when that happens?), which is on my to-do list!

Okay, enough raving for one day. If you're interested, let me know, and if you have one I'd love to hear what you cook in your Stack Cooker!

Child's Apron- Complete!

October 25, 2009

With Mr. D out of town I was able to spend all Saturday sewing, and completed a child's apron for a Christmas present (I mentioned it here some time ago)! With the two pairs of pajama pants and the apron complete, all I have left to complete is the family's handmade present and then the package will be off to Georgia (I'm thinking this will be a 'Christmas in November' package).

I love how the apron turned out, although it almost ended up in the trash a couple of times as I had a very difficult time achieving a nice subtle curve where the top of the apron transitions to under the arm. Thankfully I didn't take any drastic measures as I think the apron will be a hit come Christmas morning!

10/28/09 UPDATE: P.S.- I may have been the only one bugged by the floppiness of the top of the apron (look at the photo above- do you see how the top of the apron hangs off of the straps?). No worries- I sewed a little extra 'support' where the top of the apron meets the straps now everything lays nice and pretty! :)

This Week's Etsy Favorites...

October 22, 2009

Sorry I've been so absent this week; preparing for Christmas in October has proven to be a lot of work! I love spending my down time after work or on weekends browsing Etsy- do you? There are so many artistic people and lovely handmade items for all (I sometimes dream of taking the handmade pledge for gift giving [thus no store bought presents]- but I think it would turn me into too much of a stress ball!).

A few of my favorites:

It's a toss up between the two felt baby mobiles above (note- I'm not pregnant[!], but I still think they are adorable, and will be saving the link for future reference!). Both mobiles are available from PinkPerch.

I also love, love, love the above acorns and think they would look dashing on my coffee table, however I also think Stuart might think they are a snack- not good! The above acorns (also in assorted colors) are available from truLuxe.

I've also had my eye on the necklace above, which is available from Nikki Mac- it's so beautiful and unique!

Enough about my likes, what have you had your eye on?