Sunday, November 30, 2014

diy clutch

Looking for a really simple project? Well, look no further! This quick and chic clutch is perfect for everyone & it's a cinch to make!

Here's what you'll need:
2 coordinating fabrics ~ (cut 2) 8 x 16 inches; (cut 2) 6 x 16 inches
13 inch zipper
1 large button
7 inch piece of twill (or ribbon for extra closure)
Lining fabric ~ (cut 2) 16 x 13 inches

Start by sewing the 6" x 16" piece to the 8" x 16" piece. (Keep face sides together.)

Open the connected fabric and top stitch the hem. (This part isn't necessary, but I love to do it when making bags because it minimizes a crease and bulging.)

Center & place the twill cord at the base of one panel and stitch it in place. 

You can replace the twill cord with a couple of other items like piping, ribbon, or stitched bias tape.
If you're going to use the ribbon, I would triple it up and braid it. Especially if it's going to be a frequently used bag.

Center that zipper and stitch it in place!
(I like to work one side at a time.) Sew the lining in place after.

Press to flatten the fabric so that it doesn't crowd the zipper. If it does, you can do a quick top stitch next to the zipper so that the fabric won't move. Just be sure to pin before you sew because lining loves to move!

Stitch both ends (where the zipper stops).

Then, making sure you LEAVE THE ZIPPER OPEN, face to face and lining to lining, stitch the bag complete. Don't forget to leave a few inches open in the lining so that you can reverse it and tuck it into the bag shape:)

I love this bag! It's versatile for so many things! I'm using mine to hold a couple art supplies since it's a pretty generous size! (Those paint brushes were looking a little cliche in the mason jar with knitting and crochet needles:)

Happy Trails till next time!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

America's Most Fun Small Town

Hello readers! Guess what? We returned from one of the most enlightening vacations I've ever been on. And of course, I want to tell you all about it!

Founded in the 1880's, Glenwood Springs, Colorado is literally known as ~ "America's Most Fun Small Town" and I can totally see why! With a population of only 9,620, in between colossal mountains, one really gets to see what a small town feels like. But it's still packed with soooo many things to do!

Let me start by saying that this has given whole new meaning to the word 'vacation'. This trip, which involved snow capped mountains, history, tons of sightseeing, hot springs, amusement parks, and some 'stepping out of my comfort zone', will go down in our family history as one of the funnest places we have ever been. Seriously, how often do you get say you saw bison and bighorn sheep while driving or that you went swimming in the snow?

Random note ~ Did you know that Glenwood Springs was one of the first American cities to have electricity?

The hot springs are an amazing experience, but even more so when you're surrounded by snow! Be prepared to smell the sulfur as the bottom of the therapy pool is lined with the softest stone packed with quarter size holes to let out the natural warm water.

This 4,800 foot long tram takes you up the mountain to The Glenwood Springs Adventure Park where rides, cave tours, shopping, & dining awaits!

The Fairy Caves, which were discovered by Charles W. Darrow, were originally purchased in hopes of finding gold. Instead, Darrow gave life to one of the most amazing cave tours in the Colorado. The Fairy Caves take you a quarter mile into the mountain where you get to see amazing images of fairies on the rocks while walking through turns and twists with the original light bulbs that were used to light the cave in the 1890's.

How many fairies can you spot?

 The Fairy Cave ends at the amazing Exclamation Point where you can see panoramic views of the whole town. It was breathtaking! King's Row Cave takes you on a descent of 150 feet to view the most amazing den of stalagmites and stalactite's. The tour guides were phenomenal with educating the tourists. And we especially enjoyed the stories of water drops being fairy kisses & the dragon who chased the giant out of the cave, as a huge ash footprint proves it's authenticity;)

I love the pictures above, because you get to see Darrow standing with two women at Exclamation Point & the girls in the exact same spot.

I can't believe we got a chance to see these beauties in their natural elements.
This was just a glimpse of some of the things you can do in town. 
If you're interested in learning a little more about taking this unique and amazing trip for yourself, here are a couple great sites to check out!

And ..... of course I had to make a stop at the local quilting store.
Check out these pretty fabrics that had to make it home!

Happy Trails to great places!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Power Tea

Here's a little something to keep you warm in the cold weather season:)
I call this "The Power Tea" because that's exactly what it is when we start to feel run down.

This is how I make it:
2 cups water
1 heaping Tablespoon of raw honey
a handful of cranberries
4 thin slices of ginger root
1 slice of lemon

Now, at first, you're probably thinking..."geez, that's a lot of ingredients for just two cups," but I promise, it's tastes delicious. Besides, if it's too strong for your liking, you can always dilute it with more water.

Place all ingredients in the water and bring it to a boil.
Stay close by because as soon as it's ready, it will boil over. When it does, remove it from the heat and cover to let it steep for 5 minutes. That's it!

 Ginger is very spicy & alone with honey, makes a great tea. Cranberries are packed with Vitamin C and antioxidants, so buy as much as you can now, and stick them in the freezer. Some say they can last for a year, but I stick to 6 months:)

Check out that color!
You can always add some ice to keep it as a cool drink too!

Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

A bit too early.....Nah!

Ya know what? A coffee cup can used for more things than coffee. How 'bout using for the perfect circle size for a little scalloped bunting?
Now I know that for some of you, it's too earlier to break out the Christmas cheer, but I couldn't help myself! There was just something about that vintage Santa Claus fabric that kept smiling at me each time I worked a different project! Anyways... here's how simple it was to make!

Gather some color coordinated fabric, a washable marker, double folded bias tape, & your favorite coffee cup!
On the wrong side of the fabric, trace some circles using your coffee cup. I did two a time by folding my fabric in half, tracing, pinning, then cutting.

Take those perfect circles to the chopping block one more time.
I love these handy little grids. I took off 1 inch to create my flat side.

Sew them together.

Now...this part is not a must, but it does make for nicer, 'smoother' half scallops.
Using pinking shears, I trimmed any excess fabric so that when it was turned right side out, it would lay perfectly flat!

Flip them right side out and press. Lay out the bias tape and pin scallops in place so that they do not move while you stitch.That's all!

Isn't that a simple way to make scalloped bunting? It's great creating items that will last for years to come!

Here's to bringing on some Christmas cheer a tiny bit early:)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Floral Tops

I've done the unthinkable... the one thing I promised myself I wouldn't do.....
I stitched mommy and me tops! Yikes... What has happened to me?  I know, I know. Those of you that know me will be laughing hysterically as I am the farthest thing from believing children and mothers should dress the same, but can you blame me? Look how cute the tops are.

It all started when a shopping trip ended in purchasing a top I wanted to re-create. Long story short, it didn't happen. And I think it's okay. I wouldn't have had enough fabric to make a 'mini me' one.

To make the pattern, I grabbed the new top I purchased and placed it on the blank side of a wrapping paper roll. (I always by cheap wrapping paper just for this purpose.)
After I traced around it, I folded the pattern in half and then cut the side that appeared the 'cleanest' with drawing lines. That way my t-shirt was balanced. For the front, I used the same pattern piece again, but free-cut the neckline a little lower so that you can tell how to wear it.
For my daughter's, same thing. I grabbed one of her favorites and just traced, adding half an inch for seam allowance.

The tops are made of a rayon blend, medium weight. I created bias tape out of the same fabric and only attached it to my neck line. However, my daughter's was a little tricky. Because it was a medium weight, the bias tape ended up giving her tiny top, bulk. So... out came the seam ripper and her top was (instead) finished with a simple zig-zag stitch. It's held up in the wash perfectly creating a super slight soft fray that looks just right. I love it.... and more importantly, so does she!

~happy trails~