Wednesday, April 28, 2010

what I'm up to

Can I just whine a bit?

April is a packed month. Usually Easter early on and then family birthdays out the whazoo. Then before I catch my breath, it's May, with another avalanche of family Occasions. The calendar barely turns the page and bang, it's my sister's birthday, then our anniversary, then my youngest daughter's birthday, then Mother's Day is usually in the middle of all that. Then usually a round of graduations.

It's a huge bummer when you are an obsessive crafter and a terrible time manager. I can't enjoy them like I would if they were spaced out a bit. I always have delusions of handmade giftery galore, but it ends in failure and acceptance and a resolve to start in February the next year.

My daughter wants Pip and Pop softies for her birthday (two otters from Bear In The Big Blue House) and since those are only available on eBay for $$$, I have a purple towel from Marshalls and a vague notion of how to put together two otter dolls by May 8th, for her party. Wish me luck. I was sitting amidst a stack of fabric last night thinking it would be really nice to make her a cute birthday outfit and also a new backpack. Don't sell crazy here, we got plenty.

Of course the fabric stack shown above is not for any of the urgent projects I need to get done in a timely manner for May birthdays or Mothers Day. It's an unrelated craft tangent. Anna Griffin's Isabelle, a beautiful fat quarter collection that is destined to become a duvet cover for Thing One's bed. Her current quilt (first picture, the one on the right) has finally disintegrated. It was purchased from Pottery Barn about six years ago, and, while beautiful, was made of tissue weight cheap stuff and couldn't stand up to the constant wear.

I become mentally paralyzed every time I try to plan the new duvet cover, so I have a good chance of putting at least that one off until my May crafting crisis has passed. I'll just turn the quilt over to the back side for now.

Hey, any ideas for a quick, cheap, easy but of course stunningly beautiful and meaningful gift to make my sisters for mother's day? From materials I have on hand? Let me know.


  1. check out dana from MADE's posts about mother's day - i just scrolled through some myself. maybe the crinkly scarf? or some kind of poppy headband? good luck!

  2. Here's another idea from Noodlehead. The post is about her bathroom, but she has framed some fabric - and made some fabric baskets!
    (I better stop reading and get my kids ready for school!!)

  3. Beth, thanks for the ideas! Hope your kids got out the door in appropriate outfits and combed hair! :-) That's a challenge for me some days.

  4. Good morning! Okay, take a deep You can do this. Or not, since you really don't HAVE to make handmade gifts for everyone on your list, especially if, in the end, you remember the stress more than the joy of the event itself.

    Okay, it had to be said. Or maybe not, but you know I'm a hypocrite on this subject. I know you won't listen anyway if I try to convince you to relax your lofty gifting standards. :)

    I like Beth's idea of scarves. I haven't checked out the MADE link yet, but lightweight spring scarves would be quick and easy. Remember that one I showed you at Anthro? With the ruffles? Easy. But they don't even have to be that complicated to be pretty and very wearable. Order some AMH voile STAT, whip up some simple lovelies and be done with it.

  5. I'm sewing with Isabella (the pinks mixed with some California dreamin) right now too, trying to decide between making it a quilt or a duvet cover for my little girl...decisions!

  6. Robyn, all that is really good advice. I love you for saying it. I am TRYING to reset my perspective on things like that, and pare the handmade gifting down to a very small minimum. Trying. Especially when the giftees would probably rather see a starbucks card then something else handmade by me.

    But...I love the scarf idea too! I'll have to see about the tute and whether or not it requires a serger. I haven't even looked at the manual for mine yet.

    Heidi, I may need to throw in some more reds and oranges in with the Isabelle to get it where I want it colorwise. Goodness knows I have the scraps. Love to see yours when it is done?
    Wow, I just looked up California Dreamin and I so wish you hadn't mentioned it. I LOVE IT! I need more fabric like I need a large hole in my head.

  7. My sister and I are making the MADE ruffle scarf as bridesmaid's presents for her wedding. They are beautiful and look really simple. A fun accessory that I wouldn't usually spend money on for myself. I'm excited to make one and give some spice to my wardrobe of practical basics.

    The duvet cover is going to be beautiful, the fabrics are great!

  8. I get overwhelmed at times too and I have to just step back and take a deep breath. Whining is totally allowed to help get the frustrations out too!

    boat loads of HUGS!!!

  9. Please post pictures of your Pip and Pop. I would love to see them. My daughter used to watch Bear in the Big Blue House when she was little (when we had satellite). I have another one on the way who will probably enjoy watching the Bear in the Big Blue House videos we have. My husband's favorite character was Tutter the little blue mouse. He could do Tutter's voice spot on.

  10. How about some gorgeous spring scarves? I just made two of them in one naptime (really less than half a naptime... about 15 min per scarf). I used Anna Maria Horner's Little Folks. One I made with just a half yard cut sewn right sides together, turned, and topstiched. The other I used 1/4 yard of two colors. Same idea. Just using the width of the fabric makes a cute short spring scarf. Wonderful for any occasion. And way soft. :)
    Check out my pics of them at

  11. I can't help - it took me 2 weeks to turn a length of fabric into a table cloth/tent/cubby thing (only a couple of seams but had to sleep on it 3 times to work it out) - I just wanted to say that I love the way you write, you have a fabulous way with words and gave me a big laugh after a crazy busy day.

  12. be honest i'm finding it strangely comforting that i'm not the only one w/ the "big ideas" to make everything & then overwhelmed when it comes down to the execution b/c of lack of time, energy, open mind

    & as for a mother's day gifts, yesterday i was reading about basil & how it not only is delish on a tomato mozz salad, but also has bug repellent qualities. there were many who mentioned that they keep a pot growing on their windowsill & give as (much appreciated) gifts!

    just thinking it would be a kinda homemade gift but w/o all the time investment...kwim?

    hope you have a great day :)

  13. I'm fairly new to your blog, but enjoyed this post SO MUCH. It could have been me writing it. Lofty ideas and minimal time are a plague to me. You made me laugh. Thanks! The ruffley scarves are a nice idea and Ruffles and Stuff just posted these lovely wrist pincushions. Best wishes with whatever you find time for!


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