Wednesday, December 29, 2010

ways to rid yourself of 30 yards of felt #3: make a gift pouch

i trust that everyone had a fantastic christmas.  i intend to post something about ours, but we'll see.
for my third installment on "ways to rid yourself of 30 yards of felt"... make a gift pouch. with a button.

like this:

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

partially actualized christmas baking fantasies

every christmas i suffer from baking fantasies. i daydream about packing up perfect boxes with a large variety of delicious treats, and promptly becoming the most celebrated and loved person in the office and among my friends. this of course never happens. there usually is way too much going on and the holiday baking dreams fall to the wayside, and i become a slave to my sewing machine.

however, this year i was determined to do something. last year, under the influence of my hopeful delusions, i had purchased a couple of new cookie cutters, that i failed to even remove from the packaging. last week, i decided i couldn't let another whole year slide by without using them... so i made gingerbread men and snowflakes for the work folks using this recipe, (the chewy version). if i made these again, i think i'd add a lot more spice in it, but that's just how i prefer my gingerbread cookies.

aside from the fact that i made a complete mess of my kitchen two days in a row, and i discovered that taking one wilton cake decorating class almost ten years ago does not mean that decorating cookies will be a breeze, i'd consider it to be a moderate success. i packaged them individually in cellophane bags with twisty ties and made little round stickers that said "i hope you like gingerbread. i'm really sorry if you don't. happy holidays!". not quite the elaborate boxes of decadent treats, but as they say, it's the thought that counts, right?

the comments i have received about the gingerbread have been sending me into fits of laughter, mostly because of their cannabalistic references (not that actual cannabalism is funny...). 

take this comment, for example from one coworker:
"i went for the arm first, but then i couldn't stand him looking at me,  so then i ate the head."

and this e-mail from another:
"thank you for the gingerbread man! it’s REALLY good. i ate its' head and will probably save his body for j, or maybe, just save one foot for him."

thank you bakingbites for the gingerbread man + scarf idea.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

free christmas tag download (pdf)

i designed some christmas labels for you to use. 

you can either:
1. make them into stickers by printing them on full label sheets and punch them out with a 2" round punch.
2. make them into hang tags by printing  them out on cardstock and punch them out with a 2" round punch, and then punching another little hole at the top and thread through ribbon, embroidery floss, etc.

you may have to cut the page into strips first for punching. if you don't have a 2" round punch, you can also take your scissors and trim around the red dotted circle (leave a bit of space).

Friday, December 10, 2010

ruffled coffee sleeves

what's better than a button coffee sleeveruffled coffee sleeves. 

side ruffle.

top ruffle.

lots of ruffles...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

ways to rid yourself of 30 yards of felt #2: create embellished cards

after i arrived at my parents house last week for thanksgiving, i had the following conversation with my father:

dad: grandma called earlier. she told me to thank you for the card you sent.  i told her you made it.
me:  you told grandma i made the card?  ... i didn't make the card. i bought it.
dad:  you didn't make it?
me: no... what made you think i made the card? you didn't even see the card.
dad:  don't you make ALL your cards?  i thought you make all the cards you send, that's why i said it.
me:  i make SOME of the cards i send, not all the cards.
dad: ok. well. i guess you can tell her that you didn't make the card next time you talk to her.
me: yeah.. i'm pretty sure she'll figure it out, since it says "carlton cards" on the back.

i don't know why, but our conversation made me laugh.  it really has nothing to do with the rest of this post, but i wanted to share.

anyway, it had been a while since i had made any cards, but i thought that making a felt embellished card would be a fun little project and reduce my weighty stash by .000001%.  YES!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

i grew fungus.

from a box. ON PURPOSE. the soil is made from used coffee grounds. it was SO MUCH FUN. and delicious.

the guys that came up with this idea are geniuses. if you love the idea of growing your own mushrooms (and then devouring them) like i do, you should order a box, pronto.

reasons to love this kit, aside from those already mentioned above:

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

lotus root fabric wall panel

i finally decorated the barren wall in my craft room with this:
here is a tutorial i wrote a while ago. i used a larger version of my lotus root fabric in orange (i made this panel with the hope that one day i will have white walls).
a couple notes...
no overlocking the edges this time... just tucked the fabric under for a neat seam.
the husband drilled a hole for hanging.

Monday, November 8, 2010

two days in d.c.

the husband + i recently went on a quick trip to d.c. for a mini-family reunion. we were able to see a couple of old friends and spend a day with his brother (visiting from finland).

don't underestimate all the things you can do in two days.

you can....

Friday, November 5, 2010

crazy christmas lady

you may have noticed the appearance of christmas products in my etsy shop. sometime this summer, i was struck with the insane idea that this year i would make + sell whimsical, non- traditional tree skirts and some stockings.

i was inspired. it was going to be fabulous. i could NOT wait. i would make a minimum of 25. maybe 30. even 40. different sizes. different colors. different patterns!! the fabric store was having a sale on eco felt, and in my enthusiasm, i bought nearly 30 yards of felt. at once. i brought the husband along so he could lug the bolts around for me.

the lady cutting for me naturally was curious as to why i needed so much felt in the middle of july. i explained. she made a comment implying that she would not want a bright pink or peacock blue tree skirt in her house.... and ever since that encounter, she has greeted me as "the christmas lady" every time i enter the store. if you heard the tone of her voice, you would realize what she is really thinking is, "the crazy christmas lady".

Thursday, November 4, 2010

fat quarter giveaway winner

congratulations to commenter #19: abi!

i will be sending you an email shortly to get your address. as for the rest of you players, i plan on doing more fabric giveaways in the future, so stay tuned!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

baby bibs are fun

our friends continue to reproduce, which means i continue to produce tiny cute baby things. for the last round of gifts, i decided to make baby bibs. they are fun to make, and there are multitudes of free patterns online.

 i don't remember where i got this one (sorry!), but here are a few patterns you could try:

mine are backed with a double layer of terry cloth for extra absorbancy (i heard a rumor that babies drool and spit up a lot) and have snap closures. the husband kindly helped out with attaching the snap closures, since i tend to hammer my fingers when i do it. the patterned fabrics are designed by me, and you can still win some fat quarters to make some of your own. a fat quarter can probably yield two or more.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

clearlytangled fat quarter giveaway

it's time for another giveaway!  i'm giving away three fat quarters (18" x 21") of my own fabric: kiwi bird parade in pink, lotus root in orange and white, and chunky olives in purple and chartreuse.

to enter and possibly win these three fat quarters...
you have the opportunity of up to three entries:

entry 1: follow my blog + leave a comment to inform me (if you are already following, leave a comment stating so)

entry 2: leave a comment on this entry
entry 3: blog about this giveaway, and leave me a 3rd comment + link me to the post

make sure you leave a way for me to contact you on your entry/entries!

the giveaway will close on wednesday, november 3rd, midnight, CST.
1 winner will be chosen via on thursday, november 4th.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

no-sew sizzix fleece scarf

this summer i purchased a sizzix bigkick for my crazy christmas products. on a whim i thought i'd take a stab at making a hole-y no-sew fleece scarf with one of my (two) die cuts.

you need:
a sizzix bigkick (or other compatible sizzix machine)
sizzix bigz die - 1" circles
fleece 6" x however long you want it

i ran the fleece through my bigkick repeatedly, carefully making sure the holes stay aligned. then i trimmed around the holes to finish it up (a bit tedious, but didn't take too long).

Monday, October 11, 2010

show + tell monday

it's monday, and i have a show + tell.  

i decided that i needed new stationary to go with my new banner. so i made a notepad and flat notecards.

that's all. have a great tuesday!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

simple tunic tutorial

now, i realize that it's october and that the majority of you are putting away your summer clothes.   i on the other hand, decided to finally cross off a long awaiting project on my list- this simple tunic.  the weather here between the months of october and december can be pretty unpredictable (read: annoyingly warm at times), so i'm confident i'll be able to get some use out of this top before the year is up. 

made with marimekko ritva fabric
v-side facing front

Sunday, September 26, 2010

the one-hour dress

when one of my best friends showed me this dress tutorial she wanted to make, i immediately wanted to make one too. so we journeyed together to the fabric store and made an evening out of it. she chose a turquoise knit almost identical to the one pictured, and i chose a honey (or mustard) linen blend.


without a belt, the dress is enormous. it could double as shelter in an emergency. with a belt (and a bit of adjusting) it becomes pretty cute (although not exactly slimming with this fabric). i was bombarded with compliments when i wore it to the office.

notice that the folding is more dramatic with linen

Monday, September 20, 2010

i love you, fried pork chop rice!

one of my closest friend's boyfriend, T, has learned two phrases in chinese: "i love you" and " fried pork chop rice". he enjoys saying them together, "i love you, fried pork chop rice!".

while other people may have opted to learn more useful sentences, like, "how are you?" or "where is the bathroom?", i'd say this is a pretty good start.

fried pork chop rice is a delicious, casual (and admittedly, unhealthy) dish in taiwanese cuisine, and most people would heartily agree with T's enthusiastic declaration.  using the recipe from my chinese rice and noodles cookbook (recipes are both in chinese and english), i attempted to make my first fried pork chop rice.

Monday, September 13, 2010

dushanbe tea house - boulder, colorado

when i travel, i probably spend as much time researching food as i do attractions. we had several noteworthy meals in boulder, but the most interesting was afternoon tea at dushanbe tea house (you might remember my great affection for this tradition).

Thursday, September 9, 2010

a weekend getaway to boulder

long weekends are excellent opportunities for short getaways, and the husband and i escaped this past labor day weekend on a quick trip to boulder, colorado. inspired by a couple friends, the trip destination was actually a surprise for him. he was very pleased and excited when he finally looked up at the display at our departure gate. there is nothing he enjoys more than time spent in nature.

it was a surprisingly hot weekend- a high of 96 on sunday, the day we took our longest hike in chataugua park. the altitude and dry air was a bit difficult for me, but it was worth it, because we saw FIVE chipmunks. yes, i counted.

the trail was about five miles long and ascended about kilometer upward.
the royal arch was the reward.  the rest of the trip was spent on more hikes, exploring the center, and of course, eating (sadly, the fires started the day we left...).
to be continued!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

clutch happy.

make one of these.
it'll make you happy.

or better yet, make it for someone else, and make them happy. i did.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

mien storage box

ikea saves the day again. after many years of searching for a jewelry box that wasn't hideous, i found this gem at ikea:

while it could stand to be bigger, it's an excellent companion jewelry tree i have (also from ikea).

what the box did need was some cushion... a nicely patterned cushion. so while there are several different always i could have approached these lightly padded "cushions", i went with a somewhat unconventional route. 

as i am still excited about my recent appliqued onesies, and am currently in possession of a large quantity of felt (more on this later), i decided to once again fuse cotton fabric and felt using double stick fusible web. the webbing just prevents the edges of the patterned fabric from getting frayed, and also adds a slight rigidity.

want one too?
all you'll need (besides the box) is:
1 piece of patterned fabric of your choice 5 1/2" x 10 3/4" (i used heather bailey's pop sway fabric)
1 piece of felt of your choice 5 1/2" x 10 3/4"
1 piece of double stick fusible web adhesive sheets ( i use steam a seam 2)

follow the instructions on the package on how to adhere the pieces together (use the base of the box lid to trace the shape of the cushion), and stitch around the edges. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

a laundry disaster

a few weeks ago, i posted about this dress. promptly after i posted the entry, i thoughtlessly threw the dress into the laundry for its' first wash. when i retrieved it from the washer, i was dismayed to find that the floral detail had completely unraveled into a mess of furry thread.

apparently the dress was hand wash only. normally i read labels on new clothing (actually, typically before i buy it), but since the dress was knit, it didn't even occur to me to check.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


today i have a show and tell. was having a sale the other week, so i ordered a set of mini moo cards and also ordered a set of cards for the heck of it.

i wasn't completely sold on the idea of mini moo cards when i first heard about them, but now i am totally on board. so small and cute! i uploaded four of my designs. i love the itty bitty box they come in.

with the greeting card pack i played with a couple of photos i took: icelandic horses, and my photos of a play-doh penguin that has sadly dried and is slowly falling apart. for some reason, i can't bear to throw him out. i'm going to have to reshoot the penguin pictures (light poorly diffused), but i like the concept.
 the card in the back says "having a bad day? i know how you feel. i used to be a penguin".

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

make your applique POP

i had some trouble deciding what gift to make a friend for her recent baby shower. a minky baby blanket? a kimono?

nah... i had already made those for other people. i wanted to try something new. like applique onesies. i'm sure you've seen them. they are all over the place, and for good reason. a plain onesie is nothing much to look at, but slap on an applique car, bird, airplane, giraffe, or puppy, and you suddenly have yourself one adorable baby outfit.

if you search google, there are endless hits for "applique onesie tutorial". still, i had trouble finding exactly what i was looking for. i wanted my applique to "pop" off the onesie. a year or two ago, i had purchased some onesies that had a raised applique, and i wanted to replicate the process. the secret appeared to be a felt backing. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

PS, i love you

houston just got 100 times better.
maybe even 1,000 times better.
and why, why is that, you ask?


Thursday, July 15, 2010

handmade baby shower favors

in preparation for an upcoming baby shower, i got together for an afternoon with the mother-to-be and the hostess (the talented scrappy bug) to make the favors. we planned on making duck shape soap "bathing" in tubs, and packed in pink take out boxes.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

beautiful blossoms on etsy

i'm a low-maintenance hair girl. i have never learned how to style my hair, so i normally opt for an easy to care for hairdo. sometimes i like to spice things up a bit by adding an accessory- specifically, headbands. i found beautiful blossoms' shop a couple months ago, and have been visiting often, admiring the pretty floral headbands. last week i could no longer resist and bought this:

it's my new favorite accessory. the flowers are dainty and the feather makes it a tad quirky. i went with black for optimal versatility and i am ever so happy with it. it doesn't even give me a headache like most headbands i've encountered. another bonus- the shipping was lightning fast and came with a sweet note from the seller.

take a peek at beautiful blossoms' shop. she has so many colors and style variations to choose from.


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