Thursday, October 30

Found: new blogs to be addicted too

At least they are new to me or ones I didn't add to my GoogleReader and just forgot about them. That is why you always add blogs to your GoogleReader and then decide about them later. I just added them to the left side bar.

Corporate Free Christmas I am very optimistic about this blog!

One Pretty Thing I agree with Toby Show, it is like The Crafty Crow for grown-ups! and bonus my friend Mrs. Simmons got featured yesterday she did the flower ribbon corsage on the bottom panel.

Planet June Free crochet patterns? yes please!

CraftStylish so many different ideas and tutorials for embroidery, crochet, sewing, be still my heart. I think I might add this sweet sweater to my crochet list and I love these napkins or these ornaments they posted while I was typing this post, seriously with blogs like this you just can't keep up with your want to make list.

In other happy news, I just loved this article about the Nielson family and how great they are doing. Plus $250,000 raised for them?!!? sadly it is not even close to what the costs are. incredible in so many ways.

Tuesday, October 28

New Tutorial! Cathedral Window Quilted Fabric Ball

Before my parents came to visit, my mom and I made crafting plans. For sure we wanted to make quilted fabric ornament balls for the holidays. We also had plans to make another ornament but instead we came up with a new pattern for a quilted ornament ball, Cathedral Window. We love it! I think it looks like a cathedral window quilt square. I made a new tutorial and put it in my shop! Or click this button below!

I also added to the shop a combined tutorial with the traditional ornament and this new cathedral window one. The beginning pattern is the same so I figured it needed a price break with the two together.

Monday, October 27

L is for Lilly

I got to thinking about how I could do more embroidery that didn't involve hoops. Frames. Appliqué. Perfect. Lilly got one for her room and we got a family one for the living room.

Friday, October 24

birdie stitched cards

I love my little birdies. Now they are bigger and they can sing! I went crazy stitching all of them and now I need to make them into cards, which is surprisingly not as fun. I am working on uploading this pattern as a pdf for you to download if you wish. I started a google site where I can keep all pdf downloads, check the side bar!

Thursday, October 23

yum. make this now.

When I first met Gregg, the guy ate two dinners. Chicken and rice with Yoshida sauce at home or a nice club sandwich at restaurants. Our first eating out date we went to Burrito Boy in Eugene. He didn't get beans in his burrito. Strange right? Turns out he hated beans. Obviously not a deal breaker but I was pretty sad about that. I am just not a big meat fan and beans are a good alternative. Slowly over these past 5 years I have added beans to dishes and I am so happy that he is now over his bean hatred. This same thing occurred with avocados. but not with bananas, he does not enjoy a fresh banana. He loved this dish of Honey Baked Lentils. Recipe found here. I used regular soy sauce instead of tamari. Used onions, carrots, and sweet potatoes. I don't have a nice pot like this (when Gregg is a doctor I am so getting myself one) for use in the oven so instead I cooked it on the stove top. Done in 45 minutes and really good.

Lilly is not eating lentils here, but Sonic tater tots!

Tuesday, October 21

My mom's birthday present

I am so happy to share with you my mom's birthday present. As I am sure you know by now my mom is the reason I like homemade things. When I saw this pattern for a gratuity wrap (download pdf here), I thought of her. My note cards to put inside were much bigger then what the pattern had so from there I ended up changing the pattern. I changed it as I went so this was just what worked for me.

Instead of encasing all the edges with bias tape I sewed right sides together, flipped it out, and then top stitched around. I was going to use bias tape for a tie close like the pattern but I ended up adding a fabric covered button for fun so I used this with some ribbon as the closure too.
I added some embroidery to the front.

I only used two pockets for note cards and an address book, these were much bigger then the original pattern so I didn't want to make the whole wrap too big so I deleted the 3rd pocket. (I really thought I did a better job ironing, HA!)

Of course I stitched some cards for her. I used this pattern.
They are happy flowers that remind me of her.

I called my mom to ask what size address book she had. She had all sorts of questions about what I was up to. She eventually said she needed a new one. After searching for awhile on the internet and on Etsy, I found the perfect one at They had all sorts of options for pictures and the details of the book.

All wrapped up!

Monday, October 20

can't carve these!

We needed some more fall decorations and I love an excuse to use some of my pretty floral fabric. I used this pattern to make some festive pumpkins.

Sunday, October 19

Paper Pumpkins

Lilly helped me with these last week. She organized the paper clips. Directions are here.

Friday, October 17

Crafting Food night

A few months ago, a friend started Food Night. A fun night where a few friends get together and each bring the theme food or ingredient to share. Then we pig out and chat. This past week the theme was Pumpkin and we added a craft! Heck yes! I brought all the supplies for stitched cards. We used a spider pattern and a pumpkin pattern. Besides missing some absentees that were studying for a test, we had a great time! I made pumpkin biscotti (first attempt, I might need practice but Lilly loves them) and pumpkin spice cookies. There is a TON of pumpkin recipes at, a TON. I really want to try the pumpkin chili.

week in Crafts

(see Lilly had a great week of crafts!)

I am keeping all the crafty posts on the simplebeans blog. I started this second blog in hopes that it would drive traffic to the Etsy shop. I really believe it has! I had another week of sales! I thought that by keeping regular posts up over there it would help my shop too. But then I don't get to share all our activities with you as I am sure most of you really just want to see what Lilly is up too ;) Maybe once a week or so I will share our crafts, but leave all the details of each craft on Simplebeans.

My mom and I are going to make and donate blankets to Project Linus for Christmas. Mine will be a simple soft blanket, not like one of my mom's quilts.

Lilly and I made paper pumpkins. (She was very into organizing the paper clips.)

I made Lilly a new stuffie, Dolly! I am very happy to report Lilly loves her. She has been added to the bedroom buddy club and if she could would take her to school with Monster. She helped me make her (i.e. hiding her arms and legs before they were attached) and she sat with me at the sewing machine (i.e. making me rethread the needle several times). So I thought maybe she would be keen on her.

Thursday, October 16

Project Linus for Christmas

From Lilly's Quilt

From Team Awesome

I think you know my mom makes some beautiful quilts. She just loves sewing and making people happy. I think everyone in our family has at least 2, although my sister and I get quite spoiled with just a few more. My mom also loves to make quilts for donation to her local Hospice Chapter. The quilts fetch hundreds (the last quilt went for $450!) at the Hospice Annual Auction. She also has donated to the Linus Project and to needy kids in Africa. I am telling you she has a very giving heart. On a side note, I think I need to get my dad this book. Quilters are crazy about their craft ;)
From Bean Pages

I saw a challenge on the blog 30 days where she wanted to motivate her readers to donate at least one handmade blanket to the Linus Project for Christmas this year. I LOVE this! Gregg and I usually do a giving tree gift for one or two children during the holiday season. But this year I think I will focus on blankets for the Linus Project. I just bought tons of this super soft fabric to make some blankets in the future for friends babies. This stuff will be perfect.

My local Linus Project Chapter Cumberland-Dauphin County. The ladies running this chapter sure have it together. They have a very informative website and meet TWICE a month working together to make quilts and sort donations. They even have an annual Make a Blanket Day to increase their supply. I so wish I had Thursdays off to join them. But I can make blankets myself and let them pick a sweet child to give it too.

Does anyone want to do this too?? Of course my mom is. All the chapters are on located on the National Linus Project website with contact information. Plus after further reading the 30 days post, if you donate a blanket you could win a prize.

Tuesday, October 14

introducing Dolly!

As usual we are very unique in our naming of her softies. I made this sweet girl for my Bean. This is not the doll I put in my to do list but thought she was pretty cute. I found her pattern here and although I really liked making her, she is on the small side and turning those little arms and legs was incredibly annoying. I want to try this one next. I am very happy to report Lilly loves her. She has been added to the bedroom buddy club and if she could would take her to school with Monster. She helped me make her (i.e. hiding her arms and legs before they were attached) and she sat with me at the sewing machine (i.e. making me rethread the needle several times). So I thought maybe she would be keen on her.

Friday, October 10

Quilted Fabric Ball Ornaments Pattern and Tutorial

Whew! This tutorial was a long time in the making and now it is in the Etsy shop!

I have been making quilted fabric ball ornaments for at least 20 years. Every year as a child, my crafty mom would pick a Christmas ornament to make. This particular ornament is always a favorite and we continually come back year after year to make them. I have the fondest memories sitting in front of a fire, a Christmas movie, and the tree while crafting these ornaments.

In making this tutorial I set up my camera and made the ornaments as I normally would, detailing ever step with the camera. Since we can’t sit around the fire making these ornaments, I think this picture tutorial is second best. Please let me know if you have questions on technique, supplies, or whatever might come up.

This tutorial contains 37 pages with 81 detailed pictures and written instructions.

This is an Adobe PDF file (4.34 MB) that will be emailed directly to you. Please include your email address with purchase. There are no shipping charges as this tutorial contains the pattern and instructions and does not come with any supplies.

I would love to hear how this tutorial works for you so please send me pictures of your ornaments and of course if you need please email me with any technical questions that may come up.

These ornaments are not just for Christmas, use them for Easter, Halloween, or everyday decoration! To buy one of these ornaments already made will cost anywhere from 13.00 to 28.00!

Want to learn how to make quilted fabric ball ornaments? Buy this tutorial at the Etsy shop. Or you can click the button below!

a star

Lilly is able to fit into all those shirts I appliquéd back in June. When she looks like this, it is hard not to like her.
I did these for her the other night with some shirts my mom got her for a dollar each! Thanks mom!