Being Happy…

Think about what truly makes you happy…when your soul feels content and all is right in your world.

Would you be happy if you had a bigger house, a better job, a flashy car?

Would you be happy if you were famous, or thinner, or wealthier?

Let’s Be Honest

We are happiest when we are surrounded by those we love and who love us back!

I made a pillow to remind me of who loves me the most, to remind me that there’s a plan for me, for my whole family, and to trust.

I started out with a pair of dishtowels I found at Williams Sonoma on clearance for $3.99 each. Score!


I chose an embroidery design from Urban Threads and added the “I love you”.


Now, mind you, it has been MONTHS since I used my embroidery machine, AKA Marie, so I was a little nervous. But she fired up without any issues…Yay!!!


The towels were super easy to make a pillow from…they measured 16”x16” perfectly so there was no cutting involved. I just added a zipper enclosure and it was done! Super easy project, highly recommend even for beginner sewers. (There are lots of tutorials of how to install a zipper out there on the web, but I feel sew mama sew has some of the best.)

Finished Product


If you like this square towel pillow, check out my rectangular one here.

Never forget who loves you the most and who wants you to live a happy, authentic life.



Sharing at:

The Dedicated House

Sugar Bee Crafts

Chic on a Shoestring Budget

Rooted in Thyme

French Country Cottage

A Kitchen Towel by any other name…


Think outside the box once in awhile…


I feel like I say that a lot on my blog, but I like to take ordinary every-day items and change them into something new.

I was in Tuesday Morning the other day and saw some cute kitchen towels for a good price. I thought I could use them or improve them even more with a little creativity.


My first idea is my favorite…I took the black and white towels (3 in a pack for $6!!!) and made them into a pillowcase for my new bedding.


This is a super easy sewing project that literally took about 20 minutes!  If you could sew a straight line and know how to use your button hole foot on your sewing machine, you could do this.

All I did was sew two towels together (right side facing) on three sides, leaving a short end open for the buttons. Turn your case right side out and sew button holes on the outside fabric and coordinating buttons on the inside fabric.

I even used some super-cute vintage buttons I picked up from an estate sale long ago.


Seriously, how sweet are they? They are wooden with little arrows on them.

I inserted your standard pillow in it, buttoned it up, and it was finished!


I really like the stripes and the flowers but it really needs some sort of pop of color now. Like maybe a green apple color? Hmmmm……a project for another day.

With the white towel, I stitched out a cute reminder that spring is only one month away. (Please Hurry Spring!)


The hardest, most difficult project was a “bright” idea I got to try and make the orange towel into a handy-dandy make-up bag with some vintage linens added in. Honestly, it did not turn out like I wanted but, Hey! You learn by your mistakes…

It came out all lumpy and crooked and I almost broke my serger trying to sew it up all nice and neat.


It’s still usable, just not what I had pictured in my mind.

I had some orange towel scraps left over so I thought I’d make a little travel soap carrier/loofah.


Another easy thing to sew, and it could be embellished in many different ways. I think it would be really cute if it had a little rubber ducky embroidered on it or someone’s name or initials. Perhaps for a child? Hmmmm….another idea.

I hope I’ve given you some ideas. Now get your bad self sewing!



Sharing with these great link parties

Chic on a Shoestring Budget

The Shabby Nest

Karen’s Up on the Hill

Between Naps on the Porch

The Dedicated House

Upcycled Sweater Bags

I recently came across my stash of felted wool sweaters that I’ve collected from my Goodwill excursions and didn’t realize how many I had!

Two garbage bags full that were just waiting to be put to a better use.

“What is felted wool?,” you ask?

Felted wool is wool that has been washed at a high heat with regular laundry detergent and a tennis ball for friction that makes the fibers shrink and become very tight. You can then use that wool for various upcycled projects like mittens, blankets, Christmas stockings, scarves. So many possibilities: if you are on Pinterest, just do a search and let the ideas and projects overwhelm you.

I thought it might be cute to make a little drawstring bag and after many (and I mean MANY) failed attempts, I came up with this…


You will need:

Some felted sweaters

Fabric for the lining (I like cotton)

Ribbon for straps (I used twill tape)

Sewing machine, sewing notions, etc.

Your imagination and creativity

For Outside of Bag:

2 Pieces of felted sweater measuring 8 1/2 inches wide x 8 inches long. (Main Part of Bag)

1 Piece of felted sweater measuring 8 1/2 inches wide x 4 1/2 inches long. (Bottom of Bag)

For the Lining:

1 Piece of fabric measuring 8 1/2 inches wide x 19 1/2 inches long.


Of note, if you want to put any embroidery, appliques, lace, trim, etc.-do it now before you start construction of the bag.

I choose a nautical theme for this one so I went to my files and embroidered an anchor originally found on Urban Threads.



Placing right sides together, sew together one of the larger pieces with the smaller piece. For entire project, I use a 1/4 inch seam.

*** Iron your seems flat. Don’t skip this, it will help you in the long run. I know it’s weird to iron wool, (it might smell a little, too) but trust me…When you align your seams and try to fit the layers under your sewing machine’s presser foot, you’ll thank me. (Just try not to burn anything.)


And then do the same with the back piece so you then have what looks like this:


Fold this piece in half right sides facing, match up your seams and pin into place.

With the pinning in place, make a mark 1 inch down and again at 1 1/2 inches down on each side. ***This will mark an opening where your ribbon channel will be.***

For Tutorial purposes, (and because I couldn’t see my marks on my dark sweater…) I used pins…


See those horizontal pins? That’s what I’m talking about!

Start at the top right corner and sew till your 1 inch mark. Backstitch for strength.

Skip the area between the horizontal pins and start again at the 1 1/2 inch point. Continue sewing the rest of that side. Backstitch for strength.

Follow the same directions for the opposite side, not forgetting to stop and start up again at the 1 1/2 and 1 inch marks.

Try your best to iron those seams open, but don’t stretch out your sweater because then it wont fit with the lining.  (I learned that the hard way.)


Turn your bag right-side out and admire your work.

Now for the lining:

Fold your lining piece in half right sides together length-wise and sew together both sides leaving a 2 1/2 to 3 inch gap on one side. (this is where you will turn bag right-side out). Press open your seams. Clip the corners.


Now it’s time to assemble lining and outside of bag. This is the part that makes me sweat. Handkerchief, please…

Place the outside bag into the lining, right sides facing. Line up your seams and edges…this is where the pressing of seams helps tremendously.


See how the Outside of bag goes into Lining, right sides facing?

Pin and sew around the top, making sure you sew your seams flat along the way.


Now for the magical part- pull the outside part out of the hole you left in your lining and poke out your corners with chopsticks or a pencil eraser or chicken bones. (Just kidding on that last one.)


This kind of reminds me of the birthing process…anyone else feel that way?

Now you will have something that miraculously looks like this:

Never mind, I forgot to take a picture of this step, my bad.

Do not fear! What you have next are the two pieces, lining and outer bag, ready to fit together!

Press your lining piece and topstitch the seam that was left open. Just for posterity, I topstitch the other side too, so they match.

Place the lining into the bag!!! Very exciting feeling when this works!


Press the opening seams so it looks nice and neat and crisp.

We are Almost Done!

Take a look at the sides of your bag…you should see an opening on each side where the ribbon will go through. We need to finish up by making that channel.

Mark on both sides where those opening are and sew a straight line across it all the way around.

Do the same for the bottom hole.

In my picture below, I used tape to guide me, since I am famous for sewing a crooked line.


Using a safety pin, attach the pin to the end of your ribbon and push it through all the way around. When you have the ribbon at the length you want the handles to be, cut it and tie the two ends together.

Repeat this process on the other side so you now have two handles.


And the end result is a very cute drawstring bag! I like to use mine for my Kindle but it could surely be used as a small purse.


I have since made several and I’m going to list them soon in my etsy shop.



This one is made from cashmere and lace!



This one reminds us to “Live Simply”


I hope this inspires you to think outside the box and upcycle some sweaters!



Linking up this week to:

new nostalgia

A Bowl Full of Lemons

Coastal Charm


Chic on A Shoestring Budget

The Shabby Nest

Rooted in Thyme

The Dedicated House

Taking Off My “Mom Goggles”


Mom Goggles

Every mom has them. They give them out to you free(!) from your Labor and Delivery Nurse the moment you lay eyes on your precious, squirmy, goopy bundle of joy.

Those newborn eyes look back at you, trying to focus, squinting against the light, their pupils constricting for the first time. (After all, they’ve been protected in the dark, warm fluid of your womb.)

You look into those eyes, you examine every inch of this miracle, every finger, every toe, every little detail…You know in the deepest part of your heart and soul, this child is perfect!

And BAM! They’re there!

Mom Goggles

Don’t think you can get away from them if you’ve adopted a child, either! Oh no!! That child comes with a pair too, maybe even with a stronger prescription. It’s completely unpreventable.

Believe it or not, there is a definition:

From Urban Dictionary:

Mom Goggles: “Like Beer Goggles, Mom Goggles cloud the wearer’s vision making their child look absolutely perfect in their eyes. Works with looks, intelligence and skills.”

In my experience, you don’t have to remove those mom goggles till they start school. Till they start interacting with other children. Nope, savor those early years when your child is a baby/toddler, immune from any mistakes and blunders. Watch them smile like they are the first child to ever smile in the history of the world and think to yourself, “No child has ever smiled such a beautiful smile.” Because it’s true…

Then they get a little older.

If your kid is playing in the sandbox with other kids and is throwing sand in their faces for fun, it’s time to remove the Mom Goggles and teach a lesson…”Don’t throw sand at other kids, Perfect Child of Mine. No one likes a sand sandwich”.

When your kid gets a little older and is in school and doesn’t score perfect on every test/quiz/homework assignment, don’t always blame the teacher. Take off those Mom Goggles and really LOOK.  Maybe your child isn’t really the genius-prodigy like they seemed to be in preschool…SURPRISE! Neither are 99.9% of their classmates. Time to teach another lesson: “work hard and try your best, Perfect Child of Mine. I love you fiercely anyway.”

When your children start up with extra-curricular activities such as sports or music or dance and they are not picked for the top team or the piano solo or the New York City Ballet, don’t freak out! Mom Goggles are very powerful things that cloud our vision and hurt our pride. Lesson learned: “not everyone has the same God-given talents and gifts, but use those gifts to the best of your ability, Perfect Child of Mine. I love you anyway.”

And, yes, I use that phrase, “Perfect Child of Mine.” Because the fact is (Mom Goggles or not), they are perfect with flaws, impeccable and faulty, spotless and blemished, all at the same time.

If we don’t take off those Mom Goggles once in a while, we are cheating our kids out of valuable life lessons: Don’t hurt others, try your best, it’s ok if you make mistakes…I’ll love you anyway.

Because no one is perfect and no kid is above making errors. If we don’t remove those Mom Goggles, we are just setting them up for feeling like failures because they feel they are not living up to OUR impossible expectations.

So I made a little something to remind me of all this.

(You thought you’d get away from a craft? Silly Reader)


Just a little backpack to remind me of my own words. I plan to use it accordingly.

After all, I’m not perfect either.

And with all that said, there is another rule here…

Grandparents are allowed to wear their goggles incessantly.



This week’s links-

Chic on a Shoestring Budget

The Shabby Nest

Nautical Love


It’s been a long while since I have written: Summer goes by so fast doesn’t it?


We took our annual trip to the Jersey Shore…

I LOVE the smell of the salty air and the sound of the waves…

 photo 80c35bda-7f4e-4bd2-8352-1102a08a0aa1_zps7595d530.jpg

I Love THIS GUY even more!

I LOVE to go antiquing while I’m there.  You can read about it here.

This year I was inspired by all the nautical themes I saw…

Anchors, sailboats, lobsters, sand, surf…

I tried to bring a little of that back into my home.

I started with a frame I found at a thrift store for $10.  It had a picture of Elvis in it.  That’s gone now.

I had some fabric left over from a previous project and printed a picture from the wonderful Graphics Fairy onto some muslin.


I purchased and downloaded the nautical stars from a wonderful embroidery site called Urban Threads.  (If your have an embroidery machine and are looking for cool designs, I highly suggest giving them a look-see.)

As you can see,  the hardest part (for me, at least) is lining up the stars to match both sides.


Most of the time I try my best and then pray…


Not too bad, huh? 


Next I used some adhesive spray to secure the fabric onto my board.




That’s Vee-O-La! in KathySpeak


I also cut apart a wonderful grain sack I found to make it into a table runner.

I had to get out my serger which always makes me nervous.  Anyone who is new to serging will understand.  But all I did was try to serge the edges.

Before the Serge


After the Serge



Here’s some views of the finished projects






And of course, how could I leave you without posting this………



Please have a Beautiful Day!


Linking up!

Pretty “Play” Pillow & Pandora or “The Four P’s”


Ode to a Cold & Rainy Day


Last week I spent the better part of my morning sewing and stitching.  Since it was a cold, gray, dreary day, I didn’t feel too bad about spending the morning in my warm sewing room, throwing in loads of laundry in between stitches and listening to Lionel Richie Radio on Pandora.  (Lionel Richie Radio? you ask. But, it was that kind of day…Singing along to songs that are mushy, lovey-dovey, and nostalgic.)


My vision was a patchwork pillow cover with a cute banner across it and I decided to use every crafty machine in my toolbox.  Hmmmmm….


Fire up the Cameo Silhouette!  I used a design that came free! with the purchase of the Cameo.



Then I edited it to the size I wanted the banner to be and used the Replicate window tool to add another row to cut out.  Cameos are sooooo cool.



At this point, I’m listening to “Oh No”, by The Commodores.  Such a heartbreaking song…

I want you

to want me,

I’m going crazy knowing he will be your lover tonight.

And when he comes, I’ll let you go,

I’ll just pretend as you walk out of the door.

(Anyone remember the movie “The Last American Virgin”? from the ‘80s?  Poor Gary…Anyhoo, it’s a classic movie along the lines of “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” and “Valley Girl”. Not to be missed in any 1980’s adolescence.


Ok, back to 2013…

Did you know the Cameo can cut out fabric?  YES!   I used the fabric blade to cut out my design and it worked pretty well.  (But you must iron on the stabilizer first.  I learned that the hard way.)

My next step was to plan out the fabric for my pillow cover.  I wanted a 14×14 cover so I used some quilting squares I purchased way long ago in the hopes of making a quilt. (For the record, I don’t know how to quilt yet but a see a quilting class in my future AND I hope to have the knowledge and guidance of my good friend Amy because she makes beautiful quilts.  At least she did, before she had 3 boys…C’mon Amy…get quilting so I can learn from you!  So what if those boys need to eat!)

The squares I used were 5×5 and I layed out a design.


But what do we hear?


I’m all of out love,

I’m so lost without you…

I knew you were right, believing for so long.

Ahhhh, we’ve hit Air Supply.  C’mon…you know you know the words…


Starting with the first row, (and using my second crafty machine, AKA a sewing machine), I sewed each square together wrong sides facing using a 1/4” seam.

It’s important to iron each seam flat after sewing.  I found that out the hard way again.



And then you have a row!  Yay!


Wow, that’s green!


Better, I think.

At this point, it seems to be time for some Bee Gees.

I know your eyes in the morning sun
I feel you touch me in the pouring rain
And the moment that you wander far from me
I wanna feel you in my arms again

Let me ask you,  “How Deep is YOUR love?”  (for this post?)

Once all three rows are sewn together, it’s time to sew the rows together.  That doesn’t make much sense, does it? 


Ok, look closely…Do you see my boo-boo which, once again, something I have now learned the hard way?  First one to see the mistake is AWESOME! (Hint…compare to original layout).

Hmmmm…..the song playing at this point seems perfect.

I did my best
But I guess my best wasn’t good enough
Cause here we are
Back where we were before
Seems nothin’ ever changes
We’re back to being strangers
Wondering if we ought to stay
Or head on out the door
Just once…

(Transported back to “The Last American Virgin” movie again…poor, poor Gary.)

Oh well, what are ya gonna do?  I just left it the way it was.

Now it’s time to add the banner cut from the lovely Silhouette.  I used the scraps as my template.



I placed the cut out banner triangles in place, used some applique spray adhesive and pinned them to the fabric.


And here comes REO Speedwagon….

You should’ve seen by the look in my eyes, baby
There was somethin missin
You should’ve known by the tone of my voice, maybe
But you didn’t listen
You played dead
But you never bled
Instead you lay still in the grass
All coiled up and hissin
And though I know all about those men
Still I don’t remember
Cause it was us baby, way before then
And we’re still together
And I meant, every word I said
When I said that I love you I meant
That I love you forever
And I’m gonna keep on lovin you
Cause it’s the only thing I wanna do
I don’t wanna sleep
I just wanna keep on lovin you

OK, who doesn’t sing along with that one? (Don’t answer that.)

It’s time to sew the banner down.  I’m nervous about this because they are small little triangles and I feel like I could majorly screw this up if I sew it all crooked.


It’ll all be OK because Pandora is now playing “Too Much Heaven” by the Bee Gees.

Oh you and me girl
Got a lot of love in store
And it flows through you
And it flows through me
And I love you so much more
Then my life..I can see beyond forever
Ev’rything we are will never die
Loving’s such a beautiful thing
Oh you make my world.. a summer day
Are you just a dream to fade away


So here is how it looked with the banner sewed down.


I feel like it needs something.  A little contrast maybe.  So I sewed I line over the top of the triangles in brown thread so it would add a little pop of color.  Very slowly, as not to wreck what is turning out to be a pretty cute pillow.


A little better, right?

Now it’s time to move to yet another machine.  My beloved Embroidery Machine named Marie after my grandmother.

But first…

Thanks for the times
That you’ve given me
The memories are all in my mind
And now that we’ve come
To the end of our rainbow
There’s something
I must say out loud
You’re once, twice
Three times a lady
Yes you’re once twice
Three times a lady

Oh Lionel, sing it so!

I used my Embroidery Machine, AKA Marie, to design the word “play” to fit in.



To ensure I wouldn’t misplace the embroidery, I printed it out and made sure once my fabric was hooped, it was centered where I wanted it.  Nice little feature, Marie!


Suddenly I am transported back to 1985.  School Skating Party.  I’m in the 8th grade and I hear those words, both dreaded and anticipated all at the same time.

“Couples Only, Couples Only”  Oh please, please, please don’t let me be the only girl in my class NOT asked to skate during “Couples Only, Couples Only” like it’s some elite club I want to be part of.

Or wait…It’s doe-eyed Molly Ringwald as Samantha Baker watching beautiful Jake Ryan dance with his perfect girlfriend, her heart breaking all over the place!  Stop staring, Molly!  Go blow out 16 Candles somewhere.  Just go buy yourself a cake, put some candles in it, make a wish and blow them all out.  Don’t forget to eat that cake all by yourself.

(Ha-ha-ha, ha-ah-hi)
(Ha-ha-ha, ha-ah-hi)
So true
Funny how it seems
Always in time, but never in line for dreams
Head over heels when toe to toe
This is the sound of my soul
This is the sound
I bought a ticket to the world
But now I’ve come back again
Why do I find it hard to write the next line?
Oh, I want the truth to be said
(Ha-ha-ha, ha-ah-hi)
I know this much is true
(Ha-ha-ha, ha-ah-hi)
I know this much is true

Time to embroider and hold my breath it all works out.



Now to add the backing and zipper. 

Please, this post is so long I can’t do it anymore!  Just pretend I went through the backing and zipper installation.  Go to this awesome blog AKA Design Sponge, and copy theirs.  That’s what the hell I did!

                     The Finished Product



Is anyone still reading this?

So I leave you with this to ponder…

If we can’t solve any problems
And why do we lose so many tears?
So you go again when the leading man appears.
Always the same theme
Can’t you see
We’ve got ev’rything going on and on and on.
Ev’ry time you go away you take a piece of me with you.
Ev’ry time you go away you take a piece of me with you.

But wouldn’t it be so funny if the lyrics went, “Ev’ry time you go away

you take a piece of meat with you”?

Thank you for going on this journey with me!  You’ve been a trooper!


Peace and Lost in Love and I don’t know much,


Linking up to

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