Wrapping Paper Gift Bag

When wrapping an odd-shaped item, like clothing… it is always nice to have a box to wrap it in. But, if you don’t have a box, and don’t have any pretty gift bags lying around… you can make your own!

Gather your standard gift-wrapping supplies… scissors, tape, wrapping paper, bows… and then grab a box the length and depth you’d like your finished bag. Don’t worry about the height. A cereal box works great here, but I had transferred all my cereal to plastic storage containers… so I grabbed a box for a board game, which works nicely (as long as it is deep enough).

Start by placing your board game on the wrapping paper, just like you were going to wrap the game. Cut the paper the correct size, not worrying about extra paper at the top. Fold down the top, and one side, so that your raw edges are pretty.

Then, start wrapping your box, keeping the pretty raw edge on the outside. When taping the middle, use just a small amount of tape near the end you are going to wrap. This will help when taking out your box. Only wrap one end.

Using your fingers, sharpen the creases. This will make for a more defined, and more beautiful bag when you are done. Once you have sharpened the creases, ease out your box. If you’ve used a cereal box that is taller than the paper, this will be pretty easy. If you’ve used a smaller box (like I did), you’ll be glad that you didn’t tape down the whole center seam.

As you ease the box out, tape up the center seam.

Once the box is out, tape the center seam at the top of the bag.

You can crease the sides of the bag to make it look more like a standard bag, or if you are going to store it or travel with it before using it.

To finish off the bag, you can add ribbon handles, bows, or you can do what I did, which is to fold the top to look like an envelope, and add a pretty flower. You could also use a decorative hole-punch around the edge, or a standard hole-punch, and thread ribbon or lace through the holes. There is no limit to the creative possibilities here in finishing up your bag!

If you want your center seam to be less visible, you can wrap your box so that the seam is on one of the sides of the bag.

If you want to be ahead of the game, you can start making up some of these bags with Holiday wrapping paper, and you’ll be all ready in December… so that you can spend more of your time baking cookies, and less time hiding in the master secretly wrapping presents.

I’ve been busy here at the Moore house, so Expect Moore… soon!

CM

Friday Night Sew In

Just discovered this, and I am ALL IN! An excuse to hang out in my craft room, in my jammies, and power through a bunch of my projects? YAY!

Although, if you ask my hubby, I don’t need much of an excuse… as long as someone is home to watch Little Moore… or Little Moore is napping… or just about anything that ensures that the only one making a mess in the craft room is me!

Next Friday… the 18th… I’m going to be getting my projects all lined up for this one! : )

Join me, and so many others! You can find out all about it at Crafty Vegas Mom’s site here.

Expect Moore… soon!

CM

What a list!

Wow! I feel like I’ve gotten a TON of stuff done! After completing all the things in the last post, I then made 2 cute little burp cloths for Baby M, and 2 pacifier clips – one for Baby M and one for Baby R.

 I also took a “break” to make some PJ pants for Little Moore. I must confess that this is the first item of clothing that I have made for him… but I guarantee that it won’t be the last. Every time I looked over at him and saw him in these cute little pants, I felt like he was wearing a little piece of Love that I had made especially for him. Is that corny? Probably… but I don’t care!

I already have fabric cut for a top to go with these pants, another set of PJs, and a cute pair of plaid shorts… now I just need to find time to sew them! It is going to be a while, though… I need to finish stuff for the baby shower this weekend…

I still have to wrap up my gifts, and make a card (so much to do)! I’ve been working on the games and prizes, and I’ve also been scouring the ‘net for a diaper cover (baby bloomers) to go under the dresses I made. I Googled my fingers to the bone, and couldn’t find anything!! I thought that I was going to have to “invent” my own pattern tonight, and then lo and behold, One Pretty Thing shows up with a great (free) pattern over at Prudent Baby! It is a little big, but I’ll just use smaller elastic, and it will be fine for my 6-mo dresses! It is like the Universe knew what I needed! (Thank you, Universe, you are awesome! Now, if only you could get the repair shop to finish up my serger an get it back to me…)

Speaking of the awesome Universe, I got an e-mail in my inbox today from my Pincushion Pass buddy! Simona is (get this) a BILINGUAL Blogger in Croatia! I’m so excited! You can check out her awesome blog here. I love how everything is so green in all of her photos! Much different than life here in the desert. Although, I did spend some time in the yard this week:

the first pumpkin blossom… 
lettuce that needs about another week before I make it into a yummy salad…

 and the first pea pod! Though, what I’m going to do with just 2 peas I have no idea!

Expect Moore… soon! ; )
CM

Made by Tante… for baby!

So, next weekend I’m off to a baby shower for my good friend J. We are so excited for her! This is her 3rd pregnancy… but only the first that has grown to term. She is going to be a great mommy, and she and her hubby T are going to be great parents! If little baby M looks anything like her parents, she is going to have a million-dollar smile, that’s for sure!

While off to Cali for the baby shower, I’ll get to see my little niece R. She is 2 months old already! Time flies!! So, for baby M and baby R, I decided I would make something extra special.

This is for my niece baby R:

 (Fabric is Felines by Laurel Burch for Clothworks)
This is for the baby shower, baby M:
(Fabric is Mary Engelbreit for VIP fabrics by Cranston Print Works Co.)

The Dress is from Rae over at Made by Rae. Hers is cuter because it has a little piping between the bodice and the skirt, and trim on the bottom, but I think it is pretty stinkin’ cute without the extra bits, too. I’ll link directly to the page once I get permission from her, since her site specifically says to ask. But, if there is a little girl in your life, you should TOTALLY check out her little dress patterns – she has several of them, and they are all insanely cute! So cute, that I predict more “Made by Tante” dresses in the futures of baby R and baby M! Oh – and I sized it up to about 6 months.

The shoes are Joanna’s pattern I found over at Stardust Shoes. Also pretty easy to make… just make sure that you have med-weight interfacing and skinny elastic on hand. I went to the store to buy the interfacing, came home, and couldn’t find the right sized elastic! Luckily, after digging around for 10 minutes, I found some!

Since I had bought the interfacing, I went ahead and made a little hat. However, this hat pattern is toddler sized… which is good because baby R hates hats, and hopefully by the time her head is big enough for it, she’ll like them! I’m not entirely thrilled with my construction on this one… so I’m sure I’ll give it a nother shot in the future for my own Little Moore. The Hat pattern comes from Abby from Sew Much Ado who did a guest post on U Create.

The pink flowers are hair clips (the big one will be clipped to the outside of the gift bag as a “bow”). I got the idea from Lollychops who got it from Julie over at Inkcredible Stamping. They are a cinch to put together… and I sewed mine rather than gluing them, to keep it soft for baby.

To the left of the shoes is a little hair band (which is my only creative contribution). I took 2 different length strips of fabric (same width, though) and sewed them into a tube, curving one end. I turned them right side out, and sewed a little piece of elastic between, tucking in the corners next to the elastic to make it look a little nicer. I tied a double-knot at the top, which matches the ties on the dress. The idea is that M’s mom can tie it the right size for little baby M when she arrives, and the elastic will help to keep it on baby M’s head, and make it easy to take on and off. Great since I have no clue how big her head will be! : )

So, there you have it… I’m all set for next weekend! Oh… except that I’m going to make some cute burp cloths for baby M… and I have to wrap the dress… but that is another post for another day!

So, Expect Moore posts soon!
CM

I may not be here… but I am around

Both my sewing machine and serger are in the shop. Top that off with feeling crummy today… neither of which have anything to do with why I have not been around lately… but… I thought that it might alleviate a bit of my guilt do do a quick post saying that I PROMISE I will be back in the next week… especially since it will be the first week all MONTH that I do not have a trip out of state planned… by car… with a baby in the back seat…

And, I have a baby shower that I am going to the following weekend over in Cali, so I have some cute little things planned, Like maybe one of these little paci ties, and probably a pair of these adorable shoes… and as long as I’m making promises, I’m going to do a tutorial on how to make an easy gift bag… so easy you’ll be pulling out your Christmas wrapping paper to get stacks of ’em ready for the Holidays… after all, Christmas is only 7 months away…

Moore soon… I promise!
CM

Solving a Puzzling Mess

Little Moore is only 4 months away from turning 2! For his first birthday, he was given an assortment of wooden puzzles. Great for learning hand-eye coordination, shapes, spacial recognition, problem solving… not great for stacking (the little knobs on the top make the pile a wooden Tower of Piza), but wonderful for a 20-month old boy to dump all over the floor. At this point, 50% of the puzzles are missing one or more pieces!

To store the puzzles with their pieces, and make it a little harder for my toddler to dump 100+ puzzle pieces on the floor in 30 seconds, I decided to make some “Puzzle Envelopes.” Basically, fabric folders with a flap that would store each puzzle. As labels for these envelopes, to know where rogue pieces go when I find them under the couch, I put pictures of each puzzle on the flap.

Here’s how you can make your own Puzzle Envelope:

1. Pick out 2 coordinating fabrics (one for the inside, one for the outside), and a plain piece of fabric for the “photo patch” on the flap. I picked this horse fabric to go with the animal puzzles.

2. Take pictures of your puzzles. Print them onto iron-on transfer paper. Note: Make sure that you print a mirror-image, or your labels will end up being reversed. Trim the pictures.

3. Trim your plain fabric for your patch (I trimmed mine to 6″ strips). Then, iron on applique adhesive (Like Heat n Bond) to the fabric strip. Flip the strip over, lay down your pictures, and iron them on the plain side of the fabric. Trim the fabric strip, forming patches. My finished patches measured 6″ by 4″. Do not take the paper off of your photo yet!!

4. Measure your puzzle. My puzzles were 8.25″ x 11.5″. I cut my 2 pieces of fabric each 24″ x 13″, this was enough extra for the seam allowance, and for the size and depth of the puzzle.

5. Fold your outer fabric to mimic the finished size of your Puzzle Envelope. For me, this meant folding up 9″ towards the middle, and folding down the top 6″. If you are using a patterned fabric, now is your chance to double-check that you have the pattern facing the right direction. Center your patch in the middle of this 6″ flap. Don’t worry about the seam allowance, because the seam allowance and the depth of the puzzle will cancel each other out on the finished Puzzle Envelope. Iron the patch onto the flap. As tempting as it is to take off, leave the paper over the photo until the very end…

6. Un-fold the fabric, and sew around the edge of your patch using a zig-zag stitch, or other decorative stitch.

7. Match up your two large rectangles, right sides together, sew along the short end furthest from the patch, leaving a 4″ gap in the middle. This is where you are going to turn the whole thing right-side-out when you are finished.

8. This is the “tricky” part… getting the whole thing folded correctly so that everything will be in the right spot when you turn it right-side-out. Start by measuring 9″ up from the seam you just made. Mark the fabric at this point. Do the same thing on the other side. Turn the piece over, and do the same on the other fabric. These marks indicate where you will be folding.

9. Start by folding on this line, with the wrong side out, so that you are folding the two right sides together. Fold the fabric back at the seam, and again up at the next set of marks. Your fabric will be folded in 3 places – at the marks, at the seam, and at the marks again, making a W shape. You should have something that looks like this:

(I’ve folded the top back so that you can see what the inside looks like)

10. Pin the whole thing together along all 3 raw edges. Sew along these 3 edges. Trim the corners to reduce the bulk when you turn the envelope. You should be able to reach between the folds, through the gap you left in step 7, and turn the whole thing right side out. Use a chopstick or dull pencil to adjust the corners. At this point, you may want to iron the seams… which will make you glad that you kept the paper over your photo.

11. Sew across the top of pocket to close the hole you left for turning. If you like, you can do this by hand with “invisible” stitches, but I just made a seam across the whole thing with my machine. Do not sew the whole thing closed! Just go through the top 2 layers!

Put your puzzle in, and you’re done! If you’d like, you can use some kind of fastener, like buttons, snaps, or velcro, to keep the flap closed, but I didn’t think that was necessary.

Now you have a Puzzle Envelope… and once all of your puzzles have their own envelopes, they can easily be put away in a bin, without shedding pieces everywhere, or sitting in precarious piles.

Oh, and you can take the paper off of the photo now! : )

Something pretty for a rough day.

Last night, I noticed some red spots on Little Moore’s skin. I figured it would be gone by morning. This morning, it was still there… and either it had spread, or I was just paying better attention. Little light-red flecks around his eyes and at his temples, all the way past his ears… and not raised, or itchy.

I called the doctor to make an appointment. And while I was on the phone setting up this appointment, my son got into the workroom, up on my work table, and dumped out an entire bottle of black embossing powder!

Oh yes, he did. And in the Cricut, no less…

No time to clean it up, I took him to the doctor. After an hour of waiting, she had no clue what the rash could be… a couple theories, but no, “Sure, that is kidafungusigitis… here is some ointment that will clear it right up… so glad you brought him in before it spread.” Instead, I got the “Watch it to see if it spreads, and we’ll do blood draw to check his white-cell counts.” I tried to stay calm, but after hearing “white cell counts” all I could think of was my 7 year old cousin who is 1/4 of the way through his treatment for Leukemia…

THREE HOURS LATER… I got home. Little Moore was all tuckered out from his blood draw (after the blood draw was done, it took about 30 minutes for him to calm down… but who can blame him, he’s not even 20 months old yet!), and I needed some therapy (and something to keep my mind off waiting for the Doc to call)… after putting LM down for his nap, I got cracking… and cleaned up the embossing powder.

Then, I got to working on this reversible purse that One pretty thing shared from Martha. I’m thinking about making this bag much bigger, and making several to have as reusable shopping bags. I can’t be the only one who is self conscious about showing up at Target with a bag with the grocery store’s name on it, right? You with me? And, I love that the bag has one handle smaller than the other, to tuck in… hopefully meaning that my groceries won’t make a break for it all over the trunk of my car!

Before going whole-hog, I tried the “mini” version… using this beautiful vintage fabric that I got from my mom forever ago. Cute, huh? I made the inside red (yummy), and I totally love it! I would have liked it if it had been a tad bigger… but as a trial-run for the big grocery edition, I think it is great. The perfect size to put my keys, wallet, and camera in… and then shove in the diaper bag. My big leather monstrosity of a purse is not as forgiving.

Here is the finished product:

Oh… and the doctor called… all Little Moore’s blood counts are normal. Which is good, because it means that we can cross a couple horrible illnesses off the “potential” list…

… and bad because we still have no clue what is causing the rash. Hopefully, the rash will be gone tomorrow, and I can live blissfully in ignorance.

Even so, I know that, after this crisis passes, there will still be Moore to come…


CM

If you don’t have a smile… I’ll give you one of mine

This card is sooooo going to my good friend J. She’s been having some baby-blues… she and her hubby have had just about every conception problem under the sun, and the doctors are starting to talk about IUI, which means hormones, and lots of $moolah$…

I’ve been calling her about once a week to leave her a funny message, or sing her a funny song (out of key, of course… the only way I know how). I hope that this little pretty will brighten up her day!

For my inspiration, I used this week’s Sweet Sunday Sketch, and to follow through, I used today’s idea from 365 cards… which was to work a card all the way through… front, middle and back.

I started off with a plain ol’ white card, some grey paper with little grey dots (from Creative Memories), yellow cardstock, and some blue papers (the bottom one has a pretty pearly sheen that doesn’t come across well in the photo). The sticker is one I had in a stack from YEARS ago (at least 4 or 5), as well as the little memorabilia pocket. After I dug up the sticker, I KNEW it was what I wanted… and I knew that I had a smiley punch somewhere… After digging through 3 drawers, and finding an old business card holder and 2 different pairs of Fiskars paper Edging scissors… I found the smiley punch! Yup… I’m still not done organizing yet!

I trimmed off the square edges of the memorabilia pocket to make it round, cut a circle to fit (I don’t have a good circle cutter, and essentially did this freehand… any ladies have a suggestion of a good circle cutter to buy? I’m in the market for one…). I punched the smileys all in a row, and trimmed the smiley strip so it wouldn’t be behind the memorabilia pocket. I filled the pocket with blue and yellow smiley faces from my punching, glued it all together, and voila!

Oh, for the inside and back:

Nothing terribly fancy, just keeping it simple. : )

I’ll be posting moore soon!
CM

Some Light and Organization

So, about 3 weeks ago, I stumbled across this great blog – Lollychops. I L – O – V – E love her writing – her sweet, sincere personality makes her feel like an old friend… and she does some beautiful crafts!!

In one of Lolly’s posts, she put up some pictures of her craft room. It was totally eye opening. I thought to myself, “Wow, a craft room doesn’t have to be some dark, leftover corner of the house, hidden away so that my husband won’t mind the mess… it can actually be functional, organized, and well lit!?” Wow! Who knew!?

I started planning my “ideal” space it in my mind. Within a week, I pulled my husband upstairs, pointed out where I wanted things to go (I was swapping most of the furniture in two rooms to get better light and layout), and got his nod. This wasn’t the “okay honey, I’ll move all the big heavy furniture for you” kind of nod, this was the, “okay honey, I see that you are going to do this anyway, and I won’t object” kind of nod. Regardless… yay!

Thanks to some pent up frustrations, I had lots of energy to move around big bulky furniture. Day One was moving the big pieces. Day Two was swapping the closets. Days Three was organizing… so was Day Four… and Day Five… a week later I’m still fussing with the details, and I’m sure I will be for a while, but I LOVE it!!

Without further ado… I present… “The Workroom!”

TAH DAH!!

I cleaned off the table especially for the photo… but trust me, it didn’t look like that before, and I’m sure it won’t anytime in the near future. I try to keep it relatively clutter-free so that I can get my craft on without tripping over myself. Thanks for the inspiration Lolly! : )

Moore to come… soon!
CM

Easter!

As I was working on the Cricutters Anonymous Spring Themed Challenge, I thought, “Wow, guess I’m pretty inspired by yesterday’s inchie sketch, huh??

These are photos of this year’s Easter egg-dying with Little Moore, and my MIL. He had a blast… I’d seen in Parenting Magazine the suggestion to use whisks when dying eggs to help out the little ones, and it worked fantastic!

Anyway, for this scrapbook layout, I used the “Easter” from the “Designer’s Calendar” Cricut Cartridge (at 2″ tall), and the flower border along the bottom is the Garden1-s ICON from the “A Child’s Year” Cricut Cartridge (at 1 1/2″ tall). This cartridge was a gift from my MIL for my birthday, and honestly… I didn’t think that I would like it… but it has such great variety, it has probably become my most-used cartridge! :o)

To get the variations in color, I cut the flowers in multiple colors, stacked the colored flower on top of the green flower, used a craft knife to cut through BOTH layers (with a small mat underneath to protect my layout page. I took both off, glued on the colored flower (remembering which side was the back so I didn’t put glue on the wrong side), and tah dah!

Oh, and while I’m on the subject of Easter… here is the Easter card I sent out to the family this year:

On the inside, it read:

“I don’t want to sit on bunny’s lap,
He’s too big and scary!
I’m safer in my mama’s arms,
Where I’ll laugh and be merry!”

To create the card, I used the CARD on the “A child’s year” Cricut Cartridge. See, told ya that cartridge is handy! It has great little cards! :o)

Hope you’ve enjoyed my Easter crafts… Moore to come later…