Archive | Sewing, knitting, crafting

Tutorial: A Little Christmas Craft, Snowmen Ornament

My kids and I made these last week to hang on our school’s tree.  Super simple and really cute {or at least I think so!}.

All you need is construction paper {I think blues look best}, paint, two Sharpies, a hole punch, and string.

Get four fingers covered in white paint and press onto the paper.  Let dry and make into snowmen.  Hole punch and add some yarn to hand it with.


I did this with 6 – 9 year olds and then went home and did it with my {almost} three year old.  Definitely anyone can do it!


Miss Crafty Pants, Camera Phone Edition

I’ve actually been pretty crafty lately.  I blame it on all those pre-match {adoption talk for waiting on baby} energy.  I feel like I MUST!DO!SOMETHING! with any free time I have.

I think it’s like an adoptive parent’s version of nesting.

Anyway, so that means lots of homemade Christmas presents {so many in the works!}, a Halloween costume, and lots of odds-and-ends in the last week or so.


~New ‘Corduroy’ ears…because we somehow misplaced the ones we last wore on Sunday.  Hmph.

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~Treat bags {with four containers of Play-Doh inside} for MM’s classmates.

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~ Footprint ghosts by my girl and her not-so-little feet {size 10…uh-huh!}

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And just because these two things are too precious not to post.

My baby in her first school picture. I know it sounds cliche…but, y’all, it feels like just yesterday I was holding her as a newborn. It baffles me at how quickly she has grown…and continues to grow.


…and grow and grow and grow!

Here is a picture from a costume parade with her class at preschool today. They are all the same age {two}, but my baby is a head taller than everyone else. I guess she’s growing into those big feet we keep having to buy new shoes for!

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Corduroy Costume Reveal

By now, I’m sure you realized that MM loves Corduroy. And I’m sure it’s no surprise that it’s what she wanted to be for Halloween.  But before I show you pictures of THIS year why don’t we look back at the last two years?

In 2009 she was a skunk.

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In 2010 she was Minnie Mouse.

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Oh my, she looks so little. Where did my little baby go?!


But I digress.  Let’s talk her costume before I go down Memory Lane so far that I’m just a crying, blubbering mess sitting in the corner.

I looked around online for an overall pattern that I thought looked like Corduroy’s from the book.  Meaning one that buttoned, criss-crossed in the back, and had a vintage feel {the book was written in 1976} with no elastic in the back.

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But I couldn’t find a pattern like that so I went on the hunt for a vintage one that I could actually sew.  {Side note: Is it just me or are vintage patterns so crazy?!  Even with the one I found–which was really straight-forward–it would give a one-sentence step whereas a pattern nowadays would use a half-page detailing what I was to do.  And don’t even get me started on unmarked patterns!}  I found this vintage Simplicity pattern {#3679} from the 40s and loved it the moment I saw it…and yes, I’m saving that little cowboy and his horse transfer for something really special!


{I found the bright green felt on Etsy too.}

It took me about three hours to sew the overalls, but I really took my time because my biggest pet peeve is rushing and having to tear out all my stitching–can I get an amen?–the seam ripper and I are not friends.  And I’m happy to say I didn’t have to take out one stitch.  It was a miracle, I tell ya.

Once I made the overalls I wanted to add a purple pocket with a name card tucked inside like in the book, A Pocket for Corduroy.

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I hand-embroidered some fabric with “I’m Corduroy” to make it look like it was written out with a marker.


And on the back I embroidered her initials and the year.  I attached it with a coordinating purple ribbon because I didn’t want her to lose it {she shows everyone her little “card”}.


Then it was time to sew on the buttons.  If you’ve ever read the books then you know that Corduroy is missing one of his buttons in the first book and then after Lisa buys him she sews on a new one.  So…two mis-matched buttons.  And since I was using a vintage pattern to make this costume from a vintage book I decided to use vintage buttons too!


And then we added ears {ribbon wrapped around a headband…and adult-size headband I might add–my baby has a big head!…with felt ears & little hair bows hot-glued on} and we were finished.

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I put her in a brown shirt with brown socks and brown mary janes to make her match Corduroy.



And while I think she really likes her costume…I think she likes the Halloween candy better!


Tip Junkie handmade projects

What I'm Making Monday


Chalkboard-Magnetic Wall(s)

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I realize I’m pretty bad about talking about projects here at Brogdon House and then never showing you the after.  Like…our new {now a year and a half old} stove or our {now ten months old} kitchen floor, etc.

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A couple of weeks ago I mentioned my dad and I were working on making our pantry into basically a gigantic magnetic chalkboard framed in old yard sticks.  …and I thought I better blogged about it before it just became part of our everyday life and I forgot.  Again.

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We painted three coats of magnetic paint {it’s thick and black} and on top of that put three coats of tinted chalkboard paint {it’s thick and dark green}.  We attached the rulers with Liquid Nails.

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And now, finally!, we have a place for our calendar, grocery list, goals {things we want to do} for the month, and a place to display MM’s latest school things. And inspirational quotes that I need to recite to myself everyday.

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At first I was just using regular old chalk, but then I discovered these. {They came off with a Magic Eraser.} And it writes like a pen. Love ’em.

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And what was Little Miss Thang doing while I was taking pictures?

Sitting in the mudroom singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to her animals in their high chair, of course!

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And drawing them a picture too.

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Halloween Bunting with Bias Tape Tutorial

Holiday Banner Made With Bias Tape How-To {Directions}

I’ve been seeing banners {or “buntings”–which is such a cuter name} for ever and a day and thought I would try my hand at it.  But I didn’t like the whole sewing with string thing so I decided to use extra-wide double-fold bias tape instead.  Now, I can’t claim that I came up with this first–in fact, I’m sure I’ve seen it somewhere before so if I’ve seen it on your blog I’m sorry for not giving you credit…but for the life of me can’t remember where.  Also, sorry for the camera phone pictures.  My camera is in the shop {getting a new LCD screen among other things}, but I thought these pictures would be better than nothing…maybe I was right.


Here’s the materials you need: 1/4 yd felt, 1/4 yd fabric, and one 3 yrd pack of bias tape.  You totally can use less fabric/felt, but you need it to be a certain length/width for your letters.  I have as least 3 banners-worth of fabric leftover.  This all cost me a total of $4.62.

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Next you have to make your letters and the triangle. I did mine on my computer–I think it was 550 point for the “b” and the “o”. Cut them out. As you can see I needed to make my triangle a bit bigger so I put it on a manila folder and added 1/4″ all the way around.

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Pin those letters to the felt really well.  {I doubled the fabric over so I only would have to cut out the “O” one time, but could get two letters.}

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I used my rotary cutter to help cut out the triangle {I heart straight lines}.

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Here is what my lovely assistant was doing during this time–organizing my Barbie collection on the floor.  She knows that I just love stepping on hard, pointy Barbie hands, feet, shoes, etc. while I sew.

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Next, add your letters to the fabric with lots of pins to keep them exactly where you want them on the fabric. Originally I was going to use some Wonder Under on them, but in the end I just wanted a quick project so I decided to just pin them. Totally worked fine.

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And now it’s time to sew the letters on!
…oh wait, or sit at Mommy’s serger and make a mess. HA

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Once your letters are sewn on–sorry that it’s hard to see the black thread on the black felt–you are going to insert your fabric into the open side of the bias tape. Pin it well. Sew very close to the open side {a very teeny tiny seam allowance}.

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And, taa-daa! you’re finished! About 30-45 minutes from start to finish. Happy Sewing!

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Our July, In Pictures

My original plan was to have another adoption fundraiser with my sewing {and Val’s generous, creative contributions too} right after the Fourth of July, but I got side-tracked with a little sewing project for the new babe.

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Upstairs playing in her tutu.

And then when MM kept ooh-ing and aah-ing over it…well, this mama couldn’t say no. doh.chenille outfit.rr tracks_0012
Play-Doh with Da-Da {and Coco} at the kitchen table is always a favorite.

So the past couple of weeks I’ve been slinking off to my sewing studio during naps and bedtimes and working on a surprise project just for her.

Meeting Lilly {of Lilly’s Plastic Purse fame} at our library.

A yellow {with plenty of her favorite purple for accents} star quilt with a backing in a vintage-inspired nursery rhyme pattern that she picked out unknowingly a few weeks ago at the fabric store.  I also embroidered on the back “You are our sunshine”, because, well, she is.  60″ by 60″–the perfect size for tea parties, and book reading, and doll playing.

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Washing the car in her pajamas…such a big help.

I’m going to do my very best at waiting to give it to her until the day we bring brother or sister home.

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Helping Mama cook in the kitchen. Here she is stirring Darby’s famous Creamy Corn Salad for me.

I have a hard time keeping surprises so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I will on this one.

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Playing at Da-Da’s office. {Man, she loves the stamp…and pretending to play on his computer.}

As far as the adoption, we’re trucking right along. Our agency now has copies of ALL our home study paperwork {103 pages, thankyouverymuch} for the ICPC {Interstate Compact on Adoption} in case our birth mother is from another state. Hopefully this will allow us to come home to Georgia sooner after the birth, rather than later. doh.chenille outfit.rr tracks_0002
Meeting Madeline at our local library.

So other than that, nothing much going on. Birth mothers looking at our profile {seven this summer so far} and lots of praying for our baby, their birth mom, and our little family. Lots of dreaming about our new family of four.

Asleep in the car and holding on {tightly} to her purple balloon.

My goal is to work on some sewing projects this week and to get Val’s and my things up by next Saturday. Stay tuned!


Playdate Outfit Reveal

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Over at The Cottage Home this week Lindsay is hosting a sew along with a fabulous pattern: Playdate Outfit by Carina Gardner.

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I decided to play along because I realize I rarely sew shirts for MM–dresses, pants, even lots of skirts–but no shirts.  I ordered the pattern about a month ago and have been patiently waiting for this week.

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It really was a quick sew {probably 3 hours from start to finish}. I love the shirt {even without the flower button} and can imagine myself sewing quite a few more!  And don’t even get me started on the bermuda shorts that came with the pattern…oh my.  I’m in love.

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I actually found the fabric for 10 cents–yes, you heard right, CENTS–a yard {it’s normally $15/yard} this week when I went to buy drapery lining at our local fabric store.  It’s a Waverly home dec fabric and at first I was afraid it would be too thick and stiff, but I actually like that about it in the end.

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If you’re in the market for a good multi-use pattern {it has a shirt, dress, capris, and shorts} and you’re an advanced beginner, or even someone who wants to try sewing with a pattern for the first time, I definitely recommend the Playdate Outfit!



I fear that I have “Summer Break Brain”.  The only cure, of course, is school starting again in August.  Until then, dear readers, you’ll just have to be patient with me please.

I do have a few things swirling around in this head of mine.  In no particular order.

1. I organized my closet (one down, two more upstairs to go).  My shirts are organized by color…more specifically, ROY G BIV.  Can you tell I was a science teacher in another life?

2. We have gotten 1.5″ of rain tonight and I am so happy I could almost cry.  Being a farmer is soooo stressful during times of drought {which, given the South’s climate, is like every summer}–I cannot even imagine what it would been like 100 years ago when there weren’t satellites or predictions for rain.  When there is more than a 20% chance of rain you can find my dad and I hunkered down around the computer looking at the radar in real time trying to predict if we’ll get rain.

3. Speaking of all things veggie-related: we’ve been selling out every week at the farmers’ market {‘like’ us on Facebook here}.  This is such a blessing to us ’cause we bring A TON of fresh produce.  And the canned items are selling like hot cakes too–which is good and bad–good because we’re selling them, bad because we have to put up more for the Christmas season.  But you won’t hear me complaining, no siree.

4. ‘Put up’ = ‘To can’.  I had someone *not* know what that meant last week at the farmers’ market.  They were not from around here, needless to say.

5. MM was playing today and she “broke” her dog leash {or at least she pretended to}.  She quickly said to me, ‘Mommy, help!  My need toilet paper, cracker, and crayon to fix leash!’  …uhm, okay, whatever works, MacGyver.

6. Nursery plans are slowly moving along.  Looks like we’re storing the cast iron bed that’s currently residing in there this weekend so my dad can paint early next week.  The color?  ‘Turtle Dove’ by Behr.  I’m sure by now you know I don’t do “themes”  {sorry, but you won’t find Noah’s Ark or Winnie-the-Pooh here}, but I am going with the colors grey, sage, and a tiny pop of gold.  I’ll keep you posted as the room changes from guest bedroom to the nursery of Baby Henry {or Moseby} or  Baby Emmeline.

7. Oh…did I mention we’ve narrowed down the names?  Yep, Emmeline Grace definitely for a girl (pronounced ‘Emma-line’) or for a boy we’re 60/40 leaning towards Henry.  But we like Moseby too.  So, who knows really.

8. Speaking of the baby…MM has somehow got it in her mind that *she* is growing the baby in her tummy.  I’ve been talking about how another mommy is growing our baby in her tummy for us…and well, she thinks she’s the mommy.  The first time she mentioned it was last week and she said, ‘Ohhhh, my tummy hurts!’  When we asked her where she said, ‘Wight here! [motioning to the side] Henwe kicked me!’  But it’s not just “Henwe”…oh no, sometimes it’s also Moseby and ‘M-Yine’ too.

9. The blackberries and blueberries are starting to come in.  We’re canning blueberry jam tomorrow.  Next week will be a full week of canning blackberry preserves, more green tomato relish, and quite possibly, for the first time ever, bruschetta.  MMMM, I salivate just thinking about that–there are few things in this world I love more than bruschetta.  Especially fresh bruschetta with homegrown tomatoes and basil.

10. I’ve got some sewing projects I’m itching to do soon–a ruffle top/dress for a cool chick, a library tote made of chicken feed sacks {with pictures of said chickens on them} for a little farm girl in my life, add the binding to the baby’s quilt, and sew a dust ruffle {in beautiful dark grey European–and cheap!–linen}.

11. My grandmother is out of the hospital and doing better.  Better as in “okay” not as in “back to normal”.  They determined she didn’t have pneumonia, but a rare form of E. Coli.  She didn’t ingest, but more than likely got it into her blood stream through her hands or feet.  It infected her blood first, then went to her lungs, and then her kidneys.  Thankfully it seems to have been caught in time and she is taking HUGE amounts of antibiotics and going back to the doctor for antibiotic shots too.  So random that she came down with this.  I’m just glad she’s okay and they figured out the problem.

So there’s my top 10.  What’s going on in your brain?


A Quilt for Baby

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This is how I piece the string quilt–with construction paper.

It started with me heading into my little studio for a quick five-minute blanket made by my serger.

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Getting the pieces all laid out just so.

But you know how that goes.

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The quilt pieced together.

It turned into a few hour {and I’m still working…} project.

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The back.

Because our future baby doesn’t just need a quick blanket.  Oh no, they need something made with lots of love and prayers while we wait for them.  And MM was with me the entire time–playing Barbies, sitting beside me and talking away, coloring on the floor–and I’m excited to tell our future child about the love that went into this special little blanket.

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With the first border sewn on.

But it’s not finished.  There still is basting, quilting to be done, and binding.  Oh yes, lots more love and prayers going into this creation before we set it on the dresser of Baby C.’s nursery while it waits for the arrival of our newest family member.

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With the second border sewn on, next up: quilting!


Adoption Fundraiser, Part 2: Lovely Lady Drying Mats


Sorry, guys!  I have these ten dish drying mats to ship and eighteen more to make this week.   Thank you so much for all your support.  I can’t even begin to describe to you how wonderful it makes me feel to have all your support.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

This week when I began sewing these I didn’t really think much about it–I just grabbed some fabrics that spoke to me and started sewing.  Then I realized one by one that they all reminded me of something…someone.  And I decided to run with it–to create even more, all the while thinking about some special women in my life.

All dish drying mats are $25 plus shipping (which is usually around $2-$3).  Just email me at if you would like purchase one and I’ll ship it off Monday morning.  They measure about 30″ x 22″ and the back is extra absorbent terry cloth in a coordinating color.  On the inside all seams are professionally serged to give you years of use.

{And yes, I totally accept custom orders–just tell me the colors that speak to you!}

But before I tell you about my dish drying mats I need to introduce you to these three lovely lady heifers {heifers are cows that haven’t given birth} since they are featured in almost every picture.

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They’re not our cows, but the ones next door. And let me tell you, they were very interested in these drying mats and kept trying to sneak up and take a lick of them! {No worries, all licks were prevented.}

In no particular order I am proud to introduce you to:


Jackie. An outgoing, fun, and all-around colorful person. She is the one who puts the life into any party. It was only fitting that she had this funky print on her mat. If you look closely you will see a silhouette of a woman in a masquerade mask. See her yet? Okay, look at her hair. Yep, her hair is designed in squirrels and ships. How cool is that? {I loved this print so much that I sewed a sink skirt from it for my kitchen sink.}  THREE SOLD!  All fabric gone.


Denise. A vibrant soul with a heart as big as Texas. She loves her family and her roots and that is why I picked this vintage-like fabric in her favorite color. {I have this print in another color and am going to use it as the back for MM’s barnyard quilt. Love it.}  SOLD OUT (no more of the red fabric available)


Ruth. Oh, Ruth, what a sweet, kind, genuine person. Someone who can only be described as “salt of the earth”. I chose this beautiful fruit fabric because it represents exactly who my grandmother is–a woman raised on the land. A caring word, a gentle hug, and a strong work ethic. Something that is very hard to come by nowadays.  SOLD!  I *might* have enough fruit fabric to make more.  If you would like me to check for you just email me.


Jenna. When picturing what I wanted to create to represent Jenna I knew I wanted to do a cross of traditional and modern. Because that’s what she is–a working woman in today’s world with values and beliefs {and oh, the cooking!} from year’s gone by. She is a perfect mix of these two worlds. {And this fabric is almost decorator weight, meaning extra thick and lovely.  Oh, and I have TWO of these made…I love them that much.}  FOUR SOLD!


Kathy. I love this mix of chocolate fabrics. Conservative, yes, but also extremely elegant and graceful. This, and the lady it was named after, could fit in anywhere. If you met her you would instantly like her and want to be friends because she is that down-to-earth. SOLD!  Sorry, no more of these are available…all out of the Anna Maria Horner fabric!

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Mary Margaret. So happy, youthful and full of energy. A fun mix for a mat…and a little girl!–it is hard to not smile when looking at her. She brightens any room with her sweet disposition. These fun fabrics are a perfect fit for my dear MM.  THREE SOLD!  All out of the green coordinating print, but still have the flowers.  If you like the flower print I can find something else to coordinate with it…just let me know.


Joyce. A lady who has a loving, open heart like a rose. A person who you know cares about others in a soft-spoken kind way. A personality of peace and tranquility and full of wisdom.  SOLD!  If you would like one of these it might be a week or two as I have to go to my favorite fabric store and pick up more of the Amy Butler floral.


Jessica. “Fun and flirty” fit this girl perfectly. Always on the go and making life look easy. She even has a hot pink bathroom…and can totally pull it off! She knows all the best places to get your nails done, or eat sushi, or have faux eyelashes applied.  TWO SOLD!  All out of the fabulous pink damask.


Katie. A woman of elegance with grace {and natural rhythm that I would kill for!}. A kind smile at all times. A natural mother through and through. She makes life look easy-breezy.  TWO SOLD!  …but I think I have enough fabric for one more!


And last, but not least, Natalie. Not only do I love the rich reds, pinks, mustards, and sages of this fabric, but the small dots that make up the whole beautiful picture. One dot by itself is not beautiful, but hundreds? Thousands? Absolutely stunning. {I am by no means saying that I’m stunning, but the fact that a lot of small pieces make up who I am.} 🙂  SOLD!  All gone–no more of this wonderful Tula Pink fabric!

I hope you enjoyed meeting these drying mats as much as I like making them.  Happy shopping!

And as always, thank you for helping us with our adoption.  We were officially “approved” today with our agency and on to the next step: the application {all the while still working on our home study}.  So exciting!


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