Category Archives: Crafty Crafty!

Finally Making the Family Passport Wallet


Two Christmases ago I gave Dave a paper gift bag. Inside it was a handful of fat quarters, half a yard of interfacing and a velcro strip. Also, the pattern for the Family Passport  Wallet.

For the past 23 years, we’ve been traveling with our passports and boarding passes in this:


Awful, right? I’d intended to make the new travel wallet and give it to Dave that Christmas, but that didn’t happen what with December being December … and also Christmas. So he got all the materials in a baggie, along with the promise that I would sew it as soon as I could.

Fast forward a year and a half and I’m visiting Kelli for the weekend. I know I can take one small sewing project with me, and the travel wallet it was!


With its clean lines and many pockets, this project is all about neat pinning, carefully ironing and precise stitching. It sewed up in an afternoon over a glass of wine and a bowl of guacamole and tortilla chips.


I am very happy with the result!


Forty Days of Lent: Fifteen Minute Project – 15 and Quit!




Not sure if this falls into the 15 minutes Surface project or the Spend fifteen minutes and then quit one!

One of the joys of living in Southern California, is that your washer and dryer are often located in a closet outside the house. And no one likes to talk about it, but when it rains or the weather gets cooler, all kinds of critters make their way where it is warm and dry. Hence, rat poop on the shelves in my laundry closet. I know.


I had a 45-minute gap between work and picking up Tau for karate. So I donned disposable gloves, a face mask, and went at those shelves with my vacuum cleaner and disinfectant.


I also purged the piles of old towels and assorted pool toys that we store in that closet, and will wash (in hot water) the remaining pile before putting it back. I stopped with three minutes to spare, and just enough time to change my tee, wash my face and hands, and head out to karate!



Forty Days of Lent: Fifteen Minute Project – A Kitchen Cupboard

Catching up on a couple of 15-minute de-clutterings. You can find out more and play along here.

For my birthday in late February friends gave me a set of beautiful new Crate ‘n Barrel champagne flutes. Other friends gave me a new set of martini glasses.

Either my friends think I don’t drink enough or they know the new glasses will be well used!

Anyhow, this led to me purging our glassware cupboard last week. Out with all the nasty plastic kidware — keeping only what we USE — and the Mexican glass goblets we probably haven’t used in a decade, and in with my pretty new glasses.


Turns out the beautiful new flutes are too tall for our shelves, so I’m displaying them on top of the cupboard.


Forty Days of Lent: Fifteen Minute Project – A Corner


The second in my series of 15-minute declutterings. You can find out more and play along here.

This is the spot in Tau’s room where toys that are not played with go to die get tossed aside. But he had a friend coming to sleep over and so we tackled his bedroom together.


I know the before picture doesn’t look that bad — a plastic bag containing small gifts and stocking stuffers from Christmas (!), his stuffed animals in their pet bed (yes, we had to buy them a real pet bed from the store), and a pirate’s treasure chest, which contains at least five years’ worth of plastic birthday-party and fast-food crappy giveaways.

But consider that this project also involved purging and reorganizing the books and toys on the THREE bottom shelves, and making the floor so that you could walk on it again … at least until Tau’s friend arrived, and then 30 minutes later, it was covered in Beyblades and Lego all over again.

It was clear for those few moments — I have the picture to prove it!


Forty Days of Lent: Fifteen Minute Project – A Table



I decided to play along with Beth Woolsey’s 40 Days of Lent: 15 Minute Projects. My intention is to do at least five of these 15-minute purges throughout Lent, in the hopes that our home will be less messy and my mind feel less cluttered!

Maceo’s room doubles as my craft area — he’s too young to care! And the craft table and shelves, of course, become the dumping ground for anything that doesn’t fit in his closet or that I don’t know what to do with just right at that moment.


Truth told, this was more of a 25-minute project than a 15-minute one. The purging and neatening took a wee bit longer than 15 minutes. I then spent another 15 minutes after the tidy up framing those four little pictures you see on the wall below — the frames have been sitting on said craft table for at least two years, waiting! It feels SO good to get this done!



Embroidered Onesie for Baby Solana




This One Doesn’t End Like All the Others

I was so chuffed with myself. This month’s Fabric-by-Fabric One Yard Wonders sew along was the Eight-bottle Wine Tote.

Perfect Christmas gift, filled with eight bottles of wine, I thought. I’d whip it up in no time! Even better, I found this fun dotty home-dec fabric in the clearance pile at JoAnns. Festive but not overtly Christmassy. I was in and out of there for under ten bucks!

Then I got home and realized that the fabric I bought was not wide enough. No problemo! I had some coordinating brown sheeting that would work well for the second, inside layer. Then I read on to realize that I needed a yard of cotton batting to sandwich between the two layers of fabric. Duh! It does pay to read the instructions before going shopping.

Still determined to forge ahead, I found something in my fabric stash that would pass for batting and began. I sandwiched the layers together and pinned. I meticulously marked out my 2 x 2 inch quilting lines with tailor’s chalk, and started sewing.

And after three rows of careful stitching, holding the layers steady, I remembered why I don’t do projects that require quilting. Ever. Because I suck at quilting!

The brown side didn’t look too bad. See?

But oy! The dotty side! It was nasty and skew, with pinches and gathers in the wrong places, despite all of my careful sewing.

And this is where the wisdom of middle age kicks in. I took my shears and cut away what fabric I could from the mess, and saved it to use another day. And then I tossed the rest in the trash!

Life is too short for bad sewing projects.

Not that the project is bad mind you. Take a look at this pretty version of the eight-bottle tote! My lack of preparation and execution — and perhaps I do need that walking foot for my sewing machine after all — is absolutely to blame!