word up.

January is like a holiday to me.
The whole month.
It's like one giant excuse to clean, purge, repaint, organize and refresh...
...every single surface, nook and cranny in my house.
Lovely, love it.
This year my word to live by is simplify.
Basically an organizers dream word.
It has already brought beautiful messes to my house.
Like...organizing all of my fabrics into colors.
Just look at all the coordinated color goodness.
Then each basket got labeled with a paint chip sample...LOVE!
The paint chips were picked up as I bought sample paint colors to repaint the living room and dining room. So far...the middle swatch(called "crystal aqua"!) and leaving it the same color are winning...what do you think? Either way the walls are in dire need of a fresh coat of the most boy durable paint I can find.
I'm also vowing to be better about NOT beings so late with my birthday gifts and greetings.
Since Aaron was born you were lucky if your birthday card or gift arrived to you in the same month as your birthday...and anniversaries? Fuggetabout.
So this year...on December 31st...my MACbook and I had a date.
We went through and put in each and every birthday and set an email reminder to go out 15 days before each birthday.
Then I bought this pretty calendar from HERE to keep track of all the appointments.
She has another lovely shop HERE.
The sweet owner has given me permission to give away one copy of the calendar to one of you...
...so if you would like one just leave a comment and I'll choose one of you later this week.

I just love a new year and a new start...I've got a good feeling about 2010. :)

how to ruffle...with or without a foot.

Here is a quick and simple way to cute up anything...jacket, shirt, skirt, bag...anything.
I did this cute cozy jacket I picked up from Baby Gap for $10.
You can almost use scrap fabric...if your scraps are big enough.
Step 1: Measure the length of where you want to put a ruffle.
You will multiply that length by 2.
Since this is a jacket and I wanted ruffles on each side of the zipper...
I had to cut two of each length.
So...my fabric strips were 14in by 2in and 12in by 2in and I had two of each.
(disregard that top piece of fabric in the photo)
Step 2: Make your ruffle.
If you have a ruffling foot...I don't think I need to tell you how.
If you don't have one...I highly recommend getting one.
The photo above shows my ruffle foot fabric strips ready to go.
If you don't have a ruffle foot...set your machine to the longest stitch length...and using a straight stitch...sew all the way down the length of the fabric strip...stay as close to the middle as possible.
When you get to the end of the strip...be sure to leave a couple of inches of thread at the end when you trim it off. Ever. SO. Gently pull on either the top or bottom thread and push the fabric down...work that ruffle down the strip and go back to the top...repeat until you get your ruffle down to the size you want it. Your thread may break...this is why a ruffle foot is awesome...you can pull out the stitches and start again when the thread breaks.
Step 3: Once you have your ruffles made...pin them in place where you want them to be.
Step 4: Sew on your ruffles...I stitched down the middle then off to either side about a half inch or so. If you just sew down the middle the ruffles will curl up too much when you wash them.
All done!
You can either give it as is...OR if you are worried that the person you are giving it to will freak out over frayed fabric goodness...you can wash it first. :)
Be sure to trim the frayed goodness with scissors and never pull it!

Now go ruffle.

I will try to answer questions in comment form on THIS post. :)

Cupcake in a Jar...(repost)

Yes, this is a re-post...but it's one of my most popular...and I thought it would be perfect for the holiday season...for teachers, mailmen, bus drivers...all those folks who you never quite know what to get...you could mix it up with seasonal goodness like peppermint. :)

First you bake cupcakes as usual...buy some little jars...these are half pints I believe (I found them at Target but you can also get them at most grocery stores). Take the cupcake out of the paper and divide in half...place in jar. Make sure there is a gap between the two sides...these makes a nice place for the goodies to settle. :)

For these I added Oreos broken up...you can add anything you like...peanut butter cups, jelly beans, snickers, chocolate chips, marshmallows...on and on...whatever yummy things you like.

Then add a huge dollop of any kind of frosting the floats your boat. Don't seal off the jar with it...you want the sprinkles you will add next to be able to fall into the jar. Add sprinkles before or/and after this step.

Take another cupcake, de-paper it and smash it into the top. Mush on the lid. Seal tightly.
Goodness in a jar.

You can also dress it up all fancy...make it pretty.


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