I have this dress that I bought several years ago.  It’s a simple shift dress, made from striped jersey knit.  I found myself wearing it as much as possible in the summer– it was cute, and even better, it was easy and comfortable.  I’ve had the idea to copy it for a while, and I finally did it this summer.  I bought some very inexpensive 100% polyester “jet set” knit from Joann (it was under $3, since it was on sale!) and I already had thread to match!

I folded the original dress in half and used a pin to pierce through it onto some large brown packing paper I had on hand to make a pattern for the front and back.  It is super-simple– since it’s jersey, there are no darts or other shaping other than the side seams!





The hem is a straightforward coverstitch, and I bound the armholes and neckline with more of the same jersey.  My practice with the Blanc t-shirts is starting to pay off!

For such an inexpensive and simple dress, I’m really pleased with how it turned out.  I’ve been brainstorming ideas to modify the pattern to make it more exciting!


Who would have thought that I would go on a Christmas layout kick at the end of September?!  Certainly not me, especially since Christmas layouts are usually what I dread most!

And so, this fourth (and unfortunately final– Friday was filled with non-crafty tasks that really needed to be done during nap time, and even spilled out into other parts of the day!) layout from my scrapbook-every-(week)day challenge to myself in the last week of September is also a Christmas layout.


I started out using a layout I admired for inspiration, but in the end, the only evidence that remained was the block of patterned paper in the top half of the layout!  Ha!  The amount of shifting and maneuvering of photos and patterned papers was ridiculous for such a simple result, but I must say, I really, really like this layout.


I had no clever ideas for a title, so I relied upon a cardstock sticker from the Crate Paper “Peppermint” collection kit– it was quite large, much larger than I would normally use for a sticker on my pages.  I used some lime green striped washi behind it (it looks yellow in the photo above, but it really is green) to tie the brighter yellow-green into the more leafy green of the main block of patterned paper.


I embellished my otherwise simple layout with leafy sprays and pine branches die cut with my Silhouette.


At the bottom of the page, I made another little embellishment cluster around the gift tag I wanted to showcase– the journaling on the page tells the story of this funny label that says “Dad wanted no part of this”– my mom had picked out a black, white, and hot-pink-patterned purse for me, and my dad didn’t want any of the credit, haha!

You may also notice that I included some doilies to embellish this page– they are not from my (in)famous box of 1000!  I recently acquired my Grandma’s paper doily stash– it seems as though my infinity for paper lace is hereditary🙂

patterned paper: Crate Paper “Peppermint”, BasicGrey “Nordic Holiday”
creamy white cardstock
embellishments: Crate Paper “Peppermint” cardstock stickers; BasicGrey “Nordic Holiday” cardstock stickers; washi tape from Bella Blvd and the Paper Studio; the Paper Studio enamel dots; paper doilies
Silhouette SD: Silhouette Design Store “sled and sprig” #52368 and leaf_1033
other: Scotch ATG, craft foam, Project Life 0.3 black journaling pen




Just wanted to drop in and share that a couple of my projects were included in a scrapbook.com article about crafters’ most meaningful projects.  I filled out a survey at scrapbook.com quite some time ago, and they asked me to elaborate on my answer so that they could share it in the article.  I’m flattered to be included!  I am #7 on the list, and there are many other wonderful projects shared by quite a few other crafters.

Read the article HERE!

P.S. The projects I shared are this quilt and this layout.

Lots of babies being celebrated!  I made some more baby shoes and cards recently…

for Jeremy and Jena

for Jeremy and Jena

for Jeremy and Jena

for Candace and Keith

for Candace and Keith

for Candace and Keith

Dress shirt apron

Even though there are lots of cute clothing “hacks” floating around on the internet, I rarely act on them (however good my intentions may–or may not– be!)  But when my friend P sent me a link to this one, I truly couldn’t resist.

Men's dress-shirt apron made from an old button-up shirt of Joel's

Husband had a dress shirt that we both loved that inexplicably got a grease stain right on the front of it.  It was a sad day, but instead of throwing it away, I stashed it away (it’s a bad habit, I know) for a later project.  Turns out, it was perfect for this one!

Men's dress-shirt apron made from an old button-up shirt of Joel's

I used part of the shirt for another project (coming soon!), but not until I had made sure that I would have enough to make this apron!  The main “body” of the apron is the front of the shirt, and I used most of the back of the shirt to make the ties and the ruffle at the bottom of the apron.  I used one of the cuffs to make a little pocket on the front (I’ve got to have somewhere to stash my phone so that I can listen to podcasts while I cook!).

Men's dress-shirt apron made from an old button-up shirt of Joel's

The project was seriously quick, and I love the result!  Now I want to make more!  I just need to get my hands on some shirts……..

Men's dress-shirt apron made from an old button-up shirt of Joel's

This layout is the third in the scrapbook-a-layout-each-(week)day challenge I gave myself for the last week of September.  I have to say, having the deadline of “finish this today!” really helped me to just make some decisions that otherwise might have stalled me.

I already had the photos printed for this layout (another one from before my daughter was born), and my only notes for them was a title: “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.”  There really wasn’t a lot to say about them, since they really are just about our Christmas decor that year.  I have a “before” and “after” photo of the living room of our condo, as well as three detail shots of our Nativities.


In some senses, one might say that the set of photos wasn’t worth scrapbooking, because there isn’t much of a story.  However, I’d begun to forget what our condo looked like at Christmas– it was two homes ago now!  In fact, when Husband looked at this layout, he confessed that when he looked at the photos, his first reaction was, “where was that again?”  Haha!  I’m glad to have this little snippet of our grad-student lives documented.


After a ton of hemming-and-hawwing (almost as much as can be fit into a naptime when your goal is to actually *finish* a layout that day!) I came up with this banner-under-the-main-photos configuration.  I’ve already forgotten if there was anything to inspire it!  I pulled out bits and pieces from my dwindling Christmas supply to embellish the banner.



The word “Christmas” is cut with my Silhouette using the “Bruselo Script” font from The Hungry JPEG (Crafter’s Bundle).  Again, I used the layering trick, cutting two more layers from kraft cardstock and gluding them together to give dimensionality to the main title word.


Last but not least, I added a teeny cluster at the top of the page, and then it finally looked finished to me!


patterned paper: Echo Park “Times & Seasons 2” Numbers; Lily Bee “Christmas Town” Sleigh Ride; Lily Bee “Audrey”  (don’t know the name!)
kraft cardstock, creamy white textured cardstock
alphas: Glitz Designs “Uncharted Waters” aqua stripe teeny alphas
embellishments: Lily Bee “Christmas Town” cardstock stickers; Making Memories fabric labels; Making Memories ribbon; Lily Bee “Christmas Town” rubons; crochet thread; Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher
Silhouette SD: Bruselo Script with slight offset; tiny tag of my own design; print-and-cut labels modified from a Silhouette store design
other: tiny heart punch; Glossy Accents; Project Life 0.3 black journaling pen; Scotch ATG, Therm-O-Web foam adhesive

On Tuesday this week, I dismantled our garden.

It was long overdue, because as I mentioned before, I’d given up on the garden for this year.  I’d basically stopped caring for it, since I got almost no produce from it– and the produce I did harvest wasn’t always edible (disappointingly bitter cucumbers).  It was in quite a state when I went out on Tuesday morning to deal with it.

the garden, just before I tore it all out for the fall

the garden, just before I tore it all out for the fall

My kids had a blast running around the yard while I hacked away at the dead and nearly dead plants.

overflowing compost heap after I cleared the garden for the fall

overflowing compost heap after I cleared the garden for the fall

I collected the green tomatoes that were left– perhaps some of them will eventually ripen and we’ll have one last hurrah.  I’m not holding my breath, though!

green tomato harvest

green tomato harvest

At the end, I was left with a clean slate.

the garden plot after clearing the dead plants for fall

the garden plot after clearing the dead plants for fall

I’m not sure whether I’m going to plant a garden next year.  This year was demoralizing– so much effort went into so little gain (until I stopped putting in the effort all together– with no noticeable change!).  On top of the fact that I was feeding the local wildlife instead of my family, the cucumbers ended up with a blight, and the tomato plants (leaves) were looking sickly, too.  I only got one zucchini from two plants!  I am wondering if I need to give the soil a year of rest, and I might even need to treat it somehow to prevent future blight (I noticed it in previous years, too, just not as severe).  Any suggestions to this end would be helpful!!