My Glamorous Life


I have so neglected my blog.  It’s not that I don’t want to update it.  Really.  I miss my crafty blogging friends terribly!  It’s just that I fired Mr. Diva’s secretary in early December and my life has not been the same.  I’ve gone from a woman who woke up every morning living life spontaneous (sewing, shopping, lunch with friends, etc.) to a working mother with no help.


And during this time, our office landlord decided to repaint and re-carpet our offices (we have 3 separate rooms).  Oh and we added 2 new phone lines (to our 4 existing lines), 2 plasma televisions, and an additional internet connection.  Also we rented a 3rd office.  We upgraded our photocopier to one that also scans so we can email documents when necessary.  The list goes on.


Although I’ve hired a new secretary, there is way too much work for one person to do…actually, it’s enough work to keep 3 full-time support staff members constantly busy.  And it doesn’t help that neither one of us were given any training on what needs to be done, where things are kept, etc.  So we’re just winging it!

Oh and did I mention Mr. Diva is a CPA and it’s tax season?  I think you get the picture.


The holidays were a blur.  Seriously.  Everything was last minute and very stressful.  However, I did manage to get a few articles up on Boutique Cafe:

Holiday Tips with The Diva:  Gift Wrapping

Holiday Tips with The Diva:  Bow Tutorial

Holiday Tips with The Diva:  Tulle Garland Tutorial

Holiday Tips with The Diva:  Scents of the Season

Boutique Cafe Holiday Homes Tour (my home tour starts at 2:58)


Speaking of the holidays, I still have my nekkid (aka beyond naked) Christmas tree sitting in the middle of my living room…not to mention, I have yet to wrap up all the Christmas decorations and put them away in the attic.  I did get half of them away yesterday…woo hoo!


And to top it off, Mr. Diva™ went to Las Vegas for 5 days while I was left to fend for myself and kids in 17 inches of snow.


I shoveled three times.  And what was the first thing Mr. Diva said upon his return?  ‘”Why didn’t anyone take the snow off my car?”  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  Men!


On a creative note, Socialite Sister™ asked me to redecorate my sweet niece’s bedroom.  We searched endlessly for the perfect theme for little Miss Josie’s room until we came upon Timeless Treasure’s Mod Paris aka Bon Voyage.


I purchased 8 yards of the pink heart fabric to make a Queen bed skirt.


and the coordinating prints to make pillows and such.


The main print also comes with a brown color way.  Only bought a yard of it as she’s purchased a brown duvet cover and we don’t want the room to be too dark.


I bought the most awesome machine appliqué designs from Claire Atwood of Stitch On Time.  Yes, I have digitizing embroidery software, but at Claire’s prices, it isn’t worth it for me to do it myself.


She even made me an appliqué of the camera graphic (6” x 10”) which I plan to cut out the centers, add photographs and frame several of them on the wall.


Josie’s bedroom walls were already a soft pink, so I picked Pink Popsicle for her ceiling to make the room POP.


And since I was being a bit adventurous, I had my BIL paint the back of her white bookcase a vibrant Rumba Orange.


Now I need to find a wire dress form like this one.  I’d bought a similar one for Marielle’s room at HomeGoods for a mere $49.  There’s no way I’m paying $185 for one.  Guess I’d better start hunting for one in HomeGoods.


Found this 13” vintage pink vespa on Ebay.  The seller still has a few more of them if you want one.


Scored a bunch of vintage tatting of eBay, too while I was at it.  One can never have too much trims, KWIM?

I finally got in some sewing yesterday morning.  Well, actually I started sewing at 3am, because I needed some baby boy gifts for a Bridal Shower I was attending at noon.  I’d show you photos, but I forgot to take any.  I made some minky blankets and burp cloths using one of Joel Dewberry’s print.  They were a hit!  Yeah ME!

Oh and next time I even think of using that Minky crap, smack me upside the head.  I have it everywhere.  I think I might even have inhaled some as I can feel it in my throat…ugh!


The Never-Ending Painting Adventure

I’ve been quite busy with having my home repainted.  It’s amazing how much stuff we’ve accumulated since we last painted 5 years ago.


The first thing to be painted were closets throughout the entire house.  Now granted, the closets didn’t need to be painted as the paint was still in great shape.  However, it gave me an opportunity to reorganize them all (and of course, I got to use my handy dandy label maker).  Although our house looked like a hurricane swept through, it was so worth it!

I can easily find items in my pantry and my linen closet never looked better.  I donated all my unwanted towels, sheets and placemats to a local animal shelter.  Now I have room to add new linens to match the new paint colors.


Marielle’s room is FINALLY finished (well, except for a few little odds and ends)!  I only have a few sneak peeks of her room as we are still trying to find space to store all her junk.

Not only did we paint the walls hot pink and most of the trim black, we even painted her vanilla-colored furniture white. Marielle suggested we do black velvet curtains.  But in the meantime, I ordered 2″ black aluminum blinds for her huge window (because we all know how long it will take me to sew her curtains…LOL).


I’ve been buying and hoarding anything zebra, hot pink and/or black for the last year.  My efforts have finally paid off.  Most of my best finds were at either HomeGoods, TJ Maxx or Marshall’s.  The hot pink lunch boxes were only $3.99 each.  And the zebra canisters were only a few bucks.  Oh and the hat box (which also has 4 coordinating big boxes) was only $5.99!  Score!

Check out this matching doll I bought while hunting for zebra items on Ebay!


Marielle asked that I stop buying anything with a zebra print on it as she thinks it’s starting to look like a zebra puked in her room…haha!


Since my darling daughter has a habit of writing on her closet walls (Marielle loves Anthony, Steven, Adam, Nick), we painted black chalkboard paint so we can just erase past boyfriends’ names instead of having to cross them out.  How clever am I?


Oh, speaking of closets, I caved in and got her 300 hot pink Huggable Hangers.  I absolutely LOVE these hangers (might have to buy them for every closet in the house).  The above hangers may not look hot pink, but they certainly are.  It’s pretty hard to get the correct color when editing photos of a black closet.


I purchased zebra light switch and outlet covers on Etsy.  Only problem is I ordered the wrong type outlet covers (I need the new rocker type covers).  So I’ll be doing a craft project this week–covering her old white outlet covers with some zebra wrapping paper and a little decoupage.  Wish me luck!


I found this cool zebra phone at Marshall’s for just $12.99.  Perfect!


This weekend I spent spray painting different things for her room in gloss black and semi-gloss white.  I had found this neat shelf (once gold) at TJ Maxx for a mere $12.99 last year.  The minute I saw it, I knew if turned upside down it would be a perfect bed crown for my daughter’s room.


A little black paint and now to find the zebra sheer fabric to attach to the bed crown which I have stashed somewhere in my sewing room…I’ll show you photos of it once I get it hung on the wall over her bed.  I’ve got to figure out a good way to attach the zebra sheers to the bottom of the new bed crown.  Any ideas?


I hadn’t finished spray painting Marielle’s light pink wicker rolling baskets when those two darn ducks took over the yard.  Yes, they’ve been coming to my yard every stinkin’ day to eat all my Koi fish food.  Any good ideas on how to get these ducks out of my yard once and for all?  It’s getting a little old chasing them around with a broom, KWIM?


Quirks, Obsessions and Random Things about Me

My Web Designer, Ingrid, tagged me with another 7 Things About Me…

Here’s the rules:

  • Link your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
  • Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
  • Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
  • Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Let’s get on with the show…LOL


1.  Hangers must all be facing right (or is it considered left?) as both my husband and I are left-handed.  When I get our clothes back from the laundry and dry cleaners, I take everything off their wire hangers and hang them PROPERLY on my hangers.


2.  Instead of calling for service on the icemaker (our fridge is about 2 years old and still under warranty), for the last month or so, I just buy bags of ice and pour it into the ice compartment.  Not sure if I’m lazy, forgetful or just trying to annoy my husband.


3.  I can eavesdrop on my family via the handy dandy intercom system.  Oh and something I recently learned about my intercom.  If you shut the volume off, it shuts off the front doorbell.


4.  One can never have too many paper towels.  Actually any paper product.  Think toilet paper, paper plates, paper cups, napkins, etc.


5.  We really like pasta in my house.  Really.  This is just one shelf.  There is another.  And yes, they all must be in matching Tupperware Modular Mates with labels.  It’s Martha’s fault.


6.  I must have symmetry in my displayed possessions.  I get crazy if someone doesn’t put something back exactly like I had it.


7.  Toilet paper needs to go OVER the roll.  If I am visiting someone and I notice the paper is hung the wrong way, I fix it.  This goes for paper towels, too.

Okay, now to tag 7 other bloggers:

Jamie, Keely, Nobia, Claire, Kiva, Esther and LaraYOU’RE IT!


Off to make some Easter baskets for the kids!  Let’s hope I have enough tulle yardage to cover the baskets.  No longer do I bother with that cheesy cellophane wrap in colors which are too dark to show the contents.  Must remember to resist the PEEPS!  Oh, how I love PEEPS…especially the yellow bunnies.

Have a great day!


Sew…What is Everyone Up To These Days?


Saw this simple On My Desk Meme over at Jenny’s of All Sorts and figured I’d jump in…

As you can see, there is NOTHING on my desk…ROTFL!  It’s because I don’t know what to do next!  And then there’s this:



Am I the only one feeling disconnected from my blog readers?  I guess what puzzles me is I get about 1,500 visits a day from different people…yet the same dozen bloggers leave comments.  Say HELLO–don’t be shy!  I like making new friends.

Anyway, I’m in a really weird place…feeling disconnected from my sewing room (umm, it might have something to do with having no heat in the sewing dungeon) and my nervousness about the upcoming launch of my boys’ clothing line.

To say I’m scared to death about the next few months would be putting it mildly.  I spend my days on the Internet checking out all the upcoming children’s trade show web sites, searching for pattern makers, cutters and sewing contractors, and then staring at my blank sketchpad.


I have the babysitter all lined up for Sunday so I can walk both the Bubble Show and ENK Children’s Club.  I really need to decide which of the two I want to launch at.  Although the Bubble Show is more appealing as it is smaller and less chaotic, the Children’s Club will give me much more exposure (or so I think).  While I’m at the show, I need to pay close attention to booth displays…to figure out what works and what doesn’t.  The one thing I have decided is I’m not going to get the smallest size booth…I’m shooting for the medium one (think it’s 5′ x 10′ at Bubble and 10′ x 10′ at ENK Children’s Club).  And then I need to make a deposit to secure my booth–it will make it “real” for me….KWIM?


I was looking online at trade show booth displays and the cheapest one I can find is about $500.  Then there’s the graphics and/or posters…$$$!  Come to think of it, I have a table top display like this in my attic…perhaps I’ll have to make due until I can justify a 10′ x 8′ display.


josiesetI FORCED myself to do a little sewing yesterday.  I finished up this peasant top to match the skirt for my niece.

It needs something on the shirt or perhaps a belt.

Any ideas?






Jumping on the bandwagon with Heather Bailey’s March of the Tools.  I just love tools…anything to make my life easier!


Hands down, my favorite and most often used tool is my Brother P-Touch Labeler.  Not only is it great for labeling every darn container in my sewing room, but I use it throughout my house.  The people at Staples must things I’m nuts…I’ve bought over 30 label makers during the last few months for Christmas gifts (they were a hit with the teachers).


I get excited when I manage to label every Tupperware container in my pantry.  It’s a sickness, I tell ya.



Look what came from Sandy!


A sewing themed nail file to smooth out the rough spots!


I’m thinking she’s been watching my bidding history as I’ve been trying to win these miniature sewing goodies on Ebay for over a month!



Check out this miniature thread rack…OMG, it’s so tiny!!!





She even sent me this big honkin’ DIVA sticker!

Sandy, you’re the best!

Thank you so much! 



Whipped up some Green Frosted Cupcakes.  Never know when a hungry leprechaun will stop by.


There’s still time…join in the fun!

What is Your Favorite Thing You’ve Ever Made?

Another Contest – Fabric Giveaway

Hope your weekend is off to a great start!





In addition to your Sewing Room, any of these organization ideas can be used in your Craft Room, Scrapbooking Corner and/or Jewelry Making Studio.  Get creative!

Ok…it’s time to get back to work! We have a few little things we need to still need to organize, so let’s get started.


There are literally dozens of ways to fasten a garment or home décor item. Get yourself some clear containers or cheap photo boxes and start sorting your closures. Make sure you label each container and stack it on your shelves. Here’s how I divide them:


Buttons, Snaps, Eyelets, Grommets, Hooks and Eyes

Elastic, Velcro and Snap Tape



Teresa Franco’s awesome zipper storage idea

You could also organize your zippers with safety pins, but instead put them on a tie rack:


Revolving Tie Rack from Harriet Carter


Wall Mounted Tie Rack

Just bought my husband this motorized revolving tie rack.  Think he’d mind if I borrowed it for my ribbon?  LOL


Brookstone Motorized Revolving Tie Rack


There are literally hundreds of ways you can organize these small objects.  I store my snaps and buttons in these See n Store magnetic containers:


I currently have 36 of these nifty containers and plan to add more as needed.  They can be mounted on the wall or free-standing and in a variety of combinations:


5 Tin Magnetic Standing Storage at

5 Tin Magnetic Hanging Storage at

8 Tin Magnetic Standing Storage at Oriental Trading


Custom Magnetic Spice Racks


Kamenstein Magnetic Spice Rack


Making Memories Modular Storage System

If you’re trying to keep costs down, Make Your Own Magnetic Storage Board.  You only need FOUR things to make this quick and easy board to hold your sewing and craft notions:




4 – GLUE

  • Crazy Glue™
  • Hot Glue

Have your husband or dad drill four holes in the corner of the steel sheet/board for mounting, if desired.

Hang sheet/board on wall or store in drawer.

Glue a magnet to the back of each container.  Let dry.

Stick magnetic containers to sheet/board.  Done!


Martha Stewart adds Buttons to her Magnetic Containers


Add a photo to your containers if you’d like.

Additional magnetic board tutorials:


Amber’s DIY Spice Rack


Lowe’s Magnetic Board Tutorial

Other clever storage ideas:


Solutions Station Set


Deflecto Revolving Clear Storage at


Drawer Cabinet at


Button Bank


Making Memories’ Jars


Economical Glass Jars by the Case


Fancy Jars


Storage Tins


ArtBin 24 Compartment Slide ‘n Store


Making Memories’ Sortables


Carousel Organizer


Snap or Button Organizer from Stacks n Stacks


60 Translucent Drawer Unit


Bead and Embellishment Tower

Bubblebox Organizer w/36 Compartments

36 Compartment Bubble Box

You could also use a rail system installed on your wall:


Rail System

and add the coordinating wire basket and/or containers:


Wire Basket

I absolutely love my Deflect-o Tilt Out Storage Bins.  They are my favorite storage system in my sewing room:


These bins come in all different sizes to suit your needs and lock together.  They can be mounted on the wall or placed on a shelf:


Deflect-o Tilt-Out Clear Storage Bins at

Deflect-o Tilt-Out Clear Storage Bins from


Provo Clear Mini Drawers

With all the different sizes and applications, it is easy to accumulate a large “stash” of elastic. I sort my elastic into three stacked storage boxes:

Thin Elastic (includes elastic thread)

Foldover Elastic and Decorative Elastic

Waistband Elastic

Here’s my pink leather boxes (once again from Home Goods):


My Velcro and Snap-Tape are stored in similar leather boxes.  Any type of storage container, box or drawer will work:




GLIS Plastic Boxes


IKEA Decorative Boxes


Interlocking Clear Containers


Clear Acrylic Stackable Storage Drawers


Small Organizer Drawers


10 Drawer Tower Organizer


Foremost Modular Storage Drawer Cubes

You can cover these drawers with either fabric or paper and then use decoupage to seal them:


IKEA Wooden Drawers

You can even make erasable labels on each drawer:


Erasable Label Tutorial



Are you constantly trying to find your favorite scissor or disappearing (literally) marking pen? A great solution is to find some type of utensil caddy which can be placed on your cutting table and then moved next to your sewing machine when needed.  I found this great revolving caddy (pictured above) at my local Home Goods store.

Check out your local office supplies store in their desk accessories aisle for lots of good ideas.
In this type of caddy, you can store:

Prior to getting my neat revolving caddy, I used to store all my extra marking pens, scissors, tube turners, etc. in leather containers (also found as Home Goods).  For the items I don’t want to keep on my cutting table, I use one of these nifty Tupperware Utensil Caddies:


Here’s a few more organizers to consider:


The Caddy at HSN 


Rubbermaid Rotating Desk Organizer


Donna Dewberry Storage Spinner


Grabbit Tool Caddy


Cabela’s Revolving Tool Caddy


Cutter Cubby


Portable Supply Caddy


Table Top Caddy


Economical Caddy


Tool Holder


Utensil Holder with Adjustable Dividers


Shabby Chic Utensil Holder

If you don’t have the space on your cutting surface or it’s portable, consider hanging your cutting implements on the wall:


Plastic Perf Board

EZ Wall Organizer


Metal Rail System at HSN


Clotidle’s Peg Board


Wall Hutch


Wall Pocket

Tip:  The height of your cutting surface is so important as to avoid an aching back.  I use these under the legs of my table:


Adjustable Bed Risers



I use a wire mesh letter holder from my local office supplies store to hold my rulers at the end of my cutting table.  You can easily organize your rulers by either hanging them or standing them up like I do.  Here are some ways to do it:


June Tailor Rule Your Rulers


Quilting Ruler Organizer Shelf on Ebay


Ruler Holder Rack on Ebay


Ruler Holder Shelf on Ebay


Ruler and Mat Organizer


Rulers & Ruler Rack Combo Set


Clotilde Ruler Rack


Ruler Korral

Stop your Ruler from sliding on fabric.  I really works:


Quilter’s Review

If you need a paper ruler to attach to the end of your table, here’s a free printable one.  Consider sending this ruler link to those you sew for (family, friends, customers, etc.) to get easy measurements:

Free Printable Rulers


There are a few things I like to keep next to my sewing machines:


Get yourself a small bowl, container or divided tray (I use a dog dish…LOL) to keep all your necessary sewing supplies next to your sewing machine.  You’ll be able to easily find what you need without going through drawers and cabinets.

Here’s some other ideas:


Sewing Station


June Tailor Sewing Station

Make your own Sewing Station:

sewroom’s Sewing Station Tutorial

Consider purchasing sewing machine and serger cushioned pads (helps with machine vibration) and thread/scrap catchers:


Pedal-Sta’s Sewing Machine Pad w/ Thread Catcher


Clotilde’s Serger Pad and Thread Catcher


Pedal-Sta’s Serger Pad w/ Scrap Catcher


Pioneer’s Serger Pad Thread Catcher at Joann’s

Sew Essentials Scrap Caddy

Joann’s Sew Essential Scrap Caddy

You can also make your own:


K Quilts’ Pincushion and Thread Catcher Tutorial


Kezza’s Pincushion and Thread Catcher Tutorial


Do you always find yourself looking blanking at a strange sewing machine foot and wondering what on earth is its purpose? Well, then it’s time to sort through them. I have dozens of sewing machine and serger feet. I use a divided pink leather case to easily store my sewing machine feet. If you label each section, it will be easy to locate the one needed.


I keep my serger feet in a divided leather tray:

You can use a cigar box (decoupage it with fabric):


Cigar Boxes on Ebay Express
or any divided box:

Clear Box with Moveable Dividers


Small Parts Storage Case


Budget 12 Compartment Storage Case

and label it like Mean Jean did:


Mean Jean’s Presser Foot Organizer

You can even use a cutlery tray!

Expandable Bamboo Flatware Tray

A jewelry organizer will also work!jewelryorganizer

Jewelry Organizer at Stacks n Stacks

or Jewelry Case


PINK Jewelry Case

You can also purchase a great “foot organizer” from your local sewing dealer or use clear baseball card plastic sleeve protectors in a regular binder:



Home Depot’s Sewing Notions Organizer


Nancy’s Notions’ Presser Foot Storage Cases

Or make your own:


Husqvarna Viking’s Presser Foot Organizer Tutorial


Petit Debutante’s Presser Foot Organizer Tutorial


Keep a small shelf over your ironing board for your pressing supplies. This would include:


I keep two boxes next to my pressing station.  One contains all kinds of fusible tape which I use when I’m taking sewing shortcuts…LOL.  In the second box, I store my small pressing aids such as my Ezy Hem Guide, Iron Cleaner and Point Turner.


I hang both my Tailor’s Board and Sleeve Board on the wall next to my ironing board.


I purchased one of these Slim Drink Dispensers to keep water (holds a gallon!) next to my ironing board. It saves me dozens of trips back and forth to the sink to refill my iron!

You could also use a mounted peg board with hooks to hang all your pressing essentials.


I’m sure you have lots of other supplies which need to be organized and stored.  The list seems endless…LOL!  Here’s two more great storage ideas I came up with:

First, I re-purposed some doll accessory drawers.  These drawers store my size labels, garment labels, bow-making clips, etc.


Next, I came across this neat piano-hinged box at TJ Maxx.


The front cover folds down to reveal my hot fix tool and glues.  I glued a piece of cork board sheeting to the inside of the cover to make a nifty little bulletin board:


Since you’re nosey, here’s a close-up of my stickers:


You can get your own stickers here:

Opinions R Us

Cafe Press

Hope your creative space is finally becoming a place to love to be in–not a dreaded space.  If you have any ideas for additional sewing room organization topics, just email me!

Happy Sewing!


SEW Many Toys and Games


Sew Mama Sew brings us Day 23 – Soft Toys and Games!  Here’s your chance to sew up some adorable toys for the little (and big) ones!



TK Harrison’s Quilted Tic-Tac-Toe-To-Go


Tic Tac Toe Game


Elna’s Take Along Games


Felt Checkers Game


Kate Erback’s Hello Ducky


Toddler Touchy Worm


Nuno’s Terrycloth Cat


Nuno’s Felt Pig


Judi Ward’s Super Simple Baby Bows Doll


Infinite Freedom’s Doll Dress


Helen Wharton’s American Girl Dress


Helen Wharton’s American Girl Long Sleeve Prairie Dress


Baby Lock’s Playtime Teepee


Sew News’ Toys That Teach

snake2’s Learning to Dress Snake

bethbook’s Child’s Shape Book


Kate Erbach’s Germaine the Giraffe


HGTV’s Puppet Theatre


E How To Me’s Door Puppet Stage

Care Wear’s Felt Finger Puppets

Care Wear’s Hand Puppets


Bella Online’s Bonita Bunny


Care Wear’s Fiberfill Bear


Wyrm’s Cuddly Dragons


Joann’s Faberge Bunny

livbirthdayball2’s Fabric Baby Grab Ball


Gemini Bears’ HUMM Bear


Joann’s Fabric Blocks


The Creative Life’s Soft Blocks


Hancock Fabrics’ Shape and Texture Blocks


All Sorts’ Softie Scotties

kite’s Kite


Kelly Lynn Smith’s Bed Bug


Craft and Fabric Links’ Stuffed Cat


Wee Wonderful’s Wee Bunny


Ottobre’s Mouse


Ottobre’s Hobby Fox


Ottobre’s Teddy Bear Rattle


Ottobre’s Donkey


Perestroika’s 1-2-3 Barbie Jacket


Anne Nicole’s Holiday Barbie Gown


Perestroika’s 20 Minute Barbie Vest


Tiny Zipper’s Barbie Closet


Tiny Zippers’ Barbie Sofa


CC Originals’ Barbie Pajamas



Sew Mama Sew – Day 1 – Aprons

Additional Apron Tutorials


Sew Mama Sew – Day 2 – Pincushions and Pins

Additional Pincushion Tutorials

For the Home

Sew Mama Sew – Day 3 – For the Home

Additional Sewing for the Home Tutorials

Lunch Bags

Sew Mama Sew – Day 4 – Lunch Bags

Additional Lunch Bag Tutorials

Tote Bags

Sew Mama Sew – Day 5 – Totes

Additional Tote Tutorials

Blankets for Baby

Sew Mama Sew – Day 6 – Blankets for Baby

Additional Baby Blanket Tutorials

For Your Purse or Pocket

Sew Mama Sew – Day 7 – For Your Purse or Pocket

Additional Tutorials


Sew Mama Sew – Day 8 – Whimsy

Additional Whimsy Tutorials

Fabric Ornaments

Mama Sew – Day 9 – Fabric Ornaments

Additional Ornament Tutorials

Ties and Belts

Sew Mama Sew – Day 10 – Ties and Belts

Additional Ties and Belt Tutorials

Reading and Writing

Sew Mama Sew – Day 11 – Reading and Writing

Additional Reading and Writing Tutorials

For the Table

Sew Mama Sew – Day 12 – For the Table

Additional Tutorial for the Table


Sew Mama Sew – Day 13 – Placemats

Additional Placemat Tutorials

Kids’ Clothes

Sew Mama Sew – Day 14 – Dress the Kids

Additional Kids’ Clothes Tutorials

Booties, Slippers and Socks

Sew Mama Sew – Day 15 – Warm Those Toes

Additional Booties, Slippers and Socks Tutorials

Gifts for the Crafter

Sew Mama Sew – Day 16 – Gifts for the Crafter

Additional Gifts for the Crafter Tutorials


Sew Mama Sew – Day 17 – Purses

Additional Purse Tutorials

For Baby

Sew Mama Sew – Day 18 – For Baby

Additional Baby Gifts Tutorials

Tech Gifts

Sew Mama Sew – Day 19 – Tech Gifts

More Tech Gift Tutorials

Organization Gifts

Sew Mama Sew – Day 20 – Gifts for Organization

More Organization Gift Tutorials


Sew Mama Sew – Day 21 – Pillows

Additional Pillow Tutorials

Fun for Hair

Sew Mama Sew – Day 22 – Fun for Hair

Additional Hair Goodies Tutorials


Want to see what everyone else did for Handmade Holidays?

Handmade Holiday PHOTOS on Flickr



Yes, this crazy hoot was in the car at 5:15am this morning.  First stop, Kohl’s Department Store.  I wanted to pick up two Roomba‘s (only $99 each from 4am to 11am today only) for my Mother and Mother-in-Law.  The cashier lines literally wrapped around the ENTIRE store–more than 300 people on line…ugh.  Sorry ladies, you won’t be getting Roombas for Christmas.


Next stop, Joann’s Fabrics.  For some reason, I’m always the SECOND person to arrive no matter how early I leave my house.  The Weird nice Pet Bed Lady always beats me!  Now it’s really important to be one of the first 3 people there as our local Joann’s Fabrics only has 3 shopping carts.  And there is no way you can carry your flannel bolts to the counter without a cart.

Now The Pet Bed Lady and I have an understanding…she gets all the fugly cat and dog flannel prints while all the boy and girl flannels are MINE.  I’m so nice, I even let her look at my sales flyer as she is a moron and I’m hoping I can divert her to the sales on the Notions Wall left her flyer at home.

The Pet Bed Lady and I both race to the back of the store where the flannel fabrics are kept.  Now, she “thinks” because she sells her crappy pet beds and donates the money to our local animal shelter that she is going to block me out of the thin isle with her shopping cart…think again.

I manage to wiggle my body in between her shopping cart and the flannel, scooping several bolts of fabric at a time (yes, working out at the gym with my personal trainer is finally paying off!).  But then I notice Pet Bed Lady is breaking the flannel rule and is going for MY BOY PRINTS!  That’s it…it’s FABRIC WAR!

I must do something as I see my 99 cents a yard fabric “score” going down the drain.  “Ugh…that’s ugly…no one is going to buy that fabric for their pet,” I blurt out.  She looks up at me and says, “Do you think?”  I make an ugly face and then she promptly puts the flannel back on the shelf.  I then distract her with a hideous cat print and lie like a car salesman tell her it will be her biggest seller this year.  While she’s cooing over the cat print, I quickly grab the boy print fabric bolt and run for the cutting counter before she realizes how I’ve tricked her.

I make it out of the store for under $100 (retail value $400) with a full loot of stabilizers, flannels and plastic thread storage cases.  Yippee!!!


Next Stop…Staples.  Easy?  Not really.  Staples was a bit of a disappointment this year.  I went to pick up one of these Samsung Color Laser printers for only $99:


Of course the jerk guy who I held open the door for got the last laser printer.  It probably would have been a foolish purchase for me as I have two professional Hewlett Packard commercial laser jet printers in my home…I just wanted something more compact.

But I did get a few flash drives for $9.99 each (originally $39.99)…score!


Unfortunately, Staples would only sell me ONE of the $9.99 (regularly $39.99) P-Touch Label Makers…I needed 21 of them for teacher gifts!  They were such a hit last year when I gave them out.  Everyone thought it was such a clever and useful gift.

Needless to say I was bummed…but not for long!

kmartlogo Over to K Mart I went to load up on Star Wars toys for my favorite little Jedis!  I overdid it a bit…over $400 worth.  All Star Wars toys were Buy One, Get One 50 percent off.  I also purchased a nice 20 inch flat panel LCD television for my daughter…only $199 (I saved over $100) and a $9.99 DVD player (originally $30).

All that shopping and I was back home by 8:30 am!  Whew!  I was thinking about venturing out to Target, but I am both physically and mentally exhausted!

Hope your Black Friday shopping was a success!




Oh my…what is the Diva talking about? I would bet you thought I ran out of sewing room organizational tasks. Not so!

Since I started sewing a few years ago, I’ve managed to amass a large collection of literature related to sewing. In my library are design inspirations, reference books and a host of other printed goodies such as project instructions and embroidery designs. And unless you get your sewing literature organized, it becomes just a pile of papers. So let’s get started…



Let’s tackle your sewing patterns first.


Start by going through ALL of your patterns.  Get some empty cardboard or plastic boxes and attach a label to each indicating the different categories of patterns you have.  There are several ways to categorize your patterns such as:

  • Size – infants, toddlers, children, teens, adults
  • Pattern Company – Simplicity, Vogue, etc.
  • Style: dresses, pants, shirts, loungewear
  • Type: crafts, home decor, garments

Some may find a combination of the above categories works best.  Do what works so you can easily find your patterns in the future.  I sew mostly children’s garments and have my patterns categorized as such:

  • Infants Layette (onesies, bibs, buntings, etc.)
  • Toddler Girls Casual (shirts, pants, skirts, loungewear)
  • Toddler Girls Formal (special occasion dresses and gowns)
  • Girls Casual (shirts, pants, skirts, loungewear)
  • Girls Formal (special occasion dresses and gowns)
  • Toddler Boys Casual (shirts, pants, loungewear)
  • Boys Casual (shirts, pants, loungewear)
  • Hats (all sizes)
  • Home Decor (chair covers, placemats, table runners, bedding, curtains)
  • Crafts (bulletin boards, decorative boxes, sachets, Christmas stockings)
  • Dolls (Barbie and American Girl)


Now take one box at a time and go through the sorted patterns.  Discard those patterns which are missing pieces, beyond salvaging and/or no longer of interest (no, you are never going to make that toaster cover–get rid of it).

If you aren’t able to part with your patterns just yet, put them in a box (stored outside your sewing room) and write the date on the box.  If you don’t touch the box within a reasonable amount of time (6 months or a year), then it’s time to get rid of them–no excuses.

Sell (eBay, Etsy, or Craigslist) or donate the patterns you no longer need (community centers, schools, other sewing enthusiasts).



Many sewers use the same patterns over and over again.  For these patterns, you might want to:

  • iron fusible stabilizer directly onto the pattern
  • trace the pattern onto manila paper, Swedish tracing paper, grid paper or clear mylar sheeting
  • stick the pattern to contact paper before cutting
  • Glue the pattern to brown craft paper


Need to replace a vintage pattern piece or envelope?  Visit Pattern Rescue.


There are those who are able to fit the pattern back in its original pattern envelope–good for you.  Once again, I’m not in your club…LOL!  Thankfully there are alternatives.

Ways to store:

Plastic Ziploc Bags

Clear Plastic Sleeves

I purchased two boxes of the 3 hole TOP LOADING (this is important–side loading protectors will be useless sheet protectors.


Staples Medium-Weight Clear Sheet Protectors are sold in boxes of 100 or 200.  Don’t buy the Staples Economy Sheet Protectors–they are semi-clear and flimsy.


1,000 Sheet Protectors on Ebay


Pattern Saver with Extra Pocket

Pattern Saver at Nancy’s Notions


I put my patterns in clear plastic top-load sleeves, by category (infants, toddler girls, home décor, etc.) and store them inside big wide binders.  I then store the binders on a bookshelf in my sewing studio.



Lots of sewers keep just their pattern envelopes in binders and then store the actual pattern and instruction sheets in boxes or filing cabinets.  I prefer to keep the pattern envelopes and its contents all together.

Pattern Boxes

Use pattern boxes available at your local craft stores.  Depending on the size of the box, they hold between 30 to 40 sewing patterns.


Pattern Finder™ System at Clotilde


Pattern Boxes at Nancy’s Notions

You can also buy a combo set


Combo Set for 90 Patterns at Nancy’s Notions

Filing Cabinets

filing cabinet

Filing Cabinets are a great for holding your pattern stash.  You can easily fit 100 patterns per drawer.

Check out this nifty Pattern Organizer with plastic category tabs:


Pattern Organizer for Filing Cabinet

Pattern Organizer at Clotilde


What about a beautiful shabby chic dresser?  You could store patterns on their sides.


Wooden Crates


Wooden Crate Instructions for your Handy Husband

Clear Boxes

Rubbermaid™ makes clear boxes with high tops.  You could store 3 rows of patterns in one box.  If you want to save money, visit your local dollar store for a great selection.


Pattern Hooks

I store my most utilized patterns on professional pattern hooks which all hang on a garment rack in my sewing studio.


Over the Door Storage


If you have a small pattern collection or want to display your treasured vintage patterns, get the pattern to make these Over the Door Pattern Organizers from By Annie’s.   Don’t forget to use a Teflon Foot on your sewing machine when sewing with vinyl.

Pattern Inventory

So, now you that you have all your patterns under control, it’s time to put together a PATTERN INVENTORY list to keep track of those patterns you already own

Create a document in your word processing or database software entitled PATTERN INVENTORY.  Make the following columns:

Manufacturer Pattern # Description Sizes Binder #
McCalls 9876 Girls Skirt 2T-4T 6
McCalls 9688 Boys Shirt 4-7 8


Use the SORT feature to organize your pattern information by DESCRIPTION, SIZES or PATTERN NUMBER. With this method, you can easily find the patterns you have using the criteria which best suits your needs.

Other ideas to organize your sewing patterns:

Organized Expressions™ for Sewing

Wild Ginger software


Soul Sista’s Access Database Method for Pattern Storage

Patterns Wanted

I keep a list of the patterns I want to acquire using Microsoft Word (any word processing or database software will work).  Visit some of the sewing patterns sites for the latest selection. My favorite web sites are:

Create a document entitled, “PATTERNS WANTED” with the following columns:


Pattern #





Boys Pants




Girls Tops



Do this for EACH pattern manufacturer on a separate page. Then use the software’s SORT function to put each manufacturer’s pattern numbers in ascending order.  After you’ve sorted them, condense your list to one page (if possible).

Take your PATTERN WANTED list to the fabric store with you so you can take advantage of the wonderful 99 cents pattern sales. No need to look through those huge pattern books…just access the patterns in the pattern drawers using your newly created list. Be sure to check off those patterns you purchase to keep your list up-to-date for future shopping trips.


If you are like me, you have dozens…maybe hundreds of embroidery design files on your computer.  I use Husqvarna Viking’s 3D Organizer which allows me to find my designs and pictures easily. It also converts embroideries between formats or to images. You can print your designs or create a personal website gallery.  You can buy it separately or with the latest version of Husqvarna Viking Embroidery Software bundle.


Husqvarna Viking Organizer

Here’s one on Ebay

You can print out indexes and individual design sheets. Organize these design sheets and even your stitched out embroidery design samples in a 3 ring binder. You can sort them by category such as fonts, holidays, girls, boys, etc.

Brother PE Design software has a Design Database included with its software:


Brother PE Design 7.0

Embird has an add-on called Iconizer.  It shows a small icon of the embroidery design instead of just the file name and type. This allows you to browse and sort your designs easily, because you can see the contents of embroidery files within Windows Explorer and other Windows programs.


Embird Iconizer Free 30 Day Trial

Ann the Gran offers Catalog Xpress which works with the Ultimate Box™ and the Amazing Box™.  Use Catalog Xpress categories, or create your own, then drag-and-drop embroidery designs into them as you download, including to and from your Ultimate Box™ or Amazing Box™.


Catalog XPress at Ann the Gran

Download a free 30 Day Trial at Ann the Gran

BuzzXplore provides you with all the essential tools for organizing and finding your design files. You can locate, print, sort, drag-n-drop, cut, copy, paste, rename, convert, even zip and unzip files.


Purchase BuzzXplore at SMR Software

Pfaff Creative Organizer


Pfaff Creative Organizer quickly converts your embroidery designs to and from most embroidery formats, either individually or by the hundreds. Create a personalized catalog for all of your designs, save your own notes for each design, and add designs to categories using a simple drag-and-drop method.


Babylock Studio Plus available at the Sewing Outlet

Babylock Studio Plus FREE TRIAL

Embroidery Magic software has a built in embroidery design database that comes stocked with 325 stock designs by Pantograms.  The Database allows the user to save and retrieve embroidery designs from specific categories.


Embroidery Magic available at Thread Artist

Embroidery Office Book Author is an embroidery design catalog and web page creator that allows you to create design catalogs.


Free Office Book Author Demo Version

OESD Explorations software has a design library built into their software program:


Buy OESD Explorations at All Brands

Here’s some tutorials on organizing your embroidery designs without specialized software:

Secrets of Embroidery Design Organizing Tutorial

Designs by JuJu

George the Digitizer’s Helpful Hints on Organizing Designs

Artistic Threadworks Article on Organizing by Digitizer  


Check out the Embroidery Dedupler software.  It actual cleans up all duplicate embroidery designs on your computer according to your preferred file embroidery file types.  I DEFINITELY am going to purchase this!  Available only online! 

Embroidery Dedupler at Gran’s Workroom

If you want to put your embroidery designs on CD or disk format to use in your embroidery machine or to back-up your embroidery files you have stored on your computer, you’ll need somewhere to store your CDs and/or disks:

Embroidery CD Holder


Embroidery CD Holder at Nancy’s Notions


Embroidery Design Organizers at Nancy’s Notions

Here’s an adjustable CD holder that attaches to your slatwall or pegboard:


CD holder on Ebay

CD and Floppy Disk holders can easily be found at any office supply store. 


These references are a wonderful addition to your Sewing Library. Consider starting a machine specific stitch reference for each sewing machine or serger you own to make your stitch selection a breeze. Create STITCH SHEETS which include information about your sewing machine’s special stitches, sample stitches on fabric, and other pertinent information such as tension settings, stitch length, and stitch width.

My Serger Stitch Workbook has to be one of the most useful tools in my Sewing Library. It includes the techniques and all necessary settings. I even have lots of fabric swatches to show the correct stitch tension. In addition, it includes all proper threading information necessary to easily convert to different stitches. No longer do I have to guess at what different tension settings work with each different fabric.

Store your machine specific workbooks nearby your sewing machines and sergers for easy retrieval.


I sort all of my various sewing magazines and other periodicals in handy magazine holders which fit neatly in my shelving unit (this bookcase is in my Garden Room so I can peruse them while enjoying a nice cup of coffee). Each different publication has its own holder.


Craft Magazine Sleeves

You can store your sewing and craft magazines in these clear sleeves and keep them in binders.


Craft Magazine Holders at Clotilde

Magazine Sewing Binder


I collect several pattern magazines (Ottobre, BizzKids, Topkids, Patrones Ninos and Burda).  Instead of going through each magazine to find a specific pattern, I photocopy or print out (from the web) the index section.  I then put the index in a clear plastic sleeve protector.  I then add it to my “Magazine Patterns” binder and store it on a bookshelf with my other patterns in my sewing studio.

Free Patterns from the Internet

There are lots of great free patterns on the Internet.  Be sure to print them out as they can disappear into cyberspace and be a distant memory.

Again, I put the patterns in clear sheet protectors and then in a binder divided by categories.  Here’s some website which have free sewing patterns:’s Free Sewing Projects

Burda Style Free Patterns

Better Homes & Gardens’ Free Sewing Projects

Free Sewing Patterns at’s Free Patterns

Savvy Seam’s Free Patterns

Bella Online’s Free Sewing Projects

All Free Crafts’ Sewing Projects

My Craft Book’s Free Sewing Patterns

BurdaMode Free Patterns’s Free Sewing Projects

Babylock’s Free Projects

Marcus Brothers Textile Free Sewing Projects

Sew More For U Free Sewing Patterns

Free Baby Patterns at


I purchased the neatest fashion design tool from Hearth Song.  It is a cool set of design elements and textures to create design sketches. I just love it. Check out the Fashion Design Studio Kits…


Hearth Song’s Fashion Design Studio

I keep all my design sketches, pencils and templates in the included handy plastic file case. You can also use a 3 ring binder to organize all your sketches using tabbed file dividers to categorize them.


There are so many way to sort books.  I prefer to sort mine by category:

  • Garment Sewing
  • Home Décor
  • Serger Reference
  • Heirloom Sewing
  • Magazine and other periodicals
  • Design Inspiration Book
  • Design Sketch Book

Another Idea for Organizing Books

Kathleen Fasanella of Fashion Incubator’s wrote a great informational post on How to Organize Books

Various Book Organizing Software


Libellus Book Organizer

Personal Library Manager

Library Software

Complete Home Library

Book Library

My Book Database

My Favorite Books

Entrepreneur’s Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing by Kathleen Fasanella

Sewing for Dummies by Janice Saunders Maresh

New Complete Guide to Sewing by Reader’s Digest Editors

The Ultimate Sewing Book:  Over 200 Sewing Ideas for You and Your Home by Maggi McCormick Gordon

Fine Machine Sewing 2nd Edition:  Easy Ways to Get the Look of Hand Finishing and Embellishing by Carol Laflin Ahles

Kwik Sew’s Sewing for Baby, Sewing for Toddlers and Sewing for Children by Kerstin Martensson

Serger Secrets by by Mary Griffin, Susan Huxley, Pam Hastings, Agnes Mercik, Linda Lee Vivian and Barbara Weiland

Grandmother’s Hope Chest:  French Sewing by Machine, Smocking, Shadowwork & Embroidery by Martha Pullen 

Sew Fast, Faster, Fastest:  Timesaving Techniques and Shortcuts for Busy Sewers by Sue Hausmann

The Husqvarna Viking FOOT BOOK by Deb Lathrop VanAken

501 Sewing Hints:  From the Viewers of Sewing With Nancy by Nancy Zieman

Sewing 101:  A Beginner’s Guide to Sewing by Creative Publishing International

Secrets for Successful Sewing:  Techniques for Mastering Your Sewing Machine and Serger by Barbara Weiland

Fashion Sketchbook by Bina Abling

Bend-the-Rules Sewing: The Essential Guide to a Whole New Way to Sew by  Amy Karol

In Stitches: More Than 25 Simple and Stylish Sewing Projects by Amy Butler

Dream Sewing Spaces by Lynette Black

Shirtmaking:  Developing Skills for Fine Sewing by David Page Coffin

Sewing Secrets from the Fashion Industry:  Proven Methods to Help You Sew Like the Pros by Susan Huxley

Just Pockets:  Sewing Techniques and Design Ideas by Patricia Moyes

Designer Techniques: Couture Tips for Home Sewing by Kenneth D. King

The Complete Step-By-Step Guide to Home Sewing by Jeanne Argent

If you have any additional tips to organize your sewing library, I’d love to hear about them!  Happy Organizing!



L is for…


(Make your own label tags at

I was reorganizing my children’s toys when I came upon these clear storage boxes and their printed labels.  Years before we had P-Touch Label Makers, we had to resort to using our printer (boy, how lucky I was to have a COLOR laser jet printer?) and then taping the pictures on the boxes (this was “supposed” to make it easy for the kids to put their toys back in the boxes…never happened!).


Over the last few weeks, I was a bit uncentered…something was bothering me.  I couldn’t find my P-Touch Label Maker…I have dozens of label tapes in every color available, but I put it somewhere so I could easily locate it next time I needed it.  It’s been weeks now and no label maker.


Luckily, I had purchased a dozen of the cheaper P-Touch 80 Label Makers during the last Staples’ Black Friday Sale…only $10 each instead of $29!!!  I gave them out as gifts to my kid’s teachers.  They were a HIT!  Thankfully I still had one left in the cabinet…yippee!!!  I opened the box, inserted the batteries and turned it on.  For some reason, it needed to be programmed (WTH?) and I couldn’t get it to make labels.  Of course I had tossed the directions in the trash thinking I was a labelmaking pro…silly me…so there I am now on the Brother Label Maker website, downloading the instructions…


On St. Patrick’s Day at the age of 9 1/2 months old, my first child, Marielle, received a life-saving liver transplant….that’s what I call “Luck of the Irish!”






No wonder I send out my laundry to be done…my washing machine and dryer are just too complicated.  When they make a washer/dryer combo set that FOLDS and PUTS the laundry away, I’ll be the first to purchase them….PROMISE…


If you are part of my family, you have a 50% chance of being left-handed.  My father, sister, Mr. Diva™ and I are all left-handed.  It really hasn’t been a problem for me as I’ve learned how to adapt in a Right-Handed World…even my scissors are right-handed.  However, I can only do left-handed cartwheels…oh wait…I can’t do cartwheels anymore…those days are long gone!

ok…I am DETERMINED to finish this stupid Encyclopedia of ME thing before month’s end…heck, I still have M – Z to go before Monday morning.  Think I can do it?  But the way, who’s bright idea was this?  LOL  I’ll be back…



Look who got a mention of HGTV’s website…
HGTV Organization Inspiration


Part I – Fabric

Part II – Thread

Part III – Needles and Stabilizers

Part IV – Lace, Trim and Ribbons

Part V – Sewing Library: Patterns, Embroidery Designs, Magazines & Books

Now you are probably thinking to yourself there is no way I can tackle my sewing room…there’s just so much stuff everywhere.  Well, then perhaps I should show you how it all looked when I first got started…

The Sewing Dungeon

organize15.jpg  organize91.jpg organize81.jpg

organize11.jpg organize5.jpg sewingroom10.jpg

fabricswap2.jpg 000_0837.jpg 000_0836.jpg

organize6.jpg sewingroom8.jpg sewingroom71.jpg

The Dining Room

dining6.jpg dining3.jpg dining2.jpg dining1.jpg

So now do you understand why I had to take this sewing room organization thing seriously?  LOL.  If I can do it, anyone can!  Don’t be discouraged…take one step at a time and before you know it, you’ll be enjoying your new creative space!

Happy Organizing!


The Name Game

The Name Game


The Name Game

Came across this fun game over at Happy Zombie and thought I’d play along:

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car),
Junior Beamer

2.YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie),
Caramel Cone Samoa

3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name),

4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal),
Pink Koi (wow…I’d be rich if I had such a fish!)

5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born),
Lynnaire New York

6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first),

7. SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink),
The Aqua Caramel Macchiato

8. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers),
Alfonse Jack

9. STRIPPER NAME: ( the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy),
Gardenia Dots

10.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names ),
Peg James

And a few more…

11. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter),
Pisano Paris

12. SPY NAME/BOND GIRL: (your favorite season/holiday, flower).
Spring Iris

13. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”)
Cherry Panties

14. HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree),
Cap N Crunch Redbud

15. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”),
The Organizing Sunshine Tour

Why don’t you play along?  If you have a blog, post a link.  If not, just post your answers in the comments…

Diva Soup courtesy of Red Kid Soup Generator…check it out!


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