{Homemade is best...and a little easy Mother's Day tutorial}

I painted this a VERY long time ago and it now hangs in my sisters sunroom

OK, so last week when I was visiting family for Easter, I started to notice that everywhere I looked - um, there was stuff I made hanging around. Little paintings, a fabric covered journal, quilts, stockings made from my great grandmothers old raggedy quilt, napkin rings, placemats and of course, purses. I'm really all about this handmade thing - it truly is a wonderful gift when you can give someone something you made by hand (or something someone else made - something unique - you get the idea!)

SO...here's a cool idea for you crafty types for a Mother's Day gift for YOUR Mother - a set of placemats and napkin rings! Seriously, easy project. Here we go:

Materials needed - the obvious, sewing machine, thread, etc you'll need fabric (see below), fusible interfacing and prequilted fabric.

Pick 4 different fabrics (I picked some Amy Butler dots to coordinate with some vintage kitchen prints I found). For each placemat, CUT four 5" x 14.5" panels.

Using 1/4" seams, piece your panels together. Press your seams open. Next, cut a piece of fusible fleece interfacing to fit on the rear of your front panel. Cut it 1/4" smaller all the way around than your front panel. Following the instructions with your interfacing, fuse it to the wrong side of your front panel. This will give your placemat some extra oomph and keep your cotton panel looking crisp - in my opinion.

Once you have your front panel complete, use it as your pattern to cut a solid rear piece from your prequilted cotton fabric. I used a cream color - the same I often use in my purses - sound familiar?

With right sides together, pin and sew with 1/2" seams. Leave an opening for turning. Turn right side out. Top stitch. I also typically add some "steam a seam" to my opening just to make sure it stays shut. That's it kids! Done! Now repeat for the rest of your set of placemats you want to make.

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Napkin rings are loads of fun when you use old buttons. My parents had given me an old tin that belonged to my grandmother full of buttons. I glued some of the pretty and larger ones to magnets and gave those to my family. For the rest, I cut a piece of wide elastic just big enough to fit around my napkins. Then I stitched buttons galore until the elastic was fully covered. I warn you - it takes a lot of buttons to cover one and it actually took me several, several hours to stitch all of these on for 6 rings.

What a great gift set. My Mom still loves hers and I loved seeing them adorn her table last week at Easter. Even my kids were impressed. "Did you make these Momma?" Ah, yeah. Hope that gave you a good handmade gift idea.

The little tie-tote in Patty Youngs Andalucia pattern

A few more dresses and embellished jeans went out this week and a cute little tie tote that my girls gave to their girlfriend for her 8th birthday. These will be finding their way to my etsy site pretty soon.

Embellished recycled jeans

Dress, embellished jeans and matching ponytail holder

Lots of orders being mailed out this week - thanks to my neighbor Barb for helping me cut everything! We need to do that more often because we never did get to our banana split desserts!

Don't forget - just a week or so left on this month and our April giveaway will be done. The two peas will be picking a comment out of a hat and we'll be sending you, the lucky winner, a way cool, patchwork accessory bag with an awesome buckle...I'll share that photo with you later next week.

Keep Spring coming - I'm begging for the sun and warm breezes to start coming every day instead of snow, rain, sun, snow, rain, rain, rain, sun...we just need some SUNNNNN to stay in O-H-I-O for awhile!

xo - Trish

{Our Easter parade...}

Where do I begin?  So much I want to share with you but so little time!  The girls enjoyed a great spring break last week and if you were following me on Twitter you know we headed out to the zoo...in the snow.  I love working at the largest university in the country - gives me a chance to network with loads of people and luckily, one of our alumni board members is a keeper at the Columbus Zoo SO, she was wonderful enough to give my girls a behind the scenes tour.  We got to see exactly what she does to care for the animals and a chance to see a grizzly bear, 2 alaskan brown bears and a cougar very close!  So cool!  No photos to share of that as we were not allowed to take any in the back areas but...check this out!

This is the cafe at the zoo.  See anybody else there?  That's right...when it's 20' windchill and snowing - NOBODY goes to the zoo.  We saw two other people there all day.

Here's the girls in the "jungle" with a researcher!  Ha!  100_27541And some cool looking birds we saw in one of the aviarys...where it was WARM.

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The flamingos were out...

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The manatees and sea turtle at the aquarium section...

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100_2804And so on to Easter...we went to my parents house which was fun.  The girls got these really cool little jackets for their American Girls from the sewing room of the easter bunny, aka The Doll Closet on etsy.  Really cute!100_2798

And they had a blast!  I have to say, they looked BE-AU-TI-FUL in their easter dresses.  They turned out really well, if I do say so myself!  I got the pattern for these from PinkFig.  I used the Lily pattern and had to adjust some because my girls are a size 8 and the pattern only went up to a size 7.  I added some extras on the ruffle, etc.  They LOVED them!  If you are looking for an easy EASY to use pattern line - PinkFig is it!

100_2814100_2812OK, so I never did get them to stand very still for a photo but here's a few portfolio shots...you get the idea!

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And then...I've had quite a few orders for dresses lately.  I have some already listed on my etsy page. But here's a peek at a few..

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And matching ponytail ribbon explosion thingy whatevers on their way to etsy soon...here's a peek at just one of them...

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100_2809Does the baby look happy here?  Poor thing!  Her sisters love her TOO much!  Well, lots of photos, not too much text.  Since Easter (yesterday) one of the peas has been diagnosed with whooping cough.  She doesn't look sick does she?  Exactly why we had no idea...since all she had was a nagging cough.  Our AWESOME doctor caught it and well, things are now quite hectic in our house so I'll be back next week with an entry about handmade stuff!  (I noticed at my Moms, my sisters - dang!  I make a LOT of stuff cuz it's all over their house from paintings to placemats! More on that next week!)

I'll leave you with one last little cutie - my baby's first Easter.  Next week she celebrates her first birthday.  A very special little day.  She was born on April 25th - the same day as my oldest sister.  My oldest sister  died when she was 15 from complications from mono.  My baby being born on her birthday was quite special.

God bless - hope everyone had a wonderful Easter holiday!  Ciao, xo Trish

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AND DON'T FORGET...post a comment and you'll have a chance at our monthly giveaway!

Bib Mania!

My hubby and I went on a little frenzy today with bibs for our baby! We chatted last night at bedtime about the designs and then this morning everybody chimed in on just how the different appliques should look.Andalucia fabric by Patty Young for Michael Miller I cut about 5 different designs and pieced it all together. Then we tried to put on the snaps. Shhheeezz! I think we busted about 10 of them before we gave up. SO...we dropped our older daughters at an afternoon birthday party and took a trip over to the local fabric shop for a pair of pliers designed to put on snaps. Hoping to catch a bite out to eat, we headed to the local wine bistro...not open. Then over to our old favorite, Village Wines, also closed due to renovations! And...we don't actually drink alcohol but our favorites happen to be wine bars, both these places serve amazing food! Next try, a local mexican eatery and it was open. We gobbled down a ton of chips, salsa and some mighty big burritos. Yummy! Hit the spot...oh, yeah, back to the snaps!

We get home with our new mighty pliers and my husband goes to work on the bibs. SUCCESS! We got the snaps on all of them and tried them on our little cookie monster! Too cute!

This gorgeous fabric with the heart I appliqued is a line called Andalucia by Patty Young. I love this designer...she has a fun blog and I love the surprise of colors from this line. I'm totally going to swipe her latest birthday party idea she posted for her daughter. She did a super fun cooking party and made the guests aprons, chefs hats and oven mitts. With my twins birthday next month, I'm thinking I may do the cooking thing and the aprons. Chefs hats and mitts...a bit too complicated for me :>) But, follow this designer. She's got fun ideas!

Anyway, the whole family enjFat little birdieoyed this process and my twins want to be sure that we bring their favorite, a brood of fat little birdies on orange dots, to church tomorrow. They think she should wear it all day, not just at meal time! I listed several on ebay and eventually, I'll get some up on my etsy site and my dot.com, whenever I get time to finish setting it up! I"m still working on finishing up some orders from Mary's party - kind of wierd because I lot of the fabrics are on backorder so I'm stuck waiting for them to come in to finish up.

So, what do you think of the fat little birdie? Cute isn't he? You should have seen my husbands idea for this applique...whew! He's a good artist but...I'm a better designer I think!

Ciao, TRP