Saturday, April 16, 2011


Remember my post about an up and coming book called CODENAME: DANCER? I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to design the cover for this exciting new book. 

Well, now you can have your own copy!!!

Purchase your ebook edition for just $2.99 at

You won't be disappointed! ENJOY!!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

New Camera, New Hobby

Thanks to all of you who voted and helped us with "The First Yum" photo contest, we now have an amazing new camera!!!

We won a Canon EOS Rebel T1i, and it's just gaw-geous!

As if I don't have enough hobbies to keep up with, I'm fully prepared to dive head first into the world of photography. Maybe even pursue a mini career? I'm pretty excited!
 *Note to self...start saving now. Camera lenses are expeeeeensive!*

Anyway, I thought I'd share just a few photos I've taken in the last couple days since we received our camera. I still have a lot to learn, and it's difficult getting used to a new toy and all its fancy settings, but I'm having WAY too much fun already!!

 More fabulous photos to come! Thanks again, everyone!

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Year of Sewing

Special thanks to everyone who voted for my daughter's picture in the photo contest, mentioned in my previous post titled: 

All of you helped us to WIN!!! That's right, we won. And we're so excited. Stay tuned for lots of great photos with our new camera!

Well, it's been a year. A full year since I sewed my very first project. And what a great year it has been!

Want to know how I got started?

Last year I was given a sewing machine by my wonderful mother-in-law. Only problem was, I had no idea how to use it. I took a sewing class in middle school where we were taught how to sew a straight line. But that was more than 12 years ago, and Lord knows my brain does not retain technical information longer than the amount of time I actually use the skill.

Alas, my poor sewing machine sat unused and collecting dust for months. 

A year ago, my mom came to visit. I had almost forgotten about the sewing machine until I was cleaning out the guest room, and...*LIGHTBULB*... I came across a brilliant idea.

My mom had always sewn our dance costumes. She made numerous Halloween costumes, and repairs to my dad's old work pants. I needed a teacher, and naturally, my mom was the one for the job!

That week we bought a romper pattern and materials from the fabric store and set to work. Mom let me do most of the cutting, and I sat and watched as she sewed the pieces together. She let me try my hand at piecing the parts together once, but let me tell you, it's much harder than it looks! And my mother, bless her, stayed up until passed midnight just to help me finish this one project. 

Wanna see what it looked like?

I did make the hat myself, after my mom left. And it turned out pretty okay!

But, my goodness, my skills have improved exponentially!

I will say that I have never bought a pattern since that first project. I have downloaded a few online, but they are so much more readable than those you buy at the store. Other than that, I like to come up with my own designs when I can.

So, to compare that first project to my most recent project, here is my latest creation. Designed and sewn by yours truly.

I just love this dress. I made it specifically for my daughter's Easter attire, and it turned out even better than I pictured it!

And I'm pretty sure she loves it too!

If I had known, one year ago, that I would be sewing like this...I would have started 10 years ago! 

What a wonderful skill to have. I feel confident about making my own daughter's future dance and Halloween costumes, and repairing my husband's old work pants.

If you haven't yet, now is a great time to work on your sewing skills! Just think of what you will be doing a year from now. Go ahead. Reward yourself with a very rewarding and productive hobby!

Happy sewing!

Now go make something and enjoy the day!

Friday, March 18, 2011

We Need YOUR Help! (UPDATE: WE WON!!!)

 UPDATE: We won the contest!!! Thank you everyone for your votes and support!

As many of you know, I have a love for photography. Unfortunately, I have no camera to support my little hobby. This is where you come in.

I have entered my daughter's picture in a photo contest. Grand Prize: a $500 gift certificate and a CANON REBEL T1i DSLR!!! 

Oooh I drool just thinking about it. 

It just so happens that my little bug's photo is a finalist in the contest!

I took this with a borrowed camera from a friend of mine. I would LOVE to be able to take photos like this on a regular basis.
So, I am enlisting your help. The contest is fully voter based from here on out, so the more votes we get, the better! You can vote once a day, every day, until March 26th.

I truly appreciate your support! 

Help me make my blog a better place with better photos for YOU!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Meet the Author

I hope some of you took the chance to purchase J.S. Laurenz's historical romance  To Conquer the Heart of a King.

If you're looking for more information on the book,
the author (also known as Renate Wildermuth) had a radio interview about it.

Listen, and enjoy!

featuring Renate Wildermuth

Now go make something, and enjoy the day!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

For Your Reading Pleasure

After working on the cover for Amanda Brice's book, Codename: Dancer, I was lucky to land another design gig!

I was approached by author J. S Laurenz to put together a book cover for another self-published novel. Who likes historical fiction and romance?

*raises hand* ME!
If you find yourself raising your hand too, then be sure to check out this exciting new book!

 Turned out pretty nice, if I do say so myself  ;)

Here's a blurb about the book from the author.

A woman who knows the future but not her own past.  The son of a king who must fight for his crown.  They will come together to get what they each desire.  Their pact will turn to passion…but will they realize it before intrigue tears them apart? 
Before Lukas of Falkenberg returns to the Black Forest to take the throne from his dying father, he pays a visit to the nameless and sightless Seer at the Cloister of Mariendorf.  He takes her captive to use her intuition to establish his reign.  She willingly trades the punishing confines of the cloister for a palace prison in the hope of gaining her ultimate freedom.  Although blind, she can see what the future king cannot—the needs of his subjects.  She will win them over, but can she conquer the heart of a king before his half-brother Magnus separates them in a plot even she cannot foresee?

Now, at 99 cents per copy, you CAN'T pass up finding out what happens! Purchase your own copy for your PC, Mac, Kindle, Iphone, or Ipad on

By J.S. Laurenz

Now go make something, and enjoy the day!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Book Covers and Book Lovers

I was recently presented with an opportunity I just couldn't pass up.

Wanna know what it was?

Are you sure?

Okay, okay, I'll tell you...

I was approached by the extremely talented up and coming author, Amanda Brice, to design a book cover!

(*squeals with delight*)

Amanda is self-publishing her award-nominated book,

Codename: Dancer

What do ya think? Pretty eye catching, huh?

Wanna know what it's about? Here's a blurb from the author herself:

Aspiring ballerina Dani Spevak is thrilled when hit TV show Teen Celebrity Dance Off comes to the campus of her performing arts boarding school. She trades the barre for the ballroom and gets set to cha-cha-cha to stardom with Hollywood wonderboy Nick Galliano.

But someone wants her off the show. Bombs, poisoning, arson… Will Dani's 15 minutes of fame be over before she reaches age 15? Dani and her friends are suddenly at the center of some serious sabotage. And if she doesn’t find out who is behind it, her next pirouette could be her last.

It's like “Nancy Drew in toe shoes” in this light-hearted tween mystery, a finalist for Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart® Award for Best Young Adult Romance.

Oooh how exciting! I guarantee you, this book is worth reading. Young romance, suspense, mystery, what more can you ask for?

For more information on Amanda Brice and how to purchase her upcoming book, visit the Fictionistas' blog, and Amanda's personal profile.

I have to say, designing this book cover was one of the funnest things I've done in awhile. A special thanks to Amanda Brice for asking me to do this!

Now go make something, and enjoy the day! 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Tutorial: Ellie Dress

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope you are all having a wonderful day celebrating with your loved ones. My husband and I will be spending a nice quiet evening at home, but I couldn't let this holiday go some way at least. And what better way to add some frilly fun to the day than by giving my little girl a Valentine's Day dress to twirl in?

I've decided to name this pattern after my daughter. 
Introducing the...
Ellie Dress

Of course, she couldn't care less about Valentine's Day in her one year of age, but she sure loved putting this bright and colorful outfit on!

And for all of you faithful followers, I also put a tutorial together for you to follow along. Please beware, there are almost 50 images in this tutorial to make sure all of the details are covered. If you have any problems, questions, or concerns, please leave a comment so I can answer them! Your feedback is the only way I can improve what I do here.

Here's how you make your own...

You will need:

Two contrasting fabrics, enough to create a dress large enough for your child. 

An existing dress or shirt that fits your child. 

Three buttons or pieces of Velcro

 Sewing machine and/or serger (you do not need a serger, but I will show you how to use one in this project).




Yard Stick

Let's get started...

 Fold the fabric you wish to use for the top portion of the dress in half, with right sides together. Fold the dress or shirt in half so that the front is facing out, and lay on the fabric with the folds on the same side.

Trace around the garment, adding about an inch on the top and sides for seam allowance. The bottom of this first piece should fall right across your child's chest. See how I cut off the pattern about an inch below the seam on my daughter's dress?

Cut out your piece on the fold, and open. it should look like this, and will be referred to as your Top Front piece.

Take the Top Front and fold it in half once again. Place it back on your folded fabric. You will be making two back panels. Trace the Top Front piece, adding about and inch to the top neckline and 1 1/2 inches to the right side (middle) of the piece.

This will create an overlap for buttons or Velcro.

Cut out your pattern. When cutting the back pieces, make sure to CUT the fold so you have two pieces, not one. They should look like this, and will be referred to as Top Back Left and Top Back Right.

With right sides together, pin the Top Back Left and Top Back Right to meet the shoulders and sides of your Top Front piece.

Again, your back panels should overlap. Sew, or serge, the shoulders and sides together.

 Open your garment and make a 1/4 inch hem on the overlapping edges of your back panels. Press, pin, and stitch in place.

Do the same for the collar and arm holes, making a 1/4 inch hem and stitching in place.

Turn garment right side out and mark your button holes on the Top Back Right panel. If you choose to use Velcro, simply mark one side of the fabric and stitch 3 Velcro squares in place of the buttons on each side.

Make the buttonholes using your machine, and open them carefully with a seam ripper. 

Mark the corresponding button locations (or Velcro) on the Top Back Left panel, and sew your buttons in place.

Now we can move on to the skirt. Cut two rectangular panels from your contrasting fabric, about twice the width of the top part of your garment, and adding an inch or two to the length for seam allowance. If you are using a shirt as your pattern guide, measure your child from chest to knee, then add the seam allowance for the length of the dress.

Sew a basting stitch with a 1/2 inch seam allowance along the width (long side) of each skirt panel.

Pulling the lower thread, gather each panel until they are about an inch longer than the width of the top part of your garment (where the seams meet).

Very carefully, pin the two skirt panels right sides together and stitch or serge in place.

With right sides together, pin top edge of the skirt to the bottom edge of the top of the garment. Be sure to button or Velcro the back panels together, as if they were being worn. This will allow the top of the dress to unbutton, while the bottom skirt stays in tact. Also, be sure to line up all side seams.

Sew or serge the raw edges together, making sure the skirt stays gathered as it is sewn.

Flip the skirt down in its proper place. You may need to remove your basting stitches.

Press the seam up and under the top of the dress and top stitch in place. This will make the waist seam lay flat, and will be much more comfortable for your little girl.

Hem the bottom of the dress using a 1/2 inch hem. If you have a serger, you can serge the raw edge first, like this...

Then press and pin a 1/2 inch hem and top stitch in place.

To make the bottom ruffle, take two strips of the contrasting fabric, about 3 inches wide and twice the length of the width of the skirt.

Hem the length of the strips with a 1/2 hem. You  may serge the edges before hemming, as I did. You can also use your serger to make a narrow rolled edge hem, creating a nice finished edge for your ruffles (I would have done this if I had the correct color of thread...I only had black).

Sew the hems, then sew a basting stitch down the middle of each strip.

Gather each strip in the same fashion as the skirt, making them about 1 inch longer than the width of the skirt.

With right sides together, sew or serge the side edges of each strip together. You should have one circle of ruffles when you are done.

Pin the ruffle strip to the bottom edge of the skirt, and sew in place.


 You made it! Now go try it on your little girl and let her twirl.

 I chose to make her some matching babylegs since it's still cold here in Montana.

 Or just throw on a pair of tights and watch her bask in the glow of her new, fancy, frilly, dress.

Give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done!

Now go make something, and enjoy the day!