Sewing 101: Clutch

I hosted a little fitbit contest for my friends and the winner won a clutch hand made by ME!  I got the inspiration from Elise Blaha’s cute clutch (Tiger’s colors btw) who followed a tutorial from Make It-Love It.  It’s fairly simple to put one together as you can see from the tutorial.  The hardest part is (1) deciding the right materials and (2) putting in a zipper.  I’m not good with zippers.  Anyway, since my friend’s favorite color is purple, here’s her clutch!

Finished product!  I actually thought it could be an iPad case if she wanted, but the interior fabric wasn’t really right for that.  And no padding.

Interior!  I really love this fabric but it was a PAIN to sew with.  I saw on a bag of mine later where there was a trim on the zipper that held the fabric back.  Next time I use this fabric or something like it I am adding that feature to keep the fabric out of the zipper.  I’m getting better at putting zippers in, but it’s still something I really struggle with.  It’s much easier with little pouches with little 7 inch zippers than this monstrosity of a 14 inch zipper. I also need to make some patterns for these, to make it easier to cut.  I just measured all the sides, but if I cut a pattern out I could just fly through cutting the material.  Next time.

I really enjoy making bags and accessories and think I’m going to try my hand at making something more complicated maybe with a snap closure.  My pinterest has some cool ideas on it, so I just need to pick a project and get to work!



Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Oh January

Background – 2011 was a crap year for me.  I’m just being honest.  After spending the first half of the year blissfully losing weight and shopping for cute clothes, I let stress and life kick me back down in the 2nd half.  I gained weight back, stopped working out, started sleeping more, reading more, and just being a sedentary rock of a person 90% of the time.  Gym, what gym?  Whole wheat?  More like whole pizza.  You get the drift.  It wasn’t my finest hour(s) and I’m paying for it every single day now.  A lot of the things that bothered me then are still bothering me now, but I’m trying to remember that treating myself like that won’t fix anything.  It just makes everything worse really, as now I have another thing that makes me stressed out and upset.

That said, my January has been good to me.  I’m exiting the month lighter than I came into it (check), I made time for me to craft (check) and most importantly – I’m leaving January with a positive outlook that I can continue my momentum (and CHECK).  Me and my fitbit brigade have started something good this year.  I’m moving more.  A lot more.  Consistently exercising, tracking what I eat, making weekly goals, and assessing my performance to those goals weekly.  I’ve somewhat stopped focusing on the daily what I did wrong and instead looking at the week and saying that yes, overall I went in the right direction.  This is a positive mental change and it’s one I needed to make in order to have anything else in 2012 go my way.

Last week my good friend Lele challenged us to set some goals and stick to them.  I have been privately writing my goals but this week having to put them out there to the world (ok, not quite the world, but the 5 other people that read the forum) was pretty powerful.  I thought that if that worked, maybe weekly I should put my goals up here and check in.  If 5 people could hold me to my goals, what would the world wide web do?  I guess we will see.

So with that, here are my goals for the next week:

  1. No pop, again.
  2. 7+ hours of sleep every night
  3. 70K steps minimum this week
  4. Do one house cleaning task a day minimum

Simple, right?  I am working towards being a healthier, happier, less stressed out me.  So my goals aren’t just goals about food and exercise – but things that will improve the quality of my life as a whole.

A big factor in selecting my goals is that I have to really quit the all or nothing mentality that tends to do me in and make me lose my mind and hide in a hole with the ice cream.  So I’m trying to take baby steps towards the big picture.  Last week I quit pop.  Yes pop, I’m from Michigan dammit.  It was hard and I actually gained some weight back this week.  Mostly because I let myself give into my carb/food cravings I had because I couldn’t turn to my magic kill the cravings pill of diet pop.  Give a little to get a lot in my mind.  Actually gain a little to lose a lot would be a better way of saying it.

So for the month of January, I’ve lost 5 lbs, kicked the pop habit, and am not discouraged.  I think for 30 days of work so far – that’s quite an accomplishment.  I have a long way to go, I always have and probably always will.  But that’s okay.  I didn’t get to where I am in 30 days, so I won’t get out in 30 days either.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

New Craft Goodness

There is nothing more fun than learning a new skill. I’ve been wanting to learn to knit for a long time and I finally took a class last night.


Did you know Vanna made yarn?

Anyway, after 2 hours of knitting class, I can read a yarn label.

Oh and I made an approximately 3 inch something.



I’m excited for this new skill and cannot wait to practice and get good enough to make something other than a scarf. I wanted to learn to knit because I figured it would be a good travel craft, so look for more to come. Our teacher assigned us the homework of finishing our entire skein of Vanna yarn with the stockinette stitch before moving on to practice, so as you can see, I have lots of work to do before I move on 🙂

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Oh, Hey There!

Yeah, I get bad blogger of the last 6 months for sure.  The last few months have been INSANE and I kind of neglected quite a few things.  Not just my crafty projects but that whole gym project too.  Oops.  Never fear – it’s 2012 and I’m getting back on track with all of that.  The main craft thing?  Finishing the wedding album before my non-existent kids are old enough to ask me questions about it.  The main life thing? Finishing the healthy Kim project.  I decided to merge the healthy blogging with the craft blogging so that takes some stress off of trying to keep two blogs.  Ironically, the paper and cupcakes title of this blog seems very appropriate for crafting (love paper) and health (way too many cupcakes).    I’m not sure where this will all go, but I’m back and planning projects and posts.

I also should be traveling much less (13 stats + Canada in 2011 for over 50,000 miles flown/driven)  put a wee damper on actually being home in my craft room or in my gym.  I’m saying that knowing that I just was told of another project I will be working on – so maybe I’m being a little too optimistic.  Time will tell, but I think I’m going to alter some of my crafting to accommodate the craft on the road life if things continue as they did in 2011.

So with that – here’s a few pages I made earlier this month.  It’s actually a 2 page spread but I seem incapable of photographing the 2 pages together in any meaningful way.  It’s actually an old Studio Calico sketch that I thought would look great as a lead in to a 2 page layout.  It’s using the Studio Calico add on Salvaged, which had a very vintage flair.  I almost didn’t want to use the paper and couldn’t bare to cut into it because I loved it so much, so I used it as background with some accents of kraft/cream.  Enjoy!

First page of 2 page spread

Second page of 2 page layout.  Handstitched around the non labeled pictures for um…pop?  I dunno, I just like sewing with paper.



Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Crafty October Goals

I’m finally back home for quite a bit of time!!  I’m really happy to now be able to get in my craft room and make stuff.  I’m more than happy to finally get some time to enjoy my fun time.  I pulled out my September kits and made a page from our recent trip to the Outer Banks.  It took me a while because I haven’t made a page in a long time.  My scrap brain was a little out of practice.  But I really love what I came up with.  And you will get to see it once it’s daylight and I can take a picture where you can see the pretty beachy colors.

I also plan to dig into some sewing this month.  I am signed up for Amy Tangerine’s class on BPC, as you had to sign up before a set date otherwise you miss it.  So I just went ahead and signed up even though I knew I’d be gone for the first part of it.  When I get paid on Friday I have a BIG supply list to pick up.  Not only the stuff for the first week’s project in the class, but the material to make a shirt pattern I picked up in Maine early last month.  I love the simple tunic and I’m really excited to start sewing my first wearable project.  I have SO much I want to do this month and I believe I will actually be home long enough to do it.  I enjoy crafting and just completing this page tonight, my first one in WEEKS has made me so happy.  I’m going to soak up my non travel weeks to capture these memories and make new ones to savor.

Do you have any big crafty October projects?  Share!!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

One Year Later

One year ago today I was getting ready

Then this happened

I married my wonderful loving husband in front of a few close friends and family.

I can’t believe it’s already been one whole year. If time flies when you are having fun then we must have had one heck of a blast this year because it’s amazing to me we are already starting our second year of marriage. We’ve had some really amazing times, some rough times, and some hard times. Marriage is a totally different beast than anything you could have guessed it would be. It takes hard work. To let go and make decisions with someone about you and them instead of alone about you and yours takes love, patience, trust and understanding. To embrace your differences and create a team. It’s a different kind of thing. And one year in, we are working on continuous improvement (yup, I was a quality engineer and I just used continuous improvement in a marriage post, so?) to make sure we continue to be the best we can be to each other and for each other.

Our first year of marriage has had challenges that we just couldn’t predict, but we got through them all. Including the fact that I’m never home and am not home today, on our anniversary, because I’m traveling for work. Out of the country no less so I don’t even have my cell phone. I definitely win wife of the year award, womp womp. But hopefully next year (and the next and so on) won’t have this kind of challenge. I guess we’ll have to see what the next 12 months bring us in terms of work, eh?

I had a HUGE goal of finishing our wedding scrapbook prior to our anniversary. That did not happen. I blame my insane travel schedule, does that work? But it will be finished for sure, just in a little more time. It’s okay. I love going back and looking back and remembering a really amazing day.

All pictures by the awesome Ellie Bolton Photography. Makeup and hair by Liv Lethal.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Travel Log – MN State Fair

So two weeks before scrapfest (boy I need to work on timing) I went to visit my buds in Minneapolis and St. Paul. I had a blast and wanted to share some pics from the state fair. It was SO much fun – full of deep fried everything, shows, and good times. Luckily we walked for hours, so I could feel better about my ice cream breakfast 🙂

Breakfast of champions? Fried apple pie and cinnamon ice cream

Amazeballs honey nut fudge and honey sunflower ice cream.

In Minnesota, they carve their royalty in butter. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge can’t beat that!!

Mini veggies are so cute!!! And looking at them makes up for my meal choices…yes?

Deep fried cheese curds. The theme of today was pretending I wasn’t lactose intolerant apparently…

Prize winning gorgeous dahlias. So pretty!!

Hope you enjoyed my little fair overview!!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 2 Comments