April 29, 2010

New Blogger Features

As some of my fellow bloggers may be aware, Blogger has made some changes lately. With this change to Blogger in Draft, I was able to redesign my garden blog. I can now add pages to my blog, something I've wanted to do for quite some time. Back in December (yes, I'm a bit behind in Blogger news) Blogger added a new way to monetize blogs. Amazon Associates allows me to search Amazon for products I'm writing about, and link to them without having to open a new tab or leave my blog post. The other neat feature is that I can choose to have Amazon turn the text into a link, insert an image that acts as a link, or insert a link and an image. If you purchase the item I blog about, (or any item after following my link) I will earn a small commission.

If you want to keep up with new Blogger features, subscribe to their blogs. They have one for Blogger, and one for Blogger in Draft. If you don't want to add yet another blog to your reader, go to 'edit notifications' (next to the profile picture in your Dashboard) and check the box to receive emails about Blogger features and updates. I will be trying out some other Blogger features, and will do my best to keep you updated about any changes I make to my blog.

Ironically, after writing an entire post about linking to Amazon products, I have not linked to any Amazon product. Not to worry, though, my next post should have a few links. Meanwhile, I added four new altered notebooks/journals to my Etsy shop and apparently forgot to blog about it!

April 25, 2010

Bride's Rescue Kit

Most of this past week was spent working on my sister's bridal shower gift. I'd seen the idea of a "Brides' Rescue Kit" several places, and decided to make one for Grace. I made Mary Mulari's cosmetic bag from her book "Made for Travel" to contain everything. Once again, I proved that I can't make a Mary Mulari project without altering it in some way. This was my second time making the cosmetic bag. The first time I used a double sided quilted fabric that required me to drastically change the directions. This time I was just going to follow the directions, but ended up making a few changes.

First, I didn't like the way the inner pockets had worn in my original bag. I ended up cutting two pockets, one out of the bag fabric, and one out of the outer pocket fabric. I sewed them into a tube and turned them right side out; the remaining raw edges are hidden when the lining is sewn together. You can sort of see the two-tone pocket in the picture below.

Second, in step 5 there is a typo. It tells you to draw lines 3.5" from each edge of the bags outer fabric. These lines need to be 3" from the edges. Second, after stitching down the pocket sides, stitch two lines across what will be the bottom of the bag. I think I measured out 1-2 inches from the center. This will keep anything you put in the pocket from slipping down to the bottom of the bag. I've had this happen with my original bag, and apart from panicking when you can't find whatever slid down there, it can be rather difficult to get out.

Third, in step six, you sew ribbon and braid together. I didn't do this for either bag. For the first, it was because I was being lazy. For the second, I couldn't find any braid in the right width and color. The bag seems fine without it. Also in step six, instead of meeting the ribbon handle edges as diagrammed, I folded over one end and sewed it over the other raw end.

What's in it? Here's the list! (Most things are trial or travel size)
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Floss
  • Listerine Spray
  • Lip Balm
  • Germ-x
  • Spot Remover(s)
  • Emery Board
  • Clear Nail Polish
  • Tissues
  • 1'st Aid Kit
  • Sewing Kit
  • Nail Kit (clippers, tweezers, etc)
  • Wet Wipes & Makeup Removing Wipes
  • Mirror
  • Hairspray
  • Lint Roller
  • Baby Powder
  • Tums
  • Feminine Napkins
  • Safety Pins
  • Bobby Pins
Some things I wanted to add, but couldn't find and/or ran out of time: Advil, Asprin, etc., mini Static Guard, and hand lotion.

April 15, 2010

Seatbelt Cushion

I made this a couple of months ago, and finally took some pictures of it! The pattern is from Mary Mulari's Made for Travel book. I had made the cushion once before; this time I thought it would be nice to make one covered with cotton, for the summer months. It turned out pretty well, although a bit on the small side. Easily fixed the next time I make one.

How I did it: I started with two 12" squares, one of fleece, one of cotton. I sewed around 3 edges, leaving the fourth open to turn right side out. The remaining raw edge was serged. Folding it in half, I placed one side of the velcro along the sewn edge. The serged edge of the cotton layer was placed about halfway under the piece of velcro. For some reason, I didn't catch in the fleece layer - possibly to reduce the bulk in the seam. I then placed the other piece of velcro as per the directions in Mary's book.