Make Stuff With Me! Sat, 30 Aug 2014 18:12:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Notebook Cover Thu, 31 Jul 2014 14:02:13 +0000 I have a problem. It’s really more like an addiction. I cannot resist a cute notebook. As a result, at any given time I have about 20 notebooks on hand. And that’s no exaggeration.

Aside from it being ridiculous to have so any notebooks, the cute ones cost between $2 and $7. And that’s a huge waste of money when you can just make this cuuute notebook cover with some leftover fabric.


Then, you can buy the boring $.59 notebooks at the back to school sale, save money and ensure that you are always taking notes in style.

You will need:
*12-15 inches of regular cotton 45″ fabric. I used the same fabric for the interior and exterior of my project, but you could make them both different colors as well.
*Midweight to heavyweight interfacing
*A notebook (duh)

Open your notebook and lay it on your fabric. You should several inches on either side, depending on how wide you’d like the inner folds to be, and an inch or two at the top and bottom.


Add your interfacing, getting close to the edges, then stitch the sides, right sides together.


Press the seams, turn the fabric right side out and press again. Then, lay your notebook open on top, fold the edges in and press in place.


Here’s where you’ll feel like you’re making progress. Turn it all inside out again and push the folds to the inside to press again. Pin and stitch all the way across the top. Trim any excess fabric.






Turn it back to right sides out and put your notebook in the folds to feel good about yourself and to gauge where you’ll need to turn up the bottom.

Fold the bottom of the fabric in, press and finish up with a ladder stitch! You’re done!

I added the felt and embroidery monogram after. Well, to be honest, it’s not even attached in the picture. I haven’t made a full commitment to those colors yet. But the whole thing (without the monogram) took one episode of Property Brothers to finish.

I can’t wait to make a few more!

Make A Better World With Me Fri, 18 Jul 2014 14:51:14 +0000 I’ve read and reread a fantastic post by Seth Adam Smith called Marriage Isn’t For You. The idea behind it is beautiful: that marriage isn’t about how happy your partner will make you, but about the happiness you can bring to and create for your partner.

I love the selflessness in his post and I wish the world had a little more of that. I think it’s a great concept and a great attitude toward marriage, but I think it would be even better if we lived life with this philosophy. It’s not what we get from the world, but what we bring to it.

Now, I consider myself a very nice person. I like being nice. It feels good to be nice. But, in thinking about this article, I’ve realized that I’m pretty passive about my niceness. And I’m sure we all are. When an opportunity comes my way, I handle it like most of us would. I ask about your day with sincere interest, I talk with you about your problems with genuine concern. If you ask me for a favor, chances are, I will do whatever I can to help.  And at the end of the day when I reflect on the highs and lows of the day, the things that others have done to make my life easier are what I consider first and foremost: so and so complimented me, so and so did something nice for me, etc.

I’m in a very transitional phase, in both my personal life and professional life. The changes are positive ones, but I’m still having a hard time not focusing just on myself and my needs. I think it’s natural, but it’s not exactly where or who I want to be.

Beginning today, I want to proactively look for ways to serve others in whatever way I can, rather than waiting for kindness opportunities to find me – specifically going out of my way for other people. I’m not saying it’s going to be this huge and enormous change or anything. It’s just a personal challenge for me, to see how many people I can help each day. One of my favorite quotes is from Mother Theresa: “Do small things with great love.” And now I intend to live it.


The Right Brain Binge Thu, 10 Jul 2014 22:46:58 +0000 It’s vacation time! Well, vacation is an extreme word when I’ve decided to stay in town and I’ve found myself at work every day this week. But still, I’m doing my best to keep my mind off of the stresses of work and on more creative pursuits.

Since I’ve decided to close my business, the right side of my brain has been decidedly unoccupied. And we can’t have that, can we? I’m on a bit of a right brain binge…sewing and crafting and sewing and crafting. And sewing. And crafting.

Here are some things I’ve created in the last couple of weeks.




I just can’t seem to stop. It’s almost manic. But these things all make great gifts (amiright? Check out my Etsy page!)

Baby Blanket with Robot Applique Fri, 20 Jun 2014 01:29:42 +0000 Oh, I had so much fun putting this together, and Andrew loved it, too!  He’s a little disappointed it isn’t for him, but it’s available for purchase in my Etsy shop.

I originally bought the robot fleece to make a small baby blanket for my son when he was first born. And the grey fleece was left over from a t-shirt quilt I made a couple of weeks ago. I’ve had this idea for a long time and I’m so excited that I finally had the time to put it all together!

It’s pretty self explanatory…lots of little felt pieces, attached with heat bond tape, then appliqued on by machine. My grandmother’s old sewing machine (which is awesome!) has lots of cute embroidery options, so I had a good time using those on the buttons and arm and foot bands.



I’ve got just enough fabric for a second blanket……

New Posters on Etsy Thu, 19 Jun 2014 15:20:25 +0000 I’ve added a few new poster prints to my Etsy shop

life dancing green love alone watch your thoughts red

Costumes: Alice In Wonderland Wed, 18 Jun 2014 19:58:30 +0000 I made a few costumes for an upcoming production of Alice In Wonderland, modeled here by one of my lovely students.

The Caterpillar, the Cheshire Cat and Humpty Dumpty.

photo 5 (1)

Backseat Bin with Tutorial Wed, 18 Jun 2014 18:56:06 +0000 Here’s the tutorial for Andrew’s new over-the-seat toy bin.  It took me just under an hour to complete – fun and easy!

How cute is this fabric?  The answer is: so cute.  I found the dinosaur print in a remnant pile and had the stripes left over from another project.  Anytime I’m able to use up leftover fabric, I’m a happy girl.  So, I cut the pieces of fabric as you see below (marked *a* for the outside and *b* for the inside fabric).

Bottom and Pocket Panels: (1a, 2a, 1b, 2b): Cut  4 pieces, 11 inches by 5 inches

Side Panel (3a, 3b, 4a, 4b): Cut 4 pieces, 9 inches by 5 inches

Front and Back Panels (5a, 5b, 6a, 6b): Cut 4 pieces, 11 inches by 9 inches

Line all pieces with medium-weight to heavy-weight interfacing. I used medium-weight, but once Andrew’s toys were inside, I wish

photo 3 (2)


First, sew two pocket panels (1a and 1b), right sides together.

photo 4 (2)

Then, pin the pocket to one of the front panels (5a) and one of the side panels (3a) and stitch along the side as pictured.  Complete the outside of the bin by attaching the second side (4a), back (6a) and, finally, the bottom (2a). This should form a nice bag shape.

Repeat the same process with the interior pieces (2b, 3b, 4b, 5b, 6b), but leaving off the pocket.  You should now have two bags, place the interior bag within the exterior.

photo 5   photo 3 (1)



Fold down the top of each of the bags, toward each other, then iron to create a nice fold.  Add elastic to one side of the bag and pin in place, then stitch all around the top of the bag.  Below is what my bag looked like right before the final stitches, and then one with it complete and in the backseat! That’s Andrew’s foot.

photo 4 (1)   Image


Fabric Binge, continued Tue, 17 Jun 2014 23:12:13 +0000 I bought a lot of fabric.
Then I made a bunch of things.



Included here are three small zipper bags, a large tote, and an over-the-seat bin for toys in the car.

They were all simple to make, and I made my own patterns.

The tote and matching cosmetic bag were sold at a silent auction this weekend.
The nesting doll and hot air balloon zipper bags are both available in my Etsy shop.
And the over-the-seat bin for the car was SO simple! It took less than an hour to complete. I’ll post a full tutorial soon!

Summer Camp Slimdown, Week 1 Update Mon, 16 Jun 2014 15:43:56 +0000 One week down.

Total steps last week: 59,927 (9,927 steps over my goal!)

Total weight loss: 2 pounds even.
Staying on track with calories: I give myself a C-. I mean, I lost weight, but I think it was more because of the dancing during the week than anything else. Hoping to earn an A+ this week.

Exercise: Giving myself a D. I didn’t exercise at all except for camp dance routines. Those are a good bit of exercise, but I still didn’t do as much as I could have. But in my defense, I threw my back out last Saturday and I’m still hurting a bit.

The changes I am proud of are:
*Consistently tracking food
*Dancing with my campers instead of demonstrating and then sitting down

Changes I’m going to focus on this week:
*More water. I drank way too much soda last week. I love water and it’s good for me, so why not more of it?
*Some kind of daily exercise, as my back feels better. Small weights while I’m watching tv, or a walk around the neighborhood with Andrew after work.
*I also moved the scale into my bathroom from the downstairs living room, so I can weight myself at the same time each morning before getting ready.

I’m still feeling motivated, but when I look at the progress I made with what seems like minimal effort, I’m a little upset with myself for not working harder and making more progress. Onward and upward!

My name is Mary Claire…. Sat, 14 Jun 2014 22:20:32 +0000 …and I have a fabric-buying problem.