Perfect Bag #1

In my quest to find the perfect bag, my first adventure was Amy Butler's Kimberly Bag.

I love Amy Butler's designs, both fabrics and patterns and when I saw this pattern I definitely wanted to try it out.  And I just purchased some really cute fabric from Henry Glass - "Fandango" and as a coordinate, "South Hampton".

It's a cute design - not too low that my stuff would have to be dug deep inside the bag.  But what I wasn't prepared for was how long it was, about 19"!  I wasn't prepared for that.  It kind of feels like I should be carrying a half-rifle.

The pattern doesn't call for any pockets inside, but what woman does not need pockets????  So I added a couple.

I've been using it since I made it a few weeks back and I've had a number of positive comments.  I'm also getting used to the length.  I've managed to carry my wristlet wallet, my extra keys, my phone, and a few other essentials in it.  It's full so I can't put much more in it, but I like that.  No need for more stuffing.

So far, it's a keeper, but I think I'll continue looking for that Perfect Bag.

Next up, another Amy Butler bag.  This time it's coming from her new book, Style Stitches.

Hint, it's not the cover one but I'll write about it in my next blog!Pin It

Who doesn't love ice cream

So I thought summer was over since the weather turned colder last week and my kids start school TOMORROW!!  But today it's almost 90 degrees and hot!  So what to do?  Have ice cream of course!

  Breyers Sundae Scoop-Off Contest  
Breyers® is in search of the next great sundae with the Sundae Scoop-Off Contest and you have a chance to win!  From now through September 13, 2010, the Sundae Scoop-Off Contest is challenging America to create original, family-friendly ice cream sundae recipes including 10 or fewer ingredients. View complete contest requirements and enter the recipes at<>  for a chance to win $10,000, a trip to Chicago featuring a private cooking lesson with renowned pasty Chef Gale Gand and one year of FREE Breyers® ice cream. The sundae recipe entries will be judged on taste, creativity, use of Breyers® ice cream and presentation.

I told my kids I used to work at an ice cream shop in college and of course we had to make a brownie ice cream sundae.  Yum!!  That certainly made them finish their dinner.

Disclosure: I am posting in the blogger promotion on behalf of Breyers and may receive product as a result of my post.Pin It

The Perfect Bag

So I'm on a quest, and I'm probably not the only one.  I'm looking for the Perfect Handbag, for me.  Good thing I sew and sell bags because this may be a long quest.  Nothing wrong with all the bags and bag patterns out there.  I just need one to fit me.

When I first started sewing bags for myself I started out with a simple tote style, with pockets all around.

I had a lot of requests for that style.  But for me it was too big - I had a tendency to overstuff it, and then when I made a quick turn in the car, it overturned with everything in it.  But it worked.

Then I was given the chance to test out a new pattern for Venezie Designs - the Chelsea Bag.
I LOVED my Chelsea Bag.  I was so excited with the one I made that I brought it into my daughter's preschool before I even had a chance to clip all the little threads out so I could show it off.  And in turn, got a number of orders for the bag and even my own modified diaper bag version.

But alas, a year later I need something else.  So now I'm on a quest for the next Perfect Bag.  I've picked out a few patterns I want to try:
Amy Butler's Kimberly Bag

Patty Young's Stella Bag

Amy Butler's Sweet Harmony Bag

a backpack

or a sling?

Wish me luck!

And if anybody has any recommendations, let me know!Pin It

They're not just bracelets

Just when I thought the sillybandz craze would be just that it comes up with even more stuff my kids would want.  And I'm thinking it may be a good vacation "treasure" as we road trip up the northeast.

Googly bands have come up with rings and necklaces too!  The rings are so cute, and my girls think so too.  It was announced on their blog.  And of course I had to see it.  What will they come up with next???Pin It

The Obsession Continues

Did you know that there's more brands out there other than the SillyBandz?  Well, there's also Googly Bands, which I find to be equal to the SillyBandz, but more affordable - I actually found a pack of 12 for a $1 at the Christmas Tree Shops!  Compare that to 24 bands for $5!

So I got this message today that Googly Bands is officially retiring all Series 2 bands.  And they're inviting everybody to join them in the Official Retirement Party on Thursday, July 15, at 2PM PST.  Rules will be posted at 2PM at  They're giving out tons of prizes live during their hour-long party.  Will you be there?  I'm going to try!Pin It


I'm not much for allowing my kids to get into whatever fads are popular at the moment.  But this time I've mellowed and my kids are now part of the Silly Bandz craze.  You know, the shaped rubber bands that kids have lined up to their elbows, schools have banned (of course it's now summer vacation!), and kids love to trade.  The kids of course are not brand specific - they look for all kinds, glow-in-the dark, glitter, princess, baseball, whatever.

So yesterday, at the grocery store, of all places, I found the Phillies logo ones.

Pretty cool - my favorite is the Liberty Bell.  I like the fact that it's state specific.  So now, though I won't wear them except to take them off the floor and hold for a child, I'm obsessed with finding other state specific ones.  Not necessarily sports specific but something along the line of the Liberty Bell, something my kids can learn about.  Hey if, anyone can help me out, and keep in mind I have 4 kids who all collect them, even the 2 1/2, going on 12, collects them, leave me a comment!Pin It

Time flies

Time flies when you're certainly busy.  Good busy, so not really complaining.  I can't believe though that I last posted almost a month ago.

So what have I been up to since?

One big project was a Christening dress for the daughter of friends of ours who surprised me and asked me to make them one.  I was extremely flattered and wanted to make sure it was as adorable as the little girl.  So I used Carla C (the Scientific Seamstress! - we have a lot in common, LOL!) Precious Dress and used the white eyelet material I used for my girls' Easter dresses.

Then I found a free tutorial for a Baby bonnet that I used to make the matching bonnet
Had to borrow my youngest's baby doll to model the bonnet.

The Chritening took place in Maine on Father's Day - June 20th, so I had it mailed out the first week of June to them.  I can't wait for the pictures of the Christening!Pin It

Quick Post!

So, I've taken another break - had a craft show to work on and a few more customs, all of which I'll try and post about in the next few blogs.  But in the meantime, I'm entering a few contests and need to promote them, LOL!  Hey, why not, you don't win anything unless you play, just like the elusive powerball or megamillions jackpots.

This one is for the Rayovac Powers Your Summer Promotion.  Come check it out!

The first 99 bloggers to promote the Rayovac Powers Your Summer Promotion won a prize package from Rayovac

Wish me luck!Pin It

I'm back!

I'm back!  Well, I actually haven't gone anywhere, would've loved to have gone to Quilt Market, but that's another blog sometime.  I've just been off the blogging, tweeting, facebook radar for a bit with the weather turning warmer, means I'm outside with the kids more, and custom orders.  It's been non-stop, not complaining, it's great actually.  Orders are good and I'll post pictures in the next few blogs.  But first...

It's Try-It-Tuesday!!!

One of the things I love to do is test out patterns for designers and give input on how easy or not it was to follow, how well or not it was written, etc.  It's like being an editor but I actually have to go through the pattern and make it, so I'd say I'm a "SEW-ditor"?  I think I like that better than Pattern Tester, kind of like a "Domestic Engineer."  Anyways, I digress...

So my Try-It-Tuesday feature this month is Two Peas in a Pod's Patsy Ann Apron Top!  I met Trish on Twitter and she was looking for testers and I volunteered.  I'm so glad I did.  She gave me the opportunity to test out her Apron top and I made a couple.  I've been dying to show them off on my blog but I had to wait until she was ready.  In the meantime, my girls modeled them for me at school!!


This is Kathleen wearing the size 2T I made using Patty Young's Mezzanine prints.  She's wearing it on top of a simple pink dress she already had but the apron top really added so much more to it!   I had so many compliments and inquiries.

The pattern is great for a beginner!  Simple, well laid out and so much fun to make!  They can be done in less than 3 hours, just like the rest of her "pea-sized patterns."  And the sizes range from 2T to 9.  You can purchase her pattern directly through her website or they'll be available on her etsy shop by June.  Or if you'd rather not sew and would like to have me make you a custom one, contact me directly!

I'm thinking of making a matching top for myself and a matching dress for an American Girl doll.  The pattern doesn't include those sizes but I'm sure I can figure it out from what Trish had laid out.Pin It

And More Winners!!

Thank you to all who entered my Try It Tuesday Giveaway for the two fun games I reviewed from McNeil Designs for a Brighter Mind.

And the winners are...

For the You've been Sentenced! game

the winner is:

Emily said...

youve been sentenced !
emmy1981 at aol dot com

Congratulations Emily!  Please contact me with your information so I can pass it along to McNeil Designs for a Brighter Mind.

For the Twisted Fish game:
the winner is:

Margie said...

I'm interested in the game Twisted Fish. It's closer in age to my little one! Thanks.

tccsreading (at) yahoo (dot) com

Congratulations Margie!  Please contact me with your information so I can pass it along to McNeil Designs for a Brighter Mind.

Thank you again for all the entries!  This has been fun so watch out for May's Try It Tuesday feature.Pin It

We Have A Name and A Winner!!

Before I get started with the names of the winners for this fun giveaway, remember to enter my Try It Tuesday Giveaway for the fun games from McNeil Designs!!  The giveaway ends midnight, EST, on Monday, April 27 and winners announced on April 28.

Thank you to all the comments submitted for the name of my new bag.  There were over 20 suggestions to choose from!  But I could only pick one.  And the winning name for my new bag style is:


And the person who suggested this name was

Claude said...

I would say: cherish, squeeze, cuddle, embrace or nestle.
Beautiful bag, I love it!

Congratulations!  You won this bag

Please email me directly to claim your prize!

And now for the second Giveaway, a custom version of this bag - you get to choose the fabrics, I used to generate a winning number from the 41 comments I received and the winner is:

Comment #30 

msilba said...

I'm a new follower through google friend connect

Congratulations!  Please email me directly to claim your prize!

Pin It

Another new product

Before I talk about the new product, don't forget to enter my giveaways.  The Name the Bag Giveaway ends 4/26 and the Try It Tuesday Giveaway ends 4/27!!

I just finished a custom order this weekend that I really enjoyed and will start to make a few more to carry in my shop - a diaper bag set - includes a diaper bag and a changing pad organizer.

The Bag
The bag itself is an oversized version of the Chelsea Bag from Venezie Designs.  I tested the pattern for Karen and started carrying the bag in my shop.  It's been a big seller locally.  So when I got the custom request I suggested the Chelsea as the design, but larger, with even more pockets inside to hold all the stuff you need for a child or two.
It even has a pocket on the outside I can embroider a name or applique an initial onto.
Easy access into the bag to grab what you need yet it till holds everything in with a decorative drawstring closure.

The Organizer
This was a specific request from the customer.  Even pointed out the organizer she wanted.  Funny thing was that I had the very same organizer when I was changing a few diapers.  I only have one left and I'm getting her potty trained this summer!!

So I measured it, analyzed it and came up with my own similar version, with a couple of changes for convenience.  When you open it up it lays out as a large changing surface to put the baby on and a section with pockets for diapers or wipes and an elastic divider to hold tubes of diaper cream or powder or purell, whatever you need to change a baby.
The organizer folds in thirds
It has a velcro closure that can easily be opened when you may only have one hand available.  There's also a wrist strap with a snap ring to be able to hook it up to a stroller or a bag or wear as a wristlet.
It's machine washable but I recommend line drying because of the metal snap hook.

I wish I had the set when my kids were younger and I was at the stage of at least 3 kids in diapers!

Pin It

Try It Tuesday

I'm in a giveaway mood.  I think I'll have another one that I'm going to try every month - Try It Tuesday Giveaway.

For my very first Try It Tuesday I was lucky enough to be chosen through Biz2Blogger to test out a fun  award-winning word game called You've been Sentenced!  It's from McNeil Designs for Brighter Minds and can be played by 3-10 players ages 8 and up.

About You've been Sentenced!
You've been Sentenced! is an innovative language game which utilizes pentagon-shaped cards containing conjugations of funny words, famous names, and familiar places.  With a hand of 10 cards, players build sentences, challenging their ingenuity while trying to score the most points per round, constructing a grammatically correct and justifiable sentence.

So my kids aren't over the age of 7 yet but my oldest loves to read and I thought this would be a great learning game for him.  Here's what I got in the mail:

Not only did I get the game but I also received 5 add-on decks.

The cards are pentagon shaped and each side has a variation of a word - the original word, a plural version, a verb version, a past tense, whatever.  And each are associated with points.  My husband, my son and I played the game one night, not to its proper instructions, we wanted the 7 year old to get the idea of making sentences first before trying to defend them, and we all had a blast.  My son was in fits of giggles making up sentences with the cards he was given.  I've also found that I can take the add-on decks to my kids' sporting events and we can play while we hang out and wait for the duration of the game.

I highly recommend this game.  It's fun and educational!

But that's not all.  I also received another game from McNeil - Twisted Fish.

Twisted Fish is a similar game to Go Fish but has "13 unique, outrageously humorous fish characters in five different color suits that you must ask for specifically.  In addition there's 8 unique Zinger Wild Cards that all have a different wild function and makes the game FUN to the very last card every game!"

Twisted Fish is for ages 6 and up, but I've played it with my 6, 4 1/2, and 2 1/2 year olds, and can be played with 3-6 players.

Another fun game!  I've taken this to events and played it there too.  Great entertainment that keeps the kids occupied instead of the handheld ds systems everybody seems to have.  So if your kids like Go Fish, they'll love Twisted Fish!

Here's the giveaway:

McNeil Designs has been kind enough to provide the same You've been Sentenced! game along with the 5 add-on cards for one of my lucky readers!  They are also providing a Twisted Fish game for another lucky person.  So I'm giving two games away!

Here's how to enter - leave a comment for each to up your chances!
1- Leave a comment telling me which game you'd like to win
2 - Follow my blog through Google Friend Connect
3 - Follow me on Facebook!  Beautiful Blooms Fan Page
4 - Follow me on Twitter! mom2etck

And don't worry if you're already following, just leave a comment that you do.

Contest is open until midnight April 27 and winners will be announced on April 28!Pin It

Name the Bag

I just made this really cute bag.  I've been dying to make a slouchy bottom bag, something with more shape than the bags I already make.  I finally did, first as a wristlet.

And here's the inside:
My camera phobic daughter subsequently decided to make it her bag.  But luckily I made two!

Now I need a name.  I was thinking along the name "Charmed" or even "Hugs" since I already have a KISS bag, but not sure.

So, as my tweeter friends have done, I'm going to have a Name the Bag Giveaway.  You name it and you can have the bag.  Just leave a comment.

And for kicks, I'll make this a double giveaway.  Second giveaway - win a custom bag like this, but you get to choose the fabrics!!

All you have to do is, comment for each of these:
1 - Follow my blog through Google Friend Connect or let me know if you already follow
2 - Become a fan on my facebook fanpage:  Beautiful Blooms Fan Site
3 - Follow me on Twitter: MOM2ETCK
4 - Retweet this and let others know!

Contest will be open until midnight EST April 26 and I'll announce the winners on April 27!Pin It

Everything But The Kitchen Sink

Have you seen my Bare Necessities Mini Keychain Wallets that I make and sell in my shop?

It's cute, holds the minimum you need going out - a card, maybe some cash - and acts as a keychain.  Really the Bare Necessities.

Well this weekend I was making a new wallet, one I'm going to call Everything But The Kitchen Sink.
Why?  Well let's just say my son looked at it and asked me why it was such a big wallet, did the person have a lot of money?  I just smiled.

It looks normal at first from the front, but then you open it up and it explodes into this:

It has 8 card slots in the back section, a zippered compartment for coins and whatever else likes to fly around in a wallet, and 4 additional sections for whatever you'd like in there - money, coupons, receipts, again whatever.  It looks like an accordian on the side, and closed up it's already 2" thick.  It even has a detachable wrist strap.

Impressive wallet design I got from NapkittenPattern on etsy.  It was actually for a customer request.  I'm still debating on whether to make more to sell.  What do you think?Pin It

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

I just joined the 5 Minutes for Mom 2010 Ultimate Blog Party!  It starts this Friday, April 9th, to celebrate the community of blogging.  With over a 100 donated prizes including a Gift Certificate from my shop  (it's listed as #85 in the US only category) and from several vendors I highly recommend checking out!!  I finally got through the list, WOW!  And my personal faves are:

US15 – Win a $25 e-gift certificate to the Disney Store.
Provided by: Kristin @ Couponing to Disney
Follow here: Couponin2Disney or Visit Our Fan Page: Couponing To Disney

US50 – Win a $50 Gift Certificate to Froggy Girl Designs!
Provided by: Froggy Girl Designs
Follow here: froggygirletsy or Visit Our Fan Page: Froggy Girl Designs

US83 – Disney Mickey 5-in-1 Tasty Baker by Pop Art. An all in one table top appliance that bakes pancakes, cakes, quickbreads, biscuits and donuts and more into 6 bite sized shapes (Mickey mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy and Pluto) in about one-third the time. It can even cook eggs.
Provided by: Pop Art Toaster
Follow here: poparttoaster or Visit Our Fan Page: Pop Art Toaster

USC 11 – Win a $50 gift certificate good towards any purchase in my Etsy shop or my website.
Provided by: Priddy Creations Custom Designs
Follow here: Priddy Creationsor Visit Our Fan Page: Priddy Creations Custom Designs

USC 17 – With the upcoming release of their iphone app in the next few weeks, CmomGo is offering up a $200 Apple Gift certificate. For moms that do not currently have an AT&T contract and have wanted that Iphone this will cover the cost of a 16Gig 3GS iphone with the signup of a 2 year contract with AT&T. For our moms that already have an AT&T contract with a different phone this can be used towards the purchase of a new iphone or it can be used for anything else at the Apple store! Our friends from CmomGo sure hope you use it for an iphone though!
Provided by: CmomGo

NTL 11 – Custom Blogger Design- valued at $100
Provided by: Simply Fabulous Blogger Templates
Follow here: simplyfabblog or Visit Our Fan Page: Simply Fabulous Blogger Templates

Come join the Ultimate Blog Party, it's open to bloggers and non-bloggers!  Let me know with a comment that you've joined so I can stop by your blog during the party!  Follow it on Twitter (follow me too!) under the hashtag #ubp10.Pin It

My Beautiful Blooms

So why did I come up with this name for a business?  It sounds more like a florist than a shop for handmade goods.  Funny thing is there's a flower shop with the same name located in Philadelphia too.

Well, partly because I wanted to have a name that was early in the alphabets for faster searches.  Then I came up with flower names for each of my creations - check out the categories in my shop.

But as time flew and my creations evolved, I began to see that my Beautiful Blooms were the inspiration for my creations - my kids.

My pretty little maids all in a row

I made all three girls a new dress with eyelet material in their favorite colors and Patty Young's Frida dress pattern.

And my little soldier

He didn't get a new outfit for Easter, but he did ask for a camouflage basket and I made one out of Sew Sensible's Boutique Easter Basket pattern.Pin It

Happy Anniversary!

Today's our wedding anniversary.  8 years ago and 4 kids later.

Even back then I was being extremely frugal and crafty - $99 wedding dress, $6 clearance wedding shoes, chose tulips for flowers as they were in season, church decorated already for Easter, made the flower girl baskets, pew decor, ring bearer pillow, placecards (butterflies shaped cardstock on crepe paper flowers my bridesmaid and I made), etched all the centerpiece vases with a claddagh design and our names and dates.  But we splurged on the honeymoon - in Venice.  Ah, Venice!

Here's to looking forward to the next 8 years and beyond.Pin It

Happy Easter!

I did it.  I finally made my girls' Easter dresses this year.  I had it planned with eyelet material I purchased the year before.  I just couldn't figure out what pattern to use.  Until I made Theresa's dress using Patty Young's Frida dress.  It was so easy to follow and had a few variations to the pattern I could follow to make these Easter dresses.  It may have taken me a total of 24 hours total to make three dresses and they came out so beautifully.

Kathleen's dress:
Clare's dress:
and Theresa's dress:
I can't wait to get the girls' picture in the dresses.Pin It

Little Remedies Contest

I just entered an interesting contest, please vote for me!

Vote For Beautiful Blooms DesignsPin It

Birthday Treats for Theresa

Happy Birthday to my little girl, actually the first of my 3 girls.  Theresa turned 6 yesterday.  Though the weather was yucky wet, we made the most of it with all kinds of stuff to celebrate her birthday.

Her first request was for a Sponge Bob cake.  I made her brother a cake for his birthday, and she told me then she wanted Sponge Bob for hers.

I drew it looking at a picture from the balloon we got her.

Since we weren't planning on a big birthday party we decided to bring in snacks at school to celebrate.  Theresa also asked me to make for each of her classmates a crayon roll.  I made one for my son the other day out of extra fabric from another project and she wanted one too.  So I did, 29 of them, as that's how many are in her class.

Here's a sample of one:

And all rolled up:

Stay tuned, I'll be putting up a tutorial this weekend to celebrate Easter.

Happy Birthday Theresa!Pin It

Irish Luck

I'm not Irish, just married into it.  But the week of St. Patrick's Day I won 2 online giveaways - Wow!  Not just one but 2 all in the same week.  So I blame it on Irish luck!

The first was Where Women Create's Fabulous Friday Giveaway featuring Bari J's new fabric line and patterns.  I was just eyeing her patterns and fabric recently.  So I entered the giveaway, and I get an email to contact them - I won!!  Here's what I got:

All 4 of her new patterns, 2 pieces of her fabric, and a personal Congratulatory note - Love it!  I love the handwritten note - it's like a fabricaholic getting an autograph from a celebrity.  No I'm not going to be a stalker, but I do follow her on Twitter!  So now I have to finish the girls' Easter dresses and a couple of custom orders and I can get started with trying out her patterns!

And that same week, The Fat Quarter Shop, another of my favorite places to shop - check out their clubs - had a giveaway for Joel Dewberry's newest line - Modern Meadow.  I saw a preview a while back and loved the Cool Stream colorway.  So when this contest came about all I had to do was comment on my favorite colorway, easy enough, and I was entered.  Well, I saw the followup blog and my name was next to the Cool Stream, another Wow!  I won a fat quarter of each fabric in the Cool Stream colorway.
There's so much in there I don't know where to start!  I can make a couple of purses, maybe a cute strip skirt, maybe a quilt, haven't decided yet.  But it's mine, all mine!

So I have to thank my husband for the Irish luck.  I did play the lottery hoping for third time's the charm sort of thing but didn't win.  Oh well, these 2 wins were like winning the lottery for me.Pin It


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