Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Halloween! & Eyeball Cake Balls

Yay! Halloween is here!

You know what I love about Halloween? Sugar, candy, goodies, treats… yes, I have a major sweet tooth. But actually, even more than all of that, now that I’m a mom, I totally just love that Hailey gets to dress up and that she’s so excited about it all! I told her yesterday that tomorrow (today) is Halloween. She got so excited. But also so upset when she didn’t get to go trick-or-treating after her nap (not that she took one). She insisted that she would be trick-or-treating after her nap. I know, a whole day- it’s a long wait for a little girl.

I’m not one to go all out for holidays. I just don’t really do much decorating, ever. In high school I used to love it- but these days I’m just not that motivated or interested. But, when I saw this pin on Pinterest to make eyeball cookies, I got really excited.

eyeball cake balls 01

Instead of using oreos and making cookie eyeballs, I decided to try my hand at cake balls. I’ve eaten many a cake ball before, but never have I actually made any.

They turned out out ok. I haven’t tried one, but I’m positive that they taste delicious. The problem is they lack presentation. As is the case with any baking or cooking I do. Making good looking food and treats is just not my forte. Kyle and I have joked since we were engaged (6 years ago!) that we would someday open a restaurant or cafĂ© called the Ugly Pie, with the tag line, It may look like crap, but it sure doesn’t taste like it.

Anyone remember the birthday cake I made for myself 3 years ago? Go on, check it out, have yourself a good laugh.

Anyway, I made some eyeball cake balls for Kyle to take into work.  I wish I had put a little more effort into it and made fun apothecary jars and labels and make it all spooky and gross, but… like I said, just not my thing. I do love that the cake itself is red velvet cake, so you bite into it and looks like blood. Now if only there were a way to make them gush a little red liquid when you take a bite… ha! That’d be great.

eyeball cake balls 02Yes, I ran out of candy melts, so there are five with no coating. But I’m sure they’ll still get eaten. I know I would!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Trial and Error Hipster Bag

My cute little sister Corinne is a brand new college student. She is a freshman at BYU-Idaho. Big changes happen when you move away from home and go off to college. To compliment her new lifestyle, Corinne asked for me to make her a new bag. Corinne and I collaborated, did some image searches online, and this is what we came up with.

Corinne wanted a hipster bag, which me being totally uncool wasn’t sure what that was. Basically it’s an across the shoulder bag, similar to a messenger bag, but with a different shape and no front flap. I thought, yeah… I can do that. I’ve made a messenger bag once, I can attempt a hipster bag.

Corinne picked out the lining fabric, which I think was a great choice. But of course I like it- it resembles a certain zig zag quilt I made. The gray fabric and white piping I already had on hand.

The bag is similar in style to the messenger I made Hailey. It is sized approx. 9x11 so she can tote a notebook to class with her. It's nice and simple with clean lines. The sides and the strap are all one piece and start wide and narrow at the center. I piped the edges- I just love the look of piping on bags! The bag has a front outside pocket and a zippered inside pocket. I thought about putting a zipper on the top of the bag to close it, but Corinne opted for a magnetic closure, which I also like.IMG_8201
I think it’s a super cute bag and I really like how it turned out. I thought about taking pictures and documenting my madness to share, but I really didn’t have any idea how it would turn out. I just went for it. I had a good idea of how to construct it, but I designed it slightly different enough from Hailey’s bag that I was unsure how to finish it. With the sides and strap being one piece, and piping all along it and the top, it proved to be a bit tricky to finish it off cleanly. But I did it, after some frustration. I told Kyle, I’m never making a bag again. Kyle responded with, That’s what you said last time. Yes, it’s true. But I like both bags enough I’d give them a try again. And now I have a better idea of what works and what doesn’t.

I like you hipster bag. In fact, I think I want one too.

I hope it’s what you dreamt of Corinne. :)

Linking up at: Thirty Handmade Days and Destination: Craft

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Free Printable: Do What You Love

I’m one of those people who in high school when you take those aptitude tests that are supposed to tell you what area you should focus on for a career ends up with results in every category. I like a little bit of a lot of things. I’ve always been that way. I’ve never excelled at any one thing. Mainly because I haven’t ever been able to focus on just one thing. I tend to go back and forth from one thing to the next: sewing to crochet to photography to quilting to baking to whatever else…

But you know what, in the past year I have come to the conclusion that I love sewing. I do. I love it. It is what I enjoy spending my time doing. Sometimes I get in a slump and struggle to get myself to my machine, but once I get there, it feels so good!

After being a part of the Sew-vivor sewing competition back in April, I didn’t do any sewing for almost 6 months. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. There were a lot of reasons behind it, but now I’m back. And I’m totally loving it. (And I have plenty of projects to share with you. Some done, some in the works, and some planned.)

As I’ve been getting back into sewing and enjoying myself I’ve had the phrase, do what you love, running through my head.

I think Pinterest is great. For me it is the perfect place to keep track of bookmarked ideas that once became lost and forgotten. It is also a great source of inspiration and a place to find ideas to remember and use.

Pinterest (and the internet in general) is also a good place to lose a sense of reality. Unfortunately. I know I do it. I often see so many great ideas, well designed and decorated homes, tips and tricks for keeping an insanely clean home, healthy foods (and not so healthy but very tempting foods), moms who appear to go above and beyond and spend what looks like all of their free time playing with and teaching their children, and homemade this and homemade that…

Sometimes I lump all of those pins and posts together and forget that no one is doing it all. Some people come pretty darn close, but there really is no way any one person can do it all, all day, all the time. Sometimes I try, but it never works. I always end up stressed and grumpy.

That is what that phrase, do what you love, has been reminding me. I need to do exactly that, just do the things I love to do. Do what makes me most happy. For me, I’ve found that it’s sewing. I still like to do an occasional craft or activity with Hailey, or bake up something fun. But I have been so happy keeping myself busy sewing in my sparetime. Yes, my house isn’t spotless. Yes, sometimes I don’t start dinner until nearly 6:00, and I try to cook only every other day or as long as I can get away with it. Yes, I don’t play with Hailey all day, everyday- I do make an effort to do something structured with her a few times a week, but if it doesn’t happen (because sometimes life happens), that’s ok, we’ll try again next week.

Another part of this has been getting our Etsy shop going. I’ve actually been enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would. I love the earrings I’m selling- and that is making it fun and exciting for me. It’s pretty slow going, but I’m just getting started. Yes, I’d really like to make some extra income for our family, but I’m also doing it because I love what I sell, and I want to share that with others. (Just a reminder- get 28% off your purchase throughout October with the coupon code BDAY28).

If you’ve made it this far through this post, thanks for sticking with me. I’ve just wanted to get this off of my brain.

The point to it all- just do what you love. Just do it. Find some time, everyday, to do something you love, even if it’s just for a few minutes. For me, it’s making all the difference in my attitude toward everyday life at the moment. I have something to look forward to everyday.

I’m so serious about this, that I even made a printable you can download, if you so care to. (Yes, I’m a bit crazy, I know.) I plan to print it out and put it near my sewing table as a reminder.  I made two different versions, one with gray stripes in the background and one that has a solid white background. It is available for download as an 8x10, 5x7, or 4x6.

do what you love

Follow the links to download the type and size you’d like.

Striped: 8x10, 5x7, 4x6

White: 8x10, 5x7, 4x6

Have fun doing what you love!

Linking up at: Thirty Handmade Days and Destination: Craft

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Etsy and the Number 28

Have you noticed I’ve made a few changes to the blog recently? Did you notice a link to our store?

Store? What store?


Yeah, yeah… I’ve been slow in saying anything. I FINALLY listed items in our Etsy store (hillmade)! Hooray! I opened the store almost a year ago, but never listed anything. It was put off for many reasons; logo design, fear, no idea what I’m doing, busy with other projects, morning sickness and fatigue, vacation, moving… LIFE just happened.

But now it’s open! I currently have 20+ listings, and new ones popping up all the time. I also have a slew of ideas for projects I’d like to make and sell. Currently I’m selling earrings, in three different styles:

Meshhillmade mesh

Stitchhillmade stitch

Solidhillmade solid

The store isn’t just me. It’s Kyle too. Although Kyle doesn’t have any products listed at the moment. But they will come, eventually. We have plans. It just takes time.

So, for now, I’m selling earrings. Earrings I love. They are simple- just the way I like them. I wear these earrings all. the. time. 

What does all of this have to do with the number 28? Absolutely nothing. Except that today is my 28th birthday. Happy Birthday to me! (28… really?)

To celebrate, I’m offering 28% off of all earrings for the month of October! Enter coupon code BDAY28 at checkout.

BTW: I have earrings available in every color. I’m just slowly listing them everyday or every other day. If you see a style you like, but not the color, send me a message on Etsy. I probably have it, it’s just not listed yet.

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