Look What I Made Monday!

For Christmas this year, I made pillows or pillow related things.  I made 8 pillowcases for various people and they all loved them.  :)  They are so easy to make so I decided to put an easy tutorial here so everyone can make their own pillowcases!  This is my first tutorial, so be kind.  Just to be clear, this is not my idea.  :)

This pillowcase is called the "Magic Pillowcase" which just means that when you are done, all the seam allowances - or raw edges - are hidden.

What you will need:

27" fabric for the body of the fabric (WOF - width of fabric)
11" fabric for the sashing (WOF)
4" for the border (WOF)
Sewing machine

For this tutorial, I decided to use the same fabric for the body and the sashing, since the pattern is so busy, and a coordinating fabric for the border.  You can use three different fabrics, or even piece fabric together to form the sashing if you like.  First, iron the border fabric in half lengthwise.  Then, take the sashing fabric and lay it out RIGHT side up on your sewing table or cutting table.  If you are using a directional fabric, make sure when you lay out this sashing fabric that the pattern is UPSIDE DOWN:

Lay your border fabric on top of your sashing fabric with raw edges along the top of the sashing fabric:

Place the body fabric on the top of the sashing and border fabric WRONG side up, matching the salvage edge to the salvage edge of the sashing fabric.  This is an important step since if your fabric is directional, it will insure that the sashing and the body fabric is going in the same direction:

Now here's where we get fancy and stuff!  Pick up the body fabric and roll it to about half way up the sashing fabric:

Fold up the sashing fabric and pin all layers into place.  If you are using a flannel like this one, pin the HECK out of it or it will stretch on you.

Take this pinned and rolled up pillowcase to the sewing machine and sew all of it together with a 1/4" seam allowance creating a pocket of fabric with the body fabric INSIDE the sashing fabric:

Once sewn, turn the tub right side out by gently pulling the body fabric out of the sashing fabric.  Iron the seam of the sashing on the back:

And the front:

Now, at this time I noticed that my border fabric was not as long as my body and sashing fabric so I trimmed it up as best I could:

Before you go any farther, you'll notice that the border fabric is only sewn on one side and loose on the folded side.  At this time I would recommend sewing down the border fabric or you will have to iron it down after washing:

Next, I cut the salvage edges off the pillowcase, only because the salvages were SO wide and I was afraid that they would show after I sewed the pillowcase together.  This is an optional step:

Now we are going to sew the pillowcase together with a French seam!  :)  First, fold your pillowcase in half lengthwise, matching up salvage edges - or where the salvage edges would have been.  At this time, we are folding the WRONG sides together - trust me, it will work out - and sew up the side and bottom with either a 1/4" or 1/2" seam allowances:

Trim up the seam allowances to about 1/8" or less to make the seams less bulky.

If you're lucky, you'll get a helper!

Turn pillowcase inside out and iron the seams making sure to press out the seams out as much as possible:

Sew down the seams with a 1/2" seam allowance making sure to encase the previous seam allowance.  (I don't have a picture of this as I got too carried away!)  All your raw edges will be hidden and it your seams will look like this:

Turn your pillowcase right-side-out.  Put on your pillow and take a well deserved nap!

These two I made for Mom:

 This one I made for my MIL:

Here are the ones I made for my coworkers:

I decided to wrap these pillowcases up with their salvages since their salvages were so cute.  :)

I made one for my dad too, but right when I was going to snap a picture, my camera died and I had to get all the family presents boxed up to mail bright and early the next morning so I didn't have time to charge the battery.  Anyway, pillowcases are fun and easy to make and I hope you take them on too!  They don't take that long to make either.  Have fun!  :)


Merry Christmas! :)

Our tiny tree.  :)

With the dining room lights off.

With the dining room lights on.
Merry Christmas!


PS -

We got the Town House!  :P

An Awesome Story + Wish List Wednesday! :)

The only reason I am able to bust out a blog right now is because it's SUPER slow at work. Today is my last day here anyway, so they can't really do anything about me blogging at work. :P

Anyway, there is a lot going on here in my world. First, I got a teaching job on the reservation in Whiteriver, AZ. I'll be teaching 6th grade at an awesome school with an awesome principal! I'm sad to leave this wonderful job here though. Everyone I have had the pleasure of working with has been wonderful and this is, by far, one of the best places I have ever worked. But, the budget is all crazy and I didn't know if there was going to be enough money for me to work here next year. So, I ran across this teaching job and couldn't pass it up even though it was for this year. I mean, I have gone through ALL the education and was really tired of feeling like I wasted my time (and money!) by not having a job in my chosen field. This was my chance! And I took it. :)

The only problem was that Whiteriver is 2 hours away from where we are now. This meant that if my husband couldn't get out of his teaching contract in the middle of the year, that we would be long distance. Again. We actually met on eHarmony and spent the first two years of our relationship long distance. But now it was different because we were married - newly married - and didn't really want to be apart. So he hmmmed and hahhhed for a couple of days until I quietly reminded him to just look at the job openings for the Jr. High. Sure enough, there was a 7th grade English Teacher position available. He applied for it and was told that the teacher currently in the position hadn't passed her teaching exams yet, was going to take them again so P would have to wait until they knew if she had passed or not. But, they wanted him to come in for an interview anyway. So he went. Two days later they were calling him to offer him the job! YES! We won't have to be long distance again! :)

After we got hired in Whiteriver, we told our prospective bosses that we would be leaving and they were both really stressed out about finding replacements for us on such short notice. However, everything has been working out so far. My replacement happens to be the person *I* replaced when I got hired here. She was planning on retiring but after only a few months she realized that she really couldn't afford retirement and was looking for another job. That's lined up already, she is coming back on 12/27/10 so there won't be any down time here. P's replacement happens to be the daughter of one of the ladies that work in the office at his school who was really down on her luck and desperately looking for a job. She is highly qualified and can step in a week after break. P only has to provide one week of substitute lesson plans and then he's gone from that school! He's looking forward to there being more support and resources available to him in his new school. He's also happy that he only has to teach and plan for one grade level and one reading intervention group. I am nervous and excited all in one. I can't wait to attack that classroom and make it MINE! I have all these ideas for classroom management, a bunch of positive reinforcement ideas and just ideas to help all my students be the best they can be! :) I'm also really excited to be stepping into my chosen carrier. I guess there is a reason for all those years of waiting for something to happen. I think I was supposed to wait until Whiteriver was ready for me. It feels like we are both being pushed there by cosmic forces since everything is just lining up so nicely.

Except for housing. We already gave 30 days notice at the place we are living now and currently we don't have a forwarding address. There is teacher housing on the reservation available for the teachers, but it's full. I even called the district to double check this and they haven't called me back. We tried to get into this awesome house on Saturday but even though we got along great with the owner’s wife and her dog, and it looked like we were for sure getting the house, two days later her husband told us that we couldn't move in because of our cats and the bad tenant that had lived there before who had animals. Oh well, on to our second choice - a four-bedroom town house for like WAY cheap. They require a pet deposit, but we can handle that. So, we applied but the woman who takes care of the rentals wasn't in the office yesterday so we are playing the waiting game again. In the mean time we heard back from one company who said they had two places that were okay with our pets so we might go back up tomorrow and look at those. We did see one place that we could move into right away but it was old, dinghy and dark...it just didn't feel right. I guess it would be okay for short term, but I don't want to move that many more times in our life. Especially if we have to do it ourselves again. :P So we are hoping on the town house or there being some place just as nice to look at tomorrow.

Oh and did I mention we both start January 3rd?! Yeah. We have less that TWO WEEKS to pack AND move AND unpack AND put our classrooms together! Sheesh! Also right in the middle there is Christmas. We got invited to Christmas dinner and we are supposed to bring deviled eggs so we have to make those at some point...one thing at a time...one thing at a time!

I just want to ask, and I don't do this very often, but if you could just pray to whatever god/goddess/being you believe in - or if you don't believe in anything just send out some positive energies toward us during this stressful time. Everything is just working out so nicely so far, just help us keep the flow going regarding this situation. We need to find a place to live this week so focus on that for us if you can. Thank you all so very much!

You are all invited over for dinner!

It might be in a cardboard box though... :P

And on to this week's Wish List Wednesday! Last week I asked for more time, and that was to finish out my Christmas presents and get them out. I'm happy to say that I got that time and the presents should be arriving at my parents' house today via UPS. Yey! This week I have been having a lot of problems with my kitties getting fur balls and leaving presents for us all over the house. I think it's the changing weather. They don't know if they should be growing their winter coats or shedding them! Also, most of the places P and I have been looking to move into have all had light carpeting. Who would be so stupid as to put light colored carpeting in a RENTAL?! It just shows everything. So, because of the light carpeting, and the kitties, I would like to wish for a Bissell Spot Bot! It's like a handy dandy little portable carpet cleaner. It's also lightweight and will even fit on stairs. You just fill it with cleaner and water (I plan on using warm water and vinegar), place it on the stain, push a button and it does all the work! Whoo hoo!! It even comes in RED! SEE?!

Isn't it just cute?!
*DROOL* Perty huh? Okay, that's enough of that. :P I do really love it though. I have heard that the only thing people have problems with is that the reservoir is small and it leaves a lot of water in the carpet after cleaning. But that handy dandy hose there is supposed to suck the water back out of the carpet so I'm not sure what the issue is. Anyway, that's my Wish List Wednesday! Can somebody say, "Housewarming Present?!" :P

I think I'm going to start a "Blogs of Note" section that lists some of the blogs or even websites I come across that I find interesting enough to share.  Here's today's:

I'm not sure if my sis-in-law over at Lilac Barries is doing a WLW this week, but go check out her blog anyway because she's kind of all sorts of awesome. :) Also, check out Rants From Mommyland. The ladies over there have a wonderfully heart warming blog entry called There's Something About Target... that will make you tear up and smile from ear to ear!  If you didn't know about this blog already, Hyperbole and a Half has a new blog entry called The Year Kenny Loggins Ruined Christmas that had me laughing so hard my stomach hurt last night!  I love her stories, she is a great writer.  :)  Last but not least, Moda Bake Shop has an advent quilt project up.  A great project for next year since Christmas is like 2 days away.  I think it's adorable and the pockets go together so easily!

And that's it for today - I know it was a lot.  :)  I should blog more often...

PS - did you know that there is a spell check option in the top right hand corner of the composition box?  I didn't!  And all this time I've been cutting and pasting my blogs into Word to check the spelling which really messes with my formatting...*shaking head*


Wish List Wednesday

On this Wish List Wednesday, I would like to wish for more time. I don't seem to have enough these days. My day consists of getting up, going to work, going home then going to bed. It's like I have no time in between work and bed - or that time just FLIES. I *do* have some Christmas presents done, not all of them, but I don't any of them will get to their prospective places before Christmas. I need one day - really two - but I'll settle for just the one - one day to knock out those gifts. I hear about women how work full time AND make all their gifts AND cook AND clean for their families. To that I say - HOW?! Right now it's just P and me and I am struggling to just keep the house clean, even with his help! And then to save money, I decided to make presents?! What was I thinking? Yeah well, it does save on money, but really not on time.

So, on this loverly Wish List Wednesday - my wish is for more time.

*On a side note, I just saw my "waffles" label while labeling this post...guess what's for dinner? (Now I can add the waffles label! Awesome!)


Look What I Made Monday!

This will have to be a "retro" Look What I Made Monday post since pretty much everything I am making right now is Christmas related and might be for people who might just read my blog.  Anyway, here is a pumpkin cake I made for my mom a couple Mother's Days ago:

Cute huh?!  It took forever to get the orange right.
I finally had to buy gel food coloring.

The cake is two bundt cakes with pumpkin seeds added down the middle after baking.  Then extra cake that was cut off to  shape it to look more like a pumpkin was put on top before frosting.

I used two types of cake - vanilla AND pumpkin.  It was DELICIOUS!


A New Follower!

I just realized that I now have 8 followers!  My new follower is Miranda of Miranda and Charlie.  Welcome Miranda!  Miranda is a self-taught quilter who has bravely jumped into the world of quilting with much more gusto than I.  (I feel like I'm still trying to find my niche in the quilting world.)  Her latest post featured an ADORABLE owl that I have fallen in love with:

I either am going to have to make my own, or sneak across some oceans to Australia and liberate hers.  :P  Check her blog out!  Thanks for following Miranda.  :)  You are an inspiration!


50 Free Cards From Shutterfly!

The other day I was over at Sew Dang Cute Crafts and saw this post about 50 free cards from Shutterfly. I was intrigued and decided to sign up. Since P and I just got married, I thought we could send out a picture from our wedding on a card for our first holiday together as a married couple.  There are tons of Christmas Photo Cards to choose from.  I think this one is my favorite:

I just love the bright flowers on this card!  It also has a cute message.  :)
If you are stumped for a gift, Shutterfly offers some pretty unique gifts like Photo Calendars or Photo Mugs.  How cute are these?!
This is the desk calendar style.  They had other styles
including the regular wall calendar and a poster style
The mugs even come with chocolate!
They also have some very cute Thank You cards to create and send out after the holidays.  I am BIG collector of Thank You cards!  I feel that when somebody gives you a gift, it's only polite and appreciated when you send back a Thank You.  Of course, I'm not perfect and have been very late and have forgotten, but if I had some cute ones like Shutterfly offers, maybe I would have been more on the ball.  :P  If I had gotten my act together a little sooner after the wedding, I could have planned ahead, ordered and sent out these Thank You cards:

The simplicity of this Thank You is what won me over.
You can arrange the pictures in a few different layouts as well.
I hope everyone checks out this great offer from Shutterfly.  We could all use a little help during the holidays and how awesome would it be to check cards off our lists!  :)


Finally a REAL post!

But first, I have to shamelessly plug something I found online that I feel is really awesome! I found this offer on one of the blogs I read called Sew Dang Cute Crafts.  Right now, Canvas People have a great deal of $55 off a photo canvas - just pay shipping and handling. If you choose an 8x10 canvas, it is free!  The shipping and handling is kind of pricey, but I think it's worth it.  I used a really cute picture of my wedding for my canvas.  I also emailed everyone on my email list that I think would appreciate the deal and now I am letting you, *all* my readers, know about this too.  :)  Just in time for the holidays!

Secondly, I would like to do my Wish List Wednesday, Thursday Edition!  (Thanks for my sis-in-law, Lilac Barries, for doing a Wish List Wednesday and reminding me about blogging!)  I would like a digital picture frame so I can up load the cutest pictures of my wedding and take them to work with me.  Something like this:

LOL!  I love the expression on that kid's face!  :)  With a digital photo frame, I can show off lots of pictures w/o taking up that much space - and I can change the photos out when I feel like it.  Some of these frames come with remotes, which I don't think is necessary.  The last thing I need is another remote to keep track of. The price isn't bad - the cheapest one I saw on Amazon was about $30 before shipping.  The reviews say it can only hold 10 pictures, but why would anyone want more than 10 pictures in one slide show?  I get kind of bored after that anyway.  :P  So there's my Wish List Wednesday on Thursday!

Anyway, on to the REAL blog entry!  The Wedding Night Story - keep reading!  It's rated G.  PROMISE!

As I stated before, the reason I was gone for so long was that I went off and got married.  The wedding was FANTASTIC with awesome food, amazing flowers, great cake, wonderful people and a beautiful venue.  The only thing I was kind of upset about was the flies that decided to show up during the ceremony.  But, once the sun went down, the weather was perfect and the reception went off without a hitch.  There were so people taking pictures that I felt kind of famous that night!  Well, it was my wedding after all.  :P  It all went by too fast...I wish time could have stopped, or slowed down so I could have spent more time with the people I don't get to see that often.  However, I am really glad I got to spend as much time with everyone as I did.  :)  We spent time chatting, eating, dancing with the kids and just having so much fun!  Everything was just perfect.

So, since the wedding was SO perfect, in the back of my mind, I was kind of waiting for the other shoe to drop - so to speak.  And it did.  The ceremony lasted into the night, 9 or 10pm, and we didn't get out of there until late.  We spent some time packing up my things at my parents' house then went off to the first stop of our honeymoon in San Luis Obispo.  We were going to spend our first night in a hotel there then go on up to Morro Bay for a few more days.  Well, here is where the other shoe dropped.  We arrived at the hotel very late, which didn't have an elevator by the way, checked in and went to our room.  Our room was on the second floor and poor P carried two big bags up the stairs.  We get to our room, open the door...and BAM! We were hit with a wall of cigarette smell (coming from a non-smoking room none the less!).  I reeled back and said, "We can't stay here"  and we promptly went back down stairs with the big bags and asked for another room.  There were no rooms available.  So, we asked for a refund but since we reserved the room from an online company, we had to call them to get the refund.  Since it was so late, nobody was there to issue the refund so we had to wait until the next day.  Fine...but where were we going to sleep?

By this time, it was..oh about 1am and everyone we knew in the area were hosting other people and didn't have room in their houses - or asleep and unreachable.  So, we went next door from this horrible hotel to the Courtyard by Marriott.  I know swanky...and if the story stopped here, it be awesome but it wouldn't be a story!  So, we walked in, stood there waiting for another family to check in - which felt like forever since around this time at night, and after such a long day, time seemed to slow down to annoyingly snail-like slowness.  We finally get to the receptionist and tell her our sob story about how this was our wedding night and the hotel we had smelled like smoke and how I was allergic to smoke, etc...  The receptionist was sympathetic to our situation and actually hung up on somebody who was holding for the VERY last room they had!  Amazing right?!  Well, the room was $200 JUST for that one night (even after the AAA discount she was going to give us) and she didn't tell us how much the room was until AFTER she hung up on that poor guy.  I felt bad for the guy because we could not afford that much for just one night, especially since we had just spent so much just on traveling to California from Arizona.  The receptionist was nice about us declining the last room available and didn't kick us out of the reception area when we tried to find another room.

After we declined the room at the Hyatt, we had to find another place to stay.  So, we go on the phone with this really patient guy with Hotels.com.  We tried to get another night at the Inn at Morro Bay, which was the hotel we booked in Morro Bay for our honeymoon, but the hotel was completely booked.  Since it was SOO freaking late by that time, the guy from Hotels.com had to physically call hotels instead of book them online, so he put us on hold and proceeded to call other hotels in the area.  We also gave him a price point of under $100 to remember while he was asking about rooms.

During our time on hold, I decided to thank the receptionist for hanging up on the guy and let her know that we appreciated that she didn't kick us out while we called pretty much her competitors in the area to get a cheaper room.  She was really nice about the whole thing and we got to chatting.  Come to find out, she was once a flower shop owner that my Mom used to work for back in the day.  Crazy huh?  Small world!

Anyway, around that time, P finally got back in touch with the guy from Hotels.com who had found us a room in Santa Maria at the Historic Santa Maria Inn.  Now, if you're not familiar with the central coast of California, let me educate you.  :P  Our wedding was in Arroyo Grande at the Gardens at Peacock Farms.  We went from Peacock farms north about 10 minutes to Grover Beach.  From Grover Beach, we drove north another 10, 15 minutes to San Luis Obispo where that smelly hotel is located.  Santa Maria is a little over a half an hour SOUTH of San Luis Obispo, and an hour SOUTH of Morro Bay.  And it's 1am...after one of the longest (but one of the best!) days in our lives.  But, the distance doesn't matter because this room was the ONLY room on the central coast - that was reasonably priced. So, we decide to take it out of shear desperation and start moving on out.  We thank the receptionist one more time and she gives us some free refreshments to help us with the drive that seemed like a trek across the world by this time.  She also reminds us that it's not really that far away and that now we have a story to tell (which we do!).

We get to the hotel...and it's BEAUTIFUL!  The lobby is clean, full of historic furniture, lovely wood trim and a roaring fireplace.  We check in and the receptionist gives us a late check out because it's about 1:30, 2am by the time we get there.  As we went up to our room, we encountered a drunk guy waiting for the elevator.  He reeked of alcohol and stumbled into the elevator before us.  I didn't want to join him in the elevator since he smelled so bad and I was afraid of being thrown up on, or worse, having to talk to a drunk person, so we waited.  The elevator went up a few floors and then stopped.  We waited a few more minutes and then called the elevator back down, figuring he had gotten off to stumble to his room.  When the elevator came back down, guess who was still there?  That's right, the drunk guy!  When the doors opened he was in the middle of taking a header into the wall of the elevator.  I think I shrieked a little which woke him up a bit and he pressed the button to go back up.  We waited for the elevator again, this time a little longer to ensure that he got off.  After a few more minutes we called the elevator back down...and he was still there.  This time, he was right on the other side of the doors and when they opened, he stumbled out, almost right into me.  We let him go and grabbed the elevator before he could orient himself back to the elevator.  The elevator smelled like alcohol, but luckily we were only on the 2nd floor.  We FINALLY got to our room and pretty much crashed right away.  When we finally got to sleep it was around 3am.  When we woke up in the morning, we opened our presents, ate wedding cake for breakfast and lounged around until check out.

I would highly recommend the Historic Santa Maria in to anyone!  The beds were very comfortable and the bathroom was clean with a nice hot shower.  The only thing that was kind of disorientating, especially that late at night and being so tired, was that the building was old and the floors were slanted.

Kind of an amazing and funny story huh?  Aren't you glad you kept reading?

And that was our Wedding Night Story...and yes, I have made people blush when I tell the story and start off with that title - which just adds to the awesomeness of it all!  :)