Maybe Matilda: April 2011

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Five Favorites!

Honestly, people, the creativity has to stop at some point. I just don't see how everyone can keep coming up with beautiful ideas day after day after friggin day and the creativity well has not run dry yet! Here are some of the projects I spotted around blogland this week that I'm crazy about:

 It's been quite some time since I last made a quilt (I just checked . . . my last quilt was made in July 2010?! That's waaaaay too far in the past, what have I been doing?), but I've really got the itch now after seeing this one! I love how simple this quilt is--no fussy patchwork, just two gorgeous fabrics with a sweet, dainty scalloped edge. I'm dying to try this out myself--it's beautiful!

If you're anything like me, you walk through craft stores, spot a fun trim like, oh I don't know, a beautiful rainbow of ric-rac, and think, I'm sure there's a project in there somewhere . . . and then go home empty-handed. Or, if you're really like me, the ric-rac comes home with you and sits in the closet for 3 years until you finally admit defeat and toss it out with a pitiful sigh. Clearly, Julie does not have this problem! I love this bright, cheerful, happy pillow . . . a great way to incorporate some gorgeous texture and color into a room!

I literally gasped when I saw this skirt--I love it, I want it, and it has so been added to my to-do list. Amanda of Simply Homemade (a mom of 5 who somehow finds the time to sew and sport a super-rad [you talked me into it, I now feel cool saying that] pixie cut; she's my kind of girl!) designed this dress for her little princess, and I'm definitely going to be sizing it up and sporting it myself pronto. I love that peek of ruffles--and we know we're all smitten with ruffles right now, so it's definitely a winner!

 How cute is little Emma out shopping? I saw this tutorial, got out a piece of scrap fleece, and had whipped up a shopping cart cover myself in probably 20 minutes. Easy peasy, and so useful, too!
Forrest in the yarn aisle at Joann's . . . this photo location felt only natural since it's where we spend the majority of our time (and, ahem, money). I'm sure the employees were glad that I refrained from stripping him down to his diaper before taking the picture, like I usually do at home. What can I say? I love chubby, naked babies!

 I love this necklace that Michelle dreamed up--the colors are fantastic, I love the texture of the felt, and the comfy-cozy-but-still-glitzy feel of it. And imagine my excitement when a few weeks ago I won this fabric flower necklace from her etsy shop in a giveaway! She makes such beautiful, unique jewelry, and I'm so psyched that I own one of her necklaces now!

There you have it, the five projects I'm loving the most this week! Ladies, grab yourself a trophy button if you feel so inclined:




What's at the top of your to-do list?


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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pleated Necktie Necklace at Running With Glitter

How do you like my latest necklace?

I know, it's pretty rad (I'm not entirely sure that I'm the sort of person who can pull off the word "rad," but I'm giving it a shot anyway. Did it work?).

I'm guest posting today over at the lovely Kelly's blog, Running With Glitter, with the tutorial to make it! So head on over, check it out, and tell her I say hi!
Running With Glitter
 And get excited, because Kelly's bringing her awesomeness this way next week with a cool project for you!


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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

This is me!

It seems my readership here at this little bloggy has expanded past my mom and husband (which is awesome, by the way, and thank you all for reading my blather!), so I thought an introduction might be in order . . . just in case you care to know anything about me.

Here's my little family:

Me, baby Forrest, and husband Jeff.

I'm from New York, which everyone is really impressed with until they realize that "being from New York" is not synonymous with "being from New York City," and my town was mostly populated by cows.

We're in Iowa right now where my husband is attending chiropractic school (only 2 more months in the Midwest?! Seriously, where did the last few years go?). I've really come to love it here, but sorry, Iowa, I will not be missing your horrific Arctic winters and having to chip my way into my ice-coated car every morning from September-May.

I was an English major at Brigham Young University, and definitely miss it.

I worked as a massage therapist for a few years before Forrest was born (because that's a totally natural career path for an English major, right?).
And now I stay home with this little fella!

I'm thanking my lucky stars that I was one of the last customers ever to eat at Flavor Flav's Fried Chicken here in Iowa (that is not a joke . . . it's a real restaurant. I had my doubts, too). We went there last Saturday and it has now closed down. Isn't that how everybody celebrates Easter? Making a pilgrimage to visit washed-up rappers' restaurants?
(Those are our gangsta faces . . . they felt appropriate for the picture until we realized later that Flavor himself is not even making a thug face in the mural. Now we just look like idiots.)

I love (love! looooove!) black licorice, which is the best favorite candy to have because nobody else likes it. More for me! And I always get the black jelly beans on Easter when no one else wants them!

I type 103 words per minute. I just did an online typing test to confirm this. My mom and I used to compete at those online tests to see who could type faster, so I have her to thank for that talent. I don't mean to slap you in the face with this next tidbit, but if you didn't figure it out with the word-per-minute thing, I was really, really, really cool and popular as a kid.

Let's see, I covered our gangsta faces and random useless skill set . . . I do believe you now know everything important there is to know about me! Anything else you'd like to learn?

(If you want to read a little about me crafting and selling on etsy, check out my shop feature over at Flex Family Arts!)
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Friday, April 22, 2011

Giveaway at Tatertots and Jello!

You're familiar with Tatertots and Jello, right?
 Ha! Who am I trying to kid? We're all familiar with Tatertots and Jello, it's only one of the biggest, coolest craft blogs there is, and one of the very first craft blogs I started reading, too.

Well, today I have a giveaway over there . . . for $25 credit to my etsy shop, Maybe Matilda!

So what would you want to use your credit for? 


Or if your climate hasn't yet realized that it's supposed to be spring (ahem, Iowa), perhaps you'd prefer a nice cozy cowl?




And you can't go wrong with a sweet hat for your little one, right?

So head over to Tatertots and Jello to enter!

(And although comments on this post sure would make me smile, they don't count as entries, so make sure to jump over to Jen's blog to enter to win!)

And I really do hope you enter. You know why? I'm going to feel like a real loser if the only entry is from my mom. So help a girl out, and boost my self-esteem with a lot of entries, mmkay?
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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Last Minute Easter Crochet

(If your name starts with a "J" and ends with "eannette" and you're going to be spending Easter at my house, stop reading now. I'm warning you.)

Easter is, what, 4 days away? That makes this the perfect time to start planning, right? If I base my holiday performance this year on my holiday performance in previous years, I'm actually ahead of schedule this time around! 

Just in case anyone else has been frantically searching for adorable little goodies for Easter baskets, I'll help you out with what I found--a bunch of sickeningly cute crochet patterns. (Jeannette, are you still here? I knew you would be, you stinker. Go look at facebook or something.)
And all of these are free!

1. I found this adorable pattern for a chick in a bunny suit at Ewenique 4 U. It was so simple and quick, and I whipped one up last night while we were watching TV . . . here's my version of her little chicky who will be in a certain someone's Easter basket (Jeannette, so help me, if you don't act surprised on Sunday when you get your Easter basket, I'm going to kick you out of my house): 

How cute is that?! I took a few liberties with the pattern but it's a wonderful, simple, easy project that works up in no time and will be so cute for Easter! I kind of want to keep him myself, but that's how I feel about everything I ever crochet, and I think I have yet to keep anything I've crocheted. Such is life.

2. How cute is this little bunny from the Roxycraft Blog?
So teensy and sweet and perfect for an Easter basket!

3. And oh dear, look at these chicks in their eggshells from Red Hot Fibers:
 So fun! I'd love to fill an egg carton with these and sneak it into the fridge to surprise whoever's making breakfast on Easter morning. Although I'll be the one making breakfast, so I guess it wouldn't be all that surprising.

4. In case you wanted more than just the bunny's head, here's a pattern for the whole bunny body from Gloomy Gurumi:
I love the little bow on the pink bunny--these little guys are so sweet.

5. And although I'm not positive if this is 100% Easter-y, I couldn't leave out this sweet little chicken:

The pattern to make this little fella is free as well, but you have to be a member of Ravelry to view it. What's that, you say? You're not on Ravelry? Where the hizzy have you been?! Join now! There are thousands of knit and crochet patterns--and so many of them are free! I have spent hours just clicking through all the gorgeous patterns and projects on that site. On second thought, if you're prone to sitting in front of the computer until your eyeballs are completely bloodshot and dried out because you haven't dared to blink for the past 3 hours in case you'll miss the perfect pattern (been there, my friend, been there often), maybe you shouldn't join. Or at least try to exercise a little more self-control than I do. And hey, let's be friends when you join!

Linking my chicky up here and here!
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Monday, April 18, 2011

Floral Love Tee

Alternate title: I'm Booking a Cruise With the Money I Saved on This One.

I'm normally not a huge fan of clothes with words on them (unless they're huge and pink and splayed across my behind, of course), but this top is an exception. It just doesn't have that "look, my shirt is speaking for me" vibe that I usually get from graphic-type tees, and it won me over with the cute floral print:
 

Isn't that cool? I really like the mix of rough and sweet. And I know, I know, you're thinking, "Another Delia's knockoff? Seriously?" But hey, if they're going to keep sending me catalogs, I'm going to keep knocking off their clothes. I need something to flip through while I eat my Cap'n Crunch in the morning.

The original shirt isn't even very expensive--$19.50--but my frugality knows no bounds. And part of me refuses to pay for something I could make myself purely on principle. Sure, I could have bought that shirt from Delia's . . . but to know that I could so easily make it for under $5? Buying it with that knowledge would kind of be a slap in the crafty face. So I made it.

Like it? It cost me $3. And that $16.50 I saved is really going to make a dent in our student debt, let me tell you. When we finish repaying those loans precisely 1 hour ahead of when we otherwise would have, thanks to that $16.50 I saved, I'm going to buy myself some ice cream.

I think you should make one, don't you agree? And although step-by-step instructions probably aren't necessary for this one (you could pretty much look at the picture and know what I did), I made them anyway. What can I say, I guess I like to hear myself talk (or type?). Click read more and get to work!
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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Five Favorites

There are so, so, SO many amazing projects and ideas floating around in blogland and my to-do list is never-ending. I'm always stunned by all the creativity and talent out there! Here are my five favorite things I found this week:

You need to look at the before picture to fully appreciate this one--Lindsay (who I so wish was my new best friend . . . imagine a thrift shopping trip with this lady!) found one of those big, bulky, dark, behemoth dressers (for $20!) and transformed it into a light, cheerful, gorgeous piece. Incredible!

No lie--I had an idea for this belt a few weeks ago (but in crochet) and wondered how the heck to make that knot . . . but here it is! And way better than I had pictured it, too. I love the stripe of white rope through the middle--amazing! Imagine this over a polka dot dress . . . I'm dying!

You know I love me a good knockoff, and Dorian (awesome name, right?!) totally nailed this one. Bonus: she used the shirt's long sleeves to make the ruffles--great way to get rid of some of those winter tops you're not going to wear anymore! I love it!

We can agree that we're all completely in love with chevron right now, correct? I love this table runner that Jessa made . . . she started with just a simple burlap runner from Target and painted it to create this gorgeous little accent. It adds so much trendy spice to her table, don't you think? I want to make one, too!

Does looking at that picture strike you speechless? Me too. Almost. I'll fight through it. This . . . is . . . unreal. Michelle and Nate built this gorgeous headboard and I can hardly believe how amazing it looks. Maybe you've seen it before? It started out on their blog. Then I saw it over on Apartment Therapy. And then, there it was over on Knockoff Decor! Clearly this headboard is a winner, and they get bonus points for being from Iowa, too!

Good job, you five, for being my all-stars of the week and making me totally jealous of your creativity! Grab a feature button to show off your awesomeness if you feel so inclined:





 Did I completely wreck your tidy, short to-do list with my 5 favorites? What did you love this week?

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Crochet Baby Blanket :: Ruffles and Dots

I just finished up my first "big" crochet project--a sweet little baby blanket (which is why I'm not really sure if it can be called a big project . . . but it's the biggest I've attempted so far) and I love it!

I saw this blanket over at Tales from Cuckoo Land a few weeks ago and just couldn't get it out of my head--I love how it's feminine (but not too feminine), cutesy (but not too cutesy), ruffly (but not too ruffly) . . . it's perfect. 

So I made a version of it using her tutorial and instructions and I'm crazy about it. And Forrest took it for a test run and gave it two drooly-slime-covered thumbs up! I hadn't even considered this beforehand, but he had so much fun playing with the little bobble stitches--it was a good stitch to use for a baby blanket! (You can see more pictures [and, idunno, buy it] right over here in my etsy shop.)
 
 (EDITED: I've written a FAQ post about this blanket HERE! Check it out if you have any questions.)
And we've been having such gorgeous weather lately, we couldn't just go right back inside after taking the baby-trial-run pictures! You can't waste perfect weather like this, especially since I know it'll only be a few weeks before we're swimming through 300% humidity (why, Iowa, why?). 



Can you believe I ever put clothes on this kid? I love the chubby little man-boobs and poochy tummy.

Linking up here and  here
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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Baby Shower Gift :: Homemade Sugar Scrub in Decorated Jars

I wrote the other day about a project I was really excited about but needed to finish up, and here it is! These were gifts for a triple baby shower (not triplets, but three lovely ladies all due within a few weeks of each other, although triplets would be exciting) that I attended yesterday.

All three babies-to-be got sweet goodies from my shop (a bear hat for the little boy and button beanies for the girls) but I wanted to do something for the moms, too. It's so fun to open presents for your little nugget, but poor pregnant mom is the one doing all the hard work, and she deserves something, too! So I thought back to my final weeks of pregnancy--huge, bloated, swollen, miserable weeks--and thought of what I would have liked to have then (other than an early, pain-free labor . . . much as I wish I could bottle that up to gift to my friends) and came up with this:

 Mamas need some pampering, right? I whipped up some homemade sugar scrub and packed it into cute little decorated jars so they could enjoy some time to themselves before their little ones arrive!

 How true it is.

And want to know the best part of this gift? They cost me $1 apiece.
(Don't tell my friends.) 
And I had enough sugar scrub left over to keep for little ol' me, so I can tell you, this stuff is goooooooooooood.

And how much cuter would these be if you're a lucky duck who owns a Silhouette or Cricut (or even just cute punches) and could cut fun shapes for the labels? I just winged it (wung it?), but I was wishing the whole time that my labels had scalloped edges or a fun shape.

Want to make some yourself? Read on, friend, read on . . . 
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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Opinions, please!

Do you remember this dress? It started out as a truly heinous 90s jumper and ended up being a real cute little almost-Modcloth-ish-if-you-squint-and-tilt-your-head summer piece:


I was happy with it riiiiiight up until I got my latest Delia's catalog in the mail and saw this dress:


I want it. I want it bad. 

I was starting to plan out a knockoff dress and realized I'm only a crochet neckline away from making a really similar version out of my 90s jumper dress. And when I made this top the other day for my etsy shop, I couldn't stop thinking about adding this same neckline to my dress:


But my husband flipped through the Delia's catalog and insisted that I had found  
the ugliest dress in it to add to my wish list.(But the man leaves the house regularly in mismatched sweatclothes, so I'm not sure I should really listen to his opinion on fashion.)

So I need your opinions . . . Am I crazy? Do you like the Delia's dress, too? And most importantly--should I try it out on my black dress? 
 (I would lower the dress's existing neckline first so it has more of a scoop neck, so if it doesn't look cute, I'm not sure the dress will look that great even if I take the crochet part off again!)

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Map Picture Frame

I was working on a little project this morning that I'm so excited to finish up and put on here (not because it's all that spectacular, really, but because it's a gift for a friend that I'm excited to give her!), and, well, I went a little Mod Podge crazy. Can you blame me? The stuff is incredible. I was Mod Podging (can "podge" be a verb? I podge, you podge, he/she podges . . . ) project #1, which hopefully I'll finish and be able to show off soon, and I was having so much fun podging (yes, podging) that I started another quick project while waiting for the first one to dry. 

Here is (some of) the result of my podgetastic morning:

I love my new Mod Podge map picture frame!
(and look! I had hair!)
(Want to know a little secret? I couldn't wait for it to dry completely to see it in action, so that picture is now permanently bonded with the frame. Oh well.)

I snapped a couple pictures along the way, so click read more below if you'd like to make one, too!


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Sunday, April 3, 2011

How about a winner?

The lucky winner of the gorgeous art print from Pretty Much Dana is . . .


 Emily of Some Fancy Pun! 

Betcha can't wait to hang this up in your house, right, Emily?

Thanks to everyone who entered, and dry those tears! You can shop your little heart out at Dana's etsy shop here, and make sure to check out her blog and facebook page while you're at it!

(Emily, I've sent you an email . . . if you don't see it, shoot me a message at maybematildaquilts at gmail.com!)
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