Hipster Stylin’ Babies

 

Ya’ll, this mustache craze is so cute! I knew I’d have a blast when a mommy who’s having a splash pad party for her little one asked me to make some tank tops with the “mustache”.  She had a very specific style and color scheme in mind, and I was able to work with her to get the perfect custom embroidery t-shirt.

This awesome mom wrote me:

My lil guy is turning 1 in September and I’ve been having the hardest time trying to find what I’m looking for. He’s having a splash pad party so I wanted to get a tank top embroidered with “1” and a mustache, with a lime green “1”. Is that something you can do?

Yes ma’am,  I sure can make that!  She loved it so much that she ordered another shirt, similar with that hipster, mustache style.

Here they are!  Aren’t they so cute!?  Perfect for summer, and perfect for this little boy’s big day turning “1”.  🙂  I know how important these shirts are for our birthday kids, so I’m so honored to be able to make their day a little extra special.

Custom embroidered hipster birthday shirt with mustache applique Custom applique hipster birthday shirt with mustache and lime green embroidery

 

Introducing Big Bertha

I just love creating in my studio and it’s recently gotten a huge upgrade!!!  Check out this amazing machine I just purchased, it’s a used and older model, but it’s much loved and has been very well taken care of!  I’ve named her Big Bertha cause she’s Big, she’s powerful, she’s efficient, she’s multi-talented and she’s AMAZING!  🙂  I love, love, love her!

My new-to-me 15 needle commercial embroidery machine!!!!!
My new-to-me 15 needle commercial embroidery machine!!!!!

I’ve been day dreaming, saving all my pennies, and putting all my good vibes out there to make this dream come true.  Now, when I’m creating amazing shirts and garments I can do it so much faster!  Yup, this baby has 15 needles and is a work horse.  To put it into perspective, I’ve been working on a 1-needle machine since I’ve started doing embroidery.  Don’t get me wrong my 1-needle is great but having to change the colors of thread for each different color in a design could be very time consuming.  To add to that, Big Bertha can stitch up to 1200 stitches a minute versus the 1-needle, I’m generously estimating top speed to be at about 600 stitches per minute.  Sorry to get all technical on you but as you can tell, I’m super excited and now I’ll be even more efficient at doing what I love best!   😀

Here’s a quick video we took of Big Bertha working her magic.

Pretty awesome right?! I can’t wait to start sharing all the amazing things I create with her. Stay tuned friends!

How My Garden Grows! Tips and Tricks for a Successful Vegetable Garden

 

Tips and Tricks for a Successful Vegetable GardenGardening, one of my fav past times.  I’ve been trying to perfect my garden for a while now, about three years, on and off.  I remember thinking it would be easy, “Oh, I’ll just throw some seeds into some soil, water and sunlight and we’ll be good to go!”  Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhh…. NO.  Boy, was I wrong.  Well, after 3 years of many failed attempts and many dead crops, my brown thumb has finally started to turn green.

Thankfully, I gave myself pep talks along the way, convincing myself that all of my failed experiments are lessons learned on what not to do.  For example:

  • Don’t throw an entire seed packet of tomato seeds into seed pots and expect them to grow properly.
  • Matter of fact, don’t put more than 2 or 3 seeds per hole and be prepared to pinch off (aka kill) the weakling plants.  (I had a hard time justifying why I should thin seedlings out…. silly I know, but I just feel awful pinching off something that has so much potential!)
  • You DON’T have to pinch off seedlings, you can transplant them safely, just try not to plant too many seedlings all at once or you’ll find yourself having to pinch them off because there are just too many.  You can plant 2 or 3 seeds in one small seedling pot and separate the seeds a bit, then when the seedlings are about 3 or 4 inches high, you can water the soil to make sure it’s moist then get the soil pod out (seedlings intact) and gently drop them on a hard surface so that the roots and soil soften.  Gently separate the roots and keep them moist, and  transplant these babies right away.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of soil testing!  This was the first year I tested my soil and I was able to plan my garden with the current state of the soil and also amend it for certain crops. I bought my soil test kit at Home Depot, a few bucks well spent.
  • DON’T over-water your plants, muddy swamp is not conducive to a healthy garden, in fact, it will either kill or stunt growth of all your plants.  (Lesson learned in season one).  Strive for a drip irrigation system that waters by the roots instead of watering the leaves.
  • Weeds suck… literally, they suck the life out of your plants.  Take time each week to weed.  I moved to container gardening this year and had great success with very little weeding necessary, but I still had to dedicate some time to manually pull weeds out before they took over.
  • And probably the most important lesson I learned that ultimately led to my success in gardening was to fertilize religiously…. once a month, and mark my calendar.  I only do organic gardening, because if I’m going to go through all the effort of growing my own veggies, then I will be eating the most healthiest veggies I possibly can.

Below is a few pics I took of my tomatoes when they were ripening on the vine.  I think at my best point I had over 30 tomatoes on 1 plant!!!  Total of three tomato plants, that was a lot of ‘maters!  LOL….  All this was achievable because of the pointers I gave above, dedication and TLC.

organic tomatoes organic beefsteak tomato organic tomatoesdeep red ripe tomatoesBelow is a pic of my green pepper seedlings.  They are much bigger now and have peppers all over the place!  I’ll have to take a pic and update soon.green pepper plantsHere is my vertical salad garden.  I just repurposed an old shoe holder that was hanging around in our garage and put peat moss, and good soil and grew some lettuce from seed.  It’s delicious and so easy!!!  I put it in a mostly shady spot so that it doesn’t go straight to seed in this hot Florida weather. vertical gardenMy kids also enjoy gardening with me.  I think it’s great to include them in the weekly gardening excursions, including the hard stuff!  My big kids were out there countless times, helping me pull weeds, fertilize and enjoying the fruits of our labor!  Here’s my daughter who harvested a few lovely carrots from our garden to include in our dinner.

carrots from my gardenIt was my first year getting eggplants too!  Four plants and each had about 20 eggplants growing on them.  They were of the finger variety and they were soooo tasty!  Here’s a pic of my first harvest, about 23 altogether in this first batch.  🙂delicious eggplant four plants filled with eggplantPretty amazing stuff right?  I honestly didn’t expect such a great yield this year, I was amazed at how well I did, and finally feel like I’m getting the hang of things.  There is truly so much to learn, and gardening is an art.  If you’ve ever felt like giving it a try, I’d highly encourage you to!  Don’t expect great results the first year, consider it a learning season, and if you get a harvest then that’s a bonus!!!  You’d obviously have a better green thumb than me too!  hehehehe…  If you do start gardening, please do yourself and your family the best favor you possibly can and try your best to garden organically.  Major retailers like Home Depot and Lowe’s have a great organic selection.  I used some of their organic selection, but also discovered an amazing organic fertilizer that I can make myself, worm compost!  More on that in later posts, it’s truly amazing and I can’t wait to share it with you!  🙂

I would love to hear from you if you have any thoughts or comments on my garden, or about your garden!  Excited to learn more about my worm compost?  It’s AWESOME!!!  Can’t wait to share.  Till next time!

Suzy

 

Doing What I Love Best: Embroidery & Applique

 

Hello friends!

I’m very excited to officially announce that I am expanding my business and doing what I love best, embroidery and appliqué.  I’ve always had a passion to be creative and when my husband gifted me my embroidery machine, it seemed as though the clouds parted, and the sun shined brighter.  🙂  I’ve been creating custom embroidered shirts, onesies, towels, aprons and so much more.  Check out a few of the shirts and projects I’ve worked on recently.

custom embroidery shirts onesies Orlando, FL Winter Park WindermereEmbroidered ApronEmbroidered Towel - Orlando, FL Embroidered Towel, Embroidered Shirt, Embroidered ApronIn the next few weeks, I’ll be updating my site and adding more of the fun things I’ve been creating.  I’ve already added most of my designs to the shop section of the website.

You can see most of the designs I have here:

If you have some time, feel free to stop on by and see what goodies I can create.  🙂

 

 

Hooded Towels

 

I have been so busy playing and creating with my new embroidery machine that my hubby bought me last year for an early xmas present that I didn’t realize I never really announced it!  I thought it was due time for me to share a little of the projects I’ve done, specifically, the cute hooded towels I’ve made for my kids and other sweet kids.

I made this monster towel for a little boy named Jayven.  I participated in a group effort to provide these sweet kids with something they could call their own.  My baby modeled this one for me so I could capture how cute it came out.  🙂  I know that Jayven will love this towel as much as I loved making it for him.   I’ll always treasure it, not only was it was my first hooded towel but it was one that truly pulls at my heart – making this for a child in need.

monster-hooded-towel

This towel I made for my boy.  It was an early birthday present.  He loves ninjago and thought a Kai towel would be so cool to have.  🙂  Cute right?

ninjago-towel

And last but not least, a Nightmare Before Christmas hooded towel for my birthday girl.  Yup, she’s a bit obsessed with Jack Skellington, lol, and the color turquoise.

Melanie-jack-towel

Don’t these make the most perfect gifts?!  These kids seem to think so. 🙂  Want to make your own?  Here was my inspiration for these, they are super easy to make and you can make your own for those special kids in your life!

 

 

Yummy Toddler Bites

Easy, delicious, toddler bites.  Healthy and filling!
Easy, delicious, toddler bites. Healthy and filling!

If your tot is anything like my little guy, fiercely independent and loves to eat, then these toddler bites will be perfect for you both!

I find myself always steaming veggies for him, then he doesn’t finish some of it, so today I took that extra steamed veggies, made a quick small batch of mashed potatoes (not too runny, a bit drier is better) and mashed them all together, and put into the fridge to chill while I got my little guy cleaned up and ready for his next adventure.

A bit later, I came back to my concoction and thinly diced up some ham and cheese, added that to the batch and rolled out small toddler sized balls.  I rolled these little guys in some bread crumbs and stuck it into the toaster oven for 15 mins at 350°.

I’m not kidding you, he ate them all!!!  And of course, all by himself.  Score!!!  I’ll def be making these again and thought I’d share.  🙂

You could also dip the potato balls into a scrambled egg before rolling into bread crumbs, but my little guy might have an egg allergy so I shied away from that option.

Enjoy!

A Pirate Costume

 

My amazing hubby planned a dude’s weekend trip to Gasparilla Pirate Fest with some of his buddies.  Gasparilla is a fun pirate festival and since my hubby loves boating, he decided to be part of the pirate invasion this year with his own boat.  He asked me if I’d sew him a vest and pants for the trip.  🙂

Check it out!  Pirate Dre made his own boot covers, they are fabric cut to look like a boot leg and he put them over regular brown dress shoes.  Isn’t he so clever?

Pirate Dre VestI left the buttons off the vest because it was being decorated by belts and pirate gear (and I was running out of time!) but I think it came out pretty darn good!  I am a little obsessed with the fabric, it’s so soft and fancy.  Thankfully I still have a yard or so of it to play with.

In case you’re wondering, I used Butterick’s Historical Costume for the vest and pants.  I modified the vest front a bit for a bit of a more swoopy neckline and I extended the pants by 10 inches to ensure they were long enough to be covered by his boot covers.  All in all, I loved the pattern and it was easy to follow.

 

Sewing Pants for Baby

 

I’ve got so much to update my blog about!  What a whirl wind past few months.  One of the major milestones is that my amazing husband renovated our kitchen, it looks soooooo much better now, honestly better than I had ever hoped for.  With that project, I just got so caught up with everything house, kids and not to mention more renovation projects and then the holidays that I haven’t had much time to blog, but I sure have been sewing!

Yesterday, I started some pants for Silar.  He’s growing so fast and sure enough, he is almost out of the pattern sizes, so I thought, “Oh no, no no, we are making him some pants with these patterns darnnit!”  LOL…

The pattern I used was McCall’s M6016 and it truly was easy as the pattern states.  I used pattern F for the pants and am really pleased how they came out!  I can totally see myself making a ton of pants and shorts for Silar.  I’ve never made a shirt, as the sleeves kinda intimidate me but I’m the kind of girl who will try just about anything, so maybe one of my next goals will be a shirt from this pattern too.  Looks easy enough.  🙂

Didn’t the pants come out so cute?!

Robot Pants Cute Baby Rockin' Robot Pants

Tonic Living Fabrics Contest

DIY Whale Softie using Tonic Living Fabrics

I got two beautiful fabric pieces from Tonic Living fabrics and I’m entering their contest to win $100 value of their gorgeous fabrics.  Fabrics are my love affair, I just CAN’T… GET…  ENOUGH…  Some might say I’m obsessed, or perhaps my hubby would say I’m addicted.  Hehehe… It’s TRUE!

So I am giving it my best, because I would love to add some more delicious Tonic Living fabrics to my collection.  I’m already day dreaming about, Lotus Lake, Porcelain  and Cross Section, Bluebonnet.  <3  …Sigh…  <3

I decided to create a whale softie for my little guy, Silar.

1-whale-pieces

The two fabric pieces I got are such a great color combo, the orange polka dot and lime green chevron, YUM-MY!!!  You’ll note the baby wipe wrapping and jingle bells as well.  I’m adding them to the softie, I’m putting the crackling material on the fins and tail.  I also used a piece of the chevron as the whale’s eyes. I took some pics of the process of making the softie.  Below are a few pics of the whale before I put the stuffing in.  Isn’t he so cute?!

2-crackling-tail
Crackling material on tail.
6-whale
Whale put together.
7-bottom-whale
Bottom of Whale

Once I stuffed him with fluff and bells, I sewed him up and named him Walter the Whale.  🙂  What do you think?

8-stuffed-whale 9-stuffed-whale 10-stuffed-whale 11-stuffed-whale13-stuffed-whale

I am really pleased at how Walter the Whale came out, the fabrics were so easy to work with and they are such a fun color combo.  A special thank you to Tonic Living for this fun opportunity to experience their fabrics and join their contest!

Wishing you all the best, Suzy

 

 

 

 

Reusable Hand Towels Make An Excellent Housewarming Present

 

My big brother just moved into his new pad and I found myself a lot more excited than I probably should’ve been!  Yeah, of course there was the typical,”Yeah!  I’m so excited for you!  Wow this space is awesome!” type of feelings but deep down I was just so friggin excited to make him stuff!  A legitimate excuse to make all sorts of awesome sewing creations, and who better to make them for than someone you love?!  I mean, honestly, I am truly blessed to have two of the most amazing siblings in the world and I just LOVE making stuff for them!

I’ve made my sister some reusable paper towels before as part of a thank-you-basket for hosting my baby shower and my brother thought they were the coolest idea.  So, I promised him I’d make him his very own when he moved into his new place.

Reusable Towels
Reusable Towels

Though these towels can be a bit time consuming, they are so worth making!  I’ll be making some for my home as well.  I’ll be saving money on paper towels and adding style and decor to my kitchen and/or bathrooms.

Interested in learning how to make these?  Let me know and I’ll show ya how!  I could always document the next batch I make if that’s something you’d like to know.  🙂

Suzy