Anna’s Nest

Fabulous Simple Skirt Tutorial

7 July 09

I started making a skirt this past weekend, hoping it would be ready in time for me to wear it for July 4th festivities. I used a fabric that I’ve had in my stash for awhile, from one of my favorite fabric designers, the Alexander Henry “Pink Zinnia”…

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Etsy Yart Sale 2009

13 June 09

And other exciting things – for instance, I’ve been working on some new items for the shop, and just last night finished the listing process for a new print/painting (praint?) Presenting…dum da da DUM…The Cat And The Fiddle!
The Cat and the Fiddle

ALSO, as if that weren’t enough, I am also participating in the 2009 Etsy Yart Sale ….

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14 January 09


Haha! No, I didn’t sneeze. CPSIA stands for “Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act”, a law passed by Congress that is intended to give the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) the authority it needs to prevent dangerous toys from being imported into the US (like the “lead in toys” panics over toys imported from large manufacturers in China last year). This is a very good goal.

However, in addition to providing consumers with protection from large manufacturers, this law also penalizes the smaller manufacturers who have already earned the trust of the public…

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Gift Tags!

17 December 08

I’m placing this note before the rants and gift tag linkies just in case you aren’t interested in such things :u) Just wanted to remind you all that TOMORROW is the last day to enter in my super-cool giveaway! Okay, that’s all. Carry on.

So, you’ve either made or bought all of your Christmas gifts by now, right? RIGHT!!!! (And of course all of the gifts I am giving are all together, neatly wrapped and stacked and organized alphabetically by content…HAHAHA!) Alright, I may be feeling the crunch a bit. I have no idea…

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Little Tree Giveaway!

11 December 08

Ooooo! I’m such a loser! I totally stood you all up. I promised to have the giveaway ready today, and you can see how that went. On the other hand, it technically is still Thursday, but I doubt any of you are up obsessively checking my website every minute to see if I’ll make the giveaway available.

Better late than never, though (I hope)!
Three Trees

I really did want to post the giveaway first thing this morning – the trees were done and everything. Mostly done, anyhow. I stayed up late last night and finished them (mostly). But, as you can see, the actual giving away…not so much…

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Give-Away Day, 2008!

3 December 08

Wow! Would you look at all those comments?! Thanks for all the giveaway love, everyone! Don’t forget to check out my shop, YourNest, for more awesome handmade-by-me stuff! And check back next Wednesday for the last giveaway in my month of giveaways!

Today’s give-away is…
The Mischievous Garden Gnome Hat!
Did those naughty gnomes leave their hats in the garden again?! It looks like maybe this one got caught on the lavendar bush…
Kntted Gnome Hat

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Give-Away Day Number Two!

26 November 08

So, like I said in my last post, I love giving stuff away. It’s just the bestest ever! Now, thanks to Sew,Mama,Sew!, we have our own special day in December just for that, with it’s own button and everything (which of course makes it official)!

Ahm, in addition to the 25th, that is…

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Salt On The Couch

26 November 08

First, let me say that this giveaway thing ROCKS! I love giving stuff away, and I love getting comments on my blog, so I’m pretty much loving this whole thing. I’ll be back tomorrow with my next giveaway, so don’t forget to take some time to make some time in the middle of your Thanksgiving prep to check in!

Things around here have been a leetle bit crazy. About a week ago Bridget started “self weaning”…

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YourNest Giveaway!!!

21 November 08

My first ever giveaway! Hurrah!!! I really wanted to wait until I had 4 items in my shop – for some reason it just didn’t seem official until all of my little “featured” boxes were full.

AND, what’s even cooler (if such a thing is possible), I’m going to do one giveaway a week…

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Unexpected Delays

15 November 08

We seem to have come down with a case of the runny noses around here. This has, for some reason, not been very good either for blogging or crafting. Quite the zapper of time, this nose-wiping business…

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Introducing - Anna's Nest!

10 November 08

Welcome to the new website! Change your bookmarks and RSS feeds, everyone! We have a cool new site with a cool new name!

I decided it needed a proper introduction. The post I wrote late last night, although surprisingly coherent…

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Happy Birthday to Me!

4 October 08

Happy Birthday to me! Yesterday I turned a year older! One more year of craftiness under my belt! Woo hoo! I had a great birthday, just in case you were wondering. AND I have a birthday surprise for you all! It’s actually not quite ready yet, but SOON! Soon, soon, soon. Maybe even this week! So, stay tuned, folks!

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Up To

17 June 08

This morning has been very peaceful. Bridget has been taking a nice long nap, and I have been on my computer, enjoying the quiet, happily clicking my way through blogs that I normally have to skim or skip over entirely. A nice lazy morning. Then, about 5 minutes ago I realized what I was doing. Ack! I have diapers to put on the line! The house is a mess! The dishwasher needs to be emptied! I need to pack…iron…my thoughts stumbled over each other and tumbled into a heap. Does that ever happen to you? You have so many thoughts at once that your brain refuses to process them all and so they just get thrown on the “later” pile? All is not lost, though. Bridget continues to nap, and, although I expect her to wake up at any moment, I do have the most important item checked off my mental list/heap. The diapers are in the sunshine, drying off, and although they probably won’t be dry by the time she wakes, I can always use a disposable. I doubt the world will come to an end. In the meantime, as the rest of my list waits, I thought I’d update you on what I’m up to (besides juggling a baby who, as Brian puts it, is becoming “frighteningly mobile” – now rolling over both ways with ease, and grabbing at anything – including my computer keyboard – within her reach). 1. Regular stuff: this is the stuff that is the most boring, but takes up the most of my time. Laundry, cleaning, cooking and the like. I’ll spare you the gruesome details. 2. Summertime activities! Getting together with family and friends, gardening, etc. We have a lot of fun get-togethers coming up, which might make me a little scarcer than usual, blog-wise. 3. This month, a Fabric Swap at Oh, Fransson! Bridget and I took a little field trip to arc, a thrift store, and picked up some nifty vintage-looking sheets. I hope I got the right thing. This is my first swap, and I’m a bit nervous that I’m going to mess it up. But how hard can it be, really? I washed the sheets last night but, even though I hung them on the line all night to dry/air out, they still have that weird thrift-store smell. Ick. I might have to wash them again on hot or something. Anyhow, I’m very excited about the swap, and hope to get my squares cut and sent soon – sometime this week would be nice, but possibly not realistic. Next week? That’s about it. We’re traveling this weekend, so I’m getting ready for that. It’ll be Bridget’s first plane trip, an experience I anticipate with no small amount of trepidation. Any fool-proof techniques, tips, or even just ideas? And now, just because I can’t resist:

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Deep Breath

13 June 08

I’ve slowly been recuperating from the craziness that was the week leading up to the Big Party (a.k.a. Bridget’s baptism and the reception that followed at our house). It was really cool, and a very meaningful time for us. I hope someday we can explain clearly to her the significance of that event. I have yet to go through my pictures, but here is one from later in the week, when we went to the pool with her Yia Yia (Grandma), who flew into town for the occassion. In other news, Andrea over at Knitty Bitties tried out the Nike + iPod Tutorial that I made a while back. Check out the adorable results of her efforts here. She found a couple of weaknesses with the instructions, so if you had problems with them before, check back – I think they are more clear now. That’s it for now! We continue to be pretty busy, but hopefully I will be more faithful about posting in spite of that! Post a Day in July isn’t nearly as catchy as Post a Day in May, but I would like to at least post every other day. Oh! I almost forgot! On Saturday Bridget is going to her very first birthday party! Her cousin is turning 1 whole year old, and is having a (kiddie) pool party! So you can be looking for some Ultra Adorable pictures of that event.

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Amy Butler Lotus Cami Complete

29 May 08

Hurray! My top is all done. Actually, it was done last night, but my hair was funky then, and although it’s still kinda weird I couldn’t wait any longer to show you. I made some changes in the pattern so that I can more easily feed Bridget when I’m wearing it (without the changes I would have had to basically undress every time she needed to nurse). I basically just sewed in two triangles to the front and made it into a kind of pleat. I’m a tad disappointed in how boxy it turned out, but I guess I’d rather it be boxy than not work with breast feeding. If I somehow end up with gobs of time in between now and Bridget’s baptism (the intended debut for the top), maybe I’ll make another less boxy top. Somehow I doubt that will happen though. And I really am pleased with it. I think it will look really nice with my pearl necklace (which is MIA – uh oh!) Ah, the drama of my life continues! :) I should get to bed – Bridget and I are making an appearance at a breakfast in the morning, so no sleeping in super late like I did this morning! Good night, all (or, if you are sensible and reading this in the a.m., Good Morning!)

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29 May 08

(Yes, it’s Thursday morning, and no, I haven’t gone to bed yet so it doesn’t count! I’m still blissfully in Wednesday-land…) Yes, indeed. I am yet again out of thread! This is all that was left. Even the bobbin thread was all gone! Crazy, huh? GOOD THING I’M DONE!!! I kid you not! I’ve been sewing like a madwoman over here, and I’m FINALLY done with my cute little Amy Butler Cami! I’ll post a picture tomorrow when my hair (hopefully) is all done looking funky. G’night, all!

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Crafting Heroes

24 May 08

Check out this nifty set of interviews with the “success stories” of the crafting world. A little dream of mine is to someday have some kind of crafty side-business – all the more excuse to do what I love, right? These interviews offer encouragement and advice to other with that same dream. Go for it, girls!

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Amy Butler Lotus Cami

23 May 08

So I made some great progress last night on the top. You can see, almost all the parts are sewn on (except sleeves – it’s going to have little cap sleeves), I just need to finish up the edges and sew on a couple extra things. And buttons. Those would be useful. Anyway, as I was saying before I so rudely interrupted myself, I made some great progress. And I was merrily sewing along, trying to ignore how late it was getting, and then… Waugh, waugh, waugh. My trusty thread suddenly and tragically ran out. The end. Actually, I was going to go and pick up some more today, but unfortunately for that plan (and very fortunately for my dirty house and my sanity), Bridget had a really really nice nap this afternoon. Better than she’s had in over a week. So no fabric store for us. But fewer dust bunnies, a clean toilet (one of those things you never really appreciate until you don’t have it), and lots of sanity. A pretty good trade, if you ask me! Since I haven’t actually sewn any outside seams yet, I might be able to just use a different tan color thread and fool everyone into thinking that I used it for the whole project. Except for you. You would know, but you won’t tell, right? It’ll just be our little secret.

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Making A Top

20 May 08

Since finishing Brian’s bag, I’ve been working on sewing a top for myself. The idea is I’ll wear this to Bridget’s baptism (coming right up in a few weeks!) I had to make a muslin (sewing lingo for making a test copy in cheap fabric before doing the real deal). I had to do this for multiple reasons: not only is this is the first time I’ve used this pattern, but I’m also making some tweaks to the pattern to hopefully make it easier to wear while nursing. Also the only other time I’ve made a fitted top like this was that time (I think I was in high school) when I started making a dress and never finished because I didn’t buy the right zipper. So never. This is my first fitted top. I had so much fun picking out the fabric for this. It calls for two fabrics, so we’re already talking twice the fun! I ended up buying these. Except they don’t look quite so green in real life. With any luck I’ll manage to sew everything right-side up, and if it fits, well that’s just a bonus! :u)

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Messenger Bag

15 May 08

Here is the messenger bag I made for Brian – FINISHED! (Except for the strap – I’m making a new one as this one is too short for him). Also, some VERY exciting news – for Mother’s Day one of Brian’s gifts to me was a gift certificate to Sew Mama Sew, and the BEAUTIFUL fabric that I bought with that came in the mail today! WOOHOO! It’s packaged so beautifully, I had to take a picture before I tore into it: See the little card they included (in the background)? With some pretty ribbon thrown in for free? And the way they bound up the fabric with a little bow…it’s the little details like that that make me want to order from them over and over again. Oh, and here’s a shot of my little helper. She was thoughtfully holding onto the camera strap for me. Which was great, because in between holding her and holding the camera, how was I supposed to hold the strap? And the strap obviously needed to be held…and maybe gnawed a bit… I took a couple of other photos but forgot to download them to Flickr. So maybe tomorrow for those. With new fabrics to enjoy, I can’t be expected to sit at this desk any longer! G’night!

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Sarcastic, Much?

13 May 08

I realized with a start this morning that I didn’t do a post yesterday. Not one! I can’t imagine how that got past me, with all the thumb-twiddling I’ve been doing lately (note the sarcasm). Ah, well. For my penance, I’ll do two posts today. Unless I don’t. In which case you’ll all have to be content with this one. I went to the fabric store yesterday. Yep. Dragged myself in there kicking and screaming (again with the sarcasm). I found some beautiful fabrics on sale. This one, destined for drapes: And this one, intended to enhance the cuteness of a certain baby this summer. Isn’t it nifty? With smocking already all along the top and everything! I also bought some in a more grown-up pattern for myself in a kind of pink paisley. Maybe I’ll make a dress or something for my summer enjoyment. It should be pretty easy – just sew up the sides to make a tube, add some straps made of ribbon or extra material cut off the bottom, and you have yourselves an inexpensive top or dress that cost you minimal effort and time (both critical around here). I also made some more progress last night on Brian’s bag, but not enough for impressive pictures. Soon enough though – maybe one more evening of sewing and I’ll have some nice progress to show you! Have a wonderful day! We’re going with wet and cool here. There was even a chance of snow in the forecast, but I way it’s not happenng. Yeah, those 3 days of warm spring weather were just too much for me, too. Whatever the weather, I encourage you to Rise Above It, and make your own sunshine. Or just enjoy God’s sunshine…or rain…or snow.

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Mama's Happy!

10 May 08

I am now convinced beyond the shadow of a doubt that Bridget is cutting teeth. It’s either that or an amazing coincidence of a bad mood, gnawing on EVERYTHING, and and incredible amounts of saliva. Poor little punkin. In spite of that, she did take a pretty good nap this morning – probably about an hour long – and I got to spend more time gardening. Happy mama! I planted some green beans and set up some poles for them to grow up, and took some pictures of my Coleus plants (which I also thinned out a bit). The highlight of my day, though, was this afternoon when Brian gave me an early Mother’s Day gift – a gift certificate to my favorite online fabric store. Whooeeee!!! Off to pick out some yummy fabrics!

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How to Make a Zippered Pocket

6 May 08

I’m making a bag for my DH using the adorable Mischievous Gnome Messenger Bag by Montessori By Hand. One of the things I’ve learned in the process is how to make a zippered pocket – something I really wanted to learn but was too intimidated (until now) to try. So I’ve put together a little tutorial that just covers this basically simple detail – the perfect touch for your new purse or handbag! Zippered Pocket How-to.pdf

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Make a Shoe Pouch for Your NIKE + iPod

21 April 08

Did you buy a NIKE + iPod, but do not want to dole out the cash for the special shoes that go with it (the shoes have a special spot to hold the little gadget that tracks your speed)? Have no fear! This little pouch works just as well (loop it around the laces on top of your shoes), and is an ultra-quick sew, too!

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14 April 08

Don’t you love the name of this blog ? I do. And that’s just what I’ll be doing, because the lovely people over at SewMamaSew! drew my name as one of the 10 lucky winners of a “Charm Pack” of simply gorgeous fabrics. Woot! I’ve been wanting to make a quilt for Bridget, and obsessing over what fabric to get, and is this one too expensive, or maybe the pattern of this other would look better, or this third fabric – it’s maybe not so cute, but it’s on sale…yeah you get the idea. Anyhow, no more of that! All those tricksy decisions have been made for me (a good thing – she might have been off to college by the time I finished with my waffling), and I get to dive right into the making of! Hooray! And thank you, SewMamaSew (side note – the blog is attached to a lovely fabric store with oodles of delicious patterns! Go check it out!)

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Gift Tag Link

12 December 07

For all you crafty folks out there, some adorable gift tags for handmade gifts. This year we’re making some (not all) of the Christmas gifts we’re giving, and these tags add the perfect touch! (The blog is also a great source of inspiration for crafty things, so be sure and check it out!)

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Using Sculpey to Make Window Hangings

3 September 07

We have this problem window in our stairway. It looks out into our neighbor’s backyard, and sits at just the wrong height (on our side), so that we feel uncomfortably exposed if we aren’t completely decent when we walk by.

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New Orleans

1 August 06

I’m going to be gone for a couple of weeks – my sis-in-law is getting married! – so I thought I’d give you all a little something to muse over in the meanwhile.

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Little Italy - Part III

23 July 06

The is the third and final set of pictures showing my progress through painting the oil painting of the Little Italy area in NYC. Here I’m getting quite detailed. I’ve adjusted a lot of shapes and values, and even corrected a couple of awkward lines. Yay! I’m done! I added highlighting in some key spots, darkened some others, and made sure to emphasize the focus area. Now I just need to sign it… If you want to leaf through all the photos in sequence (without all this gabbing in between messing up your concentration), I have them up in Flickr; you can view them there to your heart’s content.

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Little Italy - Part II

22 July 06

The second installment in this series to show my progress through the painting process. Here I got a little more detailed, but I’m still basically blocking in colors and values: You can really tell here that I’ve gotten serious about changing some colors. I’m also starting to lighten things up a bit: Oh Boy! It’s taking shape! However, it’s not done yet! Check back tomorrow for the third (and final) installment of the progress pictures of Little Italy, NYC!

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Little Italy - Part I

21 July 06

Hooray! I’m done with those pictures! The first I’m going to show you is one of Little Italy in NYC. And, I’ve decided to show you in installments, after all, so that you won’t be too inundated with images :) The reference photo: The sketch (I know, you can hardly see anything): Blocking in color: I really enjoyed the process of taking pictures at various stages. For one thing, it was just plain encouraging to see the progress I had made. Also, comparing the pictures with each other and with the original actually helped me to catch some issues that might have gone unnoticed otherwise. Well, that’s it for today! Look for some more tomorrow!

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11 July 06

I am currently working on a series of pictures depicting different places. When they’re all done, I should have six pictures total. I thought it would be fun if, on a couple of them, I did a little progress picture journal – you know, “this is the sketch”, “this is the more detailed version” – so that you can actually see the painting taking shape. Anyhow, I want to post them all at once so you’ll have to wait for the real deal until I’m finished with the painting in a week or so. Just thought I’d let you know what’s going on so you can check back in a few days :)

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23 March 06

While my DH was gone at SXSW, I had all sorts of plans to get stuff done. I was gonna’ dig some in the garden, put up some drapes, you know…but all these plans came to naught, because he unfortunately passed on some germs before he left. Needless to say they kept me busy. :( Nasty germies. I spent the majority of the time in bed – nice an’ warm and sleepy – and by now I’m almost 100% better, except for a bit of a cough that has held on. I found this awesome art site, again on my faithful Drawn!. The pictures have so much personality, and movement and color. I don’t even mind that I can’t read the captions (which must be in Russian). If you really get into the pictures, don’t miss the “previous” link at the bottom of the page – there are tons more pictures to view! I always get so excited when I find a really awesome art site like this one :u) In other news, I finished my purse that I’ve been knitting! Hooray! I felted it last night and brought it to work today (still a tiny bit damp, but oh well). I know I promised to give you all a before/after picture comparison, but I think you’ll just have to use your imaginations, because in my eagerness to see the final outcome I completely forgot to take a pic of “before”. Just imagine bigger and a lot floppier and you’ll be pretty close!

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Big Post

5 March 06

Just so you know, I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth. I know, I know, you were holding your collective breath until the day I would post again, and now you are all blue from waiting. My apologies for the blueness, but you should regain some color soon. At least temporarily.

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12 February 06 I discovered this nifty website through one of my favorite collaborative weblogs, Drawn!, which I visit regularly. I drew two sketches, and received two in return. Here’s one of those I got in return: Try it out! You don’t have to do a masterpiece, or even anything that good, but it’s fun (and if you are worried that someone might think you are a bad artist, as far as I know it’s completely untrackable, so no one will know anyhow!) Have fun!

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Artsy Craftsy

7 February 06

I just can’t decide whether I’m artsy or craftsy. Actually, I think I’m both, but I don’t really know where to focus my energies. I love making pretty things. That’s the main focus right now. But it’s not very specific, if you know what I mean. For any other artsy/craftsy people out there, these two community blogs are the thing. They’re a great way to find the websites/blogs of other people with similar interests. I’ve been following the Drawn! site for quite awhile now, and just recently discovered Whip Up (through Drawn!, actually). So take a peek, and let me know what you think!

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