Monday, June 18, 2012

New Niece/Facebook

Hello all! I have two very exciting bits of news today. First and foremost, my eldest sister Natalie safely delivered her third child on Friday, June 15th, 2012! Her name is Batya Yaela, born at 9:13 PM, and her big sisters Esther Shira and Simcha are very proud and excited. This marks my fourth niece, by the way... plenty of

Secondly, I have started a Facebook page to go along with my Etsy shop. Please become a fan!
Thanks and love!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Grand Opening!

Hello everyone! I am super excited to announce the grand opening of my Etsy shop!
Please visit and shop!!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Boutique Blanket

ooh Pinterest, how I love you! I found this gorgeous/shockingly soft blanket on Pinterest, and needed it ASAP. The tutorial is here and the author, Christina, was incredibly helpful with questions. I used the same fabrics (a minky and a cotton twill) as she did, so our blankets are essentially identical. Identically AMAZING! so soft and gorgeous. and BIG! It's about 5 feet by 6 feet, so much bigger/cozier than the faux chenille blanket. The minky was a bit hard to work with, so if you make this, use Christina's advice and pin, pin, pin!
blanket - minky on one side, cotton twill on the other

Snappy dress, on the blanket
Another recent project is the Snappy Toddler Dress from Prudent Baby (for Shayna, of course), who are two of my very favorite women ever. Their website is full of sewing and craft projects, as well as delicious recipes, my two favorite being the One-Minute Chocolate Chip Cookie and a Coffee Cake in a Cup. Best of all, you don't even need to have a baby to enjoy their site! so check them out at
Coming soon: matching mother-daughter outfits for Jessica and Shayna! too cute. bye!

Monday, May 14, 2012

le pouf

Hello all! I'm back to show my newest creation: a pouf! I found this tutorial from Design*Sponge, and off I went to make a patchwork version.
side view

I had a fun time with this one, though I did mess up a bit (reversing the order of the pieces before sewing the second half together... confused me). However, I managed to figure it all out and voila, le pouf!

Also, how cute are these? I call them vests for feet. My feet stay warm, but can breathe.

Next up: finishing the gingham taffeta skirt, dress #29483 for Shayna, and a pom pom scarf. Stay tuned! xo

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

new things

Time to share more creations! #1 is something I found on Pinterest (actually, the tutorial is here). It's made with scrapbooking paper! This was fun to do and I love the way it came out.

Next is the Warhol dress from Dana! It looks blue here, but is really purple, and was sent to my niece Shayna for her 9-month birthday. This one was quick and fun and hopefully so cute on her!

Now more baby dresses, but this time, ORGANIC! I had to order fabric from Oregon, but it was well worth it because look how cute this is! Especially the trim on the bottom - bias tape for the win.

back - love the ribbon!

And finally... guess what?

Saturday, April 21, 2012


After reading this tutorial by Dana, I knew I had to complete that project ASAP. I LOVE chenille and once had a fantastic chenille blanket that was destroyed by the washing machine. Then I found this project that was actually kind of created by the washing machine. How ironic. Anyway, I found that matryoshka fabric (shout out to my real-life Russian doll, Shira Glabman) at JoAnn, and I knew instantly that I wanted Russian dolls all over my blanket. So I purchased 1 1/4 yards each of the matryoshka cotton, and solid cottons in red, yellow, pink, and white.
       Dana gives a great tutorial with fabulous pictures that everyone should see, but I'll give you a run-down. The basic idea is to sew these five layers of cotton (must be cotton so it will fray, flannel works well also) together in lines a 1/2 inch apart diagonally across the whole blanket, and then cut through the four solid layers in between the sewn lines. Because they're cut diagonally/on the bias, the fabric will fray in the washing machine and create soft, wavy layers that feel like chenille.
       Fact: if you're going to do this project, you should be warned that it takes for-ev-er. Not as long as the tote bag (haha... just kidding, that's only true if you're me), but definitely awhile. My back isn't the strongest so I had to split it up between several days of sewing. As per Dana's recommendation, I took all the fabric onto my driveway and glued them together with Craft Bond, a spray adhesive. This was a struggle because it was windy, but was definitely helpful in keeping my fabrics from shifting too much while I sewed. After putting some safety pins in random spots around the blanket, I used painter's tape to mark a line down the diagonal center of the blanket. I started sewing with this middle line and then out to the left side, and eventually flipped it upside down to the right. Luckily, I didn't have to use a ruler to measure each 1/2 inch, because that's what the little lines on my sewing machine are for.
        A few days later (or probably about 4-5 straight hours of sewing), the lines were done! I knew cutting would be a challenge because a) I am left-handed and lefty scissors don't have the blades reversed so they are crap, and b) I was nervous I would accidentally cut through the matyoshka layer, so I was super careful and had my right hand underneath the blanket during each and every snip. I had ordered a slash rotary cutter just for this purpose, and it was due to arrive Thursday, but still isn't here (whoopsy,
the cutting begins.
       So I cut about 1/3 of the blanket over the course of two days. I could only get through a few lines at a time before having to break and stretch out. I was getting kind of freaked out that I would never finish. But yesterday I was at JoAnn for my sewing class (details to come!), and they had a smaller version of that cutter there. I had a 50% off coupon, so I caved and got one for $7. And I am so glad I did! I went a little fast with it and cut a few lines too close to the sewn line, so there is slightly noticeable error on the finished blanket, but whatever. I'm totally over it. Next I had to sew on the binding. I chose teal, like Dana did, because teal is awesome. I bought this quilt binding at JoAnn and used about one and a half packages. It was rough to sew on because at this point, it was 6 layers of fabric, and my machine isn't the world's strongest. But it was completed. Around midnight. And ready to go in the laundry!!
blanket cut, pre-wash.
       I was so excited for the result that I just sat on the couch waiting for the cycle to finish. After the washing machine, it looked pretty cool, but I knew I had to wait for the dryer for the full effect. And here it is!


"layers upon layers of chenille!"
matryoshkas and chenille: a fantastic combination
       So, a million days later, I must say, I am so pleased with the results! Although I was whining about it a lot of the time, I kind of want to make another right this moment. I even slept with it in my bed last night. It's not big enough to be a sleeping quilt. I just wanted it near me. So thanks Dana for your great tutorial and my beautiful snuggly blanket!

 A bonus:
fun times: my brother-in-law Doug and me at my mom's golf tournament. i'm dressed like a flapper under there!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

tote bag!

Well friends, I did it! I finally finished the Zakka Style Zigzag Tote. And let me tell you, it took for-eh-ver. I messed up about a dozen times, had to remove about a billion stitches, and almost cried a few times, but overall, I am so pleased with the bag, and I guess the trouble makes it feel like an even bigger accomplishment. And it's totes cute, don't you think?
tote bag!
tote bag inside. pocket!

Also, tonight I went to a sewing class! I'm making a mini dress out of this gorgeous nebula-like fabric:

And above, a glimpse of our beautiful Passover table!
That is all. love, ashley

Monday, April 2, 2012

More dresses/Sew-Along

Hello! Not much to say here. I've just been working and making dresses, and I wanted to show you two new ones. They're the same pattern as the Shayna dress but for smaller babies, and I totally love the fabrics I used.
me and my girl Shaybug.

a tiny dress!

my cool hangtag

love this batik fabric.
Besides dresses, I am participating in a sew-along!! More info here: It is based on the book Zakka Style by Rashida Coleman-Hale, which I coincidentally bought a week ago. I found out about the sew-along on Pinterest, and then I spent about 4 hours at Joann picking out fabrics. I think I bought 18 different ones? Whoopsy. Anyway, I'll be sure to post my finished projects here.

But back to the dresses. Hopefully, in time, I will be selling some things on Etsy, and this dress will definitely be one of them. I am also currently experimenting with an organic version (but I have to order the supplies online, so that will take a bit). But if you want to buy one now... get at me! I can make them in several different sizes, the smallest being for newborns and/or preemies, so e-mail me for a price quote and details. They make great gifts, and I can customize them any way you like! xo.. ashley

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Hunger Games Soundtrack: A Review

Officially titled "The Hunger Games: Songs from District 12 and Beyond," The Hunger Games soundtrack was released as an accompaniment to the film. None of the songs actually appear in the movie (except three over the end credits), and I'm not sure how I feel about this: I think several of them could have really boosted the film in certain places. However, this soundtrack works beautifully by itself as an ode to Katniss's epic plight of survival, and the album as a whole definitely vibes strongly with the film: listening to it before I saw the film got me so psyched to see the moody, dark book on screen, and listening to it afterward somehow made me feel like I was still in the theater, so deeply involved with the intimate portrayal of Katniss's quandary. T-Bone Burnett did, as usual, an incredible job producing here. With a mix of folksy artists sticking to their roots and other musicians expertly bending to the genre, this album is a wildly engaging and effective counterpart to The Hunger Games trilogy - and anyone who can get Adam Levine to sound so siren-like gets an A+ in my book.
 My thoughts, track-by-track:

1. Arcade Fire, "Abraham's Daughter:" The first song to play over the end credits, this haunting tune makes it nearly impossible to get up from your seat. Regine Chassagne sounds like some sort of mythical creature (okay, another siren reference). One critic called it "Enya meets Game of Thrones," and I'm definitely cool with that idea.

2. The Secret Sisters, "Tomorrow Will Be Kinder:" A sweet and hopeful ballad that makes me think of Rue. I think it would have served well in her final scene, but apparently Gary Ross doesn't agree. Whatevs.

3. Neko Case, "Nothing To Remember:" Katniss could have written this one herself.
Case pleads, "give me something to remember." I'm not sure if it's this song I will remember from this collection, but it is a solid enough track and definitely adds to the album.

4. Taylor Swift featuring The Civil Wars, "Safe & Sound:" The first single released from the album, I've been loving this song for awhile. It just feels so... well, Hunger Games. It is Swift's sweetest ballad, made even sweeter with the delicate harmonies of The Civil Wars. It makes me feel... well, safe and sound.

5. Kid Cudi, "The Ruler And The Killer:" I'm a huge fan of Kid Cudi, but I'm not sure about this track. It is... interesting. It is also growing on me.

6. Punch Brothers, "Dark Days:" Chris Thile and his band are perfect for this soundtrack, and their contribution does not disappoint. "Dark Days" is an obvious reference to Katniss and her mother and sister, a gentle song about hiding from fear, and I think it could have done wonders for a scene early in the film.

7. The Decemberists, "One Engine:" This song is typical Decemberists fare, but the surprise of an electric guitar will shake things up for fans. "One Engine" picks up the pace of the album, but I'm not in love with it.

8. The Carolina Chocolate Drops, "Daughter's Lament:" This song, with its references to mockingjays, is clearly a tribute to District 12 and Katniss's hunting ways. I must admit that it kind of creeps me out. Sorry.

9. The Civil Wars, "Kingdom Come:" This song has become one of my favorites by The Civil Wars, who also fit into this compilation very well. The duo shines on "Safe & Sound," but here, they really glimmer (pun intended).

10. Glen Hansard, "Take The Heartland:" A rocking tune to match the Decemberists. Hansard gets really angry by the end, and I feel that it's a great reflection of many of Katniss's feelings in the film.

11. Maroon 5 featuring Rozzi Crane, "Come Away To The Water:" Adam Levine and friends stop moving like Jagger to slow things down on this track, which I would have really loved to see in the film. Levine's voice soars, but quietly, and I find this song to be truly gorgeous and haunting.

12. Miranda Lambert featuring Pistol Annies, "Run Daddy Run:"
This tune by Miranda, Ashley Monroe, and Angaleena Presley has a real down-home country feel, and I'm really loving it. Their harmonies are great, and talks of the devil scare me a little and delight me at the same time.

13. Jayme Dee, "Rules:" At first listen, this is one of the weaker spots on the album, but I like it more each time I hear it. It screams "Peeta" to me, and it is probably the most blatant reference to the trilogy's inevitable love triangle.

14. Taylor Swift, "Eyes Open:" No surprises here from Swift. A straightforward pop-country tune that, lyrically, really serves as a perfect anthem to The Hunger Games.

15. The Low Anthem, "Lover Is Childlike:" A quiet, moody track that doesn't feel very Hunger Games-y, but its poetic quality is appealing. I'm working on this one.

16. Birdy, "Just A Game:" We hear every single part of Birdy's much-more-mature-than-15-years-old voice in this album closer, and wow, are we lucky to do so. A perfect closer, and my favorite track from album.

Thoughts? I'd love to hear them! 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Shayna dress

since i got my sewing machine last saturday, i haven't been able to stop using it. really. potholders, pin cushions, stuffed animals, and finally, a dress for my niece Shayna! i got the pattern from Made by Rae and enlarged it to fit Shayna, and used rickrack instead of piping in the middle. i also made her a little bow to match. she has a little bit of room to grow into it, but it's so cute for now and i'm so pleased with how it turned out. enjoy the pictures! thanks Rae!

Monday, March 19, 2012

meet my penguin, Emma. i made her on my brand new sewing machine, which is named ________ (???!!).

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

arts & crafts

So I moved back to Jacksonville recently, and I have been unable to stop crafting. I'm currently making stuffed owl pillows for two of my nieces. Here are some of my completed projects: 
rose barrette (pattern via the purl bee)

tulips i am painting - very much in progress - design inspired by Lisabelle

felt owls!

the felt owls in mobile form for my next niece/nephew

silk flower garland
More pictures to come soon. If you have questions or want links to tutorials, let me know in the comments. xx

Friday, March 9, 2012

prom? should have gone.

i didn't go to my senior prom (i was a "rebel"), and there is only one reason i regret not going: the dress. i never got to wear a beautiful, fancy, bejeweled masterpiece at the age/size when it would have looked best on me. so now, 6 years later, i like to look at pretty dresses and sometimes be a little bit sad that i no longer have a prom to which to wear one.

here are some of my favorites:
amazing. love the sweetheart neckline, the lace, and most of all, the huge bow. (bows!)
i love lace, especially like this. and long sleeves are gorgeous like this.

wishful thinking... xx

Monday, January 30, 2012

chasing kids

i work at a preschool, which means i chase kids all day. also, sometimes they say funny things. here are some of my favorite:

me: when did you get your hair cut?
4-year-old: tomorrow.

3-year-old: i misseded you.

4-year-old: the midwives were kind.

2-year-old: i want to go to the farmers' market.

4-year-old: (raps entire Justin Bieber song)

2-year-old: i got a Dora haircut. who took my hair?

3-year-old: i don't need a pull-up. i'm a big sister!

me: my sister has a daughter who is 4, just like you. her name is Esther Shira.
4-year-old: is that a different language?
me: yes, it's Hebrew.
4-year-old: Hebrew! that's the language of the Hanukkah people!

to be continued.