Monday, February 28, 2011

I just had the best night. (And Tute {Yourself} Tuesday #10)

Tonight was unexpectedly awesome.  It started as a simple suggestion (by me) that we use the gift card to The Pizza Factory that my husband had received from his work as a Christmas gift as an alternative to making dinner.  He was game; and we invited his sister and her son (that is 2 months younger then Eme) to join us.  We had a ball.  Yummy food, two hilarious toddlers, and I didn't have to make dinner?!!  Woohoo!  (Not that I don't love to cook, but it's nice to not have to do the dishes.)

After we ate we took the boys into Fat Cats (which is a "fun center/arcade" type place- they even have bowling and bumper cars) to look at the lights, but then decided to let them ride the little merry-go-round.  Oh. My. Gosh.  When my SIL got my nephew out of his carseat he started yelling "OOOH!  WOW! OOH!  WOW!"  Over and over.  It was hysterical.  We were dying laughing. 

Then because we also had a gift card to Fat Cats we decided to stay a little longer and play a few games with the kids... Ok, and I might have played a game of DDR. (Dance Dance Revolution for those of you scratching your heads as to what DDR is.)  ;)  Yeah, I know.  Total teenager game; but have you tried it?!  So. Much. Fun.  I'm fairly decent at it (but my hubby STILL beats me every time.  Don't tell him I told you.  haha!) but tonight the game KICKED my trash.  Know why?  Oh, prolly because I haven't done a real cardio work out since BEFORE I was pregnant with Eme.  (For those of you counting, that's almost 2 years now.)  Oops.  I should get on that.  Time to break out my old Playstation and start DDRing it up everyday again.  (What?  Yes I have DDR at my house.  You know you want one too.) 

For those of you that want a good work out, but don't like to work out, try DDR.  I PROMISE that you will get a REALLY good cardio work out, but it won't feel like working out, so you'll do it longer and harder then you normally would.  Anyway... moving away from my passionate tangent about DDR, we really had a good time tonight. :)

BUT!  It wasn't over for me.  We went home and got Eme in bed and then I got a text from a good friend wanting to go get cupcakes.  Cupcakes you say?!  um... yes, please.  So said friend picks me (and another friend) up and we head on our merry way, but not to get cupcakes... The cupcake place was already closed, so we got yummy hot chocolate instead and had a LOVELY talk.

It was a totally unexpected, FUN evening that was SO very needed.  I'm tired and my lungs are full of junk (from the 5 minutes of cardio DDR that I did. Asthma.  Blech.) but, I am feeling so much better then I have in several weeks. 

I posted last week that I was really feeling the winter blahs and was in serious need of a pick me up.  Well, tonight was exactly what I needed. 

I'm sorry posts have been a little slow these last few weeks.  And I STILL need to pick out testers. (Tomorrow, I promise.)  Thank you for your kind and encouraging words (and for not abandoning me as a lost cause.)  Sorry that this post has been a bit of a ramble, but, it is nice to be feeling a lot more like myself. :)

Now that I've talked your ears off, would you be so kind as to share a project/story/recipe/whatever that you've been working on?  I can't wait to see it! :)

Well guys, I'm kind of back in sewing business...

This is the machine I'm using:

And yes.  It's as old as it looks.  I don't know the exact year it was made, but I think I can safely say it's at least 50 years old.

Wish me luck.  I'm fairly certain I'll be needing it.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

How to Use Actions in Photoshop

HOORAY!  I was finally able to add pictures again.  I'm really not sure what the problem was.  Thanks for all your suggestions.  I would have loved to try uploading from Picasa, but, it wasn't even giving that option.  The uploader just wasn't working.  It kept telling me that there was an error and to try again later.  :P  Annoying.  But, blogger must have fixed the problem, so, we'll just move on now.

Remember a few weeks ago when I mentioned that I had discovered the wonders of Actions?  And how I said that I'd be talking more about my discovery later? 

Well, it's later! :)

I've been using Photoshop for a few years now, and while not a master, can use it fairly effectively.  But.  Editing takes a lot of time.  Tweaking each picture individually for a blog post can take hours (and hours.)  It can be such a time suck at times that I just want to post my post with my pictures straight out of the camera (SOOTC). 

But I can't do that to you guys!  Part of what makes a good post is GREAT pictures.  So, what's a girl that wants to have nicely edited pictures, but with out a ton of time to do?

She uses actions!! 

Perhaps you, like me have heard of actions before, but don't know how to use them and figure it must be hard and not really worth the time.  Oh, MAN was I wrong on that one.

Actions make everything faster.  SO. MUCH. FASTER.  So, I'm going to show you how easy it is to take this picture:

(Which is a great picture to start with.)

And turn it into this picture:

In three easy steps.  That's right.   THREE. 
(Isn't my seester pretty?  And I must say, I have a rather adorable nephew.  I know, I'm lucky.)

Anyway.  The difference between the two pictures isn't crazy nuts, but the second picture is definitely clearer and brighter then the first.  In blogland that equals better tutorials and more dramatic posts.  Which you want.  So, if you have Photoshop and haven't explored the fantastic-ness of actions, you really must.

First, you obviously are going to need an action (or 50) to work with.  The Pioneer Woman has some AWESOME ones for FREEEE!  Go there now and download them; I'll wait.  You will thank me.  When you download them, choose to open them instead of saving them.  This will automatically put them in the actions area of photoshop.  Once you have done this you are ready to start "playing".  (Haha!  Pun intended.)  You can also do a search for "free actions" and a bunch will show up.  There are tons of actions for purchase as well.  Check Etsy or search google.

Ok.  You've downloaded them?  Great, let's get started.

You need to make sure that your actions tool is open.  To do that click on "window" then make sure there is a check mark next to "Actions"; if there is not, click on it.

Once you've done that a box called "actions" will pop up.  If you have downloaded and opened the actions from Pioneer Woman, you will have the actions that I am using in this tute.  Scroll through them until you find the action called "Define and Sharpen" and click on it once. 

Then find the "play" button.  It's the arrow button that looks like a play button. ;)  Click "play".

Here is the "Define and Sharpen" button in use.  It's subtle, but the colors are slightly more vibrant and defined.  Everything just looks a little clearer/cleaner.

Now find the action called "Slight Lighten" click on it, then click the "play" button again.

Here it is in "action".  (haha!  I'm having a good time with puns today.)  The picture is definitely brighter.  Not enough to wash them out, just enough to make it easier to see them.  If your picture is still too dark you can play this action again or (adjust it manually.)

 Ok guys, last step!  Find the "Boost" action, select it then play it over the picture.

Here is change picture for this action:

I LOVE the boost action!  It high lights their faces a bit, brightens up the colors, lightens the whole picture up just a bit and just all in all make a picture better.

Here are the before and after pictures side by side:

When the pics are side by side you can really see the difference between the two.  The after pic just pops!

See how easy that was?!  If you have photoshop, go get busy!  If you don't, there are options available to you online.  Try or Picasa. 

Having GREAT pictures really makes your blog so much more enjoyable to read, so, give picture editing a try today!  Good luck and HAVE FUN!!!  Email me if you have any questions!! :)

I'll be linking to the lovely linkys on my side bar.

Is any one else having issues uploading pictures???

Cause I really am.

Blogger's server keeps "rejecting" my images.


I'll post my tute and features post as soon as I can get the images to load.

Cross your fingers that it's soon!

Friday, February 18, 2011


You guys, I MADE IT!!!!  I'm a season one contestant on One Month to Win It!!! 

One Month To Win It

WHOOOOOOOHOOOOOO!!!  Here's hoping I don't choke right?!  lol!  Wish me luck!!!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Dino-ROAR Gift Set

I got an invite another baby shower TWO days ago and the shower was tonight!  AHHH!!  Talk about creating in a rush!  haha.

This friend is having a little boy, so I decided a dino hat was the way to go.

Then I wanted some booties to match and had these colors on hand and they matched perfectly!  Woohoo!!

I made these Little Lad Loafers (as I'm calling them)!  I love the alliteration. :)

Unfortunately, I didn't have time to make a little outfit; nor do I have a working sewing machine, so no outfit this time. :'(

At least the loafers are super fun right?!  

I'll be linking to the parties on the right. :)

Ready For TESTERS!!!!

Ok guys!  I've had quite a few of you excited about pattern testing for me and I'm FINALLY ready.  It took me a little longer then I thought it would, but I'm ready.

Here's the good news for you:  I have TWO patterns for you to test! 

The Li'l Miss Mary Jane Pattern:


Introducing the Little Lad Loafers!  (Hooray for alliterations!)

So, who wants to test?!

In your comment please let me know which pattern you'd like try and how much experience you have crocheting.

I need two testers for each.

Ready, set, GO!!!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Features from Tute {Yourself} Tuesday #7!

Guys, this is my favorite blog day of the week!  I so love seeing all your great projects!  Here are a few of my faves!!

These Little Nilla Girls are SO. Stinkin'. CUTE!!  Amy from Flexible Dreams is so incredibly creative!  Don't you think?!

See what I mean??  SO. CRAZY. CUTE!!!!

Mandy from Sugar Bee - Craft Edition made these little turtles!  I wish I had been on the list she lost so that I could be eligible to win one, but o-well.  Where'd you get your pattern Mandy?!  I'd love to make one... or ten!

Frugal Christian Living linked up her Top Secret Butter Sugar Cookies.  I plan to try this recipe out this week.

Yummy right?!

I about died when I saw these sequined heart earrings from Fave Crafts: Blog.  I love them.  Luckily, she posted a tutorial so I can copy cat her.  Which I'm totally doing by the way.

Malia over at Yesterday on Tuesday posted this awesome chalkboard painted globe!  It's so much fun!  She made it as a gift for her hubby for Valentine's Day.  I'm sure he loved it!

I know I would have!  :)

Thanks everyone for linking up last week!!  This week's linky will be up til tomorrow evening as usual! :)

Guest Post: A Panel Skirt Tutorial

**Looking for the Linky Party?  Scroll down!!**

For this week's Tute {Yourself} Tuesday, I have a guest blogger!! My first ever in fact. I've mentioned her a before, she's none other then my friend Natalie from Corduroy Dreams! I'm super excited to have her here today! Take it away...

Hey there! I'm Natalie, from Corduroy Dreams, and I am going to share with you my tutorial on how to make an Easy Panel Skirt. Before I get into it, I have to tell you that I am so excited to be guest posting at Little Eme today. I have known Maleah for a few years now, and I love her blog. Aren't her cute little hats the cutest? Sometimes I think she must be up all night crocheting all of those hats, but if you ever get the chance to watch her crochet, you'll know how she does so many of them... She is so fast! 

Anyway, here's how to make an Easy Panel Skirt.

I had this skirt from college {black & white one below} that didn't fit me anymore.
Can I blame it on having babies? I pretty much blame everything on having babies, so yeah, I'm going to blame not fitting in any of my clothes on having babies. Anyway, I loved this skirt because the vertical lines gave it a very slimming effect, and I will take all the slimming effects I can get. Since it didn't fit me anymore, I used it as a pattern to make a new {bigger} skirt.
And, here's how!

Supplies you'll need for this skirt:

Fabric- Any cotton fabric will work fine. I've used this pattern with a regular quilter's fabric, and it was very lightweight and breezy, but fine. The fabric I'm using here is a little thicker, and it was actually in the apparel section at Joann. You'll need about 1 1/2 yards {45" wide}. I wanted my skirt 28 inches long, so I got double that amount of fabric {56 inches, which is just over a yard and a half}. I do, however, have SUPER long legs, so just measure and see how long you want yours. My model skirt was only 26 inches long, but I wanted to add some length. Oh, and make sure you get a fabric that you don't have to match the pattern. Stripes would NOT look good because of all the different pieces.

Piping- 3 times as long as your length. Mine was 28", so times 3, I needed 84 inches, plus a few inches just in case.

Bias Tape- One package {3 yards}. This is to go around the top and bottom.

Zipper- Mine was 9 inches. I like invisible zippers, but use whatever you have.

Scissors, sewing machine, matching thread

The skirt is basically made of 7 panels. I know it looks intimidating, but please don't give up. I promise, it's easy. Here is how the panels go together to make the skirt.

I used my son's drawing paper to make my pattern. You can use newspaper or tissue paper, whatever.

All of my measurements I'm sharing with you are based off of my old skirt. I'm not sure what size it was, but it had a 28 inch waist {THAT'S why it didn't fit!!!}. Add to it or take away if you need to. I'll show you when.

So... 6 out of 7 of your panels are the same shape. It is this shape {below}: So, you need 6 of these. Don't forget to add 1/2" seam allowance.

One side of the panel is straight. The other side is slanted. So on a straight edge, just cut in 4 inches on top and 7 inches on bottom. {plus 1/2" for 2 seam allowances} then cut the top to the bottom and it should make this shape.
I forgot to label this, but it's panel A.

Your 7th Panel is just the above panel {panel a} doubled. You don't need to cut a pattern paper for this, because you're going to cut on the fold, so just cut a pattern paper for panel a {the one above this}, and you're good. This is your back, center panel. Like I said, this one needs to be cut on the fold.

Here is the diagram of how I cut my fabric.

I messed up and started cutting from the biased edge in, but start with your straight edge on the fold {for panel b} and start cutting outward, toward the biased edge.

Here are the back pieces laid out, ready to sew together.

Remember how I said that the back middle piece {panel b} is just panel a doubled, well..... if you want to make your skirt bigger, add a few inches to panel b. Just move it away from the fold as much as you want to add. Really, it's better to make it bigger and take in the side seams, than to make it too small. Or, if you want to make it smaller, just cut panel b smaller.

And here is my front all ready to be sewn together {below}.
This part might get confusing... Stick with me.
Sew the center pieces' straight edges together. {Right sides together}
Then the outside pieces' slanted edges get sewn to the center pieces' slanted edges.
You'll know it's right if you've got the straight edges on the side seams, which will be sewn to the back. And you'll know you've sewn the back part right if you've got the straight edges on the side seams too.
So, always sew slanted to slanted and straight to straight.
{the picture below might confuse you, but trust me.}

I started sewing the front. Sew the two center pieces together. Right sides together. You're sewing the straight edges to each other.

I used my serger, but you can use a regular machine, whatever.

Once you've sewn the center seam, then sew the outside panels.

Be a good little seamstress and iron your seams.

Now you need to add your piping. Cut it the length of your skirt. Mine is 28 inches, but I added half an inch, just in case.

You'll need to cut 3.

You're going to top-stitch the piping on top of the seams on the front of your skirt. No piping on the side seams or back of the skirt.
Make sure not to pull the piping too tight or your skirt won't lay flat. Don't ask how I know that.

Sew down one edge of the piping and back up the other edge.

As long as your thread matches your piping, it shouldn't matter if you sew {perfectly} straight, but at least stay on the piping... oopsie!

Then cut off the excess on the bottom.

Once you've got the piping on, then sew the back piece to the front piece on one side. Right sides together. We are only sewing one side because you still have to add the bias tape to the top and bottom and add a zipper before you sew the other side up.
You might want to try the skirt on at this point, because it's still easy to take in a seam if you need to, or cut a bigger back panel {panel b} if it's too small.

Start sewing the bias tape onto the top {waist} and bottom of the skirt.

If you are standing in the sewing isle of your local craft store and you're thinking to yourself... "hmmm, what kind of bias tape should I get..." Let me show you what kind NOT to get.

You really need to get the kind that just folds in half rather than in thirds, but since I had been back to the store TWICE already, and my second trip made me re-think having children anymore....
I made the kind of bias tape I had work. I had to zig-zag it so that I could stitch down both edges, but if you had the right kind, you would just have to do a straight stitch.
Please, just get the right kind.

And since I had such a hard time with the {wrong type of} bias tape on the waist, I opted to just serge the bottom and then top stitch the extra piping on top. You could really do this instead of using bias tape at all. But you would need a serger, or you'd have to finish the edges.

Make sure you don't let the serged edge hang below your piping.

Then sew your zipper in and sew up the other side.

If you need help sewing in your zipper, refer to the package for instructions, or you can check out this post by Michelle at SewMamaSew. {I didn't do it the way Michelle did it, so I'm thinking I probably did it the wrong way, but meh.... It still worked.}

The zipper is the only thing that holds the skirt together, so if you are nervous about that, you can add a button and a loop at the top just in case. I didn't, because let's face it, I'm sort of lazy.

And there you have it!
This skirt took me about 1 1/2 hours, and cost $13.00, but you could make it for much cheaper if you found a fabric on sale!

I also made one using green and brown.

And, on a side note, I take back the thing I said earlier about not wanting kids anymore. They're just too cute!
{By the way, it took me 7 shots to get one of this skirt without either kid or The Mr. lacing up his bball shoes.}

Thanks for reading, and if you made it all the way to the end, good for you!
Please feel free to stop by my blog anytime to see what I've been up to!


Thanks so much for sharing with us today Nat! I can't wait to give this a try... just as soon as I get a working machine. :/ Yeah, my machine is outta commission. :'( That's why all the crochet projects of late. Hopefully I'll have a new one soon.

Do any of you have a great Tutorial that you'd like to share on Tute {Yourself} Tuesday? If so, I'd love to feature you! Please email me at Can't wait to hear from you! :)