Archive for the ‘TUTORIALS’ Category

Happy Monday y’all!!!

Some of you may have noticed that my Etsy shop is looking more like a poor pitiful shop than an actual clothing store.  OH WELL!!!  I’m having such a great time getting my house in order that I don’t even miss creating new dresses…yet.

This weekend, I began the process of transforming my son’s room into something noteworthy.  In our last home, we kept adding kids so the rooms never quite became anything worth anything.  A quote from the first realtor to visit our old home and tour the kids’ room:  “Oh my.  Hmmmm.  This will have to change.”

Well – I am now determined for that to change!!!  Owen’s room is slated to have matching bedding, a curtained reading nook, curtains for his closet, and actually worthwhile things on his walls. (not that last time he had mis-matched girlie things on his wall, right!?  cough cough)


Above is what I finished this weekend…. AAAAAHHH… it was SO fun!!  My son is only 7 years old so I wasn’t expecting much of a reaction to something as useless to him as fabric on his bed.  WRONG!!!  I was downstairs when he first saw it… I heard something that sounded like Super Bowl screaming coming from his room.  Then I heard, “MOOOOOM!!!  This is the Best Day Ever!!”  Be.  Still.  My.  Heart!  SEW worth it, right!?!

This has brought me such joy, I thought I’d spend the next few blog posts sharing with you how I upped the wow factor in his room.  I’ll share tutorials on easy pillowcases, easy coverlets, and easy fabric curtain panels.  I’m hoping that some of you will find these helpful!

Let’s start with the pillowcase… mostly because it’s fewer photos and that’s all I had time to download today.  (Apparently, the kids’ school thinks they need to be wearing “official” uniforms and not chevron fabric, so laundry has to be done.  UGH!)


If you google “how to make a pillow case”, you’re gonna find all kinds of crazy patterns that take about 14 or 15 steps. Seriously!?! It’s a pillow case. It’s gonna get drool and vomit on it. Why spend a whole day making one!!! Here’s I do it: Grab a pillow case that you already own. lay it on top of the fabric that you want to use. You can see here that my fabric is narrower than the pillowcase I’m using for my pattern, but it’s okay. It’s okay because it’s close enough. If it were much narrower, I probably wouldn’t use it, but since it’s close – bam. I’m using that baby! (also worth noting: I’m able to keep the selvege edges as they are. There is no need to hem them on this fabric. If you need to hem up the opening edges, you’ll need a little bit more fabric than I’m using.)


Be sure you match the folded edges together and the open edges together.


Then cut out your fabric just a bit larger on the sides than your pillowcase pattern. We’re going to do a French Seam, so you’ll want to cut your fabric about 1/4″ or so bigger than you usually would … but just eyeball it. Pillowcases are very forgiving!


A french seam is a seam that enclosed – meaning you can’t see the edges on the inside. It will make sense in a minute. I like to use this seam on pillowcases because they get a lot of laundering. The French Seams keep the inside of the cases nice and tidy. To do it – sew up the sides of the pillow case WRONG SIDE TOGETHER, I know, weird, and use a very narrow seam allowance.


Now, turn your pillow case inside out and press those sides.


Now you will do another seam down the sides. Be sure that your seam allowance it enough to fully encase the seam on the inside. If you do too small of a seam allowance, you’ll have fabric sticking out when you turn it back right side out. Now you have a French Seam Pillow Case.


Since I’m not hemming the selvedge edges (aka: leaving the opening unhemmed), I needed to be sure to reverse stitch my seams extra well and clip those tails very well.


This is kind of a whompy photo – but I wanted to show the inside so you can see the french seam. (at this point, I’m wondering why sometimes I capitalize French Seam and sometimes I don’t. Are you wondering that too?) Anyway, you can see the enclosed french seam on the right.


When you turn it right side out and press the side seams – Here’s what you get!!! I love it. It was super fast … that makes me so happy!


Coming next – how to make that easy coverlet! And I do mean easy!

There you have it y’all… how to make a very fast and easy pillow case!


Time: I think this took me 15 minutes…and that was with taking pictures.  You CAN DO THIS!!!

Cost: pretty darn cheap.  I used leftover fabric from the coverlet … but lets’ see… I think I used about 1/2 yard of fabric, so for me – $3.50.  YAAAAAAY!

I hope you’ll make a million of these.  Be sure to invite someone over to spend the night just so you can offer them a brand spanking new pillowcase!

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I don’t say this often … but OMW!!!  (That means Oh My Word!)

I almost can’t believe I’m here.  Posting.  On my blog.  Do you remember me at all???

It’s been about 3 months since my last confession post, so I feel like a little round of catch-up might be in order.  Well….the sale of our home FINALLY went through on July 3rd.  We were supposed to close on June 28th, so we frantically and crazily got ourselves moved out of our home on June 27th..only to find ourselves sitting in a tiny two-bedroom apartment while our home lay empty.  Do I sound frustrated!?!?  Heavens no, I’m so over that feeling!

Anyway, we have moved into our temporary housing while we wait for our next home’s completion.  We’re hoping for September, but we’re not holding our breath.  In the meantime, I still have a sewing wall – only now it’s in the dining room!  Also, my husband still has a study – only now it’s in the dining room!

Just to prove I’m not exaggerating!

Life in a temporary place is definitely …er…um…what’s the word…interesting?

In our apartment, life in temporary housing is BLAND!  We don’t want to be charged any move-out fees, so we’re not hanging anything on the walls, hanging any curtains, or even putting up much furniture.  For those of us who whip up curtains for everything from windows to sinks, this is quite a challenge … AND, leads me to my next and long overdue tutorial.

This is my current laundry room. Plain. White. Depressing. (oh, and it’s IN the kitchen. Not near the kitchen but IN. THE. KITCHEN)

Soooooo…. if you can’t beat ’em, JOIN ‘EM!

In only 8 minutes and for about $10, I added just enough flair to make laundry fun again … simply by whipping up a quick set of bunting / banners and adding a photo.

Here’s how I made the bunting in 8 minutes:

I started with a package of pre-cut (AWESOME!) quilting triangles. They were on clearance for about $6.

Then I pulled out some left over wide, double-fold binding. The double-fold is important if you’re wanting to do this project fast … but seriously, is there any other way!! ???

Next, I placed each of the different prints in a pile right next to my sewing machine so I could grab them quickly. Just put them out in random order. Please do NOT overthink this part … remember: you’re not making a quilt, you’re making something that NO ONE will ever cuddle up next to, only appreciate from a distance. Have fun!

To make the bunting – simply place 2 triangles together wrong sides facing, slide into the center of the bias tape, and sew. I started sewing at the start of the biast tape, and just kept sewing all the way through adding the triangle sets along the way. Also, I used a zig zag stitch to make sure my stitches counted!

You’ll end up with something like this!

Now, just go crazy hanging these from every hanging place you can think of! I used sewing pins to hang them so that I didn’t leave any nail holes.

I added a photo of the kids and a fabric covered candle. That’s it. Now, I will never complain about laundry or temporary place again. EVER. maybe.

I may not have been converted into a laundry-lover, but I do enjoy the laundry room now.  That’s got to be worth something, right!?!

Now for the lowdown:

COST:  about $10.  The triangles were $6, the binding will cost about $3.  I had the binding from a previous project, so FREE for me!  You know I love that!

TIME: 8 stinking minutes!!!  I am SO not fibbing on this.  I timed it.  SO and SEW easy.  You’ll hug yourself for this, I promise!

I’m quite certain this will be a great project for any space … temporary or permanent.  AND, I’m quite certain you’ll see this bunting in my next home … which currently looks like this:

It’s good to back.  Tell me what YOU”VE been up to!!!

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I realized LAST SUNDAY that TODAY was the last day of school for ALL of my kids.  WHAT IN THE WORLD!?!?  How did this happen???

Somehow in the next few days, I had to come up with 6 Thank You gifts for my kids’ teachers.  And not only that – this week is the last week of our pay period … translation: I need these gifts to be FREE.  But how in the world do I adequately say thank you for 9 months of loving and teaching my children …. for free???

Put on my thinking cap and think. think. think.

I opened up my scrap fabric drawer for some inspiration….

And I came up with this … a reversible scrap fabric apron. And I must admit, I LOVE them!

I kind of feel bad for showing off my mennequin’s posterior, but if mine looked like that I’d show mine off too. Anyway, I love how the reversible part peeks through in the back! This particular version is made from a fabric remnant my husband brought me back from Africa. The houndstooth fabric is just remnants from prior projects.

I made three of these in an hour – how awesome is that!?  Here’s how you can too:

You’ll need to remnant pieces that you can cut to approximately 30″ x 12″. (That is just what I decided to do. You can make yours as wide and as long as you want. This size will make you what I call a “carpenter’s” length apron – just above mid thigh.) I cut mine out with right sides together so that I can go straight to the machine without turning the fabric. Just pick it up and sew. Also, I chose to round the bottom edges. Purely a matter of opinion.

For this particular apron, I wanted to add rick rack (and who cares that I didn’t have quite enough – I just started down a little lower…it’s MY apron!). So, I just sewed the rick rack to the rightside edge of one apron panel. Then I placed that panel on top of the other panel with right sides facing. I sewed along the rick rack stitch line to attach the two panels together. This way you can be sure that the rick rack appears as it should.

Turn your apron section right side out and press. Lovely! Sigh, take in the sights, so pretty!!!

Now to attach the tie/band … cut a long strip of fabric about 6″ in width and as long as you like. This one wrapped all the way around and tied in front. Others can just tie in back, whatever you want and have enough fabric for. Then press the center, and then press in about 1/2″ on each side.

Making sure to match up the centers of the apron panel and the apron tie – begin pinning the panel to the inside seam allowance like shown.

Then fold over the tie/band and pin in place as well. I stitch the apron panel and band together first, then stitch the rest of the tie … if you start at the tip of the tie and sew all the way down to the other tip, your band will have a tendency to shift, so sewing the panel and band first helps to avoid that. But it’s your apron – do what you want!

Okay hot mamma, you’re almost done!!! Try the apron on for size and mark where you’d like to trim your tie (assuming that you want to trim it!)

Now all you have to do is tuck in your edges on both sides and sew ’em up. YOU’RE DONE!!!

Don’t just stand there… admire yourself and the mirror … this is one awesomely easy apron!

And so is this one! Wait…what? They’re the same thing??? How amazing are you!?!

Here’s another combo I whipped up.

EXTRA EXTRA: if you end up cutting a fair amount off the tie, just turn it into a headband. Bam. You’re killin’ it!

So, I feel as if you don’t really need the “breakdown” because I’ve been pretty clear…but here it is anyway:

TIME:  I finished 3 in one hour, so 20 minutes.  ***That means that you’ll have to cut them out at the same time though.

COST: FREE if you use scraps like I did!  Not more than about $3-$5 if you purchase fabric.

Okay, now don’t just stand there…go make some and give them away!!!


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This project is exactly a sewing project …but I’m hoping you won’t mind – it does include some buttons, so that counts for something, right???

My middle daughter Ellie, who’s 5 years old, is quite a crafting officianado.  She is always looking for something to make, draw, bake, sew, you name it.  So the other day, while Rosamund was sleeping and the boys were totally disinterested otherwise occupied, Ellie and I sat down to make some BOBBIES! These are all over the hand-made scene, and some can be super expensive.  Ours, however, were NOT expensive … but you shouldn’t be too surprised by that. =)

Here is what we made in about 15 minutes – and for $8. (Sadly for us, nothing was on sale when we purchased these supplies … so realistically, you could make all this for $4 if you get the pieces at half off.)

I keep these supplies on hand because I like to send them to my Parsimony customers who’s dresses get delayed.  Of course, that almost never happens (cough cough)!  They’re really fun to receive so it’s super nice that they’re so easy.  You can ask the Austin Craft Crowd folks, and they’ll concur – easy breasy fleezy!

You’ll need flat topped bobby pins and items to glue on. At our Hobby Lobby, the bobby pins are $3 for about 12 or 16 pins. These flower dealies were $4 for 6 – you can find them in the scrapbooking section.

See the round disk that’s attached to the top of the bobby? These are SO much easier than trying to finagle something around/on top of a regular bobby pin. There’s only one store in Austin that sells these, so if you can’t find them in a store you can find tons on Etsy. Just search under supplies for bobby pins.

Since the disk makes the bobby pin fall on its side, I like to anchor my pins onto a piece of paper before gluing. This way everything stays upright and the embellishment goes on straight and clean. Plus, it gives them a nice spot to dry.

Yeah, so, this was a mommy-daughter project, but one of us was distracted. I won’t tell you who.

Now, just take your heated glue gun and dab a dollop of glue onto the center of your embellishment – or you can put the glue directly onto the bobby pin. Same results. Turn the embellishment over and push onto the disk. Let dry. Done. Bam. Bang. Finished. You’re awesome.

You’ll get something like this! Ellie refused to have her photo taken, but she did pretty well as photographer.

When we completed the six flowers, we broke out a button jar and glued buttons together then onto the bobby pins. I love these too!

So seriously y’all, don’t delay.  Go get these supplies and make these – then give them away!  Grown ups like them just as much as kiddos.  Just sayin’.  These are really fun to take to a woman who’s just had a baby – what an easy way to look cute without being clean!

Here’s the lowdown:

TIME: We made all 16 in about 15 minutes..and that includes figuring out our button combinations.

COST: in a word CHEAP!  We made 16 for $8 so that’s FIFTY CENTS a piece…. applause please.

Okay – please, if you make these, let me see your work – that makes me sooooo happy!


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What should you do when you have 9 minutes to kill …. think, think, think.

You could clean your bathroom.

You could clean out your refrigerator.

You could jog a mile.


I really really made this in less than 10 minutes!

If you got ten minutes to spare, read on for how to whip this up and have 30 seconds to spare.

Grab a skirt that comes close to the size you’re wanting and lay it on top of your fabric. Keep your fabric folded just like it comes. I knew I wanted the new skirt longer than the current one, so as you can see I left room at the bottom.

Then just cut out a rectangle-ish piece of fabric. You can see that I cut it a little longer at the top to accommodate the elastic casing, and again, I made it longer at the bottom. (yes, you can also see that I didn’t worry about making it a perfect rectangle. This is a summer skirt – it’s going to be flowy, relax a little!

Fold the fabric right sides together and align the selvedge edges. Serge or sew that edge. (the other edge is the fold so there’s no need to sew – score!)

Next, serge or narrow hem the top and bottom edges.

Your bottom edge is done, finished, bam! The top edge now needs an elastic casing, so fold over the top edge and press.

Sew all the way around the elastic casing, leave an opening at the side seam to insert your elastic.

Use the sample skirt to determine how long to make the elastic. I made the new skirt’s elastic slightly longer than the sample so Ellie can keep growing. (just squint if you’re having trouble seeing the blurry image!)

Using a safety pin, thread the elastic through the casing, then sew closed. Bam, your skirt is finished ….. AFTER you press down that side seam. Look at your clock – it should say approximately TEN MINUTES has passed!

The skirt you see here technically took 14 minutes – but that’s because I was taking photos along the way.  I wanted to see the “real” time so I made a second skirt for my other daughter using exactly the same process.  That time was 9 minutes!  I’m trying hard not to spit my Lacroix out of my nose because this is SO exciting!

This fabric makes me smile – I know they’re technically pears, but they make me think of lemonade!

Would you believe that each skirt cost me less than $2!?!? That’s cheaper than Savers people!

Now, yes, I know that this skirt is a total bare-bones skirt.  BUT WHO CARES!!!!????!!!!  If you pick out fabric that you love, you don’t need crazy ornate patterns, just let the fabric speak for its self!

Here’s the breakdown … and you seriously won’t believe this:

Time:  have I been stuttering?  In case you missed it, these skirts take 9 minutes!!!  (In the effort of full disclosure, I used a serger.  If you use a regular sewing machine, you might choose to do a double folded hem which will add about 2 minutes to the total.  Not bad if you ask me!)

Cost: Under $2!  I bought my fabric on sale for half price making it $3.50/yd.  The longest skirt was cut at 18″, making it $1.75 for fabric.  I had the elastic on hand, so I added just a quarter to the price since I didn’t use much.

These are awesome for a summer fun wardrobe that you don’t spend much on … you’ll be sooooo happy to let them get these all dirty and rotten because the expense and time burden are so super small.  Also, these are awesome for inexpensive but powerful birthday presents!

Lastly – you really really really can do this for a grown up too.  I am working on one for me as I type this – since my serger thread ran out, I thought I’d post the first two first.  Either way, it’s still a 9 minute skirt!

Go grab nine minutes, half a yard of fabric – and have fun!!!

Oh, and by the way – I’m certainly NOT the first person to create a fast skirt … for more ideas on making quick skirts (and a million other things, check out my friends over at All Free Sewing … every tutorial is free and easy!  I love this website!)


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Hey there friends and family and mystery sewers … how in the world are you???  I just realized it’s been about THREE WEEKS since my last confession post.  Gosh.  As we say here in Texas, “That ain’t right!”

You’ve probably guessed that my world has been a little rocked by my $35 Strapless Dress Revolution.  You are correct!  I’ve sold 35 dresses so far – HUGE THANK YOU to all of you!  So, I’m a little bit holed up on my sewing wall whenever my lame-non-sewing kids allow me the time.  Hopefully I’ll get caught up soon.

Anyway … I just couldn’t go another minute without passing along another easy project for y’all.  I realized today that I have never ever ever posted a tutorial for how to make a zipper pouch.  Seriously, y’all – how come no one has been harping???  Too late, you missed your chance because here’s a tutorial for how to make one of these little darlings:



And yes, it's even lined! I know - you're welcome!

How to Make a Lined Zipper Pouch – without a pattern! 


This may sound strange, but I prefer to start with the zipper .. meaning, the size of your zipper should determine the size (or atleast WIDTH) of your pouch. You'll want your zipper to be LONGER than the width of your fabric by atleast an inch or two on each side. This makes sewing up the sides so much easier!


I rarely measure, I just make sure that my fabric is narrower than my zipper - just like what you see here. You can make it as long as you want though. Decide on your outer fabric and cut two equal shapes.


Choose your lining fabric, and cut two more shapes the same size.


Now here's where you want to pay attention - we're going to be layering, and the order is very important. Start by placing one piece of your OUTER FABRIC face up. Then, along the upper width, place your zipper wrong size up and centered over the fabric.


See how the zipper pull is on the bottom not the top!


Now take one of your LINING pieces, and lay it on top of the zipper and outer fabric. You will want all three pieces (outer fabric, zipper, lining fabric) to align at the very top. You can pin if you prefer. No sew the two fabric pieces to the zipper.


When you open it up, it should look like this.


Okay, follow closely. Lay the remaining OUTER FABRIC piece face up. Turn your sewn section over so that the zipper pull is now on the opposite side but still facing down. Place the remaining LINING fabrin, on top of the entire set, face down. Look closely at the picture. You are aligning the two remaining fabric pieces at the top of the zipper, while the pieces already sewn are dangling down a little bit in the middle of the fabric sandwich.


Once you sew up the second size to the zipper, you'll have something that looks like this. Both OUTER FABRIC pieces on one side and the LINING pieces on the other, right sides facing each other.


And from another angle, this is what you'll see. Get excited now, because you are almost finished!


Lay out your pouch with the two sides separated. Unzip the zipper about halfway. Overlap the opening ends of the zipper just a bit. Now, sew a continuous seam all the way around the entire project - beginning with the lining and LEAVE AN OPENING for turning. (Apparently, my machine sews a straighter stitch than my fingers can draw one. relief!)


Clip the excess off the zipper at the sides, and then turn the pouch right side out by pulling everything through the opening. Use a pair of scissors to poke out the corners of the outer fabric.


Sew up that opening - and yes, duh, clip your fray thread! Then, tuck that little lining into your pouch....


And you got yourself a pouch that looks like this!


And it's beautiful on the inside too - are you as ecstatic as I am right now?!?!


If you want, you can tuck in the corners (okay, you can SEW them in also, but who has the extra 30 seconds to do that!?) and your pouch can stand on its own. Ta Da!

So there you go fun people – your very own lined zipper pouch in less than 10 minutes.  (DISCLAIMER: the first time will take you longer because your eyes get all whomperjawed trying to figure out the order and placement.  Don’t worry, it’s gets WAY faster!)

Here’s the breakdown:

Cost:  about $3 – depending upon which size zipper you get..cheaper if you thrift them or steal borrow them from your mother’s stash.  You can easily use scrap fabric, so there’s no charge there!

Time:  seriously and realistically – TEN MINUTES … if you give yourself a little longer for a time or two!

I love these.  I really really do.  Every time I make one I get a little bit happier in life.  I hope you do too!

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Oh my goodness … the last few days (and by few, I mean like a TON of a few!) have been hectic.  I told y’all that I’d pick a winner for the Boo Boo Bags giveaway two weeks ago … shocker!  I did not.  But I haven’t forgotten!!!!

I’ve been having a blast making dresses from my flash sale a few weeks ago AND >>> I’ve been coming up with a couple of new pieces to offer in my shop AND >>> I’ve been making aprons!

Here is my new Caftan Tunic (also available as a dress and a maxi dress) .. I'll be offering this in lots of different fabric combinations.

Just in case you'd like to see what it looks like on a real live person ... although, I've not had any coffee so I'm not technically "real live" yet! (sorry mom, I keep taking photos of myself without makeup!)

And this is my new Moonview Dress ... available in any color combination - great for those color blocking dreams of yours!

And finally - today's tutorial project : an apron made from a man's XXL button-up shirt. (which was thrifted for $2.50!)

Just like last week’s project, I saw this in a book somewhere … I would LOVE for you to believe that I can look at a shirt and say to myself “hey you, turn this into an apron!” … but I’m a horrible liar!  So settle for knowing that I didn’t create this idea, I’ve simply just executed it.  Just in case you don’t have a bookstore nearby that’s filled with lots of crafting books to read aimlessly, here’s a tutorial for How To Turn a Man’s Shirt into a Woman’s Apron!

Start by raiding your husband's or your father's side of the closet (or a thrift store) for a size XL or bigger button-up shirt. I got mine for $2.50 at Savers.

To make the bodice of the apron, unbutton the shirt, and cut off the lower half of the shirt. I cut up the righthand side to the armhole, then across to the button holes. (Here is the first of several gratuitous blurry photos! Hey, it's a FREE tutorial!)

Now cut off the rounded part at the bottom so you have a square or a rectangle, whichever shape makes more sense for your apron. NOTE: keep the button hole placket in tact.

You'll end up with something like this.

Now go to the back of the shirt - to make the skirt of the apron: cut up the left side to the armhole, then around the armhole to the upper back, cut across the upper back to the other armhole and straight down. Here you can see half of what you end up with.

Then cut a straight line from armhole to armhole. (Yes, you can skip this step if you're good eyeballing a straighline across.)


I put a couple of small pleats just off the center of the skirt portion, then I sewed the two pieces together.

If you have a serger, you're back side should look like this.

Now, cut yourself a long strip of contrasting/coordinating fabric to become the tie of the apron. Cut it twice the width you desire + seam allowances.

Sew the tube right sides together, then turn right side out and press.

Center the tube on the apron, and carefully sew it along the upper edge of the skirt - all the way across the seam of the bodice and the skirt - and continuing to the other side.

Tuck in the ends of the strip, press and stitch closed.

Form a casing at the top of the bodice to thread ribbon through. Then, duh, thread your ribbon. You're done! Bam!

Here's your cute little homemaker ditty. So fun, huh!?!

I chose to keep the bottom of the shirt in tact, so it's rounded at the bottom and not straight across. Why reinvent the seam!?!

So there you go … an easy repurpose project for cheap.  Here’s the breakdown:

Cost: If you have scrap fabric on  hand for the tie, then all you’ll pay for is a shirt.  Go cheap – you might be tempted to pay $8 for a nicer shirt but DON’T!  It’s an apron… the fun of this project is not the fabric but the fact that it used to be a man’s shirt … and now you have that shirt cooking in the kitchen!  Ha!

Time: If you are privileged enough to get to do this at one sitting, I think you can easily do this in one hour.  (unless you’ve got Parenthood on in the background)

Are you going to make one???

I know, I didn’t forget!!!

The winner of the giveaway for a set of Boo Boo Bags … is …. SUZANNA!

(Now, usually I’ll choose winners at random, but I feel obligated to choose Suzanna because she was able to identify the book that came up with the project!  This makes me soooo happy because let’s face it – good people give props to good people.  I’m working on being that good people kind of thing!)

Congratulations Suzanna.  I’ll get to work on your set of Boo Boo Bags this weekend!  Send me your address!

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