a quilted tote!

After the successful foldover clutch that I made for my sister in law, I decided to try and adapt the instructions that I had from Elise Joy and make myself a tote!  I can’t share too many of the how to details but I will share the adaptations that I made  🙂

I kept the pattern of the bag and the dimensions the same as for the quilted clutch.  I changed up the colors from the one that I made for KJ though.


The big change that I made to the quilted foldover clutch instructions was to not plan to fold over the bag and to instead, sew on straps.  Using the same blue fabric I had on the main part of the bag, I made slightly larger than 1″ wide straps that were about 25″ long.  I added some quilted like details to tie into the rest of the bag.  The pink thread was used to actually form the straps and then the yellow thread details are only cosmetic 🙂  I like the way they turned out!



I then decided where to place the straps once the main part of the bag was sewn into the zipper.




I used a beige thread to build most of the bag and to sew it all together at the end.  A bright yellow thread was used to add the quilted details to the outside of the tote, the quilted details on the straps, and to attach the straps to the bag.  I used the bright pink thread to assemble the straps and to sew the last part of the liner together once that bag was pulled right side out.  🙂  All of that thread color changing meant that I had to continually switch out the thread and bobbin from my sewing machine.  It used to take me about 20 minutes to get everything back and ready to go after switching out a thread color…I’m finally much faster at it!  🙂


Just like the foldover clutch that I made before, this bag is made from a tough duck cloth with a nice, 100% cotton fabric lining it.  The zipper has gold hardware and adds a bit of bling to the bag….if you ask me 😉



What do you think?  🙂  I am SO excited to use it!




snow snow everywhere!

We had quite a bit of snow in Champaign-Urbana last week (as did much of the midwest)  🙂

After snuggling in bed for a few hours that morning…




…we all decided to brave the elements for a snow walk outside.  Snow walks are my favorite 🙂  There is fewer traffic on the road and the pups love the snow



When we got back home, Brett and I decided to shovel.  We admit that it was still definitely a snow storm outside…but that which one shovels now, one doesn’t have to shovel later.  That is a real saying right?  😉

Right after shoveling, the driveway and sidewalk looked like this…


One hour later they looked like this…


And a few hours later they looked like this 🙂


Needless to say some hot cocoa was required to warm back up!


Brett and I putzed around the house doing random things and working throughout the day.  By the next day the snowing had stopped but it was soooo cold outside 🙂  Brett and I worked from home while the city slowly plowed all of the streets.  Lots more snuggling was had by all too 🙂  I think that is my favorite part 🙂  (and the hot cocoa of course…who can’t resist chocolate?)  🙂



Brett and I hope that you all have been able to stay warm!

snapshots of holiday craziness – Christmas edition

I know that Christmas is now over and everyone is back home but I thought that I’d fill you all in on some of the fun parts of our festivities 🙂  We had a great time relaxing with my dad…and getting ready for all of the craziness of the Christmas holiday.  We saw family, had some fun around Southern Illinois with Brett’s family, and tried to keep the pups out of trouble 🙂


















Girly Wednesday ~ xxxvii ~ Darn Tough

The new year is upon us!  Much of the blogosphere is writing about New Years resolutions.  I have a few of those for sure…one of them is to keep “my chair” from becoming a problem in our bedroom (my chair is what happens when I continually place clothing on a particular chair until it becomes a monstrosity…and I can’t find any of the clothes I want to wear because they are all buried on the chair haha).  I also want to start walking with the girlies (our pups) everyday…the winter tends to put a damper on that.  It doesn’t really seem necessary to go into the rest of the list of resolutions though because what I’d really like to do in 2014 is to stay tough.  I want to take time for myself without second guessing it, to take care of myself without shaming, and to take hold of whatever experiences I can.

Here’s to being Darn Tough in 2014!