Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tuesday Tutorial --- Dog Coat

My goal this last month of this year is to have a new tutorial for you each week.   Today I am sharing with you a dog coat I made for our small dog,  Shadow.      This would be a great gift for your pet for Christmas.

You can make a couple of changes if you want to try making it for a larger dog.    Just measure your dog from his neck to his tail and from the middle of one of his sides to the middle of his other side to get your pet's dimensions.   Widen and lengthen the pattern to those sizes,  adding the extra inches along the fold edge and along the bottom.    You will also most likely need to lengthen the under belly strap.
The batting is optional depending on where you live.   Use the batting in very cold climates.


1/2 yd of fleece
1/2 yd of flannel
optional---1/2 yd of cotton batting
two pieces of velcro,  2 inch x 3 inch and 2 inch by 1 inch
matching thread

Pattern pieces can be downloaded here.
Piece One
Piece Two


Tape the two coat pattern pieces together at points A and B.    From the fleece, flannel and batting if you are using it,   cut one pattern piece on the fold from each.   One side of the front closure tabs needs to be cut on the second cutting line.

Cut one strap piece each from the fleece and flannel fabrics.

Lay the strap pieces right sides together and sew in a 1/4 inch seam allowance,  leaving one short end open for turning.   Turn right side out and topstitch around the edges.
Next lay the fleece right sides together on top of the flannel.   If you are using the batting,  place this underneath the flannel.  Pin together.  

Take the strap and insert it inside the fabric so that the fleece is facing the fleece side of the strap.  Pin together.

Stitch all around the coat,  leaving the opening at the bottom unsewn so you can turn the coat right side out.
Clip the two curves at the sides of the collar and then turn right side out.   Pin the opening closed.   Topstitch all around the coat along the edge.

The last thing you need to do is to sew the velcro to the front straps and the under belly strap.
Sew one half of the velcro to the flannel side of the straps.

Turn the coat over and sew the other velcro pieces to the fleece matching the under belly end of the strap to the same area on the coat where the strap will meet it.

And that is all there is to it,   Here is the finished coat.   This is an under an hour project for an experienced sewer.    Shadow loves his coats and lives in them all winter.

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial.   Next week I will have a tutorial for an easy Christmas table runner.
Copyright 2001  Bette Shaw

Monday, November 29, 2010

Organizing - Money Saving Tips & Tricks for Organizing Your Home for the Holidays

Today's post is from guest writer, Deana Barnhart of www.momstheglue.blogspot.com

Holidays can be a mad rush for moms with small children. Rushing from one party to another, finding storage places for all of the new gifts, preparing special treats, wrapping presents, and entertaining guests can become so hectic that the joy of the season is often lost. On top of all of this activity is the worry that money will just not stretch far enough to purchase seasonal supplies and decorations for entertaining. Thankfully, a sense of humor, a bit of patience, and a little organization can keep your home running smoothly so that everyone, including Mom, can have a great time during holiday gatherings.


Whether cleaning or decorating, the holiday season calls for speed. When preparing for an onslaught of guests, these time and money saving tips might be helpful:

• Put a large decorative basket in each room adorned with a Christmas bow. When unexpected guests arrive or you have just a moment before having to leave for the next party, a quick run through each room will have the clutter out of sight in no time.

• Throw a festive tablecloth over wooden surfaces so dusting is unnecessary. Once quick shake of the cloth, and you are finished.

• Cover old couches with new slipcovers to hide stains and rips or to give a new festive appearance to worn upholstery. They will also serve to protect furnishings from accidental spills during holiday parties.

• Use items already in place, but add a decorative holiday touch. Put Christmas ornaments in flower pots; tie holiday ribbons around lamps, and use Christmas lights and candy canes in floral arrangements.

• Use cheap holiday placemats in every room to give a festive effect.


Children love to help and can add special holiday excitement to any home. The following ideas will keep the children busy and provide conversation pieces that your guests will adore:

• Gather some rocks, big and little; spray paint in silver, gold, or green. Give the little ones some water based paint and let them create Christmas masterpieces. Depending on their ages; you might let them cut out old scenes from Christmas cards and glue them onto the rocks. Arrange as a grouping with glittered pine cones and holly leaves.

• Bring in a small branch from a pine and place in a flower pot. Make sugar cookies in holiday shapes and string with ribbon to help the children make a Charlie Brown tree for their own rooms. They can also string popcorn or cranberries to make garlands for the tree and hang candy canes as well.

• Give each child a large Christmas sack after breakfast each morning. Set a timer for five minutes. Have a small gift waiting if they can fill up their bag with clutter before the timer goes off. Play holiday music to make this fun for everyone.

Let the magic of the season inspire your decorative efforts. Most of all, always take time to share plenty of hugs and kisses and remember to enjoy yourself as well!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Blog Party Sunday --- Show Off Your Cyber Monday Sales

Cyber Monday is supposed to be the busiest online retail day of the year.   So here is your chance to show off you handmade items you will be selling tomorrow.

The rules are simple:

1. Follow our blog

2. Handmade items only.

3. You may list up to 3 items.

4. Family friendly items only.

The success of this link party depends on the participants so spread the word to your friends, visit the shops, post about it on your blog, in a forum or on your favorite social networking site, grab the button and put it on your blog or website.

Just click on the Add Your Link button at the end of this post and add your items.

And if you would like to add a link to the party you can grab this button below.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Delights

Wishing all of our readers a Happy Thanksgiving...

Thanksgiving Delights

On Thanksgiving Day we’re thankful for
Our blessings all year through,
For family we dearly love,
For good friends, old and new.

For sun to light and warm our days,
For stars that glow at night,
For trees of green and skies of blue,
And puffy clouds of white.

We’re grateful for our eyes that see
The beauty all around,
For arms to hug, and legs to walk,
And ears to hear each sound.

The list of all we’re grateful for
Would fill a great big book;
Our thankful hearts find new delights
Everywhere we look!

By Joanna Fuchs

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tuesday Tutorial ---- Christmas Ornaments

With a long school vacation coming up this weekend,  I thought these cute,  easy ornaments would be something fun for the whole family to make.

Faux Quilted CD Ornament

These are really cute no sew ornaments made over used cd's.    The tutorial can be found on Helenismos.

Easy Photo Christmas Ornaments

Kids would love to see their pictures on the tree.   Tutorial by  Fawnda Norman.

Rag Quilted Christmas Tree Ball Ornament

This one does require some sewing but rag quilting is an easy beginner sewing project.   Tutorial by Rag Quilt Classroom. 

I hope you find time to make some memories with your children this holiday weekend.

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Organizing - Rounding Up Your Recipes

It's that time of year when a lot of us will be doing our holiday cooking. Time to dig out those favorite recipes and get busy.

Are your recipes organized? Mine aren't. I have things stuffed in the back of my cookbooks, in a box... oh they ARE a mess and I really need to do something with them. But what should I do with them?

Shari of www.mattandshari.com has some really helpful tips in this video. I think it's time for me to find a solution for mine.

Thanks for joining us again today - happy organizing!
Deena Davis

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Blog Party Sunday ---- What Did You Make This Week

It's party time again.   What did you make this week to sell for the holiday gift buying season?

The rules are simple:

1. Follow our blog

2. Handmade items only.

3. You may list up to 3 items.

4. Family friendly items only.

The success of this link party depends on the participants so spread the word to your friends, visit the shops, post about it on your blog, in a forum or on your favorite social networking site, grab the button and put it on your blog or website.

Just click on the Add Your Link button at the end of this post and add your items.

And if you would like to add a link to the party you can grab this button below.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Handmade Sampler Giveaway -- Christmas Stitchery Pillow DONE

Welcome to another Handmade Sampler Giveaway. Today's giveaway is sponsored by Annie of Cornerstone Primitives.

Enter to win this lovely hand stitched Christmas pillow made by Annie.

You can earn up to three entries by doing the following...

1. Visit Annie's Etsy shop,  http://www.etsy.com/shop/CornerstonePrims  and come back here and post a comment with your favorite item in her shop. Be sure and leave your email address so we can contact you if you win.

2. Earn one extra entry by becoming a follower or reader of this blog. Already a follower? Just let us know so we can give you credit.

3. Earn an extra entry by posting this giveaway on your blog along with a link to this blog. Be sure and let us know you have done this.

(USA entries only, please)

The giveaway will start today, Saturday,  November 20. The last day to enter will be Dec. 9, 2010 and the winner will be announced on Dec. 10, 2010. We will announce it here and contact you by the email address you have left.

Have fun and good luck!

Would you like to sponsor a giveaway? Are you interested in promoting your store or blog. If so, just email us.
We would be happy to send you the details. byyourhandsblog@gmail.com

Friday, November 19, 2010

We Have A Winner For the Christmas Ornaments

Congratulations to Barb from Utah  on winning these wonderful Christmas Ornaments.

Meet Barb on her blog,  http://barbsheartstrokes.blogspot.com/

The winner was picked using the true generator on Random.org. We want to thank all of you who took the time to enter and for all the wonderful comments.

We want to thank all our talented designers for donating their ornaments to this giveaway.  Be sure to visit their websites listed below to see all the wonderful things they make.

1.    http://www.etsy.com/shop/WanderingWhimsies  
2.    http://www.etsy.com/shop/SnugglebugBlessins
3.    http://www.etsy.com/shop/MotherlodeToad
4.    http://www.artfire.com/users/smidgen (Sharon Neths Treasures)
5.    http://www.etsy.com/shop/CreeksideWhimsies
6.    http://www.etsy.com/shop/CozyExpressions
7.    http://www.etsy.com/shop/PrimitiveSeason
8.    http://www.etsy.com/shop/EweNMePrintables
9.    http://www.etsy.com/shop/GobblernobPrimitives
10.  http://www.etsy.com/shop/CornerstonePrims
11.  http://www.etsy.com/shop/Primgal
12.  http://www.etsy.com/shop/HandmadeByBette
13.  http://www.etsy.com/shop/PrimOuthouse
14.  http://www.etsy.com/shop/SadiesSnippets   
15.  http://www.etsy.com/shop/WoodworkerOnWheels

Be sure and come back again tomorrow as we will have a new giveaway starting that you won't want to miss.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Today's Featured Artist - Katrinshine

Today's featured artist is Katrin from http://www.Katrinshine.etsy.com 

Tell us a little about you?

    My name is Ekaterina Fedotova. I'm from Russia but I’m now living in South Italy. For the last 2.5 years I have been  living in Brindisi.

How long have you been in business?
    About one year ago I opened my Etsy shop.  Before I have never sold my creations.  I only made them as gifts.

How did you get started?
Until 1 year ago I had never heard about Etsy. But after moving to Italy I didn’t find  work and decided to open an online shop. After browsing the Internet I found Etsy.

What kind of crafts do you make?
     I make recycled leather jewelry and accessories: pendants, earrings, shoe clips, bobby pins. Other direction of my creations is fabric jewelry: necklaces, bracelets, earrings.
I sew quilted bags and pillows in particular Patchwork Spiral style. Also I make custom made
corsets and medieval dresses.

 What inspires you?
       I am inspired from colours and textures.  When I see some amazing fabric I at once have many ideas on what I can create from it. 
Brindisi is a small antique town in the south of Italy, in region of Puglia. It’s the region of vine and olives, it has long history and many traditions, and it inspires me so much.

What is your favorite thing to make?
      I like to create Patchwork bags, because every bag is unique and original, it’s impossible to repeat it. Also I like to sew historical dresses because I like to participate in historical festivals.

Do you have set hours to work?
    I wake up with my husband and after he has gone to a work I go to the computer to look at my e-mail, blog, twitter, facebook etc.  I check in on forums quickly and promote my store. Then use  my morning to create new items, and to make and edit photos. In the afternoon I  do my homework, and  study because I do postgraduate studies.
I work at home. My studio is placed on the veranda where there is a lot of light, air and space. I also have a special wardrobe, because I work with fabric and need space to keep it in.

What are your future plans for your business?
I would love to open a real business, trade marked – not just working at home.

What does handcrafting mean to you?
    It’s something made by your hands or the hands of other people. It’s something that is difficult to make again and impossible to find similar.
Where do you sell your crafts at?
On Etsy:    http://www.Katrinshine.etsy.com

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Handmade Spotlight - Christmas Gift Tags

Wouldn't your Christmas packages look lovely with these gorgeous tags tied on them. Take a closer look at each one by clicking on the photo. They can all be purchased from ArtFire.com