Thursday, October 28, 2010

Butterfly Costume - Making the Pettiskirt

This year I decided that my little girl would be a butterfly. After ordering the $8 wings from Amazon, I set out to find a simple tutorial to make a pettiskirt since I didn't want to spend $50 on one. Wow, I can see why they cost that much. The amount of chiffon and time put into this was amazing but the tutorial was very clear to follow and resulted in something I think my daughter will be able to use for the next few years at least! Below is a little slide show of the first few steps to get you started. Follow the rest of the steps over here at! I'll post more pics of her in the costume after Halloween. Enjoy!

Sam Jam Creations – The logo

Lately I've been really attaching myself to this sewing thing. I really do enjoy it when I have the time. I like the rewarding feeling of completing a project that isn't half bad. And even more I like the sense if pride I get from giving the finished project to its rightful owner. I haven't kept many projects for myself because frankly I just love the look on people's faces when you give them something and they admire how much work you put into it. It's a feeling like no other.

So comes the inception of SamJam Creations. I decided that since I enjoy doing it, I should start figuring out what I enjoy about it and maybe eventually I can follow the American Dream of doing what I love.

I created a logo and everything… does that make it official? Probably not, but at least it's something to put on the labels?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Office 2010 Real Stories

I’m excited to announce that I will be testing out Microsoft Office 2010 for the next few months. I’ve already been using it for work but haven’t really been able to dig into the features that I would use in my day-to-day personal life. Just having it for a short time, one of the features that I’m really stoked about is the ability to bridge Microsoft Office with my blog. So instead of having to compose and edit my posts online, I can edit them in Windows Live Writer, with all the features like photo editing and inserting videos. I think this will really help me keep on track with the blogging thing, which I’ve obviously been relaxed about lately. One of my goals is to really make this blog something special where I can share all my crafting conquests and defeats. We’ll see. I think this is the start of something good. Smile

Monday, June 28, 2010

Laina's 1st Birthday Party

We had a great time celebrating Laina's first birthday party. It poured rain just before the party was about to start but then the clouds parted to a beautiful afternoon! Laina really enjoyed her cupcake (although she wasn't sure about the icing and really wasn't sure about everyone staring at her while she ate it...). She got lots of great presents including clothes, toys and some keepsakes like a silver engraved cup from "GG" aka Great Grandmother Elaine.
I tried to make everything I could from the cupcake picks to the happy birthday pennant banner to the shrimp & watermelon ceviche. The light was incredible that day which meant all the pictures came out wonky. Enjoy nonetheless. I also have some links to the areas I got inspiration from below:

Inspiration list:
Tom Kat Studio for the cupcake picks
Tissue Paper Pom-Poms from Martha

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Wedding Tree Guestbook

As far as I'm concerned, the wedding guestbook is useless. I've never once looked back at mine nor do I think I'll ever do so. If I don't remember that you were at my wedding (though my wedding was huge) then I'm certainly not going to remember if I see your name on a page in your haphazardly scribed signature/writing in a bound album covered with white satin and the obligatory white tulle bow...

So when a close friend was getting married, and she's already prone to non-traditional things, I sought out creative things that I could help with. One thing I came across in my blog obsession aka affair was a wedding tree. I first saw it here. And after suggesting it to the bride and obtaining her approval, she gave me full rein to make this happen for her day.

I got a Michael's Coupon for 50% off canvases and combined that with a sale that was already going on... and voila! I had purchased 2 large canvases for about $3.

Next, I worked on painting the tree. I searched for a tree that I liked and printed it out to scale for the canvas. Then using a charcoal pencil I traced the outline of the tree. Flip that puppy over onto the canvas and I had a good start for painting the tree.

I then went to work painting the tree. Estimating the number of "leaf"s I'd have to accommodate, I added a few branches here and there.

Pretty soon, she was a lookin' good!

I got a few pictures of the final product.

For the thumbprint "Leaf"s I purchased some ink in the colors of green, brown and a lime-ish shade. They worked really well.

Don't forget the pen to have them sign, I used a sharpie like this. And, also baby wipes for guests to wipe off their thumb afterward.

Overall, it was a hit! And I think it's truly a guestbook that they will be able to enjoy for years to come. Only time will tell I guess. :) 

If you want to see the rest of the pics from that day, you can see them at my personal family blog here.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Camera Straps

After finding this tutorial from @PriddyCreations, I decided to make a camera strap cover for my boring Sony Alpha Camera Strap. Now I don't consider myself a professional anything, photog, sewer (seamstress, whatever you call people who sew) or cook. But I'm mildly good at all of them... well maybe not that far.

I can follow instructions. As long as I can find a tutorial written for a total idiot then I can sew anything. A good recipe that doesn't include too many big words or fancy ingredients is all I need to make a good dinner.

Photography has always been something that is not that easy. You have to have an eye for the right image. I have chosen just to shoot about 4,000 images to get one I like. But nonetheless, I have a nice fancy camera that I use regularly. I made this strap cover with limited trouble. She had good instructions.

So after feeling a little success, I got brave. I texted my cousin who takes BEAUTIFUL pictures you can see here. I secretly covet her talent. I asked her if she needed a new camera strap (forgetting to include the word 'cover') and she enthusiastically said 'Yes!' and that she really needed one that was long enough to sling over her shoulder. She is into wedding season now and will be on her Pregnant feet all summer. So, I figured i could easily adapt the tutorial from Priddy Creations and make the full strap. I used a dog collar for the straps and cut up an old makeup bag for the end parts that attach the straps. I think she really liked it. Go me!

I had to cut off my head so you wouldn't see the atrociousness of me without makeup.

Next up, I think I'll give the ruffle camera strap a try with the U Create June Challenge!

U Create

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Frozen Strawberry Jam

Strawberries are in season which means it's time to make a big batch of Frozen Strawberry Jam. After rave reviews from the family on this particular one, I've kept it in the rotation of things I make. Other ones, like the pear & cherry chutney have fallen by the wayside mostly because, in my personal opinion, it tasted like ass. Maybe I just don't like Chutney, or maybe it was awful chutney... either way, I'm giving away the last few jars to my friend (who for some reason liked it) and never going there again. There should be a guideline for people. "Try this recipe if you're weird and like weird things" instead of "this is the best recipe ever!" because the latter is just not true.

Ok, so this weekend I'm going to go buy a big mess of strawberries and put up the jam. I am one for following the recipe on the back of the package but I'm thinking I may try a little lavender or vanilla.... just because I think it sounds a little fancy. 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Have you ever been completely consumed by email and projects? I feel like lately I've been so behind on so many projects, personally and at work. And email makes it so much worse.

I'm one of those people who needs to check her blackberry every time it rings. I need to know who is trying to get in touch with me. It almost makes my heart have little mini palpitations when the little envelope, signifying new mail, comes up. What if it's something bad?

Lately I've begun to wonder what would happen if I just turned it all off for a few hours a day. Work diligently to get a project FINISHED... imagine that... and then go back to electronic world. Believe me I'm normally a geek. I mean I went to the Apple store and picked up my reserved iPad the day they came out... yes, I'm a geek. So the thought of turning it all off makes me feel like I'd be neglecting something but honestly aren't I neglecting the very things that need to get completed anyway? So the only thing getting accomplished here is me panicking every time the email light goes off.

OK, that's it. I've decided. I'm unplugging for a while. See you on the flip side. Hopefully I'll have a completed project to share.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Learning To Sew

Last November, my husband surprised me by bringing home a brand new Singer Confidence Quilter Sewing Machine from Joann's.  Not only was I surprised, I was crazy excited to finally learn how to sew. His mom & sister both are highly capable in this area and I was anxious to get into it. I took a class at Joann's for beginners in January and away I went! Now, I have a full host of things I've tried out so far. I've quickly learned that you can find small project Do It Yourself (DIY) instructions online for free so I have yet to buy a pattern! I don't know that I'm that interested in making clothes for myself so I may just stick to these small 1-2 hour projects. It's so rewarding!

Here are a few things I made, linked back to the site where I got the tutorial.

Reversible Purse - Small Handbag on Martha Stewart. Mom and I planned to use these for the Derby but since it rained it's still sitting unused. I think I may wear it to Jazzoo 2010.

Nursing Cover on Prudent Baby I found this tutorial and have no made several nursing covers. It's so easy and such a great gift! I have a few more to make for new mommies and I'm thinking I may try a few variances, but this is a crowd pleaser for sure!

Little Pillowcase Dress for my daughter also from Prudent Baby- This one was a little more difficult than I initially anticipated but it taught me a lot, like how to use bias tape and that if you don't do something with the edge of the ribbon, it frays terribly in the wash and gets all over everything else. :) She wore it on Easter and it was a little chilly so we layered it but it was still a hit!

Stay tuned for more projects!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Welcome to my canning experiment!

As the new year came around I always try to set goals for myself. One thing about this year that really struck me was my new found appreciation for canning. I've had the idea for a while to start canning different types of jams, jellies, etc and call it "Sam Jam". So, this year, 2010, I am embarking on the first step of making this concept into a reality. My main focus will be trying new recipes and finding the right flavors for the line. I hope to use this blog as a way to talk about the hits & misses that I encounter along the way. No matter where it leads, I know it will be fun and a creative outlet.

Thank you for reading along with me and I hope to make you laugh right along side me. Leave your comments of your experiences and recipe recommendations!

See you in the kitchen...