Vera Bradley Inspired Glasses Case Tutorial

Here's the inspiration:

And here's how you can do it and save $15 or more:

1. Cut out a large rectangle of your top fabric, liner, interfacing, & cotton batting. The black fabric will be the outside and the white with black circles is the liner. Cut out a strip of corresponding fabric that is as long as your rectangle. I used a ribbon, and its edges were finished so it made it a bit easier.

2. Stack them together (order does not matter), and fold in half.

3. Cut along two corners to make a slight curve. You could do this on the top & bottom to make more rounded. I only did the top, but on my next one I'll round the top and bottom.

4. Layer your fabric with the batting on the bottom, inside fabric face up, top fabric face down. Pin & sew along edges, leaving a two-inch opening for turning.

5. Cut corners, turn & iron flat. It will look like a decorative slice of Texas Toast.

6. Here's where you can get creative. I decided to replicate the Vera Bradley case & sew diamonds. Using a fabric marker or chalk, mark lines down the fabric in a diagonal fashion & sew using a corresponding thread.

7. Pin right-side up to your top fabric, a couple inches down from the top. Sew along the two sides.

8. Pin bias tape along all sides & top stitch all the way around. You can make your own bias tape using the same fabric, or use the store-bought version.

9. Fold in half, making sure the curved edges meet and the bottom is even. Pin & sew around the bottom & the open side. Backstitch at the opening a few times to make it sturdier.

Now your're finished! Slip in some frames & you're good to go. Pat yourself on the back for being crafty & for saving some money!



Friday Favorites: Paris edition.

It's been about a month since sis & I have returned to the States, but the memories of Paris are still vibrant and vivid in my mind. Here are some pictures that help capture the wonderful times we had (just a few more than four...).
As I've mentioned, we stayed with one of my friends who is studying over there, so it felt like we were living the life of a local. I loved PJ's quaint apartment; it was a perfect fit for one, yet comfortably housed three. The shower was like a phone booth.
The food. Everything was so fresh & delicious. Here is a picture from our first lunch in Paris. We started with an appetizer of hardboiled eggs with fresh mayonnaise and french bread, followed by the main course. For me, the main dish was warm apples, ham, and goat cheese in a cream sauce with a side salad. Tres great! Not to mention the crêpes by the Eiffel Tower. Hot & steamy on a cold stroll through the city. Simply heavenly! PJ there had a waffle instead of a crêpe, equally as delicious. And the other salad with--what's that? oh yeah--goat cheese.
The café. Coffee in America has been corrupted by conglomerate chains that want your pretty penny more than to give you a drink that tastes delicious and wakes your snoozing joints (in my humble opinion, of course). Not so in France. While the little espresso costs about as much as a blended U.S. coffee beverage, it was well worth every Euro cent! Smooth, rich, aromatic. All the things that coffee should be. No burnt flavor there! & it was a drink-in experience, no cardboard sleeves or to-go cups in sight. Served with the cutest little spoon & a few cubes of sugar. Loved it so much that I haven't had a cup of the "American" stuff since Paris.
The Eiffel at night. Who knew it sparkled?! Spoiler alert, it sparkles. Every hour on the hour for about five minutes. I think the tower lit up just accentuates its intricate architecture. It's not too shabby in the day either...
This lovely English bookstore that's right by Notre Dame.
The churches. Notre Dame has an amazing facade. The chapel of the Miraculous Medal is small and intimate, and one of the coolest churches I've ever been to for Mass. St. Catherine of Laboré's body is there uncorrupted!
The Arc de Triomphe, of course. So much bigger than I imagined.
The Catacombs. What a unique experience.

Rue du Bac is where it's at. The coolest boutiques I stumbled upon were all on this road (not to mention the Miraculous Medal chapel & La Grande Epicerie de Paris). My coveted Parisian kitchen towel is from a shop on this street. Along the way on Rue du Bac, I also bought some delightful olives, a delicate and femenine bracelet, and some stationery. Basically, all of my spending money was spent on this street alone.



Favorites Follow-through

Most of my Friday favorites do come with a follow-through. Here are some pictures of the most recent accomplishments.

This beautiful pillow, featured on this post, turned out great! I used glacier blue, a Kona cotton solid fabric that's soft & vibrant. It took me less than an hour to make this & it's so lovely. Don't forget to check out Sew Mama Sew because it's pillow month & February is quickly coming to a close.

Those vanilla beans I bought from Savory are lending all their yummy flavor to my homemade vanilla extract. This bottle is about 5 weeks underway, a little over halfway there! It gets a little darker every day. Can't wait!

Couldn't find my heart cookie cutter, but these cookies made Valentine's day special. The raspberry cream cheese frosting turned out fabulous! It couldn't have been easier. I used this sugar cookie recipe, which also turned out perfect!

That Nike collage from this post inspired me to buy a swim cap & goggles & hit the pool again! Another update: the Longchamps bags are not much cheaper in Paris after the currency conversion, so I have yet to own one. Soon enough...! & that fried goat cheese is amazing. SO good. No picture because I ate it as quick as I could.

Keep trying new things!


Four Favorites Friday: 02.18.11

1. Add this comfy floor cushion to my “to-craft” list! Great tutorial found here: via Living with Punks I love the blue & orange color combination she chose! & I'm new to using piping, but this looks completely doable!

2. Teavanna. I’ve only had the Youthberry Wild Orange Blossom tea blend, but let me tell you, it is out of control! The aroma alone teeters on the edge of heaven. The way to steep the tea makes it that much more fun. I cannot believe I haven’t known about this! *Crawls out from under rock* If you’re a tea fanatic, treat yourself to some of this tea. It is a bit pricey, but entirely worth it & packed with antioxidants!

3. Anthropologie has a new wedding line called BHLDN (short for Beholden) that they launched on Valentine’s Day. I’m not currently engaged to be married or even close, for that matter, but a girl can certainly swoon over the lovely dresses & accessories. So beautiful! Robin egg blue pumps? I’m in!

4. This website allows you to make all sorts of clothing collages. Piece together outfits, wish lists, and/or burn some time. I decided to do a Nike collage filled with workout-inspired clothes and accessories. It’s nice motivation to hit the pavement again. It’s not too late to keep up those New Year’s Resolutions to be fit! Collage by me.


Fall in LOVE with a color

Do you ever find a color that floats your fancy in a special way? I do. I seem to go through phases where I love a certain color so much that I begin seeing it everywhere and become smitten everytime I see it. Most recent color obsessions? Vermillion & robin egg blue. I love them separately & I love them together. Here are my most recent finds.

The dish towel is one of my favorite finds from Paris. Shoes: Gap. Scarf: Express. Fabric: Fancy Tiger Crafts. I love this fabric so much! Hello iPad case. Paper, bias tape, buttons: Joann. Nail polishes: Sally Hansen. Any color you can't get enough of?


Four Favorites of the Week: St. Valentine's Day Edition

As we all know, Valentine's Day is coming quick! This Monday! Here are some of the best things I've found that all have one thing in common: LOVE.

1. The Way to Love is Anthony de Mello's last meditation compiled into this short and powerful little book. The main message is that in order to love, we must give up our attachment and understand that happiness is attainable through oneself. de Mello combines a variety of philosophies that make this book truly unique.

2. This recipe sounds delicious! To make them even more fitting for the Valentine's Day occassion, try using a heart cookie cutter or making letters that spell a message. You could also use pre-made sugar cookie dough if you're in a time crunch. Raspberry cream cheese frosting? YUM!

3. Remember my paint swatch post? Well, this is a great (not to mention affordable) idea for making quick Valentine's cards that uses swatches too. This would be fun for little kids!

4. Hugh MacLeod runs a blog titled Gaping Void and he draws cartoons that are so deep and profound. This is one of my favorites, but he has numerous love-themed cartoons in his gallery that you can buy as prints. I think this would make a great gift (not to mention great wall decor) for your honey. 

One lesson I learned this week: don't take love for granted.

Have a very happy Valentine's Day & don't forget to tell the ones who mean the most to you that you love them!


Four Favorites Friday: Superbowl Edition

Here are some of the most delicious recipes I found that are sure to feed all the football-philes that will be grubbing this Sunday!

1. Our Best Bite's pizza rolls.
2. Gina Marie's Kitchen's hot corn dip.
3. On the healthier side of things, The Cilantropist's homemade hummus
4. The Girl Who Ate Everything's ham & cheese sliders.

Links to the recipes found below the pictures.

We all know who I'll be rooting for! *cough* GREEN BAY! *cough* Sidenote: when I was little I used to think they were called the "Green Day Packers," so my cousin has an embarrassing video of me singing a cheery tune rooting for "Green Day." At least I didn't make these mistakes! Anyway, eat up & enjoy!

One lesson I learned this week: the truth will set you free; free indeed.