The Slap Myself Silly So Simple Fabric House Ornament

Hello.  Today I wanted to share my love ... love ... love for fabric house ornaments and my love for Milk Duds. I tried my hand at one a few months ago but gave up on the little pieces in the pattern.  I was thinking on it again when I realized all that's needed is 2 pieces of fabric! So simple.

Ready? ...

I always cut out a paper pattern first, even for things using simple shapes.  The pattern saves a lot of time when cutting multiples and for keeping fabric pieces as straight as humanly possible.

I write my instructions on the pattern...see all my scribbles?  And although the ornament is made from 2 fabric pieces, I simply cut out one paper pattern and fold it on the cutting line for the roof or house before placing on the fabric. (The paper pattern is 6" wide x 5 3/4" high....p.s. don't pay any attention to numbers in the pic..heh)

Step 1 : Cut fabric pieces.  I have 3 patterns in different sizes.  This is my small house. So feel free to make your house fat, skinny, tall, or short.

  • Roof = 6" (length) x 2 3/4" (high)
  • House = 6" (length) x 3 1/4" (high)


Step 2 :  Add any embellishments such as windows or doors at this point if you wish.  Fold in half and sew center back seam (sewing seams = 1/4")

Step 3 :  Center the back seam in the back of the ornament. This of course, is not can simply leave the seam on the side.

Step 4 : Fold the house in half to find the center. Make a mark 3/8" from the top. Draw sewing lines for the roof as shown in the pic. ( Feel free to change up the shape of the roof )

Step 5 :  Add a cord for hanging, baste in place.  (After sewing the house, I decided to use a black ribbon attached with a button to replace the tie in the pic)

Step 6 : Sew roof lines, trim excess fabric.  Turn house inside out.

Step 7 :  Stuff or not (another option is to cut flannel or batting the shape of the house, place inside, then sew the closing)  Sew bottom closed using a ladder stitch, embroidery, or gathered.  I gathered the bottom to give the house a rounder look. I like it. Decorate. Tada!
A word on the embellishments..I attached the felt door at the end, which was a little difficult but doable. 

My son took one look at the house and asked...did you stuff it with candy?  Can you make me 8 of them for Halloween?  Oh yeah...this little pattern is very versatile! I plan to leave an opening in the back / side seam to stuff the house with candy and use ribbons or cords to close the gap.  What fun!

...and just think of the possibilities with this 'pattern'... house pot holders, house place mats, house pillows, house bookmarks, house sachets, house pin cushions, house tags ... and of course it should go without CHRISTMAS ornaments!


Yummy ... Make that Double Yummy ... Bread Pudding Pancakes

HMMMM...these bread pudding pancakes are so delicious. The pancakes are a bit heavier than regular pancakes but still with a soft, moist texture. And just look at the picture...yummmm.

I like the flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg in a bread pudding and had an OOPs moment with the cinnamon.

Instead of measuring the cinnamon ( a teaspoonful ) I decided to use the eyeball method & accidentally dumped in a huge mess of cinnamon! I was afraid that the amount of cinnamon may cause a bitterness but the flavors were just right. Whew.
I made these for dinner and there were no leftovers! ... and that's a good sign.

I found this recipe on one of my favorite foodie blogs

Bread Pudding Pancake

3 thick slices of crusty bread or more of sandwich bread, torn into chunks
cinnamon (optional)
2 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 large eggs
3 Tbsp. melted butter or canola oil
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
In a large bowl, toss bread chunks with cinnamon and pour milk and vanilla over top. Let stand, stirring once or twice, for about 15 minutes, until the bread has absorbed much of the milk.
In a small dish, stir together the eggs and butter or oil and stir into the bread mixture. Stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and add to the wet ingredients; stir just until combined.
Preheat a heavy skillet and spray with nonstick spray or drizzle with oil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Drop about 1/4 of batter at a time onto the skillet, spreading it out a little with a spatula if it’s too thick to do it itself. Cover with a lid and cook for a few minutes, until the bottom is golden and the pancake starts to look dry and bubbly around the edges. Flip, cover and cook until the other side is golden and the pancakes are cooked through. Serve warm, with sauteed bananas and/or maple syrup. Makes about 6 pancakes.

Rubber Stamp Carving : What a BIG FAT Mess

Welcome folks to my gallery of rubber stamp carving fiasco.  Starting from the lower right corner is my dog who later gave up his life to his fellow rubber stamp the little sheep in the middle who ended up with no legs.  After a couple carvings, I had the brilliant idea of using a cookie cutter to imprint the design.  But that idea sucked.  Oh having failed attempts pushed me to try something not easier..but harder..why? I don't brain is whacked is all I know. 

I was drawn to this girl and her bird. Cute but oh so difficult. Carving her and the bird was like performing surgery!  Just look at all these tools and eraser guts!
I carved and carved and carved.  Along the way, the bird lost parts of his wings, feet, eyes..then the girl lost part of her feet, nose, and lips.  Poor things.

Carving tools were stored until one day my inner resolved returned for another attempt.  And I'm happy it did!

 I simply love..LovE...LOVE my little scottie dog and kokeshi dolls.  What you say?  No eyes?  Haha. The carvings are still a bit rough but I'm ecstatic that after countless carvings, these stamps are half way decent. 

The carving tools are once again stored until...I feel the urge to make another big fat mess.

Look See My Cell Phone Pouch

Hi ~~ I wanted to show you pics of the cell phone pouch I made for ME ~~ I like it when I'm nice to myself.

I attached the straps to the center of the pouch.  This method was quicker than hand sewing the straps to the sides.

This is the view from the back.  See how the strap is attached between the main fabric and top fabric.

This is a close up of the front.  The front strap is a twill tape with cute brown flowers.  The covered fabric button helps to secure the strap to the pouch.  To finish the pouch, sashiko thread is sewn along the top edge and slightly gathered just because...

enjoy ~

How to Make a Kinda Sorta Simple Cell Phone Pouch

See the end of this post for other options for straps & closures

I confess... I'm guilty of tossing my cell phone into the depths of my handbag.  I end up cursing myself each time the the phone rings and my hand is forced into a frenzied search feeling for anything resembling a phone.

This seems silly I know.  After all, I've made pouches before.  But none for me.  Is this common for most crafters?  But this changed for me with this kinda sorta simple cell phone pouch.

Here goes ....

Step 1
  • Cut Main Fabric - 8" (length) x 4 1/2" (h) & Cut interfacing 7 1/2" (l)  x 4" (h)
  • Cut Lining Fabric - same size as Main Fabric (no interfacing)
  • Cut Top Fabric - 8" (l) x 3" (h) & Cut interfacing 7 1/2" (l)  x 2 1/2" (h)
  • Optional : Cut Strap - 11" (l) x 2" (h) & Cut interfacing 11" (l) x 1" (h) + You'll need hardware such as clasps and ring + 2 small buttons
  • Fuse interfacing to your fabric pieces according to manufacturer's instructions.  For strap, place interfacing in center of fabric.
Step 2
  • Note : Sewing seams = 1/4"
  • Pin and sew fabric as show in picture below

Step 3
  • Fold piece in half and pin sides and bottom
  • Sew all 3 edges; ; leaving a 2" gap on bottom of lining
  • Box corners (optional) - 1/2"
Step 4
  • Turn inside out through gap
  • Sew gap close (machine sew or hand sew with overcast stitches or ladder stitch)
Step 5
  • Push the lining inside of the pouch; including approximately half of the top fabric
  • Press your pouch...and that's it
  • BUT wait....there's more if you dare
Finished size : Approximately 3 1/2" (w) x 4 3/4" (h)
 If you want to add straps :
  • Fold strap fabric in half, press. Open, then fold each side towards pressed center line. Fold over. Top stitch.
Straps - Pic is from another project

  • Cut a 2 1/2" piece from strap
  • Add ring and hand sew to hide raw edges. ( I chose to hand sew straps because the machine sewing was too challenging for my sewing skills ! )
  • For machine sewing - Add ring, fold straps in half. Place raw edges about 3/8" from top of pouch. Sew 1/4" from raw edge.  Fold strap up so that the ring is now facing above the top edge of the pouch and raw edge is hidden behind the strap. Pin in place. You will later do a top stitch along the top edge of the pouch. This will secure the strap in place.

  •  Add swivel clasp to long strap piece. Push to one end of strap.  Fold over about 1".  Fold over to hide raw edge.  Top stitch in 2 places to secure clasp. ( I stitch over the strap then back stitch over the same sewing line to secure ). 
  • Hand stitch the opposite end to hide raw edge. 
  • For Machine stitching. Follow same instructions as short edge.  Before sewing, check to see that the strap is facing the correct way on your pouch. Finish the machine sewing method with a top stitch along the top edge of the pouch.

To finish straps the hand sewing method
  • Place the straps inside the pouch. Use the eyeball method for placement. 
  • Secure the straps in place with a button on each side  (this is the method I chose)

.... and there you have it ... was that easy or hard??

Other options
  • Instead of adding the straps to the sides, you can add to the center of the pouch.  To do this -
  1. Prepare your straps
  2. Find the middle of the front and back of the pouch. Do this carefully
  3. Pin long strap to one side in between the main fabric and top fabric. Place right side of strap to right side of main fabric. Check placement before sewing.
  4. Pin short strap to the other side
  5. Sew in place as you sew fabric pieces together
  6. You can leave as is or if you want to, add buttons or bows, etc to further secure straps to pouch. 
  7. P.S. I made this up so change it up to fit your style
  • Another option is to add a button closure by sewing a loop on one side and sewing a button on the other side.  You can secure the loop between the main fabric and top fabric in step 2.  Just be careful not to make too short of a loop. Otherwise the loop will smash the top of the pouch when secured to the button
  1. new type of handles
  2. simple loop style
This pouch will be going into my  happyhappydiy etsy shop....Oh, and yes, I did make one for my phone...hooray!

My Favorite Party Favor "Box"

A baby's first birthday is a BIG deal in Hawaii.  Many celebrate the event with HUGE birthday parties.  Not to be outdone, my little nephew Riley, celebrated his day with about 350 guests! Oh yeah...his party gang was more than mom and dad's wedding.

And guess who volunteered to do the favors??!?... yes, crazy me.

But not to worry. For Riley's party I turned to my favorite party favor; aka: the sour cream box favor.  This favor box is usually made with paper but the use of a photo makes this favor very economical.

Riley's birthday theme was Where the Wild Things Are.

The How: I found a picture of the King on the net (a thousand apologies to the artist) and with free scrapbooking downloads (, I created a 'picture' in Photoshop Elements. Photo printing at Walmart ranges 9 to 18 cents a photo. (Note: Photo developers will not print any photos using a commercial picture; hence I had to find one that was not from the movie or book).

Too much work? .. a fabulous photo is really all you need.  

With all the supplies and the chocolate macadamia nut HERSHEY KISSES (a special make for Hawaii), the favors' cost was a mere $100! ... Not bad for 350 favors.

The simplicity of this box makes it perfect for thank yous, 'birthday cards', and gift boxes.  

a photo box with my friend's cute kids

thank you photo box : scanned paper : stamped bird
gift box made with cardstock
Simple Construction:
  • Start with a rectangle (photo, design paper)
  • Apply double stick tape as follows :  Tip: Use a really good tape like SCOR tape to prevent box from splitting open.

  • Fold sides as follows : 
photo taken at a SF craft fair  

press bottom edges together

press top edges together to form a triangle
  • If you have a paper crimper tool, go ahead and crimp the top and bottom edges
  • Take your box to the next level with embellishments.  With a simple google search you'll find a lot of ideas from paper crafters turning this simple box into a work of "oohs and aahs".