Saturday, May 30, 2009


I have to brag a bit on myself today, because I accomplished something so uncharacteristic that I could hardly believe it myself!

Today was my hometown's annual summer celebration. Every year, our church has a food booth where we serve brats and sloppy joes or hamburgers. This year, we also hosted a dart throwing booth for kids to win prizes. While I was helping with the food, Lil' Kay was running around with Grandma and his cousin. He came running up to the table where I was serving and begged me with his big brown eyes to come and try to win him a prize. Apparently, he and Grandma had made multiple attempts (and spent about $8) trying to win something.

Now, I am the MOST uncoordinated, unathletic person you will ever find. I'm terrible at hitting targets. I tried to tell him I wouldn't be much help, but he was so insistent. So, I followed him over to the booth, telling him the entire time that I wasn't good at this stuff, and we probably wouldn't win anything.

It was $1 for three throws. I paid for six throws hoping to increase my odds! The good news was that he had his eye on a small prize which only required that I hit two balloons instead of three. My first throw was pathetic! I didn't even make it to the board. I hit TWO balloons with my second throw and one with my third throw. Then they told me I could rethrow my first dart, because I didn't even hit the board. Anyhoo, I managed to win him a BIG prize! He chose this big stuffed parrot which he plans to use for playing pirate. I feel like the coolest mom in the world. So, we're both winners!

(My second round of three throws was embarrassing...)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Shifting Gears

I've decided to change the look and direction of BeckyKay Designs just a little bit. I've still got bags listed in my shop and will probably go back to making more at some point, but I have a fairly short attention span. The fact that I've been making handbags for three or four years is pretty much miraculous. I recently gave myself permission to try out some new projects, and I'm thrilled with the results.

Tonight I listed my first patchwork puppy for sale on Etsy. He's adorable and I love him to bits, but I hope to find a good home for him! He's a vintage-inspired creation and reminds me of the kind of stuff that would be auctioned off at my grandma's annual church bazaar.
Keep an eye out for more puppies and some new potholders, too!

Monday, May 18, 2009


I was tagged by Leanne at Folk Craft. Do go check out her blog! She always has pretty pictures and inspiring projects! (And she's part of Wichita Handmade!)
The rules...

The tag is ALWAYS & NEVERS • list "5 fashion always-es"• {things you always like or cannot do without}• for you personally• conversely, list "5 fashion nevers"• {things you would not be caught dead in}• for you personally• then tag 3 bloggers

  • A watch - Without a watch, I feel totally naked. I have several, including a plastic lavender Hello Kitty digital one that I wear with t-shirts and jeans.
  • Pantyhose - People give me crap for it, but dammit, my legs look better in hose! If I'm wearing a skirt or dress, especially in fall and winter, I'll be wearing hose.
  • Boots - During the winter, I wear boots all the time. High boots with skirts and my clunky Lands End boots with jeans.
  • Capri pants - I am so very thankful that capri pants came back into vogue a few years back. They have saved me from having to wear shorts.
  • Earrings - I almost always have in two pairs of earrings. I didn't go through the emotional stress of getting those four holes in my head to just leave them empty!


  • Crocs - I am absolutely morally opposed to ever wearing these shoes. I'm not a nurse. It's okay for nurses to wear them, but not regular folks. There are so many cute shoes out there, why would you put rubber milk crates on your feet?
  • Fingernail polish - I think it looks beautiful, but it only last for about five minutes on me. Then I've bumped them or scratched them and can't stand the way it looks anymore. Toenail polish is more manageable.
  • Lipstick - I don't like the way it feels on my lips, and it never stays put.
  • Shorts - Unless it is absolutely unavoidable, I will not wear shorts. They make my legs look fatter and paler than they already are.
  • Very short hair - I look ridiculous. My hair is too fine to style much, so it just lays there. And it totally emphasizes my giraffe-like neck.

There you have it! 5 Always & 5 Nevers! I am tagging The Thrifty Stylist, Tia, and Dawn!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Vintage Idea with a Modern Twist

I have to admit that lately I've been a bit burned out on making purses. It just doesn't excite me the way it used to. So, I've given myself the go ahead to try out some new projects. I've been really interested in searching out vintage and retro style crafts that I believe can be brought back. I've been thinking about these patchwork puppies for a while now. I remember either having one of these or at least playing with one at my grandma's house when I was little.

This weekend, I decided to tackle the project, and I'm very excited with how it turned out! I need a bit more practice in making my corners sharp, but isn't she adorable?? I don't have much of a sense of size when I'm working on a project, so I don't really know how big it will turn out until it's done. This puppy is 18 inches tall and 18 inches from tail to nose! Bigger than I expected!

I think it would make not just a great children's toy, but a fun couch pillow if made with more sophisticated fabrics. Tell me what you think! I'm gonna go make another...

Friday, May 15, 2009

Mother's Day Gifts

Being a total procrastinator and a little short on cash these days, I decided to make my Mother's Day gifts on Saturday afternoon. Never made a potholder in my life, unless you count those ones I made as a kid on my little plastic loom out of those stretchy loops of knit fabric. (I really want another of those looms!)

Anyway, I decided to dig through my stash of scrap fabric and some up with a few coordinating scraps to turn into pretty potholders. And I'm pretty darn pleased with the results! These are about 9 or 10 inches square, so they're great for sitting hot pans on. Two years ago for Christmas, I got this great Sublime Stitching embroidery pattern transfer book, which I still hadn't used. The patterns inside were absolutely perfect for my potholders.

The red and black one was given to my mom and the pink one went to my grandma. I've also made another for my mother-in-law, but didn't get a picture of it.

Anyway, I had a good time trying out a new project. I'll probably be making more! These days, I've given myself permission to not worry so much about making purses for my shop. Instead, I'm going to work on some other items that have been brewing in my head and see what happens! It's exciting and fun and has given me a new interest in sewing!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I did it! I finished the pinata in time for the party! I gave him some googly eyes, glued red paper in his mouth for a tongue, cut out teeny tiny claws from white cardstock, and Mr. Kay designed his back plates and helped me stick them on. I couldn't be more proud!
And, then, the second kid up at the party gave it a good hard smack and broke it in half! Note to self: reinforce the area between balloons with more papier mache. That's a picture of Lil' Kay taking a whack at the monster. It was his friend Sam who broke the darn thing open, but none of the other kids seemed to mind not getting their chance. They were too busy snagging the candy and toys!
So, will I ever make another pinata? Probably, but it's highly likely that the next one will be a less ambitious design.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Attack is Imminent

The party is tomorrow and, no, the pinata is still not done. I knew this would happen. I work best under pressure. But, it is ALMOST done. I used more newspaper and masking tape to create the legs and then stuffed a newspaper cone with more wadded up newspaper to make the tail. Everything was attached to the body with more masking tape! And, lo and behold, Godzilla was able to stand on his own! I didn't really plan that, but hurray!! I again covered the new parts with more papier mache. Unfortunately, the first layer on the tail tore, so I had to fix that once everything else had dried.

Finally, I was done with the papier mache part and got to start decorating the pinata. I discovered that this is my favorite part. I used crepe paper streamers and cut through several layers of the roll to get a stack of pieces that were about a foot in length. Then I cut slits in the strips about two thirds through the streamer every half inch or so. (There are very good instructions for this at Pinata Boy.) Using Elmer's glue, I started at the tail and glued the strips to the pinata working my way from the bottom up.

Then I remembered that I'd better cut a hole in the pinata so I'd have a way to fill it! I used a regular paring knife to cut a square in the back. I also made a bunch of slits in the bottom part of the body to weaken the pinata a bit. Papier mache is surprisingly sturdy, and I'd hate to have the guests spend all day trying to break an unbreakable pinata!

I continued to cover the pinata with the crepe paper strips from the bottom of the back of the pinata on up. Then I did the front, the arms and legs and finally, the head. For the nose and mouth that I didn't want to look so "fluffy", I used unfringed crepe paper and just wrapped the parts with it.

I did have a bit of trouble with some white spots showing through the crepe paper. Perhaps, I could have put the strips of streamer closer together or even painted the entire thing black before glueing on the crepe paper, but hey, it's a pinata! By this time tomorrow, it will be in a million pieces!

So, I now have a fully covered Godzilla pinata. The only things left to do are add the eyes, paint the claws, put in teeth and do the
plates (I'm told they are plates and not spikes) down the back.
Now, all I ask is that you all pray it doesn't rain tomorrow. I don't particularly want 6 year old boys beating up a pinata in my living