Author Archives: Elizabeth Kartchner

diy: crepe ruffle sweater

This sweater was sitting in my closet lonely and bored. I thought I should lift its spirits with a crepe-ruffle edge to give it new life & ready for Spring. It was surprisingly quick to do and easier than I expected.

1 Choose a fabric that has some texture and is pretty thin
2 Cut two strips of fabric at 4″x 40″ or longer depending on length of sweater
3 Iron fabric strips in half so it is about 2″ wide
4 Run a wide-stitch… on my machine the stitch was set to 4 and then tension 4
5 Hold the top thread while gathering the fabric so it is evenly ruffled

6 Pin the ruffled fabric to the sweater so that there’s 1/4″ of the fabric layering overlapping a seam to the left of the buttons on your sweater. That seam is where you will sew so you’re stitching isn’t seen.

Repeat for the other side of the sweater.

Tip: I ironed the fabric so that one of the layers is shorter than the other so it looks like two layers of ruffles.

I am not a seamstress at all so if I can do it you definitely should give it a try. Plus, your sweater will greatly appreciate it.

within hands reach

This weekend I made a conscious effort to have my camera within my wish-the-weekend-wasn’t-over hand’s reach. Something that takes a teensy bit more thought but I’ve never regretted because the photos are hugely rewarding. Here’s just a few of my favorites.
A decorated dollhouse and a sweet baby.

Ribbon in Lola’s hair. It’s elastic and perfect for headbands.
Carousel rides

Cutest miniature snowman & Collin in his studdly Sunday attire. Do people still say studdly? ;)

faking spring

March is definitely coming in like a lion… it’s even been snowing, yes snowing, the last couple days. That white stuff that you dream of at Christmas time and despise at springtime.
It is basically still winter with the occasional tease of sunshine. When there is a break in the clouds we run to the park as fast as we can, like caged lions.

Ruche, one of my favorite places to shop, gave me a preview of their spring look book and asked me to choose one of my favorite pieces. I chose the navy trench-style jacket.
Looking forward to spring… are you?
Navy Trench, Seersucker blouse underneath: Ruche
Watch: Fossil
Photos by Collin, of course.

looky lou

First, I just wanted to say thanks for all your comments on the post about my Grandpa. It was neat to spend time with him and capture his everyday. Something I want to do with more of my loved ones & you should do it as well. :)

I got to see some of the items Ruche released with their Spring Look book before it was launched. Then I chose one of their items to showcase on my blog before you could even buy it. I’ll share which item I chose tomorrow.
For now, enjoy their Garden Daydream look book… you’ll be dreaming of sparking rings, wishing for a where-did-get-that purse & the rain loafers are definitely calling my name.

more than ever

Life is fragile.

I remember when I was a little girl and my grandpa was a hero to me. I’d brag to my friends about how he sings like Frank Sinatra. Laughed every single time he opened the door and it hit his head (but really hit his foot below.) Still scared of opening the hall closet and seeing his Frankenstein halloween mask. Loved staying with them every summer even when I was supposed to eat my spaghetti by twirling noodles with a fork and spoon.
He’s been fighting and conquering a long battle against cantankerous cancer… with his sweetheart of 56 years by his side.
He is still my hero. More than ever actually.

I took a last minute trip to go see him over the weekend in San Diego. We watched old movies, looked at his March Madness brackets, listened to old stories, gazed at the brightest moon while Grandpa sang, took lots of photos & gushed over baby Lola.
Here are some of my favorite photos from my trip.

It’s heart wrenching to think that could be the last time I see him. Even typing those words hurts. But I don’t think it is. I don’t think this was goodbye.


One second you are pouring a bowl of cereal or checking an email from a friend and the next second devastation hits. The tragic events in Japan really put life into perspective. Abruptly reminding us what really matters in this life and to be thankful for even the roof over our heads. When watching the footage of Japan it was overwhelming and you couldn’t help but hug the ones you love and squeeze them a bit tighter.

Such a time reminds us to give to others and to be prepared.
Places to help you be prepared: Red Cross, Food/Water Storage Information, 72 hours
Places to give: For Japan With Love
Thanks for all the name suggestions for project make-a-memory-book-for-someone-special, see it definitely needs a better name. I think I will choose the top 3 then we will vote on the winning name.
Happy Friday to you!
Photo Actions: Totally Rad

my monday

This is how I spent my Monday.

In the raddest white-washed building with Jefra, Rosie, Collin & Lola. Blowing up enough 3 foot balloons to carry you away. Nearly peeing our pants every time one of those balloons popped. Listening to music on Rosie’s too-cool-for-school radio. Eating Wendy’s on the ground. Walking up and down stairs in 4″ heels that my legs were sore the next day… the real Shape Ups. Dodging box-elder bugs. Playing dress-up and eating chocolate frosties.
I’ll share more details of our little photoshoot soon. It should be fun.

Yesterday was also a great day because I am thrilled for everyone who wants to be involved with making a memory book for a special person. A big thank you for those of you who nominated someone. If everything goes as planned I hope someday to make a book for every single person. For now, let’s start with two books.
If you want to scrapbook a page or two for these scrapbooks please email me at
Also, does anyone have an idea of what to name this project?

just an idea

I could go on & on about how darling this baby is and how fast she is growing. How I can’t believe how big she is or how when she sees me she does this little laugh while taking a breath in to make the sweetest sound.

I could go on & on but I want to sum up how I feel with one simple word: overwhelming blessed and full of light. Okay, that is 6 words. ha.
I’m not saying my life is perfect. I have trials, worries, tough days. But I also have great days.
The thing I am trying to get to is, I want to give to someone in a small, but meaningful way and I am hoping you will help me. Collin and I have been brainstorming what we could do and I thought of a couple things.
The first one is that I would love to make a memory book for someone special. An album for someone full of their photos and memories.
The pages will be made by you, me and anyone who wants to contribute. The book will be made to lift someone’s spirits so if you know someone who needs this please email me. EDITED::: Please hold off on emailing me because I’m sitting here in tears reading your emails and I think we have lots of albums to make already. :)
Then I will need your help to fill the album with their photos and memories to add a needed light to that person’s life.
Lately, I have been wishing that I had more time to scrapbook. I love this hobby. Not just because it is fun, or because the people I have met, or the supplies I hoard ;), but mostly because the feeling that I get when I look through my pages that overflow with life. Or see the girls faces light up when they look through their albums. Sometimes when we want time for something for ourselves first we should give that to others.
I’m really tired. My eyes are so tired I can hardly read this… so I hope this makes sense and I hope you will join me in making an album for someone because I can’t do it on my own. :) And the only way I will be able to repay you is with a cyber hug or some baby photos.

Oh, she is such a darling.

Thanks and night night!

favorite spring things

Today was the most cheerful, warm day of the year! I am so ready for it to be spring. But I can’t get too excited since we usually have snow falling in May. I do enjoy this time of year… not only because American Idol is on and Collin entertains us with his performances between commercial breaks. (Yes, we still in the primitive times without tivo.) But also for the anticipation of springtime.
Here are some of my favorite spring things.
1 Diana Camera: Amazon
2 Flower vases: Urban Outfitters
3 Dress: Ruche
4 Shoes: Ruche
5 Love Clip: Bando
6 Flower Shoe Clips: Fink Shop
7 Bathing Suit: Undrest
8 Dress: J Crew kids
9 Hair Clips: Bando

fabric dolls

A few weeks ago I ventured out bravely into the cold. It was my first time flying solo with all 3 girls as we headed over to our local Quilting Cottage. I weighed out my options of either staying cozy indoors or pulling my hair at the store but went for it anyway.
Surprisingly, they were so well behaved I would have gotten them a new car or a trip to Disneyland or their own credit card but all they asked for were fabric dolls.
These are Aunt Lindy’s Paper Dolls sold as fabric by-the-yard or panel. Then purchase a thick iron-on interfacing (whatever thickness you prefer) and cut them out. I’ve added velcro to some of them but it’s just as fun without.
Avery waited very patiently as I ironed the dollies together. If your kids are older they could do the ironing and even the cutting. But since I still don’t trust Avery with a butter knife I did it for her.

She named this one Billy or sometimes he goes by Alfalfa. He comes with a George Washington costume and wig.
There is fabric that includes extra darling clothes. She keeps everything in a little fabric bag and are great for keeping her happy at church.
They all have names and pets… and more clothes than I do.