Monday, December 31, 2012

Beverly Hills What A Thrill....or Goodbye 2012.

One of my favorite movies to put on in the background while sewing is "Troop Beverly Hills."

Looks-wise this film may be a time capsule, but the message is still can be the person you want to be as long as you believe in yourself. And look fabulous while trying.

I still can't believe that there are people out there who like my creations enough to purchase one or two at a craft show, or to commission me for special items via my Etsy store. These small acts justify my fabric buying obsession and make me feel like the cool crafters on the blogs I follow. I craft for fun and I create as an outlet of my everyday "real world" life.

The support from this community and from my Courtastic Creations "basket heads," as one affectionately refers to herself, means the world to me. I just love making creations that make people happy. Searching for the right fabric that represents what YOU are looking for and then crafting it into an item, such as a fabric basket or a tote bag.

You all make me feel fabulous and in turn you let me make you fabulous things.

Thank you for a wonderful 2012 and I'm looking forward to 2013.

A Bag That [Not] Only A Jersey Girl Could Love

I live next to this town. True story.
In keeping with last minute 2012 posts, as I spent most of December keeping up with last minute orders and playing catch up on my quilting bees and sewing swaps, I'd be remiss if I didn't post about this particular tote bag.

Especially considering the fact that I am a bonafide, New Jersey Clam Digger, meaning I was born and raised at the Jersey Shore.

Ever hear of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band? Well, the E Street they speak of is in Belmar, NJ, which was the town next to the town where I grew up. I spent a good chunk of my time at the Belmar Boardwalk, at the Belmar Marina, and on Main Street as cool places like Nostalgic Nonsense.

This area was hit very, very, very hard by Sandy. The boardwalk I grew up on is gone and while I still only live about 20 minutes from Belmar, I haven't been down to see the actual devastation. That will make it real. I want to remember how it was with the old McDonalds and Playland (yes, that disappeared long ago, but for nostalgia's sake, I have to mention).

Just a few towns north of Belmar, along Ocean Avenue, is Asbury Park, NJ. Asbury Park is a town that has been having a recovery since I can remember. A champion of Asbury Park is Bruce Springsteen. Yes, while they practiced on E Street, Bruce used to play his guitar on the Asbury Park Boardwalk. I now live one town over from Asbury Park.

This is the stuff of Jersey Shore legend.

Understanding this will help you realize how excited I was when I was asked if I could make a Bruce Springsteen bag. No easy feat and not one I wanted to take lightly. While I'm not as die hard of a Bruce fan as many of my fellow New Jerseyans, I still respect what he has accomplished and what he means to the Jersey Shore.

Therefore, this Jersey Girl is proud to show you the Bruce Springsteen inspired Totes Reversible Tote. A tribute to Bruce and the Big Man, with a nod to the Jersey Shore.

Tramps like us may have been born to run, but bags like this were made to be worn. 

Wear Some Sugar On Your Shoulder...

What better way to send off 2012 than with a little bit of rock 'n roll!

I have friends who like to rock. They were made for the Sunset Strip in the '80s and while that strip may have seen some changes over the decades, these friends still know how to rip it up and pay tribute to that decadent time of sex, drugs, and hair.

One such friend asked if I could make a Def Leppard Totes Reversible Tote. How could I say no to a request like that?!

Off to Ebay I went, searching for the right concert t-shirt to use as the main fabric. I came up with two shirts, one for a group picture side and the other to be used on more reserved days.

Sometimes you feel like a groupie...

...sometimes you need to recover from the night before.
To complete the bag, we took a look at some rock 'n roll inspired fabrics. Ultimately we decided on this classic tattoo style hearts and roses fabric.

Hot and sweet, minus the sticky.
A pretty great bag that can easily be made with any shirt. I believe this is what the kids call "upcycling."

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Basket Bonanza!

After prepping for the last month, and actually doing work over the holiday weekend, I finally showed at my first craft show of the season. I made 16 new baskets between Black Friday and Pre-Work Sunday. I'm pleased that many of the new baskets sold today and I look forward to taking those that didn't to my work's craft show on Friday. After that, the baskets will head to my Etsy Shop!

Friday, November 16, 2012

So Tell Me...Blue or Pink?

I love this print and would like to order some for a tote and other creations. Which should I order...the blue or the pink? Which one do you like the most? Comment and let me know!

Which one do you like more?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Breaking the silence...

Yikes! It's been a bit, hasn't it? Regular posting will resume shortly, as I'm prepping for a craft show on December 1st, which means pictures of baskets are on their way!

But for about a little night music?!

Hurricane Sandy...err, rather Superstorm Sandy may have taken my power for a bit, but only a bit!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Black & White & Red All Over

I believe it was last Christmas when my sister asked me to make her a Right Round pillow (based on the Sprocket pillow tutorial by Cluck. Cluck. Sew.).

We went out and she picked the fabrics. She wanted the pillow to be a mix of black and white. And only black and white.

I suggested that she add a bit of red for contrast and she finally agreed.

We returned home from visiting our parents in Delaware and the fabric sat on my shelf for months. MONTHS. In July I finally cut the pie slices and pieced the top. Then, I couldn't find the red/black/white fabric that I planned to use for the pillow border.

The pillow pieces once again sat sadly in my workroom. Then, I found the missing fabric! Huzzah!!!! However, the pillow continued to sit in my workroom because I had blocks for swaps and orders from Etsy to complete.

Until this week, when I shook off the dust and finished my sister's pillow.

It's so sweet looking! She did not originally pick the sugar skull toile style fabric, but I happened to have some left over from a bag I made earlier in the year. It's totally her style and it just adds a bit of macabre romanticism to the pillow.

Oooh! Aaah!
The back of the pillow is a zebra print.

It would be "wild" if I could ever get the button thread centered.
It's funny, as I wrote this blog post a certain person came to mind...

Harley Quinn!
Harley Quinn! The Joker's lover from Batman: The Animated Series. She's become popular in Batman circles. Also, my sister loves her. While it wasn't intended, my sister essentially now has a Harley Quinn Right Round Pillow!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Bags You Can Lose Your Head Over!

A few months ago I opened an Etsy Shop on a whim, just to see what would happen. I went in with the mindset that if I made one sale, I would be a success. Well, that happened! Plus some.

Even cooler, I've received a few requests for custom items. I feel like a real designer! I love working with people to find the fabric and then making their requests a reality.

Most recently I received a request for two bags in my Beat Bag style, which is a bit of a cross between the Totes Reversible Tote and Hobo Hipster bags.

My client asked that the first bag be slightly smaller in nature with an interior pocket. She picked a super cool fabric designed by Vina called "Micro Animals2," available on

I paired with this Kona Cotton in Cerise and added an interior pocket.

The second bag would be used for school and would need to support her laptop and some books. She opted for an Alice in Wonderland theme for this bag and picked the "Alice Gets Decked" design by PeacoquetteDesigns and the "Sid and Mander Paws 4" design by Jenithea, both available on

Fit for the looking glass!
This bag features cotton batting in the body and interfacing on the handles to add extra support.

Perfect for potions and keys.
Pockets were a must and this bag features three interior pockets. One split pocket and one larger pocket.

However, the BEST part of the bag is the "secret" pocket!
While I can't take credit for coming up with the initial idea for the secret pocket, as my client asked if I could something in that vein, the final outcome is..well...wonderful! The pocket is slightly off-centered, but isn't everything in Wonderland?

This is a theme bag right down to those small details!

I ADORE this bag and hope she will too!

Solid as a Rock!

One of the virtual quilting bees I'm participating in is the [3x6] Sampler Quilt Mini Bee.

The time frame for this bee is 2.5 months. In that time you make and receive six blocks. For this round I am a member of Hive J: Solid Gold and signed up as a Caretaker for Hive N' E Thing Goes (Sampler)! I feel so legitimate! 

In true Courtastic fashion, I completed the blocks for Hive J and have not started the blocks for the group I'm in charge of. That whole "lead by example" thing just isn't working out. They will be finished and posted before the October 15th deadline. That, I promise.

For now, check out my blocks for Hive J, which required that we use solid fabrics. I used the Modern Log Cabin style for inspiration.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Happy AnniWHOsary!

Apparently there are a lot of Doctor Whovians out there, which I don't mind because I love being able to make items that make people so happy!

One of my best friends from college recently contacted me to help her out with an anniversary gift for her husband.

"We don't take these things too seriously right now," she said. "But I can't tell you how many times I've awakened to strange, scary monsters on the TV."

That conversation led to my first attempt at an iPad cover...or should it be an "iPad Whover"?

TARDIS iPad Whover in fabric from

I LOVE this iron on velcro.
I used iron on velcro tabs as a closure. I currently only have the 1" pieces, but a longer strip would also be great.

This iPad cover should meet her requirements as she wanted something that would be fun, but not too ostentatious. Or rather, work appropriate.

These Whosters, however, are definitely home appropriate!

I always feel like, somebody's watching me!
Happy Anniversary!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

You Can't Take the Sky From Me

I've been a bit quiet lately due to outside influences...cough *work* cough... but I just wanted to share this non fabric related project I've been working on.

Space Cowpersons. 
It's the Firefly pattern by Wee Little Stitches! I have four more members of the crew to stitch, but I love how this is coming out. 

Once I finish this pattern I have a few other patterns I'd like to stitch up as Christmas gifts. 

Then I will finally work on the patterns that made me learn how to cross stitch....the John Hughes collection.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Softly Against Black...

One of my favorite quilting blogs is Rachel's Stitched in Color. Rachel has such a fresh writing style, her blog is simply wonderful to follow, and most importantly, she has a real love and appreciation of color. I mean really, what's not to like?

Today she opened her blog for a mosaic contest. I don't usually participate in these contests, but this one appealed to me. The theme is "Softly Against Black." There is just something so gothically romantic (I think I just made up a word)  about this theme, that I decided to play along.

The rules of the contest are that we need to visit Fresh Modern Fabric's Etsy store, view the fabrics and create a mosaic of 12 fabrics that describe our idea of "Softly Against Black."

This is my mosaic:

My inspiration is "Behind City Walls." 

I've always like the Ghastlies fabrics, so I used one of the Ghastly Ladies as my inspiration of a City Woman. The tapestry prints are akin to the wall paper I imagine in those Park Place Gothic apartments, however beneath the surface there is a vulnerability and sweetness represented by the pink fabrics. I included the cityscape fabric because it's a sketch of a city, and I also put in the birds because I felt like they show some of the hidden color and beauty in a city when you take a closer look.

I really feel like this mosaic represents what you find when you look closer and see everything softly against the black...

If you'd like to play too, the contest is open until September 20th. The winner gets a fat quarter bundle of the fabrics used in the mosaic. The contest costs nothing and lets you wax poetic about why are you still here? Get to picking!


It's time for a gnomervention. 

Welcome to your happy place. 

Gnome Sweet Home Sleeve-O-Rama for devices up to 7"

Monday, September 10, 2012

Welcome Home Doctor Whosters!

Pop quiz time! What do you get for the guy that really wants a Doctor Who themed item, but isn't sure about a tote bag or a basket?




The answer....fabric coasters aka Doctor Whosters!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Shout out to all the lady superheroes!
Aren't these great?! I know fabric coasters are not something new and you can find thousands of them over on Etsy, but these are my first attempt and I'm pretty proud.

I love that you can take ANY fabric out there and whip it into a perfect coaster that puts the "fun" in functional! 

These coasters are made with that fantastic T.A.R.D.I.S. print by the Unicorn and the Wasp and finished with cotton batting for absorption, and Kona Gray for style.

This is one of those times when it's hip to be square.
The recipient of these Whosters is pretty excited. I have more of this fabric so I put a listing up on Etsy. I think I'll take some of the scraps I have from the bags I made recently and do an "eclectic" Doctor Whosters set. *cough* shameless plug *cough*.

I can't wait to try this out in the I Love Lucy scrap squares that I have, as well as the other fabrics. Batman? Avengers? Wonder Woman? Oh My!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Suzy Sells Seashells at the Seashore

There is really something special about fabric that lets you take a vacation year round whenever you look at it!

Here is a pouch I made for a friend's iPhone. It also fits my larger Android phone and my Canon Powershot (which apparently had a hard time taking a clear picture).

This fabric is so pretty in person!
I've had this sandy colored fabric with pretty pink stars for awhile now and figured it would just be smashing with this case. I was right!

I discovered those fusible velcro strips about a month ago and I just can't get enough. So easy to "install" and just makes for a nice finish.

This was a fun project to make on a rainy, gloomy, East Coast night.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Do. Good Stitches for August & September

It's time for another check-in for the Do. Good Stitches BELIEVE Circle quilting bee. After being "Right on top of that, Rose" for July, I procrastinated a bit on my August blocks. In fact, I completed the August blocks on the first day of September. Close counts, right?

August was Stephanie's month and she asked us to make two Asterisk style blocks using the tutorial found on the Selvage Blog. She asked that we use teal, gray, and yellow fabrics.

At first I was a bit intimidated by this block, as it looks so complicated. However, after reading the tutorial, I realized the block just *LOOKS* complicated when in fact, it's rather simple. I'm pleased with my final results!

Teal, yellow, and gray, hooray!
Not wanting to have a repeat of August, I made my September blocks on the first of the month. September belongs to Vicki from Sew Inspired, and she asked for two blocks in a modern log cabin style inspired by the below quilt.

Jacqui of Tall Grass Prairie Studios Scandia Crush
There is no hard and set pattern/tutorial for this style, however we were asked to use a color scheme in black, gray, pink, red, and/or white, prints or solids.

This is a fairly easy style to whip up and I decided to go with a black, white, and hot pink theme. 


I LOVE how these blocks came out. In the future I may have to expand on this style and color choices. Next time I join an online quilting/block swapping bee, such as Nubees Monthly Block Swap, I'm going to request this color scheme to help me get started.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Doctor Who Is My [Their] Bag!

One of the greatest things about weekday holidays have to be the television marathons. In honor of all the students going back to school this week, and late last month, the Chiller channel ran a Buffy the Vampire Slayer marathon. While I would have LOVED to have sat down to watch this all day, I found myself occupied with another cult classic--Doctor Who.

Oooh! Aahh!

Not watching Doctor Who, mind you, but creating some Doctor Who themed goodies!

I received a request for a custom Doctor Who order of three tote bags and one Sassy Shopper. Talk about exciting! My customer checked out the amazing artists who make their prints available on and then let me know which fabrics would make the perfect bags for her daughters.

She requested the TARDIS bag with my favorite Doctor Who themed prints, T.A.R.D.I.S. by The Unicorn and the Wasp and All The Whos by Third Half Studios.

The second bag features All The Whos as the outer fabric with Hello Sweetie by Scrummy as the interior fabric.

The third bag features The Untempered Schism in black, also by Scrummy, with All the Whos as the interior.

In addition to the tote bags for her daughters, she requested the Sassy Shopper for herself. The bag features the Untempered Schism on the outside with Hello Sweetie on the inside. There are three interior pockets, one large one and one divided in half. The bag is finished with a magnetic closure. To help with sturdiness, I used some light interfacing and cotton batting.

The tote bags have been delivered and arrived just in time for the season premier of Doctor Who. The Sassy Shopper is heading out in the mail tomorrow. Loved making these bags!