Monday, December 27, 2010

Pillow gifts

I have decided I love making pillows. I can make one fast and don't get tired of sewing the same block over and over again. These are pillows I made for my mom (bottom one) and my mother-in-law (top one).

This is is made with 30s prints and a white on white.


And this is made with the Easy Dresden ruler with Kona chocolate and tarragon and parts of a Freebird charm pack. Bad lighting so the colors don't look quite right but you get the idea.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Create a Cute Reindeer Critter

I don't post my Christmas cards on my blog until after the holiday so that any of my blog readers who get cards from me won't see it before they get one. But this one was made by my 13 year old for her dance teacher. I cut the shapes out on the cricut for her (only because she was busy doing her math lessons-normally she does it herself) and she put them together. I also made the snowy ground for her. I used some 1" wide miracle tape from Viva Las Vegas Stamps and I stuck it to white paper, tore the top (being careful to tear it toward the back side so that the entire front would have adhesive on it) and dipped it in glitter. Sammy put it all together and added snowflakes drawn with a white gel pen (I think Sakura) and spica pens. Paper on cutouts is all Bazzill. The card base is made with Stampin' Up card stock. I don't know what the white is-it's from a scrap I found lying on my desk. Cricut cartridges we used are Create a Critter for the deer and Christmas Cheer for the tree.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Good Tidings of Great Joy! -- Advent Calendar

We were shopping at a quilt shop and saw this advent calendar displayed. I thought it was pretty cute, and I like the designer, Nancy Halvorsen, a lot. So I bought the panel for it. I fused the shapes to green felt and trimmed around them (you can't see the felt). The buttons are from my stash-some from bazzill, one from stampin' up and some from walmart. The entire panel is a cheater-it's all printed on and I just sewed it up with some batting inside and quilted it (around the printed designs) and sewed the buttons on. I took this picture with all the shapes on it but took them all off and the kids put on one shape each day until Christmas Eve. They like it and have no idea kids all over the world are getting candy or a small toy in their advent calendars each day. So don't anyone spill the beans, please.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Thinking of You - sympathy card

A friend of mine lost her mother recently so I made this card for her. I haven't made many sympathy cards so I never quite know how it should look but this came out nice, I think. I used an older mojo monday sketch.

stamps-stampin up
ink-memento black
markers-copic (see below)
papers-stampin up
nestabilities
ribbon-unknown
punch-stampin up

copic colors used:

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My early Christmas present to myself

I was in a quilt shop the other day and saw this cute little Singer featherweight machine so I bought it! Yes I have a new computerized machine but this one is supposed to be a great little workhorse and I thought it would be nice to teach my youngest daughter to sew on. Plus I got a great deal on it! And it was too cute to pass up.


It also came in the original case and look what I found in the case with it (along with a cool old buttonhole attachment). Remember when JC Penney sold bias tape for 8 cents? I don't.


Click here for more pics. So I guess the tradition is to name them so now I need to come up with a name. Any ideas?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just wanted to with everyone a very happy Thanksgiving!


Monday, November 22, 2010

Belated Merry Christmas

Belated you say? Yep. I started this wall hanging at least 2, maybe 3 years ago. I had it all done except the binding and all these years, I never finished it. I would think about it, and pull it out, and then suddenly it was Christmas eve and I'd think 'maybe next year' and put it away. Well this time I did it. I finished it! And even more miraculous, way before Christmas! It's from a book by Nancy Halvorsen called Heartfelt Holidays Too and is made with fusible applique. I hand stitched the letters around the border and also around each appliqued shape.



close up of the top (actually it's not very close up. doh!)


and the bottom

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Bazzill organization-and a card from the scraps

For years now I've had way more Bazzill card stock than I need and the worst part is, I never use it. This is mainly because it was all crammed into a filing cabinet and impossible to flip through, and I had no idea what colors were in there. Someone on Split Coast Stampers came up with the idea to pull the swatches from her Bazzill swatch book for the colors she owned. It sounded great so I decided I'd do the same. Well it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be.

First I had to separate my stash by color (which was loosely done already). Then I had to pick through all of the swatches and find the ones that matched the paper I owned. Oh man, this was a job. I had stacks of paper everywhere. Even within single color groups I had a dozen or more varieties of that color. And some colors did not have corresponding swatches, for some reason, so I made them from the paper. And to make it more fun, with some colors it was very difficult to determine just what color family it should go with. Is it orange or red? Or brown? Is that one blue or green? Blue or purple? Purple or red?

So I just made some decisions that may or may not be right but they'll have to be good enough. I sorted them in rainbow order and from light to dark within each color family. So here is my new and improved Bazzill storage (I thought I had before pics but I don't-but trust me. It was a mess)


and here are my two new swatch rings. Hopefully they'll help me to use it up.


and the good news is that this stack here? It's all the swatches I DON'T own colors of. It's bigger than the ones I do own so that made me feel a tiny bit better.


So when I was all done, I had a stack of scraps that I did NOT feel like putting back in with the full size sheets. So I challenged myself to make a card with some of them, and I'll keep them on my desk to remind myself to get them used up first before using anything else. I also just got the super-cute new owl punch from Stampin' Up so I decided to use that too. Here's my card:

Paper is all from Bazzill
branch is from the SU Bird on a Branch punch
SU owl punch
SU scallop edge punch
SU 3-flower punch (for the wings)
Martha Stewart edge punches (for the top and the fence)
Computer printed sentiment-the font is called Sweet Pea

Friday, October 29, 2010

Quick and easy table runner

I used this tutorial (shift click to open in a new window) to make this quick and easy Halloween table runner. Fabric is by My Mind's Eye for Riley Blake fabrics. I used the leftovers to make the binding-even though I hate making scrappy bindings, I love the look and you can't argue with the economics! Plus it always matches.




ps-I'll probably post later about my adventures organizing my bazzill paper stash. It's shameful, really. And I'll post a card as well.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

First mug rug

A mug rug is basically an oversized coaster. I guess it's so that you can put your mug on it but still see the design. So I made this mug rug but I still need tons of practice on my binding. I've spent all day watching binding videos so maybe they'll help me-time will tell. I decided to use the buttonhole stitch on the applique but I think with the busy prints, it was a bit too much maybe. Anyway I'm sending this to my sister even though it's not perfect-so hopefully she doesn't see it here. I don't think she reads my blog anyway. I'm planning to make one for each of my sisters (surprise ruined-but no plans yet what design). This one is made with 30s fabric from my stash.

the back-I made a little tag for my name

Saturday, October 16, 2010

What's been happening around here

I'm working on a couple of projects but I don't have anything to post yet. Probably tomorrow. But here's what has been keeping everyone busy. Steve, of course, is super busy picking corn. Since his dad isn't able to help anymore he has to do it all-all of the picking and the hauling. In the evenings and on weekends his brother helps him a bunch. I've been semi busy taking him lunches and helping him move equipment around from one field to another, not to mention hauling the kids to all of their activities. The kids are busy with lessons plus swimming, dance, speech and karate. I can hardly wait until harvest is over!

.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

And the winner is....




congratulations Erika!!

I have other sets to give away someday so stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Birthday Giveaway

Since it's my birthday I decided to have a little giveaway. I'm offering this clear-mount hostess set called Because I Care and a 6x6 Patterns Pack, both from Stampin' Up. Here's all you have to do:

1. leave a comment to get one entry.
2. become a follower of my blog and leave another comment saying you did this to get a 2nd entry.
That's it! Be sure you have your blogger account set to show your email or leave it in your comment. I'll close this giveaway in one week (September 28th).



It's a really pretty set and these little paper packs are awesome. I have a big stack of all the different ones that have been offered over the years.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Objects of Desire

I finished this top a while back and it's been folded up in my cabinet, waiting to be quilted. I was going to wait and post it when it's done but that might be a while at this rate. I used an Objects of Desire jelly roll by Sandy Gervais from Moda. I love this line! I got the pattern from an American Patchwork and Quilting magazine and used Electric Quilt to figure out my color placement. I love how the pinwheels were formed-each block is just 3 longer strips and one shorter strip with a half square triangle on the end. When the blocks are assembled the half square triangles come together to make the pinwheels. Cool!

I apologize for the less-than-perfect pic. The top is a bit wrinkled from being folded up and it is really hard to take good pics in my living room for some reason. I'm going to commit to taking pictures during the day and possibly outside from now on. Obviously this is just a portion of the quilt. I'll share the whole thing when I get it quilted.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

You're My Favorite

I have not been making anything lately. But as far as cards, the only ones I really give, other than Christmas cards, are thank you cards. So every time I went to make a card other than a thank you, I'd think 'what am I going to do with this?'. Sadly I rarely even give out birthday cards. Really horrible for a card maker. Then a few weeks ago I saw a post about Operation Write Home (shift click to open in a new window). It's a program where people make cards and they are sent overseas for soldiers to use to write back home. Now this is something that I can do-because I am always wanting to make the 'thinking of you' or 'just a note' type cards but have no one to give them to (apparently I don't think of anyone. lol) but who better to use such cards than people who really are thinking of and missing their loved ones. I have not technically committed to it because I am terrible at not getting things done but I am planning to make cards with this organization in mind and when I get enough to send, I will sign up. So anyway I thought a "You're My Favorite" would be a great card for them. I used a sketch from Split Coast Stampers.



stamps: ducks from Penny Black, verse from Stampin' Up Vases in Vogue set
cardstock: Stampin'Up So Saffron and Pumpkin Pie
paper: Deja Views (old stuff!)
punch: Stampin' Up small oval and pinking hearts edge punch
ink: memento tuxedo black
markers: copic Y00, E00, Y35, Y38 and Colorless Blender

And a moment of self pity-my computer's hard drive died and it's in the computer hospital. So when I get it back it will be my ultimate test of Carbonite's backup service and how well it works. Keeping my fingers crossed!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Where we've been and what we've been doing

Last Thursday we dropped the pets off at the vet for boarding and left home for a mini vacation. Here are some pics from two of the places we visited:






Can you guess where we went?

Monday, August 2, 2010

A new camera case for a new camera

A while back we were at the zoo and the kids were at the shark petting tank. My daughter had my small purse camera in a case around her neck and when she bent down to pet a shark, the camera dunked into the tank. Oops! We let it dry out for a while but it never was right after that. The screen would be like a pink smear a lot of the time and while the pics didn't look like a pink smear, they didn't look as good as they used to. Since I had the camera on my personal articles policy, I filed a claim and they sent me a check to replace it. Rather than going with the same brand I decided to shake things up a little. I'm a dedicated Canon gal since high school. I have had a couple of non-Canon cameras but for the most part, I stick with Canon. Even my printers are Canons. But I'd read so many good things about Panasonic point and shoot cameras I decided to go with one of them instead.

The camera arrived on Friday but I couldn't find my old camera's case. I admit I didn't look super hard-it's just an ugly black case and it may not have fit this new camera anyway. Instead, I decided to make a case. I found a tutorial on the Moda Bake Shop site (shift click to open in a new window) that wasn't exactly what I wanted, but pretty close. I made a few changes. I didn't make the strap since the camera has one, and instead I put a buttonhole in the flap to thread the strap through (which was a questionable idea-it takes some effort to get the camera out when the strap is threaded through it so I'll probably just not use it when I'm out using the camera a lot and thread it through when it's being stored-I may also find a different strap that is easier to get in and out). I also squared the corners at the bottom so it would be more form-fitting and I changed the size to match my camera (sort of-it came out a tad bit short). I also used just one fabric for the outside instead of 2 like in the tutorial.

I used a couple of fat quarters from Moda's Frolic line (I thought I should use fabric that the men in my family won't mind carrying if they have to.) and fusible fleece for the padding. I used 2 layers of fleece for the body and one for the flap, which I made longer. The button is from Oriental Trading-it's pretty much just there for decoration. I thought it came out pretty cute-way cuter than the ugly black one I had before. I decided not to put any extra pockets or spaces for memory cards or batteries. If I need to take extras of those, I can either keep them in my purse or my pocket-they don't take up much room-I wanted this case to be as compact as possible. So here are the pics:

the case is empty here (obviously)


standing...


lying down...


You can see here that the camera peeks ever so slightly out the top. That's ok though-I think the main parts will be well protected. I wasn't thrilled with the color of velcro, but my other option was black (I don't have any white on hand and didn't want to wait to finish it). It doesn't show anyway, most of the time.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Please stand by

and excuse the construction. I'm working on my blog and it's a big change-I'm switching to a 3 column layout like I've seen on some other blogs. The main reason is because my left column ends up so long even when viewing a single post. So hopefully anyone who reads this won't hate it and I won't hate it. So as I get it done the blog might look a bit funky at times. Just disregard.

edited to add: I'm still working on it but it's late so I'm off to bed. The sidebar titles are too big-I need to make them smaller.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Nature Silhouettes

I tried out one of the tutorials on Michelle Zindorf's blog but I think I have a lot of practicing in my future-it definitely came out very streaky! And I wasted quite a bit of cardstock trying to get it right-this is as close as I had patience for. After I finished I realized I could probably get a better look with my copic airbrush. Oh well.


everything from Stampin' Up except the black ink, which is memento.
cardstock: apricot appeal, bordering blue, not quite navy
ink: going gray, apricot appeal, bordering blue, not quite navy
stamp set: nature silhouettes
circle punch and post it notes (for the masks)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Boxy Stars quilt

I've been doing a quiltalong at Quilters Club of America. This is a boxy stars quilt-the pattern is from Quiltville-and I used a Neptune Jelly Roll from Moda. I also used some Kona Khaki for the sashing. It's only the top-I'll be quilting it soon and binding it with some green that sort of matches. I used the leftover strips from the jelly roll to make the border and I'll use what little of them I have left on the back along with the same sorta-matching green fabric. I'll post a pic when I get it quilted-I'll probably do straight line because that's all I can do right now. I really love these fabrics.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Hot Dog!!

My daughter made this card using the Create a Critter cartridge (and others) and the cute pun stamps from Joyslife.

carstock from Stampin' Up. Patterned paper from Imaginisce. The grass is from the Everyday Paper Dolls cartridge and we made a stencil for the clouds from the Hello Kitty Greetings cart. I helped a little with some of the gluing, sponging the clouds and stamping the words and she did the rest. You might notice the mouth and eyes are funky. That's my cricut-for some reason it cuts funky like that. I've tried 4 other machines and they all do it, even if I take it to someone else's house. So I don't know what the problem is but it bugs the ever lovin' heck out of me.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Update on Scary Trend

I posted a week or so back about the pincushion trend and walnut shells. Now tonight, I was browsing an Etsy store that sells fabric and they also sell pincushions with walnut shells. UGH. So now, every time I want to buy fabric online I'll have to make sure they don't sell something like this and also should probably let them know about our allergy issue so if they do make these in their spare time (because I'm sure most people who sell fabric also use it) it won't be a problem for us. This is a real drag because I have no decent fabric stores near me. The internet is it.

Another frustration that is completely non-craft-related. A while back we started going to McDonald's again because they started putting their nuts (for the sundaes) in sealed bags-presumably to avoid cross contamination for people with nut allergies (which is one of the most dangerous food allergies). A couple of weeks ago we found out that McDonald's now has Reese's Peanut Butter Cup flurries-no sealed bags and since they are chopped up, even if they're very careful there is a big chance of cross contamination-and I don't believe for a second that they will wash their hands after every time they prepare one-which is what our local McD's told us. Makes no sense. So McDonald's is out for us again for now and if they continue to serve these (which they may depending on popularity) it will be out permanently. We have very few places from which to choose as it is, and vacation is especially challenging when we have to avoid one of the most prevalent places for fast food. And yes I know fast food is terrible but I don't want to cook every single day of every single week and none of the 'good' restaurants is safe either-we only trust Outback and sadly, we don't have one nearby.

Pity party over.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Hey Chickie-you're sssss-weet!!

I mentioned a couple of posts back that my friend Joy has created a set of saying stamps for the Cricut Create a Critter cartridge. I love this cart-it is so cute and along with Joy, my friend Jin has made the most amazing things with it. Joy was nice enough to send me a few of the stamps to try out and this is what I've come up with so far. I have been so out of the mood to make cards lately that I was planning to make just one for now, but honestly, it was so fun I made another one! And tomorrow my daughter is hoping to make another one for me to share.


All paper from Stampin'Up except the white, which is Neenah. I also used retiring or retired colors apricot appeal, eggplant envy and rose romance, plus current colors tempting turquoise and basic black. The tag is from the Tags, Bags, Boxes and More cartridge. I also used an embossing folder on the tag (I thought it looked kind of like scales) and inked the edges with craft ink. I don't know who makes the ribbon but it matched perfectly.


All paper from Stampin' Up except the white, which is Neenah. I used retiring barely banana and green galore, along with current colors bashful blue, pumpkin pie, basic black, and so saffron. I used the paper doll dress up cartridge for the grass, and I used the hello kitty greetings cartridge to make a cloud stencil for the cloud-which was sponged on with white craft ink.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Scary trend

I read a lot of sewing and quilting blogs so I am pretty much up on the trends (I don't do them, I just know them). One I've been reading a lot about is making pincushions, for both sewing and non-sewing people. A lot of bloggers stuff the pincushions with crushed walnut shells. Knowing the seriousness and unpredictability of a life threatening food allergy, this scares me. If someone is sewing with pins that were in such a pincushion, all of the pins, the item being sewed, and even the sewers hands will have walnut oil or walnut protein on them. This is so easily spread to anything else in their house. This is the main reason I almost never sign up for giveaways-I would hate to win something from someone who (unbeknownst to me) uses this type of pincushion and then put my daughter at risk of a reaction. I know I can wash most things like fabric but a lot of the giveaways are for precuts, which cannot be prewashed.

I just wanted to put the heads-up out there-if you're sewing for others please be aware of any allergies or sensitivities they or their family members may have. Food allergies seem to be on the rise lately, and no one knows why, but until someone comes up with a cure, avoidance is the only defense. Since walnut is the one thing my daughter has reacted to (the rest were determined through testing) it's the one that strikes the most fear in our hearts.

Blogger's Quilt Festival



This is my first time participating in the Blogger's Quilt Festival, which is being sponsored by Amy at Amy's Creative Side-a blog I've been following for a while. Since I'm a beginner and rather slow I decided to share this large wall quilt (or maybe small lap?) that is the very first top I ever pieced. I can't believe it's been 3 yrs and sadly, I've only done 2 more quilts since this one. I'm getting faster though. :D

Making this quilt was such a learning experience. I learned how to piece 9-patch blocks and how to snug the seams so they would match up. I also learned quick-piecing methods that made it work up really quickly. It was the first time I did any amount of machine quilting (not counting stockings) and first time I used clear thread-which may not sound like a big deal but it's different using it. It's also the first time I used quilting software (at the time I only had Quilt Design Wizard but I use Electric Quilt now) which I used to figure out color placement.

I saw a quilt like this at a quilt forum and asked how I could find the pattern. It turned out that it was from an old magazine that was probably not available anymore. The lady that made it actually sent me her magazine! So I made it using some 30's prints I had been hoarding and also made a pieced backing. The back was as much work as the front! So anyway, here she is:


and the back:


At the time I swore I would never do another pieced backing like this. I still may not-it was a lot of work. And honestly, I am totally not up to the caliber of all the other quilters participating but thanks to all the great blogs, magazines and my prior experience sewing clothing and crafts, I'm learning!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

So sorry for the down-time

I want to apologize for the cobwebs on my blog. The thing is, my computer died. **SOB** It kept shutting itself off and eventually, wouldn't even turn on. Luckily I have carbonite (which hopefully works) and I also was able to transfer some things onto my external drive but not everything (totally forgot to transfer my itunes stuff-doh!). So I tried all kinds of things with no luck and finally gave in and took it to the shop. My motherboard is fried. Well maybe not fried but it's messed up. So to replace that, they have to reload windows. UGH. I hate reloading programs. Luckily the shop will reload all of my documents and picture files but it's still going to be a gigantic pain in the butt.

So in the meantime, I have been using our laptop, which I hate. And not doing much of anything else other than some playing with my new sewing machine a little. I'm hoping to post something soon because my friend Joy (shift click to open in a new window) is coming out with a set of stamps for the Create a Critter cricut cartridge and I get to try them out soon!!

So I will just leave you with a cute pic of our dog as a puppy and again as a grownup (but she still acts like a puppy). That thing in her mouth is a Kong Wubba.



Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!!

Just wanted to wish everyone a very happy Mother's Day!

Another grocery bag

I decided to start looking at (and buying, of course) some clearance fabrics for making more grocery bags. I found a few good ones at Joann's so I made another bag to use for "wrapping" a gift. Paper gift bags are ridiculously expensive! And these are cuter and more useful. I used a blue daisy print for the outside and a pink with white dots for the lining (sorry for the dark pics-I didn't realize they were dark until I uploaded them to photobucket).

this picture shows how the lining looks.

It took me about an hour and a half to make this (not including cutting out the bag-but I cut out enough for 2 bags while I talked to my sister on the phone today so since I was multitasking it doesn't count, right?) I think after this it will take much less time, maybe an hour, since I won't have to look at the instructions each time. Also if I do a few assembly-line style, it'll take even less time.

This bag contains a folded up lap quilt and that red thing is a metal utensil holder from Target.
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