Monday, October 22, 2012

Placemats to Purse

Happy Monday!  I have a really fun project to show you today.

Placemat purse
A repurposed placemat purse.

I bought these placemats at Pier 1 last fall to repurpose into a purse, and after sitting on my craft room shelf for most of a year, they were finally transformed.  Aren't the colors great for fall?  The strap and lining fabric was a remnant of home decor fabric I got on clearance for just a few dollars, and I think it compliments all the colors in the placemats nicely.  I was going to make a tutorial, but got ahead of myself and didn't take that many pictures.


I sewed the ends of the placemats together so the fringe would hang down from the bottom of the purse.

Cell phone pocket
One of the sides has a pocket for my cell phone.  There is elastic at the top so my phone won't slip out on its own.

I made a pocket on the front of the purse body under the flap.  This is where I keep the all the necessities (like Joann and Hobby Lobby coupons), and my home made lip balm.  Easy access, baby!

Zip pocket
The inside has a zip pocket on one side...

and segmented pockets on the other.  I made two skinny pockets for a pen and pencil, a larger middle pocket, and a pocket to put my reading glasses in.  (Not that I need them or anything.)

To give the purse shape and to keep it from looking slouchy, I put a piece of Timtex in the bottom and tacked it down in a few places.  It works great.

The only thing I wish I would have included was a ring to clip my keys to.  I'm still trying to figure out how I can add one without tearing one of the seams apart.

This turned out great for my first attempt at a purse.  I am really loving it, even though it is a little bit on the large side.  I don't carry a lot of 'stuff' in my purse, but this one is big enough to hold my camera too, and that is a plus.

It's even big enough to hold a kitty!  Hi Moonshine!

I made this up as I went along, but if you have questions about measurements or anything, just let me know.


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Craft Show

For the last seven years, I have sold marble tile coasters at craft shows. They have been fun to make and sell, but I wanted a change.  So I started making doll furniture to sell.  I get to use power tools and sew.  What could be better than that?

My biggest craft show of the year was today, and this year I am so relieved it is over.  This particular show is always on the first Saturday in October,  and it is outside in a big park.  Up until today, the weather has always been unbelievably warm on that day.  Perfect fall weather every year, and some years it has been down right hot.

But today was different.

Oh, yes.  It was much different.

It was wet.

It was freezing.

And it drizzled and spit snow all.  day.  long.

I'm not sure which was worse; following the forecasts all week knowing the weather was going to be miserable, or actually being miserable.  It would have been much worse had my hubby not run out last night at the eleventh hour and bought a portable propane heater for me to use.  He can be so sweet sometimes.

Thank goodness the die hard customers showed up and the day wasn't a total loss.  They were the real troopers.

So do you want to see what I sell instead of hearing my sob story about how cold and miserable my day was?

Here you go...

Bunk beds for American Girl type dolls
Bunk beds.

Farmhouse beds for American Girl type dolls
Farmhouse beds starring McKenna.

Doll Picnic Tables
Picnic tables starring the Raggedy Ann Doll my aunt made for me when I was a youngster.

Doll High Chair
High chairs starring my Cabbage Patch Doll circa 1984.  (Don't tell anyone in was in college when I bought four (yes, four) Cabbage Patch Dolls.  I had to have one of each - a normal baby girl, a preemie boy, and twins.  Yes, my completion tendencies go way back!)

American Girl Doll Bunk Bed
Isn't this fabric the cutest?  It is my new favorite, and looks awesome with the green bed.

I only have one more show this year, and have to finish up the orders I have been getting.  Then I won't feel so guilty when I end up spending too much time on the computer or sewing the purse that has been half done for months.  I won't know what to do with myself!

Have you ever been a vendor at craft shows?  What do you sell?


Monday, October 1, 2012

One More

This is my second post for today.  I'm on a roll.

Ok.  I just couldn't help myself.  After I posted my ombre chevron cards, I had another idea for another color combination.

Blues = ocean waves + fish.

Tell me this isn't the cutest!

With some clever masking and omitting, I was able to stamp my sentiment from two different stamps.  The largest fish has glitter pen on its spots to fancy it up a bit.  And in retrospect, I would leave off the little splashes since I think they distract from the fish, but I had already done the card over once, and didn't want to do it over again.  I have lots of things to do today!

Supplies used:
Stamps - Stampendous Summer Scene, SU! Teeny Tiny Wishes
Paper - PTI white and light blue, SU! Tempting Turquoise, Marina Mist, Pacific Point
Ink - Pacific Point, Tempting Turquoise, Marina Mist, Baja Breeze
Accessories - chevron punch, SAMJ, markers, Spica glittler pen

I'm sure I'm not the first one to discover ombre chevrons, but I am loving them!  What is your latest love in the paper crafting world?


Chevron + Ombre = L O V E

I have had a chevron punch for quite some time, but since stamping got put on the back burner for a while, I never quite figured out how I wanted to use it.  Instead of playing with it, I let it sit on its little perch looking cute in my craft room.

Then I had a brainstorm.

Ombre is in.

Chevron is on its way out.

Why not combine them for a timeless look?

So I rummaged through my drawers of card stock searching for a few ombre combinations, and these cards are what I came up with.

All the fall colors have inspired me lately.  They are so warm and comforting to me.

Once again, I thumped the leaves for a multi-colored autumn leaf look.

I loved my card so much, I used my other ombre combination to make a similar card.

I love it even more!

Get it?  Love grows.  I couldn't resist.

The hearts are just miscellaneous single stamps, "love" is from a small alphabet stamp set, and "grows" is hand written.

I really love how the ombre chevrons ground the trees without being too overpowering.

Supplies used:
Stamps - PTI Falling Leaves, misc heart stamps, mini alphabet stamp
Paper - PTI
Ink - Choc Chip, So saffron, More Mustard, Tangerine Tango/Pink Pirouette, Regal Rose, Melon Mambo, Real Red
Accessories - chevron punch, markers for thumping

Have you ever used ombre and chevrons together?  I would love to see what you come up with.


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Thumped Fall Leaves

For this card, I used a layout that I cased from Susan (aka LateBlossom).  Here is her original card.  I changed it up a little with the placement of the stamps and sentiment, and I used different colored inks on my leaves.

Thumping is a great way to give leaves a changing colors/fall look. To do this, I first inked them with the lightest color ink, then thumped them with different colored markers, using different color combinations for each leaf.

If you are looking for a great but often forgotten technique to try, get out your markers and start thumping away!

Supplies used;
Stamps - PTI Leaf Prints, Hero Arts Classic Messages
Paper - PTI
Ink - Memento Pear Tart, Rhubarb Stalk 
Accessories - Various Memento markers

Hope you're able to enjoy the fall weather this weekend!


Friday, September 28, 2012

Birthday Candles

I'm here today with a colorful and fun birthday card.  And thanks to a gridded block, it was a breeze to stamp.

Birthday Candles

The row of candles is actually a single candle stamped multiple times.  By positioning it on a clear gridded block, it was very easy to line up the image across the bottom.  This technique is fairly easy with a clear stamp, but it is possible to do this with a rubber stamp like this one if you line the block up in the same position with the same distance between images every time.

Happy birthday was strategically stamped in the sweet spot - about 1/3 of the way from the edge.

The photo doesn't show it very well, but the flames were outlined with a Spica glitter pen, and they are sparkly IRL.

Supplies used:
Stamps - Party This Way (SU!)
Paper - PTI
Ink - Memento rose bud, lady bug, tangelo, pear tart, bahama blue, grape jelly, lilac posies, dandelion
Accessories - Spica glitter pen


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Halloween Soap Dispenser

I'm back with a fun little project I made on a whim.

I love Trader Joe's liquid glycerin soap.  Just ask my Mom.  (That is another story for another time.)  I used to fill up a soap dispenser that matched the other bathroom accessories, but after our kitties knocked off and broke two of them, I decided to leave the soap in its original plastic bottle.  It turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because now I can decorate it with vinyl for each season or holiday.

Halloween Soap Dispenser

After removing the labels from the front and back, the dispenser was all ready to decorate.  I cut out the vinyl images on my Silhouette Cameo, and just stuck them on.  A pretty orange and yellow gingham ribbon is the perfect finishing touch.

Now we are all ready for Halloween.  (At least in our bathroom!)


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

It's Hip To Be A Square

Now that the kids have been back in school for a little over a month, it might be time for me to start posting some of my projects.  Doncha think?  I have wanted to blog a lot of different things over the summer, but just call me lazy.

I picked up this old Stampin' Up stamp set at a garage sale for just a few dollars, and it was just my style.  I love the simplicity of the images, and they are perfect to stand alone on a gorgeous white card base.

The last one is my favorite just because it has a little bit of bling on it.  I put a dab of Stickles on the other present image, but I always forget that Stickles dries flat.  So am going to put a rhinestone over the top of it, and then it will be pretty, too.

All of the sentiments were embossed with detail white embossing powder, so even the finest fonts came out really clear.  Gotta love those clear stamps for perfect placement!

Supplies used:
Stamps - Good Things Grow, Teeny Tiny Wishes, Mixed and Mega Mixed Messages (PTI)
Paper - PTI
Ink - Various Memento inks
Accessories - Stickles, rhinestone, dimensionals

I won't say that I am going to start posting regularly, because every time I do, I don't post for months on end.  But I'm gonna try.

Have a wonderful fall day!


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Hail Wreaks Havoc

It had been quite a while since we'd had hail here at out house, but hail season is upon us, and it came in with a fury last night.  We had a pretty intense lightning show that my daughter and I watched from the back porch.  There was just a steady sprinkle of rain, but the flash lightning was everywhere.  We came inside around 11:00,  and shortly after we had a burst of pea-sized hail.  I rushed outside to shelter the flower pots I had placed out in the rain, and the hail stopped almost as fast as it started.   It seemed like the storm was calming down, and we went to bed.

Around 1:00 I woke up to the unmistakable sound of hail.  Lots of hail.  It was so bad, I got out of bed to check it out.  The ground was already covered in white, and I knew that wasn't a good thing.  There was nothing I could do but watch the hail destroy the leaves on all all my flowers, trees and everything in my garden.  And it didn't stop for a long time.  I regretted taking the cover off of the herbs I have growing in an old Weber grill on my patio.

The first thing I do every morning is take a walk around our yard and check out my vegetable and flower gardens and plants.  Things always look so fresh.  I water what needs to be watered, pull a few weeds that have sprung up, and enjoy the beginning of a new day.

But today was different.  It wasn't so enjoyable.

All four of the geraniums on my patio looked like this.

I should've left the cover on my herbs!

A little less shade for my sitting garden.

Shredded sunflower leaves, anyone?

Apple tree.

Bruised apple.

My poor tomatoes.  :(

Good thing you don't use rhubarb leaves.

It's unbelievable how much damage a little ice will do.  Most of my plants (if not all of them) will recover, but it was so hard to see them shredded after having nursed them along for several weeks.  I hurt for them.    I realize my pain pales in comparison to all the farmers who depend on their crops for their livelihood.  I hurt even more for them.

While I was taking pictures of the damage and destruction, my daughter yelled at me to "come over here quick!  You have to take a picture of this!"  I rushed over wondering what in the world she could be looking at in the middle of the mulch.

And there was beauty amid the chaos.

What precautions do you take when you know hail is headed your way?



Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Microwave Bowl Potholder and Tutorial

About a month ago, I was a guest blogger over at 2 little hooligans, and I thought I'd share my post with you here just in case you missed it.  I am working on another similar project that was requested by one of her readers, and I will share it with you as soon as I have it finished.

Microwave Bowl Potholder

Do you cringe every time you have to remove a hot bowl from the microwave, afraid that you will burn your fingers, or worse yet, drop the bowl and spill the hot contents on you or your kiddos?  Well fear no more because today I am going to show you how to make a bowl potholder so you don't even have to touch that hot bowl!

Here is what you will need:

2 coordinating fat quarters (100% cotton)
100% cotton batting
cotton thread
sewing machine
quilting ruler and mat or scissors
fabric marker
chopstick or bodkin for pushing out corners

You want to make sure you use 100% cotton materials because synthetic fibers could melt or catch fire in the microwave.  Be sure your batting doesn't contain scrim or glue.

To figure out how big to cut your squares, measure the outside of the bowl from one edge to the other.

Then cut one square from each fabric, and two squares of batting to this measurement.  My bowl measured 10", so my squares were 10".

Place one fabric square right side up on top of a batting square, and quilt them together by sewing an X with a straight stitch diagonally to opposite corners.  Repeat for the other fabric square.  (Yes, I switched fabric on you!)

Now your are going to make darts in the centers of each side to give the potholder a bowl shape.

Fold the quilted square in half to find the center for the dart.  I found the best way to do this was to line it up on my quilting mat grid and mark the stitch line with a fabric marker.  I came in 1" and down 2 1/4" for the dart.  Pin and repeat on all four sides.  Repeat for other quilted square.

Sew along marked lines, back tacking at the ends of the darts.  Trim seams.

The two halves should resemble square bowls at this point.

Pin the bowls right sides together, matching corners and dart seams.  Using 1/4" seam, sew together, leaving about 3" open for turning.  I always put two pins at the opening to remind me where I am supposed to stop.

Trim corners.  Turn right side out, push out corners, and press.

Topstitch around the edge, and you are done!

This is what the outside looks like.

This is a pretty forgiving pattern, and if you have an odd shaped bowl you are trying to fit, the darts can be adjusted to the length or depth you need.  Just test the fit of the bowl before the darts are sewed, and make adjustments as needed.

These work great for making hot cereals or reheating foods in the microwave.

They can also be used as an insulating pad for cold foods like ice cream, so your lap and hands don't freeze!  They should only be used in the microwave, though, and are not for use in a regular, toaster, or convection oven.

I hope you all enjoy this quick and fun little sewing project!


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Stamping is Fun!

Well, it certainly has been a while since I've stamped.  As a matter of fact, it had been so long, I forgot how fun was.  Most of my creative time has been taken up by my new hobby - woodworking.  I have been making doll furniture...high chairs, picnic tables, beds and bedding, and I just haven't had the creative energy to stamp.

But I've had the itch.

So I scratched it today and made a couple cards.  While my mojo was a little stagnant, and it took a lot longer than it should have to make them, I am mostly pleased with my cards.

Not sure about the color combo on this one, but it is what it is.  At least I tried!  All three buttons are clear embossed, but it's hard to tell by the picture.

I love the variety of the faux buttons on this one.  A couple of them are clear embossed to give them more of a real button look.  And the best part about faux buttons is no hassle when mailing!  I shaded the stems, leaves and sentiment with a darker color of green.  Love how that turned out, too.

See, I still have a few tricks up my sleeve.  :)

Supplies used:
Stamps - PTI Everyday Button Bits, SU Button, Button
Paper - PTI  (not sure of the colors)
Ink - Versamark, Memento pear tart, London fog, bamboo leaves marker, Versamagic pink grapefruit, mango madness, turquoise gem
Accessories - Clear EP, circle punches, SU Embosslits Sweet Buttons, dimensionals

What have you been doing with your creative energy?


Thursday, May 24, 2012

My New Babies

"What?" you say.  "I didn't even know she was pregnant!"

No, I'm not talking about those kind of babies, I'm talking about the animal kind.  And I have about 5000 of them.  Can you guess what they are?

I am the proud keeper of about 5000 (and counting) bees!  And I am so excited I can hardly stand it!

I became interested in keeping bees last fall.  I think bees are the most fascinating creatures, and I did a lot of research, talked to some bee keepers, read a lot of books, and decided it was something I wanted to do.  Their help with pollination would be great for my garden, fruit trees, and flowers, their honey good for our allergies, and I can use their beeswax in the body care products I make for myself.  And it just so happens that a lady in my neighborhood has been keeping bees for about 20 years, and she agreed to be my mentor.

When you start out as a beekeeper, you can either buy your bees, or collect a swarm.  I decided I wanted to try getting a swarm.  My mentor, Susan, has been collecting swarms for many years, so she put me on her list, and we agreed that I would go with her to assist in the collection.  The call came Monday morning, and she was already at the swarm site.  Fortunately, it was only a few miles away, and I was able to get there before she collected them.

This is what I saw when I drove up.

It was a really good sized swarm.  The branch they were on was cut and placed in a box.  There were a few hundred bees flying around, and many of them found their way into the lidded box since the queen was inside.  Susan stayed at the site to let more bees go in the box while I rushed home to put a little honey inside my hive box to give them a little food when they got there.  The bees that didn't make it into the box would eventually collect on another branch, and we (I) could go back to get them later.  Without a queen, they would have no reason to live and would eventually starve to death.

These bees are going in the box to be with their queen.

Here come the bees!

The entire box was a mass of bees.  Despite the sound they make, swarming bees are not aggressive and are not likely to sting you.  They have no home or food to protect, so they are 'nice'.

We placed the largest branch which most likely still had the queen on it into the hive box.

Then we gently shook the bees off of the smaller branches.

Once the bees were shaken off of the large branch, the bees from the box were gently dumped into the hive box.

Then the remaining frames were slowly lowered into the hive box.  At this point, the pitch of their buzz became elevated to a swarming pitch, so we had to work quickly.

Admiring my new babies.

There were a few drones (male bees) in the swarm.  They are the larger bees with more black on their abdomens and large eyes.  And like some human males, they are completely dependent on the female worker bees to take care of them.  The drones can't even feed themselves!

A couple things are going on in this picture.  When bees find a new home, some of them will position themselves at the entrance and fan their wings, pushing the scent of the queen out so the bees that are flying around know where to find her.  They are the ones with their hineys in the air fanning their wings like crazy.  This happened immediately after they were placed in the hive box.  The other thing that was remarkable was the fact that they started cleaning house right away.  The pine needle was left behind from one of the branches, and it was slowly pushed out of the hive.

Going, going, gone!

I spent a lot of time observing them the rest of the day, and I'm considering making a bench near the hive just so I can have a comfortable place to sit.  : )

Susan called me again on Tuesday night to let me know there was a small cluster of left over bees that had collected in the same tree as the swarm.  Now it was my turn to collect the bees.

So we took off early this morning to get them.

My helpers with their reusable produce bags as make shift veils.  Hey, at least the bags weren't plastic!

This cluster was about the size of a very large mango.  Pretty manageable for my first collection!

Probably a few hundred bees here, ready to be reunited with their sisters.

As soon as a few of the left overs were introduced to the hive, the fanning committee got to work.  It was amazing that they recognized each other and knew they needed to fan.

Once the bees in the box caught wind of their long lost queen, they made a mad dash up the side of the box.  I swear it looked like they were actually running up the box.  It was so fun to see.  (They are the ones in the left hand corner.)

Fanning Committee on the left, Welcoming Committee on the right.

As I watched my bees today, many of them were returning with their pollen baskets overflowing with pollen.  I think they like their new home.

If you're still with me, thanks for enduring this extremely long and picture heavy post.  I couldn't help but to share my excitement.