Friday, February 29, 2008

A Spot of Color

Happy Leap Day everyone! My sister sent me a link a while back to this craft room/office, with the awesome ribbon wall. I thought it was a great way to display ribbon scraps, so I made a small version:

The little clothespins will be decorated some day, and the pushpins are my new obsession:

I am in love with these fabric buttons! What an awesome way to display little scraps I love. Since I can't think of a project for the buttons right now, I pulled of the hooks on the back and glued on a thumbtack for my bulletin board.

These are addicting!

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

One of Many

It's auction time again! It seems like it comes so fast... There's one at work early next month and one in April at church. I love being able to make something to donate, in fact I went a little overboard this year! I started out with a new purse design:

It's not quite what I pictured and I've already worked out some improvements. This one has two pleats in the outside, a solid interior with a patch pocket. I used the blanket stitch on my machine to attach the pocket...

It also has a flap on the outside to close it with a magnetic snap.

These smaller handbags come together so much faster than those big quilted totes, the last bags I made. I feel so productive! I highly recommend tackling some big, time-consuming projects if you want a project like this to seem super quick.

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Danger - Construction Zone!

If you were to come over to my house right now, you would be greeted by bare concrete...

We're finally replacing our thin crummy dirty carpet with new floors! You can see the little sample in the picture.

What you can't see in the photo is the growing layer of dust on *everything* - you apparently have to sand the concrete so you can level it? I'm leaving the details to the handyman. All I know is it's messy. But since this picture shows the little bit we've started, by far the smallest room we're doing, I'd better get used to this chaos!

(I've responded so far by shutting myself in my sewing room, so I'll have some good things to show for it soon!)


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

New Toy!

For my birthday ( October...) I got a new lens for my camera. Well, the promise of a new lens - I had to decide if I wanted a better all-purpose lens or a fixed focal length "portrait" lens... After a lot of research I decided to get a lens that will give me the yummy shallow depth of field I love so much... I am already smitten with my new toy!! Just a few examples from the past few days...

My puppy DJ being silly.

My precious sleeping nephew.

Hitch looking out the window.

Our new pelican.

Do you see that last photo? That pelican? My mom made him! Isn't he gorgeous? Living on the gulf coast we have a special place in our hearts for pelicans, and now we have one of our own. My mom is so talented!!

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Etsy Love!

Thanks for all the positive feedback on the tea towel apron!

I have been having so much fun browsing Etsy lately! Almost everyday I add a few new favorites to my list. Recently I went on a search for cute bookplates for my growing library and instead picked up these stamps from Sweet Paperie.

Wouldn't an address stamp and stamp pad with some personalized stationery make a cute bridal shower gift? I got a bookplate stamp and an address stamp. Here's the bookplate in action...

Rather than use a stamp pad, since I wanted the two colors, I used my favorite stamp pens.

A neat trick I learned - take as long as you need to color your stamp, a different color for every letter if you want, and then just "huh" your warm breath on it before stamping to make the ink moist.

I also treated myself to a new pair of earrings - I seem to wear pink all the time, and that was all the excuse I needed to get these from Shy Siren.

I've even found shops for supplies - beads, fabric, vintage, etc! I sneaked these beautiful beads into my cart the last day of January, just under my "No New Supplies Month" deadline:

And the title of the post comes from a fairly new blog, Etsy Love. Between blogs like this and the always fresh Etsy front page, it won't be hard to keep finding new shops to love!

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Cut-Paper Craze

I'm sure you all have foolproof methods for organizing your photos, right? Well, my system is just to stick all my photos in a "Crafts" folder on my computer, and then edit them when I want to do a post. So pictures sometimes get lost... I totally forgot to post these cards I made for my aunt at Christmas!

These were my annual handmade cards, though I only made one set for my aunt, my most appreciative recipient! I was inspired by all the cut paper around lately, especially at Amy's. Isn't this shadow gorgeous?

I haven't done any other papercraft in a while, other than my heart poster. Instead I'm getting the urge to work with yarn again... I finally couldn't resist Alicia's adorable Baby Bella Dress pattern, especially after seeing Nikki's post on it. Since it's an electronic pattern, I'm calling that a loophole in my "no new supplies" month! We'll see if this burst of crochet energy goes anywhere...

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Simple Tea Towel Apron

So many people mentioned having beautiful tea towels they couldn't bear to use when I posted the Tea Towel Tote how-to, so I thought you might also be interested in my super easy tea towel apron. This is even easier than the tote, and takes about 15 minutes.

Click any picture to make it larger.

1 tea towel
2.5-3 yds ribbon*

In honor of Valentine's Day, I'm using these super cute Valentine towels I found on clearance last year.

First, fold your tea towel in half lengthwise, right sides together. If you have a border that you want to be along the bottom of your apron, make sure it's where my red border is.

Find the center of your ribbon and align it with the center of the towel's folded edge. Pin ribbon along folded edge, through ribbon and both layers of the towel.

Sew along the top and bottom of the ribbon, through the ribbon and both layers of towel, top stitching when you stop and start for security.

Fold the top layer of towel up to meet the ribbon. Pin just the folded top layer, along the edges and at two spots to make dividers - this is your apron pocket.

Sew just through the pocket layers, at the edges and your pocket divisions, backstitching at the openings for security.

You're done!

Model your apron in your grubby PJ's and share it with the internet:

* This is why I make the ribbon so long - I wrap the ties back around to the front and tie them under the pocket, so the apron doesn't move around much while I'm wearing it.

Now make another one because that was so stinkin' easy!

Hope you enjoy!!

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Quick Fix... Sunday?

Inspired by posts here and here , I dug through my (embarassingly large) patterned paper piles and made this today:

I am a little embarassed by how shamelessy I copied mks's collage, but I also love how the different papers and colors make it look totally different.

I had a 12x12 frame I've been meaning to fill forever so in went this collage and I got it up on the wall.

My sister will be happy to see that I also finally got some pictures in the frames on my shelves! Including one of my favorite pictures of all time, me and my sister and my dad on a camping trip years ago.

How satisfying to go from inspiration to completion in a lazy weekend afternoon!

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

HAD to try something new...

I still have five (5!!) baby presents on my list, so I had to try something new. Instead of ribbon or fabric strips on these burp rags, I did a wide binding.

I really love the results but it took quite a while! I also realized these might not hold up as well to frequent washing. So it's already back to the ribbon...


Monday, February 04, 2008

Easy Queso

I hope everyone had a nice weekend! For those of us in the States, it was Super Bowl weekend. I'm not a huge football fan, but it was actually a really good game! If you found the game fast approaching without any snacks, next time try this - I call this my White Trash Queso...

Brown 3/4 pound ground beef with half a chopped onion and half a chopped bell pepper (you can skip the veggies if you don't have time to chop).

Combine in a crock pot with 1 block of Velveeta (cubed) and 1 small jar of your favorite salsa.

Cook on high until melted, ~30 min but stir often to make sure it doesn't burn. Then turn off and enjoy with your favorite tortilla chips! Just turn back on low occasionally if it's gets cool.

Be careful, this gets eaten quickly! If you have a big crowd I'd recommend a double batch...


Friday, February 01, 2008

Sewing Room Friday - My OCD Side

I really love to be organized. A place for everything, everything in its place, and all that. I know I've talked about that before! Luckily I don't get too compulsive about it, but when things are in disarray it always nags at me. Alternately, little organized bits can make me very happy.

Previously I had all my DMC floss shoved in drawers of a little plastic organizer, still with the little paper sleeves they come with. It was hard to tell which colors I already had and definitely hard to find a specific color.

Each evening for a week or so (this took a while!) I wrapped floss onto bobbins... It is so pretty now! I had it ordered by DMC number but since I don't do many projects lately that call things out by number I rearranged it to spectrum order since I think it makes it look so yummy.

And to put it on record somewhere... I am declaring February "No New Supplies Month". I have so many projects on my list, ideas in my head I want to tackle. When I buy fabric, notions, beads, etc, it's always with some *new* project in mind, so my list is always growing! Here's to making my list shorter instead of longer...

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