Friday, September 17, 2010

Homework: shop

I’m so excited to announce the opening of my shop.

My shop includes items that I created and featured on this blog - so check it out. You can find the link in the right hand column of my home page or under the “Shop” tab.

I’m working on more items to add to my inventory so check back frequently.

Thank you so much for visiting my blog and my little shop.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sew and Tell: fabric swatch book

If you’re reading this blog, there’s a pretty good chance, like me, you have boxes and boxes of fabric. Every time I need some fabric, I pull out all the boxes, search for the scrap that I need and then put all the boxes back. Here’s my solution.

I’ve made myself a fabric swatch book. Now when I need fabric for a project, I’ll pull out my fabric swatch book and decide what fabric(s) I’m going to use beforehand.

On some of the cards, I’ve included 2 or 3 swatches in coordinating fabrics.

As I buy more fabric (somebody please stop me…), I’ll just add more cards. 

This project is linked to

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Etceteras: my vintage favorites

I love vintage goodies. Here are some of my favorites that I’ve collected over the years.

  1. Demitasse teacup and saucer. I have a set of these and they’re stamped Made in Occupied Japan which dates them between 1945 – 1952. I think these have become quite collectible.
  2. Vintage coat buttons. Love these huge buttons in pretty fall colors.
  3. Frankoma pitcher in sunny yellow. So cheery.
  4. My grandma’s quilt. Amazing fabrics.
  5. Enamel pitcher – a flea market find – great to use as a vase.
  6. Vintage cutter tablecloths. I've used bits and pieces on so many projects.
  7. A tiny vintage iron used for doll’s clothes.
  8. Peppermint extract. I’ve never used any but it’s been slowly evaporating over the years. Oh well, at least I’ll always have the bottle.
  9. My grandma’s sewing notions.

Going through these photos has inspired me to create a project with a vintage theme - which may require a trip to the thrift store for additional inspiration.  Can't wait...thrift store = fun!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Show and Tell: kimonos, pencils and flowers

My first Show and Tell project was submitted by Marilyn. Check out these beautiful kimono robes she made.

And here’s her story:

“For the kimonos, I like to use a contrasting fabric for the front band and tie belt. I probably have much more fun picking out fabrics than the recipients of the kimonos have getting them as gifts.”

I would have to argue with that Marilyn… I’m sure the recipients love these.

“After searching unsuccessfully for a kimono pattern for months, I made a pattern by laying tracing paper over an old kimono.”

According to Marilyn after receiving more requests for kimonos, she knew she would have to find a pattern to accommodate sizes.

“Again I searched online and, this time, found the perfect unisex pattern - Kwik Sew Pattern 3177. It includes sizes XS through XL. This is a good pattern for experienced seamstresses and those who are new to sewing alike.”

Marilyn - thank you so much for submitting these for Show and Tell. They’re beautiful.

In keeping with the kimono theme, I was inspired to create these Asian-themed pencils. There are many tutorials currently available for paper-covered pencils. Here’s a good one using magazine paper.

For my pencils, I used a printout of a Japanese newspaper and decorated the jar with a collar in the same paper. The little hang tag is made from Japanese primary writing paper. Note the little squares go up and down - cute!

To finish off my Asian-inspired theme, I wanted to create an origami. I tried a lantern, a box and a whale. All were a complete failure. I had envisioned the last photo on this post with a shot of a perfectly crisp origami creation. I discovered that origami is not my thing. Instead I created these little flowers.

I’m rationalizing that these flowers fit with the Asian-theme since I used rice paper to make them. Here’s a tutorial on how you can make these pretty flowers.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Etceteras: easy summer coasters

Although summer is coming to a close, there’s still plenty of good weather for outdoor gatherings, barbeques or just sitting outside with a cool drink.

I have to confess, these pretty coasters were probably the easiest thing I’ve ever made. These started as dollar store plastic placemats.

I honestly didn’t know if this project would work or not. I wasn’t sure if my circle cutter would cut through the plastic or if once they were cut, the plastic would separate. Amazingly, the plastic cut nicely and easily.

In my photos, I’m using the textured or wrong side of the coaster as the top. The texture seemed more coaster-ish and I liked the muted colors better.


Friday, September 10, 2010

Upcycling: paper covered glass jars

Every time I open one of my craft drawers, this little box of washers (that I used to make these paper clips) spills.

I was thinking about being lazy and throwing them in a baggie but I seized the opportunity to find a cute container project. I found the perfect tutorial on Design Sponge. You can check out the complete Design Sponge tutorial here.

For my jars, I didn’t have Modge Podge so I used spray mount to adhere my paper to the lids.
The paper for the orange jar is origami paper. The blue paper is from lovely design. You can find Sharilyn of lovely design's paper template here.

What a relief. I was tired of picking up all those little washers.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Etceteras: craft block shadow box

I found these craft blocks at the dollar store and loved the colors.

The blocks have been sitting around because I couldn’t think of what I wanted to make with them. I had a mental block…ha ha.

Here’s what I finally came up with.

I glued the blocks onto a frame and added a black matte. I photo copied my son’s Children’s Book Animal - First Day of Issue Stamps and cut them out with a craft scissor that’s actually called “postage stamp”.

Then I mounted them into the shadow box.
George, Wilbur and the Hungry Caterpillar are looking quite content in their new shadow box.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Show and Tell: patio art

Aren’t these paintings amazing? My friend Julie created these outdoor patio paintings to jazz up a side wall. I love them!

These were painted on wood with exterior paint to withstand the elements. The colors are fantastic and the dogs and kitty are so well done.

You can use this idea to cover an unsightly area or to just decorate your yard.
The entire patio looks so inviting and beautiful. What a great idea to decorate a yard with unique art.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sew and Tell: fall leaf mobile

Updated 9/15/10: I've received a lot of questions about how I mounted the mobile. Just to let you know, for this photo, the mobile was balancing off the edge of a tall bookcase. I've since moved it to my inspiration board using a small ribbon in the center of the main twig. Ideally, I want to hang it from the ceiling but that will require a ladder, tools and my husband so that hasn't happened yet.
Thanks for asking about my fall leaf mobile. So glad you like it.

Fall is definitely in the air. And if not in the air where you are, it’s definitely around the creative blogs, shops and catalogs.

To me, nothing says “Fall” like autumn leaves and so I created a falling leaf mobile with coffee stained muslin fabric and a white birch twig.

To make a mobile like this, you’ll need:

Coffee or tea
Thread or strings

Cut out pieces of muslin and soak in coffee or tea. For my leaves I used coffee (leftover from breakfast). I decided not to soak them but drizzle the coffee over the fabric for a variegated effect.

Hang your fabric to dry.
Create a leaf template and trace onto your dried fabric. Cut out your leaves.
Glue your leaves onto a piece of thread or string and let dry.

Secure your threads of falling leaves onto the twig. I wrapped the thread around the twig and added a tiny spot of glue. Hang your mobile and enjoy the falling leaves.
The best part – you don’t have to rake these leaves up.



This project has been entered in the CSI Project of the Year Challenge

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Inspiration Board: in the pink

Happy Labor Day. Wishing everyone a wonderful day off – if you’re lucky enough to have the day off.
I’m stepping away from the computer today – well, at least for a little while (ok – I’ll only check it periodically).  In the meantime, here’s a new pink inspiration board.

And, my new happy geranium cutting that I “borrowed” on a recent walk.
Enjoy your day.