Monday, September 27, 2010

Etcetera: fall leaf centerpiece

If you’re ready to give up summer and start putting out fall décor, this centerpiece will definitely make an autumn statement.

To make this centerpiece, you’ll need:

Fall leaves (natural or silk)
Pot or planter
Optional: floral picks, twine to embellish your pot, glue gun, tacky glue

For my centerpiece, I wrapped the terra cotta pot that I used in sisal twine. Starting at the top, I used Aleene’s Tacky Glue and wrapped the twine around and around until I reached the bottom. I don’t have any pictures of this part of the process because my hands were covered in glue!

  1. My leaves didn’t come with stems or picks so I hot glued them to pieces of wire. I used about 5 leaves per wire and sort of fanned them out.
  2. Start sticking the wires into the oasis going around in a circle until the pot is completely filled.
  3. You need a lot of leaves to get an abundant, full effect. 
  4. Once you’ve filled your pot with leaves, you can fluff them or rearrange them until you’re satisfied.
All done and...
time for a nap!

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Inspiration Board: falling for fall

It’s time to get serious about chestnut brown, moss green and pumpkin orange. Summer flowers can be replaced with acorns, gourds and twigs. And cool summer drinks and fresh fruit will become hot cocoa, apple cider and pumpkin bread. I love autumn and all the colors, sights and smells that come with this season.

For added inspiration, I created a fall inspiration board. The images are a mix of magazine clippings and images found online. I mounted them on cut up grocery bags and used my vintage button tacks to pin them to my board.

Happy Friday! Hope you have an amazing weekend.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Inkling: window envelope gift cards

I’ve found one good thing about junk mail and bills. You can reuse the window envelopes to make a cute craft.

To make these little gift cards, cut a window into a piece of cardstock.
Cut out the window portion from your junk mail window envelope and fold in half.
Add colorful paper punches. For mine I added the letter printouts “BFF” and “I heart U” for some extra cuteness. Glue the edges of the window closed and glue onto the back side of your card window. Cover the backside of the window with another piece of paper so that when you open the card you don’t see the window.

Micro hole punch the top corner and add a string.

And “I heart U” for visiting my blog!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Inkling: pressed leaves

I received this flower press kit as a gift years ago and I never used it. But now I can’t stop pressing leaves and flowers.

It takes a little while to press and dry the flowers - so for this post, I’m showing my first batch of fern leaves.

You place the leaves between pressing paper which absorbs the moisture from the plant. You can do several layers at one time. Once you have your plants between the pressing papers, you cover the top and bottom with pressing board and place into the press. My press uses straps which you tighten.

I checked the fern leaves periodically and they were flat and dry in about one week. I used spray mount to adhere the leaves to the cards.

Here they are – pressed, dried and ready to use.

I currently have flowers in the press and will post about those once they’re ready. This project requires a little patience while your flowers are pressing. It’s a good skill for me to learn…the patience part – not the pressing.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Etceteras: fuzzy yarn sheep

These fuzzy yarn sheep make me smile. This is actually a child’s craft that I modified. The original project calls for clothes pin legs and chunky yarn. Here’s how I made my sheep.

Cut out a cardboard sheep body.
Add a face out of black card stock.

Glue on twigs for legs. I taped mine before the glue dried so they would stay in position and the sheep could stand up.

Add a small amount of fiber fill.

Wrap fuzzy yarn around the body like you’re making a yarn ball. Tie off the end and tuck the knot into the body.

Cut out ears and tuck into the yarn with a dab of glue.
You can add a loop of string and use them as holiday ornaments or year-round décor.
Mine are grazing on my office window sill which makes me happy.



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

Monday, September 20, 2010

Good Taste: raspberry peach sangria

Whenever I need to make a beverage for a gathering I turn to this standby…raspberry peach sangria. It’s easy to make, light and refreshing and really pretty.

All you need are peaches, raspberries and oranges.
And white wine, peach schnapps, pineapple juice and Sprite or 7-up.

Slice the oranges and peaches, mix it all up and serve. I like to use a punchbowl or large jar with a ladle so that there’s fruit in each serving.

You can easily turn this into a non-alcoholic beverage by omitting the wine and peach schnapps and using more Sprite or 7-up.

I think everything looks prettier when raspberries are involved.
The recipe is in the goodie bag tab.

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.