Friday, November 12, 2010

Inkling: holiday gift list – free download

It’s not quite panic time but it’s getting close. I know it’s hard to think about holiday gift buying when you haven’t even bought your Thanksgiving turkey - but now is a good time to start on your list.

I have to admit, I’m starting to feel the holiday excitement and stress. But I always feel better once I have my list done. I created this holiday gift list and plan to finish up my gift ideas very soon.

How about you? Have you started your list yet? Are you a last minute shopper or completely organized and done with all your holiday shopping? If you’re like me, and just getting started on your list, feel free to download a copy of my holiday gift list.

You can find the free download under the Goodie Bag Tab.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Upcycling: decoupage vases

I saw some decoupage vases online the other day and wanted to give decoupaging a try. My first attempt looked similar to a grade school craft. You know, when you cover a jar with torn pieces of tissue paper with a lot of glue. I decided to go with the “less is more” rule and started over with a new design.

For the first vase, I cut thin strips of rice paper and decoupaged them in a vertical stripe pattern.

The small vase is a shout out to the bunting / garland craze and the third vase also uses thin strips of paper but in a sun burst pattern.

You can use your vases for decorative objects or storage containers.

A little tissue paper, glue and a jar and you can take a grade school craft to a new level.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Show and Tell: sock kittens

Marilyn has submitted a great project just in time to make for a holiday gift.

These kittens are so cute. Here’s how Marilyn made these.

"I made these soft, stuffed kittens for my three little granddaughters. For my "Kittens in Kimonos", I started with a pair of soft, fleecy socks."

  • Turn them inside out and stitch two seams, 1/4" apart, from the top of the cuff to the heel.
  • Stitch across the edges at the end of the cuff and clip between the two seams. This creates the legs. 
  • Clip the opening at the heel so that it's large enough to turn the sock right-side-out. (The toe of the sock becomes the kitten's head).  
  • Insert stuffing into head, body and legs. Hand stitch the opening closed. I used polyester fiber-fill for the stuffing.
  • From the second sock, make the front legs (arms) in the same way you made the back legs, but cut them off at the heel. 
  • Insert stuffing into the arms.

  • Cut a tail and some ears - there is no need to stuff the ears or tail. Hand stitch the arms, ears and tail to the body.
  • Draw a face onto some cotton felt, then embroider the features, trim off the excess fabric and sew the face onto the head.

"I made a tiny kimono pattern from tracing paper. I had plenty of leftover fabric and I lined each little kimono with contrasting fabric. I tacked the tie belts to the backs of the kimonos, so that they can't come off and get lost. I made a buttonhole in the back of each kimono for the kittens' tails to go through."

"To make the kittens look more feminine, since they were for little girls, I made headbands for them, using leftover ribbon, elastic and roses."


What little girl wouldn’t love to receive one of these kittens? Marilyn, your granddaughters are so lucky to have such a talented grandmother. Thanks for sharing your “Kittens in Kimonos”.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Inspiration Board: butterfly specimen display

I haven’t done an inspiration board in awhile. But I thought it was definitely time to refresh my board with something different. There wasn’t a particular color that I had in mind so I decided to create something with a lot of color.

What could be more colorful than a variety of butterflies?

My board was inspired by real butterfly specimen displays. I found images of butterflies online and printed them out. I carefully cut around each butterfly and mounted them. To give the butterflies a more natural look, I bent the wings upward a little.

Each butterfly is so unique and beautiful.
Note: no butterflies were injured in the making of this display.

handmade projects

Monday, November 8, 2010

Guest Blogger: Everyday Mom Ideas


Today I’m a guest blogger over at Everyday Mom Ideas – a site full of crafty fun.  Check out my Thanksgiving Tree at Everyday Mom Ideas that I created just in time to count down the days until Thanksgiving.


Each day, until Thanksgiving, add a leaf to the tree. The leaves can be personalized with something that you are thankful for.  

By the time you sit down for your Thanksgiving meal, your tree will be full of reminders of what the true meaning of Thanksgiving is all about.

Thank you Everyday Mom Ideas for having me over.

handmade projects

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Inspiration Board: a gift from little ones

You know those days? When nothing seems to go right. Until you open the front door and there’s a gift of flowers waiting for you. I’m not talking about a beautiful chic arrangement or long stemmed roses. I’m talking about wilted, straggly marigolds.

I found these on my porch the other day when I was having one of those days. It was tipped over with dirt spilling out and a few stems had broken off. After a little investigative work, I found out that the neighborhood pre-school children left marigolds on each neighbor’s doorstep.

These Marigolds cheered up my day.  I hope your weekend is filled with sunny marigolds.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Inkling: fall envelope garland

Bowls overflowing with pumpkins and gourds, cornucopias and wreaths generously packed with fall leaves surround us this time of year. They’re colorful, beautiful and symbolic of abundance. When assembling my fall garland, I decided to take a different approach.

I used small envelopes and stamped them with leaves using gold and green ink. Then I threaded them onto string.

Rather than clustering the leaves and wheat, peeking out of each envelope is a single stalk of wheat or fall leaf.

I love the rich abundance of fall, but sometimes a simple touch can still be plenty.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sew and Tell: embroidered coasters

If you saw my post on my Thanksgiving napkin rings, you may recall I made two types and couldn’t decide which ones to use. I finally made a decision to go with the more casual berry napkin rings.

Now that I can solve life’s major dilemmas like napkin rings, I can move forward. Next up for my Thanksgiving table… coasters.

I used the same casual beige cotton, cut out squares and embroidered a simple acorn on one corner. Then, I simply sewed two squares together with cotton batting in between.  

It's starting to all come together, napkin rings, coasters and my fall centerpiece.

My embroidery skills are a bit rusty and I only know a few basic stitches. For some true inspiration, check out this embroidery piece I found.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sew and Tell: yarn pom poms

When you think of yarn pom poms you usually think of ponchos and knit beanie toppers. I think pom poms have been given a bad rap. Rethink the pom pom and use them on a variety of crafts. Here’s what I did with my yarn pom poms.

 A pom pom topiary.

And a pom pom cotton plant.

You can find a tutorial on how to make pom poms here.

So dig out that box of leftover yarn because yesterday’s beanie topper is today’s fun craft.

handmade projects

Monday, November 1, 2010

Be my guest: katycakes

I’m so pleased to tell you about katycakes. My friend Katy makes the most delicious baked goods. Trust me, I’ve sampled many, many of Katy’s bundt cakes and cupcakes.

Formerly with Bakesale, Katy is branching out on her own with delicious, fresh baked goodies. The only downside…katycakes is local in the Los Angeles area only. But if you live in the area or are visiting or have a friend in Los Angeles – check out katycakes.

Everything is made with the best ingredients and made with old-fashioned homemade care.  

Here’s what Katy has to say:

Katycakes is not for lovers of "store bought cupcakes" with whirling twirling frosting dyed all the colors of the rainbow or for fans of mouthfuls of sculpted fondant on top of cakes that have spent a few days in the fridge

It is a culmination of lots of years of baking...with my grandmas, my mom and dad, my three wonderful sisters & a couple of very special cousins, and from a lot of late "sugary" nights tweaking my recipes until the cakes were super moist and the frostings buttery rich and creamy dreamy.

Thanks Katy and best of luck with katycakes.
Let me know if you need me to taste test anything!