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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Table Runner - Finished!

I finished my table runner last night. I like the way it turned out. I made it in response to the tutorial that I referenced in an earlier post, at u-createcrafts.com. I picked my fabrics to match my dining room wallpaper. Here's a photo of my finished runner.Finished table runner
And here's a closeup.Tablerunner closeup
The backing fabric I used is a piece I had left over from my dining room window treatments and chair seats. Table runner backing
When we bought this house, they had very pretty swags on the window, but they were pink. We repapered the room and I took apart the pink swags to use as a pattern to make these mauve ones. I bought enough fabric to have the chair seats upholstered. You can see part of a chair on the far right of the photo below.
Table runner in dining room
In the tutorial for the table runner is a separate tutorial for the binding. It was great! There were three tips in it that I loved. 1. Joining the two ends of the binding was very easy and looks great. I've never done it like this before and hope I always remember this way! 2. Mitering the corners was a piece of cake. 3. Sewing over the pins, then having them there to use when folding the binding to the back side saved time. Check this out if you want an easy way to do binding!

Bummer. I just realized the deadline for getting my photo in was 8/30. I thought it was tonight. I finished the runner late last night then worked at home for an hour after that till after 11:30. Oh, well. Guess I'll just have to show my photos here!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Purchases in St. Louis

Before we left to take my son to UMSL, I looked on Craigslist for things in the St. Louis area that I might be interested in. I found a couple ads that were several days old that I was interested in. When I contacted the sellers, I was surprised to hear that the items I was interested in were still available. I made arrangements to purchase and pick up the items on Saturday. We were able to fit in these stops while we were shopping for apartment furniture.

My first purchase was this jewelry display rack. I really like it! It swivels around on the base and will hold quite a few bracelets or necklaces. Or maybe even Christmas ornaments.Six of the metal holders on each side will hold a lot!
Jewelry display rack
And I'm always on the lookout for vintage Christmas ornaments for my wreaths. I found an ad for ornaments for $10. What a deal!
My latest vintage ornaments
I got about 50 ornaments for $10! Only a few were solid colored balls. Most of them were the multi-colored or different shaped ones that I really want to find. Some of them were unlike any I have purchased in the past. Here are some of the different ones.
Two bell ornaments
Vintage blue ornament
Vintage ornament - different shapeWhile we ended up being much busier in St. Louis than I had planned on, since we had to look for more furniture than I had planned on, we were still able to fit in the trips to pick up my jewelry display and ornament purchases. It worked out well and I'm glad I checked out craigslist before we went to St. Louis!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Table Runner - My New Project

I don’t remember exactly how I found it, but sometime in early August, I found this August “create with me” project in a blog. I decided I would make this table runner for my dining room table. It would give me something to do (like I really need another project!) after my son was off at school.

Monday afternoon, after I got back from St. Louis, since I was taking the whole day off work, I went to JoAnn’s to find more fabrics to add to the collection I had already pulled from my fabric stash. Here are all the fabrics I will be using.
Fabric for table runner
I couldn’t find Warm and Natural batting in a good size, but found this Mountain Mist brand. And all batting was 40% off!Batting
I’ve cut my batting piece and am ready to start pressing and cutting fabric. Stay tuned for my finished project! I have to finish it in August, so I still have a few more days, including a weekend. And I’ve decided that if I like this project, I want to make another table runner in Christmas fabrics. Maybe I could even give some as Christmas gifts. Hadn’t thought of that until just now. We’ll see how it goes…

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Seed Bead Bracelet and Earrings

OK. The college move is over. We got my son settled and we kept very busy for a couple days, going to estate sales and even a hotel liquidation warehouse. Craigslist is great! We got some great buys to furnish the apartment. But when things slowed down and when it was time to drive away and leave my one and only child behind, things got kind of hard. So now I’m home in my empty-nest house…I have plenty of ways to keep busy. Like catch up on all my blog posts. But this is going to take some getting used to.

Here’s a photo of the bracelet and earrings I made for myself during my “make stuff for myself to cheer up” phase before leaving for school. These are made with two colors of size 11 seed beads. I got the instructions in the February 2010 Bead & Button magazine.
Seed Bead Bracelet and Earrings
There are variations for stringing together the beaded flowers to make three different bracelets. I came up with the earring design (not too hard to do) myself. This was a fun little pattern to stitch. If you’ve got a couple colors of seed beads handy, you might want to give something like this a try!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My Beads from Wichita

Last year, when we went to a baseball tournament in Wichita, I found a wonderful bead shop called Beadazzled. The owner sold lovely lampworked beads and jewelry she had made from her beads. I bought some beads and made this bracelet.

This year, I had to go back to that great bead shop. I went there to buy some beads for myself, but there were so many pretty ones to pick from, I had a hard time deciding what to buy. In the end, I came home with these cute parcels.
My bead purchases in wichita
What's in these cute bags, you ask?

For myself, I bought these beads to make a bracelet and necklace.
My beads from Wichita
And since I loved so many beads, I bought these beads to make some necklaces to sell. Beads for necklaces to sell
Once my son is off at school, some of my future projects will use these beads. Aren't they all great?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My New Chiminea

My son’s last baseball tournament of the summer was in Stillwater, OK. My husband was not able to go to this tournament, so just Joe and I went. We played a game at OSU, then some games in various nearby locations, until we went back to OSU on Sunday for the quarterfinals and semifinals (where we lost).

We played a couple games in Guthrie. Guthrie was very memorable for a number of reasons. I saw some things on a baseball field that I had never seen before. The field opened up to the football field, so there was a goal post in deep, deep center field.Guthrie goal postThere was a hill in right field. Guthrie hill in right fieldI got to go visit my cousin and her two daughters in Edmond between games and have lunch with them. And I brought home a souvenir from our trip to Guthrie. All of these are reasons I will remember Guthrie.

To get to Guthrie, we drove along some country roads. On the way there, I noticed a little place along the side of the road that was selling Mexican pottery sorts of things. It really caught my attention and I thought about it some. On the way back to our hotel, I decided to stop and look around. Our wooden deck is badly in need of replacement. We’re going to start planning what to do with it after school starts and we have a little more time. I know we’ll do some sort of multi-level deck since we live on a fairly steep lot with a walk-out basement. When we redid our basement a couple years ago, we added a nice patio door, which right now goes to nowhere, but will go out onto the future lower level of our redone deck. So I’ve been kind of interested in chimineas whenever I see them, thinking that I will obviously be able to fit one into the future deck arrangement somehow.

There is a very cute shop in Omaha that has lot of Mexican pottery and art, right next door to my favorite junk shop. The chimineas always caught my eye there, as they did this last summer when we visited the shop. This place along the road in Oklahoma had the same sort of pottery, including some cute fish-shaped chimineas that I love.

So Joe and I stopped on the way back to the hotel. When the owner told me that everything was on sale, that made the shopping even better! I ended up buying this - I love it! My new chiminea - side view
My new chiminea - front view Fortunately, I had Joe with me to help get it into the back seat of my two-door car. We had lots of old baseball towels to use as padding around it. And it had a very uneventful ride back to Kansas City in my back seat.

When we plan the deck this fall, a seating area where my new chiminea will have a spot is definitely a requirement!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Patch – Featured EtsyBlogger for August

This is my second blog post as a new member of the EtsyBloggers team. Each month, I will be posting an article on the featured EtsyBlogger. This month, the featured member is Patch. She is truly incredible, with three Etsy shops and two blogs! I don’t know how she keeps up with it all.

Etsy shop number 1 is PatchFirstShop.etsy.com. In it, she sells beautiful jewelry, made mostly with Swarovski crystals. I love this aquamarine pendant (that’s my birthstone), but she can make it in other colors, too.Double Loop Crystal Pendant
The second shop is PatchVintageShop.etsy.com, which sells vintage clothing items. This shocking pink blouse is great, don’t you think?Vintage Shocking/Hot Pink Blouse/Blazer
And finally is PatchSupplyShop.etsy.com. In this shop, Patch sells mostly packaging supplies – gift bags, cute plastic boxes and also some pretty origami flowers.
Pastel Origami Folding Flowers
Patch has two blogs, also. PatchFirstShop.wordpress.com addresses jewelry and her other Etsy shops. Many interesting posts related to her work.

And her wedding guide is at WeddingGuideByPatch.blogspot.com, which can be found from PatchFIrstShop.blogspot.com . Lots of interesting info on weddings, from hair styles to fashion, invitations…all sorts of things.

So please take a look at the Etsy shops and blogs of Patch! She is a valuable member of the EtsyBloggers team, full of energy and great ideas!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

My Earrings are in an Etsy Treasury

I just learned that some of my earrings to benefit Susan G. Komen are featured in a lovely Etsy treasury entitled "Race for the Cure". Here's a picture of the treasury. My earrings are in the bottom row.
Race for the Cure Etsy TreasuryI will donate $5 from the sale of these earrings to Susan G. Komen.

While on the Susan G. Komen topic... I just sold a pair of light pink Lisa's Earrings. I will donate the entire $5 purchase price from these cute Barbie shoe earrings to Susan G. Komen. Lisa's Earrings Light PinkI've only sold three pair of Lisa's Earrings and I have MANY. Once school starts and I have more time, I'm going to focus my efforts more on promoting these earrings and raising more money for Susan G. Komen. Please think about buying a pair! I also have them in bright pink.
Lisa's Earrings Bright Pink

Friday, August 13, 2010

Back to School

The question I chose to answer for August, my first blog carnival month, is

It's back to school time...How are you preparing to get the kids or yourself back to school?...

Well, if you’ve read even a few of my recent posts, and I know they have not been abundant, you know that I’m preparing to send my first (and only) child off to college. I am preparing for school in a way I’ve never had to prepare before…and I mean that in more than one way.

We live in the Kansas City area. My son Joe will be going to University of Missouri – St. Louis, about 4 hours away, and playing baseball there. The baseball team, along with some of the other athletes, live in an apartment complex that is part of campus housing, rather than in a dorm. Since so much of our summer was taken up with out-of-town baseball tournaments, we’ve really just recently started preparing for school. My son and I have had a couple major shopping outings for clothes, school supplies, linens and other miscellaneous items. I love to shop and he has really enjoyed shopping for school items, but I must admit that after 6 hours of shopping on that first day, even I was getting a little worn down! I told him last night that an experienced shopping pair, like a mom and a daughter, could have breezed through this much faster. But he has been very careful in his selections, which took up a lot of time. The main reason I didn’t mind was that it was a chance to spend a lot of time with him, the most I’ve spent in ages. And it has been fun watching him have so much fun carefully picking out his new belongings.

We bought a used 2008 Scion tC for him to take to school because the truck he had been driving had become less than reliable. We did this in record time – 4 days between the first shopping outing and the night we drove the car home. Of course, some online research and phone calls had taken place earlier. But the start of shopping through the purchase time possibly took less time than the sheets and towels shopping time combined! Joe took care of getting the license plates, getting the name on the title corrected, etc., so that was a big help.

One of the most important things I’ve done to prepare for school is to start spending time for ME. I’m not looking forward to Joe’s leaving, so I’m trying to cheer myself up. A couple days ago, I went to dinner with some of my baseball mom friends, who are all going through the same thing. It was a fun evening. While I love to do beading projects, I usually make things to list in my Etsy shop. My recent projects have been earrings and bracelets for ME. (One of my bracelets is featured in this post.) And I’m thinking about things to do after school starts, like plan some weekend trips, start planning my second annual Halloween party and my fall jewelry open house, organize all my graduation and baseball photos, make my family calendar, focus more on my Etsy shops, finish my unfinished projects, then it will be time to start my Christmas shopping…I will have plenty to do to keep my busy. All I have to do is make it through the next couple weeks. That will be the hardest part.

If anyone has suggestions for coping with sending your child off to college, I'd love to hear them!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

EtsyBloggers

Earlier this week, I learned that my membership in the EtsyBloggers group had been finalized. I applied for membership a while back and this email came at a perfect time. With my son leaving for school in only one short week now, I will have much more time to spend on this in the future.

As the name implies, members of this group are either buyers or sellers on Etsy and they have a blog. It’s all about promoting Etsy sellers and helping each other get noticed. To remain a part of this group, I will post two blog articles a month. One is a blog carnival article and the other will promote the Etsy seller of the month.

What is a blog carnival, you ask? I wondered that myself! Each month, there will be a total of four topics to choose from, two in the first half of the month and two in the last half. I’ll create a blog post about one of those four topics, then send the link to the host of the carnival, one host for the first two topics and one for the second two. The host will post links to all the articles on their two topics. I think this will be fun to read a variety of articles on the same topic, especially when the topic is one that really interests me. The topic I will write about, and I must write about soon since it’s the first half carnival for August, is how I’m preparing to get the kids back to school. Boy, can I write about that with all my preparations for sending my first (and only) child off to college! So stay tuned for that…

Take a look at the EtsyBloggers blog at EtsyBloggers.blogspot.com for interesting info. Also, EtsyBloggers.etsy.com has a list of members and various info about the team. For example, right now, many members are participating in the EtsyBloggers 3rd Anniversary sale. Please take a look at some of these great sellers and think about them when you do your next online shopping! And if you'd like more info on joining the group, check out EtsyBloggers.com.

P.S. Did you see my new EtsyBloggers widget on the left of my page?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Seed Bead Bracelet

Hello! I'm back! My summer turned much too busy to keep up with my blog posts. I haven't kept up with much at all lately. After my trip to Omaha, I was out of town four straight weekends for baseball tournaments. And by weekend I mean Thursday through Sunday. All four of those weeks, my son's team lost in the semifinals, so we played a lot of games. The three days I actually went to work each week, I worked some pretty long days. After baseball ended, we went to college orientation. And we've started shopping for all the stuff needed for college, so that is keeping me busy, too.

But now I've got blog catching up to do. I managed to fit in some additional beaded ornaments at home. I bought some new beads in Wichita that I will show you. I've been working on a knitted belt. And recently, I've been doing some beading for myself. To cheer myself up over my son going away, I've been making things for ME!

I always mark the projects in my bead magazines that I'd like to make someday. I've been taking some of my magazines on trips with me and marking the interesting projects in the magazines I hadn't yet marked. I picked out some of those recently marked projects and have made three of them so far.

Here are some pictures of the bracelet I made from size 11 seed beads. It was in the June/July 2010 issue of Beadwork magazine. It uses four colors of size 11 seed beads and is stitched in circular peyote. I made it in two evenings. It was fun and easy. Bracelet made with size 11 seed beads in circular peyote
Closeup of one round bracelet component
Bracelet as it looks on my wrist
Bracelet clasp