Home My Etsy Shop

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tulip Pillow

Here is another of my recent projects. Being into pillows lately, I made this pillow for a tulip-loving friend's February birthday. I found a cute tulip quilt block in one of my Debbie Mumm quilting books. I've always wanted to try a real applique quilt block, so instead of doing the iron-on applique as called for in the book for the stems and leaves, I decided to applique by hand. (The colored tulips were pieced.) I've done machine applique but never by hand. This was a nice small project to get started on. My mom used to make huge applique quilts that were just beautiful. This wasn't too bad. I think I might be ready to try a slighly larger applique project someday! Tulip Pillow
Here is are closeup photos of the two quilt blocks in the pillow. Left tulip block
Right tulip block
I'm having fun making pillows and I REALLY want to use up fabric scraps, so I'll have to see what my next fabric scrap project might be. You never know!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I Matted and Framed this Drawing

At Thanksgiving, my aunt gave my mom and all her sisters a drawing that was made from a photo taken at my Grandma and Grandpa’s 50th wedding anniversary celebration. I told my mom I would frame the drawing for her as a Christmas present. Well, the drawing was temporarily misplaced. When 10 siblings exchange gifts at Thanksgiving and try to keep them all straight, it’s not easy! But around Valentine’s Day, my mom told me she had found the drawing and she gave it to me to frame.

Here's the drawing. It was done on an 8.5 X 11 piece of paper.Anniversary drawing

At first I thought I’d find a nice frame and cut a mat for it. But I found so many frames that included mats, that I selected one that had a nice double mat. But the opening of the mat didn’t quite fit the size of the drawing. A little too much of the drawing was cut off on each end using the mat that came with the frame.Drawing with pre-cut mat

I did decide to cut my own mat. I don’t do this very often so it’s kind of fun when I do it. I had quite a bit of a pretty blue mat board on hand, so I had thought that would be what I would use if I did cut my own mat. Here's what the drawing looked like in my mat. Drawing with my mat

While the pre-cut mat wasn't terrible, I liked the fact that my mat didn't cut off any of the drawing. If the artist was going to include arms in the drawing, I might as welll show all of the arms, right? Here's what my finished framed drawing looked like. I was very pleased with how it turned out! I love my mat cutter! It's so easy to use. And so much less expensive than having pictures matted and framed elsewhere. Framed drawing

Friday, February 18, 2011

My Newest Books

Last weekend, I was at Costco and I did something I hadn’t done in a long time – I walked through the book section. I love books and I usually purposely avoid the book section of Costco so I don’t take home more books than I need. But last weekend, I decided to live dangerously and walk through that area.

I won’t let myself buy fiction. I’d rather check it out from the library and give it back rather than have it taking up my shelf space. But I’m a sucker for certain kinds of non-fiction. On this last trip, I found two books that I decided I must own. I got some money for Christmas that I hadn’t spent yet. I was waiting for the right thing to come along, so I bought myself a couple Christmas gifts. I love them both! Two new Martha Stewart books.
Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts
This was the first book that I looked through after I got them home. Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts. Now that I've gotten into making pillows recently, I've decided I want to start using up more of my fabric scraps. Plenty of great ideas in here for that! The book includes very clear instructions on basic techniques ranging from how to prepare fabric for sewing to how to batik. Many essential tools are described. And, of course, there are lots of very creative ideas for fabric projects. I love the pin cushions. And very clever rick rack flowers to embellish clothing. Pet toys, upholstery, linens, curtains, quilts...you name it, it's probably in this book. Oh, and I forgot to mention the CD of patterns and templates that comes with the book.

Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Crafts
I loved the fabric book and then I looked through Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Crafts. I was even more enthralled by this book, probably due to the wide range of crafts included. Crafts I've never tried looked so tempting, such as candle making and soap making. I always try to avoid new crafts for as long as possible since I have too many I love to do as it is. But Martha makes these look so enticing! I loved the wirework letters of the alphabet that can serve as paper clips. But they'd make great jewelry, Christmas ornaments or package decorations, too. The origami section includes instructions for a slightly different little gift box than the one my mom showed me how to make. I'm anxious to give that a try. While I'm not especially into paper flowers, the ones in this book are absolutely beautiful! I would never think of a rope craft napkin ring, but they're great.

In the past, I wasn't a huge fan of Martha, but she won me over with all her great Halloween ideas. As time goes on, I see more and more of her clever ideas with great instructions, and I'd definitely have to say I'm now a fan. If you love great craft books, you must take a look at these!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Cat Quilt Block Pillow

I made a birthday gift - a patchwork pillow - for a cat-loving friend as one of my recent projects. I looked online for a cat quilt block and finally decided on this one. I looked through my fabric stash and found a nice combination of blue and brown prints. I found lace for the ruffle. All I bought to get started was a 12X16 inch pillow form (on sale at JoAnn's!).

Here's a photo of my finished pillow.Cat pillow
And here are close-up photos of each cat.Left cat
Right cat

I made the pillow back using two overlapping pieces of fabric so the pillow form can be removed. When I was finished, I decided the kitties needed collars. I had the little bells, but I bought a roll of trim that kind of resembles jute. It would have been much easier to sew on the trim had I done it before the pillow was completed, but better late than never! Not a bad project considering all I bought was a pillow form and a roll of trim! I've decided I need to look for more projects like this so I can use up some of my fabric scraps. I have way more than I really need!

So...in my abundant spare time (not!), I've decided that I need to make my own seasonal pillows, using up leftover fabric. And while I was walking around the track at the fitness center the other day, a great thought came to me. By making my pillows so that the form can be removed, if I make all my seasonal pillows the same size, I can use the same pillow form and just change the pillow covering! This way, the out-of-season pillows will be much easier to store if I don't have the whole big pillow to put away. Not to mention less expensive if I don't have to buy a pillow form for each pillow. So this project is added to my every growing list of projects! So many projects, so little time...

Monday, February 7, 2011

New Greeting Cards

Two or three weeks ago, I happened to be in JoAnn's with a 50% off coupon in my purse. I'm a sucker for books and at half off, they're REALLY hard for me to resist! I was paging through a few, found some titles to add to my Amazon wish list and ended up buying this one. A Card a Day book
I wasn't too impressed by the cover, but when I started paging through the book, I loved it! Lots of great ideas..one for each day of the year, plus an extra at the start of each month. So it's now got a spot on my bookshelf. Click the photo to go to the link on Amazon. It's one of the books you can look inside and see lots of great card photos.

The book inspired me to make this thank you card, along with some other cards. (I can't post pictures of those cards until I mail them! But I'll show them later.)Thank you card

Saturday, February 5, 2011

February EtsyBloggers Blog Carnival - Winter!

The topic I chose to write about this month for the EtsyBloggers blog carnival is this:
"We are also in the middle of winter! Write something about you/your family's winter experiences."

In 2009, it started snowing in the Kansas City area on Christmas Eve and we didn't see the grass in our yard for weeks. It was the longest time we had snow on the ground in many years. This year, the snow didn't get started quite as early. It's snowed a couple times throughout the winter season this year, but this last time seemed like it wanted to make up for all those non-snowy days all at once! We were part of the February 2011 blizzard.

The company I work for is located in four different suites within one office building. Twice this year, I was the only person who showed up for work in my suite due to the snow. Everyone else was working from home. But with the four wheel drive truck we have, I was able to make it into work pretty easily. But last week, with all the blizzard warnings being spread by the media, I didn't even try to go in to work for two days. I, too, worked from home and it was very nice to be able to do so! We had maybe a foot of snow last week, but it was kind of hard to tell how much snow really fell. When the snow blows sideways all day, it's hard to know how much actually fell vertically! We were really pretty lucky. There were other areas that had much more ice. (I'd much rather have snow than ice!) And central Missouri had about twice as much snow as we did, as did parts of Oklahoma. So while we had a lot of snow, it could have been worse.

Here are some pictures I took of the snow piled next to our driveway. Snow from the February 2011 blizzard
February 2011 snow
February 2011 snow
The good news is that the streets and highways have been clear and easy to navigate for days now. And today I went to wash my car. It looks much better so that's kind of a cheery thing. And even surrounded by snow, there are some pretty sights to be seen when you are lucky. We have a creek behind our backyard and there is a small park on the other side of the creek. This evening, we saw 6 deer by the creek. I took some pictures, but then the dogs next door started barking and the deer ran away. But it was fun to watch these pretty creatures for the short time they were nearby! I'm glad my husband spotted them and called me to go see them! Deer in the backyard