Monthly Archives: June 2012

Button Necklace

Standard

Since my “lost earring necklace” worked out, I got brave enough to try one of the cute button necklaces I’ve been seeing everywhere! I decided to go with black buttons, so first I went through my stash and put these in a pile. Next, I made a new pile with the ones that were ½ to ¾ inches in diameter. Finally, I sorted out the ones that had the most interesting designs, and I was ready to go.

Here’s the tutorial for my version of this fun craft:

  • Cut three strands of cord 48 inches long. I used hemp cord from Michaels, where I also purchased a package of bracelet closures and crimp beads.
  • Thread the strands through a bracelet bar closure and pull it to the middle. (Click on the red collage for a larger view.) Clamp the cords 4 inches from the bar closure. This is where you will start adding buttons.
  • Separate the first of the six strands of cording. Slide on the first button and tie it at the back with a simple slip knot. Keep adding buttons, evenly spaced, until you get to within five inches of the end. Repeat with the other five strands.
  • Stretch the strands back out and knot the ends. Then add a crimp bead at each end and attach these to the circle closure.
  • You’re done . . . enjoy!  Oh, and please check out this adorable button necklace (with earrings!) at The Bead Den. I discovered it right after I made mine, and I LOVE it! ♥

Crazy Tree Notecards

Standard

When I put together the Persian Plum kit I received from Books Quilts and Sewing’s giveaway, the first step was to sew a small, neutral-colored square onto a larger colorful solid or floral triangle and then cut the tips off both. This left me with a stack of perfect little triangles, and of course I decided I must do something with them as well! I always keep a stash of blank notecards and some craft glue handy, so here’s what I came up with (adding a tiny strip of one my other remnants for the trunks). I think they’ll become a nice little gift for a friend or family member someday soon! ♥

Lost Earring Necklace

Standard

Have you ever lost one earring from a favorite pair? That’s happened to me several times lately. I’ve been wanting to incorporate the saved mates into a different piece of jewelry, and I finally figured out how!

At a craft show last fall a lady had the ingenious idea of attaching the round part of a bracelet closure to a necklace latch that could clip onto any necklace chain or cord and then attaching charms to the bar part of the closure that slips into the circle. I bought the latch and one charm (with some miniature scissors, a flower, and two crystal beads), and I love it! So, to make my “lost earring necklace,” I removed the earring findings, bought another bracelet closure the same size, attached the pretty parts of the earrings to the bar with a little wire circle, and closed it up with my needle-nose pliers. Now I can exchange it out with my other charm whenever I like . . . YAY!

P.S. I’ve never made jewelry so I’m probably using all the wrong terms in this post, but hopefully the photos will help. ♥

Persian Plum Pillow

Standard

This is a fun week! I just posted about the great vintage apron I received from Moosewood Vintage, and now I am the lucky recipient of ANOTHER blogging give-away . . . this gorgeous Persian Plum quilt block kit from Books Quilts and Sewing! And, Michael (the quilter) added a $5 gift card to Michaels (the store) to the package . . . what a lovely surprise!  Truthfully, I’d never pieced a quilt block before, but I knew it would be perfect for a pillow so I eagerly dove in. It was sort of like putting a puzzle together . . . and I soon learned that when the directions say to press, DO IT! Here’s my beautiful new pillow, featured in a back porch photo shoot.  Oh, and Michael has ANOTHER give-away going on right now . . . you have until July 7 to enter. Click here for information, and plan to stay a bit to browse his blog. Thanks, Michael! :)

Stars and Hearts Button Pillow

Standard

I got these sweet stars and hearts wooden buttons for my birthday and was waiting for just the right project for them. When I found this remnant at JoAnn with stars the same size and color as my buttons, I knew just what to do. Here is my finished 18 x 18 inch pillow, all ready for the 4th of July! ♥

DIY Ironing Board Cover

Standard

I have such a fun job (writing books and classroom resources for K-5 students and teachers!) and I’m lucky to have a small but cozy home office to work in. It has a large black desk, a black rolling chair, and black metal shelves filled with my curriculum and reference books. It also has a matching black metal shelf for my fabric and sewing/craft supplies and a very small black desk for my sewing machine. My favorite piece of furniture is a dressing table bench that belonged to my Aunt Vitha. We painted it black and recovered the seat in zebra print, using a bedsheet I found at Target. I also made a black and white alphabet print cover for my sewing machine (from a fun book called Simply Irresistible Bags, but I’ve since seen lots of tutorials on sewing blogs and Pinterest) and black and white floral curtains (basic hemmed sides and bottom and casing on top) for the window.  So, when I needed to leave my ironing board set up for my after-hours sewing projects, its stained, worn, pink and green cover looked badly out of place. This weekend I remedied the problem by making a new cover from the zebra bedsheet! I simply used the old cover for a pattern, leaving a little extra around the edges to stitch a casing for elastic. Oh yes, and the old cover had two velcro straps that fastened under the ironing board to help keep it in place, so I snipped those off to reuse, too. It fits, and I love it! ♥

More Necktie Wristlets

Standard

I just finished six new necktie wristlets . . . so easy and fun! The only thing I changed from the original tutorial was to sew the decorative button on the front flap and use a snap closure rather a button/buttonhole.  Now I can’t wait to give them to some special girls in the family! ♥

Citrus Coasters

Standard

I was browsing the department store ads in the Sunday paper a couple of weeks ago when I was captivated by a lovely display of summery picnic dinnerware. When I saw coasters that looked like slices of oranges, lemons, and limes, my little DIY fairy said, “You should make some of those!” So off I went to the fabric store where, serendipitously, I spotted a lovely orange, lemon, and lime print on my way to purchase the felt I’d need. How fun is that!!! :)

Here’s how I made the coasters:

  • Cut out three sizes of circles. The smallest and largest are from colored felt, and the middle is white. (I used the bottom of a yogurt carton, my trusty peanut butter lid, and a random lid from my container drawer for templates.)
  • Handstitch the small circle onto the white circle using matching embroidery floss.
  • With white embroidery floss, stitch three criss-crossing lines across the colored circle.
  • Glue the now-attached pieces to the larger circle to cover up the stitches, and trim all the way around with pinking shears.

For a gift, make four of each and tie them together with a pretty orange, yellow, or green ribbon. Or, if you’re lucky enough to find some fabulous fruity fabric, you can make a simple little drawstring bag to gift them in. They’re so fun, easy, and colorful . . . you’ll love making your own! ♥

Citrus Collage

Aprons!

Standard

You know how some of our lovely blogging friends give things away? Well, I just received this BEAUTIFUL polka-dotted apron from Moosewood Vintage Wearables & Sundries, specializing in vintage clothing & accessories, gently used formal dresses, and goat milk soaps. I LOVE it! Please visit Ruth’s WordPress blog, her FB page, and her Etsy shop. Thank you, Ruth! ♥ While I was photographing my new apron, I also pulled out my three other favorites. My mother made the one with the quilted top and pocket, and my grandmother made the tangerine print (which has a fancy cross-over back; it’s sort of like putting a puzzle together to get into it!). And the little half-apron was my VERY FIRST sewing venture when I was around eight years old, so if you’re looking for a beginning project, here’s the scoop: Grandma had me use tiny gingham so I could just follow the lines, and the “pattern” consists of a big rectangle with a casing at the top and a hem at the bottom and a self-fabric drawstring. It’s definitely one-size-fits-all, because I can still wear it today!  Someday I’d like to a-la-mode it a bit with a pocket and some embroidery. . . so many ideas, so little time . . . ♥

Button Hairbands

Standard

This project looked SO cute and easy that I just had to try it! Visit Dreampatch for my original inspiration (via Pinterest, of course!). I made all of these in an hour or so . . . but most of that time was spent enjoying sorting through my grandmother’s vintage buttons. We have LOTS of girls in our family now, so it will be fun giving them away! ♥

New Baby Burpies and Blanket

Standard

I’ve been making lots of rag-edge burpies lately . . . it was so much fun to shop for all those cute pink and blue flannel prints! This time, though, the parents-to-be had some very specific color requests: black and yellow burpies and a zebra-striped receiving blanket. What fun! You can check out HomemadebyJill for the burpie tutorial, and the receiving blanket is simply two squares of fabric stitched together with rick-rack in the seam (the way my grandmother often used to make them). Put on your sunglasses! ♥

Necktie Ruffle Pillows

Standard

After using the skinny ends of some ties for necktie onesies and the fat ends for necktie wristlets, I still had the middle parts left . . . so what better way to use them than pillow ruffles!  ♥

Fireworks Barrette

Standard

Do you sew or craft while watching watching TV? I do! My latest project was sprucing up an old, plain, silver barrette by wrapping it with embroidery floss and adding a little *fireworks* a-la-mode at the end.  It had lots of openings for tucking and winding the floss, so I didn’t even need to use any glue . . . and . . . umm . . . yes, I just made it up as I went along. :)  I’ve now given it to my granddaughter (and my one and only piano student!) Ally as a reward for a GREAT lesson, and it turned out to be a perfect match for her school uniforms, too.  Now I want to find some more barrettes to decorate! ♥

Dragonfly Mini Notebook

Standard

One of my teacher/writing group friends just got her first publication acceptance, so I wanted to give her a gift that includes the dragonfly on her business cards. I traced the dragonfly on a small scrap of sheer fabric, triple-folded it for strength, and embroidered over the lines. Then I cut it out and glued the body onto a flower on the cover of one of my mini-notebooks, leaving the wings free. Oh, and I wrote a message for her to discover on the first page. I’m SO happy for Pam! ♥

Flower Pillows

Standard

I’ve missed making pillows, so after church and lunch out with Dave on Sunday I spent a happy afternoon at my sewing machine. And, since my creative blogging friends suggested using some of my road trip flowers as pillow adornment, I did just that . . . adding in one sweater flower as well. All of the fabrics are remnants or upcycled curtains, and all of the pillows are 14 x 14 inches. I can’t wait to start giving them to my family and friends! ♥

Placemat Flower Display

Standard

After adding pins to the backs of some of my road trip flowers, I needed a place to store/display them while they’re waiting to become gifts and one of my World Market bargain bin placemats works perfectly! I simply stitched two ribbon loops on the back of the placemat, pinned on the flowers, and hung it on my sewing room wall. I love how bright and cheery it looks! Oh, and here are links to some more placemat projects:

  • Click here and here for placemat tote bags.
  • Click here and here for roll-up pencil kits.
  • Click here and here for placemat pouches.

Happy Monday!

5-Minute Project

Standard

If you, like me, keep many of your sewing/crafting supplies out in the open in decorative containers, you’ll love this quick-’n-easy project from Dianne Faw! Simply take the cover out of a tape dispenser, use it as a template to make a new, pretty one (from scrapbook paper, gift wrap, a map, whatever you have on hand), and put the new cover in. So cute! ♥

P.S. I’m keeping my new dispensers in this fabric basket that I fashioned from an “oops” while making my first bracelet purse. And if you haven’t tried a bracelet purse yet, click here. They’re so much fun to make and give for little girl gifts!

Sometimes It’s the Little Things . . .

Standard

I had a few spare minutes today and decided to tackle some quick-’n-easy projects with my materials and supplies, so now I have . . .

(1) a clasp on my needle book (braided embroidery floss stitched to the back cover wrapped around a small button on the front cover),

(2) labels on the red fabric bins where I keep my office/sewing/crafting supplies (typed lists taped to scrapbook paper rectangles and clipped to the fronts of the bins), and

(3) a home for my ever-growing collection of PW‘s (pattern weights) . . . the mason jar from my Mother’s Day gift labeled with a Publishers Weekly logo. (I don’t think they’ll mind, do you?) ♥

 

Needle Book A-La-Mode

Standard

Yesterday I got to work on a fun, creative, writing assignment all day (involving children’s poetry!) and had a lovely family dinner, but I just had to make something quick-’n-pretty before bedtime so I decided to fancy up my needle book. First of all, I originally only spent 15 minutes making it. (Click here for super-easy directions.) Second, I use it every single day. And third, I’ve been seeing some BEAUTIFUL . . . as in heirloom-quality . . . quilted and embroidered needlebooks from my blogging friends. This definitely doesn’t rate as a work of art, but now it has (a) a flower on the front, (b) a felt-backed decorative button on the inside front cover, and (c) a rick-rack trimmed felt pocket on the inside back cover for some thread, a tiny ripper, and a small pair of scissors. I love it! And, to top it off, I learned how to make this collage on PicMonkey. What a good day! ♥

Penny Pattern Weights

Standard

I’ve been seeing all sorts of tutorials for tiny weights to use in place of pins when cutting out a pattern. I’d never heard of this before, so it sounded intriguing! Wanting to use items I already had on hand, a quick search yielded just what I needed:  two-inch green felt circles left over from a Christmas wreath pillow I made last winter and a stash of pennies I keep around to go with my Pennies book when I do classroom author presentations. To make a pattern weight, I simply held two circles together, handstitched most of the way around the edges with a contrasting color of embroidery floss (all six strands), filled the tiny bag with ten pennies, then finished the last stitch or two and tied off the floss. Easy-peasie! Now, what shall I sew . . . .  ♥

Bobbin Magic

Standard

My bobbin bowl before . . .

If you sew, you’re going to love this fabulous idea for keeping your bobbins neat and tidy!

  • First, read this post from Schlosser Designs.
  • Next, go to the hardware store to buy some clear tubing . . . mine was only 37¢ for one foot!
  • Finally, cut the tubing “doughnuts” (I used scissors instead of a an X-Acto blade), slice them open, and pop them on your bobbins. No more stray strings! ♥

My bobbin bowl after . . . thank you, SD!

T-Shirt Quilt

Standard

This isn’t a *new* project, but I just found the photo and it sweetly reinforced why we all do what we do . . . create special things for special people to show how much we care. I remembered how happy my son Kyle was to get this quilt when he graduated from high school and how many homes it has lived in with him during his young adult years, and I thought about the warm feeling I get when I now see his little girls wrapped up in it watching a movie.  I didn’t have a pattern or directions when I made it, so I simply cut out squares from the fronts or backs of T-shirts (mostly team shirts, but a couple from other treasured events), stitched them together, stitched the front to the back with batting in between, and stitched around the squares for “quilting.” The lower right-hand corner also has the T-shirt the pink ladies at the hospital gave us the day Kyle was born. (All together now . . . AWWWWWW! :)) The next time I make one, I think I’ll put fabric strips around the squares to set them apart a bit, like the one I recently saw on LoveLaughLiveMe . . . or maybe I’ll just turn them into pillows instead. ♥

“Yes, Please!”

Standard

My dad called from a garage sale yesterday and asked if I would like some clip-on earrings for my sewing/crafting projects. “Yes, please!”  Here they are . . . I love all these new additions to my collection! And here are a few more fabric flowers I made on a (much shorter!) road trip this weekend with vintage earrings and buttons for centers. Click here for a supply list and link to a tutorial and here to see more flowers. ♥

Birthday Card Garland

Standard

I’ve been trying to think of a fun way to display greeting cards rather than taping them to the frig (HO-HUM!).  Seeing LOTS of garland (a.k.a. bunting) on Pinterest gave me an idea for our fireplace mantel.  It was super-easy! I used some of the scrapbook paper from my mini-notebook project and the peanut butter lid from my road trip flowers project to cut out circles.  I then folded them in half, unfolded them, dabbed them with a glue stick, and folded them back over some twine. I love how festive and colorful Dave’s birthday cards look now . . . I think I’ll leave them up for awhile! ♥