Monthly Archives: November 2012

Peppermint Wreath

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Yesterday I posted a tutorial for “Easy No-Sew Felt Peppermint Garland.” Here’s what I made with mine! We’ve had the grapevine wreath forever, and it was definitely due for refreshing, so I pulled off all the tired greenery and replaced it with my new garland. Other than tying the ends together at the top, I didn’t even have to stitch or glue anything as the branches themselves hold the garland in place. Now the wreath is hanging in my kitchen window topped with a little raffia. I love it! ♥  P.S. I have ten “peppermints” left over, so watch for one more post on them!

Wreath

Easy No-Sew Felt Peppermint Garland

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I fell in love with this Christmas garland, adapted from an idea in Fa la la la Felt by Kathy Sheldon. Here are the steps:

(1) Cut red and white felt into strips. Mine are 1/2 inch x 8 inches.

(2) Lay a white strip over a red strip, then pull the white strip down about an inch. Begin rolling upward at the end you pulled down. This will give the “candy” a solid white center and a red outer layer.

(3) After the piece is rolled, put a pin through it to hold everything in place until you string the candies.

(4) Using a sturdy needle and extra-strength thread, poke the needle through the loose end of a candy, go through the middle of the candy and out the middle of the opposite side, and remove the pin. Pull the candies close together to keep the rolls tight.

(5) Hang your garland on the mantel, in a doorway or window, or on a Christmas tree or wreath! ♥

Christmas Argyle Pillow

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Here is a photo of my new favorite pillow that I finished last night! It just sort of evolved . . . here’s how.

(1) When I recently organized my crafty corner, these two fabrics ended up side by side on a shelf and made me think of Christmas. The red cotton is from a thrifted tablecloth, and the lime green felt is from the citrus coasters I made last summer. Then I saw an argyle sweater in an ad, and a lightbulb went on!

(2) I used a shape pattern from Google images to cut these diamonds from the felt. Then I pinned them in rows and pondered how to attach them. I decided that having the corners loose would give the pillow a more interesting texture, so I embroidered an “X” across the middle of each diamond . . . sort of a “free-form argyle.” :)

(3) When I stitched the pillow front and back together (the back is another piece of the red tablecloth, unadorned), I stitched through the middle of each outer diamond, which gave the edges a sort of rick-rack pattern. Finally, I stuffed the pillow and hand-stitched the opening. I may never make another one, but it sure makes me smile! ♥

LC’s Cottage

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Today I want to give a shout-out to my blogging friend Laura of LC’s Cottage. She has an AMAZING Etsy store where I found these patterns (the clown was a bonus . . . wasn’t that sweet?), beautiful fabric, and (as my granddaughter Miranda declared) the most adorable embroidery scissors in the world!  She also has LOTS of other fabrics and patterns along with gorgeous threads and other goodies.  Please check out Laura’s blog and store  . . . you’ll be glad you did! ♥

  • Click here for Laura’s blog.
  • Click here for Laura’s store.

Audrey’s Bierocks

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As you know, it has been raining surprises in my mailbox lately!  Then my doorbell rang, and it was my friend and faithful Pillows A-La-Mode reader Audrey with a container of her world-famous bierocks  . . . “just because.”  They’re BEAUTIFUL to look at and MOUTHWATERING to taste!  She was also gracious enough to send me her recipe to share with my blogging friends.  Click the link below for a printable pdf, and prepare to be amazed!  Thank you, Audrey! ♥  P.S. Update: For those new to this dish, a bierock is a mixture of beef, cabbage, and other goodies baked in a pocket of bread dough.  Mmmmmm . . .

Audrey’s Bierocks

Debbie Does Doodles

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Yes . . . I was the very lucky winner of another blog giveaway! Debbie of Debbie Does Doodles made these fun and lovely tags and labels and included a sweet note on a vintage postcard that made me smile. Isn’t her work amazing? THANK YOU, Debbie! I appreciate you! ♥

Crafts ‘n Coffee

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I want to thank my blogging friend Sharon of Crafts ‘n Coffee for the WONDERFUL blog giveaway gifts she sent to me—THREE Christmas craft magazines, three mini-magazines with even more crafting ideas, and a STAK tree kit . . . plus she added a button, Starbucks coffee packet, and full-length pocketed apron from Styrofoamflorals.com! THANK YOU, Sharon . . . I can’t wait to try all these ideas! ♥

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/StyrofoamCrafts
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/craftsncoffee/
Twittter: https://twitter.com/craftsncoffee

Mini-Pillow Ornaments

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In late summer I started on my Christmas mini-pillow ornaments, and I finally decided to stop . . . for this  year! (They’re addictive!) All they take are little bits of fabric and ribbon, plus buttons, bells, lace, and embroidery . . . oh, and your imagination!  P.S. Please check out these links for some more ornaments to try! ♥

Hot Air Balloon Mobile

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Awhile back I posted the hot air balloon mobile kit I won in the Craft Schmaft blog giveaway.  I finally had a block of time to put it together . . . it was SO much fun!  And now that I have the pattern, I can cut out my own fabric and make as many as I like!  THANK YOU, Craft Schmaft! ♥

  • Click here for Craft Schmaft’s blog.
  • Click here for Craft Schmaft’s FB page.
  • Click here for Craft Schmaft’s store where you can buy this fabulous kit!

Thanksgiving (well, really Christmas!) Pillow Project

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After the big Thanksgiving dinner at our house, the kids and grown-ups visit, snack, watch football, snack, nap, snack, and . . . make things! (Check out these Play-Doh sculptures from Thanksgivings past! :)) This year I’ll still have the usual supplies, but I thought it would also be fun to have a project that the kids can take home and/or guests can make to donate to a local nonprofit for Christmas gifts for children in need. The minute I decided on no-sew fleece pillows, I got an email from Hancock Fabrics with all their fleece for half price PLUS free shipping, so I knew it had to be! To keep it simple, I went ahead and did all the cutting, rolled and tied each matching pillow top and bottom together, and put the right amount of stuffing in individual bags so everyone can just choose a fabric, grab a bag, and find a comfy spot to craft and chat. I’ll try to post a photo of all the kids with the pillows we make after the holiday! ♥

P.S. Since the instructions call for cutting out the corners from each piece, I now I have about a bazillion colorful 4 x 4 inch fleece squares to use for other projects. Any ideas???

P.P.S. Click here for a kids’ Thanksgiving story and lots of wonderful last-minute holiday recipes and crafts from Collectively Creative. Blessings to all!

Handmade Cards

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I know . . . I’ve been winning WAY more than my share of blog giveaways lately!  But . . . they’re so much fun! :)   And look at these BEAUTIFUL handmade cards I received in the mail from my new friend Vickie of Horsemark Cards!

Please take a moment to get acquainted with Vickie by clicking here for her blog, here for her FB page, and here for her store.  Vickie—they’re spectacular, and I can’t thank you enough for such a lovely gift. ♥

Oh, Wow!

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Once some of my kids and I were watching House Hunters on HGTV and EVERY time the couple saw a new room in EVERY house, they said, “Oh, wow!”  It made us laugh . . . but that was the FIRST thing I said when I opened my beautiful blog giveaway gift from Hannah at Hugs & Kisses!

Besides the vintage Singer sewing machine/scissors earrings she had pictured, she sent another gorgeous pair of earrings AND the loveliest note you’ve ever seen!

Thank you, Hannah, for giving me an “Oh, wow!” that I’ll cherish forever! ♥

What can you make with an embroidered jacket?

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Awhile back I wrote a post about my blogging friend Laura of As Time Goes . . . Buy and how she inspired me to do the Good Neighbor Award project and refashion for my one year blog anniversary. Laura has been traveling, and I’ve been sewing, but she’s home, and I’m finished . . . so today is the reveal! Laura, your coat is now on my “What Can You Make With A . . .” page, and your package is in the mail! I was able to make:

  • A pillow . . . of course! :)
  • A fabric flower with beads from a vintage earring in the center
  • A coffee cup cozy
  • A tissue cozy (Thank you, Little Bit Funky!)
  • Two jacket-sleeve notecard pouches
  • A Chanel pouch makeover
  • An embroidery-hoop wall hanging with Laura’s blog name
  • A framed fabric-under-glass for writing notes, menus, or welcome messages for guests
  • A garment dust jacket for one of Laura’s lovely outfits (Thank you, Schlosser Designs!)
  • A tote bag with a jacket pocket on each side and a braided leather belt handle
  • And, last but not least, all the leftover bits made into mini-bunting!  ♥

Mrs. Hetherington’s Thanksgiving Pageant

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Welcome to the “THANKFUL” edition of Collectively Creative! Today I have a giveaway for all of our blogging friends . . . one of my children’s stories from Pockets magazine for you to read, share, and/or use to introduce a creative writing activity about holidays.  Simply click the first link for a printable word document or the second link for a printable pdf.

Mrs. Hetherington’s Thanksgiving Pageant (word document)

Mrs. Hetherington’s Thanksgiving Pageant (pdf)

I hope some special kids in your life will enjoy meeting Mrs. Hetherington and her Portland Elementary School Drama Club this holiday season! But first, please pour a cup of tea and take a few minutes to savor the rest of this month’s Collectively Creative posts. Each one has something special to enrich our lives. Happy Thanksgiving! ♥

P.S. If you’re a parent, grandparent, children’s book reviewer, librarian, or teacher, please check out the new kids’ Thanksgiving book called Sarah Gives Thanks by one of our fellow WordPressers, Mike Allegra at heylookawriterfellow. I bought a copy, and it’s a keeper!

COLLECTIVELY CREATIVE:

Arts and Crafts Mission Market

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Here are the tags for this year’s donations to the silent auction at the Arts and Crafts Mission Market at my church. It’s such a worthy cause . . . all the money goes to a local daycare center for families in need. Click here to see how to make the Christmas wreath pillow and here to see the Americana pillows.   P.S. Below are my gift baskets from markets past, each based on . . . you guessed it . . . a pillow! ♥

Quotables

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In a reply to a comment on the Autumn Mantel post, I lamented that there never seems to be enough time to do all the projects I have on my list.  But intecoolochoberord replied,

“Time can be a funny thing . . . but I’d rather have too much inspiration

and too little time than the other way around!” 

Then, on the Start Where You Are . . .  post, gentlestitches commented,

“The more I let go of perfectionism,

the more perfect my projects become.”

Sometimes our blogging friends say EXACTLY what we need to hear! ♥

Pillowcase Dolls

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Doll Sisters

Knowing that I had lots of my grandmother’s embroidered pillowcases, one of my crafty friends offered to lend me her pattern for pillowcase dolls! She explained that, historically,  the dresses have matching bonnets and are worn by very simple, faceless muslin dolls so I’d actually have three items to cut out and sew—a doll, a dress, and a bonnet. Although I couldn’t locate a link for a free pattern like mine online, you can find several inexpensive (under ten dollars) patterns for dolls identical to these by Googling “pillowcase doll kits,” and you can also find free patterns for different types of rag dolls and doll dresses that could be adapted to this style. Making pillowcase dolls IS detailed and time-consuming, but it’s completely worth every tender stitch you put into it. I know these little ladies will be loved forever! ♥

Crafty Corner

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One thing I LOVE is seeing my blogging friends’ sewing and crafting spaces. Some have whole rooms dedicated to their art, some have one bookshelf or a few pretty boxes, and many (most???) of us spill over onto the dining room table for big projects. When I recently finished a weeks-long high-priority project for work, I couldn’t wait to get reacquainted with the “crafty corner” of my small home office (which also includes jewelry, scarves, and belts, a Mary Azarian print my mom loved, and some of my grandma’s vintage hats) . . . but first I decided to reorganize it so I’ll be ready for all the fun ideas I’ve been collecting. Then, when I snapped a photo of my finished work, I was amazed at how many projects I already saw in this tiny space! So here’s the photo, here’s the list, and now . . . to start playing! ♥

  • Click here for pretty tape dispensers.
  • Click here for a ribbon dispenser.
  • Click here for neat bobbins.
  • Click here for “spool kabob” thread storage.
  • Click here for penny pattern weights.
  • Click here for bin labels and a pattern weight jar.
  • Click here for a pink fabric basket.
  • Click here for a scissors pocket necklace and shirt-sleeve fabric bins.
  • Click here for embroidery floss clothespins, jewelry frames, and notion jars.
  • Click here for a zebra-print origami lotus bag
  • Click here for a sewing machine cover.
  • Click here for a fabric flower storage display.
  • Click here for a reversible lace belt.
  • Click here for a dinosaur bracelet holder.
  • Click here for beautiful ceramic wall hooks.
  • Click here for mini-pillow Christmas ornaments (in progress!).

That Kara Lynn is SO Creative!

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I got the sweetest giveaway gift in the mail today . . . stationery, notecards, and a memo pad designed by the fabulous designer Kara of Karalynn Creative . . . plus, the most amazing pencil I’ve ever seen made by Anthropologie! Besides Kara’s WordPress blog, she has a lovely Etsy shop for you to visit, too. Thank you, Kara! ♥

Antique Milk Bottles

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I was so excited to see some milk bottle carriers on RE: RETRO, because my dad had just given me the set above . . . that my grandparents actually USED!

The glass bottles needed some vinegar and hot soapy water, and the metal carrier needed a good sanding and coat of spray paint, but here it is!

I had some eucalyptus branches left over from my tote bag wall hanging project, so adding those in makes the perfect autumn accent for the top of the kitchen cabinets.

THANKS, DAD!

P.S. My husband Dave hung the carrier in a tree to spray it. It worked perfectly and looks lovely. Thank you to you, too, Dave! ♥

A Pretty Pumpkin Pin! (And Flowers!)

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Today is a GREAT day! I finished the editing project I’ve been working on day and night for weeks. I had my first weigh-in at Curves (I started October 1) and I’m off to a good start on my new healthier lifestyle. I went out to breakfast with my husband Dave. AND . . . we stopped at Lowe’s to get a couple of 2 x 4s on the way back home and I was admiring the mums out front and a clerk came and told me that all their plants are on sale for ONE DOLLAR!!! each (because their Christmas trees are coming in soon!) so we got these eight beautiful pots of blooms for EIGHT DOLLARS!!! But . . . the REAL reason I’m writing this post is to thank my blogging friend Dianne Faw for the lovely handmade copper foil pumpkin pin she sent me from her recent giveaway! Please check out Dianne’s amazing craftiness here . . . I absolutely love visiting her blog.