My sister took a crazy quilt class and made this fun block. I love the fabrics she chose and all the dashing embroidery stitches she added for a-la-mode. Then she gave it to me to make a pillow! I used a square of black and white striped fabric from my stash for the back. Thank you, Susan! ♥
Soooooo . . . have you made your fabric carrots yet? I went a little crazy with mine! Now that I have enough to completely fill the tray, it looks like a little veggie patch! Find some orange and green remnants to mix and match, go to this tutorial at Clare’s Craftroom, and you, too, can have a garden growing on your dining room table! ♥
Our lovely daughter-in-law Mary Ann is a registered dietician turned physician’s assistant and sports a fun “Periodic Table of the Vegetables” poster in her kitchen. On a trip to Jo-Ann to buy a foam cushion for the toy box bench, I spotted this “Farmer’s Market” fabric—perfect for a decorative cushion for the kitchen window seat. The cat promptly nestled beside it for a nap . . . and Mary Ann loves it, too! ♥
Our Georgia family recently moved and needed some new pillow décor. First, we made a bench seat cushion for baby Josh’s toy box (handmade by his Uncle Jeff!). Josh’s room is morphing into a travel theme—don’t you just LOVE this map fabric his mommy picked out? We had enough for a square pillow to pose on the rocking chair, too. Then we made some floral and solid-with-button-a-la-mode pillows for the purple sofa in the living room. Mary Ann purchased the fabrics at Curtain Call in Augusta, Georgia. ♥ P.S. Now I want a purple sofa!
On a recent visit, our eight-year-old granddaughter Miranda and I raided her mom’s fabric stash and put our heads together to design and sew a tote for her Nook e-reader—a colorful, lined bag with shoulder length handles and shabby chic roses for a-la-mode. What a fun project with a fun sewing buddy! ♥
It’s time to change up my Shantilly frame again! I’ve been making lots of rolled fabric rosettes from remnants—the perfect handwork project for road trips or watching TV. (I use this tutorial but stitch instead of glue.) So, while waiting for REAL flowers to pop out, I decided to bunch my fabric versions into a colorful garden with a peeping PEEP left over from my spring garland for a-la-mode. Happy April . . . and don’t pull TOO many April Fool’s tricks today! ♥ P.S. Here are the red frame restyles for November, December, January, and February and the green frame design for March.
On a recent visit to our Missouri family, we were greeted by a fun St. Patrick’s wreath on the front door. Our daughter-in-law Tiffany made it from a wire form + decorative mesh + a-la-mode. Then she was kind enough to pull out the ones she had made for Valentine’s Day and Christmas so I could photograph them for you. Tiffany said to check out “decomesh wreaths” or “decorative mesh wreaths” on Pinterest for tutorials and ideas. In the meantime, enjoy these three! ♥
I recently hung the Peeps garland I made last spring (out of felt, not the candy!). Here are the super-simple directions:
(1) Draw a simple bunny shape or find a free template online.
(2) Make the bunnies from felt, fabric scraps, construction paper, or scrapbook paper.
(3) Add the eye and nose dots with fabric paint, permanent marker, or embroidered French knots.
(4) Attach the bunnies to ric-rac, ribbon, rope, string, or twine using glue or hand or machine stitching.
You’ll soon have a cheery pop of color for your spring décor. Have fun! ♥
I was so happy when I got out my spring decorations and found a bunch of these left over from last spring’s bunny sewing bonanza that I promptly plopped them into a basket to display in the living room. You can find the pattern and tutorial from Angie on The Little Fabric Blog. And they’re so quick and easy that you can even make a whole Bag o’ Bunnies for a special little one in your life. Now . . . hop to it! ♥
I know that you . . . like me . . . are all HUGE fans of Beth, the Renegade Seamstress.
Besides her inspiring blog full of “real” projects that any of us can try, Beth also sponsored Refashion Runway, is a weekly contributor to eHow, and has a book coming out this fall that I can’t WAIT to read!
Now Beth has been asked to teach a live web seminar on March 31 for BurdaStyle and has invited all of us to participate!
“Refashion: Inspiration and Projects to Revamp and Recycle Your Wardrobe”
I know it will be amazing . . . congratulations, Beth! ♥
I love to make tooth fairy pillows from well-loved baby or toddler clothes! To transform the Disney World hoodie that Tyler chose, I simply cut it into a square, embroidered a tooth on one pocket and a dollar sign on the other, and stitched and stuffed. So easy! Now he’s eagerly waiting for that first loose tooth! ♥ P.S. Click here for another hoodie tooth fairy pillow and here and here for two more designs.
I love it! Can I have it, pretty please?
If you have a favorite old sweater, you can send it to me and I’ll make you a bear! (I owe you a present anyway after winning one of your giveaways!) Shoot me an email if you decide to go for it!
Really really? And you don’t owe me anything! Let me see if I can find a sweater!
Yes, really! It’ll be fun!
Eventually, Evgenia got a chance to send a couple of sweaters, and I got to work. The large bear is from the same pattern I used before (McCall’s Crafts 703) and the smaller one is from Claire’s cute (and FREE!) Mr. Ted pattern on Craft Schmaft. After a bit of embroidery and button, ric-rac, and flower a-la-mode, they’re all ready to put in the mail to my bloggy pal. I hope you love them, Evgenia! ♥
Even though I knew we’d have more snow this week (and we did!), I had a free day on Saturday so I went ahead and dressed our home for spring, including a new GREEN Shantilly frame! For March, I found a thought-provoking Emily Dickinson quote about luck, snipped a tiny calendar from a bookmark in a Better Homes and Gardens mailer, and made some rolled fabric rosettes (from this tutorial, only stitched instead of glued). Happy *almost* spring! ♥ P.S. Here are the red frame restyles for November, December, January, and February.
What do you make on a winter day and you have a free hour? A SPRING apron, of course! The tutorial is from this post by Jona Giammalva on her blog Stop Staring & Start Sewing, and the fun fabrics are from my bloggy friend Laura’s LC’s Cottage Etsy shop. P.S. Click here and here for two other aprons I’ve made with this easy peasy pattern! ♥
It’s been a LONG time since I’ve posted a What Can You Make With A . . .? project, but I have one today! The inspiration was this blue dress. It was soft, swingy, and SO comfortable, with pockets in the side skirt seams, perfect with a black cardigan for chilly days . . . and what’s not to love about polka dots? But my mirror (and an “honest” family member) told me that this was not my best look and added more than a few pounds to my curves. So, out came the scissors.
- The skirt is PERFECT as . . . a skirt! And I still get to enjoy the lovely color, fabric, and pockets. I simply cut it off a little above the empire waist, nipped and tucked here and there, and used the top of the cut-off piece to make a waistband. I love wearing it with my black pullover sweater, tights, and boots.
- You’ve already seen the laptop case I made with the sleeves and neck elastic. I LOVE it and use it every day. It’s especially fun when someone asks where I got it!
- That left just some bits and pieces, so I cut them into strips, twisted and stitched them into a flower, and used it for a-la-mode on a fun spring pillow I stitched up with some bird fabric from my stash. (Spring WILL come, right???)
Ahhhhh . . . much better! ♥
Dave requested a sour cream chocolate cake for Valentine’s Day this year, and I found just the one on Taste of Home. Since the recipe is for a layer cake, I used my heart-shaped pans. It’s a keeper! ♥
Do you have hearts all over your home these days? My favorite new display is the clay heart my granddaughter Ally made, my collection of heart necklaces, and the beautiful mixed-media canvas Shannon of Shantilly made for my birthday. From my heart to yours . . . have a happy Valentine’s Day! ♥
During my last spring cleaning, I found NINE unopened decks of cards in the game chest. If they haven’t been claimed yet for their intended purpose, they’re up for grabs for crafting, right? So, when I saw several versions of Valentine garland made from hearts playing cards on Pinterest, I had to give it a try! I punched holes in the corners, strung them with red baker’s twine, and added a few hearts cut from the backs of the Jokers and advertising extras for a-la-mode. So easy, and they made great gifts for some special people I love! ♥ P.S. Here’s the red sweater heart pillow that’s sitting on my favorite chair this month and the felt conversation heart garland I hung across the mantle.
My Shantilly frame got a makeover for February! The inspiration was this fun suit-on-a-hangar bookmark from my BFF Susan, and the words are letters snipped from alphabet fabric glued onto rectangles cut from last year’s February calendar paper. Here are the ones for November, December, and January. Happy new month! ♥
what will grow
what should rest
What a lovely way to frame a new week . . . or month . . . or year . . . or even a day. Now when I make a to-do list, I find myself prayerfully asking, “What needs to grow? What needs to rest?” I even made a chart to share with my writing group. We can put our writing or personal goals at the top (Find more time to write? Feel more energized? Learn to ______?) and then list what needs to grow and rest in order to accomplish the goal. Thank you so much for inspiring me, Ellen! P.S. My blog is on my “rest” list for a bit while I finish three big projects for work. I’ll be back for Valentine’s Day! ♥
I have a cool new mini-laptop/tablet that’s super-easy to tote around, but I wanted to give it a little protection before adding it to my backpack on my way to the airport last week. I have a dress that I just turned into a skirt, so I decided to use the dress’s top for this project. I started with the elastic-ruffled sleeves, padded them with quilt batting, and folded and stitched them to size. Then I stitched the elastic ruffle from the neckline diagonally along the front, leaving it loose at the sides and back so I can pull it around the case to hold the laptop inside. A fabric flower from my stash made the perfect a-la-mode for traveling in style. ♥
When I saw a touching layout designed by Ellie on My Little Bunny Cupcake, I knew I’d found the perfect quote to put on my card when I give a fabric flower to a friend: Just living isn’t enough . . . one must also have freedom, sunshine, and a little flower. Thank you, Ellie and Hans Christian Andersen! ♥ P.S. My dress form is wearing my scarf crocheted by our bloggy friend Tamara. Isn’t it just lovely?
For Tyler-the-matchbox-car-lovin’-kid’s birthday, I stitched up a car wallet . . . plus (surprise! surprise!) a pillow with the leftover fabric. I read TONS of tutorials for the wallet and ended up using bits of several of them. My version has four pockets, a road, a Velcro closure, an elastic band (aka stretchy headband cut to size) to hold it all together, and the birthday boy’s initials embroidered on the front. Here are my favorite links in case you’d like to make one for a small person you love! ♥
- Six Sisters’ Stuff
- Create Studio
- Homemade by Jill
- Just Another Hang Up
- Crazy Little Projects
- My Little Gems
- Stitch Sew Creates
It’s birthday party time again in our family! Five-year-old Tyler chose Disney Planes for the theme. I had fun searching out a yard of DP fabric (found it on ebay and got it in two days!) to use for bunting and then sewing a big pile of red goodie bags for Tyler to fill with treasures and send home with his friends. Now for some cake and ice cream! ♥
- 1 package cornbread mix prepared, cooled, and crumbled
- 1 can pork and beans
- 1 can sweet corn, drained
- 2 diced tomatoes
- 1 cup green pepper, diced
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 15 strips cooked bacon, crumbled
- 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 packet ranch dip mix
DIRECTIONS: Layer all but the last three ingredients in a clear glass bowl. Mix mayonnaise, sour cream, and ranch dip together and spread over the top. Garnish with green onions, bacon bits, or cheese. Chill and serve. ♥
When I saw this post on Thrift Store Crafter, I suddenly remembered that I, too, have a journal upcycled from a vintage book! I also remembered that I’d promised the person who gave it to me (my BFF/sister Susan) that I would actually USE it and not put it away with my treasures, so I got it off the shelf and began listing all the crafts/sewing projects I want to make and tucking in clippings and patterns. Now, when I find myself with a little block of free time, I’ll be all ready to go. And besides . . . this journal just makes me smile! ♥ P.S. Be sure to check out Sarah’s tutorials on Thrift Store Crafter!
I’m a lucky crafter . . . I won this fun Sneaky Art book and Rainy Day Art Pack, both by Marthe Jocelyn, from Robyn of Museiddity‘s recent giveaway! I’m happily set for my next little visitors! Please click here to learn more about the book and here to learn more about Robyn and and begin exploring her Museiddity creations. Thank you, Robyn! ♥
This Christmas I had the opportunity to help Darilyn of Thehighnotedotnet surprise her brother-in-law with a Kansas State University guy apron to wear while serving as the family chef. (See the tutorial tutorial here at The Purl Bee.) She was sweet enough to write a lovely blog post about it, complete with photos, that truly put a smile on my face. If you haven’t had a chance to visit Darilyn’s blog, please check out her creative projects! She also has a My Fave DIY’s page and an Etsy shop specializing in items made with vintage sheet music, like these paper Christmas trees that I used while making my snowflake garland last winter. Thank you, Darilyn! ♥
I’m afraid my “let it snow” frame worked, because we had snow over the weekend and still have below-zero wind chills today! Lucky for me, I get to work from home . . . and the lasagna, breadsticks, and chocolate cake we had for dinner warmed me up just fine. (Gym . . . I promise I’ll be there soon!) It’s also a perfect day for this fun little free printable on my living room side table . . . thank you to Pam and Lisa of Over the Big Moon. ♥
In autumn I bought a fun chicken-wire frame at a craft show from Shantilly, and since then I’ve had fun restyling it for different holidays and seasons. November’s design reminded us to give thanks, December’s spoke of joy, and January’s is all about snow . . . a clip-art mitten illustration mounted on scrapbook paper, letters snipped from alphabet fabric, and tiny clothespins to hold everything in place. ♥
Happy 2014! I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas season. I had extra fun with my family celebrating Christmas, New Year’s, AND my birthday! And, with several days off from work, I enjoyed some extra sewing and crafting time, too.
Remember my sweater teddy bear? For my first holiday break project I wanted to use up the leftover sweater parts, and I found the perfect idea in the January, 2014 Woman’s Day magazine, submitted by Anna of Lasso the Moon. For mine, I . . .
- cut the scraps into two-inch squares,
- folded them in half,
- strung them on stiff wire,
- tied off the wire, and
- added a ribbon.
It’s always fun to have something new to hang after undecorating for Christmas! ♥
Look at the lovely ornament my sweet art-teacher-writer-friend Ginger gave me at church on Sunday! She twisted and turned a piece of wire into a heart surrounding my L-O-N-G name . . . thoughtfulness and handcrafting at its finest. And now, with Christmas Eve just one week away, I’m off to finish my end-of-year writing assignments, bake, and celebrate with my family. I wish you and yours a very merry Christmas and happy, happy New Year, and I’ll see you in 2014! ♥
Since I have so many colorful red and green decorations and busy prints up for Christmas (like here, here, here, here, here, here, and here!) I decided to go completely the other way on my newest idea . . . somewhat of a visual trick since “Deck the Halls” is such a cheerful song! I used turquoise chevron flannel with the same color embroidery floss, then I played around with the size and placement of the words to replicate the chorus’s inflection, pauses, and pitch. I love the way it makes your eyes say, “Ahhhhh . . . ” Oh, and the embroidery hoops were hand-me-downs and I already had the fabric and floss in my stash, so this was a “free” project. I love those, don’t you? ♥
In our smaller house, we’ve downsized to a smaller Christmas tree . . . but we still have lots of special ornaments we enjoy having out. So, I like to separate them into “categories” and display like items together.
- How about rocking horses in a bowl on a side table?
- Or wooden toy soldiers in a frame on the wall?
Pretty, easy, and fun! ♥
Look what I got in the mail this week! My sweet bloggy friend Sharon of Gentlestitches sent these lovely, handmade pillow ornaments for my Christmas tree all the way from Victoria, Australia to Kansas, USA! I just love them! If you haven’t had a chance to visit Sharon’s blog yet, please go take a look . . . she even has a page full of free patterns! Thank you, dear Sharon! ♥
Another favorite Christmas decoration at our house is the “fabric forest” I made last winter. I enjoyed getting these colorful little trees back out to display on top of the china hutch again! You can make the trees any size, and they’re a great way to use up some remnants that might not work for other projects. For a step-by-step photo tutorial, click here. ♥
Ever since I found the perfect giant sunflower paintings by a local artist at one of my favorite little shops, I’ve enjoyed them in spring, summer, and fall. However, when December rolls around, they become Christmas decor! In the past, I’ve always wrapped them in Christmas paper, but this year I purchased some pretty $1/yard cotton fabric that I can use year after year for a little more Earth-friendly approach. Click here and here for the 2011 and 2012 versions! ♥
Remember the chicken-wire frame I bought at the craft show from Shantilly? And how I decorated it for Thanksgiving with cut out burlap letters and a fabric flower? My granddaughter Miranda helped me restyle it for Christmas with new letters, then we added the scrapbook paper ornament my friend Debbie taught me how to make. Perfect . . . and I’ve already got ideas for when Valentine’s Day rolls around! ♥
I made these for our houseguests the day after Thanksgiving for a little change from turkey, and they were a hit! I was lucky to have my sister Susan’s yummy homemade crescent rolls to use, but my friend Janet uses Sister Schubert’s frozen rolls, and my daughter-in-law Tiffany uses sweet Hawaiian rolls, so you definitely have choices. Here’s the recipe for one dozen sandwiches:
- Slice each roll in half horizontally. On the bottom half, layer deli-sliced ham and swiss cheese. Replace top half. Arrange sandwiches in a baking dish.
- Melt 1 stick of butter, then stir in 3/4 tablespoon poppy seeds, 3/4 tablespoon mustard, 1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, and 1 teaspoon onion flakes.
- Pour sauce over rolls, and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Enjoy! ♥
Looky what I made! As you may know, I haven’t learned to knit or crochet yet (although my first wonky attempt at crochet DID turn into a super-cute pillow!). However, on Thanksgiving weekend my daughter-in-law Tiffany showed me how to make this frilly scarf out of the Sashay yarn I won from Ginny’s spring giveaway. The lace is already part of the yarn, so all I had to do was crochet through the openings at the top . . . easy even for me! I found out that the back of the yarn wrapper has directions for this same scarf, but it was way better to see someone model the steps in person. Thank you, Ginny and Tiffany! ♥
In my book, winter has arrived! I changed the calendar to December, the house is decorated for Christmas, I’ve heard some of my favorite carols, and the falling snow magically appeared on my blog (thank you, WordPress!). And, to add the perfect scent, I can use these lovely homemade holiday sprays I won from a giveaway on Peg’s Gotta Do! If you haven’t visited Peg’s blog yet, you must check out her fun creations, such as this hot cocoa gift cone bag, paper Christmas wreath, cupcake stand, bird seed wreath, and award-winning triceratops costume. She also has a brand new Etsy shop! Thank you, Peggy! ♥
First of all, THANK YOU for all the lovely comments, good wishes, and over 100 LIKES on my Christmas Bunting post! I met my writing deadline for work and had an extra-special time with our Thanksgiving guests. Before I straighten the house and start decorating for Christmas, I want to make sure you’ve heard about our friend Mahe’s newest “green crafting” e-book that you can get TODAY through DECEMBER 4 for FREE by clicking here! (If you don’t have a Kindle, you can get a Kindle app for your computer—also for free—right here.) The book includes step-by-step photos and directions for a Christmas tree, snowman, package toppers and tags, ornaments, placecards, a mobile, bunting, cards, envelopes, gift bags, and LOTS of fun handmade gifts. Most of the projects are designed by Mahe herself but (as always!) Mahe welcomes guest artists, such as:
- Danielle of On the Upcycle
- Vicky of Vicky Myers Creations
- Cherie of Down In Fairy Dell
- Cristin of Eve of Reduction
I’m going to take off the rest of November from blogging to finish a big writing assignment (for my “real” job!), host Thanksgiving dinner, and attend some family events. But first, here are my new strings of Christmas bunting! Last year I cut out bazillions of squares of Christmas fabric to make mini-pillow ornaments but didn’t use them all, so I turned the rest into triangles that I could stitch into seam binding. Simply turn under the ends and fasten them with buttons to create loops, and they’re ready to hang. Thank you for stopping by, and I’ll see you in December! ♥