When our whole family gathers in over Father’s Day weekend, I want to have some fun crafts that work for *kids* from pre- schoolers to 80+. My latest idea is a decoration that everyone helps create—T-shirt garland! To keep everything handy, I decided to make a kit with all the necessary materials. Then I can simply hang some baker’s twine across the windows and we can pin on our paper T-shirts as we “customize” them.
To make the kit, I first found an empty box that was just the right size. (This one once held a chocolate cake that came in an order one of our kids sent us from Omaha Steaks . . . yum!!!) I cut off the lid and then cut, folded, and glued the lid cardboard to divide the box into four compartments. Here it is with clips holding everything in place while it dried. When the inside was ready, I traced around the outsides and covered them with scrapbook paper, then made a simple word-processed label for the front using clip art and a text box.
Next, I googled “printable t-shirt template” to find a pattern I like and watched a couple of movies while I traced and cut them out on light-colored paper. I also shopped for tiny clothespins and found these at Amazon.com. They’re REALLY tiny—about one inch long—but perfect for hanging paper items. I also found a small empty jar in the pantry to store them in since we’ll need to keep them safely away from the babies and toddlers. (I later glued three of the pins to the lid for a-la-mode.)
Finally, I added markers, crayons, and colored pencils for creating the T-shirt designs. Since I already had these and the paper on hand, my only expense was the clothespins—and they’re so cute I probably would have bought them anyway. I’ll be sure to show you a photo of our garland after everyone is here! P.S. I think this would be a fun way to commemorate family activities over the summer, too . . . books the kids read, trips to the beach and zoo, special treats they get to eat, and that sort of thing. If only I’d thought of that when MY kids were little! ♥
Have you ever heard of 9-hole buttons? And did you know you can use them for words and monograms??? I didn’t until I read this fun post by Nicole on Diary of a Mad Crafter! And Nicole is so clever that she even made her OWN buttons!!!
I found mine at the yehuting Etsy Shop . . . only $4.98 plus shipping for forty. This lovely shop owner has TONS of other amazing notions, too. Do pay her a visit!
We’re having a big family reunion in June that falls on Father’s Day weekend. I wanted to make cards for all the dads who’ll be visiting, and the wooden buttons on plain kraft cardstock worked perfectly for a masculine monogram. I have quite a few left over, too . . . so more projects to come! ♥
I’ve had the BEST Mother’s Day weekend! Cute cards! Thoughtful gifts! Phone calls! Dinner! Flowers! A music theater production of my favorite book, Little Women! And most of all, lots of love. As as I think about my mom, mom-in-law, and grandmothers, I fondly remember my sweet aunts, too. You’ve heard about Aunt Vitha, wearer of fun earrings . . . she always had a cookie jar full of Oreos. And my other aunts . . . what a heartfelt visit I had with them this spring. I cherish every moment with my dear nieces and nephews, and my sister Susan and seven daughters-in-law have the most amazing auntie skills I’ve ever seen. So hats off to you, dear aunts . . . thank you for being our “other” moms. ♥
When Linny J Creations posted last fall about the upcoming Nancy Drew fabric at The Fat Quarter Shop, I was in! I bought my first ever charm pack just so I could see a tiny sample of everything. Thanks to inspiration from Feathered Nest Studio, these fun little designs are now a set of 24 coasters. It was so easy . . . just stitch two squares right sides together along with a square of quilt batting (leaving a small opening for turning), trim the corners, turn, and topstitch. We’re having a B-I-G family get-together at our house in June (more on that to come!), so I’m all ready in the coaster department! P.S. The beautiful basket is from 1840 Farm Mercantile. ♥
Last month I told you about my “biggest refashion ever” . . . making a first communion dress from a wedding gown. It’s done! I would never attempt a tutorial, because every gown is different, but here is a summary of the steps that worked for me:
- I used the bodice from the Butterick 3350 pattern, cutting it from the gown train.
- I also used the Butterick 3350 sleeve, cutting it from the beaded top front of the gown.
- I was able to use the gown’s skirt (taken in at the side seams and shortened, of course) and preserve the back of the gown (including the original zipper!) by stitching it right onto the new bodice.
- I made a sash from the extra buttons going down the gown’s back through the train.
- Finally, I snipped the beads from the remaining remnants and handstitched them around the front neckline.
My only advice is to (1) spend quite awhile thinking, planning, and sketching before you start, (2) baste everything (and let your special little girl try it on!) before sewing anything permanently, and (3) keep every little bit of fabric and embellishment, because you might use it. Thank you for joining in my excitement over this once-in-a-lifetime project! P.S. I couldn’t resist using the “Radiance” effect from PicMonkey on the photo below. ♥
Thank you SO much to everyone for entering the Origami Owl Blogger Locket Giveaway and for all your lovely, encouraging comments. Seriously, every time a new one popped up, I said to myself, “Oh . . . I hope SHE wins!!!” But the time came to draw one name out of the hat, and the lucky winner is . . .
Jeanna of Drama Queen Seams!
Congratulations, Jeanna! As soon as you email me your mailing address, I’ll send your prize and Tiffany will send the extra charm you chose—the crystal clear crown. And for all of our other blogging friends . . . thank you again for your enthusiasm and support for small businesses, and feel free to contact Tiffany at email@example.com, her Facebook page, or her web site if you have any questions about creating your own Living Locket or becoming an Origami Owl independent designer. You’re the best! ♥
My lovely art teacher daughter-in-law Tiffany just became an independent designer for Origami Owl. Have you seen these amazing “Living Lockets” yet? You choose your locket size and design, fill it with hand-picked charms, and (if you like) add plates, dangles, and tags. Then you either purchase a chain or wear your creation on a chain or ribbon you already own. They’re absolutely beautiful! So Tiffany and I put our heads together and came up with a “blogger locket” giveaway that we think you’ll love! It includes:
- the large silver Living Locket with crystals,
- 5 charms: a laptop computer, a camera, a pair of scissors, a cup of coffee (or tea!), and the April stone,
- an 18-inch silver ball station chain,
- and an “Inspire” tag that can be worn either with the locket or separately.
You can see close-ups of all the components below!
To enter this giveaway, you only have three easy steps to follow:
(1) “Like” Tiffany’s Origami Owl Facebook page here. (But if you’re not on FB, no worries! You can still enter by skipping to Step 2! )
(2) Go to Tiffany’s Origami Owl web site and find your favorite charm here. (Click on “Charm Collections” on the “Living Lockets” page.)
(3) Leave a comment below telling us you’ve liked the FB page (see note on Step 1) and what your favorite charm is.
That’s it! A week from today (Monday, April 8) we’ll draw a name out of a hat and announce the winner right here at Pillows A-La-Mode. And not only does the winner get the blogger locket, but Tiffany will mail her the other charm she chose, too! So please join in the fun, and thank you for visiting Origami Owl today or anytime from my Shop Love! page above. ♥
P.S. I forgot to mention that Origami Owl’s packaging is amazing—a drawstring bag for the tag and a “fortune cookie” made of kimono fabric to keep your locket in, all delivered in a cute little take-out box! Oh, and Tiffany has also put together a Shutterfly book with design ideas. You can check it out here.
I went out this morning to see if my miniature daffodils were coming up . . . and they ARE! They were a gift from two of my very favorite teacher friends, Carla and Denise, two springs ago. I love it that these beautiful blooms don’t mind that the mulch is weathered, the sun hasn’t been out much lately, and the latest snow just now disappeared from the ground. They just do what they’re meant to do, symbolizing all that is right with the world. And now I’m off to finish a big writing assignment (YAY!), have a rather . . . er . . . unusual date night (dinner out followed by Good Friday Service followed by KU Sweet Sixteen basketball!), finish Ally’s first communion dress tomorrow, and enjoy Easter service, friends, and family on Sunday. I wish all of you a happy, happy weekend too! ♥
Dave and I collaborated on an indoor/outdoor and foldable/take-apartable/storable play tent for a special birthday boy using a tutorial from Gemma of Gembobs Crafts. Check out her beautiful crocheted version here! The fabric for ours is “Red River II Stripe Blue” from Fabric.com, and two and one-half yards of 45-inch wide fabric was a PERFECT fit. It was easy and fun and we’re ready to make more! Thank you, Gemma! ♥
When I meet my amazing daughters-in-law or gal pals for coffee or lunch, I love to take them a little handmade gift. My newest craze is these little spring bunnies made from fabric scraps! You can find the pattern and tutorial from Angie on The Little Fabric Blog. Thank you, Angie! P.S. The lovely tulips are a gift from our recent houseguest and friend, Nancy. The table mat is here, and the photo star on the wall is here. ♥
This beautiful bride, Christin, now has an amazing 8-year-old daughter, Allyson, and I’ll be transforming Christin’s wedding gown into Allyson’s First Communion dress!
Allyson chose Butterick 3350 with sleeves, scalloped neckline, and straight hem.
I’ll admit I’m a tiny bit nervous about working with and on two such important dresses, but I’m excited about it, too!
And I have a cheerleader! My dear friend Faye transformed her daughter-in-law’s wedding dress into the stunning First Communion dress below for her adorable granddaughter, and she’s only a phone call away if I need advice and encouragement.
Watch for the big reveal in April . . . and wish me luck! ♥
I haven’t been baking much lately since Dave and I are both working on our New Year’s resolutions for healthier eating.
BUT . . . yesterday was Valentine’s Day, right?
And Valentine’s Day was MADE for chocolate, right???
I still remember sitting in my grandmother’s kitchen copying down this recipe from her file box when I was a new bride.
It’s just as delicious as ever!
Thank you, Grandma! ♥
In a large bowl, blend and set aside:
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups flour
- ½ tsp salt
In a heavy pan, blend and bring to a boil:
- 1 stick butter
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup oil
- ¼ cup cocoa
Pour the hot liquid over the dry ingredients and beat until smooth. Add:
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp baking powder
Beat until smooth. Pour into prepared large cake pan and bake 30 minutes at 325 degrees.
Five minutes before the cake is done, blend and bring to a boil the following:
- 1 stick butter
- 6 Tbsp milk
- 4 Tbsp cocoa
Pour over 1 lb of powdered sugar. Add 1 tsp vanilla and beat until smooth.
Punch holes in the hot cake with a fork or toothpick and pour the hot frosting on top. Let cool and serve.
Remember my Wonder Woman retro apron? (You can take a quick peek here!) I’ve made and given away three so far and have more in the works, but I wanted to make a simpler, non-ruffly version for art teacher Tiffany (one of the beautiful brides on my mantel!) who wears fun aprons at work in her job as a middle school art teacher. Then I received a bag of sewing hand-me-downs, and tucked between some fabric remnants was a denim work apron—just the body with a pocket on the bib, no neck or waist ties . . . perfect! To WW-ize it, I:
- removed the pocket,
- appliqued one of my WW bibs right over the top of the denim,
- used the pocket I removed for the inside of a new WW star fabric pocket and sewed it on the skirt, and
- made and attached star-fabric neck and waist ties. Done! ♥
P.S. Click here for the heart-to-heart garland and here for the red sweater heart pillow.
. . . for all the kind comments, wishes, and prayers you sent our way after my last post. I keep being amazed at the love and care you so freely share, and I’m determined to pay it forward every chance I get.
We’re home now after spending many treasured hours with our family. So, as Vida would want, I’m ready to go back to “making stuff” and sharing about other people I admire who do the same.
One of my resolutions this year is to learn to crochet, and I was ever more inspired while watching my sweet daughter-in-law Tiffany (who JUST learned how!) finish this adorable scarf for cutie Miranda last night while we were all piled into our hotel room chatting. The Bernat Pipsqueak yarn is about the softest thing I’ve ever felt, and I LOVE how it designed itself as she worked.
Thank you to Tiffany for all the tips and to Miranda for modeling. And please watch for a new series of Shop Love! posts while I travel to attend a conference for a few days and then catch up on some projects of my own! ♥
We lost my mom-in-law Vida last night. So I’ll be away for awhile, but first I want to share a story. This photo shows a tiny section of the border of a huge, gorgeous tablecloth that Vida embroidered for us, along with a set of eight napkins. I can’t even begin to imagine how long it took to make . . . just look at all the details, including little French knots around the centers of the flowers! One holiday we were all sitting around the table stuffed and unmoving, savoring the memory of the meal and putting off dish-washing as long as possible. “Everything was just perfect,” someone finally said, breaking the silence. Then another family member replied, “Well . . . not quite . . .” We all looked at her expectantly. “I’m not positive, but I THINK the cloth is on the table wrong-side up!” she explained. We all peered intently at the stitches, and honestly we couldn’t even tell because Vida’s embroidery is as perfect on the back as it is on the front! I sheepishly apologized, but Vida just smiled graciously, loving that my mistake was actually the highest form of compliment to her handiwork. Vida and I have laughed about that every holiday since then, and I know I always will . . . but from now on, with a tear. I love you, Vida! ♥
Yes, I’m about to share ANOTHER amazing daughter-in-law craft! We were so excited to get this beautiful star with photos of our dear little ones for Christmas. Jen was kind enough to send me a tutorial this week . . . and she must have known I’d ask, because she’d even taken a photo of her materials! Thank you, Jen! ♥
(1) Get a wooden or metal star from a craft store, some scrapbook paper, Mod Podge, a paint brush, scissors, and photos. Tip: Photos that are further away from the subject work better than close-ups.
(2) Use a piece of plain paper to cut templates for each side of the star points. Then look at the pictures and decide which ones to put on the star and where they will go based on their sizes and vertical/horizontal positions.
(3) Use your template to cut out the pictures, making sure they are facing the same way as their position will be on the star.
(4) Paint the backs of the photos with Mod Podge and stick them to the star.
(5) Cut scrapbook paper to fit any extra space on each point of the star and Mod Podge it on.
(6) Paint the whole star with Mod Podge and let it dry overnight.
My newest Shop Love! artists made two of my Christmas and birthday gifts this year!
Their friend and colleague (my art teacher daughter-in-law Tiffany!) sent me this adorable chicken from Zuliganz and these gorgeous felt-ball earrings (made by the same artist who created the measuring tape earrings Tiffany gave me last spring) from Wired for Impact.
This husband/wife team sell their creations locally in the St. Louis area and at their Unboxed Art Etsy Shop in support of causes near and dear to their hearts.
I hope you’ll get a chance to check out their web site and store soon . . . and THANK YOU, Tiffany! ♥
We had our “Walker Family Christmas” yesterday, and when my daughter-in-law Shannon walked in with this cute owl tin, little did I know that a surprise birthday party was inside! A few weeks ago, Shannon secretly emailed as many of my blogging friends as she could and invited them to join in a card shower for my birthday today, and W-O-W, was I ever showered! I stayed up until all hours last night reading and shedding some tears over the beautiful cards and sweet messages from all over the world. I can’t thank Shannon enough for this incredibly thoughtful gesture, and I can’t thank YOU enough for being my wonderful friends and encouragers. As this card that Shannon made for me says, “One kind word can warm three winter months.” New Year blessings to all of you, with love from Pillows A-La-Mode. ♥
No, I didn’t refashion my BFF (really my sister Susan!) . . . I love her just the way she is! But I DID help her turn something beautiful but too-big into something fun and fashionable. This Eddie Bauer dress is a gorgeous color with a velvety touch and drapey, travel-friendly fabric. But . . . it went almost to Susan’s ankles (even though she’s 5’10″ like me), was too big around the middle, and left her neck out in the cold. To move it to the front of Susan’s closet, I:
(1) removed the skirt from the bodice,
(2) widened the two front and back darts by 1/2 inch each and did the same with the two front and back seams of the gored skirt,
(3) sewed the skirt and bodice back together,
(4) shortened the skirt by a whopping 17 inches and rehemmed, and
(5) made an infinity scarf from the fabric I cut off by reading several different tutorials I’d bookmarked and adapting them to the size and shape of the fabric I had to work with.
I think it will be super-cute with tights and boots this winter. Enjoy, Susan! ♥
I started writing this post a couple of days ago to show you my new Christmas decoration. When I began having children of my own, my mother gave me the cookie cutters we used to make Christmas cookies when I was a little girl. Oh, the hours of fun I’ve had with them! This December I wanted a little something extra in the kitchen, so I strung them on ribbons, tied them together at the top, and hung them in my window.
Today, I think of my cookie cutters in a completely different way. I weep with joy that I got to grow up baking Christmas cookies with my mom and that my sons got to grow up baking Christmas cookies with me. And I weep with sadness for those children and parents who won’t have that opportunity this Christmas.
To Kris and Mike, who lost their 14-year-old daughter Bekah to cancer this week . . . to the parents of the children who were killed at their elementary school yesterday . . . to all parents everywhere who mourn the loss of a child . . . may you find comfort in the love and prayers of all of us. ♥
A couple of years ago I saw a kids’ art jar online and thought it would be the perfect gift for a special little girl’s birthday. It was so colorful and intriguing . . . but when we dumped everything out, I found LOTS of pretty raffia filling and WAY too few actual art supplies. Live and learn, right? So, when my dad was preparing for a recent move and asked if I’d like to have some empty plastic snack containers, I immediately thought, “ART JARS!” I began collecting artsy/crafty items from the dollar bins at Michaels and Target, plus hitting the dollar stores, and soon had a huge bag of fun things to include. These will be under some Christmas trees soon! ♥
A special little girl in our family celebrated her sixth birthday on December 1st. As you know, a December birthday gift must NOT be Christmasy! So, since she absolutely loves to bake with her mom, I decided on a cupcake gift. First I made an apron using a remnant from the nursery pillows I sewed last summer that looks like sprinkles. I didn’t have a child-size pattern, so I just cut a rectangle for the front, a long, skinny piece for the waistband and tie, found some rick-rack trim, and stitched it up. Then I folded a piece of paper, sketched half of a cupcake paper and top, cut them out, unfolded the paper, and used these as patterns for some cupcake a-la-mode (two yellow fabrics and sequins for sprinkles) and a scrapbook paper gift tag. Then I bought some cake mix, frosting (with sprinkles!), cupcake papers, and cupcake flags to go with the apron. I was going to make a little totebag to gift it in, but then I spotted this adorable tin for $2.99 in my grocery store’s clearance aisle . . . how lucky is that! Happy birthday, dear Kira! ♥ P.S. Please check out this fun post on Peg’s Gotta Do for more cupcake inspiration!
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!
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! ♥
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.
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! ♥
Here’s a little project I made for someone special to keep her hands warm on the way to work while getting a *hug* from the two loves of her life. Filled with rice, just pop them in the microwave for a minute or so and put them in your pockets. Please visit Trixie’s Blog for a tutorial . . . thank you for the inspiration, Trixie! ♥
I met my super-crafty, super-sweet, and super-pretty daughter-in-law Shannon for coffee, and look what she made for me! Tiny easels with paint and ribbon a-la-mode and tiny art canvases with paint and paper decoupage (and tiny spools for Frankenstein!) for my Halloween decor! I LOVE them! THANK YOU, Shannon! ♥ P.S. Click here to see an example of Shannon’s mixed media “She Art.”
I was so intrigued when I saw some wooden letters decoupaged with maps on House of 34 and decided to make a set for a gift. However, the birthday guy is an amazing photographer who creatively explores the city of Philadelphia with all of its amazing architecture, landmarks, murals, and street art. So . . . I printed off some of my favorite Instagram photos he’s shared on FB and cut out different bits to create a “Mod Podge collage” on each letter instead. I love that I can show him how proud I am of him . . . and it was fun, too! ♥ P.S. You can follow on Instagram at mr_fisher. And Ashley Bollinger has some other fun Instagram art projects here.
One of my sweet daughters-in-law just moved AND got a new classroom (see Embroidered Classroom Poster), so I had fun sewing valences for both places. For the kindergarten room, I found a crayon print on the sale table at my local Hancock Fabrics and bought a yard of alphabet/number print for a contrast border. For the dining nook, Jen and Greg chose a green/blue plaid from Fabric.com and I found a matching blue trim at Jo-Ann. They’re in the mail to their new homes! ♥
On our recent trip to visit Baby Katy, I saw some adorable creations in her nursery! I also discovered the most amazing fabric art at the Philadelphia International Airport—Kay Healy’s “Coming Home” life-sized fabric mural in Terminal E. (Click on photo above for a larger view). I couldn’t stop looking at all the intricate details!
Now for those fun nursery ideas . . .
(1) The top picture is “She Art” lovingly created by Katy’s Aunt Shannon. Visit Christy Tomlinson’s blog (the founder of She Art) to learn more about this art form.
(2) The owl and flower paper collages are by a lovely interior designer and friend of Katy’s mom and dad. Please check out her web site at Ashley Heath Design. (And we loved how the flowers coordinate with Katy’s new mobile!)
(3) Katy’s mommy, author of the delicious cooking blog Consumed: My Culinary Adventure, made this beautiful curtain “gift-wrapped” with ties sewn from a coordinating fabric. I love it! ♥
When I was digging through my treasure box and found these pretty rocks that some sweet kiddos gave me, I immediately thought of a super-creative craft I’d bookmarked on What Katie Made. Thank you, Katie, for such an easy-to-follow tutorial! Now I have treasures holding treasures. ♥
One of my teacher friends posted this adorable chart-paper poster from the First Grader At Last! blog on Pinterest. I wanted to make one for a teacher in my family, but instead of recopying it on paper I decided to embroider the whole thing! Crazy, I know! But here are the steps:
- Find some fabric that looks like notebook paper, cut out a rectangle, and embroider the red line and “holes.”
- Print the sayings lightly in pencil on the lines.
- Embroider, using a different color of floss for each line.
- Cut out a piece of quilt batting and back fabric, stack and pin (with right sides together), and stitch the sides and bottom.
- Trim the seams, turn, press, and top stitch the edges.
- Sew a strip of 2-inch seam facing to the top (right sides together), fold it back to make a dowel rod casing for hanging, and handstitch it down.
Here’s my colorful version, taped (a bit wonkily!) to a wall for a photo shoot before heading to a new kindergarten classroom. Happy school year! ♥
Have I ever mentioned that we have LOTS of guys in our family? As in a blended family of seven sons and no daughters??? I love to make things for our beautiful daughters-in-law and grandbabies, but I haven’t ventured far into homemade-for-men land. So, when I saw a tutorial for a zippered toiletry bag on The Purl Bee, I decided to give it a try. The first challenge was fabric. I wanted to use oilcloth to make the bag easy to clean, but all I could find was gingham, fruit, vegetables, animal prints, and floral designs. Then I stumbled on this fun plaid online at Mendel’s, and it just happens to be the colors for the University of Kansas, the birthday guy’s favorite college basketball team . . . how lucky was that? The bag was easy and fun to sew, and I have plenty of fabric left (and plenty of KU fans left!), so I’m sure I’ll be making more. 8-7-12 UPDATE: Today I added a little guy a-la-mode . . . a zipper pull made from a Jayhawk keychain. ♥
Here are my latest pillowcases, embroidered with a simple graphic and floral design. I do love to embroider . . . it’s relaxing, portable, and the perfect way to add a bit of a-la-mode to sewing and crafting projects. I learned my first stitches from my grandma when I was ten years old . . . I hope I get to pass them on to my granddaughters someday! ♥
(1) Find a stand-up frame that matches your guest room. (I got this one at a dollar store for . . . yes . . . $1!)
(2) Use the picture that comes with the frame as a template to cut a light-colored piece of scrapbook or wrapping paper.
(3) Put the pretty paper in the frame.
(4) Using a dry-erase marker, write a welcome message on the glass before your guests arrive.
(5) Watch them smile!
P.S. A big THANK YOU goes out to Bliss . . . a DIY and Home Design Site for this great idea! If you’ve written a recent post about creating a hospitable guest space, I’d love for you to send me a link in a comment and I’ll add it to this post, too! ♥
Thank you for all the WONDERFUL ideas I’ve received so far for my vintage bow ties! With a super-busy week ahead (in a good way! ) sewing isn’t on the agenda, but as soon as I get back to my machine I’ll be trying them out! In the meantime, I thought I’d share the other goodies Dad gave me this weekend. My mom won these ribbons for her paintings at county and state fair competitions . . . she was so amazing! I have a bunch of these stashed away from my 4-H days, too. I also have a class reunion coming up during fair weekend in August, and I offered to make the decorations, and wouldn’t the ribbons make a festive bunting??? My other newest treasures include (1) a “VOTE!” necktie from a 1972 election, (2) some hand-embroidered and crocheted linens, (3) a hand-sewn and crocheted baby dress, cap, sweater, and booties, and (4) a colorful nylon kite that no longer flies. I’m going to have so much fun with these! And if you have suggestions for projects for any of them, please feel free to share here, too. I never cease to be amazed at all the creativity out there! ♥
Here are the nursery pillows we made with fabric from an IKEA veggie print receiving blanket, coordinating fabrics from Jo-Ann, and some fun a-la-mode! ♥
Our brand-newest grandson is here for a visit! Today his mommy and I went to Jo-Ann to find fabric for a few items to round out his nursery decor, which is based on this adorable vegetable print from IKEA. We found a pretty green graphic print to use for the crib skirt, and it was a piece of cake to stitch it up! I got some helpful tips from Ashley at littlewillowtree and used her info to draw a diagram for future use. Oh, and we also got fabric for accent pillows . . . my next project!
P.S. Here’s a photo I added of the skirt on the crib when Joshua arrived back home . . . along with the pillows from the next post. ♥
Do you have little ones in your family who LOVE to play tic-tac-toe? We do! Since I bought plenty of orange, yellow, green, and white felt for my citrus coaster project, I decided to use it to make a birthday gift for one of these sweet little girls with a giant orange slice gameboard and lemon and lime game pieces. And how serendipitous to find an orange slice notepad in the dollar bin at Michaels for keeping score! At first, I was going to make a bag out of my citrus fabric to hold everything, but then I figured out that the gameboard itself could be the bag with the addition of ties. It worked! Now I’m imagining all sorts of other themes . . . a basketball gameboard with different colors of “team” T-shirts for the game pieces . . . a Disney fabric gameboard with Mickey and Goofy game pieces . . . the sky is the limit! You could also make them different sizes and even add velcro to the gameboard and pieces to play it in the car. Other ideas are welcome! ♥
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 . . . ♥
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. ♥
We had a little family get-together at our house tonight, and Kira and Allyson had fun making monsters we found from Giggles Galore on Pinterest. Aren’t they cute? And I LOVE the beauty mark on the pink one! ♥
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! ♥
This was a quick and easy T-shirt-to-pillow upcycle, but it was extra fun because the person who gave up the T-shirt (my mother-in-law!) thought that one of her favorite items of clothing was heading for the rag bag due to some spots and tears (luckily not on the parts I wanted to use!) and was SO surprised (and happy!) to see it return in its new form. This pretty design, a combination of applique and embroidery, appeared on the front of the T-shirt. A smaller version appeared on one sleeve, which I cut off and stitched to the corner. Oh, and at the last minute I decided to a-la-mode it a bit with some different sizes and shapes of pastel buttons in the centers of the flowers. Now Vida has a little garden blooming on her sofa! ♥
Remember these blue burpies I posted earlier? (Click here for tutorial.) Well, now I’ve been making pink ones as well. That’s right, we have a grandson AND a granddaughter arriving this summer! I’ll admit that I couldn’t choose among all the cute flannels, though, so I ended up getting WAY too much. Flannel baby quilts may follow soon! ♥
A good way to preserve a favorite item of clothing from a child’s preschool years is to upcycle it into a pillow. For example, with just a bit of embroidery, snipping, stuffing, and stitching, this hoodie turned into something new to cuddle and treasure. ♥
Since kids LOVE to see their baby pictures, I decided to use this idea for a simple homemade birthday card for one of our grandchildren. I printed a photo from my computer, trimmed it, and glued it onto the front of a folded sheet of cardstock, wrote about how cute and sweet and smart and funny he is on the inside, signed it, addressed the envelope, and mailed. Now it’s on its way to Germany . . . Happy Birthday, dear Logan! ♥
P.S. I may try this for other family and friends, too . . . perhaps using a photo of a fun time we’ve shared.