Category Archives: Home

Quickie Project!

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Hello, friends! I haven’t posted OR answered my last set of comments OR read your blogs . . . I miss you! Life and work have just been a little crazy lately. I know you can all relate! But here is a quickie project I made for two sweet little girls to organize their hair accessories and necklaces in their new house. The frame is a hand-me-down from their great-grandmother, so we didn’t paint it, but it has plenty of color with ric-rac, headbands, barrettes, rubber bands, jewelry, and a little fabric flower a-la-mode. Thank you for taking a peek! ♥

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Happy 4th of July!

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My niece Amanda made this clothespin wreath . . . isn’t it festive? Here are some of her tips:

I bought 100 clothespins at Target and painted them with acrylic paint I already had. I like to paint, so it was fun for me, but it would be easier/faster with spray paint. Then I got a wire wreath and a bag of little wooden stars at Jo-Ann using a 40% off coupon and put it together! The clothespins just clip on and I used hot glue to attach the stars. I made sure that there were 7 red and 6 white “stripes.” (My Pinterest inspiration photo didn’t do that and it was driving me crazy!)  I love it and it goes great with my blue front door. 

Total cost? Eight dollars! Thank you for letting me share your fun project, Amanda! And happy holiday to all my U.S.A. blog friends. ♥  P.S. Click here to see the apron Amanda and I sewed together last summer!

Clothespin Wreath

Vintage Linen Pillow

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Since I have lots of hand-me-down vintage linens and doilies, I’ve been collecting ideas for using them in new ways. One idea I’ve seen several times is to use the piece as a-la-mode on a pillow. When I saw this pink polka-dot brown flannel next to this pastel pink table scarf, it was love at first sight! I simply centered the scarf on the cut out fabric, stitched it on, and completed the pillow as usual. Mmmm . . . brown and pink! ♥

VintageLinenPillow

Red, White, and Blue

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In the U.S.A., Memorial Day is today, June 14 is Flag Day, and July 4 is Independence Day, so you can’t go wrong with a bit of patriotic decor this time of year. Here is my restyled Shantilly frame, a free art print on a hand-quilted table runner my daughter-in-law Tiffany gave me for my birthday, the 1776 pillow I made last summer, and a pinwheel bouquet (also a free printable!). Happy summer! ♥

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Dresser Restyle

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On a recent visit to our Georgia family, we got to enjoy this beautiful dresser in our guest room. Mary Ann restyled a hand-me-down with two colors of paint and a different pair of silvery knobs on each drawer. I can’t wait to try this at home! ♥

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Veggies!

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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! ♥ Veggie Pillow

New Home Pillows

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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!

BenchPurple

 

It’s April!

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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 NovemberDecember, January, and February and the green frame design for March.

AprilFrame

You’re My Type

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The lovely Courtney of Make All Things New recently had a contest for one of her fun graphic design prints, and I won! I love old typewriters, so I did a little play on words and chose “You’re my type” for the text. I’ve already hung a full-size copy in my office and printed smaller versions to make note cards. Thank you, Courtney! TO MY OTHER BLOGGY FRIENDS: Will you please take a minute to visit, like, comment, and even follow Courtney’s blog today? She is one AMAZING lady! She has two six-year-old girls with enormous personalities.  She loves to sew, craft, draw, and paint. She teaches library, gives art lessons, and creates custom quilts, prints, and invitations. She is also painting a mural for her church nursery and sets for a play, mentors teens, and makes movies for a youth service—all on top of keeping her home running. She and her youth pastor husband feel that God may be calling them to Romania full time to work with orphans and the Roma people and are traveling there this summer to get a feel for what the future may hold. Oh, and Courtney has an Etsy shop, too! Please read these posts about the causes her shop supports . . . but you might want to grab a hankie first! Courtney, you put your heart and soul into making the world a better place. I’m so happy to have met you! ♥
You're my type

Holiday Wreaths

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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! ♥

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Peeps Garland!

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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! ♥

Bunny Basket

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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! ♥

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March!

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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 NovemberDecember, January, and FebruaryMarchFrame

Sour Cream Chocolate Cake

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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! ♥

Chocolate Cake

Happy Hearts!

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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! ♥

MixedMediaValentine

Valentine Hearts Card Garland

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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.

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Card Garland

February!

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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! ♥ February

A New Way to Think About a New Day . . .

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Last fall I lit up when I read “Short Monday Poem” by Ellen Grace Olinger on Poems From Oostburg, Wisconsin:

Monday
and planning
the week
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! ♥

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Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

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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. ♥

Baby It's Cold Outside

Let It Snow!

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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. ♥

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Sweater Wreath

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BearHappy 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! ♥

Wreath and Ribbon

Fa la la la . . .

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Since I have so many colorful red and green decorations and busy prints up for Christmas (like here, here, here, here, herehere, 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? ♥

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Ornament Ideas

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Bowl of Rocking HorsesIn 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! ♥

Framed Wooden Soldiers

The Fabric Forest

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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. ♥

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J-O-Y

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Besides my felt peppermint wreath, another favorite decoration at our home is this set of decoupaged J-O-Y letters . . . I made them from upcycled Christmas cards! Click here for complete instructions as well as links to lots of other fun, crafty Christmas projects. ♥

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Our Peppermint Wreath

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One of my FAVORITE holiday decorations is the felt peppermint wreath I made last winter. Click here to learn how to make the garland, and remember that you can use leftover “peppermints” to decorate anything from a package to a tree skirt to a headband. Enjoy! ♥

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Deck the Walls!

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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! ♥

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I love my all-holiday frame!

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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! ♥

Christmas Wire Frame

Peg’s Gotta Do!

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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! ♥

Peg's Gotta Do Collage

Christmas Bunting

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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! ♥

Bunting Ends

Bunting

Give Thanks

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In my Sleepover! post I told you about Shantilly, a new crafty business launched by my daughter-in-law Shannon and her sweet mom and sister. Their popular handmade items include different sizes and colors of chicken-wire frames to use for memo boards.  (My friend Karen bought one for each of her nieces for Christmas!) With mine, I made a new wall decoration for our upcoming Thanksgiving dinner. The letters are snipped from a remnant of the burlap I used for my mini-screen bag, the teeny wooden clothespins are left over from my t-shirt garland kit, and for a-la-mode I pinned on one of my fabric flower brooches. I just love it, and the best part is that I can update and reuse it for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and more! Thank you, Shantilly! ♥

Give Thanks

Sleepover!

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Did you love sleepovers when you were a little girl? They were my favorite! Last weekend some fun girls in my family drove in for a “Crafty Cousins Slumber Party.”  We went out to eat, chatted, crafted, slept, ate breakfast casserole and cinnamon roll-ups, went to a big craft show (where my lovely daughter-in-law Shannon launched Shantilly!), and ended with lunch out with my dad. We made fabric flower brooches, Christmas cards (thanks Margo!) and earrings (thanks Karen!). If you heard laughter floating through the air Saturday night, now you know why. ♥

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Cookie Cutter Hostess Gift

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Do you need a hostess gift idea? Does your hostess love to bake?

1. Stitch a simple drawstring bag.

2. Embroider the word “Cookies” on one side.

3. Fill it with fun or seasonal cookie cutters.

Don’t be surprised if you hear some oohs and aahs! ♥

Cookie Cutter Bag

Danger! Danger! Bite-sized cinnamon rolls!

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Yes, these are dangerous—very, very dangerous. But if you’re brave enough to always be only 15 minutes away from tiny, warm cinnamon rolls, keep reading! The moment I saw Kim’s recipe on Curtain Queen Creates, I knew I’d be making them someday . . . and today was the day! So easy, and so delicious! And while you’re visiting Kim’s blog, be sure to check out some of her other posts, like these recipes, home decor ideas, outdoor decor ideas, and beautiful tablescapes. Thank you, Kim! ♥

Rolls

What can you make with a sentimental dress?

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DRESSFor my two year blog anniversary,  I invited you to nominate people you’ve met through the blogging world who you would like to have as next-door neighbors. It was SO heartwarming to read the lovely comments that came from around the world! The blogger with the most nominations was then invited to send me a once-loved garment to remake into some new treasures and return. This year’s winner was Staci of Crafty Staci, who decided to send her going-away dress from her wedding 22 years ago! She said, “It’s been stored under my bed ever since.  I’d love to have it made into some things I could actually have out to enjoy, and red is still my favorite color, so that’s what I’ll be shipping to you.” I was so excited, and when this exquisite handmade dress arrived, my mind started spinning! So . . .today is the reveal! Here we go!

(1) I always like to start with a pillow, and the bodice of this dress was the perfect size to make a pillow cover for a 12 x 16 cushion. After detaching it from the skirt and shoulder straps and removing the boning, I traced and embroidered the logo from Staci’s blog and Etsy shop. Next, I put the pillow inside and nipped and tucked and pinned until I had a perfect fit, then took in the seams and stitched across the bottom. (The zipper is still in the back, just shortened a bit.) To fill in the armholes at the top, I made a lining with a coordinating floral fabric that could peek out at the corners, checked the fit again, pinned, then stitched the top closed. Then all I had to do was trim the seams, turn, press, and zip the pillow inside.  I love that I got to showcase the lovely lace on both the front and back of the pillow!

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(2) Next, I wanted to use part of the still-gathered skirt to make something to wear and decided on an apron! I found my inspiration on page 40 of my A is for Apron book by Nathalie Mornu which had a short skirt over a longer one. I used pieces from several different apron patterns along with some of my own ideas and two fun fabrics from my stash, and it came together perfectly.  Here it is blowing in the wind on photo shoot day!

APRON

(3) When I saw the size and shape of the shoulder straps, I immediately thought of a bow clutch–one strap for the bag and one for the bow. However, this project turned out to be a little more challenging! I opened up one of the straps for the bag, made a lining from a coordinating fabric in my stash, and attempted to put in a zipper. Since the bottom was already closed up, that was a total fail! So I carefully removed the crooked zipper and simply blanket stitched the top and lining together, then added a button hole and vintage button for the closure. Next, I opened up the side seams and handstitched the other shoulder strap in on both sides, being careful not to catch the lining since I probably should have done this step first! (Since both pieces are padded, the seam was too thick for my machine.) Finally, I used another strip of the lining fabric to cinch the middle of the outer piece to form the bow. So . . . it’s not as perfect as I had envisioned . . . but maybe it will be cute for an evening event where the lights are low??? ♥

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(4) The next step was to trim the hem from the skirt. With it, I made three of those fun  “twist, coil, and stitch” flowers. I had a straw wreath and some red and green ribbon in my craft stash, so I wrapped the wreath, added green vintage buttons to the flowers, stitched the flowers onto the wreath, and added a coordinating green ribbon for hanging.

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(5) Last but not least, I decided to make something kind of artsy and festive with a remaining piece of skirt fabric. I cut it into one-inch strips and made a pom-pom, then I hung it from ribbon on a gold wooden frame from my stash. I hope it will inspire the idea of “celebrating the everyday” as Staci lives her very creative life with her loved family and friends.

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Thank you for being our good neighbor, dear Staci . . . and your package is in the mail! ♥

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The Rice Trick Worked!

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PhoneFridays are laundry day at our house. When I got home from the Y last Friday, I tossed my clothes in the laundry basket and hopped in the shower.

Later, when I turned on the washer and started throwing in clothes, I suddenly remembered that I hadn’t taken my cell phone out of the pocket of my work-out capris! Peering in, I saw the phone loose but submerged. When I snatched it out, it already had all sorts of funny symbols on the screen, and I said my allowed yearly bad word.  :)

I’d heard of people putting a wet cell phone into a bowl of rice, so I quickly pulled off the back, pulled out the battery, patted all the parts as dry as possible, and covered them with rice.

I put everything back together 24 hours later, and my phone works perfectly! So, if you find yourself in a similar situation, give it a try . . . hopefully you’ll get the same happy results! ♥

Rice Bowl

Wildflowers

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FlowersEven though Kansas is still REALLY hot, I couldn’t resist getting out my fall decor this weekend.

After I set up the mantel, Dave added a bouquet he picked from his wildflower garden.

Isn’t it just perfect?

Thank you, Dave! ♥

Mantle

Thread Shelf

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BowlWhen I did my spring cleaning this year, I found a few forgotten treasures in the closet. One was a “miniatures” shelf that we used in our last house.

When I saw this post, I knew just what to do with it!  Even though Mandy re-purposed a cutlery tray instead, the idea worked perfectly.

All the leftover spools are still on their kabobs in a bowl.  (I have a LOT of hand-me-down spools of thread . . . lucky me!)

I love the fun shots of color in my sewing room! ♥

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Craft Camp!

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CollageOur granddaughters Ally and Kira requested an overnighter before going back to school last week, so we decided to call it “Craft Camp.” We sewed pillowcase nightgowns and made painted fabric pillows. Ally made a mini-pillow with embroidery, and Kira made a button headband. We also enjoyed our usual play-dough, Bendaroos, Tinker toys, and fingerprint art projects, played outside, read books, cooked, and had lunch with the girls’ great-grandparents. I think we may have started a new tradition! ♥

NightgownsPainted Pillows

Happy 4th of July!

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Since I donated last year’s 4th of July pillows (here and here and here) to a charity auction, I whipped up a new one over the weekend using a remnant from the last Wonder Woman apron and some ric-rac and embroidery floss from my stash. I love how the red pops on the bright blue and silver fabric! The finished pillow is 11 inches tall and 20 inches wide. To all my U.S. bloggy pals . . . have a safe and fun holiday with your family and friends! ♥

1776 Pillow Photo

Upcycled Porch Side Table

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PatioWe had a small porch side table whose top recently met its demise. See the little suction cups in the first photo above? They don’t work! So, when the table tipped, the resin top fell out and broke into several unrepairable pieces. But . . . no loss! It wasn’t a family heirloom or cherished purchase, just a handy place to keep a cup of coffee and book while sitting on the porch. And now I like it even better! Last summer I acquired a wire serving tray by disassembling a floor fan whose motor burned out. I’ve used it a few times, but it mostly sits in the pantry WAITING to be used, and the metal was a perfect match for the table stand. So, I:

  • removed those ineffective suction cups,
  • super-glued the tray onto the stand,
  • and tied the tray onto the stand through the suction cup holes with thin leather strips for extra support.

Now, come on over for a visit on my porch ANYtime! ♥

And, in the spirit of upcycling, please read the following call for submissions from our friend Mahe whom you’ve met here and here and here. She has an exciting plan to get your projects and name out to like-minded crafters and artists around the world!

Dear friends of Pillows A-La-Mode,

My name is Mahe Zehra, but I mostly go by MZ. I am a mathematician by training but an artist by nature, so in addition to my day job at a software company, I have a small green crafting company of my own called Altered Upcycling.

I chose this name because I think it explains my art style. I apply mixed media and altered art techniques to materials that are recyclable. I make art from paper scraps, soda cans, and plastic packaging. I have written several books and videos available on Amazon.com.

My latest venture involves putting together a book that brings upcycling projects to and from crafters and artists from all over the world! The book will contain 35-50 tutorials, each accompanied by the submitter’s photo, a short bio, and any other links you want to promote.

This book will be a great advertising opportunity, as I will be marketing it to my 5000-strong Facebook audience and my crafting mailing list as well as on my blog. In addition, I will run ad campaigns and offer free downloads on Amazon. Globally, the book will make its way to 10,000-20,000 readers!

I would LOVE for you to be included in this book! All I need is a craft project that focuses on upcycling. The tutorial should have pictures or a video and clear, step-by-step instructions.

Please sent your submission along with your photo, short bio, and links by Monday, July 22 to thecraftycan@gmail.com.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

MZ

One Last Wonder Woman Retro Apron . . .

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I had just enough fabric left to make one last Wonder Woman apron to give to an amazing Wonder Woman I know.  But, even though I’m moving on to new designs, I’ll definitely keep using this pattern!  Click here for links to the free tutorial along with some of my own tweaks.  And, speaking of aprons, I’m taking a week off from work (and sewing! and crafting! and blogging!) and donning an apron to play hostess to our family while everyone gathers in to celebrate Dave’s milestone birthday.  The house is clean . . . the party and meals are planned . . . the decorations are made . . . the toys and crafts are ready. . . the cookie jar is full . . . I can’t wait!  See you next week! ♥

Last WW Apron

“Two Bits!”

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Music

SignDo you recognize this little riff? These famous seven beats have been used for over a century to end a song or joke or as a call-and-response . . . the first person sings, hums, or taps out the first five beats (“Shave and a hair cut . . .”) and the other person supplies the ending (” . . . two bits!”).

Since I decided I needed ONE more piece of whimsical (and QUICK! and FREE!) art in my my guest bathroom, I used the words to create a 5 x  7 sign with a fun font and the (clipart!) music notes.

I already had the frame, which fits perfectly in the room’s black/white/lime green/silver color palette.

Click the link below for a (word document) copy of your own! ♥

Shave and a Haircut

Puzzle Box A-La-Mode

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This puzzle box kit I purchased and put together YEARS ago may look *vaguely* familiar . . . if so, it’s because it just received the same makeover as the children’s step stool we painted and decoupaged last week! Now all the wooden puzzles are ready for our littlest visitors in style! ♥

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Rubber Ducky Art

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After updating the guest bathroom with a painted and decoupaged kids’ stepstool and a few other decorative touches, I decided to finish it off with a piece of fabric art.  First I “shopped my house” and came up with a 17 x 21 black poster frame and a remnant of black/white/lime green fabric (from this crib skirt) that perfectly matches the colors of the room. Then I . . .

  • cut the fabric,
  • sketched and embroidered a rubber ducky in the middle,
  • stretched and taped the fabric over a piece of cardboard cut to size,
  • and popped it behind the glass in the frame.

Perfect! Now . . . bring on those guests!  P.S. I laid the picture on one of my mother-in-law’s quilts to take this photo . . . such beautiful handiwork! ♥

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Step Stool A-La-Mode

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Several years ago I bought this sturdy step stool for our youngest visitors to pull up to the sink in the guest bathroom.  I can’t believe I just now got around to doing something fun with it!  The room already has lots of pops of color with lime green towels and accessories, so I decided to use the colors of the shower curtain—black and white—but still make it kid-friendly.  We (meaning Dave . . . thank you Dave!) sanded it and painted it black, then I decoupaged my favorite chalkboard-print scrapbook paper to the tops of the steps.  Ahhh . . . much better! ♥

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Refrigerator A-La-Mode

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A LONG time ago I repinned an idea on Pinterest for lining refrigerator shelves with plastic placemats for easy clean up.  However, I’d completely forgotten about it . . . UNTIL I read this post by the lovely Kelly of Cobwebs, Cupcakes & Crayons!  I was totally inspired when Kelly said, “When I am done, it is so satisfying.  I tend to open and close the fridge over and over just to take a peek.”  Since “clean the refrigerator” was on my spring cleaning to-do list, it was the perfect time to try it out.  And W-O-W do I ever love these cheery placemats from IKEA!!!  Poppies on my sugar bowl!  Birds in my refrigerator!  What’s coming over me??? ♥

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DIY Poppy Sugar Bowl and Creamer

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Do you ever squeal with delight when you see a blog post? Of course you do! :) That’s what happened when I saw the DIY Poppy Teapot from the lovely Natalie of La gang à Nat. Seriously, go look at it now right HERE. Isn’t it gorgeous??? And all I could think of was that I had a plain white sugar bowl and creamer that I’ve used for YEARS, and wouldn’t they look LOVELY with Natalie’s poppy a-la-mode? So I emailed her to make sure I could copy her design and post it here, and she said YES! (She’s VERY nice!) The only difference is that I used Sharpies since I already had them on hand and then baked the items in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes to set the color. I just LOVE them . . . thank you, dear Natalie! ♥

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T-Shirt Garland Kit

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TopWhen 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.

Box GluedTo 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.

Pins and ShirtsNext, 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! ♥

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