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! ♥
I had a sentimental sweater from a beloved family member that always seemed to say “teddy bear,” so I decided to give it a go! I have a hand-me-down pattern that was a perfect fit for the sweater front and back (McCall’s Crafts 703), but otherwise I probably would have sketched my own. The eyes only required a bit of embroidery on two of the knit-in designs. Then, since the McCall’s pattern was faceless, I used Claire’s cute (and FREE!) softie pattern on Craft Schmaft to figure out the snout. After stitching and stuffing, the squeezable, huggable Teddy is in the arms of a sweet little one. Plus, I still have the sleeves and a few smaller remnants left for new projects . . . we’ll see what those bits say! ♥
Once upon a time, a Pennsylvania girl married a Kansas boy . . . and now they’re living happily ever after in Georgia. But they still need their own aprons!
- You’ve seen my girly apron before . . . here, here, here, and here. (The last link has info about the original pattern and tutorial.)
- I found the manly barbecue apron tutorial here at The Purl Bee. It was super easy and fun to make, too. ♥
When my boys were little, they loved Mr. Men books. My first-graders loved them, too. Now my grandchildren love them! The stories are odd and quaint and preachy, but the characters are totally loveable . . . and we can all relate to their funny foibles. After Mr. Men Books became so popular, the author/illustrator Roger Hargreaves also started writing Little Miss books. Imagine how excited I was to find Mr. Men fabric at Fabric.com! I ordered a yard to make a drawstring gift bag for a set of Little Miss books for an upcoming birthday girl (there’s even a birthday book in the set!) and had enough for a pillow, too. Oh, and this drawstring bag was so much fun! I’ve made dozens of these bags in my life, but never with this super-cool design by Jona of Stop Staring & Start Sewing. Thank you, Jona! ♥
I bought the fun Anny Bag pattern from my blogging friend Anny of It’s Sew Anny, and I decided to make my first one using Christmasy remnants. Although the pattern calls for ruffles on both sides, I left the back unruffled to show off this fun print. The pattern has fabric measurements for two different sizes, and the lined bag has a flat base and two large inside pockets. It was REALLY fun to sew, and I’ll definitely be making more! Check out the Anny Bag and Anny’s other great bag patterns at the It’s Sew Anny Etsy Shop . . . thank you, Anny! ♥
I won the CUTEST business card holder in a recent giveaway by Barbara of Zibergirl Sews! (Click here for a tutorial if you’d like to make your own!) If you followed Season 1 of Refashion Runway on The Renegade Seamstress, you’ve already met Barbara! You can also see an amazing gallery of her sewing projects here. Thank you, Barbara . . . and keep inspiring us with those fabulous creations! ♥
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! ♥
I love making a gift basket for the silent auction at the Arts and Crafts Mission Market at my church every November, which this year will benefit the Downtown Daycare Center here in Wichita, KS. This time I decided on a music theme.
- First, I made an embroidered pillow and a music-note-fabric half apron with fabric flower a-la-mode. (Click here for the apron tutorial from Jona of Stop Staring & Start Sewing).
- Next, I added a framed music saying (which you can get here for FREE from the lovelyn Darilyn of TheHighNotedotNet) and a package of vintage music Christmas tree confetti from Darilyn’s Etsy shop.
- I finished if off with a blank journal and coffee cup cozy for idea-gathering and a small vintage hymnal.
Click here for gift baskets from the past few years. It’s my secret ambition to go into the gift basket business someday! (Dave, you didn’t see that, right???) ♥
Even though I named my blog for pillows, I haven’t made many lately, have I? But here is my latest cushiony creation concocted from scraps of last year’s Halloween pillows, a fun black and white remnant for the back, and some of my grandma’s mismatched black buttons. I knew I wanted to do a chevron design, and I found a perfect tutorial from Nicole at Modern Handcraft. Thank you, Nicole . . . and have a fun Halloween, everyone! ♥ P.S. The other one is a sweater pillow from my earliest blogging days . . . it’s the softest, coziest cushion in my house, and I love getting it out when autumn arrives!
In September, I told you about the lovely but mysterious 1927 quilt top we found among my husband Dave’s parents’ belongings. You can read about it and see photos here. Thanks to Dave’s cousin Betsy and some considerate and determined librarians, I’ve found a home for it! Here are the latest updates:
- Betsy and her parents recognized some of the names and thought the quilt top originated in a small town called Quinter, Kansas, where Betsy’s mother was born. (Betsy’s mother is Dave’s dad’s sister.)
- I contacted the library in Quinter, sent a photo of the quilt top and a list of all the names on it, and asked if they could confirm that these were community families and perhaps find out what the “HHC” on the bottom right quilt block stands for.
- The librarians found several of the names in old high school yearbooks. They also found old news articles about a quilting club called the Helping Hands Club. We were on the right track!
- One of the librarians tracked down the granddaughter of Helen Martin, a woman who created one of the quilt squares. I’ll put a photo of Mrs. Martin’s handiwork below. Don’t you love how she embroidered her name? And we even have a spider web for Halloween week!
- I’ve contacted the granddaughter, and not only does she want the quilt top, she has all the minutes of all the Helping Hand Club meetings in her possession! So she is going to research them to try to answer our remaining questions: (1) What was the occasion for creating the quilt top? (2) Why wasn’t the quilt ever finished? (3) How did the quilt top end up with someone who has ties to the community but isn’t represented on any of the squares?
So . . . watch for “A Quilt Mystery: Part 3″ . . . coming soon! ♥
No, it’s not the Halloween kind of shocker . . . it’s the Wichita State University Shockers (as in a shock of wheat . . . click here to see our mascot, Wu Shock!). I had some fabric left over from the WSU apron I made for the fundraiser silent auction, so I made a half apron for one of my friends who is a huge fan and follower of WSU’s volleyball and basketball teams. The “Shockers” logo on the pocket is snipped from the same t-shirt that I used to get the Wu Shock for the bib of the original apron. The tutorial is from this post on Jona Giammalva’s amazingingly inspirational blog Stop Staring & Start Sewing, and the black/yellow fabrics are from my friend bloggy friend Laura’s LC’s Cottage Etsy shop. Here is the finished apron blowing in the Kansas wind! ♥
Ally and Kira found some adorable “superhero in tutu” photos while checking out Halloween costume ideas on Pinterest, and of course I said, “Let’s make some!” The girls decided on Batman and Robin, so first we poured over illustrations of the real characters to figure out our colors and designs. For our versions, their mom first bought appropriately-colored tank tops. I found logos on Bing Images, which I traced onto fabric, cut out, and appliqued onto the fronts of the tanks. Next, I made short capes (so they won’t get in the way of the tutus), ruffled them at the tops, and attached them from shoulder to shoulder along the backs of the tanks. Then I studied dozens of cut-and-tie and sewn tutu tutorials (tutututorials???), and I decided on this this lovely version from Rachael Rabbit. Now all the girls will have to do is add simple black masks, tights, and boots . . . plus long-sleeved t-shirts for warmth (black for Batman and green for Robin, which their mom has ready to go). Here are the finished pieces . . . I can’t wait to see them on my little superheroes! ♥
I had some bits of orange and yellow jersey, so I stitched them into a ruffled skirt, added color-coordinated ric-rac, and attached it to a new white baby t-shirt for a cutie in our family! The a-la-mode is a strip of “treat” fabric from last year’s Halloween pillows twisted, coiled, and stitched into a flower and centered with an orange button. Happy candy corn season! ♥
His mommy asked me to make some Thomas the Train bunting for the party, and of course I said yes!
The fabrics I chose (all from Fabric.Com) were:
- Who’s That Train panel
- Who’s That Train Word Blender in grey
- Who’s That Train Symbol in red
I had enough left to make a tablecloth for the gift table and . . . no surprise here . . . a pillow for Ryan’s room. ♥
For 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!
(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!
(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??? ♥
(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.
(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.
Thank you for being our good neighbor, dear Staci . . . and your package is in the mail! ♥
If you followed the Good Neighbor Award, you know that Crafty Staci is the giveaway winner . . . a “What Can You Make With” redo of a loved but no-longer-worn garment. I received her choice in the mail last week—so beautiful! I’ll save that photo for the reveal, but today I want to share the gift Staci sweetly included. She makes lots of adorable coffee cup sleeves (as well as fun camera accessories!) to sell in her Etsy shop, and she sent me this fun pencil sleeve. It’s perfect for my “real” job, and I just love it! She even has a new bat sleeve for Halloween! Plus, Staci’s packaging is so tasteful and professional, including printed sleeve holders and lovely fabric tags. Thank you, Staci, and I’ll be starting on your project very soon! ♥
A year or so ago I had fun making some vintage earring magnets but I’ve given them all away, so it was time for another batch. Simply use pliers to pull the hardware from a clip earring, then superglue a sturdy magnet on the back! Then I had a chance to go to a new-to-me antique store last week, and I found a vintage metal tray to use as a magnetic memo board . . . a perfect match! ♥
P.S. What are the memos, you ask?
- Top Left—A recipe for “Peachy Spread” (to serve on quick breads) from my friend Janice: Mix together 4 ounces of cream cheese, 3 tablespoons of baby food peaches, and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. This will keep in the refrigerator for a few weeks.
- Top Right—”When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.” (Proverbs 3:24)
- Bottom Left—A photo for a project I can’t wait to make . . . the ANNY BAG from my bloggy friend of It’s Sew Anny!
- Bottom Right—Adorable Josh . . . our youngest grandson! ♥
When the lovely Simona of Sewing Adventures in the Attick decided to downsize her pattern collection, she hosted a giveaway . . . and I won two! I can’t wait to try them out! If you haven’t met Simona yet, please click below to read about:
- her Craftsy class,
- her cute pillows (and you KNOW how much I love pillows!),
- her gorgeous party dress,
- her sporty red and white dress,
- her altered T’s, and
- her colorful Christmas stockings!
Thank you, Simona! ♥
Remember my “Get a Clue with Nancy Drew” coasters? When I bought the charm pack, I also bought a yard each of two different Nancy Drew fabrics to make lined tote bags for a couple of cutie-patootie girls in my family . . . and fill with their first sets of Nancy Drew books!
I used a tutorial from Quick Stuff to Sew (Volume IV), a publication of Craftstylish.com, for the totes (like this one, minus the stripes). I hope there will soon be two new Nancy Drew fans in the world! ♥
- Book 1: The Secret of the Old Clock
- Book 2: The Hidden Staircase
- Book 3: The Bungalow Mystery
- Book 4: The Mystery at Lilac Inn
- Book 5: The Secret of Shadow Ranch
- Book 6: The Secret of Red Gate Farm
Saturday I had a fun craft day with three lovely ladies . . . my daughter-in-law Shannon, her mom Debbie, and her friend Lori. First we went to a “crafter’s sale” where very friendly people sold their gently used or leftover craft books, supplies, and tools for REALLY REALLY low prices. I came home with a delightful bag of goodies! Then Debbie taught us to make these fun ornaments . . . perfect for decorating packages or hanging on a Christmas tree. Click here for a detailed how-to video and here for a shorter version. As someone who has never scrapbooked before, I had a LOT to learn about terminology and how to use the equipment and tools, so I appreciated my very patient teacher. We all love our finished projects . . . thank you, Debbie! ♥
I got my undergraduate degree at Wichita State University here in Wichita, KS where Dave and I now live. WSU has a huge basketball following, which grew even larger when the Shockers went to the Final Four last year! So I decided to make a WSU apron for a youth group silent auction fundraiser this fall. I love how it turned out! Then I made aprons for the other two state favorites–the Kansas University Jayhawks and the Kansas State University Wildcats. Fingers crossed that they raise lots of money! P.S. Both black/yellow fabrics and the three ruffle fabrics on the purple apron are from my bloggy friend Laura’s LC’s Cottage Etsy shop. All other fabrics are from Jo-Ann. ♥
Clear back in January I posted about the Mini-Screen Bag pattern I bought from Sew Michelle. I finally found the perfect spot of time to make it! It was really fun, and I learned some new-to-me techniques, such as making and inserting piping and making zipper tabs. The pattern uses screen (which is why it’s see-through!) and two coordinating fabrics. And did I say that it’s REALLY fun to make??? :) You can find the pattern here along with other bags, totes, purses, and notebook covers. And . . . Michelle even has some F-R-E-E patterns for us on her TUTORIALS page! Thank you, Michelle! ♥
I got a lovely gift in a pretty lime green Coldwater Creek shopping bag that had the store name written across both sides, but I wanted to reuse the bag for a homemade gift. So, I cut out some flowers from last year’s calendar and glued them on the sides . . . perfect! P.S. The lace hairbow on the card is from my recent vintage dress upcycle . . . a little extra gift to go with what’s inside. ♥
My mom-in-law had a quilt top among passed-down items tucked away in her home. When we helped her move to a smaller apartment, I asked her about it and she didn’t remember ever seeing it before. So I put it in a safe place and decided to try to solve the mystery someday. The time has come! The quilt has twelve muslin squares with embroidered names/designs and one square that says “HHC” (Happy Homemaker’s Club???) and the year 1927. First, I took a photo and checked with other family members to see if any of them recognized it or any of the names on it. Even though none of the names are relatives, I do have a lead as to a community where it may have originated so I’ll be starting there. My hope is that I can return it home, either to a quilt club or library, where it can be displayed—or the beautifully-embroidered squares can be detached and given to individual families–and, hopefully, find out the occasion for its creation, why the project was abandoned, and how it ended up where it did. Yes, I FINALLY get to carry out my fantasy of being Nancy Drew when I grow up! I’ll keep you posted! ♥
Do you follow Awesome Sauce and Asshattery? If you haven’t discovered it yet, please pay Sheri a visit soon! Her creative projects and fun-loving writing style are guaranteed to inspire you and make you smile. Sheri has also written TWO books now! I previously reviewed the first one, Life on the Zig Zag, which is now available in a Kindle version. And Sheri is offering the second book in her “Confessions of a Refashionista” series called Bewitched Bedsheets FREE from Friday, August 30 through Sunday, September 1! It’s on Kindle, too . . . but remember that you can read Kindle books on any PC or tablet with the free Kindle App. I can’t wait! Click HERE for complete details and worldwide links, and thank you from all of us, Sheri! ♥
I have a super-lightweight coral cardigan that I made even more summery by cutting and hemming the sleeves to 3/4 length. You may have some cuffs lying around from your altering/refashioning projects, too! To turn them into pouches, simply stitch the ends, sew on buttons and cording loops, and fold them over . . . perfect for presenting a gift card or jewelry gift to someone special! ♥
My dear nephew and his beautiful wife are expecting their first baby in November, and I wanted to make a little handmade gift for them. Then I found the PERFECT project by Sarah at Diddle Dumpling . . . a button caterpillar onesie to go with The Very Hungry Caterpillar board book. I just love it! And this will be extra special because all the buttons belonged to my grandmother . . . the new baby’s great-great-grandmother! Awwwww . . . ♥
I bought this purse pattern from my talented bloggy friend Laura at LC’s Cottage Etsy shop and couldn’t wait to try it!
The pattern comes in four different sizes and has very clear directions. It was perfect for my first try at sewing a real purse!
This project was really fun to make and I plan to try it again . . . although maybe with fabric that doesn’t need matched next time.
The purse has a large outside pocket and two smaller ones inside, and I used one of my grandmother’s vintage buttons for the closure.
Since I had some fabric left over, I designed a little tote with the patterned fabric on the bottom, inside, and handles and some vintage bead a-la-mode. ♥
I wanted to make a special hostess gift for our granddaughter Katy’s other grandmother . . . a wonderful, fun-loving lady who hosted Katy’s first birthday party earlier this month. When I read this sweet post and tutorial by Kim of Craft•Create•Connect, I knew I’d found just the right one . . . a tiny bottle vase in which to display a little flower Katy lovingly picks or a pretty leaf or feather she finds. Simply find or purchase a glass bottle (this one was less than $2 at Michaels), attach one or more charms around the neck (I used raffia-covered wire), and you’re done! And how lucky was I to find this adorable little “K” charm??? Thank you for all you do for the family we both love, dear Lydia! ♥
In this post I told how to make freezer pop holders from 4 x 4 fleece squares. One of my wise commenters said that when she made them, she was going to leave them open at the top AND bottom so kids could slide them up the freezer pops as they ate. Well, I had lots of testers at our family get-together, and she was absolutely right! So I refashioned them by snipping off the bottom seam and blanket-stitching it like the top. Ahhhhhh . . . much better! Oh, and freezer pops and a little pouch of holders in a fun gift bag make a perfect summer hostess gift for families with little ones! ♥
I made this for a church dinner (SO easy!) and didn’t have a single SPECK of it left to bring home! ♥
- 1 large package of Oreos
- 8 oz. cream cheese
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 small packages instant vanilla pudding
- 3 1/2 cups milk
- 12 oz. whipped topping
Crush Oreos. Spread half of the crumbs in the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. Cream the other ingredients and pour into pan. Top with the rest of the Oreo bits. Refrigerate.
Thank you SO much for all the fun links you sent me for your giveaway entries! I had tons of fun reading your favorites . . . and browsing around at some of your other posts, too! After putting all the names in a hat, I drew Tamika, Laura, and Jen’s names for the three gifts from my “What can you make with a vintage dress?” refashion. Please contact me at email@example.com with your mailing addresses, lovely ladies! And have a wonderful weekend, one and all! ♥
I’ve always wanted to read a Sewing World magazine, so I was on cloud nine when offered the opportunity to do a review! Editor Julie mailed the July edition all the way to Kansas from the UK, and after devouring every page, I give it a 10 out of 10! And I was so excited to see this amazing bag designed by one of my favorite bloggers, Susan of Susie D Designs (with a pattern you can also get at Susan’s Etsy shop . . . and she’ll have a bag in the September issue, too!) Since a picture is worth a thousand words, please browse the photos and my comments below and then click HERE to go to the Sewing World website for subscription information and lots of fun projects, patterns, and other goodies. Thank you, Julie! ♥
In June, I wrote in this post about our crafty upcycling friend Mahe (aka MZ) that included a call for submissions for her new upcycled craft book. The Green Crafts Lifestyle is now out, and it’s amazing! It includes sections on paper, plastic, wood, metal, and fabric and has projects from 20 artists around the world, including four of my bloggy friends:
- Vicky of Vicky Meyers Creations
- Danielle of On the Upcycle
- Lora of Lora Lee’s Centsations
- and Sheri of Awesomesauce and Asshattery (author of her own new Kindle book . . . click HERE for details!)
Along with 35 projects detailed on nearly 200 pages of photographs and step-by-step directions, you’ll find author bios and photos with links to their blogs, websites, and other online contacts.
Now for the promotion! To provide all crafters with a chance to learn from these techniques, Mahe’s Altered Upcycling business will provide unlimited FREE Kindle copies of The Green Crafts Lifestyle this Friday, August 16 through Sunday, August 18! Kindle doesn’t restrict you to its device; you can read the book on any PC machine or tablet with the free Kindle App. Simply click HERE for your free copy.
AND . . . drum roll . . . MZ is looking for MORE submissions from MORE of you! In her words: “We need talented artists, crafters, and upcyclists to provide projects and tutorials based on upcycling and green crafting. Altered Upcycling will take submissions for Part 2 of “The Green Crafts Lifestyle” series, and the project submission deadline is August 31, 2013. Please make sure you send tutorials that upcycle wood, plastic, paper, glass, or fabric. The tutorials must be in MS Word format with the pictures embedded in the doc file. I will also need a photo of you as well as an artist bio and links to your blogs, Etsy shops, etc. Please email tutorials to firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s save the world one craft project at a time!”
Thank you, Mahe! ♥ P.S. If you haven’t entered my “Catch-up Giveaway,” please click HERE!
Hi! I’m back from my Pillows A-La-Mode month off! I spent it working 12-hour days on several huge writing assignments for work (some that aren’t quite finished yet!) and going on a lovely trip. I’ve missed reading your blogs, so I came up with a way to catch up that I think will be fun for us all. Will you post a comment with a link to your favorite article you’ve posted on your blog in the past month? I promise to read them all! Plus, I have PRIZES! Three commenters will receive either my vintage shabby chic pillow, apron, or clutch! (Please add a note to your comment if you have a preference . . . otherwise you’ll be in the drawing for all three!) I’ll announce the winners in one week—on Friday, August 16. Have a happy weekend . . . I can’t wait to hear from you! ♥
I’m taking a month off from blogging to finish a big writing assignment and go on a little trip. (Will I have the willpower not to click on my WordPress reader with my morning coffee??? We’ll see . . .) But first, I want to share my latest “What Can You Make With A . . . “ project. I got this dress from my friend Liz who bought it at a rummage sale for ONE DOLLAR! (Click here to meet her.) The color and fabric were perfect for some shabby chic projects, like . . .
- a pillow with fabric rosettes,
- a lace hair bow with a fabric rosette,
- an evening bag with zipper flower a-la-mode,
- a half apron (with a bit of toile from my stash),
- and a lace-decoupaged flower pot.
Here are the creative bloggers and authors who inspired me. See you in August! ♥
Apron: Page 51 of One-Yard Wonders by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins (“Granny’s Clothespin Apron” designed by Elorie Bechtel)
Lace-Decoupaged Pot: Urban Comfort
I LOVED my houseful of little boys! But I was also super-excited when my niece Amanda was born. She used to come for an Amanda-Aunt Kathy overnighter every summer where we’d play, sew, craft, embroider, bake, and shop. Now Amanda is grown-up, married, and a high school math teacher several states away (besides being beautiful, she’s also S-M-A-R-T!), but on a recent visit back home she came to sew with me! She loved the blog posts with the ruffly aprons (here and here), so that’s what we made. Amanda picked these lovely, summery fabrics from my stash, which are all from my bloggy friend Laura’s LC’s Cottage Etsy Shop. Isn’t it just perfect on her? ♥
I LOVE my new “5-Minute Skirt” designed by Amy at Angry Chicken. It took me a little over an hour to make the pattern, sew, and press it. It’s a perfect fit, and I get lots of compliments every time I wear it, including raves about the fabulous fabric from my bloggy friend Laura’s LC’s Cottage Etsy shop! This was my first time using foldover elastic, too, and I’m now a fan . . . especially when it has a fun design like this (from Jo-Ann)! Following are a few tips to go with Amy’s excellent tutorial:
- DON’T skip the part in Step 3 about trying on the skirt after sewing up the side seams. I had to take mine up another seam’s width on both sides.
- I had a little trouble folding, holding, and stretching the waist elastic all at the same time. So, I first left it flat, holding it against the wrong side of the skirt and stretching and zigzagging, THEN folded it over to the right side and zig-zagged around it again. You might not need to do this, but it helped me!
- After completing Step 4, I noticed that the sides hung a little longer than the front and back (a pattern creation error on my part, I’m sure), so I measured and marked the length all the way around from the bottom of the waist elastic and evened it up where needed before hemming.
When our family was all together in June, we created an art project that Dave and I will cherish forever! When I say “we,” I admit that all I did was pin the original idea (click here . . . it’s REALLY cute!) on Pinterest and send it to our seven amazing daughters-in-law. They took it from there! Shannon is our mixed media artist, so she prepared the canvas. Then she wrote a tutorial! (See links below.) When everyone arrived, Jen took charge of the grandchildren handprints. Being a kindergarten teacher and mother of toddlers, she’s a pro! Tiffany, Mary Ann, Vickie, Danielle, and Christin all helped with the painting, holding, and cleaning up of little hands. Our work of art is now hanging over our staircase so it will be the first thing guests see when they enter our home. HAPPY SIGH . . . ♥
Click Mixed Media Canvas for a word document.
Click Mixed Media Canvas for a pdf.
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! ♥
Believe it or not, I’d baked so many goodies before our family reunion weekend that one treat remained in the freezer after everyone was gone! So, I decided to take them to a baseball game tailgate party we attended Saturday afternoon with a bunch of our fun friends. To make them more finger-food friendly, I cut and rewrapped the bars individually in pinked parchment, tied them with baker’s twine, put them in a bowl, and returned them to the freezer until time to leave (since Kansas is HOT this time of year!). Then I added a little sign . . . and it worked! ♥
Seven-Layer Cookie Bars
Melt 1 stick of butter in a 9 x 13 inch pan. Then add the following layers:
- 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs
- 1 small package of sweetened, flaked coconut
- 1 small package of chocolate chips
- 1 small package of butterscotch chips
- 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup of chopped nuts
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Cool and cut into bars.
Through Jill of Nice Piece of Work (clear in South Africa, and the creator of my adorable owl pillow!) I found out that a lovely blogger named Tamara of Crochet With Tamara lives in my city! I emailed her, and we met for coffee on Saturday morning at Panera.
The moment I laid eyes on Tamara’s merry smile and bag of crocheted items for show and tell, I felt like I’d known her my whole life! Tamara is such a talented lady, too, including being president of the Wichita Crochet Guild. And . . . I’m going to sign up for her crochet class at Twist!
Tamara also gave me this GORGEOUS crocheted doily . . . something I’ll cherish always. Thank you for the fun outing, Tamara, and here’s to many more! ♥
They were SO much fun to make, and they’ll be even more fun to give away as gifts . . . with a cupcake or muffin tucked inside!
The downloadable kit includes all five oven colors, a removable cupcake tray, cupcake flags (on which you can type your OWN message!), and adorable oven mitt gift tags.
I invite you to click on Claudine’s shop from this post or anytime from my Shop Love! page above. Thank you for the lovely find, Amy and Claudine! ♥
In the past, I’ve shared reviews of two of Mahe Zehra Husain’s fabulous upcycling books, The Ultimate Guide to Upcycling and Make a Card Awesome. So, when she asked if she could send a preview copy of her newest publication, I was more than happy to agree! This one is called Adventures in Mixed Media: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Beautiful Pieces of Art. It includes chapters on:
- Materials (Paper, Coloring Mediums, Found Items, and Art Stores)
- Techniques (Making Mixed Media Art Paper and Making Mixed Media Collage Paper)
- Projects (A House Journal, Altered Art Organizer, Paintbrush Book, Mixed Media Canvas, The Earth Without Art, Idea Journal, Mixed Media Memories, Art Around your Neck, . . . And Now ‘Round your Wrist, Birds, My Imaginary Flight, and Believe)
I love the way Mahe describes how she organizes her craft room to store “found” items, and the sections on “7 Unusual Sources of Paper” and “Let’s Go On a Treasure Hunt” had my creative juices flowing! Mahe includes YouTube videos for each of her techniques, as well as complete written directions and photographs of all papers and projects. You’ll love Mahe’s friendly, conversational writing style, too! You can get your copy by clicking here at Amazon.com or any time from my Shop Love! page above.
Oh, and remember that Mahe’s first book is ALWAYS available for FREE at her web site, Altered Upcycling. Thank you for all you do to care for Earth as you create, Mahe! ♥