Category Archives: Jewelry

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! ♥

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The Green Crafts Lifestyle

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The Green Crafts Lifestyle - Christmas EditionFirst 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:

You can read about the rest of Mahe’s books here, here, here, and here. Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and I’ll be back with new posts starting Monday! ♥  

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. ♥

Treasures

Vintage Magnet Board

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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! ♥

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Sweater Cuff Gift Card Pouches

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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! ♥

Pockets

Grandmother Vase

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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! ♥

Flower

The Green Crafts Lifestyle (and their special promotion starting this Friday . . . and a new call for submissions!)

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Book CoverIn 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:

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 thecraftycan@gmail.com. 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!  

My Origami Owl Locket!

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Locket CollageYes, after wishing I could win my own Origami Owl giveaway last month, I received one for Mother’s Day from Tiffany, Jeff, Miranda, and Brody!  It has a chocolate locket with crystals, an “Inspire” plate, a gold chain, and a crystal dangle.  Inside the locket were four charms that Tiffany decided were “so Kathy” . . . a cross, heart, Grandma heart, and laptop.  How sweet is that???  And then I got to choose five more charms!  It was SO hard to decide, but I finally picked out a sewing machine (no surprise there!), purse (to represent outings and adventures), coffee cup (since I always have one an arms-length away during my work day), piano (since I used to teach lessons and perform), and running shoe (but mine is pink . . . and I’m running my first-ever 5K this fall!).  THANK YOU, dear family, for the lovely gift . . . I’ll cherish it forever. And be sure to check out Tiffany’s Origami Owl shop if you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind gift for someone you love. ♥

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To All the Aunties in the World . . .

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Aunt QuoteI’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. ♥

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Drama Queen Seams

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Drama Queen SeamsThank you to Jeanna at Drama Queen Seams for such a lovely post about the recent Origami Owl Living Locket giveaway sponsored by designer Tiffany Scraper! You MUST see all of Jeanna’s stunning photos wearing her new chain, locket, charms, and tag!

Please contact Tiffany at thehootsuite@gmail.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.

And be sure to check out Jeanna’s amazing creative talents as well in this Shop Love! post, on her blog, in her Drama Queen Appeal Boutique, and on her FB page. ♥

Global Girlfriend Love

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Have you discovered Global Girlfriend yet? Besides my friends’ shops, it’s my favorite shopping spot EVER! This fair-trade boutique sells handmade clothes, jewelry, handbags, accessories, bath and body products, and paper goods from all over the world, and the money goes to help craftswomen make a living to feed their families. They also have gift certificates, which the special girls in my family LOVE to get for their birthdays . . . even though it can literally take hours to decide which gorgeous items to spend them on!  Right now, in honor of Earth Day, Global Girlfriend is offering FREE SHIPPING for $25 U.S. orders (code: FREE25) and $50 international orders (code: FREE50). Please check them out if you get a chance . . . it will definitely brighten your day! They’re also on Facebook here  and my Shop Love! page here. P.S.  Below is one of my favorite GG purchases, a set of inspirational cards made from handmade paper. I love them so much that I’ve also displayed them on my office wall! ♥

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How to Crochet . . . Jewelry!

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As you know from my Lucky Save post, I’m still in preschool as a crocheter! So when my blogging friend Orit Hadad asked me to review her “How to Crochet Jewelry” pdfs, I confessed that I was sadly lacking in both crochet and jewelry-making skills. However, Orit replied that this made me the perfect candidate, because her pdfs give step-by-step directions in crochet as well as jewelry techniques, so they would help me with my yarn projects, too! Then I was delighted to help, especially since I’ve long admired Orit’s gorgeous crocheted rings, earrings, and pendants in her Etsy shop. So please feast your eyes on the amazing earrings above, and then check out her jewelry and pdf patterns here. But first, let me summarize what I found in my review:

  • Orit currently has three pdf tutorials that you can buy separately or as a set: How to Make Crochet Beads, How to Make Crochet Earrings, and How to Make Crochet Rings. (Seriously, you HAVE to click on these last three links to see close ups of Orit’s amazing work!)
  • The crochet technique works for all types and colors of stones, so you can add variety to your designs.
  • Orit recommends beginning with simple craft wire and then moving on to fine wires after you feel comfortable with the technique.
  • She includes a materials list and step-by-step directions supported with close-up, full-color photographs and interspersed with text boxes containing helpful tips.
  • Orit was right . . . I CAN learn to crochet with yarn using her instructions, so maybe crocheting a pendant someday isn’t an impossible dream for me after all!

Oh, and Orit is getting ready for a GIVEAWAY featuring one of her lovely creations, so stay tuned to her blog! And you can find her any time from my Shop Love! page above. ♥

The Origami Owl Blogger Locket Winner Is . . .

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PackagingThank 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 thehootsuite@gmail.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! ♥

Blogger Locket Giveaway (Hmmm . . . wish I could win this!)

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LocketMy 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!

Locket Collage

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.

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D’arc Creations

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Today I’d like to feature my blogging friend Giselle of D’arc Creations! I’d long admired this lovely birds-nest necklace, and when I ordered it, Giselle added earrings with matching stones! I was so touched, and I know they’ll make lovely gifts for some lucky girls in my family. Please visit Giselle’s blog here, her Etsy Shop here, and her FB page here from this post or anytime from my Shop Love! page above. Thank you for the lovely shopping experience, Giselle! ♥

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What can you make with a red sweater?

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Red SweaterI got this bright red, gently-used sweater along with a couple of other items for free at a consignment store with a Groupon gift certificate! It was too wide and too short and stretched out here and there, so I immediately knew it was going to become my next What can you make with a . . . project.

First, I made the heart mini-pillows I shared in this post. Then I made the big sweater pillow I shared in this post. After that, I made a business card/gift card/credit card/reward card case with  floral pockets and a vintage earring button closure (click here for a great tutorial from The Crafty Cupboard) and three flower brooches with vintage earring centers. The neck and hem ribbing I hadn’t used up as ruffles on the big pillow will be package wraps (picture a small box wrapped in kraft paper with these pretty red buttoned bands stretched around them). Finally, I cut all the little bits into triangles and made bunting by stitching them onto the fun button-design ribbon I recently bought from Lizzie Rose Jewelry.

Another fun haul! ♥

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Crafters With Heart

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In honor of Valentine’s Day, I have a little story to share. For me, it started with this sweet post from Claire of The Penguin Theory about an amazing artist from Portugal named Sandra. When the Etsy community learned that Sandra had faced a great loss, they banded together for a fundraiser sponsored by Esther and Estella of Star of the East (with an Etsy shop here) who invited fellow artists to make a donation toward a raffle with more than 50 Etsy items as prizes. The response was overwhelming, and I know all the winners are just ecstatic! Others have ordered items from Sandra’s own Etsy shop called Azulado, where I found this gorgeous ceramic heart. It arrived this week just in time for the holiday, beautifully wrapped in a handmade box tied with ribbon.  Please visit Azulado when you get a chance (and also Etsy angels The Penguin Theory and Star of the East) from this post or anytime from my Shop Love! page above. Love and prayers to you and your family, Sandra! ♥

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Junebug Jewelry Designs

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OK, blogging friends . . . don’t be mad at me . . . but I somehow won another amazing giveaway! After much anticipation, this GORGEOUS button ring made by Dawn of Junebug Jewelry Designs arrived in the mail. I absolutely love everything about it! I also love following Dawn’s blog and seeing all her unique, beautiful necklaces and earrings, which she sells in her Etsy Shop called Designs by JuneBug. Please take a moment to click on her links, and you can find easily find Dawn from now on in my Shop Love! page above. THANK YOU for my lovely gift, Dawn! ♥

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The Penguin Theory

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CollageClaire of The Penguin Theory made these lovely earrings, which will someday become a birthday gift for a lucky girl in my family!

Claire has other jewelry and fun sewn items in her Etsy shop.

I you’ll get a chance to check out her links from this post or anytime from my Shop Love! page above.

Oh, and be sure to click here to read how Claire came up with such a clever name for her blog and shop!

Thank you for my fun purchase and top-notch customer service, Claire! ♥

Clouds N Cups

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My newest Shop Love! post is for my blogging friend Wendy of Clouds N Cups.  I ordered these lovely vintage earrings and jeweled bracelet, and Wendy graciously added in the necklace that matches the bracelet because she wasn’t 100% satisfied with how a coupon I had went through (which is now fixed, of course) . . . that’s SO kind of her!  Her creations are even more lovely in person, and she has many more one-of-kind earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and rings in her shop.  Click here for Wendy’s blog, here for her FB page, and here for her web site/shop.  Thank you, Wendy! ♥

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Christina Designs Art

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My newest Shop Love! post is for my blogging friend Christina of Christina Designs Art. Just look at these gorgeous handmade earrings and the pretty hairpins-with-a-la-mode! These will make such lovely, welcome gifts for some of the sweet girls in my family this year. Click here for Christina’s blog and here for her Etsy shop, where you’ll find many other styles of earrings and beaded hair pins as well as memory wire bracelets and acrylic paintings. Thank you, Christina!

Earrings and Hair Pins Framed

The backdrop is one of my favorite books: MADELEINE L’ENGLE HERSELF: REFLECTIONS ON A WRITING LIFE compiled by Carole F. Chase

More Art Card Love!

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Ooohhh . . . MORE cards with reproductions of original art!  And they’ll be PERFECT for invitations for a big birthday party I’m throwing this summer for the head cowboy in our family, thanks to my blogging friend Beverly of Beverly Dyer Fine Art and Stationery, who also sells her beautiful creations in many stores in the Chapel Hill, North Carolina area.  She even added this beautiful memo pad to my order!  Click here for Beverly’s web site, here for her blog, and here for her Etsy shop featuring painted art prints, cards, pendants, and pillows, or find her links anytime in my Shop Love! page above.  Thank you, Beverly! ♥

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Gone Rustic and Stitched Up Mama

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I absolutely love to send people cards made from original art and photography reproductions, so I was very excited to find these in the Redbubble Shop of my blogging friend Rita from Australia! Rita has her own studio and gallery, teaches classes, hosts exhibitions, and has MANY creative irons in the fire including quilts, fibre and textile art, mixed media, and collectibles. Here are Rita’s links, which you can locate anytime in my Shop Love! page above:

Thank you for the beautiful cards, Rita! ♥

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Meet An Upcycling Queen!

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Free BookDo your New Year’s resolutions include using more of what you already have in your crafting, gift-making, and home decor?  Then you’ll want to meet Mahe at The Altered Upcycling Blog and Altered Upcycling. Mahe explains that she has a Master’s degree in Operations Research, works at a software house, and is an avid altered artist who is constantly looking for ways to make the world greener one small craft project at a time.  And, if you sign up on her blog or web site, you’ll receive her FREE pdf book called The Ultimate Guide to Upcycling  for one-of-a-kind jewelry, cards, gift bags, wall art, and more.  Mahe sends out free ideas and how-to videos in her email newsletter as well, such as how to make a beautiful card from a dinner napkin, old dictionary page, leftover ribbon, and glue!  Mahe writes in a friendly, conversational style as if she’s sitting right beside you, includes what worked and DIDN’T work for her, and supports her ideas with step-by-step directions, photographs, and alternatives.  You can get your copy by clicking on the link in this post or any time from my Shop Love! page above.  Thank you, Mahe! ♥

Zuliganz and Wired for Impact

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ChickenMy 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! ♥

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Confessions of a Refashionista

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PackageMy blogging friend Sheri of Awesome Sauce and Asshattery was kind enough to send me a complimentary copy of her new book Confessions of a Refashionista: Life on the Zig Zag.  Sheri autographs the books AND includes an item to refashion to get you started! My gift was a beautiful thrifted scarf, which Sheri suggested making into a scarfigan (page 6), crisscross vest (page 63), infinity scarf (page 64), or even a new neckline or sleeves for a shirt (pages 44 and 58). How cool is THAT??? You can read all about her book (and see fun photos of Sheri!) in this post  . . . but here are some of my favorite parts:

  • You can learn to refashion/redesign/embellish shirts, pants, shrugs, skirts, and flip-flops and make amazing accessories like ruffled flowers, scarves, wristlets, and bangle bracelets.
  • You can learn to make a dress form from duct tape, sleeves from socks and aprons, a boho blouse from a vintage nightgown, a skirt from a tablecloth, and an amazing tunic from a BEDSHEET!
  • Do you have neckties . . . doilies . . . dishtowels . . . lace? You’ll use them in amazing new ways!
  • You’ll even learn to make an instant, no-sew skirt from a man’s shirt!

You can read a review of Sheri’s book at Designers Against AIDS (where Sheri donates a portion of each sale) and purchase Sheri’s book at Sew Much Fun or Dawanda. Oh, and Sheri has another store, too: Mensch T’s. And remember that you can find Sheri’s book anytime in my Shop Love! page above. THANK YOU, Sheri! ♥

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Lizzie Rose Jewellery

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PackageWe had such a wonderful Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with our family!  And I have the week off . . .  and the sun is shining . . . and I have lots of fun projects to do . . . I could go on and on! :)  But instead, I’m going to share my newest Shop Love! post in honor of my blogging friend Catherine of Lizzie Rose Jewellery.  I absolutely love these feather earrings, which will be a lovely birthday gift for someone special in my family.  Catherine also creates bracelets, necklaces, anklets, and charms and sells the cutest ribbon . . . like these measuring tape and button designed ribbons that will definitely be appearing on some of my projects this year!  AND, her packaging and customer service are superb!  Catherine is originally from England but now lives in Singapore, and her shop is named after her daughter.  You can read Catherine’s blog here and visit here Etsy shop here from this post or anytime by clicking on the Shop Love! page above.  Thank you, Catherine! ♥

More Shop Love!

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Today I’d like to highlight three more of our WordPress blogging friends who have lovely handmade items you’ll want to check out! Read about them here today and anytime on my Shop Love! page above.

(1) I Love Cards & Design: Click here for Patricia’s lovely blog and here for her Etsy shop. I LOVE these chevron cards! You can choose your own colors (or a mixture like these) and get any name or message on the front. I asked for “Happy Birthday” so I can use them for extra-classy greeting cards in the new year. Patricia also has other fun items, such as calling cards, favor boxes, and birth announcements. Plus, her customer service and packaging are SO professional! Thank you, Patricia!

(2) Jewels for All: Click here for Stefanie’s fun, creative blog and here for her Etsy shop. These gorgeous red earrings will be a gift for someone special . . . if I can part with them! :) Stefanie also has many other one-of-a-kind earrings, bracelets, and necklaces. I really love your work, Stefanie!

(3) I’d Rather Be Crafting: I just met Eleanor, a new WordPress blogger here, but she makes the cutest coin pouches and matching keychains (along with other crafty items) that she sells on her Eleanor’s Creations Facebook page. To order, simply write “Sold” in the comment section and message her the email address associated with your PayPal account, and she will email you an invoice. I’ll have fun gifting these to some girls on my list, Eleanor! ♥

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Earring Frame

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The beautiful vintage sewing machine earrings I won in the Hugs & Kisses blog giveaway inspired me to take all the danglies out of my overcrowded jewelry box and hang them on the wall.  Since I already had all the materials on hand, it was free, too!  Simply wrap an old frame in fabric strips (I used a faux suede remnant), staple strips of lace across the back, and poke the earring wires through the holes in the lace.  It’s easy-peasy, pretty, and makes choosing just the right pair of earrings a breeze.  P.S. One of my Thanksgiving guests exclaimed, “That’s just what I need!” so now I’m making one as a gift for her, too!  P.P. S. (1-3-13) I was just going through some bookmarked websites and found THIS! I couldn’t remember before where I got my inspiration, but now I know! Thank you, This Italian Family! ♥

Earring Frame

Oh, Wow!

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

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

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

Crafty Corner

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

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

A Pretty Pumpkin Pin! (And Flowers!)

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

Chanel A-La-Mode

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My mom-in-law LOVES Chanel face powder . . . and I love it when she gives me the little black drawstring bags it comes in! Of course you can leave the famous brand name on the front, but where’s the fun in that? :) Instead, I like to cover the label with a teeny remnant. This bit of green fabric with embroidered flowers was perfect (does it look familiar? ♥), and I added some colorful “reverse blanket stitch” on the edge for extra a-la-mode. Now it’s ready for its new life as a pretty jewelry pouch . . . or even a wristlet. ♥

What can you make with a sundress?

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For my one year blog anniversary, I invited you to nominate people you’ve met through the blogging world whom you would like to have as next-door neighbors . . . and to tell why. It was SO heartwarming to read the lovely comments that came in from all around the world! The blogger with the MOST nominations was then invited to send me a once-loved garment to remake into some fun treasures (a-la “What can you make with a flannel shirt?,” “What can you make with a lace tank?,” and “What can you make with a polo shirt?“) and return. The winner was Kelly of  Cobwebs, Cupcakes & Crayons!  Kelly said, “After the shock wore off I ran to my closet to decide what I was going to send.  I chose a little sundress that has a lot of happy memories attached to it, but now that I’m a mama seems a little, well…SHORT.  I know that I will never wear it again, so I am very excited to send it off!”  So . . .today is the big reveal! In addition, this project will have a permanent home on the “What Can You Make With A . . .” page on my header.

  • I couldn’t resist using the bottom of the sundress with its lacy underskirt for another dress . . . this time for Kelly’s adorable daughter Annabelle! A bright pink T-shirt from Target made the perfect top. (Click here and here for more little girl’s T-shirt dress ideas.)
  • The zippered back of the sundress was perfect for the back of a pillow cover, and I added the pretty label and butterfly that I snipped from the inside neckline. The pillow front is a combination of dress fabric, T-shirt fabric, a vintage hanky, pale pink lace, and lime-green embroidery.
  • The bodice of the sundress is now a jewelry pouch! The ribbons form the casings, and the dress straps are the strings. The lining of the pouch is made from the dress lining for a soft, shiny finish.
  • With seven circles of fabric, three stacked buttons, and a bit more of the lace from the bottom of the sundress, I made a fabric flower to pin onto a jacket, hat, or headband.
  • A small rectangle of dress fabric and T-shirt fabric along with a bit of green dotted fabric and some buttons and ribbon were just the right ingredients for a Christmas mini-pillow ornament.
  • While pondering Kelly’s blog name, I thought of embroidering three C’s onto a bit of fabric and framing it. Suddenly I thought, “Hmm . . . if the Scrabble letter C is worth 3 points, I could use that instead.” I ran to look it up, and . . . it is! I KNOW Kelly didn’t choose “Cobwebs, Cupcakes & Crayons” based on this fact . . . but I was excited! :) After several experiments, I ended up with a collage of dress fabric, T-shirt fabric, lace, scrapbook paper, and a paper Scrabble tile in a hot pink frame. (The back of the frame is also magnetized for a frig or file cabinet.)
  • Finally, I was down to a small pile of random scraps. Not ready to give up quite yet, I decoupaged them onto a plastic bangle bracelet. :)

Done! Kelly . . . your package is in the mail!  ♥

One-Minute Jewelry Display

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Do you have toy dinosaurs in  your toy box? I do! Now one of them is holding my bangle bracelets! He’s so cute . . . and a surprise pop of fun in the room. P.S. Check out these dino ring holders on My So Called Crafty Life, too! ♥

Vintage Earring Magnets

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Have you checked out the crafting ideas on the Country Living web site? I want to try them ALL! But I started with an easy one . . . frig magnets made from vintage jewels. I don’t have the brooches they suggest, but I have LOTS of clip-on earrings. Simply remove the backings and glue on a magnet . . . easy peasy and SO pretty!  P.S. You can also click the blue dot on the CL home page to vote for the Reader’s Choice 2012 Blue Ribbon Blogger Award. It was really fun to check out all the finalists! ♥

Thimble Necklace

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I recently saw thimble necklaces posted by two creative bloggers on imacraftaholic and Dollar Store Crafts.  Since I have a small collection of thimbles from my grandma, I decided to use one for a necklace charm.

(1) Make a hole in the top of the thimble with a hammer and tiny nail.

(2) Poke a jewelry wire through the hole.

(3) Bend the end of the wire inside the thimble with jewelry pliers so it won’t come back out.

(4) Curve the other end of the wire through the opening on the charm bar and tighten with jewelry pliers. (See lost earring necklace  for another example, and click photo for a larger view.)

(5) Wear the thimble alone or with other charms. I love combining it with my scissors!

I hope you’ll get to use one of these ideas to make your own thimble necklace. Enjoy! ♥

Lace Bracelet

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When I recently received a collection of laces as a gift from Josée of Cul de Sac, I immediately fell in love with the bright purple one and used it to a-la-mode a placemat tote. Then, while toying with the leftover bit the other day, I realized it was just the right length for a bracelet!

I had some fasteners left over from my button necklace, so I simply turned under the ends of the lace, hand-stitched with matching thread, and stitched on the fastener pieces.

Making the bracelet only took about 15 minutes, and I LOVE it! Now I can’t wait to go through the rest of my laces and make more! ♥

Black Beaded Bracelet Beauty

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Today I’d like to feature ANOTHER amazing blogger who had a giveaway . . . Evgenia of Being Zhenya. Yes, I was the winner of one of her three handmade beaded bracelets! (I got the skinny one!)  The other two winners were Brande of Victory Vintage Style and Beth of The Renegade Seamstress. We’re SO lucky!

When you visit Being Zhenya, you’ll read about “Fashion, Beauty, DIY, Thrifting, and so much more!”  Thank you, Evgenia! ♥

What can you make with a flannel shirt?

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This was a perfectly nice flannel shirt . . . soft fabric, pretty colors. But it didn’t fit quite right, and I didn’t like the roll-tab sleeves, and even with the ribbon belt that came with it I felt more lumberjack than feminine when I wore it. So, rather than sticking it in the back of my closet, I took my scissors to it!

Vest: Remove the collar, button and buttonhole plackets, pockets, and sleeves. Roll under the raw edges (using lace seam binding for the armholes to help with the curve) and topstitch. Sew pretty buttons into the buttonholes on the pocket flaps. Cut the ribbon belt in half and stitch the pieces to the top fronts of the vest for a tie . . . great with a white T-shirt and button necklace!

Placket Pillow: Stitch the button placket to one piece of coordinating fabric and the buttonhole placket to another. Button the two pieces together to form the pillow front. Cut a piece from one of the shirt sleeves for the back. Sew right sides together, turn, and stuff.

Pocket Pillow: Sew the tabs from the sleeves to a piece of coordinating fabric, then stitch the pockets under them so that the buttonholes on the tabs fasten to the buttons on the pockets. Fold right sides together, sew, turn, and stuff.

Fabric Flower: Cut out seven circles from the sleeves and form them into a flower. Add a pretty button in the middle  and a pin on the back.

Fabric Gift Bag: Gather the bottom of the collar and wrap it into a flower shape. Add buttons in the middle for a-la-mode. Then stitch up a simple bag with a handle from the shirt sleeve fabric and sew the flower on the front.

Mini Origami Lotus Bag: Add a square of coordinating fabric to a square of sleeve fabric plus a complementary color of  craft string for pull cords . . . just like the larger version, but a perfect size for a tiny gift or piece of jewelry. ♥

Button Necklace

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Since my “lost earring necklace” worked out, I got brave enough to try one of the cute button necklaces I’ve been seeing everywhere! I decided to go with black buttons, so first I went through my stash and put these in a pile. Next, I made a new pile with the ones that were ½ to ¾ inches in diameter. Finally, I sorted out the ones that had the most interesting designs, and I was ready to go.

Here’s the tutorial for my version of this fun craft:

  • Cut three strands of cord 48 inches long. I used hemp cord from Michaels, where I also purchased a package of bracelet closures and crimp beads.
  • Thread the strands through a bracelet bar closure and pull it to the middle. (Click on the red collage for a larger view.) Clamp the cords 4 inches from the bar closure. This is where you will start adding buttons.
  • Separate the first of the six strands of cording. Slide on the first button and tie it at the back with a simple slip knot. Keep adding buttons, evenly spaced, until you get to within five inches of the end. Repeat with the other five strands.
  • Stretch the strands back out and knot the ends. Then add a crimp bead at each end and attach these to the circle closure.
  • You’re done . . . enjoy!  Oh, and please check out this adorable button necklace (with earrings!) at The Bead Den. I discovered it right after I made mine, and I LOVE it! ♥

Lost Earring Necklace

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Have you ever lost one earring from a favorite pair? That’s happened to me several times lately. I’ve been wanting to incorporate the saved mates into a different piece of jewelry, and I finally figured out how!

At a craft show last fall a lady had the ingenious idea of attaching the round part of a bracelet closure to a necklace latch that could clip onto any necklace chain or cord and then attaching charms to the bar part of the closure that slips into the circle. I bought the latch and one charm (with some miniature scissors, a flower, and two crystal beads), and I love it! So, to make my “lost earring necklace,” I removed the earring findings, bought another bracelet closure the same size, attached the pretty parts of the earrings to the bar with a little wire circle, and closed it up with my needle-nose pliers. Now I can exchange it out with my other charm whenever I like . . . YAY!

P.S. I’ve never made jewelry so I’m probably using all the wrong terms in this post, but hopefully the photos will help. ♥

“Yes, Please!”

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My dad called from a garage sale yesterday and asked if I would like some clip-on earrings for my sewing/crafting projects. “Yes, please!”  Here they are . . . I love all these new additions to my collection! And here are a few more fabric flowers I made on a (much shorter!) road trip this weekend with vintage earrings and buttons for centers. Click here for a supply list and link to a tutorial and here to see more flowers. ♥

Road Trip Flowers

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Here are all the flowers I made on our road trip today! A new trick I tried on some of them was stacking or clustering different buttons, either to highlight key colors in a print or to add a little extra a-la-mode to a solid. Click here for a list of supplies and a link to the tutorial. ♥

Road Trip Project!

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I’m going to be in the car for 7-8 hours tomorrow and wanted to take something to work on. I’ll share what I came up with in case you have a road trip coming up, too. :)

  • First, go to The Renegade Seamstress and check out Beth’s fabric flower tutorial . . . super-easy! (I stitch instead of glue, but either way turns out great.)
  • Go through your remnants and cut out circles–seven of each fabric.  I use a peanut butter jar lid as a template (mmm . . . peanut butter . . . ) and all types of fabrics–solids, prints, wovens, and knits.
  • Put the seven circles in a baggie along with a button, beads, or earring for the flower center and a spool of matching thread.
  • Throw the baggies into your project bag along with a needle and some scissors, and you’re good to go!

I’ll put the pins and/or clips on the back when I get home, and hopefully I’ll have LOTS of pretty flowers to show you! ♥

circlesbaggiebaggies

Storage With Style

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I’m working on a project that requires 16 colors of embroidery floss. I decided to start with all new skeins to make sure I wouldn’t run out, so I was tickled pink to find a new way to store the leftovers once I’d finished with them. (Thank you, Pinterest! ♥) I think they look extra pretty in this bowl Greg made, don’t you? This concept also fits a new decorating strategy I adopted when we decided to downsize to a smaller home. Instead of putting up decorations AND finding places to store things, why not use storage solutions that decorate?

Colorful Jewelry

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Our fun-loving Aunt Vitha on a more elegant occasion

As much as I enjoy crafting, I’ve never made jewelry . . . but I LOVE to wear it, especially colorful pieces like this beautiful bracelet and lovely earrings I received for my birthday. (Thank you T&J and B&D!) I looked up the word “colorful” in the dictionary and found just the definitions I needed for the rest of this post: interesting or exciting; unusual; unconventional. These synonyms describe the woman who REALLY knew how to wear colorful jewelry–my Aunt Vitha. In honor of Kansas Day this month, I thought I’d share her sunflower earrings (our state flower!), along with my other two favorites, the fruit and the solar system. Who knows . . . someday you may see me wearing one of them out to lunch with my girlfriends! ♥