Yes, it’s another Flamingo Toes hoop art pattern . . . a housewarming gift for a loved one who just bought a new cottage (and loves purple!). ♥
Yes, it’s another Flamingo Toes hoop art pattern . . . a housewarming gift for a loved one who just bought a new cottage (and loves purple!). ♥
Have you checked out Flamingo Toes yet? Here is another piece of hoop art I made based on one of Bev’s fun embroidery projects. It’s sitting on an easel right beside my coffee pot where it brings a smile each morning. ♥ P.S. Bev also has a cute travel mug cozy with this same saying if you’re looking for a teacher gift!
I won this charm in a blog giveaway a few years ago. I saw its twin on a cute card on the Facebook page of Michelle of SewMichelle . . . AND I have a Singer that my parents gave me in high school that I still use . . . so I just had to turn the saying into an embroidery project. ♥
More embroidery! I’ve always loved this upbeat saying, and it was perfect when we woke up to a surprise snow on Easter morning! ♥
I have a little poster on my office bulletin board that says, “She believed she could, so she did.” That’s so empowering! It also matches my latest embroidery project, a reverse of the common pessimistic declaration “I’ll believe it when I see it.” It makes you think for a moment, but it’s true! ♥
Snowy blue fleece + mini crocheted doilies + stuffing = snowflake pillows to gift as gifts this winter! ♥
Since my refrigerator door is already full of grandchildren art attached by magnets, I decided to start an art wall down the hall for new creations. I tried Wallies, and I LOVE them! They stick easily to the wall, hold the projects firmly, and remove without a trace. I got the binder clip design, but the company also sells versions that look like paper clips, push pins, and clothespins, as well as many other types of wall decals and murals. The Wallies company doesn’t know I’m promoting them, but they deserve it! ♥
I’ve never won anything at the aforementioned benefit auction, but this year I did! I came home with this beautiful decoupaged pumpkin made by an artist name Alyson who is also in my writing group and this gorgeous handmade necklace made by a busy mom, teacher, and grad student named Linda. I decided that the pumpkin could wear the necklace for the rest of the autumn season, because “Joy” and “Thanksgiving” go hand-in-hand, right? ♥
I decided to refresh my autumn garland this year. While digging through my fabric stash, I found a leaf print and cut out one of each leaf. Then I stitched each leaf to one half of a yellow rectangle, doubled the rectangle. stitched the sides together on the sides and bottom, and stitched a casing at the top. After threading them through a piece of baling twine (yes, I was raised on a farm!), it was ready to hang. It makes me smile when I walk in the room! ♥
Our granddaughter Ally asked to have her family birthday party at our house (happy face!), so I decided to make some colorful, festive, girly garland to offset the autumn décor. First, I put on a good movie and cut out a bazillion or so circles from my felt stash (using a peanut butter jar lid as a template). Then I arranged the circles in color patterns, moved to the sewing machine, and stitched them together down the middle with edges touching. Finally, I draped them around the room, ready to add table decorations, balloons, a cake, and gifts. She loved it! ♥
Jen tweaked the design and chose the fabric, and I sewed, adding some interfacing between the front and back and doubling the fabric on the pockets to make it extra sturdy.
We got a curtain rod for hanging, but instead of the usual hardware, Jen cleverly used some removable hooks to avoid putting holes in the wall.
We think it’s cute . . . but not nearly as cute as the sweet little boys using it! ♥
. . . is only one week away! The only new things I’ve made for the occasion this year are some infinity scarves from red-on-white and white-on-red dotted chiffon that I had in my stash. They’re super-easy to sew (check out Pinterest for tons of tutorials!) and perfect for gifting. But it’s also fun to put out some treasures from previous projects, such as:
and my February Shantilly Frame.
Have a happy week sharing *a little extra* love with your family and friends. ♥
What do you get when you combine a Saturday morning, 8- and 10-year-old granddaughters, a roll of twine, red and white Tempera paint, and a package of dollar store wooden spoons? Sixteen Santas for teachers and friends on the girlies’ gift lists! You’ll find directions on Real Simple, and here are some other crafty ideas from Christmases past:
My blog has been on the back burner since summer, but I think of you often . . . sending love and best wishes for a joyous Christmas season to you and yours!
My friend Sewing Machine and I haven’t spent much time together this summer, but I did find a spot o’ time to make an apron for my adorable granddaughter Katy’s 2nd birthday. This fun pattern is SUPER easy to stitch up, since it uses bias tape instead of hems around all the edges. I bought this pretty pink-flowered tape for Katy’s apron at a craft show, but I now own a bias tape maker and can’t wait to try creating some myself with Beth’s tutorial at The Renegade Seamstress. Katy especially loves her name embroidered on the pocket!
Click here for the pattern from Joan Giammalva. And, if you want a fun cookbook to gift with the apron, I recommend Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes by Mollie Katzen . . . perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.
Thank you for taking a peek! ♥
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! ♥
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!
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! ♥
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! ♥
Our lovely daughter-in-law Mary Ann is a registered dietician turned physician’s assistant and sports a fun “Periodic Table of the Vegetables” poster in her kitchen. On a trip to Jo-Ann to buy a foam cushion for the toy box bench, I spotted this “Farmer’s Market” fabric—perfect for a decorative cushion for the kitchen window seat. The cat promptly nestled beside it for a nap . . . and Mary Ann loves it, too! ♥
Our Georgia family recently moved and needed some new pillow décor. First, we made a bench seat cushion for baby Josh’s toy box (handmade by his Uncle Jeff!). Josh’s room is morphing into a travel theme—don’t you just LOVE this map fabric his mommy picked out? We had enough for a square pillow to pose on the rocking chair, too. Then we made some floral and solid-with-button-a-la-mode pillows for the purple sofa in the living room. Mary Ann purchased the fabrics at Curtain Call in Augusta, Georgia. ♥ P.S. Now I want a purple sofa!
It’s time to change up my Shantilly frame again! I’ve been making lots of rolled fabric rosettes from remnants—the perfect handwork project for road trips or watching TV. (I use this tutorial but stitch instead of glue.) So, while waiting for REAL flowers to pop out, I decided to bunch my fabric versions into a colorful garden with a peeping PEEP left over from my spring garland for a-la-mode. Happy April . . . and don’t pull TOO many April Fool’s tricks today! ♥ P.S. Here are the red frame restyles for November, December, January, and February and the green frame design for March.
On a recent visit to our Missouri family, we were greeted by a fun St. Patrick’s wreath on the front door. Our daughter-in-law Tiffany made it from a wire form + decorative mesh + a-la-mode. Then she was kind enough to pull out the ones she had made for Valentine’s Day and Christmas so I could photograph them for you. Tiffany said to check out “decomesh wreaths” or “decorative mesh wreaths” on Pinterest for tutorials and ideas. In the meantime, enjoy these three! ♥
I recently hung the Peeps garland I made last spring (out of felt, not the candy!). Here are the super-simple directions:
(1) Draw a simple bunny shape or find a free template online.
(2) Make the bunnies from felt, fabric scraps, construction paper, or scrapbook paper.
(3) Add the eye and nose dots with fabric paint, permanent marker, or embroidered French knots.
(4) Attach the bunnies to ric-rac, ribbon, rope, string, or twine using glue or hand or machine stitching.
You’ll soon have a cheery pop of color for your spring décor. Have fun! ♥
I was so happy when I got out my spring decorations and found a bunch of these left over from last spring’s bunny sewing bonanza that I promptly plopped them into a basket to display in the living room. You can find the pattern and tutorial from Angie on The Little Fabric Blog. And they’re so quick and easy that you can even make a whole Bag o’ Bunnies for a special little one in your life. Now . . . hop to it! ♥
Even though I knew we’d have more snow this week (and we did!), I had a free day on Saturday so I went ahead and dressed our home for spring, including a new GREEN Shantilly frame! For March, I found a thought-provoking Emily Dickinson quote about luck, snipped a tiny calendar from a bookmark in a Better Homes and Gardens mailer, and made some rolled fabric rosettes (from this tutorial, only stitched instead of glued). Happy *almost* spring! ♥ P.S. Here are the red frame restyles for November, December, January, and February.
Dave requested a sour cream chocolate cake for Valentine’s Day this year, and I found just the one on Taste of Home. Since the recipe is for a layer cake, I used my heart-shaped pans. It’s a keeper! ♥
Do you have hearts all over your home these days? My favorite new display is the clay heart my granddaughter Ally made, my collection of heart necklaces, and the beautiful mixed-media canvas Shannon of Shantilly made for my birthday. From my heart to yours . . . have a happy Valentine’s Day! ♥
During my last spring cleaning, I found NINE unopened decks of cards in the game chest. If they haven’t been claimed yet for their intended purpose, they’re up for grabs for crafting, right? So, when I saw several versions of Valentine garland made from hearts playing cards on Pinterest, I had to give it a try! I punched holes in the corners, strung them with red baker’s twine, and added a few hearts cut from the backs of the Jokers and advertising extras for a-la-mode. So easy, and they made great gifts for some special people I love! ♥ P.S. Here’s the red sweater heart pillow that’s sitting on my favorite chair this month and the felt conversation heart garland I hung across the mantle.
My Shantilly frame got a makeover for February! The inspiration was this fun suit-on-a-hangar bookmark from my BFF Susan, and the words are letters snipped from alphabet fabric glued onto rectangles cut from last year’s February calendar paper. Here are the ones for November, December, and January. Happy new month! ♥
what will grow
what should rest
What a lovely way to frame a new week . . . or month . . . or year . . . or even a day. Now when I make a to-do list, I find myself prayerfully asking, “What needs to grow? What needs to rest?” I even made a chart to share with my writing group. We can put our writing or personal goals at the top (Find more time to write? Feel more energized? Learn to ______?) and then list what needs to grow and rest in order to accomplish the goal. Thank you so much for inspiring me, Ellen! P.S. My blog is on my “rest” list for a bit while I finish three big projects for work. I’ll be back for Valentine’s Day! ♥
I’m afraid my “let it snow” frame worked, because we had snow over the weekend and still have below-zero wind chills today! Lucky for me, I get to work from home . . . and the lasagna, breadsticks, and chocolate cake we had for dinner warmed me up just fine. (Gym . . . I promise I’ll be there soon!) It’s also a perfect day for this fun little free printable on my living room side table . . . thank you to Pam and Lisa of Over the Big Moon. ♥
In autumn I bought a fun chicken-wire frame at a craft show from Shantilly, and since then I’ve had fun restyling it for different holidays and seasons. November’s design reminded us to give thanks, December’s spoke of joy, and January’s is all about snow . . . a clip-art mitten illustration mounted on scrapbook paper, letters snipped from alphabet fabric, and tiny clothespins to hold everything in place. ♥
Happy 2014! I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas season. I had extra fun with my family celebrating Christmas, New Year’s, AND my birthday! And, with several days off from work, I enjoyed some extra sewing and crafting time, too.
Remember my sweater teddy bear? For my first holiday break project I wanted to use up the leftover sweater parts, and I found the perfect idea in the January, 2014 Woman’s Day magazine, submitted by Anna of Lasso the Moon. For mine, I . . .
It’s always fun to have something new to hang after undecorating for Christmas! ♥
Since I have so many colorful red and green decorations and busy prints up for Christmas (like here, here, here, here, here, here, and here!) I decided to go completely the other way on my newest idea . . . somewhat of a visual trick since “Deck the Halls” is such a cheerful song! I used turquoise chevron flannel with the same color embroidery floss, then I played around with the size and placement of the words to replicate the chorus’s inflection, pauses, and pitch. I love the way it makes your eyes say, “Ahhhhh . . . ” Oh, and the embroidery hoops were hand-me-downs and I already had the fabric and floss in my stash, so this was a “free” project. I love those, don’t you? ♥
In our smaller house, we’ve downsized to a smaller Christmas tree . . . but we still have lots of special ornaments we enjoy having out. So, I like to separate them into “categories” and display like items together.
Pretty, easy, and fun! ♥
Another favorite Christmas decoration at our house is the “fabric forest” I made last winter. I enjoyed getting these colorful little trees back out to display on top of the china hutch again! You can make the trees any size, and they’re a great way to use up some remnants that might not work for other projects. For a step-by-step photo tutorial, click here. ♥
Ever since I found the perfect giant sunflower paintings by a local artist at one of my favorite little shops, I’ve enjoyed them in spring, summer, and fall. However, when December rolls around, they become Christmas decor! In the past, I’ve always wrapped them in Christmas paper, but this year I purchased some pretty $1/yard cotton fabric that I can use year after year for a little more Earth-friendly approach. Click here and here for the 2011 and 2012 versions! ♥
Remember the chicken-wire frame I bought at the craft show from Shantilly? And how I decorated it for Thanksgiving with cut out burlap letters and a fabric flower? My granddaughter Miranda helped me restyle it for Christmas with new letters, then we added the scrapbook paper ornament my friend Debbie taught me how to make. Perfect . . . and I’ve already got ideas for when Valentine’s Day rolls around! ♥
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! ♥
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! ♥
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! ♥
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. ♥
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! ♥
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! ♥
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! ♥
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! ♥
Our 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! ♥
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! ♥
We 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:
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 email@example.com.
I’m looking forward to hearing from you!
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! ♥
Do 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! ♥
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! ♥
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 . . .
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! ♥
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! ♥
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??? ♥
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! ♥
When our whole family gathers in over Father’s Day weekend, I want to have some fun crafts that work for *kids* from pre- schoolers to 80+. My latest idea is a decoration that everyone helps create—T-shirt garland! To keep everything handy, I decided to make a kit with all the necessary materials. Then I can simply hang some baker’s twine across the windows and we can pin on our paper T-shirts as we “customize” them.
To make the kit, I first found an empty box that was just the right size. (This one once held a chocolate cake that came in an order one of our kids sent us from Omaha Steaks . . . yum!!!) I cut off the lid and then cut, folded, and glued the lid cardboard to divide the box into four compartments. Here it is with clips holding everything in place while it dried. When the inside was ready, I traced around the outsides and covered them with scrapbook paper, then made a simple word-processed label for the front using clip art and a text box.
Next, I googled “printable t-shirt template” to find a pattern I like and watched a couple of movies while I traced and cut them out on light-colored paper. I also shopped for tiny clothespins and found these at Amazon.com. They’re REALLY tiny—about one inch long—but perfect for hanging paper items. I also found a small empty jar in the pantry to store them in since we’ll need to keep them safely away from the babies and toddlers. (I later glued three of the pins to the lid for a-la-mode.)
Finally, I added markers, crayons, and colored pencils for creating the T-shirt designs. Since I already had these and the paper on hand, my only expense was the clothespins—and they’re so cute I probably would have bought them anyway. 🙂 I’ll be sure to show you a photo of our garland after everyone is here! P.S. I think this would be a fun way to commemorate family activities over the summer, too . . . books the kids read, trips to the beach and zoo, special treats they get to eat, and that sort of thing. If only I’d thought of that when MY kids were little! ♥
After seeing all the creative menu boards on Pinterest, I decided it would be fun to have one in our kitchen. However, I needed a tall, narrow version to fit the best spot for it, so I decided to go with a pin-up board. I made it out of cardboard, quilt batting, and fabric like the memo boards here, here, here, and here. The adorable fabric is left over from my “Mix Things Up Apron” and purchased from Laura at LC’s Cottage. (Click here for a post with links to her lovely shop!) Then I found a bit of khaki-colored knit from my polo shirt upcycle and embroidered the word “Menus” to affix to the top, finishing it off with a small length of ric-rac trim. Since I had everything on hand, the cost was $0 . . . my kind of project! 🙂 And the two recipes are perfect complements to your favorite enchiladas! The “Corn Bake” has been in my husband’s family for a long time, and the dip is from a magazine ad. I’ll write an easier-to-read copy below! ♥
Salsa and Sour Cream Dip
Combine all ingredients; mix well, and chill. Serve with tortilla chips.
Remember the fun felt citrus coasters I made last summer? While on my recent craft room spring-cleaning frenzy, I was surprised to find a whole set already made, just waiting for their little citrus fabric drawstring bag to live in! Don’t you just LOVE it when that happens??? I whipped up the bag in nothing flat, and now I have a another set ready for a summery hostess gift. Here are the instructions again:
When Linny J Creations posted last fall about the upcoming Nancy Drew fabric at The Fat Quarter Shop, I was in! I bought my first ever charm pack just so I could see a tiny sample of everything. Thanks to inspiration from Feathered Nest Studio, these fun little designs are now a set of 24 coasters. It was so easy . . . just stitch two squares right sides together along with a square of quilt batting (leaving a small opening for turning), trim the corners, turn, and topstitch. We’re having a B-I-G family get-together at our house in June (more on that to come!), so I’m all ready in the coaster department! P.S. The beautiful basket is from 1840 Farm Mercantile. ♥
I love PEEPS . . . even though they make most of the rest of my family go “Ewwwwwwwww . . . !” But who could resist some adorable PEEPS garland? It’s super easy, and as I made it, I realized I had lots of choices. So here’s a chart! Simply pick one thing from each column (which you probably already have around the house!), and soon you’ll have your finished garland hanging among your other spring decor. Here is mine with felt, fabric paint, ric-rac, and machine stitching. (Click on the photo for a close-up.) Oh, and you can find lots of free templates for the bunny shape on Google images. Have fun! ♥
||Eyes and Nose||Garland||Attachment Method|
When I meet my amazing daughters-in-law or gal pals for coffee or lunch, I love to take them a little handmade gift. My newest craze is these little spring bunnies made from fabric scraps! You can find the pattern and tutorial from Angie on The Little Fabric Blog. Thank you, Angie! P.S. The lovely tulips are a gift from our recent houseguest and friend, Nancy. The table mat is here, and the photo star on the wall is here. ♥
I recently received a bag of vintage sweaters for pillow making, and I just fell in love with this fun print. I used everything from the armholes down, leaving the zipper in the middle for a-la-mode, stitched, and stuffed. It still has the side-seam pockets, too! I think I’ll give it as a birthday or Christmas present and tuck a gift card in the pocket. Then the recipient can use the pockets for . . . hmmm . . . the TV remote? Earphones? Tissues for a sad movie? Or . . . M&M’s??? (OK, I’m still thinking about chocolate after that last post!) ♥
I can never take down ALL the Christmas decorations on December 31, can you? Instead, I like to “tweak” some of them for the winter. Here are some of this year’s gentle changes:
(1) Keep the giant winter wreath and snowflake garland, but trade the nativity on the mantel for family photos.
(2) Keep the Christmas cards nearby to enjoy again and again, but add a free New Year’s printable in a frame.
(3) Put a fun snowman on top of the kitchen cabinet by the antique milk bottles.
(5) Get out the softest, squishiest, coziest sweater pillow I’ve ever made for winter napping. ♥
I LOVE waking up on the first morning of a new year! It’s like getting a new notebook, a new sharpened pencil, a new bag of play-doh, and a new box of crayons all at the same time! (Can you tell that I LOVED teaching first grade?) 🙂 While “undecorating” from Christmas, I always get in the mood to reorganize, and one of my birthday gifts got me off to a great start—an over-the-door shoe bag to use for fabric (plus some new fabric)! I love it! Now, off to enjoy the day! New Year’s blessings to you and yours! ♥
I have the sweetest friends! One of them gave me a stack of Christmas remnants this fall. I used them for my mini-pillow ornaments and decided to make a “fabric forest” from some of the other bits. I was inspired by the cute design I saw on the cover of my Fa la la la Felt book by Kathy Sheldon, but I wanted to use cotton fabric instead of felt and make all different sizes, so I came up with my own tutorial. It would also be pretty to use solid color fabrics and make them look like decorated Christmas trees with buttons, sequins, rick-rack, and other a-la-mode. I think I’ll leave my forest up through the winter, switching out their Santa companion for a snowman. Each tree takes about 15 minutes. Ready? Let’s go! ♥
For the tree, find a corner of the fabric. Measure and mark the same length straight down, straight across, and at several points in the curve between, then cut along your marks. For the base, divide the length you used by .25. This measurement will be the radius of the circle. Mark a dot on the fabric. Measure and mark the radius all the way around, then cut along your marks. Example: This tree measurement is 9 inches, so the base radius measurement is 2.25 inches.
Fold the tree piece right sides together and pin along the straight edge . . .
and then sew the edge with a ¼ or 3/8 inch seam.
Turn the tree right side out.
Open the seam at the bottom and pin on the base, right sides together. Only use one pin . . . your fingers will do the rest!
Sew the tree and base together from the tree side using a 3/8 inch seam. Feed the fabric through a bit at a time, using your fingers to make tiny gathers in the tree to help it fit the curve of the base. It sounds hard, but it’s really not!
Keep going . . .
until you’re a couple of inches away from where you started.
Turn the base right side out.
Put stuffing through the opening. If needed, use a chopstick to poke the stuffing to the top. NOTE: Don’t overstuff, as that will give the tree a rounded base and it won’t stand up straight.
Pin the opening and hand-stitch it shut.
You’re done with that one! To make a little forest, simply repeat with different fabrics and sizes. Enjoy!
Welcome to the “JOYFUL” edition of Collectively Creative, hosted by Kelly of Cobwebs, Cupcakes & Crayons! My project is easy and fun . . . similar to the Instagram collage letters I made this summer. . . . and I love how it turned out!
(1) Purchase some wooden letters at a craft store. Mine are 12 inches tall and were on sale for around $2 each.
(2) Optional: Paint the letters and let them thoroughly dry. I spray painted these with the green paint left over from my antique milk bottle project.
(3) Get out Christmas cards you received and saved from last year and cut out pictures and words to fit the shapes of the letters, overlapping them as in a collage. Attach these bits with Mod Podge. Or, if you don’t have cards available, use images and words from holiday magazines.
(4) When each surface is covered to your satisfaction, coat the entire letter with Mod Podge and let it thoroughly dry.
(5) Display your letters on a shelf or drill small holes or attach hanging hardware to the backs and hang them on the wall. Mine are now over the stairs along with my peppermint wreath where they’ll greet our Christmas Day guests at the front door. ♥
P.S. Before I link to our other Collectively Creative posts, I’d like to give a shout out to some other amazing bloggers who have shared their J-O-Y this season. Thank you to ALL of you for your inspiration!
One of my VERY favorite bloggers is Liz from a A Ponytail Kind of Day. Every time I saw one of her unique creations, I’d think, “I sure wish she had a shop!” Well, now she does! It’s the Sincerely Liz Boutique, where you’ll find all kinds of beautiful handmade items for your home. Since I was looking for gifts for specific people, I ordered these fabric hangers, a set of rag coasters, and this way-cool bowl made from a Christmas record album. Then, friend that she is, Liz also put in this “Keep Calm and Sew On” framed art AND an AMAZING vintage dress and lace overlay that she bought for one dollar because she knew how much I’d have fun using it for a “What Can You Make With A . . .” project! What a sweetie! Please check out Liz’s boutique from this post or from my Shop Love! page above, and THANK YOU, Liz! ♥
Since my favorite set of paintings take up a large bit of wall space in our great room, I like to gift-wrap them in December to fit our Christmas decor. This year I used some sweet vintage Santa paper I received as a gift. Click here to see last year’s! ♥
No, not for me . . . for a mini-Christmas tree! 🙂 I used this small tree in my classroom when I was an elementary teacher and decided to put it on a side table this year to showcase some of our homemade-by-family-and-friends ornaments. To make the skirt, I:
It was a “free” project for me since I already had all the materials and adds a festive touch to a favorite little spot in our living room. ♥ P.S. Three peppermints to go . . . one more project!
Yesterday I posted a tutorial for “Easy No-Sew Felt Peppermint Garland.” Here’s what I made with mine! We’ve had the grapevine wreath forever, and it was definitely due for refreshing, so I pulled off all the tired greenery and replaced it with my new garland. Other than tying the ends together at the top, I didn’t even have to stitch or glue anything as the branches themselves hold the garland in place. Now the wreath is hanging in my kitchen window topped with a little raffia. I love it! ♥ P.S. I have ten “peppermints” left over, so watch for one more post on them!
(1) Cut red and white felt into strips. Mine are 1/2 inch x 8 inches.
(2) Lay a white strip over a red strip, then pull the white strip down about an inch. Begin rolling upward at the end you pulled down. This will give the “candy” a solid white center and a red outer layer.
(3) After the piece is rolled, put a pin through it to hold everything in place until you string the candies.
(4) Using a sturdy needle and extra-strength thread, poke the needle through the loose end of a candy, go through the middle of the candy and out the middle of the opposite side, and remove the pin. Pull the candies close together to keep the rolls tight.
(5) Hang your garland on the mantel, in a doorway or window, or on a Christmas tree or wreath! ♥
In late summer I started on my Christmas mini-pillow ornaments, and I finally decided to stop . . . for this year! (They’re addictive!) All they take are little bits of fabric and ribbon, plus buttons, bells, lace, and embroidery . . . oh, and your imagination! P.S. Please check out these links for some more ornaments to try! ♥
After the big Thanksgiving dinner at our house, the kids and grown-ups visit, snack, watch football, snack, nap, snack, and . . . make things! (Check out these Play-Doh sculptures from Thanksgivings past! :)) This year I’ll still have the usual supplies, but I thought it would also be fun to have a project that the kids can take home and/or guests can make to donate to a local nonprofit for Christmas gifts for children in need. The minute I decided on no-sew fleece pillows, I got an email from Hancock Fabrics with all their fleece for half price PLUS free shipping, so I knew it had to be! To keep it simple, I went ahead and did all the cutting, rolled and tied each matching pillow top and bottom together, and put the right amount of stuffing in individual bags so everyone can just choose a fabric, grab a bag, and find a comfy spot to craft and chat. I’ll try to post a photo of all the kids with the pillows we make after the holiday! ♥
P.S. Since the instructions call for cutting out the corners from each piece, I now I have about a bazillion colorful 4 x 4 inch fleece squares to use for other projects. Any ideas???
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! ♥
I was so excited to see some milk bottle carriers on RE: RETRO, because my dad had just given me the set above . . . that my grandparents actually USED!
The glass bottles needed some vinegar and hot soapy water, and the metal carrier needed a good sanding and coat of spray paint, but here it is!
I had some eucalyptus branches left over from my tote bag wall hanging project, so adding those in makes the perfect autumn accent for the top of the kitchen cabinets.
P.S. My husband Dave hung the carrier in a tree to spray it. It worked perfectly and looks lovely. Thank you to you, too, Dave! ♥
Welcome to the Pillows A-La-Mode contribution to Collectively Creative! For my project, I made two pillows (what a surprise, right? 🙂 ) for some Halloween-lovin’ sweeties I know. ♥
(1) The large pillow has a jack-o-lantern print on the “Trick . . .” side (a gift from a friend!) and *sparkly* cupcake and candy print from Jo-Ann on the “or treat!” side. The letters are orange felt handstitched with black embroidery floss.
(2) The small pillow has the cupcake/candy print on the front and “BOO” fabric (also a gift from a friend) on the back. For a-la-mode, I marked the center of the front and back (after stitching and stuffing), double-threaded a L-O-N-G needle with orange floss, stacked three buttons, went down through the left buttonholes to the back and up through the right buttonholes, pulled the floss tight to create a valley, and tied. (Click on photo for a larger view).
NOW . . . DRUM ROLL . . . here are EIGHT . . . yes EIGHT!!! . . . more Collectively Creative posts with amazing Halloween tricks n’ treats for you to try. Please take a moment to visit each one . . . you’ll be glad you did! ♥
All three of the leafy placemat tote bags I made last spring have finally found a niche. I shared the red one a few days ago—it’s hanging on the wall in the dining room filled with dried eucalyptus branches. The green one is now on the coat/umbrella rack by our front door filled with pretty scarves and gloves to grab on the way out. And the orange one . . . well, it’s the perfect autumn running-around tote . . . for now . . . ♥