One-Hour Apron

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What do you make on a winter day and you have a free hour? A SPRING apron, of course! The tutorial is from this post by Jona Giammalva on her blog Stop Staring & Start Sewing, and the fun fabrics are from my bloggy friend Laura’s LC’s Cottage Etsy shop. P.S. Click here and here for two other aprons I’ve made with this easy peasy pattern! ♥

SpringApron

What Can You Make With a (comfybutunflattering) Dress?

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Blue DressIt’s been a LONG time since I’ve posted a What Can You Make With A . . .? project, but I have one today! The inspiration was this blue dress. It was soft, swingy, and SO comfortable, with pockets in the side skirt seams, perfect with a black cardigan for chilly days . . . and what’s not to love about polka dots? But my mirror (and an “honest” family member) told me that this was not my best look and added more than a few pounds to my curves. So, out came the scissors.

  • The skirt is PERFECT as . . . a skirt! And I still get to enjoy the lovely color, fabric, and pockets. I simply cut it off a little above the empire waist, nipped and tucked here and there, and used the top of the cut-off piece to make a waistband. I love wearing it with my black pullover sweater, tights, and boots.
  • You’ve already seen the laptop case I made with the sleeves and neck elastic. I LOVE it and use it every day. It’s especially fun when someone asks where I got it!
  • That left just some bits and pieces, so I cut them into strips, twisted and stitched them into a flower, and used it for a-la-mode on a fun spring pillow I stitched up with some bird fabric from my stash. (Spring WILL come, right???)

Ahhhhh . . . much better! ♥

Skirt

Bird Pillow

Sour Cream Chocolate Cake

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Dave requested a sour cream chocolate cake for Valentine’s Day this year, and I found just the one on Taste of Home. Since the recipe is for a layer cake, I used my heart-shaped pans. It’s a keeper! ♥

Chocolate Cake

Happy Hearts!

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Do you have hearts all over your home these days? My favorite new display is the clay heart my granddaughter Ally made, my collection of heart necklaces, and the beautiful mixed-media canvas Shannon of Shantilly made for my birthday. From my heart to yours . . . have a happy Valentine’s Day! ♥

MixedMediaValentine

Valentine Hearts Card Garland

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During my last spring cleaning, I found NINE unopened decks of cards in the game chest. If they haven’t been claimed yet for their intended purpose, they’re up for grabs for crafting, right? So, when I saw several versions of Valentine garland made from hearts playing cards on Pinterest, I had to give it a try! I punched holes in the corners, strung them with red baker’s twine, and added a few hearts cut from the backs of the Jokers and advertising extras for a-la-mode. So easy, and they made great gifts for some special people I love! ♥  P.S. Here’s the red sweater heart pillow that’s sitting on my favorite chair this month and the felt conversation heart garland I hung across the mantle.

Garland

Card Garland

February!

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My Shantilly frame got a makeover for February! The inspiration was this fun suit-on-a-hangar bookmark from my BFF Susan, and the words are letters snipped from alphabet fabric glued onto rectangles cut from last year’s February calendar paper. Here are the ones for November, December, and January. Happy new month! ♥ February

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

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

Monday
and planning
the week
what will grow
what should rest

What a lovely way to frame a new week . . . or month . . . or year . . . or even a day. Now when I make a to-do list, I find myself prayerfully asking, “What needs to grow? What needs to rest?” I even made a chart to share with my writing group. We can put our writing or personal goals at the top (Find more time to write? Feel more energized? Learn to ______?) and then list what needs to grow and rest in order to accomplish the goal. Thank you so much for inspiring me, Ellen!  P.S. My blog is on my “rest” list for a bit while I finish three big projects for work. I’ll be back for Valentine’s Day! ♥

Calendar

Upcycled Padded Mini-Laptop Case

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I have a cool new mini-laptop/tablet that’s super-easy to tote around, but I wanted to give it a little protection before adding it to my backpack on my way to the airport last week. I have a dress that I just turned into a skirt, so I decided to use the dress’s top for this project. I started with the elastic-ruffled sleeves, padded them with quilt batting, and folded and stitched them to size. Then I stitched the elastic ruffle from the neckline diagonally along the front, leaving it loose at the sides and back so I can pull it around the case to hold the laptop inside. A fabric flower from my stash made the perfect a-la-mode for traveling in style. ♥

Computer Bag

A Quote I Love . . .

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When I saw a touching layout designed by Ellie on My Little Bunny Cupcake, I knew I’d found the perfect quote to put on my card when I give a fabric flower to a friend: Just living isn’t enough . . . one must also have freedom, sunshine, and a little flowerThank you, Ellie and Hans Christian Andersen! ♥  P.S. My dress form is wearing my scarf crocheted by our bloggy friend Tamara. Isn’t it just lovely?

Fabric Flowers w Quote

Toy Car Wallet

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1For Tyler-the-matchbox-car-lovin’-kid’s birthday, I stitched up a car wallet . . . plus (surprise! surprise!) a pillow with the leftover fabric. I read TONS of tutorials for the wallet and ended up using bits of several of them. My version has four pockets, a road, a Velcro closure, an elastic band (aka stretchy headband cut to size) to hold it all together, and the birthday boy’s initials embroidered on the front. Here are my favorite links in case you’d like to make one for a small person you love! ♥

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Birthday Party!

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It’s birthday party time again in our family! Five-year-old Tyler chose Disney Planes for the theme. I had fun searching out a yard of DP fabric (found it on ebay and got it in two days!) to use for bunting and then sewing a big pile of red goodie bags for Tyler to fill with treasures and send home with his friends. Now for some cake and ice cream! ♥

Bunting and Bags

Pretty Cornbread Salad

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Cornbread Salad

CORNBREAD SALAD

  • 1 package cornbread mix prepared, cooled, and crumbled
  • 1 can pork and beans
  • 1 can sweet corn, drained
  • 2 diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup green pepper, diced
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 15 strips cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 packet ranch dip mix

DIRECTIONS: Layer all but the last three ingredients in a clear glass bowl. Mix mayonnaise, sour cream, and ranch dip together and spread over the top. Garnish with green onions, bacon bits, or cheese. Chill and serve. ♥

Journals from Vintage Children’s Books

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When I saw this post on Thrift Store Crafter, I suddenly remembered that I, too, have a journal upcycled from a vintage book! I also remembered that I’d promised the person who gave it to me (my BFF/sister Susan) that I would actually USE it and not put it away with my treasures, so I got it off the shelf and began listing all the crafts/sewing projects I want to make and tucking in clippings and patterns. Now, when I find myself with a little block of free time, I’ll be all ready to go. And besides . . . this journal just makes me smile! ♥  P.S. Be sure to check out Sarah’s tutorials on Thrift Store Crafter! DP Journal

Sneaky Art!

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I’m a lucky crafter . . . I won this fun Sneaky Art book and Rainy Day Art Pack, both by Marthe Jocelyn, from Robyn of Museiddity‘s recent giveaway! I’m happily set for my next little visitors! Please click here to learn more about the book and here to learn more about Robyn and and begin exploring her Museiddity creations. Thank you, Robyn! ♥

Sneaky Art_Rainy Day Art

A Fun Project for a Fun Bloggy Friend!

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This Christmas I had the opportunity to help Darilyn of Thehighnotedotnet surprise her brother-in-law with a Kansas State University guy apron to wear while serving as the family chef. (See the tutorial tutorial here at The Purl Bee.) She was sweet enough to write a lovely blog post about it, complete with photos, that truly put a smile on my face. If you haven’t had a chance to visit Darilyn’s blog, please check out her creative projects! She also has a My Fave DIY’s page and an Etsy shop specializing in items made with vintage sheet music, like these paper Christmas trees that I used while making my snowflake garland last winter. Thank you, Darilyn! ♥

K-State Apron

Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

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I’m afraid my “let it snow” frame worked, because we had snow over the weekend and still have below-zero wind chills today! Lucky for me, I get to work from home . . . and the lasagna, breadsticks, and chocolate cake we had for dinner warmed me up just fine. (Gym . . . I promise I’ll be there soon!)  It’s also a perfect day for this fun little free printable on my living room side table . . . thank you to Pam and Lisa of Over the Big Moon. ♥

Baby It's Cold Outside

Let It Snow!

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In autumn I bought a fun chicken-wire frame at a craft show from Shantilly, and since then I’ve had fun restyling it for different holidays and seasons.  November’s design reminded us to give thanks, December’s spoke of joy, and January’s is all about snow . . . a clip-art mitten illustration mounted on scrapbook paper, letters snipped from alphabet fabric, and tiny clothespins to hold everything in place. ♥

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Sweater Wreath

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BearHappy 2014! I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas season. I had extra fun with my family celebrating Christmas, New Year’s, AND my birthday! And, with several days off from work, I enjoyed some extra sewing and crafting time, too.

Remember my sweater teddy bear? For my first holiday break project I wanted to use up the leftover sweater parts, and I found the perfect idea in the January, 2014 Woman’s Day magazine, submitted by Anna of Lasso the Moon. For mine, I . . .

  • cut the scraps into two-inch squares,
  • folded them in half,
  • strung them on stiff wire,
  • tied off the wire, and
  • added a ribbon.

It’s always fun to have something new to hang after undecorating for Christmas! ♥

Wreath and Ribbon

Merry Christmas!

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Look at the lovely ornament my sweet art-teacher-writer-friend Ginger gave me at church on Sunday! She twisted and turned a piece of wire into a heart surrounding my L-O-N-G name . . . thoughtfulness and handcrafting at its finest. And now, with Christmas Eve just one week away, I’m off to finish my end-of-year writing assignments, bake, and celebrate with my family. I wish you and yours a very merry Christmas and happy, happy New Year, and I’ll see you in 2014! ♥

KatherineWireOrnament

Fa la la la . . .

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Since I have so many colorful red and green decorations and busy prints up for Christmas (like here, here, here, here, herehere, and here!) I decided to go completely the other way on my newest idea . . . somewhat of a visual trick since “Deck the Halls” is such a cheerful song! I used turquoise chevron flannel with the same color embroidery floss, then I played around with the size and placement of the words to replicate the chorus’s inflection, pauses, and pitch. I love the way it makes your eyes say, “Ahhhhh . . . ” Oh, and the embroidery hoops were hand-me-downs and I already had the fabric and floss in my stash, so this was a “free” project. I love those, don’t you? ♥

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Ornament Ideas

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Bowl of Rocking HorsesIn our smaller house, we’ve downsized to a smaller Christmas tree . . . but we still have lots of special ornaments we enjoy having out. So, I like to separate them into “categories” and display like items together.

  • How about rocking horses in a bowl on a side table?
  • Or wooden toy soldiers in a frame on the wall?

Pretty, easy, and fun! ♥

Framed Wooden Soldiers

Tiny Christmas Pillows for Pillows A-La-Mode!

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Look what I got in the mail this week! My sweet bloggy friend Sharon of Gentlestitches sent these lovely, handmade pillow ornaments for my Christmas tree all the way from Victoria, Australia to Kansas, USA! I just love them! If you haven’t had a chance to visit Sharon’s blog yet, please go take a look . . . she even has a page full of free patterns! Thank you, dear Sharon! ♥

Gentlestitches

The Fabric Forest

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Another favorite Christmas decoration at our house is the “fabric forest” I made last winter. I enjoyed getting these colorful little trees back out to display on top of the china hutch again! You can make the trees any size, and they’re a great way to use up some remnants that might not work for other projects. For a step-by-step photo tutorial, click here. ♥

Forest

J-O-Y

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

j-o-y

Our Peppermint Wreath

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

wreath

Deck the Walls!

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Ever since I found the perfect giant sunflower paintings by a local artist at one of my favorite little shops, I’ve enjoyed them in spring, summer, and fall. However, when December rolls around, they become Christmas decor! In the past, I’ve always wrapped them in Christmas paper, but this year I purchased some pretty $1/yard cotton fabric that I can use year after year for a little more Earth-friendly approach. Click here and here for the 2011 and 2012 versions! ♥

Wall

I love my all-holiday frame!

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Remember the chicken-wire frame I bought at the craft show from Shantilly? And how I decorated it for Thanksgiving with cut out burlap letters and a fabric flower? My granddaughter Miranda helped me restyle it for Christmas with new letters, then we added the scrapbook paper ornament my friend Debbie taught me how to make. Perfect . . . and I’ve already got ideas for when Valentine’s Day rolls around! ♥

Christmas Wire Frame

Baked Ham and Cheese Sandwiches

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I made these for our houseguests the day after Thanksgiving for a little change from turkey, and they were a hit! I was lucky to have my sister Susan’s yummy homemade crescent rolls to use, but my friend Janet uses Sister Schubert’s frozen rolls, and my daughter-in-law Tiffany uses sweet Hawaiian rolls, so you definitely have choices. Here’s the recipe for one dozen sandwiches:

  1. Slice each roll in half horizontally. On the bottom half, layer deli-sliced ham and swiss cheese. Replace top half. Arrange sandwiches in a baking dish.
  2. Melt 1 stick of butter, then stir in 3/4 tablespoon poppy seeds, 3/4 tablespoon mustard, 1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, and 1 teaspoon onion flakes.
  3. Pour sauce over rolls, and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Enjoy! ♥

Baked Ham and Cheese Sandwiches

Frilly Scarf

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Looky what I made! As you may know, I haven’t learned to knit or crochet yet (although my first wonky attempt at crochet DID turn into a super-cute pillow!). However, on Thanksgiving weekend my daughter-in-law Tiffany showed me how to make this frilly scarf out of the Sashay yarn I won from Ginny’s spring giveaway. The lace is already part of the yarn, so all I had to do was crochet through the openings at the top . . . easy even for me! I found out that the back of the yarn wrapper has directions for this same scarf, but it was way better to see someone model the steps in person. Thank you, Ginny and Tiffany! ♥

Scarf

Peg’s Gotta Do!

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In my book, winter has arrived! I changed the calendar to December, the house is decorated for Christmas, I’ve heard some of my favorite carols, and the falling snow magically appeared on my blog (thank you, WordPress!). And, to add the perfect scent, I can use these lovely homemade holiday sprays I won from a giveaway on Peg’s Gotta Do! If you haven’t visited Peg’s blog yet, you must check out her fun creations, such as this hot cocoa gift cone bag, paper Christmas wreath, cupcake stand, bird seed wreath, and award-winning triceratops costume. She also has a brand new Etsy shop! Thank you, Peggy! ♥

Peg's Gotta Do Collage

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! ♥  

Christmas Bunting

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I’m going to take off the rest of November from blogging to finish a big writing assignment (for my “real” job!), host Thanksgiving dinner, and attend some family events. But first, here are my new strings of Christmas bunting! Last year I cut out bazillions of squares of Christmas fabric to make mini-pillow ornaments but didn’t use them all, so I turned the rest into triangles that I could stitch into seam binding. Simply turn under the ends and fasten them with buttons to create loops, and they’re ready to hang. Thank you for stopping by, and I’ll see you in December! ♥

Bunting Ends

Bunting

Sweater Teddy Bear

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I had a sentimental sweater from a beloved family member that always seemed to say “teddy bear,” so I decided to give it a go! I have a hand-me-down pattern that was a perfect fit for the sweater front and back (McCall’s Crafts 703), but otherwise I probably would have sketched my own. The eyes only required a bit of embroidery on two of the knit-in designs. Then, since the McCall’s pattern was faceless, I used Claire’s cute (and FREE!) softie pattern on Craft Schmaft to figure out the snout. After stitching and stuffing, the squeezable, huggable Teddy is in the arms of a sweet little one. Plus, I still have the sleeves and a few smaller remnants left for new projects . . . we’ll see what those bits say! ♥

Bear

Her Team, His Team

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Once upon a time, a Pennsylvania girl married a Kansas boy . . . and now they’re living happily ever after in Georgia. But they still need their own aprons!

  • You’ve seen my girly apron before . . . here, here, here, and here. (The last link has info about the original pattern and tutorial.)
  • I found the manly barbecue apron tutorial here at The Purl Bee. It was super easy and fun to make, too.

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Mr. Men and Little Miss Books

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When my boys were little, they loved Mr. Men books. My first-graders loved them, too. Now my grandchildren love them! The stories are odd and quaint and preachy, but the characters are totally loveable . . . and we can all relate to their funny foibles. After Mr. Men Books became so popular, the author/illustrator Roger Hargreaves also started writing Little Miss books. Imagine how excited I was to find Mr. Men fabric at Fabric.com! I ordered a yard to make a drawstring gift bag for a set of Little Miss books for an upcoming birthday girl (there’s even a birthday book in the set!) and had enough for a pillow, too. Oh, and this drawstring bag was so much fun! I’ve made dozens of these bags in my life, but never with this super-cool design by Jona of Stop Staring & Start Sewing. Thank you, Jona! ♥

BooksBag and Pillow

Christmas Anny Bag

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I bought the fun Anny Bag pattern from my blogging friend Anny of It’s Sew Anny, and I decided to make my first one using Christmasy remnants. Although the pattern calls for ruffles on both sides, I left the back unruffled to show off this fun print. The pattern has fabric measurements for two different sizes, and the lined bag has a flat base and two large inside pockets. It was REALLY fun to sew, and I’ll definitely be making more! Check out the Anny Bag and Anny’s other great bag patterns at the It’s Sew Anny Etsy Shop . . . thank you, Anny! ♥

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A Quiet Way to Help . . .

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Drawstring Bag1. In a ziplock bag, put:

  • individual containers of easy-to-open, nonperishable foods
  • a bottle of water
  • some napkins
  • a spoon
  • and some hand sanitizer or a small bar of soap.

2. Put the filled bag in your car, tote, or backpack to give away . . . you’ll know when.

3. Repeat. ♥

P.S. This lovely drawstring tote was made by one of the great-great-grandmas in my family. She would be so happy to see its new job!

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Zibergirl Sews . . . and sews . . .

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I won the CUTEST business card holder in a recent giveaway by Barbara of Zibergirl Sews! (Click here for a tutorial if you’d like to make your own!) If you followed Season 1 of Refashion Runway on The Renegade Seamstress, you’ve already met Barbara! You can also see an amazing gallery of her sewing projects here. Thank you, Barbara . . . and keep inspiring us with those fabulous creations! ♥

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Give Thanks

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

Give Thanks

Sleepover!

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

Treasures

Music Lover’s Gift Basket

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I love making a gift basket for the silent auction at the Arts and Crafts Mission Market at my church every November, which this year will benefit the Downtown Daycare Center here in Wichita, KS. This time I decided on a music theme.

  • First, I made an embroidered pillow and a music-note-fabric half apron with fabric flower a-la-mode. (Click here for the apron tutorial from Jona of Stop Staring & Start Sewing).
  • Next, I added a framed music saying (which you can get here for FREE from the lovelyn Darilyn of TheHighNotedotNet) and a package of vintage music Christmas tree confetti from Darilyn’s Etsy shop.
  • I finished if off with a blank journal and coffee cup cozy for idea-gathering and a small vintage hymnal.

Click here for gift baskets from the past few years. It’s my secret ambition to go into the gift basket business someday! (Dave, you didn’t see that, right???)  ♥

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Superheroes in Tutus for Real!

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A couple of weeks ago I showed you the tutus and tops I made for Ally and Kira, and you made me promise to post a photo of them in costume. Here they are with their mom! (I have many amazing daughters-in-law, including Catwoman!) Click here for a link to the tutututorial. ♥

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Chevron Halloween Pillow

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Even though I named my blog for pillows, I haven’t made many lately, have I? But here is my latest cushiony creation concocted from scraps of last year’s Halloween pillows, a fun black and white remnant for the back, and some of my grandma’s mismatched black buttons. I knew I wanted to do a chevron design, and I found a perfect tutorial from Nicole at Modern Handcraft. Thank you, Nicole . . . and have a fun Halloween, everyone! ♥  P.S. The other one is a sweater pillow from my earliest blogging days . . . it’s the softest, coziest cushion in my  house, and I love getting it out when autumn arrives!

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A Quilt Mystery: Part 2

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In September, I told you about the lovely but mysterious 1927 quilt top we found among my husband Dave’s parents’ belongings. You can read about it and see photos here. Thanks to Dave’s cousin Betsy and some considerate and determined librarians, I’ve found a home for it! Here are the latest updates:

  • Betsy and her parents recognized some of the names and thought the quilt top originated in a small town called Quinter, Kansas, where Betsy’s mother was born. (Betsy’s mother is Dave’s dad’s sister.)
  • I contacted the library in Quinter, sent a photo of the quilt top and a list of all the names on it, and asked if they could confirm that these were community families and perhaps find out what the “HHC” on the bottom right quilt block stands for.
  • The librarians found several of the names in old high school yearbooks. They also found old news articles about a quilting club called the Helping Hands Club. We were on the right track!
  • One of the librarians tracked down the granddaughter of Helen Martin, a woman who created one of the quilt squares. I’ll put a photo of Mrs. Martin’s handiwork below. Don’t you love how she embroidered her name? And we even have a spider web for Halloween week!
  • I’ve contacted the granddaughter, and not only does she want the quilt top, she has all the minutes of all the Helping Hand Club meetings in her possession! So she is going to research them to try to answer our remaining questions: (1) What was the occasion for creating the quilt top? (2) Why wasn’t the quilt ever finished? (3) How did the quilt top end up with someone who has ties to the community but isn’t represented on any of the squares?

So . . . watch for “A Quilt Mystery: Part 3” . . . coming soon! ♥

Helen Martin

Cookie Cutter Hostess Gift

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

1. Stitch a simple drawstring bag.

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

3. Fill it with fun or seasonal cookie cutters.

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

Cookie Cutter Bag

Shocker Apron

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No, it’s not the Halloween kind of shocker . . . it’s the Wichita State University Shockers (as in a shock of wheat . . . click here to see our mascot, Wu Shock!). I had some fabric left over from the WSU apron I made for the fundraiser silent auction, so I made a half apron for one of my friends who is a huge fan and follower of WSU’s volleyball and basketball teams. The “Shockers” logo on the pocket is snipped from the same t-shirt that I used to get the Wu Shock for the bib of the original apron. The tutorial is from this post on Jona Giammalva’s amazingingly inspirational blog Stop Staring & Start Sewing, and the black/yellow fabrics are from my bloggy friend Laura’s LC’s Cottage Etsy shop. Here is the finished apron blowing in the Kansas wind! ♥

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From “Eeek!” to “Ahhh . . .”

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Eeek!!!I really love cardigans. I have quite a few way too many! While we were packing for our recent trip, I was folding my turquoise cardigan to put in my suitcase, and I saw this pull on the back. I have no idea how or when it appeared, but I was bummed. However, by the time we got home, I knew just how to fix it! Lucky for me, the pull was perfectly centered, so I handstitched a bit of crocheted cotton lace over it and added three “sister” (but not triplet) blue buttons into the lace designs. Now my cardigan is way cuter than it was before . . . so this Eeek!!! turned out JUST right! ♥

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Danger! Danger! Bite-sized cinnamon rolls!

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

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Superheroes in Tutus

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Ally and Kira found some adorable “superhero in tutu” photos while checking out Halloween costume ideas on Pinterest, and of course I said, “Let’s make some!” The girls decided on Batman and Robin, so first we poured over illustrations of the real characters to figure out our colors and designs. For our versions, their mom first bought appropriately-colored tank tops. I found logos on Bing Images, which I traced onto fabric, cut out, and appliqued onto the fronts of the tanks. Next, I made short capes (so they won’t get in the way of the tutus), ruffled them at the tops, and attached them from shoulder to shoulder along the backs of the tanks. Then I studied dozens of cut-and-tie and sewn tutu tutorials (tutututorials???), and I decided on this this lovely version from Rachael Rabbit. Now all the girls will have to do is add simple black masks, tights, and boots . . . plus long-sleeved t-shirts for warmth (black for Batman and green for Robin, which their mom has ready to go). Here are the finished pieces . . . I can’t wait to see them on my little superheroes! ♥

BatmanRobin

Candy Corn Dress

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I had some bits of orange and yellow jersey, so I stitched them into a ruffled skirt, added color-coordinated ric-rac, and attached it to a new white baby t-shirt for a cutie in our family! The a-la-mode is a strip of “treat” fabric from last year’s Halloween pillows twisted, coiled, and stitched into a flower and centered with an orange button. Happy candy corn season! ♥

Dress

Thomas the Train Birthday Party

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PillowWe got to fly to Florida for our grandson’s second birthday this weekend. What fun!

His mommy asked me to make some Thomas the Train bunting for the party, and of course I said yes!

The fabrics I chose (all from Fabric.Com) were:

  • Who’s That Train panel
  • Who’s That Train Word Blender in grey
  • Who’s That Train Symbol in red

I had enough left to make a tablecloth for the gift table and . . . no surprise here . . . a pillow for Ryan’s room. ♥

BuntingTablecloth

What can you make with a sentimental dress?

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

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

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!

APRON

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

BAG

(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.

WREATH

(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.

FRAME

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

ALL

I Love Pink!

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Kansas Barn Sale by Beki and StaceeI had so much fun on Saturday at the Kansas Barn Sale! (See FB photos here.) We drove out to a beautiful farm near Hesston, Kansas where the organizers, Beki and Stacee, offered dozens of  amazing art and vintage booths as well as live music and all kinds of delicious food. I made a purchase . . . a gorgeous pink hand-crocheted scarf made by one of the vendors, my friend Tamara of Crochet with Tamara (click here to see her posting about it on her blog) . . . aaaaaaaaand the pattern was designed by my friend Jill of Nice Piece of Work (click here to see some other versions)! How cool is THAT??? It was chilly enough to wear it around at the sale, and I got lots of lovely compliments on it. Thank you, Tamara and Jill! ♥

Scarf

Dessert Triple Play

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Some family members are starting a therapeutic riding business and recently had an open house/barbeque at their stable and arena. I offered to make the desserts, and I had a fun baking day! Here are three for which I managed to snap photos. The first one is a family recipe from my mom-in-law. The other two were first-time tries clipped from magazines and tweaked a bit. (Do you do that, too???) But they were all yummy! Oh, and the GORGEOUS doily was a gift from my sweet friend Tamara of Crochet with Tamara. Thank you again, Tamara! ♥  P.S. You can click on each dessert name for a printable recipe!

Vida’s Chocolate Sheet Cake

Chocolate Cake

Lemonade Cake

Lemonade Cake

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

PBJ Bars

The Rice Trick Worked!

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

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

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

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

Rice Bowl

Between a Rock and a Hard Place . . .

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I saw this beauty along the street when I was out on a walk last weekend, and I had to run home for my camera.

It reminds me of my current favorite quote: You are confined only by the walls you build yourself.

Who knew that a little pink flower could be a hero? ♥

Flower

Crafty Staci

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If you followed the Good Neighbor Award, you know that Crafty Staci is the giveaway winner . . . a “What Can You Make With” redo of a loved but no-longer-worn garment. I received her choice in the mail last week—so beautiful! I’ll save that photo for the reveal, but today I want to share the gift Staci sweetly included. She makes lots of adorable coffee cup sleeves (as well as fun camera accessories!) to sell in her Etsy shop, and she sent me this fun pencil sleeve. It’s perfect for my “real” job, and I just love it! She even has a new bat sleeve for Halloween! Plus, Staci’s packaging is so tasteful and professional, including printed sleeve holders and lovely fabric tags. Thank you, Staci, and I’ll be starting on  your project very soon! ♥

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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! ♥

Tray Collage

“Runs With . . . Scissors”

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I found a cute brown and pink “saying” t-shirt for $1 at the crafter’s sale and just had to buy it to make into a pillow for a fun-loving scrapbooker I know! One of my handmade flowers covers up a small bleach spot on the fabric and adds a bit of a-la-mode. Easy peasy! ♥

Scrapbooking Pillow

I Won Some Patterns!

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When the lovely Simona of Sewing Adventures in the Attick decided to downsize her pattern collection, she hosted a giveaway . . . and I won two! I can’t wait to try them out!  If you haven’t met Simona yet, please click below to read about:

Thank you, Simona!  ♥

SundressCoat

The Good Neighbor Awards and Giveaway Winner!

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Good Neighbor AwardTHANK YOU for helping me celebrate my second blog anniversary with another amazing outpouring of nominations for the Good Neighbor Award! For every blogger listed below, an avid reader (or more than one!) took time out of her busy schedule to send me an email telling me how much she would love to have you for a neighbor and why. Isn’t that just the most lovely compliment?

  1. First, I’ll share the comments, in no particular order.
  2. Then I’ll list the blogs that were nominated in ABC order. (Be sure to click on the links to find some new friends!)
  3. Finally, I’ll announce who got the most nominations and wins the giveaway. Here we go!
  • Living next door to this blogger would be great. She could help me with my photography skills and I know I would learn so much from her.  She is such a sweet person and I feel a kindred spirit with this lovely lady.
  • She’s my twin but she doesn’t know it . . . we must have been separated at birth!
  • She’s so stinkin’ funny!!!
  • Her home sounds like quilt heaven. Imagine being able to visit any time I’d like!
  • Because of her, I can’t throw ANYTHING away without first pondering how to reuse it in a creative new way.
  • I would like to have her as my next door neighbor to have a cup of tea together because she is so friendly and cheerful.
  • I love the ideas she has for different crafts, plus she just sounds like the kind of person who would make a great neighbor.
  • She’s Wonder Woman in disguise!
  • Her tips make my life easier.
  • She makes me look forward to getting older because she has so dang much fun!
  • Her patterns and tutorials inspire me, teach me, and stretch my limits.
  • Her DIYs are to DIE for!
  • I so admire how she balances her family, job, and creative pursuits. I hope to be able to do that someday, too!
  • She’s SO sweet! What’s not to like???
  • Her cards and paper crafts are a delight to the eyes.
  • I’ve learned so much about how to make my home more company-ready and hospitable from her, something that’s very important to me.
  • Her OOTDs are so inspiring! I’d love to be able to recreate something similar from my own closet. If she lived next door, she could help me!
  • Her blog is WAY better than Pinterest!
  • I love, love, LOVE the jewelry she designs and sells! It would be so much fun to watch her in action!
  • She has given me lots of good advice, both knowingly and unknowingly. I just love the way she thinks things through.
  • She’s so creative, yet so humble . . . I can’t imagine a nicer neighbor to have.
  • She was one of the very first supporters when I joined the blogging world and has been a super bloggy friend. Even though we live in different countries, I feel that we are close friends and close neighbours. I am always inspired by each one of her posts. She always leaves me thinking a bit more deeply about the simple things in life.
  • She’s REAL! And not many people are real these days.
  • Her sense of humor never fails to brighten my day.
  • She always takes wonderful photography and it would be so neat if she was my neighbor and could teach me how to take better photos!
  • She makes me laugh every day.
  • I would love for her to drop in for a cup of tea and show me her latest ideas. I would like to tell her some kids’ craft ideas of my own and she could use them in her own work.
  • Her gentle, loving personality comes through her art.
  • I want her craft room! Please, please, please move next door and help me!
  • Her blog is many things to many people (crafty, witty, funny, sweet and always, always kind and caring).  I never would have dreamed that a woman I met through blogging would one day become one of my dearest friends.
  • I wish she lived next door for a hundred reasons:  we have an amazing ‘kindred spirit’ connection. If she lived next door we would share walks, talks and cups of tea.  We would craft together, visit antique shops, eat falafels and be there for each other (as we are now) through thick and thin.
  • She makes me laugh. She makes me smile.  She loves animals and children and shows her care through words and deeds.  I would be one lucky woman to have her living next door.
  • Her life seems to be a lot like mine was 15 years or so ago, when the youngest kid was just starting school and the oldest was starting the teenaged years. I’d love to have her next door so I could say every morning “You’re doing a great job! They’ll be fine!”
  • I love how she weaves her faith in God into her everyday life. It’s hard to do that without being preachy, but she nails it.
  • She’s always nice and encouraging and seems like a fun person to be around.
  • She has a variety on her blog but what I would love to learn from her is paper piercing. She has done some amazing birds and I have bought one of her cushions, so beautifully made.  Very inspiring and very creative.
  • I’ve learned so much from her about how to promote my business through my blog.
  • Her recipes are so amazing that I just want to lick my computer screen. If she lived next door, I’d always leave my window open so I could enjoy the good smells coming from her kitchen.
  • They make me laugh!!! They need to move to my neighborhood so we can go shopping together.
  • She could check my patterns and find the errors! (That’s selfish, I know . . . LOL!)
  • She has a great blog full of wonderful craft projects to do with your children.  They are inexpensive and fun projects that promote lots of creative play. She would be fantastic to have as a neighbour, endless ideas for me!
  • She cares for the world and everyone in it. I admire that.
  • There are actually two ladies that I would like to have as neighbors. They are both so generous with their time and talents. I look forward to their posts. They lift my spirits and make me laugh. They are also wonderful at teaching their particular craft.
  • She’s so open about sharing the ups and downs of her life . . . I need someone like that next door!
  • She helps me so much over at my blog. When I get stuck with how to do things, she just writes me a lovely clear instruction and I am away. She is kind, generous with her time, has a terrific sense of humour and talented at crochet! I wish she lived nearby.
  • Her writing voice is so witty. I’ve learned a lot about writing AND life from her!
  • I’m so much more organized since I’ve “met” her through her blog. If she lived next door, I’d hire her to help me get my whole house in ship-shape.
  • I never heard of “refashioning” until I read her blog. Now I see it everywhere, but hers are the best of the best! I’d so love to learn from her.
  • I want her to move next door so I can see her collections and so we can go thrifting together. What fun we’d have!
  • I’d invite her over for coffee and get her advice on redoing my living room . . . or kitchen . . . or family room . . .
  • Her tablescapes never cease to amaze me. They make me want to entertain every night just so I can create such prettiness!
  • She could teach me to crochet and make me laugh!
  • She helps me keep things in perspective. I need a next door neighbor just like her!
  • She ALWAYS “likes” and comments on my blog posts. That means SO much to me!
  • Her refashions are beyond words! Maybe, just maybe, she could teach me to do that!
  • It is one of many grandparenting blogs I read, but it is above and beyond because of her exceptional photography, quilting, decorating, gardening, shopping skills, and it is an all around fun blog. She has a great sense of humor and I could picture myself sharing a cup of coffee and dessert with her and enjoying the conversation immensely.
  • Where do I begin? I use her recipes! I try her decorating ideas! I pin her crafts! She simply inspires me with each and every post. How wonderful it would be to have her as my next-door neighbor!

Blondies BEARista

Boomdeeadda

Crafty Staci

Crafty Sorcha

Crochet with Tamara

Curtain Queen Creates

DaniellaJoe’s Blog

Diary of a MadMama

Easy Crafts for Children

Empty Nest Feathers

Factotum of Arts

Fashion and Fun After Fifty

Gardening Nirvana

Grab a Coffee

Grandparents Plus 2

Green Door Hospitality

Homespun

Horsemark Cards

House of 34

Images by T. Dashfield

It’s Sew Anny

J.E. Creations

Jewels for All

LCs Cottage

Lightly Crunchy

Lili and Mums

Made with Hugs and Kisses

Memories-Keepsakes-Gifts

Neaten Your Nest

Nice Piece of Work

Now at Home Mom

North Story

On the Upcycle

Pride in Photos

Projects by Mtetar

P.S. I Love Soap Co.

Rainbow Junkie Corner

Second Hand Roses

Spilled Cookies

Stacy Sews and Schools

Swistle

The Adored Home

The Frugal Crafter

The Little Room of Rachell

The Original Thread

The REmissionary

The Renegade Seamstress

The Thinking Closet

Time with Thea

Treadlemusic

Vicky Myers Creations

Winter Owls

Please pick up your button above to display on your blog (if you wish). Nothing is required. I just want you to know that you’ve made a big impression on someone (or many someones!) and that we’re all grateful you’re sharing your life with us. Aaaaaaaaaaaaand . . . the blog with the MOST nominations is . . . Crafty Staci! Click here to read about your prize, Staci, and if you choose to accept it, please email me and I’ll send you my mailing address to get the ball rolling. CONGRATULATIONS! ♥

Three more days until the awards and giveaway . . . and some free books!

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It has been SO much fun to get SO many email nominations for the Good Neighbor Award this week! I’ll be posting the results this Sunday, September 22, so you still have time to send me the names of your favorite neighborly bloggers! Click here for details . . . and remember that the blog with the MOST nominations wins a prize like the one below! (Click here for a description . . . all made from last year’s winner’s beautiful but no-longer-needed sundress!) Also, I got an email from author/blogger Geraldine Hartman of Veggies, Yarns & Tails and she is offering Kindle versions of ALL of her books for FREE this Saturday and Sunday, so be sure to check them out! (Remember . . . you don’t have to own a Kindle–you can download the app here for your smartphone, tablet, or PC.)  Thank you, Geraldine! ♥

Prize Collage

It’s “Good Neighbor Award” Time Again!

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Good Neighbor AwardFor my first blog anniversary last September, I celebrated by hosting the Good Neighbor Award and giveaway. It was so much fun that I want to do it again this year!  Here’s the scoop:

AWARD: Simply put, the Good Neighbor Award is for someone you’ve met in the blogging world you wish could be your real-life neighbor.  To nominate a blogger, simply email me (to keep it a surprise!) at k_scraper@hotmail.com, including a link to the blog and why you’d like this blogger to live next door. Is it to cook, sew, craft, shop, or write together? To learn to do something new? To be inspired? To visit over a cup of tea? Nominees will receive the award button on my second blogiversary, Sunday, September 22. (Click here to read about last year’s nominations!)

GIVEAWAY: The person with the MOST nominations will be invited to send me a formerly-loved garment that I’ll make into some fun treasures and return. (Click here and here to read about last year’s winner!) Thank YOU for being MY good neighbors the past two years, and I hope to hear from you soon! ♥

“Whether you think you can . . .”

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Sign GirlsGuess what??? My sweet daughter-in-law Christin and I ran our first-ever 5K today!

Our route took us around the river in Wichita, KS where we saw lovely grass, flowers, trees, birds, bridges, and statues.

We got t-shirts, medals, chocolates, and champagne when we crossed the finish line.

The race directors had inspirational quotes all around, and we helped earn money for lymphoma research.

Dave, Kyle, Ally, and Kira were there to cheer us on. And the weather was PERFECT!

What a fun way to start the weekend . . . thank you for being my running buddy, Christin! ♥

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Nancy Drew Tote Bags

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Nancy DrewRemember my “Get a Clue with Nancy Drew” coasters? When I bought the charm pack, I also bought a yard each of two different Nancy Drew fabrics to make lined tote bags for a couple of cutie-patootie girls in my family . . .  and fill with their first sets of Nancy Drew books!

I used a tutorial from Quick Stuff to Sew (Volume IV), a publication of Craftstylish.com, for the totes (like this one, minus the stripes). I hope there will soon be two new Nancy Drew fans in the world! ♥

  • Book 1: The Secret of the Old Clock
  • Book 2: The Hidden Staircase
  • Book 3: The Bungalow Mystery
  • Book 4: The Mystery at Lilac Inn
  • Book 5: The Secret of Shadow Ranch
  • Book 6: The Secret of Red Gate Farm

Bag

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Craft Day!

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Saturday I had a fun craft day with three lovely ladies . . . my daughter-in-law Shannon, her mom Debbie, and her friend Lori. First we went to a “crafter’s sale” where very friendly people sold their gently used or leftover craft books, supplies, and tools for REALLY REALLY low prices. I came home with a delightful bag of goodies! Then Debbie taught us to make these fun ornaments . . . perfect for decorating packages or hanging on a Christmas tree. Click here for a detailed how-to video and here for a shorter version.  As someone who has never scrapbooked before, I had a LOT to learn about terminology and how to use the equipment and tools, so I appreciated my very patient teacher. We all love our finished projects . . . thank you, Debbie! ♥

Ornaments

Wildflowers

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

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

Isn’t it just perfect?

Thank you, Dave! ♥

Mantle

Go, Team, Go!

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Framed Print

I got my undergraduate degree at Wichita State University here in Wichita, KS where Dave and I now live. WSU has a huge basketball following, which grew even larger when the Shockers went to the Final Four last year! So I decided to make a WSU apron for a youth group silent auction fundraiser this fall. I love how it turned out! Then I made aprons for the other two state favorites–the Kansas University Jayhawks and the Kansas State University Wildcats. Fingers crossed that they raise lots of money!   P.S. Both black/yellow fabrics and the three ruffle fabrics on the purple apron are from my bloggy friend Laura’s LC’s Cottage Etsy shop. All other fabrics are from Jo-Ann. ♥

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The Mini-Screen Bag

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Clear back in January I posted about the Mini-Screen Bag pattern I bought from Sew Michelle.  I finally found the perfect spot of time to make it!  It was really fun, and I learned some new-to-me techniques, such as making and inserting piping and making zipper tabs.  The pattern uses screen (which is why it’s see-through!) and two coordinating fabrics. And did I say that it’s REALLY fun to make??? 🙂  You can find the pattern here along with other bags, totes, purses, and notebook covers.  And . . . Michelle even has some F-R-E-E patterns for us on her TUTORIALS page!  Thank you, Michelle! ♥

The Mini-Screen

Thread Shelf

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

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

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

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

Shelf

5-Minute Gift Bag Updo

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I got a lovely gift in a pretty lime green Coldwater Creek shopping bag that had the store name written across both sides, but I wanted to reuse the bag for a homemade gift. So, I cut out some flowers from last year’s calendar and glued them on the sides . . . perfect!   P.S. The lace hairbow on the card is from my recent vintage dress upcycle . . . a little extra gift to go with what’s inside. ♥

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A Quilt Mystery!

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My mom-in-law had a quilt top among passed-down items tucked away in her home. When we helped her move to a smaller apartment, I asked her about it and she didn’t remember ever seeing it before. So I put it in a safe place and decided to try to solve the mystery someday. The time has come! The quilt has twelve muslin squares with embroidered names/designs and one square that says “HHC” (Happy Homemaker’s Club???) and the year 1927. First, I took a photo and checked with other family members to see if any of them recognized it or any of the names on it. Even though none of the names are relatives, I do have a lead as to a community where it may have originated so I’ll be starting there. My hope is that I can return it home, either to a quilt club or library, where it can be displayed—or the beautifully-embroidered squares can be detached and given to individual families–and, hopefully, find out the occasion for its creation, why the project was abandoned, and how it ended up where it did. Yes, I FINALLY get to carry out my fantasy of being Nancy Drew when I grow up! I’ll keep you posted! ♥

Quilt Tope

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New FREE Book You’ll Want to Grab This Weekend!

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Do you follow Awesome Sauce and Asshattery? If you haven’t discovered it yet, please pay Sheri a visit soon! Her creative projects and fun-loving writing style are guaranteed to inspire you and make you smile. Sheri has also written TWO books now! I previously reviewed the first one, Life on the Zig Zag, which is now available in a Kindle version. And Sheri is offering the second book in her “Confessions of a Refashionista” series called Bewitched Bedsheets FREE from Friday, August 30 through Sunday, September 1! It’s on Kindle, too . . . but remember that you can read Kindle books on any PC or tablet with the free Kindle App. I can’t wait! Click HERE for complete details and worldwide links, and thank you from all of us, Sheri! ♥

Bewitched Bedsheets

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

Caterpillar Onesie

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My dear nephew and his beautiful wife are expecting their first baby in November, and I wanted to make a little handmade gift for them. Then I found the PERFECT project by Sarah at Diddle Dumpling . . . a button caterpillar onesie to go with The Very Hungry Caterpillar board book. I just love it! And this will be extra special because all the buttons belonged to my grandmother . . . the new baby’s great-great-grandmother! Awwwww . . . ♥

Onesie

New Purse and Tote

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Tulip Bag PatternI bought this purse pattern from my talented bloggy friend Laura at LC’s Cottage Etsy shop and couldn’t wait to try it!

The pattern comes in four different sizes and has very clear directions. It was perfect for my first try at sewing a real purse!

This project was really fun to make and I plan to try it again . . . although maybe with fabric that doesn’t need matched next time. 🙂

The purse has a large outside pocket and two smaller ones inside, and I used one of my grandmother’s vintage buttons for the closure.

Since I had some fabric left over, I designed a little tote with the patterned fabric on the bottom, inside, and handles and some vintage bead a-la-mode. ♥

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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! ♥

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Freezer Pop Holder Redo (and Hostess Gift!)

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In this post I told how to make freezer pop holders from 4 x 4 fleece squares. One of my wise commenters said that when she made them, she was going to leave them open at the top AND bottom so kids could slide them up the freezer pops as they ate. Well, I had lots of testers at our family get-together, and she was absolutely right! So I refashioned them by snipping off the bottom seam and blanket-stitching it like the top. Ahhhhhh . . . much better! Oh, and freezer pops and a little pouch of holders in a fun gift bag make a perfect summer hostess gift for families with little ones! ♥

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Craft Camp!

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

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Dirt Cake

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I made this for a church dinner (SO easy!) and didn’t have a single SPECK of it left to bring home! ♥

Dirt Cake

  • 1 large package of Oreos
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 small packages instant vanilla pudding
  • 3 1/2 cups milk
  • 12 oz. whipped topping

Crush Oreos. Spread half of the crumbs in the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. Cream the other ingredients and pour into pan. Top with the rest of the Oreo bits. Refrigerate.

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Giveaway Winners!

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Winners!Thank you SO much for all the fun links you sent me for your giveaway entries! I had tons of fun reading your favorites . . . and browsing around at some of your other posts, too!  After putting all the names in a hat, I drew Tamika, Laura, and Jen’s names for the three gifts from my “What can you make with a vintage dress?” refashion. Please contact me at k_scraper@hotmail.com with your mailing addresses, lovely ladies! And have a wonderful weekend, one and all! ♥

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Sewing World Magazine

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SAMSUNG CSCI’ve always wanted to read a Sewing World magazine, so I was on cloud nine when offered the opportunity to do a review!  Editor Julie mailed the July edition all the way to Kansas from the UK, and after devouring every page, I give it a 10 out of 10!  And I was so excited to see this amazing bag designed by one of my favorite bloggers, Susan of Susie D Designs (with a pattern you can also get at Susan’s Etsy shop . . . and she’ll have a bag in the September issue, too!)  Since a picture is worth a thousand words, please browse the photos and my comments below and then click HERE to go to the Sewing World website for subscription information and lots of fun projects, patterns, and other goodies.  Thank you, Julie! ♥

COVER1Bicycle Buttons2July Makes3Multi-Size Pattern4Summer Top5Plackets6Pattern7By Hand London9Blog10Pattern Shopping11New Contributors

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!  

Catch-up Giveaway!

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Hi! I’m back from my Pillows A-La-Mode month off!  I spent it working 12-hour days on several huge writing assignments for work (some that aren’t quite finished yet!) and going on a lovely trip. I’ve missed reading your blogs, so I came up with a way to catch up that I think will be fun for us all.  Will you post a comment with a link to your favorite article you’ve posted on  your blog in the past month?  I promise to read them all!  Plus, I have PRIZES! Three commenters will receive either my vintage shabby chic pillow, apron, or clutch!  (Please add a note to your comment if you have a preference . . . otherwise you’ll be in the drawing for all three!)  I’ll announce the winners in one week—on Friday, August 16. Have a happy weekend . . . I can’t wait to hear from you! ♥

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What can you make with a vintage dress?

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Collage_DressI’m taking a month off from blogging to finish a big writing assignment and go on a little trip. (Will I have the willpower not to click on my WordPress reader with my morning coffee??? We’ll see . . .)  But first, I want to share my latest “What Can You Make With A . . . “ project. I got this dress from my friend Liz who bought it at a rummage sale for ONE DOLLAR! (Click here to meet her.) The color and fabric were perfect for some shabby chic projects, like . . .

  • a pillow with fabric rosettes,
  • a lace hair bow with a fabric rosette,
  • an evening bag with zipper flower a-la-mode,
  • a half apron (with a bit of toile from my stash),
  • and a lace-decoupaged flower pot.

Here are the creative bloggers and authors who inspired me. See you in August! ♥

Fabric Rosettes: Sweet C’s Designs  and Diary of a MadMama (except I stitched instead of glued)

Zipper Flowers: A Creative Princess and Awesomesauce and Asshattery

Apron: Page 51 of One-Yard Wonders by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins (“Granny’s Clothespin Apron” designed by Elorie Bechtel)

Lace-Decoupaged Pot: Urban Comfort

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Amanda’s Apron

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I LOVED my houseful of little boys! But I was also super-excited when my niece Amanda was born. She used to come for an Amanda-Aunt Kathy overnighter every summer where we’d play, sew, craft, embroider, bake, and shop. Now Amanda is grown-up, married, and a high school math teacher several states away (besides being beautiful, she’s also S-M-A-R-T!), but on a recent visit back home she came to sew with me! She loved the blog posts with the ruffly aprons (here and here), so that’s what we made. Amanda picked these lovely, summery fabrics from my stash, which are all from my bloggy friend Laura’s LC’s Cottage Etsy Shop. Isn’t it just perfect on her? ♥

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Shout-Out x 3

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1. INDIEGOGO: How cute are these T-shirts??? Please check out the fun-loving, talented Sheri (center) at her creative blog Awesomesauce and Asshattery (with lots of other info and links here), and then take a moment to watch the campaign video for her innovative Indiegogo business. Hats off to your newest venture, Sheri! ♥

DIY Dork Trinity

2. LE TRANGO: My bloggy friend Christina of Le Trango is offering this FREE desktop wallpaper HERE and (fingers crossed!) may have new ones for each upcoming month! I just love her whimsical designs and Etsy shop . . . check out this post to read more about this talented artist and find all her links. Thank you, Christina! ♥

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gift-card3. Design-Her-Gals: In March, I posted that Design-Her-Gals (the fun web site where I make my gravatar gal gift cards and writing business cards) was up for sale. Long story short, they closed, then they found a buyer, and now they’re open again! And, if you’ve visited before, you’ll find all your previous “gals” still in your “dressing room” ready to go! To use Design-Her-Gals, simply pick your “you,” dress and accessorize yer, and put her on business cards, mailing labels, notecards, aprons, mugs, caps, luggage tags, and more. They also have print-order and print-at-home options available. Even if you’re not in shopping mode, you can play on their site and get on their mailing list for special offers. Click here to read about the new owner, Dawn Espinoza. P.S. Some other bloggy friends who’ve created Design-Her-Gals are Doctorate Housewife, A Ponytail Kind of Day, and Boomdeeadda. I just love them all! ♥

 

Easiest Skirt Ever!

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I LOVE my new “5-Minute Skirt” designed by Amy at Angry Chicken. It took me a little over an hour to make the pattern, sew, and press it. It’s a perfect fit, and I get lots of compliments every time I wear it, including raves about the fabulous fabric from my bloggy friend Laura’s LC’s Cottage Etsy shop! This was my first time using foldover elastic, too, and I’m now a fan . . . especially when it has a fun design like this (from Jo-Ann)! Following are a few tips to go with Amy’s excellent tutorial:

  • DON’T skip the part in Step 3 about trying on the skirt after sewing up the side seams. I had to take mine up another seam’s width on both sides.
  • I had a little trouble folding, holding, and stretching the waist elastic all at the same time. So, I first left it flat, holding it against the wrong side of the skirt and stretching and zigzagging, THEN folded it over to the right side and zig-zagged around it again. You might not need to do this, but it helped me!
  • After completing Step 4, I noticed that the sides hung a little longer than the front and back (a pattern creation error on my part, I’m sure), so I measured and marked the length all the way around from the bottom of the waist elastic and evened it up where needed before hemming.

P.S. I just saw another fun pattern called a “10-Minute Skirt” on The Frugal Crafter. You can check out a cute finished version made of vintage fabric by Stefani at Jewels for All. ♥

Skirt Photo

Our Family Art Project

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Painting

When our family was all together in June, we created an art project that Dave and I will cherish forever! When I say “we,” I admit that all I did was pin the original idea (click here . . . it’s REALLY cute!) on Pinterest and send it to our seven amazing daughters-in-law. They took it from there! Shannon is our mixed media artist, so she prepared the canvas. Then she wrote a tutorial! (See links below.) When everyone arrived, Jen took charge of the grandchildren handprints. Being a kindergarten teacher and mother of toddlers, she’s a pro! Tiffany, Mary Ann, Vickie, Danielle, and Christin all helped with the painting, holding, and cleaning up of little hands. Our work of art is now hanging over our staircase so it will be the first thing guests see when they enter our home. HAPPY SIGH . . .

SHANNON’S TUTORIAL:

Click Mixed Media Canvas for a word document.

Click Mixed Media Canvas for a pdf.

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Happy 4th of July!

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

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