Saturday, May 29, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
It's been a very difficult mindset for me to change, but over the past 20 months as I've lost weight, I have made a concerted effort to try to see everyday things in a simpler light.
Quilting for instance ... I typically use a lot of colors in my quilts. But lately I've been toying with some ideas for monochromatic quilt designs and tonight put together a prototype of a red & white pinwheel design. I like it okay - I think instead of using 2 different red & white prints it would look better with 4 different red & white prints - I think that would make the actual pinwheel design stand out more.
I also did the pinwheel design using a foundation paper pieced pattern that I drew up - it went together beautifully and the points are so pretty. On the downside, foundation paper piecing is a wasteful technique - you end up with a lot of little fabric scraps.
Thankfully I do a LOT of applique projects which require little itty bitty pieces, so I save all of these scraps - they will get used one day.
So slowly, in crafting, sewing, and everyday life, I'm learning that more is not always better.
One of the gals I work with (Marina) has a real talent when it comes to raising roses. Not only can she grow them, but she knows their names and so much specific information about each rose (like their grade with the rose associations!). I, on the other hand, just buy plants from a local nursery that I like and put them in the ground hoping they'll grow, and then can never remember the names of the plants other than something broad like "that's a hosta" (but not the specific type of hosta). Marina is graciously sharing cuttings from her roses with me and I'm going to attempt to propagate them. Here are the cuttings - they look so healthy.
She even labeled each cutting!
And then she wrote on a notecard all the pertinent information about each rose cutting.
In my shed, a.k.a. The Crafty Cottage, I'm going to make it a point to keep this information about the roses so maybe one day I can share cuttings with someone.
I have other plants propagating right now, too. These are Nikko Blue hydrangeas - they were supposed to be white, red, blue, and pink hydrangeas but in my soil they're all blue or lavender.
My Easter cactus that I propagated from my cousin's plant a couple of years ago is trying to bloom for the first time - it has a beautiful, frilly flower - I'll take a photo of the open flower later - it takes a while for the flower to grow and bloom - am keeping my fingers crossed that nothing happens to the flower before it blooms, like the neighbor's cat who enjoys playing with my plants.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
They are such a delightful flower!
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
These bird houses come from Michael's ready to paint. They are around $8 each so when you use one of their frequent 40% off coupons, it makes for a fun and cheap project. I painted these using paints I had and embellished them with stickers, seashells, "gems". Then I sprayed them liberally with varnish. Too fun. This is a great project to do with children.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
One of my favorite antique/flea mall shops is located in New Bern (Kirkman's) and also my favorite restaurant (Captain Ratty's). These are photos of Kirkman's, some of the fun things in Kirkman's, the "bears" of New Bern, and the fabulous clam chowder from Captain Ratty's. We always have a fabulous time when we go to New Bern. We always say, "next time we go to New Bern we're going to try a new restaurant," but when push comes to shove, we always go back to Captain Ratty's.
Friday, May 14, 2010
I made several of these little "sewing kits" for Bunco prizes a couple of years ago - the ladies loved them. Especially since the gals that won these prizes don't sew, but occasionally need basic sewing equipment for mending a button or torn hem.
I picked up the teacups and saucers from antique shops for about $2 each. The rest of the stuff I either already had on hand or I bought from Walmart, like the pin cushion. Pins and needles I had. Thread I also had so all I did was cut some small squares of plastic and wrap a length of the standard color threads around it - white, navy, cream, and black. I also included a little needle threader, about 6 white buttons and black buttons in various sizes, and a little thread cutter.
These were a big hit.
These are so easy and fun and fast to make. I used linen napkins I found at a flea mall for these but you could also use inexpensive dishcloths from Walmart. Stitch up a channel for the knife, fork, spoon, and napkin. Add a cute ribbon to tie it closed and you're finished.
You can fill them with plasticware if you want, or if you find a good buy on silverware at a flea mall or antique shop, especially if they're mismatched ;-) They make a great gift for a housewarming. Just plop them in a basket with some other fun picnic ware, like pretty plastic glasses, paper plates, salt & pepper, artisan bread/cheese/pasta, fun jams
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
This is Charleston, a.k.a. Charlie. He has been with me now for about 2 months - he's 8 months old and weighs about 5 lbs. He's a terrier-poodle-something-or-another. No matter. He's totally adorable and is such a great source of happiness in my burrow. Well, he's a great source of happiness to everyone in my burrow except the cat, who so far is not impressed with this mongrel. Charleston is a rescue pup and I think he's made out pretty darn good. I wish all rescue pups were so lucky.
This is my cat. His name is Lucky. I found him as a little 4-5 week old gray dustball in the middle of a busy highway and picked him up - hence, the name "Lucky". He's not a very appreciative cat; in fact, he's downright mean. But after 14 years we've figured out how to co-exist and that simply means that I let Lucky make the rules. This burrow and everyone in it is his "pride" and he doesn't hesitate to keep a tight reign on his subjects.
How would our lives be so different without the wonderful animals that become a part of our family? I simply cannot imagine.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Isn't this the sweetest set? A grab bag and a matching lunch tote. And in such summery colors. Stitched up both pieces in just a couple of hours.
Monday, May 10, 2010
Then I promise, like the quilting, I'll give it a rest for a while. This is just a simple tri-folded bag to make a clutch, and is adorned with a vintage brooch. What could be simpler?
I don't carry large bags or I'll fill them up and then they get heavy. So I gravitate towards smaller handbags.
These are small clutches (about 8 x 7) and I got a roll making them using fabrics from my stash. They're called "Snap Happy" clutches and the "snap" part in the opening is simply a metal tape measure cut to whatever length you need. Ingenious. Wish I'd thought of it. So anyway, I made a ton of color combos and carry something different just about every day.
Then of course there are the cigar box bags ... I'm telling ya, a gal can never have too many bags.
And of course bookcover purses ... lined with pretty fabric. Believe me, no one else has a handbag like these!
This idea came from Country Living magazine. I got some cheap-o wineglasses from Walmart, cut off the stem portions, and glued them onto teacups. Sounds simple, doesn't it?
Well, it wasn't. Just goes to prove that not all craft projects are successful.
First, it was hard to cut the wineglasses and get a somewhat smooth cut. For all but one (I made 8) I ended up having to wet some coarse grit sandpaper and spend a tremendous amount of time smoothing down the cut edge. It was not easy and didn't turn out that great.
Next, I used Superglue for Glass that cures quickly in direct sunlight. It worked great ... for a short period of time ... but suffice it to say that I would NEVER trust really drinking anything any from these wineglass teacups.
They are adorable, though, so I use them for holding knick-knacks.
If anyone has any ideas about good ways to cut glass, I'm all ears. And, if anyone has any ideas about a really good way to glue glass together, I'm all ears again.
Here is the finished knitted fabric handbag. I love it! And the color is perfect for summer and autumn. The pattern calls for 3.5 yards of fabric and you know what? I took every bit of of it, so needless to say this handbag has a bit of weight to it.