Wednesday, March 28, 2012


I decided that, no matter how badly I want to start a new project, I really must work on one of my many many half-done projects.

So I have spent the last week dithering. Digging through piles, locating projects. Looking at them. Putting them back. Thinking. Finding other projects.

Basically, a whole lot of nothing has been happening.

I finally decided I will work on this.

Yes, it is way more than halfway done. Every October I get it out to finish by Halloween. The I get caught up in costumes, don't finish this, and put it away.

It's March. Maybe this year I will finish.

Monday, March 19, 2012

it's a cowl, it's a shrug, it's....finished!

So! February's whimseybox included a fat quarter of silver satin—which I managed to take one really bad picture of before I cut it. But, here it is, cut:

I thought that this would make one side of a fabulous cowl. With red velvet on the other side—since I am not the sort of person who wears satin or velvet on a regular day, why not?!

So of I went to Joanns to find me some red velvet. And, of course, the only affordable red velvet they had was crushed and stretchy (think gymnast-wear!). But sometimes you need to live a little, because doing is the best way to learn. Right? I spent a lot of time on this project telling myself that.

To keep it from looking too boring, I added some sequins (from the January whimseybox) and beads (from my stash). I embroidered them on both sides at the same time. They are supposed to look like a curlique, but it didn't turn out quite like what was in my mind. On the red side I used red beads, on the silver side I used silvery ones. I may add more if I am so inclined. Or if people ask why I put a T on my cowl.

As cowl
As silver shrug
As red shrug

All in all it worked out. I could make a huge list of all the things that went horribly wrong illustrate my mathematical incompetence didn't work out and how this is barely like my original idea. But I will spare you the gory details.

Now I need a black dress.

Linked to:
Sew Modern Monday
Sew Darn Crafty
Fabric Tuesday

Friday, March 16, 2012


Marjolein at gave me a Leibster Award! What an honor for my little blog—and how exciting!

The Liebster Blog Award goes to a deserving blog with 200 or fewer followers.

And now I get to hand out 5 myself! These ladies are all super talented at sewing, quilting, or both! Be sure to check out their blogs and their amazing projects.

• Nikki at Sew Quine
• Michele at Nostalgic Cafe
• Mary at Fairly Merry
Shocking Hocking
By Missy...with Love

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Glue Stamp Pads and Glue Pens?!

Clearly, I am not a scrapbooker. I had no idea there were glue stamp pads and glue ballpoints. I went to Michael's looking for some sort of each, hoping I could find something that would work.

So, yeah. There they were. So cool. And, really, this glue ballpoint is just about the neatest thing ever. It writes in blue, so you can see what you have drawn/written! You don't need to squeeze, so no extra glue drops or strings!

So, I have ideas racing around in my head. I wonder what it would do on fabric? Dare I add glitter to our vacation shadowbox, which is still in the works? What will watercolors do when painted over the dried glue?

I love these cards. I bought the stamps years and years ago for some other idea that never happened. I have a maple one too.

I hope to try some of my other ideas soon (famous last words). But first I need to write my aunt an overdue letter (which card should I use?!) and work on another whimseybox content project that I really just want to have done.

Today I cooked. Calzones (there were 12), monkeybread test (it's yummy, I'll be more effort in next time), and cauliflower/cheddar/5 egg quiche.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Cards with Bling

I have spent the last month plus thinking about the glitter and sequins in the January and February whimseyboxes. And thinking of shiny things to make.

Today, with my internet out, and I found a 50-pack of plain white cards and envelopes that I found at Target today, I could try out one of those ideas. Cards! Simple and usable. What's not to like?

Glitter and sequins (crystal snow from my stash)!      

Pens and watercolors! 
Glues and cards!

I tried a few things. Drawing in white crayon and painting watercolors over. Adding glue and glitter to the drawn lines. Drawing in glue and adding glitter (no watercolors). Drawing in pen and adding glue/glitter and sequins.

Some success:
 Crayon drawing, watercolor, Elmer's glue, glitter
 Scotch glue pen, glitter, Marvy marker
 Marvy markers, glue pen, glitter, sequins

Some learning experiences:
  •  It is really difficult to draw a picture in white crayon on white paper.
  • It takes a lot of crayon to resist more than 2 strokes of watercolor.
  • I need to try some other glue pens. The one I found at Staples creates excess "strings" of glue, almost like a glue gun. 
  • It might be worth trying watercolors that aren't from cheap-o kid art sets.
  • I cannot draw shamrocks. Those are in the trash.
  • Drawing in glue and adding glitter over watercolor does not work that well—the glitter color washes out. Drawing in crayon first works better.
  • Cheap cards from Target don't like watercolors—major paper curl!
Cheap Target card + watercolor = paper curl!

I am looking forward to trying more of these cards, especially for thank you notes. So I got myself some new goodies today—nicer cardstock, some metallic inkpads, a ballpoint gluepen, and a glue stamp pad (I didn't even know such a thing existed!), and stamp cleaner (I have no idea if this is necessary). Hopefully I can get the boys to make something too—thought I doubt they will go for glitter.

 New goodies for more experimenting.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Easy-to-Clean Kid-Made Birdfeeder

Have you seen this recycled water bottle birdfeeder craft? It's all over pinterest and has been up on Family Fun's website for quite some time.


We have done this craft before, and it is great. It also conveniently meets cub scout bear requirement 5B (Build or make a bird feeder or birdhouse and hang it in a place where birds can visit safely.). So, it's time for us to do this craft again!

We learned some things from this craft last time. The finches loves the feeder, and, as you refill the feeder, all the seed under the bottom perch never gets touched and rots into a hockey puck that won't come out. Yuck! And not good for the birds.

Old feeder with rotted seed still in the bottom—
after we worked to clean it for recycling!

So, this time, we decided to turn the bottle upside down! This way, when we refill, what was at the bottom will become the top, so it will cycle. Less waste, less rot.

We do this a little differently than Family Fun.

1 empty plastic drink bottle (ridged near the bottom is best)
X-acto knife
found stick
kitchen string
bird seed (we use nyger seed to attract native house finches and lesser goldfinches)

With the x-acto knife, make an X about 3" from the cap of the bottle. Make sure your stick will fit through. Than make another X opposite the first one. Push the stick all the way through. If the stick isn't level or exactly straight, it doesn't matter—the birds won't care! Then, an inch or two above the perch, poke the x-acto in and rotate it to make a hole. You may need to slice off  a small piece of bottle (my 9-year-old did not want to do the slicing). Do the same on the other side.

Next, tie a length of string around the bottom of the bottle (which is our top for this project). Use any lip or groove to help hold the bottle. Tie this piece in a knot as tight as you can. Then, take another length of string. Knot it to the first string on each side.

The, fill your feeder! Use the funnel. We didn't fill ours all the way, as we hung it in a new spot. It might take the birds a few days to find it.

To refill, simply take it down, turn it over, unscrew the cap, and pour more seed into the funnel. Hang back up.

 Linked up: Sew Darn Crafty

Friday, March 9, 2012

more Made in Cherry

Chelsea at Pins and Bobbins is showcasing some of the finished quilts from the Made in Cherry Quiltalong she hosted. And my mini is up there!

It is so neat to see how different people interpret the pattern in color, pattern, and quilting. The flickr group is also a fun place to look.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Four in the Bush

Jennifer over at Ellison Lane Quilts recently hosted a modern mini challenge.

Modern Mini Challenge

Just in the nick of time I have managed to finish my entry, titled Four in the Bush. I am hoping to put in a better picture tomorrow--the sun was nearly down when this came out of the dryer!

The focus fabric is one of my all-time favorites, Larkspur Brite Multi by Alexander Henry, and I used much of the last large scrap I had after I made my kitchen curtains. I have been rather obsessed with orange and pink lately, so I had to pull those colors for the solids.

The piecing was improvisational. I first cut out my four birds, and added some of my favorite flowers from the print. I then started putting sloppily cut pieces together. I simply trimmed everything up before piecing my 3 birdy strips, and then trimmed for the binding. It was very quick and easy--or, it would have been, if my back weren't out. Ouch! It was more slow than fast. The quilting is generally straight lines from side to side. I let the machine choose the paths.

This is also the first time I have put a hanger sleeve on the back. Not sure how this will work. I made it up on the fly, and don't have a place to test it out. But I am regretting not putting a sleeve on my Made in Cherry mini, so here it is!

Do you ever wonder what is going on around the photo shoot?

Also linking to: Sew Modern Monday and Little Quilt Monday and Fabric Tuesday

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

March Small Blog Meet

March? Already?

A new month means it is small blog meet time again! Find a new blog to read, enjoy, be inspires by.

Lily's Quilts

Last month I managed to finish a mini and a crocheted cowl. For this month, I have another mini, another crocheted cowl, and hopefully will get some work done on one or more of my too many WIPs.

I have a sewing project in the works, and it turned out to be much more involved than I expected. Let's just say I will never sew a cowl again! I am currently embellishing, so it is just a matter of time before it is ready to share.

If you're here from the small blog meet, please chose a tag and explore! MY other posts have pictures ;)