Archive for January, 2012

January 31, 2012

stud holder

No, not men, nor two by fours.  Earrings!  The cheapest, easiest, most functional earring holder ever

Clear off those dresser surfaces & hang up the jewelry!  Got a pants hanger or hanger with clips?  A .34 cent piece of felt?  Voila!  It is a cinch to take studs on & off, plus the entire inventory can travel to find the right look with outfits.  It can be rolled up & stored or taken traveling.

Embellishing options include adding ribbon vertically &/or horizontally for compartments, embroidering initials or names, or adding a simple perimeter framing.

“One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.” ~ A.A. Milne


January 27, 2012

landscape hugger

I may have to join over-crafters anonymous.  The panoramic hugger below was super fun to make:

Start with house placement, using different textures & stitches…

Add trees, french knot flowers, roof details, tiny doors, bead handles.  Last, add more trees & clouds…

Finish with a print fabric on reverse, green grass on lower edge & blue sky up top.

“I think an example is the best thing you can leave behind.”  ~ Warren Buffett

January 25, 2012

mini quilt

Looking for an engaging, not too long-term but longer than an hour project?  How about a sweet, cheery quilt for a doll?  Inspired by a full-size pattern but made in miniature:

Find a dozen cutie pie fabrics for squares, a high quality cotton solid white/cream, & purchase extra of one fabric print for finishing edge, pillow & sheet.

Figure out the size of the quilt & work backwards to determine yardage.  Lots of excellent, published or web resources exist.  A favorite site:  Thimble Blossoms by Camille Roskelley

The machine quilting is a combo of straight & waves.

The perimeter binding was machine stitched onto front side of quilt, then folded over to the back & hand stitched.  The final touch was adding thin satin ribbon ties to the center of each square.

Small & interesting quilt projects might be the perfect beginning for budding quilters as well…

January 24, 2012

surface medley

Work or play spaces need areas on which to write or draw.  The more options, the better!  Try:

Plexiglass on top of a desk (very high usage & super fun!), in a frame on the wall, or no frame & on the wall.

Mirrors…  And of course, the classic chalkboard:

Portable outlets inspire creativity, too:  small dry erase boards (cheap & travel well), clipboards, computer tablets, spiral notebooks

“We understand that you can’t transform people who don’t have internal drive & desire to create.  But we also know it doesn’t work to urge people to think outside the box without giving them the tools to climb out.”  ~ Laurie Dunnavant

January 20, 2012

purty parfait

Simple to assemble, visually lovely, & filling.  Plus, a snack kids can create on their own:

Vanilla yogurt, strawberries, smashed dark chocolate & oats granola bar, & chocolate chip sprinkle.

Ingredient ideas:  pudding, frozen yogurt, sherbet, ice cream, bananas, pineapple, berries, cereals, nuts, craisins

Hubbie would probably prefer the savory sort…potatoes, sauce, meat or tortilla chips, cheese, taco meat, salsa…

“I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage.”  ~ Erma Bombeck

January 19, 2012

felt fan

The pretty purse below says, “I’m sophisticated yet whimsical, serious & functional yet playful…let’s go!”

For directions:   One pattern alteration ~ using different fabrics for pocket interiors.  When sewing all the layers together, double check the line-up of pockets on side seams.  The purse was incredibly thick but my basic 25 year old Kennmore sewing machine could handle the task.   

Cream corduroy, cotton purple flower print, grey felt & herringbone.  Plus two added embellishments:  lavender trim & a vinyl flower.  The trim & flower were added during the construction process, prior to sewing every layer together.

Lavender trim was secured with iron-on adhesive & tiny stitches with needle & thread.  The shiny cream flower is held in place with a sewn on button & with an embroidery straight stitch.

“Creativity comes from trust.  Trust your instincts.  And never hope more than you work.”  ~ Rita Mae Brown

January 17, 2012

java rah!

Greetings, Tiger fans…  Elvis was a Tiger – hey!  Triple enjoyment watching a game, drinking a hot liquid, sporting team spirit:

For letter instructions, search “java hugger 2” .  Dark grey felt, herringbone wool, suede paw, metallic toe threads, bright gold & grey embroidery threads.

The metallic threads are a bit tricky to keep together, but the shine is worth the effort.

The sweet interior fabric secured with an iron-on bond & the blanket stitch all around.


“The more I practice, the luckier I get.”  ~ Jerry Barber (about golf)


January 13, 2012

chicken chowder

A delicious, simple soup for chilly days: 

The ingredients fall into the “have on hand” category & the diced apple added a little extra yummy.  The only addition made was adding turmeric for color.

Recipe from Penzey’s Spices: 

Melt 1/2 stick butter in stock pot & add, diced:  1 onion, 1 carrot, 1 celery stalk, 1/2 bell pepper

Cook for 2-3 minutes.  Sprinkle 1/4 cup flour, salt, fresh ground pepper, stir until combined.  Mix in 1 cup boiling water gradually until combined.  Stir in 28 oz. diced tomatoes, reduce heat to medium low, add:  1 peeled, diced apple, 1 tsp. thyme, 1 T. parsley flakes.  Simmer 30 minutes.  Add 3 cups milk & 1 cup diced, cooked chicken, heat through.

“He gave you the nice face discount.”  ~ Jerry, to Elaine, in “The Soup Nazi”

January 9, 2012

nice dice

Is it wrong to feel complete joy upon finding a container of diced veggies in the freezer?  Planned happiness can be found when adding a little extra chopping to “regular” cooking time to freeze & save for another day.

Hubbie, “What does that mean?”

Me (giggle), “What do you think it means?”

Hubbie, “I have no idea.”

Me, “It’s chopped up veggies ready for making soup!”

Hubbie, “So, there’s no chicken or noodles.”  (shakes head & laughs)

“A good marriage is like a casserole, only those responsible for it really know what goes in it.”  ~unknown author

January 6, 2012

java tweet

Ain’t she the cutest widdle birdie?

Design inspiration found in craft paper:

Materials for the birdie:  ultra suede, cream corduroy, embroidery threads (highly recommend the kind that does not unravel into six strands), & beads

Materials for  cozy:  light grey felt, grey herringbone, cream & green fabric liner, iron-on adhesive

Directions for lettering can be found on post “java hugger 2”.  Since this cozy was especially made for my friend who is a Master Seamstress, near perfection was sought.  So… a bit of undoing along the way was necessary (beaks don’t pucker)…which can be tricky with fuzzy felt.  Every stitch was worth the time!

Cut the fabric (double check orientation) lining 3/8″ wider all around, turn under the top & bottom edges so they match the size of the felt piece.  Use iron-on adhesive to secure into place, blanket stitch long edges.

Test on coffee cup, pin together, blanket stitch.  Turn inside out, blanket stitch on the inside without poking through finished side.  Additional stitches may be needed here & there to seal together.

When considering colors for projects, I think about the 60-30-10 idea in room design.  60% main color, 30% another color, 10% accent.  The idea helps when choosing color & material placement. 

“The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.”  ~ Jon Hammond

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