Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Black Spray Painted Frames and Glittered Candles

I "shopped" my home to decorate this holiday season with picture frames and candles. I had saved all my used pillar candles and old nicked-up frames for a "future project". I got an opportunity to pick up some black spray paint at Wal-mart. I also bought Modge-Podge because I was out. I l-o-v-e that stuff!

Here are some of the "Before" items that got the spray paint treatment.

I propped the items on anything I could find...from rocks to pieces of wood, just whatever was handy.
And "After"....

I plan on sanding the edges of the frames and candle sticks, but I still need to get sandpaper!

For the candles, I cut the melted tops off and smoothed out the edges. This part is NOT kid-friendly! However, once that's done, the rest is child's play! : ) I used a sponge brush to paint Modge-Podge on the sides of the candle. Next, I took the top of a shoebox and sprinkled glitter (Sulyn Brand) and rolled the candle back and forth in it until it was completely covered in glitter. I know that the finer grain glitter is very nice for this project, but I didn't have any on hand. The regular glitter gave the candles a more retro look in my opinion. Another idea I've seen is to use Epson Salt instead of glitter to give the look of snow. I think I will be glittering a few Easter eggs this year, too!!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Special Christmas

My son (who is in the army) was finally able to come home for Christmas for the first time in 3 years! It was so good to have all three children home again for the holidays!

Also, my granddaughter (who turned 1 yr. old on New Year's Eve) really made it special this year! Grandchildren are such a blessing!

My gift from my DH was a Brother CS-6000i sewing machine! I am really enjoying having a portable sewing machine after 30 years of using one in a cabinet. I love it! More on that later...

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Baby Legs

My daughter asked me to make my granddaughter some "baby legs" leggings from knee hi socks. I had found several good tutorials here and here. The ones with the "lettuce edge" hem is great for girls and the cuffed edge is good for boys. Target has 3 pair of ladies socks on sale for $6. That's $2 a pair if you're doin' the math! Much better than the $12+ price at Gap and other retail stores. Of course, I grabbed some up.

I basically just cut the foot part off each pair of socks and set my machine to sew a moderately close together zig zag stitch. I stitched along the raw edge and gently pulled the fabric as I sewed. This created the ruffled lettuce edge hem. The next thing I knew, I had sewn up six pair of leggings in no time at all. This was so easy. The only thing that slowed me down was simply threading bobbins and rethreading the machine to match the different colors in the socks!

Ta Da!

Edited to Add:
And here is Miss P modeling a pair!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Gone TOO Long!

I actually MISSED my 5th year blog anniversary (November 22)! Everything has been pretty busy around here, and my office/sewing studio has been turned upside down (again) because DS/12 reclaimed his shelves. Boo hoo for me, but great for him!

We had the family over for Thanksgiving (minus our son who's still in army). It went well, except for missing him. Hopefully he'll be home Christmas.

I hope all of you had a great Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Where The Wild Things Are Furry Frenzy

I don't get many requests from my DS/23 for sewing projects, but he asked if I could make him a costume of "Max" from "Where The Wild Things Are". (It was one of his favorite books as a kid.) Of course, I told him I would make it for him. It was shipped it to him today. Sure hope he likes it! It's snowy where he is stationed in the army, so I don't think it will be too hot in all that fur!

The Jockstar (love him!) modeled the hood part of the costume for me to get photos. What things we do in the name of love!

The costume is made of light grey fur. The lining of the hood is showing a little, but it can be tucked in. I was in a time crunch so I didn't have time to tack it to the hood. :( I designed the ears in a cone shape (like the "Max" costume in the book). Black pipe cleaners were used for wolf whiskers.

As for the crown, I would have probably use felt or gold poster board to make one. DS/23 wanted to buy his instead.

Here's the front and back. I would have liked to have altered the pattern for the front and put a placket and buttons (with velcro closures), but I had already cut into the fur before I realized I hadn't modified the pattern yet! It was late at night and I just got carried away with the cutting. That meant I had to go with the pattern and put a zipper in the front. Oh well... By the way, the zipper zips all the way up (I just forgot to do it before snapping the photo!) Arrrgh...
The back of the costume has the "wolf" tail. You can't tell in the photo, but the tail turned out quite realistic. Hancock Fabrics has just enough of brown/black fur for just the right touch!
I cut 2 rectangles of fur for the hands/paws. I used white craft foam cut into triangles for the claws. I sewed them upside down onto one long edge of the fur, then flipped them the right way and top-stitched. Next, I sewed 3/4" elastic (from my stash) to each side. The are a little big for me, but should fit DS/23.
Pattern Review:
I used Easy McCall's Pattern M5956. It wasn't a difficult pattern to sew, but the fur made it tricky. If I was sewing this for a child, I would probably make it in fleece instead of fur. That would make the costume lighter (weight-wise) and I would modify the front as I mentioned earlier (but only if I was creating a "Max" costume, though). Also, the pattern instructs to "clip curves as necessary" in the general info. However, it isn't mentioned again in the numbered instructions. So beware.... if you sew this pattern, don't forget to clip each and every curve! On another note, since the movie "Where The Wild Things Are" just came out, why aren't "Max" and monster ready-to-wear costumes available? I think they would have been a big hit this year! Here's the trailer, if you're interested.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tutus & Pumpkin Patch

I've been busy making tutus for my daughter's business, Sugar N' Spice. It mostly involves cutting, not much sewing. Here are 2 pink ones (Sold) for twin girls for their upcoming first birthday.This one was a special order...

And here is my DD and granddaughter at a recent show. You can see the Christmas tutu (Sold at another show) and the fall-themed one. On the table are a lavender one and a black/pink/white one also. My DD made the pumpkin tutu and blue & white U of M ones.

My DD and granddaughter at the pumpkin patch...

And.... just because I could eat her up,
here's Presley, my little "pumpkin"!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Small Happy Dance

I started stitching a small design from the Just Cross Stitch Magazine (July/August1988) while on a recent trip. It was a very quick project! I used some 28 ct. linen that I had on hand.After I had started stitching the design, I realized I had turned my working copy around inadvertently. Notice my dragonfly is "flying" northwest instead of northeast! Oh well, at least there was no frogging necessary. I haven't pressed it yet, but you get the idea.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Welcome Home from Iraq

We attended the "Welcome Home" ceremonies for our son that was deployed in Iraq for 1 year. It was very emotional.

I am so relieved he is back in the US. I feel like I can breathe again. Prayers have been answered.

We are so blessed to live in the USA.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Another Year Has Flown By

I'm another year older today. Whew! The years seem to get shorter as I get older. We celebrated at Bonefish Grill. I love that restaurant! August is a busy month for us. School has started, 2 family birthdays, our son will be returning from Iraq, and a few other personal matters to wrap up this month.

I'm anxious to pick up Gathering Honey again. I also have a few items I would like to sew up for my granddaughter just as soon as life levels out!

I have enjoyed seeing all the patriotic stitching as I lurk around blogland. I plan to stitch up a few soon.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Having a Wedding or Party? Need a Band?

Rockstar is in a new band, On The Move (or OTM). They will be playing receptions, corporate gigs, and private parties. Love the tuxes; love the song list so far which includes Chicago tunes! Hopefully, I'll hear them rehearse soon. Can't wait!

If you are in the Memphis metro area, they are available.
Ok, end of shameless plug. Can't promise it will not happen again, though!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Organized Chaos?

I've been slowly getting my office/sewing studio in order. I have quite a bit left to do, but at least I've begun. Baby steps. Here is one corner of my room that has 2 black bookshelves. The bookshelf on the left has some of my sewing patterns. I wouldn't have chosen purple and pink containers, but they were on sale (under $1.50/each) several years ago at Target. They are actually trash cans made out of thick plastic with metal trim. I would prefer to have all the same color (maybe the wall color), but I haven't run across a reasonably (ok, cheap) priced solution yet. What would be totally awesome is those 5 across, 5 down cubbie shelves from Ikea, but now I'm totally dreaming! My cross stitch thread is stored on the bottom shelf in those handy, dandy plastic divided boxes. The black shelf on the right holds reference books, quilting mags, sewing mags, and scrapbooking mags. The bottom shelf is a few card-making supplies. Those will probably be moved as this organized chaos is tamed. The small purple crates were bought at Walmart a couple of weeks ago ($1.50/each). They are a good size for the small bits of fabric. Don't be fooled. Most of that is not fat quarters, but smaller pieces. Our Boston Terrier, Lucy, seems to think I folded all that and placed it there for her to pull out again and again and again! Grrr!

Next to the shelves and crates is my pegboard (a leftover piece that DH put in frame I had from a recycled piece we salvaged and painted some time ago. Since taking this photo a few days ago, it has been tweaked again! However, the main change is the 2 baskets of tulle have been moved, and in their place will be 2 more small crates to hold the patterns that Lucy keeps pulling off the lower shelves!

She's a plastic freak, and of course, just about all my storage is plastic. By moving the patterns to the pegboard, they are beyond her reach, thank goodness! All the fabric in the wire bins (purchased at Gordman's last fall) is from yard sales, estate sales, leftovers from projects, and inherited stash.

I haven't bought hardly any new fabric in years. I need to use up some of this so I can justify buying some new stash. The white shelves formerly were in DS/12's nursery. On the left is the white plastic basket that the dog kept pulling off and running away with. That spot will be for something else (not sure what yet.) Next to that are some larger pieces of fabric (from an estate sale). On the bottom left, the brown basket thing is a 3-drawer unit I bought a year ago at a yard sale for $2. It holds scrapbooking supplies. Next to that is a couple of photo boxes and my big bite, crop-a-dile II. On the right side is more scrapbooking supplies and photo boxes. Once everything is in a more organized state, I'll give a better tour, but you really don't want to see the rest of the room yet. Trust me.... it looks like this....

The rest of the room is one hot mess, I know. Photo sorting is years behind in my house. Hope to have this under control soon. I have made progress, but there so much more to sift through.

Changing gears....DS/12 had 2 teeth pulled and was quite the trooper. He had a good nurse too!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Stitching Update for Gathering Honey & A Crazy Story

Finally, a stitching update. I haven't worked on my WIP, Gathering Honey, in a while. However, I have stitched some more areas since I last updated with a photo. I hope to work on it more consistently until it's complete. I really have enjoyed this design so far. It has so many colors and is very detailed. If you notice the top left corner, it hasn't been backstitched yet. The lower right corner is complete and the backstitching really brings it to life. Trish, of Just Another Stitch in Paradise, is stitching the companion piece to this design, Rose Garden. Gathering Honey and Rose Garden are both OOP designs from the magazine formerly known as Cross Stitch & Country Crafts (now Cross Stitch & Needlework).

I just have to share something we saw today while driving on a very busy, 6-lane parkway (not counting the turning lanes). My DH was driving along and we happened to look to the car beside us: a sleek, silver convertible BMW. The speed limit is 50 mph on this particular road. Keep that in mind. The driver has one hand on a FORK and the other hand is holding a bowl of salad and she's eating it while driving down the road! There also is a passenger in the 2-seater car. I would have said, "Pull over and let me out!" if I'd been riding with her! Can you say it with me..."Things NOT to do while driving!!!" It should be in a David Letterman's Top Ten List! My 12 year old son couldn't believe it either! He has more sense than the woman driving the BMW. I tried to get a picture of her with my phone, but couldn't. It would have made a great youtube video, that's for sure! I hope she didn't hurt someone before she finished that salad! Please tell me, dear blogging friends, that you know this isn't safe! Hands-free driving? I don't think BMW's come with auto-pilot, do they?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Rosebriar in the Country - True Southern Dining

Last night our bunco group had dinner instead of playing bunco for the month of July. We dined at Rosebriar in Eads, TN. One of the bunco ladies (thanks, Linda!) had been there a few times and highly recommended it to our group. Well...it was wonderful! We are all looking forward to going again.

The owner, Debbie Sisk, has entertained groups at her custom built home for over 15 years. The ambiance was so pleasant!

There are many wonderful antiques and collections vignetted throughout her home. which she based on a planters cottage. Fine china teacups, rose-colored, depression glass cake plates, and vintage lighting all help set the mood. She entertains small groups throughout the year (by reservation only) and has several menus to choose from for brunch, lunch, dinner, and teas. All the meals are prepared fresh in her kitchen. She even has a cookbook! Now, you know I had to buy one! You can find out more about it at Rosebriar Dining. If you want to see more of her beautiful southern home, you can see more photos from Miss Janice who actually had "Tea and Dining Etiquette" seminars at Rosebriar. Miss Janice has some great tablescapes on her blog - Etiquette with Miss Janice, as well. Check them both out!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Contest for French Cross Stitch Book!

I hope I win...but if I don't, maybe you will! It's for a book - Cross Stitch Letters Bible by Valerie Lejeune. Violarium's blog will draw 1 name out of a hat and ship this book to the lucky winner. This 712-page book is full of letters to stitch (more than 800 different alphabets)!

Violarium is an online cross stitch store, selling mainly French designs, magazines and accessories.

If you link Violarium's blog and mention this competition, they will count your name 5 times in the drawing hat! Contest ends July 19th.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Whipped Up Some Napkins

I've used cloth napkins for over 20 years instead of paper. I guess I was being green when it wasn't cool yet. The ones we use every day are worn and faded from many washings, so I needed to sew up some more. Digging through the stash I went. I ended up using a remnant of vintage fabric from dear Aunt Eunice (who passed away over 4 years ago). She was a very thrifty lady, too. She was also partial to purple, as am I. While they aren't perfection, they will definitely be used on a daily basis. Eunice would be proud!

No tutorial is needed. They are a piece of cake. I cut four 17 inch squares and folded each side 1/4 inch, then 1/4 inch again for a finished hem. Finished size is 16 inches. So easy.

I still need a few more. I'll have to do some more digging.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Taggie For Miss P

Here is the first sewing project my DD/27 did mostly on her own. It's a taggie for Miss P.

She used yellow flannel (from my stash) for the back side...so soft! The black and white gingham also pulled from my stash along with the batting. The only cost was ribbon that DD/27 had bought previously. We both wished for a embroidery machine to monogram a big ole "P" right in the middle. Toys can be hooked onto the loops for a really good time. Miss P loves it!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Tutu-too Delicious

Now you must admit, the tutu from the last post is way cuter with my granddaughter modeling it instead of just hanging on a silly ole hanger! I also made the headband and my daughter attached the flower. I think Miss P is having a photo shoot this weekend and I'm sure she'll love every minute of it.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

No sew Project: Tutu

Here is a tutu I made for my 5 1/2 month old granddaughter. It's the tiniest tutu I've ever seen. I hope it fits her! I found several tutorials online and used a combination of them. The most time-consuming part was cutting the tulle. I used elastic for the waist, but a ribbon would work, too. The elastic has a stiffness that helps hold the waistband in a uniform position which I like.

It's not cross stitching, but it's crafty, at least!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

This day takes on a whole new meaning since my son is deployed in Iraq. It's more than just a day for a picnic for some of us.

Thank you to my son and all the men and women who serve in the military.

Freedom = sacrifice of many - present and past.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Quickie Recycle/Reuse Project

Well, here is what DS/12 and I came up with for a t-shirt that he never wore. He wanted a book cover for his library book. He already had the patch, too. I just laid out the shirt, put the book on top and cut out a generous amount to allow for error. It was so quick, maybe 30 minutes. He was excited and I was glad to recycle something he had never worn.

It snowed like crazy yesterday! We got between 7 1/2 to 8 inches of glistening snow. You can see my "wedding cake" table to get an idea of just how much snowfall.

Oh, we just discovered our dog, Lucy, thinks she can sing...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sewing Project

I found a great tutorial at Little Birdie Secrets and had to try it.

Can you guess what it is?

It's a nursing cover for a new mom to use when nursing her baby. Boning is sewn into the center of the top so that mom alone has a view of the baby. I wish someone had thought of this when I was having babies!! It cost around $11.00 to make, but it could be made for less if you have the supplies on hand in your stash.
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