Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Embellished fabric bulletin board

This blurry photo of my niece is actually back story for the Mother's Day gift I made my mom. See that large, framed poster behind her head? My mom bought it years ago at a garage sale. If I remember it right, she actually thought the poster was ugly, but the frame was the perfect size for that bare spot on her wall. She started tucking pictures into the frame, then taping them to the glass when she ran out of valuable frame space.

I had the idea that she needed a fabric bulletin board and began bookmarking (I should really be pinning) tutorials. In the end, I kind of cobbled together my own way of doing it. 

I knew it would hang in her kitchen and hold her photos, which gave me the idea to do a scrapbook style embellishment cluster in the corner. I took the selvage of the fabric (from my stash, probably three years old) to Michael's and tried to match as best I could. It was hard! I definitely found myself wishing I were using one of those scrapbook paper turned fabric lines, a la Basic Grey or Riley Blake's Fly a Kite, so I had all of the embellishments, buttons and ribbons pre-coordinated! 

Finding the buttons was perhaps, the hardest part of this. I ended up having to use a heavy duty staple gun to secure all of the layers, and those big, thick staples needed rather large buttons to cover them! I kept finding just the right thing, but in the wrong size, or in packages small enough that it would have cost me $15 just in buttons (or jewels, or glittered chipboard disks...I contemplated a lot of finishing options)! I ended up finding a package of coordinating buttons in the Hobby Lobby that were a few different shades of brown and cream with four different designs on them. They came 15 to a package and were $1.99, which was perfect since I needed 36 of them for this board! 

I think I may start with the buttons when I make one of these for myself, which I am definitely planning on doing! I got a new desk for my sewing machine and one of these would be so cute to hang above it! 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I have been bitten

The paper piecing bug has bitten me hard! Now that I know I can do it, I find myself absentmindedly searching Flikr for New York Beauties

I'm sure I will tackle some, eventually. In the meantime, I had an idea for a mini involving my tea kettle and searched for a tea cup to make. I found this pattern and it was free! Score! 

I made tea cup number two. I liked it, and it was pretty easy, except that my little experience led me to follow the directions instead of doing what I thought was right..and then unpick some seams. If you want to attempt it, switch numbers 7 and 8. Other than that, no complaints. 

I think the size scales well with my kettle. Plus, I got to use some of the decorative stitches on my machine! Ideally I'd like to pair these two with some broken dishes and/or some Dresden plates. I think just the names of those blocks make them good matches for kitchenware. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Monday Moments: Tuesday Edition

Happy belated Mother's Day to all the moms and moms-to-be out there!

My Memories blog hosts a challenge every Wednesday and this week the rules were that you had to create a page about a mom. I had been wanting for awhile to make a page for my grandma, who didn't live to meet any of my mom's grandchildren (she died just days before my niece was born). 

That first little blurb tells a story about how my grandmother hated having her picture taken. It was sort of a running joke in the family about who could get the worst picture of her, because once she saw the camera she would turn her head or sneer. Then one year, she went and got her picture taken at a studio. She smiled and looked right at the camera, and gave a copy to all of us, because she wanted there to be one good photo of her when she was gone. 

I had planned for that beautiful photo to be in this scrapbook page, but discovered that I lost it. I lost my one and only good studio picture of my grandma. Not a happy discovery. This is a crop of a picture I took at the last family reunion I went to of her with six of her seven children. 

As usual, I cobbled together bits and pieces of several different kits for my page. The glitter alpha was a freebie from Megan Turnidge, the wings are from a baby kit, the papers and cloud are Mye De Leon (same kit I used to make this other page), brads are from a mothers and daughters kit, and butterflies are from a photo kit

In other news, I did not complete my goal of finishing my quilting. Ugh! I didn't even start working on it until Wednesday, ran out of thread Thursday and got to the fabric shop on Friday just in time to grab the last spool in my color. Whew! I'm beginning to think of this as the quilt that never ends. 

I took the kids outside to play yesterday. My neighbor was pulling out of her driveway in her minivan and stopped in front of my house to say, "You would think, as a stay at home mom, that I would have all of this time, but I just don't! I'm so busy!" I smiled at her and yelled a very supportive, "I know!", because I had just been thinking about all of the laundry and dishes and sewing that wasn't getting done while I was in the yard watching my kids. Sadly, I don't think "It's the thought that counts" quite works when all you're doing is thinking about cleaning the house. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Monday Moments: Tuesday Edition

Today started out a little rocky for me. I had a doctor's appointment for an issue that had some indicators of a tumor, in an area of the body where tumors are almost never not malignant, and I had to leave Caroline (who comfort nurses) with a neighbor to go. I was so stressed out my blood pressure was the highest I think it has ever been in my life! 

All went well at the doctor's office though, and he is convinced that I do not have a tumor. Hooray for that! Now I can focus on the fact that the sun is shining and it's my wedding anniversary! 

When I saw the anniversary category on the My Memories blog challenge I knew I had to make this page, even though I am way more comfortable with pages about the kids. I am so lucky to have married someone so similar to me in all the ways that count, who is also different enough that it never gets boring. Now to hit the grocery store and make that man some dinner. He took me out over the weekend, but I see no reason not to celebrate twice!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Three things...

I am joining the One Thing, One Week Challenge again over at Amy's Creative Side.

Amy's Creative Side

Up for grabs this week is thread and a whole stack of mini charm packs, so hopefully that will be enough motivation for me to complete my goal of finishing the quilting I am doing.

I took a small break from the quilt this weekend and kind of learned to paper piece. I wouldn't say I'm an expert or anything, but I definitely have some sort of comfort level with it, which is a lot more than I could say on Friday!

I used a pattern from During Quiet Time's Amy for this. I had been gushing over her paper pieced gardening patterns for awhile and she recommended this tea kettle as a good place to start. It wasn't near as fiddly as I thought it would be, but right now I am wasting a ton of fabric as I'm not really sure yet how to gauge things. That should come with practice, I think. Not bad for my first attempt, though. 

Now what do I turn it into? 

And last, but not least, did you get your National Scrapbooking Day freebies? Some are still available! I know I talk about scrapbooking a lot lately, but it's the only hobby I have that I can do one handed while nursing the baby. I made a page Saturday night from this kit (that was free on Saturday) for a special speed scrap on the My Memories Facebook page. There were a lot of rules to this one, but I stuck with it (and did not re-size my photos after I found out how many embellishments we had to add), and ended up winning a small prize for my page. 

I'm still working on a page to enter for the $100 prize. I will hopefully post that tomorrow!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Free Stuff Everywhere!

Are you aware that it's National Scrapbooking Day? Let me tell you that if you are at all interested in scrapbooking digital or otherwise (after all, you can always print out the digital papers and embellishments to do a hybrid page or use them in other crafts), you need to do some digging around today!

First, the My Memories software I use for my digital pages is having a blog train where 35 designers are giving away freebies! The full list of participants is on their blog and wow...do I have a lot of downloading to get to!

Also on the My Memories blog, the weekly challenge is offering up a $100 shopping spree to the scrapper with the best page based on one of five inspirational ideas! They want 100 entries for this $100 prize, so you (and I) have got to get over there!

And finally, The Digichick is having a crazy Facebook hop. It's kind of a pain to bounce around grabbing all of the little pieces, but the resulting kit is amazing!

Let me know in the comments if you know of anything else I should grab!