Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

I hope you all have been enjoying the holiday season! I had a wonderful Christmas that was soon overshadowed by the loss of my husband's uncle. Two short weeks after he was told he would live at least six...2013 will be a tough year for many in our extended family.

It seems silly to write that and then talk about crafts, but it is the new year and I have a little tradition of posting craft resolutions here on the blog.

Last year, I wanted to blog more (done, barely), finish the top of my basket quilt (nowhere near done), buy less fabric (definitely), and try new things. I have been working on my free motion quilting skills, paper piecing, and tried hand applique once. I feel like I have really grown a lot as a quilter this year, but at the same time I feel like a novice.

For 2013 my goals are: 
1. Use more of my stash. Funny how I bought less fabric and made a few projects completely out of stash fabrics, yet my stash is still intimidating me! 

2. Make something for my son. Gabe is always getting the short end of the stick on craft projects because he can never seem to make up his mind on what he wants and I'm afraid to start sewing only to have him decide he wants something else.

3. Make a version of this banner quilt. I have been thinking about this one for awhile and I know it's something I need to do for myself. 

4. I would also like to finish and get printed my scrapbooks for 2011, 2012 and Caroline's first year. Of course, I need a working computer for that, and my laptop is still out of commission, but my hard drive failing has really made me aware of how important printed copies of my work are! 

5. I nearly forgot my goal to be more monogamous in my quilting. I want to have a lot fewer works in progress and a lot more finished projects next year! 

What about you? 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Stockings

If you've been around my blog for awhile, then you may remember my first stocking. It was a needlepoint kit I made for my step-daughter. I finished it up last year, just before Christmas, even though I had a newborn (but it really helped that it was 90% done from the year before).


I bring up that stocking because Quilting Lines is hosting a Christmas Stocking Hang Out and because I made another one! No needlepoint this time..I might have been serious when I said never again! 


A couple years ago, my mother-in-law ordered a kit for this paper pieced stocking from a magazine..only, she had no idea how to paper piece. She tried, but this pattern is not anywhere one should start out piecing! 

Some time later she sent it to me, at a point when I also had no idea how to make it. I put it in a drawer, but it has been in the back of my mind, especially since I learned how to paper piece this year. I decided to pull it out and make it for her this Christmas. I knew she would love it, as she bought it for herself, and I thought it would mean more to her than one to match the rest of ours. 


I had plans to applique a simple monogram on the cuff, but as I am still without the laptop I would normally use to print and transfer one, iron-on letters seemed a much better option. I chose these gold glittery ones to match the little specks of gold in the kit fabrics. I hope it will be a hit on Christmas! 

Monday, December 17, 2012

My Memories Version 4 Winner!

Have I mentioned that my laptop is in the shop yet? Ugh! So I drew a winner for my giveaway using, but if there is a way to copy and paste images on the Kindle, I'm not familiar with it. I hate that I have to say, "Trust me, it was 3!" But, um, trust me, it was 3! Congrats to CricutLuvr, I will be emailing you! 

And for those of you who didn't write comment number 3, you still have chances to win at Sew Cal Gal, Missy's Scrap Space, Digital Scrapbooking, Stuff- n- Such, Two Girls at Play, and Dear Creatives. Or you could skip the wait and use my code in the sidebar to buy your own for $10 off! Either way. 

Monday Moments

I am still without laptop. As a matter of fact, it appears that it had more than one issue. On Friday the repair guy said it would be done Saturday. On Saturday, he ran a test on it after the repair and it crashed a second time. After that, he was no longer sure it could be repaired at all. I was sad for a minute, but it wasn't hard this weekend to see that a broken computer and hours of lost work is nothing to complain about.

We visited my husband's uncle this weekend. He was given less than three months to live last week. While we were there, his wife received a call from someone, asking questions about pall bearers. It was almost unbelievable that this man who could tell us about his time in the Korean War in incredible detail, could also be planning his own funeral. It was heartbreaking, but also, somehow, the way you imagine a death. Time to say goodbye, old enough to have seen your grandchildren grow to be adults and have children of their own. 

Not children the age of my son, one of whom bore the name of my daughter.

I have been sewing a lot. It keeps my mind off of things, and I feel like now, more than ever, the world needs to be prettier. I will share with you all when I can. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

My Memories 7 Days of Software Giveaways..Last Day!

It's giveaway day, again! Your last stop on the blog hop is 2 Girls at Play! Go see what Cheryl has in store for you today, and if you need another reason...

I'm writing this on my Kindle. My hard drive bit the dust, but all of my content purchased from My Memories is stored right on their site in my download page! Once I get my computer back from the shop, I will be able to reload all of my purchased kits! Think of how much money that can save in the event of a computer crash!

So go visit Cheryl and then take advantage of the last few days to enter the other giveaways from Sew Cal Gal, Leah, Lisa, Missy, Dear Creatives and me

Friday, December 14, 2012

Day 6 of Software Giveaways! You have to see this!

The giveaways are almost over and maybe you haven't entered because you aren't a scrapbooker. If I just described you, then you must head over to Sew Cal Gal's giveaway post! She has used her software for loads of projects in some really creative ways! 

And if she manages to convince you that you can use this program come back and enter the  five previous giveaways at Leah's, Missy's, Lisa's, Dear Creatives and right here

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Elf and Snowman Gift Bag Templates & Tutorial

Remember when I made my frog, owl and penguin gift bags? 

See the penguin and instructions at this post!
Well, when I was in the sketching phase for that project, I drew up many more and imagined them holding different things for different occasions. Ready to see a couple Christmas sketches made up?

Cute right? You can download templates for these guys here!

For the elf cut: 1 gift box, 1 bow, 1 hat, 2 ears (1 reversed), 1 nose and 1 head in a flesh tone, 4 of the eye/button/bell template (2 in white, 2 in yellow), 2 eye centers, 2 arms (1 reversed), 2 legs (1 reversed) and 2 cuffs

For the snowman cut: 1 gift box, 1 bow, 2 buttons, 1 carrot, 2 stick arms (1 reversed), 1 head and 3 pieces of coal. 

Fold your bags down 1 1/4 inches at the top (as shown in the previous tutorial) before you start gluing so that you're sure to be able to close them later! Otherwise, I do think they would be just as cute left open and stuffed with tissue paper! 

Place the gift box 1/4 inch from the bottom of the bag and glue in place, glue the bow down in the center of the gift box and add the head so that it is just on top of the bow (I overlapped on the snowman, wasn't intentional, but glue is kind of permanent). 

Add the elf's hat using the dotted line on your template as a guide. Glue the ears behind the head so that they line up with the bottom of the hat as shown. Trace lightly around the elf's nose with a brown crayon so that it stands out from the face and glue in the center. Glue the eye whites and centers on both sides of the nose as shown. 

Glue the arms in place so that the angled edge is flush with the sides of the bag. Add the cuffs to separate the mittens from the sleeves. Glue the legs to the underside of the bag at a slight angle with the feet facing toward each other. Glue the bells to the points of the shoes. Using a black permanent marker draw nostrils, pupils, a smile and two black dots near the tops of your bells. Draw lines from your dots in an incomplete X shape using the photo as a guide. 

To make the snowman, glue the carrot so that the flat end is in the center of the head. Draw four black dots in a square shape on each of your button eyes, use an opaque gel pen to connect the dots in an X shape . Using the photo as a guide, glue the eyes in place. Place each of your three pieces of coal at a slightly different angle in a half circle shape to form the snowman's mouth. 

Glue the arms in place and you're done! I think the snowman could also be cute without the head or the gift, if you just glued his face on a white bag and glued his arms facing outward! I didn't come to that conclusion until after I had already made the complicated version, though! 

The gift box would look great paired with the penguin templates from last time (or the owl I guess, I've seen a lot of owl stuff this Christmas)! Or imagine doing the gift box in a birthday print and using the frog! These could be combined in so many cute ways! 

My Memories Suite 7 Days of Software Giveaways..Day 5!

Whoa! It's Day 5 and the giveaways are piling up! Today it's Leah's turn and she's showing off some cool layouts with the ripped photo effects new to Version 4! She even has a video tutorial for how to use these photo effects with background papers! Awesome! 

Of course, Day 5 means there have been four other giveaways this week! Enter at my blog, Dear Creatives, Stuff-n-Such and Missy's Scrap Space to quadruple your chances at winning this software! 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

My Memories 7 Days of Software Giveaways..Day 4!

Wow! Time is flying! I can't believe we're four days into the giveaways! Today's giveaway is provided by Melissa at Missy's Scrap Space and she has a great pep talk for you on switching to digital, or switching from different programs! She also has links to some free printable Christmas trees that would look great in a centerpiece for the holidays and some really cute Christmas card and layout inspiration! Check her out! 

And if you haven't yet, enter the rest of the giveaways from this week at Stuff-n-Such, Dear Creatives and right here at 28 Peppermint Grove

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

My Memories 7 Days of Software Giveaways..Day 3!

Alright! Day 3 is here! You should have already entered my giveaway and the giveaway at Dear Creatives, now it's Lisa's turn over at Stuff-n-Such! She is showing off her cute take on the standard 4 by 8 photo card! No having the same design as all of your friends when you use My Memories to create your holiday greetings! Go check it out and really increase your chances at owning this great software! 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Pillow with Paper Pieced Mater

I was able to add some borders to my Mater block, quilt it and put it together! It feels so good to have this Christmas present finished up! And look, free motion quilting! It's not great, but I'm proud of myself for actually attempting it, after all, that's the only way to get comfortable! 

I fussy cut scenes from the backing print for the corner blocks on the front. I think it turned out really well, especially considering that I forgot to lower the feed dogs while I was quilting! Now just to wait and see how it is received by my nephew! 

In other news, I am trying to learn how to draft paper pieced patterns, because my son has asked for something I can't find (he threw a big wrench in my plans, as suddenly the LEGO guy is not good enough). I'm not good at it so far. I improve a bit every time, but the first one I tried to do had about 179 pieces! Mater up there had less than 20...

I'm thinking I'll be doing applique for his pillow!

My Memories 7 Days of Software Giveaways..Day 2!

It's Day 2 of the My Memories Christmas blog hop and Dear Creatives is stepping up the game with a whole lot of chances at winning the digital scrapbooking software and a free gift tag printable created with My Memories! Be sure to check her out! 

There is still plenty of time to enter my giveaway as well! 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

My Memories 7 Days of Software Giveaways!

Oh my gosh, are you ready for this?! I have teamed up with six other bloggers to bring you...

Happy holidays to you! Seriously, I love this software. It is one of the greatest perks of being a blogger that I was provided a copy of My Memories to review for all of you! And I love being able to give the gift of My Memories to someone else! 

Why do I love My Memories? Digital scrapbooking is so much cheaper and so much less messy than the traditional methods! I can "get out" hundreds of papers, tapes, flowers, ribbons, etc. with nothing to clean up! I can do it with my kids in the room and not have to worry about them cutting themselves with my scissors, it's incredibly freeing!

But that's just digital scrapbooking, what about the software itself? 

My Memories is easy and fun! There is no 400 page manual here because you just don't need it! You can take minutes and create amazing layouts! As a matter of fact, My Memories holds a speed scrap on their Facebook page every Sunday where you take a few minutes for each step, and they walk you through making a great page.

I've taken the last two Sundays and scrapped activities from this Christmas already! Getting our tree, and taking the kids to see Santa is done! Compare this to my traditional paper scrapbooks where the one I started for my five year old's first year is still not complete!
Speed Scrap created with Christmas Giggle
Speed Scrap created with Flakes and Fun
You can use kits from anywhere in this software! Those cute designer freebies that you see on Facebook pages and blogs? Grab 'em! As a matter of fact, the just released Version 4 of My Memories makes using outside content so much easier! Not that I don't have some serious love for the My Memories designers, but it's great that I don't have to hesitate if I find something I like elsewhere! As a matter of fact, I whipped up this greeting card from a non-affiliated designer freebie on Facebook! 

Created with Merry Chrismoose Bella Gypsy Facebook freebie
New to Version 4 you can recolor photos and anything else you bring in under the photo tab! Yes, that means paper and elements, although pre-shadowed elements work best for this (it tends to shadow around the box, great for papers, not so much when you're using a button, and just to clarify, this ONLY happens when you bring an embellishment in under the photo tab). I was never really missing this feature, as I love to search for that perfect thing from my stash, but for those of you who were, it's now available! 

There are great designer kits included, along with the very basics that came with the software from the beginning! There are ripped photo effects and cool photo tiling! There are probably features I haven't even discovered yet because this version is just a little more than two weeks old! 

Flakes and Fun, again, with A Saxon Creation rips
I have been playing with it, though! I have so many ideas for our Christmas I just need cute pictures of the kids! I'm using some from years past for these mock ups. But that's another thing great about My Memories. I can take these photos out and sub them with current ones once I take them, and have them all ready for printing in a matter of minutes! Amazing! 

So if you'd like to get your hands on your very own copy, comment here before Monday, December 17 letting me know what you would make with My Memories! 

For a second entry, stop by the My Memories store and tell me your favorite kit in another comment! 

And just because I love my followers, leave me a third comment if you follow my blog for a third entry! That's 3 possible entries on my blog alone! Don't forget there are six other bloggers hosting giveaways this week! Visit them all for at least six more chances to win My Memories Suite Version 4! 

Mon Dec 10- Theresa at 

Tues Dec 11- Lisa at Stuff-n-Such by Lisa

Wed Dec 12- Melissa at Missy's Scrap Space
Thurs Dec 13- Leah at Digital Scrapbooking

Fri Dec 14Sew Cal Gal 

Sat Dec 15- Cheryl at 2 Girls at Play

Just can't wait a week to see if you won and start scrapping? You can use my code in the sidebar STMMMS79028 to get My Memories Suite Version 4 for $29.97! Plus a $10 credit to the My Memories store! Not only that, but for today only, My Memories is offering 30% off Santa Packs and a free template with the code 12DaysHoHo!

Giveaway now closed! Winner announced here! 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Mater Made

Look what I finished last night?! He is so stinking cute! 

Made from a free pattern by liljabs.

I will be turning this 10 1/2" block into an 18" pillow cover. I'm going to add some small borders, some fussy cut scenes from the Route 66 fabric in the background here at the corners and use the rest of the fabric as backing for the pillow. I am thinking I should probably quilt it just a little too. Eek! I'm a bit afraid of ruining him, as I think he's pretty awesome right now! 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Giveaway winner!

Comments were still trickling in on my Holiday Lane Pillow, but that has stopped and I thought I should maybe figure out who won part of my stash. How perfect is that random number?! Love it! 

Comment number 28 was pinsandneedles who blogs at Quilting by Dawn! Congratulations! I will be emailing you shortly! 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Monday Moments: Scrapbook Edition

Kit is Christmas Giggle with added photo corners.
Another Monday, and that means last night was another Speed Scrap on the My Memories Facebook page! Actually, last night was a double Speed Scrap, so I got to scrap this cute pic of Gabe with Santa and some of my Thanksgiving photos. Sweet!

I love the Speed Scrap prompts and that they inspire me to spend an hour or so a week keeping up on my scrapbooks! I need to be inspired sometimes. Not that an hour a week is enough, but it definitely helps! And I feel so on top of things when I get to scrap photos from the weekend on Sunday! 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Making Mater

Source: via Melinda on Pinterest

I know I have shown you all this awesome paper pieced block before, well, I am finally working on it! I'm going to make it into a pillow for my nephew. Loving it so far! 

And, I'm super proud of myself! I am doing this ALL from stashed fabrics! The pillow form is going to be my one and only purchase for this project. I can't tell you how long it has been since I've managed that!