Out with the old, in with the new

Well the holidays have come and gone, leaving behind full hearts with lots of memories and empty boxes and wrapping paper everywhere.

I greatly failed at last years goals – finish a UFO each month, instead I just added to the list. But wait, I did make some stars and display them for Christmas, so I could honestly say that I started and completed that project last year.

This year, I am vowing not to buy any more fabric unless it is going to be used right away, no kits unless they are going to be used right away and to get out and ride my pony this year. Although, he has had a few years off so he’s going to be naughty!!!

Happy New Year!

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Crafting Day

Wow, what a whirl wind day I had yesterday…I made three projects for a benefit for a friend, and of course I left them until the last minute.  BUT that is when I do my best work, afterall.

TwigStarAnother star

I actually made two of these on Saturday afternoon, but I had planned on added some smaller twigs to fill in the voids, but the small branches on this star were perfect just as they were. So I didn’t have to do anything to it – yeah!

blessingWindowBlessings Window

I bought these windows off of facebook last summer one day, and they have been just sitting around. So the theme of the day was “Blessings” so what a perfect fit. I cut this out twice and I have a second window to make one for myself (someday).

pinkCamoBlanketKid Blanket or Lap Blanket

So I have had this pink camo minky material laying around. I keep walking past in and wishing I had something to do with it for someone.  So…I took my two pieces and was trying to figure how I could easily make a blanket out of this material.  It took me 90 minutes and I ended up with 2 kid size or lap size blankets.

  • Two pieces of fabric – do not need to be the same size, but that would help. I had one piece that was 2 years and another that was 3 yards. One piece was 40 inches wide the other about 44 inches wide.
  • Make sure that the cut edges are straight.
  • Lay fabric out right sides together – salvages together also.
  • Decide if you want curved corners or straight corners
    Because I was under a time restraint, I went with straight corners, but I wish I would have taken the extra few minutes to curve them. There gets to be a lot of fabric in the corners when you are sewing.
  • Sew across the cut side (top) – I allowed a 1 inch seam – I’ll explain why later
  • Sew down one of the salvage sides.
  • Sew down the other salvage side.
  • Then sew across the other cut side (bottom) – make sure to leave an open spot for turning the blanket inside out.
  • Trim up the seams to make sure you have at least 1/2 inch all around seam, in this step more is better, so if you have more use it – this will make a big difference when you do the sewing of the second seam and if your two fabrics were not the same size.
  • At this point layout your blanket – how to you feel about the size? I felt mine was way too big so, I folded it and cut it in half. Scary thing to do, but I love how it turned out.
  • If you just cut this in half, you will need to sew the side together – for each blanket.
    Make sure to leave an opening on the second blanket to be able to turn it right side out.
  • Turn both blankets right side out and go around and straighten out all edges and corners.
  • I went thru and pinned together the opening that I used to flip the blanket.
  • I changed my sewing machine to do a small zig-zag, set on the smallest settings available. I started sewing around the outer edge of the blanket making sure that the inside seams are laying flat and I kept the extra seam as close to the edge as possible.

This was totally one of those “Hey, do I think I can get this done in an hour” projects.  Well it was a little more than an hour, but I ended up with two very cute blankets, IMHO!


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Holiday Craft Project

So I got a bee in my bonnet and I decided to make something holiday related. Wreaths are boring, so I decided to do something different – a Star.

  • We found a branch that we cut off of one of our Maple trees, it’s about 1″ diameter.
  • We cut 5 pieces 36″ long.
  • Used a staple gun to connect the points, then adjusted until it was the way I wanted it and stapled at the crossing points.
  • Then we took a bunch of extra twigs and added them to fill it in and it didn’t look so hollow.
  • Added a string of lights that wrapped around it twice.
  • AWESOME!!!!

Now, my original plan was to hang this in the house and then after the holidays I could take the lights off but keep the star – since they are now considered “not just for Christmas anymore”.  Well that back fired a bit, it ended up being a bit larger than I was expecting – I think it was the extra twigs. But now, what do I do with it…The barn! I couldn’t have planned that any better if I would have tried!!! SOME things are just meant to be, I guess.

So here it is:Dark of NightLight of Day


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One more blanket!


Well, I finally got this blanket done for a very, nice young man that has been so patient with me. I wanted to make it a “Young Man’s” blanket, he is so grown up.  But it is amazing how much more fabric it takes when you increase the size just a row/column or two. I had to go get more fabric twice.

But it turned out so cuddly, I just wanted to keep it for myself, but I didn’t.  These are fun to make but really takes it’s toll on my hands cutting all those seams.


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Needs some cheer in your day….look here

So, I am always open to a giggle, smirk and/or welcome a flat out chuckle and today I ran across a link that I found about a month ago and I went there and was again amazed that I found myself smiling and giggle at my desk.

craigslist[1]Now, I am the first to tell you that I can spend days on craigslist, just looking around for stuff to “get”.  But  I am also the first to tell you that you never know what you will find on there. Then one day, I was actually reading their home screen. Yes, boys & girls, I was reading the menu, screen, directions, what ever you want to call it – but I saw this:  “best-of-craigslist” and (you know it) I had to go there.  OMG – I almost peed my pants, keeping in the laughter on the things I found on this list.

My favorites so far are: Free Giant Cardboard Dinosaur & Free Cauldron.

Please be aware though that some of them are in the personals section, so they could contain vulgarities that I do not support.

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Pinterest/Facebook Project #2 – What do to with your stash of old wine bottles

Okay, this one was brought to me by a friend.  and I love sparkly things so I started collecting wine bottles.

Now, I don’t drink wine, but I know people that do. So I put out the word and someone brought me a whole bag of wine bottles – about a dozen or so. My hubby has worked with glass for 30 years and he said that it was almost impossible to cut those wine bottles in any way that they would be useable afterwards.

So, off to google I went….and found lots of youtube videos for HIM to watch.  After he saw some of these he suddenly said “Hey, where is Ron Popeil when you need him?”.  Back in the ’80’s (or was it even before that) he was sure that Ron Popeil had come out with a bottle cutter. But we hadn’t seen a commercial for one of those in many, many years. (I just did a google search and found them on ebay for around $24). But being the impetuous people that we are, if we were going to do this project we were going to do it now, not research, order and wait for something.

So off went my hubby to the garage and started looking for a glass cutter, clamps, blocks of wood and some test bottles.

About a half hour later he came in with 2 bottles that had been cut(scored is the proper word) and we were ready to do step 2 – the actual breaking of the bottles!!!!! Using the hot & cold stream of water method it took about 10 minutes to snap both bottles and they turned out great, so off he went to do some more:


We were on a role, we cut 5 clear(ish) bottles and he was off to cut the blue ones that we also had.


We cut 3 of the blue bottles. And they turned out just as nice as the clear ones.  The only thing we had left to do is we used a little sandpaper around the edges to take off the rough edges, we found an old round stone trivet that I had laying around and these are now my centerpiece on the kitchen counter.

Here’s to another successful Pinterest/Facebook project!!!  Hurrah!



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Cleaning tips – OMG – things my grandma never told me, or I didn’t listen to.

Usually on a daily basis, I open up MSN to see what news stories they are pumping for the day.  Now that elections are over, their stories have turned to more universal things. Today, buried deep in the header slide show (#8) was “The only 10 Cleaning Products You Will Ever Need.”

Now, we have all seen those lists/post on Facebook with all these cures for your stains and guides for cleaning. But this one isn’t like that – they actually call out to use some name brand products where they really get the best results for the task at hand.

I know my grandmother probably told me all this stuff, but I was young and didn’t pay attention, which is usually what we do. I would give anything to have my grandmother around now, she was a bright, beautiful, practical woman who was years ahead of her time. I miss her on a daily basis.


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Pinterest/Facebook fun – Halloween Style

So, I have deemed that pinterest was created by the demon of misdirection!  I could loose days on there, finding way to many things that I want to do.

So….that being said, we did our first Halloween pinterest project this year:

Glowing Eyes - Toilet Paper Rolls

Now, I know there is a whole political ecological movement going on to do away with unnecessary cardboard being put in out landfills….but where would we be without toilet paper rolls, and paper towel rolls. This is a whole craft department that comes up with this to repurpose these things into purposeful things.  AND where would all the gerbals live if we did away with their homes? They would be homeless!!!!

You can search pinterest and google to get atleast 100 sets of directions on how to do these, here is what we did:

  1. put the word out to co-workers, friends and neighbors that you are collecting empty, toilet paper rolls and be prepared for laughter and “WHAAAAT” when you ask. I work at a small company and we changed our own toilet paper rolls when they got empty so I had an endless supply of these things.
  2. Get your supplies together:
    1. Small scissors
    2. pencil (I used a fine point sharpie, we could see the drawing on the card board better)
    3. wide, black duct tape (any heavy dense tape will work)
    4. 4″ glow sticks (ebay is the best resource for these: $20 for 50 of them)Scarry Eye Template
  3. Draw your designs: I measured the rolls and drew out a rectangle as a guide and set to drawing me some sneaky eyes. Now, because I am a perfectionist, I couldn’t just draw them I had to DRAW them – electronically. I have a cutting machine (the machine before the Cricut machines). So I drew up my sets of yes and took a piece of scrapbook cardstock and cut out my guide.
  4. 20141028_203011Then we setup an assembly line: I drew them on the rolls and my hubby started cutting out the eyes. I just happened to have these little bitty tiny scissors that I purchased at a fabric store that don’t cut fabric. Yep, impulse buy but because they are so small they worked really great here.
  5. Next cut your tape in rectangle that will totally cover the end – make sure it’s wide enough that fits across the end. If it doesn’t you’ll need two pieces for each side.
  6. We then put the tape on both ends of the tubes. Now, if you are paying attention, you will notice that we have not yet put the glow sticks in. That’s because the eyes that we cut were so big that when the tape was on there, we could slide the glow sticks in thru the eye sockets. This way we could have all the ends on the tubes so they were ready to go on Halloween.
  7. We were doing this the Monday before Halloween, so we decided to try one to see how it worked.
    Test Subject

    Test Subject

    24 hours later

    24 hours later

  8. On Halloween night, we snapped all the glow sticks and inserted them into the tubes and started distributing them around the yard.  We had so much fun trying to figure out where to put 28 sets of eyes.  You don’t realize how many that is until you are standing out in the yard trying to find places to put them all.

All in all, we had a great time and we get to chalk this one up as a Pinterest/Facebook Success Project!20141028_203518

So to help you have a successful pinterest/facebook project here are the guides that I used.  You should remember that I drew these up and cut them out of 12×12 piece of paper, so you might have to change the size a little bit if you are printing on 8 1/2 x 11 paper.

TP-eyes – zip file that contains the following files:

  • TP-eyes-noguide.jpg
  • TP-eyes.jpeg
  • TP-eyes.mtc – Mate The Cut software used with digital cutting machines
  • TP-eyes.svg – simple vector graphic file used by other digital. When you open this file, there is a small square about the first set of eyes on the right. I use this square as a sizing template. That little square is 1″ square. What I have found out, is when I bring in SVG files into Mate The Cut or any of the other digital drawing/cutting program it does not come in to the program in scale. So I put this little 1″ square somewhere in the drawing. Just delete that before you cut. If you don’t it won’t really matter – you will just have a small square in the void about those eyes – it doesn’t interfere with the eyes at all.
  • TP-eyes.ai – original illustrator file that I drew the eyes in.




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I’ve been a bit absent from posting on there the last couple of months. Job changes, life changes, when it rains it pours. Things have started to settle down a bit so I should be able to get caught up just in time for the holidays.

I have been doing some great craft planning however:

  • Wine bottle candle holders/covers – have all the pieces, just need to put them together or is it tear them apart?
  • Picked up some more vintage windows, have way too many ideas for these.
  • Auction – have been scouting out the online auctions and sending my hubby out around town to pick up stuff I “won” on the auctions.  Harness pieces/frames, cart frames, wagon wheels. Awesome stuff, lots of plans just need to start DOING some of this stuff.
  • Row by row – got way to carried away on these rows, I have 14 done and I’m stuck: Do I put them together for a large quilt or finish each one off as a table runner/wall hanging – I have the perfect place to hang them in my entry way too.
  • Picked up 8 ornate things to hang quilts/wall hangings from – now I just need to finish some of my quilt projects to hang on them. Good grief it’s a round robin!!!!!!
  • Can I just say Pinterest is a crafters dream and a spouses worse nightmare. We are both out there finding things we want to make/do!!!!!
  • tore up one of my flower gardens to separate out the Daylilies. I expanded it 100% and still ended up with a ton of left over plants. I have plugged them in everywhere I can find an open spot.

Holiday’s are rapidly approaching – what oh what will they bring this year!!!

Fall is in the air and on the ground. My lawn is covered in beautiful yellow leaves, it’s very picturesque but brings with it a lot of work to pick them all up. Maybe we will take the easy way out and let them become lawn fertilizer/compost this year.


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Row after Row, after Row

I ran across this shop hop earlier this year, but I just got into it over the last couple of weeks. I have had so much fun doing these rows.

This is how you know I’m having fun…when my floor looks like this


Row By Row Experience – Mn Quilters

The Row by Row Experience shop hop is something new and exciting. It’s sort of a play on the old traveling license plate game when you were traveling with your family during summer vacation – only, it’s quilt oriented. Which makes is so much more fun.

So as I have been collecting the patterns/kits I have been sorting them into Piecing and Applique.   I don’t really care for the applique patterns, but it seems that almost half of the ones that I have collected are applique. Which just means that I have to go and collect more patterns.

5 rows completed so far, so far so good:

Rewards What is interesting to me though, is that each ones of these patterns are different finished sizes.  The rules of the challenge is to put 8 of the rows together into a quilt, finish it with label and be the first one brought into a participating store.  As you can see from the 5 shown above, putting them together will be a challenge.

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