Sunday, January 30, 2011

Modge Podge is Genius

A great idea for creating artwork on canvas by scanning color pictures and using Modge Podge can be found here.

That useful product Mod Podge is a favorite medium when decoupaging. It is fast drying, and tough as nails. A little goes a long way with this finish, and sanding between coats of the varnish is not necessary.

A couple of examples from Charlie Harper Wall Decor:

On another note, here are a couple of picture frames I finished in a few hours using photographs and Modge Podge:

More information about how to decoupage picture frames with photographs and Modge Podge can be found here.

An inexpensive, fun, and quick art project for both adults and kids. Genius.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011



is the force that infuses our lives and keeps letting us off the hook.

It is unearned love - the love that goes before, that greets us on the way.

It's the help you receive when you have no bright ideas left, when you are empty and desperate and have discovered that your best thinking and most charming charm have failed you.

Grace is the light or electricity of juice or breeze that takes you from that isolated place and puts you with others who are as startled and embarrassed and eventually grateful as you are to be there.

I do not at all understand the mystery of grace -- only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.

by Anne Lamott

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sewing Notions: Necklace You Don't Want to be Without!

When knitting or sewing, it seems like embroidery scissors, a measuring device, pins, knitting bead markers, etc. never seem to be quite within easy reach. While browsing craft ideas, I came across a clever sewing caddy which could be made fairly quickly and inexpensively. When I saw the picture of this sewing caddy, along with a supply list and directions, I decided to make a similar one.

Here is what I found at the website Sewing:
Neck Ribbon Caddy Supplies:
1 1/8 yard (103cm), 1½” (3.8cm) wide blue plaid ribbon
1 1/8 yard (103cm), 1½” (3.8cm) wide blue grosgrain ribbon
½ yard (45.5cm) 3/8” (1cm) wide blue grosgrain ribbon
1 tape measure, 1 handful polyester stuffing, red felt scraps, embroidery scissors, thimble, sewing gauge

1.Cut: Make a heart pattern. Cut one 1 1/8” x 4½” (2.8 x 11.5cm) pocket strip and 2 hearts from felt scraps. Cut 3/8” (1cm) wide grosgrain ribbon in 2 equal lengths. Cut tape measure off at 39½” (100.5 cm).

2. Assemble: Center and pin felt pocket strip to one end of plaid ribbon. Zigzag or use a decorative stitch along sides of felt pocket. Loop one narrow ribbon through scissors. Pin ribbon ends at raw edge of plaid ribbon and machine baste. Layer heart motifs together. Edge stitch, leaving 1¼” (3.2cm) top opening. Fold other narrow ribbon in half; center and tack fold to inside heart pocket. Center and machine baste ends to other plaid ribbon raw edge. Center tape measure on wide grosgrain ribbon. Edge stitch tape on all sides. With right sides together, stitch wide grosgrain to plaid ribbon with ¼” (6mm) seam across “heart” pocket end. Turn and press. With wrong sides together. Edge stitch ribbon sides.

3.Pin Cushion: Measure 4¼” (11cm) from open end, stitch across. Stuff tightly. Turn ¼” (6mm) raw edges inside and stitch closed.
I already had a small pincushion, so I did not need to make one. And instead of felt for the pocket, I had stashed pink flannel which I sewed on for a reading glasses pocket. The pink valentine heart bows were previously bought for my doggy, but she does NOT like to wear head ornaments. So I incorporated the bows as extra bling on the neck caddy.

The picture below shows supplies purchased for the project, and my resulting caddy is the bottom photo.

Now how neat is that?!

Friday, January 21, 2011

What Are Your Favorite Apps?

Here are mine, many that were free:

What are YOUR favorite apps?  Word-of-mouth is sometimes the best way to find new apps, so I'd appreciate your telling me which ones you find useful.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

craigslist Flow Chart for Finding What You Need

For a while now, I've been meaning to check out craigslist.  There are a few household items I'd like to see up cycled or recycled or just plain old GET RID OF.

In comes a great little ditty about how to find that special item you've always wanted by using craigslist.

This handy chart, found on the blog Dude Craft, is an easy way to navigate what you are looking for:

(the design is from lunchbreath)

I'm off to check out listing my 20 year old green bamboo armoire, which is apparently Zen.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Chintz: Table Ware, Fabrics, Interior Decoration

Chintz has always held a slight fascination for me from the time I was a little girl.  I remember chintz wallpaper (cabbage roses) on our Texas farm bathroom walls.  Maybe my chintz (as opposed to "chintzy" as in "frugality") interest started there.

From Collecting Chintz:
Over the last few years, the price and popularity of this china have experienced unprecedented growth. Collectors worldwide seek this charming floral tableware which seems to attract more and more devotees with each passing day.
The term "chintz" has its origins in India (the Indian word was chintes) where colorful patterns including richly-hued flowers and brightly plumed birds were printed on cotton fabric and imported into England from the late seventeenth century.

Amazon has this book, Antiques Roadshow Collectibles, which gives this brief explanation of chintz ware (click to enlarge):

This is a cream and saucer chintz ware set my mother was given years ago, and which I sometimes use now:

Those tiny flowers have detail in their blooms and petals, and I love the contrasting colors and depths of shading in the chintz.  Just darn pretty!

But, wait.  Chintz is not only for the table.  It was very popular in fabric a while back.  Designer Laura Ashley brought back chintz fabric in the 80's.  Do you remember your Laura Ashley dresses for both children and ladies?  They were the cat's meow then.

Examples of some chintz fabrics from Schindler's Fabrics:

More about chintz from this post by Martha B. at Nibs:
(30 years ago)

Chintz is a cotton fabric that can be either a solid color or a beautifully printed floral or stripe. But what makes it desirable is the finish which allows it to be wiped clean. In the 1980’s everyone wanted the English Country look with rooms filled with it. Laura Ashley sold millions of dollars worth of the fabric! But like many good things, its appeal came to an end until now. It’s back... with restraint.
(now...updated with less fabric in the room)

Martha B. has a blog here and you can see lots of information about interior design there; nice pictures, too.

Now that the sewing machine is dusted off, maybe I'll make a few chintz blouses for the spring.

Friday, January 14, 2011

KKCO 11 News and Libby's Entre into Fame on Local TV

My husband is clever. Really.  He is clever.

A local television station here in Grand Junction, KKCO 11 News is having a contest that is all about barks.  Dog barks.  The station needs a spokesdog for their coupon advertisement with a dog as their mascot.

Our younger dog Libby (yeah, that same one that has so many links on both our blogs) gives Gene the WHAT FOR each time she comes in from a walk.  She barks for her treat after doing a good walk.

The husband recorded that bark for the contest of barking dogs on 11 News.  Wish Libby luck on being selected for the News11 Dog Bark.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Scrabble and Tournament Scrabble and the WPGO

Yesterday was the regular Wednesday Scrabble® :Day with friend Allen at my dining room table.  We have been playing and competing against one another since 2003, generally on a weekly basis.  That is a lot of games.  I have a book containing all of our games including the date played, scores against each other, and number of bingos per game per person per game for over seven years.  Really.

To further gild the lily, I have a spreadsheet on the computer compiling all those statistics.  And you think that is odd?  Scrabble® players are very strange, generally speaking, so it should not be a surprise about our keeping obsessive/complusive track of our games.

Allen showed me a game he had recently played with a different opponent, told me all about his word plays, and then showed me his high score on his score sheet.  This will be considered his pictoral history of his 635 point "high game:"


Of those four games we played yesterday, we each won two.  That is pretty typical (although Allen would say he generally wins most of our games, and reluctantly, I would have to agree).

When one of us has a "bad" Scrabble day and the tile gods have not been fair, this is how you might see the outcome:

photo from Calvin & Hobbs

My next Scrabble tournament will be in February in Phoenix.  It will be the 11th tournament I have attended in Phoenix at the Barbara VanAlen and Larry Rand Directors' tournament.  It will be about their 17th annual Phoenix Winter Tournament to host.

A list of upcoming Scrabble® tournaments can be accessed here.   More information about the new Word Players Game Organization can be accessed here. Scrabble Resources can be found here at the bottom of the listing.

Try competitive word play. You might like it.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Dang! It Didn't Fit

Using vintage pillowcases and old lace pieces, I tried out a shirt pattern to ensure the fit for The Tribeca Shirt from Sewing Workshop.

It made up well, but did not fit.

So what was next?  I gave up and went to bed.

(picture from One Yarn After Another)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Friday, January 7, 2011

How to Make an Envelope Laptop Bag

My new little HP netbook needed some padding to protect it when it is carried.  So an internet search on how to make a laptop cover came up with a LOT of information about how to craft one.  A detailed yet applicable site I found for my needs was here at Instructables.  But it sure looked like a lot of trouble.

Modifying the materials of what was needed to make my laptop case sans cardboard, foam padding and buckles, this is the resulting list of necessary items for an envelope case:
1/2 yard of quilted fabric (quilted material takes the place of extra padding)
Sewing machine
Thread, scissors, velcro and adhesive for velcro
This is a picture of a laptop pattern from Instructables (you can go there and look through all those instructions):

But all I really needed was a sort of "envelope" for the netbook. And I wanted to make it look sharp, updated and personalized.

In comes a small piece of needlepoint that my mother completed in the 70's.  Finally, I found a use for this piece that would be just right for using on the front of the case:

8" x 6"

And I bought a half yard of this quilted Amy Butler fabric for the casing from the local fabric store:

Also, I found a previously used leather identification tag to adhere to the back of the case.  In my notions stash was an old ribbon belt just the right colors to match the quilted fabric. That ribbon belt is actually old enough to be called vintage! So the belt was cut up and used for the front and back closing flap finishing.

This is the resulting envelope laptop case that was quickly sewn with right sides together, taking into account the 10 inch by 7 inch by 1 inch size of the HP netwook (the needlepoint was appliqued on by machine).

This is the back of the case showing the id tag, velcro closing, and belted ribbon for extra jazz:

Final picture of the back of the case with flap closed:

Better get cracking and quit playing with my new laptop because Libby needs her face washed, needs her walk, and then must get dressed for her hospital "therapy" visitations today.  (Her dog master even bought her a new purple leash and lead to match our purple hospital volunteer vests!)

handmade projects

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Crafting Every Day

Came across KatKnits and her video of all the crafts she attempted and finished in 2010.  You can see it on her blog.  Kat says:
My goal is to spend time everyday working on something handmade for a year & photograph it. 
And she pretty well did it!

Here is a new challenge Kat mentioned that sounds fun from Iron Craft:.
Welcome to our 2011 craft challenge!
Crafting connects us. Glitter glues our friendship together. If we embark on a quilting expedition, we will put on our pith helmets, and do it together. Across the miles, we admire, advise and sympathize.

Here’s how it works:

Every Thursday one of us will post a creative challenge to be completed by the following Wednesday. The challenges maybe as specific as a particular pattern or as vague as a theme. They'll cover the gamut of crafting skills: knitting, sewing, quilting and so on. Every Wednesday we'll spotlight the results of the previous Thursday's challenge from our Flickr group. We'd love to have you join us for the year of what we hope will be a lot of fun.

Entry details can be found here.  Are you up to it?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Kaffe Fassett Collective Fabrics & Sewing Workshop Pattern

Here are samples of two Kaffe Fassett fabric purchases recently ordered from Sew, Mama, Sew, a favorite blog.

Each of these fabrics were ordered online because our one local fabric store in town does not carry this line.

Kaffe (pronounced "kay") Fassett is well known in the knitting world for his use of unusual color combinations.  He has expanded into books, yarn lines and fabrics from his London base.  He has a huge following in the fiber world.

This is the pattern I'll be using to make blouses with these fabrics:
It is the Tribeca pattern from The Sewing Workshop that Linda Lee owns. Each blouse requires 2.5 yd. of 45" fabric, plus notions.

More about Linda from her bio:
Linda Lee is the owner of The Sewing Workshop Pattern Collection, a group of patterns for distinctive garments using innovative sewing techniques. She is a licensed interior designer and member of ASID since 1974. Linda is featured in the Bernina "Portrait of the Artist" national advertising campaign.

Linda travels the country teaching fine sewing techniques and the art of combining beautiful fabrics and distinctive design in garment creation and home decorating creations.
Ms. Lee creates very loose clothing that is fashionable; and the clothes do not bind.  I became interested in her construction techniques because skin that is sensitive to touch requires looser clothing.  (If you are interested in reading about skin sensitivity, especially as it relates to clothing, this site is about the only one I found dealing with the topic, although there were no answers there about dealing with skin sensitivity.)

Have a look at all Linda Lees patterns.  It's something I really like.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Let's Have a Wonderful Life in 2011!

It is MINUS 4 degrees Farenheit in Grand Junction as I wish you all a Great New Year!

Lunch today includes Hoppin' John, ham, roasted potatoes, and Apple Charlotte for dessert.

Photo from Michael Ruhlman's blog