Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Years ago my father-in-law worked for SAS airlines.
One year SAS handed these little gnomes out
to their passengers during the Christmas season.
I have bags of these little gnomes, and I have to say
they are one of my favorite Christmas decorations.
I look forward to lining all our windowsills each year.

Did you know that a gnome named Tomte
handed out Christmas gifts to Swede's?
He lives under the floorboards and comes out on
Christmas Eve and sings rhymes, handing out small gifts.

Friday, November 26, 2010

What is it About Felt?

I woke up bright and early and
hopped in the car and drove to Knoxville today.

We are here visiting my brother and his family
and after driving the 5 hours
I did do a little shopping.

My sister-in-law and I went to World Market!
Love it!
World Market has the best 3mm thick felt stuff.
I have an Easter collection of theirs, a Fall felt collection,
and today I bought a Christmas piece as well as a ton of stocking stuffers I
didn't know I needed.
World Market has the best foodie gifts,
and they had a couple of black Friday deals.

I did a little research the other day on purchasing 3mm felt
to make my own goodies, but never came up with a reasonable source.
I don't want wool, and it seems the 3mm felt is outrageously priced.
Any good sources? Advice?

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Hopefully you had many yummies to eat today.

This year we decided to have the kids chose and
make their favorite dishes. It was a great success.
Our only criticism?
We'd rather eat all the sides than the turkey.
Thanksgiving 2011? No turkey.

After dinner?

I whipped up a Christmas present for our friend's daughter.
I'd never made a crayon/notepad holder before.

It was cute.
Straight forward.
Not my neatest work, but I like it.
I used fabric on hand, and I finally used up the stack of plain notepads
I had purchased from Big Lots a few years ago.
Did you know Big Lots carried Martha Stewart craft supplies?
Ours does.
3 notepads for $1.00!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Project Idea

I love this simple ?reverse? embroidery piece from
When I'm visiting my Mom this Christmas
I may ask her how to embroider this.
Only, what word would I use?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sweater Envy

I am loving this Smartwool Timberland sweater,
but it is VERY expensive.
One sixty expensive.

I want a new sweater,
but haven't been able to find any styles I like.
Darn my good taste.

Amazing Argentinan Bags

I found these clever felt, yes felt, bags

Their design is promoting minimal waste when
cutting and manufacturing, I just think they are
clever and gorgeous.
Look at the right hand side above the zipper and check out the
hole for your ipod cord!

Look at the adorable slippers on the site too.
I may be playing with felt this weekend...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Food Theme for Christmas

I was doing some Amazon
shopping tonight and came across

This year's family Christmas theme is Food.
I L*O*V*E* this!
I heart the movie Juno too.
Now if only I could decide who I should buy this for....

Teacher Gifts for Christmas

It is not even Thanksgiving, I know,
but I am working on figuring out my Christmas list/gift making.
I've been trying to prioritize, thinking what gifts I need before the end of school,
and what events are coming up fast.

3 days of dollar secret Santa gifts for my work-mate.
I need the $20 gift for my big secret Santa gift,
but I am not stressed since I have a few ideas.
Gifts for 11 teachers.

I saw this AWESOME idea at Design Mom today.
Go to the tutorial and see how Design Mom
turned Goodwill purchased white mugs
into these super cool mugs.

In my own stash,
since I didn't make it to the Goodwill or Michael's today for the mug supplies,
I had card stock, tulle, scissors and pinking shears.
I cut a stocking shape out of a scrap piece of paper.
I used that template to cut stocking shapes out of card stock.
I cut a large square of tulle for each stocking.

I sewed the tulle to the card stock using the edge
of the stocking as a guide not pulling the tulle tight,
but letting the tulle gape and bunch to allow room for candies.
I left the top inch untouched so I could fold it down
over the top of the tulle later.

Using the pinking shears, I trimmed the excess tulle and threads
from around the stocking.

After filling the tulle with candy I folded the top inch down
and sewed the sides of the fold down.

I may put a gift card in the "stocking" behind the candies,
depending on the recipient.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Man

We are blessed.
Sometimes a bill comes in the mail and you think to yourself
why am I spending so much money on something
as frivolous as cable and internet?

Friday we got a HUGE bill from the cable company.
They raised our bundle pricing. Ouch.

We did some talking.
We decided maybe we didn't need t.v.
We could go back to the antenna. It was free.
We could NOT go without internet.
We could not go without a landline because
not all family members had cell phones.

We called the cable company this morning.
Asked questions.
Called other companies.
Priced things.
Called the cable company back.
Made decisions.
Called to cancel and got Mary.

Mary said she didn't want us to leave.
Mary gave us $70 off our monthly bill because we asked.

We still have cable.
We like Mary.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sewing Cork

A few days ago I made a cork trivet
from some cork tiles I had lying around.

I mentioned I may be making my
nephew some of my re-usable zip loc baggies, but then my
freezer paper stencil didn't work out as planned.
The green of the evergreen state didn't 'pop' as expected.

I was looking through my favorite blogs and found some cork
coasters on How About Orange.
This got me thinking...sewing on cork?

I tried it. It worked. It was EASY.
I went around the stenciled state again, and again!

Then, I went around my cork trivet a few times.
The messier and uneven the stitches were, the better!
A little trimming and voila!

So I tried it with writing and drawing.
I used a chalk pencil to write my word and draw my picture...

I'm thinking of trying a more detailed design next.
The cork size can't get too large, since it
needs to fit within my sewing machine arm.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Kentucky Kind of Weekend

Parked in Cincy.

Walked across the bridge to Kentucky.

Ate HUGE burgers.

Walked thru
historic neighborhoods in Newport.
Gorgeous houses.

Amazing red trees.

State Trivet Tutorial

I bought a package of cork tiles for the wall above Bubba's desk
a few months ago, and they fell of the wall.
They've been sitting in the closet since.

Today I was thinking of Christmas ideas.
Tonight I googled "Washington State Clip Art," downloaded a clip art,
imported it into Word, resized it as big as I could, printed, outlined with a sharpie,
took an exacto knife and cut a trivet out of cork. Too easy.

I *may* cut a heart out of the spot where my parents live.

I'm thinking of putting it in my Mom's Christmas stocking.
Or...maybe as part of Food Christmas 2010.

This year for Christmas my family (all 16 of us/3 generations)
drew names and are buying/making food gifts for our recipient not to exceed $35.
We drew 3 of my nephews (18-23) and my
brother in law.

Some of my ideas so far?
Thai cooking classes.
Bee keeping supplies.
Green kitchen items like my re-useable zip-loc baggies.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

No Sew Camera Bag Tutorial

While I wait for my fabric gel medium project, from yesterday,
to dry I'll show you my new camera bag.

I went to Target and bought a roomy handbag (for $24.99!) in a
color that would match both brown and black shoes/etc.

In my stash of stuff I found a block of foam from a cushion I
dismantled a while back.
From that block I cut a basic width and length
to accommodate the main compartment of my Target bag.
To cut the foam I used a bread knife, cutting board and sharp scissors.

This was a trial and error process that took awhile.
I took the foam in and out of the camera bag a million times
to make sure of the fit.
I did not want the zipper to be strained.
I did not want the camera to come into contact with anything on the
inside that may scratch it!
I needed the camera to be able to go into and out of the bag easily
and quickly!

I traced around my camera with a sharpie and cut out the shape of my camera
careful not to go all the way through the foam
so there was padding on the base as well.
In order to cut the shape (sorry my picture didn't turn out) I placed
a piece of tape on my knife blade to show the depth
I needed to cut, cut around the shape, then ripped the camera shaped piece out.

After safely placing my camera in the house I took a can of spray-ment
and a piece of light weight fabric from my stash.

First, spray the top and camera space of the foam, then with your hands
wrap and push the fabric into the camera space and around the top
of the foam, then weight it down with cans to insure contact.

I took the cans out and sprayed the remaining area of the foam and
wrapped the fabric around and tucked it.
The insert fits in the bag so the base doesn't
need to be all sewn and neat.

This Target bag has plenty of room for a wallet,
cell phone pockets, etc when the camera is tucked safely away in the
zippered compartment.
Just what I needed!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Mod Gift Tags

once again Martha and her peeps make something too
cute to pass up...
fill in the face gift tags.
I will be printing these for our holiday tags,
so my kids can make
portraits of their Aunts, Uncles and cousins.

Paper and Fabric

Paper AND fabric...
my two favorite things.

Tomorrow's project if I can get to the store to get some gel medium...

on how to transfer a laser image to fabric.

My mind is spinning with the Christmas present

No Sew Kid's Advent Calendar

came up with a great no sew Kids Advent Calendar
using an over the door shoe caddy.

Very resourceful.
A little paper. A little laminating.
A stuffed Grinch to mark the date.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Speaking of Advent Calendars...

The first question you ask yourself when making or buying
an advent calendar is what do I fill it with?
When I first saw the below calendars I began racking my brain to figure out
how my family could use these flat envelope style calendars.
One Etsy seller used hers to remember to pray for a cause each day.

This calendar was made for a special activity to do together each day.
Bake cookies. Make window art. Watch a Christmas movie.
This cute advent calendar made by Andrea at A Peek Inside the Fishbowl
is a great way to count down to something special.
Andrea includes a list of great ideas for each envelope too!

I add, that you could tweak it to use premade envelopes,
use up your collection of envelopes without their cards,
or even use a themed paper to create envelopes like Andrea did.

Or go a step further and use this idea to count down for a special birthday
or upcoming vacation.

Here is a more modern version of the advent calendar.
I love how Jacinda at Prudent Baby used office supplies to create hers.

Fabric in a Can

Have you seen this new invention out of

Two thoughts:
You have to have a rockin body for anything sprayed on your body.
How do you get it off?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Paper Advent

I am L*OV*I*N*G
these downloadable/printable

HUGE fan of advent calendars,
but I am also loving the look and mantle deco of it all.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Leaf Lantern

Nadja over at Patch of Dirt Farm came up with a super

Those are not leaves on that lantern, but leaves scanned
and printed onto a piece of vellum.
This idea could be used for lots of things, including
table decorations for parties and holidays.

I did a similar printed vellum table decoration for my parents 50th
wedding anniversary, but I cut 3 frames per votive out of matte board.
This would have been a million times easier!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cheap Artwork Tutorial

With this easy artwork tutorial the frame is the only cost.

This picture is made from paint chips from the paint counter.
The most complicated part of creating your artwork
is choosing the colors
and arranging them in a way pleasing to your personal color scheme.

The artwork shown has chosen to show each paint color's
name as part of the piece. I chose to hide the names and use only chips
that showed only color.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Paper Flowers

Dozi makes some beautiful flowers using
a square of paper, pencil and a pair of scissors.
Glue or tape optional.

Very simple.
Very easy.

I have used this same technique for felt flowers
I used for a headband embellishment and it worked like a charm.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Prepare for Thanksgiving

We are invited to my brother's house for Thanksgiving
again this year and I am thinking about making these drumstick hats.
My brother and his family are vegetarians.
They have made tofu-rkey in the past years, and have graciously
included a real turkey for their carnivorous friends and family.
But I really think that everyone would get a
huge kick out of seeing drumstick hats on a bunch of vegetarians.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Cut Paper Wall Art

I think I may do a search and figure out how to make some paper wall art...