Sunday, December 4, 2011

Where Women Create Twelve Days of Giveaways!


The last four days I have been entering in the Twelve Days of Fabulous Holiday Giveaways at Where Women CreateWhere Women Create.  To enter, you simply comment on each days post with an answer to a Christmas related question.  It's been fun to read the other responses.  I have also enjoyed learning about the artists who have donated their items for the giveaway.  They have some great stuff and there will be 14 lucky winners!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Two Turtle Doves

In September I participated in my second ever swap.  This swap was hosted again by Jeanelle Ricca whom I met at Silver Bella.  The theme is 12 Days of Christmas and each participant was given one of the days to interpret on a 4 inch square of fabric much like the Valentine's Day swap we did last February.  I have the second day of Christmas, Two Turtle Doves.  This was such a fun project!

I envisioned doves in the snow so that gave me a great excuse to use some glitter.  You know you're having fun when you have glitter and glue stuck to you hands (not to mention on the floor and even the cat)!  I appliqued the two doves and did some stitching around them with gold thread.  They are holding an embroidered vine with seed bead "berries."  I added a jingle bell for fun and a verse that makes me think of two turtle doves, Luke 2:24.  I stamped a background of music notes to represent the Twelve Days of Christmas song.

The blocks were packaged in a brown paper origami basket.  The idea came from GreenCraft magazine.  I thought their example looked so cute with a ribbon handle so I did my own version for this project.  I used fabrics and paper to decorate the front with a bit of holly and an invitation to "believe."  I also used Glimmer Mist to "age" the brown paper.  I love working with that stuff!

Come back again to see a post with photos of the pieces done by the other ladies.  They are fabulous!!
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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Crocheted Afghan

It's not a quilting project, but I did finish a crocheted afghan I started about three years ago!

The yarn is from Vanna White's collection for Lion Brand Yarn.  I love the colors, but they don't really go with anything in my house!  It may become a gift.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Hello Wildwood!

Today I'm giving a special shout out to Ms. Braun's 6th grade class at Wildwood World Magnet School in Chicago, Illinois.
Hi everyone!

I have been blogging for a little over a year, and I'm still learning how to use Blogger.  I started my blog as a way to get motivated to finish some of my many unfinisthed quilting projects that are commonly called UFO's.  Through following other blogs, I have met lots of other artists and have learned new techniques to try.  It's a great way to learn more about your favorite hobbies and interests.

Have fun exploring the world of Blogging!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Fabric Tuesday Valance

What a feeling to finish the last of my home dec projects!!  This valance for my laundry room really didn't take very long once I got started.  It's just too bad I waited so long to start it!

The window is where my sewing machine sits, and I love that the room has the "finished" feeling a window treatment gives it.

I used three different fabrics for this project and I'm quite happy with how it turned out.  I love to use fabrics with lots of contrast and bright colors.

Visit Quilt Story for lots of projects from other bloggers for Fabric Tuesday.  Next week I intend to have an actual quilt to share!
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Monday, July 25, 2011

Having so much fun!

I've had a great time visiting other bloggers and seeing their creative spaces during Where Bloggers Create.  It's been almost a week, and I think I've only made it through a third of the list!  It's amazing how many visits I have had to my own little blog and I so appreciate all the lovely comments (you can see my room on the July 14th post).  This whole experience has really inspired me to allow myself to spend more time creating.  Preparing my room to be photographed helped me to complete some procrastinated projects like the valance for the window and reorganizing some of my supplies.  Now that it's done, I have felt a freedom to work on new (and old) projects.

The day after I posted my photos for WBC, I pulled out a project I had started three months ago but hadn't worked on in all that time!  It's my first art journal:

So far only the cover and first page are complete.  It's something completely new for me so I'm taking my time while I mull over the next step.  It's a project from Paper Bella Studio called Windows to My World.  My daughter is making one too.

Saturday morning I didn't have to rush off anywhere, so I pulled out a quilt project that was started two years ago.  There's nothing like sitting at the sewing machine with a cup of coffee on a lazy morning!

This train quilt was supposed to be for my son who is now 6 1/2 years old and a bit too grown up for a crib quilt.  He was mad at me for not finishing it sooner, but then I showed him the quilt top I made for his big brother Jake 12 years ago when HE was 6 years old!  It has trains, cars, planes, tractors; everything little boys love and it's sized for a big boy bed.  That will be my next quilt project when I finish this little train quilt.

I hope you will come back again and check on my progress with all my unfinished projects. 
I'm just getting started!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Where Bloggers Create

It's so exciting to be part of this year's Where Bloggers Create link party!  Thank you to Karen Valentine of My Desert Cottage for hosting!

A tour of my studio (which is actually my laundry room).  Although as far as laundry rooms go, it's pretty awesome!

Two years ago we remodeled our kitchen which included a back hall area and our laundry room.  I wanted to enlarge my laundry room with a small addition behind our garage.  The contractor told us that if we were going to add three feet, we might as well go all the way to the end of the garage.  It wouldn't cost much more and gave me an additional 12 feet of space!

Above is the "business" end of the laundry room.  I kept the area under the counter open so I can slide in a rolling laundry sorter.  The basket in the corner is where I typically place the ironing and mending so I can ignore it for weeks on end.  I do have a washer and two dryers.  We have five children, and the machines are running all the time!

Another awesome feature is a huge laundry chute.  It makes it so much easier to get the kids to comply with the chore of bringing me their dirty laundry.  It took some time for me to adjust to the idea of having my studio in the laundry room, but it has helped me with the "guilt factor."  I feel that I am being productive in the room no matter what I am working on.

 There is a nice big window to look out while I sit at the sewing machine.  I have a view of the trees in the park behind our house.

Next to the sewing machine table is a large cabinet with pull-outs for my fabric stash.

I really, really love books, and I have two cabinets stuffed full of art books, quilt books, and patterns.

I have maybe 20 UFO's crammed into this cabinet.

There are three cabinets that hold miscellaneous sewing supplies, ephemera and other mixed media supplies, and scrapbooking supplies.

In addition to quilting and a bit of mixed media, I also crochet.  I learned when I was 10 years old and still love to sit on the couch on a cold night to work on an afghan.

Here is another view from inside the room where you can see the large cabinet that stores my fabric stash.  An ironing board hangs behind the door.  There was supposed to be an outlet on that wall, but someone messed up during construction and may possibly have buried the wires under the drywall!

I love all the drawer space that allows me to keep things like markers and stampads right at hand.  There are two lazy susan cabinets under the counters.  The one closest to the sink holds cleaning supplies and the one on the opposite side holds things like bottles of glue and paint.

And now for a behind the scenes look:
I worked very hard the last two weeks getting my studio space in shape for this blog event but in all honesty, it never looks this good!  Here is how the room is normally used...

The counters are piled with laundry.  I turned on the under cabinet lights for you to make it look fancier. ;) My mending basket is overflowing next to a pile of beach towels I keep on the counter during the summer-it's just easier to grab and go rather than having the kids trudge up the stairs all wet when they come in!

In addition to sharing the room with the laundry, I also share it with Perry the kitty.  She enjoys watching HGTV while eating her dinner.  We keep her bowl on the counter so the dog doesn't eat it.

I also keep the dog bowls in the laundry room.  Ranger the Australian Shepard declined having his photo taken by his dishes, but Perry always shows up when I get the camera out.  The homely silver trash can had to replace a very pretty painted one, because the dog also loves to eat the lint from the dryer.  He has no discerning taste!  I spared you a photo of where Perry's cat box is normally kept under the knee space.  I moved it for the photo shoot.  Perry was not pleased.

My previous studio was a nice big room in our basement that we had to convert to a bedroom.  No one ever went into that room but me.  The kids knew it was off limits.  It's actually been a bonus to move into the laundry room and have my children feel like they can come in and use the space for their projects.  And of course, every studio needs furry mascots!  Perry and Ranger will usually curl up somewhere on the floor while I am working.  It makes the room feel cozier.

I hope you enjoyed the tour. 
Now that my room is so clean, I'm going to go pull out a project and get to work!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Living Room Drapes for Fabric Tuesday

A few days ago, the sound of the angels singing an Allelujah chorus could be heard throughout my house, or maybe it was just throughout my head.  Anyway, it was certainly a cause for celebration when a long procrastinated project was finally completed!  You can see my new living room drapes in the photograph above. They were supposed to be finished in time for my oldest son's graduation party on May 22nd.  That certainly didn't happen! 

The fabric and coordinating trim were chosen and ordered about 18 months ago. The problem was I procrastinated having to come up with my own measurements when I realized the very easy pattern suggestions weren't going to work exactly for my windows. Once I did get started, the drapery panels went together very quickly. There was a bit of hand sewing detail work that I managed to finish while sitting on the front porch watching my 6 year old ride his bike. Why did I wait so long?! 

The fringe detail at the top matches the fringe used on pillows in the connecting family room.  The pattern I used is from Pate-Meadows.  They have beautiful window treatment patterns that are fairly easy to follow. 

The fabric is a lovely blue toile from Laura Ashley.

I have one last home dec sewing project and then I will allow myself to get started on my many, many quilting projects!

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011


There is nothing like fresh inspiration to motivate me to get busy, and as a professional procrastinator, I love a deadline!  Fellow blogger Laurie at Indulge Your Shelf had a recent post about a blogging event called Where Bloggers Create.  The sign up and information can be found at My Desert Cottage.  It's an opportunity for people to share photos of their crafting/art studios and the work they do in them.  Now I certainly feel that this may be a bit out of my league, but I'm excited about the challenge to organize my cabinets and of course, finish the valance for the window in my combination laundry/craft room.  I'm also inspired to get busy on all my unfinished quilt projects so I can actually post them.  I've got lots of work to do!

Monday, May 30, 2011

May Daybook

For Today...

Outside my's a gray and cloudy but very warm out.

I am thinking...about all the projects I would like to do around the house and in the craft room, but where to start!

I am thankful for...all those who have served our country.

From the kitchen...we had BBQ smoked ribs, lots of salads and homemade cherry pie!

I am pants, t-shirt and flip-flops.

I am creating...drapes for the living room that are almost done.

I am Great Wolf Lodge in a few days with my children.

I am reading...The Pillars of the Earth.

I am hoping...all those who lost loved ones in the military are feeling loved today.

I am hearing...the washing machine-laundry doesn't take a holiday at our house.  I also hear laughter from the play room!

Around the husband is contendedly napping, my daughter is reading a book and the boys are playing games.

One of my favorite things...a quiet day for rest.

A few plans for the rest of the week: working on the living room drapes and packing three of the children for camp.
Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Doggie Pillows

Here is yet another home dec project that I procrastinated.

These pillows replace the boring striped ones that came with the sofa.  Our basement family room has been a boring beige for far too long.  I had the walls painted red and added some fun fabric pillows to brighten things up.  I love the green doggie fabric.  Now if we could just keep the toys picked up!

It's Fabric Tuesday at Quiltstory.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

April Daybook

For Today...

Outside my window...there is a beautiful blue sky, the sun is shining, leaves are budding on the trees.

I am lovely the weather is, and I should be outside.

I am thankful for...Easter joy!

From the kitchen...baking a cake to celebrate the beatification of Pope John Paul II tomorrow.

I am wearing...capris, a yellow sweater and Keds.

I am creating...drapes for the living room and an art journal-my first one.

I am take pictures of my son tonight for his senior prom.

I am reading...Art at the Speed of Life by Pam Carriker and enjoying her tips and ideas for living an artful life.

I am hoping...that my dear friend will be healed.

I am hearing...lots of things with the windows open:  birds singing, cars going by, a lawn mower and the boys playing outside.

Around the son is getting ready for prom, and I need to do a quick tidy before parents arrive to take pre-prom photos.
One of my favorite things...a sunny sky!

A few plans for the rest of the week:  working on the living room drapes, decluttering the basement family room and ordering food for my oldest son's graduation in just two weeks!

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Big brother, little brother...

Big brother, little sis...

Friday, April 29, 2011

I Caught the Fever.

I really wasn't that interested in the Royal wedding today.  I had no intention of getting up super early to watch and didn't record it.  However, when I got up and turned on the news this morning, there were the highlights, and I was immediately enchanted.  Since my husband isn't interested in discussing an over-hyped wedding, I have to blog about it!

The first image that got me was when Prince Harry turns around to sneak a peek at Kate as she enters the church.  He turned to Prince William with a big grin and whispered something to him that  made his big brother smile.  I thought it was an endearing moment between two  men who although they are important world figures, are after all, brothers.

Kate did look absolutely beautiful and reminded me of Grace Kelly in her simple, elegant gown.

The scene that brought tears to my eyes might sound strange, but for me it was a live look at something you read about in fairy tales or see in historical movies.  It was the images of the Prince and his new bride being presented to the people of England on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.  The size of the crowd was amazing with everyone cheering and waving flags.  It truly looked like a scene from a movie.  The people of England got to have this amazing, beautiful moment in their history, a moment of national pride that was shared with the entire world.  We need more happy news like this!  I couldn't help tearing up, and was late getting ready for the day since I couldn't put my mascara on until the tearing stopped!

So I'm not going to apologize to anyone who has had enough of all the wedding hype this last week and the nonstop news coverage today.  I'm off to find a Guinness or a Bass Ale so I can toast the happy couple!  Cheers!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Kitchen Valance

Ah, the feeling of finally completing a nagging project!  I don't know why it took me so long to finally finish making valances for two of my kitchen windows.  Once I calculated all the measurements and cut the fabric, it only took me three hours to stitch them up.  Yet I have had the fabric for this project for almost two years!!  If procrastination is a disease, I need to find the cure!

At any rate, the valance for my back door turned out very cute.  It's a striped fabric that is also used as the lining for the valance on the window next to it--I managed to get that one finished months ago.

 This is the valance for the desk window.  It dresses up an otherwise very messy area (I cut the mess out of the picture).  Having the window finally "finished" helps me feel better about the stacks of paper that ususally clutter the desk top.

My next project will be drapes for the living room.  A curtain rod has been hanging there for months, empty.  I have good incentive for getting the drapes done.  My son graduates from high school in a few weeks, and I want the drapes up before his party.  Of course these are things my son doesn't find necessary for throwing a party.  I should probably work on having that sort of attitude.  I could very easily torture my family with the stress of completing an unrealistic To Do list.  All that really needs to be done is making sure the house is sufficiently clean and providing enough food and places to sit.  Sigh...but it would be so nice to have it ALL done!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

She Ornament

My final class project for Silver Bella is the sparkly ornament created in a class taught by Beth Quinn.  She had all the supplies we needed in a little kit which included the miniature wire dress form.  The funnest part of the class was coating the wire with glitter.  It got everywhere!

The wings of the She Ornament are made from wire mesh with a bit of gauze and then a teal colored silk leaf glued together.  We stitched on some beads for added texture and then coated the wings in sparkly mica flakes.  Beth and her lovely assistant (whose name I wish I could remember) passed out some books for us to cut out meaningful words.  I chose the word beautiful and then found the word artist.  This isn't meant to be a conceited description of myself.  It represents what I was feeling at the time of the class.  It was the last one for the weekend, and I had met so many amazing women-all of them artists and each one uniquely beautiful.  My own inner artist had been reawakened during the workshop, and I was feeling such joy.  Beautiful Artist captured the essence of my experience at Silver Bella.

I added another book phrase to the She Ornament's skirt along with some sewn on buttons and sparkly beads.  She is a very sparkly ornament and looked lovely on my Christmas tree.  One more mention about Beth's assistant.  I feel so bad for not remembering her name!  She was so sweet to introduce me to author Jenny Doh who was the featured speaker at the closing dinner for the Silver Bella workshop.  I had brought along one of her books hoping to have it signed.  I mentioned this during the She Ornament class, and Beth's assistant remembered and brought Jenny over to meet me and take a picture.

That's me on the right wearing my Chatelaine Necklace made that morning.  Jenny Doh is on the right dressed to kill!  I can hardly wait for registration to open tomorrow!  It's like waiting for tickets to your favorite rock band to go on sale!
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