Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you a day filled with peace and joy!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween and Fall Tag Swap

It's Halloween and the countdown begins at my house for "is it dark enough to trick-or-treat yet?"  The weather where I am is gorgeous-no wind and not too cold.  It's a good opportunity to remind my kids how fortunate they are today knowing trick-or-treating had to be cancelled in some areas.  Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by Hurricane Sandy and with hope for a quick return to the normalcy we often take for granted.

I was late this year getting decorations out but managed to get even my latest project finished, a Fall Tag Swap hosted by Dawn.  We each made 10 tags and got 10 lovely tags in return.

My contribution was made by decoupaging old dictionary pages to manila tags.  I then aged them using thinned out acrylic paint.  The "Merry Halloween" image was stitched on, and I added a ruffled bit of streamer to the bottom.

The funnest part of being in a swap is the day your package arrives!  The cards were delightful!

I used a jute string to hang the tags using small clothespins over the window .  About half the tags are Halloween themed and the others are more fall-themed.  Tomorrow I can take down the Halloween tags and leave the others until after Thanksgiving.  I just love having these lovely pieces of work from other artists hanging right in my craft room!

I'll do another post showing each card and links to the ladies that participated.  The tags are too fabulous not to share each one!  Have a safe and Merry Halloween!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Handmade U Swaps


Time for more photos from Handmade U Fall 2012!  The last workshop I attended was Silver Bella in 2009.  I was so new to the whole thing, I didn't participate in any swaps.  As I watched people doing their swap exchanges, I was very envious and sad to miss out on all the fun.  So this time I participated in all three swaps at Handmade U.

Small Ephemera Bundle Swap

We had a Small Ephemera bundle swap hosted by Michelle Gellar of Hold Dear. It was a bit of a challenge for me since I have a small collection of ephemera but not enough for 16 bundles.  Etsy certainly helped with that-I hope that's not cheating!  I forgot to photograph my bundles, but I used vellum sheets to stitch envelopes and filled them with just about everything I had.  It was worth it though.  Look at what I got in return!!

All my loot!

Sandie Jensen and Me

One of the first people I saw when I arrived at Handmade U, was Sandie.  I started following her blog about a year ago through Where Bloggers Create.  We had exchanged some messages, and it was so nice to meet her in person!  Sandie hosted an ATC swap-another first for me! Sadly, I somehow missed the final count on cards and only made six. They still let me trade, and I got some beautiful cards in return.

The cards I received

My ATC's made with pattern paper, ribbon, buttons and of course, some stitching!


Our final swap I've saved for last on purpose.  It was an Ephemera Box swap hosted by Mollie.  Each person was to choose a favorite color or color scheme and then was given a swap partner.  Here are all the boxes lined up on the table before swapping time:

There was one box that particularly caught my eye.  It had the look of an old brown leather suitcase with a leather handle.  I thought someone would be very lucky to get it--runs out that lucky someone was me! Lisa gave me this fabulous case.

I just love how worn it looks.  At this point I have no idea what I will do with the box, but I would like to leave the outside as is and maybe do something to the inside using old lace and ribbons....
The box was filled with lots of lovely ephemera in pastel colors and a very pretty pink handkerchief.  Pink is probably my favorite color if I'm forced to choose just one. :)

I gave Lisa a cigar box filled with her chosen colors, blue and pink.  That was a fun color combination to collect!  The cigar box is only about 15 years old, but it has a Romeo and Juliet scene that seemed to go well with the color scheme.

The inside of the box I gave to Lisa-I love these colors!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Handmade U Workshop

The very cute decorations in our classroom
It's about time I start sharing my photos from Handmade U last month!  If you aren't familiar with Handmade U, it's hosted by Rachel of Rach-ology.  There have been three Handmade U semesters hosted in the Omaha, Nebraska area.

The fun started on a Thursday evening with dinner, Make and Takes, and swaps. 

Michelle Gellar of Hold Dear taught us how to make a very cute little accordion-fold album.  Shelley of Honey Lamb and I taught us to make "hexies" using a fusible applique method.  We made little flowers, and I fused mine to wool felt that I plan to use as a pin. 
My name tag and "Pixie Dust"
Friday morning we arrived to our classroom decorated with paper streamers and large letters spelling out Handmade U.  Each student had her own table with a name tag made from a vintage spool and a mini salt shaker filled with glitter courtesy of Covered in Glitter.  It's so cute!

Our first class, a Parlour Journal of Thoughts and Musings was taught by the fabulous Hope Kearney Wallace of Besottment.  We were given these lovely packets sewn from vintage wallpaper that contained all the materials needed to complete our journals.  Once I finished getting my journal assembled, it fit perfectly back in the packet.  It's probably where I will store it for safe keeping.

My very messy workspace!

I learned some great  new techniques with this journal project.  I also loved the journal prompts Hope gave us.  I had trouble at first getting into it, but once I got the ideas flowing, it really opened up some new self-discoveries.

One of my inside pages
Here is the cover which is still a work in progress.  Hope's blog has photos of the work other participants did--great inspiration!

Almost finished!  My lady's skirt opens to reveal another page element.
Saturday's class was taught by another fun teacher Liesel Lund.  The class was called Enchanted Hours: Celebrating the Magic of Children's Books.  We were to bring two vintage children's books which we then- gasp -deconstructed!  I love books and have a little trouble pulling them apart, but it does give new life to books that are maybe beginning to fall apart.  It also made for an amazingly fun project! 
A very grainy Instagram pic of Liesel Lund
Using exacto knives, we cut the front and back covers off then pulled the pages apart.  We then rebuilt the books using pages from each book and adding vintage music sheets, newspaper, colored scrapbook papers, and even envelopes.  I still have lots of work to do on mine, but here are few photos of what I did during the workshop.
Inside front cover

The back page showing a page from a second deconstructed book
I loved seeing what the other ladies used for their books. We had everything from cute children's books to Christmas books to children's chapter books. It gave me great ideas for so many new projects!  Liesel has a great post featuring work from other participants on her blog Adventures in Pretty

Completed Cover...or maybe it needs more glitter...

Handmade U was such a fun workshop! Rachel and Michelle went above and beyond in having extra supplies to borrow or use. The teachers were fabulous, and it was so good to reconnect with ladies I had previously met and to meet new art friends. 
Going through the pictures again for this post has me a little sad and wishing for another workshop.  So maybe it's a good thing I still have work to do in my journals.  I can keep the fun extended! 
Our amazing teachers!!  Shellie, Michelle, Hope, Rachel, and Liesel

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Crazy Summer and Crazy Quilting

Summer is really flying by for our family.  In a couple weeks, I help my son get moved into his apartment for his second year of school.  Two of my other boys have already started football practice--in the 100 degree heat we've been having!

I had high hopes for a summer filled with art projects--finished art projects!  That seems to be quite a challenge for me.  Still, I've had fun experimenting with some new mediums and taking online classes through Artful Gathering.

Crazy Quilt Bag

One of the classes I took was Patricia Winter's Crazy Quilting 101.  It's been quite a fun class though I haven't gotten very far with my bag.  The photo above doesn't show it, but I do have one row of herringbone stitching completed.  Being a quilter, I've never done crazy quilting before, and it is addicting!  Once you learn the basics, it can be applied to so much.  In fact, it has inspired me for my next swap project coming up in September--you'll have to stay tuned for that one!

Crazy Quilt Accessory Bag
I am also doing the Session II Crazy Quilted Accessory Bag class which builds on what we learned in Session I.  At least I have the front pieced for the second bag.  I'll be working simultaneously on both bags.  Soon, I will add some ribbon embroidery which I've always wanted to try.

Hope you are enjoying your summer!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Blog Party Time!

Welcome to my studio!

Where Bloggers Create is such a fun event!  Last year I met so many lovely people.  Many thanks to Karen Valentine from My Desert Cottage for hosting.  She really knows how to throw a party!

My laundry room studio showing the "fun" side of the room.
I'm cheating just a bit this year...please don't hold it against me.  Some of my photos are from last year--when my studio was clean!  It has been a particularly busy summer with my children's activities.  My high hopes of doing a reorganization of my studio just weren't possible.

The laundry side of my studio.  Yes, there are two dryers. 
I have five children and the machines are always full!
Over the last year, I have managed to complete some projects-I am a perpetual procrastinator.  I've even gone through a bit of a metamorphosis with my blog.  If you visited me last year, I was known as 42 UFOs, a quilting blog that was intended to chronicle completion of my many unfinished quilting projects.

The door to the laundry/studio that also shows my "fabric pantry"
My interests have evolved over the last three years since entering the blog world and taking my first art workshop.  It just seemed like a good time to spread my wings and try a new avenue with my blog so I renamed it:  Snips and Threads.
Inside the "fabric pantry"
I love to quilt and will always make them-I have plenty of unfinished quilt projects to keep me busy for a loooong time!  There are so many different creative pursuits I would like to try and continue experimenting with them.  You can read about some of these things in the posts along the side bar.  I especially love participating in swaps.  It really gets me outside the box and trying new things!
Cabinet that stores some of my vintage trims and laces and supplies-needs organizing help!

Last year I failed to mention that the glass knobs and handles on all my cabinetry are very special to me. They are vintage and most of them came from my father who is currently mostly "retired" from antique dealing. He loves it too much to ever really retire.

One of my favorite tools is the Gingher shears I finally broke down and bought myself a few years ago.  Love them!  The local quilt guild hosts a show each year with a fabulous vendor mall-my favorite part!  One year I bought this fused glass, magnetized pin holder.  I love the colors and that it was handmade by a local glass artist.  I also started using a vintage mini jello mold to hold pins.

These cute vintage planters now hold my vintage spools and a few buttons and other odds-n-ends.

This is part of my inpiration board.  The framed art piece showing a girl with a flower on her head is a piece by Kelly Rae Roberts.  It says "Explorer of truth and beauty."  Love it!  The big pink tissue paper flower was given to me on Mother's Day by my first grader.  Those are the best gifts!  I enlarged this photo so you can read the cartoon with the poor mom crammed into a tiny slot for "me" time.  Can anyone relate? :)

I love my book cabinets.  In fact, I love books almost as much as I love fabric!

Keepin' it real
This is how my studio looks this morning.  I have some piles going on the counters and lots of laundry piles that I will spare you.  It's been a bit of a challenge to juggle a multi-use space since laundry sorting tends to migrate to the studio side.  When I'm trying to get a project finished, supplies tend to find themselves over on the laundry side.  It's also a very public room with the children, my husband and the pets coming in and out.  That just ensures that I'm never lonely!

Ranger, our Australian Shepard with Periwinkle the kitty lying in her favorite spot by the sewing machine.
I'm so glad you stopped by for a visit.
Please come back again to see what I'm up to next!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Where Bloggers Create!

Karen Valentine at My Desert Cottage is hosting Where Bloggers Create for the 4th year.  

Time to clean out the studio!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

42 UFO's is now Snips and Threads

For those who see my blog on their blog roll, you may notice a new blog name you didn't realize you were following.  After some soul-searching, I have changed the name of my blog.  The way I did it doesn't appear to have affected my "followers" list so hopefully I won't lose anyone from my small group! :)

Why the change?  I feel that over the last two years of blogging and creating, I have evolved a bit and the blog name 42 UFO's isn't reflecting that evolution.  I will always be a quilter, but I've been having a great time experimenting with different genres!  It would be nice if the blog name were more reflective of that.  Snips and Threads is a name I came up with some time ago as a business name, you know, to sell projects I've actually finished!  It's the name of my empty Etsy shop and the name of a decades-old dream of an arts and crafts career.

My original idea for blogging my progress on  the quilting UFO's still exists.  I've moved 42 UFO's to it's own topic-specific blog.  You can still follow my progress there-I just finished a quilt last night-yay!

I hope you will follow along as I try something new, experiment, learn and dream!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Needlebook Swappin' Part II

Each time I have done a swap, I have an initial idea in my mind of what I would like to create, and I typically second guess it.  This causes wasted time in actually starting my projects.  Big surprise there that I have a procrastination problem!  For the needlebook I would create, I first thought of doing something colorful and kitschy.  However, I had long ago clipped a page from Country Living magazine showing a French inspired needlebook.  Oh which way to go!  I made two gathering piles for both styles.  Once I did a little emailing with my swap partner Margaret, who loves 40's and 50's vintage items, I realized my first idea was the one to choose...and it was so much fun!

My inspiration came as I searched through my very unorganized stash.  I was trying to pull out a container with various bits of vintage ribbon when two pocket-size composition books fell out.  I bought them when I purchased full-size notebooks to use for an art journal project.  Then the inspiration came!!  How cute would it be to use a composition book for a needlebook!  Here is my first attempt at a tutorial...

I carefully pulled out the pages so I could use just the cover.  Then I measured and cut felt "pages" to be attached later in the process.  The felt pages were cut along the edges with pinking shears to add a decorative touch.  Cotton and wool flannel are also good choices for needlebook pages, and the pinking will keep the edges from fraying.

I carefully measured and cut a piece of paper to cover the inside of the notebook just in case the felt "pages" didn't quite cover the cardboard.  Before gluing the paper in place, I glued in a piece of baker's twine to use for a loop closure.  You can see it sticking out on the left side of the photo below.  I set the felt pages inside the book temporarily to help me measure how big the loop should be.  The next step was to stitch red ric rac all around the edge.  After this, I glued the black polka-dot paper to the inside of the cover.  Once I got going, I forgot to photograph some of the steps-sorry! :)

This photo shows the full cover laid open with all the embellishments stitched or glued in place.  I used a universal needle in the machine and set the stitch length just a bit longer so the cardboard wouldn't be as likely to perforate from all the little needle holes.  Once the needle is used on paper and cardboard, it's ruined for fabric.  I keep these needles in a separate box so I can reuse them in other paper stitching projects.  When you are sewing fabric, it's best to have a nice sharp, new needle.

The Sewing Is Fun image was printed on fabric made especially for printers.  I love working with it.  You can find it at most craft and sewing stores.  Sadly I have no idea where this image came from originally.  That was before I knew how important it was to give credit to sources (thanks Pinterest!).
After cutting out the printed image, which had to be reprinted when I forgot to mirror image it, I stitched it to a square of blue fabric and then stitched the piece directly to the front of the composition book cover.

The image for the back of the cover was stamped on fabric and then stitched to the same fabric used on the front.  I then sewed buttons on the front "spine."  The scissor button was one I've had for so many years and was intended for a quilted wall hanging that I never actually made!  All along it was meant for this project anyway.  I love when that happens!

I sewed a vintage green button to the front of the cover near the edge to use for the loop closure.

With the cover art complete, a closure in place and the edge trim stitched on it's time to add the inside pages.  For this needlebook, I didn't want to have too many pages since it would make it hard to keep closed.  Basically there are two felt pieces.  The larger piece has a red plaid pocket.  I cut a piece to fit and ironed under the edge and added a ribbon trim for the to of the pocket.  The pocket was then sewed to the larger of the felt pages along the sides and bottom.  For the smaller page, I decided it need a little jazzing up so I used a decorative machine stitch on the edges.  It shows on both sides of the page.  Carefully holding the felt pages in place, I stitched them through the spine of the book.  I did three rows of stitching for stability and also to help the book keep it's shape.  Now the needlebook is finished!