Monday, September 26, 2011

Bloomin' Tuesday

Recently my husband and I were in southern California. It's so beautiful there, and I love being surrounded by flowers throughout the year. I was especially struck by the beauty of the bougainvillea, which were in full bloom. They have such a lovely, delicate blossoms -- definitely one of my favorites. I often put them in containers on our patio for the summer in Colorado, but in warmer climes they flourish with abandon. On one of our early evening walks I took some photos of the colorful bougainvillea that was planted at the base of palm trees and in big, beautiful urns. The colors included hot pink, pale pink, salmon, gold, and orange -- so pretty...

Linked to:
Bloomin' Tuesday @ Ms. Green Thumb Jeans

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Bits of news...

I haven't done a lot of posting this week. Truth be told, I haven't done any. I have a good excuse: I've been busy. Some weeks are like that. I've had several weeks like that and blogging has hardly been on the radar. This week I've been getting quotes for a master bath redo that we are going to start in a few weeks. I'll keep you posted throughout the project. It's a complete overhaul. Everything is coming out and new is being put in. Here's a sneak peak of some of the choices I've been making in carpet, cabinets, tile and countertops...


Additionally I've been a little consumed with taking care of life while my husband was out of town ... natural gas in our basement due to a leak in a huge pipeline behind our house ... a little flooding in our laundry room and basement due to my stupidity ... taking the car in to be fixed -- twice. You know the usual inconveniences associated with living. (Yes, I'm beggin' for sympathy!) It's times like this I need to remind myself of everything that is going right in my life. There is so much to feel grateful. 

Anyway, hopefully I'll be able to buckle down and do a little crafting in a week or so. In the meantime, here's another pillow I made for another daughter out of the bunting pillow pattern I made a couple of weeks ago. I sent it to her unstuffed, so she filled it and here it is residing on her couch! Love the colors of turquoise and red that she has in her living room! (And how nicely convenient that the cherry red truck across the street matches her living room accessories!) ;o)

Have a great day! 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011

And the winner is . . .

I love to host give aways. It makes me feel like Oprah. Except I don't give away cars or bathrobes or mixing bowls or books. I give away buttons. Hmmm -- not quite as exciting.

Just know if I was as wealthy as Oprah, I'd give all 40+ people who signed up for this give away a car. Truly, I would. ...As it is I'm ready to announce the winner of 12 wooden buttons -- handcrafted by mmmwaaaa {me}. This will enable the winner to make the nine-button pillow and the three-button pillow that I've recently featured.

And the winner is ...

Congratulations Brooke!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bunting Pillow . . .

I'm on a pillow kick. That probably doesn't come as a surprise to anyone. It seems that every fall and spring I get in the mood to redecorate with pillows. It is an inexpensive way to change up a room, and I love to experiment with new designs. Yesterday I added another pillow to the list. This one will compliment the 3-button pillow and the 9-button pillow that I already made for my daughter. 

Because I loved the bunting cosmetic bag I made earlier this summer, I decided to try my hand at a new pillow design that features bunting. I started with three fabrics -- some muslin and two upholstery fabrics (on sale this week at Hancock's for 54% off). To make this 18 inch square pillow, you will need the following materials:

  • One piece of muslin 10 inches x 19 inches
  • One piece of upholstery fabric 2.5 inches x 19 inches
  • Another piece of upholstery fabric 9.5 inches x 19 inches
  • One piece of fusible fleece 10 inches x 19 inches (fuse to the back of the muslin)
  • black thread
  • bunting triangles from a variety of scrap fabrics
1/2 inch seams allowances

After ironing the fusible fleece to the muslin, the bunting can be applied to the fabric. Sew a line across the top of one of the pieces of muslin -- swooping it from the left side of the fabric to the top (see below). This line will work as a guide for your placement of bunting pieces.

Then attach your bunting triangles by putting the tops of the triangles along the line already sewn and sewing across the top of each piece.

Next sew across the top of the pieces a couple more times and along the sides of the pieces a couple of times. Don't worry about being precise while sewing these lines. I purposely made the lines a little catawampus, which {I hope} adds some character to the piece.

Time to add more bunting by creating another swooping sewing line starting at the top of the fabric and sweeping across the fabric to the right. Just like before, go ahead and add your triangular bunting pieces using the sewn line as a guide for placement. Again sew around each triangle and across the top a couple of times!

Then attach the 2.5 inch piece of upholstery fabric (lime green) to the muslin and the 9.5 inch piece (turquoise) using 1/2 inch seams. Top-stitch the seams toward the 2.5 inch strip of fabric. All that's left is attaching a back piece of fabric (19 inches x 19 inches) to the front, filling the pillow with stuffing, and slip-stitching the hole shut.


The first time I create a pattern and sew an item is always a trial run -- sometimes it works out well and other times not so much. Next time I'll give the buntings a little more of curved swag {if that makes sense}, but overall I'm pretty happy with the results!

Linked to:
Glitter Link Party @ Running with Glitter
Sister Sunday @ Sisters of the Wild West
Weekend Wrap Up @ Tatertots and Jello
Friday Favs @ Nap Time Crafters
Friday's Features @ Cookie Nut Creations
Handmade Tuesdays @ Ladybug Blessings
DIY under $15 @ A Little Tipsy
Let's Party @ Sassy Sites
Hookin' Up with House of Hepworths
Show Off Your Stuff Party @ Fireflies & Jellybeans
Anything Related @ All Things Related
The Inspiration Board @ Homework
Get Your Craft On @ Today's Creative Blog

Monday, September 12, 2011

Plaque Attack -- Help Needed !

Early last month I mentioned that the Plaque Attack Club would be beginning a new phase. Last September I started the club, and with the completion of August's plaque each month has a subway art document symbolizing that month.

If you haven't received all 12 months of documents and would like additional months, please send me an email (my email address is on my sidebar) with the months you are requesting in the subject line of the email.

For the Plaque Attack Club this year we'll use the same wooden plaques, but the theme will change. Instead of concentrating on months of the year, I'll create some themed documents that reflect important things or events in our lives. Here are some examples...
  • a plaque that could be placed in a child's room
  • famous quotes or sayings
  • birthday theme
This is where you come in... Please leave a comment below with ideas you have for future plaques themes or wording! I will sift through the suggestions and make plaques with the most requested or original themes. Thank you so much for helping me with this. I've gotten so many fabulous ideas from my readers. It's good to know I can turn to you for help!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Thankful Thoughts

What moved me this week... 

Transitions in our lives are often hard to manage. I've seen three of my children's families transition to having a new little one in their home this summer. That transition is often a formidable one, but another transition that can be just as challenging is when the last child leaves home and a parent is faced with the question, "What now?" I've found that in time you discover new adventures and avenues for growth that add meaning and direction to your life, but during that period of changeover from one phase of your life to another a little soul searching can take place as you try to determine where you fit in your new world.

Last weekend Mark and I were visiting his brother's family in California so we went to church with them on Sunday. Because it was the first Sunday of the month it was Fast and Testimony Meeting. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka: LDS, Mormons) Fast and Testimony Meeting is a meeting where rather than predetermined speakers on particular subjects, the members are given opportunity to bear testimony to one another of gospel truths and to share spiritual experiences they have had in an extemporaneous manner. My sister-in-law Sharon took the opportunity to share.

Recently her last child went off to college, which left their home unusually quiet and left her life noticeably less fulfilled. Sharon soon realized being a mother with no children living at home affected all aspects of her life, but it became particularly apparent when she went to church the first Sunday after becoming an empty nester. Because her husband is busy on Sundays with a demanding church position, for the first time since she became a mother she was left to sit alone while attending church. Sitting companionless at church tugs at your heart when, for over 30 years, you've had seven children and a husband to keep you company during services. That feeling of solitude made Sharon wonder if anyone would miss her if she chose not to attend church. Would family and friends even know she was absent? Would they care if they noticed her missing?

As we all do when melancholy sets in, Sharon {in her own words} was in the processing of hosting herself a little "pity party." All this she admitted as she stood to share in the meeting we attended with her family.  Her admission surprised me. My sister-in-law is an amazing woman with many, many talents and abilities. Among her many positive attributes is her friendly, welcoming, self-confident nature. People flock to her because of her out-going personality. She is the last person I would expect to feel lonely or less than self-assured. Nevertheless, by her own admission she was feeling awkward and alone.

Now... for the tender mercy. After church a young mother approached Sharon. After the usual pleasantries she told my sister-in-law that she always looks forward to seeing Sharon at church and that her attendance meant something to her. It was, of course, just what she wanted to hear. She was reminded through the words of that young woman that she was still needed and of worth. Additionally Sharon recognized that the young woman's words were a blessing and affirmation from a loving Heavenly Father.

There are several references in the scriptures to the "tender mercies of the Lord." I have come to realize that these "tender mercies" are the very personal and individualized assistance which we receive from and through the Savior. Often these ministrations come in quiet, subtle ways through the help and support of others. When we recognize the source of these ministrations, we realize how wonderful it feels to be blessed, watched over, supported, and protected by Him, and we realize that He is mindful of us and aware of our needs. I am moved by the tender mercy that Sharon shared with us -- not only because it happened to someone I love, but because I could relate to it so completely.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Friday's Fabulous Finds...

I spy with my Etsy eye ... 
 a hint of autumn! 

Clockwise, starting top left:

Vintage Railroad Lamp
Felted Pumpkin 
Baby Booties
Mineral Eye Shadow 
Rustic Autumn Crown

Wishing you a beautiful fall weekend!

Remember to go here to sign up for my handcrafted button Give-Away! 

Thursday, September 08, 2011

A Give-Away and Button Pillow Number 2 !

Last week I told you about a Fall Pillow with handcrafted wooden buttons that I made for my daughter and promised that I would show you its companion pillow this week. This second pillow is truly one of the easiest pillows you could ever make. It's an 18 inch pillow with a simple 2 1/2 inch vertical tuck that is tacked down by three large 2-inch homemade wooden buttons! {If you'd like to learn how to make your own wooden buttons, go here.}

Like the first pillow, this second pillow is so simple that it doesn't need a tutorial, but I'll go ahead and give you the measurements for the front of the pillow in case you'd like to replicate it. You'll need to decide how you want to finish the pillow to determine the measurements for the back piece of the pillow.

For the front of the pillow you will need a piece of fabric 19 inches x 24 inches. The fabric I chose for this pillow was bought at Hancock Fabrics from their drapery/upholstery fabric. It's a lime green Herringbone.  It's luscious, rich texture is perfect for the fall and winter months.

I also cut a piece of fusible fleece the same size as the front of the pillow and fused it to the wrong side of the fabric before I made the tuck. Adding a piece of fusible fleece to the front of the pillow makes all the difference. When it is applied to the front fabric of a pillow it makes the end product have a much more professional look.

You will need to sew a vertical tuck in the fabric that is 2 1/2 inches wide {a total of 5 inches is needed for the front and back of the tuck}. When the tuck is complete, you'll have a piece of fabric that is 19 inches by 19 inches.

Finish the pillow by attaching the back of the pillow to the front using 1/2 inch seams on all sides to make your 18 inch square pillow.

{Now for the fun part -- the Give-Away!}

By leaving a comment below you will be entered into a give-away to receive your very own handcrafted wooden buttons -- made by mwaaaa {yours truly}. The winner will receive 3 two-inch buttons and nine 1-inch buttons. With those in your hot little hands the winner will be set to make the pillow I featured in this post AND the pillow I featured last week. How's that for fantastic!!! {Please note that both of these pillows can easily be made by a novice sewer.} Just follow the steps below...

No anonymous comments please. I need an email address or accessibility to a public blog in order to contact you if you win! This contest will run until midnight Wednesday, September 14th. On Thursday morning, September 15th, the winner will be announced.  Good luck!

Linked to:
Sister Sunday Link Party @ Sisters of the Wild West
Show & Tell Saturday @ Be Different Act Normal
Frugalicious Friday @ Finding Fabulous
Show & Share @ Just a Girl
Show Off Your Stuff @ Fireflies & Jellybeans

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Labor Day . . .

The hubs and I arrived home yesterday from yet another trip -- this time to California for an extended Labor Day Weekend. Sooo very fun. You can tell from the highlights of our trip below that my husband indulged me with lots of fabulous food and shopping. {One of the many reasons I love that man!} Without further ado...
  • Beautiful drive up to San Luis Obispo where the hubs and I first met. Here's "Our Story."
  • Shopping, sightseeing and lunch in Morro Bay...
  •  Wedding Reception with favorite family members in Visalia -- Lovely!
  • Church with family -- Rejuvenating!
  • Taking down my husband in Dominos and card games -- Unusual!
  • Browsing at shops in Laguna Beach -- Awesome! 
  • Lunch and dessert at our favorite restaurant in San Clemente -- Yummy...
  •  A good movie -- Relaxing!
  • Home again. Yay!
Tomorrow if the cloud-cover parts and it stops raining (so I can get some good pictures) I'll  show you "Wooden Button Pillow #2." So cute! Also, I'll need your help to determine what Plaque Attacks I will conjure up this year. Stay tuned for that post!