Monday, January 30, 2012

Journal Cover ...

Our little eight-year-old granddaughter is being baptized in a week, so my husband and I chose to give her a little something that would help her remember the day -- a journal. With this journal she can record her baptismal experience and then continue to preserve special memories in her life. The journal we chose to buy her is small -- about 6.5 inches wide and 9 inches long -- and very utilitarian. Here's the "before" photo...

It's a nice gift but not nearly feminine enough for an adorable eight-year-old girl, so I decided to beautify it a bit with some flowers, birdies, and swirls that might be a little more befitting a girly-girl...

The template for this appliqued flower was found at a guest post on "Chasing Cottons." Jess from "Twin Fibers" created the tutorial that used this template to make some adorable flower coasters, but I decided it would make the perfect design for the journal cover. I enlarged it a bit and added a couple more leaves to the blossom...

I really love the whimsical nature of this flower's design...

Several months ago I pinned this fabulous journal cover tutorial at Bloom. It definitely inspired my creativity for this project, and I used the same general steps in this tutorial to finish off the inside of the fabric cover. Neat as a pin...

I have to admit this journal cover reminds me of Spring, which makes me smile!

I'm so grateful that my husband and I are in a position to travel to and attend the special events in our grandchildren's lives. It's such a blessing -- especially since every one of our 11 grandchildren live in another state! ;o)

Have a great day! 

Linked to:
Show Off Your Stuff @ Fireflies & Jellybeans
Hookin' Up w/House of Hepworths
DIY Under $5 @ A Little Tipsy
Show & Tell @ Blue Cricket Design
Ta Da Tuesday @ Mommy by Day Crafter by Night
Show Me What Ya Got @ Not Just a Housewife
The Inspiration Board @ Homework
Sew Cute Tuesday @ Creative Itch
Mop it up Mondays @ I Should Be Mopping the Floor
Get Your Craft On @ Today's Creative Blog
Handmade Tuesdays @ Ladybug Blessings
Northern Cottage Features @ Northern Cottage
Maniac Monday @ Craft O Maniac
Make it Yourself Monday @ An Original Belle
Make it Monday @ Brassy Apple
Made by You Monday @ Skip to my Lou

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Birthday Calendar...

A couple of weeks ago I was on the phone with one of my daughters. We were halfway through a delightful conversation, when she casually mentioned. "It's my birthday today."

 {photo courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens}

I sat stunned. It was true. I had {in my defense} "temporarily" forgotten that is was indeed her birthday that day. I felt awful. I felt despicable. I felt like a horrible mother. Earlier that week I had mailed a card and was fully aware that her birthday was imminent, but it was true when it came down to the day, I choked. At that moment a thousand pitiful excuses started streaming out of my mouth. As I delivered a diatribe of pathetic apologies, she chuckled on the other end of the phone. After I calmed down, she said, "This isn't the first time. You forgot last year too." As much as it pains me to say this -- being her mother and all -- sometimes she lies exaggerates. ;o) {The other day she told me she rarely "reads" blogs... she just looks at the pictures, so I'm pretty sure I can easily get away with that last sentence.} The next day I called her, wished her a "Happy Birthday", sang the birthday song, and told her I was 364 days early this time. I hope she remembers.

Here's the sad truth. It is getting harder and harder for me to remember birthdays and anniversaries in our family. With a total of 25 immediate family members {plus our parents and siblings} that's asking a lot of my puny, menopausal brain. I decided after that uncomfortable experience to do something about it -- especially after I found this adorable birthday calendar.

In preparation I went to Office Depot earlier this week and bought a very small Rolodex that will sit on the desk in my bedroom. It's only 3.5" x 4" x 4" -- so it's very compact. Then I got busy.

I decided to make my own dividers from scrapbook paper. I just punched two holes in the bottom of the paper with a round hole punch and snipped a little slit for the paper to slide into the Rolodex track ...

I decorated the front divider ...

Next I went to work on the monthly dividers. Nothing elaborate -- just some scrapbook paper, punches and stickers. These little cards are only 3 3/4" x 2", so there's not a lot of space to decorate...

Then I used the backs of the cards that were already provided in the Rolodex and typed up the names and birth dates of the individuals in our family. I included their birth year, so I could remember how old they are. This comes in handy with the grands because -- they grow up so fast!

I'm hoping this birthday calendar will help me remember those special days in our family each month. At the beginning of each month it will trigger my memory and having it on my desk will visually remind me of the important dates we celebrate! {Wish me luck...}

Rolodex - $7
Scrapbooking paper and stickers - $5
Total: $12

Linked to:
Catch as Catch Can @ My Repurposed Life
Hookin' Up w/House of Hepworths
Transformation Thursday @ The Shabby Creek Cottage
Show Off Your Stuff Party @ Fireflies & Jellybeans
Wayward Weekend @ Wayward Girls Crafts
DIY Under $15 @ A Little Tipsy
Whatever Goes Wednesday @ Someday Crafts

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Winner of "All Those Patterns" Give Away!

Thanks to all those who participated in the Give Away from...

The fortunate winner wins a $25 credit
which enables her to choose from a delightful menagerie of
PDF Patterns!

And the winner is... 

Congratulations Annemarie!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Snappy Bag Addict...

I've been a Snappy Bag fanatic lately -- grabbing every scrap of fabric in sight and whipping it up into one of these adorable bags...

Making them is addictive.

I need therapy.

Still...there's something wonderful about a project that takes this side of 45 minutes to complete...

Just in case you missed it the first time around,
go here
for my Snappy Bag tutorial.

From the emails I've received I'm not alone in my obsession.
There are a number of Snappy Bag enthusiasts out there.
For an addict -- there's comfort in numbers.

Have a great day creating!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Heart-Shaped Doily becomes Stencil...

Valentine's Day is a favorite of mine. 
What's not to love about a day that celebrates love?

Here's a quick and easy craft that takes five minutes of your time and a few pennies from your purse. It's a fun way to help your little one celebrate the day by wearing something heartfelt...

Start by choosing an article of clothing, some paper heart-shaped doilies, and some fabric paint. I bought all these items at Hobby Lobby for about $5 (40% off coupon on the onsie). You can get multiple applications from one package of doilies and one container of fabric paint. You'll also need a piece of sponge or a stencil brush to stencil the pattern onto the shirt.

Open the shirt and put some kind of barricade between the top of the shirt and the bottom, so the paint doesn't seep through to the back of the shirt while you are applying the paint on the front. I used a coloring book with piece of plain paper on top. I'm obviously very professional when I craft...

Use your paper doily as a stencil and apply the paint to your shirt. {Note: I added a little squirt of  acrylic craft paint to my fabric paint to add a little color and texture. It's washable too.} You can make any type of pattern -- overlapping the doilies as you go. Just make sure you use a new doily each time you add a heart.

Easiest project ever for your precious Valentine.
Don't forget to sign up for the $25 Give Away
from "All Those Patterns."

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

"All Those Patterns" Give Away!

Are you familiar with the blog "Yards and Yards?" I'm happy to shed a little light on a new website and blog that Anna {from "Yards & Yards"} has created called, "All Those Patterns."

What is "All Those Patterns?"

Think of it as a PDF Pattern Mall -- with top PDF Pattern Designers in one location. As the site grows, there will be new designers and patterns added. It's in its infancy now, but is sure to be a fabulous resource for those who sew!

 Cute hat, but too bad we can't order that adorable little dumpling to go with it
...little rosebud lips and all wrinkly. {Sigh.}

Whether you are a sewing enthusiast or a brand new crafter you can browse through patterns for quilting, decor, clothing, crochet, knitting, and sewing to find something that will make your heart go pitter-patter!

What's more, my friends, you have the chance to win
$25 worth of free patterns from 
"All Those Patterns!"

Are you game?

There are three different ways to submit your name to win this Give Away. You may do only one, but if you'd like triple the chance of winning feel free to complete all three...
  • Visit All Those Patterns and choose your three favorite patterns. Then leave a comment below stating which three patterns make your heart palpitate. {Browse by clicking on "Individual Designers."}
  • "Like" All Those Patterns on Facebook, then return and let me know that you've accomplished that assignment by leaving me another email.
  • Finally, "follow" All Those Patterns blog (button on the left side). Return to my blog and leave a separate comment telling me that you are following All Those Patterns blog. 
It's as simple as that!

This contest will run through 4pm Tuesday, January 24th. 
That evening the winner will be announced. 

Don't be shy -- 
my blog is not one that commonly hosts Give Aways, 
so you have a great chance of winning this fabulous prize! ;o)

Good luck!

Linked to:
Give Away Directory @ Someday Crafts

Monday, January 16, 2012

Snappy Bag Tutorial

Here's the post you {may} have been waiting for -- my "Snappy Bag" tutorial. I'm so excited to share this pattern and tutorial with you. In no time at all you can whip up one of these mini-pouches for someone you love! Last week I introduced my version of this little bag that has a carpenter's metal tape measure in the top casing that forms a "hinge" that snaps open and shut! These would be perfect little bags {filled with delectables} for someone you love on Valentine's Day.

Please remember the little printer icon at the bottom 
of this post that enables you to print {with ease} this tutorial!

Materials needed:
Bag front:  6 1/2" x 8" cotton fabric
Bag lining (& casing for measuring tape):  6 1/2" x 12" contrasting cotton fabric
Ruffles: Two 2" x 12" strips of same (or other) contrasting cotton fabric
Interfacing: 5 3/4" x 8" fusible fleece interfacing
Two 5" lengths of  3/4" wide metal measuring tape

Finished bag: 5 1/2" wide x 4" high


1. On the bag front pencil a line one inch away from each short end... (see below)

2. Center fusible fleece to wrong side of bag front and adhere it to the fabric. (The fusible fleece does not cover the seam allowance on the bag front. This ensures a less bulky side seam on the bag.)

3. Fold the 2" x 12" strips (ruffles) in half lengthwise and press. On the unfinished edge of the strip run a basting stitch 1/4" from the edge. Gather. {If you are unsure how to gather fabric, go here for a demo.}

4. Pin your gathered ruffle to the bag front. Place the edge of the gathered fabric along the penciled line on the bag front...

5. Sew ruffles to bag front 1/8" from unfinished ruffle edge. Remove basting.

6. On bag lining fold over short sides about 3/8" and press. Center the bag front on the bag lining wrong sides together. Pin.

7. Stitch 1/4" from unfinished edge of bag front and lining between the ruffles. (see below) This will make stitching of the sides easier.

8. Fold the bag lining over the bag front and the unfinished edge of the ruffles and stitch 1/8" from folded edge of lining. This will create the casing for the measuring tape...

9. (Optional)  Here's where I get a little picky, but it I won't apologize because it makes for a professional looking bag. In the photos below, can you see where the side edges of the fabric are a little uneven in the top photo. The bag front doesn't meet the lining perfectly. In the bottom photo (below) the edges of the bag have been trimmed evenly. To cut these edges straight I take off about 1/8" with my rotary cutter. I know, I know....I'm a bit of a perfectionista. Geesh.

10. Fold the bag in half right sides (bag front) together. Your lining will be on the outside (see below)... On one side only stitch 3/8" from the edge. Trim and zig-zag edge. (Put the bag aside, and don't stitch the other side yet!)

11. Are you up for a little carpentry work? Now you get to dismantle a tape measure... It's fun. Undo the screws on the side of a measuring tape and take it apart. Be careful as you are doing this as the tape measure can "explode" when released from it's confining metal cover. Put a sturdy piece of scotch tape on the end of the measuring tape to keep it wound...

12. Now find the crummiest set of scissors you have in your house, because after you've used them on the measuring tape they are never going to cut well again. Cut two 5" pieces off the metal measuring tape, round the corners, and tape the ends with masking tape so the sharp edges don't rip your fabric...

13. This part is very important... Now slip those little measuring tapes into the casings at the top of the bag. The number side of the measuring tapes need to be facing toward the lining (or the inside) of the bag as in the photo below. (Note one tape is facing 'up' and the other facing 'down' because they need to be facing the lining on each side.) 

14. When you have those little tapes shoved all the way inside the casing, pin the sides together and sew 3/8" from the edge of the fabric. Trim and zig-zag the seam.

15. Turn right side out and press! Yay!!! You're done!

Just think of the possibilities...


If this tutorial was helpful, please take the time to leave
a comment below. Your comments give me the
encouragement to continue creating!

Also, please remember the little printer icon at the bottom 
of this post that enables you to print {with ease} this tutorial!

Linked to:
Weekend Party @ Sisters of the Wild West
Show & Tell Saturday @ Be Different Act Normal
Frugalicious Friday @ Finding Fabulous
Free for All @ Sassy Sites
The Stuff of Success Linky Party
Blog Stalking Thursday @ The Blog Stalker
Hookin Up w/ HOH
Strut Your Stuff @ Somewhat Simple
Transformation Thursday @ The Shabby Creek Cottage
Show Off Your Stuff @ Fireflies & Jellybeans
Whatever Goes Wednesday @ Someday Crafts
DIY Under $5 @ A Little Tipsy
One Stop Shoppe @ The Southern Product Queen
Show & Tell @ Blue Cricket Design
Northern Cottage Party @ Northern Cottage
Sew Cute Tuesday @ Creative Itch
Show Me What You Got @ Not Just a Housewife
The Inspiration Board @ Homework
DIY Project Parade @ DIY Showoff
Ta-Da Tuesday @ Mommy by Day Crafter by Night
Get Your Craft On @ Todays Creative Blog
Handmade Tuesdays @ Ladybug Blessings
Make-It-Yourself Monday @ An Original Belle
Made by you Monday @ Skip to my Lou

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