Mar 192011

My quilting group, the Kindred Quilters, met today for our monthly sewing, eating, chatting & sharing time.  (Not necessarily in that order, lol.)  We’ve been meeting for many, many years, and during that time have made quilts for missionaries, servicemen, people we wanted to thank and folks we thought needed some encouragement.  Lately, though, we’ve been having a great time working on projects for

The wonderful thing about Quilts for Kids is that they send us pre-cut kits with all the fabrics.  All we have to provide is the sewing and the batting!  We love working on these because the patterns are simple and the fabrics are always high-quality and adorable.

This is just one of the finished quilts:

quilt for kids

As you can see, the pattern is an easy one.  The large squares come die cut, everything else comes in strips, all ready to sew.  They even send you a label to add to the back.

I got creative and used up just about every scrap to make the matching pillow.  I probably won’t do that again, as it adds quite a bit to the cost of return shipping.  (They pay to send you the kits, you pay to send back the finished quilt.)

So, if you feel like trying out a quick and fun charity quilt, go ahead and request a quilt over at  You can also download the pattern and use your own fabrics.  Have a terrific weekend!

Mar 162011

I went to take a pic of my workdesk today, and it was empty.  Imagine that.

It was empty because last night I finished this top and then cleaned up.  I kinda like an utter mess while I’m working, but I always clean up after finishing each project. (My apologies for the blurry photo, I simply could not hold the camera steady this morning.  Guess I could have gotten out the tripod, but seriously?)


While cleaning out a cabinet (actually, I was looking for my hidden chocolate stash ***grin***) I found a Ziploc bag stuffed with this pattern envelope (Vogue 8251), its instructions, and all the fabric for this top, including all the pattern pieces cut out.  The only thing I hadn’t done was mark them.  I don’t know what was going on at the time that I cut it all out, then packed it away, but it was great to just have to pull it out and do the sewing.

The strand of beads is to repair a pair of earrings and the little book is a stitch-bound book that I made recently but haven’t filled or decorated yet.  I’ll share more about that another time.

If you’d like to see workdesks from other folks from around the world, go here.

Mar 142011

So sorry I haven’t posted for the last couple of days.  I was hoping to get a video up, but had several technical, scheduling and procedural difficulties.  Soon, very soon!

Anyhow, I thought I’d take this time to show you what I did with a cheap frame I picked up at Ocean State Job Lot for $3.  I really liked the embossed design, but it was a plain, flat, boring color.

Here’s the finished product:


I should have taken a “before” shot, but it was just so dull I had to get to work on it right away.  Here’s a pic of the back, to give you an idea of the overall color:


And here’s a close up of the finished frame:


To achieve this look, first I brushed the whole thing with some dark grey acrylic paint, then wiped it off with a rag, leaving the paint in the crevices & crannies.

Next I took Vintage Photo Distress Ink Reinker, mixed it in a Mini Mister with Perfect Pearls Heirloom Gold and spritzed it all over.  A little selective wiping, a new ribbon bow to replace the raffia and it was done.

Don’t forget to look for the potential all around you!

Mar 092011

On my desk today are the results of a shopping expedition to Joann’s fabrics. I’ve lost a lot of weight in the past year (55 lbs.) and want to make myself some new spring clothes. Gotta get busy sewing!

Simplicity 3956, a really cute top to make with a sheer layered over another fabric.  I’ve had that blue sheer and the blue solid kicking around for ages, they’ll be perfect.

Simplicity 2247, an “Amazing Fit” dress pattern.  I was reading through the directions today and they really walk you through the steps to make this dress fit perfectly.  I don’t have any fabric yet for this one, but I’m looking forward to making it.


Simplicity 2603, a “cardi-wrap.” No fabric for this one yet, either, but it looks like a lot of fun to wear.

The green print will be made into the dress pattern below it, 4014.  The green fabric is for the coordinating jacket.  The print below the green is for a fun lining for said jacket.

Finally, Simplicity 2446, another “Amazing Fit” pattern, this one for a jacket.  I’m trying to figure out how to make my 1.75 yards of the blue pinstripe work, when the pattern calls for 2.125 yards.  Hmmmm . . . . probably have to do something funky with the facings.


Click here to go to Julia’s site and see what’s on many other workdesks around the world.

Mar 072011

Here’s a great scrapbooking project that you can make in a matter of minutes.  All you need is a single sheet of 8.5″x11″ paper to make a cute little four-page photo album.

Mine is a grandma’s photo album with pictures of my granddaughter.  After having two boys, it was a lot of fun to pull out everything pink and purple that I owned and go to town.

Have fun with your own little book! 

Mar 052011

Lately I have been hooked on watching Tricia Morris’ videos over at TV Weekly.  She is such a fantastic teacher and has the coolest ideas.  I had to make the Memories Cubed photo cube (do a Google search for “Club Scrap Memories Cubed”) just to see for myself how it worked.

As I mention in the video below, I couldn’t figure out how to show this thing with still photos, so you get my first video. Evah. 🙂



I asked my husband to make the eight 1.5″ wooden cubes for me, but I also found them at A.C. Moore for 89 cents each.  (Was it worth waiting two weeks to save $7.50?  Yeah, I suppose, lol.)

Here are a few tips for you that I wish Tricia had mentioned in the video:

1. Make sure to let the glue set up completely for each step before “working those hinges.”  (Once you watch her video, you’ll know what I mean.) This keeps things from moving around on you, which can be quite aggravating.

2. Limit the embellishments you use to very thin items.    I used one layer of card stock and one photo on each section.  My only embellishments were rubber stamping and some rub-ons.  Anything more and the cube will be too thick to work properly.

3. Pay attention to where your photos will be trimmed/folded.  You don’t want cuts or fold lines across people’s eyes (or mouths!)  I made myself a trimming guide by drawing a 3″x3″ square on a clear piece of plastic (I used a scrap of packaging.)  I then drew in lines dividing it into four 1.5″ squares, just as our cubes will be divided.


I used this to position my photos on the 3″x 3″ squares so they wouldn’t be trimmed at awkward places.  This is why many of my photos are positioned in the upper left corner.  Didn’t want to chop up that cute little grin!  (You do this before you glue the 3″x3″ squares to the photo cube.)


Once you’ve watched Tricia’s video, you’ll see what I mean.  Let me know how your own magical photo cubes come out. I’m looking forward to making several more of these for special gifts. Have fun!

Mar 032011

It really is a lot of fun scrapbooking these baby photos.  As I work with them the memories just keep flooding back.

This “Blessing from Heaven” border has been in my stash for a long time.  It really wasn’t my style anymore, but some trimming, matting and an application of Spiced Marmalade and Faded jeans Distress Ink seemed to help.  The punch used on the orange photo mats is the Doily Lace Edge Craft Punch by Martha Stewart.

I also used Vintage Photo, Broken China and Peeled Paint Distress Inks on this layout.  Just can’t get enough Distress!

blessing-from-heaven scrapbook page left

So here I was, 22 years after my son’s birth, scrapbooking his baby pictures.  I had a dilemma, though, how to incorporate the baby book I had worked on at the time?

It seemed important to keep the original pages with my handwritten notes, but these pages were bound into a book and were double sided.  I wanted them to be part of the new pages, and not a separate book.  What to do?

After asking around on some scrapbooking forums, I was given a brilliant idea!  I cut a ‘frame’ in a regular 12×12 page and mounted each page from his book into the opening so you can see both sides of the page of the original book.  I trimmed the edges of each frame with ribbon, so it didn’t looked pasted in.

using a baby book page in a scrapbook layout

I’m quite pleased with the results, and now I don’t have a second book to keep track of.

blessing-from-heaven two page scrapbook layout

Mar 022011

Here we are with another installment of “What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday.”  (If you’re wondering what that is, go here to find and and check out workdesks from all over the world.)

I’m still scrapbooking photos from 1988.  Of course there are LOTS more baby pics to scrapbook, but I like to do things chronologically, and when Josh was one day shy of three months old, Gary & I celebrated our first anniversary.  (Yeah, YOU do the math, lol.)

We kinda ran out of cake at our wedding (it was very low budget, lol) and had to serve the top as well. (That’s fine, just how good can frozen one-year-old cake BE?)  So I made us a nice fresh cake, decorated it with our wedding colors and put our wedding topper on it. Kinda sweet, eh?  These two photos of the cake, and a very blurry pic of the roses Gary brought me are the only photos I have from that day oh-so-long ago. At least I saved the ticket stubs from the concert we went to!


The box of distress ink applicators is filled with little wooden handles my husband made for me.  I had a spinner that held eight Ink Blending Tools but I decided I really wanted one tool for each color of distress as the lighter colors were getting muddied.


You might have noticed that I don’t have a lot of space, so although I’d love to have a stack of the Craft Spinners, there just isn’t room.  I decided to ditch the handles on my ink blending tools and had Gary make a bunch of  little wooden blocks shaped like rubber stamp handles. Then I glued Cut n Dry Foam to each one.  My P-Touch made perfect little labels with the name of one color on each.

You know what’s really cool?  I realized as I was working with these pics last night that the table in the photo (our kitchen table at the time) is the very same table I scrapbook on now.  Who knew we’d get so much use out of it?


This layout is far from complete, I think I need to do a great deal of inking of many of the elements to bring in some contrast. I love that background paper (from K and Company’s Que Sera Sera Collection,) but right now everything is mushing together. A decision needs to be made whether to go with the bird, which I like because of the birds on the cake, or butterflies; I’m not sure about using both.

By the way, you’ll find the sketch I’m using here. Usually I change up page maps quite a bit, but I seem to be following this one pretty closely. We’ll see how it turns out in the end.

Feb 282011

One of my favorite things about scrapbooking is all the gadgets you get to play with.  This layout uses a lot of fun goodies, including printed vellum, Snowflake Brads by Creative Impressions, the Tim Holtz Scallops On The Edge Die, Distress ink in Broken China, the Sizzix Sizzlits Die Set 4PK Snowflakes, and Stardust Stickles.

A favorite trick of mine is to print the journaling onto a transparency, and then paint the edges to make a frame around it.  This time I painted with the Snow Cap Paint Dabber.

winter-wonderland12x12 scrapbook page

Those of us here in New England have had just about enough of winter by now.  A snowstorm a week for the first several weeks of the year and over 50″ of snow so far.  I just hope spring comes earlier than it did in 1988!

Here’s the journaling from this layout:

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Actually, it was a Spring wonderland.  New England has unseasonably cold weather in late March of 1988, which is why, even though spring had officially already arrived, we were able to take this walk on Macquan Pond.

Feb 262011

I really wish I’d been a scrapbooker when my kids were little, I’m sure I would have tried to take better pictures, and record more of the little memories.  Ah well, better late than never!

By the way, this “Bundle of Joy” element wasn’t the color I wanted, so I colored it with Stream alcohol ink.  Now it’s perfect!

The punch is the Doily Lace Edge Craft Punch by Martha Stewart. The clouds are all edged with Broken China Distress ink, which I think makes them look nice and fluffy.

bundle-of-joy scrapbook page left

The photo below of my husband and I was terribly water damaged on the left side.  I scanned it, then worked on it in Photoshop and fixed as much as I could.  The rest is hidden under an embellishment!  (I never would have scrapped that actual photo, I think it had mold on it. BAD for scrapbooks!)

bundle-of-joy scrapbook page right

It’s funny, I was really looking forward to doing the baby pages in sweet, soft colors, but I’ve found that I still have to add in some brights and/or some distressing.  I don’t think I could make a completely pastel page if my life depended on it, lol.

bundle-of-joy two page scrapbook layout