Aug 262011

In case you don’t hear from me for a while, no, I am not still in the hammock reading, but it’s quite possible we’ve lost power for a time. Irene is looking like a big one, so we get ready and make the best of whatever will be.

Here’s my cat, Oliver, helping us with our hurricane preparations.


As you can see, he’s in his usual supervisory position.

Wherever you are, hope your weekend is lovely, and maybe not TOO exciting.  🙂


Aug 252011

Hi all.  Sorry I haven’t been a good blogger lately.  I’ve had the opportunity to do some work.  Not the crafty, fun kind, but the on-your-feet-all-day-and-come-home-beat type. 

Then today, I got up, all ready to tackle my backlog of writing tasks and found I had no internet. 


Naturally, this involved calling tech support, rebooting my computer & router several times, rummaging around in the spaghetti of wires behind the desk, all to no avail.  Thankfully the Verizon tech showed up quickly.  Turned out the wires to our house needed replacing. 

Now that’s done, we’re back online… and all my ambition has fled.  I feel like hitting the hammock with a good book. 

If I can get past the guilt, I just might…

But I wanted to let you all know what you have to look forward to in the next week or so.  I have plans for:

  1. A mini tutorial on how to sew with knits (request from a reader)
  2. A how to on making your own t-shirt quilts
  3. More patterns reviews (Yup, still MORE of that raspberry fabric.)
  4. Step-by-steps from an art quilt
  5. A crazy quilt tutorial

So, stay tuned, I’ll be back.  Once I finish that book…



Aug 232011

This scrapbook layout began with an assortment of photos, all of our new baby, but without any particular theme.

Whenever this happens to you there are a few approaches you can take.

  • Simply scrap the pictures, giving the names, the date and perhaps a brief comment about each.
  • Use the opportunity to recount a memory that you don’t have any photos of.
  • Study the pics and try to think of a unifying theme.  It often helps to leave the photos out where you can see them for a few days as you think about it.

Looking at these photos made me think of how blessed a baby is to have folks who just can’t wait to meet him and hold him, and how wonderful it is to be surrounded by love.


The “Surrounded” was stamped with a set by My Sentiments Exactly.  It looked rather flat and boring, so to give them some dimension and interest I went over the letters with Glossy Accents.

My handwriting is utterly horrible, but somehow I managed to get the “by” to look not that bad, lol.

The “LOVE” was done with the Sizzix Shadow Box dies and my Sizzix Big Shot.

Mounting stickers on squares of paper keeps them from getting lost on the page and gives them importance.


All the papers were edged with Distress inks, including Vintage Photo, Broken China, Faded jeans, Peeled Paint and Spiced Marmalade.

If you took my Distress Ink away, I don’t think I’d be able to scrapbook, lol.  They add just that perfect finishing touch.


Happy creating!


Aug 202011

Hi everyone, I’m back!  Didja miss me?

What?  You didn’t notice I was gone?

Well, that’s ok too, lol.

It’s been a crazy week around here, I was off working all day every day except Thursday.   I spent all day Thursday steam cleaning all the downstairs carpets, my upholstered recliner AND my car.  Phew.

Today I hope to get everything back to rights in my sewing room, and maybe even do some crafting.  In the meantime, I thought you might enjoy this free pattern from Hot Patterns.


Aug 152011

Last week I mentioned I’d be revising a review for Simplicity 2364.

I was not at all happy with the fit of this top the first time around, but with a little bit of effort managed to make this :


…out of this:


Ah, much better.

Now that the fitting issues were solved, I made this:


(Yup, still MORE of that raspberry fabric.)

For the updated review and a quick tip on how to make easy alterations to your patterns, check out Pattern Review – Simplicity 2364.

Happy creating!

Aug 122011

Sometimes the easiest things to do are the trickiest to explain.  I was asked to show how I did the simple cutwork on this dress:


…From this pattern (McCall’s 6287):

It took no time at all when I made the dress, but when I tried to break it down for you, step-by-step?  That was another matter.

I suggest you find yourself a scrap of fabric and just follow along.  Once you’ve done it, you’ll say, “Oh!  That was easy.”

First you need to make parallel cuts in your fabric.  They can be any length and anywhere from 1″ to 1/2″ apart.  The pattern has them about 3/4″ apart.


Next you take two adjacent loops and twist them around one another.


Then you’ll wrap the second loop over the first and pull the next loop through .


Continue along, pulling the next loop through the loop you are holding.



Here’s what it will look like when you’re done:


You can take some time to arrange the loops to your liking.  Here I’ve scooched all the loops closer to the center.


And here are the pattern directions.  I’m not sure which are more clear, mine or theirs, lol.


Seriously, though, grab some scrap fabric and try it out.  You’ll see what I mean, hard to explain, but easy to do.

I think this would be a fun way to transform a t-shirt.

Have a happy, creative weekend, all!



Aug 102011

Happy Wednesday, ya’ll!  Today is the day we not only share what’s on our workdesks, but also travel the world (virtually speaking) checking out the desks of creative folks from all over.  Join us at Julia’s to get started, it’s fascinating.

My desk today shows a mish-mosh of stuff.  At the bottom left is another version of Simplicity 2364 that I finished last night, this time in raspberry with the three-quarter length sleeves.  I think I’ve resolved the fitting issues I mentioned in my review of the pattern, and am ready to take apart the turquiose version and redo it.

I’ll amend the review when I done and be sure to let you know the results.

2011-08-10-whats-on-your-workdesk-wednesday-more raspberry-fabric

Have you noticed that this raspberry fabric keeps popping up?  Last June a local, family-owned fabric store that had been in business since 1919 finally had to close their doors.  It made me so sad, it almost felt like a death.

However, on the up side, I got some amazing deals on fabric.  I’d bought four yards of this lovely knit jersey for $1 per yard.   When I got it home I said to myself, “What!  Are you nuts?” and went back and bought the rest of the bolt.

So far I’ve gotten a dress and two tops out of it.  I’ve got a little over three yards left and am thinking of making this:

(Click on the photo to get the free pattern for yourself.)

Other things on my desk includes a Tim Holtz configuration I picked up at Michael’s yesterday.  Ever since I took a class with Tim last year and made this Christmas Configuration, I’ve been wanting to make another, this time with a sewing theme.  I’ve been digging through stuff left to me by my grandmother and mother-in-law (like the old thimbles) for special little goodies to fill it with. (I suspect the search for treasures will be just as much fun as actually making this project.)

Finally, are not those little donut charms the yummiest things you ever saw?  They’re polymer clay.  Wish I had time to do polymer clay…

Happy creating!

Aug 092011

Oh my, I just came across these and can’t stop giggling.


I will definitely be Wonder Woman for my next cookout.


Which would you be?

If not Superheros,then how about Princess Peach?

Or Alice In Wonderland?

Now I know what Gary’s getting next year for Father’s Day.

Mr. Incredible, indeed.  Bwahahaha.

For more chuckles and inspiration, check Bethany’s awesome creations.