Jan 142011

Here’s a great little project you can make in next to no time.  In fact, I made three in just a couple hours.  It’s called a mobius or infinity scarf because it has a that single twist, just like a mobius strip.

Here’s mine.  I love wearing it with this jacket because the jacket is collarless and my neck gets cold (and I’m not fond of turtlenecks.)  The scarf is wrapped around twice in this photo.


If you want to make one, you’ll need a 2 yard long by 20″ piece of fabric.  If you’re buying yardage, you can get two out of 40″ wide or three out of 60″ wide.

Here’s how I did it.  You can also find a short tutorial here.

If you have 40″ fabric, fold it in half,  meeting selvedges and cut on the fold to get two pieces for your two scarves.

Here’s how I laid out the cutting for my 60″ piece.  I first folded it in half, meeting the selvedges.  Then I folded the two yard length in half twice, so the 18″ would fit on my cutting table and I could cut the whole length with one cut.


Line up the fold at 0″ and then cut at 10″ and again at 30″.  (I didn’t bother to cut off the selvedges because I used my serger to sew the first seam.)


Now you have three pieces with only one cut!

Next, you need to fold each piece lengthwise and sew the 2 yard seam, making a long tube.


Here, I’m letting the serger cut off the selvedges for me.


This is the part that gets some folks confused.  You’re going to sew together the two ends of the tube, but with a twist.  To make this easier, follow the directions in the photo above.  (Fold the tube in half, with the seam on one fold.  Pin mark the fold on the opposite side.)  Do this for both ends of the scarf.

Next you’ll pull one end of the scarf up over the rest of it.


This photo shows pulling the tube up over a twist, but you don’t need to bother with the twist now.  Just pull it up over itself until the two ends meet.  Meet the pin on one end to the seam of the other, meet the remaining pin to the remaining seam.  The automatically builds in the twist. Now sew all the way around, leaving an opening for turning. (Sorry about the blurry photo!  I’m usually having so much fun sewing I don’t slow down to check that my photos are clear.  Gotta work on that.)


Now pull your scarf out through the opening.  (I think this is the fun part.)


Hand sew the opening closed and enjoy your new creation!

I made mine from a polyester stretch velvet, but consider the possibilities:  chiffon for an evening scarf, sweater knit for something really warm and cozy,  fun fleece prints for the teens or little ones .  I even saw a suggestion for using two old sweater arms.  Hmmmm . . .

Whatever you decide to use, have fun!  And be sure to send me pictures!

Jan 132011

My bible study group asked me to make a card for one of our members who wasn’t doing so well health-wise. This was what I came up with:masculine get well card

It can be tricky making masculine cards, but I think this one came out great.  I love the look of the torn fabric strip instead of ribbon.  Next time you don’t have just the right ribbon, if you have a fabric stash, dig around in it.  You may find just the perfect thing!

Edging all the papers with just a bit of Vintage Photo Tim Holtz Distress Ink helps to add to the masculine look.

I used the Spellbinders Nestabilities Mega Dies, Labels 8 and stamped the sentiment on the smaller one with Black StazOn Permanent Ink.  The “Get Well Soon” stamp is from Wordsmith.   A little depth was added by using Squares Foam Tabs behind the smaller label.

The flourish in the upper left is from Tim Holtz Visual Artistry Collection Stampers Anonymous Clear Stamps – Urban Grunge.  I stamped it using the Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pad, Clear For Embossing and then embossed with Antique Linen Distress Embossing Powder.

The blue checked paper is from a mat stack that I purchased ages ago.  Sorry, but the cover has long since gone missing.  The stripe and world map papers are from MemoryStor (This was in a 12″x12″ paper pack with tote at Costco.  At $20 for 300 double sided sheets, plus the tote, it seemed financially irresponsible NOT to buy it, lol.)

The button was from a pack by Making Memories, called Vintage Findings.

And I have to share the stamp I used for the inside sentiment:


I just love this sentiment because  you can use it for so many occasions: encouragement, get well, sympathy, birthdays, weddings . . . I can’t think of a time where it wouldn’t be appropriate.  It’s the Stampendous Rubber Stamp-Shine On You.

I hope this card gives our friend a bit encouragement when he receives it.  🙂

Dec 312010

Happy New Year to you all! 

I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all of you who have read my blog and told me how much you enjoy it.  May we all continue to learn and grow in the new year.

As Christmas gifts for my quilting group I  made several of these cute little organizers.  Finally, this week I got around to making one for me.

mug caddy organizer-Simplicity 2450

It’s simply a cover with pockets that goes over a mug.  I was able to pick up the mugs for 49 cents each at my local Salvation Army.

Although the pattern says you need 1/2 yard, you really only need two 10.5″x11″ pieces of fabric (I managed to squeeze mine out of a fat quarter), plus a 3″ x 19″ piece for the outer pocket.  You can get two of these mug covers out of one package of extra wide double fold bias tape.


The pattern is Simplicity 2450.  Although I thought the pattern was really cute, the directions were somewhat lacking.  Here are some tips to help you:

Step 1: Cut out pattern 2 times in main fabric and once in fusible fleece.  Fuse fleece to wrong side of one fabric piece, layer other fabric piece over fleece, right side out, and baste around all edges. (The fusing and basting really help to keep things from shifting around.)


Step 2:  There are stitching lines for the pockets on both ends of this unit.  One set goes on one side, and one on the other.  You’ll see why later.

To mark these I folded back the pattern at the edges of the lines, laid it on the fabric and used a ruler to line up my marks.


(Sorry about the blurry photo!)

Here they are, all marked:


You’ll also need to mark the stitching lines on your outer pocket piece.  The pattern envelop suggests you use plastic mesh or pet screen.  The directions inside mention using clear vinyl.

What I ended up using was called “scrubbie mesh.”  (I guess folks are making their own scrubbies?)  I like the idea of using this because, a) It won’t collect dust in the corners and, b) I can see what’s in there rather than losing things in the bottom of the pockets.

Step 3: Bind the straight edges of both pieces with double fold extra wide bias tape.


Step 4:Fold the inside pocket section up on the fold line. aligning raw edges, and stitch on the marked lines to make your inside pockets.  Make sure to backstitch securely at the top edges of the pockets, as these will receive a lot of wear and tear.


Step 5:Pin the outer pocket section, aligning the marked lines.  Stitch on the marked lines, again, making sure to backstitch securely at the top of each pocket.


Step 6: Pin a pleat into excess fabric at bottom of each pocket.  Pin sides of pocket section, matching raw edges.  Baste along entire outer pocket section.


Step 7:  Baste velcro pieces on side opposite pockets.  Make sure to have one piece with loops up and other with hooks down.  (Very important!)


Step 8: Bind remaining raw edges with bias tape, folding under ends at beginning and end.  (Don’t worry if the ends don’t come out too neat, they will be hidden inside the mug. )


That’s it, all done!  Now you just tuck the narrower section inside the mug, attach the velcro pieces under the handle and you’re ready to be more organized.

If you like this project, but think you might want it to be bigger, check out Simplicity 4232.  This will make covers for five gallon and five quart buckets.

Simplicity 4232 bucket buddy pattern

Here’s to a more organized New Year!

Dec 242010

I just received this today.  May you find it edifiying.

Hanging a Wreath at Christmas

Since I have come to know God’s love
          I’ll think a little more
          When hanging up the festive wreath
          Of holly on my door.

I see in it a crown of thorns
          Placed on my Savior’s brow
          That I may have the gift of life;
          What meaning it has now!

The thorns are there–so needle sharp;
          The berries, too, are red
          Not too unlike the precious blood
          That on the cross was shed.

I’ll hang with prayer this holly wreath
          For all the world to see;
          Perchance, the lonely passerby
          Will feel God’s love through me.

Within our homes, let there be love
          “And peace on earth to men,”
          As we remember in our hearts
          The Babe of Bethlehem.

Received from Scott Neville.

Dec 202010

Today it’s time for my annual tradition of baking plates of goodies for the neighbors.  Every year around December 1st I say, “No way, I’m not doing all that baking this year.”  But then, once I’ve got the house decorated, the presents all bought or made & wrapped, it just seems like the thing to do.

Here’s my kitchen table all filled with sweet treats ready to be delivered.  I usually just buy pretty paper Christmas plates, cover with lengths of plastic wrap and tie on a ribbon bow.  Easy enough!


Here’s a plate of  my snickerdoodles.  Were they supposed to spread that much?  I didn’t think so, but they’re still yummy.


Here’s a close up of the tags I made.  I used the Sizzix Scallop Tag set (red die).


To got the printing perfectly lined up with each tag I first scanned the die into my computer, then imported the image into Printmaster – Platinum Version 18  .  I sized the image to be exactly the same as the die, then made text boxes to fit the tags.  I drew a box around the outside edge of the die and then deleted the original image.  Now I have a perfectly sized template.

You can fit four of these (with a little overlap) on one 8.5″ x 11″ sheet.  Just make sure to carefully cut on the lines on at least two sides, line them up with the edges of your die and cut away.

Hope you have time to enjoy some holiday baking.

Dec 092010

A certain weekend last October was a High Point in my year.  That was when Tim Holtz came to the Boston area and I got to take not just one, but TWO classes with him.  It was awesome!  He is such a nice guy and a fantastic teacher.  What a privilege to get to spend an entire day playing and crafting with other creative people.

We used his new configurations line to make lovely Christmas shadowboxes.  It was such a blast filling each little section with vintage bits and pieces that Tim has collected.

christmas configuration Tim Holtz

When I got home, I added a few things.  The empty birdcage made me kind of sad, so I put the cardinals on the nest on top.  I also cut a scrap of fabric to make a skirt for the tree, and changed the knob from a larger white one which seemed kinda clunky to me.

The package of cardinals I picked up had two bright red birds, which hardly seemed authentic to me.  To make Mrs. Cardinal more brown, I dabbed her with ginger and espresso alcohol inks.  (Yeah, um, then she started to fall apart!  Apparently something in the ink dissolved her glue.  All worked out well, though.  I just had to wait until all the pieces were dry and then use Matte Multi Medium to put her back together.)

The Matte Multi Medium was one terrific thing I learned about in this class.  It dries, well, matte, rather than glossy, so if you’re sloppy in your gluing, it doesn’t show.  Brilliant!

christmas configuration with cardinals on top

What a terrific idea, using the little flameless tea light, it adds so much!


Tim told me that the wooden blocks, the little ceramic dolls, the silver glitter and the mica we used to cover the outside of the boxes are all vintage items he’s found.  And he shared them all with us!  I felt so grateful!

christmas configuration Tim Holtz doll and pearls close up

He also taught us how to make faux print blocks just using grungeboard and chipboard.  He. Is. So. Clever!

christmas configuration Tim Holtz joy print block letters

This is definitely one of my new favorite Christmas decorations!

Just a few of the many, many products we used:

5.75 X 10.75 Configurations Box
Symphony Tissue Tape
Seasonal Paper Stash Paper Pad
Advantus Corporation Grungeboard Minis, Plain Alphabet
Aged Mahogany Tim Holtz Distress Ink
Shabby Shutters Tim Holtz Distress Ink
Fired Brick Tim Holtz Distress Ink
Tim Holtz Baubles & Curio Knobs
Snow Cap Paint Dabber
Matte Multi-Medium 4Oz
Ranger 1/2-Ounce Adirondack Alcohol Ink Singles, Espresso
Ranger 1/2 Ounce Adirondack Alcohol Ink Singles, Ginger
Foundations Metal Feet
Everlasting Tealights Battery-Operated Flameless Candles with Soft Flicker, 12-Pack

Dec 052010

We received a Christmas card yesterday of bare winter trees.  The entire card front was covered with glitter and it reminded me of a sample I made a long time ago after taking a class on embossing paste.  I dug it out and made this FINAL Christmas card with it:

(Yes, it is the FINAL Christmas card for this year.  I’ve made up my list, counted my cards and I have enough. I’ll do the rest of Tim’s Tags Techniques in non-Christmas themes after the holidays. Phew!)

christmas card glittery treesIt was tough to find a background paper to match the original blue that the trees were on, so Distress Ink to the rescue!  The text paper was originally a pale grey, but an application of Faded Jeans and Broken China to both pieces made them blend nicely.   The addition of a bow and stamped sentiment and this card is DONE.  As is my Christmas card list, hooray!

Some time soon (maybe after Christmas?) I’ll share a step-by-step on how to use the embossing paste.  It’s a LOT of fun.

Meanwhile I’m off to do some sewing for Christmas.  Those pics will have to wait until after the big day.  🙂

Wishing you blessings!


Papers: Juniper Script on Cream (DCWV); blue card stock
Ink: Broken China Tim Holtz Distress Ink , Faded jeans Tim Holtz Distress Ink , Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pad, Clear For Embossing  
Embossing: embossing paste (Dreamweaver), metal embossing stencil (Dreamweaver)
Ribbon: 1″ wide sheer plaid (Michael’s)
Stamp: Merry Christmas (Studio G)
Embossing Powder: Zing! White Opaque Embossing Powder

Dec 032010

I have a friend with a birthday next week and decided today’s design would make a perfect birthday card.  You’ll have to check out Tim’s site to see his instructions for making the tissue tape collage and flower.  So. Much. Fun!

birthday-card-with-bird-and-tissue-tape-flowerMy background was colored with bundled sage, shabby shutters and peeled paint distress inks and edged with walnut stain.

The words background was stamped bundled sage (my new favorite for background stamping!) and the splatter with vintage photo.

I couldn’t find my paper distresser, so I opened a pair of old scissors about 1″ and ran the edges of the paper along the “V.”

I decided to color my tissue tape with eggplant, wild plum and raisin alcohol inks before making the flower.  After I made the flower I found the colors were a little dark for my liking, so I swiped over it with alcohol blending solution until it was just right.  (FYI, the circle punch I used was 1 1/4″ and I ended up using about 30″ of tissue tape.)


The “Make A Wish Quotes” stamp set by Fiskars is adorable, the inside of the card says,

“Growing OLD is mandatory, growing UP is optional.”

Love it!

At first I stamped the “Happy Birthday” with distress ink, but it didn’t come out very good.  It was a clear stamp so I stamped again – still not good.  So I dried the inks with a heat tool, and stamped one more time with embossing ink, then embossed with white.  Hence the happy accident of the shadow behind the words.  HA! Sometimes it’s not what you can DO, but what you can FIX.


Walnut Stain Tim Holtz Distress Ink
Peeled Paint Tim Holtz Distress Ink
Vintage Photo Tim Holtz Distress Ink
Bundled Sage Tim Holtz Distress Inks
Shabby Shutters Tim Holtz Distress Ink
Dusty Concord Tim Holtz Distress Ink
Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pad, Clear For Embossing
Terra Cotta Tim Holtz Adirondack Alcohol Ink
Ranger 1/2 Ounce Adirondack Alcohol Ink Singles, Raisin
Ranger 1/2 Ounce Adirondack Alcohol Ink Singles, Wild Plum
Ranger Adirondack Alcohol Inks eggplant
Ranger 1/2-Ounce Adirondack Alcohol Ink Singles, Denim
Adirondack Alcohol Ink .5 Ounce – Stream
Ranger 1/2-Ounce Adirondack Alcohol Ink Singles, Espresso
Ranger 1/2 Ounce Adirondack Alcohol Ink Singles, Ginger
Tim Holtz Alcohol Blending Solution
Ink Blending Tool & 2 Foams

All Night Media Wood-Mounted Stamps – Splatter Pattern
Quote Clear Stamps: Make A Wish (Fiskars)
Stamp: Italian Poetry (Hero Arts)
Embossing Powder:  Zing! White Opaque Embossing Powder
Symphony Tissue Tape  (Tim Holtz)
Button: Making Memories Vintage Findings
Die cut: Tim Holtz Caged Bird Sizzix Bigz Dies
Grunge paper 12-Inch-by-12-Inch, 3-Pack
Distress Stickles Glitter Glue, 1/2-Ounce, Rock Candy, Clear
Patterned Paper: Seasonal Paper Stash Paper Pad (Tim Holtz)
Dimensional adhesive: Squares Foam Tabs
Mono Adhesive Dispenser Permanent
Matte Multi-Medium 4Oz

Dec 022010

I had such a blast making today’s card!  It would have been great to have had Cut ‘n’ Dry felt so I could make my own custom stamp pads.  It sounds like a very cool technique that I’m going to try someday when I get the necessary supplies. But for now, I made do.  (Check out Tim’s directions for making custom colored stamp pads.)

There’s lots of stamping on this card, many layers in fact, and I think that’s what makes it so nice.  It’s simple, yet deep, if you know what I mean.

merry christmas card birdhouse

I started off by inking the paper (I just use plain white paper, the inserts that come in page protectors) with weathered wood and tumbled glass distress inks.  Then I stamped my pine cone branch with pine needles distress ink.

I used the rest of the q-tip from yesterday’s project (there it  was, just sitting on my desk, and it was perfect) to add vintage photo and walnut stain inks to the pine cones and peeled paint to the branch.  Next, the music background was stamped with bundled sage distress and the flourishes with antique linen.

The Merry Christmas was added with fired brick and aged mahogany.

Finally I stamped all around with the splatter background with walnut stain.

The birdhouse was glue-dotted on, the cord taped around the back and that was that.

This one went so quick I can see doing several in assembly line fashion.


Vintage Photo Tim Holtz Distress Ink 
Walnut Stain Tim Holtz Distress Ink
Peeled Paint Tim Holtz Distress Ink
Pine Needles Tim Holtz Distress Ink
Bundled Sage Tim Holtz Distress Inks
Aged Mahogany Tim Holtz Distress Ink
Fired Brick Tim Holtz Distress Ink
Antique Linen Tim Holtz Distress Ink
Weathered Wood Tim Holtz Distress Ink
Tumbled Glass Tim Holtz Distress Inks
Christmas Silhouettes Clear Stamps 5 pc Set Inkadinkado
Pine Cone Branch Stamp, Inkadinkado
Music Background Cling Stamps   (Hero Arts)
Swirls Clear Stamp Set (Autumn Leaves)
All Night Media Wood-Mounted Stamps – Splatter Pattern
Birdhouse ornament – Merry minis, Michaels

Dec 012010

So, the day we’ve all been waiting for is here, the beginning of Tim Holtz’s 12 Tags of Christmas.  So much inspiration and fun!

This year I have two goals:

  1. Do as much as possible with what I already have.  (Read: “Don’t spend tons of money on new gadgetry!”)
  2. Make cards instead of tags.  I made tags last year, and I love them, but I don’t know what to DO with them, so cards it is.

Without further ado, here is my card inspired by Tim’s day 1 tag.

christmascard house with fence and snow (from tim holtz 12 tags of christmas2010)

I didn’t have his Rickety House die, so I found a clip art house I liked and used it as a template to cut out of grunge paper with a craft knife.  Then I embossed the house with the notebook embossing folder.

Next it got painted with snow cap paint dabber, sanded and then inked with aged mahogany distress ink.

I took scraps of packaging and inked them with butterscotch and terra cotta alcohol inks and glued them to the backs of the windows.

The snow is made with picket fence distress crackle paint sprinkled with chunky white glitter.

christmascard house with fence and snow close up (from tim holtz 12 tags of christmas 2010)

The trees were cut with sizzix dies and the snow applied the same way as the house.  The fence was cut out of grunge paper with the sizzix picket fence die, painted with picket fence distress crackle and a little glitter sprinkled on.

The background was made by mixing  broken china distress ink, blue patina perfect pearls and a little water in a mini mister. Shake it up good and then spray on your paper for a fabulous, pearly look.

I stamped snowflakes with faded jeans, and then inked the edges of the paper with walnut stain to finish up the background.

The final touches are some “smoke” (Tim’s idea, the cotton from a q-tip, brilliant!) and the wreath.  I picked up the wreath at Michaels in a package of “merry minis.”  They have a kind of pearly finish which brings the look of old mercury glass to my mind.


Grunge paper 12-Inch-by-12-Inch, 3-Pack
Tim Holtz Collage & Notebook Sizzix Textured Fades Embossing Folders
Snow Cap Paint Dabber
Aged Mahogany Tim Holtz Distress Ink
Broken China Tim Holtz Distress Ink
Faded jeans Tim Holtz Distress Ink
Walnut Stain Tim Holtz Distress Ink
Butterscotch Tim Holtz Adirondack Alcohol Ink
Terra Cotta Tim Holtz Adirondack Alcohol Ink
Inkadinkado 7-Piece Snowflakes A-Plenty Clear Stamp
Perfect Pearls Pigment Powders – Blue Patina
Tim Holtz™ Distress Crackle Paint Picket Fence
Sizzix Pine Tree Die (red die)
Sizzix Medium Pine Tree Die (yellow die)
Sizzix Picket Fence Die (yellow die)
chunky white glitter – Sulyn
Wreath – Merry Minis Ornaments – Michaels
Mini Misters 3 Piece Pack
3/16-Inch Mini Glue Dots Roll
Mono Vellum Adhesive Dispenser
Dimensional adhesive: Squares Foam Tabs
Matte Multi-Medium 4Oz