Apr 042011

Here’s another page I did with the baby pics from 1988.  These photos of friends who stopped by to visit our newborn were all Polaroids which I scanned into my computer, edited and reprinted.

One thing I’ve learned since I did this page is how to remove the color cast which the scanner introduces.  If you can do that, editing your photos becomes 100 times easier.  (I could not believe how much blue the scanner was adding to my pics!)

In the next day or so, I’ll post a step by step on how to make a custom action for Photoshop which will fix this problem for you.  🙂

visitors scrapbook page left

Some of the supplies I used on this layout:

Title: Grungeboard Alphas (Tim Holtz), Stream Paint Dabber, Vintage Photo Distress Ink

Punches/Die Cuts: Scallops On The Edge Die, : Doily Lace Edge Craft Punch (Martha Stewart)

Distress inks: Spiced Marmalade, Broken China, Peeled Paint, Faded jeans

visitors two page scrapbook layout

I mentioned in another post that I wanted to incorporate my son’s original baby book into these scrapbook layouts.  I did that by cutting 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 most of the frames with ribbon.  On this one I got kinda fancy and used the Martha Stewart Garden Trellis Punch.  It took forever to get those corners to come out “just so,” but I’m pleased with it.

visitors scrapbook page right

Mar 302011

I finally got all the pattern pieces drafted, basted the jacket back together along the new lines . . . and it fits.  I’m astounded, lol.   

Time now to run out and buy matching thread to do the topstitching and serger needles.  (Pics to come once it’s all back together.)

Mar 302011

So, with much fear and trepidation, I got out my seam ripper and took apart my jacket. (It was great when I found just the right thread and everything zipped out in seconds, but that didn’t happen very often.)

In today’s woyww you see all the jacket pieces waiting their turn to be traced. (For the first part of the story, go here.) I use huge sheets of tracing paper so I can put the pieces on top to get the outline, and then put them underneath to trace the inner details, like darts.


I still have no idea what I’m doing as far as taking in the armscye. Hopefully just taking in the sides and underarm seams the same amount will do the trick.

Today’s task is to finish tracing the patterns, cut out what I think will be the finished pattern, mark that on the jacket pieces, baste them together, and see how it all works! I’ll check back to let you know how it’s going.

Oh, and here’s a pic of my actual workdesk, lest you think I’m cheating.  🙂  The room looks like an utter pit from this perspective, but it’s really not that bad.  Really!


(And, if you’re wondering why I posted a photo of my workdesk, go here to find out and check out what others from all over the world are doing.)

Mar 272011

I first saw this beautiful technique on Tim Holtz’s DVD, An Altered Journey and made this photo frame.

Ever since then I’ve been really, really wanting to show you all how it’s done.  This past week I finally put together a video making this blue frame.  (Actually, it’s a series of three videos.)


I just love all the texture you get.  And I love that you can use any shapes or words you desire.


The possibilities are endless!


Thank you to Tim for his kind and generous permission for me to share my own take on his original idea.  He did a similar but slightly different version on his day 10.  You’ll find lots more of his genius and generosity with ideas at his website http://www.timholtz.com.

Some of the supplies I used:

Mar 232011

Today’s workdesk pic requires a little bit of background info.  As I mentioned in previous posts, I’ve lost quite a bit of weight in the past year.  So a couple weekends ago I spent a Saturday morning trying on just about every stitch of clothing that I own.  (It was a lot more fun than I thought it would be!)

The results?

  • Three large trash bags of stuff that was too big. Donated.
  • Two garments that I spent quite a bit of time making but are too big to keep.  I hope to sell these.
  • One pile of garments that I like enough to take the time to alter.
  • And, of course, a much neater and easier to access closet!

What you see on today’s workdesk is a lavender jacket from the pile that’s always been a favorite.  It’s made out of stretch moleskin, seems to be indestructible and looks good with just about anything.  Now it’s way too big to look good, but I hate to get rid of it.


My plan is take the finished measurements of this jacket, compare them with the finished measurements of a jacket that fits well, take the jacket apart, make a pattern from the taken apart pieces and then grade down the pattern to match the measurements that fit.  Make sense?

I’ve done the measuring bit, the next step is to take seam ripper in hand and start deconstructing.

Yikes, I’m scared.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

(And, if you’re wondering why I posted a photo of my workdesk, go here to find out and check out what others from all over the world are doing.)

Mar 212011

Ok, we’re back to the 1988 scrapbook.  Here’s a page I made using some random pics of my goofy husband and naughty cat.  🙂


The door hinges are grungeboard from the Tim Holtz Idea-ology Plain Elements set and painted with the Pitch Black Paint Dabber.  The large mat and the flourishes were embossed with the dots from the Sizzix Textured Impressions Embossing Folders, Dots And Flowers.  Most everything on this layout was inked with Vintage Photo Distress ink.  (What can I say? It goes with everything!)  The dots on the mat were inked with Broken China Distress ink.


I LOVE my Tim Holtz Elegant Flourishes Bigz Die.  The flourishes are great embellishments that work in most any type of layout.  They add a decorative element without being too fancy or girly.


The transparancy around the lower middle photo is by Colorbok, “Transparency Frames, Natural.”  The date and the numbers on the photos are from one of my favorite clear stamp sets, Autumn Leaves’ Clear Stamp – Messy Dates.  It’s one of those products I wasn’t too sure about when I bought it, but I’ve found it gets used a LOT.

The “Hanging Out At” is the Sizzix Script alphabet, and the “Home” is also grungeboard, from the Grungeboard Alphas pack.  Both were painted with Pitch Black Paint Dabber and then covered with Rock Candy Distress Crackle Paint.  Rock Candy Distress paint is another great product to add some shine and interest without being too glittery or glitzy.  I use it so much, I need to order another bottle soon! The key is from Jo-Ann’s.


Most of the papers are from a set by MemoryStor.  This was in a 12″x12″ paper pack with tote at Costco.  At $20 for 300 double sided sheets (less than 7 cents a sheet,) plus the tote, it seemed financially irresponsible NOT to buy it, lol.  (Not too long ago, I sold the tote on Craigslist for $7.  That brings the price down to less than 4.5 cents each, whoo-hoo!)

And here’s the journaling:

(The parenthetical comment in #1 is tongue-in-cheek, since it’s being written 23 years later, and now I do, indeed, have a whole room for my sewing & crafts.  What a blessing!) 

1.  This little area is Sandy’s sewing corner.  (She hopes someday to have a whole room of her own.) Once the baby comes, the cradle will have to go in this space.

2. Gary & Moses relaxing together.  (Well, maybe Moses isn’t quite so relaxed.)  For some reason, this was the only time we had a fire in the fireplace.

3. Moses drying off after a shower.  Moses was a naughty kitty who liked to knock over the trash can and play with the contents.  The squirt bottle never seemed to phase him, so we tried showers.  Those didn’t seem to phase him much either.

4. Gary, Moses and Vern the fern.  This fern was a gift, and we really, really tried to keep it alive.  Sadly, it eventually succumbed to Sandy’s brown thumb.


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 www.quiltsforkids.org.

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 www.quiltsforkids.org.  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.