Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Spool Jewels



I found these lovely necklaces and thought they were pretty sweet, especially for someone who loves to sew. Originally I thought it would make a great favor for our annual ASG meeting, but found out we don't have a budget for favors :( I've searched online for other spool jewelry, but haven't found any...so these are one of a kind (created by Amy Cluck).

For me, I would like the spool on a longer chain with more beads and maybe a charm or two. I do plan on making one in the near future! Maybe I'll even get some mini spools and make a wire wrapped ring...more to come when I actually get it done.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Easy Quilting

Well today I'm sick :( It started late last night after I got home from our friend's. It is still a good day, because the sun is shining and I have opened the curtains, in front of our huge sliding glass door, to enjoy it!

Since I'm stuck in bed, I've been browsing blogs that I like. I found a fab tutorial on an easy raggy quilt. I am not much of a quilter, mainly because I like projects that can be completely within a fair amount of time and a quilt just takes too long. I do like quilting on a smaller scale...like as part of project and I've done a fair amount of tying quilts and simple block quilts. I've also noticed that I like the more modern looking quilts, rather than tradional ones. I think Camille Roskelley has created some of my favorite quilts.

Back to the tute I found. The lovely ladies of Quilt Taffy have created a video explaining how to create a raggy quilt with ribbons, rick rack and strips of fabric. the quilt is back with some luxurious minky. You'll notice the incredible machine quilting, especially when you see the back side. It reminds me of one of Camille's quilts, Wallflower. I was thinking about combining ideas by adding some applique to the raggy quilt. It seems like a pretty simple way to make a quilt.

Quilt Taffy also offers quilt top kits. Bridget, of Everday Chaos, recently made a baby quilt from one of their kits called Vintage Baby. I think that you wash it after you're all done and it shrinks and wrinkles to give it that viintage look and shabby chicness. It is adorable...along with the baby it was made for.

P.S. There is a pattern giveaway on Quilt Taffy, just today!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

BE OK

Some of you may know that I have a thyroid disease and if you didn't, I guess you do now. The thyroid effects so many things emotionally & physically. I also have several food sensitivities...too many to list. With the combination of those things, it makes for a lot of up and down days. Most of my acquaintances have no idea, because I put on a pretty good front when I am in public.

I'm sure there are people that can relate to the ups and downs and days where you just don't want to deal with it anymore. My thyroid should get better once my meds are at the right dosage, but it takes time with lots of small increases accompanied by blood tests. This has been going on for the past year.

Today was one of those up days and I decided that I needed to document it with a photo, so on the down days I can have something to look at and cheer me up. I use to take pictures of myself all the time before I got married and so I'm trying to get back to that.

Lately, I've had "Be Ok" by Ingrid Michaelson stuck in my head...mainly, " I just want to be ok today". I have an incredibly, wonderful husband that reminds me I will be okay. It is just hard to see or know that when you're not feelin' good. So I think it is time for an art/photo journal and hopefully it can be another reminder that everything will be ok.

On more of a crafty note, we went to Barnes & Noble the other day and I found two awesome books. I seriously could have spent hours there, because it was much larger than the one we had gone to a few weeks ago.

Book #1
"The Creative Entrepreneur, takes readers on an inner journey of creative exploration to discover how to make their dreams of creative livelihood real, as they craft their own Artist’s Business Journal. The Artist’s Business Journal is a visual, project-oriented, step-by-step approach to business development for artists from all walks of life who are mystified and possibly frustrated by how to make a business out of their creative work."

It is a total artsy approach to getting a crafty business going. I didn't make it through the whole thing, but it is on the top of my list. I'm in the mood for art journals.



Book #2
"In Taking Flight, you'll find overflowing inspiration—complete with a kindred spirit in author and mixed-media artist Kelly Rae Roberts. Join her on a fearless journey into the heart of creativity as you test your wings and learn to find the sacred in the ordinary, honor your memories, speak your truth and wrap yourself in the arms of community."

I had first seen this book featured on Donna Downey's blog several months ago. I wanted to learn some techniques to her style and the mixed media design elements. This book has great step-by-step for several projects. Once I got home, I looked up the author...Kelly Rae Roberts and found her blog.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tiered Cookie Cakes

I've been eager to try making the tiered cookie cakes found in "The Confetti Cakes Cookbook". I'd purchased some awesome Cuisipro Fluted Cookie Cutter Set, the day before I read the cookbook and knew they would be perfect for the cookie cakes.

My mom and sisters came to visit me and I decided to make it a little activity for all of us. We had just gotten back from our trip on the previous day, so I hadn't made it to the store to pick up dragees or gumpaste to make flowers, but I did have a few things in my cupboard to play with. We had fun using Nutella, premade frosting, homemade raspberry jam and white nonpareils. It was nice to be able to make them with my little sisters and that it was fun for them.

I would love to make some for a bridal shower using a cream cheese/whip cream mixture, jam and/or nutella with some fresh fruit pieces (like the blueberry above). Maybe some gumpaste flowers. Next time I will also make the cookies a tad bit thicker. They are just too darn adorable!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Beautiful

A few days before we left on our Seattle trip, we went to a surprise b-day party for one of my dearest friends'. I'd decided to take a bouquet and headed off to pick out some flowers. I fell in love with these green roses from the moment I saw them. They were a bright (almost yellow) green with touches of magenta on some of the tips, long stem and 2 dozen! It was only natural for me to pair them with some Stargazer lilies.

While picking out the flowers, the florist/owner struck up a conversation and we were talking about different combos to make a beautiful and dramatic bouquet. I guess the florist liked me, because by the end of the conversation I had a job offer! It is just a part time thing, but I am considering it. I think it would bring even more ideas and inspiration into designs by working with flowers a couple hours a week. I'm still undecided, but I really enjoyed putting together this bouquet. It smelled sooo good too...I think it could be smelled all over the restaurant.


I also made a sign in addition to the bouquet. I really like the crackle & spatter finish right now.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Almost time to go!

This week has been such a fun, busy time! I was thinking that I would have much more down time and it has been the complete opposite. We are headed back to reality tomorrow. It will be nice to get back into our routine. The only thing that really stunk on this trip was our car being broken into and gps stolen (the first night we were here). We are staying at a farely nice hotel and we surprised that it happened. We were even more surprised that they had no video survalence where we were parked. They had to go through two different closed compartments to get the gps and charger. They also nabbed my sunglasses! How RUDE?! I guess they were good designer knock offs. We also think they ran out of time because they left the cd front and satelite radio on the front seat. I just wish they would have broken into the driver's side and made the alarm go off. Oh well!

Now on to the good stuff! I loved being so close to a lot of different stores...especially the bookstores. We've spent time in Borders and Barnes & Noble, plus a brief trip to Half-Price Books (all less than a mile from our hotel). I spent the majority of my time in the crafts and cook books. I picked out a stack and found a spot to read. Borders didn't have as many places to sit, so I was on the ground next to the bookcase...with my shoes off. I was in book heaven!

My favorite find was "The Confetti Cakes Cookbook" by Elisa Strauss. I'd seen Elisa's work atleast five years ago on the Food Network and she seemed to pop up on a lot of different shows since then. When I saw the book, I was so excited to see a purse cake and instructions for it. When I created one a few months back, it was all trial and error and something I just made up on my own. Anyway, Elisa's book has several recipes that they use at her bakery, Confetti Cakes. Plus it covers cupcakes and cookies, too. She has a really cute cookie creation using stacked sugar cookies to make a mini tiered wedding cake...so cute!

I also would like to check out her newest book, "Confetti Cakes for Kids"...just ran out of time.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Completely Amused

Today I went to Amuse...which I've wanted to do for a long time. It is such a cute place and completely dangerous for your budget. I spent a lot of time browsing and trying to figure out what to buy. Of course, the ones that I wanted are sold out! I guess they went really fast. They are part of their new Valentines'/Love stamps. I'll probably order them online when they become available again.

I did buy some fabulous Missy Ballance stamps...yeah I mentioned her again...I guess I have a mini obsession with the things she creates (Hi Missy!)! I came up with a new plan for my Valentines' cards using these (they are two separate stamps):


I'll have something created in the next few weeks once I get back home and back into the swing of things. I also got this little gem that I've had my eye on:


It was well worth the drive to the shop and I loved the Make & Take. I didn't get a pic of it yet, but you can see it on the Amuse blog. They used a Scor-pal to make nugget boxes and then we assembled and embellished them. I do like the Scor-pal, but my Cricut makes really cute boxes, cards, envelopes and things like that so I think I will stick with that for now.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Checkered Out

What a day?! We had some interesting things happen today...more about that later. I'm really tired at an unusually early hour for me, but I'm enjoying working on my tablet right now. It is soo relaxing. I'm glad I brought it with me.


Anyway, I found a tutorial for a man gift that I like. Back up to last weekend when my husband and I put on a Game Night for our church. We provided all the games, but we did have one family show up with a couple extra games. One of the games (they brought) was roll out chess/checker boards. They were plastic and probably purchased from a store. I'd seen some patterns online for boards like these, but they are all bookmarked on my home computer. So my search began...





Confessions of a Craft Addict has an excellent tutorial on a roll out checker board. It is a fairly new post on her site, so I hadn't seen it before. I really like her choice in fabric and the game pieces. I don't have an embroidery machine (yet) but I do have friends with one :). I think you could throw in some chess pieces too. I would probably make a seperate drawstring bag for those to keep them organized. Now the inner crafter in me would figure out a way to make the chess pieces, but I haven't quite figure that out yet.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Away...on Vaca (Vay-Kay)

I'm in Seattle this week and I was hoping to have some posts done before I left. I still have more pictures to post and things to talk about from Christmas! Some of you know that Seattle is not far from my home, but it is far enough where it would be too much to go back and forth everyday this week.

I thought I would have wireless internet in our room, since it is a pretty nice hotel. Well there is, but there is a high price on it and I'd rather not pay it. The good thing is that I will probably be able to take some pics and do some shorter posts on location...thanks to all the Seattle cafes that have wireless access.

Tonight my hunny took me to The Cheesecake Factory. It is one of the places we went to on our first date. It was a really good meal and we ended with a layered coconut cream cheesecake slice (one is plenty for two people). It had a chocolate macadamian crust, then a layer of caramely macroon, then the coconut cheesecake and on top was the coconut cream plus loads of whipped topping. I think it may be our favorite.

The places I am looking forward to visiting most are Amuse, Pike's Place, Whole Foods and some Gluten Free Bakeries (pretty common in Seattle). The are also some fabric & crafty place I would like to visit, but I need to do some more research.

So please excuse the lack of posts this last week...life has been on a roll since Thanksgiving time. I could barely get the dishes done before we left again!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Wrapped

I'm a big fan of wire wrapped jewelry and I often get asked on how to make it. I taught my mom early this year and she was able to teach a bunch of older girls at camp. It became a treasured item for each of the girls. I want to share with you some information on how to and where to get good beads.

My parents live near one of the biggest bead shops I have seen, Shipwreck Beads. It is actually more like a warehouse. The first couple of visits are little overwhelming, because there is so much stuff! They provide carts with maps, so you can navigate to what you are looking for. I think they are really reasonable when it comes to prices and quality. I try to make it there every time I visit, but that doesn't always happen. Luckily, if you can't make it to the store, you can get everything online!

I've seen a couple different tutorials on making wire jewelry, but my favorite comes from Auntie's Beads (which sells bead supplies too). They have a bunch of jewelry making video tutorials, including wire wrapped rings. In the video, they demonstrate three different ways to wrap (depending on the bead). Once you get the basics down, they offer instructions for other versions of wrapped rings.

For Christmas, I made some wire wrapped sets with rings and earrings. I like how versatile the sets could be by changing the beads. That way I could make several sets, but they all could be unique and different.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Welcome 2009!

I had a sigh of relief when I finished all of my Christmas gifts. I would say that I made 80% of the gifts this year. The only ones I didn't make were to my husband, one brother and our fathers. We have a decent sized family, so it kept me busy!

Now that all my major gift making is out of the way, then I can focus on things that have been put on the back burner for the last few months. I still have projects from Christmas left to post and I'm hoping to come up with a few tutorials soon.

My "resolution" is to make my craft blog better than ever! Better design, organization, posting and my first giveaway! I've got a lot of ideas for this year. Most of all, I want to thank everyone that has been reading my blog. It is fun to connect to other crafty people all over the country. I just wish you all could live on the same street, so we could get together! Maybe in heaven, someday! Please feel free to comment...I love comments!

The 'Simplify' sign above is another gift I made. It is by no means any relation to 2009 for me. I don't think I really know the meaning of that word...hehe...just kidding. To make the sign, I started with a layer of black paint, then a layer of crackle medium, then a layer of white paint, then a blue wash. I added some die cuts (using my Cricut) using modge podge to attach them to the board. I finished by spattering black paint all over (just thin out the paint w/water and run your thumb along the brush to create the spatter look). I sprayed a clear coat on top for protection. I used screw eyes to hang the wire. On the wire, I did a couple of curls and added a button and flower bead (not pictured).

Happy New Year to All!