Rag Quilts

I {heart} Pinterest.  I can spend hours just browsing through that site, filling my head with creative ideas and new projects I should start.  Oh, and I start them!  Problem is, I dont always finish them.  My attention span is that of a fly when it comes to my patience in crafting.  I love it all.  I just want it all done NOW so I can move on to the next.  But this picture by  Do it Yourself Divas stopped me in my tracks:

I have never wanted to explore quilting (note my attention span issues). Too time consuming, too precise.....two words that DO NOT describe me.  But, rag quilting?  Who would've thought?  No need for perfection or huge amounts of time.  Just some fabric and the desire to put it all together.  I really was skeptical at first.  Could I really make a quilt in a short amount of time?  Turns out, YES YOU CAN! This quilt took me a total of 4 hours to complete and all of 6 yards total of flannel fabric.  (anyone else take advantage of the 1.49/yd sale at joanns this past weekend?)
The only difference in my quilt versus the one in the above photo is that I chose to snip my sides as opposed to binding them.  And I can't believe how soft and warm this is.  I will definately be making another one once I get my hands on another good fabric sale.

My daughter picked out the owl fabric for its 'cool' factor.

Her favorite colors are lime green and blue.  I don't think I could match this any better to her liking if I tried.

**TIP** When cutting your fabric into strips, I found a fabulous short cut that really works.  Simply snip the fabric at the desired width.  Mine was at the 8inch mark. Then, rip it all the way towards the other end.  The rip actually does tear in a straight line and saves you oodles of cutting time.**

Handmade Holidays: Christmas Photo Books

When it comes to crafting, there really is no 'last minute' anything, at least not for me.  I need time to get my creative juices going and can't just come up with some new project on the fly.  Lately, I have been working on a cardboard Christmas album to give to one of my friends.  I made one for myself a few years ago and it is soo fun to look back on a Christmas past. You can find these albums in the dollar spot at Michaels.  (not yet decorated, of course)

I try really hard to add pages for things other than photos.  There is so much more to the holiday besides the pictures.

There are gift tags and favorite holiday recipes and music.

There are wish lists and traditions and the family Christmas tree.

There are all those family 'funnies'  and mishaps that make the holiday so memorable.

I want to capture every moment.  The journaling only adds enrichment to the project and the process.


Make it yourself Mondays: Card sets

For the first time this year, I participated in the craftaholics anonymous handmade gift swap.  Basically, we are paired up with someone in the states to swap gifts with.  The woman I am swapping with loves the color red, coffee, chunky picture frames, and more.  It's been really fun getting to know someone who I, otherwise, never would have met.  And I really hope she enjoys her gift.  I made her a stationary set incorporating her favorite color and her love of coffee.  The pictures are posted below:

I hope she receives her gift before she reads this.  I think she will but you never know.

Included in this little set is a bookmark, cards, gift tags, and thank you notes. 

I wanted to make a good variety of items for more than one occasion.  I purposely chose NOT to make christmas cards or products by the off chance that my 'partner' already purchased hers elsewhere.

All this really takes is some cardstock, embellishments, and some imagination.
If you have a chance, check out the craftaholics website.  There will be a flikr set up and links to other participating bloggers.  Enjoy!


Shutterfly Christmas Cards

Photo Card
View the entire collection of cards.

I just finished designing our Christmas Card for this year.....and here it be! Our family took a trip to Atlantis this year and I just had to find a way to show off that beautiful dolphin, so this was it! What do ya think?  I'm trying to get on the ball for the holiday season as I am going out of town for Christmas and will need to get them out a little early.

I think I have used shutterfly for over 5 years now and have never been disappointed with their quality or service.  If you are considering printing your own, they have many many designs to choose from, using 1 or more pictures. 

**My opinions are strictly my own. I am not paid for this post, but may be compensated in product. **


Handmade Holidays: Peppermint Soap

For a woman who does not like to eat candy canes, I sure love the smell of peppermint.  Aside from the aroma, peppermint can aid in minimizing headaches and migraines-all the more reason to use the essential oil.  The smell can help clear your sinuses too.  As far as using it in soap, it is antibacterial and antifungal; great additions without the use of harmful chemicals such as triclosan.

Soap is sooo simple to make using a melt and pour base.  For this soap I used a goats milk base.  Once you have melted the base in a double boiler or in 30 second intervals in the microwave ( you don't want it to boil), you simply add 1 tsp of peppermint essential oil to 1 pound of goats milk soap base.  I even added a tsp of vitamin E oil for softness.  Pour the soap into molds and spritz with alcohol to get rid of the bubbles on top.  Once the soap is solid and completely cooled, remove from the mold and package accordingly. 

I can't wait to give these as gifts.  I have a few friends who are peppermint crazy and will love this!  Now, you try it!


Make it Yourself Mondays: Appetizers

With the holidays upon us, and football season already here, appetizers are a hot commodity.  I am not a big fan of making them though.  I seem to always turn toward my staple recipes.  With my hubby having a football party at the house, I decided to try something new.  I am so glad I did.  The recipe that follows is adapted from this sausage cheese ball recipe:

2 lbs. ground sausage.  I used mild but I'm also a wuss.
1 1/2 C. all purpose baking mix.  I made my own or you can always use bisquick.
4 C. shredded cheddar cheese.  Calls for sharp but I used a mixture.
1/2C. of each onion and celery, diced
1 tsp. pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix all ingredients together with your hands and roll into 1 inch balls.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 18-20 minutes. Verdict:  Definately will make again and again.


Decorating with Digital Scrapbooking

I am a fan of shutterfly.  I am not paid to say that, I just love the convenience of loading all my images into a printing sight and choosing which size to print for future projects.  I just so happen to have had a free code for an 8 x 8 print and I took advantage of it.  The easiest form of decorating your home with your photos is canvas.  It is so easy to get canvas at a good price with coupons.  You can either purchase Modpodge or you can make your own.  Brush the decoupage on the canvas and back of your print.  Stick together and let it sit until it forms a good seal.  You also want to seal the top of it from all of those little handprints.  I put 3 coats on top of mine but do whatever you feel comfortable.  This is my end result:

I really do love my girls!  :)


Make it Yourself: Heating Pads

Can I just tell you how much of a pain I think store bought heating pads are?  They are NEVER the right size or cover the right amount of area and are just plain ugly.  I have the solution.  I made my own and I am very pleased with the outcome.  If you can sew a straight line, you can do this project.
This pad took less than a half yard of material so you really could just scrounge through the remnant pile to find a big enough piece.  My finished dimensions on this were 21" by 6 1/2".  I had sewn two solid lines at the 2 1/4" mark from each end.  I filled this with a two pound bag of rice and added 2 T. of dried lavender.  I didn't think the smell would be all that strong so I added some essential oil as well.  If I did this over again, I probably would not add the essential oil as it made the end product a little too strong.  You can fill this with flax seeds as well and add whatever dried flowers you want, or none at all.  I placed mine in the microwave for approximately a minute and a half and it was plenty warm.  The best part about it is that it is long enough to stretch both shoulders at the same time!  The rice also gives it weight which always feels good and brings comfort too.  So long, ugly and too tiny heating pads.....I won't miss you one bit!


Handmade Holidays: Vanilla Extract with a Twist

There are many people/places on the internet that are showing you how to make your own vanilla extract to give as gifts for the holidays.  The basic ingredients are vanilla beans and vodka.  I wanted to 'jazz' this project up a bit to make it all my own. 

I'm a cherry fan:  dried cherries, cherry pie, cherry soda, fresh cherries....basically the 'bubba gump' of anything cherry.  So, the last time I was at the liquor store, I bought CHERRY flavored vodka instead to do a little experimenting with.  I still had to let my mixture sit for a minimum of two months.  It is finally finished and ready for a taste/smell test.  Let me tell you, this is yummy.  There is just the right hint of a cherry background flavor to perk it up.  I guess you could also use the juice from your maraschino (?) cherry jars but I couldn't give you an exact measurement.  Cherry flavored vodka took the guesswork out for me.  These little treats are ready for Christmas gifts now. I'm thinking black forest cake is the first big dessert on the menu with the extract!

***Just as a little side note:  I also tried to do this with orange flavored vodka but wasn't thrilled with the results.  For whatever reason, the vodka wouldn't soak up as much flavor from the vanilla bean so I just totally canned that one.


Handmade Holiday: 3-in-1 Gift

I am so excited to share this that I am about bursting at the seems.  Ya know those days when you are out at the craft stores and not really having a plan but hoping something strikes your fancy to create with?  Today was one of those moments.  On my way to the checkout at Michaels, I perused the dollar spot and found some antique looking keys.  I instantly knew exactly what I was going to do with them!  I thought of my kids, Christmas, and the traditional gifts we give them every year.  My kids still believe in santa, yet, I think this is probably the last year so I want to really make it count.  I have a fireplace but I know not everyone does.  Hence, the key to hang outside for Santa to make his way in! It's tradition for my kids to get an ornament every year.  This year, it will be the key that serves double duty.  What's the third you ask?  Say your kids are grown, or you don't share in the ornament tradition.  Use these keys as gift tags on your packages!  How great is that!


Handmade Holidays

I don't know about the rest of you, but the Christmas bug has already hit me.  It is my favorite time of year to create.  I daydream of all the gifts I can make, who I can make them for, and what's the best way to go about accomplishing them.  I can't wait to share them and have a file of it all to look back on myself.  For the time being....RUN to your nearest Michaels store and check out their dollar spot.  They have these antique looking keys that I am working with right now.  I am creating a multi-purpose 3-in-1 gift and I am soo excited about it.  Stay tuned......


Series starting Monday


Starting next Monday, November 7th, I will be starting my very first series:  Make it yourself Mondays.  My focus for now is going to be on household items we use on a regular basis.  Some of my entries will include, cleaning products, beauty regemins, herbal items, health and wellness. 

We are a nation of consumers and most of the time we aren't even aware of some of the products we are ingesting/exposing ourselves to that can be detrimental to our health.  While we are still, in essence, "consuming" something,  we will be fully aware of what it is.  Yes, we need to purchase supplies to make whatever it is we are making, but why leave it up to "those people" to decide what the ingredients are?  We will be much better off making these items ourselves not only for the quality of the ingredients, but also the quality of the item itself.  Anything that is made with our own two hands gives us a sense of pride and accomplishment.  We really do desire to do the best job we can possibly do.  The end result will be worth every penny.  So, please, join me on this journey.

Fall Canvas Subway Art

As I make the transition from Halloween to Thanksgiving, I am replacing my decorations, SLOWLY I might add, to a more generic fall/autumn theme.  I have started with some subway art.  I found a free printable ala pinterest and cut the dimensions to fit my canvas and to rid the print of its border and used my homemade mod podge to attach and seal it.  I put on 3 coats to seal it as I have many little fingers that love touching things.  :)  I stapled some fall ribbon on the back and hung it on my wall.  You will have to excuse the lighting.  This wall is kind of a small divider wall and it does not get very much light but its in the perfect spot for decorating.
**print source: free printable **

This post linked to:  Today's creative blog
                                 Homestories AtoZ


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...