Saturday, June 28, 2008

Easy Diamonds

I love making these! It's one of my new favorite crafty things, lol I have one in my kitchen for holding special notes and things. This one actually was made for a close friend's birthday. They're simple to do and lucky for me use materials I have in my stash. Doesn't everyone have a collection of cast off old empty frames? lol Even the diamond pattern isn't hard as I've figured out a really simple way to get it right every time regardless of frame size!

I bet everyone knows how to make these already so I'll focus on explaining how to do the easy peasy method for the diamond grid pattern. Here's what I do, I find the middle mark on each side and stick a straight pin in that spot to mark it. I lay my ribbon pieces out first going from corner to opposite corner, meaning top left to bottom right, top right to bottom left. Then I lay a piece from middle left to bottom middle, middle right to bottom middle, middle left to middle top, middle top to middle right... Got it? Easy peasy I tell you! Try it next time, I bet you'll agree. Here's a closer view... Psst... I'm not a huge matchy matchy kind of girl!

So whaddya think? Kind of cute huh? Well my friend loved it! I have to wonder though if she's managed to hang it up yet, lol, but that's another blog for another day!

Monday, June 23, 2008

From the stash

I keep things for who knows what reasons and this just happens to be one of the little outdated crafty things I found during a recent rooting session up in my attic. Maybe I thought country blue and stained wood would make a decorating come back some day or maybe I had a twisted idea of selling it in a yardsale where all the rednecks would come out and ooo and aaahhh over it, LOL who knows why I kept it all these years as I'm pretty certain I purchased it around 1992 but hey, it's time for a make over! The stained frame has to go!

Amazing what a bit of black paint can do huh? And don't you just love rub on's? For the outdated country blue mat I used a bit of craft paint on a sponge brush, I don't think you're supposed to paint don't tell on me! Hmmm, this is definitely an improvement but still needs a little more though, what would The Nester do? She'd add some ribbon and a bird of course! So a bit more digging thru the stash...

And here she is all finished and beribboned!

Loving the little bird...

Had to make a mad dash thru the house after

hot gluing it to the frame, I pulled it right back

off and went in seach of a bit of spanish moss...

no harm done, the glue was still warm..


I'm really digging how this looks hanging in my craft space!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Another view

Since I mowed the front yard for Father's Day I decided I better get a few pictures fast before it's overgrown again!!! We are not big yard people, don't get me wrong, I adore a gorgeous yard, heck, even a neat looking yard draws an admiring gaze from me but we're just too dog-gone lazy and uninspired around my humble shack to spend much time working on the outside. At least my dear Mister has an excuse, he works out of doors all day long and I don't blame him one hot moment for wanting to be inside when he gets home to soak up some chillin' a/c time in front of the computer...Me though, I can't come up with a good excuse other than I don't wanna be outside, it's too hot!

Now in my previous post you wouldn't have seen those hideous pieces of pressure treated lumber hanging horizontally across my 100 + year old home, nope, that's cause the picture in my previous post was taken before Katrina hit. See, Katrina (God bless those folks caught up in all that) changed the way insurance companies do their business. Now they are ober careful about the policies they write and having a 100+ year old house built before building codes came on to the books in the land of redneck just means I have to do some things to protect the guilty and no-counts (potential lawsuits looking to make a dime) that I wouldn't do to protect my beloved ones. Meaning, those hideous pressure treated timbers are part of protecting my me and my insurance company from liability should someone aka read: stranger, thief, criminal who doesn't know us decide to actually venture onto my sagging front porch and are up to no good and decide to take a header off the side, that lumber is supposed to give them a hand hold and stop them from suing me and the insurance company.

OK I did explain to the agent how they affected the appearance of my historical time period home and messed with the design integrity of it but he wasn't budging so there you have it, the story of the hideous pressure treated railings around my front porch.
Now should a thief make it up the steps with the aid of the handy man special hand rail, then he would see my lovely wreath I made a few weeks back while on vacation time at home. It's one I've had for years and years only it used to have a cheap Walmart sunflower garland wrapped around the top of it which only looked good the first year it was hanging. Now it has the heads of deflowered silk flowers from work on it, lol, yup, I follow the stock men around the store when they are sweeping up the floral dept and pick thru to get the goodies, lol One man's trash is this woman's craftin' treasure. Sorry you can't really see the cute white bird on a stick poking up along the right side and a little wooden birdhouse that "The Girl" (I'll explain who she is later) painted. Trust me, it's cute enough for my porch, lol And best part, total cost of remake, NOTHING

Now here's a side view picture, sorry you can't see the shepherd's hook with empty hummingbird feeder, again, "The Girl" did that. Notice my's from last fall, I don't have a summer one, want one but don't have one. We don't sell them where I work and I rarely make it out anywhere else to shop except Hellmart.

Now this last picture is of one of my window boxes that my dear Mister built and hung for me years and years ago. This is the first time in years I've had anything in them except leaves! Again, this is not my doing, "The Girl" did it, she planted and managed to keep them watered. Better than we did with the hanging baskets on the front porch, lol, oops! Maybe you didn't notice those in the first picture....
Now you don't have to tell me how lucky I am to have a darling Mister who can build things! I know it already! It's tough to get him to do something, I suspect most husband's are like that, but once he gets started and actually finishes then it's How Freakin' Great is This? I Love It, Thank You Honey!

This is a slightly closer look at the prettier outside parts of my home. I hope you enjoyed it, lol

Monday, June 16, 2008


My favorite blog that I've mentioned many times is The Nesting Place and I've forgotten how to hide that! Naturally! I'm not a technofile...but I'm diagressing! The whole point of today's post is "idhtbptbb" which translates into "it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful"... well that pretty much sums up my life...

See my version of "This Old House" ala redneck style? We're not rednecks you know! but you can't tell that from the outside of our house... One thing we learned fast when we started renovating is nothing will ever be perfect in a house over 100 years old! So... that's the underlying theme of our entire life "imperfection" and I gratefully accept it! Oh by the way that hideous satellite dish was a left over from our renters and we've since ripped it off the front of our house I've just not updated my pictures in a long time... Yup, no where close to being perfect!
And I just tried to upload another picture but it keeps loading the top of my post! I have no idea how to stick it in the middle like right here.... lol So just one picture... but that's one more picture than I've been able to manage so far so that's progress right? lol
I let too many out of whack expectations of perfection ruin a good many days, projects, friendships, etc and I've missed out on even more wonderful things because I feared what someone else would think. No more! I'm through with that foolishness, it robs the joy from your heart and if you don't have some joy in your heart then what's the point? Everyone around you will suffer for it. Life is too short and too precious to squander on a senseless, unattainable goal of perfection. I learned this lesson years ago and every so often it doesn't hurt to remind myself of it. So here's my perfectly imperfect home...the siding is buckling, the front porch sags, the neighborhood is redneck and the grass ain't grass at all but more like weeds but it's our home and it's close to being paid off. Which makes it beautiful in our eyes.

Monday, June 9, 2008

weekend update

I didn't finish my apron in time for Friday night's dinner preparation but after working Saturday evening I burned the midnight oil and managed to finish it. It's stinkin' cute! The ties are extra long according to the pattern so I have plenty to go around me and tie in front. I still need to add two buttons as accents for both pocket and apron neck flaps but that's minor.

While at Hellmart I picked up fabric for my second apron project. I managed to cut out most all the pieces required Sunday afternoon. I can't wait, it's going to be so cute and funky!

I don't get in much of a hurry when sewing. I've learned patience gets me farther with less mistakes. Not that I'm all about having it perfect, far from it. But the less I use my seam ripper the better.

Right before vacation I decided to focus on doing more creative things. Whether it's needlework, yarn work, sewing, painting, decorating, daydreaming & sketching, paper crafting... I just felt I needed to get more accomplished, not as in production, but rather as in just spending more time crafting vs watching tv. I feel better when I'm creating, inside and out, more whole.

I'm helping my coworker reset her dept which is Needlework and Saturday evening I was in the book section. I finished it by the way but I noticed this really cute book "Modern Country Primitives" for embroidery. I don't embroider... but I so would make one of the projects in that book! They are THAT cute. Dare I take up another hobby? I have most everything already for it though as I cross stitch. So what all do I do anyways? Let me make a list. I love lists.

  1. Scrapbooking
  2. Rubberstamping
  3. Floral crafting
  4. General crafting
  5. Sewing
  6. Cake decorating
  7. Painting/DIY
  8. Crochet
  9. Knitting
  10. Counted cross stitch
  11. Latch hook rug making
  12. Reading
  13. Gourmet cooking
  14. SCA
  15. Blogging (that counts right?)

I'm sure I've missed something and while I don't do each of these every week I do cycle thru them during the course of the year. And I have several projects in the works, such as my latch hook rug and a cross stitch picture both for Christmas decorating.

I like seeing my list too.

Friday, June 6, 2008

an apron of her own

I've been wanting to make an apron for quite some time, months actually. Must be my bad habit of procrastinating. Wednesday morning I unwrapped the pattern tissue and started cutting out my pieces. Then I rooted through my stash of rolled up fabric remnants looking for just the perfect piece. I found a rather feminine floral fabric, black background, not the sort of design I'd make an article of clothing out of so it's perfect for my "test" project. Each time I attempt to make something that I think I'll make a lot more of, I like to call it a test. Don't know why, just me being me.

Now I needed a contrast for the ruffled flounce and pocket so I found a piece of black and white gingham which I think goes perfectly with the black and cream floral print. I cut out the pocket pieces and actually managed to sew them together before having to abandon my project to go to work. I returned too late to work on it as I needed to be up early yesterday to go open the store. But last night after dinner and a movie I was finally able to spend some time with my apron project. Then I discovered I didn't have a single piece of anything I'd be willing to use as lining for it, UGH

I'm off today so after a visit with my sewing fairy godmother to relieve her of a truck bed full of stuff-n-fluff I'm going to dash into Hellmart and find something suitably cheap to use for lining and I'll have this Betty sewn together in time for wearing during tonight's dinner prep! Hide and watch!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


My darling Mister took me junk shopping Saturday. There was an antique shop on Main Street of my little town which I call Mayberry with a touch of affection which is another story for another day. But this shop I've eyed for well over a year now and never made it downtown during store hours to visit, that is, until Saturday. Wowser was it full of stuff! Most of it grossly overpriced for my taste and budget. We did manage to score a few treasures though.

My Mister found some vintage comic books and an antique compass, very cool looking. I found a chippy red wire basket that my Mister says went into a Hoosier cabinet. I'm going to use it in my creative room to hold papers, etc. I'd rather it wasn't red, blue would be perfect but hey, it's old and chippy so who cares? And I found a collection of old sheet music for $3. Everything was also on sale for 20% off which helped. I had this idea I'd use the sheet music in crafting on collages or whatever.

Then we went to Habitat for Humanity store. Outside stacked against the exterior wall was loads of old chippy windows! And they were marked $1 each! I so wanted one in particular but my Mister said no as they contained lead based paint. UGH! I explained what I was going to do with the window but still he was unmoved. Then he relented enough to say "measure where you want to put it" meaning he would find me one sometime. The rest of the store contained junk, not the good kind either.

Finally our third stop in our junk shop tour was Salvation Army. Again lots of junk with very few treasures and the prices on some things were surprisingly high considering the condition of the items and the fact they were donated. It was half price day so I picked up a few booklets with cross stitch patterns that I liked.

OK, it's obvious if I'm ever going to find some really great junk stuff for fabulous can't pass it up prices I'm going to have to find a new locale to shop in.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Spring Fabric on sale!!!

OK I've been eyeing this piece of brown paisley print seersucker like material forever, well maybe not forever but since it arrived at my store. It's been as much as 30% off but finally I've received word to mark it down to 50% off... OMGosh, I better hurry up and decide what I want to make from it before it disappears forever...

Monday, June 2, 2008

Two posts in one day

Update on my chair covers, I finished them and they are stinkin' cute! LOL Now I definitely need to make up a table runner for myself. And an alternative set of chair top covers as these are way too matchy matchy but I love them anyway. I'm thinking some lovely prequilted fabric in white or ecru would look fab. Plus a little monogram on them, oh yeah, tres' cute. Then I'm thinking something in a black and cream homespun or a toile would be a nice addition.

You didn't seriously think one set would be enough for me did you?

A nightmare for me

I finished the much dreaded table runner from hell. I'm sorry but I just absolutely hate sewing for profit for other people. It's torture for me. First off I never know what to charge for a thing. Secondly I hate being told what to do. And finally thirdly, something always goes wrong!

I seriously need to learn how to gracefully and graciously say NO. My coworker brought a customer over to me so I could give her some advice on fabric to match her decor. No problem. I show her several things while inquiring what said fabric was for. Next thing I know I'm designing a table runner on the spot and explaining how very simple it is to sew one. Somewhere along the way I missed the deer in headlights look from the customer and was hijacked into making this for her. UGH! I am way too helpful... I need to learn KISS as in Keep It Simple Stupid so I can avoid this type of hostage taking situation in the future.

I'm resolved though, this is it, no more, absolutely not again. I swear it! Seriously, I mean it. I admore making a gift for a friend or even making something with an eye towards selling it. But to do custom sewing is not my thing at all. I stress out, I obsess, I procrastinate, I dwell, it's awful for me. And I do not care to impart the item with all those negative feelings, bad crafting karma!

So after much trouble and a few very slight alterations to the project, the table runner is finished. I'm charging $20 for it and whether that's too much or too little, I don't care, I just want out! I'm giving it to my coworker to deliver and collect the money for it. And to be honest I could careless if I get anything out of it, if they love it or not, I'm done with the blasted thing!

All future sewing for others will be confined to gift giving or inventory to sell, no more custom! EVER! I mean it now!