Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cricut + Baby = a LOT of projects!!

 I am loving the pink everything that is taking over my house, not to mention to the whole new agenda of inspiration that is leading my crafting projects along! All this pink and all that I can say is that my grandbaby's parents better be ready to visit often!!

My most recently completed project is a quilt for the baby's room. Knowing that it is a girl made this easy, as did my daughters request for a 'Lamby' quilt. She has chosen several really cute Lambs to adorn the baby's space :)

First step on my quilt was to go shopping!! Hooray! Fabric really is almost as much fun as paper!! Here's my photo journey of the quilt....

Step 1: Pick fabrics. We decided on soft yellows and browns with pink as a highlight. I loved including some fun textured materials in the design!

Step 2: Sew the quilt base. This was a simple but funky border with an area for a central scene.

Step 3: Design the scene out of paper. I learned this lesson after wasting mis-cut fabric on one of my very first quilt projects! I cut flowers & grass using Cricut, then drew my own lamb and hills.

Step 4: I used cricut to cut Heat n' Bond ultra flowers. Then, I gently ironed the Heat n' Bond onto my fleece material, which of course isn't cuttable by Cricut. Then, using scissors I trimmed around each flower, leaving a 1/4" border which I folded/ironed under the pattern before sewing each flower in place on the quilt.

Step 5: Next, I ironed Heat n' Bond ultra directly onto the back of my green fabric and cut out the grass for my central scene. With the hills in place, I used a decorative stitch to sew the grass in place. It took a long, long, long time!! I think I get some sort of special Grandma privilege just for sewing the grass!! lol

This was the quilt with everything cut out, and before I started sewing. It really did help enormously to have planned the pattern in paper first. It made cutting up my stash of material a lot easier! 

Step 6: Lamby was the last element to be sewn into place. It was definitely the hardest part of the project with all of that fuzz floating around!!! I used a similar technique with the Heat n' Bond, drawing my pattern onto Heat n Bond and then cutting it out.  

Step 7: Ok, maybe this was the hardest part! I used my sewing machine to stitch the quilt front to the backing material, which is the same fuzzy material used on the lamb! Of course there is also a healthy layer of batting in there too. It was thick, but I only stitched around the yellow sections of the border and the pink inner border that frames the center scene. 

Step 8: My final and finishing step was sewing on the ruffle! I used my sewing machine and stitched it to the top side of the quilt and then hand stitched the back edge for a perfect finish!

This is the finished quilt, ready and waiting for the arrival of it's new owner!


Monday, September 19, 2011

Baby It's Cold Outside!

This morning Sweetums and I headed outside for a quick walk and it was raining. Nothing serious, nothing freezing cold. I was wearing a hoody and a tshirt and didn't feel the 'sting' of the weather. I was, in fact, relieved that I didn't have to gear up in boots and all that fun stuff!

Now, Sweetums on the other hand was singing a different story. FYI, Sweetums is our new Yorkie pup and she is a pretty little thing, little being the operative word. She did not appreciate the mild fall weather and was shivering enough to gain my sympathy and convince me that it was time to head to the store and get her some outdoor clothing.

Once it warmed up a bit and we headed to the pet store (Sweetums came along to try things on and make sure they looked nice) we didn't find very much! There were lots of little t-shirts on sale, and a bunch of halloween costumes, but very few winter jackets or even hoodies, and even fewer CUTE options! 

We headed to a second pet store where I found the little Martha Stewart fleece below:

Fleece Puppy Jacket ala Martha Stewart! 
It's pretty cute and probably pretty warm, but I have to say that it is missing some PINK GIRLYNESS!! What's the point of dressing up a girl puppy if it isn't going to be in pink??!! No problem though, my sewing machine has been sitting on my desk all week along with a gazillion pink swatches of fabric that I am using to make Alix a baby quilt (I'll share when I'm done!).

Cricut + Heat'n'bond + CUTE!
I cut some Heat'n'bond into flower shapes (the same flowers I am putting on the baby quilt!lol) and  then ironed it onto the back of some lovely pink fleece. Then I cut the fleece out with scissors. I WISH I could of cut the fleece with my Cricut, but cutting the heat'n'bond provided an awesome pattern and it was the next best thing.

A few lacy details...
After cutting the flowers, I ironed them onto the fleece jacket and top stitched the edges. As a final touch I sewed some lace and pompoms around the edges of the outfit, added a pom pom to the center of each flower, and, whoola!

She is NOT cringing!! Honest! She just doesn't want to walk in it just yet...
I had a lovely, fashionable PINK and brown fleece jacket for Sweetums! Quin says it looks like something Sherlock Holmes would wear. humff. I like it!! And Sweetums does too, sort of...

She did eventually walk in her jacket :)
It took her a few minutes to see it's merit, but eventually Sweetums was happily wandering the back yard in her warm little outfit.

Lovely professional! 

Is that a smile?!
And so, my mission for the day is done. I also picked up a little gray Martha Stewart winter jacket. I'll get started on it next week!


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Weekend Review Aug 7th!

What a whirlwind! Summer is definitely in full swing as I try to stay caught up to all of the fun, sun and socializing! I am LOVING every minute of it, though it is cutting down on my creative time!

Last week my family spent time at Disney World! We had a FABULOUS time and I easily convinced my daughter (and her friend) to journal each day so that we could create an album when we got home. We purchased postcards each day of the trip that represented where we were and then added a second journalling card when the day was so busy that we overran the postcard. My intent is (was) to bind all of the postcards together with pictures that we took and voila! Instant scrapbook!

Now, you may be noticing a lack of pictures of this wondrous scrapbook?! That is because the postcards are on a plane, or in the garbage or SOMEWHERE between Florida and Calgary. Quin was journalling en-route and sadly left everything behind somewhere.

I'll continue to call airport lost and found, but my guess is that  I will be searching for some Disney and Universal postcards so that we can re-create the project!

The good news is, that my souvenir of the trip arrived home safe and sound!! Meet Sweetums, our new Yorkie puppy!

She is a lovely little 5 month old Yorkshire Terrier puppy, and we are very happy to add her to our family. My husband LOVES the name Sweetums, NOT, but it really does suit her!

Sweetums is named after the Ogre Muppet. I have always been a big fan of the Muppets and the combination of sweet puppy and ogre-ish behavior is PERFECT for this tiny fur ball!

Notice the resemblance?!
Sweetums eat frog! 
Happy summer days to everyone! Hopefully we will have many more sunny days in August!


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Weekend Review July 25th

Well, I must say that it's about time we had a little SUN around here! I had an excellent weekend, sitting in the sun, soaking up the rays and KNITTING!

With not only a baby girl grandbaby on the way, but also a baby boy great nephew (just call me Granty) I have had a great time buying and buying and buying, project after project after project to do! So, isn't it natural that I would set aside all of the new stuff and knit a little hat using some sock wool leftovers? lol

Basic Umbilical Cord Hat
To make my hat, I combined two lovely patterns that I found at The first was for an umbilical cord hat  and the second was for an icord flower.

Tying the icord through the flower. 
I LOVED how this little hat turned out and I will definitely be adding some icord flowers to future projects. My Sister-in-law made a similar hat without the flower for her future grandbaby boy...she ran away with it before I got a picture (or spilt anything on it) and so I'll have to share some of her great knitting on a future blog! 

The finished hat

Birds eye view
And's off to the back yard to finish of the weekend (and maybe another project) while basking in the sun!! 

Happy Crafting!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Quin's Felting Project

As soon as Quin heard that Alix was moving out, she started planning a housewarming gift! I'd like to think that it is because she has such a generous spirit and not just because she was excited to get rid of her older sister!

Regardless, Quin started felting about two years ago when my sister introduced her to it and she periodically brings out her supplies and surprises us with some REALLY cute creations!

The deep set frame holds the felted creation perfectly!
This time around, Quin decided to do a 'Home Sweet Home' framed piece of felted artwork, and as soon as she had finished the first bird, it was decided that 'Home TWEET Home' was even better!

The original BLUE egg!
After Quin was finished all of her felted friends, we gathered some twigs from the garden and sewed them into place on aida cloth using fishing line. The whole design was a little warped before we adhered it to an adhesive mat, which eventually held it perfectly! I went to work doing the cross stitch and in no time we were all done!

Close up! 
Just as Quin was finishing off her blue egg, which of course matched the birds, Alix announced that she was going to find out whether she was having a boy or a girl, so Quin went to work and made a second pink egg!

We found out that the baby will be a girl, so a quick switch had this little housewarming gift finished and PERFECT!!

Quin also made this Easter scene. I LOVE her handiwork and I have my fingers crossed that she will soon be making more little felted friends that I can show off in our house!

She has several other animals done and displayed in her room, including a monkey and dogs that look like our family pets!

All of the felted creatures are between 1.5 and 3 inches tall, with the finished framed piece measuring about 7"x7". The detail that each felted piece has is really good, especially for a 13 year old....or 12 year old when she did the Easter felting!

Happy Crafting!

Quin & Mom

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Weekend Review July 16

My weekend is over before it's begun as I am on my way to Toronto for our next appearance on The Shopping Channel!  You can see some great deals on Provo Craft products at 9am, 12pm, 3pm and 7pm EST. In the mean time... I must say it has been a pretty spectacular weekend anyways!

My Grandbaby girl!! 
We started off Friday by heading to my daughter's ultrasound appointment with her, where we found out that we will be Grandparents to a baby girl!! The little gal is due on December 13th and we can hardly wait to start spoiling her! I am dreaming in pink and very VERY excited!! Doesn't she look gorgeous already??!! Ultrasound imaging has come a very long ways since I had my babies!

A Happy Housewarming

Next stop was Alix and Chris's house for their 'official' housewarming party! It is GREAT that they are all settled in the new place :) I decided that in leu of a card, I would make them a little house... of course my Cricut got put to work!

Bits and Pieces ready to assemble
The Winter Woodland Cartridge makes gorgeous little 3D houses and it was easy to just use different themed papers and colors to leave the 'winter' theme behind. I used a 12x24" mat to upscale the size of the house and used a 6" setting for the height. (The length wouldn't have fit onto a 12x12 mat). I had to piece together the striped papers for the main house front but if you have any 3Birds Larger than Life 12 x24 paper it would be PERFECT!

Welcome Home!! 
My sticker stash got broken into so that I could personalize this humble little house...

Using up some of my sticker stash!
A miniature Chris and Alix are holding hands inside of the house and I placed some sweet little sayings inside each of the windows. 

The side view
Piggy Bank Top
Our gift was a little bit of cash to go towards all those inevitable new home costs, so I turned the house into a piggy bank by cutting a slot in the top of the roof and adding a bottom to the structure. 

A very sophisticated piggy bank bottom!
To create the bottom, I cut a slit into the 'grass' where a simple fold of paper creates a latch by tucking in and under. It might not be very sophisticated but it works!! 

And now.... it's off to The Shopping Channel!! Try to tune in if you are looking for an AMAZING deal on the Yudu Cardshop!! 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Weekend Review July 9

I thought that I might trying to do a weekend review every Monday(ish!) as my weekends are always packed full of something interesting!

The magical key of freedom! 
Do you ever find that your creativity in paper crafting is very fluid and oozes into many other areas of your life? I seem to feel like I should and CAN dabble in whatever creative process seems interesting to me at any given time!

For instance.... my daughter Alix recently purchased her own home (WOW!) and so I have an entirely new creative palette just waiting for me! lol She is pretty happy to have help and input as she renovates and puts her own name on the new digs :)

And so, this weekend, instead of cutting and gluing and inking and playing with my normal toys, I helped tile! It was a pretty easy process for Alix, seeing how she went to work all day! Brian (my husband) was the official tile cutter, I was placing them on the wall (occasionally backwards) and Chris, my daughter's significant other (more on him another Monday!) was the  supervisor (making me pry off the backwards tile) and the master grouter and adhesive guy.

The 'tile plan'
We chose super affordable, best sale in the world travertine a few weeks ago when Alix decided to reno the kitchen and then added some gorgeous glass to the design. 

Getting started is always the hard part! 
Chris and I did a lot of debating on how we would lay everything out, and finally settled on running a bit of the glass tile underneath the window.
All of the tile was up in about 4 hours
Chris was very flexible! 
 We used a really dark grout to add some 'pop' to the look and we LOVE how it all turned out! We had some great critiques from the local hardware shop employees who thought that the grout we chose was too dark. REALLY? I think not! It looks gooooood! 

I LOVE the dark grout! 
AND... that was my weekend!! What did you do?!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Yudu Cardshop Custom Screens & Tea Towels

My first round of tea towels with Yudu Cardshop
A couple of months ago, I saw some incredible designer tea towels in a little gift shop in Florida. I instantly LOVED them, but not quite enough to part with $17.00 USD each!! And so... having so many excellent play toys work tools at my disposal, I decided to customize some of my own!

This one was done using images from the screens that come enclosed with
 The Shopping Channel and HSN bundles
Yudu Cardshop

Gathering all of the materials for the tea towels was almost as much fun as finishing off the projects as I was able to pull out all of my tiny bits of materials and ribbon. The floral materials that I used, were leftovers from a quilt that I made for Quin, and the ribbons chunks included pieces that have been in my stash for years as well as antique lace that my Aunt sent to me from Italy!

It didn't take me long to go from using the pre-made screens that came with the Cardshop system, to wanting to customize the tea towels with a name (or should I say MY name!!). I decided that rather than burning a new screen on my full sized Yudu silkscreening system (which was a good option) that I would instead make a screen with vinyl! It turned out SO good! After I showed my tea towels to a couple friends, and had them drooling over their beauty, I went to work to make a few more towels as gifts. Here's your almost step by step guide to making your own beautiful tea towels!!

Make a visual plan for each tea towel. These ones are for my daughter. 
Step 1.  Begin gathering all of your supplies! I found really nice and reasonably priced tea towels at Walmart. I liked the solid colors best but you could do the project on a subtly patterned towel as well. You'll also need some plain cotton fabric to silk screen onto (prewashed) as well as a nice printed fabric. Several scraps of coordinating ribbon will finish everything off! It is really fun to pick trims and ribbons that match the personalities of the people that you are making the tea towels for. I used 'Travel' ribbon for my wandering sister, 'hugs and kisses' ribbon for a good friend, and 'love, trust, family' ribbon for my daughter!

Planning the towels for my baby sister! 
All finished... good thing her name is on them or
I'd be tempted to keep them!
Step 2.  Time to make your screen. This is SO easy!! Pick a font from your Cricut collection, type your name and then cut in in the 'Mirror Image' mode. Once the vinyl is in place and stuck on to the BACK of the Yudu Cardshop screen, it will read correctly again. No Cricut?! Maybe you can borrow one, or buy one (it really is time!) , or if you want to take a million hours longer you could even hand cut a name in vinyl... but really, you'll want to use a Cricut! Here's a quick video on how to make your screen....

Step 3. This is the fun part!! It's time to 'pull' your design! Here are my tips to ensure your success:
      - Be sure to secure your screen in the top lid area before you begin screening. This ensures registration accuracy if you need to pull ink onto the design a second time.
     - Screening fabric requires more ink than screening onto paper. For fabric designs, you need to 'flood' the screen with ink before pulling the ink across the surface of your design. 'Flooding' is when you put the bead of ink onto the screen and use the squeegee to pull it across the surface of your design BEFORE your screen is on top of the fabric. THEN, when you place the screen on top of your fabric and run the squeegee across again, more ink gets pushed through the screen. Clear as mud? Here's another video that will make things easier!

Step 4: Iron your finished screened fabric to heat set the ink and make it permanent.

Another set finished! They are SO FAST to do!! 

Step 5: Get out your sewing machine and sew all of your ribbon and fabric into place on your tea towel. I liked working from the bottom of the towel up, using a small zig zag stitch for some of the trim and a straight stitch for the fabric and flatter ribbons. Be sure to iron ALL of your trim before stitching things together, it makes it much easier and much faster to finish everything off.

So pretty and so fun to create! 

Step 6: Be prepared to make more!! Once you show these to people they are going to want to be on your gift list. These would also be the PERFECT project for a craft sale! Oh... and Yes... being prepared does mean that you will have to go out and buy more ribbon and fabric!! lol