Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cake on a stick

Cake pops.  Quickly shoving cupcakes aside as the new "it" baked good.


Vanilla cake mixed with vanilla frosting, dipped in dark chocolate.  These are for a reception at a local college who's colors are orange and black.  I had to make my own orange sprinkles since all I could find locally on such short notice were spring colored pastels (gotta love those 8pm calls where the product needs to be done in the next two days).  So I took some white nonpareils and put them in a ziploc with some orange food coloring and let my daughter go crazy shaking it until they were all coated.  A quick dry on a paper towel, and voila!


Quality control is very important.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

For the love of scrappy quilts


I've been working on quite a few quilts lately (I think I have five in the works right now - all at various stages), but I don't like to post about them until they have been given to the actual recipient.  

This quilt was made for Steve and Michelle, two dear friends of mine who are getting ready to tie the knot this June. 

I wanted to keep it pretty and colorful for Michelle, but still masculine so it would be welcome in Steve's man cave.  I think the Kona coal balances out the bright patchwork perfectly - especially when combined with the patchwork binding, which I totally love.

Scrappy quilts are some of my favorite, because each piece of fabric is tied to such a distinct memory.  I'm thinking of one day starting a fabric diary - where I keep scraps of fabric and record either where I got them or what was made from them.  


I think it would be incredibly special one day for my children to know that the pink and green striped fabric on the right came from a skirt that I used to wear in high school, or the yellow modern meadow on the left was used to make Phoebe's crib skirt, or that the blue floral piece used to be a bag that I thrifted from a house that was overflowing with sewing supplies.

More Kona coal for the back along with a giant log cabin improve block.  I made the binding out of all the leftover binding bits from previous projects.  You can see that the section along the bottom right corner was originally used to make this special project.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Past Project Friday

Every Friday I will be posting some sort of crafty project that I have completed in the past.  It could be anything from baking, to sewing, needlecrafts, art, decorating, etc.


This is a pretty recent project that I finished just a couple of weeks ago.  Like I said earlier,  I'm not really feeling the Innocent Crush line - but I do have quite a weakness for the woodcut prints.  You might be seeing a project coming up where I use this print again in the home dec weight.  Also, have you seen Jamie's recovered chair?  I seriously did some major shrieking when I saw that post.  That's what's in store for my couch sometime down the road.


Anyway, back to the pillows.  Pretty simple, 26" with purple piping (oh how I love adding piping to everything now that I've conquered my fear of it), and a simple tuft in the middle, topped with a covered button.  Buttons that I've had to resew three times now since my toddler has gotten so good at ripping them off.

backed in Kona Coal
I actually made my own pillow forms for this too, because I could not justify paying $40 each at Joann's.  Heck, even if I used a coupon, it's still way more than I wanted to pay.  So I basically just bought two 32oz bags of fiberfill ($4.80 each w/a coupon) and stuffed them into some simple muslin cases that I cut and sewed myself.  They're definitely a bit more lumpy than true pillow forms, but the tufting really helps to compress everything down.  And Phoebe has been dragging them around and jumping on them for weeks and hasn't noticed a difference.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tutorial: Fabric Covered Shelves

I've slowly but steadily been making some progress on my studio.  Up until recently, I've been scrounging around for my crafting supplies amongst 15 half-unpacked boxes sitting smack dab in the middle of the room.  It didn't really lend itself to a very efficient or organized creative process - both of which I lack in even the best of circumstances.

While I was hoping to thrift or purchase some sort of lovely storage system, our budget didn't have room for anything to my liking, so we ended up installing a super cheap track shelving system.  It definitely gets the job done, but isn't very pretty to look at - especially when all that we were using as the shelves themselves were 6 foot unfinished pine boards.
I decided to pretty them up with some vintage sheets this past weekend, and here's how I did it....


First I painted the boards with two coats of primer.  I'm not entirely sure if this is a necessary step, but some of the sheets were on the sheer side, so it keeps the knots and the wood grain from showing through.


Starting at one end, I coated a section of the board in spray adhesive and smoothed the sheet flat. 


I continued all the way down the board until the first side was covered.


Then I flipped it over and did the same thing to the other side.


I folded the ends up - gift wrap style - after giving it another good shot of spray adhesive.


Then I painted a good coat of Mod Podge all the way down the seam and on the folded over edges.

And voila!  It took about 15 minutes in the sunshine to dry, and I had them screwed into the shelving system in no time.  Overall this project took maybe an hour to complete and didn't even use up the entire can of adhesive.  

Even my husband was impressed at how smooth and clean they turned out.  And I thought for sure I was going to end up in a sticky mess of glue and frayed sheets. 

The only thing left to do is load it up with craft supplies and think about what else I'm going to cover in fabric!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Digging in the Dirt

I think what I was most excited about when we bought our house was the prospect of having a real garden and real flower beds this summer.  I've always tried my hardest at container gardening while we lived in apartments, but lack of light, lack of space, and plant loving cats squashed all of those ventures pretty quick.


Phoebe and I wasted no time in starting some seeds once March hit.


We keep our little flat of basil and spinach seedlings on the kitchen table where it has been getting lots of sunlight.  It's usually enclosed with a plastic cover to deter the cats, but Phoebe has me remove it to check on the plants about fifteen times a day.


She got so excited once we could see the little green sprouts poking up through the soil.


And everyday we have to count how many plants we can see.


It will be quite interesting to see how involved she'll make herself once our garden really gets going, because the girl hates dirt.  If she finds even a speck on herself, she screams out "Dirt!  Dirt!", and I have to come to the rescue with a clean rag.  It's pretty obvious that Phoebe picked up a good dose of my OCD.

But she definitely loves to water.  Our time outside consists of her watering every inch of ground in sight.


Now I just need to get us some matching boots.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Good Green Fun


Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!  Phoebe and I celebrated by hosting a party for our playgroup friends.  I decided to use Dana's tutorial for Split Pea Shamrocks for our crafting project, because it's just so darn awesome.


Plus, who doesn't love a good bean bag and playing in a bin full of dried peas?


Phoebe gives pretty good paci kisses :)


This was early into our crafting sessions - you can tell from the clean carpet.  By the end, both bins were empty and everyone got to wade through a sea of dried peas.  But life's a ton more fun when you're making messes - and they vacuum up really easily. 


Then we had a lovely lunch of all things green, including some shamrock pizza. 

Doesn't everyone spend their spare time cutting shamrocks out of spinach leaves?

Monday, March 14, 2011

We interrupt our regularly scheduled post...


....because Polly does not think that there are enough kitties on my blog and she has taken up residence in my dollhouse until that changes.


That, and I was planning on showing you all the other goodies I snagged at that kick-ass estate sale, but I accidentally reformatted my camera card before downloading all the pictures.  And now half of the stuff is in the washer (lots of linens and fabric!), so who knows when I'll get around to it.

So until then, I've got to go draw up a lease for a certain cat if she plans on staying in there any longer.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Past Project Friday

Every Friday I will be posting some sort of crafty project that I have completed in the past.  It could be anything from baking, to sewing, needlecrafts art, decorating, etc.

Puppy dog cupcakes

Today's past project Friday goes back to 2008 - when I actually had time to sit and hand sculpt two dozen fondant puppy dogs.

Puppy dog cupcakes!

As usual, I went completely overboard when the customer only asked for simple puppy dog faces.


Even though I offer reasonable quotes and work to stay within the customer's budget, I have a hard time scaling back on execution and labor.  I want to put forth my best work - regardless of the price charged.  So usually my profits end up covering my expenses and I get screwed for my time.  But it's all about doing what you love, right?

The pink poodle is for the birthday girl

I'm not going to tell you how long these guys took to make.

You do not want to know how long it took me to make all of these

But I'm sure they made the six year old birthday girl incredibly happy.  She requested the pink poodle :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Estate Sale Jackpot (Part 1)

This past weekend my mom was visiting so I was lucky enough to be able to hit up some estate sales - sans Phoebe.  I don't really do much thrifting with her, because well, she's a toddler - enough said.

Anyway, I happened to come across an estate sale taking place in a house where two antique dealers used to live.  I found all kinds of goodies, and while I was waiting in line to pay I spotted this little gem of a couch hidden and lost in the shuffle.


It is in just about perfect condition, and even better was the amazingly too-good-to-be-true price of only $145. 


Thankfully I was the next person up in line and after hearing it was still available, I wasted no time in snatching it up. 


I know absolutely nothing about furniture styles/periods/eras, but I do know that I just love the design of this couch and it has some pretty amazing lines.  Even though the upholstery is in great condition, I'm just not digging the green velvet with gold trim.  So once it's in our budget (waaaay down the road), this lovely lady will be getting a makeover a la Anna Maria Horner.  Ohhhh, what scrumptious fabric will I cover her in....?


So it's currently hanging out here in our dining room until we eventually get a dining room table (most likely another hand-me-down), but it's final home is going to be in my studio.

Monday, March 7, 2011


So I know putting fabric in embroidery hoops and hanging them on the wall has been done to death in the crafting world, but I still love it.  So there.

We have a large wall in our dining room that had been blank for just way too long, so I finally decided to do something about it.


First I pulled a myriad of scraps and prints from my collection.  There was really no rhyme or reason to why I chose what I chose - I just wanted it to be colorful while still meshing well together.


Then I took all of my embroidery hoops and raided the ones from Phoebe's nursery as well and laid them out in a pleasing pattern on the floor.  Then I basically put the fabric in the hoops based on what scraps would fit into what hoops.


Then I completely disregarded my initial diagram and started randomly nailing them to the wall.


Until it looked like this!  I can still see a couple of holes where I'd like a few extra, but it will have to wait until I replenish my stash of wooden embroidery hoops.  Also, please disregard the terrible lighting fixture - that hasn't been replaced yet.


On another note - I hit up an amazing estate sale this weekend.  So the spot in front of this wall isn't empty any longer.  I'll be back with a post about that later this week.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Who wants my old linens?

Vintage pillowcases to be more precise :)

I'm helping The Vintage Sheet Blog celebrate their one year blogiversary by offering up three lovely vintage pillowcases from my stash for their month of giveaways.

What do you want with old sheets, you ask?  Well you could make quilts...

Recycled Quilt

or more quilts,

Olive on Strip Quilt

or pennants,

to hang at your daughter's vintage sheet inspired birthday celebration,


or you could just lay them out and stare at their loveliness,

Soooo beautiful

until your cat decides that they make a wonderful bed.

Polly looooooves fat quarters

Hop on over here to enter the giveaway.  And pssst - you get an extra entry if you follow me!