A Mountain Pillow- Quick and Easy Handmade Gift!

Every year my office has a White Elephant gift exchange with a theme at our Holiday party. Last year the theme was High Low.

We never really tell each other who got what, so I’ve never actually made a gift for the exchange. This year, I had a little problem…

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I bought these beautiful beaded snowflakes from Blair at Wise Craft Handmade. They start high in the sky and end up low on the ground… Get it? High Low….

Well, the day of the party I decided I didn’t want to give up any of my ornaments and I needed to come up with something else to give at the party!

I’d been seeing a lot of these mountain pillows. I got the ornaments at our local handmade craft show. And at the craft show, there were a few people selling these mountain pillows. Most of them were made of beautiful felt and were way over my price range. But I kept being drawn to them! And then I had a great idea…. I’d make a new gift. I’d make a mountain pillow! High Peaks, Low Valleys… High Low!

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I just happened to have this grey fleece that looked kinda like the felt that all the others were made of. And I had this fluffy white fleece, which I totally think looks like fluffy snow!

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Although I didn’t actually made a tutorial, I’ll tell you how I made it! It was so easy and quick, I didn’t even have time to think about pictures! ha! I cut out the mountains, sewed on the snow on top. I made a front and back, with snow on both front and back sides. Next I sewed the front and back together, right sides together and then turned it right side out and Boom! A mountain pillow! SOOOOO easy!

And the pillow was stolen a couple of times, so it was a hit!

These were all adults that loved it, but they could be fun in kids rooms too! Adventure themed rooms… So many possibilities and such a quick make!

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A Halloween Cross Stitch!

Did you have a fun Halloween? We had a great night! Friends over for chili dinner before trick or treating and the rain held out! All week they were saying it was going to rain tonight, but it didn’t! Yippie!

And then the evening ends and the lights go off so those older kids don’t keep coming to the door while I’m in my pj’s and my son is running around in his oldies like a crazy kid from too much sugar!  That’s when you need a sign on the door that says Keep Away! or maybe, Sorry, We’re Closed…. Or even, Sorry, We’re Dead! Ha!

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Originally, that’s exactly why I bought this cross stitch pattern from Satsuma Street. I wanted to hang it on the door to tell people we’re done handing out candy. Only, there were a couple of flaws in my idea! I live on a hill, so it’s not like anyone would see it without climbing the stairs to my front porch anyway! And secondly, you can see that my from doors are glass doors, so once you get to my porch, you’ll see me and I’ll end up giving you candy anyway….

Like the monster wreaths? We made those 6 years ago and still put them on the front porch every year!

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So instead, I hung it on our art wall in the dining room!

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I may not be quite as old as my assistant, but my eyes aren’t what they used to be! so a little hint about working with black Aida fabric… I always put a white piece of fabric in my lap while I worked on it. It does really help see the holes in the fabric!

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There are many tutorials out there about how to finish the back. First, I layered a piece of black quilting cotton with the black Aida fabric. I then happened to have a piece of back foam core. S oI cut that the size of the inside of the inside hoop. I was planning o nincluding hot glue in this, but I didn’t end up needing hot glue. I put the design and the black quilting cotton in the embroidery hoop just as you would anytime. then I folded it over and put the black foam core inside the hoop, from the back. The foam core fit so nice and snugly, that it didn’t need hot glue!

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So, my husband took my white backdrop and used it in the decorations. I wasn’t sure how I would actually take pictures of all my Halloween projects. Then I saw my assistant in a whole new light! He can actually hold things! He’s more than just a pretty skeleton sitting on the porch!

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I hope everyone had a super fun Halloween! Now it’s on to Thanksgiving projects, a QuiltCon quilt and Christmas projects! What are you up to now that Halloween has passed?

 

A Halloween Pillow

Well, I had started a Halloween quilt back in January, I think… Despite the 10 months, I didn’t get it done….

No quilt, but I did get a pillow done! And I love it! I keep looking at it admiringly as I walk by the couch!

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I also like seeing it with the other pillows I’ve made over the years. I love seeing the different styles and fabrics I’m into over the years!

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For the pillow, I’m using a lot of the fabrics that I’m using my quilt. Or a different color way… Most of the fabrics are from the Cotton and Steel collections. I LOVE their holiday lines! LOVE them! Was this the best fabric to use for tiny piecing? I don’t know, really!

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Last month I took a paper piecing class with Giuseppe Ribaudo, aka Guicy Guice. I’m not sure why I did, since I’m pretty well versed in paper piecing. Honestly, when I signed up, I thought it was a small piecing class, not paper piecing. It never dawned on me that his small piecing was paper piecing! Ha! Anyway, I’m glad I did! He shared his Mini patterns with us and I picked Courthouse Step block. I almost didn’t go because I had so much birthday party stuff going on and the whole paper piecing thing. But I’m glad I did! he was super nice and a lot of fun. And I loved seeing what everyone else made from the patterns! And I love my block!

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Guicy Guice centers a lot of his minis in a neutral background so I thought this neon bat fabric would be great. And I did some matchstick quilting. I love doing matchstick quilting on small projects. One day I’ll do it on a larger project. maybe… ha!

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I loved this fabric so much that I bought it in two color ways!

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And if you know my pillows, I always do envelope backs because I’m kinda lazy that way… But this time I decided to put a zipper in it. I used to always put zippers in pillows. Especially when I was selling pillows. If I can do it when I’m selling them to other people,, why can’t I do it for myself? I did use Sew Katie Did’s tutorial to remind myself how to do it. Its’ not hard at all, but I used to be better at hiding the zipper than I did on this one. Luckily the fabric matches it!

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Have a Happy Halloween from my photo assistants!

A Quickie Halloween Decorating Upgrade

I looked at my blog and noticed that I’ve posted about 8 times since last Halloween! And I have about 4 Halloween posts for this year… That goes to show you how much I love Halloween! And how much I miss blogging more often! Anyway, here we go with more Halloween fun!

My sister in law also likes to do it up for Halloween and she posted a a picture of her mantle with these fanastic mirrored skulls! They were beautiful. They totally inspired this project!

 

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When I went to Value Village I found these pumpkins that I thought would be fantastic nice and shiny silver! They are a little too ‘country chic’ for my décor, but a little paint can change that in about ten minutes. So I grabbed them! Not only does Value Village have a ton of costumes, but there’s also a lot of fun décor to be found there.

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And I just happened to have this mirror spray paint at home. So I decided to use it for this project. Notice the bottle says ‘Looking Glass’…  Well, it’s meant for painting on glass…  But whatever, right? Why not give it a try. These aren’t fine heirlooms that I’m dealing with. Just some nice secondhand decorations that need a new life, so let’s give it a try!

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The first coat had the look of old glass that the spray paint is supposed to give, so I was having some high hopes that it would work. The second coat covered it and gave it a just a nice flat silver color. Not exactly the look I was going for, but I love them none the less!

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The experiment did not get me the fabulous mirror look that my sister in law’s décor has, but I do love my new pumpkins! And the more matte finish may even be just the right finish for my décor!

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I love them! What do you think? How many projects have you updated with a quick bit of spray paint? You check out others I’ve done, like Christmas reindeer and more reindeer, sea shells and Easter bunnies!

 

I have been compensated with either payment or product for this post. All opinions are my own, honest opinions!

 

Halloween Decorating with Value Village

My husband always decorates the front porch for Halloween. For years we had this paper mache alien head that he would use for our ‘scary front porch friend.’ The last couple of years the head was getting damaged, and then it got so beat up that he went away…

So this year we needed new pieces to make our ‘scary front porch friend.’ Then I was contacted by Value Village to post about using the resources at their store for Halloween costumes or decorations. So I said, ‘yes,’ of course!

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So the whole family headed to Value Village to see what we could find! It’s always fun to try on masks! We love it! The store had a huge selection of new masks, but some of our favorites were the used ones!

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Tons of costumes! They have so many new costumes, but I wanted used. It took me a little while to figure out the difference between the new and used. Tons of everything else you need to make a scarecrow from just the normal everyday selection. And tons of heads! Mannequin heads. Why I wonder! Are they for Halloween? Or do they always have such a huge bin of Styrofoam heads?

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We came home with more than we needed, actually!

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We got the skeleton costume for $4. I thought it was going to great on the ‘scary front porch guy.’ I thought it would be cool to see the inside of our friend. Then we thought he’s wear the flannel. When we actually started stuffing him, we ended up going a little bit different route. But we did use the knife, the mannequin head and the creepy mask! Everything here is used except the knife. I almost didn’t get the knife because I thought I could find it cheaper somewhere else. I got it anyway and I’m glad I did. I haven’t seen another one at all and especially not one cheaper!

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We were going to use the flannel shirt for our friend, but thought the kiddos might get a kick out of seeing him in their school sweatshirt!

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Another new purchase we made was this skeleton guy! We love him! He’s fully articulated and posable! He and ‘scary front porch friend’ are going to be great friends for years to come!!

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Do you love to decorate for Halloween? Halloween and Christmas are my favorites for decorating!  What’s your favorite holiday to decorate for?

 

I have been compensated with either payment or product for this post. All opinions are my own, honest opinions!

A Fun Review Thanks to Style and Apply

Hello friends! Long time, no blogging! Today I want to share something that was very fun for the kiddo!

We were in the process of updating the kiddo’s room when Style and Apply contacted me to see if I was interested in checking out their product and writing a review. Of course I said yes, thinking this could be really fun. Then as soon as I saw the sorting hat, I knew it was perfect timing!

I guess you can tell from the name what it is. Right? They sell wall decals that are stylish and all you have to do is apply! They also have window decals! I went straight to the sorting hat of course, since the kiddo is totally into Harry Potter right now. But then I started thinking, what about something for me? They have some cute Christmas ones. (I love the Reindeer II) We love Bansky’s art and they have a bunch of his art. Kids, kids galore! I almost got a funky pattern for the play room. But we went back to getting something for the kiddo! Of course….

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The people at Style and Apply were very accommodating! You see how dark blue the walls are and I couldn’t tell which grey was the right one to go with . The sent me some samples and helped by narrow down the choice. We are transitioning from a green, blue and tan room, to a silver, blue and white room!

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And then it came! In this cute mailer! It took me a little while to get it up. I had grand plans (as usual) to finish quite a few other things I have planed for his room. Then finally, I faced the truth and realized that I don’t know when those are going to get down and it’s too cool to just wait around on those other projects!

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First step, we located exactly where we wanted it to go and marked the wall.

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Then you use the supplied card to go through and press the decal to the backing.

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You remove one layer of paper and then stick it to the wall. Then, very carefully, remove the second layer of paper. For this design, there were a lot of little pieces so it got a little tedious. Also, my walls are plaster and not smooth since we live in a little, old house! That made it a little more difficult to remove the paper. I had to take more time and really make sure the decal was adhering to the wall. No fault of the decal, just my reality!

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You can see the bumps! It took a little longer than a smooth wall, but it adhered all the same!

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Look how cool it is!

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Here’s the before….

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And the after! (in progress still, but getting closer!)

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And one happy kiddo! Thanks Style and Apply for making this kid even happier! We will be back!

 

I have been compensated with either payment or product for this post. All opinions are my own, honest opinions!

Zeus on the Loose with Me!

It’s my turn!! Yeah!! Have you ever played Zeus on the Loose?? We love it! It’s basically a counting strategy game. That description doesn’t do much for it, but take my word for it. It’s fun!

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Originally I wanted to make a notebook cover for my son, but my Improv Lightening Bolts kept being too big, so it turned into a pillow! It was really hard to get it as small as I wanted it to be!

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I went through a few plans of projects to make this year. Usually I know exactly what I want to make. Not this year. Then I remembered our new favorite game. But what to make?? At first I got my Greek Gods confused and for a minute I was designing something with a trident… Um, hello, my to ‘I minored in Ancient History’ self…. Zeus and tridents do not go together. Lightening Bolt my friend!!!  Then I was all over it!

I’ll give you a super quick idea of how I made it! Since it’s improv, there are no dimensions or anything to go with! To make the Improv Lightening bolt is simple!

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First, cut out a ‘leaning’ triangle, then sew on a thin layer of the ‘bright light’ fabric and then a thicker layer of the background fabric. So that you end up with two ‘leaning’ triangles. And you want them to both be leaning in the same direction!

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Next, I folded over the top of the triangle to get an overlap. Once I liked where the overlap was, I ironed it flat. This ironed line is where I sew-ed it together.

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And then I trimmed a quarter inch seam. Repeat these last two steps over and over until you have each side of the lightening bolt how you like them. then sew the two halves together!

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Add in the rest of the background fabric for the shape you need for either a notebook cover, a pillow top or quilt blocks…. And quilt away!

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I thought it turned out pretty cool. And once I got my husbands seal of approval, I knew it was pretty cool! (yes, he’s very honest and has no qualms telling the truth about his feelings on my work! Usually he likes it, but not all the time!) I think it’s going to be loved, along with it’s inspiring game!

 

 

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Sept 9th- Liz and LiZ  from Simple Simon and Co

Sept 14th- Stacey from Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts

Sept 16th- Narelle from Threadistry

Sept 19th- Debbie from A Quilter’s Table

Sept 21st- Louise from I’m Feelin’ Crafty

Sept 23rd- Al from Shaffer Sisters

Sept 26th- Michelle from Factotum of Arts

Sept 28th- Ashley and Emily from Frances Suzanne

Sept 30th- The Recap!

 

 

 

Spring Flowers

I’ve become the one in charge of updating our PTSA bulletin board at school and I wanted some paper flowers for Spring Break. My friend passed on a tutorial she’d used and I fell in love!

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I’m warning you though… These are super addictive!

The tutorial is from Ash and Crafts. And it’s so easy and makes such pretty flowers!

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You technically don’t need the pattern, but I think it makes it easier. You can download the pattern on her website.  She recommends 60lb paper, but I’ve just been using 20 or 24lb and it’s working fine. The 60lb will probably last longer, but…. So you print the pattern, cut the paper, roll it a little and add a little hot glue and that’s pretty much it! Yep! You’ve got to try it!

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The Making of a Nursery- Part 1

Last year a friend of mine was having a baby and asked me to help her personalize the nursery with some custom pieces. She picked out the fabric and together we grouped the fabrics to make curtains, a rag quilt, a ruffle bed skirt and a teething rail for the crib.

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Today, let’s talk about the curtains and the rag quilt!

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The curtains are yards and yards of fabric! They are almost 8′ long and lined with a black out fabric. Yep, long hems!

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I love the purple flocked pattern. We wanted to use it in other pieces, but were concerned about the flocking comign off and into a baby’s sweet mouth. So the main use of this fabric is the curtains.

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LIke I said, I lined the curtains with black out lining. I cut the lining a bit shorter and narrower than the curtain fabric and then folded the hems over on the lining to secure it place. So, for the width, I cut the lining 2 inches narrower than the curtain fabric to account for the 1/2″ hem on the sides.

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Same thing for the bottom hem and the top hem.

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And the rag quilt! This was the first rag quilt I have ever made!

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A rag quilt is a perfect project for a beginner quilter. And it’s super soft! Stayed tuned this week and I’ll show you how I made it!

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Stay tuned for more nursery fun!

Sewing Room Updates!

I don’t have a beautiful bright, airy, white sewing room like I see all over the internet… But I have a great space despite not having windows!! And now it’s even better!

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A couple of weeks ago a friend posted her ironing board set-up on IG. I knew immediately that I had to copy her idea! So as genius as this is, I can’t take credit for it!

When I saw it I knew it was the perfect Mother’s Day present for me! So I asked my husband if he had gotten me anything…. Luckily, he hadn’t! So I told him what I wanted. He was fine with it until it registered that what I wanted came from Ikea! That’s part of the present, I told him! Taking me to Ikea! hehehe! And he must love me, becuase he went there with me. First time I’ve ever seen him even drive near an Ikea, much less venture in the front door!

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I hated my ironing board and all the stuff that would pile up on it and under it! And then to get to my shelves behind it, I had to move everything, then slide the ironing board and hope the iron didn’t fall on my head. I guess I could have moved the iron, but hey, we all need a little risk, right?

And the bookshelf we used is basically the same size as the ironing board! A few inches longer, but not much! So it doesn’t take up much more space at all!

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It all starts with an Ikea book shelf…. I’m in love with this one, becuase I like all the different sized holes. We have 2 others for the playroom already! My friend used the one with 8 holes. The other thing about this one, is that it’s a little wider, or taller once you turn it on it’s side. I like a tall ironing board!

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Then the dear husband made a trip to the hardware store for a piece of wood. We got a shelf that was the exact same depth of the bookshelf. He cut it to the right length. I got the ironing board cover fabric and cut it down to size. and a piece of fabric. This fabric is actually a lovely sheet fabric that I happened to be hoarding! Then he helped me staple the ironing board fabric and the cover fabric around the board.

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We added locking wheels. 6. Maybe could have used 8, but I think the six work fine.

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I just dropped the top right on top. So far I haven’t secured the top to the shelf. But it’s pretty heavy that I don’t think it will move around too much. I haven’t had a problem yet. I was also thinking that I might add cutting boards under the ironing board for a really long cutting surface…. But I haven’t done that yet!

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And it’s just an inch or two higher than the counter, but it’s at a height that I can actually sew standing up. That will be really nice when I’m doing a lot of little pieces that need sewing, ironing, sewing, ironing, sewing, ironing….

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Now, I don’t have all the piles under the ironing board. I have a spot for all the stuff that used to sit on top of the ironing board, so I have a full length ironing board again. I can easily roll it out to get to the fabric behind it. I can roll it out to let the large fabrics slide over each side as I iron! And when it’s in it’s spot, the room actually feels much bigger! Nice!

Thank you very much, golddogmom, for the inspiration! And to the family for helping get it and put it all together!