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Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Here is a pre-post for tomorrow's update....this week has been one big snafu after another! So, not sure what I will end up with tomorrow, but lets hope I can make lemonade from lemons.  

Last Friday I had just gotten up, started the coffee maker, went to get the creamer out of the fridge, when uh-oh......blood had leaked out of some meat I was thawing all over the fridge shelves! How delightful first thing in the morning!  Of course, everything had to be removed, disinfected, and put back! So, lucky me...I got to clean the fridge out first thing on a Friday morning, before I had even gotten a cup of coffee down! UGH!

So, the day continued on that path!  I whacked a lightbulb on my makeup mirror with my foundation, and it exploded all over the floor of the bathroom!  Teensy-tiny little shards of glass......who knew one little lightbulb could make such a mess!  So, lucky me, I also got to clean the bathroom floor.

Is there bad luck associated with breaking a light bulb, kinda like a mirror, b/c another one fell out of a package in the pantry and of course, also shattered into teensy-tiny pieces all over floor of the pantry and kitchen.  My son was sweet and cleaned that up for me- vacuuming  off the cans, etc.

Then last night, my husband was carving the roast chicken, and it truly exploded juices and grease all over me, my dress, glasses, the floor, the table.....where is a dog when you need one??

So, in a week of snafu's we shall see how this project turns out, but I am warning you, with the way things have gone I have no promises  ;-)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Alabama Chanin With A Texas Twist!

I recently bought a fantastic book, Alabama Stitch Book, by celebrated and inspirational artist Natalie Chanin.  I have looked through it several times, trying to decide on a project, but since I have not hand sewn for some time, I wanted to do a 'sampler', so to speak, to try a few techniques shown in the book.  This latest pink top upcycle represents that effort.

So, lets see where it all started.

I wanted the top to go from kinda plain and boring, to something that reflected the more whimsical side of my personality.  I played around with fabric ideas, and finally came up with this combo.
I definitely needed a design inspiration, so I looked around through some wallpaper files and came up with this:
I played around with the items, and came up with this:
I kept messing with the flow of the design, and pinned it into place:
Then I used some embroidery floss I had on hand, and started working the stitches.  The book suggested working a cross stitch by doing all of one side of the X's one direction, then going back and completing the other side of the X's on the cross stitch.  It worked incredibly easily that way!  And like the book said, there was a certain peace and relaxation to the hand stitching.  It isn't something that has to be perfect, if fact, it's beauty lies in it's imperfections.     
Here is the finished top!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bling It On!

Before this summer is over, you may get sick of these shoe re-dos....I have once again found a great little flat on sale (BOGO) and just HAD to add my own stamp to it.  It was so comfy  but looked a little too much like a slipper.  Believe it or not- the gray flowers I used were in the bottom of the shopping cart I got from the rack @ the big-box.  Totally a freebie! 

Here is where it started:

The gray fabric shoes were $8  (BOGO)
Sheer silver ribbon- on hand
Gray and blue flowers- found in cart
White flower bunch- Dollar Tree  $1
Contact cement type glue (E-6000)- on hand
I use toothpicks (750/$1) to place glue

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Travel Bling Thing


I'm a *blingaholic* !!   There- I've confessed it for everyone to read.  I love-a da bling!  So, in an attempt to perk up my old black suitcase for an upcoming trip to Seattle I came up with these super-simple, yet fun and notice-me cute luggage tags!  These take next to no time, the themes are as endless as your itinerary, and they make a fun going away gift as well!  I whipped these up out of some scraps, and some old cruise wear from a decade ago that (ahem) no longer fits my style (or my body).  You know you want one~ so lets get started!

You will need:
2 scraps of fabric larger than 3" x 4 1/2"
polyester felt or other thicker fabric for backing
fusible web
clear vinyl- I used a medium weight from Joann
2 grommets- 5/16" or 3/8" size
14" length of ribbon- 3/8" to 1" wide
general sewing supplies
*I like using a quilt ruler because it makes it easy to 'fussy-cut'
a design or pattern for the back*

Fuse your fabric scraps according to directions on package to your felt backing.  Cut your fused fabric into a rectangle 3" x 4 1/2".  Also cut a piece of the clear vinyl  3" x 4 1/2".

Mark whichever rectangle you have chosen for the front as shown with a tailors pencil or disappearing marker.   Place the clear vinyl on the backside of this rectangle and sew along these lines.  *tip*- the clear vinyl will want to stick on the sewing machine, so either use the paper backing that comes with the vinyl, or a tear away sheet behind, such as embroidery stabilizer.
I tried cutting out the inside part and then sewing on the clear vinyl- I ended up with trapezoids instead of rectangles  :-/

Once you get the vinyl sewed onto the back of your face piece,  scrunch up the face fabric and make a little starting clip in the fabric, and then cut close (but not too close!) to the stitching to create your little window for your card to show through.

The clear vinyl doesn't show up well in pics, but you get the idea. 

Also flip over your face piece and trim the vinyl to about 1/8" from the stitching.  This is easily done if you bend back the face like this.

Mark both of your fabric pieces for the grommets on the larger end of the window.  Put your grommets on according to the instructions on the package you bought.  I always flip over the piece and give it a tap on the back with my hammer to be sure all of the prongs are well set.  Plus, I like whacking things with a hammer.  

You should now have something that looks like these:

This is the time to add fringe trim if you would like more *bling*...and I know you do! 
I cut this piece of fringe 4" long so I had some play on the ends, and trimmed it off after I sewed the pieces together.  I also use fray check on the ends of all my ribbons and trims. 

One more *tip* for you, as I have done a few of these now and worked out some bugs- pinning the pieces together does not work well.  I found it was easier to use a 'bulldog' type of clip to hold the pieces together and sew across the end first, then sew the sides.  Sew close to the sides of the fabric- about 1/8"seam  allowance.

Sewn and ready for a trim!   Almost finished!!

All My Best

Telling People What I Think For 40+ Years!!

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