Wednesday, March 28, 2012

New Project!

The other day I promised some "before" pics of a new project...

A few months back, I found these wonderful little stools at an antique shop where I live. They were $10 each, and I just couldn't resist!

Please ignore the ugly green/brown tweed cushions in the background--they are awaiting reupholstering. *grin*

There were a total of three of the crossbars missing, but my wonderful brother-in-law, N, made some new ones for me! (they're the lighter ones in the picture below)

I plan on painting the legs (don't know what color yet) and recovering the seats. I also have not yet chosen fabric for the seats. It most likely will have some sort of red in it. (The fabric I chose for the ugly green cushions is a red and light tan/khaki pattern). So the bottom line is that I have no idea when I'll be posting the "after" pictures!!  I hope it's not too long from now...

I'm a little nervous about the project--I've never recovered anything, so I'm not too sure of what I'll be doing. I have, however, read several tutorials online, so maybe I'll be able to do a good job of it. I will not be reupholstering the ugly green cushions though. *grin* I'll be having those done professionally!

If any of you have ANY tips--please be kind enough to leave them in the comments!! I will definitely appreciate it!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Soccer Day!

Hi everybody!  

Saturday was soccer day x4!!  Four games--two for R and two for E (my two beautiful nieces). They both played SUPER hard! I am so proud of them!!

R scored at least one goal--maybe more, I just can't remember for sure.

Going for the goal...

Right after the goal!!!

While E didn't score a goal today, she played extra hard in both games! I'm so proud of her! She stuck with the ball and made some really good passes. She also made several shots for the goal but was just barely wide each time. So close!!

E after the ball :)
go E...go E!! (far right)

And the weather was PER---FECT!  Love my little soccer players!!! *grin*

Stay tuned--I'll have a "before" picture soon on my next project--reupholstering some little stools I bought a couple months ago.

Thanks for stopping by!

So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable.
Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, 
for you know that nothing
you do for the Lord is ever useless.
1 Corinthians 15:58

Friday, March 23, 2012

Polka Dot WIP update

Hi there! It's been a few...I've been feeling non-bloggy lately. Mostly due to my back being wonky since last Monday. I also have not done much in the way of playing with sticks and strings, pins and needles, or anything else crafty. 

However, I did manage to make three more polka dot squares. This puts the total up to lucky number thirteen!! Ha! I've got a loooooooooooooong way to go before I have an afghan!!

Oh--I just realized that I lied when I said I hadn't done much of anything crafty lately. I did attempt to make a new tutorial for a camera "case." However--it didn't turn out quite like I had pictured in my mind. So...there will be no tutorial for now!  It was quite the humorous experience.

I also got all the stitches pulled from my koi fin. I think (for now anyway) that I'll just leave the fins and tail as they are. That may change a million times between now and when I get the quilt finished...

Thanks for stopping by. Hope you have a great weekend!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

National Quilting Day

Happy National Quilting Day!!

If you're a quilter, I hope you do something quilty today to celebrate :)
Me?--I'm going to work some more on ripping out 
the embroidery on my koi quilt top. 
(see back-story here)

Here is a little bit of history about National Quilting Day.

Now I'm off to 4 hours of soccer with my nieces!

Oh, and--

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  
Wear some green so ya don't get pinched!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I'm Stuck!! *pout*

Arrrrggggghhhhh!!!!  *pulling hair out*  I'm stuck!!  I've been out of commission for a few days because of inflammation in my back and the associated pain and total stiffness that comes along with said inflammation.

But tonight I finally picked up my quilt top again and started working on the koi's fins. I had what I thought was a wonderful idea. It hasn't turned out so wonderful outside of my brain. So now I have to rip out this embroidery, leaving what seems like GIANT holes in my fabric!! (maybe they won't be GIANT and maybe they'll fall out with some steam).

But for now, I'm completely discouraged :(

So it's back to the drawing board. I have some other ideas (well--one other idea)--maybe that will work better than this one did. I don't have a picture to show you, but let's just say that it looks like my fish has worms. Haha!!  Oh, well...

Ok. I'm finished complaining :)

I hope that your day has gone SO MUCH better than mine!

I'd love for you to check out my parents' website. They are directors of a boys' boarding and vocational school in Belmopan Belize.

The school is Global Outreach Belize Vo-Tech and I hope you'll stop by and look at what all the boys do there. They live at the school for three years, attend "regular" classes (i.e. math, Belizean studies, reading, etc) and learn a trade so that they can be productive members of Belize society. They also learn about God and how to be Christian men.

I'm lucky that I get to go visit my parents once a year (except for 2011). I can't wait to go back this year!! 

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, March 12, 2012

I'm a Wreath Girl! (aka Spring Wreath Tutorial)

Today I'm sharing my first tutorial! 

I decided the other day that I needed a new wreath for my front door--I still had the red berry wreath up from Christmas, and although it is holiday neutral, I decided it was time for a change.

So this is what I came up with...a cheery, happy Spring Wreath!

Here is the list of materials you'll need to make this wreath:
  • One wreath form--I chose a straw form at Hobby Lobby because it was cheaper, but you can use a foam form if you prefer
  • Felt sheets in the colors of your choice--quantity will vary based on the size wreath form you use--my wreath is 14" diameter and I used 12 felt sheets total
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Complementary shade of grosgrain ribbon for the hanger--I used 1/2 yard
  • Three complementary shades of worsted weight yarn for the roses
  • Size G crochet hook
  • Yarn needle
  • 6 extra long straight pins (optional)
  • Pinking shears or other decorative edge scissors
Take your felt sheets and cut them in strips about 3 inches wide and long enough to wrap around the wreath form. Using the hot glue gun, shoot a strip of hot glue across one end of the strip and, pulling the other end tight, overlap and secure it in place.

You can choose any pattern you'd like--I used purple, pink, green, pink, green then started over.

Once you get it all covered, it'll look like this:

You can see at the bottom of this picture, the last purple strip is completely on top of the other strips. This is where I chose to place my crocheted flowers.

The tutorial I followed for the crochet roses was from the pompom Emporium and is very easy. However, you can use any flower pattern you like.
Note: If you use the pompom Emporium's pattern, leave a long tail on the beginning and end of your crochet--longer than the 10" she instructs. That way, you have plenty of yarn with which to tie your rose to your wreath.

I made three roses, but you can use however many flowers you want--it's all up to you how flowery your wreath will be! (I like things in threes and other odd numbers)

Once you've completed each rose, use the long tails you left on each end to tie them to the wreath form. Once you've knotted the ends, cut off any excess yarn. (sorry I didn't take a picture of this step!)

To make the hanger, lap the ends of your ribbon over each other (once again, I neglected to take a picture of this step) and sew across the width of the ribbon--either by hand or machine. Then, using your hot glue again, attach the hanger to the back of your wreath. I used six extra long straight pins to reinforce the hanger--you just pin them right through your big blob of hot glue.

Once the hot glue on the hanger has sufficiently cooled (about 5 minutes does the trick) you're ready to hang up your Spring Wreath!


Easy peasy, right?? 

I hope you enjoyed my first tutorial. Hopefully there will be other ones in the future, and hopefully I'll remember to take a photo of each and every step!

(Update as of 3-16-12--> now seen on That's the Ticket Blog Hop!! Check it out! 3-18-12 check out Rusty and Redone KISS party too!)

WIP update

So I finally finished the embroidery on the fish! Well--on the body of the fish anyway. 

It took an entire skein of embroidery floss. So I'm off to the store today to buy another so I can complete the fins and tail. After that, all that will be left to embroider are the other two lily pads!

I'd love to hear from you, especially if you decide to make your own Spring Wreath--let me know how it turns out!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

It's Hump Day!

Well--I did take a little break...I didn't work on anything Monday night :)  But then I just couldn't help myself and had to go back to it on Tuesday. (Monday night was devoted to watching The Walking Dead and Alcatraz) hehe :)

I worked on my polka dot squares a little and worked a little more on the embroidery on my quilt. I continued work on the "scales" of the koi...that's what it is, by the way, a koi pond. I don't think I've been that specific about it before! So here's a peek at the scales...

he has eyes too! :) 
I'm pleased with how the scales are coming along, but it's slow work. I'm using regular embroidery floss (DMC cotton, size 25) for the scales (two strands) and it's much easier on the fingers--smaller needle and not as much brute force required to get through the fabric. The eyes are also regular floss. The white stripe (I'm not sure of what that is actually called on a real koi) is DMC Pearl cotton, size 5 (as are the veins on the lily pad).

I'm not sure how I'll work the fins and tail yet. I'm thinking I'm going to have to look at many more pictures of real koi to see what might look the best. 

I can't wait to see what it looks like when I get all the embroidery finished! I have an idea of what I'll do for the backing, but I still have no idea about the binding. So if any quilters out there are reading this and have any ideas about a good binding--PLEASE leave a comment with your suggestion! I'd really appreciate it. I know I haven't posted a picture of the whole thing yet, but the blue is the entire background, and the only other colors are the orange of the koi and the green of the lily pad.

Even if you're not a quilter, I'd still love some comments and feedback! Let me hear from you!

She selects wool and flax 
and works with eager hands.
Proverbs 31:13 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Thunder, lightning, and lots of rain!

The Weekend
Well, my luck did in fact NOT hold out--there was much rain on Friday and through the night, so no soccer on Saturday. But, that was alright because I took my beautiful nieces, E and R, to see The Lorax. They were quite excited :)

R (5 yrs old) on the left, and E (7 yrs old--and a snaggle-tooth) on the right
I also used the weekend to continue working on my quilt. I completed all appliques and began the process of embroidering the details. So my fingers are now quite sore--both from the hand applique and the embroidery. I'm far from finished with the embroidery, so I think I'll take a few days' break and allow my fingers to recuperate!

Here's a peek at the lily pad, all done!

 A little bit of life

Were my Mamaw (my great-grandmother) still alive--she went home to be with Jesus in 2008 at the ripe old age of 93 and a half years--you could visit her little house and hear lots of interesting stories about all kinds of people from back in the day. You could also see the rocking chair in which she did most, if not all, of her crocheting and hand sewing. And if you turned that chair to look at the right-hand side, you'd see a veritable cornucopia of pins and needles. She would work on something, usually crocheting around the edges of wash cloths or hemming a pair of pants she'd bought, and then stick the pins and needles in the side of the chair. I can't remember a time when this wasn't the case.

I tell you all of that to show you this...
my "pin cushion"
Yes--there is no doubt about it--I am my Mamaw! :)  At least when it comes to sticking my pins in the furniture. Granted, my pins and needles do eventually make it back to their proper resting place, but I still had to laugh at myself when I realized what gets passed down from generation to generation. 

I think Mamaw would be pleased to know that I'm still quilting (from time to time) and crocheting, since she is the one who taught me both.

Some new goodies!

I got two new goodies to help me with my craftiness! And BOTH were 40% off!!! I LOVE getting things on sale, don't you?!?

While trying to iron the 3/16" seam allowance on my first lily pad the other night, I just about burned my hand off. All I had at that time was my regular Rowenta iron--a big hunk of a thing that is not very conducive to ironing 3/16" seam allowances! Then I ran across this wonderful little thing on someone's quilting blog--a mini iron. Now, I don't know what this says about me, but I had no idea that such a thing existed! I had to have one!

So after work Friday, I braved the rain (well, the sprinkling at that time) and went to Hobby Lobby and found this lovely little Clover Mini Iron! And since I had a 40% off coupon, I left Hobby Lobby very happy! :)

clover mini iron

I then went over to Michael's, for which I also had a 40% off coupon, to look for a craft light. Imagine my delight when I found that ALL of the OttLites were already marked down by 40%!! (I have a lot of !! in this post...) So now I can iron teeny tiny seam allowances and actually SEE what I'm doing while stabbing myself in the fingers with sharp little needles. *grin*

new OttLite!! (just ignore the messy side table)
Last, but not least...

I would like to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!! to my Daddy. Today is his birthday, but I won't tell how old he is--just in case he's sensitive about that kind of stuff :)

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, 
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you, 
plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Happy Friday!!!

These are my two lovely daffodils that I bought at Wal-Mart yesterday. I have not repotted them yet, so for now, they are sitting in the kitchen window. I love daffodils--they're one of my faves, and I remember them always being in the yard at my Memaw and Granddaddy's house. Just thought I'd share them with you for a cheery start to a good Friday!

I worked on both the quilt and the polka dot squares last night. No pic of the quilt, but here's an update on the polka squares. :)

4 new polka squares

I certainly hope today is a wonderful Friday--for you and for myself! Although, I am kind of sad that Fringe won't be on for four more weeks. I truly dislike the March Madness! But, if I'm lucky, the weather will be nice, and I'll get to go watch my nieces play soccer Saturday morning!

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. 
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before Him with joyful songs.
Psalm 100: 1-2 (NIV)