After a busy week of deadlines, topped off with replacing a laptop after mine died (the night before one of those big deadlines), I had a nice relaxing morning yesterday, crocheting these sweet little necklaces. Trust me when I say, these are quick and easy if you have crochet experience.
And fun! If you crochet a chain stitch and a slip stitch, you can make these. And if you’ve never done it, adding the beads is no sweat at all.
Having some sort of pretty, inspirational area in my workspace has always been important to me. I tend to work rather chaotically, with huge messes, and I’ve come to accept that (I’ll never work neatly, drives Peter nuts!), so having someplace to rest my eyes, daydream for a minute, can really help me through. Even as a working girl, in my tiny workplace cubicles, I had things hanging that inspired me. There was a time a few years ago that I completely changed up the inspiration board that hung in my sewing room each season, in 2012 I even made a year of monthly inspirational desktop wallpapers.
I’ve been bumping into a stack of my quilts in my studio for a few months now, that is until I asked my really nice husband to make a quilt ladder (also called a blanket ladder). Quilts that are not to be used right away, or given as a gift, what to do with them? After some thinking, I decided it would do my creative soul a lot of good to be able to have them out and see them each day.READ MORE
Living in the Pacific Northwest requires moth repellent. Growing up in North Carolina, a moth getting anywhere near my favorite sweaters was practically a nonissue. Windows were usually closed up all summer (I always say it was 68 degrees all year long). But here in Seattle, air conditioning is not the norm, and windows are usually open during the warmer months. I actually kind of forgot about those pesky moths until a few summers ago when several of our sweaters were eaten up. Now every Spring, our sweaters are cleaned well, folded and stored for the season, and I make up a big batch of this lavender and cedar mix and fill up lots of muslin bags. It seems to work, and has the added benefit of making our closet smell great.
One of the best parts of visiting our family is the creativity we all share between us when we’re together. On the island last week we did just that. With palm leaves! Palm trees are in abundance there, literally everywhere! Folks on the island preserve the leaves from these trees and use them for all kinds of things- as sculptural pieces in their home, to hold desk utensils, or to serve hor d’oeuvres at a party. I love the idea of bring natural elements like this into our homes, to enjoy up close.READ MORE
I was quite entranced with Spring this past weekend, Seattle truly outdid itself with beautiful weather! We had dinner on the beach (I, of course, brought home more rocks), we walked the neighborhood, dyed Easter eggs, and had Peep jousting wars in the microwave, and made our traditional Easter dinner of ham, carrots, asparagus, etc. I wanted to make the Easter table feel as Springy and came up with this garland after seeing a similar paper version in an old kid’s crafting book from the 1960’s. I love that it creates a really geometric shape and gives a new spin to everyone’s favorite triangular bunting shape. I think these will stay up for a while, I smile every time I pass them.
Here’s how I made them.
So, I’m still stuck on doodles. I can’t help it, I’m just not tired of them yet! Over the weekend, I played around with an Ipad sketch I posted to our family’s sketchbook blog last week. I liked the colors in this one a lot and tried making some shrinky dink jewelry. Super easy and fun!
The jelly roll race quilt. Maybe you’ve heard of it? If you haven’t, you’re in for a treat, because it is, quite possibly, one of the fastest quilt tops you will ever make! I made mine in an hour once I cut my own strips. I was looking for a project to practice free motion quilting doodle flowers on (I’m still doodling flowers on everything), and this seemed perfect for that. I thought I’d share how I made mine in case you’d like to make one.
A “jelly roll” of fabric is literally a roll of 2 1/2″ x 44″ pre-cut strips of fabric, and a roll usually has 30-40 strips. These are usually created and sold to feature prints in a particular line (one or more strip of each print included) or groups of, say, coordinating solids. A lap or baby-sized quilt can be made from 1 jelly roll. Because I love to reuse and upcycle to create a more unique look, I used a combination of both new and repurposed fabrics. If you want to make your own jelly roll strips, just cut 2 1/2 inch wide strips across the width of any fabric. If you are reusing fabrics that aren’t 44 inches wide, still cut 2 1/2 inch wide strips, you’ll just need more of them.
Not sure if I am much of an “art journal” person, but I thought it might be fun to try altering a book to create a sketchbook. I have been buying and using spiral bound sketchbooks for my daily sketches because they stay open, but I like the idea of having a full spread to work with too. A duplicate I-Spy book I found in our basement was perfect for this project… it’s large (10″ x 12″), stays open and flat, it will give me a surface to play with my carved rubber stamps, and another book to draw my daily sketches in.