15 February 2013

Heart Warmers

No Valentine’s candy in this house. Well, maybe just a few conversation hearts. Other than that, we kept it simple. Partially because we care about the wellbeing of our teeth, partially because Miss Lola is recovering from a short but intense bout of Norovirus.

Instead we made heart warmers for her friends at school. Little heart shaped pouches filled with rice. Just pop them in the microwave for 30 to 60 seconds, put them in your coat pockets, and enjoy toasty hands all day long. I used colorful fleece scraps left over from my owl pillows.















Packers and John Deere fleece for the boys, lots of pinks for the girls. Lola wrote the tags. All by herself.



I am linking my heart warmers up at:
Friday’s Nature Table at The Magic Onions
Creative Friday at Natural Suburbia

The post Heart Warmers first appeared at Dutch Girl Originals.

10 January 2013

Hearts On A String

If you sew two 3” by 9” (or longer) rectangles of thick gray felt together along one side, turn them inside out and sew along the other side, and then cut 1/2” strips, you end up with lots of cute little hearts.

If you string those cute little gray hearts with a mixture of multicolored pompons and felt balls in all sizes and colors, some of them with beads, you end up with a funky heart garland. Just in time for Valentine’s Day.









My inspiration for the hearts came from Pinterest, where else?





I am linking up at Natural Suburbia and The Magic Onions.

07 January 2013

Owls In The Shop



Sewing owl pillows is one thing, listing them in my Etsy shop is quite another. There are photographs to make, pictures to edit, listings to write, etc. It’s time consuming and therefore easily put off.

Yesterday morning I finally sat down and finished what I had started. I listed three owl pillows and one Valentine’s Day garland in my shop. Lola and I decided to name the owls from now on and she picked the names for the first batch, with a little direction from me, I’ll admit.

Meet Nathan, Leslie, and Flower. They are for sale right here.









24 December 2012

Last Minute Gift Bags

We had a few small presents to wrap up for Lola's teachers on Friday. I thought I'd make some fun gift bags in the shape of a stocking.

I drew a stocking shape on a sheet of paper and cut it out. After tearing off a piece of gift wrap, I folded it in half and traced my template onto it. I sewed the stocking about a quarter inch inside the lines I drew and cut it out.

I had never sewn paper before but it was easy. I did find it's best to use a little bit heavier paper. The really thin stuff doesn't sew very well. It's easier to sew the stocking outline first and cut later. That way the paper doesn't move when you cut out the stocking.

Once I had all my stockings sewn and cut out, I punched a little hole in the top and stamped initials on them. Insert gift, and tie with pretty string. And there you go. All wrapped up.

Merry Christmas, everyone!



















20 December 2012

Sister Owls

Custom orders are such fun, I've decided. I received a request for two sets of colorful sister owl pillows from my friend S. She wants to give them to her four nieces for Christmas. I very much liked that idea but I didn't quite know what to do about the colorful bit at first.

I work mostly with felt and wool. While craft felt can be bought in every color imaginable, it does not hold up well on pillows, I find. It pills. Wool felt or a wool/rayon blend is better, but the by-the-yard stuff I can only find at Jo-Ann's in limited colors, mostly naturals. I didn't feel like special ordering wool felt online for an arm and a leg. I found a few wool sweaters at the Goodwill but the yarn was so thick, they wouldn't felt.

But then I thought of using fleece and a world of colorful possibilities opened up. Our local Wal-Mart has the best selection of funky fleece at the moment, better than Jo-Ann's even. Finished with an old wool blanket, vintage doilies, and felt eyes and a beak, these lovely bright colored ladies were on their way to New England in time for Christmas.

I am on a roll now, cutting and sewing owl pillows in an array of colors and patterns: navy blue with green circles, brown and green argyle, bright pink with multicolored flowers, and warm brown plaid. I have made them a little chubbier, too.  I found a few more old blankets at the thrift store and some doilies as well. Look for them in the shop soon.







30 November 2012

Classic Christmas Wreath

For the third consecutive year I am participating in Craftaholics Anonymous' handmade gift exchange. My partner this year is a girl from Oklahoma. She doesn't blog so I cannot take a sneak peak in her life and get a feel for her tastes. That's okay, I like giving creativity free rein and see where it takes me.

This year it took me to a wreath. Which is funny because while I love wreaths, I never have the patience to actually make one. Until now. It is a moss covered wreath with felt holly leaves and berries, and a few snowflakes here and there. With my current obsession for natural colors, I started out with all white but it didn't feel right. Classic Christmas colors it is, then.

I hope you love your present, M. Merry Christmas!









16 November 2012

Winter Garland

I have fallen in love with Scandinavian Christmas and winter d├ęcor. At present I read about five or six blogs from Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. The language barrier is not a problem, I let the pictures speak for themselves. If the need arises, there’s always Google Translate.

The elements of nature, the warm winter white, the use of galvanized materials; I plan to incorporate it all into my Christmas decorations this year. Perhaps I’ll add a touch of red here and there. Except for the tree, that is and always will be a very colorful collection of memories.






I am linking my winter garland up with:

Friday’s Nature Table at The Magic Onions
Creative Friday at Natural Suburbia

09 November 2012

Leaves For Thanksgiving

I finished my very first custom order last night. A set of oak leaf place cards and a leaf garland to match. It's a hostess gift for a Thanksgiving dinner party. My friend S. asked me to make them after she saw my booth at our Fall Festival a month ago. She came over to my house and we picked out the fabric together but the design was left up to me.

The leaf place cards were cut by hand and sewn together two by two with a simple straight stitch. The little paper name tags will be taped to the leaf after the names have been written on them. Since S. is a big lover of acorns, I decided to add acorns to the tags. After three failed attempts to carve an acorn stamp myself, I broke down and ordered one on Etsy. It's perfect for this project.

She also asked me to make a garland to go with the place cards. Those leaves were cut with a die cutting machine. I hope S. likes the end result. I certainly do. So if she doesn't, no problem. I'll keep them for myself.










02 November 2012

Gourds On A Hook

I love gourds. They make such colorful fall decorations. But rather than displaying them in a bowl, I wanted to do something different. What do you get when you cross Martha Stewart’s gourd garland with Better Homes and Gardens' jingle bells on a shepherd’s hook?

Gourds on a hook!

Simply drill a hole in the top of various small gourds and string some heavy gauge wire through it. Twist the ends and hang the gourds from black Dollar Tree shepherd's hooks.

They cheerfully line the path from the garage to the house.







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