Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Half-Triangle Block

Triangles can be very intimidating if you are new to quilting. Cutting and piecing them seems so tricky when you start thinking about lining up the corners and points just right. Well, the ladies at the Missouri Star Quilt Co. have taken a lot of the mystery out of the Half-Triangle Block in this video. What a wonderful job Jenny does explaining the process and showing, step-by-step, how to make this traditional block as well as a couple of it's many uses.


Happy Crafting All!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thinking Of You Card

The new school year has begun, and a lot of us have children who have gone off to college. This can be a scary time for the student and parent a like. Why not remind your child how much they mean to you with a simple hand made card. The card above was made with a scrap of pretty scrapbook paper, two different $1 stamps from Michaels, some $1 metallic accent dots from Joann's, colored pencils and stamp pads. It took only a few minutes to whip together but what a wonderful way to say hi to your loved one 'Just Because'.

Happy Crafting All!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Four-Patch Quilt Block

Here is another wonderful video from the Missouri Star Quilt Co. I love their videos because they explain things so clearly and concisely - much better than I could! The Four-Patch Block is another basic block in quilting making and is very versatile. Have fun with it!

Happy Crafting All!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Day At The Falls

One great thing about having family visit from another state is being able to show off the natural beauty of the area I live in. Believe it or not, Idaho has more than just potato fields! Shoshone Falls is wonder that rivals Niagara Falls in size and sheer splendor. When the water is pouring over the rock face, it is an awe-inspiring site.

Obviously I had to show this gem off to my sister and nephew when they came to visit. The resulting pages showcase a simple layout on a black background, really complimenting the vivid colors. Though there is very little embellishment, the striking blue rick-rack at the top and bottom make a bright statement and add to the continuity of the two pages. Personally, I feel it is best to let the pictures and journal entry tell the story, rather than the embellishments!

Happy Crafting All!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Nine-Patch Block Tutorial

I recently came across this fabulous series of how-to videos that beautifully illustrate how to make different basic quilt blocks. This series was put together by the ladies over at Missouri Star Quilt Shop. I'm sure you will find it incredibly helpful, and hopefully it will inspire you to get out the sewing machine and some beautiful fabrics and have fun!

Happy Crafting All!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Wire Jewelry Video Resource

I've been fascinated with making wire jewelry for the last several weeks, and the results of my experimentations have (mostly) been posted here on my blog. But what was the inspiration that got me hooked on this new skill? A quick visit to is what started it all.

Not only do they sell all the supplies you'll need, they are a wonderful resource for wire workers of all skill levels. I signed up for their daily tip newsletter and have not been disappointed - especially when I asked a question and had the answer in my inbox 2 days later!

Plus, the added bonus is they have a collection of free patterns and videos to not inspire but help you get started. I have watched nearly all of them and I love them. They make it look so simple! Here is a link to the video collection.

Happy Crafting All!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Scarves, Scarves, Scarves

Maybe the middle of September is the wrong time to start thinking about this, but I love scarves! I love to crochet them and give them as gifts. They are so simple and quick to make, and now is really the perfect time to start thinking about them - and making them!

Holiday craft shows are right around the corner, and a what better item to offer is scarves that you've crocheted or knit by hand. Think of all the possible variations - school colors, fashion colors, so many different yarns offering different weights and textures. Not to mention, they whip up in no time!

Patterns for scarves are in abundance, but I couldn't help but write my own. Hopefully it will get you motivated to make some of your own! This is a one skein project, using Homespun yarn. I love Homespun yarn for scarves because it is so soft and warm, and it stays soft even after several washings. Watch for sales at your favorite craft stores and you should be able to find it fairly inexpensive.

One skein Lion Brand Homespun yarn (6oz)
Size K (2.5 mm) crochet hook

ch= chain
dc= double crochet

Ch 21

Row 1: Dc in fourth ch from hook and in each ch across. .
Row 2:
Ch 3*, turn. Skip first stitch, dc in next stitch and in each dc across.
Repeat Row 2 until you run out of yarn. Fasten off, weave in ends.

Fringe is optional.

*= ch 3 is the first dc in each row

Happy Crafting All!

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Importance of Taking a Break

We all know how easy it is to get burned out on work, cleaning, driving, taking care of a family - all of those things we have to do in our daily lives. When we get burned out on the responsibilities of life, we turn to our hobbies - crafts, sports and other activities to take our minds off of the stresses of life.

It is so important to have these hobbies to help us keep our sanity. When we can't take a break from the things that add pressure and stress to our lives, there are a lot of negative consequences. The stress and unhappiness is soon reflected in our relationships, our disposition and, if not dealt with, our health.

For some of us, our crafts are our jobs. There have been times that I can't stand to look at a bead or my sewing machine because I have simply been working too long a particular project or I've put too many deadlines on myself for a show or getting my shop taken care of. When I get to that point, I know it's time to take a break and go for a drive. It's time to deal with something that has nothing to do with work. When I do come back to my project, I feel refreshed and excited about it again.

We can not forget to have some kind of healthy fun in our lives. It is something we need, whether we want to admit it or not, we need that little bit of fun, that break from the normal routine.

Happy Crafting All!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Family Fun Journaling

Being in a fairly rural area, we have the good fortune to be able to enjoy the outdoors in ways that people in urban areas just can't. Especially when you have access to four-wheelers and miles of open desert! So when we had a Sunday with nothing to do and perfect weather, we jumped at the chance to go get dusty and have fun.

Those kinds of spontaneous adventures usually make the best and most vivid memories. They are the kinds of days that are perfect for journaling. The page layout is, again, simple and filled with pictures rather than embellishments. One of the big differences between this page and my other recent pages is that I used hand-written journaling rather than printing off the title and excerpt.

The only embellishments used were a couple of chipboard tags fastened to the pages with decorative brads and a scrap of scrapbook paper. All the written elements were done on blank tags. The black pages bring out the vivid summer colors in the pictures. So simple!

Happy Crafting All!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Quilting Supply Resource

In this current economy, it is always nice to find a reliable supply resource that offers wide selection of supplies. I have heard some great recommendations about Home Sew Inc. They have a huge variety of all kinds of crafting supplies, including a nice selection of material and patterns. Check them out here:

Home Sew Inc

Do you have a favorite quilting supply source? I would love to hear about it! Drop me a line or leave a comment with a link!

Happy Crafting All!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Wire Wrapped Ring

The time had come for me to attempt a wire wrapped ring that did not include beads. The result is a little weird, a little rough, a little unbalance, but not too bad really. Considering I was just playing around and experimenting, the fact that it even looks like a ring amazed me!

Yes, I still have a lot to learn, but at least I can see that I am making progress. And that makes me happy. If I can't see improvement in my own work, then I get frustrated and it's better for me to stop for a while. (Keep in mind, this is not the first wire wrapped, non-bead ring - trust me, there is a ton of improvement!)

Keep Crafting All!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Free Crochet Patterns

I'm always looking for new and fun patterns to work from. And free patterns are the best! Recently, I came across a great resource for crocheters in search of fun, functional patterns. has a diverse collection of patterns for crocheters of all skill levels. Patterns are searchable and downloaded in PDF format, which makes them easy to keep track of and print. I love browsing their selection and downloading patterns for future use.

Check out their site:

Happy Crafting All!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Stocking Up

I love Back-To-School time! There are so many great sales going on that it's hard not to stock up on some of the basic supplies. This is the time of year that I will stock up on everything from glue, glue sticks, colored pencils, card stock and printer paper to organizational supplies and seasonal items.

It seems every store has a sale and that is the best time to shop. It seems we are all on budgets these days, some tighter than others. With two teenage boys, my budget stays pretty tight - as my mother-in-law would say, I turn a nickel three times before I decide to spend it! I know it's rough out there. That's why I love sales!

These next few months is generally when I will stock up on everything I might need for projects next year. I look for material in bright spring and summer colors and prints - fabric stores want room for the seasonal tones and patterns of fall and winter. I stock up on scrapbook papers that are marked down to $0.10 for 12"x12" sheet. I watch for the summer themed beads to go on clearance, along with any other summer-themed items that can be used. I think about some of the new things I want to try and start gathering supplies. (I tend to shy away from the fads though - I don't want to spend the money on the supplies and then not be able to sell what I make.)

This is also the time I start thinking about Christmas gifts. My mother loves lighthouses and ocean themes - things that can get difficult to find in the winter months. I start making lists of what I might want to do, and then watch the sales to see what will be least expensive to make. I have a large family to make things for, I need to do it cheap!

Of course, I am a power shopper year round - shopping the sales, clearance aisles and discount stores for supplies. This is how I've accumulated my stash of supplies, my inventory of goodies to create with. Thanks to this time of year, I will usually have what I need (or most of what I need) on hand before I begin my project!

Happy Crafting (and shopping) All!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Just A Little Note

It makes me feel incredibly old to say this, but I miss getting letters in the mail. I remember as a kid I would always get extra excited as any holiday approached because it meant I would get a card from my grandmother. It made me feel important to get mail.

Now, I would love to find something in my mailbox other than bills and advertisements. Don't get me wrong - email is a wonderful thing, allowing me to keep in touch with family and friends in ways I couldn't as child. At the same, though, I'm sure a lot of people out there would love getting something pretty in the mail.

The card above took me all of 15 minutes to put together. On a blank card, I glued the green rectangle of textured card stock and embellished it with a photograph of a rose (made into a die-cut). Using an inexpensive stamp, ink pad and colored pencil, I added the embellishment to the right of the picture. For very little expense and not very much time, I created a card that will make someone's day when it shows up in their mailbox. Why not try to make a card for someone special in your life, and see just how happy it will make them!

Happy Crafting All!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Simple Quilting Resource

I love when I can finish a throw quilt in a day or two. That is no easy feat, but this book makes it possible. Think traditional crazy quilts on a large scale. It is so easy and fairly quick because you don't really have to worry about precise cutting. I've made two quilts from this book and I'm planning on making a few more for Christmas gifts.

If you are new to quilting and wanting something that can offer some instant gratification, this is the book for you. I've already recommended it to several people and they love it. For more information, be sure to check out the authors website and blog at .

Happy Crafting All!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Silver and Amethyst

As my confidence in wire wrapping grows, I'm deciding to try new things - or rather the same design with different materials. The ring above is the first ring I've made that I do actually wear quite often. It is sterling silver wire (26 gauge, so it is pretty thin) with a natural amethyst stone and two accent Swarovski bicone crystals.

It is very simple ring design - the same exact design as the copper rings I posted over the last couple of weeks. However, the thinner wire gives the ring a daintier look. Overall, I am pleased with the way it turned out, and am very happy with the compliments I've received on it.

Wire wrapping requires a lot of practice, but as you get better there is a definite feeling of gratification, especially when you are complimented on your hard work!

Happy Crafting All!