Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ribbon, Ribbon, Everywhere!

One of my other loves is ribbon! I love having ribbons around for ribbon flowers and hair bows. I had tried to keep it organized in totes, but it always turned in to such a mess. So, once I got my thread rack done, I put my hubby to work once again. This time I requested a supersized thread rack with slats on the front of each shelf to hold my ribbons in place.

Granted, a lot of the ribbon still trails toward the floor, but at least it is fairly organized, and as soon as I remember to get more pins all those trails will be neatly tucked away.

This was another one of those super simple projects that only took a couple of hours to complete, but really has made a difference in my organization. Having built to fit my space really helped me a lot.

My hubby may think he is not all that crafty, but man oh man! I put in an order and he is happy. Mostly because he gets to play with his power tools! And I'm happy because each of projects gives us a chance to work together on something and ultimately makes my life so much easier!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Thread Rack - why did I wait so long...

I love to sew and there are so many pretty colors of thread out there. I could never keep them organized so I have resisted buying them and therefore cut my sewing down quite a bit. Until I was surfing through Pinterest one day and saw an amazing thread rack idea. 

Once again, I showed my hubby the picture and told him how big and he got to work. The only difference between mine and the Pinterest inspiration is mine does not have the small finishing nails for bobbins in front of each spool of thread. 

I love mine! I think my hubby did an amazing job and I can now see exactly see what I have when I need it. Plus, the very top makes a handy little shelf for some oversized adhesive bottles that I couldn't find room for anywhere else. It's not huge, but it fits my space perfectly and lets me know just how much space I have to had spools of colorful threads!

Monday, September 24, 2012

It's getting cold, time to cuddle up...

Over this past summer, I had my husband build me a few new items to help me get a more organized. This is one of those projects. Our house was built in the late 70's and the only update to the heating system since then has been the wood burning stove we put in two years ago. The stove is great, it heats the whole upper level of the house which is wonderful! Until that was put in, we had to rely on the old baseboard heaters that came with the house. As you can imagine, a split level, four bedroom home will suck up the power using baseboard heaters.

We always have a collection of throw blankets around the living and family rooms to help keep the chills away. All we lacked was a way of keeping them organized without packing them away in a closet. So I put in an order with my hubby for a quilt ladder. 

The first step was to show him a picture so he would know what I was talking about. Once he had the idea, we bought three 8' 2"x2" boards and cut two of them down to 6'6" to be the uprights. He used the pieces cut from the uprights as two of the rungs and cut the last full length board into 18" pieces to complete the rungs.

Normally you only have four rungs on a quilt ladder, however my hubby knows how much I love to crochet and quilt and really thought it better to give me some extra space. This is fine with me. Right now there is only three quilts on it because it has been warm. But those empty rungs give me motivation to get some quilt projects done that I've been putting off. Those will be finished as soon as I have the rest of my current projects finished!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Beaded Bouquet

My step-daughter got married at the end of June this year and I was happy to make as much as I could for her. It helped her save a lot of money and I got to feel very involved with her most special day. I was also fortunate enough to be able to do the photography for her special day which included a bridal session a couple of weeks before hand.

It was at the bridal session that I got this great shot of the bouquet I hand crafted just for her. It is made of hand beaded two-tone purple wisteria framing lace and ribbon flowers and three giant hand beaded iridescent gardenias. This lovely cascading style bouquet garnered much attention from those who saw it and I was so proud that I could give her something that made her day that much more special.

This bouquet was very heavy, so the groom was warned not to say or do anything stupid the day of the wedding because it could be a weapon. It now sits in her bedroom, in a display box on her dresser, as a reminder of her very special day!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A quilt in progress...

So I am the only one planning for Christmas already? I hope not. With my husband retiring from the military and starting his second career, money is going to be tight and our already limited budget is about to get more limited. I want to give my family a nice Christmas, so I have started my shopping now and get a few things here and there as I can afford them.

My favorite gifts to give are always the handmade ones. This year I am making one person a quilt with hand stitched lighthouses at the center of each block. This is the first one I have almost finished. There are two more embroidery blocks to finish and then to start adding borders and piecing.

There will be a total of eight lighthouses, so I have to come up with something for the center of my nine block quilt. I'm actually kind of excited to see how this one turns out. It's been a while since I've done a quilt like this. It should be done before Christmas, and I am planning quilts for at least one other person, so lets see how this all turns out!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Because baking is crafting too...

I have always enjoyed baking and cooking. It is a form of love, I think, to nourish the bodies of those you care about. As a result, I have sort of become the 'official' baker of the family. I have done all of my granddaughter's birthday cakes for the past two years, along with any other family member that asks. I have no training and often have to make it up as I go. But when it is something you enjoy and someone you love, you always find a way to make it work!

My youngest granddaughter turned 3 last week and we celebrated with a big family party yesterday. She said she wanted a cat themed party, so my first thought was to do a Hello Kitty cake. My step-daughter decided she would much rather go with the Cat in the Hat theme. So I was put to work creating a six layer, red and white striped hat cake. (I took the picture with my phone - sorry if it looks kinda funky.)


Even though the stripes look pink the picture, they were surprisingly red thanks to the Wilton Icing color paste that I got. The fondant was a bit of a challenge considering it was the first time I had made anything like that. And even though the layers didn't line up perfectly (I said I didn't have any training) every one there was impressed. Including my favorite little three year old!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Baby Gift, pt 2

So yesterday I told you about a friend expecting a baby girl and I showed you have the gift that I made for her baby shower. Well, today I get to show you the last two things in the gift. Not a lot of blah, blah, blah today, just going to get straight to it.

First is the first receiving blanket I've ever made. Knowing that the parents were going for an Asian theme in the nursery made it difficult to shop for material. But when I spotted this red, black and white lantern flannel I got so excited I almost did a happy dance in the middle of Joann's!

Again, sorry for the horrible, rushed pictures. I found a beautiful, rich red flannel for the back of the blanket and couldn't be happier with how it turned out!

The biggest part of the gift was a baby quilt. I knew they would have a hard time finding something in the stores in the colors they choose. It was an obvious choice for me to make the quilt but the materials I chose were less obvious. I spent over an hour trying to pick just the right ones.

Inspiration for the design came from Pinterest. I am the first to admit I was not really digging the color choices for a baby nursery. Yet, as I chose the fabrics and really thought about it, I realized it was actually a pretty good choice of colors. This blanket is something Kaiya can take with her throughout her life. It doesn't look childish or babyish, so when she goes off to college she can take this (by then well worn) blanket with her for security and a feeling of home without having to explain having a baby blanket.

I really wish I had gotten a better picture of the quilt, all laid out would have been great. I think I may have to make another one just to show the simple beauty of the design. If you want a better view of the fabrics used, take a look at yesterday's post, I made the soft blocks out of leftover fabric from this quilt! I love when nothing gets wasted!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Baby Gift, pt 1

So I took last week off to begin getting everything in my office organized. Something I've desperately needed  to do for quite some time, and still have not finished. This week I am back and hoping to post at least four days this week. I have been crafting like crazy and am really looking forward to sharing some of the things I've made.

First up is half of a baby shower gift I recently made for the friend of the family. She is having a little girl, due any time now, that they are naming Kaiya. The expectant mommy is not a huge fan of pink but both her and her hubby love the Japanese culture and Asian inspired decor. They chose to do the nursery in red, white and black.

All little girls have tons of hair bows and flowers and it can be very difficult to keep them all organized. So I made them this personalized bow board in their colors of choice. The monogram really stands on the damask black and white background. (Sorry about the horrible pictures, but I had to shoot them quickly before we delivered the gift!)

You can see that I even started them out with the first two bows for the board: a lovely red and white bow and a cute black and white with musical notes. Knowing the father is very musically oriented, I knew I couldn't pass up that ribbon when I saw it!

Another cute little item in the gift was the soft blocks in the nursery colors. They are good size blocks, but soft enough for baby hands to grip. Granted, baby Kaiya won't be playing with these for a couple of months. It is a cute little toy made from some scrap material that was a quick and easy addition to the gift.

Naturally, being a crafter, these were not the only gifts I gave. But, for the big gifts, you will have to come back tomorrow! I will add the last two items then and they are super cute and made the expectant mommy squeal!