Monday, January 31, 2011

Making Me Happy Monday

Thrift Store Finds

Thrift store finds always make me happy so here are a few recent ones:

For my kitchen:

vintage turquoise canister ($2)

red enamel cherry colander ($3)

For my living room:

needlepoint throw pillow (.50)

For my closet/jewelry collection:

I found this vintage necklace for $2 . . .

. . . then later in the week at a totally different thrift store, I found the matching brooch!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Table Runner Ideas

I posted the Valentine's Table Runner tutorial the other day and as soon as I finish one project, I'm already thinking about what I want to do next. Here are a few ideas I'm considering for my next table decor - I'm thinking I want bright and colorful:

From Anthropologie - I'm pretty sure I could make something similar. I love the mix of the big, bold prints.

I love this one from Vintage Fern - combines bright and fun with vintage - my kind of project. And she has a tutorial - bonus!

fun and a little different - from Moda Bake Shop

from Country Living - probably my favorite but it would only really work if I could find the perfect colored bandanas

crocheted table runner here - this would be a great way to use up scraps

Another crochet pattern - from Neferi - would be fun in lots of bright colors. But do I have the patience to crochet a whole bunch of those little daisies?

definitely not bright and colorful but oh so fun - from Little Birdie Secrets posting on Make and Takes

I'd love to hear your opinions

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

One Happy Boy

Ok, bit of an odd post today. But I just wanted to illustrate the wonders of the internet.

My 5 year old son is obsessed with hedgehogs. He has a little stuffed hedgehog family (well, not really so little - we counted the other day and he has 10 stuffed hedgehogs!) that lives next to his bed and is frequently carried around the house with him. Well, the other day he asked me if I could make him a new hedgehog for the little family (because apparently 10 just isn't enough). ????? How would I go about that? But, I checked the internet and found a super easy, cute, hedgehog tutorial - made with all materials I had on hand - yarn, thread, and a little glue. I never would have come up with this on my own.

Ta da!!

maybe not the best hedgehog ever made (his face is a little too pointy) but for 10 minutes of my time I have 1 very happy boy - I think he may even be a little impressed with me!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Touch of Romance Valentine's Table Runner Tutorial

A little Valentine's decor for my kitchen table - I was going for something a little romantic, a little antique-y, kind of old school Valentine's Day.

This is a really easy project - very basic quilting skills are all that's required - it would even be great for a beginner.

You will need:

*1 piece of red fabric cut 17 X 40 inches (you can adjust this measurement to fit the size of your table)
*1 piece of lace cut 17 X 40 inches (mine was an old lace tablecloth that I found at the thrift store)
*batting, a few inches larger on each side than your red fabric and lace - precision not required
*backing fabric, also a few inches larger on each side than your red fabric and lace

Layer your fabric and batting together - backing fabric first right side down, batting, red fabric on top right side up - just like you would if you were making a quilt

Now lay your lace piece on top of your red fabric. Pin it all in place (or baste if you prefer).

Quilt as desired - I quilted a 2 inch diagonal grid across mine. Bind as you would any other quilt. And it's ready to go on your table.

I added a little vase of hydrangeas (one of my favorite flowers) - all set for Valentine's Day

Monday, January 24, 2011

Making Me Happy Monday

Sundae Sunday

Once a year, on a Sunday in January, my family celebrates Sundae Sunday - where we have ice cream sundaes for dinner. There are no real holidays to look forward to in January - so we decided to make our own. And we go all out with our sundaes - multiple ice cream flavors, homemade sauces, toppings galore. And then we eat ice cream until we all feel slightly sick, hence the once (and only once) a year schedule.

So yummy - although I do have a bit of an ice cream hang-over today!

And I also have to say a quick congrats to my daughter for doing an awesome job at her horse show over the weekend. Maizy, I'm so proud of you!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Crocheted Wrap

This is really just an extra wide scarf. Single crocheted with chunky yarn. And 2 rows of buttons sewn on the front to hold it together.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Scrappy Twinkle Star Quilt Tutorial

As promised, here's the tutorial for making a scrappy twinkle star quilt block, as I used in this quilt:

This process is very similar to the one used for the Crazy Square Quilt Blocks. Again, minimal measuring and precision - my kind of quilting! For each star, you will need:

(8) 4 inch background squares (mine are white)
(1) 4 inch center square
scraps of fabric, somewhat rectangular in shape, one straight long edge

You will sew your scraps on 4 of your background squares, the other 4 will remain white. Lay a scrap across your background square, right sides together, angled like so:

Sew a 1/4 inch seam allowance:

Iron your scrap fabric back along the seam. Your piece will now look like this:

Repeat this process so you have a total of 4 background squares sewn in this manner. Now you will sew your second scrap piece on. Lay your scrap piece angled across, right sides together:

Sew a 1/4 inch seam and iron back as you did with the first side. Your piece will now look like this:

Flip your piece over to the back side and using your background square as a guide, trim all excess over-hanging fabric off, along all sides.

Repeat with all 4 background squares. You should have 4 squares that look something like this:

Lay out your 4 plain background squares, your 4 sewn background squares, and your 1 center square to create a star.

Sew your squares into rows, then your rows together, pressing all seams. And you should now have a finished star block.

For the baby quilt, I made 20 of these. If you use the chain sewing method that I talked about in the Crazy Square Quilt Block tutorial it will go much faster.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Crocheted Valentine's Wreath

I actually made this wreath last year but I'm pretty sure I used this basic tutorial from Prudent Baby. It's very easy to make - just a crocheted rectangle seamed up the back. A little something cheerful to welcome visitors.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Vintage Towel Make-over

I saw this towel tutorial on Lovely Nest's blog the other day and knew that these towels would go perfectly in my crazy colorful bathroom. (You can see my turquoise mirror in this post). My thrift store only had 1 towel that I thought would work (but it only cost 50 cents). I added a little trim from my stash and . . . a fun new hand towel for the bathroom. I'm on the lookout for more towels to make over now.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Making Me Happy Monday

Number 1:

from dinner Friday night

Number 2:

bright and fun jewelry on a drab and dreary Monday

Number 3:

recorded on my DVR last night - the best way to watch awards shows because then you can fast forward all of the boring speeches! (Now I just have to avoid all Golden Globes news for the rest of today so as not to spoil it)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Scrappy Twinkle Star Quilt

Another quilt made as a baby gift. Stay tuned for a tutorial on how to make the scrappy star block next week.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Rising Ra Cardigan

Today's inspiration (I'm not even going to tell you where it's from because I'm sure you can probably guess):

The collar on this sweater is beaded and there was no way I had the patience to try to add all of that beading. But I thought I could achieve a similar look with a crocheted collar. I used this free pattern, and it worked up really quickly. I'm not sure I technically followed the pattern correctly but it ended up turning out fine. (And it's removable for washing)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ginger Tea

My New Year's Resolution this year is to drink more tea. I know this may seem like an odd resolution - but drinking tea seems like such a healthy, calming thing to do. I'm a coffee girl, and while I'm not ready to give up coffee, I've decided to limit it to mornings only and drink tea in the afternoons/evenings when I'm craving something warm and soothing. Then I discovered ginger tea the other day at my favorite sushi restaurant. It is sooo good (if you like ginger - if not, this is not the tea for you). I decided to see how hard it would be to make at home. Turns out, not hard at all - and it has some surprising health benefits - aids in digestion and may help ward off colds, flu, and sore throat.

For this recipe, you need 4 cups of water and fresh ginger root.

Peel and thinly slice a 2 inch piece of the ginger root and combine with the water in a large saucepan.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and boil for 15-20 minutes. Strain. Add a splash of lime juice and some honey or agave nectar to your taste (or not, if you don't like your tea sweet). My tea turned out really pale but it definitely was not lacking in flavor!

I drank a cup and refrigerated the remainder to keep and reheat later. So yummy - maybe I will be a tea convert after all!