Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Halloween Wreath

I'm so excited to have finally finished my Halloween wreath!  I have a Scarlett O'Hara complex.  You kow, the whole "I'll think about it tomorrow" kinda gal.  I usually get in the mood to do Halloween crafts right about November 1st.  Seriously.
This year I was determined to complete my take on Piccadilly Peddler's Christmas themed wreath but for Halloween. 

I am so pleased with how it turned out that I may have to make another for Christmas.  It took a lot of time to cut the circles, but I think the final product was worth the effort!
Also, a few of you have asked me how my dog is doing after her eye injury last month.  Sadly, she ended up losing her eye due to a condition called a melting cornea.  Trust me, is just as gross as it sounds.  The good news is that she is 100% back to normal and is dealing well with the loss of her left eye.  I thought I'd share a before and after pic of her.
***WARNING: The after picture is not gross, but it is a little shocking, so stop right here if you are the slightest bit squemish***
Blair before:
And after:
By the way, her eye does not always bulge like that, but she hates having her picture taken and gets all wide-eyed when the camera comes out!  Our gal is a real trooper and it's so good to have her back to her playful, loving self.  (I know my sister will disagree with the loving part, but honestly, her son only had to have 2 or 3 stitches and that was years ago!) She just turned 11 on Sept. 11th, so to bounce back so well at this age is a huge relief to us.
We are thinking of dressing her as a pirate for Halloween...eye patch and all!

I still have a few projects in the works, so I'm planning to do some crafting today and hope to post them later this week!


Linking up to: Show and Tell Green

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunday Sundry

It's been awhile since I took the time to sit down and browse through all the wonderfulness that is Flickr.  I found so many things that inspired me today that I thought I would share some. 

Rick Cheadle Art and Designs wowed me with this wall mural painted on paneling: 
Wall Mural 7ft x 12 ft
I think I love it most of all because I rent a house that has the tacky 70's paneling and I dream of doing something like this to it.  Alas, my landlord is cool...but not that cool.

I love these adorable pincushions from mamacjt:
Hugs and Kisses Pincushions

And this sweet wall hanging was also made by mamacjt:

I am amazed by this life-sized quilted Pink Panther shared by King Kong 911:
Pink Panther Quilt

Big B always inspires me with her sweet embroidery work.  I already bought both her "Merry Christmas" set and the "Gingerbread" set from her etsy shop!
cake framed

And last, but definately not least is this wonderful softy created by Kell Ingram from the Melly & Me pattern "Magoo".
Miss Magoo

I absolutely adore Melly & Me patterns and vow to one day attempt one.  I'm afraid that my limited sewing skills wouldn't do it justice.  Magoo is my favorite, but the mushroom backpack runs a close second!

So you can see my mind is mostly on sewing right now.  My sister's and I are headed to Lancaster on Monday to shop for fabric and donuts.  We cannot go to Lancaster without going to Shady Maple Farm Market for their awesome donuts!


Saturday, September 11, 2010

We Will Never Forget

Three days after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 I wrote this poem. Every year, I post it and I still light a candle.

Tonight I Lit A Candle

Tonight I lit a candle, for the souls of those that died

I left the candle burning bright, to celebrate their lives.
We lost some treasured loved ones, their faces near and dear
We never had to know them to miss their presence here.

Tonight I lit a candle, for the souls of those we lost
To let them know we love them, are sorry they paid the cost.
We won’t forget your bravery, in the face of trying times
We vow to hold your memory close engraved upon our minds.

Tonight I lit a candle, for the souls of those we mourn
For it took your needless passing, for unity to form
Our nation vows its vengeance; your deaths were not in vain
Our flag still flies, our bells ring loud, freedom will still reign.

Tonight I lit a candle, for the souls for whom we pray,
Remembering your sacrifice with each and every day.
God Bless your souls and those of all the ones you left behind
And I pray that one day all will rest in any peace that they can find.

Tonight please light a candle, and add your prayers to mine
Let our silent blessings shout beyond the boundaries of this time.
Do not forget in months to come of how we feel today
Let September 11, 2001 become an Unsung Heroes day.

KAH 9-14-2001 (In memory of the many victims of the terrorist attack on the United States 9-11-2001)
(This is my original work, please do not duplicate it unless credit is given. Thank You.)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Pretty Painted Jars

A quick and simple idea I saw on another blog a few weeks ago inspired me to try these painted jars. 
What I love about them is that instead of the mess of painting the outside, you just pour some paint on the inside and shake, shake, shake it (with the lid on, of course!) to spread the paint around.  After shaking, I added a little more paint and then kinda of turned the jars to cover the places I missed.
I will warn you that the jars take several days to completely dry, at least mine did. They probably would have dried quicker if I had set them outside, but I didn't.
I'm not sure what I will do with them yet, but the blogger I borrowed the idea from added vinyl letters to the outside to label the jars and it was adorable!  (If you are that blogger or know that blogger, please let me know and I will definately give you credit for inspiring me and link up your blog!)
I'm linking this post to the Power of Paint Party over at Domestically Speaking.  I love all the inspiration found there!
Please check back soon, I've just finished my first Halloween decoration and I can't wait to share it with you!  Here's a peek to tease you a bit:


P.S. I'm still collecting donations for my walk to raise money for Alzheimer's research.  Click on the donation graphic on the side bar if you can spare a dollar or two.  It will take you to my fundraising page and you will be able to dedicate your donation to a loved one if you'd like.  Your donation is made directly to the Alzheimer's Association when you use a credit card.  I do not see your card, your name or any of your personal information!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Framed Door

My sister, Jean, told me about the way cool frame that Blue Cricket Design used as a wreath on her front door and we both decided we needed one!
Jean, being a much more motivated craftster than me, finished hers a lot quicker than I did.  Here is a peek at hers, but you must go check out her before shot at Quilted Cupcake because I would have never seen such cuteness in this frame as it was before.
While you are there, take some time to check out her other crafty goodness.  She hosts a free podcast on quilting, sewing, knitting and general craftiness that rocks! (And I'm not just saying that because she mentions me often!)
Anyway, the frame for my door came from the local Good Will.  Here is the before:
  Not as bad as Jean's before, but when I went to pull it apart and found it was all foam core and it still had the original price tag of $29.99, I knew someone got ripped off.  Luckily, it wasn't me, I only paid $2!
After some much needed scrubbing, painting, sanding and staining, here it is on my door. 

I used a Martha Stewart paint sample from home depot for the paint and the bow is a strip of white  scrap fabric.  
The thing is, it's kind of bigger than I pictured it (no pun intended) but I'm hoping to replace it with a fall wreath next month, so it's staying as is. (I still have hopes of duplicating the Piccadilly Peddler's fabric wreath in fall colors, but it's slow going!)
I am working on a new project today that I hope to share in the next couple of days.  Hopefully it turns out as good as I'm imagning it in my head!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Time For A Quickie

My sister said I needed to post because I hadn't had an update in awhile.  Nevermind that we have spent the last two weeks running to the vet's office for both dogs...8 times total and I won't even add up the $$ spent!
So here is a quick project I did. 
I bought this tray at my local thrift for $1 and decided to give it a makeover. 
It started as a small bread tray:

And ended up as a catch-all tray:

I think I'm going to use it to sit on my work desk to hold post-its, staples, etc.  I haven't sealed it yet, I'm not sure if I'm going to.  I may just use it as is and replace the paper when needed so that it is constantly different. (In other words, I'm too lazy to seal it!)
That's it for now, hope you're happy now, Jan!  Love you!


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sew What?

It's been a few weeks since I've updated, I know.  I reinjured my shoulder and needed to take some down time from my crafting.  I spent most of my down time reading and relaxing, but I was itching to do something crafty this past weekend.
I haven't been sewing much since it got warm enough out to spray paint and I was having a hard time getting motivated to start again.  Luckily, I have two crafty sisters, a crafty niece and an adorable great nephew who convinced me it was time to get back to sewing!  I was conflicted if I should go due to my shoulder problems, but who could say no when this little guy is going to be there?

I spent most of the day Saturday with the girls (and the little guy) and had such a wonderful time! 
I was originally going to work on a Halloween themed wreath inspired by the one I saw on Piccadilly Peddlers but I was totally sidetracked by the projects that my two sisters were working on. 
Jan took the time to teach us a quick way to make fabric post cards.  She even precut all of the pieces for us so that we could just assemble and sew them.  Love her (and the awesome banana bread she made) so much! 
I ended up making the cat postcard that day and came home and made the other two on Sunday.  I'm not really thrilled by the two I made on Sunday, but I'm still getting the hang of it!

Then, Jean showed us how to make a wonky star block by following the tutorial found on The Silly Bodilly blog.  (Jean did NOT precut for us, but I love her anyway!) We all made patriotic patterned blocks to donate to one of our fellow quilters in our guild.  She is assembling quilts for her husband and his fellow soldiers serving overseas.  The one I made at Jan's house turned out pretty good for my first time...not too wonky though!

The Halloween themed one I made at home the next day did not fare so well, but was much more wonky!  Me thinks I tried too hard for the wonkiness:

It was great to get back into sewing and I can't wait to get together with the girls (and boy) again.  I always learn something new! We were all very excited that Steph has taken the leap into sewing with us. If she lets me, I'll share the adorable skirt she made with the help of Jan a couple of weeks ago in a later post.
Hope everyone else had as productive a weekend as I did!


P.S. A huge thanks to Lynette who made my first donation for the 2010 Memory Walk.  If you are able to contribute, please click on the link on the side bar!

Monday, August 9, 2010

We Interrupt This Blog For a Special Announcement

I will be updating soon with some recent craftiness, but first, I wanted to make my yearly plea.

On October 30th I will, once again, be walking in the Memory Walk to help raise money for the Alzheimer's Association.  As I have shared in the past, my mom, Lucy, lost her battle against Alzheimer's on 12/21/2008.  I started this blog as a tribute to her and to the creativeness that I inherited from her.

Before she passed, I promised her that I would do my part to help find a cure for Alzheimer's.  When she was first diagnosed, she was literally devastated.  She wanted to give up.  Whenever she was having a bad day, I would tell her that there is hope.  I told her that every day, new advances are being made and there may be a cure right around the corner.

Sadly, it was not found in her lifetime.  But I have not given up the fight.  There are still millions of people suffering from Alzheimer's.

I am not someone who likes to ask for things from others.  I am the one who always buys the candy bars, or orders the pizzas, or the wrapping paper or whatever is asked of me to support my friends' children.  I don't have children, I don't have purse parties or jewelry parties and ask my friends to buy something (not that there is anything wrong with that, but it's not me.) Once a year, I ask this.  For my Mom...and all of those that have lost the fight, but especially for those still fighting.

Please visit my fundraising page Lucy's Daughter and give.  Even if you give a dollar, it is $1 more towards finding a cure.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Ever since J and I met, our saying has been "Always".  Every email, every card, every letter, even every quick jotted note is signed "Always".  I don't even remember how it started, to be honest, but I do remember how that one word has gotten us through a lot.  It's our way to tell each other that no matter what, we will always support and love each other.  When he was living in Michigan and I was living in Maryland, it was our way of looking forward to a future together at some point.  Even while we were getting our lives together and were just friends, both dating other people, we would end our conversations or emails with "Always".  If you notice, that is also how I sign each blog entry. 
So when I found this tin sign for $3 at the thrift store, I knew it was going to go from "All Star" to "Always" and I knew I had the perfect spot to hang it. 
It didn't take much, just a couple of coats of black paint to cover the old lettering, a little sandpaper to scuff it up a bit and my good old Cricut to make the letters.
I love how it turned out!

           Before:                                                                        After:
I love how even though I painted over the crackle paint, it stil shows the texture through the black.  This is now hanging in the upstairs hallway and serves as a reminder of our love and committment to one another.  I have more ideas to decorate the hallway and hope to share more pictures soon.
Unfortunately, I'm not feeling well this weekend, so no yard sale or thrift store finds to report, but I hope to be back in action for some good finds next week!
Please take some time to check out over 200 more links to Monday wonderfulness at Between Naps on the Porch!  I *heart* that blog!


Linking to:

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Blame It On The Rain

Doesn't it always seem like the days you really, really want to go yard saling or paint it always rains?  Ugh, I hate that!  All week I was browsing blogs and making a list of the items I wanted to look for at this week's yard sales & flea markets.  It was over 100 degrees 3 days last week.  The weekend called for cooler temps and sun.  And then Friday they changed the forecast.  Rats.
So Saturday was a big old bust as far as yard sales.  I did make it to a couple of thrift stores, but it was pouring rain all day and my mood was as dark as the clouds in the sky.
Luckily, today I woke up to sunshine!  There was a new flea market opening today near me, but as I rolled out of bed at 7am and saw the sun, I just wanted to paint, paint, paint.  I know J appreciated that I didn't go out and drag more stuff home this week.  I thought it best that I work on some of the things I've had on my list.
First I worked on my enamel topped cart.  I first posted about this little treasure here a few weeks ago. 
This wasn't in great shape, with a chip in the enamel, rust on the trays and missing 3 out of 4 wheels...but for $2, I really couldn't complain.  I've been working on cleaning it up when I had a few minutes here and there.  I washed it down really well (cobwebs, ick!) and thanks to my new blog friend, Joselyn over at The DIY Spot, I found some Porc-a-fix at Home Depot to fix the chipped spot.  The color doesn't match perfectly, but it looks much better since I used it!   Since it was raining yesterday, I took some time to cover and tape off the top so I would be ready to paint when the weather cleared up. 
I really needed something to hold my small TV and printer in my home office (read: dining room) because my old set up was just atrocious.  Don't laugh, this is what I previously had:
Is that bad or what?  It was an old TV stand made out of particle board. If that wasn't bad enough, the printer/scanner/copier that J bought me for Christmas didn't fit on the adjustable shelf, even on the lowest setting so we had to take the shelf out and put the printer on the bottom.  (Now let me be frank here, I am not a big bender-overer and kneeling in front of this thing while I printed, copied and scanned documents for work did NOT put me in my happy place.) To make matters worse, the TV stand wasn't tall enough and we had to use the gray thing shown in the picture (I have not idea what it even is) to make the TV tall enough to see.  So, you get the picture, no part of my old set up was working for me. 
Once I cleaned the enamel topped table, repaired the chip and added a few coats of white paint to the metal part, here is my new set up:
Much better!  It's almost even with my desktop and the printer is accessible from my desk chair...yay!  We did run into a slight problem with the wheels.  I had planned to buy new casters to replace the broken wheels, but it turned out that the wheels were welded onto the base and not easily replaceable.  I had to have J saw them off and I padded the feet with some felt so as not to rip the carpet.
I'm really happy with my new set up.  I still plan to get a couple of baskets to hold my work stuff on the bottom shelf, but for now, it's fine.  I also had to crop this picture pretty close because the desks on either side of the table (work computer desk and home computer desk) are old and ugly and still on the list to be replaced.

Next I moved on to making a cloche.  I've been wanting to make one since I've seen them popping up all over the web and I finally found a decent cheese dome on my thrift store trip on Saturday.  I've had the candle stick for awhile and have been saving it for this project.  Here is before:

And here is after:

I'm so thrilled with how this turned out!  The texture of the candle stick really adds something unique to it, I think.  I did some light sanding around the edges and on the points of the texture to age it some and it turned out great.  I have no idea what I'm going to put under the dome, but I know exactly where this piece is going!  As soon as I redo the small bookcase in my upstairs hallway, this little beauty will be sitting on top of it...and I'm promising myself not to junk it up with all the paraphernalia that is currently on it!
I have a couple of more projects that are in the drying stage that I hope to share during the week, but this is it for now.  What did you do this weekend?
Please check out other crafty projects shared for Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps On The Porch and take a few minutes to check out the awesome redo of a church into a house.

Linking to:

Friday, July 9, 2010

ReStore Love

I have been infatuated with the Habitat for Humanity ReStore since I found out about this little gem of a store a few weeks ago from Cassie's blog Primitive & Proper.  I go there once a week to visit items I really, really want but can't justify.  Most recently it was this beautiful piece that I just drooled and drooled over, but had no way of getting because it was $85, all one piece and it wouldn't fit down my narrow steps. I hope someone gave it a good home, because I went to visit it today and it was gone. **sigh**

But I came across something I just couldn't leave without.  This little table just called out to me and for $15 it was mine.  I love how the table top is actually a removable tray!  I can't wait to get to work on redoing this piece!  It needs a lot of love and some reinforcing, but it's going shabby chic in the next few weeks!

Tomorrow is yard sale/flea market day, can't wait to see if I find any new treasures!

Linking to:

Monday, July 5, 2010

Nanny's Chair

I did it!  Even though the heat was atrocious, I just couldn't wait any longer to finish my chair.  A few posts back I asked for help deciding on which fabric to use on the chair seat.  No one picked Option D, but that is the fabric I chose.  Mostly because I decided that I wanted to paint the chair red and the fabric matched perfectly.  I have to say, this project went so much quicker than I thought it would.  I had primered the chair yesterday so all I had to do was add the red paint today.  Its not a perfect paint job, but I absolutely love the way it turned out.  I was going to distress it after painting, but the fabric is so modern looking, I thought that distressing would take away from it.

The funny thing is, that when I finally removed the old fabric, I found that my Nanny had recovered the chair as well.  I thought she had bought it with the ugly green home dec fabric, but apparently, she bought it with some kind of funky animal print fabric and recovered it.  It was so degraded and gross I couldn't even take pictures of it.  It actually fell apart as I removed it.  I was hoping to reuse the padding, but that wasn't going to happen, so I used quilt batting and went to work.  I hit a slight snag when the staples for the new staple gun I bought didn't fit, but I was able to reuse the small upholstery tacks that were used on the original piece and it turned out just fine.  Now the seat is much cushier than before and it brightens up my studio.
What do you think?
Please check out other Monday eye candy at Between Naps On the Porch! I'm also participating in my first PoPP on Domestically Speaking, the transformations there are amazing!
                                                                      Linking to:


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Nine Out of Ten Ain't Bad!

So the 10 days are up and I've completed 9 out of the 10 tasks I assigned myself!  I have to say, I'm quite proud that I did that much.  I tend to procrastinate...a lot!  But I was determined and am happy with what I accomplished. 
I really like how my apothocary jar turned out.  I was inspired by Stephie over at Made By Stephie on this one!  I changed it up a bit, using a smaller jar, gray paint instead of silver (I hate silvery paint for some reason) and making my own finial for the top.  I did buy a finial for my jar, but just didn't like the look of it.  Because I used a smaller jar, the finial was too big.  I'm happy with how it turned out with the changes and think it looks cute filled with colorful gumballs!

Although not one of my tasks, I also wanted to make a luminary like I saw on The Idea Attic so after picking up a canning jar for .25 at a recent yard sale and buying glass frosting paint at Home Depot, I made this. The star stickers were a bit of a challenge to remove after painting, but well worth the effort it took to peel them off and use a bit of Undo to get the sticker residue off. 

For another "off the list" project,I made a fun sign for my studio.  I broke rule number one of spray painting and did not primer the board first so it took almost an entire can of paint for the board.  (I seem to have to relearn this lesson every summer as I begin my outside painting.)  This whole project took much longer than normal due to the primer issue and the fact that it took me 6 hours, yes 6 hours, to cut the letters out.  Why?  Because although I knew right where my Cricut was, where the cartridge I wanted was, even where the cord was...I had no idea where the cutting mat was.  I put it in that super secret place where cutting mats go and promptly forget about it.  But isn't that the point of super secret hiding places anyway?  Anyway, instead of just tearing through boxes, drawers and totes, I decided to do more organizing and labeling and finally gave up looking for the mat, resolved to put off the cutting of the letters until Sunday when I could run to the store for a replacement.  Then I found it in the last box I looked in.  I should have known! 
By the way, the "e" is crooked on purpose.  That was my "thing" when I scrapbooked a lot.  I don't know how it started, but whenever I used an "e" in a title, I always made it a bit crooked and it kind of became my signature.
I think the pinwheel may be overkill.  I may remove it and add flowers or something else fun.  What do you think?  If no pinwheel, what would you put there? 
I did also get this chair, mentioned in my post last week, primered (see, I learned my lesson!) but it was way too hot to start painting it.  I guess it will have to hold off until next weekend because it isn't expected to be below 100 degrees here until next Friday.
So how did you do on your 10 tasks?  If you didn't play, but want to see all the super cool projects completed by others on the challenge, visit Gina at The Shabby Chic Cottage and check out the linky's.
Happy Independence Day all!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

How Did I Live Without This?!?

After today, this is what I'm asking myself.  This handy dandy Spray Grip has changed my painting life!  Not only does it save me from "trigger finger" when spray painting, it also makes the paint come out much more evenly.  I think I paid $2.99 or less for it at Home Depot. If you don't have one, get one.  Like today.  So worth it!
I am still working on my 10 Tasks in 10 Days Challenge.  I am almost finished my apothacary jar, just waiting for the glue to dry.  I will post pictures tomorrow or Friday, depending on when I get to the store to buy some pretty candies to fill it up!
I actually think I may finish 9 of the 10 tasks.  I know I won't get to the bathroom cabinet this week, just too busy at work.  But I'm hoping to get to it this weekend.  I'm still deciding which color it's going to be painted.  I'll probably just go with white or off white on the outside, and I'd like to do a bluish grey on the inside.  Here's a peek at it as it looks now.  I'm thinking I'll replace those ugly black handles with metal handles.  I don't know what to do with the top, it's formica.  I don't like it at all, but at least it cleans up easily. (Please disregard the bathtub caulk in the picture that needs to be cleaned up with a straight edge...keep in mind we're renting this house and sometimes you have to grin and bear the uglier stuff!) 


Sunday, June 27, 2010

10 Tasks in 10 Days - Halfway There

The good news is that I'm proud to say that I'm slightly ahead of the game at this point.  I have completed 6 of my 10 tasks. The bad news is that I probably won't have time to complete the other 4 tasks until at least Friday or Saturday.  The last week of the month is crazy for me at work and I am usually completely stressed out.  Not to mention that the weather here has been averaging between 95 to 100 degrees and it's been too dang hot to paint out in the sun.
That being said, come take a look at some of the stuff I have completed!

These book ends were inspired by Bridgette & Rebekah over at All Thingz Related.  When I saw these, I knew right away that I wanted a pair of my own!  I am so happy with how they turned out.  They were really easy to make and I'm thinking of making another set using bright colors to use in my office space.

Next came my pincushion.  I have had this thrifted metal thingy (that's the technical term) for over a year.  I knew I wanted to make a three tiered pincushion out of it, but never quite got around to it.  It has made its way into and found its way out of my donation boxes about 5 times now.  I decided it was time to get it done already.
I like how it turned out, although I'm not completely happy with the top level.  It didn't sit right and I redid it once and then gave up and left it alone.

Then came Nanny's chair.  I removed the seat, which was much easier than I had anticipated, and began to prep the wood for painting.  That's when I found the the wood had some kind of veneer overlay.  Ugh, not sanding friendly.  I think I'm going to just lightly sand it and paint it instead of sanding it all the way down as I had originally planned.

But the painting cannot be done until I decide what fabric to use to cover the seat.  I've narrowed it down to four.  Any opinions would be much appreciated.  Below are my final 4.
Choice A is from the Basic Grey Line "Blush".  If I choose this, I would probably paint the chair to match the aqua color in the fabric.

Choice B is an Amy Butler fabric that I've had for awhile.  I think I originally bought it to make a tote bag.  If I choose this one, I would paint the chair to match the green in the fabric.
Choice C is the Cogsmo line by Cosmo Cricket.  I adore this line.  I love the colors and all of the fabrics.  Any time I find a stray piece of it at a quilt show or shop, I buy it.  I just don't know if the stripes are where I want to go with the chair.  And if I choose this fabric, I don't know what color I'd paint the chair...maybe teal or red.
Last but not least is choice D.  This is a funky fabric that I picked up for it's bright colors.  Originally I bought it to make a pinwheel quilt, but ended up finding another fabric I liked more.  I'm leaning towards this fabric with the chair painted bright red.

So where are you in your tasks?  Is anyone finished this early in the game?  Please let me know what you think of my completed projects and weigh in on which fabric you like for the chair!

And don't forget to visit Gina at The Shabby Chic Cottage for lots of inspiration and tons of linkys to those participating in the 10 Tasks in 10 Days Challenge!