Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Let it roll!

I'm always looking for quick and easy sewing projects, especially when they yield a super functional end product! I made this tool roll for my sister-in-law for Christmas and filled it will different types of fabric scissors. 

Here is a little ditty on how to make an easy tool roll like the one I made with the Daisy Janie fabric I bought from Etsy. This project is based on a knitting needle roll up from Cut Out + Keep.

What you'll need:
2 pieces of fabric 
Ribbon about 18"
*the size of fabric will depend on how large a roll you want to make

Cut a piece of solid fabric to be the inside lining. I used a 12" x 12".
Cut a piece of pattern fabric to be the outside approximately 4 to 6" longer than the solid on one side. This one is 12" x 17".

Place the pieces of fabric right sides together and sew along the 3 sides where the two pieces match up.  Before sewing this step, fold the ribbon piece in half and place between the two pieces along one of the sides. 

Below is the result after turning it right side out.

Fold and iron the three edges of the print as seen above. Sew along the end edge of the print to create a nice hem at the eventual top of the pocket.

Fold the print piece over and sew long the side to attached it to the plain fabric. 
Finally, sew vertical lines as far apart as you desire the pockets to be wide. 

Here is a close up of the vertical stitches.

A little wider shot.

The final product all rolled up!
This project is so easy, gives me that instant sewing satisfaction I love!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Cats Make Great Pillows

Sure, cats can be a pain, but they really are comforable. 

A bright ornament idea!

Monday night my creative buddy, Amy, had an ornament swap party. Pretty much what it sounds like, some tasty snacks and a little ornament trading among friends!  To keep the hand-made Christmas in tact, I whipped these up Sunday night. 

The only materials required were replacement lights bulbs from the hardware and some wire and beads I already had on hand. The wire is 18 gauge aluminum and it was the perfect stiffness to easily bend yet hold the shape.

I just wrapped the beginning of the wire around the bulb to make a quasi thread around the buld, threaded a bead on the wire, and then bent the rest of the wire into whatever shape I was feeling at the time. As you can tell most were inspired by the color of the bulb. (Not real deep, I know...)

The Collection
(on the right: Blue bulb and rain drop to celebrate Scott and his new job)

A red bulb and heart for the swap

A shamrock for my Irish buddy, Sara

A funky star because orange is awesome!
(With this one I made a little stand, I have no idea why, 
just thought it needed a stand...)

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Cozy Hat for Gryphon

The handmade Christmas continues...Here's a hat I made for our little nephew Gryphon who was just born in August. The pom-pom might be a little large for him, but I think he can pull off that look. The more pom the better!

I used this Martha tutorial for the inspiration. The tut also includes a size chart just in case you don't have access for a head measurement. I'll let you know how close those numbers are after Christmas...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Photo Weekend - Sunday

Red & Green

The jingle bells on my stocking

A few ornaments hung from our chandelier

Seems like this photo weekend just started yesterday...probably because it did! Anyway, thanks for everyone who shared their festive photos. Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Photo Weekend - Saturday

Sparkle and Spirit

Today, I put up some more decorations and made some cookies to share. It's amazing what a few strands of lights wound through some garland can do for your mood. 12 Days till Christmas.

The sparkle on my ornament Christmas tree

The spirit of the holidays found making cookies

Shout out with a comment if you've found some sparkle and spirit today! And, don't forget tomorrow is red and green.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A quick color weekend?!

Anyone up for a Photo Weekend?!...I know it's crazy,  right, like there's not enough to do... 

But, I've been a little low on holiday spirit the last week or so. The only thing that can save the season is a quick and simple Photo Weekend. Here's the throw down:

Saturday: Sparkle and Spirit
Sunday: Classic Red and Green

If your game leave a comment below or on my Saturday or Sunday post. 

In case your new to Photo Week, here's the gist from Jen who put it beautifully when hosted:

"Photo Week has very few rules. The point is to get out there and use your camera, and observe the world around more than you usually do. To participate, simply take pictures any time this week (starting today). Just be sure to post your pictures on the appropriate day. If you can't participate every day, that's fine too. And don't worry about how advanced of a camera you have. Or how advanced your photography skills are. Just get out there and experiment and see how it goes."

And finally a little kick off photo:

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Indoor Fishing

Sometimes the only way to find a fishing buddy for your husband is to grow one! I made this fishing game for our little nephew, Jack, for his upcoming third birthday. Hopefully, a few years from now after lots of fishing game, Jack can be Scott's fishing buddy at the lake...

Here is a little tut from abunchofkidsinc on making your own. I used felt stuffed with pillow fluff instead of fabric with batting because that's what I had on hand. Worked out pretty well, if I ever make it again, probably won't create such ambitious shapes! Also, I used a piece of bamboo instead of a dowel rod and then hot glued the string to the bamboo and magnets. (Much easier than drilling.) 

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A gift for the pack rat...the stash book

My brother is a notorious pack rat and as part of my effort to make everyone something for Christmas, I've decided to encourage him. 

First, I bought this old book. Then I spent a few evenings cutting a rectangle out of the each page with an exacto knife. I did the first bunch and then used that hole as the template for the rest of the cutting.  

Here is the inside of the finished book. I glued the pages together from the inside using a basic washable glue. The I lined the inside with cardboard wrapped in corduroy fabric and hot glued them into place. 

Now Kyle has another place to put all those small items he just can't part with!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas on the Square in Danville

A few pictures from our quick stop in Scott's hometown of Danville on Saturday. 

The Royal Theater, originally opened in 1914

The southwest corner of the courthouse

Jefferson Street strung with lights

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Lions, Tigers, and Turtles, Oh My!

Yeah, it's official, I'm addicted! A pattern repeat from a picture I took in Grand Cayman of a beautiful sea turtle... gotta love the turtles. 



Monday, December 1, 2008

Bokeh on the Circle

Throughout the fall, I've been trying to create a light distortion trick called Bokeh.  Here is an attempt to create music notes at the Soldiers and Sailors' Monument last Friday. Since the lights are wrapped around tree limbs, the notes look like they are being sung as they appear to float into the air.  A surprisingly wonderful affect!

Next time, I'll try to put a greater distance between myself and the light source, then hopefully, there will be more whole shapes. More to come...

A Washable Backsplash, Yay!

Know what makes a bad backsplash?? Flat paint...

Know what makes a good backsplash?? Tile!

A few weeks from looking straight down the nose of a stagnant real estate market, we've been doing some "enhancement" projects around the house. One of the first, was addressing the dirty backsplash in our kitchen. Since the surface consisted of flat paint, our options were pretty much limited to repainting the whole kitchen or installing some sweet subway tiles, so we picked the later. Already having all the materials except the tiles on hand, it was a pretty simple project. 

Before: The first row goes up

Midway: Tiles are up, no grout

After: Grouted and ready to be splattered with tomatoe sauce

Since the total area was less than 25 sq.ft., we used a premixed mortar and grout. This saved loads of time opposed to mixing small batches of the powdered stuff. Great stuff! The brand was Tile Perfect, I'd recommend it to anyone with a similar project.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Coloring Book for Jack

As part of the hand-made Christmas, I'm making our little nephew, Jack, a coloring book from pictures we've taken throughout the year. Here are a few I've created so far. (See below for a quick how-to.)

Scott thought these might be too difficult for a 3 year old, but I thought Jack could make what he wanted of them and doesn't have to stay inside every line. Are they too tough?! Any thoughts...

By the way, if you know Jack, don't tell him about this. ;)

Indiana State Museum

Wrigley Field

A duck on the lake

A random barn

How-to (with a disclaimer):

Bring the picture into Photoshop. Select Filter-->Sketch-->Stamp. Inside the Stamp controls, turn the smoothness all the way down (1), then adjust the Light/Dark Balance until the picture has desirable detail. Some pictures worked better than others and there is no perfect Balance that works for all pictures. I also found it helpful to adjust the contrast before beginning the Filter work for some pictures with many shades of similar colors.

The fine print disclaimer: I used Photoshop Elements and am in no an expert or even an advanced user, I just play with settings until I get the effect I want, so this is only the way I did it. As always, I'd love to hear others ways to achieve the effect too!

Monday, November 24, 2008

The house work texture repeat! (finally...)

For awhile now, I've been wanting to experiment with texture repeats like those done by Daisy Janie. Finally, this weekend, while touching up some paint in the kitchen, I pulled out a can of paint dated 2005, which was suppose to be a mossy green. Low and behold, after so many years on the shelf the colors had separated out, and as I stirred the can, a beautiful swirl formed and within that my first texture repeat!

The original swirl

The finished product after 3 flips in photoshop.
(I really like the hearts that formed in the repeat.)

The next picture is just a shot I had to take today. After such a foggy, gloomy day, as soon as I got home, this was out my back door. The skies really rallied at the end!

Pink clouds on the horizon

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Almond Joy Hot Cocoa

Here is another great Hungry Girl recipe from today's newsletter. (Yes, I was so psyched, I stopped on the way home to get everything.) Think warm Almond Joy with a kick! This is a seriously splendid drink!!

1 package Hot Chocolate Mix
(I used the fat free mix and it was still great!)
Shot and a Half Coconut Rum
Drop of Almond Extract
Whipped Topping


Get Ingredients

Boil the Water

Mix together, top with whip, enjoy!

Small tip: Use a larger than normal coffee cup...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Friday - Happiness (a little late)

Finally posting my last picture of this photo week. Happiness is a being at home by the crackling fire on a relaxing Sunday. All day has been easy, easy like Sunday morning...

Yay for another great photo week! Thanks, Sara, for a inspirational one! This week made the glasses I see the world through a little rosier.

Side note: Saw an ad for this very mobile tripod in the new issue Popular Photography mag. This would be super handy for those shots with longer shutter speeds, without all the hassle of setting up a bigger tripod. I'm adding it to my wishlist! Also, this December issue has a great story about taking better holiday pictures, worth picking up if you're at the store. ( I checked the website, but the entire story isn't there...bummer.) Okay, enough of that plug.

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thursday - Community (Boiler Up!)

My community for four and half years, the wonderful Purdue University. Just so happens, I was on campus today for a conference, and I took the opportunity to snap a few pictures at lunch with the point and shoot stashed in my purse.

A tree still full of leaves

The new Armstrong Hall

A replicate of Armstrong's footprints on the moon.

Are the college folks getting younger every year?! Still love visiting campus, BTFU!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wednesday - Gratitude

In my book, gratitude is the most under used expression. Monday, I took this picture of a flag flying in the cemetery to honor our country's heroes. A simple and beautiful thank you for our veterans.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tuesday - Exploration (at the Indiana State Museum)

A (holi)day spent exploring the Indiana State Museum. Yay for hometown exploration. As a side note, we also saw the Grand Canyon Adventure 3D at the IMAX, and it was amazing!!

Snowflakes for the Christmas exhibit currently being installed.
Best looking rope light around, right?!

The Foucault Pendlum that was moved from the old museum.

A collection of pins from the 1970's.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Monday - Acceptance

Photo week if off and running. Sara our gracious host has really thrown down the challenge this time. Get the details here!

Accepting where the wind takes you

Accepting the gym as a necessary evil

The thing I love about my gym is that everyone is very friendly and accepting. It's like we're all here grinding it out, doing our thing the best way we can,
and that creates an intrinsic comradery.

A Snappy Strap

A while back Amy found this great site for ribbons and we placed an order with the intentions of making some sweet camera strap modifications with our loot. Since then I've been thinking about how I wanted to do it, I knew wanted to use the strap that came with the camera, but I also wanted to be able to change it in the future. And of course, if you wait long enough (or surf the web long enough), the solution will find you. Voila, here it is on Made by Petchy.

I used my ribbon for one side and plain black fabric for the back side. My final product is a super tight fit, but I was limited by the width of the ribbon. I am happy with the finished strap cover now that I have it on there!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

It only took 80 bottles of wine...

The finished cork board (as seen during photo week), a great place for a wine drinker to pin up all those great ideas that come do mind while enjoying a few glasses.

The frame is a simple wood frame I found at the craft store and stained dark. It happens to be a 12" x 12" frame to fit scrapbooking sheets, but it perfectly fit an even number of corks and already had hanging hardware on the back! The setup: The huge chemistry book was to place on top while the wood glue dried. The cutting board and old knife were used to cut the half pieces at the end of each row.

I thought this would also make a nice place to put hot pots and dishes on the table, probably make some smaller ones in the future just to use as hot pads. I'm also interested in trying to dye some of the corks with fabric dye or colored stain to create a pattern and add some punch!