Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I have finally gotten around to cleaning up my various craftiness-strewn messes around the house, and have a few pics to share of a couple recent projects. The dawn of my new camera is literally on the horizon, so hopefully I don't have to torture you wonderful readers much longer with my less-than-adequate photography.
Here is my little bunny, made from Jennifer Murphy's instructions on Martha's website. I hope they have her on the show much more often because her critters are so adorable! Of course, my little creation isn't perfect (1st try, and all), and never nearly as cute as the real-deal. I have spoken to her a couple of times via email, and she just seems like a super nice, down-to-earth kind of craftista. Check out her website for more about her, plus links to Martha's site for the instructions/videos of her 2 segments on the show:
Here is a pic of my little pom-pom bunny riding my new, wonderful brass grasshopper. For a grasshopper, he moves pretty slow. Maybe he is a cricket? My 4 year old thinks so!
I got a couple of comments from my last post re: the quilling. The poster who left the link to her website should definitely be commended, because there is some really useful info there! I just decided to sit down one night and just start, already! A new episode of "Deadliest Catch" was on, hubby was finishing painting my kitchen, and it just seemed the right thing to do. Verdict: If you haven't tried quilling, just try it! For about $5 at Hobby Lobby, you can buy a kit ($2.25) and a slotted tool ($3) to roll the paper, plus some good craft glue and tweezer are pretty essential. It really isn't hard at all, and the Lake City Craft Co. stuff has really good directions and diagrams. It is a bit time-consuming (probably cuz I am a beginner), but the results are really amazing.

I will probably tackle this project in more depth when I have more time... when might that be, perhaps?

I shall be back with some pics of some wonderful yard sale finds from this past weekend!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Many days, many projects

Wow, I didn't realize it had been so many days since I posted something. I guess the summer-time thing just keeps us so busy! I have several partially finished projects, such as the quilling I mentioned earlier, and a pom-pom bunny from the Jennifer Murphy segment on Martha last year. I am going to use the rest of the day to rest (being Sunday and all), but I will be back tomorrow of some pics of my in-progress craftiness!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Not a lot of nothing today

Today was spent walking to the park with the girls, cooking, cleaning... all of those lovely domestic activities. I have a rug project in mind that came to me via Martha's "Craft of the Day" a while back...but with hubby working around 70+ hours each week, I can't get the help that I need with stretching the duck canvas over wood and stapling it so that I can paint on it. More about that later, when the project at least gets STARTED!

I was pleasantly surprised today when I checked out Sublime Stitching's blog and saw some very familiar looking stitched-projects! Somehow, Jessica found my blog and posted my pics of the Black Apple wall hangings I made! I was filled with a bag-full of warm fuzzies ♥↓♥ I was really thrilled because my blog is sooo new, and I really enjoy doing it. My goal is some real interaction with my readers (oh yah, and to get MANY more regular readers), and I hope people continue to come back here and read and POST! Anyway, here is the link to the blog...

One quick craft-related topic... a while back, I was introduced to the topic of paper quilling via a segment on my girl Martha's show. Intrigued, I went to the website that seems to be the main distributor of materials, tools, kits, etc. Lake City Craft Co. ( ). There is a lot of cool kits, and basically it is just rolling thin strips of paper up very tightly to make shapes. Then the shapes are put together to make pictures. Hobby Lobby is now carrying their supplies, and I bought a little kit for around $3 to start with. Here is a pic from their website of the kit I bought... lets see how mine turns out! I will let you know how hard it is.
ps... Good luck to Emily of the Black Apple in her pending move to Portland! I will surely miss her wonderful blog as she readies for the big day, but I am sure all of us "Applets" can't wait to see what kind of stuff she will be involved in once she moves!


Monday, July 21, 2008

Found Treasures

I am super excited to post about some of the golden treasures I found this weekend while rummaging through other people's belongs via a yard sale and an auction. I normally don't ever do auctions because they are much too long/hot/things go too high. BUT... my mom wanted to bid on some furniture, so I went with her. Unfortunately, a 500-ish lb. man decided to perch on the sofa she wanted for the duration of the 5 hour auction in an un-air-conditioned room... so it was probably a blessing that it sold for more than we thought it was worth. Yuck-O! Regardless, I found a sweet little brass grasshopper that I was able to make mine, for the low-low price of $2.50! First time I ever bid at an auction, and I was so nervous!!

I found a yard sale that was being put on by some retired antique dealers from Pennsylvania. They had a little wooden box FULL of antique postcards, and though I usually don't look through this sort of thing, but the top one had a peculiar-looking gnome on it. Lately, gnomes have kind of been my thing. I had to have it, and searched through looking for other fabulous finds. SO... I bought about 14 postcards between a trip Friday and then a trip back on Saturday. They literally had over 100, and all of the postmarks were from around 1909-1914. She wanted $1 for them, but offered me a deal since I am just so unhumanly cute (or something). Anyway, I got all 14 for like $8. I am not sure what to do with them, but they are just lovely and so detailed! I might frame them.

This little guy reminds me of a Jennifer Murphy creation! The background is a pretty brushed-gold, which isn't really seen in the scan. Postmarked 1910.

This one is quite pretty, with the gold accents. And the 4-leaf clovers are so green with very detailed leaves. This one is postmarked 1909.

I think this one is so sweet! I guess rabbits playing trumpets are responsible for the world's egg-hatching.

My absolute favorite! I suppose the only the in the world that can interrupt a reading-gnome is a rabbit bearing gifts :-)


Friday, July 18, 2008

Giant Green Goodness...Mmmm

I would dare to say that my favorite food in the world is zucchini. I have very fond memories of a skillet casserole my grandma used to make for me that centered around this plump, green squash. Lately, I have been using the first small zuke's to make a shred for my favorite summer lunch, zucchini pancakes. They are also called fritters, if you make them smaller. Regardless, they compromise a tasty, filling lunch... with plenty of ketchup for dipping :-) The girls love them, also, which is a VERY good thing.

Zucchini Pancakes

(recipe makes about 4 4-inch pancakes, enough for a very filling lunch for 1-2).

Shred up 1 cup of zucchini. For a little extra savory flavor, shred a few tablespoons of onion in, as well. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt (or to taste), and let sit for a few moments so that the zucchini starts to give up some of its liquid.

Next, add 2 1/2 tablespoons baking mix, 1 egg, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, and pepper (to taste). Mix into a nice batter. For a little extra crunch, you can add a little corn meal to the batter, as well.

Heat a nonstick skillet and spray with Pam. Spoon the batter into mounds (as big as you like), and flatten them out so that they will cook evenly. At this point, I like to sprinkle the top with cornmeal because I like that extra body and crunch. Cook for several minutes, and when they start to puff up a little and the bottom is browned, flip and finish cooking.

Delicious! Make them smaller, and they are a good side dish, as well.

More Adorable-ness!

Blog-reader Jenn sent me some pictures of a tea-towel she has completed with the Sublime Stitching Black Apple patterns. How cute! I like how she used the house patterns, which I haven't used yet. I really enjoy seeing other people's take on the same pattern, with different choices of color, pattern placement, etc. Great job, Jenn, and thanks for sharing!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Rit to Dye

As I briefly mentioned last night, I have been working my my first dye experiment. I love my body pillow on my bed, which is useful in so many ways. Works great as a double-pillow while reading, and it was a necessity when I was pregnant and trying to find a position to get some sleep in (between 10 trips to the potty). I just wanted a nicer looking pillowcase for it... it deserved it after the abuse I put it through.

A while back I bought a couple of body pillowcases for under $2 at a going-out-of-business sale. One was white, the other a blueish color. I tried the blue, but it just didn't work... reminded me too much of surgical scrub material. So I thought what the heck! Let's give this dye thing a try!

I decided to bleach the material in a bucket of bleach water, then use the pretty teal-colored Rit that I bought. After a long, and somewhat messy process, I was finished. The results:

Yuck-O! Worse than when I started!! Washed out, fady/dingy blue :P What happened to the pretty teal?? (In hindsight, I should have just dyed the white pillowcase...but I was saving it for another use). My error was that instead of bleaching, I should have bought the Rit stuff that removes the old dye from the fabric. Lesson learned.

So... a trip to Wal-Mart and a bottle of deep chocolate brown Rit produced something much more aesthetically pleasing:
I suppose you could say that the long-pillow is not the centerpiece of the bed, but the under-appriciated workhorse of comfortable lounging. I think the velvety chocolate brown makes a nice backdrop for my favorite satin embroidered pillow.
Next on the list: easy faux bois throw pillows!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Bird Brains are Classy

Well, I am too tired to write much right now, after a long grocery-shopping experience in the evening hours. I did a dye project today, which I will write more about tomorrow.

I will leave you with some images from a really cool etsy shop Berkeley Illustration: http://http// They have tons of adorable head-shot prints of life-like animals dressed in very prim and proper attire. I am smitten with the Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal set, which would be perfect framed and set on our respective bedside tables... considering hub is such an STL fan and all. Regardless, he will more than likely receive these as a gift at some point ;-)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Chock Full 'o' Adorable

Ahhh... all done. My sweet 'n' sassy stitching project is completed, except finding some coordinating ribbon to hang them with. The hubbinator is playing softball in Quincy tonight, so it sounds like I get a chance to make a craft-run! Woo-hoo :-)

Here are some pics of the completed project(s). Please try to ignore the awful picture quality (which is probably what is killing me on etsy, from my peer critiques). I am counting the days until I can get the new Sony HDNA camera... I am hoping you don't have to be a great photographer if you have 14.5 megapix, right? ;-)

This is the largest of the 4, and my favorite. Sam looks wistfully at Sophie,
as she haughtily stands on her pedestal of books,
with potential love-birds fluttering about.

The crest of the "Little Ghostie Who (Thought He) Could".
You gotta love those tiny little teeth!

Hedgie waves "Bonjour!" as he walks through the forest of one tree.
I am still contemplating whether I should fill in the beret with red, or just leave it outlined. What do you think?

Who DOESN'T love Creeping Bunny...
especially as he creeps up to nap your mug of hot tea!

All together!
(Did I mention I need a new camera?)

What a fun project. These were my experiment, and now I can't wait to embellish clothing, etc. with the cute little critters. Check out for these from Emily Martin and many other awesome patterns. I think the Julie West patterns are next on my list.
If anyone out there is also working on the Black Apple patterns (or any other SS pattern), email me a picture of your project. I would ♥♥♥ to see what other combos other crafty minds have thunk up...I will post the pics on my blog!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Saw Martha Stewart at Wal-Mart

Okay... big let-down from the title. I didn't ACTUALLY see Martha. But I am totally excited that Wal-Mart is now carrying a nice size collection of the Martha Stewart craft line! WOOT!!! Living in Smalltown, USA, I don't have access to Michael's, etc. I am not 100% sure it is the same stuff sold at Michael's, but I think it is. It is really nice quality, beautiful stuff. The scrapbook paper and stickers/embellishments are really classy... as opposed to being cheap and childish-looking. The price is a little higher than I usually like to pay, but at Wal-Mart everything goes on sale... eventually :-)

Anyway, the stuff is on, too. These glittered bird stickers just kill me.

On another note, I finished up my embroidery project today! Double WOOT! I painted and crackle-finished some hoops to hang them in. After I am certain that they are completely dry, I will get them all dandy-ed up and take a photo. I can't wait to see the cluster of them together, 4 in all. Fed up with the washed-out, pale blue color of my bedroom, I have decided to paint it the same LOVELY aqua color of the kitchen, which is my new fav. On the only untextured wall, I am going to do a faux bois finish. Then I can start hanging up all of my lovely Black Apple stuff. That way, it will be the first and last thing I see each day!
Until later ♥

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Embroidery fun!

Well, a case of cabin fever set in on Friday, and I had to get out of the all cost. So with bratty girls in tow, I made the hour trek to Burlington to get my Jo-Ann/Hobby Lobby fix. Oh my, I feel so much better!

With anticipation of my new Sublime Stitching patterns arriving, I stocked up on embroidery floss. I also bought one of those Clover embroidery tools, among other things ;-) I packed us a lunch to take along... I didn't want to mess with fast food, plus not buying lunch would mean more $ for crafts! The one thing I couldn't find was glass teddy bear eyes for my felting creatures. Oh well, I suppose seed beads will have to do.

Happiness and joy flooded me as I opened my mailbox when we got home, and there were my delightful Black Apple series embroidery patterns! I hadn't used iron-on patterns before, so that took a bit of getting used to, but well worth it! I will post a pic when I finish my grouping. Here is the sample of some of the patterns from Sublime Stitching's site:

Embroidery is so much fun! I always confused embroidery with cross-stitch, which is too monotonous for me. Embroidering is also mindlessly relaxing, and I enjoy having free-reign to pick which colors and stitch styles I use.

HOWEVER...that elusive French knot always wonks me up. I read and follow the directions, but the knot just doesn't form. Well, I found a wonderful series of tutorials on YouTube, and SEEING it done is so much simpler for me. I will have to give it a try once the gumballs are in bed. These videos by "Make it Mine" are great, simple, easy to understand.. and SHORT!