Friday, December 24, 2010

Decorated Table

My friend Jo has been teaching some of her pals to knit and she surprised then with a luncheon to celebrate the holidays and their progress. Her is her yarn inspired tablescape. I love how festive the balls of yarn look alongside the mercury glass and china. Everyone had a marvelous time. Thanks for sharing Jo!

This moment -

Happy Christmas to you and yours and wishing you a very Merry and Safe New Year!

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Mermaidens

I've been in love with the book Wee Wonderfuls since I spotted it in several blog tours. A few weeks ago, one of the patterns was offered as a freebie on STC's blog so I decided to try my hand at making the mermaid. This is my first attempt and it was great fun. The pattern is quite clever in how the pieces go together as well as the sewing. The mermaid's body fits into the hair and fin, clever, huh? I've got two wee babes who'll be getting these as small tokens of my affection.

Friday, December 17, 2010

What's doin?

It's been a very busy few weeks since the excitement of the glitter houses. At school, we celebrated Christmas Around the World - J's focus? Brazil!

Then, we moved on to making Grandpa gifts. This was actually really fun although finding pinecones was a little tricky. Next year, I will plan ahead. It was also mess-ier than I remember but we did the craft before I cleaned the house. Yep, that's me, smart planning ahead.

We picked up our tree at Richardson's Tree farm, a lovely 8 footer... And, yes, we let J drag the tree out all by himself
I cured my curse of making toffee - 2 successful batches...

My mom and I took a class at Entwined in Grayslake with some of my quilt group; we made boxwood trees. Good times! More pictures here.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Glitter Houses

Somehow, I underestimated the amount of time that this project would take and, as a result, house construction took over the dining room table for over a week. Luckily, we weren't hosting Thanksgiving so the Village was able to stay a "work in progress." Directions can be found here.

For other crafting moms, my son enjoyed the following elements of this project (not necessarily in this order): ability to use exacto knife, the glue gun, and to my surprise, the actual decorating of the houses (with the glue gun.) In the photo below, we've emptied the cereal boxes (the small ones) and carefully opened them.

Applying the gesso.

Overall, we did one layer of gesso and two layers of paint.

The houses - under construction.

I bought various picks and other items at Michaels which we cut down to miniature to fit the houses. I can tell you, my favorite part was the actual house construction. It's pretty addictive.

We placed SnoTex on the roofs and around the homes and used decoupage to adhere the glitter - two kinds of Martha Stewart, the fine and the larger crystals.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Free Patterns!

In case your Christmas list has grown or, you still have an itch to make something for a special someone, check out the free patterns over at the STC Craft/Melanie Falick blog! I absolutely adore the Material Obsession 2 quilt - oh, its literally screaming my name. Maybe, that's what I will work on for the Baraboo quilt retreat.... hmmmm. I also love the Mermaiden and the Mulberry Hat - so many projects, so little time - ah, did someone say immortal?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Quilt Weekend - A Success!

This past weekend, my sister, mom and I hit the road. Destination - Quilt Weekend. My mom belongs to a quilt group in Antioch, Illinois ~ I belonged, once upon a time, before my life got out of control. Anyhoo, we met the quilt group (along with Aunt Sue) at a Girl Scout Camp in East Troy, WI. It was a little rustic but the accommodations were clean, spirits were high, and the food was delicious.

Turns out, I bought so much Ghastlie fabric that I was able to make one lap quilt, and the beginnings of two more! Whew! Our little group was juiced let me tell you - on Saturday, we sewed from 7:30 in the morning til 11:30 that night - with one small break to get coffee from the local McD's! Yes, we were focused - driven! Here's the first quilt ...

And, the second ...

Do you see what happened? I ran out of the gray! Argh. Lucky me, I managed to find some more fabric at Cia's Palette in Minnesota. It really took me some seriously intent searching to find the Manor fabric. The pattern that I used was Nan's Harvest from Thimbleberries. I love the pink flat piping and it wasn't hard to do at all.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Using Martha Stewart's glitter directions, my friend Jo took glitter one step further with glittered corn and gourds! The detail is a little hard to see in the first picture so be sure to click on it to see the details.

Jo is entertaining her ladies' literary society (yes, a bookgroup) - I'm sure the decos will put the group in the appropriate mindset. I should have asked her what they were reading....

Jo also shared this link with me - Inspired Ideas: The Christmas issue - I have to tell you, it is delightful, extraordinary, fun and flirty - one of the best ezines I've seen yet! I love the Village house craft - made with lots of glitter and small cereal boxes. I think this might be the craft for the Grandmas for Christmas. In fact, I've already started collecting cereal boxes and making my list of appropriate items for my neighborhood.... What do you think about tiny pearl clusters as snow covered bushes.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Got inspiration?

During the shopping travels of this weekend, my sister took me to visit Sew and Save in Racine, WI.
First, if you have a Viking sewing machine, they have the most attachments and tools for Vikings that I've ever seen in my life. Second, they are extremely nice about answering how-to questions - which in my book goes a long way. Here's some shots of what I found especially fascinating...

My sister loves this Christmas quilt, everyone should have a Christmas quilt but alas, my logic did not work on her and she didn't buy the kit. Hmmm, maybe an elf will make a whispered suggestion to Santa.

And, drum roll please, I bought some more Alexander Henry fabric for the quilting weekend, next weekend, yikes! (You would think that I had enough by now.) But, I have a plan - yes, I do. See that pattern below? Well, the fabric ladies were telling me that they had made a sample using my Halloween fabric with it. I have direction now folks. I can't tell you how happy that makes me especially since the quilt weekend is this weekend! Did I mention that already? I'll need to make the quilt a little longer and wider (for a lap quilt) but I don't think that will be much of a problem, I'll have to play around with it...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

More shopping?

Seems I've been shopping more than crafting lately! Friday went off with my sister - we hit Toys 'r Us and did some crafting shopping and antiquing. Then, off again to foil a friend and keep her out of her house while her hubby got ready for her surprise party. And, what a surprise it was! For your viewing enjoyment, some eye candy from two wonderful and very different stores.

Much of what is in this store is pricey, but the decorating, ideas, found objects, and new bling is so artfully displayed that its just fun to wonder around and look at everything. I loved these pumpkins!

In the opposite direction, is Embellished Heart in Kenosha, WI.
This place offered antiques outfitted in whimsical ways. Tucked in a smaller shop near the Kenosha News building, the proprietor was engaging, with a quick smile, and the items for sale - oh boy! There were two that I just wanted to scoop up - first, this divine buffet, so 20's! The second, a mirrored side table, under the smartypants tea kettle.

Trolling around, I found another blogger who discovered it - you might want to hop over to Kelle Dame and check her post out as well!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Road Trip

Saturday was errand day and since we were in the vicinity, the boys "allowed" me to go to a new knitting store - Fiddlehead Yarns in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

I absolutely fell in love with this print! The next time I go there, I must ask where they got this!

The classroom is just down these stairs, comfortable area, just right for sitting down and knitting for a spell.

This is one of the main areas of the store, chock full of goodies.

This kit was adorable but I'll have to wait for someone to have a baby ...

Friday, October 29, 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Amy's Creative Side - Blogger's Quilt Festival

The festival begins on October 29th over at Amy's Creative Side. Here's your chance to take part in the online quilt community! Below, is my favorite summer quilt, well, actually my only summer quilt that I finished this summer. This is my new summer quilt on my newly installed clothesline which if you notice, is not really a traditional clothesline but rather a wanna-be variety - we wanted to see if the neighbors would complain. (They didn't, hurray!)

My quilt looked wonderful hanging out int he sunshine awaiting its photographic record. Then, BLAM! A not so innocent bird flew by, and you guessed it, did the nasty on my quilt! Disgusting to say the least.

Now, my quilt is broken in. This is my freshly laundered quilt, yep, I had to try again.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


And, here it is - finished! If only I knew where I was going to put it. It's currently residing where my ironing board sits in the sewing room. What a quandary - hah! I need to find a spot for it. I'm totally in love with the color and the process - such fun!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Painting a la Freckled Laundry style

Remember the paint project I started after seeing Freckled Laundry's piece, in the last post? Well, here it is in progress and let me tell you - it was addictive. After I finished playing with this piece, I actually poked around the house to see what else I could paint. Lucky for Mr. Undead, I didn't find anything but there's always Craig's List.

Here is the piece after I finished the base coat. The darker color that you see here is the first part of the darker glazing. I loved how distressed it made the piece during application.

Here is the piece after it has had the medium and dark glazing applied.

And, here is the piece after I've completed all coats. Tomorrow, I hope to get the doors back on along with the knobs. Stay tuned!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Painting project

At the end of the day - dishes done, laundry churning, the boy put to bed and all the other tasks done or put off to the next day (ahem), I either amuse myself by knitting or trolling through blogs. I admit it, I'm quite enraptured with blogs and have been reading many for several years.

Two weeks ago, I discovered Freckled Laundry. The author, Jami, has a paint technique that I've been mulling over and decided to duplicate. Her instructions are here. I didn't know it but Restoration Hardware has a line of zinc furniture which Jami had been envying. Having a good old fashioned obsessive craft nature, she duplicated the finish!

I just happened to have this cabinet laying around waiting for some attention. Originally, I had wanted to strip it down to its pine state. I quickly changed my mind once I saw Jami's tutorial. This weekend, I sanded the cabinet as much as possible and primed this morning. Now, I'm tracking down the supplies and hope to paint this weekend once I've got everything. Don't forget to check back for progress....

Thursday, September 30, 2010


My mom and I bought two huge bunches of corn stalks and made these this weekend! I love them - cost $5 for one wreath. We followed Chickens in the Road's instructions.

Tips? I think I would use floral wire next time as you really had to keep the string/twin taught. You can see that my wreath, above, is a little lopsided on the right. Next time, I would intersperse the corn husks with the dried corn leaves to create a more even texture. Still, I love how it looks. Maybe, I'll do a little more "fluffing."

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


There were so many things I wanted to buy at the antique/flea market - but this is what came home with me!
  • Vintage, 1970s retro AM/FM radio that works!
  • Lovely crocheted edged, sunny yellow pillowcases
  • linen table runner
  • black curio cabinet (going to my sister)
  • pottery vase, autumnal yellow
  • one very large wooden candlestick (not pictured)
What did I want to buy? Well, I was looking for a library table and did find two. The first one was too much $$$$ for my pocketbook; I debated for a half hour or so and did go back. Luckily for me, someone else purchased it in the meantime. No biggie - I'll just keep looking.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Antique/Flea Market (long post)

Today was the last weekend of the season for the Elkhorn antique & flea market. It runs three times during the summer and fall and it is, in my opinion, one of the best markets. Not only do you have antiques and vintage goodies, but you also have vegetable stalls, and arts & crafts as well. It was pretty cold this morning - I neglected to take my gloves but the vendors were in high spirits and I had a great time!

I love these dishes.

What was my goal? I was actually looking for a table for the living room. This one looked interesting.

This serger makes mine look like a youngster.

This is the lovely stall of Tattered Tiques - a jazzy pair of ladies with a wonderful designer's touch. I absolutely swooned for these chairs with flour sack upholstery.

I loved these tags with the chocolate ribbon...

This staller had the most interesting collection of vintage kitchen ware - she had a lovely cake carrier that I was dying to purchase. She ran out of business cards but her store is: The Cottage in Coal Valley, IL. 309-799-3025. She said a road trip is totally worth the trip as she has an entire room dedicated to this type of retro-ware! Maybe I can talk my sister in going?

This lovely artist was at Kane County but I wasn't able to capture her artwork. She has amazing talent; here's her link.

My mother loves barn quilts - took this picture for her.

This is one item that I hauled home for my sister (who was in St. Louis for the weekend.) The women were wonderful at "Good Finds" they kept this purchase and all my others since I mistakenly did not bring my cart! What was I thinking? The Good Finds stall has an abundance of toile bulletin boards, black and white painted furniture and other beautiful things.

Two lovely gentlemen selling reclaimed, gorgeously made cabinets, check here for their shop. I love the dental molding on this one.

Halloween arts & crafts were sprinkled amongst the antiques - isn't he a witty, dapper man?

I wanted to scoop up a few of these tender little shoes.

Stay tuned for what did come home with me....


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