Crafting, Keepin' it in the Family

I come from a pretty crafty family. My parents are both former elementary school teachers that ooze creativity. Dad tinkers with all kinds of crafty projects and my Mom is a great artist. My paternal Grandma was an avid crocheter and my Aunt Cheri is an awesome knitter! My cousin Carrie creates amazing quilts, by hand!! I like to think it's in our blood :).

Today, I want to brag about my crafty Uncle Jim and show off the wonderful handmade gift he gave Jake and I for a housewarming present.

Uncle Jim took up wood working several years ago and has become a master with the lathe. Over the years, he's made me all kinds of awesome gifts including; bracelets, wine stoppers, pens and even a duck call! His latest creation is my personal favorite, salt and pepper grinders! Aren't they lovely?

The wood grain is just so beautiful. I wish I could remember what type he told me it was.

The tops incorporate some other fancy wood so you can tell the salt from the pepper.

Thank you, Uncle Jim! We love our handmade gift.

Hopefully I'll have a chance to feature the crafty work of some of my other family members soon.

Thanks for dropping by. Have a great week!

DIY Matchbox Greetings

Hi Friends! TGIF!! This has been a heck of a week at the day job. I'm so excited for the upcoming weekend. I plan to do nothing but craft and cuddle with Jake and the puppies.

I'll be sharing some new projects soon! In the meantime, pop on over to The Lovely Cupboard and check out my latest contributing post for DIY Matchbox Greetings.

Matchbox Coinkidink

My friend Leslie, from Leslie's Art and Sew, recently sent me two of the adorable felt heart scissor fobs  she made as part of her goal to sew a heart every day for a full year.

I wanted to send her a little thank you gift so I put together this matchbox. I covered it in an old book page, decorated it with paper and a stamped label and then glued on a teeny paper clay house (more on that later).

The inside contains a special note that completes the message!

Leslie and I both like making felt badges so I tried to make the heart look like a miniature badge. It's two pieces of felt stitched together with 1 strand of embroidery floss.

The little house on the front was made out of paper clay. I've only just started experimenting with paper clay but it's really fun to work with! I've sculpted and painted a whole pile of little houses.

So what's the whole coinciding about?? Well, I was browsing Leslie's 365 Sewn Hearts blog yesterday (before she had received my little gift) and saw that she had just made a matchbox too! Not just any matchbox though, it was one covered in book pages and filled with a heart, just like the one I had made for her! What are the chances?!

Check out the adorable matchbox she made below. She also posted about this fun coincidence on her blog! Pop by and read her side of the story.

Leslie and I are going to be doing a blog swap next month that I'm super excited about so stay tuned for that!

Thanks for the fun mini swap, Leslie!

Big Ideas Journal

If you ask me, you can never have too many journals! You just don't know when a great idea is going to hit so I keep one in every room, in each of my hand bags and in both of our cars to make sure I'm prepared.

I was recently doing some sketching and came up with an idea to make an idea journal! This little project was the result.

I really like Moleskine notebooks. Their plain covers make great canvases for decorating and crafting. For this one, I stitched a light bulb using felt and embroidery floss. I glued it to the cover along with the "big ideas" label that I stamped with my alphabet stamps.

Now I'm ready to start filling it with ideas for new projects!

Thanks for dropping by. Have a great week.

The Meetup Pillow

I was recently lucky enough to meet up with some of my crafty cyber friends in real life!

At my first meet up, I connected with a fellow Craftster moderator and her friend from quilting guild. We spent a couple of days crafting, laughing, watching olympics, eating and drinking a glass of wine... or seven. They are both very talented quilters so I tried to suck up as much of their seamstress knowledge as I could.

They taught me a neat technique for piecing blocks that I used to create this patchwork pillow.

I started by sewing the reddish-orange block not knowing what it would eventually become. I just wanted to practice and use up some of my scrap hoard.

Shortly after I finished, I started brainstorming a project for my next meet up with Seattle area Craftster members. I decided that the I should turn my practice block into a pillow!

Since I hadn't originally planned for the block to become a pillow, the size wasn't quite right for the rectangular form I had on hand. No problem! I just created another small block in contrasting colors to fill in the extra space.

I used linen to connect the dots and this is the result!

I finished the back with a couple strips of fabric for an extra pop.

It's not perfect by any means but I'm happy that I finished a sewing project with minimal cussing!

The pillow was given away as part of a Yankee swap we did at our meet up. It was so much fun and we've all agreed that another meet up is in order very soon!

Toilet Paper Roll Printing Tutorial

I've been wanting to experiment with printing lately so when I saw this pin for creating DIY art using canvas and a toilet paper roll, I knew I had to try it on fabric!

This knitting bag is the final result of my first fabric printing project.

Making the fabric was so easy and fun! Here's what you need to do to create your own!

Gather supplies; fabric (I used linen but quilting cotton would work just fine too), fabric paint and an old toilet paper or paper towel roll. You'll also need something to put under your fabric so that your paint doesn't bleed onto your table. Newspaper or posterboard would work well.

Pour your paint into a flat dish or saucer so that you can easily and evenly coat the bottom of your TP roll. Now just start dipping and stamping in rows! I tried to keep things straight but I think a bit of wonkiness just adds more personality so I wasn't too precise.

Keep stamping until you've covered the length of fabric you need for your finished project. I stamped for about half a yard.

The next step is the hardest. Wait patiently while it dries :). Check the label of the paint you're using for drying times. Plan on waiting ~4 hours before working with the fabric and 3 days before washing it.

I made a very simple lined tote with my fabric. It's a nice size for books or knitting projects and I'm proud that I can say I printed it myself!

I'm now seeing all kinds of other household items that would be great for printing with. I'm excited to try more designs soon.

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you have a great week.