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1  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / LotR Stocking on: December 10, 2014 07:52:47 AM
I made this for the stocking swap and I am SO happy with how it turned out - especially since I had no idea what I was going to do for a fangirl stocking.

It is made of a brown cotton print with a kind of grunge texture print. It is lined and batted.


I found a drawing of the Tree of Gondor online and by ironing fusible webbing onto some white on white fabric, I was able to trace the drawing on there then carefully cut it out. I then used some DMC floss to do a stem stitch (Is that the right name?) around it for a cleaner outline.

The stars are a metallic floss.



The cuff of the stocking is a quote from LotR. I used a Middle Earthy looking font I had to create the pattern then traced it on and embroidered it.


I actually had a tough time sending this one out.. I wanted it for myself and also as a gift for a couple other LotR fans I know. Cheesy
2  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Star Wars pillow on: November 30, 2014 11:26:08 AM
I am so excited with how this turned out! It's for a friend for Christmas.... I'm a bit sad this is leaving to go to his house - but I know he'll like it Cheesy

I found a Star Wars font online and created the template, then cut them out and used a ruler for placement.


the back

A close up of the appliqued letters. I used a fusible webbing then secured the outside with my sewing machine.


I can't wait for him to open it!!!!
3  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / A quilt for my brother on: November 29, 2014 04:06:28 PM
I wanted to share the finished quilt I made for my brother for Christmas. While technically, this is just a patchwork quilt and not terribly ornate or difficult (other than working with really random poly knits) this as been the hardest quilt to work on and complete.

 Today marks the 16th anniversary of my grandmother passing and Monday marks the 15th year of my mothers passing. When she, my mother, died very suddenly, my brother and I were obviously devastated about it.  My brother saved some of her robes and had asked me to make a quilt for him.

At the time in addition to losing two of the most important women in my life, I was also going through my marriage falling apart, opening my craft store and taking over the liquor store we owned from my soon-to-be ex who had run it into the ground. Needless to say I just couldnt deal with tackling something so personal.

Fast forward through moves to a few different cities and states and suddenly 15 years had passed by.
Last year on Christmas day my brother had a stroke, then another one the next day. We opted to move him from Texas to Colorado so we could help him with his recovery. He has made amazing strides in healing this year and so I decided that this was the year I would finally open the box that held the fabric.

Many, many tears have been cried while making this. The fabric somehow still smells of my mom and seeing the fabrics brought back so many memories and made me miss her all the more. Anyway, since I cant go over and talk to my brother about any of this (its a surprise for Christmas!) I just had to let a little bit of pent up emotion out. Smiley It was still difficult to tackle even after all these years.

Here is to mom and hope that this blanket will be a comforting hug to my brother when he goes through his scary rough patches as his brain continues to repair itself.

Anyway, thanks for letting me vent Smiley

(technical details: the robes/housecoats were all velours and knits of unknown origin. I opted for a simple grey fleece backing and I tied it rather than continue fighting unstructured fabrics into a structured thing. I made the binding from the fleece backing and hand finished it. It's my first quilt other than a few baby quilts in years.. I had to get refreshers on a few things!)
4  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Homemade pasta on: August 20, 2014 08:42:41 PM
As my "new to me" challenge, I tackled something that has always intimidated me a little for some odd reason - pasta.

I had a pasta roller thing that I inherited from my dad's kitchen (or it may have been a wedding gift many eons ago - but that was another life I try to block from memory Wink )

Anyhoo.. I hopped over to The Kitchn http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-fresh-pasta-from-scratch-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-73435 for some guidance and dove in!

We start with the simple ingredients: eggs, flour, and salt.



I chose the food processor method since my hands sometimes give me drama when I mix by hand.


Then I kneaded and let that baby rest. Then divided into four balls.



Then smooshed those balls into patties and fed them through the roller bits.



After working each setting until the ball was a lovely thin sheet...


(action shot)



Then fed it through the pasta bits and BOOM! out come NOODLES!! (my friend lent a hand with the noodle magic making)


I (well....we) hung the pasta up to dry a bit as I made the rest of the dinner (chicken marsala if you are interested.. but I have made that before, so I don't count it in the challenge) There was some flour flying, hence the dusting on the noodles. heh



Here are my happy noodles boiling and ready to get saucy!



Ta-da!

I am so glad I finally tried this! Now of course, it will escalate since I am already thinking of angel hair, ravioli, twists, etc... I loved the flavor and texture of the fresh made noodles. I looked up a few more recipes to try that had variations in them.

Thanks for having this challenge! It's my first! Cheesy
5  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Party Planning / Frozen birthday on: August 09, 2014 03:30:00 PM
So I had the lovely chance to help my friend plan a surprise Elsa party for her granddaughter. We had a blast decorating (there may have been some wine) and the birthday girl was so excited about her party!
First, we decorated snowflake, castle, and crown cookies to put in the treat bags.

Then I found some white wedding scrapbook paper on a big sale and we made giant snowflakes to hang from the ceiling.

Next, we took tulle (which we found for cheap online by the bolt) and swagged it about the house, along with some twinkle lights. Our goal was to make it look like wispy snow.

Next came the treat/cake table. We draped it with a white cloth, some more tulle to make it look like snowdrifts, a few snowman decorations and mason jars filled with tulle and twinkle lights in a row.

The cake was a bundt cake with a hard-to-find Elsa doll wrapped in plastic so she wouldn't get frosting on her.

We had a great time decorating and the look on the little girl's face was priceless Cheesy
6  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / An old chair is now bright and fun! on: August 09, 2014 03:19:04 PM
This sad little chair was in my grandparent's house and needed some love. I have been hauling it and storing it for years even though you couldn't sit in it because the straps had just given up. So without a clue what I was doing, I decided to recover it.

it was stained, tearing, the wood was in dire need of some love.

There is no sitting on these!
So I carefully removed the fabric and used that as a pattern. I found this fun floral fabric on sale and picked up a bunch along with strapping and new staples for my staple gun. I also picked up a "strap stretcher" which, if you ever want to tackle a project like this, should be the first thing you get. Trust me.
Oh, and be sure to keep some sort of container to hold all the nails you will remove. OMG the nails! HUNDREDS of them.
Anyway, I found horsehair in the batting, a few spider webs (ick) and some very dirty fabric. I kept the springs because I didn't feel like tackling the knotting (when I re-do this bad boy again - and I know I will at some point - I will replace them). I stripped the old varnish off the wood and just re-sealed it since the wood was really beautiful without any new stain.
So, viola! Here is my newly recovered chair! I love it! There are some definitely places where I need to improve, but for my first recovering adventure, I am pleased as punch.

and the back...
7  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / The chandelier redone - again on: August 09, 2014 03:10:27 PM
So a few years ago, I was given this great chandelier that was in need of some love. At first, it was all bronze and a bit sad looking.

then I took it apart, rewired it to be a swag light (I was living in an apartment) and made it this fabulous magenta and orange light fixture.


Fast forward a few years and I am now in my first house in a new state and the magenta and orange didn't quite work with my new place (at least not in my dining room) and so back to the drawing board. Since I could hardwire it where the crappy fixture lived, I rewired it again, then primed it to cover over the bright colors and went with a silver this time.

Crystals needed a bath!

I love it! It goes perfectly in my new place and makes me smile. I still need to replace the socket covers and a few crystals, but most people don't even realize they are missing.. well, the crystals missing, the socket covers are pretty noticeable Cheesy

mmmmm sparkly!
8  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / tabletop meditation area on: October 29, 2009 08:40:38 AM
I completed this for a craft swap (eastern religions) and was really happy without it all turned out.

I started with two shadow boxes and painted them with a medium red, then drew on the Bodhi tree and Ohm symbol - then painted them with gold and bronze paints. The Bodhi tree is based on part of a Thai tapestry. The dots were made with q-tip in gold paint.

The mala is made from simple polished stone beads, the focus and guru beads a larger size... the Buddha was purchased in Chinatown.

(the flash made this more orangy then it is....)

9  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Travel caddy/tote/in-flight entertainment center on: October 22, 2009 08:26:36 PM
So I had no idea where to post this, but it is a project I made that carried things and held things on my recent European trip, so I am putting it in this area...

I made this bad boy to help keep me entertained and have all my "ohmigawd this is a long freakin flight and I am getting BORED" items in one place. I did a bit of googling and saw something like this on a travel site, but the one that I was keen on was not available yet.. and the one they did have in stock was just overkill.

They were also boring black.

I like black, but I am so tired of all travel items being either black, red or beige *yawn*

After analyzing what I like and disliked about what was out there, I decided to make up my own in-flight entertainment center based on what I like to bring with me on long flights....So here we go:

Here is it folded up.. it is a little bigger then a notebook (hold magazines easily)


Next we open it up....oooh! things to DO!!


There is a slot for my iPhone to watch movies at eye level, pocket for a paperback or other goodies, another little pocket for whatevah


Look! I can watch a movie at eye level.. and not have to hold it Cheesy


Here it is hanging on the back of the chair (pretend we are on a plane, I forgot to take pics of it in action on the flight. )


then open hanging on the chair in front of me.


there is a velcro loop to hang the headphones on. the bottom flap holds magazines and then folds up and secures out of the way so you can lower a tray table for dinner. There is another pocket behind the iPhone pocket that holds more magazines, etc. I also have another small pocket for the ipod.

I lined it with stiff interfacing to give it some body and extra stability, but not so much that this things can't be folded into a suitcase or carry on pocket. It is cotton and totally washable. Cheesy I made it to originally attach to the tray table when it is upright, but that was too low, so I placed it on the back of the seat in front of me instead. I was in coach on an older plane and there was not one of those screens on the back of the seat in front of me, so this did not cover any of the airline provided entertainment.

It totally made the 9+hour fight more comfy and entertaining.


10  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / cupcake purse on: September 23, 2008 08:25:36 PM
I made this for a swap... I kinda thought it up, made a muslin prototype.. and this is the finished project. The cupcake "cup" is quilted along the lines, there is batting inside between the lining and the outside. Inside, there are 2 pockets for phone, iPod, etc.. the top is a drawstring closure with button "sprinkles" and I quilted a cupcake on the bottom with her name. I think it turned out pretty cute!




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