Saturday, April 18, 2015

Doodling -- This Time With Fabric and Thread

Fabric and thread looks much nicer than notebook paper and ballpoint pen, doesn't it? 

I think my next hurdle -- or the one beyond getting my curves and corners and shapes right -- will be adjusting my speed so I don't get these microscopic stitches.

Style Me Vintage: Home

Style Me Vintage: Home by Keeley Harris is a decade by decade guide to period home furnishings. I didn't realize at first that it was originally published in the United Kingdom, so some of the trends and styles are a bit different from what I'm familiar with.

Our house was build in 1920 and, while I'm not trying to make it what it was back then (I'm not even sure which rooms are original and which were added on later), I've been trying to get a feel for what it originally might have been and what it was through the years between then and now. This book gave me lots of great ideas.

Disclosure - the publisher provided me with an ARC.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Let's Make Baby Quilts! {4/17/15}

Look at the adorable baby quilt that Terri from UFOs & UBIs made for her grand-niece from dressmaking scraps and bits of lace and trim. I'm seriously loving the lace between the blocks.

Let's Make Baby Quilts Linky Party Rules: 
Link directly to your post or specific Flickr photo. Your post can be about a baby quilt that's finished, or in progress, or you can be writing about what you have planned,  as long as it's about baby quilts. You're welcome to link to baby quilt posts that aren't brand new, but please don't submit the same post or picture more than once. I'd love it if you linked back to my site, either with a text link or the Let's Make Baby Quilts! button.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Felted Shampoo Bar

For the past couple of weeks, Teenage Daughter has been using a fancy shampoo bar she bought at Lush. So far she's liking it, but the bar has started to crumble a bit and she was looking for the best way  to make it last as long as possible.

One of the first projects I made after I started this blog was a felted bar of soap. For that one, I think I used roving, but it was easier to send her out to the sewing room to find me anything that would felt.

"Anything" turned out to be some black Lopi. (I think she was being careful not to pick anything important.

I slid my current project to the center of its long circular needle and used the end to make a garter stitch rectangle just big enough to encase the shampoo bar. I suppose I could have moved the tips to a shorter cable, but that didn't occur to me until I was typing this.

It's not the most photogenic project, but it'll do the job and my child is happy.

This post is linked to Tatertots and Jello, Finish it Up Friday, I Heart Naptime,

Estate Sale Temptations

One of the things I love about estate sales is the chance to re-buy lost bits of my childhood.....or the neat toys that friends had and that you always secretly envied. At this sale, I had my choice of the Fisher Price Tudor House, the Airport, the Parking Garage, the same barn I had as a kid, and Main Street.

I still haven't outgrown the original Little People, but resisting the temptation was easy enough.

The price made put this 50s era toy box in the "fun to look at but not for me" category. I'd never seen one like it, so I came home and Googled. It's made by Pearl Wick, the same company that made the wonderful old hamper in Teenage Daughter's room. (Thanks to Pinterest for helping me figure that out!)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

{Guest Post} Quickie Bookmarks by Amanda Lee

Today I'm happy to have a guest post by Gayle Trent/Amanda Lee, author of Wicked Stitch, the latest book in the Embroidery Mystery Series. 

For most small-business owners in Tallulah Falls, the upcoming Renaissance Faire is a wonderful way to promote their specialty shops. For Marcy’s nemesis, Nellie, and her sister, Clara, it’s an opportunity to finally put Marcy and her shop, the Seven-Year Stitch, out of business. Apparently the sisters like to make grudges a family affair and have set up competing booths right next to Marcy’s at the Ren Faire.

When Clara is discovered dead in her own booth—strangled by the scarf she had almost finished knitting—Marcy becomes the prime suspect. Now she has to do whatever it takes to keep her reputation from unraveling—and get to the bottom of a most deadly yarn....

This is the second book I've read in the series and I was intrigued to see more of the conflict between Marcy and Nellie. (I'm going to have to go get the first book to  find out how it all started!) The Renaissance Faire provides an interesting backdrop to the murder and investigation, with lots of interest potential suspects wandering around. I'll definitely be reading more of the Embroidery Mysteries. 

Quickie Bookmarks
by Amanda Lee

Ooops! Your event (book signing, birthday party, school event) is tomorrow, and you haven’t got any takeaways. Run by your local craft store and get some bookmarks with a clear window at the top. The bookmarks I used open, so you can put your sticker or photograph between the two sides of the bookmark. 

Since I write the embroidery mystery series, I could have theoretically made some small cross-stitch or blackwork project (in keeping with the Renaissance Faire theme of Wicked Stitch) and secured that in place and made some really snazzy bookmarks. But, alas, we don’t have time. Stitching—even small projects—generally takes a bit more planning and time, and this post is for those times when you’ve forgotten something at the last minute. Not that I’ve ever done that, mind you. Not that I’ve ever gone by the grocery store on the way to drop the kiddies off at school because I forgot that the school bake sale or the party or the “snack” (since they’re only allowed so many “parties” per year) was that day! 

But, just in case something like that does ever happen to one of us, here is a quick and easy craft to help save the day.

So you have your bookmarks—check. Now we need full-sized (8 ½ x 11) white sticker pages. You can get these at the grocery store or at an office supply store. Then insert the photo you’d like to use on your bookmark. This can be a little tricky. The bookmark packaging will tell you the size of the opening, but then you have to make sure your photo is neither too big nor too small. I wound up making mine a bit larger than I should have, but I decided I’d rather sacrifice the author name and have the title and the rest of the book cover big enough for people to see it clearly. Besides, if I’m an author and am giving you a bookmark featuring a book, it’s a safe bet that I wrote the book.

Finally, use another sheet of the full-size sticker paper to make a tag line for the bookmark. Look at all that prime real estate in the almost-finished photo above just going to waste! I added the tag line: Murderers can be crafty! And I finished up with my website address. Now anyone with one of these bookmarks can get a general idea what the book is about and where to find more information about it online.

If the event for which you need a bookmark is a school book fair or a child’s birthday party, simply tailor your design to suit the occasion. 

Happy crafting!

Gayle Trent (writing as Amanda Lee) writes the embroidery mystery series. Gayle/Amanda lives in Virginia when she’s not inhabiting the fictional world of Tallulah Falls. You can  find her online at 

This post is part of the author's blog tour with Great Escapes Book Tours and there's a giveaway for copies of Wicked Stitch that you can enter by heading over to the Rafflecopter Giveaway.

{Yarn Along} With Vics You Get Eggroll

This (Owlie Socks by Julie Elswick Suchomel, a free Ravelry download) is the most intricate and complicated knitting I've done in years -- and now I get to do the whole thing over again because socks come in pairs.  I'm feeling less than motivated because I guessed wrong on the sizing and these are going to wind up on Teenage Daughter's feet, not my own.

Diane Vallere's Mad for Mod mystery series is a lot of fun. With Vics You Get Eggroll is the latest book featuring Madison Night, an interior decorator who models her life after Doris Day movies. The book opens with a police chase and doesn't slow much after that. It had been a while since I watched a Doris Day movie, but I caught the last few minutes of one on TV not long before reading this book. Having the real thing fresh in my mind definitely added to the experience.

I'd recommend starting this series with the first book. I read the first two out of order and got thoroughly confused. Madison is changing and her relationships are developing. There's one romantic scene in this book that absolutely melted my heart and guarantees I'll be watching for the next one. (That Touch of Ink, the second book in the series, is available as a Kindle download right now for ninety-nine cents. Amazon prices change fast, so make sure to check before clicking the purchase button.)

For more pretty knitting projects to drool over, check out On the Needles at Patchwork Times.

 Disclosure - The publisher provided me with an ARC. 
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