Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Quick Fix For Supper

Doesn't that look yummy?

Tonight I needed a quick supper as I was in the middle of more than one sewing project and I wanted to keep working on them. This is what I whipped up for dinner, tossed with some pasta and though it only took minutes, it was so YUMMY!

I have learned that anything sauteed in olive oil and garlic ends up tasting delicious. So, that's what I did!

I threw some chopped garlic into olive oil. Then I added jumbo shrimp and fresh asparagus. When the asparagus was partially cooked (I like my veggies tender-crisp)  I added some fresh chopped tomato, parsley black pepper. It smelled so good while it was cooking!!! Once it was cooked, I served up some pasta and topped it with the shrimp and veggies. We enjoyed it!

Then as soon as I cleaned up the kitchen I went back to my sewing. I finally found the nerve to cut into some linen to create one of my vintage inspired heart pillows.

I used the blue and ivory linen placemat that you see in the photo above. I decided it was okay to cut up because there were some tiny stains and tears in the linen that could easily be worked around. I was very pleased with the fruits of my labor and I do believe this is my new favorite of the little vintage pillows I have sewn. It is very sweet!

New item in my ETSY shop......

I stitched the little quilt patch and the various vintage laces onto the heart, stamped the sentiment onto some painter's canvas and stitched, sewed the front and back(which is an ivory muslin) together and turned right side out. Then I stuffed the pillow.  It was coming together nicely. Next I tore the strips for the bow.

At this point I took my heart pillow into the living room to sew on some buttons. I turned on the TV to watch some news while I was sewing. The blue you see in the photo above and below is actually my knees and I am wearing blue jeans. My jeans frame the heart pillow rather nicely!

I stitched on some buttons here and there.....

I still have enough of the placemat to make another pillow and so I shall......but right now I have to finish a custom cherub before I turn in for the night. She will be wearing a white eyelet dress and I look forward to embellishing her. 

Nighty night, don't let the bedbugs bite! :)

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Afternoon Project--Sew Fun, Sew Easy, Sew Sweet

On Friday I was sorting through my stash of fabric looking for a couple of  prints that would coordinate nicely for some hot mats that I wanted to stitch up for a birthday gift. I found this floral print chintz (stamped Bloomcraft 1987) and this small rose, floral print that I thought would be just perfect for my late afternoon sewing project. 

First, I made these two large hot mats. I liked these two fabrics 
   even more after they were sewn together. Finished, each block is about 9" square (6 1/2 " floral square with an 1 1/2" border.) They are top-stitched and the block is also stitched in the ditch.

Front and back views....(not ironed yet)

Then I decided to make a set of four mug mats to match the hot mats. The fabric has many little blocks of these sweet little floral designs so I wanted to include as many of the flowers as possible in my project. I top-stitched these as well.

Here are all four.....the florals are so pretty. There are additional flowers on the back of each mug mat as well but I forgot to photograph them.

They all look so pretty together.

I tied up the mug mats with a strip torn from the rose fabric. Perfect little touch!

This was a fun, easy project and it took less than two hours to create. I love the vintage fabrics and it was perfectly blocked for making the smaller mug mats. The main fabric is even stamped as stain resistant.

Oops! I almost forgot the gift enclosure card!

For the card I used some kraft cardstock and a block of the fabric. I stitched the fabric onto the cardstock using a zigzag stitch and for a final touch I attached a torn strip of the rose fabric through a hole made with a round paper punch.

It makes a pretty cute ensemble.....

I am happy that I have so much of this floral print left over. After seeing how cute they look all completed, I have to make a couple more sets for gifts!

UPDATE:  4/27/2015

I stitched up the second hot mat gift set this afternoon. The set looks very similar with the exception of the border on the larger pair of hot mats. Also, I did not top stitch the borders because I used a bulkier batting between the layers and did not want to bind up my sewing machine trying to go over the extra thickness.

Larger hot mats

Front side of mug mats

Back side of mug mats

Hot mats, mug mats and gift enclosure card.

The second set went together more quickly and I enjoyed sewing it as much as the first! 

Linking this post up to:

Cozy Little House: Tweak it Tuesday #139

The Enchanting Rose

My Salvaged Treasures

Monday, April 20, 2015

A Bird in the Hand.....

It's been a rainy day today so I thought it would be a great day to work on my bird project. I have been thinking about creating bird ornaments out of an assortments of fabrics. I tried drawing a pattern but couldn't quite arrive at that preconceived notion in my head. So I asked my friend Debbie, (who is very artsy) to draw me a bird. She drew me several!

I love this one! It's exactly the bird I have been trying to draw myself. It's cute! It is traditional with a touch of whimsy! I love that it is a bit on the chubby side! Thank you Debbie!

The next step was photocopying it to make a template. I made a few different sizes and cut them out. The first one that I attempted to stitch up was too small  and difficult to stuff the tail section. The beak was also too small to stuff. So I went with a larger size and made a separate triangular pattern piece for the beak.

A bird in progress, still some tweaking to do......

In these photos, nothing is stitched together except the body and the wing. All of the little extras, the trim at the neck, the twine bow, the star button, the stamped inspiration and fabric streamers are all just lying there unattached.

I have not reached any final decisions on how to embellish this little bird.It is still in it's planning stages and gets a little better each time I redo it. I am not loving it's tail at the moment--the bird says tweet but the tail says cock-a-doodle-doo so I will change the tail (square it off a bit) when I cut the next one out.

Later this evening, I will stitch the beak, wing and belly openings closed, attach the wings and all the little extras. Then I will start another bird, tweak it's tail section and hopefully arrive at a bird that I am completely happy with. I am envisioning both hanging and standing varieties in an assortment of fabrics, colors and styles.

"It's not only fine feathers that make fine birds."

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Today's To Do List

Tonight I have been sitting in front of the television hand sewing the finishing touches on my latest two Vintage Inspired Sentiment Hearts. I will be listing them in my ETSY shop tomorrow morning. These two have some additional details that my last two pillows did not have
such as several mismatched buttons and additional vintage lace. The darker, rose colored pillow has a handmade flower that has been lightly singed on the edges and the bows are made from a very sheer, lightweight cotton fabric and tulle.

Here they are before the bow and flowers are sewn on. Lots of luscious, vintage lace!

I love the wide piece of vintage lace. It was carefully cut from a beautiful place mat and stitched in place..

Did you maybe notice this tablecloth underneath the heart pillows in the photos above? I purchased it today. It is beautiful, vintage perfection! It measures about 48x50 and in excellent condition!

I may have picked up a few other items too! That little hand towel at the top with the embroidery is so cute! I love it!

The towel is in perfect condition and the linen has such a nice feel to it!

Another pile to add to my collection though this pile is much smaller!

I still have a few hearts sitting in my "to do" pile. Then I will be focusing on some birds and butterflies which are in the planning stages right now and I can't wait to begin working on them!

Also some news to share:

I  was recently (informally) interviewed by Jemma who blogs at At Home With Jemma. She wrote such a wonderful introduction to the interview -- if you would like to read it please click on the link above. 

The post is part of the Passion, Purpose Productivity Project that Jemma began earlier in the year. It has been very interesting and thought provoking to read all of the posts related to this project. I thank Jemma for her insight and her wonderful ability to touch upon a sensitive subject with just the right words. I also thank her for the opportunity to participate. I have enjoyed it so very much.

Linking up to:

Love Bakes Good Cakes

Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Glycerin Soaps: Quick and Easy! So Pretty too!

April and May are busy months in my family! There are many, many birthdays to celebrate and of course there is also Mother's Day. We used to hold off and have one big celebration on Mother's Day but now that my girls are out of town, two still in college, all working, it is difficult to get everyone home on the same day!

Today I went out to get a bundle of birthday cards and since Michael's is in the vicinity of where I was running errands, I had to stop......of course. There I purchased a supply of cardstock since it was 5 packages for $10. I also picked up some supplies to make glycerin soaps. 

The glycerin comes in a big chunk and I used my 50% coupon on it. There are a few types. I purchased olive oil glycerin. I also grabbed some coloring, essential oil (lavender) and a basic soap mold.

This project could not be easier and it does not require a whole lot of time, just a few minutes, really!

Here are the steps.....

1.) Melt 4 oz glycerin in microwave in glass bowl....about 1 min. (I used a clear glass batter bowl with a handle. Use extreme caution as the glycerin gets very hot.) Stir every 15 seconds or so. (4 oz makes one bar of soap and I melted them separately so I could make them different colors.) I also added scent to just one soap bar. I didn't love the smell. I will be shopping around for essential oils later....

2.) Add coloring and essential oil. Stir gently.

3.) Pour into a mold. (Pay attention when pouring that you do not let the glycerin overflow as I did in the lower left section of the mold.)

4.) Let cool for 40-60 minutes.

5.) Then pop out of mold and wrap in plastic.

Here is my first bar below. It is a pale lavender and it is scented with lavender oil.

Next, my pale peach bar of soap, no scent added.

and my favorite:

I love the color. It looks like sea glass! After I wrapped each piece in plastic wrap,  I took out my stash of pretty papers and wrapped up each bar of soap and tied a bow of raffia.

Aren't they cute? Someone in my family has been asking for glycerin soap. Let's hope she misses this blog post of mine!

These were remarkably easy to make and I only used half the glycerin so I will be whipping up another batch this week. I love a quick project that produces such sweet results!!!! This was some good, clean fun!!!!

Linking up with:

Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home
Life on Lakeshore Drive