Monday, May 30, 2011

The Fridge Museum

The fridge is our family's museum.  It houses artwork that is far more special to me than any famous work could be.  Here is a way for your aspiring artists to hang their works of art.

Scissor or Paper Cutter
Miniature Clothespin
Super Glue

Grab an old magnet and measure what size it is.  Use PowerPoint to make a text box that is of the same dimensions.

Find a background that you like on a free site or take pictures of your favorite fabric or paper.  Insert the picture and crop it to the size of the text box.  The background I used is actually a picture of two bolts of complimentary fabric stacked on top of each other.

Next, write what you would like the message to be.  Highlight the text box, right click and choose to send the text to the front so that it shows up in front of your picture.  Make sure your text color will stand out from the design of the picture.

Print this and cut it out using a scissor or paper cutter.

If you have a laminating machine, laminate your design.  Fridges can often be in the line of fire when juice and other sloppy items go falling to the floor. Trim the excess laminating plastic away.

Super glue your design to the magnet and as a final step, glue your clothespin on top.  Let your project dry and you have a great gift or display for your own future Van Gogh.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Organza Flowers

I stumbled upon this quick yet quality video posted by JynDesign on how to make organza flowers.  I thought I would share it with you.  (Click on "Organza Flowers" link below.)

Happy Crafting!

P.S.  If you are anything like me, you may want to keep a fire extinguisher on hand...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Beautiful Blooms

Want a beautiful bloom to spice up your tote, coat, or hat?  Here is a fun way to use some of the scraps from your felted sweaters (see the "Quick Coasters:  So Simple!" post for sweater felting instructions).  Each time you create one, it will be unique from any other.  

Felted Sweater(s)
Brooch Pin

Start by cutting your pieces.  When cutting petals, start with 5 but feel free to add more for additional layers.  On this particular flower, I cut the edging around the neck of the sweater and used it for the center of the flower. 

Cut a circle for the back of your flower as shown in the picture below.  

Begin arranging and sewing your petals to the circle.  Over time and with use, the petals will have a tendency to flop over so make sure you secure them tightly.  

Roll the neck edging into a spiral sewing through the spiral to make sure it stays in place.  Sew it to the center of the flower.  If you would prefer, sew a button in the middle instead of the spiral.

Sew the pin on the back of your flower and  you are done!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Cookies + Friends = Happiness

Oh, do I have a treat for you...   the following is a  recipe from my dear friend, Julie, who I think is Emeril when it comes to the kitchen.  And, when it comes to her cookies, I turn into a monster very similar to the one pictured to the left.  I tell myself these cookies are healthy because of the ground flaxseed and bran and continue to "ahm, nom, nom" my way through each batch.

Oatmeal Cookies:
1-1/4 c. Brown Sugar
1/2 c. Granulated Sugar
3/4 c. Butter
1 c. Ground Flaxseed (Fiber!)
2-3 Eggs
2 tsp. Vanilla
2 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Salt
1 HEAPING c. Oat Bran (Maybe 1-1/2 c.)
3/4 c. Wheat Bran (I Never Use This)
1-1/2 to 1-3/4 c. Flour
2 1/2 to 3 c. Oatmeal
1 Bag of Chocolate or Butterscotch Chips
Note:  You can also add 1-2 c. of dried fruit (raisins or chopped prunes) and/or 1 c. walnuts

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

(I kept all the extra comments that are on my recipe card so you know just how Julie does it!)

See for yourself, the cookies are delicious.  But, I know that I also get a taste of something extra.  Senses are funny that way.  Smells and tastes can trigger memories that will play like a movie in your mind.  I see the warmth of Julie, the sweetness of her friendship, and the love for her and her family that will always remain.  

Check out her witty and charming blog, the Juicy Roost.

Julie - the source of all of the goodness
being discussed in this post.

Although the cookies pictured are not the previously
mentioned oatmeal cookies, this batch was
obviously a success.  

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Moments Captured

This weekend our family had a good friend from college come up and stay with us.  Recently returning from living in NYC, he had many new en devours, stories and thoughts to share.  Luckily some of the moments from his stay will not be left only to our memories.  Brian brought his camera... and oh, what a camera it was!  
Amazed with the quality of the photographs he took, I have asked Brian to share a bit about photography with us.  Read on... his advice may inspire you to start snapping a few pictures with whatever camera you have access to.

What camera do you use?
Canon 7d
How did you become interested in photography?
The first camera I used and still have is a Pentax k1000 film camera, a wedding gift my Mom received in the 70's. I remember it being kept on the third shelf in our kitchen cabinets, buried behind old greeting cards and decorative seasonal tins.  I remember there always being film in the refrigerator, a few rolls of bright yellow Kodak where the butter should have been. The incidental placement of these objects put the idea of photography in my mind long before I knew anything about cameras and film.
What do you like photographing the most?
 I find all subject matter interesting. In nature there is a light projected behind the objects, as if there was a source of illumination within each thing. I also like industrial architecture, even though it is often seen as the antithesis of nature, there is a type of force in buildings, something mathematical. People are always a challenge to photograph. The intentions of a person are made transparent by a good photographer. I often see people's entire lives unfold while photographing them, how they will look when they are older, how they looked when they were younger.  I have found that people appear to others not as they see themselves in their own mind, but how in a moment their entire life is present.

What is your best photography tip?
Be in the moment.

What advice would you tell someone who is shopping for a quality camera?
Perfect your technique, learn how to compose great photos with a cellphone camera and go from there. 


For more great work check out

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sneak Peek...

I am very excited to show a sneak peek of my project that will be in the book Stash Happy: Felt published by Lark Books.  Watch for it at your favorite bookstore this fall!  For those of you who love simple projects, this hat comes together by sewing only one seam.  Another bonus:  it is made from a recycled wool sweater which is good for the environmentally friendly child. 

Speaking of... what do Curious George, recycling symbols and lottery tickets all have in common?  Today, my four year old son was in the back seat of our car when he exclaimed, "Look Mom!  You can recycle this!"  I looked back to see his shocked face staring down at a lottery ticket.  I was amazed.  

1)  The lottery marks their tickets with recycling symbols?  2)  My son recognized it??  3)  Where in the world did he learn that???

1)  Yes they do.  2)  Yes he did.  3)  Thanks PBS for running quality programming like Curious George!

Create moments, create learning, create excitement... even over recycling symbols.