Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Time for More Donation Quilts

As I stated in a previous post our quilt group at church makes baby quilts for the local pregnancy center.  Each mother is given a quilt for her new baby.  Below are some new quilts I made or finished this spring.

This quilt was the last of the scraps from a friend.  The original quilt was a twister design. 
I think the pink and grey make a soft combination for any baby.

This was a jelly roll.  I made several quilts from this one jelly roll.  This was the last few strips. To see the one of the other quilts from this jelly roll check out the Donation Quilts What a Joy! post. It is the red and brown fence rail quilt.

This is the back of the above jelly roll quilt.  I typically do a pieced back to give the quilt a two in one look.

Believe it or not this is made from the same jelly roll that was used above.  In the jelly roll it had pink, lime green, brown and red.  It was an unusual combination but really cute.  I pulled out the lime green and some of the pink to use in this quilt.

This is the back of the above quilt.  I used the left over small squares to add interest to the back.
Making these donation quilts is an easy way to try many new techniques, patterns and color combinations.  Since the pregnancy center ministers to many different women the more variety of colors and patterns the better.  It is always a blessing to finish a quilt and know that someday soon it will surround a new baby in warmth and love.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A Couch Refresh

My couch has seen much better days and was in need of a major refresh.  I would love to replace it but that is not even on the budget radar at this time.  So for my son's graduation party I really wanted to do something to make it look better. 

I have been searching for a reasonable price on a slip cover and finally found one.  It was only $32.00 at our local Big Lots store.  Now my husband hates slipcovers because well, they slip.  So I came up with a pink lemonade idea to use the slipcover and keep it in place better. 

With the help of my wonderful mom we put the slipcover on the couch and then recovered the cushions.  With the cushions on the outside of the slipcover it stays in place much better.  Since the slipcover was an off white color I was able to use canvas drop cloths to redo the cushions.  Here are my before and after pictures.


Sorry I forgot to take a picture of just the couch before.  But as you can see I had done a small redo with the blue stripe cover on the bottom cushions.  It worked but did not match well with the rest of the room.

This is a before shot of the piled up cushions.

See those lovely rips.  The original fabric was very thin.  So after so many years it just began to  shred.
MUCH BETTER!  I could not believe the difference this made in the look of my living room.
(The quilt on the back is our family tree quilt I made for my Granny's 80th birthday.)

I used two 6 x 9 drop cloths for the four cushions.
The drop cloths had a seam down the center we had to work around. I did wash and dry the drop cloths before using them.  This softened the fabric so it is comfortable to sit on.  I think this will wear much better than the original fabric.  It should last long enough to get a new couch on the budget radar.
I am very pleased with the results.  It has really brightened up my living room and made me feel like I could have people back in my home.  The total cost of the refresh was $32.00 for slip cover + $16.00 for two drop cloths = $48.00.  WOW - a totally new look for under $50.00. 
By placing the cushions on top of the slipcover it has stayed in place really well.  I have only had to adjust it once in almost a month and that was when we moved the couch.
So if you want to refresh your look keep searching for a slipcover and don't forget that a canvas drop cloth has many uses. 


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Graduation at Last!

Well we finally reached my son's high school graduation date.  It is hard to believe that only a few short years ago we were taking him to Kindergarten.  Where does the time go? 

Graduation was exciting and the party afterward was enjoyed my many friends and family.  The only downside was our air conditioner started acting up the day before.  In Texas during June this is NOT a good thing.  But we managed to keep the house fairly cool even with a crowd.  God is Good! 

I used my chalkboard tile on the porch to send a graduation greeting.

Our graduate!  We are very proud.

Now that this is behind me I can focus on other things like my crafting and sewing, finally some time to myself.  I worked on some exciting projects getting the house ready for the graduation party and I can't wait to show them to you. 

Thanks for being patient with the lapse between posts.  Summer has arrived and I can be more diligent about posting.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Reversible Scrabble Tile Necklaces

Creating unique jewelry pieces is one of my favorite crafts.  So when I started making Scrabble tile necklaces it was an opportunity to make each one unique.  They are fairly quick to make since they are small.  Every necklace is like a tiny piece of artwork.  I enjoy the journey of picking colors, small objects or words to add etc. (Did I tell you that these are one of my favorite crafts?)

Recently I had a request for a necklace with a particular letter so that it could be worn on either side.  Here are several I made.

This is a small group of the over 60 tiles I recently created.

This is the back of the above group.
I used a scrap of paper, fingernail stickers and a rub on to create this tile.

This paper already had the glitter.  I wasn't sure how it would work but it turned out very well.

Background is a dictionary page, flower cut out and nail sticker.

Sometimes a simple word can add just the right detail.
Each is a unique creation, and with the ability to wear the necklace on either side it gives you two necklaces in one.  I just love it when you can get two things in one.  It makes my frugal heart sing a joyful song. 
Scrapbook paper and nail stickers.

The reverse of the above.

Paper, flower cut out and small flower punch.

Reverse of the above.

Just scrapbook paper and jewels.

Reverse of the above.

A great selection.
So go to your game closet dust off the Scrabble game and secretly take it to your craft room.  Or, if your family still uses your game check out local garage sales or thrift stores.  Then you can create a two in one necklace.



Saturday, May 10, 2014

Picture Book Pennants

Working in the library for years allowed me the opportunity to overcome my anxiety of throwing away books.  Once this hurdle was cleared weeding the library became refreshing.  Creating space for new books that students were excited about reading was the goal.  Therefore the discard cart began to grow and grow.

But, the crafty side of me had a hard time actually taking them from the discard cart to the recycle bin.  My mind would race with ideas of what these treasured books could be used to create.  I once shredded book pages to use as filler in table centerpieces for a band fundraiser.  Some of the students who came to the library frequently were mortified that Mrs. Webber would shred books.  I assured them they were not books that they or anyone else had checked out in years.

I no longer work in the school library but every time I visit our librarian and she has a cart of discarded books I always take the opportunity to grab a few.  (Okay, maybe a box is not a few)  This year I needed a decoration for my classroom to celebrate Spring and I created a bunting using picture and chapter book pages.  See Spring is Here! for the details of my creation.

As I was looking at the few (box full) of books I had snagged I thought what if I created a pennant using the picture book pages.  One of the Kindergarten teachers has always admired my colorful pennants in my classroom.  This gave me a reason to create the picture book pennant.  Here is the final product.

Sorry for the bad photo.  It was hard to get the full length in the picture.
I used a book that had very colorful pages and very little text.  This allowed for the pennants to be double sided.  On one side I added letters cut from chapter books that spelled out "Kindergarten Rocks".  When I gave it to the Kindergarten teacher she was thrilled. 

I spelled out Kindergarten Rocks
The other side is just the colorful picture book
The view of her classroom windows.  This makes me smile every time I walk by.
As my crafty side continues to grow and overtake my more rational side I am sure there will be many more creations made from discarded library books.  They are perfect for the creative mind to explore possibilities.  They are usually free or very inexpensive and have a vast potential for a multitude of projects.  Check out your libraries discard shelf and see what creative treasures you find.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Spring is here!

Spring in Texas is not a very long season.  It usually goes from very cold days to rather hot days in a very short time.  This year we have been fortunate and blessed with some beautiful spring days.  The mornings are cool and the sun has been shining, but the temperature has remained in the 70 degree range.

Since I have been trying to decorate my classroom door for the various holidays and seasons this year I decided to create something for Spring.  Even if it is a short season outside we can at least pretend inside that it does exist somewhere. 

As I posted earlier I have been using the bottom half of my door for this purpose.  So I did not need an abundance of decorations.  I wanted something that would be simple yet unique.  The bunting for Saint Patricks Day looked so nice I chose to use the idea again for the Spring season.  This bunting I created using discarded books from the school library.  Here is the finished door.

The bunting spells out the word Spring.  The bunny, chick and flowers are wooden pieces I found on sale last year.

The pennants are made from chapter book pages so they are black and white.  The letters are made from picture books and are more colorful.

To show my appreciation to the librarian for sharing her discarded books I made one for her that says Library.
The door turned out really well.  It is amazing what you can do with a little bit of paper, glue and a whole dash of creativity.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Senior Year What a Busy Time!

It is hard to believe that our last child is a senior in high school.  How quickly you forget the busy schedule and the long list of things that have to be done during that year.  Our daughter graduated three years ago so I have had just enough time to forget all of the craziness.

We only have a few weeks left before graduation and the to do list is still growing.  This weekend was senior recital.  Our son plays percussion in the band.  He has been fortunate to have a large group of encouragers that have watched him grow not only as a young man but in his musical endeavors.  Sunday he had a recital at our church to give something back to those that have walked with him on this great journey.  The performance was incredible.  Words can not describe our gratitude for all those who attended and those who were unable to come.  As a mother I am deeply grateful that God has surrounded my kids with loving and encouraging people. 

My posts may be rather slim and random over the next few weeks as we wind down this senior year and close this chapter of our lives.  But we are excited about the new chapter that will be opening with two kids in college.  I look forward to new beginnings not only for our children but for our family.

Thanks for being patient with the ramblings of a mother and I promise I will try to keep them to a minimum.