Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sorry I have not posted this week.  Things have been very busy even though we are out of school.  I am thankful for the break.

If you know me at all you know that cooking is not my forte.  So on Thanksgiving we go to my brothers house and I am fortunate that there are plenty of people to cook.  But with every family there are a few "traditions" that must be continued.  With my husband and kids one tradition is they get up and watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade.  My daughter loves the parade.  She is now 20 years old and loves it as much today as when she was five.  The only difference is she is not dancing in front of the TV during all of the show songs.  (I do miss those little dancing feet.) 

My son's favorite part is the sausage balls that are a necessary part of watching the parade.  I am not sure when I started making sausage balls on Thanksgiving morning but it is one tradition that I will not be able to get out of, at least any time soon.  I have suggested we have other things during the parade and the response is always "That and sausage balls sound great, Mom."  Here is what is left of the sausage balls from today.

 
I really lucked out on cooking this year.  I am taking a relish tray (that I bought from Sam's - it was cheaper than purchasing all of the ingredients), and several desserts.  My daughter ask for Lemon Bars and my son ask for Monkey Bread.  I am not sure that Monkey Bread is really a dessert but that is what he wanted.  So this morning I only spent about an hour in the kitchen to prepare all I needed to take.  Here are the lemon bars and monkey bread.
 



 
I should have put the monkey bread in a larger pan.  They grew a little more than I thought they would.  But, they sure do taste good!
 
I hope you and your family have a great Thanksgiving and remember to spend some time giving thanks to God for all the many blessings He has showered upon you this year.  If you love to cook may this day find you happy in the kitchen.  And if you are like me and cooking is not your favorite activity, may this day find you surrounded with family and friends sharing in thankful hearts.
 
Happy Thanksgiving and may the Lord bless you and your family.
 
Danna

Friday, November 22, 2013

Accessory Items in Sewing/Craft Area

When I moved my space to its new location several years ago I wanted to create a space that was inspirational.  This was not an easy task since my space is in a converted garage.  The walls and floor are not "pretty" but I was able to carve out a few spots that are a little more decorative. 

One item I created was a bulletin/marker board above my sewing machines.  The bulletin/marker board is made out of an old cabinet door we had removed from our bathroom. I painted the door white and using the back of the door my husband mounted a metal dry erase board to the center.  Then we used rolled cork to fill in the spaces on each side.  This gives me two small bulletin boards and a magnetic marker board in the middle. I covered the edge of the marker board with ribbon to give it a more finished look and added buttons to the corners.

Next I glued four metal hooks to the bottom edge.  This gives me a place to hang binder clips with notes and patterns attached.  To finish the piece I added scrabble tiles to spell out IMAGINE and two small pink buttons on each end.  The bulletin/marker board has proved to be very handy in the space above the machines.  It holds all my notes and supply lists.


 Another item I repurposed for my space was a couple of ugly lazy susans.  I purchased three of them at a garage sale for .25 cents each.  I used some left over contact paper from my classroom to cover the center of each one.  I may at some point come back and paint or do something else to the edge,  but for now I wanted something easy and functional.  On one of the lazy susans I put my bobbin case and a few sewing items I like handy. 

 
The other lazy susan holds all of my pens, markers and pencils.  I used several black and white boxes and cans I purchased from Michael's on clearance.  They hold all of my sharpies, colored pencils, markers etc.  I had just enough room to place my small tape dispenser in the middle of the buckets. 


In my "dream" sewing/craft room I have ideas for many more accessory type pieces.  Someday when my children move out I will take back a bedroom and be able to truly decorate my area.  I am looking forward to that day but for now I am fairly pleased with the space I have.  I am able to work in a part of my house that is not visible if someone drops by and I can leave a project out that is in the process.  For years I worked on the dining room table so every time I wanted to make something I gathered all of my supplies, carried them to the table and then before going to bed I cleaned it all up again.  So I am truly blessed to have an area that is mine.

Hopefully, you have a area that is just for you.  It doesn't have to be a large space but there is a freedom in having your own space to create.  I would love to hear your ideas and see pictures of your craft/sewing space.

Danna

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A New Look!

As you may have noticed Pink Lemonade Ideas has a new banner.  I finally had the time to spend on creating a more creative and personal banner. 

The banner was created using a Picasa Collage picture.  The instructions are here.  They are from the Clover Lane blog.  Her post was in 2009 but they still work. She changes her banner almost every month.  I am not sure I will be that industrious but a couple times a year would be nice to showcase some projects. If you are not familiar with Picasa it is a free Google photo editor.  You can download the software from Google and store and edit pictures on you computer and on the web.  The other nice thing about Picasa is it interfaces with Blogger very well since they are both Google products.

Hopefully over the Thanksgiving break I will be able to spend a little more time on the side bars and adding some project pages.  But, with Christmas just around the corner I may be buried in quilting and Christmas projects.

Danna

Monday, November 18, 2013

Fabric Storage

Storing fabric is always a challenge. If you are like me I have tons of fabric in all different sizes and shapes. Once again I divided everything by color. In my old craft area I had my smaller pieces of fabric in a set of stackable drawer units. I had folded the fabric and put it in rows in the drawers so you could see the edge of each fabric. This worked okay but not great. I was searching for a better way when a friend found this idea.

A light bulb went off and I thought I could use this same idea but do it a little cheaper. Since my husband was a custom picture framer for 10 years we have lots of scrap mat board. Mat board is acid free therefore it will not harm the fabric. I had him cut pieces of mat board that would fit in my drawer units. Then I wrapped my fabric around a board and secured with a rubber band. When placed in the drawer it provides just enough space between the fabrics to really see what you have.


 I also had him cut pieces that fit in a plastic shoebox. I use these for some of my specialty fabrics that I don’t want mixed in with everything else. I then labeled the shoebox so I can easily see what fabric is in each box.


For my larger pieces of fabric I cut larger boards out of cardboard and covered them with contact paper. I then wrapped my fabric around and they are stored in a cabinet hung of the wall. This format allows me to see all of my fabric at a glance. I have been able to use up pieces from my stash instead of buying new because I could actually find it. It also allowed me to clean out a hallway closet and get all of my fabric in my work area.


What ideas to you use to store fabric?  I am sure you have great ideas also and I would love to hear them.

Danna

Friday, November 15, 2013

Printers Trays for Small Item Storage

Below my main shelves I have used two printer’s trays to hold some of my small beads for jewelry making. I found at the dollar store these small containers that fit in the larger openings. The smaller openings will hold two small Tic Tac containers. These are perfect for seed beads. I separate everything by color. I have found this is how I create the best. I pick an item I want to create and then I pick the color scheme.

In between the two printer trays is a large wooden “D” I painted and attached small clothespins to hold business cards or instructions. Next to the “D” there are three wooden flowers. I love the color, cutouts and shape. I wanted my new space to inspire me. Therefore I added some small decorative touches and streamlined my storage units.

The printer’s trays offer a way to store small items in a neat and orderly fashion. With the clear plastic and Tic Tac containers I can see everything at a glance. I found that having these small items “handy” has allowed me to use them in new and different ways.


The printers trays are centered above my main work area.  My table is a white counter top supported by two small book cases. 


One printers tray holds more of the colored beads.  I placed hooks on the sides of the trays to hold my scissors and rotary cutter.  This allows for easy access.

This tray has mostly white and cream colored beads.  I have gathered the Tic Tac containers from family and friends.  My kids wondered why they always had several Tic Tac packages in their stockings.  The rule was you could eat the Tic Tacs but you had to save the container.

The "D" was purchased from Hobby Lobby and I painted it black.  The small clothes pins allow me to clip up notes and patterns above my area while I am working on projects.  My name is spelled out using rub on scrapbooking letters.

Do you have ideas for ways you store small useful items? I would love to hear your suggestions.

Danna

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Craft and Sewing Organization on a Budget

I don’t know about you but I am always looking for a better way to organize my craft and sewing supplies. I love to look at blogs, Pinterest, websites, magazines etc. for ideas. Several years ago we moved my craft and sewing area to the other side of the wall in our converted garage. This gave me the opportunity to rework my storage and organization of my supplies. Over the next few posts I will show you some of the ideas I used to create a lot of organized storage on a very low budget.

Long Open Shelves

In the primary work area we hung three long shelves on the wall. The top shelf is just high enough for me to stand on my tiptoes and reach the bottom of the bins. I only keep lightweight items on this shelf, such as silk flowers, small batting pieces, gift bags etc.


The top shelf has 6 large black bins, 3 medium pink bins, and 4 black and grey magazine holders.





















The middle shelf has boxes I constructed out of mat board and covered in white duct tape. This allowed me to make the boxes a certain size so I could get more on the shelf. I used label holders from Martha Stewart (purchased at Staples for 40% off) on the front so I can easily change what is in the boxes. These hold a variety of items from paint, glues, fun foam, tape etc.



For the inside of the boxes I used the standard grey duct tape.  It was less expensive than the white and the rolls were larger.  This cut down on the cost of covering the boxes.  Being covered in duct tape allows the boxes to be cleaned easily with a damp cloth.




The lower shelf is shorter to allow some wall space above the sewing machines. The lower shelf has jars with string ties which are the remnants from my quilting and sewing. Each jar holds a different color. Beside the jars are some decorations that make me smile, speakers and my MP3 player. I like to listen to audio books when I am creating.

 

Open shelving gives you an abundance of storage for a small investment. The key to making open shelving functional is the type of bins or containers you use. The containers should be large enough to hold your stuff but not so big that they are hard to get on and off the shelf. If you want a more organized feel make the containers all the same or in a similar color pallet. I chose to use black, white and pink as the primary colors in my area. I have inserted a few items in bright green to add a pop of color to certain areas. All of my containers are black, white or pink. This gives the shelves a unified feel.

What are some ideas you have used for containers on open shelving? I would love to hear your comments and ideas.

Danna

Monday, November 11, 2013

Handmade Pay it Forward

Earlier this year I participated in a Pay It Forward event. It was similar to other Pay It Forward events with one exception. The items I received were handmade. I appreciate the whole idea of the Pay It Forward concept. If more people would take the time to do some small gesture each day to express care and love for anyone they come in contact with our world would be a better place. But, in the Handmade Pay It Forward I like that you get to use your gifts and talents to express that love.
 
Here is a picture of the beautiful beaded ornaments I received.





The lady who made my gifts is a total stranger. I stumbled upon her blog at just the right time when she was announcing her Handmade Pay It Forward. I was one of the lucky five people she chose. I can’t wait until Christmas when I can place my ornaments on my tree. Each year they will be a reminder that it only takes a small gesture to make someone else feel loved.

Here is your chance to join in the fun. The rules for the Handmade Pay It Forward
are as follows:

1. The first five people to leave a comment at the bottom of this post will be my
five participants. You will receive a handmade item from me in the near future. I will list the names and then you must email me to provide me some basic information. (i.e. favorite color, how I can contact you etc.)

2. If selected you agree to return the pay it forward. You can post your pay it forward on your personal blog or facebook page.

3. The items you send to your participants can be anything handmade by you.

I looked forward to receiving my package from Emily. Hopefully you will be one of
my lucky five.

Quick post a comment below!

Danna

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Scrap Quilts

You have probably figured out by now that it is hard for me to throw even the smallest pieces of fabric or crafting materials away.  So I have learned that when I finish a quilt project that if I cut up the "scraps" into usable size squares then I can get rid of the last bits of fabric a little easier.  Sometimes being a frugal person has its flaws. 

My organized side puts these squares into boxes by size.  This provides easy access to a variety of squares for my favorite scrap quilt projects.  I have boxes that range from 1" to 5" squares.  When the mood strikes and I want to make a baby quilt I (as always) pick my color scheme and then pull out the scrap boxes.  I am off and sewing fairly quickly.  No pulling out the dump bin full of scrap fabric and ironing, cutting and stacking.  I just decide on my pattern, my colors and pull out the right size box of squares.

Here are a few quilts I have made using this method.  The maze quilt from this post was also created using my scrap boxes.

 
This red, white and blue quilt was made with scraps that were cut to  2 1/2" squares.  The red, white and blue color scheme is a classic and a great quilt for baby boys.



The pastel colors in this quilt make it a perfect generic quilt for a baby.  I used a larger square and then a four patch of smaller squares.  I could not find the pattern I drew out for this but I think the small four patch squares were made from 2" cut squares.

 
The larger squares in this quilt are 5 1/4" squares of a dinosaur fabric and are all the same.  I used the solid scrap 3" squares to make the four patch blocks. 
 
One other advantage to having the pre-cut scrap boxes is when I need a quick baby shower gift.  I can whip up a great quilt in a very short time.
 
So the next time you are finishing up your latest quilt project.  Don't toss those scraps you can't part with into a bag or box.  Cut them down into usable squares and start your scrap pre-cut boxes.  I guarantee you will use up more of those scraps than you ever have before.
 
Danna
 


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Proud Band Mom Jewelry

My son, who is a senior, plays percussion in the high school band. We are in the last week of football games and I have mixed emotions about our last game. While it has been a fun ride for the last four years I am ready to move to the next stage in life. Our daughter is a junior in college so this is our last high school kid.

Over the years of attending football games and band competitions I have seen my fair share of “Band Mom” t shirts and jewelry. I would look at certain items and think “Oh, that is cute, but look 14 other Mom’s have it on today.” I wanted something that was unique to my son and would be a memento that would represent this time in our lives. Also, I wanted something that was a little more understated than some of the jewelry available.

Here is what I created, a necklace with a picture of my son in his band uniform.


 
The picture is glued onto a wooden domino to create a unique creation. I added the words “Band Mom” and a small jewel for a little more detail.


The process to make this necklace is fairly simple.
1. Print the picture onto plain white paper the size of your domino. I created a rectangle shape in MS Word that was the correct size and inserted the picture.
2. Glue the picture to the domino and let it dry completely.
3. Add any words or other items, (i.e. jewels etc.) and let them dry completely.
4. Cover the top of the picture with Mod Podge Dimensional Magic. This provides a hardened surface that will stand up to wear and tear. It also gives the piece a very professional finish.
5. Glue on a jewelry finding to string a chain through and you are done.

This necklace will be a keepsake that I can look back on and remember our fun years in high school band and exactly what my son looked like at that age.

Danna

Friday, November 1, 2013

Scotty Dog Quilt

Sometimes you buy or have given to you fabric that is so cute you know it is destined for something special. That is the case for the Scotty Dog fabric a friend gave to me. When I first looked at it my mind raced with ideas of what it could be made with such wonderful fabric. Not only did I have the piece with the large Scotty Dogs in the border but I had the coordinating fabrics. Unfortunately as is the case in most of my “grand ideas” it sat in the closet for a long time.

Until, I came across the keyhole block on Missouri Star Quilting. It is the block I used in the great No Scraps Left Behind challenge. It is such a simple pattern but has endless possibilities. I used 2 1/2" strips instead of the 1 1/2" strips.  I turned the blocks a different direction to utilize the Scotty Dog border fabric. Using this block arrangement allowed for a simple design and made the border fabric really stand out.

I tried some additional challenges on this quilt. I quilted into the border a dog bone pattern. I cut a paper pattern and stitched around the edges. This gave me some extra practice on my free motion quilting. It is not perfect but I am getting better.

On the back I was able to incorporate the remaining blocks to create a more interesting underside. I like using the extra scraps or blocks on the back because you know they coordinate and they make it a little more exciting then just a solid piece. This can give you two quilts in one.

 
 The large Scotty Dogs was from the border fabric and is one solid piece.
 
 
The back has the left over blocks I made and the smaller border fabric. I liked how the larger Scotty Dogs are on the front and the smaller ones on the reverse side.

This is the rambling dog bone quilting I did in the red border.  You can see the stitching on the front side but it really shows nicely on the back.  With the added blocks, border fabric and quilted bones you have a two for one quilt.  One side is colorful with blocks and the other is a more
understated look.
 
I have a few other pieces in my stash that are calling to be pulled out and used.  Some I have purchased and some have been given to me.  Maybe I should get started on some new creations.
 
Danna