Tuesday, May 31

Tutorial: Book Cover Frames

I've been wanting to change up my living room a bit lately, but being on a budget means doing it creatively.  I remembered this little project I did years ago and thought it would be the perfect thing to add a bit of color on the cheap.  I first read about how to do this in ReadyMade magazine, but have since seen lots of different ways to make frames (or other things) from old books.  
Here's my take on up-cycling old books into picture frames.

}Old book, preferably with a fabric cover and interesting graphics or title
}Rotary cutter (optional)
}Self-healing cutting mat (optional)
}Mod Podge
}2 Short machine screws (just long enough to go through both covers) 
}2 Long machine screws (3" to 4") (optional: for a free-standing frame)
}Pencil or disappearing ink marker
}String or ribbon

}Using the rotary cutter and ruler (or the penknife and a steady hand), cut the spine off the book, leaving the pages and cover loose.  Use a layer of Mod Podge to seal up the exposed edges and keep the fabric from fraying.

}Working on the front cover, mark with a pencil or disappearing ink the area you want to cut away for your frame opening.
}Using a rotary cutter and ruler (or penknife and ruler), press firmly along the lines you marked, cutting all the way through the cover.  Carefully use the penknife to finish out the corners.

}Tack your photo or picture into place.  Sandwich the front and back book covers together, lining up the corners and edges.  Use a penknife to press small holes into the top corners of the book, equal distances from the edges.

}If you wish to hang the frame, you only need two short screws (the ones I used were less than 1/2 inch long).  Insert the screws into the holes you marked and continue to screw them in, through both book covers using a screwdriver.  Be careful to hold the covers tightly together, so they don't shift.
}If you wish to have a free-standing frame, say to sit on a shelf or table, repeat the method above using long screws, inserting them in each corner, 1" from the bottom of the frame.  The stems of the screws will protrude out behind the back book cover, making a little legs for the frame to rest on, keeping it upright.

}Tie some string or ribbon to each screw and hang it up!

The tulip print is from Sycamore Street Press.

Friday, May 27

12 Squared: May Square

This Spider Web block was by far the most challenging square to date.  But, it was a lot of fun to get together with some of the local Squares for a quilting night.  We exchanged scraps, helped each other figure out the foundation piecing process, overdosed on some fabulous ranch dip!  To read more about that night and see the other blocks for Jen, click HERE.

Monday, May 23

Summer is Coming For Two Baby Girls

Summer is slow getting here in the Pacific Northwest this year, but I am anticipating some sunshine with outfits I made for two grand daughters, both size 12 months. I was fond of this warm pink cotton print and had just enough to make a dress and bloomers for each.
Eleanor will get this sun dress and hat.
Butterick Pattern 6033.
The dresses and hat were lined with a soft white on white cotton print from JoAnn's.
I was excited to try out buttonholes on my new Brother sewing machine!
Anna is wearing a sun bonnet made from Simplicity Pattern 5813.
Instead of lace I made a fabric ruffle.
Her dress is a vintage pattern, Simplicity 8897.
Love those buttonholes!
Now bring on that sunshine!

Sunday, May 22

What a Weekend

This has been a very long, busy, exhausting weekend.
Henry sums it up best.

Friday, May 20

Prima Ballerina

End of the school year means dance recital night and dance recital night means one super happy and excited girl and one crazy, stressed out momma.  On top of trying to remember every little bit of costume, snacks, backstage activities, flowers, extra bobby pins, lipstick, and dinner, treats and activities for the little brother in waiting, I have the dreaded task of putting Lucy's 20lbs of slippery straight hair into a bun.  That is never a pretty sight and takes much longer than it should.  Same goes for my application of stage makeup.  These things stress me out.

Last year, Billy was out of town, so I was running solo.  By the time I got down to the theater and I realized I'd forgotten Lucy's shoes.  I had to race back to my street parking with Henry en toe, speed home, retrieve the shoes, race back downtown, find another place to park, and deliver the shoes before the show started.

This year, I thought would be miles easier since Billy was home and my loving friend, Rachel, who happens to be a hairdresser, graciously came to my rescue and did Lucy's hair for me.  Things were going smoothly until it was time to go.  Billy was running late, Lucy majorly ripped her tights as we were heading out the door (which meant an emergency trip to Target on the way to the theater, where they were sold out of of the right kind of tights) and forgetting to pick up flowers for our darling daughter.

But, once again, friends came to the rescue and Kristin was able to pick up an extra bouquet on her way to the theater for me.
Final Bow                                                                                                       Finale Number

Henry pooped out before the three hour show was over, just like last year.

She did such a great job!  She had a little solo pose in the middle of her class' dance.  If you blinked, you missed it, but she was so excited about it.  

This face is the reason I succumb to chaos once a year.

I couldn't believe how many of her friends came out to watch her.  It really made her night to have her girls there.

One more photo op leaving the theater.   

 Now I've got a whole year to stock up on extra tights... I just wonder what kind of glitches await me that I can't prepare for!

Saturday, May 14

Dachshund Quilt

I have been wanting to put together a twin-sized quilt for Henry for a while (like since he started sleeping in a twin bed over a year and a half ago).  With the weather warming up here in the South, he needed something lighter than his down comforter, so I finally got around to it this last week.  The idea for a quilt with uniform Dachshunds came to me even before we actually got a Dachshund.  But, now it's even more appropriate! 

I used a Googled clip art image for my template.  
The center "H" square I actually made a long time ago, when I had a robot quilt in mind for Henry.  The "H" was going to be the robot's body.  But, the picture in my head proved more advanced than my actual abilities, so that idea is now safely tucked away for a day when I'm a better quilter.

While this little quilt didn't end up being a great example of quality or craftsmanship (Am I the only one who just doesn't have the patience to redo binding properly or add an extra 15" of length that disappeared somewhere along the way?), I am proud that I only used fabric from my stash-- which seems to reproduce while I'm not looking.

I love how soft and snugly it turned out!  After I washed it and the batting fluffed up, I couldn't wait to wrap my little guy up in it!

Sunday, May 8

Thrift Store Chair: Before and After

Bad Stain Job:

 I found this chair at Goodwill (for $5!) and fell in love with the lines.  It's got some great details in the legs and I love the bow-tie back.  I envisioned refinishing it with a dark chocolate brown stain and this yellow fabric, but for some reason the stain did not take evenly and it turned out really red.  So, I opted for plan b-- an antique white satin paint.  I'm not crazy about the yellow fabric with the white paint, but for now it will do.  Plus, I am always looking for an excuse to shop for fabric. :)

Friday, May 6

For Nephew #9

My brother, Nathan, and sister-in-law, Jenny are expecting their 3rd boy and the 9th grandson in a few months.  I think every baby needs some new things just for himself (even if there are plenty of older brothers to pass on their hand-me-downs), so I made this flannel and minky quilt to welcome him to the family.

Congrats, Nate and Jenny!  We're counting the months until his arrival!

Sunday, May 1

Easter in Washington

These second cousins are offspring of 2 of Becca's cousins and 1 brother.

Some of the local cousins and second cousins gathered to find eggs in GG's front yard on a rare, sunny Easter Saturday, followed by a lunch and a swing! Sure wish Lucy and Henry could have been there!