February 20, 2015

sidewalk geography

These wet patches on the sidewalk so remind me of peninsulas on a map, boundaries and borders between water and land.

February 16, 2015

pretty pillowcase

I finally got around to sewing a matching pillowcase to go with younger daughter's quilt. I used this pillow sham tutorial on the blog Cora Anne Designs. I've got no complaints about the tutorial but I do wish I had measured my particular pillow. I found the sham to be a bit of a tight fit when all was said and done.

As you can see I got to use up some more squares that didn't make it into the final quilt. I do love the look of things that are quilted! Seems like lately I am not making anything that uses a big solid piece of fabric! Hee.

I trimmed the back pieces so that they would align with the front. But then I craftily reused the pieces I trimmed off to be a part of the back. No waste! I also discovered that making an envelope-style pillowcase is not actually hard. I was under the mistaken impression that it would be tricky but I didn't find it to be so at all. So that bodes well for future home decorating visions!

February 13, 2015

surprise hearts

I happened to see these hearts across the street early one morning when I was waving good-bye to my older daughter as she headed off to school. I asked my younger daughter if she saw what I saw and she immediately spotted them as well.

February 11, 2015

library love: A Beautiful Mess Happy Handmade Home

So one of my new favorite blog discoveries has been A Beautiful Mess. I just love the style of the sisters who share their crafting and decorating loveliness online. And they even have a subscription service called "Happy Mail" where you get cool stationery and stickers and greeting cards in the mail every month. LOVE that idea. These ladies live on the same page with me!

So imagine my delight when I found their book A Beautiful Mess Happy Handmade Home: Painting, Crafting, and Decorating a Cheerful, More Inspiring Space upon my library shelf. There is just so much happy and color on the pages – a true visual delight to savor on a cold, snowy day. As I write this I am not even done with it yet. I keep picking it back up to enjoy again. One of these days I will probably read it cover to cover to make sure I don't miss anything inspiring.

Full disclosure: This post contains an Amazon Affiliate link. So if zillions of people read my post, click the link, and then buy the book I earn a handful of change. Or something like that.

February 9, 2015

a series of 6 placemats in black, white, and red

A birthday gift for my mama! Six pretty placemats, each a unique quilt of its own. I had such a good time designing these and arranging the scraps. I am also proud to say I didn't purchase anything but the red thread. I had bought some of the fabric for last year's gift (a fun valentine garland). At that time I was also thinking of making a table runner so I did buy a pretty big length of the heart and flower fabric that has both black and red in it. So when I decided on the placemats instead of the table runner I used that fabric for the backs.

The pattern is from the book Black & White, Bright & Bold: 24 Quilt Projects to Piece & Appliqu̩ by Kim Schaefer. It called for only black and white but you know me, always customizing things РI went with red + black & white instead. And of course I got the book from the library! Hee.

Full disclosure: This post contains an Amazon Affiliate link.

February 6, 2015

tree sketches

One sunny day I noticed all these strange little markings in the snow. I realized they were made by tumbling oak leaves. Funny isn't it to imagine the trees creating a bit of art?

February 4, 2015

library love: Collected: Living with the Things You Love

Do you ever take a stroll at twilight and peek into the living windows where the curtains are still open? I really love to see what color the walls are and what art adorns them. Well, the book Collected: Living with the Things You Love by Fritz Karsh and Rebecca Robertson will satisfy that same curiosity! Not only do you get to gawk at amazing, unusual, obscure, and massive collections but you get to see how their owners display and live amongst their favorite objects.

I had such a good time looking through this gloriously thick, photo-filled book. I enjoyed it so much that I read it cover to cover! The authors arranged the collections into categories of their own invention. I myself related to being a "colorist" where you collect items of a certain color or the same item in a beautiful rainbow of colors. And I also found myself realizing I was a bit of a "naturalist" (hello obsession with nests!).

Check out this book and find out what kind of collector you already are… or what kind of collector you might be inspired to become!

Full disclosure: This post contains an Amazon Affiliate link.

February 3, 2015

tidbit Tuesday!

You get a bonus post this week for being so patient with me and my erratic and unpredictable offerings. Tidbit Tuesday turns out not to be a regular occurrence but instead something I do once in a very great while when I want to share things that don't exactly fall under the "art, craft, design" theme.

So here goes:

My friend gave me an old issue of Grit Magazine's "Country Skills Series" and this one was "Guide to Homemade Bread" (circa February 2013). And in there was an article about a method where you let your yeast rise 12 to 18 hours and then bake the loaf inside a cast iron pot with a lid in the oven. I don't think this is a new invention in the bread-baking world but it was new to me. The week I got the magazine I made 3 loaves! I tried the whole wheat, the parmesan pesto, and the cinnamon roll breads. Amazing! Delicious! I feel so fancy! And did you see that loaf up there? Isn't it photo-worthy?

Mail from all over the world!
I am a huge fan of old-fashioned snail mail. The design of the stamps, lovely stationery, a hand-written note – all of it. I think it is one of the most delightful gifts you can give a person! So when I read about postcrossings.com I was super excited!

You set up an account, send out five postcards to the addresses they supply you (other members) and then wait. The people you send postcards to will log it on the site (there is a special code you write on the card). After the card you sent is received, then your address will pop up for another user and you will get a postcard in the mail. So ideally you get one back for every one you send. Very festive! I sent postcards to Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, China, and Germany. I just got an email this afternoon that my postcard to the Ukraine arrived. The woman who received it wrote me a little note of thanks.

Interesting little shop in Grand Rapids – Have Company!
A friend just told me about this place. I haven't had a chance to go there in person but it looks pretty cool. I am enamored with this print of the full moon. For all the rest of you, online ordering is available.

February 2, 2015

A sweet valentine mantel!

This fresh arrangement on my mantel features:
• vintage window frames of varying sizes and colors (from my old house!)
• a thrifted cardboard heart
• a printed piece of fabric (maybe a tablecloth?) from Grandma
• a valentine card from years past
• a sampling of my glass collection including milk glass
• a lovely heart garland I made a few years back