Thursday, March 31, 2011 1 comments

March Calendar Challenge

Supplies: paper (Making Memories, The Paper Company, unknown alligator-skin paper); CM heart punch; green rhinestone.

I have another simple calendar page this month. I just so happens that a 3-leaf clover is pretty simple, but it's what I thought of when I thought of March. It's simple, but it works. :)

I deliberately chose a 3-leaf clover instead of a 4-leaf clover to subtly illustrate the verse beneath it - God is the one who supplies our needs, not luck or happenstance.

Now you'll want to head over to my friend's blog to see the calendar pages she made for next March. Enjoy!
Wednesday, March 30, 2011 2 comments

Homemade Gift: Crocheted Baby Doll Hats

A friend of mine has been posting crocheted baby hats on Facebook lately. She's selling them for preemies, and she displays them on her daughters' baby dolls. That got the wheels turning in my head, and I asked her about them.

Here is the link she sent me.

With a regular-weight yarn, I've found that I need to go to 48 stitches and then quit the increasing. I do two more rows at 48 stitches each and then jump down to the ribbed cuff trim. It perfectly fits these Chou Chou babies, which are my daughter's favorites!

These are really fast and easy. I can do one in about 30 minutes if I'm not interrupted. (These are great to do while the kids are getting ready for bed or I'm "babysitting" some food in the kitchen.)

This one turned out a bit big, but it was the first one I made (and increased to 60 stitches, instead of ending at 48). It fits this doll alright, though, since her head is made out of a grippy-type material.

And what happens when you make it with baby-weight yarn? You get a smaller hat! I used the same hook (size G) and same instructions for this one, but it's the perfect fit for this smaller doll. If you want to use baby-weight yarn and make it for a larger doll, I'd recommend adding a few more rows on for length. These are so quick and easy, they're addicting! (Can you tell?)

My mother-in-law just gave me a HUGE bag of yarn, mostly in smallish increments. These are the perfect project for those small balls of yarn, even though I won't ever get through that whole bag of yarn in my entire lifetime. My daughter has claimed all of these, but I'm hoping to sneak a few into my gift stash for my nieces (and friends) who love their baby dolls just as much!

I'm linking to Check This Out,

Hump Day link

A Marvelous Mess
Tuesday, March 29, 2011 2 comments

Thrifting Tuesday

It was another good thrifting week at my local stores! We went to three of them and only spent about three hours, so I was thrilled with what we found in that time.

This lovely vintage yellow/orange print is in brand-new condition. If I had to guess, someone took it out of the plastic but never put it on a bed. It still had the creases from being folded for something like 30 years in its original packaging. It was nice and crisp, just like new linens. I can't tell you how excited I was to find this one! :)

Here's another nice vintage sheet that I was thrilled to find. I had just found this one a few weeks ago in a fitted sheet. Upon inspecting it, I discovered the pattern was almost completely worn off in the middle. I put it back, but I really liked the print. Well, I found it in a flat sheet this week, and it's still nice and bright.

Don't you just love eyelet-trimmed sheets? This one isn't vintage, but check out that row of double lace! It's a king-size sheet, to boot, priced at $2.50. I've been collecting a few of these, hoping to make some pretty skirts or petticoats for my daughter and myself. (No, we don't regularly wear petticoats. I was thinking of them for special outfits.)

Goodwill had this 45 mm Olfa rotary cutter sitting down where any young child could grab it and do some serious harm to themselves. You have to love it when they're clueless enough to price this at $1. It did bother me, though, that they were clueless enough to put it down on a child's level. Thank goodness I found it when I did!

Not shown: the $5 Rowenta iron I passed up. It looked like it had some rust on the plate, so I passed it by just to be safe. I know, I'm crazy. This is the second Rowenta iron I've passed up in a month at that very same Goodwill store. I'm hoping for another one at some point, one that doesn't have rust on it. :) (I iron our clothes a lot, too, so I use my iron quite a bit.)

Check out this vintage sewing thread that came together in a bag for $1!

Aren't these little ones cute? These three are definitely vintage, but they're on plastic spools instead of the wooden ones.

These are also vintage, on the wooden spools. It looks like most of the spool is still there, if not all of it! Boy, wouldn't it be nice to get thread for $0.19 again? :)

I was thrilled to find seven spools of cotton thread (350 yards per spool) in this same bag! I'm gong to do the unthinkable and actually use this stuff. I'm not sure what year it was sold, but I do know that I haven't seen $0.80/spool in my crafting years, so it should be vintage.

I picked up another bag of thread for $1. See this? It's vintage quilting thread! I don't think I've ever seen quilting thread in these colors (except the white, of course). Not only that, but it looks like they're still completely full spools.

This one is even on a wooden spool. $0.35 for quilting thread??

Okay, so the price rose $0.10 on these. Still, $0.45 for 250 yards of quilting thread is a great price! The fact that I paid even less than the original purchaser is even better! ;) It's not often you can say that about vintage items.

This is a lovely red color. I was surprised by how bright it still is.

If you're interested in any of these vintage threads, check my Etsy shop. I'll use that cotton thread, but I'll give someone else a chance at the rest of them.

I'm linking to ...

Monday, March 28, 2011 2 comments

Yet Another Sneak Peek

Here's a sneak peek into my next quilting project. I nearly squealed with delight when I discovered how cute these fabrics would be together!

Too bad I don't have a few of each of these sheets. I'm thinking a little girl's bed would be adorable in these, as well as a baby quilt. Who knows? I may just have to enough to do both. Stay tuned to find out! (I'm not even sure yet.) :)
Friday, March 25, 2011 4 comments

Homemade Gift: Another Reversible Handbag

I made another Reversible Handbag with the template from Very Purple Person. I really love the fabric on this one. It's fabric that I picked up at the thrift store as actual yardage. It still had the sale sticker on it, with the yardage listed. I lined it in pale pink, which is really part of my sheet stash. I pick up solid-color sheets on occasion for just such purposes. This one is going into my gift stash! I'm linking to Check This Out, Fiber Arts Monday, Upcycled Awesome (still can't get the button to work right, sorry!) and
A Marvelous Mess

Hump Day link

Thursday, March 24, 2011 9 comments

Giveaway: $11.75 in SC Johnson coupons

I was recently given some SC Johnson products to review, as well as a nice coupon book of coupons to share with my friends. More about those coupons in a moment ... First of all, please remember that I didn't spend any money on these products. They were given to me in exchange for sharing my feedback with others. So you're going to get some honest feedback. (You didn't expect anything less, did you?) The first of these products that I tried was the Scrubbing Bubbles Mega Shower Foamer. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I was a little underwhelmed. At more than $5 a can, I was expecting something close to a miracle. Don't get me wrong - I really did like the product. I just don't understand how it's any different than the original Scrubbing Bubbles cleaner that I use and love. It worked exactly the same for me. I still had to wipe it off, since rinsing is pretty tricky in a shower stall with no tub underneath, unless you want to get soaked. It got rid of dried soap, but it left hard water marks untouched (as I suspected it would). So what am I saying? I'm saying that the original Scrubbing Bubbles cleaner does a great job, and so does this. But it didn't do anything in my fiberglass shower stall that the original formula hasn't already done, too. The Glade Sparkle of Spring candle was a hit with my 7-year-old son who smelled it when he was walking by. I hadn't even lit it yet! He picked it up, sniffed it, and declared it was "the best smell". In fact, he smelled it a few times before he put it down again. If a 7-year-old boy noticed it and was impressed, you can believe it smells great! :) Lastly (for now), I plugged in the Glade Crisp Waters air freshener in the kids' bathroom. I'm usually a fruit- or food-only scent person, but I really love this scent! It smells like spring in a bottle. :) I have my warming unit set on "1," and I smell it every time I walk by that bathroom. I especially love that these will work in Airwick or Glade warmer units! So, now to the giveaway ... I have two coupon packs that I'll be giving away to two people who leave a comment telling me your best cleaning tip. If you have any tips on getting rid of hard water stains in the shower, leave them in a second comment and I'll be forever grateful!! (Plus, it will earn you an extra entry into the giveaway.) On Monday, March 28th, I'll pick two random commenters to receive the coupon packs. Please make sure you leave a way for me to contact you if you win. Thanks! This giveaway is now closed. The winning comments were #3 and #6. I'll be in touch. Thanks for the help! :)
Wednesday, March 23, 2011 2 comments

Homemade Gift: 18" Doll Glam Denim Wrap Skirts

How about a dressed-up version of the denim wrap skirts? A friend gave me this bangle trim. While it's completely impractical for a child's use (my daughter would have those bangles ripped off after ten minutes of running), it's really cool for an 18" doll.

Here it is with just green bangles. Due to the delicate nature of the bangles, I recommend hand washing these and definitely not ironing over the trim. If you like these, I've listed them in my Etsy shop. Enjoy!

I'm linking to ... Upcycled Awesome (couldn't get the button to work this time), Whatever Goes Wednesday, Fiber Arts Monday,

A Marvelous Mess

Hump Day link

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 4 comments

Thrifting Tuesday

I had another great week for vintage sheets last week! After I checked out with $10 worth of sheets, the lady told me that they had gotten a pile of sheets in, so I should check back in a day or two. I can't begin to tell you the restraint I exercised in not rushing back in the next day! :)

This was the same store where I've found most of my vintage sheets. A huge bonus? They have a preferred shopper card that they initial every time you make a $10 purchase (and they do it in increments of $10 - 2 initials if you buy $20, etc.). Once you've done that something like eight times, you get a $10 store credit. I won't tell you how close I am to that store credit, but please know that the rest of my family has contributed quite a bit toward that total, too!

Here is a lovely orange version of a print I have already in blue. I'm not usually an "orange person," but I love this one! My daughter has already asked if I could make her a dress out of it, but I'm not totally sure how that would look. We'll see!

Here is a lovely blue vintage floral. While I love yellow, I'm happy to be finding vintage sheets in colors other than yellow so I can broaden my vintage quilting horizons.

Here is a really cool vintage blue stripe ...

... and an equally cool two-tone vintage pink stripe. I didn't realize this was vintage until I looked at the tag.

This one isn't vintage, but I love ginghams. They make great filler fabrics, and I love them for aprons, too. I got a whole King bed set in this blue gingham: fitted sheet, flat sheet, two king ruffled pillowcases. The sheets were only $2 each, and the pillowcases for $1.25 for the pair. You can't beat that price for yardage!

Seriously, can you believe this is a sheet? I wasn't convinced until I checked the tag. I love it! This is definitely going into my "clothing of some sort" stack. :)

Have you found any great deals at thrift stores this week? I'd love to hear about them!

Linking to ...

Monday, March 21, 2011 16 comments

Homemade Gift: Vintage Sheet Pinwheel Quilt

It's done! This is the project I gave you a peek at last Monday. It came together pretty fast because a lot of the cutting was already done for me. You see, after I made the yellow patchwork quilt, I had some squares leftover. I had them sitting here waiting for just the right idea when I ran across this pinwheel quilt design. Would you believe I only had to cut one more square to have the exact number that I needed? I guess it was meant to be. :) See this? No sashing. Yes, I did it quilt-as-you-go, but I tried a new method I learned in the book Learn to Machine Quilt by Sharon Chambers. (I borrowed mine from the library.) First, you assemble and quilt your blocks as you want them. Then you sew them together. This is where it's different: You eliminate the 1" front sashing strips and instead sew the blocks directly to each other, right sides together (1/4" seams). You still have the back sashing strip (1-1/2", then ironed in half) which you use to hide that seam just like you do with the other methods. I love this method, and I must say it's easier and less confusing than the front sashing method. The only trouble you might run into (as I did) is that the seams get pretty thick with batting. The original instructions say to trim the batting away at the seams, but have you ever tried to do that on a 1/4" seam? It's nearly impossible. There are two solutions to this. First of all, you could cut your batting 1/2" shorter than your blocks (8" square of batting for 8-1/2" blocks) and then center the batting between the squares. This would work great if you know to do it ahead of time. I didn't, so the second solution was born ... Secondly, you could hand-stitch the back sashing strips to the backing. I usually machine-stitch it down, but I'm able to coax more under the strip by hand than I am by machine, so I had to use this method when I was joining rows. (I had no trouble just joining the squares into rows.) I added a border to this one, and I was thrilled not to have to mess with that 1" strip on the front! To quilt the border, I simply used the fabric design as a guide, since everything is lined up in neat rows. I bound the quilt with one of my least-favorite, what-was-I-thinking vintage sheets. I'm happy to report that it looks great as a quilt binding, and I'm nearly done with that particular sheet. :) And here you can see part of the back, with the quilting and sashing. In case you're wondering, the finished pinwheel blocks measured approximately 16" before joining. The finished quilt will easily cover a twin-size bed, and could probably even fit a full-size bed in a pinch, as you can see from the very first picture (on our guest bed, which is full-size). Considering the fact that I've gotten three quilts from these yellow vintage sheets so far - and I still have plenty of each of them left - I'd say these are pretty inexpensive quilts. I think I paid more for the batting (even at 40% off) than I did for the sheet fabric to make it, including the backing. A pretty, finished quilt for less than $15? That's my kind of quilt! :) I'm linking to Fiber Arts Monday, Made by You Monday, Upcycled Awesome, Whatever Goes Wednesday, Check This Out and
A Marvelous Mess

Hump Day link