Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Cord Chaos

Cord chaos.  Can anyone relate? 


Cords for phone chargers, ear buds, e-readers, cameras, iPods, Kindles, tablets….tangled and mangled. 

But thanks to a great tutorial  found on the  Leafy Treetop Spot blog,  I cut some 5-inch scrap squares and charm squares into 2.5 inch x 5 inch strips, added lightweight fusible interfacing to one side – stitched, turned, topstitched, added some little Velcro hook and loop squares – and Voila!  I have cute little reversible cord keepers.



My cords are now neatly contained.  You could even color code cords:  Red is for reader, indigo is for iPod, purple is for phone, key lime or kelly green for Kindle, etc.    

I loved this cute and colorful little camera print.  It’s from the Snapshots fabric line by Riley Blake.  So, of course, that became my camera cord keeper.


And since I have an (over)ABUNDANCE of scraps – I made just a few extras!  Won’t they make great stocking stuffers?  Or maybe I’ll use them as little thank you add-ins for some holiday orders. 

Only 12 days until my first Fall craft fair (YIKES!!), so I need to put the pedal to the metal and keep on sewing!


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Treasury Thanks

Another week has flown by!  This week I was blessed with many treasury features, and this post is my pay-it-forward THANK YOU to the curators who featured items from my Etsy shops, Pasque Flower Creations and Aunt Pheba's Vintage, over the past week. 

So grab a warm beverage of your choice, and sit back and enjoy some eye candy, as I give you a sneak peek at some of the incredible items from these curators' shops.  And if you like what you see, please visit their shops, Like, Share, Pin, etc.   We all need to see and be seen. 

Lana Moes of LanasArt featured my gray and tan pillow cover in her beautiful treasury, Weekly Love: Laced.  Gray never looked so good!  Lana is an immensely talented water color artist. She paints everything from abstract pieces to landscapes, to fashion illustrations, and her shop includes original watercolors as well as prints.  Here is one of the wonderful original watercolor fashion illustrations:

Pattern Girl from Yesterday's Fashion featured my poppies on teal oven mitts in her treasury, Poppy Passion.  I just love vintage pattern, and Yesterday's Fashion has an amazing selection of vintage sewing and crochet patterns, including some in PDF format.  I just had to share this Barbie and Ken pattern:

It's a throwback to the 60s!  I had a dark-haired ponytail Barbie and a blonde Ken.  I also had a Midge doll (Barbie's bff) whose hairdo resembled the one on this pattern cover.  My mom gave me permission to use any fabric in the scrap bag to make doll clothes-- and I later used some of my 25 cents per week allowance to buy 15 cent remnants to sew fancier outfits for my Barbie. It was great sewing practice.  It's challenging to work on such a small scale!

Abigail Jayne of AbigailJayneArts gave my shops a double feature in her pretty treasury, Pink and Cream.  She featured my pink floral oven mitt from my Pasque Flower Creations shop and 8 luncheon sized Bavarian china plates with a pretty pink carnation design from my vintage shop, Aunt Pheba's Vintage.  The plates were my grandmother's (the original Aunt Pheba).  The first (and last!) time I used professional movers, they broke every piece in her lovely set of china except for these 8 surviving plates. 

One double feature deserves another, so here is a pretty pink and purple lace cuff by AbigailJayneArts: 

And here are some pretty pink Lucite flower earrings:

Natashalh of StalkingTheWildSnark created a beautiful tribal-themed treasury, Going Native, which included my black and tan chevron oven mitts.  Also in keeping with the tribal theme is this wonderful Hanu Hibiscus sea turtle necklace.

Marilyn P. Sushi of PulpSushi featured my silk zipper pouch in her treasury, Favorite Shades of Fall.  If you haven't visited Marilyn's shop, please pop in and browse. You'll find some incredible treasures, like this vintage inspired penny farthing bicycle charm necklace.

Marcia from ImagineThatBaby featured my green chevron oven mitt in her fantastic treasury, Calling All Early Bird Shoppers.  It is a shame Etsy no longer features treasuries on its front page, because this is truly a front page worthy treasury.  ImagineThatBaby is a wonderful place to shop for handmade baby shower gifts.  I just love these adorable booties:

Pili Thub of UniqueArtHome featured my orange and white chevron oven mitt in another beautifully-curated treasury, this one in orange and white, Vicaversum 26/2.   You could add a pop of seasonal color to your home with this gorgeous red leaf throw pillow.  Pili's shop has many other unique home accent pieces.

And last, but not least, Hajnalka Szabóné Csiby from TisziBeads  from Hungary featured my gray chevron oven mitt in her gorgeous treasury, Pink and Grey Trends.   Hajnalka makes beautiful beaded flower pendants--truly statement pieces!  Please stop in and browse through her shop.  Here is just one or her beaded pendants.  

I hope you enjoyed today's features!  Enjoy the rest of your weekend. 


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Boo! Halloween Is Coming!

It's Shameless Commerce Tuesday, and with only one week left in September (Yikes!!), that means Halloween is only five weeks away.  So this week, I'm sharing items that will make Halloween preparations a little less scary. 

One of the easiest ways to add a little Halloween charm to your home or work space, is with a bunting.  I've been stocking up on fun black, orange, and Halloween-themed prints to make several reversible, washable, and easy-to-store (fits in a 1-quart baggie and takes up almost no space) Halloween buntings for an October 8 craft fair -- and for my Etsy shop.

I'll also be stitching up some cute Halloween finger puppets to sell at the craft fair.  They would also make cute pencil toppers for older elementary school-aged kids.  This pattern by Precious Patterns is in PDF format, and provides clear instructions for making a host of cute, cute, cute puppets. And the designer gives permission to sell as many as you'd like at craft fairs. 

This year, I've also been tasked with providing treats for the annual Law College trick-or-treat event, when students, faculty and staff can bring their children and grandchildren to trick-or-treat through the offices.  I suggested to my boss that I could make finger puppets / pencil toppers to hand out as treats, and he really liked the idea.  His oldest daughter has food allergies, and he's not too keen on all the sugary snacks.  We may have to have some candy stashed away for the older kids.

In anticipation of that event, I recently purchased this adorable PDF witch finger puppet / pencil topper pattern from Little Black Duck on Etsy.

There are some other cute finger puppets at Little Black Duck, but because the designer does not allow items made from her patterns to be sold, I'll only be making the witches for the office trick-or-treaters. Because there are no buttons, they are safer for the under-3 toddlers and preschoolers. Absent the restrictive use policy, I'd have probably purchased more:

But I couldn't resist the cute little gnome and snowman.  Wouldn't they be cute little stocking stuffers, or little "thank you" gifts?

Ah--but that's another holiday.  For now, I need to stay focused on Halloween!


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Treasury Thanks

The past week flew by.  I can't believe it is Sunday again already -- time to extend a special THANK YOU to all the curators of Etsy treasuries who featured items from my shops, Pasque Flower Creations and Aunt Pheba's Vintage, during the past week.

Ayla of Eyelah featured my gray chevron oven mitt in her treasury, It's The Simple Way . . ..  This salmon pleated zipper pouch from Ayla's shop is simple but elegant.

Ayla also featured my orange chevron oven mitt in her treasury, Fall Gold , , ,.  The colors of Fall are beautifully showcased in this treasury!  This pleated zipper leather clutch in mustard yellow would be a wonderful Fall accessory.

Duni from PeriDotByDuni featured my man-sized blue oven mitts in her treasury, September Finds.  Duni is having a huge sale in her shop, so if you love pretty and feminine loungewear and accessories, don't miss this chance!  I love these adorable ruffled shorts.

Natashalh of StalkingTheWildSnark featured my pencil-shaped pencil pouches in her treasury, Darn Cute.  This batik seahorse from Natasha's shop is also darn cute.

And last, but not least, Edi Royer of memoriesforlifesb featured my floral baby bib in her treasury, Floral Delight.  This butterfly and flower wooden guest book is one of the incredible pieces of laser art you will find in Edi's shop.

Thanks to my Etsy teammates for this week's features!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Fiber Works - Part 2

Earlier this week, I posted a virtual tour of the Fiber Works exhibit, Color Flow.  Fiber Works is a group of fiber artists from eastern Nebraska. Their current exhibit is on display until November 1, 2014, at the Seward Civic Center Langworthy Gallery located at 616 Bradford Street in Seward, NE. 
Today's virtual tour will focus on the second installation, elinor peace bailey Characters.

Artistic and eccentric doll maker, quilter, and fiber artist extraordinaire, elinor peace bailey is both mentor and muse to her fiercely loyal followers.  Although she lives in Vancouver, Washington, she is an honorary member of Fiber Works.

Here is the elinor's quilt -- the centerpiece of the Characters exhibit:

And here is a close-up showing some of the detailed embellishments:

Prior to the show, elinor sent fabric swatches to each of the 12 members of Fiber Works, which included her rendering of a Character.  Each artist was challenged to create an art quilt incorporating that Character.

Merilee Hansen created this piece entitled No Matter. I Shall Dance.

She describes her piece in this artist's statement:

Marilyn Rembolt's art piece is Lifting the Weight of the World.

Here is her artist's statement:

Peg Pennell's piece is Key to Happiness.

She describes her work here:

One of my favorites is Roxann O'Hare's Lady Medallion.

Roxann told me that while she was creating this piece, the Beatles song, Lady Madonna, kept running through her head -- hence the name. 

Here is a close-up showing couched fiber embellishment and sashiko-style hand quilting:

And here is Roxann's artist's statement:

Jerry's favorite was Me and My Typewriter.

Actual vintage typewriter keys were used to embellish this art quilt!

I hope you have enjoyed this virtual tour!


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sunbonnets, Laura Style

It's Shameless Commerce Tuesday, and today I'm featuring prairie sunbonnets from my Etsy shop, Pasque Flower Creations.

The sunbonnets are available in a number of colors.  I use high quality 100% cotton reproduction calico fabrics from the 1850s-1890s period.

I was a huge fan of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House books as a young girl.  And my daughter and granddaughters have all enjoyed a "Laura phase." 

This photo of my granddaughter Madeline (now 10), was taken four years ago when we visited the Ingalls Homestead and attended the annual outdoor pageant in DeSmet, South Dakota. 

The INSP cable network recently celebrated the 40th Anniversary of the Little House on the Prairie TV series, which starred the late Michael Landon as Pa and Melissa Sue Gilbert as Laura, with a marathon showing of fan-picked favorite shows.

The Little House books had a special realism for me, because I grew up on a farm in Lake County, South Dakota -- about 30 miles southeast of DeSmet (the little town on the prairie) in neighboring Kingsbury County.  And the Smith-Zimmerman Museum on the campus of what was then General Beadle State Teachers College in Madison, SD (now Dakota State University), had a full-size replica of a claim shanty--complete with old newspapers nailed to the walls.  Claim shanties were a step up from sod houses, which were often the first shelters built by homesteaders.  There were not many trees on the prairie, but there were miles and miles of prairie sod. 

I remember gathering fallen branches from our little grove of trees to build a square enclosure (the walls were only about 2 feet high) which became my "claim shanty."  It included a tree stump chair.

Here is a drawing of a real claim shanty from the Ingalls Homestead:

And here is a photo of the interior of a replica that is found at the Ingalls Homestead.

As those of you who follow me on Facebook know, I have a fascination with tiny houses.  I would love to retire someday to a tiny house by a babbling brook, hopefully somewhere reasonably close to my children.  I follow the Tiny House Blog and I have a Tiny Houses board on Pinterest. 

Here is an inside view of a modern-day tiny house:

And here is a lighter, sunnier version:

Perhaps one day I really will be able to reside in a modern-day claim shanty (with a loft filled with fabric), living simply, frugally, happily, and in tune with Nature -- just like Laura!