Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

And a wonderful and Happy New Year...I figure a lot of us are due!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Well wishes....

Thank you so much everyone who has continued to encourage me...I am doing better the last few days. I think having faith is the hardest thing to have when you are having rough times and I am sure that God is right here with me. He is probably trying to ease my heart and I need to just remember to let him shoulder it. Sometimes I just need a reminder...
I spent all night working on one last thing. A bag for my sister Julie. I am going over there tomorrow night. I got clear down to the handles attaching to the straps and my machine is not cooperating...I just hate that!! I am going to go to bed and figure it out before I leave tomorrow.
I want to thank Barb and Deb too. I got two packages in the mail that are under my little pink tree...I even had to give them a squeeze. Just like a kid I guess but I will have them on Christmas!
Here a couple more things I sent CJ.

It is made out of old laces, trims and ribbons and there is vintage fabric inside...

I also made her a stuffed heart ornament and some straight pins with little toppers.

She got my box and I got hers and we both were so overwhelmed we havent been able to talk about how wonderful everything is! Wait till' you see the stuff she made me...It was just unbelievable going thru my box. In fact, I cried....a lot. I will share soon....Love you all.....melinda

Well it is Christmas Eve and I sat down and my sewing machine and it finished up the bag for my sister just fine..What the heck, but I am glad...If it looks kind of lumpy, it is because I put some things in there...I love this fabric...

Friday, December 16, 2011

More Holiday stuff.....

It has been pretty lonely around here...Aside from work I have been filling my extra time with pets, reading and making things...Can I just go on the record as saying that the holidays are a lonely time for me...It is hard not to sink into a mattress filled with sadness and tears. All my lost loved ones seem to surround me and I feel so darn sad. I think it is the hardest time to get through. I have my sister and her kids, but I don't get to see them very often. They live about 45 miles away and a lot of times I cant even afford the gas to get over there. I know so many people struggle with being alone this time of year and my wish would be, if you know someone who is, offer them company, or a phone call or some Christmas cookies and a card. One thing that has kept me feeling like I am participating in something Christmas related is I joined Shawnee's secret santa swap....I figured I could do it the handmade way with what I have...the only thing that cost me money was a peppermint bark candy bar and postage. My partner was a lady named Debbie. I just heard she got her package so it is ok to share now...

I made this bag from a curtain panel that I had...I think it is pretty festive and it was lined with ivory satin and then instead of a card I attached a fabric, paper heart that can be used as an ornament.

She loves bright colors so I also made her a "Joy" banner...her house is in mexican style colors so I thought she would enjoy it.

The glitter bird and the turquoise, brown necklace in the last post were also for her. I passed on the quilt mystery book that I won from Michelle's blog too...

I made some more bird ornaments..This is one of my favorites. I love the turquoise with the glitter.

Then CJ H. and I are doing a private swap that is a twelve days of Christmas thing...Number twelve is a handmade stocking and then the other things just have to be made with what you have, re purposed into something else or things that cost anything...We are both late and smiling about it, but we plan on mailing by tomorrow. We have had fun emailing each other back and forth. Thru emailing, we have found out that we have some things in common which makes it even more fun. I have put a lot of time into this, I just turn the tv on and sit on the floor and paint and glue and cut fabric and sew. I cant wait to hear what she thinks when she gets her package...
I am finally down to two little bins of fabric and paper...I may have to turn into one of those trash artists, but you never know, that could be fun too! I love those bags made out of candy wrappers....Yeah, that's an idea... xoxoxoxox Melinda

Friday, December 2, 2011

A creative Christmas.....

First of all, a little catch up! I was in the table runner swap and my camera once again went on the blink so I didn't get to post the table runner I got from Dayna at Scottie Acres....I am in love with it....I love the colors and I love batiks so it was the perfect one for me....She also mentioned that she used her go cutter and I thought that was so cool. I don't have one, but I would like one someday...(that and a lot of other crafty, sewing goodies, but that is another whole subject.)
She also sent me a bag of things that is right up my alley...Buttons, ribbon, little books and frames...All the stuff that I love and use a lot! Thanks Dayna so much. I actually have my runner on my big square slate coffee table and it looks so pretty...

Have I mentioned lately that I am absolutely poor as a church mouse? Well I am. There are so many things I want to do, and just can't so this year it is truly a homemade year. In fact, it is a make handmade "with what you have" year...The grand babies I am hoping to be able to send something to, but for every one else I am making them something. Last year I just wasn't up to anything but this year, I am enjoying the process, broke or not. I keep thinking I am going to win the damn Publishers Clearing House thingie, but so far it hasn't happened even though they flood my email and I enter like a fool every time. Does anyone really know anyone that has won anything from them? I figure being a fool and having a little hope isn't costing me anything.

Ok, so right now as I sit pounding away on my laptop, surrounded by the huge mess I have created while creating, I guess I better show what I have been doing...

I have been making jewelry out of clay. I saw a free pattern at Michaels and took some clay and fishing line over to my sister Julie's house and showed her how to make these. Of course, I didn't know either, but I played the craft expert and luckily they turned out really pretty. But now I cant give her one for Christmas...I should've thought of that!

I am so proud of her...She has started sewing! She made some I pad bags and they turned out great. I have tried to get her to sew before and I went with her while she bought fabric! Woo hoo....Of course I was the expert on that too....I think I am going to make her a really cute pincushion and some pins with toppers...She is like me, she loves pink so it will be fun for me to make. I have lots of pink fabric pieces.

I also started painting a poetry journal and all the pages are drawn and painted. It has been an ambitious project to say the least.

Then I have made a few is a bird..

I like to make ornaments...I guess that is why I do the ornament swap every month that Val hosts...

And finally, I made three more hexagons...I still am sewing them on my machine and it seems to work out fine. Maybe someday I will catch up with Maria and make a quilt out of mine...I have no clue how to put them together, but I guess I will figure that out later!

The rest of what I have been making I cant show yet, but I will soon.
I hope you all are enjoying this season....Now I need to pick up that mess....Melinda

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

One Flower Wednesday and a book Review

Hey all, I have been admiring the flower hexagons for a while now. The part that made me nervous was the hand sewing...I keep seeing them on Maria's Life on the Block blog and telling her I want to make some. She was sweet enough to send me some links and here are my first ones...Every Wednesday, there a lot of ladies who make some really pretty hexagons...Now I have to be truthful, I am sewing them by machine. I found if you leave a 1/4 inch at the ends of the seams, you can fold it together and finish the seams. I love using scraps! I dont have a lot of focus type fabric, but I love them done like that...So I did it Maria!!! woohooo

I also won a book giveaway from Michelle! Her blog is the L7 Quilt company...She asked me to do a review for her after I read it. In this case, I am more than happy to give a review. I have tried to read other quilting fiction, and I just never enjoyed them. This one was really fun and full of small town characters.Nell is the main character and she is the girlfriend of the towns sheriff...She is a busybody in a good way even though she would deny it. Her grandmother owns a quilt shop and this old girl is a pistol...the town is planning and anniversary celebration and grandma ropes Nell into putting together a quilt show.. Then while planting a rose garden, they find a body buried in the garden. The characters are so much fun and I definitely would like a book where Glad is featured...It is a happy little read and I have been looking for the first book in this series...of course the love of quilting is included too...I would highly reccomend it to anyone who loves to read and enjoys a little quilting too!

Monday, November 14, 2011

I just joined a Secret Santa Swap!

Shawnee from the Flirty Apron Swappers is having it and tomorrow is the last day to register!

She also has a little questionarre that she would like us to do to help out our secret partners...

What are your hobbies? Reading, quilting, painting, playing with polymer clay

What are your favorite colors? Pink, orange

Do you collect anything? art books, bits and pieces of things that might be made into something else..buttons and ribbons

Are you allergic to any fibers or animals? nope

Do you have any pets? I have a rottweiler, one giant yellow lab, an orange cat who rules the world, a fluffy cat who doesnt have a brain in his little head and a miniature bunny.

Coffee, Tea, or Chocolate? oh Honey, it is all about the chocolate

What do you like to read? Wow! hard question! Fiction, biographies..not a lot of romances, but occasionally I will pick one up.

Do you prefer Cookies or Candies as a sweet?

I cant decide because I like both!

What is your favorite holiday treat?

homemade sugar cookies with frosting.

Describe your favorite holiday tradition.

With the kids gone, this makes me really sad, but it was always bundling up and going to see the lights and church on Christmas Eve.

Did you believe in Santa as a child?

I still do!

When do you open presents?

It used to be Christmas morning...

Do you put up a tree and when? If not, how do you celebrate?

I always had a giant tree with all the kids ornaments. I bought one every year for them from birth on. I now have them all packed away to give them.

Does your tree have a theme?

Now I have a little pink tree and I have pink, white and silver homemade ornaments.

What has been your favorite gift to give? to receive?

I love to make things for my family that will be special to them. Gift buying for others especially the little kids, is my favorite thing in the world. watching them with their special thing from maga (their word for grandma) is the best gift in the world for me. I have really missed being able to do that this last year!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fall colors, Fall swaps!

Even though it is Fall, we had snow two days ago...I like it for a day or two and today it is back to the beautiful Fall weather. It is my favorite time of year. Time to wear all my favorite flannel pj bottoms, my favorite big soft tshirts and flip flops...and that is what I wear to work! heehee...Cuddling up with a quilt and reading...Of course I do that all year but it just seems so much cozier....To get me in the spirit of Autumn, I actually joined two Fall swaps.

The first one was a Shabby Fall Bag swap...My partner was CJ. I recognized her name right away. We finally realized that we are both in Fiber Art Traders. I swear I have been her partner in something, but I cant remember what. What I do know, Is she needs to get a blog!!!!!!!

We have had so much fun getting to know each other thru emails..She is one of those people you just wish lived closer! We have a lot of things in common. I think we both made the perfect bags for each others taste.

CJ made me this beautiful bag from some drapes that she had. I love the colors and the beautiful pleating the bag has...I immediately put all my things in it and changed bags. She told me she makes a lot of bags for gifts. Especially during Christmas. I could tell, it is made beautifully.

She also made a mixed media heart, (I love hearts) some little charms, fibers, silk fabrics and some monogrammed goodies and little shells. I love getting little bits of things to use in projects....

Here is what I made for Cj...

No pattern of course. I just started by pulling scraps out of my basket in colors that to me, looked like fall..I lined it with some of my hoarded, favorite green silk.

I am hooked on these mug rugs with the pockets. They are fun to put little things in. CJ told me she threw her coaster away and put her coffee mug right on it in her studio.

Here is her fall package...I sent her a bag book that I had and have used to get ideas...Remember, I cant follow a pattern!

I also joined Shawnee's Fall table runner swap. This is the one that took five times of sewing and ripping it apart to make...But I did it, I did it! I made the runner a matching banner and I really tried to match the colors of my partners dining room!

It was really worth the effort because I love how it turned out....

She hasnt gotten it yet, and I cant wait to hear what she thinks!

Well, now I am going to go take advantage of the beautiful weather and take my dogs for a walk...Happy Fall all.....Melinda

Monday, October 31, 2011

Hey everyone..Happy Halloween

I have the perfect Halloween post, but first I have to say two things....Number one is if there were a dingbat costume I would've humbly wore it...Lately I put something away so I can find it and then I cant remember where I put it!
The second thing is I cannot follow a quilt pattern. I made a table runner and it turned out gorgeous..However, the pattern said you could pour a cup of tea and by the time you were done with it, the top would be done...Let's put it this way, I couldve grown the tea, harvested the leaves, dried them and drank a gallon...I had to take it apart five times to figure out what I was doing wrong...jeesh...
I had some of the cutest little trick or treaters tonight...One little guy was so precious...I miss my grand kids...I miss trick or treating with them!
I joined Aunt pitty pats halloween tote swap and she was my partner! We both have our packages so I thought I would share....She sent me the most adorable bag and mug rug with a zombie on it...I have used it as a book bag all week and taken it to work and everyone thought it was adorable!

And here is the whole package....She sent me a cellophane bag of candy too...It is not here in full, because I either ate it or forgot where I put it...I especially love the little black cat pin keep!

I sent her a tote, a mug rug with the same fabric and some little goodies...

The mug rug actually was an accident, but it ended up with little pockets on one side and I thought it was really cool!

Here is the whole thing before I mailed it....

I really enjoyed this made me feel like a kid and I LOVE orange.....

I also have made THE tablerunner and I was in the shabby chic fall bag swap and my partner an I both just loved our bags, in fact I immediatly cleaned out my blackhole of a bag and switched...I will post the other two swaps in my next post...Watch out for zombies......

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Ladybugs and Chickens...

I just finished a pincushion swap that was hostessed by Jill T...She just recently started a blog that hosts smaller swaps that encourage you to make things rather than spend a lot of money buying things. She is super creative and I encourage you to visit and participate. Her blog is
So my good friend Val and I were partners...Have you ever known someone from blogging that you just know if you lived close you would be the best of friends? She is that person for me. Someday, we are going to meet and I am sure it will be like we have known each other for ever. She loves enchanted things...bugs, fairies, mushrooms, gnomes...Things like that. I decided to make her a lady bug pincushion.

This is Lyle who thought he was Lila until he found out that not all lady bugs are ladies. He is a happy bug.

I made him some fancy little pins for his little body...He is a fashionable thing, Lyle.

I also made Val an eyeball headband for Halloween...When she got it, she immediately put it on and began prancing around. She didn't know it had eyeballs on it until her daughter told her...We both had a laugh about that and she is making a costume around the headband. I cant wait to see a picture!

Now remember the eyeball thing as you continue reading.....
Here is what Val sent me!
The most adorable chicken on a nest pincushion ever and it is sewn so perfectly...My hand sewing is atrocious! I love her little tail feathers and her name is Henrietta.

A crocheted eyeball!!!!!! Great minds think a like!

And some sewing goodies that you know I will use in a cute little tin! Isn't she the greatest? Thank you so much Ms. Enchanted, I love everything!!!!

I have just been working, sewing like crazy and in my spare time putting away moving boxes. I am starting to see empty space in the garage! Hallelujah! Happy Fall everyone...Also wanted you all to know that blogger wont let me comment on blogs...Any ideas out there...I am just a lurker right now....

Sunday, October 16, 2011

It was a project weekend!

I actually had three days off and I got to sew and glue and cut and make a huge mess!!!! I also made things and some I can't show you because they are a secret. I have no idea what I was thinking but I signed up for four swaps that all pretty much have the same date. For a while, I make almost nothing and I think my jubilance ran away from me. I am happy to report that I got them done! Oh my happy dancing feet!

My partner and I for Val's zombie swap are done....Sarah is someone I have never met before and it was her first swap. I could tell by the note that came in the package that she was pretty excited about it..Whaddya say she's hooked? These swaps have a way of grabbing you.
So this is what the spooky miss Sarah sent me...

There were also reese's peanut butter cup but I wolfed them down first thing. I had a day that called for serious chocolate.

I love the zombie doll...I love the bright orange especially cause I have a secret thing for orange. That is me being dramatic and mysterious because I know it's not really a secret. A girl can pretend ok?
I already used some of the little monster stickers and I also ate a couple of eyeballs out of the coffin....delicous!

Here is what I sent Sarah....

The zombie bride from a few posts back.

Some spooky cards! And here it is all together....Zombie bride is in the coffin.she is waiting to make her appearance on Halloween!

A few posts ago I mentioned I made up a big tablerunner...Victoria from "Bears Mom" actually sent me these and I wanted to show her that I used them. I think the fabrics are flour sack repro's. I love them what ever they are. This first picture isnt the greatest but you can see the pattern.

And this is what I did with it.....This is what the colors really look like and this little bench is in my entry way.....

Happy Fall!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Jammies and superman!

I had to laugh the other day because I was reading Aunt Pitty Pat's blog, and she was talking about salad in a jar and meals in a jar and she thought it was so cool. I had just make my sister some pajama's for her birthday when I spied a big old mason jar....Yeah, Jammies in a turned out so cute all decorated up...I really had to roll the flannel up tight, but it was worth the effort. So now you know one more thing that you can put in those jars.

I also mentioned in my last post that I made a bag for her too...This is a really different type of bag because it is made of vinyl....I made one a long time ago using Halloween atc's but I thought she would get a kick out of it. Especially since it is covered with pictures of their little family.

She is all excited about using it...I had to hot glue a lining that I made out of fabric in it. All I can say is my fingers think I have no right to get near a glue gun. It was as bad as my sanding with the dremmel.

My little nephew Jace had his third birthday. His room is a toy store already so I got him art supplies. I went over on Saturday and we colored and cut and glued for over an hour. He even made a scrapbook page in his pad of paper. Julie scrapbooks and he likes to be in the room with her so he thinks it is a great ides. Now the big boy can do it too. I also sewed up a quick Superman cape...He loves it. He likes to fly.....

It's a bird, it's a's Super Jace!

With nerves of steel he flies thru the air!

Ok, he is done now...

While we were playing Julie and my brother in law, Steve were making a cake for my other nephews first birthday. Steve really enjoys doing it. Julie is the assistant...Pretty funny to see the big tough air force guy making cakes. I am glad he has the outlet though after seeing so much war time.

Pretty good eh? Ok I am done talking now....night all.