Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas Clean up (Recycle, repurpose & reuse)

Christmas is over and while it's time to start the clean up, not everything necessarily needs to end up in the trash.  Here are a couple of ideas for repurposing items that are typically tossed out.  We received a lot of store bought sweet treats.  The treats are long gone, but the spacious sections of these candy boxes captured my imagination!  I measured the the sections and then cut out felt to place on the bottom of each section.  You could also use flannel or other fabric scraps.  I did not glue them down, but if the felt starts moving around, I will.  I used the larger box to hold my Janome bobbins, and I used the two smaller sections to separate my earrings in my Jewelry dresser, Saving the planet while getting organized - Sweet!  
My favorite bit of Christmas recycling is reusing the holiday cards for package tags.  I had saved 20 years of holiday cards before I started using them as tags.  All that is required are some fun paper scissors from my scrapbooking days and a small hole punch.  I add the ribbon as I wrap, and this year I used Christmas fabric selvages and trimmings as well,  This is also a good use for all those unsolicited cards that come in with the junk mail!
 The first year I did this, I just sat in front of the TV with my box of cards and scissors and snipped away as I watched "Call the Midwife"  One or two episodes and I was done.  My DH saved several that were on his packages to use again next year.  Good economy, but they are also too pretty to throw away!  Hope your holidays were joyful!  Happy Quilting!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Wrapping it up for Christmas

I am winding down and wrapping up all the preparations for the holidays.  Finally finished decorating the tree, finally finished the Christmas cookies and finally finished decorating.  Better late than never!  I also managed to finish these two bags for two of my favorite customers!  The blue bag is 32" wide and 22 tall, plenty of room to put a very large (folded) quilt! 
The second bag is for a new customer who loves brights, it is only a bit smaller, 29 " wide, 21" tall, still very roomy.  I was in a bit of a hurry this morning to get to bee and give the ladies their bags, so I didn't take a picture of the interior, they each have a coordinated pocket inside.
I tried several new things this year, which certainly delayed the decorating process.  I have collected vintage ornaments from garage sales, flea markets etc., for over 20 years.  I have pinned (pinterest) many tutorials on how to make wreathes from the ornaments, but it just seems so permanent I just can't actually make one.  Instead, this year I have accepted that they will never be in a wreath and started to think about alternate uses, here are three of my favorites using items that I already had.
 I bought the swan at an old antique store (Rainvilles) about 7 summers ago, I have done various things with it, but this is my favorite!  (so far)
I just started to change this candle holder seasonally this summer, so I don't have all the candles to go with the decor yet.  I sent my DH and DD out to get them and DD came home with these.  LOVED them.  Well, until we took the plastic cover off.  Tahitian Vanilla is overwhelming!  My solution was to take out my beloved Mod Podge, yes, I did!  DISCLAIMER:  Do not use Mod Podge on candles that you intend on lighting some day.  DON'T DO IT!  FLAMMABLE!!  I never light my candles, so this was the perfect solution for me.  I brushed Mod Podge all over it and sprinkled glitter over it.  It only took two coats and the smell was completely gone.  No color is off limits for me now!
Off to link up with Amanda at Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Fridays, then back to the studio to long arm on some fabric for a last minute Christmas request.  Happy Quilting!!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Stash Busting for Charity

I Finished up a UFO/WISP that wasn't officially on the list, but should have been, I believe my Gram and I made the top over 2 years ago.  I finally pieced the back, quilted and bound it Wednesday and finished the pillow case last night.  All of the fabric for this bunk bed sized quilt came from my Grandma's and my stashes, even the backing, binding and pillowcase.  The pattern is a coins quilt, which I like to use to showcase an interesting fabric.  This quilt was handed over today to the special projects committee at my guild for use at Natasha House, an organization that helps women and their families get back on their feet.  I hope that it brightens up the recipient's spirits as well as their room during their stay at Natasha's house.  Now to link up for Finish it up Fridays with AmandaJean at  Crazy Mom Quilts.  This Friday she has a quilt that is the epitome of a stash busting scrappy quilt and also happens to be fabulously FUN!   Happy Quilting!!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Scrappy Ornaments

I have found yet another use for scraps!  I first thought of this when I was recycling jars into pumpkins via Mod Podging orange fabric strips and scraps.  I was in need of a little something as gifts for my fellow bee members for our annual Christmas luncheon.  We exchange little ornaments or items usually homemade.  So far I seem to be fixated on ornaments.  This year I bought the smallest glass balls from Joann's Fabrics and I went through my scraps, which are organized pretty well this year.  I chose scraps to suit each of the ladies tastes, i.e.,  purples, blues, brights, fall colors, reds, citrus etc.,  I needed 12, and I made 2 extra just in case. 
 I put clay in the bottom of some candle stick holders, then broke wooden skewers in thirds and made an inverted v and put the hole of the ball on top of it to keep my hands relatively clean as I worked.  It also allowed it to dry on all sides.  My best advice is to take your time and let the Mod Podge dry a bit as you work.  I brushed some on the balls then I organized my fabric pieces.  Then I stuck a few pieces on and brushed more Mod Podge over it, then worked on the second ball.  It wasn't so slippery and stayed put better that way.
 The silver tops were tricky!  I found this Styrofoam to stick them in while I worked.  HUGE help, it was also nice because it still had a plastic covering over it so it wasn't ruined.  You will need sharp little scissors for this part, I also pinked the side that was going on the bottom edge of the top.  Definitely use a small brush and brush the Mod Podge on and let it set before trying to wrap the fabric around it.  Cut slits for better folding before trying to fold it down.
 There they all are! I put extra coats on everything because I wanted them to be really shiny.
 I added little name tags and made little hangers out of pinked selvages and trimmings.  I was going to use ric rac, but I didn't have a sufficient variety of the tiny ones to match all the different combos.
 I really enjoyed making these and I am very happy with the results!  The ladies liked them too, and were so surprised I knew their "colors".  I am definitely planning on making more, but I think I may try using larger balls for one of my ideas.  I made a medium size one using the orange scraps from my jack o lantern project, but I forgot to take a picture.  Trust me, the larger balls are much easier than these tiny balls.   Then, of course I started getting more ideas, now if I could only get more time to work those ideas out!  
Now off to link up with Crazy Mom Quilts and Finish it up Fridays! 
Happy Quilting and Crafting!