Sunday, January 29, 2012

Project 52 Weeks: Page 5

"Progress always involves risks.  You can't steal second base and keep your foot on first."
-Frederick B. Wilcox

This past week has the impetus to become a momentous one in my life. But, a couple of more things have to fall into place before the history books will decide.

However, it was not without some hand-wringing, and to be honest, a little bit of freaking out. Last Sunday, while waiting for our house in Georgia to close at some yet-to-be-determined date next week, Rob and I put an offer on a house with no contingency clause. This past weekend we watched the movers pack, load, and drive away with most of our household goods to sit in storage until we move into a house in South Carolina.

Big risks bring big rewards. It could be the next step in our life journey, or heaven forbid, if something falls through, it could be the biggest nightmare ever. Keep your fingers crossed that it's the former.

Journaling reads: Our Buford house has been on the market since August. We've been house-hunting in Spartanburg since October. This week we had to take an uncomfortable risk to move ahead on both fronts. On Sunday we put an offer on a house (without a contingency!), and then we heard that our closing date had been postponed indefinitely. Scared us silly, but we have our fingers crossed!

We moved out and away. We accepted an offer.

Supplies used: carbon copies of South Carolina real estate form, brown packing tape from the movers, Harvest from Basic Grey's Urban Prairie collection, Sophie-White from American Crafts' Remarks collection, tiny brads, fortune cookie fortune from Panda Express, blue index card, date stamp.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

To infinity and beyond...

"The color of springtime is in the flowers, the color of winter is in the imagination."
-Terri Guillemets

I've been dreaming of infinity scarves for a couple of months now, but wasn't quite sure I could pull off this fashion-forward trend.

1, 2, 3, 4

That is, until my sister-in-law gave me one for Christmas, and I wore it a couple of days in a row. [See self-portrait I took a couple of weeks ago.]

At that point, I took things into my own hands and bought supplies to make another one. Found this awesome Native American print (to be honest, completely different than what I had first imagined... but I knew it was perfect when I saw it!) at Joann's! And, Saturday afternoon after my Home Sweet Home project, I just kept sewing.

The project was quick and easy, and a great way to practice working with knit fabrics. I bought 1/2 yd of stretchy knit fabric, folded it in half, and sewed right sides together with a zig-zag stitch. Then took the two ends and sewed as much as I could by machine, and then blind-stitched the rest of the hole closed by hand. Twist once in the middle and then place over my head. Even Rob was impressed!

I wonder how many more of these I'll make in the next couple of weeks. Hopefully enough to wear one every day!!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Reverse applique...

"I challenge you to be dreamers; I challenge you to be doers and let us make the greatest place in the world even better."
-Brian Schweitzer

When I first dreamed of this project, I imagined the starburst peeking through a hole in a solid color fabric. I had to do a little online research to discover the "reverse applique" method. Thankfully I was able to adapt this tutorial from Sweet Verbena (super cute t-shirt, by the way!!) for my project.

Here's how I achieved the look for myself:

  1. Cut a rectangle out of khaki fabric. I wanted mine to ultimately fit in a 8x10" frame, so I cut my rectangle just larger... 9.5" by 11.5".
  2. Cut out a pattern shape from a cardstock. I free-handed a house shape, but then folded it in half to make it as symmetrical as possible.
  3. Trace around the pattern with a fabric marking pen.
  4. Cut out a rectangle of fusible interfacing just smaller than your khaki fabric. Mine was probably 8" by 10".
  5. Iron the fusible interfacing onto the back of your patterned fabric (or in this case, my starburst patchwork), as directed by the interfacing. Usually this requires steam and a damp pressing cloth.
  6. Trim around the patterned fabric, no need to deal with all of that extra fabric.
  7. Pin the patterned fabric to the back of the khaki fabric. Make sure that the tracing lines and the pattern are facing the same way and that your pins don't cross the tracing lines.
  8. Use a small and tight zigzag stitch to sew around the tracing lines to attach the patterned fabric to the khaki fabric.
  9. Trim the patterned fabric, leaving about 1/4" from the seam.
  10. Pinch up the top layer of khaki fabric (making sure not to grab the bottom layer!!) and cut an "x" to allow your scissors better access.
  11. Carefully use microtip scissors to trim close to the inside edge of the seam. In this project, I trimmed as close as possible. With knits or other fabrics, I might leave a bigger margin.
  12. Use water to remove the ink from the fabric marking pen. 
  13. Voila! All you have to do now is find a frame and a place on the wall to hang! Although it would make an adorable pillow front or totebag as well!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Starburst patchwork...

"Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to weave."
-Mignon McLaughlin

Can't promise this is the best/most efficient/most effective way to create a starburst patchwork! For this project, I didn't care much about fitting an exact size, so I didn't measure too closely (who am I kidding... that's not unique to this project, it's my normal method for crafting). And, yes, my result is a little wonky in places... the starburst didn't exactly close just how I wanted it to. But, I'm okay with that.

Next time, and yes, there will be a next time, I'll try to follow this tutorial from Film in the Fridge a little bit closer. In fact, maybe that quilt will be the next starburst project... or maybe just a couple of blocks to make an awesome pillow.

But, if you want to make your own starburst, here's my way...

  1. Cut strips of two different fabric patterns (preferably one solid and one pattern). Mine were about 8" long and between 3-4" wide. In the end, I needed 11 strips of each color, but I wasn't quite sure how many I would need until I was done.
  2. Pin strips of contrasting fabrics together at an angle. You want to match up one long edge of the solid strip with the diagonal of the patterned strip.
  3. Sew along this diagonal line. Repeat with 10 other pairs of strips.
  4. Press the seam open, and trim the pattern strip on the side where the seam allowance is.
  5. Pin together two pairs at an angle. Match up the side of a patterned piece with the diagonal of the solid strip. Sew, press, and trim.
  6. Continue matching up pairs until you create a full circle.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Home Sweet Home applique...

"Everyone who's ever taken a shower has an idea.  It's the person who gets out of the shower, dries off, and does something about it who makes a difference."
-Nolan Bushnell

Last night while lying in bed, I had a wonderful vision of a sewing project that could be framed and hung on the wall, next to this letterpress print that my mom gave us for Christmas. Going through my fabric stash today, I realized I already had most of the supplies I needed. A quick trip to Joann's for fusible interfacing and some microtip scissors, and I was back to the apartment, ready for an afternoon of crafting.

I've been inspired lately by the thought of home (we've been househunting lately, and might be close to putting down an offer!) and starbursts (as you can see from the first page of my SMASH book).

I find it so invigorating to take an idea full circle from a nugget of an idea to the finished product in one day. Now, all I need to do is find a frame, and then of course, have a wall to hang it on.

Be on the lookout for tutorials in the next couple of days! And, hopefully in a month or so, you'll see it displayed in our new house!

EDITED TO ADD: Starburst patchwork tutorial & Reverse applique tutorial

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Project 52 Weeks: Page 4

"Love one another and you will be happy.  It's as simple and as difficult as that."
-Michael Leunig

I've been saving notes on my phone for this one all week.

Journaling reads: Pillow Talk Conversations. Rob and I really needed the three weeks of distance we had over the holidays. We needed it. Our marriage needed it. Through the course of Week One, we gave each other space, and hardly talked at all. Week Two, the dialogue increased, as we shared what was going on with our respective familie. By Week Three, we didn't leave each other alone... we had an ongoing email, instant message, phone conversation. The passion and excitement was back. Many nights this week, we found ourselves in bed really early (like 8:00 pm). Although Rob insisted it was because he was tired, we found ourselves awake, talking in bed for the next hour and a half. Those moments, those conversations are precious. Pillow talk does the body and soul good. [List in pocket pulls out to show all of the random things we talked about.]

Supplies used: Like This SMASH tape, baker's twine, pages from a 1959 issue of Science and Mechanics, page from an old farm ledger, aqua ribbon, date stamp, cardstock price tag, Bluebird from Basic Grey's Urban Prairie Collection

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Project 52 Weeks: Page 3

"When one has a great deal to put into it a day has a hundred pockets."
-Friedrich Nietzsche

Inspired by Carly's 10 on 10 Challenge over at Simple Things, I decided to document January 10th with 10 instagram photos. I had to be a little bit creative to squeeze all ten in, but it shows a wonderful snapshot of a day in my life.

Journaling reads: Woke up early to drive down to Greenville. Commute wasn't bad at all. | Spent the day at the Hyatt in a Social Media Seminar. Wasn't much new. | Wearing gray striped sweater, gray infinity scarf, new jeans, and a headband. | Went to Jason's Deli for lunch. Ordered beef stew. Yummy! | Best part about eating at Jason's is the soft serve for dessert. | Had two checks to deposit at the ATM: last Sylvan check and one from ENT. | Stopped by library to check out a new library book. Saw friend Shana here. | Rob offered to "cook" dinner for me. He's still excited I'm back home. | We had authentic tamales brought back from Arizona. | After two long days in a row, we were in bed early.

Supplies used: Instagram photos, index cards, date stamp, a leftover chipboard diecut (the inside of a frame used long ago), "Let's Ride" glow-in-the-dark alphabet stickers by Noteworthy.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Project 52 Weeks: Page 2

"Scrapbooking isn't about scraps of paper and photos.  Scrapbooking is about scraps of life - yours and those special to you."
-Rebecca Sower

The highlight of the first week of the new year was traveling down to Baton Rouge with my mom for Camp-Crop-A-Lot, a weekend scrapbook retreat sponsored by Memory Mania. 

Journaling reads: This weekend Mama and I went down to Baton Rouge to scrap with Ms. Valine and pals at Camp Crop-A-Lot. All day and all night (until 2 am), we scrapped. I worked on a journal of our wedding plans, and I'm almost finished!

Supplies used: Hayloft from Urban Prairie Collection by Basic Grey, labels from an online giveaway, placecard from the event, date stamp, and photos.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Project 52 Weeks: Page 1

"We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day."
-Edith Lovejoy Pierce

The tribute to my not-so-exciting New Year's! I beckon in a new year, a new beginning! 
[Notice I highlighted "Tangerine Tango," the 2012 Pantone Color of the Year.]

Supplies Used: Calendar overlay created by me, iPhone Screenshot, New Year image (recolored) from eighteen25, Instagram photo, index cards, chipboard stickers from Big Lots.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Project 52 Weeks: Inside the Front Cover

“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.”
-Mary Lou Cook

Here is my first page of Project 52 Weeks, aka the inside cover and the ode to my "one little word" for 2012.

Supplies Used: "Boho Chic Luscious Lace" from We R Memory Keepers, purple patterned paper from an online giveaway, Adhesive tags from Sticko by EK Success, Notepaper from Present Company, Instagram photo, magazine cutout letters from Vogue and Time, quote image by Marius Roosentaal pinned here, date stamp, and page from a vintage dictionary.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

My SMASHbook station...

“Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward; they may be beaten, but they may start a winning game.”

This year I will be tackling a yearlong project: Project 52 Weeks, to document the highlights and everyday moments of 2012. I've set up my SMASHbook station on the top of a bookshelf in our office/cycling room. I hope that by keeping the project out and accessible it will be easy to keep up with the project. I'm also choosing Wednesday and/or Friday evenings to create a page per week.

My SMASHbook philosophy will be a step back towards more traditional scrapbooking... the kind my grandmother, mother, and even I made as kids. At Canton a couple of weeks ago, I dug through the piles of junk to discover random vintage ephemera to add alongside my receipts, clothing tags, cut-outs from magazine, and photos.

I don't know exactly how the final book will turn out. In fact, everyone to whom I've explained the project has asked, "So are there 52 pages in the book?" And, to be honest, I haven't even counted...

Hopefully I'll post a photo of each week's page(s). Look for the first page (the inside cover and introduction to the year) tomorrow!

If you're looking for other SMASHbook inspiration, these are some of the bookmarks I've saved: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.

Friday, January 13, 2012


“I am not afraid…I was born to do this.”
-Joan of Arc

My one little word for this year is "create."

In 2012, I want to
  • Create projects--both digital and unplugged.
  • Create a home--we're house-hunting again!
  • Create a family--this is a big dream, but this just might be the year.
  • Create a friendship--locally would be nice. 

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

    Holiday recap...

    "I shall make of this day–each moment of this day–a heaven on earth. This is my day of opportunity."
    -Dan Custer

    The good thing about freelancing is that I can take my work on the road. I just returned Monday night from three weeks away. Although it has taken a couple of days to get back to the grindstone, I have such wonderful memories from the time spent in Louisiana with my mom and sister.

    Here are a few highlights:

    Practicing the manual setting on our cameras. We may have had a tiny breakthrough... although it doesn't always seem to work. See more.

    Lots of cooking and baking: sugar cookies, pork roast, pecan pie, bread, etc. And, then of course, we ate it ALL!

    Celebrating on Christmas Eve after the Candlelight Service. Yummy feast, thoughtful gifts, and wonderful family.

    Freezing our tushies off as we sat through the rainy and foggy Independence Bowl. We stayed until the middle of the fourth quarter, when we were able to convince Callie that there was no hope left for UNC, her alma mater. See more.

    Putting Mama's sewing room back together after it was remodeled. It even spurred a couple of sewing projects. See more.

    One of which was a camera bag insert for our DSLRs. Now we can be stylish and functional!! See more.

    Digging through the piles of junk at the First Monday Trade Days in Canton, TX. I had been wanting to join my mom on this adventure for years. And, now I can't wait to go back! See more.

    Lots of exercising and aerobics at Mosley's Movements... Good thing, since I ate half of a batch of cookies all by myself.

    Eating at some of my favorite places and seeing some of my favorite people. Sometimes at the same time!!

    Driving down to Baton Rouge for Camp-Crop-A-Lot, a weekend scrapbook retreat sponsored by Memory Mania. Another place I've wanted to go with my mom for several years. I worked on a scrapbook journal of our wedding planning activities. I hope to put the final touches on it in the next couple of weeks so that I can post it here. See more.

    And, most importantly, lots of quality time with my mom and sister! I love and miss you girls!! See more.

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