Saturday, December 24, 2011

Where's Laura K?

Can you find me in this "Winter Wonder 2011" cast photo?

(Click to enlarge.)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Vintage Christmas Ornament Wreath Tutorial

This year I remembered to take step-by-step photos to share with you "my way" of creating this style of wreath.

I'm not saying it's the only way. I'm not saying it's the best way. It's just "my way." It uses NO HOT GLUE and it is completely reversible. So, you can remove the ornaments and store them safely if you like.

Also, after seeing the pile of ornaments that I had collected this year, I realized that I had enough to make at least two wreaths, so you will see a "green/red" version as well as a "pink/blue" version in the tutorial.

Please note - this design takes TWO DAYS to complete.

Start with your stash of ornaments. I work on a towel on the floor so that none will roll around. Each wreath requires about a hundred ornaments.

No, I am not kidding. A Hundred Ornaments.

When I was in college, my roommate worked at a Christmas store. Their ornaments were wired to the tree branches. Before attaching them, each ornament hanger was secured with "spackle." The metal tops were removed and a smear of spackle was spread into the top opening of the ornament and then the top was put back on. After the spackle dried (the next day,) the ornaments were wired to the tree. I always remembered this trick and have used it here in this design. Instead of spackle, I have used this constuction adhesive which is purchased at Home Depot. It takes about one tube of adhesive per wreath.

A picture is worth a thousand words, isn't it? Just remove the top of the ornament, squeeze in a little adhesive and replace the top. It takes 24 hours to dry - trust me.

Here are the additional supplies that I used - a 14-inch straw wreath (DO NOT remove the plastic wrap,) two 15-foot garlands and a package of floral pins.

Secure one end of the garland with a pin and wrap the wreath. It takes two 15-foot garlands to cover the wreath form. Secure all ends with floral pins.

Now I know you are dying to begin pinning your ornaments, but first, create a wire hanger for your wreath by securely wrapping a length of wire around the wreath and then fashioning a loop for hanging at the back. Trust me, it is hard to add this later, please do it now. Also, this wire will "mark" the top center of the wreath, which comes in handy as you are working.

Now for the fun part! Secure the ornaments to the wreath with the floral pins. Be sure to push the pins in all the way. No glue is required. The pins are very secure in the straw wreath. I usually wear gloves for this because my fingers get sore! Begin by pinning the largest ornaments around the outside of the wreath form.

Also, some ornaments are designed to "hang down" like bells. I usually place these along the inside of the wreath.

I keep the wreath flat on the floor as I work.

Continue to fill in the ornaments working generally from largest to smallest sizes. I fashion a "starburst" from skinny pointed ornaments as a focal point somewhere on the wreath. You can use anything you like ( a bow? a topper?) as a focal point.

Do your fingers hurt yet? Glad you are wearing those gloves?

Hang your wreath on the wall and step back to see if the colors and arrangement are pleasing. If not, it is no big deal to switch a couple of ornaments around.


I hope you will give this a try!

Monday, December 05, 2011

Feather Fairy Fest 2011

Oh yes, FFF2011 finally arrived! Woot!

Mo, Amy, Leah, Joanna, Beth, Lindsey, Sarah, Kaitlin, Molly and I had lots of fun making our feather fairies....

Sarah came directly from a cheer showcase. (Love the make-up, Sarah!) She is inspired to create a 1980's aerobic instructor feather fairy....

Amy is working on "Edgar." Oh yes, he will have a calculator.

Here is newlywed Beth and her fairies,

and Molly creates a gift for a friend. Love those purple pompoms...

Lindsey creates two MASTERPIECES!

Joanna created a caroling fairy. "Oh Holy Night!"

Kaitlin created FOUR? Is that even possible?

Molly and Mo - Mother and daughter - so adorable!

Leah created a Green Bay Packer-themed fairy...

Click on photo to enlarge. You know you want to see that calculator.


Thanksgiving in Boca Raton

We visited my Dad over Thanksgiving. It was also my brother's 50th birthday. This is the view from our hotel window!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Weekend in Atlanta

I traveled to Atlanta last weekend to visit my sister and her family.

On Friday night we lit a fire and watched the North Carolina Basketball Game on TV.

On Saturday Leah, Isabelle and I had breakfast with Tim Gunn. Afterward they headed for The Atlanta Fall Classic Horse Show while I met a friend and went to the Lucky Brand Fashion Show at the Perimeter Mall.

On Sunday I went with Leah and Isabelle to the Horse Show. It was a beautiful day and Isabelle collected lots of ribbons!

On Monday while the kids were in school, Leah and I had fun at High Arts Day which included tours of two FABULOUS Atlanta homes.

It was hard to say goodbye!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Vintage Patchwork Messenger Bags

My generous friend, Darlene, gifted me with this vintage postage-stamp quilt top and I have made a couple of bags with it.

I wanted to try something new - the "sketchy" stitching that is oh-so-hip-and-trendy right now. I stitched a face and added a little color with pencils.

Working with some vintage patched "dresden plate" blocks, I arranged everything on the patchwork, added some detail with trims and buttons and finished it as a messenger bag.

Here is the back. I added a "Grandmother's Flower Garden" block and some free-motion stitching.

After standing back and taking a good look, I wasn't sure I liked it. The problem, I think was actually the face. Too "pretty" for the whimsical patchwork. Also, I had covered up one of my favorite parts of the plate block - the bright yellow center with black primitive stitching.

So I made a second, similar bag:

Instead of the face I added an embroidered bluebird and a little message. (The first bag also has a message, did you notice?)

I DO like this one more.

I have never been the "hip and trendy" type!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Sneak Peek

Working on some cheery new designs!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Orange You Glad...?

After using up just about every scrap of vintage patchwork in my previous projects, I wondered if i could create my own...

I went through my stash and pulled out anything with a 70's orange/lime vibe. I was in high school during the 70's and this combination always makes me smile.

I cut and pieced 4.5-inch squares and created this bag. There are dishtowels, tablecloths and vintage fabrics all in the mix.

The carrots are crewel embroidery.

Here is the back...because everything is improved when you add a rooster.

I had enough patches to create a couple of handbags as well.

Vintage enamel daisy pins decorate the flaps.

What do you think?

Friday, June 03, 2011

Happy Summer!

This yellow daisy necktie bag makes me smile!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Congratulations Will!

William starts high school in the fall...and he picked out this tie himself.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Vintage Patchwork Bag

I purchased a bundle of patchwork at the Retro Indie Market. It was the very end of the day and our booth had slowed down considerably so I took some time to shop. When I asked how much for the fabric and heard "three dollars," I took it even though I wasn't sure what it was.

When I got home and unrolled the piece I discovered that it was probably a former curtain. Someone had cut into it and made perhaps a vest or a jacket. Rather than pinning the pattern to the fabric, "she" had traced around the pieces with a red marker. So what I had purchased was cut up and the pieces required for the jacket were obviously gone. Red marker was also evident.

But come on... THREE DOLLARS!

I took out the trusty seam ripper and removed the damaged pieces. With what remained I made two of these schoolbags, a handbag (below) and a zipper pouch. Not bad eh?

I used a vintage (damaged) tablecloth for the linings and altogether feel like a proud recycler. Only the magnets were new purchases.

By the way... I would LOVE to see that jacket!