Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I just turned 40.  Hard to believe but also pretty exciting.  I always thought I'd have life totally figured out by 40, apparently not.

What I did learn, though, is that I have an amazing husband and awesome friends and family.   My husband began planning my party back in January and he worked hard to make sure no circle of friends was left out.   I was BLOWN AWAY by the number of people who helped with the plan, or came to the party.

Here's the AWESOME invite he made... This. Man. Gets. Me.

I could never thank everyone enough for coming, but I want to show my appreciation!  That means it's time to get crafty.

I know there are amazing examples of beautifully detailed cards out there...  Just look at the detail in the card my friend Karyn made for me:

She is so talented!

My cards were a little more simple, It's the only way I could roll because I wanted to get a bunch made in a short period of time so I don't have a HUGE crafty mess around all the time :)

I'd really love to be the type of girl who gets birthday cards, thinking of you notes and the like out for occasions.  So far, I appear to NOT be that girl.  I'm thinking THIS is my year (although I've said the same thing to my elliptical machine in the basement ;)

Hopefully these little cuties will get me motivated...

These are Essentials No. 9's paper flower embellishments attached with brads.  I used two flowers on each flower.

For these, I used my circle punch and attached some super cute stickers - I believe they were K and Company brand.

Ok, I am not a Close To My Heart consultant, but I am in a CTMH club, so I use a lot of their products...

This is Martha Stewart's Custom Stamp Setting Kit used with CTMH Garden Green and Hollyhock Inks.  Love the quality of these inks and know I'll be able to use this simple card for many occasions.

To make these cards, I found some really cute paper tape at Hobby Lobby and used my CTMH Bohemian alphabet stamps.  Love that font!

Oh, here's a better shot!

For this card I used my mini daubers and all the inks from my Garden set, then stamped the letters with the same colors.  I used some Liquid Glass to up the shine on the word "you".

I adore these circles, you'll see I used this concept a bunch... same garden inks... CTMH Connections Stamps...

ooohhhhh!  My Martha Stewart set also allowed me to make this adorable return address stamp!  I could not stop looking at it, and may have pet it a little.

This one was my husband's favorite...It's a glitter sticker border - I got it at a great scrapbook store north of here, but tossed the spool before checking out the brand.  I love the little blink by "thanks".

I adore the cakes in this CTMH Piece of Cake set.  I stamped the image in black and use my brush tip markers to fill them in... I made a TON of these, but here are a couple of pics:

oops, blurry, but such a cute stamp!

I have a LOT of boys in my family, so I needed some boy-ish cards  I used the same concept as the circle cards above with the addition of the birthday stamp

I love the blue and grey and ADORE the yellow and grey combination.

I made some more generic cards the same way...

Only a touch of bling was needed for these simple cards.

We all appreciate cards, even more in our digital age. Now I've got to sit down and try to express my heart in words.   My address labels, on the other hand are mostly done ( I put my addresses into a MS Access document and can now print them to my heart's desire!  Woo Hoo!)

Hope your day is an awesome one - full of surprises (You just have to know where to look :)

What Is MY Wholehearted Pursuit?

I'm pretty wholehearted about many things: family, friends and of course - getting crafty.  Lately though, I've been less concerned with the things that used to consume me and focused on becoming a person of One Thing.  This video of Misty Edwards from IHOP's Fascinate 2011 really brings the things on my heart into sharp focus... You'll be reading more about them soon.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Change-y Wreath Riff (and a bonus necklace!)

There are so many great ideas out there in blog-land...

Here's a wreath I made jumping off from Ruffled Burlap and Jute Wreath over at The Casabella Project.  Check out her blog, it's full of beautiful things and great tutorials.

My wreath looks nothing like hers, but I loved the idea of interchangeable flowers for different seasons.

Here's what I did:

Using a green floral wreath from Hobby Lobby, I cut some twill into strips.  I took the strips and wrapped and attached with my glue gun at the back of every other round.   If you cut your strips too long, it can be frustrating to wrap around the wreath.   Keep going until the entire wreath is covered.

Can you see the Velcro dots in this picture?   I purchased sticky Velcro dots and used my hot glue gun to attach them to the wreath in a random pattern.   (the "sticky" was not sticky enough:)

Then I made some rosettes, attached them to a small circle of felt, attached the OTHER side of the Velcro to each flower and attached them to the wreath.

Here's another look at the wreath with some other flowers

Here's what the wreath looks like today, after the addition of some beautiful felt and burlap flowers from a Tutorial over at Positively Splendid.

Here's a cool bonus:  Because all my flowers have Velcro on the back, I can change the flowers up to be used for different purposes like this super fun necklace:

I created the basic shape of the necklace out of felt, made a second shape of felt to attach to the back of the first to give it strength and placed the Velcro dots randomly on the necklace... Before attaching the two pieces of felt together, I slipped some grosgrain ribbon in each side.  I used my trusty glue gun to hold it all together.  FUN!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Riff on a 1 hour handbag

I found the most adorable pattern and tutorial over at the Ric-Rac blog and could not wait to try my hand at making one.
Here’s the link to Jodie’s 1 hour bag tutorial. Her version looks super professional and her tutorial is clear and easy to follow.
Honestly, with getting all my sewing stuff around, folding loads and loads of laundry, making lunch, cleaning up after lunch and generally rusty sewing skills, this bag took me a BIT (read: A LOT) longer than an hour.
I made a few changes that worked for me, and have now made a couple of versions…

Here’s how it went:
I took Jodie’s measurements and made my own rough pattern which I pinned on the fold of a really hideous pair of jeans.  I needed two pieces cut out from the denim.

I also used some heavy twill for the lining of the bag.  Using the same pattern, I cut out two lining pieces from the twill.

I am LOVING ruffles lately (who in blogland isn’t ;)  so I wanted to add some ruffles to the front of my bag.   There are plenty of great tutorials out there on “ruffling”… I basically cut two strips from my base fabric about 4” wide and 20” long (the gingham fabric) and then used an accent fabric (white with black flowers), cutting it 3” wide and 20” long.  

Positively Splendid has a great ruffle tutorial over here:  Ruffled Sunglasses Case
To “ruffle” the fabric, I set my sewing stitch length really long and my tension really high.  I basically smooshed my fabric thru my sewing machine, one layer at a time.

When both pieces were ruffled, I pinned the ruffles to the denim fabric, making sure to have some hanging off the edges of both the top and the bottom.

I then used my machine’s zig zag stitch, again at a long stitch length to sew the ruffles down the middle to the right sides of my denim (main) fabric.
I did not have any of the super cute buttons that made Jodie’s purse look so adorable, so I opted to make a handle that would allow me to carry it over one shoulder and have it fit pretty tightly under one arm.  Because I was using heavy fabrics, using batting (or wadding as it is called in Australia) was not necessary.  I cut my fabric for my handles 4” wide by 30” long (this is longer than you need, but I wanted to tuck the ends into my bag and really customize the length.
After cutting my fabric, I folded each long side of my fabric into the center and ironed it down.  I used one strip of accent fabric (the gingham) and one strip of lining fabric (the twill).  I folded and ironed each the same way.

I pinned the fabric together, with the right sides out, and the used my machine to stitch down the edges of each side.   I tried to stay as close to each edge as possible.  Because I was planning to sew the handles into the top seam of the bag, there was no need to stitch right sides together and turn the handles.
Then I got to work on a pocket for my bag.  There are two things I ALWAYS lose in my handbag: my lipstick and my cell phone.   I decided I wanted two pockets inside.
I cut out my accent fabric (white with black flowers) 9” wide by 6” long.  I like the look of the stitched top, so – as Jodi suggested – I pressed the top of the fabric over ¼” and then folded and pressed again.  I used my machine to stitch straight across the top of my pocket.

Back to the ironing board, where I pressed all the remaining edges over ¼”.  I then pinned the pocket to one piece of lining fabric.  (Be sure to pin to the “right” side of the fabric)  I sewed around the entire pocket and then sewed up on the center line to create two pockets.

To put the whole bag together, I pinned my outer fabric pieces together (the denim).  Make sure those right sides are facing one another (ie: my ruffles were inside the bag).  I sewed using a ½” seam allowance all the way around the sides and bottom of the handbag, leaving the top open.

Then I flipped the outside of the bag right-side out.

Next, I sewed up the lining of the bag (the twill).   Sew the lining pretty much the same as the outside of the bag – EXCEPT FOR ONE IMPORTANT POINT:  LEAVE A TWO-INCH GAP at the bottom.  This will enable  you to turn your handbag after stitching it together.

After sewing the lining, put the inside and outside of the bag together.  Place the outside of the bag (right side out) into the inside of the bag (inside out).  The right sides of the handbag will be facing each other.

Pin the top of the handbag together along the two long sides.   I am SURE there is a better way to do the handles than what I did, but I left a two inch gap unsewn at each end seam of the handbag.  I used these holes to insert the handles.  Stitch the top of the bag with a ¼ “ seam allowance.

Turn the entire bag right side out thru the opening in the bottom of the lining.  Then put the lining inside of the bag.  Use your iron to press the top seam flat, being sure to fold the ends and press them in (the area that you did not sew to slip the handles in). Slip your handle into each end of the handbag, pinning them to the handbag. 

Use your machine to topstitch all the way around the top of the bag, holding the handles in place, and giving a finished look to your bag.

Here’s another bag I made, without a ruffle, adding the embellishment of fabric rosettes which were attached with Fabri-Tac fabric glue.

This is my first tutorial! I'd love to hear your comments. Thanks so much to Jodie for a great lauching-point and a sweet email about blogging etiquette.  Make sure to check out her blog! 
So excited to begin blogging my way thru my Pinterest account …I’ll be showing you many more crafty tutorials - hopefully they’ll be fun for  you too!  Make sure to Follow Me if you'd like to see more!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

With Purpose...

Welome to my new blog covering my Wholehearted Pursuits...my main pursuit is my relationship with God but I also pursue craftiness, reading, home decor and amazing food.