Still Counting…

A couple of months ago I made myself a “Counting on Christmas” quilt (it’s a super cute pattern by Crazy Old Ladies Quilts).  It was so much fun to make!  And I was really hoping I’d get a chance to make it again.  Enter my mother-in-law.

The last time she came to visit, she couldn’t stop saying how much she liked the way mine turned out.  So I took the opportunity to plan one for her holiday 2016 gift.

countdown2I love how this one turned out, too. The fabric is from Maywood Studios Merry & Bright fabric line and I backed it with Minkee so it couldn’t be softer or snugglier!

My husband and I sent it to her early and the timing was perfect – she opened it today, December 1.  It was the ideal way to start counting down to a warm and whimzical Christmas… 24 days to go!

These Pillows Were Simply Meant to Be

You know I love pillows, so a couple of months ago, when craftyStacy reposted her Jack Skellington and Sally t-shirt tutorial, I immediately thought, pillow shams!  (Well, TBH, the first thing I thought was “So jealous!” but the pillow thing went through my mind right after that.)

Jack Skellington & Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas Pillow Shams by Whimzie Quiltz

I went with satin-stitch appliqué instead of craftyStacy’s reverse appliqué; it’s just the technique I’m most comfortable with.  And, while Jack has the classic scrappy border in tone-on-tone black fabrics that I use for most of my Whimzie Quiltz pillows, I went a little different with Sally. Her border is done with asymmetric piecing representing her crazy patchwork quilt clothes.  I was worried I wouldn’t have the right colors or patterns for her, but my stash came to the rescue once again (17+ years of collecting fabric FTW!)

tnbcfabricI used a black and white stripe accent on both to further the idea they go together and both have Camelot’s new “The Nightmare Before Christmas” fabric for the back.

I’m so grateful that craftyStacy shared her shirt idea as I couldn’t be more thrilled with how my pillow version turned out.  Forget trying to figure out if “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie – I’ll be displaying this duo around here all year long!

Halloween “Please Take Some” Sign

Since Halloween was on a Monday night this year, we didn’t want to sit out in the driveway greeting trick-or-treaters like we have been the last several years.  And, even though we were home, we’re getting too old to get up and down every time the door rings. (Sad, but true.)

So we decided to leave candy on the porch with a sign encouraging kids to take just a couple…

halloween2

Using our Ring door monitoring system we watched kids come by for an hour or so.  Most read the sign and stuck to the plan, but as the night wore on, the kids got greedier… and we ended up with far less candy than we should have.

To all you gluttonous little goblins and ghouls – thanks for keeping us from eating the leftovers!🙂

WINQ – Workstation Wall Collage

WALL

Ah, ergonomics.  It’s amazing how important that concept has become to my life as I age.

pittsburgh-crank-sit-stand-desk-oWe recently got rid of the computer armoire I’d had for 10+ years.  Craning my neck to see the monitor had just become too painful over time.

So we upgraded to the Pittsburgh standing desk from Pottery Barn… my leg muscles and knees are still adapting, but it has helped my neck and back.

Without the armoire, though, there was a lot less space for the little things that accumulate around your desk.  However, I now had a LOT of wall space available that I didn’t have before.

Solution?  A workstation wall collage.  I had so much fun with this project, from the beginning to the end.  First came planning what each individual section would be – some were must haves and some just fit in naturally as I designed.

Then we went to the coolest specialty wood store and found out specialty wood is extremely expensive.😀  In the end, we purchased some nicely grained cherry and pine plywood at a fairly reasonable price.

Then came the best part – distressing the wood!  Distressing wood is an awesome way to get out any frustrations you may have.  We sanded and hammered and smacked the boards with a sock full of screws.  We scratched it with a pike and stabbed at it for wormholes and and even dented it with giant bolts.  I’m sure the noise drove the neighbors crazy, but, man, was that fun!  And the stain really brings out all that great definition.

Adding the hooks, clips, files and cork finished everything up…  if you are interested in doing something similar yourself, our sources included Wayfair for the hooks, Container Store for the metal magazine pocket, wood pushpins and rustic bulldog clips, Pistol Pete’s Etsy store for the clipboard clips and CraftCuts for the metal initial.  Oh, and the wood pencil caddy came from Pier 1 (we didn’t make that, but doesn’t it go nicely with everything we did make?)

Love my new, more ergonomic workstation – fingers crossed, it not only helps my back, but makes me more productive, too!

 

Let’s Be Mermaids

Sandra C. contacted me through my Etsy site wanting a custom checkers game board for her and her two daughters.  She chose an absolutely adorable mermaid fabric –

mermaid2

When it came time to make the playing pieces, I couldn’t decide on which colors, so I sent three sets – pink, purple and green – so each of them could pick a favorite.

The mermaid idea got my creative juices flowing, and, just for fun, I used those three fabrics to create mermaid pillows for the three of them, also –

mermaid1

I sent the game and pillows off, hoping for at most a nice review on Etsy.  Instead, I got these hand-drawn thank yous from each of her girls –

thankyous

I’ve gotten thank yous before, and I always, always appreciate them, but this was one of the sweetest gestures ever.  It really made me remember why I do what I do – and made me want to do even more!😀

A Little Encourage “mint”

A friend of ours is about to start chemo, so we’re sending him a little encourage”mint” –

mintwrap

mintflapThe pillow inside is about 10″ x 10″, but not quite square – I trimmed the corners of the sham to give it that more rounded peppermint candy look.  The clear wrapper really brings the idea home, though.

I was thinking these might be great, not only for health care issues, but for people training for marathons or even starting new adventures like school or jobs.  Everyone can use a little encourage”mint” sometimes, right?

What do you think?  Should I offer these for sale in my Etsy shop?