Friday, December 30, 2011

Organization Bug

Help, I have been fatally bitten by the re-organization bug, oh no!  With a new year on the way there is a strong desire to make things new, fresh and different and it all started with the blog from Pink Chalk Studio by Kathy Mack.  She recently featured a fabric stack of her dotted fabrics sorted by color; dots are a part of the sewing basics many of us use to create our wonderful, colorful, creations, usually as accents.  Anyway… it started me thinking about my fabric stash and all the fantastic fabrics I have and how I have them sorted.  The blog post also made me look at my fabrics to see how I was doing with my supply of basics, guess what?  My basic fabrics had dwindled down to a dim shadow of what they once were, which means I needed to restock and possibly re-organize my fabrics.

A trip to my favorite quilt shop, Homespun Harbor, was in order, the year-end sale was in full swing making it possible for me to stock up on some of my basic fabrics, of coarse I had to throw in some cute new hot pink zebra and leopard prints, which I had been eyeing since they arrived at the store last month and some Christmas fabrics for next years donation projects.

All was well again in the basic stash department, now I just had to decide how to organize all my fabrics.  There are so many schools of thought on how to organize supplies, fabrics and just about anything else you need to corral for easy access and use, including the clothing in your closets and drawers.   I have always sorted by type of item and by color, pretty much all over my house, especially in my closets; with the exception of my fabrics, they are sorted by project type and partially by color.  After looking at Kathy’s blog it made me re-evaluate how I store my fabrics; maybe sorting everything by fabric type and color was a better way to see what I have on hand and allow me to be more creative in my fabric choices, after all projects come and go and so do current trends.  Could I get better use of my fabrics and keep procrastination down to a minimum?  Hmm… it was worth a try.

Keep in mind this is a huge project which could take days with the amount of fabrics I keep on hand. I guess I better get to work, this is going to take some major work beginning with the cleaning off of my cutting table so I can pull fabrics and sort, you know…one project leads to another and another, good thing it is a cold, dark day, perfect for fabric sorting and organization. 

Time to get to work, I will be back with my progress and some tips for organizing your creative spaces and offices.  See you soon.

**I apologize for the strange font sizes in this post, I am having technical difficulties with the blog program.

If you enjoyed reading this post you might want to also read:

Control That Clutter – Parts 1, 2 & 3
Paisley Crazy – Room Makeover

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Time For Reflection

The hustle and bustle of the holidays has come and gone as my son and his wife leave for home today.  The guest room and bath return to normal with fresh linens and towels, laundry is washing and drying in the laundry room and quiet settles over the house once again.  It was a non stop whirlwind for the last four months, with lots of family birthdays, the birth of my newest granddaughter, a new blog to launch and then all the holiday entertaining from October right up until today.  I am tired just writing all of that down for you, in truth I am completely worn out and ready for some real down time.

 As a final celebration, I planned to have a New Years Eve party with lots of fun decorating ideas to share with all of you, when all was said and done, I decided to forgo it this year and just settle down to reflect on this past year and the up coming new year.  I am one of those people who do not make New Year’s resolutions partly because I know I will not keep them in that form.  One of the things I do like to do is look over the past years goals, wishes and desires to see what was made possible and what fell short.  To be honest, this year, I have no idea where I want to go with my business, my blog or my personal life.  I think it is going to take A LOT of reflection, talking, brainstorming and planning to figure it all out; time to call in my husband and my studio helpers.  I am ready for a real change, what change that will be is still up in the air.  I can guarantee you will be among the first to know what it is as I figure it out, so stay tuned and see what the New Year holds. 

Thanks for letting me share all my crazy, colorful ventures from my studio this past year, I look forward to sharing more new ideas and adventures with you in the coming months.  I wish all of you a Very Happy and Blessed New Year.

See you very soon.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Stairway Garland

My final large holiday decorating project was my stairway banisters; it took forever to get into the right decorating mood to finish them up this year, not sure why, maybe just too many other creative projects to do first.  I started right off by putting up the lighted garlands the same day we put up our two Christmas trees, I was moving along when I added the pretty burgundy and gold bows but never got to the rest until last weekend, cutting it kind of close on that one.  Anyway, I dug out all the Christmas stockings, colored glass bulbs and golden snow flakes and went to work creating a garland which sparkles when all the twinkling lights come on, the last of the bling has arrived, finally.  The banister garland completes all the pretty golden, burgundy and green sparkle, glam, glitz and bling of all the holiday decorations, bringing all my decorating together, creating a cohesive look and feel to my home.

Now that you have seen my banisters, my final project, I would like to share some photos of my golden holiday decorations and my Old World Santa collection.  I hope you enjoy this little peak into the elements I use to decorate my home.

Wow that was a lot of photos I know, I just could not resist sharing my golden bling and Santa’s with you.  It is now time for me to settle into the last minute preparations, my son and his wife come home for the holiday on Friday, I have lots of  things to finish up before they arrive,  I am off to take care of all those little details, I leave you here for now, I will return.

Thanks for letting me share all my creative ventures with you these last few months, it has been a blessing, honor and a privilege and I am looking forward to a new year of more possibilities, creativity and adventures.  I wish you and yours a Very Merry Christmas and a Very Happy Holiday.  I will be back right after Christmas, watch for some New Year’s Eve Party Ideas.  See you very soon.

If you enjoyed reading this post you might also read;
*Sparkling Santa Tabletop
*Holiday Ribbon Wall

Monday, December 19, 2011

Gift Card Envelopes & Owls

Kind of a funny title for a post, I know, but envelopes and owls are what I was sewing today, they are gifts for my grown up children and my new grand baby.  I had lots of fun designing the fabric envelopes for those larger gift cards, which come in a cardboard holder; they don’t fit in the little felt ones I made the other day, so new ones had to be designed.

These turned out pretty cute with a retro Christmas print, lined in red and white polka dots.  I sorted through my button stash of reds and greens picking out special buttons to give each envelope its own bit of flare.  I made extras to jump start next years gift giving, a little extra something never hurts.

The felt owls were up next, they really turned out darling, and they were inspired by designer, Susan Beal, from her Button It Up book.   I made a size change so my grand baby could easily hold them in her little hands to make them crackle.  I used bamboo felt, from the Heather Bailey line, for the body, and stuffed them with the cellophane wrappers from microwave popcorn, so they would crackle when she squeezed them; she loves anything which makes noise.  Each owl is very Eco friendly too, all the parts are recycled.  I can’t wait to see if our little one likes them on Christmas morning, they are going in her stocking.

Thanks for letting me share today’s creative venture from my studio, I think it was the last of the gift making for this year.  I hope you have enjoyed following along with me on all of my holiday projects.  I have one more decorating project to share with you and that one is up next, watch for it.
See you soon.

If you enjoyed reading this post you might want to also read:

*Felt Gift Card Holders
*Christmas Stockings for Kids
*Pumpkin Spice Cookies
*A Quick Gift

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Felt Gift Card Holders

Every year my husband and I give our grown children Starbucks gift cards, so they can purchase their favorite coffee or teas and not have to pay for it themselves, just a special little treat from us.  We put them into their stockings wrapped in something different each year, this year I could not find what I was looking for in the stores, so frustrating.  I decided to create my own holders out of some of my felt scrap stash, I keep every little bit of leftover felt, you never know what you will need. 

These cute felt card holders are made from classic red and green felt, gold brads and gold cording for the ties.  A little pinking sheers here and some sewing there and I had some great envelopes to hold my gifts.  Simple but precious, I may still add some kind of embellishment, I just haven’t decide what it will be yet or I can leave them as is and they are ready to be put into the Christmas stockings by Santa on Christmas Eve.

My studio is still buzzing with more projects and things are getting out of hand, I think it is time to give the studio a good cleaning and figure out what’s left to do before Christmas.  I am sure many of you can relate to my dilemma of what to make next and whether or not we can get it all done in time, let’s hope we can.

Thanks for letting me share more of my holiday projects with you from my creative studio.  There are more decorating ideas waiting for me to share with you in my next post, be on the lookout for them.  See you soon.

If you enjoyed this post you might want to also read:

Christmas Stockings for Kids
A Quick Gift
Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Cookie

As promised, here is a quick and easy Pumpkin Spice Cookie recipe.  It was given to me by my brother-in-law verbally and by texting back and forth as I attempted to make them.  I have no idea where he got the recipe or who originated it, but the cookies are just fantastic, so a big thanks to him and whomever created it.  The instructions are the ones I used so they should be good to go but I don’t guarantee the results, give it a try and see what you think.

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

1 box of Spice Cake Mix, any brand will do.
1 can Pumpkin 15oz.  size (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 pkg. of dark chocolate chips or you could try a substitute like
          Raisins, cranberries, or nuts to equal the chocolate chip volume.

Hand blend the box of cake mix, the can of pumpkin and the chocolate chips until mixed together and smooth.  It should be very moist but not super runny.

Drop by tablespoon onto a Parchment Baking Sheet, placed on your cookie sheets, it helps the cookies to cook evenly and come off cleanly.  (Do not use wax paper it will ruin your cookie sheets, what a mess)

Bake in a pre-heated oven set at 375 degrees for approx. 12-14 minutes depending on your oven.  (I baked mine 14 min.)

Makes 4 to 5 dozen 1” cookies.

This recipe was super quick to whip up and very tasty.  If you decide to make these cookies, be sure and let me know how they came out, I am dying to know how you like them.

Recipe compliments of my brother-in-law, Larry.  Thank you so much.

Since I am sharing today I thought I would also share one of my regular reader’s holiday tabletop decorations, she sent me a photo of the small kitchen table, she dressed up for Christmas, which sits in her new kitchen makeover.  Love it June, way to go. 

This table is just darling and screams Christmas, I love it.  If you send a photo of a project you made, inspired by one of my posts, I would be happy to share it on my blog.  Thanks June, for sharing with us.

Watch for my next post featuring a quick gift card holder I whipped up to hold those pesky little cards I am giving out this year.  Happy crafting, decorating and sewing.  See you soon.  

If you enjoyed this post you may also want to read:
*Sparkling Santa Tabletops
*Holiday Sparkle

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holiday Ribbon Wall

This was a fun project my husband and I got the bug to do after watching an HGTV Christmas design show.  We were inspired to create a ribbon wall just below the stairway, which faces the dinning room.  Once we decided on the ribbon and spacing between each one, my husband took over and began the project and ended up with some really stunning results. The ribbon created a very elegant look for a ho-hum kind of area in the dinning room.  I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

We chose a burgundy, gold and green plaid wired ribbon which picked up all the colors in the room and the stairway above.  We were both very pleased with the project; my husband did a fantastic job figuring out all the measurements and hanging up the ribbons, what a great husband, I am such a lucky gal.

Time is flying by with lots of baking, decorating, present buying and gift wrapping.  My studio is busy all the time alternating between present wrapping and sewing gifts.  Look for my next post featuring a tasty Pumpkin Spice cookie recipe, sure to make your mouth water just smelling them as they cook.  I will also be sharing more of my decorating ideas right up to Christmas. 

Thanks for letting me share my Holiday Ribbon Wall with you.  See you soon.

If you liked that post you may want to also read:

Sparkling Santa Tabletop
Holiday Sparkle
Christmas Stockings for Kids
Bit of Bling 
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