Veteran’s DayNovember 11, 2009 in Books, Crafts, Creativity, Holidays, Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores, Quilting
Today we honor our Veteran’s and we have the perfect quilt to make for a special Veteran in your life. It is actually called “Veteran’s Lap Quilt” and can be found in our newest book called “I Care with Quilts.” This book was created because the most giving and caring people on the planet are quilt makers. Quilters are always looking for opportunities through their craft to support people who are in need or lend a hand to support a cause that is near and dear to their heart.
Best Movie I’ve Seen in AgesAugust 17, 2009 in Books, Food and Drink, Movies, Television
After seeing the movie, Julie & Julia this weekend, I have decided that I have a new role model in Julia Child. In fact I’ve been walking around the house saying “Bon Appetit!” in a very high pitched voice followed by a little chortle. Just that in itself seems to elevate my mood. I may even decide to start wearing pearls. The movie was probably the most charming and inspiring piece of film that I have seen in some time. Not to mention, it was laugh out loud funny throughout. Meryl Streep just keeps getting better and better – in fact the entire cast was entirely engaging. (that Amy Adams is a doll!) I will see this one again and again. So, if you haven’t seen it yet, (in my humble opinion) - it’s a must-see!
Journaling TipsJuly 30, 2009 in Books, Crafts, Creativity, Gardening
- How you feel about spending time in the garden
- Favorite Quotes related to gardening
- Planting Dates and reminders
- Photos of plants at different stages of growth
- Fertilizers and Pesticides that you used and rate your results
- Notes about the weather conditions (hot temps, hail storms, late frost)
- Favorite smelling flowers
- Dried or pressed flowers and leaves
- Photos of guests visiting (and admiring) your garden
- What you want to plant more of (and why)
- What you will never plant again (and why)
- Clippings from magazines that inspire you
- Photos of garden décor and statuary
- Ideas and Plans for next year
- List Birds and other friendly visitors to your garden
- Gardening tips that you learn from the experts
Garden JournalJuly 27, 2009 in Books, Crafts, Creativity, Gardening, Scrapbooking
You can record all your garden musing or create the gift of a lifetime for your favorite Gardener by creating a wooden journal decorated with vintage seed packets and pressed flowers. If you do your projects in stages, it makes it easier to accomplish. Start today by collecting an assortment of flowers, ferns and leaves from the garden for pressing.
PRESSING FLOWERS & LEAVES
For our project, we got excellent results when we pressed clean, dry blossoms and leaves by carefully positioning them in big thick telephone books. Pile on a couple more heavy books for good measure. The flowers took one week and two weeks worked for the leaves. If you live in an area with high humidity, it may take longer. The flowers and leaves will be brittle when they are thoroughly dried, so handle with care. Hobby stores offer a variety of flower presses, including ones that can be used in the microwave if you prefer. “Google” for directions if you’d like to make your own flower press.
New Book!May 12, 2009 in Books, Crafts, Creativity, Decorating, Quilting
Creating Memorable Year-Round Celebrations with Quilts and Crafts
I am so excited about my brand new book, HomeComings! We had such a good time designing and creating the projects and then planning and taking all the photos outdoors. Our theme is “creating memorable year-round celebrations with quilts and crafts,” and this 96 page, soft cover, book features more than forty quilt and craft projects to set the scene for seasonal celebrations. I hope you will love this new book as much as we do!
One of the most satisfying things in life for most women is gathering family and friends for a holiday or special occasion celebration. Those events when people come together from far and near are the most memorable and joyous of occasions. Preparing for these events is a big part of the fun and this book is loaded with projects and ideas for setting the scene for joy-filled reunions and homecomings.
We followed the seasons in this book and springtime projects include a beautiful basket quilt and colorful flower-filled lap quilt as well as a selection of pillows, a door banner, and Earth Day Wall Quilt.
A 4th of July celebration is the focus of the summertime section and includes festive patriotic décor including a lap quilt, Americana Wall Quilt, a door banner, and variety of pillows for charming indoor or outdoor décor.
Quilters and crafters will reap a bounty of projects in the Harvest Celebrations section. An eye-catching appliquéd wall quilt, Harvest Lap Quilt, table quilts, dimensional pumpkins, and a beautiful welcome banner set the scene for autumn activities.
A joyful celebration of projects is included in the Holiday Traditions chapter including bird banners, a log cabin lap quilt, snowman door banner and holiday décor projects. See all the chapter introductions by clicking on this link, then clicking on each photo. I think you’ll find many fun projects that you’ll want to make for your next family celebration!
New Book!January 7, 2009 in Books, Crafts, Creativity, Quilting
I'm so excited about my latest project book, Cuddle Quilts for Little Girls and Boys! Babies and little ones certainly have a way of making hearts melt and it was so much fun to design a collection of quilts and projects for those precious little ones. Cuddle Quilts has just been released and it should now be on the shelves of your favorite quilt shop or Jo-Ann Store or you can find it in my online shop.
We all know that little girls go crazy for hearts, butterflies, and flowers and our chapter for toddler girls provides lots of inspiration for cute quilts and accessories.
Cars and trucks, turtles and frogs will spark the imagination of your favorite little boy and our quilts, organizer, pillows, and wall art designs will give you plenty of sewing fun.
I was especially pleased to work with my friend Crystal from Dream Catcher Photography to add photos of cute kids to the pages of this book.
I hope you enjoy this extra peak into the pages of this book and hope all you “Nanas” & “Aunties” find just the inspiration your looking for to surprise your favorite little one.
Babies are so Adorable!September 17, 2008 in Books, Friendship, Quilting
One of our “own” recently had a baby. Bill who works with our agency in NY became a first time father. To offer our congratulations to him and his wife, we sent him one of our baby quilts, Cuddles Crib Quilt from our book Memories & Milestones. He tells me that baby August is bonding well with his “blankie” and the proof is in this photo. Since babies make us all melt and even though toddlers give us the occasional melt-down, we have dedicated our next book called “Cuddle Quilts” to that very subject. The book will launch in late October and I’ll be sharing a sneak preview with you very soon. In the meantime, enjoy little “August.” Isn’t that an adorable name for an adorable little boy!?
14 Things to do before Summer is overAugust 15, 2008 in Books, Food and Drink, Friendship, Recipes, Resolutions, Travel, Well-Being
- Loose the swimsuit weight - ha!
- Sit in the canoe by the waterfall at Horseshoe Lake and sip Lemon Drops
- Get one of those European Pedicures that Carolyn keeps raving about
- Have an old fashioned picnic with fried chicken, potato salad and strawberry jello (wow, that one brings me back to my childhood)
- I need at least four more “floats” in the pool. Crystal, come on over!
- Be the willing recipient of all the homegrown tomatoes and zucchini that I’m offered by my zealous gardening friends.
- Finish up my fun summer reading before they're due back to the library. Currently enjoying Nancy Martin's Blackbird Sisters Mysteries including, "Cross your Heart and Hope to Die," "Have your Cake and Kill Him Too," "A Crazy Little Thing called Death."
- Take a ROADTRIP to Seattle to see the Mariner's play. (and win, hopefully - however, I hear you can get tickets cheap)
- Have an old-fashioned double scoop chocolate ice cream cone. If I'm going for all those calories, it's gotta be chocolate.
- Drive up to Greenbluff to pick ripe Peaches. Just slice the peaches, sprinkle with powdered sugar and arrange in pre-baked pie crust - Yum!
- Talk Murphy into a day at Silverwood Theme Park to get soaked on the Thunder Canyon water ride. (forecast is 100 degrees on Sunday)
- Go up to Priest Lake, lay on the beach and watch the Meteor Shower on August 18
- Throw the final pool party of the season - but make it easy - Pizza and beer!
- Meet girlfriends at Anthony's to watch the Falls from the patio - if I leave right now, I can make it for the earlybird dinner special.
What's on your List? Write up 14 ideas and do AT LEAST 3 of them.
GIRLS LIKE USJuly 23, 2008 in Books, Music
If you grew up in the 60’s or 70’s like I did you probably were influenced, inspired or at least entertained by artists Carole King, Carly Simon or Joni Mitchell. For me, it was all three. So when I received a copy of the book, Girls Like Us by Sheila Weller, chronicling the life and time of these three women of enormous talent – I thought the book had been written just for me. All three women “come from such different sets of circumstances” and their journeys were very influenced by the times they were living in.
Carole lived in Brooklyn, NY. She married very young and was raising young children while writing song after song for many years before breaking through with arguably one of the most popular albums of all time. (that would be Tapestry, of course) Carly was raised in the intellectual, upper crust world of publishing. In fact, her father ran the publishing empire, Simon & Schuster. She also rather famously married the super talented (and then heroin addicted) James Taylor. (James was in all three women’s lives) Joni was raised in Canada and gave birth to a daughter out of wedlock that she gave up for adoption. This decision haunted her until decades later they were reunited. To learn that her song “Little Green” was written about her child was poignant.
Their journeys were truly fascinating and their love lives beyond (my) imagination. There were so many other famous musicians, actors, and politicians that were woven through their lives and inspired the songs they wrote. I had to pull out their classic albums to revisit these songs and lyrics to hear them with new ears.
This was a book that I really never wanted to put down. After some 500 pages of fascinating accounts of their lives, my eyes welled with tears when I realized I was reading the final paragraph. If you’re interested in that period or these artists – I think you’ll enjoy how this author captures the details of the epic story of these “women of heart and mind.”
Presenting “Colors from Nature”May 15, 2008 in Books, Crafts, Creativity, Quilting
With pride, I present to you some photos from our brand new book, “Colors from Nature.” The concept of the book is using color and design from nature to inspire quilts, crafts and even decorating projects. We selected some beautiful photos as our starting inspiration. With some analysis of each landscape photo we tried to interpret the overall feeling with fabrics and projects. It was very fun and challenging. Paring down and simplifying a design can often be more challenging than making it complex and representational. My goal with our quilt designs is to make them interesting and pleasing while still being easy to make.
Rocky Revelations may be one of my favorites. Courthouse steps is a classic traditional block and with the fabric we used I feel we captured a look that can as easily be considered modern as it is vintage. I love how the shapes resemble the stones with the snippets of orange represent the leaves scattered among the rocks.
The rows of warm colors in Desert Dimensions mimic layers of clay in the stone canyon walls of the Southwest desert. The green brush and blue skies bring in interesting color contrasts. I think the rows of simple triangles accomplish this representation well and would be stunning displayed on the wall or as a bed topper.
Red poppies along with yellow and white daisies frolic across the quilt top of Meadow Melodies. This cheery color story represents my favorite hues of high summer. When I look at this I can breathe in the fragrances of the meadow and even feel a little breeze across my face.
We also cover other wonders from Mother Nature in River Reflections, Seaside Serenity, Mountain Masterpiece, Forest Foliage and Floral Flamboyance. Colors from Nature also includes a couple of appliqué quilts and a unique and clever assortment of decorating and crafting accessories. Please enjoy this glimpse into the pages of the book and I hope you find lots of inspiration to create!
Behind the Seams – New Book!April 17, 2008 in Books, Quilting
I thought you might be curious to see what behind the scenes on our most recent book photo shoot looked like…….In the book you see our finished product and a perfectly positioned project and props. But all around the focus of the photo is usually a fair amount of chaos. There are lights, camera, cords and usually an unusual (sometimes bizarre) assortment of props and backdrops that we audition for the photo. More times than not, there is a lot of trial and error for props. OK, let’s try this; look in the camera; and then move it a quarter inch to the left, and this goes on for hours! Our photo team is Tom (awesome photographer!), Carolyn (amazing book editor!), and Monica (dazzling book designer!) and Myself (main responsibility is being picky).
Our photo shoot was actually done in October of last year. It takes us 9 months for us to give birth to a book, from conception to delivery. I can’t wait for you to see the real thing. It’s called “COLORS from NATURE” and is being released (born!) on May 15. I’ll keep you posted and give you a sneak peak before the release. I think you’ll love it.