Monday, May 26, 2014

Baby Steps...

After two years in my new house I am just now starting to think of "living" in this new space. Seems as if I have done nothing but put out fires since I moved in and I am now at a point where the fire is burning slow and steady. The fires are still there because there is ALWAYS something that needs to be done, but it's nice when it doesn't need to be done "yesterday".  Last month I actually found my dinning room table. TADAAAA!
I even cleared the mantle of "things to be put away" and put some of my treasures on it too. That was a long time coming, to put it nicely. This is what it looked like when I was done. 
I've done some "tweaking" since then and things have changed up a little but for the most part. 
I think I can live with it as it stands... for now.
Turning a house into a home takes time. I think I am working my way there... 
but I think that although I figured it might take small steps to get there, it will actually be more like baby steps... slow and steady I go.
Now if I could only put up that darn wallpaper in my kitchen....
June project???

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Hexies for the Hexagonally Challenged!

I love me a Hexie project as much as the next guy but man, the thought of making those templates, sewing them in and ripping them out, over, and over, and over again, is just a little more tediousness than I can or will subject myself to. Oh no, thanyouveryverymuch!
So when I found these fusible hexies at quilt market last year I thought, "HEL-LO!"
Yeah, I was smitten by the hexie bug immediately. Unfortunately, I knew that I had to see it to "get it", and because I know that some folks out there still haven't grasped the fusible hexie "thing", I thought I'd share my hexie process here. Be warned, this post may have one too many pictures, LOL
Hexies for the Hexagonally Challenged:
Step 1. 
Gather your supplies. I used precut 2.5" fabric squares, because they work, 
and I like the scrappy look. I also used 1" fusible hexies, and my iron.
Before I lay out the hexies on my fabric squares I like to verify that I am putting the fusible side down. The fusible side is easily identified by the sheen, see it there?? You do not want that adhesive on your iron so be sure to put that side face down on the wrong side of your fabric square.
Once you've centered the hexie on your fabric square (fusible side down on the wrong side of your fabric), you press it with a hot iron. Don't move the iron around. It won't do anything to it, but it will just take longer... I "suspect", because you know I didn't do that, right? LOL OK, so maybe I did...
 and no, it did not speed things up, JIC you were wondering.
Once you get the hang of it you can go crazy and do a few at a time. The most I did was two at a time but I laid them out as shown below, and I just moved the iron onto the next row as I went along. This helped speed things up, and I was done in no time flat.
Next, I trimmed the fabric around the edges of the hexie to about a quarter of an inch, 
I did say "about", right???  
Then, I used my handi-dandi washable glue stick and glued the edges down. 
Don't worry, the glue will wash off so it won't be stiff.
Here's how I glued it. I put glue on the sides first...
then, when I got to the corners where I had to start with the next section, I added a "dab" of glue onto the folded part so the next piece would stick to the hexie AND the piece of fabric that was already folded. Oh, I'm slow so the glue kept drying one me (it goes on purple but dries clear). SO, I would suggest not applying all the glue at the beginning until you get good at it or put the camera down, LOL
The finished hexie will look like this. The template is washable and will not need to be removed. It's thin and will feel more like interfacing than anything else. It won't feel stiff after washing, I promise.
These little hexies are the bomb, really.
Iron on the whole pack of fabric squares and set them in a basket by your favorite chair... you will have them done, a little at a time, in no time at all.
Once completed, it will look, oh so stinkin' cute!!!
Once you have more than one you can start piecing them together. To start piecing them you will have to align the hexies you want to sew together. 
 When you are sure that you like the way your hexies look side by side, 
stack them, right sides together.
 Now, starting at the corner, stitch them together by "pinching" a little bit from each side as you whip stitch your way from one side to the next. Now remember, just a little pinch goes a long way. You want your stitches to be teenie weenie so you can wash this baby a hundred times and never worry about it coming apart...
 This is what your stitched side will look like when it's done. 
It kinda-sorta looked like a tent to me...
 but then I pressed it down with the hot iron and baby, 
it was looking pretty fancy!
 After that I was on a roll, so I added a few more stitches and whala... 
 WooHOO! I'm so good....
See? Nothing to it. You can do it too. 
Trust me, no one was more Hexagonally challenged than I was... 
if I can do it, so can you. 
You're going to need some fusible hexies, so here's a link:
They come in two sizes, I used the 1" size... I suggest you start with the larger size and go smaller as you become more confident.
You are going to love making these! They're fast, and fun...and they look so cute!!!
If you do not have an email registered with Blogger I cannot answer your questions and/or comments directly.  If you have a question and /or comment (but do not have an email registered with Blogger), and would like  reply, please email me@ I would be happy to send you a reply. Brenda

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Case Of The Missing Mojo

Today marks the first day of what I shall call the Thirty Days Of Inspiration Project.
It's a thirty day quest to find inspiration and creativity. I seem to have lost these somewhere between Christmas and New Year's. Twenty days into 2014 I have yet to find anything that inspires me enough to pick up a paintbrush or a needle. I need inspiration!
I think this could be a case of Winter Blues, or a case of SAD;  but it could simply be a case of Missing Mojo. Who knows? I certainly don't, and it is for this reason that I have decided to take to Instagram to post pictures of things that inspire me.
I know I don't have the time or energy to blog for thirty days straight, and I already Facebook daily, or almost daily.... so I needed something out of my routine. I needed something that would document a conscious effort to find my inspiration. Following my dear friend, Joanna's lead (you can follow her here), I decided that I shall take to Instagram for a quick picture. 
One picture a day, for thirty days... I can handle that.
So if you are feeling like  you're in a slump, like you need a little inspiration... like you have a case of the Missing Mojo... follow me on Instagram and hopefully, we'll find it together. 
Not sure how to follow me? here's a great tutorial:

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

It's a Regifting Giveaway!

'Tis the season for regifting. Fa La La La La
Oh, you know there is a that one gift that you wish had never been under the tree. That gift that you cannot bring your self to throw away because you know it was given with so much love... but man, where are you supposed to put that thing? Or why did she think you were two sizes larger than you really are? Do you seriously look that fat? Ouch!
I believe that regifting can be the relief to your troubles. You can regift a heartfelt gift and never feel guilty about not appreciating the gift because you know that someone else will enjoy it. It might not be your color, but you know someone who would absolutely croon over it... ah, the joy of giving. 
It never stops. 
While unpacking one of my sister's moving boxes we came across this cutie. It's a hand painted box I gifted her many years ago. It was one of the first pieces I painted and it is far from perfect but wicked cute. However, she has had it and loved it for many years and doesn't have a place for it in her new home. My idea was to purge it and she agreed, but then SHE came up with the idea that it should go to a new home, so here it is up for grabs. Let the regifting begin!
This little box has a black over red distressed body and its compartments are lined in red wool. 
The top is painted mustard and has a gentleman carrying a pumpkin. It's painted in the Peter Ompir style. I have no idea whose pattern I used (It was a long time ago) but it is not my original design.
 I just painted it. It has been used and loved, and looks just like it did the day she received it.
It's so cute. 
To enter the giveaway just leave a comment and tell me what you could not bare to purge and decided to regift. Can't wait to read it. I will choose a random winner tomorrow. See  you then! Brenda

Saturday, December 28, 2013

I Love Handmade Gifts

As I was helping my sister finish trimming her tree before the big day, I spotted this little cutie already tucked in and hanging on it. I had to stop and touch it. It's so soft. It reminded me of the hours I spent making it (along with a few others because it's actually part of a set) that I made for her a few years ago. I remember having to ask my other sister how to make french knots for the eyes and berries because, at the time, I just could not make a knot for the life of me... In the end they all turned out well but it was a labor of love. 
I love gifting handmade. It requires A LOT of forethought, a lot of planning and discipline. You have to be sure your keeping the recipient in mind and you have to hope they'll love it enough not to regift it, and you have to be sure that once you make it you'll let it go. I can't believe that some people actually gift with a disclaimer,  "when you die be sure to leave it to XYZ". It makes me think the person who gifted it is actually "lending it". Either it is gifted, or not. I thought my friend's relative was weird but then someone else told me a similar story so I guess the practice is rampant, LOL. What is up with that? That's crazy!
Anyway, I truly believe that if you gift you need not lay claim to it after the recipient has died. That's just me and my thought on that matter...I always assume my "collections" will end up in a yard sale anyway so I am enjoying them now. 
I hope that next year my life will have settled down enough to make some lovely new treasures to gift at Christmas. I love handmade gifts, don't you???

A New Home, A New Journey...

I am in TX visiting my dear sisters this month. One of my sisters has moved to a new house, and has spent many weeks making it her own. It's been a long process but she's finally in it, with only a few unopened boxes to show for her struggles, but those too are on their way to becoming just a distant memory.
As I sit at her dinning room table listening to Christmas music and consuming that mighty Chai Latte that will give me the courage to face the chair assembly that is on my schedule this morning, I am so happy for her that I catch myself smiling and reminiscing of when I was young-ER and single, and childless... oh, it seems so long ago. I can't believe how time has just flown by. I used to change her diapers and now I sit in her house, at her table. It just amazes me how life goes on and it's like a book full of chapters. Some happier than others, but all integral parts of the plot of our lives.
I wish I lived closer to enjoy this new phase of her life with her. But like all birds, they spread their wings and they fly away. I wish her love, laughter and a table full of friends to warm this lovely new place....
Oh, but what's a table without chairs?! I better get cracking on this assembly before she comes home and finds me still sitting here on my tenth latte. LOL Hope your holidays are filled with love and laughter, and wonderful gatherings. 
I'll leave you with  a view from my perch at the dinning room table.
and a peek at her lovely new living room.
Isn't it lovely???? I think she has found herself a keeper here. 
Anew home for a new journey. Let the next phase begin!

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Stop Planning and Start Living!

One day, not long ago, it hit me that I had lived in this house for almost a year and my life was "on hold". I found myself in a "holding" pattern that I am sure is not unique to me, but to many people in recovery. It's that state when you live your life waiting for the other shoe to drop...
 and it's mentally exhausting.
The last couple of years have been challenging, to say the least. It seemed like I had the worst case of growing pains in history, but somehow I managed to hang on and come out on the other side. I can only explain it as a a white water rapids kind of ride... you hang on while the water beats the crap out of your vessel, you might even fall out, but you climb back in and ride it to the end where the pool is usually calm and you just stay in the raft pondering, in amazement,... did that all really happen? Am I OK?  My ride was so long and hard that its taken me a year to realize it's time to get out of the raft. But how scary is that? Will my legs hold me or will my knees buckle?
I have a long tale to tell but I will have to share it a little bit at a time. For now I just wanted to say Thank You to those who have helped me along the way. For those who believed that I would eventually get out of the raft and step on dry land. You know who you are... thanks for believing in me.
Now it's time to stop planning and start living in this "no longer new" house.