Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Just a little check in

Are you getting so busy that things are starting to slide? My shop is picking up and it seems like there are just not enough hours in the day to do much of anything on the personal side since I've been sleeping extra to try to get back to good health. Tuesdays are my day off and I spent most of the day today doing things for the shop, but I finally stopped to take a little time for me.

After running a few errands, I came home to get started on the outdoor Halloween decor. I've never done outside stuff before so it was a ton of fun! Those spiderweb thingies are tough to work with and it took forever, but I think its cute along with a giant furry spider, a couple of tombstones and a black cat garden stake that I bought from my very own shop. It got dark while I was finishing up the spiderwebs, so all you get to see is my very tired buddy.

Does everyone think their dog is adorable while they're sleeping?  Katie sure is!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Black Cat Pillow for Halloween

I've seen some really cute, I mean scary black cats out there in Halloween decor this season and I decided I could make an applique pillow to add to my own stash of Halloween decs.  I love the black cats with arched backs but I didn't want it too spooky.  I found a cute drawing online in a children's printable coloring page and used that as my template.  One evening of applique for the cat and the next day I added black borders to my square and a fun orange black cat print for the pillow back.  I found an easy tutorial with a great idea for sewing the back at a blog called Sparkle Power - you might want to check out her tutorial here.  She overlaps flaps so that its very simple to remove it. Love it!

Isn't she cute?  I'm not quite happy with her tail, but its been a couple years since I did any applique so I thought this actually turned out pretty well all things considered.

The pillow back is a Debbie Mumm fabric from Joanns.  My camera has mysteriously died so I am subjecting you to sad cell phone pictures.

I'm linking to these great parties - please visit them - there are some seriously crafty ladies here!

Beyond The Picket Fence

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Gambler Adds to Her Stash

I do love Kenny Rodgers but I don't love it when the cards don't fall my way.  My favorite pink peonies fabric Peonies from Pop Garden by Heather Bailey was on sale at the Hancock's of Paducah website so I ordered 2 yards.  I'm planning on using it in the front room somehow, probably a slip cover for my sewing chair and maybe a matching cover for the machine. I also got a yummy yard of Pineapple Brocade, because who can resist $4.98 a yard?  Its so pretty in person - sunny and cheerful and it almost glows.

I also bought a Moda Scrap Bag for a steal.  Half a pound of Moda fabrics for $7.  I've been eyeing these for some time and finally took the plunge.  Its a crazy roll of the dice to order a small stash of fabric without knowing what you'll get.  What would it be?  Pretty muted tones from Fig Tree Quilts, Sweetwater or 3 Sister.  Geometrics or flourishes from Kate Spain, or great prints from Sandy Gervais or Lila Tueller. Maybe Bliss or Pure or a collection of the rich tones of their many Christmas lines?  I love lots of Moda lines and I thought what the heck - lets see what I get!  My collection is 30 strips of 3 inches wide by about 33 inches long of fly fishing, bears, log cabins and pine cones.  Its Holly Taylor Classics.  Insert big sigh here.

So not my taste.  Or anyone I'd make a quilt or other project for.  Maybe I'll use these for a charity quilt?  Its a cute line and its Moda so the fabric is wonderful, its just not a theme that works for me.  Maybe I'll list them on Etsy and let some one else love them.

So to turn this frown upside down, I'll also share some charm packs I bought recently on Etsy.  Evening Mist and Rue Saint Germain charm packs plus a stack of Amy Butler charms.  So pretty.  I think when I'm done with today's project, I'll do a pin cushion in some of the Amy Butler fabrics. 

Did I say something about today's project?  Why yes, yes I did.  Stay tuned for a Halloween project!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Week of the Halloween Banner

I've been admiring all the fun pennant type banners on the web for a while now and thought I'd whip up one for Halloween.  Are you laughing hysterically?  In retrospect, I am now laughing hysterically at the thought that I'd 'whip it up.'  This is taking forever!

First I made a pennant template from quilting template plastic.  I decided how many little pennants I needed to spell out EEK - SPOOKY - BOO along with the spacers.  I cut out an assortment from a fun Halloween paper pad from Joanns and came up with a combination I liked.  Then I cut out pennants that are 1/4 inch larger all around, out of black cardstock.  I glued all those together and I wondered where my evening went!  I think it took about 2 hours in front of the telly including cutting a couple of mistake pennants that came out upside down.  The glass of wine might have made the cutting take a little longer than it should have, but I wouldn't confess to that in a court of law.

Then I had to decide how to put them together.  I thought it would be cute to use eyelets because I am hoping it will allow for greater flexibility in the swag of the banner.  I just bought 3 new lovely black bookcases for my living room and got them all put together, and the banner will hang across these.

To install (is that the right word?) the eyelets, I finally got to use my Crop-A-Dile!  It was a Christmas gift a few years ago from my dad but I've never used it.  Of course I didn't have the eyelets I wanted so that delayed the project a couple more days until I could get to a store.  Then I took the pennant pieces, eyelets and tool to work with me thinking that I could work on the banner in between customers.  I didn't take the directions, so I was clueless as how to use the Crop-A-Dile.  Took me a few hours to have the You Tube lightbulb moment, but I found a good tutorial and was able to start inserting the eyelets.  Of course the Murphy's Law of retail is that as soon as you get involved in a project requiring your complete attention, customers will come in the shop.  No finishing the banner that day.  So I finished the eyelet installation last night after work and started in with the letters.  I didn't have the orange glittery cardstock at work yesterday, so I printed up some letters on copy paper and took them home.  So I cut them out, traced them onto the orange cardstock and then cut them out again.  I decided they were too boring just applied that way, so I got out a black inkpad and tried to ink the edges.  The inkpad is somewhat dried out, so that didn't turn out how I expected either.  For the love of Pete!

Anyway, here's the EEK part and its spacers.  I don't want to quit, but I am pretty sick of this banner already so I might just string these 5 pieces together and move on to another project.  I think the two big lessons learned here are that
     A. I need a Silhouette or Cricut for cutting out letters and
     B. its best to have all your materials and tools in one place to help the project move smoothly. 

Ah well, all's well that end's well and I have had fun squeezing in time to do a little papercrafting project.

Friday, October 8, 2010

A peek at the life of a shopkeeper

Being a shopkeeper is a very rewarding job.  It's also exhausting and often doesn't allow for much free time.  Its been another busy week at the shop so I have nothing crafty to report, but I wanted to wish everyone a lovely weekend.  I do take a few minutes when I get up in the morning to check in on my favorite blogs and see what everyone else is up to and dream of future projects but that's about it for me time.

So I thought I'd give you a peek at what I've been up to all week.  Welcome to the shop...

We had a special pink ribbon event in town last night to benefit the local hospital's breast cancer programs so I did some extra pink ribbon items this year. I normally have a few things in the shop and I always donate a portion of the sales to the Susan G Komen Foundation, but I ramped it up this year.  I couldn't get a nice photo so you'll just have to believe me.  This is my door last night.

The display for my fall and Halloween items filled up this week too.  I love decorating for Halloween so I have a great time ordering things for the shop.  Here are some of the hanging signs and bouncing decor.  The 'bouncies' are so cute - they hang from a 12 inch spring and they bounce up & down in the wind.  My favorite is the ghost, but the witch and the pumpkin are cute too.

And of course my trusty sidekick Katie is always near me.  Sleepy, but near me.  Isn't she precious when she's trying so hard to keep her eyes open?

 Here's hoping you have a lovely weekend full of family and fun!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Candy Corn Love

It's October, it's officially Fall and the countdown to Halloween has begun!  As much as I love the spooky black and purples that have become popular for Halloween decorations, now that I am in Florida and its still hot, hot, hot I am finding myself more drawn to the sunshine colors of candy corn.  It doesn't feel like Fall here at all, let alone October. 

Look at some of these super sweet projects from all over the blog-o-sphere

A candy corn bunting tutorial from Tatertots and Jello

How about a wreath?  Lots of patience that paid off here!  This is from The Heaps

Some candy corn goodie baskets from Country Living Spooky Decorations article

And if you need a treat to eat, check out these Candy Corn Caramel Apples from I Heart Naptime.  I just found her blog recently & love it! 

Things have been crazy at work again, so I've been living vicarously through all the fun crafty blogs this week.  Hope to finish a project for myself soon!