Monday, November 28, 2011

Button monogram, S is for Savannah

My sweet daughter in law and "mother to be" Janene 
has been browsing Pinterest...who hasn't?!!!! 
She found a beautiful button monogram idea that was $100 to order-yikes!

I quickly informed her that no self respecting crafter would consider paying so much for something that could be created at home:) So we happily went shopping for supplies and embarked on our new project. S is for Savannah!
Apparently I was almost a Janna Anna Mahana...thankfully my mother intervened and convinced my dad that that was not a good idea and so I became Kimberly. I am always quick to tell men that they do not have an equal say in naming their children:) Anyway...Annabelle and Savannah are lovely southern names for my granddaughters of which I heartily approve:)

Here is our project:
Begin with a canvas. We purchased two 11x14 in a pack for  5.99 at Hobby Lobby.
We covered the canvas in white burlap, using hot glue. This is easier with 2 sets of hands.

I cut a S from the Songbird cricut cartridge. I cut 3 before we had the perfect size.
It is a good idea to cut an image out on cheap paper first!
We tried 2 different positions for the S on the canvas.

We bought this multi colored trim in the fabric section at Hobby Lobby .
These Prima flowers were perfect!

Trace your letter onto the canvas, preferable with pencil.

Lay the buttons all out BEFORE you glue them down!
Some of these buttons have been around in my button box for 30 years!

After the button S was complete, we added the trim and flowers.
Lay out your design BEFORE you glue! 

This can be hung on the wall or put on a small easel.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

"Canning" Chocolate!

Some people can jam. 
Some people can vegetables.
Some people can fruit. 
Some people even can chicken.
I just "canned" chocolate:) 

I have always been into being self sufficient with food storage and all that jazz but I am taking it to the next level:) I piggybacked onto a big chocolate order that my sister and her friends put together. Buying in bulk is no mystery, it just takes someone to do the research, and gather people to join the order.

Large amounts of chocolate is beautiful!

Semi-sweet chocolate
White chocolate chips
Cocoa powder

I came from a family of bakers and married into a family that loves chocolate...a match made in chocolate heaven:) 

Chocolate can be frozen for a year. Be sure and label your bags. 
For now I will be dreaming about all the things I can do with my chocolate:) 

p.s. Just so you know guests at Nellie's Cottage always get a yummy chocolate dessert 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Quilt art in sari silk

One of the things I love about creating is the instant satisfaction and creative high I feel when I make something beautiful! 

Mitzi & I went to one class at the International Quilt festival. She is a quilter and I am not (yet!), so we found a class we could both enjoy. I am now in love with Thai silk scraps! This project involved 3 techniques; couching, applique, & spiraling.
It looks complicated, but if you can sew a straight stitch you can make this piece.

These are 4"squares. The wonderful thing about silk is that you don't worry about raveling.
The strings are part of the charm.

This is 80 yards of silk "strings" about 1/2 inch wide.

Couching is simply twisting the silk string while zigzagging over the top.

The silk is backed with interfacing, cut into flowers shapes and stitched on with either a straight stitch or zigzag.
Two layers of stitching looks the best.

These machines were quilt and smooth! I have an almost 20 year old machine...
I think I am now in the market for a new one:)
I did all the applique flowers first and then added the spirals to the center.

To create a spiral flower you open the silk string and straight stitch down the center of the fabric.

The most difficult part is starting in the tiny middle.
You work around and around the circle until you have the desired size flower.
I did not want to stop! The next morning I left my bed unmade, stayed in my pj's,
and didn't do one other thing until I had finished my project:)

I am going to have this framed for my scrapbooking & sewing studio.
I love the colors. It just makes me smile!

You can buy these skeins of Thai silk Sari ribbon at

A fabric festival of eye candy!

My sister and I had a girls day out at the International Quilt Festival in Houston. Oh my...I could have stayed for days but alas this was our only chance to soak in as much inspiration as possible! I have purposefully stayed away from the quilting world because I have too many creative loves already, but after this quilt festival I may not be able to hold myself back!
Here are just a few of my favorites that were entered into the quilting contest. I got in trouble for taking a picture of a wall size quilt of the "Last Supper." The worker came running over and stood there while I deleted the picture:) I had no idea I was violating a sacred quilt law!

This is so unique! "Central Park"
The buildings are stuffed fabric cubes.

 I absolutely love this bouquet of flowers.
Each flower is pieced individually.

The entire quilt is made of tiny slivers of fabric!
This would take the patience of Job:)

Mitzi & I walked for hours among the vendor booths. 
These are some of the designs that caught my eye...
A creative clock.

This is my kind of quilt! Rows of ruffles...perfect for my baby granddaughters:)

Who doesn't love butterflies & flowers?

I liked the scalloped layers on this pillow.

My sister thought this would be fabulous to do with our grandmother Nellie's real aprons.

What a fun valentine!

There were some fun decorative projects as well...

I am going to have do this for my daughters zebra room.

Just a giant paper flower.

This is a beautiful decorative lighting piece. 

Someone just added charms & beads to a scarf.  Simple & classy.

While my sister was in hot pursuit of "fat quarters" from the endless supply of fabric designs, I was buying patterns, rickrack, & chenille ribbon for my next project-sewing for babies Annabelle & Savannah:)

What a glorious day! 
It was like being in a fabric candy store:) 
I am so inspired to begin sewing again and 
who knows, maybe I will give into quilting!

Friday, November 11, 2011

I Pledge Allegiance

I attended a Veterans Day program today at one of our local schools. I sat there watching the veterans that were being honored and kept wondering what they were thinking. 

Each name was called. 
Each branch of the military was represented. 
Each one must have some amazing stories to tell. 

As the band played the song for each different branch of the military the men would stand. They stood tall and proud to have served our country. Some of them stood at attention, some seemed as though they were remembering the nightmare of war. I wonder what they see at night in their dreams. 

A colonel spoke to the crowd about the three beginning words to the pledge, I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE.
He was passionate in a plea for us to take responsibility in the I. We aren't pledging as a group or as a nation but as an individual! 

The word PLEDGE means to give your word, to covenant. We live in the most blessed nation on the we stand by our pledge to be good citizens and make a difference? 

The next word ALLEGIANCE means loyalty and honor. 
In 1988 I stood and watched my British husband raise his hand and swear allegiance to this country. We do not allow dual citizenship in this country. He had to literally renounce his homeland to become a citizen of the United States. 

I have in men my family tree who fought in every war. Some who died. I owe them my gratitude and respect. I am free because they truly meant it when they said.....

Enjoy the Mormon Tablernacle singing "This is My Country" with a beautiful slide show!