Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

The years are going by so quickly. It seems like just yesterday I was sitting here writing my goals (not resolutions) for 2013. That year has come and gone and although I still have a lot of work on my personal goals, I accomplished my business goals, even beyond my wildest expectations!

Some of the highlights for last year were my trip to Delaware when I attended my daughters graduation from grad school. We crammed so many adventures into those five days, including a trip to Atlantic City were I actually won $7 on a slot machine! Later that summer my daughter and her husband stopped by here for a few days (with the kitties) on their way to their new home in Austin, Texas. My beautiful niece got married this year also. And look at the center of the grouping where you will see that sweet little baby, that is my first grandchild, Paige. She was born in October of this year. And last but not least, this is the year where my business has grown to the point where I was able to quit my job and focus full time on my new career as a business woman, designer, and author!

As you can see, it's been an awesome year, and it's going to be difficult to top. For now I will focus on the goals I have set for 2014, and work hard at achieving them. What are the goals that will affect you? Besides creating more patterns and graphics for my shops, you can look forward to lots more free graphic items as well as more blog tutorials. Some are actually in the final stages of completion right now!

One of my patterns will be out in a book by F+W Media soon. The book is packed with lots of fun scrap projects. They will be giving me several complimentary copies so it looks like I'll be hosting a giveaway when it arrives.

Bring on 2014!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Freebie - Printable January Calendar Page!

Not only has another month gone by, but another YEAR has gone by! Here is your first calendar page for 2014. For those who aren't familiar with them, they print out 4x6 inches and you can print them yourself, or you can upload them to your favorite photo processing center. You can pick yours up on the freebie page of my website HERE.

Don't forget to sign up for my VIP Club! I have lots of fun freebies and tutorials planned for 2014 and you don't want to miss any of them. Just look for the VIP image in the upper portion of my sidebar. 

Images on the calendar are from the "I Need Chocolate" collection with is available at my Etsy Shop.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Bells and Whistles

As I was putting my wine glasses into the oven for my Painted Snowman Wine Glass Tutorial, I noticed a button on my oven that said BAKE TIME. I've never used it but I thought I'd see if it would shut my oven off after my 30 minutes of baking. And guess what? It did! As I was looking at the other buttons I noticed the usual CLEAN (the oven cleans itself), but I noticed another one that said SLOW COOK. Wow! I actually can't wait to try that one, and does this mean that I didn't have to go out and buy the crockpot a few weeks ago when mine broke?

This got me thinking about all the other things I have in my house that I can do so much more with if only I'd read the manuals or start experimenting. Quite recently Brian asked me if I knew my entire graphics program (Corel Draw) and I said, "Heck No! I'm learning more and more things as I go along." And to think that I've been using that program for over 12 years! Perhaps I should get out that one inch thick book that came with my most recent upgrade. And how about all those programs that came pre-installed on your computer? Maybe it's time to start exploring!

I recently got a camera which I love, love, love! It takes the best pictures of any digital camera I've ever had. It even has all the lens settings and adjustments which I know NOTHING about! I think it's time to learn and see what this thing can do!

I just recently started experimenting with all the stitches on my sewing machines and have found some new favorites. I've even started learning free motion quilting. I think next it's time to play with all those feet that I have never tried. This could take my creating to a whole new level.

The same can be said for cookbooks, especially those unusual ones. I just recently came across a cookbook that Brian and I bought during a visit to Bass Pro Shops. It's a cookbook on cast iron skillet cooking. It's full of unusual and unexpected recipes that I've never thought of. Now that I have more time since leaving my "day" job, I'll have more time to create some new meals, perhaps some cast iron skillet meals!

So if you got a new sewing machine, tablet, computer program, camera, or awesome and unusual cooking device, get out that manual and see what you can really do with it. Better yet, experiment with the stuff you already have, and it might just be like you did get something new!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas!

The blog will be silent for a few days while I along with many others will be busy with holidays. My daughter will be arriving today and she will only be here for two days so I plan to spend every waking and breathing moment I can with her. It will also be the first Christmas with my first grandchild. What an exciting Christmas this will be!

I wish all my readers and friends out there a Merry Christmas and I'll see you in a few days!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

FREE Snowman Soup Bag Topper!


If you need a quick and inexpensive gift for the neighbor kids or nieces and nephews, my Snowman Soup printable bag topper is available for free download on the freebie page of my website. It's available as a PDF file and a JPEG file so you can use whatever you like best. It's designed to attach to a lunch sized ziplock bag. Just drop in a package of cocoa, a few mini marshmallows, along with a mini candy cane or Hershey's kiss, staple the topper to the top, and you have a cute gift the kids will love. I'm a big kid and I'd love one too!

You can find this freebie HERE. Just click the link at the top that will take you to my freebie page. You might even find a few other things you like while you're there too!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Quilt Block of the Month

One of the advantages of working full time in my home studio now is that I can come up with some new and different ideas. One them is to have a quilt block a month series. I just listed the first one a couple hours ago and it already looks like it's going to be popular.

Basically, it's a 12" quilt block, along with the instructions to put it into a mini quilt. I also give instructions for hand applique and machine applique. And if you don't want to buy one every month, or you don't even want the month on the quilt, I include a couple extra pattern pieces that will take the place of the name of the month. Since "Happy Snowman" has been my number one selling mug rug pattern this winter, I thought my snowman would be just as happy on a mini quilt.

I have so many ideas, it's just a matter of having the time to do them all!

Don't forget to sign up for our VIP Club so you can be informed of all our freebies, specials, and tutorials. You'll find the sign-up box in the sidebar.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Homemade Pizza Crust

Nothing makes a pizza like a homemade pizza crust! I've been making them for years but tonight was the first time I made one for a long time and I had to ask myself why I waited so long? The nice thing about making your own, besides the awesome taste, is that everyone can have their pizza any way they want it. I'm sharing with you the recipe I have used for years. I'm not one for kneading the dough, but if you have a Kitchen Aid or other heavy-dudy stand mixer, let it do the work for you. This recipe will make two large pizzas, or 6 to 8 individual pizzas. If you like a super thick crust, it will make one very large thick crust pizza.

Also, I like to make the full recipe, then divide the dough into 6 or 8 pieces (after the rising process) and freeze. Just let them come to room temperature on their own before using. Works great!


2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and brown sugar in the water, and let sit for 10 minutes.

Stir the salt and oil into the yeast solution. Mix in 2 1/2 cups of the flour. Turn dough out onto a clean, well floured surface, and knead in more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Knead about 5 to 10 minutes.

If using a stand mixer like I do, I gradually add all the flour. Sometimes I add a little more if the dough is too sticky. I let the mixer knead it for (with a dough hook) about 5 minutes.

Place the dough into a well oiled bowl, and cover with a cloth. Let the dough rise until double; this should take about 1 hour. Punch down the dough, and form two balls. Allow the dough to relax for a minute before rolling out. Use for your favorite pizza recipe.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). If you are baking the dough on a pizza stone, you may place your toppings on the dough, and bake immediately. If you are baking your pizza in a pan, lightly oil the pan, and let the dough rise for 15 or 20 minutes before topping and baking it.

Bake pizza in preheated oven, until the cheese and crust are golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.

NOTE: The pizza shown in the picture is my low-fat favorite. I use reduced fat ranch dressing for the sauce. I then top it with broccoli (slightly cooked), tomato pieces, and reduced fat mozzarella cheese.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Sher's Sewing Essentials

I've compiled a list of things I wouldn't want to be without in my sewing studio. Most of these you might be familiar with, but you might even find something new too. Obviously there are the basics such as pins, needles, scissors, marking pens, etc., but these, I wouldn't want to be without!

1.  Tube turners. I actually bought this set when Elyse was a baby so they might look different today. When it comes to turning tubes right side out, it's a breeze! Even tubes as thin as spaghetti straps.

2.  Exacto knife. I don't use this on fabric but I find it very handy for making general templates from card stock. I'll use these templates when I'm centering appliques on things such as mug rugs, baby bibs, quilt blocks etc. My appliques are perfectly centered and stay within their allowed space. Easy peasy!

3.  Sewing gauge. You could probably pick one of these little babies up for around a buck with a half price JoAnn's coupon. So inexpensive, yet so valuable! I use this for turning under all my hems and edges. The little slide allows you to get an accurate measurement.

4.  Loop turner. This is another inexpensive item that is so handy. This has rescued me numerous times. How many times has the drawstring in a pair of pants slip inside? This will pull that right out!

5.  Chopsticks. Yes, these are from a Chinese restaurant we got take out from when I was visiting my daughter in Delaware. I always eat my food with a fork, so these found their way to my sewing studio. They are great for pushing out corners.

6.  Seam ripper. No explanation is necessary here. As much as I hate to use it, I'm so glad I have it. We've all been rescued by one of these little lifesavers.

7.  Chalk wheel. I love this thing! I have several of them and use them all the time. I have one that I keep the dark chalk color in, and this one with the white. I like this way better than a marking pencil.

8.  Walking foot. If you like to do machine quilting, or even for attaching your binding, this is indispensable! It has little feet that move with your feed dogs so that your top layer feeds even with your bottom layer. Almost no shifting of fabric!

9.  Giant safety pin. Can you believe that I've had this very same safety pin for over 30 years? When I'm threading ribbon or cording through a casing, this is what I always use. It works the best.

10 . Wonder clips by Clover. I just recently discovered these little gems. They are a replacement for pins in many of my projects, but excellent for holding bindings in place before stitching. No more pricked finger tips that can bleed on my fabric!

11. Tablet/reader. This is so handy for so many things. I have apps downloaded that keep me organized as well as reading my sewing mags, patterns, and books. I also like to download inspirational photos and color palettes to it. It's also great for watching all those Craftsy classes while I'm on the elliptical. When I'm following someone's PDF pattern (yes, I buy patterns from other designers too), I like to print the pattern pieces and use this to read the instructions. I never realized how much I depend on this until mine broke a couple days ago and I found myself at the electronics's department purchasing another one!

12. Last, but not least, my plastic rulers, cutting mats, and rotary cutters. I use these more than I use scissors!

I'm going to leave you with a reminder. If you have pets that like to hang out in your sewing space, keep them safe. Not only are pins and needles dangerous, but lengths of thread and floss are too. Many people are unaware of the thread, just as I was until I started working at an animal clinic. If your pet ingests a long piece of thread, there is a good chance they won't survive.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Sher's VIP Club

One of the best things about owning your own business is that you have the authority to give stuff away. And that I do! I love to share tutorials, graphic kits, and other fun things with my customers and followers. Since I want to make sure that you don't miss out any of the extras I have to offer, I'm collecting email addresses for a new mailer that is known as Sher's Creative News. I'll be sharing my newest freebies, tutorials, patterns, tips, and helpful information with you. There will also be special freebies and special discounts exclusively for you, and I promise I won't bombard you with useless newsletters and spam.

If you wish to sign up for my VIP club, you can click HERE, or look for the Sher's VIP Club image at the right.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Tutorial - Fun & Festive Pillows

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This is a fun and easy pattern. The pillow covers are designed so you can easily slip them off and switch out with another style either for a quick change, or to dress up for a holiday. This isn’t just a Christmas pillow, you can make them for any time of  year! One pillow can be completed in a few hours for the experienced seamstress.
Click images to enlarge if needed.

Supplies to make one pillow:
18 inch pillow form
5 various fabric strips measuring 4 1/2 x 20 inches for top
5/8 yard of cotton muslin (44” wide)
3/8 yard of fabric (44” wide) for binding, ribbon, & bow
3/8 yard of fabric (44” wide) for backing
3/4 yard of 100% cotton batting or 22” square scrap
     (interfacing fleece also works well)
1 yard of medium weight fusible interfacing (20” wide)
Threads to match all fabrics
Walking foot (optional, but helpful)

General supplies:
Scissors, pins, sewing and embroidery needles, fabric marking chalk, pen or pencil, iron & ironing board, sewing machine, cutting mat with ruler & rotary cutter (optional), general sewing supplies

For basting the top layers together, I really LOVE basting spray. I always use “Spray N Bond” brand and it works so much better than pins or stitching for small projects like this. I’ve never had a gummed up needle from this product, and it holds my layers together beautifully while I’m stitching.

Important tips & general instructions:
**Read tips and instructions thoroughly before beginning.

**Iron your fabrics before starting. If you will be pre-washing your fabrics, do not use a fabric softener. It can prevent your adhesive from the fusible interfacing from sticking when fusing. 100% cotton fabrics work best.

**Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the fusible interfacing you will be using.

**Be sure to secure the beginning and the ending or your stitching with a couple of back stitches to secure your seams.

1.  Piece your five (4 1/2 x 20 in) fabrics together to form a big square using 1/4 inch seam allowance. Press seams open. (image 1)

2.  Cut your (ironed) cotton muslin into a square about 22 inches and place on your work surface. Center your 22 inch square of cotton batting over this. Center your pieced top on top of both of these layers, with right side facing up, smoothing as you go. Baste in place for machine quilting. You can use pins or stitching, but I always use the basting spray for small projects like this. It’s quick, easy, and it works very well. (image 2)

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3.  Take this to your sewing machine and stitch the three layers together. I just made long wavy lines going in the same direction as my seams. You can use any stitch pattern you like, I just really liked this effect. If you have a walking foot, it would be helpful here. If you don’t have one, just be sure to take your time and hold your fabric taught. Sine you are using a thin cotton batting or fleece interfacing, you really shouldn’t have a lot of shifting of layers. (image 3 & 4)

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Take this piece back to your work table and cut this down to a perfect 19 inch square. Set this aside for right now. (image 5 & 6)

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Note: If you used a little thicker batting than I chose, and your pillow shrunk or shifted and your square will be a little smaller than 19 inches, this is not a big deal, your pillow form will still fit fine. You will just have to adjust your backing fabric to fit the slightly smaller dimension. If you used 100% cotton batting, or the interfacing fleece, this will not be an issue.

4.  Cut your remaining fabric and interfacing so it will be ready for stitching as follows:

From the binding and bow fabric
(2) 3 1/4 x 44 inch strips, cut these first
4 1/2 x 19 inch piece
4 1/2 x 13 inch piece
4 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch piece

From the pillow backing fabric
(2) 13 x 19 inch pieces

From the fusible interfacing
(2) 13 x 19 inch pieces
4 1/2 x 19 inch piece
4 1/2 x 13 inch piece
4 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch piece
Refer to diagram below for best cutting layout for the interfacing.

Making the bow and ribbon:
1.  Fuse the interfacing to the backs of your bow and ribbon fabrics, which are the 3 pieces that measure 4 1/2 inches wide.

2.  Fold and pin the longest piece and the smallest piece, with right sides together. Using a 1/4 inch seam allowance, stitch the pinned edges. Turn right side out and press. For the smaller one, the eraser end of a pencil works well for pushing the fabric through. (image 7)

3.  For the remaining piece, you will fold with right sides together, but this time you will stitch the two short ends together and leave a 1 1/2 inch opening in the center. Use a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Press seam open. Keeping this piece with the right sides together, fold so that the seam is in the center, between the folds. Stitch the remaining two edges closed. Clip each corner at an angle close to your stitching. Be careful not to cut through your stitching line. Turn right side out through the 1 1/2 inch hole that you left. Gently push your corners out by using a chopstick or the blunt end of scissors. Hand stitch opening closed and press. (image 8 & 9)

4.  Take the smallest piece and fold in half and stitch the loop closed. This time you will leave a 1/2 inch seam allowance and trim it away, close to the stitching. Turn it so the stitching line is on the inside. Before you stitch, make sure that any visible seam will be on the inside of this loop. (image 10)

5.  Slip the longer piece (which will be your ribbon) through the loop. Make sure the seam in the loop is toward the back, and the seam for the ribbon is also toward the back. Now take the rectangular piece (bow) and slip it through the loop, on top of the ribbon. Make sure the opening that you stitched closed is at the backside of the bow. Center the bow on the ribbon. (Image 11)

6.  Place your pillow top piece, face up, on your table with your stripes vertical. Place your ribbon & bow piece on the center of the pillow top so that it lays horizontal, and is centered between the top and the bottom. Pin each edge to secure. Machine baste the ribbon to the pillow top at each edge, keeping your stitches just under 3/8 of an inch from the edge of the pillow top. (image 12)

Assembling the pillow:
1.  Fuse the 13 x 19 inch pieces of fusible interfacing to the backside of the 13 x 19 inch fabrics you have chosen for the back of your pillow.

2.  On one of the long edges of each backing piece, turn under 1/2 inch to the wrong side, then another 1/2 inch. Pin to secure and stitch down.
(image 13)
3.  Pin the two back pieces to the backside of the top piece. The wrong side of the back pieces will be facing the wrong side of the pillow top. The hemmed edges on the pillow back will be in the center. You will notice that you have an overlap. This will be the opening that you will put your pillow through. There isn’t even a need to attach a closure when you make your back like this. Machine baste all the way around your pillow. Set aside for now. (image 14)

Applying the binding:
1.  Combine the two 3 1/4 x 44 inch strips of fabric to make one long piece. You will do this by placing them on your work table, with right sides together, by forming an “L.” Take a ruler and draw a line on the diagonal at the corner. It will look as if you have a triangle at the corner. Stitch on that line. Cut away the corner about 1/4 inch from the stitching line and iron the seam open

2.  Fold one of the short ends of this long strip 1/4” to the wrong side and iron in place, then fold the entire length of fabric in half lengthwise with wrong sides together, and iron.

3.  Beginning at the center front, along the bottom edge of the pillow, and using the edge that you ironed in at 1/4", pin the binding to the quilt with the raw edges of the binding even with the raw edges of the pillow.

Before you do the remaining edges, you will stitch this section in place using a 3/8” seam allowance. Begin your stitching at the folded end of your binding, and stop your stitching 3/8" from the corner. I like to run a couple of back stitches at the beginning and ending of my stitching to secure seam in place. Do not exceed your 3/8” seam allowance. Remove project from machine and take back to the table.

Note: If you are familiar with mitered corners when stitching your binding down, you will probably be able to sit at your machine for this step. If you are new to this technique, it will be easier for you to take your project to the table so you can follow the illustrations easily.

4.  Flip your binding piece down forming a fold at a 45 degree angle. Then bring the binding back down so that the fold in your binding will be even with the raw edge at the bottom. Your raw edges of the binding will be even with the raw edges of the runner.

5.  Secure with pins and stitch in place just as you did with the first edge stopping 3/8" from the end. Repeat these steps with remaining corners. With the remaining corners, you will also be starting your stitching 3/8” from the corner too. When you get to the end, leave an overlap of at least and inch and trim off the excess binding before stitching that final section down.

6.  Trim off excess threads and remove basting stitches that might have been left behind or exposed. Flip the folded edges of the binding to the back and pin in place. Hand stitch binding to backing.

Finishing: Insert your pillow form through the opening in the back. This is a great way to use up some scrap fabrics. Make a pillow or two for every holiday and occasion!

This pattern will be available in PDF format soon.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Christmas Movie Traditions - Hugh Grant Dancing!


We all have so many different Christmas traditions, but what about holiday movies? Are there any that you watch every holiday? We have two of them. First is "Love Actually" which is loaded with big name stars including Andrew Lincoln from the Walking Dead. My daughter started that tradition years ago with her girlfriends but when she's in town, we watch it together. And what is the best part? Hugh Grant dancing alone! My tradition is to watch that part over and over again. Come on ladies, watch the video above and you will get a great laugh! Grab those little thingies in the lower right corner of the video because you are going to want to enlarge the screen for this one...

The other movie I never miss is "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation." I just love Chevy Chase! The funniest parts of that entire movie are the scenes with his cousin. The first time I saw the scene from the photo above, I nearly peed my pants! Those of you who are 45 or older will remember wearing dickies under sweaters or shirts, but most of us had the sense not to wear a black one under a lightweight, white sweater! I crack up every time I see that big, black square showing through!

Go ahead, watch Hugh dance again!

Monday, December 2, 2013

FREEBIE - ETSY Digital Designers Facebook Hop

You can still pick up your free mini kit on the FREEBIE page of my website HERE.

The digital designers are at it again! The theme for this Facebook Hop is Christmas! All you have to do is follow me on Facebook. After you have received my contribution (shown above), you can go to the next one and do the same. If you ever get lost along the way, you can always go back to the Facebook hop home and get the list of contributors there. By the time you are finished you will have a whole lot of Christmas images, printables, tags, and other fun things that will create one huge and coordinated set. 

Be sure to look for the DD on the Facebook tabs!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

FREEBIE - Printable December Calendar Page

Sorry I'm a bit late on this. With everything going on around here, I got a little behind. Here is your printable calendar page for December. It will print out a 4x6 inches at 300 DPI. You can grab yours on the FREEBIE page of my website HERE. You can print them this on your home printer or you can upload it to your favorite photo processing center.

Images used in the calendar page are from my Christmas Kitchen Clipart set which is shown below and is available at Etsy.

NOTE: From now thru December 2nd, my entire Etsy Digital Scrapbooking Shop, as well as my ETSY PDF Pattern shop is 25% OFF! Be sure to use coupon code SALE2013

Friday, November 29, 2013

From the Desk of Bubba & Punkie - Holiday Pet Danger

We are now into the holiday season and Bubba and Punkie would like to remind you of some dangers to their furry friends. Most you probably already know about, and some you might not, and some of you may be new to pet ownership.

Tinsel (also includes sewing thread and dental floss) - its pretty on your tree, but can cut through your pets stomach like a knife, or cause a blockage. It looks so harmless but it can be deadly. If you ever see a sting hanging from your pets rear area, DO  NOT CUT OR PULL! Get your pet to the vet IMMEDIATELY! This is an emergency! This is one that I never knew about until I worked for a vet. I've seen several animals die a painful death because of this.

Antifreeze - please check your garage floors and driveways regularly. Just the tiniest amount will poison your animal, wildlife, or a stray. It has a really sweet flavor that the animals love.

Chocolate - especially unsweetened baking chocolate. There is a chemical that is fine for people, but deadly for your pets.

Christmas lights - is an electrocution hazard, especially for a puppy or kitten who likes to chew.

Ice Melt - can cause all kinds of intestinal problems with ingested, even death. And you know your pets love to lick their paws!

Foods such as onions, grapes, alcoholic beverages, coffee grinds, and many more.

Also, if it's too cold for you to be outside, it's too cold for your pet! Please give outdoor animals a shelter of some kind for the winter. If you can bring them in the house, that's even better.

The above are just a short list of many. I found a couple of really good links with excellent information. If you are new to pet ownership, you might want to read them. I was actually surprised by a few myself!


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing all my friends a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Support Your Handmade Business Owners

My theme for this Christmas is all about making it a handmade Christmas. This is not only for my blog, but I'm also applying it to my life. Although I have a few special gifts tucked away that I've been working on for several months, I find that I don't have time to make everything I want to make. So that's when I pay a visit to my favorite handmade shops on the Internet. I've been shopping this way for the past few years and I've found some very nice and special gifts this way.

I was shopping at Pasque Flower a few days ago. I was actually looking at the oven mitts but then I saw it, a bib with elephants! Not just plain old elephants, but really cute elephants, and in pinks! It just so happens that my granddaughter's room is decorated in elephants so I couldn't pass up this little stocking stuffer! 

I might also mention that when I just now stopped by her shop, I noticed she has 25% off with a coupon code (thru Dec 2). She (LeAnn) is probably best known for her oven mitts. Stop by her shop and check them out and you'll see why.

The next couple weeks are perfect for stopping by your favorite shops, or even stopping by the fabric or craft shop to pick up some supplies. There are a ton of quick and easy projects out there!

Images in the graphic above are from "Elephant Dreams" which is available at Etsy.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Tutorial - Painted Snowman Wine Glasses

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Hand painted glassware is all the rage right now. I've come up with this super simple, quick, easy and cute craft. These make great hostess gifts, especially paired with a bottle of wine. They make great gifts for yourself as well!

Wine glass(es)
ENAMEL paints, usually sold by the acrylic paints
~white, black, orange, green, red, any other color(s) you want
Ribbon or homespun strip of fabric (optional for presentation)
Paint brush
Sponge or other “dabbing” type tool
Palette, plastic lid, or paper plate (my favorite)
A couple (soft) paper napkins
Cookie sheet to hold glasses while baking
(Image 1)

Always start with a squeaky clean glass and keep it that way. Before you begin painting an area, be sure to wipe it down with alcohol and if you accidentally touch that area during painting, wipe that spot again with the alcohol. The oils from your hands can actually prevent your paint from permanently sticking to the glass. While painting the upper part of the glass, I always hold the stem or put my hands inside the glass. At some places you may find that you want to add a second coat. I did this at the upper edge of the wine glass as well as on the bottom and on the stem. It’s also very important to allow paint to completely dry between coats and color changes. Also be sure to wash and dry your brushes thoroughly after each color or between coats. (Image 2) 


1.  Shake your paint well and place a small amount at a time on your palette. I used about the size of a quarter for most painting at one time. Begin with the white paint. Dip your sponge or other tool in the paint, then blot it on the paper plate or other protective surface a couple of times to spread it evenly on your sponge or tool. Gently blot the upper part of the wine glass until it’s completely covered. You can use a brush and paint it on using strokes if you prefer, but I really like the “frosted” effect I got by using the blotting method. Let dry. (Image 3 & 4)


3.  Paint two dots just above the center of the glass for eyes. Make five dots for a smile, or you can draw a curved line. After these dry, you can place a tiny dot of white at the upper part of each eye. (images 5, 6, 7)


4.  If you want to make some rosy cheeks, you can add a small amount of red to the white and gently blot it at the end of the smile. I did this on two of my glasses, but I really prefer it without the rosy cheeks. Personal preference.

5.  Using the orange, make a carrot shape for the nose. (Image 8)

6.  Using the red or green paint, do something fun and decorative at the upper edge. You can make dots, squares, curved lines, whatever you want. I made a simple scalloped strip and added a dot of another color in the center of each scallop. Making the dots are so simple. I used the flat end of a paintbrush to “dot” the colors onto the glass. Perfect dot every time! (Image 9 & 10)


7.  Paint the stems and the bottom of the wine glass. I used two coats for this part. After they are dry you can add another color of paint to make stripes, swirls, dots, anything you want. I actually liked them best a solid color. (Image 11)

8.  Once the glasses are completely dry, you will have to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for on the bottle of the paint brand you are using for finishing. For example, for the brand of paint I used, I was to allow my paint to dry for 48 hours. After that, I set them in a cool oven, I set the temperature to 325 degrees, bake 30 minutes, turn oven off, let them cool down in the oven before removing. (Image 12)


After they are baked, they can be washed but I wouldn’t recommend putting them in the dishwasher.

For a cute presentation, you can tie a bow or ribbon at the upper part of the stem. Perfect for a hostess gift!

For my Polka Dot wine or other beverage glass tutorial for any occasion, click HERE.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Buckeye Bars - So Easy!

Are you looking for a new recipe for Thanksgiving or Christmas that is as easy as it is delicious? Here is a recipe I found on the Internet a couple years back. It's now one of our family's favorite for the Holidays, or anytime.

Buckeye Bars
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
22 NILLA Wafers, crushed (I crush mine really well)
2 cups  powdered sugar
1/2 of 8-oz. tub COOL WHIP (Do not thaw.)
3 squares Semi-Sweet Chocolate

Line an 8-inch square pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides. Beat butter and peanut butter with mixer until blended. Mix in cookie crumbs. Gradually add sugar, mixing well after each addition. Press onto bottom of pan.

Microwave cool whip and chocolate in microwaveable bowl on high for 1 min.; stir. Microwave 15 to 30 sec. or until chocolate is melted; stir until blended. Spread over peanut butter layer.

Refrigerate 2 hours. Use foil handles to lift dessert from pan before cutting to serve.

Turkey and pumpkin above can be found in Halloween & Fall Clipart Set at Etsy by clicking HERE.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

My Camera - I Never Leave Home Without It

Do you see a bird on this fence? We were out running errands yesterday and we pulled into a parking lot that was surrounded by an old and weathered wooden fence. As I was getting out of the car I noticed that it appeared as if someone had designed a bird in the wood. It was actually a combination of the knotting, a nail, and the wear and tear. I just thought it was cool!

I wonder if anyone thought I was strange for taking a picture of a section of fence. As we were driving home down this country road, I noticed a car parked off to the side and woman was standing there photographing something. I don't know what caught her eye, but I wonder if her photo will show up in a blog post somewhere today too.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Crazy and INSANE Christmas Deals!

To kick off the Christmas Season I thought it would be fun to have some crazy and insane specials. Specials that are priced so low you are going to think, "Is she nuts?" Some days it will be graphics, some days it will be patterns, but there will be LOTS of them!

To keep updated on the present sales, be sure to follow us on Facebook or Google+ because all the sales will be announced there. You can click the links below or you can click on the graphics at the right.


We will begin with my Christmas Clipart Bundle. TODAY ONLY you will get it for $3.00. Yes, I know that is less than the regular price of my clipart sets, but I told you it would be crazy! You can find this set at my Etsy by clicking HERE.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

To A New Chapter and A Good Start!

Yesterday was my last day of work at the clinic so I can start the next chapter in my life as a full time business owner. It was a  nice day at work. They bought lunch from my favorite restaurant in Chesterton, my co-worker (and very good friend) made me ice cream cake, and my extremely supportive and excited husband bought me a beautiful gift, a card, and took me to a really nice restaurant (Coopers Hawk Winery) for dinner and wine tasting.

I woke up today and saw that my Happy Snowman mug rug pattern made its way to the #1 best seller at Craftsy! I have to say this is a good sign. It's been working its way there for several days and today of all days, it made it!

I'm off now to start this new venture, and do some things around the house that I've been dying to tackle but never had time with two jobs!!!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

My New Job Commute - Across the Hall!

When I first started listing my graphics and patterns at my very first shop, I never thought I'd sell enough of them to actually quit my day job. Two and a half years, over a dozen shops, and a several thousand sales later, I have finally reached that point and have made that silly little dream a reality! Some might say that it takes a lot of hard work to run a business, which it does, but it's FUN work! 

Friday will be my last day at the animal clinic. I will miss the people and the job, but I felt as though I was holding down two jobs. It was so stressful and left me with very little time for anything else, plus I know that if I can focus on my business more completely, I can make it grow even more. Plus, I can keep a flexible schedule and even take vacations and long weekends anytime I want! Most importantly, I can spend more time with my family. Brian is happiest about that part.

When I gave my notice last month I was asked if I'd like to come back once in a while to fill in if someone needs a day or two off. They don't ask too many people if they'd like to stay on that way so it made me feel like my work there was really appreciated. It will also be nice to help out my co-workers when they need some time off.

So the photo above is my studio where I will spend my time creating along with my trusty assistant Punkie. 

So, to my friends who have been running their business on a full time basis, I'd really appreciate any tips or advice to keeping a schedule, organization, or anything that will help me. I'm taking all the advice I can get.

I'm so excited about beginning this whole new chapter in my life!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

A Handmade Holiday - Creating Memories

There is something about handmade gifts and decorations that makes Christmas just a little more cozy. Most of our decorations and ornaments are handmade. Not only do I like to make decorations and gifts for my loved ones, I also like to buy from the many handmade artists online and locally. As much as I enjoy a day of shopping and lunch, I also love to sit in my studio and create something special for someone special. When you are making someone a gift, you are also giving them a part of yourself. 

I was raised in a home that was decorated for Christmas where almost everything was handmade, and creating gifts for family and friends was something that I enjoyed doing so much. My grandma was a big influence to me when it came to crafting. Our home was filled with her wonderful creations for all the different holidays. Although they are old, and some very fragile, my mom and I still have some of her decorations today.

Be sure to check out my Craftsy shop where you will also find some fun and FREE Christmas patterns such as my Angled Stripes Table Runner, Lollipop Ornaments, Hobby Horse Candy Cane Holder, and Gingerbread Boy & Girl Ornaments

My hope is that this post will inspire you to create something special this Christmas for yourself, or someone else. Maybe you will even start a new crafty Christmas tradition!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Make it Special with Tablescapes!

I love tablescapes! You can create a beautiful table without spending a fortune. They add so much drama and elegance to your breakfast, lunch, dinner, or afternoon tea. I've been searching the Internet for ideas so I can make my holiday entertaining even more festive. Below are a few that I have saved for inspiration.

 From: Dwell On Joy

From: Take Six

Aren't they beautiful? I've decided that I'm going to do something different this year. I'm going to take some of the serving pieces that I already have and see how I can make them come to life!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Free Table Runner Pattern

Some of you already know about the free table runner tutorial I have on my blog as well as the downloadable pattern I have at my Craftsy shop. I decided it would also be a great way to use up some fabric scraps so I made up a Christmas version this week. I love it! This time though I used a cotton batting for a flatter look. This is a pretty quick project if you do it all by machine. I love them both!

You can get your free table runner pattern at my Craftsy Pattern Shop by clicking HERE.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

FREE Holiday Patterns!

It's that time of year again where everyone seems to be in the crafting mode, especially when it comes to the holidays. I know I am! I just want to remind you that I have some fun and free holiday patterns at my Craftsy pattern shop that are available in downloadable PDF format so you can save them and make them whenever you want! You can either save them to your Craftsy library or download them to your computer.

The table runner shown above is in fall colors but think of how pretty it could be in Christmas colors! That is actually one of the projects on my "To Do" list for my own personal sewing projects.

You will find all four pictured above at my Craftsy shop by clicking HERE.

Happy Crafting!!!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Chicken of the Woods!

One of my favorite things about this time of year is mushroom hunting. I always find the prettiest mushrooms in late summer and early fall. My favorite mushroom is the Chicken of the Woods. I just love it's vibrant colors! I actually look at trees as I'm driving to see if I can find one. I never eat the mushrooms, I just love to photograph them. 

Since there are woods behind our house I regularly walk along the back of the yard to see if I can spot any, and sometimes I do. A few days ago I walked past my living room window and saw a flash of orange and yellow. I was so excited at the thought that it just might be my favorite mushroom that I quickly grabbed the binoculars and took a look. Yes! It was my favorite mushroom, and it was so big and beautiful. Next, of course I grabbed my camera and ran out the the back of the yard. It's going to be fun to photograph it as it changes. The last one that I found at the dunes and was able to photograph every few days, changed from a plump looking mushroom to what looked like a thin clown ruffle by the end of it's time.

Monday, October 21, 2013

FREEBIE - Digital Designers Halloween Facebook Hop!

Facebook hop has expired but you can still get your free Halloween scrapbooking kit on the freebie page of my website HERE.

You'll find lots of other fun things there as well!
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