Monday, July 30, 2012

Loving the Olympics!

Wow... where does time go? Can't believe it's been since May that I last posted. 

 Top left to right: Purple potato chips made from potatoes we harvested out of our garden, nori, watermelon.
Bottom left to right: macaroni and cheese, fresh peas from the garden.

Well, the family has been enjoying the first week of the Olympics and I thought I'd share our Olympic inspired Muffin Tin - the Olympic rings. You can check out lots of other muffin tins at Muffin Tin Mom.

I've really enjoyed our garden this year. We have enjoyed potatoes (although small), lots and lots of peas, carrots, radishes, green beans, various types of lettuce and many different herbs. Hopefully I'll get around to sharing some photos of our garden soon.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Inspired by buttons

Okay, so I admit I have a problem. I admit that I'm not a collector of buttons... I'm more of a hoarder. I have more buttons that I could admit to (seriously, I have no idea - I have boxes and boxes of them and I've lost count of how many because I've had to scatter them throughout the house to store them).

But I was inspired the other day by one of my doodles and a pile of vintage buttons. I need to do something with all these buttons (mainly so I don't feel bad buying more). So I've started selling them in my supply shop (Pickle Barrel Supplies). Here's a sampling of what you will find. I started listing them yesterday and have already sold many of them.

Each card has a simple original drawing (just a quick doodle) in pencil (I've used a silver pencil on back for these). I think these would be fun for a gift tag or a "just because" card to that button lover in your life. The buttons can also just be cut off and used.

I'm also going through my other supplies because there is an EtsyRAIN Craft Swap this weekend. So who knows what else I'll find to post. With the end of the school year approaching, I'm looking forward to doing some projects around the house. This means that I need to do some serious cleaning and purging. And knowing me, I can't do that without doing a little creating a long the way.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Out of the box

Have you ever felt like you just need to step out of our box of safe and normal? I feel this a lot. And right now, in my current slump, I think my creative mind was screaming for it. So I made a decision to take part in a call for artists. The show is for Barbie Altered Art and is hosted by Happy Delusions in Renton.

Really, this isn't too far out of my box. I love weird and quirky. But it's fairly out there when you look at the business I've built. But I've spent the majority of this week working on my pieces and I'm finally starting to feel more like my creative self. It's been great. None of my pieces are completely done - but they are all far enough along that you get the idea. Two of them are inspired by Alice in Wonderland (seems to be a theme for me this year) and the other one is inspired by the owner of Happy Delusions who I get the feeling, likes unicorns.

Here are some sneak peaks;

Magical Unicorn (to be mounted as a wall hanging)

Flower inspired by the singing flowers in Alice in Wonderland. Will have a stem for a stand, but is a pin (wearable art!).

My most complex piece is the caterpillar. Still needs antennae and a few finishing details, but will sit on to of one of my mushrooms (I'll post pictures of them soon - but they are left over decor from my daughter's birthday party)

It's a good thing that there is a three piece limit as I have really enjoyed making these and have tons and tons of ideas. I'll post photos of the finished pieces once they are complete... and show details once I know if I have been accepted. A little nervous though as this would be my first Art (not craft) Show.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Many years ago, I participated in a swap. A charm square swap with people all over the world. It was fun and I love the fabrics I received. I made a quilt top within a few months of getting them... and then it sat. and sat. and sat for several years.

Then I decided around Christmas time last year that I as a gift to myself, I was going to send my quilt and have someone else quilt it so that we could finally enjoy it. And so I actually did! Carrie from Georgia Girl Fabrics and Quilting did an awesome job. She had a quick turn around and she was so easy to work with.

Of course, I have had it back for several months now and just need to bind it. I bought the fabric but have been dragging my feet at making the biased tape. Not sure what since I borrowed my mother's bias tape machine.

But yesterday, I finally pulled it out and did it! Of course, that's because I need to return the machine this weekend. I can't believe I put it off for so long. This machine is magic! Once I had my strip, the machine made the tape for me in minutes! I couldn't believe the ease... and I'm definitely adding the machine to my list of things to get myself in the near future.

Now, I just need to sew the binding on... which of course, will probably take me another month or so to get to. But I'm sooooo close!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Is it here yet?

To say I'm anxious for Spring this year is an understatement. Normally, I don't mind all the rain (never really been fond of the cold though) - but this year, I was ready for Spring in January. And it really isn't looking good. It's supposed to be less than a week away (I think) and tonight we have a chance of lowland snow :(

Thankfully, my husband feels my pain. This weekend, despite the ridiculously cold winds sweeping through our backyard, he finished up one of my raised planter beds. It still has to be filled... but it's one step closer. We'll be shifting some dirt around from other areas of the yard so this box had to be completed before other projects could be tackled. I'm hoping to plant our beans and peas (along with a few herbs) in this box. Maybe I'll even try my hand at growing cucumbers vertically.

I did get some chives transplanted from various areas in the yard. We also planted some of the garlic that the kids brought back from their school garden. But look how sad the raised planter looks :(

So today, while my daughter slept (she's been sick for many, many days now) - I made garden markers. I'm always experimenting with different ways of marking our garden. Not all of them have worked out as well in real life as they do in my head. But this time... I'm hoping I have it right.

Took some large Popsicle sticks that I found at a thrift store for next to nothing (it's a huge box so I will not run out!) and grabbed my wood burning tool. I'm anxious to stick them outside to see how they weather the elements. I could treat them - but I'd rather not.

As soon as it warms up just a little, I hope to add broccoli to the planter with the garlic. I didn't have luck last year with broccoli as the slugs ate every last little seedling. I am much more prepared this year and ready to give it another try.

Update: These plant markers do not work :( I supposed they might if you finish them with something rather than leaving them natural. Back to the drawing board!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Pinterest - Button wrapping decoration

What a crazy month February is. Not only for all the birthdays in my family... but there are so many friend birthdays as well. February is great month!

So, I thought I'd share my latest wrapping I did for one of my daughter's friends. I saw the idea of using a button on Pinterest - and any excuse to use a button is a good one. I love it and will now be wrapping gifts this way.

Well, as I was uploading it - I realize that you can't really see the button. Oops. I also used some felt flowers (obviously since they are obscuring the view of the cute pink button) that were left over from my daughter's birthday. I also used the wrapping paper that I had left over from her party. This paper from Hobby Lobby is awesome. It's not the only place I'll be going to for wrapping paper. The quality is awesome, there are grids on the back to make cutting easier and you get a ton on one roll! I used it to cover the tables, made pennants from it for decorations, and of course wrap her presents!

I also used the button to wrap a few presents for a customer. You can see the buttons a tad better here.

Still loving Pinterest!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Pinterest - Toilet Paper Rolls for Starters

This week's idea from Pinterest is the genius idea of using toilet paper rolls for your seed starts!

I have been anxious to start my garden. And while it's cold, wet and windy right now, I've been dreaming all about my summer garden. So when I found out that I could be starting the plants indoors (I was trying to be patient - I'm notorious for starting them too soon and not being able to put them outside at the right time), I jumped on it!

I found this site that tells me the best time to start plants in my area. It was just the cheat sheet I needed.

Of course, because I was trying to be patient and not plant too soon... I was not prepared and didn't have all the seeds I wanted. One of my recent favorite things to do is thumb through the seed catalogs - but I haven't placed an order. I guess I'll be supporting a local nursery this week to go buy my seeds.

The toilet paper rolls (and the one paper towel roll - which is not as thick**) that I used worked great and were easy to make. I'm excited to see what happens. I put them in a plastic tray that I saved from my kid's Lego Advent calendar. I knew it would come in handy for something!

** Important update - do not use paper towel rolls. Not all rolls are created equal. They fall apart when wet. Always learning, we are.


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