Thursday, October 30, 2008

Creating a FAVORITE Apron....

A few months ago I signed up for an apron exchange titled "HOT MAMA" swap. No it's isn't what you are was all about your favorite "HOT" drink! My partner's favorite drink was hot chocolate. As the dead line approached my creative ideas were running on empty. I could not figure out what type of fabric to use. The fabric store carries all types of fabric with coffee and cappuccino printed on it, but nothing with hot chocolate. Then I came up with an idea. I scanned the internet and found a painting of a cup of hot chocolate with some knitting needles. Next step, off I went to my partner's blog. I wanted to find out a bit more about her. BINGO... She had three beautiful daughters!

The idea for my apron.
I copied the photos directly onto some pre-washed muslin. I had been buying printable fabric in the quilting section at Joann Fabrics, until I saw Dawn's post at the FEATHERED NEST. It's easier to do and not as expensive. I printed up the words"Favorite Things" on my computer and copied the photo of her girls off her blog. PRESTO here's what came through the printer. Aren't the girls adorable!

Next I re sized the painting of the cup of hot chocolate and printed it out. I attached both photos with fuse able web and then appliqued lost of pink ribbon to the front of the apron. Oh by the way, did I mention that my partner's "Favorite Color" was pink?

My apron would not have been complete without a pair of matching dishwashing gloves. I know washing dishes does not qualify as a "Favorite Thing", but at least she'll be stylish while doing it!

I think that I filled all the requirements for the swap. Not your everyday type of apron, but when I create something I want it be special and a "Creation From My Heart"!
I've been busy this week getting ready for a craft show at my son's high school. I haven't done a show in years. Come back a visit, I 'll show you some of the items I made. If the show is slow, I may have a lot of items for my Etsy shop that I am going to be opening! "The sunshine that comes from your heart, is warmer than any that comes from the sky"...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Take a Chance...

Last week I finally put my fear aside and sent in my first two articles for BlissFul Home. I have been quite intimidated by all the writers, and put off submitting anything. I'm fairly new to blogging, and to top it off they do all their drafts in Word Press. Well last week I thought I would give it a try. Both articles are on Fall decorating. Well to my amazement they were published this weekend. I'd love for you to check them out and let me know what you think. Just click HERE and HERE to read them. I'm still a bit apprehensive, but I did submit two more articles. If you haven't checked out the Blissful website take a look. I have it listed under "Lovely Links" on the side bar. Just click on it and you will be amazed at all there is to read. If you crafts, "Creative Bliss" has some wonderful creative ideas.

Life affords us many opportunities. Sometimes we just need to take a chance and see where it leads us. No matter how scary it may seem. May your day today be filled with wonderful opportunities!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Give Thanks for Friends....

I got a wonderful gift from a friend yesterday. I had a craft class that Shannon attended. She brought me the holiday banner for my fireplace. I had commented on the banner I had seen in a photo of her house. What a Sweetie!!! She went and got me one, just like hers. I couldn't wait to come home and add it to my mantel decor.
I just love the colors and the saying... GIVE THANKS!! I added a few gold buttons on each letter of the banner. I don't know what it is, I always have to embellish everything.
The world of blogging can be so much fun. I met Shannon from my Apron group, "Apronista". We were partners in an apron swap which consisted of people all over the country. As God would have it, we were paired up. She only lives about 45 minutes from me! Instead of having my apron arrive via U.S. Postal service, Shannon hand delivered it to my house. Imagine my surprise! Since then we have gotten to know each other and that is something that I will
"GIVE THANKS" for. How beautiful A day can be when FRIENDSHIP touches it.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Fifty Years of Blissful Love....

Today I got to create a one of a kind gift for a dear friend's parents. It is their Golden Anniversary. Fifty Years of wedded bliss. My husband and I know the "Newlyweds". They are a wonderful couple who we have been blessed, to get to know. So it was my pleasure to create a keepsake that would capture a treasured moment in time. I was given a single photograph of the blissful day Fifty years ago, and asked to use this as part of my creation. What a sweet picture. Time passing by quickly... having children who are now grown....Grandchildren who will soon be having little ones of their own... where has the time flown....What abundant blessings that God has given them over the last fifty years.
What would I make???
Well, I started off with copying the photo. I crinkled it and distressed it. Then added my favorite Venetian Gold paint. Once done, I mounted it to some cardboard that I covered in a printed scrap booking paper. A little more gold paint and I had the beginning of the creation.
With the picture in hand, I headed off to Michaels Crafts. I was in search for the perfect frame. I saw it on the shelf. It was exactly what I was looking for. It was a "beefy" frame, not petite. I also liked that is was deep. My plan was to remove the glass and the cardboard behind the glass. Once I did it, it gave me an inset of about 1" deep so I could use it like a shadow box.
Once home, I got out the old buttons, some wonderful ribbon I had saved for something special and an antique key I had just purchased as the flee market last weekend! I mounted some printed paper on black matte board and added a few more gold highlights. The picture of the anniversary couple was then mounted and embellished with all the little treasures.
The word "Forever" was added. What a perfect word for fifty years of wedded bliss. I loved making this for my friend. It's wonderful to have the opportuntiy to share your creativity with others and be able to give them something that will become a treasure.
This project was truly was "A Creation From My Heart"... "You don’t marry Someone you Can live with. You marry The person Who you cannot Live without".

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Twists and Turns in the Road....

It's amazing how quickly life passes by. Where have the years gone by? As I look over the years that have passed, I see the turns in the road and how my life has changed. I thought about this today when I ran across a picture of a cake I had made for a good friend’s daughter’s wedding last year. Before I had my custom window treatment business, I had an entirely different business, a wedding cake business. As my boys got older and began to play baseball, I found myself missing many of their games. I love being my own boss, but I needed to create a new business that would allow me to be with my family on the weekends. My business wasn’t worth it to me… I wanted to be able to cherish those memories of their first little league games, so I soon found myself giving up the wedding cake business.
Well years passed, and I offered to make a wedding cake for my friend… This would truly be a “Creation from My Heart”. The cake was not just any cake, it was a "Winter Wonder Land".
I hand made all the snowflakes out of royal icing and dusted them with iridescent glitter. Rhinestones were added to the snowflakes to match the monogrammed rhinestone cake topper. The cake began to shimmered with a "Winter Wonderland" look as I sprinkled the cake with iridescent glitter. It glistened, just as a freshly fallen snow twinkles as it covers the ground in a blanket of snow.

I love coming across photos, it jogs our memory of times past. Bringing a quick smile as we reflect on events that have followed the twists and turns in the road.

"Memories are little jewels, that are treasures stored in our heart".

Monday, October 20, 2008

Get a Cup of Coffee...Sit Back and Enjoy....

It's a great fall day to take a tour of some wonderfully decorated fall porches....
Some of my friends find it a bit strange that I always carry a camera in my purse. I purchased a small camera so that it easily fits into the inside pocket of my purse. Some of you may ask, "Why do you always need a camera, everywhere you go?" Well, you never know when you might see that creative idea that stops you dead in your tracks.... and a notepad and pen will just not suffice. You need to take a photo, capture every little detail. I know that many of you know exactly what I'm talking about. Do you carry a camera? I'd love to hear from you. Well today you can take a drive by tour and see the many Fall decorations that are out there for your viewing pleasure. Just pop on over to the Inspired Room by clicking HERE and you will get to see all those photos that are taken by people like me. My house is going to be # 1 on the tour. I will take you from outside to in.
I'd love to know what you like.....
I want to share what I did to the front porch area. The most important thing to me on my porch is having a wreath. To me it says"Welcome Friends". I love making a wreath for every season. If you plan on doing this, get your flowers when they go on sale. Making a wreath can get costly once you buy all the supplies needed. Michaels Crafts is a great place to go and now the selection is still good. I have also found many "filler" flowers at Wal-Mart. I know some of you may be saying "Wal-Mart", but I am always looking for a bargain and when your "Creations from the Heart" is complete you will never know where the flowers came from. It would be great if you lived here in Michigan. I teach a class on "Making a custom wreath". This is something easy to learn and once you know the tricks you to could have a wreath that would greet your guests every season.
It looks pretty bare after taking out all my beautiful pink flowers and pulling down the wreath. I do everything the same day, I can't stand to have it look so bare. So as soon as the flowers come out I go up into the attic and start pulling down my fall decor.
Viola... Now here's the transformation.
It takes a few hours, 4 mums, 2 corn stalks, 2 hay bails, one flat of pansies and Autumn decorations I have made and collected over the years. You to can do this. Just start with the items you can buy at the local stand and draw yourself up a plan. I keep a journal, well it's larger than a journal it's a three ring binder with all my seasonal decorating in it. (I'll post about the journal this week, maybe you can start one!) I always take photos and then the next year I just look at the photo and recreate it. Isn't thinking of the plan the hardest part of any decorating. Executing it is much easier for me.
Here's an easy idea to bring more fall decorations to your door. I placed these outside, but they could easily be hung on the inside of your door handle.

They will add a wonderful look to your fall decorations.You can make them in an hour or so.

I made this scarecrow about 8 years ago. For a girl, and a girly girl at that, I am pretty good with power tools. I use them a lot in my drapery business, constructing top treatments and cornice boards. When I see a craft project that may involve a jig saw it doesn't deter me.

He is made, so that he sits on the hay bails. Take a look at his legs and the raffia that comes out the bottom at his foot. I just love bringing him out every year and my guests enjoy him also. There is something so rewarding when you create something yourself rather than just going out and buying it.
I added a basket to his lap and placed 6 pansies and some straw inside. Don't you just the the little bird sitting on his shoulder.
A wonderful wooden cart I use in the backyard during the summer months makes it's way to the front porch to hold an old basket with a mum. The Autumn Greetings sign was something I painted years ago and thought it added a nice touch. Once again greeting my guests with warm Autumn wishes.
This scarecrow greets my guests when they approach the walkway. Years ago I seen one exactly like this on a front lawn. I had my camera with me (now I carry a small digital camera in my purse at all times) I took a photo of it and drew it out on some plywood. I got together some old clothes and a few days later he was complete and standing at my walkway.
Last year I added another detail to this Autumn greeter. I took a large safety pin and pinned his two fingers together so he could hold onto this basket. I cut out this little ghost a bird and once again added the pansies and straw. Now he has a wonderful basket of flowers to greet my guests with.
Why not take a plain metal grate that I purchased at the discount store, hang it outside.

Dress it up with Autumn colors.... I added this basket underneath. By adding the basket and flowers it looks like it is all one piece. I painted the basket the same finish as the grate so it would match. I have seen this idea in the Ballard's catalog for much more than I spent! Be creative and think outside the box. It's amazing what you can create.

My bunny is always there to greet my guests, no matter what season it is. I just dressed her up with some pansies at her feet.

Before the season passes, go and bring your Autumn decor outside so that your guests are greeted by something that you created to say WELCOME... to our happy home!

We're not done yet....Lets move inside to see more fall decor.

These pumpkins were just to blah. I needed some glitz. I added my favorite gold craft paint. By just dry brushing some paint onto the pumpkins and leaves it made a wonderful difference.
Don't you think that the paint really changed it to a pumpkin with glam! The little crystals around the base of the candlestick and vase helped to add the sparkle. I love sparkle. I may live in a house with all men, but I've told you, I am a "Girly Girl"!
Can you See the gold paint on the pumpkins?
I added some berries and a few silk fall flowers. Now let me show you what I did with this frame. I by no means can take credit for the idea. I was on one of my favorite blogs "A little of this and a little of that", and saw a frame that Amy had displayed. That's where I got the idea.
I just glued some newspaper on a piece of typing paper and ran it through my computer printing out the words. For me the fall season is all about being "thankful". I am not into the witches or scary things, so I wanted to print out something about giving thanks....
God deserves the thanks, He has blessed each of us.
I added my own decorative touch to the frame by once again using the gold paint and brushing it on the frame. Did I mention that I got the frame at the dollar store! Doesn't it look like it's came from a home interior store? I just love when that happens!!!
I hope that you can use a few of these tips and incorporate them into your fall theme. As you have seen, you don't have to spend a lot of money to display some "Thankfulness" in your home this fall season.
I switched up the mantel a bit from last year. You may have read on a previous post when I told you about the bargain I got on these vases. They were $4.99 each. I knew I would find a use for them. Aren't they perfect! I just plopped some flowers from Michaels right into the vase. (Well it was a little more work then just plopping them in) I always fuss way to much with arranging flowers!
I really like these pumpkins. They have crystals on them and this makes them shimmer. I have had them for about 4 years. I got them at the end the season for a steal. Notice the twinkle lights. I even put them inside the vases. I am really picky about hiding extension cords. I use the greens and pumpkins to hide them. I think it gives a much more finished look when you can't see how the lighting is plugged in.

I decided to leave the lamp on the mantel to add a bit more ambiance...

The lights continue up and around the base of the topiaries. I keep these topiaries on the mantel throughout the year except for Christmas. I saw them at a design shop. I found the balls at a floral shop and then just went searching in the backyard for some branches from a tree. I put some floral foam in the pots and stuck the branch into the foam and inserted it into the ball. I glued some moss onto the top and sides of the pot and VIOLA.... for a fraction of the cost of the designer pot, I made my own.

Thanks for stopping by on the tour of Fall Homes on Parade to view some of my
"Creations From My Heart"
I hope you got some ideas for your home.
Home for me is definitely where my heart is. I truly enjoy decorating my home, especially for the holidays. I love to spend time with my family at my home. I think decorating for the holidays is a way of creating memories. Memories that my children will tuck away and remember when someday they share the holidays with their children .

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven"

Ecc. 3:1

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