Best Gingerbread Castle Ever (Revisited)

You may remember several years ago when I made a fantastically amazing Gingerbread Castle.


Well, my friends… it’s been upstaged!

My new friend, Josh, used my template to create his Castle this year… and added Trebuchets and Siege Towers!  He very kindly provided a link to his photo, so I figured I’d post it here.  It really is quite spectacular!

Seriously, loving the additions! Way to go, Josh!

Obviously I’m going to have to do a new one next year!


Another Free Scrapbooking Class by CK DreamTeam Kim Watson!

Hey everyone!  The super talented Kim Watson, a member of the CK DreamTeam will be giving another free class this Saturday 11.00 am Mountain over at ClubCK.  Creating Keepsakes Magazine is the sponsor for this event.  Come on over and say hi.  If you can’t make the live class, the thread will be available later, but we’d love to see you during the event.

Can’t wait to see you there!

Mother’s Day Blog Hop

Hey everyone! Welcome to the Mother’s Day Blog Hop for 2012.  You should have arrived here from Jennifer D’s ScrapDrawer.  If not, please jump to Amanda’s blog to get started.

Mother’s Day is always a tough thing for me to figure out what to do about.  It’s not a birthday or Christmas, which are the main gift giving holidays in our family, but it’s still a time I want to do something for.  I do love and appreciate my mother, after all.  So, I figured the best thing I could do was a scrapbook page for the book I’ve made her.  It’s just something that I add to on occasion, no specific theme, so it wouldn’t matter if it didn’t “fit” the rest of the book, and I didn’t have to do a huge project to show my mom I love her.

So, without further explanation, here’s my page:

That’s my mom!  And, yes… she’s holding me.  I’m about 3 months old, I think.  Anyway… it was a sweet photo, so I tried to keep the rest of it simple.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!  I love you!

If you’re following along the hop, be sure to leave a comment on every blog.  Amanda is pulling a random winner from her blog, and from one of the other blogs.  And, of course, I have a giveaway, too.  Leave a comment here for a chance to win.  Become a follower (there’s an email follow button down on the side bar, if you scroll a bit) or tell me that you already are for a 2nd chance.  Link to my blog from yours, or your FB page, or pin something from here to Pinterest, for a 3rd chance.  Do that before 11.59 pm Saturday 12 May, for your chance.  I’ll announce the winner on Sunday, 13 May (Mother’s Day).

On to your next stop: Andrea Joy’s Blog.

Scrap Resolution

Ok, every year I start out with great intentions. I want to do loads of projects and especially layouts. But then…. Something always happens, and I don’t meet my goal. Or even come close. So this year, I’m changing my goals. I want to do 5 projects/month. That can be scrapping, sewing, knitting, house painting…. Whatever. And that includes projects like reorganizing my office our bedroom. Anything that’s not routine house work is counted.

What about you? What are your scrap/craft goals for 2012?

1 Down, 3 To Go

And, here’s the finished quilt, wonky seams, wobbly top stitching, uneven binding, and all.

Finished Quilt

The binding is not perfect.  I tried really  hard, but somehow it never seems to come out even for me.  But hey, it’s done.  I didn’t do much actual quilting.  Just followed the blue strips lengthwise down the quilt.  That’s all that is “needed” to keep the batting in place.  I asked Lois if she wanted anything more elaborate, and she said no.  So I just left it simple.  It does look pretty cool, though.  And, it’s queen sized!  I used a queen size sheet I had kicking around my house (I hate flat sheets!) and only had to trim a couple inches off to fit it.  Actually, the binding itself is another old sheet!  One from Lois.  The blues don’t match exactly (the twin was a bit lighter than my queen), but hey… you can’t beat free!

I have learnt loads from this quilt, and the next one will be improved.  It was just back luck on Lois’ part that she got stuck with my first attempt!

In the previous post, I had a comment requesting some detail shots (see, I do pay attention!) So, here you go.

Square with shirt buttons.

Square with shirt buttons and corner of pocket.

That gives you an idea of what I did to show that these were real shirts, not just pretty fabric.

Some of you have heard the story of my sewing machine.  It’s an old Kenmore machine.  It’s my grandmother’s machine, from around the time of her marriage, in 1949.  I don’t know if it was really that early, but it’s at least 50 years old, for sure, probably closer to 60.  Anyway, I had to have the electrical cord replaced the other week because the insulation was literally disintegrating in my hands.  It’s a fabulous machine, and sews like a dream.  I had it serviced at the time of the cord replacement, and when I got it back and started sewing again, I seriously had to check twice to be sure that it was actually stitching, because it was so smooth!  I didn’t originally inherit it when my grandmother died.  My sister has a couple of degrees in fashion and costume design, and does a load of sewing, so she inherited it.  I was living in England at that time, anyway, so it wasn’t a conflict of interest!  But this last year, since moving back to the US, Lois offered to let me have it, since she has another machine.  So, I’m very grateful to my sister for sharing the wealth!

Anyway, here’s a photo of the quilt on the machine.  It sits in this awesome cupboard that lets the machine drop down, and fold away.  Seriously, every machine should come with that feature!  It makes storing/using the machine so much more practical.

1st Quilt Top

A while back I started a project working with a bunch of old Hawaiian print shirts of my grandfather’s. When he died, my mom saved them all, and was going to make a quilt. Well, that was a couple years back, and she hadn’t done it, so in September when I drove up, I suggested that I do it, instead. I divided the quilts into 2 sets, the blues/neutrals and the brights. I decided I’d make 2 quilts, one for me and one for Lois. So, I made some inquiries (I made a quilt when I was 10, that was the only one I ever made!) and cut the shirts up (keeping as many of the interesting “shirt” bits as possible… things like pockets, seams, buttons…. to make it obvious that it was made from real shirts, not just Hawaiian print fabric.) I ended up having 16 sets of 8 piles of 8.5×8.5 squares! That meant my quilt would be 8 squares wide by 16 squares long. Ummm… ENORMOUS! And that didn’t count the framing fabric. Seriously, the thing would have been HUGE. So I started thinking about it, and what I came up with was either do 3 or 4 quilts. 1 for me, 1 for Lois both 8×12 and use the remaining 4 rows of each quilt to make an 8×8 quilt for our grandmother. Or 1 for me, 1 for Lois both 8×10 and use the remaining 6 rows to make 2 extra quilts, 8×6, 1 for mom, 1 for grandma. I talked it over with Lois, and we decided that 8×10 was going to be big enough to cuddle under on the sofa, or use for a picnic, and 8×6 would be a great size for a lap blanket while reading. So I’m making 4 quilts.

Anyway, last night, since I couldn’t sleep I finished up Lois’ quilt top! It was 8×6 when I started sewing last night, so I only had to attach 4 rows, plus the edging.


As you can see, even 8×10 is not small! Bless! It’s 75 inches across and 95 inches long (that’s 6’3″x8′)! That means I need to make 350 inches (just shy of 10 yards) of binding! Eeeeek!


My nephew started clasping his fingers at a VERY young age.  And he’d do it all the time.  You’d be walking around with him, and he’d have his fingers clasped and just be wide-eyed taking in the world.  Bless him.  He is just so adorable.  He still does it (he’s a little over a year, now) but, not quite the same.  For one, his dexterity has improved, so he doesn’t “miss” as much.  Totally makes us laugh, though.  I found that I his hand-holding (interdigitating – what can I say?  My family is Geek!) in a load of my photos.

Here’s the LO I did with the best.

And, here are some close-up photos of the hidden journaling and photos inside the envelope.

The envelope stemmed from a challenge that a friend issued, to have “something hidden, either journaling or a photo” on our LO.  Obviously, I went above and beyond.  The LO idea came from a Sketchy Thursday sketch.  Those of you who know me, or know my work, you know that I like making those little envelopes.  They’re actually really easy.  And, recently I’ve started lining them.  They just look so pretty with a lining.

CS – Kraft Paper, Reflections, Cord’inations
PP – MM Paper Reverie
Ink – Reflections Black Dye
Tie for envelope – Thread that I knotted
Punch – EK Success
Alpha – Thickers
Brads – Basil
Journaling – Font – CrazyCrazy
Sketch – Sketchy Thursday

As promised, here’s the template for the envelope.  It’s 4×4, finished, which is twice as large as the envelope template I posted the other week.

To print it out, simply click on the image, and print using your browser’s print feature.  Or, you can also save it and print using whatever program you prefer.

Now, to make the closure I used here, I did something really simple.  1st – to make the circles, I took a chapstick and traced the lid.  It’s the perfect size!  Then, I folded up a tiny piece of paper to make the shank.  Next, I used my paper piercer to poke a hole through the center of each of the circles, and through the folded papers.  Finally, I used a tiny brad to attach the circle and shank to the envelope.  The string is thread I knotted.  You could braid or knot or whatever.  You could also use baker’s twine, or other heavier string.

Well, that’s it for me tonight.  Don’t forget – there’s just 1 day left before I draw a winner for the magazine!