Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Wreath (and extra chiropractor visits)

Happy Memorial Day everyone!
I'm so thankful to all our veterans and military personel who have served and still serve to help keep our country safe. 
We celebrated by having a WWII veteran (my FIL) over for homemade hamburgers and homemade french fries and homemade cake and homemade ice cream.  Our WWII veteran liked it (especially the cake and ice cream!).

To decorate for this holiday, I put out our flag on the flagpole, lined our sidewalk with flags on sticks (this seems to be popular in our neighborhood so we decided to go with it too), and hung my freshly made patriotic fabric wreath on our front door.
I decided to make a fabric wreath because the tutes I found on the internet all seemed pretty easy plus I couldn't find any patriotic wreaths for sale anywhere locally.  Isn't that weird?  Even Michaels didn't have any.  

All you need to make one is 1 yard of red fabric, blue fabric and white fabric and a metal wreath frame.
You cut the fabric into 6 inch x 1 inch strips and then just tie them onto the metal frame.  The more you tie on, the fuller your wreath will be.  Here are my strip stacks and the metal frame with about 1/4 done.

Great huh?  I love it.  I plan to leave it up through July 4th.

Now here's the down side to making this fabric wreath.  (note:  I'm about to whine about my health problems)
I have nerve pain in my right shoulder that is caused by a cervical spine problem that I have and which I periodically have to see a chiropractor for (because my pain management dr. says he can't help me with it anymore except for giving me drugs).  I usually have to see him 1-3 times per week for 6-8 weeks and then I'm good for a couple of months.
Nerve pain is very different from regular pain.  The nerve pain that I have, feels like someone is stabbing me in the back between my shoulder blade and spine.  It is constant 24/7 and NOTHING will make it stop.  No amount of exercise, stretching, Motrin, or anything else (except seeing my chiropractor) will make it stop.  The pain meds help for maybe 1-2 hours which is not nearly as long as they are suppose to last.  It's miserable and puts me in a really bad mood - every day.  Certain things make the pain worse, like using my laptop (which is why I've been trying to stay off lately), scrubbing anything with my right arm, or basically using my right arm in any way.
Hence, my visits to the chiropractor.
So, I had been seeing my chiropractor this time for about 2 weeks when I decided to make the fabric wreath.  I spent about an hour or more cutting the 3 yards of fabric into strips with my rotary cutter. 
I use my rotary cutter alot but not usually for more that a few minutes.  Well, guess what?  Apparently, using it for long stretches really aggravates that nerve.  Isn't that awesome?!!  So, I'll be spending alot of
my time at my chiropractors office for several more weeks.  YAY! :(

This is one of those examples of when you should just buy a wreath from someone on etsy instead of trying something new and doing it yourself.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Look at my shiny wedding rings!

A couple of weeks ago, I posted HERE about it being my 20th wedding anniversary on May 4th and how my wedding ring exploded about a week before the big day.

Well, I got some good advice on that blog post and gave the matter serious thought.  What I decided to do was to keep my old set and replace the missing diamond from the engagment ring.  I also decided to have the V shaped band (which I bought 5 years ago for our 15th anniversary) removed and to look for a band that I liked better and that looked better with my rings.  I honestly never really liked the V band - it was just the one I disliked the least at the jewelry store when I bought it - which is not a good reason to buy something.
Here's a pic of the old set with the missing diamond and the ugly V shaped band:
So, I did some price shopping at 2 different stores in the mall.  They both wanted about $500 for a .25 carat diamond PLUS the price to fix the prongs and set the diamonds.  It was going to take anywhere from 3-8 weeks for them to send it off to be fixed and I wouldn't know how much they were going to charge for all the work until the jeweler got the ring and gave an estimate.  They charge for every little thing such as to unsolder the rings, to resolder the rings, to resize, to fix the prongs, to make the prongs gold so that they match the rings, to set the diamond etc, etc, etc. blah, blah blah.
Plus one store had EXTREMELY high pressure sales people.

I ended up just coming on home and calling my hubby to get his opinion.  He suggested I go to a local jewelry store - Jim's Jewelers.
Honestly, I had thought about going there but I just thought that they would be really expensive.  Well, guess what?
I got a great deal and they were way nicer than the people at the mall.

I got a .39 carat diamond that is square for LESS than the .25 carat at the mall.  Plus, they had the kind of anniversary band I wanted - it matches my wedding band almost exactly.  AND they had it completely fixed and looking gorgeous by the next day!
Tell me what you think!  Here are the pics:
 The very top band is the new band which almost exactly matches the bottom band (my wedding band).
I had the square diamond put in a kite setting which I think looks soooooo COOOL!

Look how big it is!  I LOVE it!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Thread Catcher

Today was the last day of school - YAY!
It was really just a half day - we left after the awards ceremony.  My son is now a 7th grader.  He'll be going to a different school next year and it was really hard to leave the school he was at.  We loved the teachers, the admin was great and the students were awesome.  But with many tears in our eyes, we said goodbye and he's moving on to other things.  My fingers are crossed that the new school will be just as wonderful.

So, on to crafty things.

I made myself a thread catcher.  I didn't really make it to catch thread.  I made it to put on my ironing board to hold all the junk I have on there that needs to stay like the little cup that fills the iron with water, rulers, pinscushions, the little wooden pokey tool that I use on corners of fabric - etc.

To make it, I followed the instructions in magazine, Simple Quilts and Sewing 2011.  The instructions were fairly easy to follow but I did have  an extra piece of fabric left over.  I went back over the instructions several times to see where I was suppose to use that square of fabric but couldn't find it.  That was a bit odd - like putting together a bookshelf and having leftover screws and boards.

It was suppose to be quilted which I didn't do.  I think if I had, the basket would have had more structure - or I could have used interfacing which I didn't think to do until I had done about half of the project.

I might make another one for my sewing table because it did come out well and a thread catcher would be very useful to have.  If I do, I'll either quilt it or use fairly stiff interfacing for the basket.

What do you think?  Cute huh?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Huge Markdown Sale on My BEADED Bookmarks!

I've decided to clear out my BEADED bookmarks so that I can focus on my ribbon bookmarks.

When I first started making and selling the beaded ones, they sold like hotcakes.  People would buy 3-4 at a time - especially at craft shows.  But when the economy tanked, so did my beaded bookmark sales.  However, my ribbon bookmarks continue to sell really well.

So, I've marked all the Beaded bookmarks down from $15 to $12.  Just click here to see all that's available in the section.

Here are some pics of just a few of your choices.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My New Coin Purse

Well, I finally got around to making myself a new coin purse - which was the whole reason I started making coin purses to begin with.

I used some of Michael Miller's Gypsy Bandana fabric to make it.  It was actually a messed up piece of fabric that I had cut and attempted to make the top part of one of my aprons.  But apparently, the fabric didn't want to be an apron because it wouldn't let me sew it correctly.  I'm not even sure it wanted to be a coin purse, because it had to redo it a couple of times too.

Anyhoo, it's done now.  And I love it.  It's adorable and sweet.  It's in my purse right now, holding my coins :)

I bought these sweet little crocheted flowers and butterflies from littlemargie which I think look really cute and will be gracing some coin purses that I'll have in my shop soon.

I love making these little purses. 

Friday, May 13, 2011


Last weekend was Mother's day. 
My son was sick all weekend, starting the previous Friday.  Several kids in his class were out sick so, I'm guessing they just all passed the germs around.

As a result of his being sick, he didn't get to go shopping with his dad to get me a Mother's Day gift.  I'm still waiting for my present.

But he did share something else.  He's so sweet.  Guess what he shared with me?

I feel like crap.

Monday, May 9, 2011

New Shop Banner and Avatar

I've gone live with my new shop banner and avatar.  Click here to see my new shop set up.

Tell me what you think.

Special thanks to doodledesignstudios for the cute, cute graphics!

Teacher Appreciation Gift

I just wanted to make a quick post to show what I whipped up for Teacher Appreciation week last week.

I got the idea and graphic here.  My son has 7 teachers in all and I would have loved to get them all gift cards to a restaurant or somewhere great but 7 x $30 would have given my husband a heart attack.  I don't like to just get them stuff because I'm sure they get tons of junk they can't use all year long.  I thought the potted flowers were a good choice because it's spring time and they can be kept inside or planted out in the flower bed.

So, I went out to my favorite plant nursery and got 8 Gerber Daisies in red and yellow (7 teachers and 1 principal).  This is my son's last year at this school and it's a small school.  The teachers have all been so great the 3 years we've been there and the principal has always been willing to listen to my concerns and has actually made positive changes based on complaints!  That is completely the opposite of what I was use to.  The previous school my son was in, the principal just listened to me and basically patted me on the head.  No changes were made and that school stunk.  We were so glad to leave.

Anyhoo, feedback so far has been positive.  The second pic is of all the flowers sitting in the garage, ready to go the next day.  I wrapped each pot in either white wrapping paper or clear cellophane (I ran out of the cellophane) and tied them with a pretty ribbon.  The graphic was hot glued to lollipop sticks and stuck into each pot.
I gave these out on Wednesday and on Friday, I took them all a Godiva chocolate bar.  Yum!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Happy Anniversary

Wednesday, May 4th, was mine and my hubby's 20th wedding anniversary.  Wow.  20 years.
That's a loooooong time.
BUT, I love him and he loves me.  And that's all that matters. 
It's hard being married for 20 years and I think it's quite an accomplishment.

So, to celebrate the occasion, my wedding ring exploded.

Well, technically, it was my engagement ring, but whatever.  It happened about 1 week before our anniversary.  I had been cleaning and I was washing my hands and noticed that my ring felt rough.  So, I looked down and sort of screamed because the prongs were broken and the big diamond was gone.  My hubby took off the pea trap but of course, it wasn't there.  It could have been anywhere.  Plus, I had been vacuuming and had even changed the vacuum bag.  We figured out pretty quick that it was gone and we didn't need to look for it.

Now I have to decide if I want to replace the diamond and fix the ring or just buy a new set.  My tastes have changed and I'd love a new set but at the same time, I'm sentimental towards my old set.  Sigh.
I'm thinking that I'll probably just replace the diamond but maybe I'll trade in the anniversary band (the ring on bottom) that I bought 5 years ago for our 15th anniversary and get something different.  I've never been really crazy about that ring anyway.

I'll be sure to post pics of the repaired rings to keep you updated.  I'm sure you're all anxious to see how it turns out.  LOL