Friday, June 28, 2013

A Quilt is Coming...

I was feeling ambitious and decided to sew a queen-sized quilt!  Here is a mock-up of the pattern and color scheme:

The end result will be simple and modern, but the path to get there will be long and tedious.  To accomplish the piecing the way I want to do it, I need to first cut over 1700 squares!  All I have done so far are the greens.  The neutral background squares begin this weekend.  I am just going to lock myself inside with some chick flicks, a fan blowing, and a cool beverage and cut, cut, CUT!  I doubt I will actually finish the cutting, but I will try to get enough done to maybe start the piecing.  Wish me luck!

xo Allison

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bathroom Reveal....

Bathroom Reveal is... Next Thursday... womp, womp, womp.

I am so sorry! My a/c went out in my house just in time for this lovely triple digit tx weather, it got 'fixed' and then the next day it stopped again... So I was doing the finishing touches on the bathrooms and had to delay everything, but it ain't gonna bring me down!

Updates: LAST WEEK- I painted all three bathrooms. THIS WEEK-  I gel stained the cabinets in the guest bathroom, changed out the light fixtures all by myself ( btw, I feel like I can do just about anything now that I taught myself to do novice electrical stuff... Confidence boost and a couple pats on the back!!), I spray painted old fixtures to update them, and went shopping for bathroom decor.. which turned out to be a very unsuccessful shopping trip only leading to an eventual trip to make returns, probably later today or tomorrow. Eye aye aye! 

Anyway,  I'm not trying to purposely string you along, but the bathroom is coming together and *fingers crossed* that the a/c gets really fixed tomorrow so I can continue work away! 

Here's a little sneak peek of my progress thus far.... 

 Next Thursday IS the bathroom reveal a/c or no a/c! 


Hey everyone....hope you are all enjoying your Wednesday. It's been quiet the busy week for me. I have had lots of errands to take care of and so have been out and about, but I did find the time to make a new friend and catch up with old ones.

One thing that we crafty girls like to do is card challenges. We played along with a few of them.

Check it out...

For this card I played along with CAS(E) This Sketch and for the first time Fusion Card Challenge. I am loving how Fusion Card Challenge works too. (You can either use the sketch or the color combo or both).
I bought some new bright colored pens from Michael's the other day and loved how perfectly they went with the color scheme of the the Fusion Challenge and then decided to pair it with CAS(E) This sketch. 

Next up I again used the Fusion Card challenge but decided to go with both color scheme and sketch. I really loved the yellow flower and wanted to really accent that color.
And finally for my third card ;) I added in Retro Sketches but still kept the Fusion color scheme...and well I actually think I hit their sketch as a way! I am seeing do you????  :)....yep they may be my new fave challenge blog!
For all the card sentiments I used Sweet Stamp Shop stamps.
Alpha Tabs

Baby Love

Today Was

Wheely Like You

 Hope you enjoyed checking out my challenge cards and hoping to see your cards in future challenges maybe! Do you have a favorite challenge to play along with??? Would love to know. I am always a fan of new challenges!

Embroidery Hoop Project Finishing Touches

Quick follow up to my post on my embroidery hoop project I posted yesterday (or earlier today, actually...)

I decided it needed some finishing off - something to frame the hoop and give it a more completed feel.  I happened to have a doily that fit perfectly around the hoop with the delicate scallops encircling in a way that I fell in love with.

I think this finishes off the project nicely, and so does Ellen.  She can't wait for it to dry so she can hang it in her room.

I love when things come together so nicely.....

Sharon :)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Stitching Through Hoops

Happy Tuesday!

Had an urge to do a craft that I haven't done in quite some time - embroidery!  I got the idea from someone I am following on Instagram a while ago and decided to tweak what they did and come up with my own version.

Embroidery was one of the first crafts my mom ever taught me.  I remember embroidering on pillowcases and having so much fun picking out the different color floss.  Of course, the first ones I did were not very good, but they helped me learn the basic skills and I could always tear out the stitches and start over.

For this project I found a great remnant at the fabric store that is a wide, uneven weave.  I purchased a wooden hoop and glued the fabric to both sides - one at a time - after pulling the fabric taut and letting it dry.  I then trimmed the excess fabric off close to the hoop.  I purchased some brightly colored buttons and after placing them how I wanted, I put a tiny piece of scrapbook double sided adhesive underneath them, to help hold them in place.  I attached them with natural jute twine and then made strings coming from them so that they would look like the balloons that I meant them to.

After that was done, I thought of a message I wanted to say.  I used a very fine sharpie and lightly wrote on the fabric.  Taking a complimenting DMC floss, in my case, pink, I separated it into three strands (it comes in six).  I stitched and followed my letters as best as I could and tried not to be too particular about it.  This project was supposed to be about having fun - not about perfection.

The finishing touch was to take a whole piece of pink floss and tie a bow around the balloon strings.

For a quick, easy project, I think it turned out pretty well.  My daughter is quite fond of it so I am giving it to her.  It makes me happy that she likes it so much - and I hope she takes the messages to heart.  I think they are words we could all use to remember.

Let your dreams take flight and let your heart soar!



Monday, June 24, 2013

Houston, we have a Venue!!

In case you didn’t know, his last name is McDade. So I will become Mrs. McDade, Mandy McDade or Amanda McDade… I like it! I think it has a nice ring to it. Plus, I’ve heard a lot worse names so I’m very thankful that that is his. :)

Who would have thought that planning a wedding would be so stressful!? The sad part is though, that having 11 months advance notice isn’t even enough time for some venues. They literally laughed when I asked is next May available. Another thing! So many people have so many opinions; and that can be very wearing hearing what everyone has to say. At the end of the day though, we’ve realized that you can’t please everyone so we just have to worry about pleasing ourselves.
We’ve picked May 11th 2014 to be married because May 11th was our first date. Yes, it falls on a Sunday but it is A LOT less expensive to book venues on a Sunday. And Yes, it is Mothers day. But that’s what worked for us! I told him that once every 7 years our anniversary is going to land on mother’s day, but that doesn’t mean he can only get me one present. ;)
Anyways, the place we chose to have the ceremony and the reception is called marina village. It’s right on the harbor, and it is beautiful!!! We’re choosing to have the ceremony around 4 so when our guests go to the reception they’ll get to see the sunset from the room.
And the colors we’ve picked are baby blue, pale yellow, and cream. He picked blue and I picked yellow. I want the overall theme to be vintage, but I might sneak some Chargers in here and there just for him. I’m thinking grooms cake, lightning bolt sugar cookies…we’ll see! Everything is still in the imaginary stages and I’ll have to see how we do with our budget. I have a million ideas swimming around in my head and I can’t wait to start some of them. Anyways, I’ve only been engaged a month and this wedding stuff has consumed my life! Hopefully when I go back to work, things will settle down a little.

We shall see! Have a great week everyone!



Friday, June 21, 2013

A Copycat Craft

How many times have you seen something in a store and said "I could make that?"  But beyond that, how many times have you ACTUALLY made it?

That is the hard part, actually creating all of these projects that we dream up!  Well I saw this picture at Hobby Lobby and loved it.  When I got closer, however, I realized that the collage was actually just a picture of a collage, and I was disappointed.  What is the fun in working with paper if you don't get to enjoy the variation in the papers' texture?

So, I picked up a 30x30 canvas and started my own collage.  It took forever to sit there and cut all those pieces, so I will probably never do it again.  But, it was a great way to use up scraps, and I do love the effect of the giant flower hanging on my wall!  I only wish I had a better picture of it... this was a test of me getting used to my new iPhone :)

xo Allison

Thursday, June 20, 2013

To be continued...

I am painting, painting, and painting! Be sure to check back NEXT Thursday for Before and After bathroom pictures! I can't wait to show you!! 


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Father's Day Hike

Welcome back everyone and Happy Wednesday! I wanted to give you guys a garden update...We harvested our first two cucumbers today and they were sooooooo delicious. Look at that one it is HUGE and so straight, like a grocery store :) I also harvested the last of my lettuce and will have to do a do over on most of it.Those dang green caterpillars destroyed pretty much all of it!!! But we were still able to get a salad from it and had a little to share!

 I hope everyone enjoyed their Father's Day! I know we did here. We went on a family hike up Cowles Mountain and one of my favorite views in SD! Normally when we go we will take the main entrance, but being the adventure-some sort we took one of the back ways...well really it is just less crowded and peaceful)

 Both the boys are out of school now and we are ready to start our summer vacation. How about you guys?

See you all next Wed.

PS- I am on the Sweet Stamp Shop's Design Team (YAY!) and there is a NEW release out today. I wonder if you can spot any of my creations???

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Graphic 45 French Country Canvas

Happy Tuesday!

Recently,  my mom redid her kitchen...yeah, I disliked not being able to help her with all the 'fun' stuff.  I love painting, re-doing things, picking out new decor items, but with her in Wisconsin and me in California, it just didn't work out.  So, I did what I could and I made her some things!

Here is a canvas from the Graphic 45 French Country paper line, which I absolutely adore! (I think she will, too)  It has some of her colors in it and she has some big, tall walls to fill. 

I really love 'fussy cutting' - I think one's first taste of this time consuming, OCD task comes from your childhood, if you were a paper doll fan.  Let's face it - who ever thought those up was really looking to keep a kid busy and quiet for quite some time...and get them well on their way to perfectionism at a young age.  (Not that I've thought about it...)   (I did love cutting those paper dolls and each book/set had it's own shoebox.  Yep, problems.  But I did learn to 'fussy cut!!)

I love layering the paper pieces, distressing them, edging the canvas with matching trim, etc.  I brought out some of the colors with Spica pens, which I love using for a little extra pop of color.  Some are layered twice and some three times.

 Excited to get this out to my mom and see if she likes it as much as I hope she does.

Thanks for letting me share my creation with you - thanks so much, Friends!



Monday, June 17, 2013

Shadow Box Tray

I have felt so accomplished this week! I FINALLY finished my shadow box tray that I started over a year ago! I have always loved little things, and I’ve been collecting them for practically my entire life. When I saw these shadow box trays by 7 gypsies, I knew it’d be perfect to house all my mini findings.

I didn’t have a specific direction when I started; I knew I just wanted to concentrate on one window at a time and tinker with it till I was satisfied with it. And after it was all I said and done, I must say it came together quite nicely. It has a lot of travel influence because that’s what I love the most.

It has postcards I got in Paris, a single earring whose mate was lost on one of the best nights of my life, a red bus I bought in London, tiny shards of sea glass that I've picked all over the world, foreign coins, and even a sticker with the lyrics from one of my favorite songs! Everything this shadow box contains are things that are meaningful and hold sentimental value to me, which is exactly what I wanted. Its all about me.

I finished it off by putting an acrylic cover over the whole thing and hiding the adhesive by using decorative corners. That way, the dust won’t creep into the crevices over the years to come. Now I’m onto other unfinished projects!

Have a great week everyone!


Friday, June 14, 2013

Book Box

Happy Friday again!  This is a project I finally worked on this week after having seen done in various ways before, and always wanted to try it myself.  Father's Day presented the perfect reason to try it out!

Some people consider it a book safe, as a way to sneakily hide belongings in plain sight.  In this case, it would probably be ideal to use a hard cover book with the outer sleeve still on it, just to make it look more natural.

For me, I chose a book with a clever title to make a box for my dad.  It was a computer joke, and since my dad and I both work in software, I thought it would be a perfect gift from me.  He can use it as a box on his desk to hold notes, business cards, office supplies, whatever.  Or, he can go the safe route.  

It was pretty simple, I just used an X-acto knife to cut out the center of the pages all the way through.  It was a bit of a slow process, only cutting through a few pages at a time, so when you try it at home just sit down with a movie and cut cut cut.  By the end of the movie, you should be done!

I then cut the scrapbook paper to line the inside covers of the book, to give it a finished look.  The last step was to glue the pages together to form a firm box.  You want to make sure to glue the back of the last page down to the back inside cover, and then the rest of the glue simply goes around the three edges of the pages.  I brushed on two layers of Mod Podge with a sponge brush.

The last trick is to then wrap the inside front cover (top of box) in foil or plastic wrap to prevent any of the glue getting on it, close the book, then pile other heavy books on top of it until the glue is dry.  This will ensure the box is firm.  When you remove the plastic wrap, if any glue seeped up on the front of the top page, use a fine grit sandpaper to gently remove it, so that the top page retains the papery quality of the book.

I put a gift card inside the book before I popped the gift in the mail.  If he doesn't want a trinket box or a bookshelf safe, he can throw it away since it only cost me about $1.50 to make, since I bought the book from a thrift store and only used one sheet of scrapbook paper to line it... you can hardly buy a boring gift box for $1.50 anymore these days anyway!

xo Allison

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Let's Go To the Fair!

Tuesday just happened to be my birthday! Every year birthdays seem a little more ordinary...  and every year, our County Fair falls on my birthday. This year I wanted to go and let my inner child out for a couple of hours to celebrate.
Kudos to my amazing mom who made this German Chocolate cake and icing from scratch

 Our fair may be small and probably a bit dirty BUT it is what you make of it, and we had so much fun!!!!

This was the worst ride ever.... Mom and I screamed the entire time we were spinning and twisting upside down and backwards. We agreed that it was like being trapped inside of a washing machine and decided not to do it again.

 This year, my birthday was wonderful. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Birthday Stache'

My oldest son had his 8th birthday party this past friday, I was so nervous about it as it was the first time we ever did a friend birthday, but it turned out GREAT! We had something low key and easy. I  decided to have it at a local park by our house that was nice and spacious and I didnt have to do any clean up at my house.

I ended up finding these cute little mustache and glasses "masks" for the kids to wear, and surprisingly the boys loved it. We did easy snacks and drinks and had a cupcake cake. Unfortunately he only got to blow out two candles because the windy was just to windy. (imagine that)

I do have to say  I am excited for next year and maybe even plan a themed birthday party for him. Or on second thought I will probably slow things down a bit and worry about my youngest sons birthday instead, cant forget about him!