Friday, January 28, 2011

New Valentine's Project Sneak Peek!

It's been a busy week here! Just wanted to give you a little sneak peek for a new flirty and romantic Valentine project to come next week---{and it's free!!} I have a fantastic group of testers that are busy working up their own versions to provide you with added inspiration...I can't wait to see how they all turn out. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tricks for Tea-Dying: Easy Tutorial!

For some of my stitching projects and home decor designs, I like to create that distressed, antiqued, and aged look on the fabric I use. One of the easiest ways to do that is to tea-dye the fabric. Here is an easy tutorial to help you achieve that same antiqued look:

1. For a mottled and lightly-dyed effect as shown in the design above, simply steep one or two tea bags in a very small pot of boiling water for 5-10 minutes. Remove the bags, then crumple a fat quarter or more of muslin and place it in the pot.

Leave the fabric there for a half hour or so, (leave it longer for a darker color) without moving it around at all. The smallness of the pot seems to keep the tea from distributing through the fabric evenly, so as to get a mottled and splotchy effect. Wring out and let dry naturally, then press to remove wrinkles.

2. Now for my favorite way to tea-dye! To create a darker, stained, tea-dyed effect as shown on this Merry Halloween design, run hot water over a tea bag for a few seconds. Dab the tea bag over muslin that has been placed on a cookie sheet. Repeat as needed.

Dry fabric for approximately 10 minutes in a 200 degree oven, watching closely. Repeat process for darker muslin. You can also squeeze the water-soaked tea bag over the fabric to create a splotchy, stained look. I would recommend dying it this way before you stitch, but it can be done after as well.

Be sure to drop me a line if you have any questions!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Whimsical Wintry Wreath

It good to be blogging again! It has been an arduous and challenging season of health for me and my family. (Aarrgh!) Hopefully we have all built up plenty of immunities to last us for another decade!

I finally got my Christmas decor down the other day, (woot!) but my front door felt a little drab and lonely missing the festive wreath. I found this little snowman guy that I had forgotten about when putting away my Christmas items, and determined I needed to find him a place in my home during the month of January.

I also spotted a segment on our local daytime show, Studio 5 that showed how to make cute wreaths from rolled up copies of sheet music.

In a moment of creative frenzy, I decided I wanted to pair my snowman guy and these paper rolls to create a new wintry wreath for my door. I found the details here at and went to work.

I made copies of three wintry songs on some ivory paper I had laying around and began rolling.

Now, if you try this wreath, I might suggest a variation from the directions on Kristine McKay's site, as they didn't quite work for me...

Instead of stapling four rolls together, then gluing, I found it easier and faster to simply glue each roll to the next with hot glue, creating the circle and wreath. However, be sure to still pinch the narrow end of the roll flat before gluing (as if it were stapled to another), so that the rolls will nest together as they form the circle. Is that clear as mud???

I also added a cardboard stabilizer on both sides of the completed wreath with hot glue, then glued my little guy right onto the cardboard circle. There was no cost involved in the wreath portion, so I figure that if I get tired of it, or no longer care for it, I can simply tear it from the back of my snowman guy and he will still look just fine. Easy, easy!!! And I think he's kind of cute on the wreath.

A funny thing, son had a friend over and as I was taking him home one afternoon, the two boys commented on the new wreath as we pulled away from the house. When the word "snowman" entered into the conversation, my son's friend did a double-take and said, "That's a snowman? Oh...I thought it was a turkey!" I couldn't fault him as I could see the resemblance from afar with my eyes squinted. Oh, well! At least it's something new to look at, and I had fun putting it together!

Merry January!
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