Friday, December 28, 2012

Rag Quilts and More!

I hope everybody had a fabulous Christmas!  We sure did here!  I think it was the year of the sentimental.  As some of you might remember, I did the framed scrapbook pages of the USS Coolidge as a gift to my brother (our father was on the ship when it hit a mine in WWII...he was fine).  Guess what I got from my brother and his family!  A scrapbook and disc full of old family photos.  I only had a few as my Dad moved to NC, where my brother lives, after my Mom passed.  He took the box of photos with him.  I had just one album with a few photos that was left here.  My niece got busy and copied, repaired and saved them to disc for me.  She also made a scrapbook with some of the photos.  I don't know how she found the time!  She had twin boys last February and has three other children under eight.  I guess it helps to be young!  LOL!  I can not express how thrilled and grateful I am to have those photos!

I did a lot of handmade items as gifts this year.  I knitted eight of those fun ruffle scarves and six of the moebius scarves.  Of course, I didn't start until late October to do this. Story of my life...just call me "Last Minute Suzie".  LOL!  I'm so excited to show you the quilts I made.  I've been dying to show them but I wasn't sure who might accidentally see them.

I did one for my sister in law, one for the niece who did the photos and one for our daughter.  They were a huge hit.  Turns out my niece has a ton of flag decorations.  In looking at some FB pictures right after I finished them, I noticed she had valances that were a flag fabric, so it fit right in.

I had fully intended to put the 50 stars on the quilts.  I took out my Cricut®, changed the mat and blade, starched the heck out of the fabric and ironed it to freezer paper.  I couldn't get the stars to cut to save my soul!  In looking online it said to iron the fabric to Heat and Bond.  I didn't want to do that as it would make it so the stars wouldn't fray.  So, instead, I hand cut the stars using the card stock cut from the Cricut®.  I could handle cutting 39 stars by hand, but not 150!  LOL!

I had originally seen it on Pinterest (where else? LOL). 

Wash all fabrics until there is no longer any color run.  That is the most important thing I can stress!  I had a friend do a quilt and while she thought she had gotten all the dye out, when she washed to make it rag, the blue still ran.  I felt so sorry for her!

If you are unfamiliar with rag quilts, they are put together so that all the seams are exposed on the top.  You'll find lots of You Tube videos if you need more info.

Each of the stripes was cut 3" wide by 40" long.  You'll need seven red and six off-white (or white if you prefer).  You will also need thirteen 3" x 40" strips of flannel for the batting and the same of unbleached (or bleached if you prefer the lighter color) muslin for the back.   I used a 1/2" seam allowance, so you're finished stripes will be 2" wide. I put all my stripes together, and then cut the spot for the blue fabric. This way, I could be sure it was going to fit correctly. The blue fabric, flannel batting and the unbleached muslin were cut to 16".  Laying the blue fabric on the stripes I marked where to cut for the blue piece to fit.

Using my Cricut ®, I cut a 1 1/2" star to use for a pattern.  After cutting all of the stars I pinned them to the blue in the circle.  I used one of my Pfaltzgraff dinner plates putting the stars around it so they looked even.  Stitch your stars to the blue. Then stitch the blue fabric, flannel and muslin in the spot that you have cut out.

I then took the stripes that I had cut out for the blue section and made them into a pillow.  I found a color book star pattern online and enlarged it, then stitched it to the front of the pillow.  

Now comes the cutting to make it rag.  You will definitely want to get a set of Rag Quilt Scissors.
These are spring loaded which makes the cutting easier.  I got my at Joann's fabric with a coupon.  Make cuts on all the exposed edges about 1/4" apart.  Be careful not to cut through your seams.  Then you'll want to wash it and dry it a couple of times to make the edges fray. Take it outside and shake it between each wash and dry.   I took mine to the laundromat as I didn't want to take a chance of clogging up my washer or dryer with lint.  I also tossed in a couple of the Shout Color Catcher sheets just for good measure. :)

If you have any questions, shoot me an

Friday, December 21, 2012

Whoo's Your Valentine?

It's not even Christmas yet, but CTMH is thinking Valentine's Day.  How cute are these?

Celebrate National Papercrafting Month with these cute candy holders. This cute kit, which retails for $40, can be yours for only $10 with a $35 order.  These are available from  December 13 through January 31, 2013.
This kit includes:
  • 12 Die-Cut boxes (3 each of 4 colors: Blush, Hollyhock, Ruby, White Daisy
  • 3 12x12 card stock sheets (Blush, Hollyhock and White Daisy
  • 1 sheet Silver Glitter Paper - New product for Spring/Summer 2013!
  • 12 Treat Tubes with Lids - New product for Spring/Summer 2012!
  • 1 My Acrylix® Whoo's Your Valentine Stamp Set (D size)

Visit my website to see all the cute CTMH products.  Be sure to check out the "While Supplies Last" category for card stock at $2.50 and $3.00 and much more.  Check often, new items are added frequently.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The History of the Potato Chip

As I wrote in last week's blog post, the area where I live is rich in history.  Did you know the potato chip was invented in Saratoga Springs, NY, on August 24, 1853?  George Crum was a chef at the Moon's Lake Lodge in Saratoga Springs.  French fries were popular at the restaurant and one day a diner complained that the fries were too thick. Although Mr. Crum made a thinner batch, the customer was still dissatisfied. Mr. Crum finally made fries that were too thin to eat with a fork, hoping to annoy the extremely fussy customer. The customer, surprisingly enough, was happy - and potato chips were invented! 

Mr.Crum's chips were originally called Saratoga Chips and potato crunches. They were soon packaged and sold in New England.  Mr. Crum later opened his own restaurant.

William Tappendon manufactured and marketed the chips in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1895. In the 1920s, the salesman Herman Lay sold potato chips to the southern USA (selling the chips from the trunk of his car). In 1926, Laura Scudder (who owned a potato chip factory in Monterey Park, California) invented a wax paper potato chip bag to keep the chips fresh and crunchy - this made potato chips even more popular. 

 Be sure to scroll down to see today's card.  I accidently posted the potato chip story for today instead of scheduling it for tomorrow :)

Create a Card

It's Wednesday again, already!  Here's this weeks card and instructions.

This card was created using the retired CTMH Olivia My Reflections Kit.  Such pretty paper!  The stamp set used is D1523 Sweet Music.

4 ¼” X 5 ½” side fold card base

4 ¼” x 5 ½” Olivia Flower Background and Texture Paper
4 ¼” x 5 ½” Olivia Dot Background and Texture Paper
2” x 2 ½” Bamboo card stock
1 ¼” x 3 ½” Bamboo card stock
2 ¼” x 2 ¾” Sunset card stock
1 ½” x 3 ¾” Sunset card stock

Cut each of the Background and Texture pieces diagonally. Attach to your card front.
Stamp image and sentiment on Bamboo card stock pieces with Sunset ink.  Ink edges of both.  Adhere to Sunset card stock.
Attach image to top of card ½” from top and ¾” from right side of card front.  Attach sentiment ¾” from bottom and ¼” from right side.
Roll the flower, ink edges of with Sunset in.  Attach two leaves and flower to card front.

The flower and leaves came from the CTMH Cricut® Artiste Cartridge.

Monday, December 17, 2012

December Guest Artist

December's Guest Artist is Cindylynn Daniel.  Cindylynn worked with CTMH's Clementine Workshop on the Go kit.

Thanks so much for being a Guest Artist, Cindylynn!

You can find more Clementine artwork and instructions under the Idea's and Inspiration section of my website.

I'd love to have YOU become a Guest Artist! 

Here's the details of the Guest Artist program.

  1. If you would like a chance to be a guest artist, please send me a link to artwork on your blog, or, if you have no blog, email me pictures of some of your art. Put Guest Artist in your subject line.
  2. On the first of every month, I will choose the guest artist for that month.
  3. Upon choosing the artists, I will send you one of Close To My Heart's Workshop on the Go kits. You will need to create the featured layout in the kit (you may jazz it up or put your own spin on it). Then, with all the products left over in the kit, you'll make as many items as you can. You may choose to do another two page layout and some cards, or a one page layout & cards, only cards, or choose something of your own to alter.You will have until the 15th of the month to get all of this done :)
  4. When you finish creating, you will send me photos of everything you've created so that I can post them on my blog. If you have a blog, you'll also post them there.
  5. You'll get high praise and recognition on my blog.
Does this sound like something you'd like to do? If so, send me your blog link or photos of your artwork.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Holiday Lights at Night

I finally got a chance to go out and take a picture in the dark.  It's not a very good one as it didn't seem to pick up the lights in the pots on each side of the steps very well. But, you get the idea :) 

From the sounds of our upcoming weekend and early week weather reports, it sounds like we may have a little white stuff to add to the decorations.  Truth be told, I could live the rest of my life without seeing snow.  LOL!!  If we have to have snow, a little on Christmas Eve would be nice and then it can melt away on the 26th. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Story of the Peppermint Pig

I live in an area rich with historical significance. The story of the Peppermint Pig is one of those.

"In early Decembers long since past, while the quaint Victorian village of Saratoga Springs slept quietly through a chilled and moonlit eve, legend suggests that a bit of magic was in the making.

The first dusting of winter's snow gathered in darkened downtown doorways and twirled by night's wind seemed to dance and whirl like sugarplum fairies. Behind the oaken doors of gingerbread-sized candy shops that dotted Saratoga, tireless old candy makers, bathed in amber glow of crackling hearth and bubbling candy pots, labored on into the night creating... and continuing a holiday tradition known to all as the "Peppermint Pig™.

This "Peppermint Pig™ as aptly it was named, was cast of hard candy similar in fashion to candy cane and festive pink in color. And while the pig is honored in Victorian holiday tradition as a symbol of good health, happiness and prosperity, these special "Peppermint Pigs",™ unique to Saratoga Springs, NY came to represent much more. They proudly stood for an old-fashioned Yuletide itself-a wonderful time when red-cheeked children laughed and rode old wooden sleds over fresh snow, when church bells pealed and fond recollections were shared by family and friends. After the holiday dinner, the Pig was passed amongst those gathered, each in turn giving the pouch a firm tap and sharing a tale of the past year's good fortune. The delicious broken peppermint and warm memories were enjoyed by all in hopes of prosperity for the coming year.

 As holiday seasons passed and time marched further into a new century, the tradition of the "Peppermint Pig™ continued on in popularity...until Father Time could wait no longer. One by one the candy makers of Saratoga Springs passed onto their reward and the "Peppermint Pigs™ became but a wonderful memory."  A Saratoga company called Saratoga Sweets revived the Peppermint Pig in 1988 after being approached by the local historical society.  With borrowed molds Saratoga Sweets made 100 pigs just in time for Christmas Eve Day.

The Peppermint Pig™ is sold all over the nation, Saratoga County is its hometown, and to this day they are made nowhere else!  A local shop called the Crafter's Gallery in Saratoga Springs is the only local shop authorized to carry all styles of Peppermint Pigs.

Such a fun story!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Create a Card

Happy Wednesday!!  Here's the card of the week.

This card was created with the CTMH stamp set called Sweet Music (D1523).   The cutout was created using the Art Philosophy Cricut® cartridge.

Instructions to create this card:

4 ¼” x 5 ½” top fold card base

3” x 5 ¼” White card stock
1 7/8” x 2 ½” White card stock
1 1/8” x 5 ¼” White card stock
2 1/8” x 2 ¾” Grey card stock
3” x 5 ¼” Black card stock

I stamped the piano keys on white card stock and then cut down to the size listed above.
Stamp Musician and sentiment in black.  Ink edges of both pieces with black ink.  Attach stamped image to Grey card stock. Attach this to black card stock ¼” from left and 3/8” from top.  Attach sentiment and insert two tiny black brads.  Attach to card front. 
Attach piano keys.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Time Flies!

Does anybody else feel like Christmas is closing in extremely fast?!  All of a sudden I feel like I need the world to stop for a week so that I can catch up.  LOL!  I spent the better part of the weekend putting up the Christmas tree and decorating outside.  Here's a picture of outside.  There are lights on the swag, the wreath and in the greenery in the pots. I got the pot idea from Pinterst :)  We pulled out our big trees last spring and put in some new shrubs.  It will take a number of years before they are big enough to put lights on, so I wanted to come up with something to replace them.

I need to get a nighttime picture, but it started raining before I got a chance to last night.  Hopefully, I'll get one some time this week!

Headed off to sew for the day.  Have a great Monday everybody!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Eiffel Tower Calendar

I received my calendars from Snapfish the other day and I love how they came out! I know my buddy is just going to love this one.  It looks like Snapfish has a new offer going.  50% off their bestsellers.  Use the code HOLIDAYBEST and it expires on 12/9.

Here's another page from the calendar.

It was created digitally with Studio J and the La Belle Vie papers. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Stamp a Stack Club

For December, our Stamp a Stack Club is using the CTMH stamp set D1523 Sweet Music.  I love these types of stamp sets.

The papers used are both retired papers, Mischief and Olivia.  The flowers were cut using the CTMH Cricut® Artiste cartridge.

I'll be posting directions to create some of these cards on our Wednesday Create a Card posts.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Technique Tuesday

Stamping Across Multiple Surfaces

Stamping a continuous image over multiple surfaces is easy. Check out these tips and tricks for spanning your image across several surfaces for more creative freedom and fun!