Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Seed Packets - Free Printable

In honour of my wonderful Nana (who used to tend a lovely garden which holds many wonderful memories for me) and the arrival of Spring here in the Midwest, I have created these little printable seed packets for any other avid gardeners.  Of which I have to admit I am not one.  In my mind I have this vision of peacefully tending a well kept garden that flows with floral and edible abundance (as birds twitter and frolic about me! ha ha).  The reality, probably not uncommonly (we all have our little delusions right?), doesn't match at all.  I quite enjoy gardening when I do it but I can't say the overwhelming desire to do it more than haphazardly has overtaken me so far.  Although, I have kept a geranium inside and healthy over the winter so there is hope for me yet. :-)

Enjoy, you green thumb types!  

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Scalloped Gift Tags - Freebie included!

Want a whole slew of pretty gift tags to keep on hand?  As my older followers would know, I am quite partial to designing free printable papers around here.  I love to print them out and do stuff with them and lately I have been enjoying making these gift tags to keep a stash handy.  Only problem is I really don't like all the ink I end up wasting (or, really, having to hold on to the remainder of the sheet until I think of another use for it) on the full sheet of printed out design.  So I made this paper with three different patterned strips that I could cut down and use with my scalloped circle punch.  That way I get three different designs for one sheet of card rather than having to print out 3 sheets if I want a variety.  So, you will need:

printed sheet (download here), scissors, scalloped (or plain) circle punch (2 inch), hole punch and string.

Cut the strips to just below the design on one edge (so you can line up the punch easily).

Line up your punch and cut out along the line...

...until you have a nice little pile of tags.

Hole punch and add string. 

Keep going until they are all done.  Cute huh?  I am giving them away as present fillers too.

Other news around here.  I have started on ripping off the fabric on my bench seat finally.  As I suspected, the construction is pretty cheap but that is fine for what I want to use it for.  I need to pull it apart to get some of the fabric off and I need to buy a staple gun for the reupholstery part (I really thought I had one already...).  I will have to do it at night down in the basement though.  A was very upset to see the 'lovely flowers' going.  He actually cried and asked me to glue it back on!  Sorry, son, not on your life.  Trust me, it will look much better once I am done with it.  He is a funny boy - gets so attached to the strangest things.  Miss E meanwhile very matter-of-factly commented as she walked past 'oh, thank goodness you are getting rid of that hideous fabric'.  That's my girl.

In fear of jinxing it, I do believe Spring has arrived and is here to stay (yippee!).  Our pussy willow tree is always the first to flower it seems (she says as a veteran of two Minnesotan spring's - including this one..lol).  Last year when it flowered it was so fast and then, bam, it was covered in leaves and the flowers were gone.  Quite the quick lady.  Looking forward to the flowering fruit tree in another part of the yard too.  I have no idea what fruit it might have been - last year just as it burst into flower we had a gigantic storm that stripped them all off! Seriously, the flowers were all open and delightful for a maximum of 3 days I think.  It might just be an ornamental variety too of course.  I don't have a clue really.

How is Spring or Autumn in your neck of the woods?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Antique hoop stand

Nearly two years ago now, our wonderful (and very missed) housekeeper that we were lucky enough to have during our stay in Uruguay (hola Paola!!) gave me this unusual piece she picked up at a market.  We think it is an antique embroidery hoop stand.  I really can't think of what else it could possibly be but if you can enlighten me please go ahead.

So, I have been meaning to do an embroidery panel for it for ages and I have finally completed it.

Scandinavian Needlecraft: 35 Step-by-step Projects to Create the Scandinavian Home 

I got this pattern from the lovely book 'Scandinavian Needlecraft' by Clare Youngs.

Now it can sit happily on our piano (this is a very dark room in our house so I attempted to finagle my own home style Lightscoop (see below) for this photo).  After I iron it... ha ha, just popped it in there for the photo but need to iron it obviously.

By the way, have you ever heard of the Lightscoop?  I first saw it over at Chez Larsson.  I don't have a camera that it fits but will buy it as soon as I upgrade my camera sometime this year.  Anyway, in the spirit of necessity being the mother of invention, I decided to try taking a photo using a mirror held up at an angle in front of the flash.  This would have worked better with the camera on a tripod but I was just doing a quick photo and didn't get it out.  Here are three photos comparing how it worked.

 using the flash directly
using natural light

using the mirror in front of the flash to 'bounce' the light off the ceiling

I didn't do any photo processing on these photos so these are raw (and very hurried - forgive any blurriness).  You can see how the light is definitely more diffused and even.  I think the proper Lightscoop would work better (you don't have to balance it and risk blurry photos for a start) but, in a pinch, this will work for me in the meantime until I can buy it.  By the way, that display shelf for the mini figures?  Only 79c at the local thrift store!  I am going to paint it this week and make it look all pretty.

Disclaimer: none of the links provided here are affiliate or sponsored links - just my own opinion on things I have bought or seen.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Pinterest Challenge revisit and other random stuff

Well, we have had an interesting few weeks around here.  Our overseas tenure was up for discussion so we have been having some pretty intense discussions about whether to stay here in the US longer or head home to Australia in a few months.  Thankfully the decision has been made (we are staying for another 2 years) and we can all relax and settle back into normal life.  Yay!  I am not in love with change and find this whole process pretty stressful so it is a big relief for me (even though my first choice would have been to go home).  Also, I tend to just stop doing much of anything until it is all over (go into my cave so to speak).  So, now I can attack all my projects with gusto!

First up, I did manage to have a go at my Pinterest challenge items.  I decided I just couldn't see the sense in making a specific hand towel for our kitchen when a kitchen towel hanging there does a perfectly good job anyway!  I need the space to hang my daily tea towel as well so I couldn't have one take up the whole space so I would have to make a dedicated hand towel narrower etc. etc.  Anyway, I have specific towels I use for hands and others for the few handwashed items so that will stay as it is.

Here is how far I have come in my crocheting.  Woo hoo, right?  lol.  Ok, I have basically got the slipknot and a chain stitch worked out and I did these from memory.  I am going to look up some instructions to make a simple flower next.

As for the stencilled cushion cover, well I kind of forgot about that one and only just managed to go and buy a fabric marker pen so I can do that now.  I will show it when I am done.

Other random stuff going on around here.

Here is the finished embroidery for my Mum that I am still looking for a frame for (she loves cuckoo clocks so I hope she likes it - pattern comes from Aimee Ray's Doodle Stitching book - BTW, not an affiliate link).  I am trying not to fixate on the mistakes...  A good iron couldn't hurt it either.  ;-)

I found some beautiful ironstone bowls at the thrift store.  I have read about them so much in Country Living and Martha Stewart magazines but had not come across any myself.  They have such a lovely feel about them and now I know why they are so popular amongst collectors.  I was lucky enough to go back to the same thrift store and find a matching serving dish also.  Now I can donate some of my cheapie, less favourite bowls.  My sister Sandra would laugh at me.  She shakes her head at my bowl collection (and my constant search for the perfect bowls).

Does anybody else own any of the Karlstad furniture from Ikea?  I bought them because they were slipcovered.  Um, Ikea?  If you have to totally dismantle the piece of furniture to get the 'slipcover' off, it is not what I understand a 'slipcover' to be...  Just bought some actual proper slipcovers from Bemz so that I never have to do that again!  Thank you, Bemz, for existing so now I don't have to sew them myself...

Talking about Ikea, I just bought this toy storage system to try and get a handle on the Lego explosion around here (saw this great inspiration).

Now this big conglomeration can be easier for A to access (the noise level alone in him looking for pieces on the bottom is worth it).  Of course, this is going to take HOURS to sort even if I am going to do it in the least OCD way possible.  Sounds like a good family night activity to me!

We have also been having fun with painter's tape.  A huge airport and runway is covering our playroom floor for now.  Honestly, I think A had more fun with the tape then he has had with the actual layout since then.  :-)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

New New Year's Resolution

My new New Year's Resolution is to only buy lovely stylish coats, shoes and bags (and anything else) for my whole family that coordinates with my decor.  Don't you love a styled photo shoot?  I know I do!





I will be back soon (hopefully tomorrow) with some updates...


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