Category Archives: Crafting

A Button Board

Did you all have a nice weekend? It was dreary here, but still beautiful. Our trees are turning early this fall — makes me worry a bit about what winter might have in store for us. The view from my kitchen window was so pretty today. I’m really happy that I snapped this picture today as we’re expecting a freeze tonight and the zinnias probably won’t be so vibrant tomorrow.

Fall View

Someone had a really nice post not too long ago about moments that take your breath away. (Aha!  It was Jody!!! ) She said that sometimes you see something so beautiful, it just grabs at your heart and you feel like it might burst. I felt that way today while I was out mowing the lawn. Even though the sun wasn’t shining, the trees and all the fall color were just so gorgeous. At one point, I mowed up to an area with a little thimble forest. If your blog is called Thimbleanna, you can’t pass up a thimble forest, so I ran inside and grabbed the camera. Thus, the new blog header.

It wasn’t all teary-eyed appreciation of Mother Nature around here this weekend. I did pick up a needle and thread. I sewed buttons to the new bulletin board that I made for my kitchen desk area.

Photo Board

These are so easy to make. Wrap foam core with batting and fabric and sprinkle a little hot glue here and there to hold it all down. Oops — I laid my hot glue gun down in the batting. I hate it when that happens.

Photo Board

I use a long doll-making needle and some pearl cotton and just stitch right through the foam core and fabric. Here’s the new board pressed into the desk area.

Photo Board

You can see the old board lying on the desk. It was from our previous house and it never really fit that wall very well, so I’m glad to have it replaced.

More stitching coming soon…. Have a great week!
XOXO,
Anna

P.S. The new Auriful block of the month is up and it’s adorable! It’s by Amanda Woodward-Jennings. Run over to the Aurifil blog to get this cute pattern and read Amanda’s interview. And don’t forget to load pictures of your finished blocks into the Flickr group for a chance to win some Aurifil thread!

Photo Board

A Post for Ms. Dotty

It’s here! It’s here!  It’s Quilt Market Week! I’m so excited to go to market and see Kellie and Jan again — in the famous words of the Pretty Woman, “I could pee my pants”!  Our booth location promises to be really fun — sandwiched right between (and by between I mean front and back, not side by side) Anna Griffin and Ty Pennington.  (Did you guys know that Ty Pennington has a new line of fabrics out with Westminster???) I fly out tomorrow — hopefully — we have high wind warnings here. On the plus side, we had about 30 minutes of rain today. Weak, but we’ll take it.

So, since I have nothing else for you, I thought I’d show some painted boxes for Ms. DottyCookie. A month ago Ms. Dotty posted about things she’d painted when she lived in the states and she showed a piece that was designed by Betty Caithness. I told Ms. Dotty that I love Betty and have painted several things of hers. Ms. Dotty asked to see them…so, here ya go….

Painted Box

This is the box that started my Betty Love. I adore nursery rhymes, fairy tales and children’s stories, so when I saw the Humpty Dumpty box, I couldn’t resist. I had to paint it.  It’s hard to see, but the Humpty Dumpty nursery rhyme is painted around the black band on the side of the lid.

Painted Box

A fruit box that I painted long ago. I’m even sort of wondering if this is a Betty Box, but I think it is.

Painted Box

Another fruit box — can you see the bees?

Painted Box

And this box isn’t a Betty Box, but it’s one that I did by altering someone’s used-to-be-country-brown cow jumping over the moon. I painted this as a keepsake box for CuteNiece2 when she was born. I used Betty’s style to paint the rhyme around the box band.

Painted Box

And then on the body of the box, I painted the sky with rambling words about my new little niece and more of the nursery rhyme.

Just like Ms. Dotty, I have an unfinished Betty country scene, but it’s buried in the basement and I’m in a hurry tonight packing. Maybe I’ll dig it out this winter and finish it!

If you’re at quilt market this week, be sure to stop by the Don’t Look Now booth and say hi to us!
XOXO,
Anna

P.S.  Thanks for all your patience with my comment problems.  Let that be a lesson to you — never never ever complain about blogger.  He will get together with his buddy wordpress and randomly shut off your comments!!!

Family Fun

Thanks  for all the Beehive Quilt love!   Gosh, I didn’t mean to be gone for so long, but it was a busy weekend.  We had a girls getaway weekend in the family — MeMum, MyDadLovesMeBestSister, CuteNiece1, CuteNiece2, SweetiePie and I went to Nashville, Indiana.  The weather was perfect, the autumn colors were perfect and we had a wonderful time with lots of laughs.  Nashville has lots of cute shops, and more importantly a LOT of good food.  We found a candy store (or two) and had great fun with those old fashioned candy cigarettes.  Remember those?   And fabulous caramel apples — ’tis the season!

Caramel Apples

A few weeks ago Kim mentioned care packages on her blog and it reminded me that I’d been meaning to get one in the mail for CuteNiece1.  Somehow, I never managed to get my little package mailed, so I just took it to CuteNiece1 this weekend.

Halloween Package

Pencils, chapsticks, granola bars, a first aid kit, caramel corn, socks, candy corn, orange mini-lights, glitter, a pez witch, a skeleton, and in that little space in the middle on the bottom, a Halloween mini-banner for CuteNiece1′s dorm room.

Halloween Package

I love making those little mini-banners — they’re quick and fun.  This time I used fabric scraps and instead of gluing them, I used black thread and did a bit of stitching.  (If you want to see a SUPER cute banner, check out this adorable banner that Lisa made for her daughter Sarah – I LOVE it!)

Halloween Package

Every dorm room needs a mini-skeleton and candy corn, don’t you think?  (Looks like he could have used some of that chapstick.)

Halloween Package

I wrapped the care package up with wrinkly orange tissue paper and a little pumpkin tag. And lots of opportunity to use some orange and black Divine Twine! (You knew I’d have to have a shameless plug, didn’t you? Sorry, but it’s still 20% off and it makes a fun Christmas surprise for your friends!)

Hope you’re having a good week!
XOXO,
Anna

A Necklace Un-Tutorial

Thank you so much for all of my Valentine present love! You guys sure do know how to make a girl feel good. There were lots of questions about the little necklace for SweetiePie, so I thought I’d try to answer them. Please Note: This is NOT a tutorial. I feel you should know what you’re doing to offer a tutorial, and as you’ll soon see, I’m pretty clueless!

A few months ago, Beckie posted these cute little metal spoons and mentioned that metal alphabet stamps were available at Harbor Freight.  That started me thinking about all the fun things that you can do with those stamps so I started searching online for a lower case set of stamps.  So, first on your list of supplies, are these alphabet stamps.

Alpha Stamps

When I first started searching I was only finding stamp sets for several hundred dollars (google it — you’ll see what I mean), but I kept searching and finally found this set of lowercase alphabet stamps for $18.00.  That’s a huge price difference!  I’m sure the more expensive sets will last longer, but since I’m not going into business or anything, even if I wear out a set or two, I’m still ahead of the game by buying the cheaper set.

I also found some really cute individual stamps at this etsy shop.  (For some reason her shop is currently inactive — I hope she comes back up — there were some really cute stamps there.)  I had to have the smiley face.  These stamps are $10.00 each, and when pictured next to one of the alphabet stamps, you can see the difference in the metals.  (Well, sort of — they’re pretty small and it’s hard to get a good picture.)

Alpha Stamps

The other thing you need to make a SweetiePie necklace is a washer.  You could use washers from the hardware store, but I wanted some sterling silver washers.  I found some here, at Beaducation.  I practiced on a little washer that I found in the garage.  It went pretty well, but if you look very closely, you can see the outline of the stamp at the bottom edges of the i and the third e.

Alpha Stamps

So, there’s no real technique to it (at least for me — I told you I don’t know what I was doing.)  I found a patch of cement floor in the unfinished part of our basement, got down on my hands and knees (really, it wasn’t a pretty sight!) , put the washer on the floor and started placing those letters on the washer and smacking them a few times with a hammer.  You do have to hold the letter very firmly.  And if you remove it and didn’t hit it hard enough, oh well…too bad.   It’s pretty much impossible to get the letter lined up again.  (Thus the screwed up w on the sterling washer in the above picture.)  I was asked how I held the washer in place — now there’s a novel concept — it didn’t even occur to me to do that.  I have no idea how to keep it in place — duct tape maybe?  Doesn’t that work for everything?

I’m happy to report I only screwed up two washers before I made the final version.  That’s probably because I only had three washers.  At $5.50 a pop, those were some expensive mistakes.  (Perhaps that’s why these necklaces are so expensive to buy — to cover the cost of mistakes?)  I’d really like to find some less expensive sterling washers, so if any of you find them, I hope you’ll let us all know.  I might try working on hardware store washers again too — the sterling ones are nice to have though.

After stamping, I just took a permanent black marker and traced into the letters to darken them.  Somewhere along the way, I read about some sort of chemical used to darken the letters, but I was in a hurry and didn’t want to mess with it.  I’m sure the black in the lettering will probably wear off — if it does, we can always retrace it I guess.

Sweetiepie Necklace

As for the rest of the necklace, we have a fantastic little local bead store.  When I was on my way out of town to see SweetiePie, I stopped there to grab some of their ball chain and see if they had any little pearl beads.  They only had loose beads, but the lady there offered to put hooks on them for me — and she only charged me for the supplies.  I was very impressed with their service.  The beads are really easy to make — just string one bead on a wire and then make a loop at the top with some pliers.

Did I miss anything?  I hope that was helpful.  If you’ve done this stamping before and have anything to add, please chime in — I’m all ears!!!

XOXO,
Anna

Little Projects

Well….how is your smiley hunt coming along?  Thanks to Leigh for pointing out this really fun Faces in Places blog in my comments.  I could spend hours looking at all the super cool smileys that people have found and submitted to that blog.  I think this is an especially fun activity if you have kids too!

I’ve had a fun two days here in ThimbleannaLand.  Yesterday was CrazyBIL’s birthday.  CrazyBIL is crazy about Nutella (being German and all.)  In the past, I’ve made him Nutella cakes for his birthday and this year I thought it would be fun to make him some Nutella ice cream.   I wasn’t able to be here for his birthday dinner, so I packed up a little ice cream party kit (ice cream, cookies, silicon cupcake liners, spoons, candles and matches) and took it to his office for him and his co-workers to have on a little afternoon birthday break.  I really don’t like Nutella, but I thought this ice cream was pretty tasty!

Nutella Ice Cream

After I dropped the ice cream party off, I drove a few hours to have a sleepover with TheFirstChild and SweetiePie.  I had to go see half of my sweeties and take them a Valentine goody.  For TheFirstChild (and TheSecondChild too) I made some boxers.  I didn’t find any Valentine fabric that I liked this year, so I went with traveling gnomes instead.

Gnome Boxers

Because nothing says love like a gnome and his kangaroo.  TheSecondChild got the kangaroo gnome front and center on his boxers — in honor of his semester in Australia a few years ago.  And here is SweetiePie, modeling TheFirstChild’s valentine boxers.

Gnome Boxers Gnome Boxers

There’s even a secret message stitched near the hem.  I can’t tell you what it says though, because…well…it’s a secret!

Gnome Boxers

And for SweetiePie, I made a little necklace.  After seeing these all over blogland, I couldn’t resist making her a little bauble with my nickname for her on it.  My technique needs a LOT of work, but this was really fun to make — I’m seeing many more of these in my future.

Sweetiepie Necklace

I had a GREAT time with the kids, and I hope you’re having a good weekend too.  I also hope you all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day.  And in the famous words of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.”  To me, that means YOU.  Be good to yourself.  Treat yourself to a little Valentine goody!

XOXO,
Anna