Thursday, November 30, 2006

Christmas Cheer

Today is a snow day. Well, the snow is coming tonight, so we 'called it' a snow day (benefits of homeschooling in action. *wink* And all the local school districts are on snow days anyway.) The girls have promised to do their reading and history later. So we started our snow day making these little pretties.

I can't wait until we light these babies up after dark! DH will be so surprised! We've hung them on shepherd's staffs (which usually hold bird feeders or plants) along the sidewalk.

We've made coffee (very essential) and yummy banana bread made by my DD of course. We are doing a little 'winter cleaning' and then heading to the basement for more Christmas decorations.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. (Night pictures to come...)

Edited: Adding night pics now. Aren't they adorable?! I love them!

Someone asked for directions in making the stars. I saw them on a show on DIY or HGTV. I could never explain it if I tried, but it was an easy project. We modified it and used lots of chopsticks I had laying around (instead of the bamboo poles.) Oh, here are the directions online at HGTV. Probably should have looked for those before we made them! DUH! ha

Have fun creating! And don't forget to glitter them like we did!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Needle felting is easy peasy. I didn't need a class to learn it but I didn't know that until I had taken the class! ha

You need:
Felting needles - There are several sizes; I have 36, 38 and 40. 36 is for light fabrics, 38 is all purpose and 40 is for heavier fabrics.
Wool Roving - here is where you can go overboard, like me. I love to have as many colors as I can. I bought mine from a lady on ebay who has a farm. She had a summer set and a fall set of colors.
Fabric - this is for your backing material. I think you can use muslin, cotton, linen, really whatever you want as your background. I used muslin for mine.
Foam Pad - This one is extremely important. You need a 2", yes a 2" thick piece of foam. I just bought a chair foam pad from JoAnns. It's what you poke through to make the wool stay in the muslin. If you get any thinner you might poke and hit the table and snap them off.

1 - Draw a simple pattern on your muslin. The simpler it is, the easier it will be. Applique patterns are great for this. You can draw with a pencil or that disappearing quilting pen.
2 - Take a very small tuft of the wool, lightly ball it up and then place it where you want it.
3 - Take the needle you're using, hold it firmly and poke down, pull up, poke down on the wool. IMPORTANT: keep your needle straight at all times. Don't turn it in the foam or it will snap off. Try to go into the foam straight and not at an angle. The barbs on the bottom of the needle push the wool into the fabric, essentially joining them. Keep poking at it until it is secure.
4 - Try not to use too big a piece in the beginning. You can always go back and fill in later.
5 - Continue adding and poking until the space for that color is full. Then lift your muslin away from the foam, just to disconnect the wool which also attaches to the foam.
6 - To add accent you can use embroidery thread for small areas and words.

I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but that can get you started. I have carpal tunnel and I found that this did not aggravate it at all. Maybe because I didn't grip the needle too hard or anything.

Have fun and I wanna see any projects you try!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Felting & Sashiko

I think I'm in love with this new needle felting hobby. The class I took awhile back was for a wallhanging, but I liked it better as a pillow (not to mention the tree grew and grew until the house was out of proportion and needed words on the right to balance it all out.) But its my first try at needle felting, so I'm giving myself a break.

(Closeup of the felting. Not sure its clear?)

Now I'm looking around at Christmasy patterns I might want to try. Hillary's Stitchettes are just begging for a little felted sweater I'm sure. I might do that next.

I picked up The Ultimate Sashiko Sourcebook at the library the other day. I'm completely enamoured. Of course it says to use 'authentic Sashiko thread' which I have no clue where to get. I do see places online to buy but I don't have any experience with any of those companies so I'm a bit leary. If anyone has a supplier of this thread, I would love to know about it. Otherwise I might be illegally resorting to embroidery thread. It's an excellent book! I can't wait to try this! It's on my list of 'hobbies to try this winter' list.

DD #2 is complaining of a stomach ache, so I'm off to attend her. Hope it won't become our first bout of the flu. I don't think I'm ready for that?!

Sunday, November 05, 2006


I don't really have anything of interest to say. Isn't that weird? For those who know me, they are shocked. I always thought I was a LOUD person, but a friend told me once, 'you're not really loud, you just talk a lot.' Yes, she is still my friend... It's true though. Do you ever look at your life and think, 'if I had to describe my life weekly to someone, it would be very boring.' Nothing changes for the most part. I mean, if I thought about it, I could think of something I'm sure. Okay, I'll pretend I'm interesting for a minute...

Top Ten Things Different Now From Last Week

1 - I can see my DD's bedroom floor. It's a huge accomplishment! It was scary before!
2 - Last day of my job as church nursery director was today. I held the position for 2 whole years and made lots of friends. It was time to move on.
3 - Made some Christmas Gift Tags (seen above). Trying to get a jump on Christmas.
4 - Ate Chipotles about 4x this week. I think that is a record!
5 - I'm ALMOST done organizing and purging my art room. Haven't I been saying that for almost a year now? *shock*

** Yeah, not so interesting, I ran out of boring things to list after 5... I'll try to be more exciting next week. **

Now you're turn. Oh, wanted to mention a couple things... I'm having a Stampin' Up party this week. I'm not really a stamp girl, but I LOVE their ink pads. I have several friends coming and it should be an evening of craftiness, loud talking and being shushed by the poor SU lady trying to hold our demonstration. It will be fabulous. If anyone happens to 'NEED' something, see the catalog here and email me with an order. I'll have the stamp lady call you for your payment info.

I started another fabric swap at Swap-Bot. You would think I had enough fabric now, especially since I haven't been doing anything with it lately... However, you can never have too much fabric. *wink* This one is a bit different, its a kit, so you have something to work on during the winter.

In case you need things to read, here you go:

Cream Puff has me in bread heaven this week. WARNING, be careful going to this blog when you're hungry. I'm dying for Focaccia now!
Ms. Pom has been to watercolor class again. I'm going to try the '6 mini landscapes' I think. Makes the watercoloring effort much less daunting.
Angry Chicken - what is it with people lately? I think since it is fall, people have been in the baking mood! MonkeyBread is tempting me at ACs! Don't forget to scroll down and check our her cute fall dresses for her girls!
Ikea Hacker - Gosh, I *heart* IKEA. We make a pilgrimage there everytime we are in Atlanta visiting mom and dad. Now that mom and dad are moving back here, where will we go? There has been a rumor that one is coming to Kansas City, but I'll believe it when I see it... On this blog they take items from IKEA and alter them. Someone after my own heart!
DIY Network - I've been watching a lot of decorating, crafting and remodeling shows lately. I get all excited about making changes around here, and then I get up from the TV and sigh. I'm too lazy to do anything! It was cool to see they have a 'green building' section at this site, since my father is a green architect... Favorite new shows I've been watching on DIY or HGTV: Simply Quilts, Stylelicious, Crafters Coast To Coast, Craft Lab, From Junky To Funky, My First Place, My Parent's House, That's Clever, and I always love Cash In The Attic.

Gosh! I guess I found things to say after all!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Christmas Comes Early...

In our house apparently.

The girls have been arguing most of the day while trying to get homeschool done. One of those days where you just want to ship them off to grandma's house. In Bora Bora. For a week! DD #1 finally told DD #2, 'if we just sing Christmas songs it will make us happy and we'll get our work done'. We tend to sing christmas carols when we're happy, I guess she thinks it will work the opposite way (purposely sing it to GET happy.) Aren't children great?!

So, I'm streaming Christmas music as I type and happiness is reigning in the Tuey house...

Just in case you didn't know, Christmas is coming soon!