the CEO! Creative Eternal Optimist! Blog
Monday, May 06 2013
The first Monday of the month, the DCC Designer's Crafts Connection Blog Hop! Our theme this month is Wishes! "Make a wish", "three wishes", wish upon a star", classic, timeless, the power of the wish. If I had a magic wand
and were to "Make a wish" in this week leading up to Mothers Day it would be wishing my Mom could be here. She would love my "new" heritage home, seeing her chairs in the parlor and her artwork in the library, her cane resting in the umbrella stand by the front door. She would meet my darling man and get to dress up like she loved too for our upcoming wedding.
The last picture I have of my Mom is with her grand daughters three weeks before she passed away. She would love to see these young accomplished women, happy and productive in their lives, Amanda now a nurse and engaged to a wonderful young man, Kate happy on the Island doing what she loves. I know she watches over us but to have her here once more is still a wish for Mothers Day.
My design for the blog hop is one of whimsical house, a cottage, a design just featured Saturday for the release of designer friend Ann Butler's new stamp line with Unity. It is an ideal gift for Mothers Day, create a cottage or house for your Mom, personalize it with a house number, other details that recreate her home. I celebrate my new home and the memory of my Mom. To make this cute cottage, instructions are here!
To see more delightful designs, just hop along with the DCC button in the side bar!
To "wishes coming true!"
Saturday, May 04 2013
This is an exciting week for one of my very talented designer friends, Ann Butler, her new stamp line with Unity is being released. These stamps are so versatile and cute! Flowers, stripes, diamonds, dots, leaves and much more, I loved being able to combine the stamps and create patterns.
For the release of this new product there is a 50% off coupon deal offered by Unity for anyone ordering the stamps between Thursday May 2, - Monday May 6 at midnight CST....the coupon code is Unity5.
So now for some wonderful ideas to use the stamps, Ann has put together a group of designers for a blog hop showcasing her new Unity stamp line. I am very pleased to be part of the hop!
With the variety of patterns to choose from I wanted to use several in my design so I chose to make a whimsical cottage in the woods! A fun easy project ideal for using up scraps of fabrics, felt and trims.
You will need:
Ann Butler Unity Stamps 1" Leaves all Over, Diamonds & Plaid and Stripes. Dots. Hearts. ColorBox Crafter's Stamp Pads, Sweet Pea, Limon, Night
Buttons Galore Buttons and Brads
8" x 26" white cotton fabric piece, quilt batt piece
9" x 12" Xotic Pina Colada National Nonwovens Felt
9" each of pink, green rickrack
Fabri-tac by Beacon Adhesives
Cutting matt, scissors Westcott Brand, pins, ironing board, iron, ruler, sewing machine, thread, needle.
Step 1: Prepare cottage, cut two pieces of the fabric 7" by 11". Fold top corners in to meet at center making roof line. Press along those lines and cut. Cut two house pieces from quilt batt. Cut from felt a door 2" by 5", window 2 1/2" square, two chimney pieces, 2" by 3". 1" by 9" roof trim and 4" by 12" strip for flower and shutters, roof piece. 1" by 6" piece for flower.
Step 2: Choose Stamps and color combinations. I alternated diamond and plaid with black ink for the shutters, flower and roof window. What I liked about the stamps too for smaller projects is after stamping you can trim the piece to size using the stamp line. Press very firmly when stamping.
Step 3: For the roof trim I used the half leaf all over and graphic geometric together stamping along the felt piece, I trimmed it after. Finish stamping all pieces. Let dry. Stamping on felt requires a little longer drying time and needs to be heat set with an iron.
Step 4: Cut roof window 2" triangle. Place windows, door, lace, roof trim in place on cottage front. Topstitch. Place chimney pieces together and topstitch.
Step 5: Layer fabric cottages right sides together, add quilt batt piece to back. Insert chimney into place. Sew around house leaving opening at center bottom. Trim seams, clip corners turn right sides out.
Step 6: Cut shutters 2" by 3" and glue in place. Embellish with buttons and brads, rickrack.
Step 7: Cut one flower strip 1 1/2" by 9". Baste along edge, pull stitches tight. Baste along second flower piece edge 1" by 6" pull stitches tight. Glue on top of each other and insert button or brad in center, glue to cottage.
Step 8: Stuff cottage lightly, sew opening shut.
Now onto the amazing designs by a group of professional and so creative designers found with the link below!
Monday, March 04 2013
It is the first Monday of the month and time for the Designer Crafts Connection Blog Hop! AND to celebrate (inter)National Craft Month we have a super giveaway, a collection of products from FabScraps, https://www.facebook.com/pages/FabScraps/112579348780638?ref=ts&fref=ts. Julie McGuffee shared these products as a Trade Show find on TV, http://youtu.be/-OZjx6Yhmg0.
To enter to win, check out our DCC blogs in the hop, (button is in sidebar) then comment on the blog that features your favorite crafting technique and then tell what it was on Julie McGuffee's blog, Life in the Craft Lane.
This month's challenge was to post about our favorite crafting technique. Well it isn't difficult to guess what mine is and technically it isn't crafting but sewing. it IS sewing! I love to sew, machine sewing and hand embroidery both. I love to create pretty, whimsical things.
I remember at 5 years old spending time in the summer on the front porch sewing next to my Mom with my tiny sewing machine. Since her birthday is in a couple days and she has been gone four years now it is lovely to remember those summer afternoons!
So here is a little roundup of all things sewn! Designs I have created and love!
Pin Cushions with my favorite hand stitch, the blanket stitch.
With cuddly characters I get to both machine and hand sew!
oh and I sew love to make aprons! Have a few pretty ones I am creating to wear at Quartermain House B&B.
.....and wait there is even more, beginning March 7th, we are also hopping in Buttons Galore DCC Blog Hop! Love their buttons!
....and the Smoothform Design Team was just announced. I am pleased to be part of their team along with several very talented professional designer friends! We have a super creative blog with a new project for every day of the month!
So here is to National Craft Month, to crafting, sewing, painting, embossing, doodling, to creativity! Have fun!
Thursday, October 18 2012
The final week of the Neenah EPC Film Blog Hop, I am following up the quick, fun and fabulous projects by Ann Butler, Melony Bradley, Eileen Hull and Jonathan Fong. Since sewing is a big part of my design projects and I am putting together a new studio I decided to use the Neenah EPC film sheets to create a couple button and sewing containers.
I had a glass jar and box I wanted to embellish for my new studio. See how cute they are and in only a few minutes they were finished!
Here's how to! A sheet of black Neenah EPC Film.
The Sizzix Big Shot, Tim Holtz Die, National Nonwovens Wool Felt, Containers.
Cut wool felt piece to size to wrap around container. The Neenah EPC Film through the Big Shot cut three layers easily!
Next iron the film pieces paper side up on the box lid and sides, the wool felt and even the metal jar lid!
Once the paper image is cool peel away the paper.
Embellish & enjoy! I am planning on making several of these containers for my studio sewing supplies using the Neenah EPC Film! Just think of all the possibilities! Happy crafting!
Monday, September 17 2012
September is interNational Sewing Month! An ideal time to sew up back to school items like lunch bags, colorful fabric totes or for the cooler days ahead, a cozy throw or quilt. Holidays are right around the corner so sewing projects abound! Fun Halloween costumes, home decor harvest items or gifts for Kwanza, Christmas or Hanukkah.
With a new home pillows are my biggest sewing project this month. I love pillows and making them, my favorite style has been the flower pillow but for this Victorian home I am sewing up large floral and rich elegant velvet pillows. At present the fabric is just cut and wrapped around the forms but with a big event next weekend I am on a deadline to finish them up later this week.
The good thing about deadlines is they spur you on to finish projects that might drag on. Now that I have made a space for my sewing machine it is making my creative life much easier. My new studio at the back of this beautiful house will be under renovation for a while yet.
Looking forward to being completely settled in with all renovations finished in about three months. Here is to sewing projects, patterns and fabric stashes! Happy Sewing Month!
Monday, July 30 2012
In between packing I had the pleasure of working with Rit Dye. The colors are gorgeous and the liquid beautifully shaped bottles are so easy to use. I transformed a white T-shirt into a fun vibrant beach cover up with a fun cut up design using my very favorite scissors from Westcott Brand! Full tutorial on the Rit Dye blog along with several other beachy designs from talented designer friends!
(photo courtesy of Rit Dye)
Here's to summer, certainly been one to spend at the beach for sure!
Hope you are all staying cool!
Monday, July 09 2012
Continuing with my playing with dress forms. Dress forms have been around since the Middle Ages. In the Middle Ages the aristocrats had dress maker forms which were the exact measurements so they did not have to be bothered with fittings.
Miniature versions were made wearing the fashion designed for the aristocrat which could then be sent off to a family member or esteemed friend to be recreated.
During the industrial revolution the dress form became very popular and today for designers as well as serious home sewers in indispensable tool allowing for design draping and fitting of garments.
I have designed a pin cushion using talented Tim Holtz's dress form die for Sizzix. Using wool felt from National Nonwovens which will keep pins and needles both sharp and together.
Cut two pieces of wool felt 3 1/2" x 6" and cut dress form die from fabric.
Blanket stitch around all four sides leaving opening, stuff lightly and finish blanket stitching closed. Use fabric glue to adhere dress form, embelish with ribbons and buttons. Enjoy!
Monday, June 04 2012
The DCC Designer Crafts Connection is hopping, the first Monday of every month. June's theme is Picnic ideas. I don't have a picnic basket but the take out containers I have gave me an idea to make a mini basket.
I enjoy a picnic, sandwiches, salads, fresh fruit like watermelon, tasty fare but also a little messy so what about an apron for a picnic. A teatowel apron, one you can wipe your hands on and keep the picnic outfit clean and dry! This handy little apron rolls up and fits perfectly in the take out box. Makes a great hostess gift too!
Check out the rest of the hop with the easy peasy button in the sidebar. Be inspired with some fresh ideas for this summer season by a group of talented professional designers! Enjoy!
Saturday, May 12 2012
We are hopping with ImpressArt! The DCC Blog Connection designs with ImpressArt Metal Stamps. They are running a contest with a great giveaway from now until midnight May 21st. Details to enter on Monday! Be inspired over the weekend by the talented designers and their use of ImpressArt Metal Stamps.
I have never designed with ImpressArt Metal Stamps but found the tutorial on their website very easy to follow and it shows how exactly to use the stamps.
I was inspired by the oval discs which reminded me of eggs, thoughts of spring, my love of birds and my piece came together Bird Song. A new felt collection had also just arrived from National Nonwovens called Daydream Inspirations. The Havanna Gold was the perfect compliment for ImpressArt's discs.
You will need:
ImpressArt Alphabet Stamp Set, Newsprint, lowercase
ImpressArt Metal Stamping Hammer
ImpressArt Stamping Blanks, 3 ovals, I large oval
ImpressArt Steel Stamping Block
ImpressArt Stamp Straight Tape
Following the directions stamp the word "create" on the larger oval, "dream, fly, soar" on the smaller ovals. Choose words which speak to you. My stamping is not in a straight line, I wanted a freer expression but I still used the guide for spacing my letters evenly.
Here the discs are stamped and the letters antiqued with a Sharpie.
To create the pillow you will need.
6" x 12" Havanna Gold WoolFelt by National Nonwovens
4" square of unbleached cotton
3" x 6" burlap scrap
For the Birds Stamp by Fiskars
Brown Stamp Pad
12" covered wire
4 Brown buttons
Small Bird diecut or sticker
Brown floss, embroidery needle
1/2 yard of jute
Aleene's Turbo Tacky Glue by ILovetoCreate
Westcott Brand mat and scissors
Stamp cotton with chosen bird design. Heat set. Stitch cotton to wool felt. Stitch pillow together, stuff and close opening.
Bend one wire end andi insert through small hole in top of pillow, repeat for opposite side.
Tie loops of jute through discs. Tie burlap piece in center. Fray jute pieces and tie into bow. Glue burlap bow, jute bow to upper corner. Glue jute ends of discs to bow. Glue flower to center. Insert bird diecut and glue.
Tie small dream disc to large create disc with jute. Glue to center bottom of pillow.
Use stamp pad to antique flower and pillow front.
The Grand Prize! Enjoy the hop! Happy weekend and Mother's Day to all the great moms!
Friday, April 06 2012
Easter is a favorite holiday of mine, the pretty cotton candy colors, cute bunnies and chicks oh and of course the chocolate! Even though my girls are grown up we still have an Easter egg hunt although this year I was thinking of hiding Keurig cups as they both enjoy their coffees!
Over the years I have designed many bunnes which have been published in a variety of magazines. So in honor of the holiday, here is a roundup of some of my favorites. To go along with the bunnies, Crafts 'n Coffee is having a week of Eggstravaganza projects! Enjoy!
Friday, March 02 2012
It is Fowl Friday with Fran & Freda! Freda is very upset, we just found out Debra is bringing more felines into the worl! She apparently forgot to tell us she was teaching a workshop and showing people how to make their very own feline! Where is her loyalty!
Not only more felines but pink ones! Debra has a thing for pink and she has just gone too far, an intervention is needed! This is what we have to put up with, she told us it was a so called "Sock Monkey" workshop, there was certainly Monkey Business going on as several feline just appeared out of thin air!
They look so innocent pretending to sleep in the sunshine, we aren't fooled even Freda knows to keep an eye on her tail feathers! Now if we could only convince Debra to do a "Sock Alligator" workshop and then we would see those cheshire grins disappear! Follow the Fowl!
Wednesday, February 15 2012
I filmed a segment with Sheryl Borden of Creative Living recently making fun Fringed Flowers ideal for a burst of colourful spring home accent.
The flowers are easy to make and a great way to use up fabric and felt scraps.
You will need:
9" x 12" pieces of Fuchsia, Caribbean Surf ( teal), Grass Skirt (green) Xotic Felt by National Nonwovens
1/6 yard each of blue, pink gingham check fabric
6" x 24" fabric pieces
Aleene's Fabric Fusion™
Garden wire green coated
Assorted buttons (2 per flower)
5", 8", Extreme Edge Westcott Brand® Titanium Steel Scissors
(Invisible marker, sewing machine, black thread, ruler, cutting mat, measuring tape, pencil, circle templates 1", 2", 3", 4" 5", wire cutters )
Gerbera Daisy: For each flower cut a felt center 3" by 9". Cut two gingham fabric strips, one 2" by 44" and one 3" by 44". Cut a 12" piece of wire.
Fold the center felt strip in half lengthwise and then in half again the width wise. With 5" scissors cut carefully from fold through to ¼" from edge. (This has to be cut carefully so as to not cut completely through either side.)
The outside of the flower is created by fringing the flat strips of the two fabrics. Fold each fabric in half four times width wise. The Extreme Edge scissors will cut through several layers easily. Cut through strips leaving ½" uncut. Repeat entire length of strips. (The closer together the cuts the finer the fringe.)
Putting the flower together, the center is wrapped carefully gluing the roll at end around wire. The outside two fringed fabrics are rolled together around the outside of the center gluing as it is wrapped.
Making a Mum: The mum is the reverse of the Gerbera Daisy. Cut a felt strip 1-1/2" by 12". Cut a fabric strip 4" by 44". Cut a 12" piece of wire.
Fold the center felt strip in half width wise and then in half again width wise. With 5" scissors cut carefully through to ¼" from edge. Repeat entire length of strip. (The closer together the cuts the finer the fringe.)
Fold fabric in half lengthwise and in half four times width wise. Cut from folded edge through to ½" from raw edge. Cut evenly spaced slits. (This has to be cut carefully so as to not cut completely through either side.) The Extreme Edge scissors will cut through several layers easily.
Putting the flower together, the center is wrapped carefully gluing the roll at end around wire. The outside folded fabric is rolled around the outside of the center gluing as it is wrapped.
Making the Circle Flower: Fold four layers of 6" by 24" fabric piece and cut four 5" circles. Cut a felt 1" and 4" circle. Cut from fabric scraps a 2" and 3" circle. Cut a 12" piece of wire.
Stack the flower layers together beginning with the largest circles. Pin the circles together in the center layers. Fringe just into the felt 4" circle layer all the way around the circle.
Using the black thread on machine topstitch in a circular motion through all layers of the flower spiralling smaller into the center of the flower. This will make the flower curve naturally.
Glue wire to back of flower covering with 1" felt circle. Embellish center of flower with two stacked buttons.
Sunday, December 04 2011
The first Monday of the month and the DCC (Designer Craft Connection) is hopping! This month's hop is sponsored by When Creativity Knocks, Sock Monkeys Go BanAnas,
Fox River, Red Heel Sox, Judikins , Sock Monkey Stamp and RIT, the Dye Company!
To enter the contest open until December 19th
Go to http://www.whencreativityknocks.com/ website
In the Member Log in box click: Create An Account
-Entry Code: Sock Monkey
There is also a discount coupon to purchase the WCK VideoBook: Sock Monkey Goes BanAnas
Now on for the adventure! We were sent Ana's video book to create a sock monkey along with the red heel socks from Fox River. Ana has several tips and an updated version of the traditional pattern to make a sock monkey super easy.
However do not make it at 11pm at night when you have already worked a 12 hour day! I have to admit I was half way through sewing when I realized I had missed the crucial first step of turning the socks wrong side out. Thankfully the socks look great on the inside too (and the hat hides a bad hair day or in this case the toe bumpy seam line!)
On with the adventure!
Visit the Toymaker!
Just click on the DCC button in the right sidebar to catch up with some other monkey adventures!
Sunday, November 27 2011
Today a baby shower celebration in a room decorated in shades of soft teal and pinks. Baby snowmen and snowflake beribboned packages everywhere! I had the pleasure of creating the items for the room and decorating it for the big day! Even the mom to be's special chair was covered in snow with a mitten hanging from the top.
The large pool table became a field of snow with snowbabies and snowballs. Each large window was hung with a large crystal snowflake. It was such a delightful project and my client was very pleased. The room was done early in the week so she could enjoy and add little touches here and there before the big reveal. Being part of the celebration, helping to create the surroundings was very special.
Wednesday, November 23 2011
I have a delightful group of kids I do a workshop with each month, they are creative, enthusiastic with an abundance of talents. They throw themselves into each project with such energy it is a wonderful to be part of! This month we made sock lions as they are big Lion King fans, the making of the lions was accompanied by their musical rendition of songs from the soundtrack! They are such fun!
Making sock creatures is an easy project for any age. We used chenille socks and leg warmers so they would be super cuddly. The head is one sock with the cuff cut off for ears. Aleene's Fabric Fusion glue works well for adhering felt features.
The striped leg warmer makes the perfect body glued up over sock head and cut off at appropriate body length making all the lions different in size as they were meant to be!
Tail is a narrow strip of long sock with chenille stem glued inside to make it curl. Mane just bunches of yarn tied and glued in center.
Here is the finished pride! Paws are cut from another sock and the end of the leg warmer. I picked up the socks at the local Dollar store so this is an inexpensive fun project especially if you use stray socks from home!
Then the lions went out to play!
Tuesday, November 15 2011
A bonus this month with the Designer Crafts Connection hopping twice! Today's hop features the Flip-Pal™ Mobile Scanner! I am fortunate to have had the company send one to me to use. Before it arrived I did some research and read reviews, all very positive. The website features great videos and instructions. As soon as I opened the box I knew this was going to become a necessity in my studio! Already loaded with a memory card and batteries, I simply flipped on the switch and was ready to scan immediately (within a few seconds to be totally accurate.)
Flip-Pal™ mobile scanner presents the "Scan & Share" Blog Hop Challenge
Flip-Pal™ mobile scanner has partnered with the Designer Crafts Connection Blog Hop to offer the "Scan & Share" Blog Hop Challenge!
This challenge is two fold?first for participating "Scan & Share" Blog Hop designers to create personalized gifts and projects in a wide array of different crafting categories while using the Flip-Pal™ mobile scanner and second, having blog hop followers join in and share their creative ideas.
To submit your "Scan & Share" ideas, click here. The blog hop follower and participating "Scan & Share" Blog Hop designer who creates the most creative and productive ideas using a Flip-Pal™ mobile scanner will each win a Flip-Pal™ mobile scanner. (Please visit their facebook page and "like" them too!)
Now on to my project, since I am primarily a sewing designer and love to sew I wanted to use the Flip-Pal™ Mobile Scanner in an apron for my daughter the pastry chef. I have a cookbook of my Mom's like a lot of us do, the one where she handwrote in recipes, pasted in ones from friends. The pages are worn, many covered with spots of dried batter and the book now has to be handled carefully. With the Flip-Pal™ Mobile Scanner I could gently open the book and hold it over the page scanning in whatever recipes I wanted. The Friendship Muffin recipe is one I remember her having a container of this mysterious batter which was portioned off to friends and supplied us what seemed like forever with muffins! Here are some of the recipes included in this retro cute apron along with an image from the Vintage Workshop Kitchen 11 collection.
The details I added to this apron I made using the Flip-Pal™ Mobile Scanner to personalize and make it special could be applied to a purchased apron. Printed out on Avery Printable Cotton it can simply be ironed on, no sewing required! Just think of all the special thoughtful gifts to be made! Hop along with the DCC button to the right to be inspired with more projects and ideas just in time for the holidays!
I also wanted to create a fun detail with adding wooden spoon appliques. I took out my favorite wooden spoon, picked up the Flip-Pal™ Mobile Scanner, took off the cover and placed it over the wooden spoon. It required two scans, it is a big spoon. :) The scanner has a Stitch feature which "stitches" scans together, just make sure to have adequate overlap. Below is my scanning of the spoon, "stitching" them together, sizing and printing out on Avery Printable Cotton.
I printed out the recipes onto one piece of printable cotton after scanning them.
I cut them apart, ironed onto the fabric border and stitched in place and yes there is the Friendship Muffin recipe!
(When using the scanner please be aware of copyright issues, scanning for your personal use differs from scanning work that is not yours to be combined and sold in items.)
Here is to creating with inspiration, integrity & great products!
This website and blog belonging to Debra Quartermain Design are written and edited
by myself, Debra Quartermain. I give my honest personal opinion and review of all the
products that are submitted to me. I reserve the right not to review or use products
unless I feel I can give a fair assessment.
I am not paid to review products. However, I do receive products free of charge to
try out. I will and do accept and keep free products and other forms of compensation from companies.
Importantly this blog and website abides by word of mouth marketing standards. I
believe in honesty in both opinion and responsibility to my readers and the companies
I deal with. I will only support and endorse products and services I believe in and based
on my personal and professional experiences. I cannot verify anyone else's experience
with a product and any claims or further information should be obtained from the manufacturer.
Wednesday, November 02 2011
I have been designing holiday and home decor items. I love to sew! In the class I taught this week we made holiday ornaments, a whimsical elf in a stocking. I am also preparing for a big event this weekend and so this explains my brief posting at 4am! Are you into holiday creating yet? Follow the JOY, Debra
Thursday, September 29 2011
September is National of should I say InterNational Sewing Month. I could not imagine my life without sewing or actually remember any time I was not sewing. Some of my earliest memories are of sewing next to my mother in the summer on our front porch. I had a tiny machine and I made doll clothes from the scraps she had. My mom like so many mothers at the time sewed most of all of our clothes. I remember the summer sewing because my mom also worked outside the home as a teacher so the summer was when she had freer time to sew.
I am taking part in a couple craft shows this fall, the first one this weekend Saturday and Sunday at the Capital Exhibit Center in Fredericton. I have had such fun just designing fabric items for the show. I have been working with soft wools and plaids making posie pillows and small pillow animals. I went back in my patterns to a Scottie Dog which appeared in my first book "Nursery Decor". Popped out a pig and of course added a black cat!
Come by if you are in the area, for the virtual world Monday October 3rd the DCC hops again with out October Pink Challenge sponsored by Westcott Brand scissors. We have been sent some fabulous Duck Brand tapes to work with (hot pink zebra print!) and Velcro Brand closures. Westcott non stick scissors make working with these products so easy! A new round of amazing designs from the Fresh Vintage Sizzix Blog Hop today. My talented designer friend Eileen Hull keeps coming out with beautiful die collections for Sizzix. Happy Creating Everyone! Debra
Friday, August 05 2011
Finally a Fowl Friday! We thought we had been totally forgotten, it has been a busy month around here and Debra was away. However that does not excuse her neglecting us! Freda has been in a slump literally, she has spent so much time in the nest that it has slumped totally out of shape. (Freda has too but don't let her know I said anything.)
We are slightly concerned as Debra seems to be very interested in canines which are almost as bad as felines in our estimation. She is making this kind of odd looking dog which looks like it has pompoms growing all over and then some parts are almost bald. We almost feel sorry for the poor creature.
We are also assuming it is female as it is now sewn onto a very pink apron, an adaptation of a "poodle skirt" Debra informed us. Anyway we are now resigned to there always being a parade of creatures passing through and feel lucky that no day of the week starts with P! Follow the Fowl, Fran & forlorn Freda!
Wednesday, June 08 2011
It is such a beautiful time of year in Atlantic Canada, the weather has warmed, the trees a fresh green and flowers blossom brightly everywhere. I have been inspired by the gardens I walk by each day. Fredericton is full of heritage homes with front porches and vintage gardens. Delicate pink blooms are my favorites.
I was inspired to create a rose pillow, using ruffled strips of fabric sewn in circular layers to make the rose. Topstitched felt leaves complete the pillow.
A row of these on a front porch bench would be so cheerful and welcoming! Thinking of making a couple for my deck chairs in different colors. A contrasting print would make a striking pilow. The pillow style is an envelope so that the flower can be sewn on and then the pillow piece just folded and top stitched. Insert form or a sale ugly pillow. Follow the Joy! Debra
Thursday, May 26 2011
Spring Cleaning the wardrobe and Fabric Stash! Wow great finds, some pink check, birdie fabric and the results some very cute aprons!
Setting up an artisan shop for the summer in the historic Garrison District of the city. We open for the season Saturday, seven artists and craftsmen in each shop sponsored by the city's tourism department. We have a talented and fabulous group in our Garrison Studio shop, potters, jewelry smith, wood artist and textiles! Follow the Joy! Debra, CEO!
Monday, May 16 2011
May Flowers! April showers bring May flowers, here it seems to be May showers bring the flowers, plus everything a vibrant, luscious combination of pinks, yellows, purples and greens!
Craftywise flowers are everywhere, created from fabrics, zippers, distressed papers, felt, leather embellished with buttons and beads. They can be created quickly then added to a bag, a neckline, belt, headband or any fashion piece to create a fresh look for spring. This easy wreath has roses made from circles of wool felt cut into spirals, rolled and glued. I cut the circles with scalloped scissors. Follow the JOY! Debra, CEO!
Tuesday, April 26 2011
Spring is fickle here, one day flipflops, the next snow is falling once again! Such was the saga of the Easter weekend. It began with snow and worries of my daughter driving from another province and ended in warm sunshine with us hoisting lawn chairs up over the railing on my second floor deck!
I have been busy sewing summery accessories with bird themes, birds are found on everything and I have a growing collection of them in my place. I decided to applique a pillow with so soft birds created from Xotic bamboo felt by National Nonwovens.
The fabric birdhouse compliments the pillow and will make a nice accent for a table next to the chair. Now if it will just stop raining this week.....Debra, CEO!
Monday, March 21 2011
Sunshine again and the snow is quickly disappearing! Been a fun weekend with my youngest daughter home from school with a friend. How I have missed the chats and laughter of having the girls around! They are working on their final projects for pastry school so we are deep into fondant and easter egg pastels in the kitchen.
Although I am often only cooking for one I have a fondness for aprons, I enjoy designing them and donning one to add a stylish flair to my stove attending. (also very handy in catching a splatter or two!)
To celebrate spring here is a cute and easy apron, basically a half circle with an added ruffle. The chick pocket is also a half circle embellished with embroidery details.
I am also designing new projects for upcoming workshops and am very excited about that! More to come shortly. Right now I am enjoying a few more days of the girls being here, such precious times, savoring them all! Follow the JOY always! Debra, CEO!
Monday, September 13 2010
Continuing the Celebrating of National Sewing Month! Fall is in the air literally since last week found me by the pool and this week wearing a long sleeve sweater by the fire. With the change in weather comes the anticipation of fall leaves to enjoy, Thanksgiving and family, holidays ahead. New designs, a book proposal to finish, Halloween costumes to create, (I have a Halloween enthusiast in my life now), gifts to make and a Holiday show to prepare for. My sewing machine will be so very busy! The cool air is invigorating and inspiring!
If you want to be inspired to sew or craft, Creative Homearts has pages of free projects to choose from. The photos and instructions are given for each one. I have several there along with many from other talented designers.
Since Fran & Freda were upset about missing Fowl Friday I am reposting their fall version of themselves. "You too can have your very own pair of cute chicks to decorate with this fall" (Fran dictates, I just type!) Instructions and photo courtesy of Homearts. Follow the JOY! Debra, CEO!
Tuesday, September 07 2010
September is National Sewing Month! I have been sewing since I was five so every month is a sewing month, if I added them all up that would be a very scary number! I can't imagine my life without sewing, all the doll clothes, the high school fashion statements (yikes), baby clothes (sniff), Halloween costumes, toys, home decor and published designs. My daughters would probably say how much they would miss the matching mother daughter dresses or the infamous "little Bo-Peep" costume with the voluminous bloomers and stuffed sheep!
Today everyone is sewing which is wonderful! Paper artist and scrapbookers are adding all kinds of fabric and stitch embellishments. Sites like Burda Style showcase easy wearable patterns and the sewers of all ages who create fashion statements with their own unique take on a pattern. At Spoonflower you can have your very own fabric design made into yardage to sew with. If I didn't sew I would not have any excuse for buying fabric or having a stash to lovingly peruse for inspiration! That would be very sad for me and my favorite fabric store too. This month I get to play with fabrics designed by some very talented artist friends and share the projects with you!
For an easy fast sewing project, prefinished items like a tea towel can be whipped into all sorts of things very quickly. These tea towel baskets I designed for Creative Homearts Club are pretty and simple to sew. Instructions for these baskets and many other projects are found here.
(photo courtesy of Homearts Club)
The therapeutic benefits of sewing and crafting are well documented. For inspiring stories visit Kathy & Barb's site Crafting for Health, it is their 1st Anniversary! Congratulations! I have been honored to have been featured twice this past year.
Have a creative week, sew something! Follow the JOY! Debra, CEO!
Monday, July 12 2010
I am finally back to work in a regular fashion after all the moving. With the moving I was often writing email on top of a box or looking for scissors in a variety of locations. After losing the phone the other day and finally resorting to pressing the locator button I am wishing everything had a locator button. I am a fairly well organized person but my memory is not as it once was so starting work in a new place...well all I can say is labels are a good thing! Living on my own I realized I didn't need a separate studio space I can work wherever I want. I need a guestroom more so the wide hall with closet is perfect for a studio space. There is a corner for my new sewing table I can wheel in front of window when working and the dormer with closet is perfect for my office. The kitchen island is a great cutting surface. Projects in progress have a place in the guestroom closet.
Exciting things are in the works! Full details coming up this week! Keep creating! Follow the JOY! Debra, CEO!
Tuesday, April 13 2010
Last night I gave a presentation at the Keswick Ridge Quilt Guild. They were such a wonderful enthusiastic group, even laughed at my jokes! Several of the members I have known for years and it was so nice to see them again. Thank you Mary for inviting me! My youngest daughter Kate went with me, took some pictures, sold my books and fabrics. They had asked for a 30-40 minute presentation, it ended up being longer and then there were questions. Everyone said how much they enjoyed it which was so good to hear. When you speak before a group the goal is always to make it interesting. Honestly I was not feeling at my best last night but once I started talking about my journey in the industry and all the funny "behind the scenes" things that happened along the way, I remembered how much I love what I do. How much I love sharing my passion for creativity and being able to design and teach others with my work. Thanks again ladies!
Thank you also to Meredith, a Creative Homearts Club member for sending me photos of the cute puppy she made for a shower gift from my Sleepy Time Puppy design featured in the magazine. She made a dalmation puppy, just adorable and gave me permission to post her picture.
Today working on my design for the Sizzix blog hop tomorrow! This week's die is the teacup, should be fun! Have a creative day! Follow the JOY! Debra, CEO!
Tuesday, November 17 2009
The November December issue of Creative Homearts magazine is now out! My favorite time of year is now and my favorite design season is winter and holiday inspired. For my Make it Green column I created some very funky disco ornaments using National Nonwovens new Xotic Felt which is 50% bamboo, so very soft! Fran & Freda are Xotic & proud of it!
JOY is this season for me and with Joy always the wish of peace so I created a trio of JOY inspired pieces for the Holidays. A Dove ornament, stocking and tree skirt. The full pattern for the Dove Joy ornament is on the website along with the instructions. (photo courtesy of Creative Homearts Club)
I am visiting the beautiful area of Sonoma in California. The stores are filled with the Holidays here too and music playing. Seems slightly odd to hear White Christmas here but the feeling very much the same as at home, a hopeful time of year, a time to be thankful. Follow the JOY! Debra
Monday, September 14 2009
Happy Monday all! So much of my work is not revealed until months after completion it is almost a surprise when it arrives in the mail in print. In the spring I had the delightful job of working with Vicki Schreiner's new line of Bazooples applique manufactured by Expo International. These adorable animals are captured in easy to use iron on appliques. They are ideal to personalize and dress up any baby garment, nursery accessory or memory book. There are three booklets and are filled with projects using the Bazooples applique. Vicki's characters are also in fabric and buttons. I am now enjoying working on more new projects with all of her Bazooples line!
This week is filled with several deadlines which involve every season of the year. Working on different timelines sometimes means conjuring up visions of sugarplums while wearing flipflops. Enjoying all holidays is a bonus when it comes to feeling inspired and accidentally sprinkling silver glitter here and there! Deadlines give definition to my job and those set for me and those I set for myself keep me on track most of the time. My studio staff, two very enthused cats, especially the ragdoll kitten Milla, who has organized my buttons by some strange system I have yet to figure out. Those that roll seem to be high priority! So off to the studio for today!
Keep creating! Debra, CEO