On A Ledge.

Ledges.

Ledges can be intimidating…especially if it’s by the edge of a great expanse of dark raging waters or located way up high where even the birds would get a little dizzy and nervous.

But there are other types of ledges that can be intimidating. Take for instance, the ledges that I have faced in my house, over the fireplace, or in this case, in my craft room, looking bare and waiting for that special decor to bring it some personality, color and style.

It can be a daunting task to come up with classy and decent-looking decor when you have a totally blank slate coupled with a tight budget. Where to begin? What to avoid? What colors to pick?!

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Ledge in my craft room soon after we moved in – Cluttered and plain

The ledge in my craft room, which runs along the entire length of a wall, was utterly bare and in need of some life. I wandered through many a store looking for inspiration and finally got it when I came across a deal on picture frames!

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FRAMES + SCRAPBOOK PAPER = LEDGE SOLUTION!

I picked out my favorite pieces of scrapbook paper and made the word “CREATE”; a word of encouragement for me to keep at my crafting since it’s what I love to do. I printed out some WordArt letters from MS Office to use as stencils and traced them backwards onto the back of my scrapbook sheets.

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Letters are traced backwards onto the back of the scrapbook sheets. This ensures the front of the letter doesn’t have any stray pencil marks smudging the pattern.

I used regular tacky glue to stick my scrapbook letters onto scrapbook paper rectangles I had cut out to fit the frames.

Here’s the result –

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And on the ledge –

CREATE1aPaired with a bright wall color, it adds a pop of vibrancy and happiness to the room. I bet this would also work well as a wall hanging with a child’s name in a nursery or even in a main room, with the word “LOVE” or “FAMILY” in black/white.

OH! But that’s not all! No…there’s still a whole slap of bare wall above the ledge, isn’t there. Rather than put you through the suspense and misery of waiting till my next post to see what I did, I’ll just tell you about it now! (Or maybe I’m telling you now because selfishly, I just can’t wait. Ok, let’s just say I’m sharing this now because I am a kind and wonderful humanitarian. Yeah, that sound’s good.)

I decided that I needed to be better about keeping track of time whilst crafting so my focus for the empty wall became clocks. I accidentally stumbled upon this GORGEOUS Chrysanthemum Clock on the That’s What {Che} Said blog, which was made with plastic spoons. (Seriously. Plastic Spoons.)  After seeing how gorgeous her DIY clock was, no other clock would do.

With a cheap-o clock from Wal-Mart, some spray paint, foam board and spoons, I created this lovely wall clock, and thus completed my ledge/wall decor challenge –

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My work table faces this wall and I love it! This is one ledge that I’m not intimidated by, anymore!

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Playing Catch Up

Yikes! Where did the time go??

I’ve been a busy girl! Let’s catch up, shall we?

In August, we made a trip to Chicago for a wedding. This crafty mama decided that the little man was over-due for a pair of snazzy suspenders and so that’s what I worked on!

I had a LOT of help from a tutorial I found from the blog, Make It & Love It. I picked out an adorable pin-dot fabric and found all the necessary clips at my local Joanne Fabric Store.

SUSPENDER Project

Paired with a bow-tie, the results were absolutely timeless and adorable.

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While in Chicago, we also did a little sight-seeing. Here is a quick glance at our trip:

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[Left to Right – Top Row: View of Lake Michigan and Chicago skyline from Navy Pier, Deep Dish Pizza from Lou Malnati’s, Chicago’s famous “Bean” aka “The Cloud Gate”. Bottom Row – Entrance to Navy Pier, Family Photo from Wedding, Live Jazz Festival at The Jay Pitzker Pavilion at Millennium Park]

Then in September, I continued working on my craft room (which is still a work-in-progress), learned how to use Mod-Podge, and got good practice with pant alterations. FIY-When you have pants that can do double-duty as socks when you wear them, it’s time to hem.

Here’s the Mod-Podge project I had worked on:

Ribbon Storage

As handsome as the Quaker Man is, I used scraps of scrapbook paper and covered over a few empty oatmeal containers I had. They are the perfect size for storing all of my ribbons and add a nice bit of color to my craft room. (If you add a vertical slit in the canister, you can turn the storage into a ribbon dispenser.)

And now it’s a beautiful crisp autumn over here and I’m practically rolling around in pumpkins! We’ve been roaming pumpkin patches, painting and carving pumpkins, having Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal for breakfast, sipping on Pumpkin Spice Tea and Lattes, and even having Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese for my Bagels! Pumpkin overkill? Not for THIS pumpkin junkie! Bring on the Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie…and perhaps a treadmill. Yes, I think a treadmill will be necessary.

I also love Autumn for all of the colors that it brings out in nature. So,  I brought some of those colors indoors!

Autumn Mantle - Pumpkins

Autumn Mantle - Decor

Left: Family Photo from J’s 1st Pumpkin Patch Visit at 6 mo. old
Right: Squirrel was J’s special request for our Fall decor

Oh Autumn! – a time for cozy sweaters & hoodies, hearty stews, boots, pumpkin pies, knitting, bright foliage, hot chocolate, curling up with good books and enjoying the holidays with family and friends. I do love Autumn.

Phew! This post was long so kudos to you for making it all the way to the end! And now we’re (finally) all caught up!

Stay warm and have a beautifully blessed autumn, my friends!

Happy Autumn

My Slice of the Black Apple

Recently, my sweet little niece turned the big “ONE”. She (who I’ll refer to as “Ladybug”) may not be my niece by blood, but she is so near and dear to my heart that she might as well be! As I perused aisle after aisle, in store after store, for just the right birthday gift, I realized that nothing was good enough for my little Ladybug.

I raided my stash of fabrics for some inspiration and came up with the perfect answer to my gift dilemma – A handmade DOLL! What little girl doesn’t like a new doll??

After a bit of online digging, I discovered a tutorial with a free video and free pattern on Martha Stewart’s site and that’s how I learned about Black Apple dolls. (The creator of Black Apple dolls has a blog which is in my list of “Blogs I Enjoy” to the right.)

(Photo: Property of the Martha Stewart site.) Click on the image to be directed Martha Stewart's Tutorial on Black Apple Dolls.

(Photo Source: http://www.MarthaStewart.com) Click on the image to be directed to the Tutorial on Black Apple Dolls.

As soon as I saw them, I fell in love. They have a beautiful simplicity but preciousness about them. The pattern and directions were fairly easy to follow, and before I knew it, I had a lovely little doll sitting in front of me.

I used a soft tan flannel for the doll’s face and arms and quilting fabrics for her body, legs and hair. I designed a small collar to add to her dress. Adds a certain je-ne-sais-quoi, no? (Yep, I’m a fancy girl who can throw a little French around.) Polyfill stuffing was used to fill her up. The tutorial suggests using some rice to give some weightiness to the body but I wasn’t sure that would allow for the doll to be machine washable. (I suspected and hoped that this doll would get lots of wet kisses and food-ey finger prints from Miss Ladybug; being machine-washable was a priority.)

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Once the doll was stitched and filled up, things got fun AND a little scary for me! What little accessories can I add? Do I give her a sleepy face, excited face or a happy face? OMG…What if I make her and she is HIDEOUS or ANGRY-looking??

I sucked up my fear of somehow messing the doll up and decided to give her a serene happy look. However, since I didn’t trust my acrylic painting skills to create her face, I used a Sharpee. To add that signature rosy-cheeked doll look, I brushed on some of my own fancy blush. I messed around with the idea of a bow in her hair but then settled on a flower, incorporating the fabrics I used for her body/legs.

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And here she is, sitting pretty…ready to make a very special little girl happy!

BA-DOLLMy own version (slice) of a Black Apple Doll.

This is the very first doll I’ve ever created so it’ll always hold a special place in my heart, just like my Ladybug!

Happy Birthday Sweet Pea!

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