Child-made thank you cards.

I love having three boys.  I really do.  However, if I had one complaint it would be that they refuse to sit down and do anything crafty with me.  It just kills me! 

They all have their birthdays around the same time of the year and with lots of thank you cards needing to go out, I wanted to make an original card rather than something bought from the store.

Now, the problem is, there is no possible way that I am going to get my 6 year old to sit down, create 15 cards and write, "Thank you for my present" on each one.  It just won't happen.  I needed to think of a way to make ONE original card, and mass produce it! 

The answer:  Take a large painting (that they did at school), photograph it, then print out as many cards as you need!  This takes no time at all and your kids will love sending out their original art to all their friends and family.

Here's how it all went down.  Caleb, age 4,  had drawn a very pretty rainbow at Pre-School.  I asked him if he would mind if we wrote on his painting and he was proud to offer it up.  I asked Ethan, age 6, to write a note on the top of the picture saying "thank you for my present."  They then each signed their names to the bottom of the painting.

I put the painting on a piece of white foam board so that it would blend in nicely with the background.  The carpet just wasn't doing it for me.

I cropped the picture a bit and then printed it on cardstock.  I made two different sized cards, postcard & 5x7 folded.  I was able to get four postcards per piece of paper. 

I ran into one problem with the larger 5x7 cards.  When I printed it out, the picture printed on the top of the page and didn't fold correctly into a card.  The easy solution:  I rotated the picture upside down and printed it out.  That way, it folded into a card perfectly.

Now all I need to do is get Ethan to sign his name to each card and we'll be all set!  (I'm not looking forward to that).  Wish me luck. :)



Bottled Rainbow Quilt Along *Yellow Block*

6 blocks down, 10 to go.

This yellow block brings me much needed sunshine on this otherwise cloudy day. 

I told Caleb (age 4) that this was him reading the newspaper.  He just giggled and thought that I was so silly.

I love this print of the cow jumping over the moon. 

Having the yellow block done makes it feel like this quilt is really starting to look like a rainbow.  Next week, more green!

I'm linking up with Lee's W.i.P wednesday.  I love this linky party because it keeps me motivated!  Thanks, Lee!



Bottled Rainbow Quilt Along *Pumpkin Block*

Block #5.  The Pumpkin Block.  I must say this every post, but I definitely think this is my favorite one yet.  The scrap that melts my heart the most has got to be...

...the Dick & Jane print of the big brother giving the little bro a piggy back ride.  It just really hits home for me.

Here they all are so far.  Jackie refused to get out of the picture, but I kinda like seeing his little toes up there.

Next up: the yellow block.  Yeah!

I'm linking up with Lee's W.i.P. Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.  Go check out all the fun projects everyone has going on this week.


I heart the 80's swap

I heart the 80s swap by natalie.leppard
                         I heart the 80s swap, a photo by natalie.leppard on Flickr.

I thought I was done with swaps for a bit, until I found this one...The "I heart the 80's swap!"  I tried so hard to resist, but just couldn't do it.  

Here are the details for those of you who'd love to join in and are in love with 3 things: 
sewing, swapping, & The 80's!!!

1.  First read over the rules and 'like totally' agree to them at the bottom of the page.
2.  Sign up!  There is a spreadsheet on this page that you will need to fill out giving detail about your 80's likes/dislikes to give your partner an idea of what to make you.  This is an "anything goes" swap so you can tell your partner if you'd like them to make you a bag, pouch, something for the kitchen, a mini quilt, etc.
3.  Join the I Heart the 80's swap group on Flickr so you can participate in the all the discussions (down below the pictures).  This gives your partner additional ideas for you.
4.  Make a mosaic filled with all your favorite memories from the 80's.  I use Big Huge Labs to make my mosaics.
5.  Wait for your swap mama to email you your partner info (around May 1st).  This is a secret swap, so your partner will not know you have them and vice verse. 
6.  Sign ups are open until this Friday...April 22nd!  Get over there and sign up, people.  The more people, the more fun we'll have.
7.  Mail your swap out by August 1st.  This gives you PLENTY of time to dream up something totally rad!!!

This swap has me dreaming of the 80's.  I've started a list of all my favorite things from that time in my life.  Here we go:

·        Lite bright 
·         Smurfs

·         Dr.Scholl’s clogs (I loved the sound they made when you lifted up your foot. )  (I also loved having a matching pair with my Mom)

·         Bangs  (how did you style yours?)
·         Debbie (not Deborah) Gibson
·         Swatch watches (I still have mine)
        ·         Cabbage Patch kids
·         Garbage Pail kids
·         Jelly shoes and bracelets

·         “ZRBTT” from the Cosby Show
·         Tight rolled jeans
·         Mixed cassette tapes

·         Macramed bracelets that I’d make for my friends

·         Punky Brewster 
·         Taping the same song over and over off the radio onto a cassette tape trying as hard as possible not to record the DJ’s voice.
·         The Goonies
·         Karate Kid
·         My pink and gray Huffy 10-speed.  (My best friend and I had matching bikes!)

·         Strawberry Shortcake doll that blew strawberry kisses when you squeezed her tummy.   (I always was amazed that she never ran out of those kisses.  What was there in there?)
·         Atari

·         We thought we were big time when we got one of the first VCR players and it had a mini- remote that was connected by a cord.
·         Wonder woman underoo’s
·         River. Phoenix. 

·         Stand By Me
·         The Breakfast Club
·         Friendship pins (aka safety pins w/ beads on them)


This is not 80's related, just some fun news to share. 

I entered my Owl quilt in the Quilting Gallery weekly contest.  Each week there is a different theme for each contest.  Check out this calendar to see if you have a quilt that fits one of these contests!

This week's contest was Scrappy Quilts.  There were 36 beautiful quilts submitted.  I was so shocked to open my email today and see that my quilt had won. 
This week’s sponsor is Tricia Lynn Maloney, the Orphan Quilter. She’s donated two copies of her latest book, Orphan Block Quilts: Making a Home for Antique, Vintage, Collectible, and Leftover Quilt Blocks to the top two winners. 

I'm excited to see what inspiration awaits in this book!  Thanks everyone who voted for me and thank you, Tricia, for the new book.  I really appreciate it!

I hope everyone got their taxes done and sent off today! 




Bottled Rainbow Quilt Along *Teal Block*

#4.   The teal block.  I love this color!  I think my favorite scrap has got to be the Heather Ross roller skate.  What about you?  Got a fav?

Here are my first four blocks.  Sure doesn't look like a rainbow yet.  I need to get my orange on next week!


For those of you who are doing the Bottled Rainbow Quilt Along (or any other ticker tape quilt for that matter)..... this message is for you!  I just found out that if you ask for a "sample" at Joann Fabrics, they will cut you an 'inch x width of fabric' of any fabric you'd like and it... is.... FREE, baby!!!!  Let me repeat....FREE!!!!!!!!!!  As long as you don't ask for 50 samples.  You may get some dirty looks, but it is worth it!

This will come in handy if you don't have a lot of scraps in one particular colorway. 

Hope this helps!!!

I'm linking up with Lee's "W.i.P. Wednesday" over at Freshly Pieced.  Each week, Lee gives you the chance to link up what you've been working on.  Here are a few other things I've been working on this week...

My girlfriend has a neighbor who just had a baby girl, Ava.  Every sweet baby needs some embroidered burp cloths!

....Mom...if you happen to be reading this, stop right here.  

My Mom's birthday is tomorrow and she wanted me to make her a bag for her pilates mat.  I used Laurie Wisbrun's Yoga Mat Bag tutorial.  I think I used too large of a circle for the bottom piece.  I may take the bottom off, cut the circle down, and resew it back on.   If anyone plans to make this bag, my circle was an 8" diameter.  Maybe a 6 or 7" diameter would have worked better.  I'll let you know!



Featured on Modern Day Quilts!

Heather over at Modern Day Quilts was nice enough to feature my quilt, "Put the Needle on the Record" on her blog.  She only features one quilt per day, so I am beside myself that she chose mine.

If you are wanting inspiration for a modern quilt and don't want to scour the internet, this is your one stop shop!  She does all the work for you!  Go check it!  You'll be glad you did.

Thanks again, Heather!!! I'm so honored.



Stylish Blogger Award!!

I think this is the first time in my life that someone has ever awarded me with the title of "stylish!" 

Nikki, from the adorable blog, The Girl Who Quilts just passed on the Stylish Blogger award to me.  I can't take the "style" part to heart too much, since I know Nikki wasn't looking at my wardrobe....jeans, Old Navy t-shirts, pony tail, etc. 

Now, for the rules of the award.  I'm supposed to do:
1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.  Thanks Nikki.  Check.
2. Share seven things about yourself. See below.  Check.
3. Award 6 recently discovered great bloggers.
4. Contact the bloggers and tell them about the award.

7 things about me.  Hmmm...  I gotta make these good.

1.  I was a collegiete swimmer.  (Miami University, Oxford, OH)  Go Redskins.  They are now the Redhawks, but I will forever be a Redskin!
2.  I don't swim any more because "I don't really like to get wet."
3.  I was born on my Dad's and my 2nd cousin's birthday.
4.  The other day I decided to part my hair on the opposite side and got all kinds of compliments.  Did you get a new haircut?  Your hair looks great!  So now I have continued to part it on the wrong...well it's really the right (not left) side, but it's wrong to me.  If you're feeling a little crazy, try it.  It's fun!
5.  I just got my ears pierced a few years ago when I turned 30 (yes, I was scared and no, I didn't cry!!!).
6.  My three boys have cool initials:  ETC, CCC, JAC
7.  I still sleep with the blankie that I had when I was a baby. Don't worry, I was it regularly.

Now for the fun stuff.  I get to pay it forward.  Here are 6 newly discovered bloggers (or at least newly discovered by me) that I think are fantastics!


Mandy @ Mand-a-lin

Chelsea @ Pin and Bobbins

Linz @ LinzSews

I hope you guys enjoy these blogs as much as I do!!!  Thanks again, Nikki for the award.



Bottled Rainbow Quilt Along *Raspberry Block*

I just finished block #3, raspberry.

I am in love with the owl right in middle (right next to my other favorite piece, Laurie's Urban Circus giraffe).  I think I swapped someone for that owl piece of fabric and I have no idea who designed it, but it is so cute.  Anyone have a clue? 

Update:  Michelle just informed me that the owl is a Amy Schimler print.  Thanks, Michelle!

Here are my three blocks so far.  I still need to add the white sashing to the bottom block (all you see is the batting).  I'll get there... eventually!



Put the Needle on the Record.

This quilt was born when a good high school friend of mine, Liz, became pregnant with her first child, Vivian. Liz recently lost her father, who was an exceptional man, and I wanted to make her an extra special gift from the heart.  For her baby shower, I decided to make Baby Viv a little quilt.  Well, it started out as a quilt, and ended up more as a playmat. 

I've been trying to get more creative with naming my quilts. The name, "Put the Needle on the Record," was born because I had quilted it in a pattern that looks just like lines on a record.  I couldn't resist the "needle" pun either.

Baby Viv on her new playmat.

I was inspired to make this quilt by this picture.  I searched for a pattern on how to make it, but couldn't find one...so I made one up.  I was lucky enough to have my tutorial featured on Moda Bake Shop.  Head on over there if you have a special baby that needs a quilt just like this.  I've also included how to make a matching changing pad from the scraps of the playmat.  If you'd rather not cut into your stash, you can make both the playmat and changing pad with just one Jelly Roll of fabric!

I hope it brightens your day.

A little more to the story: 

Jenny of Sew Kind of Wonderful and I have been emailing back and forth about the name of this quilt. 

Jenny: "Isn't the name of your quilt in a song?  cause I'm singing something in my head!"
Val: "Yep!  I can't thik of who sings it...is it the Beastie Boys?
Jenny:  "Maybe...it was a fun rap in the early 90's."
Val:  (after googling it)  "PUMP UP THE VOLUME!!!  That's it!"

I. heart. google.  What did we do in critical situations like this before it existed?



Thanks to Quilt Story for featuring this blog post!


Pinterest....my new web obsession!


Have you guys heard about the new website, Pinterest yet?  If you love Flickr, which I am certain that most of you do, you will LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this new website (and you may even find your photographs on there!) 

Think of it as a digital inspiration board.  Instead of cutting pictures out of magazines and hanging them on a cork board, you "Pin" a picture (from anywhere on the web) and post it onto your Pinterest board.

You can then organize your board into different folders like,
"Pillow inspiration"
"Ideas for my next quilt"
"DIY projects"
"Craft room organization ideas"
"Recipes I love"
"Favorite _____ (fill in the blank)"
...really, anything you can think of, you can create a folder for.

You can then follow people's boards or just their specific "folders".

I had to request to become a member and then in a week or two they send you an e-mail saying you are in.  I'm not sure if they are still in the Beta testing phase or not, but they were a little bit ago.

We all need to start following each other!!! 

They make it easy to "Pin" pictures by creating a link for you to add to your browser bar that says "PIN IT".

Then, whenever you find a picture that you want to add to your inspiration board, you just click on the Pin It button that you've added next to your "Favorites" folder and tell it which folder you'd like to save the picture into on Pinterest.

If you find something cool on someone's pin board and you'd like to add it to your board, you just "Repin it."  All you have to do is click on the picture and then click Repin.  This box below pops up and you just put the picture into whichever folder you'd like.  It really is super easy and user friendly. 

Pinterest also gives credit back to where the picture came from.  The only problem I've found is if someone has Pinned a picture from their google reader.  It does not send you back to the original link.  That is why it is good to give credit back to where it came from if you can.

Once you're all signed up, link up with me and I will with you!  It seriously is just as addicting as Flickr!

Now if anyone can please tell me how to get a little button for the sidebar of my Blog for Pinterest, it would be greatly appreciated!

Happy Pinning!


...and the winner of the Just Wing It Jelly Roll is...

#52:  Laura Selph who wrote: I follow the fat quarter shop on facebook!

Congrats, Laura.  From your blog you look like a super Mom!  I hope you enjoy your Jelly Roll.  Please make sure to share with me what you make!

Who knew picking a winning number could be so fun?

So, I mentioned in my giveaway post that I was going to let one of my boys pick the winning number from a hat.  I never imagined I would have 402 comments to have to stuff in that hat!  Thank you all so much for participating. 

I was not really looking forward to having to write all these numbers down, cutting them up, and then deal with choosing which boy gets to pick the number.  However, like always, one of my incredible bloggie friends came up with a solution!!!  Chelsea, of Pins and Bobbins, came up with a great idea.  She said to do multiple drawings with the kids.  In Ethan's drawing I put in numbers 1, 2, & 3.  This determined if the winning number would be 1, 2, or 3 digits.  (He chose a 2.) Caleb got to choose from numbers 0 - 9.  This determined the first digit of the winning number.  (He chose a 5.)  Jack got to choose from 0 -9, selecting the last digit, a 2.  #52!!   This was super fun for the boys and less paper for me to cut up!

The boys even wanted to keep picking numbers after we were done!

Thanks, Chelsea, for the great tip and congrats to Laura on her lucky day!