I am no longer actively blogging here but I’d love if you could join me at my new creative lifestyle blog A Girl in Paradise.
I hope to see you soon.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Transferring Ink to Candles

Making personalized candles is easier than you think.  Today with some help from the kids we made some candles to give to my parents on Valentine's Day. 

You will need some regular paper, tissue paper, tape, sharpies or markers, a candle, wax paper, and a heat gun. 

First, I taped a piece of tissue paper, about the size of my candle, to a piece of copy paper.  Markers will bleed through the tissue paper pretty easily so you will need something to protect your table, and it was easier for the kids to draw on the tissue paper when taped to the "paper".

When your little artist is done, remove the tissue paper from the copy paper.  Cut out your design, and place it on to your candle.  It is important to cut away as much of the excess tissue paper as you can.

Next, you are going to take a piece of wax paper that is larger than your candle.  Pull it tight around your candle, and use your heat gun to melt your design into the candle.  Moving the heat gun in a back and forth motion for about 30-40 seconds.  Be careful of your fingers, the heat gun will be hot. 

Once you have heated the entire design gently peel back your wax paper and make sure the entire design is adhered to the candle.  If not just repeat with the wax paper and heat gun.

A very cute gift for the Grandparents.  Don't you think?

It got me to thinking .... wouldn't it be cool if you could use images from the computer and do the same thing?  Just think of the personalized candles you could make. 

Guess what, you can! 

I very carefully taped a piece of tissue paper to a piece of copy paper, making sure there were no edges and the tissue paper was completely flat.  Then I crossed my finger and sent it through the ink jet printer.  Seriously, my husband would not have been happy if I had jammed up the printer.  So, I didn't tell him until I was finished and it had worked.  :) 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Lately I have been....

If you have followed my blog for any length of time you would know that my daughter is seriously into crafts lately.  Any and all types of crafts.  So in an effort to indulge her we have been trying a lot of different things.  Today, it was weaving.  Since this is not my strong suit or my cup tea, I bought her a kit, E-Z Weavy ToteBag.  It comes with precut straps and a precut weavy form.  Perfect!  I like the sound of this.

It is a little time consuming, definitely not the done in a hour type of craft that I like doing with her, but she is having fun and there was a minimal amount of whining.  This makes Momma very happy.

So, if you have noticed that I haven't been posting much lately, this is why.  Don't worry, I haven't forgotten about you.  Be patient and stay tuned...there is much to come. 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Sew Fabulous Friday #6

Welcome to Sew Fabulous Friday.

Here are some of the highlights from last week.

Don't you just Love this bag that Amy from Ameroonie Designs made.

Winter isn't over yet over at She Wears Flowers.  She has put together a great tutorial for her snowflake pillow.
Snowflake 13

Thanks to everybody that link up last week.
And for those of you who want to link up this week the rules are simple:

You can link up any craft project that you have sewn yourself either by hand or by machine.  It doesn't have to be an original creation, but try to give credit, where credit is due, it just has to be sewn by you.

Never linked up before?  Don't worry it is easy.  Just click on the button that says "Click Here To Enter" and link up your post or pictures from Flickr.  Please remember to link to your specific post, and not the main page of your blog.  It makes it easier for people to find your project. 
Grab my Sew Fabulous Friday button and add it to either your blog or post, and please no advertisements, websites, or giveaways.
Have fun!  I love seeing all that to come up with.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Working with Oil Cloth - Cosmetic Bag and Tote

OK, I have had this idea for a project using oil cloth for a while now but have been afraid, very afraid, of buying any.  Hey, we are on a budget over here, and didn't want to invest in the yardage only to hate working with it.  So, to make a long story very short my Mom came by yesterday with a bag of scraps for me, and there was a healthy piece oil cloth.  Perfect! I couldn't wait to get started.   

First, just let me say the print is horrible!  Totally not my style, but since one can't have to many bags when shlepping kids around, I decided this would be the perfect project when testing out my oil cloth.  I used one of those free project patterns that you get at Jo Ann's for the beach tote.  Next time I'll spend the money and buy a pattern, because the instructions were terrible.  Seriously, I know how to follow a pattern but for the life of me I hard time figuring this one out.  Thankfully it came out fine, just don't look at the lining inside.  :) 

Once I got the bag done I had a small piece left over, so I decided to make a cosmetic bag.  Thankfully after the aggravation I had with the bag, this was a project I could handle without any help from a patttern.

I cut 2- 9 1/2" by 6 3/4" rectangles and used a 9" black zipper. 

Note: You can make this in any size you want.  Just make sure the lenght of the rectangle is 1/2" longer than the zipper you are using.  The height can also be adjusted, 6 3/4" was just the size of the scraps I had left over from the bag.

With right sides together sew the zipper along the top of your oilcloth rectangles.

Then turn over and topstitch on the right side of the oilcloth.

Open the zipper, and with right sides together sew together the three sides of the bag.  Crop the corners and trim off the excess.  Turn right side out.

and learn from my mistake, and make sure the bottom seam is going in the same direction on either side.  :)

The Verdict: Love, Love, Love working with oilcloth.  It goes through the machine smooth, it is stiff but not too stiff, and the best part the edges don't fray.  I definitely see more oilcloth in my future. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Sew Fabulous Friday #5

Welcome to Sew Fabulous Friday.

Here is a look at our shining stars from last week...

Mariesa at Ten Cow Chick, made these super cute Valentine Chair Backers.

And how cute is this!  Maleahbliss over at Little Eme made this adorable "Take Me Home Outfit" complete with booties and hat.

Thanks to everybody that link up last week.

And for those of you who want to link up this week the rules are simple:

You can link up any project that you have sewn yourself either by machine or by hand. Please remember to link to your specific post, and not the main page of your blog.

Grab my Sew Fabulous Friday button and add it to either your blog or post, and please no advertisements, websites, or giveaways.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Building Blocks - Wonky Flying Geese

Building Blocks is something I have started to help quilters design their own quilt projects. Sometimes it starts with a block that speaks to you, but then what do you do with it? Most of my quilts have started this way. I make a block then build from there, (sometimes lots of trial and error), till I have a finished block forming a quilt.
I hope to leave you with a bit of inspiration each week, to follow your own quilting journey, but please remember this tutorial is for personal use only. Please do not make copies of this tutorial. Please do not sell items made from this tutorial without permission from A Girl In Paradise. Questions? Just ask.

To make your own Wonky Flying Geese you will need to cut a strip of fabric 6" by 22" and 6 - 5" squares. 

Next you will need to make some prairie points. If you have never done this before just take your 5" squares to the ironing board and press them in half, then fold in each corner into the center, like pictured.

Then take your 6" by 22" strip and cut alternating angles. I used my triangles as a guide.
The nice thing about this block is with a few adjustments you can modify it to any size that you need. Just make sure to make the width of your strip at least an inch larger than your square, to accommodate seam allowances.
 Then, just sew your pairie points into the seams and press.

Now that you have your strips put together, you can use them to border a quilt, or make colums like you would with traditional Flying Geese.

I like them sewn together in alternating directions. 

Also, you can have the points facing up or facing down.  It is your preferance.  I pictured them both ways. 

You will need to secure them down in some way, or they will flap in the wind, as they say.  I enjoyed machine quilting them, but if you prefer, take a needle and tread and tack them down at the tip of the center point like a traditional prairie point.

Have fun, play with it, and as always if you make something using this block, send me your pictures, or if you blog about it, send me the link, and maybe I'll feature it here. I just love seeing what you come up with.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Work-in-Progress Wednesday and a Question

Wow!  It has been a few weeks since I posted a WiP Wednesday.  I have been very busy over here in paradise doing this and that, but manly I have been cleaning my house.  I know it's only January but this is the time of year I usually do my spring cleaning.  You know, clean out the cabinets, wash the endless mirrors I have in this house (I live in Florida and my house was built in the 80's, enough said) and the list goes on and on.

But that doesn't mean I haven't been sewing, it has just been a lot of those little things like sewing Girl Scout patches on my daughters vest, hemming some pants for my neighbor, and sewing the the binding on this super cute quilt my friend Stacey made.
And, of coarse since it is the beginning of a new year, why not have a new quilt to start.  A friend of mine has asked that I made a memory quilt of her daughters baby things.  So, now my dining room table is covered in baby clothes.  That way there I can stare at them for hours on end and....
 ....try to sketch out a few option for her. 
I partial to the one on the bottom but will have to wait and see what she decides. I just can't wait to get started on this one. I have done a lot of memory quilts for boys, but there is nothing like all this pink to work with.
I recently started following Naptime Quilter and she hosts something called Workshop-in-Progress, where she invites you to share your fabric selection challenges, design wall dilemmas, quilting struggles, and general questions.  Love this!  This week she posted a question about marking your quilt tops for quilting and I was wondering about the same thing.

I have been working on hand quilting my scrap quilt and have been using my trusty marking pen and ruler for years but I wonder is there a better way? I don't like how the blue makes such a mess and sometimes it is hard to see the flow of the design with the blue being so distracting. Not to mention if you are working with dark fabrics, what to do then....
So how do you mark your quilt for quilting? I would especially love to here from any hand quilters out there.

Monday, January 17, 2011

An Experiment Gone Right

Lately, it seems nothing has gone right around here, so I wasn't too optimistic about sewing today but, I had a couple of things I have been working on that needed to be finished.  See, I'm not a big fan of little projects creating piles and collecting dust.  I literally dragged myself into the sewing room (aka the corner of my bedroom) and sat down in front of the machine with a *humph* and pick the first thing that caught my eye. 

I have been toying with the idea of using prairie points to create flying geese but was very unsure of how it was all going to play out.  A lot of my experiments lately having been coming out as planned.....

...but I LOVE how this came out. 

It is hard to see in the picture but, adding the prairie points adds some weight or body to the quilt.  Of course this quilt is only about 11" by 17" but I totally loving the texture it created.  Then, since things were going my way I pulled out some scraps and quilted the darn thing. 

Clearly my machine quilting still needs a little help but, these triangles were calling out to be embellished.  If only I had some beads on hand....no wait, that might be over doing it.

Anyways, I think I will add this to my Building Block Series.  Stay tuned, I will be posting a tutorial soon.  You'll die when you find out how easy these things are. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sew Fabulous Friday #4

Welcome to Sew Fabulous Friday.

Here are some of the highlights from last week...

Lee over at Freshly Pieced, made this beautiful green and pink Dresden Plate pillow.  Don't you just love how she layered the 2 plates to make the flower?  Dresden Plates are officially on my list of things to sew for 2011.

Jamie over at I'm a Mom not a Professional, made these super cute headbands.  I just love how she used velvet ribbon to keep everything in place.  Very clever!

Shannon over at Shannon Sews, shared her amazing sweater transformation.  I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.

Thanks to everybody that link up last week.
And for those of you who want to link up this week the rules are simple:
You can link up any project that you have sewn yourself either by machine or by hand. Please remember to link to your specific post, and not the main page of your blog.
Grab my Sew Fabulous Friday button and add it to either your blog or post, and please no advertisements, websites, or giveaways.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Your Way Wednesday at Elle Belle Creative

My good friend Stacey over at Elle Belle Creative is having her
1st Your Way Wednesday Link Party.
Click here to join the fun!

Link up you latest project every Wednesday on the Elle Belle Creative Your Way Wednesday link party!

Stacey is super creative and has a great eye for details. 
Just look at this party she put together.  So jealous!

And these Bentos she puts together for her daughter...Ah-mazing!

So, take a minute and check out her awesome blog and link up to

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A New Twist on Friendship Bracelets

The other day I was making Friendship Bracelets with my daughter, and she liked them, but didn't like how she couldn't take them on and off.  I explained to her you don't take them on and off you wear them all the time.  Well, that lasted about a day and one bath later she was repulsed.  "Eeew!  They are all wet!" was all heard for the rest of the evening.  Seriously, didn't we wear these things all summer, and lived to tell the tale?  I even remember my mother making me cut them off when school would start back up again.  Oh, how I cried. 

So, taking another trip down memory lane I remembered how back in my hairdressing days we use to do hair wraps for the kids in the summer, and thought why couldn't I do the same thing on a bangle bracelet?  Thankfully she loaned me a few bracelets to experiment with.  It was quite easy once I got back in the rhythm again.  It was kinda hard to take pictures of the process, but I think you can follow along. 

I used some cheapo bangles and some embroidery floss.  One thing I would suggest would be to use bangles that are smooth.  My floss keep getting snagged on the glitter/rhinestones, frustrating to say the least.

 I cut my floss about 45" long and my bangles were about a 3" circle.

Also, I didn't knot it at the beginning it creates to much of a lump.  Just wrap the floss around the bangle.  Once you start the knots it will stay in place.  You should have 2 tails and they should be of equal length.

Then your going to use a basic knot around all the floss and the bangle.  I did 10 knots for each color, repeating the pattern all the way around the bangle.  To have enough floss to make it all the way around the bangle make sure you use all of one color before using the next.  Meaning once I started knotting I used the same blue thread till it was too short then I used the second blue thread to finish off the bracelet.

When I got to the end I knotted it and cut the tails off leaving about an inch.  Then with a little white glue I wrapped the tails around the knot to cover it up. 

That's it!  What do you think?  Thankfully she loved them, and already gave some of them away.  Guess I will be making more....  

Subscribe to Updates - Like on Facebook - Follow on Twitter