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.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What inspires you?

Lately I have been really inspired by bracelets, and if you follow me on Pinterest you have probably noticed that I have pinned more than a few.  

There are some amazing jewelry artists out there and I am particularly inspired by those who make bracelets from the unexpected.  

Like these recycled Soda Pop Can Bracelets made by The Greenest Dollar

Recycled Bracelets

and this Shrinky Dinks Bracelet made by Rust and Sunshine

and even these DIY Toothbrush Bracelets made by Stars for Streetlights.  Seriously Toothbrushes! I can’t tell you how much I love the fact that someone out there looked at a toothbrush and said “hmmm… I wonder if I could make a bracelet out of this.” 

DIY Toothbrush Bracelet

I have even made few of my own. 


A New Twist on Friendship Bracelets


Simple Bracelets from Suede Cording

So, today I think I am going to rummage through my craft bin of bits and pieces to see if I can come up with anything amazing or at least something I would be proud to wear.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a great week!

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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Vintage Modern Bowtie Quilt & Moda Bake Shop

I am so excited today to be sharing my newest quilt with you and Moda Bake Shop.  I have been working on this quilt for a while now and I am glad to be finally sharing it with you.  It has killed me not to talk about it along the way.  I poured my heart and soul into this quilt, so I hope you like it as much as I do.  

For this tutorial I took the traditional bowtie block and re-designed it to use a layer cake pre-cut.  I used a Vintage Modern layer cake by Bonnie and Camille for Moda, which I loved working with.  This fabric collection definitely gave this traditional quilt a modern look.

vintage modern

I am also excited to be gifting this quilt to my aunt.  She is kind of like our family historian and big into Ancestry.com.  She is a collector of stories, pictures, and art.  She has paintings from my grandmother, carved wood blocks from my great-grandfather, and counted other items.  Now a quilt from me.  I am so proud to have a piece of my “art” to be included in such good company.


For this quilt I used Kona Snow and the Vintage Modern fabric collection.  I used the Bowtie Circle block in a 5 by 6 layout.  I echoed the flow of this quilt in my machine quilting using off-white cotton thread and I pieced my scraps into the back.  The finished quilt measures about 58" x 68".


Be sure to check out my tutorial over at Moda Bake Shop.  I am so proud of it.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a great week!

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A little blogging tip… Creating my Link Party Page

I got an interesting email in my inbox last night, and I thought that I would share. 

One of my readers has a friend that liked the way that I created my “linky Parties” page, and was wondering how I went about making the page, inserted the images, and added the links.

It is actually pretty simple to make them the same size and have them line up properly.  All you have to do is deconstruct the code a little.  Just taking what you need, adding a few things, and deleting the rest.

Take my button and code (located on my sidebar) for example:

a girl in paradise blog button 1

<div align="center"><a href="http://agirlinparadise.blogspot.com/" title="A Girl In Paradise"><img src="http://i1232.photobucket.com/albums/ff375/agirlinparadise/agirlinparadiseblogbutton1.jpg" alt="A Girl In Paradise" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Normally you would just copy and paste that code (above) and add it to your blog post or side bar.  But what if the button is sized too big or too small?  The trick is to know what you need from this code and what you don’t. 

There is a lot of technical stuff when it comes to coding, and I am by no means an expert.  I have learned a few things from others along the way.  Now I know what to look for and the things that must be included to successfully change the code to meet my needs.

The three things that you need to be on the lookout for is the address to the blog or website (http://agirlinparadise.blogspot.com/)

the address to where the image is located.  (http://i1232.photobucket.com/albums/ff375/agirlinparadise/agirlinparadiseblogbutton1.jpg)

and the size you want your image to be.

height="90" and width="90"

Below is the model code that I use to add buttons to my “linky Party” page:

<a href="(insert web address here)"><img height="90" src="(insert image location here)" width="90" /></a>" width="90" /></a>

Which looks something like this with the addresses included:

<a href="http://agirlinparadise.blogspot.com/"><img height="90" src="http://i1232.photobucket.com/albums/ff375/agirlinparadise/agirlinparadiseblogbutton1.jpg" width="90" /></a>

You can change the height and width dimensions if you wish.  I like 90, but if you like your buttons to be a little larger just increase the number to say 150 or 200.  Sometimes it takes a little trial and error to get it just right.  Just be consistent with your button sizing to make all the buttons lineup together.

Now to get all this information into Blogger…

First, you need to go into Blogger, create a new page, and click the HTML button located on the top left.  To preview your work you can toggle back and forth from Compose and HTML formats.  You must work and enter your codes into the HMTL selection format, or it will not show your images.  Copy and paste your model code for each button that you want to create, replacing the website address and image link address for each new button. 

For example, when I want to add a new button to my link parties page, I first copy and paste the button’s code from the owners blog.  Then I copy and paste my model code below the pasted button code.  Then I replace the necessary web addresses into my model code, and delete the original pasted button code from the owners blog.

Now I am ready to place that code under the right day of the week within my link party page.  I place the code one right after another and let Blogger determine how many are going to be in each row.  Basically, how many buttons in each row will depend on the size of your buttons.  Then, I click compose or preview to see if everything is lined up to my liking.  If it is, then I press Publish and double check the button to make sure the link works. 

I hope you found this helpful. I will be linking this tutorial to some of these great linky parties.  Be sure to stop by and check them out.  If you would like me to add your linky party to my page just ask.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great week!

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Monday, September 10, 2012

Pillows, Pillows, and more Pillows…

I feel like there is so much to catch up on after my unexpected blog break and I feel like I need to start where I left off…

One of the things that I neglected to talk about was the pillow swap I was a part of last summer.  This pillow may look familiar to some of you, because I featured it in a block tutorial, but I never really talked about the swap or how I made the pillow. 


It all started with some fabric I received from Northcott and some wants from my partner in the Bee a {modern} Swapper swap.  She wanted a pillow for her living room that featured blues & greys, that was scrappy looking, and that used modern or whimsical fabrics.  So, when I received this fabric from Northcott, I just knew the two were a match made in heaven.  I pulled some fabric (pictured above), grabbed my sketch book and I was off.


As I mentioned above I did feature this pillow in a block tutorial, that can be found here, but I never really talked about the pillow itself.

I made this pillow using only 4 fat quarters, 5/8ths yard of white fabric (for the inside of the pillow), some scraps of cotton batting, and a 17” pillow form.

The front of the pillow is made from 9 - Star Crossed Lovers blocks that are in a 3 by 3 layout. Then I sandwich the quilt top, cotton batting, with the white fabric on the back, and I machine quilted it.  I used a light grey thread to straight line quilt the pillow.  Pretty isn’t it?


Once the front was done I needed to work on the back.  After choosing to do a envelope back, I took what was left over from my original 4 fat quarters and scrap pieced them together.  I machined quilted it like the front using the light grey thread and straight line quilting.  Then with right side together I layer my front and back pieces, being mindful that the envelope would open in the correct way, and trimmed it to a 18” square.  Then pinned it all the way around and sewed it together.  Once it was sewn together I turned it right side out and added the pillow form.


Above is the pillow I received in the swap.  I love it!  It is exactly what I want without even knowing what I wanted.  Sounds crazy, but I know you know what I mean.   

This experience has inspired me to make some more pillows for my couch in the living room.  Patchwork pillows are great little projects.  Now I can try out new techniques and ideas without having to invest I lot of time or money.  If I get really adventurous I can make some holiday ones or switch them out with the seasons, but don’t tell my husband, he will just roll his eyes and say “how many pillows do we really need” better to just sneak them in one by one.  That way there he will never even notice.

I hope you liked my pillow and are inspired to make one of your own. I will be linking this project to some of these great linky parties.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a great week!

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Friday, September 7, 2012

Where has the time gone?

Well, that was an unexpected blog break!

I can’t believe that it has been almost 2 months since I posted last.  I hadn’t planned on a blog break, it just kind of happened.  Between the kids being home for the summer, a much needed family vacation, and back to school preparations, there was little time to sew or blog.  

Now of course things are getting back to normal.  Finally.  All the kids are back in school.  (A first for me.)  For the past 11 years I have always had a kid home with me during the day, but this year my youngest has started pre-school.  This year also has a new set of challenges, I now have 3 kids in 3 different schools.  One in pre-school, one in elementary school and my oldest has started middle school.  A huge adjustment to say the least.  It has taken me a few weeks to get use to everybody's schedule, and carve out some time for myself.  I have, and it feels great.  Now, I feel I can really focus my time on this blog.

One great thing about taking a little blog break is that you have time to think about the future.  Where do I want to be in a year? In two?  Hmm… good question.  For now I have a few things in the works and the rest I will figure out along the way.

In the meantime here are some pictures of what little sewing I have gotten done.



photo (1)

Thanks for stopping by, and have a great week!

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