Thursday, April 26, 2012

It is Well with my Soul!

I received a text the other day from a friend, asking if I could recreate a sign* that she saw and loved!  Of course I texted her back, ASAP, with a YES!  I mean, really, I can recreate anything…at least that is what I was hoping.  After numerous texts back and forth, to figure out the exact measurements and color selection, I went to work.  It was not difficult to make at all, but since I am stilling learning how to use my Cameo, it was a little time consuming.  The end result looks amazing!  And I hope that my friend loves it (she better) even more than the original one she saw!

 

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Many people have heard the song “It Is Well With My Soul'”, but probably do not know the story behind these now famous words.  The following story, shortened by me, is written by Tiny Truelove. 

To read Tiny Truelove’s full story visit here.

When Horatio Spafford wrote the heart gripping words to the hymn, he was not insinuating that all things were going well in his life. In fact, Spafford's words were meant as a song of thanksgiving and praise to our God in the midst of deep grief and loss as a result of a series of tragedies that can only be imagined by most.

In 1870, in spite of a successful career, Horatio and Anna Spafford began to suffer a series of tragedies that would change their lives forever, beginning with the death of their son. His death was the result of Scarlet Fever at the tender age of four. Approximately one year later, a large portion of Spafford's real estate holdings were lost as a result of the Great Chicago Fire. Spafford lost his life's savings.

In 1873, Horatio sent his wife and daughters on a ship to Europe. He planned to join them later. Nine days later, Spafford's wife, Anna, sent him a telegram from Wales. The telegram read, "Saved alone."

On the way to Europe a French ship collided with the English ship. It took only 12 minutes to sink, taking 226 lives with it. Anna's last memories were of her daughter being ripped from her arms by the raging waters. She alone had been rescued from the debris. All four daughters died in the accident.

Horatio boarded the next ship out of New York to join Anna. During the voyage to Europe, the ship's captain called Horatio Spafford to the ship's bridge. It was there that the captain explained to Horatio that they were passing over the spot where his daughters had perished. Horatio returned to his cabin and wrote It Is Well With My Soul .

 

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I was going to share with you a step by step on how I made this sign, but I think after that amazing heart wrenching story, it just doesn’t seem right.

I leave you to reflect on your own life’s tragedies and blessings you have encountered! God Bless!

*Please note: The original design of the sign came from 13pumpkins on etsy.  To purchase her amazing ‘it is well with my soul’ or her other amazing signs visit: http://www.etsy.com/shop/13pumpkins.

 

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sew Easy Pillows!

Pillows are a great way to change the feel/look of a room.  I am always on the lookout for new pillows, but whenever I find some I like, I HATE the price!  Who is tired of paying $40 for one stinking pillow?  Each and every one of you, that’s who!  I know that I am, and now thanks to my friend, who showed me how to make an easy pillow cover, I will never pay that again!

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I found this amazing fabric at a store near my house, for only $5, which covered 2 pillows and I even still have some left!  I love a great deal!  The great part of this pillow cover is that you can cover any old pillow that you have at your house that you don’t like or want anymore.  You know you have some of ‘those’ pillows laying around somewhere.  All you have to do is find some fabric you love, do a little sewing and voila you have an expensive looking pillow for just the cost of your fabric.

To make this pillow cover you will need the following:

  • fabric
  • sewing machine/thread
  • cutting mat
  • acrylic ruler
  • rotary fabric cutter
  • straight pins

Don’t let that list scare you.  If you have that stuff great, if not, no big deal.  Well…you do need the fabric, sewing machine and pins for sure!  My friend had the ruler, cutter and mat so I used those to make my first pillow cover.  I wanted to make another pillow cover at my house, so I stopped at Walmart to purchase a mat, ruler and cutter, but they were too expensive so I didn’t buy anything!  I was not going to spend $30 to get those things when I have numerous wood rulers and scissors at home.  My second pillow turned out just as great at the first one!  So take that, you fancy fabric cutting supplies…you are not needed!  But, it would be nice to have them!

Okay, let’s begin.

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Step 1:   Put your pillow in the middle of your fabric (if your old pillow cover comes off you can use that to measure, if not just use your whole pillow, either way works fine) and fold over one end of fabric to almost the other side of pillow.  Pull snugly.

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Step 2:  Fold other end over to cover pillow, like you are wrapping it, then fold it back over leaving the fabric overlapping about a length of your hand.  Reach under the top fabric to find the edge of your bottom fabric then fold it at about your wrist. 

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Step 3:  Now put a pin at the folded line to mark your length.

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Step 4/5:  Using your ruler, start at your pin, and draw a straight line to the top of your fabric.  Next use your fabric cutter pressed up against the ruler, or your scissors, and cut the fabric. 

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Step 6:  Place your old pillow cover/pillow a 1/2 inch from the bottom of your fabric.  Now using your ruler, measure from the bottom of the fabric to a 1/2 inch over the top of the cover.   So, you will have a 1/2 inch extra on the top and bottom of your old cover. 

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Step 7/8:  Take your height measurement from step 6, and using your ruler, start at one end of your fabric and mark the height periodically until you get to the end of the fabric.  Now using the straight edge of your ruler attach all the lines you made to make one long straight line.  Now cut the line using cutter or ruler.  Now you have the correct size of fabric.  No more cutting!

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Step 9:  Fold over each end of the fabric (not the top or bottom) about 3/4 inch and pin, putting in enough pins to hold your fabric down while you sew.

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Step 10:  Sew a straight line from top to bottom on both sides of the fabric that you pinned.

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Step 11:   Place old cover/pillow in the middle of fabric.  Fold one end over, then the other, overlapping the fabric.  Here you will determine if you want the opening in the middle or on the side.    Once you have it where you like it, put  2 pins in where the 2 pieces of fabric meet and end to keep the overlapping in place. 

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Step 12:  Measure the pinned bottom.  Then measure the top to make sure it is equal.  Once the top equals the same measurement as the bottom, pin the top where the 2 fabrics meet.

Okay, here is where we kind of messed up. We really should have had the fabric inside out at this point, but since we didn’t, we just carefully flipped it inside out, avoiding the pins.

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Step 13/14:  Making sure the fabric is inside out, pin along the top and the bottom of the fabric.  Now sew, 1/2 inch from the side, the top and the bottom shut!

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Step 15:  You are done with the cover!  Flip the cover to the right side and stuff your pillow into it!  This is what the back will look like.  My pillow is down so that is why it kind of bulges at the middle.

 

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I loved how it turned out, but wanted to add a little something more to it to so I made one of these cute felt flowers for it!  I pinned the flower on instead of gluing it, so that I can change it whenever I want!

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How great does the pillow look?  Amazing, I know!    Want to know what else is amazing?  That totally sweet old turquoise door (in the background) that I also got a great deal on!  Phew, I am on a roll, with scoring great deals.  You want to go shopping with me, don’t you?

I can’t wait to go find some more awesome fabric and cover all of my old pillows!  The best part of my pillows…the cost!  Two pillows cost me a whopping $5!  I am such a big spender!

    

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Thank You Cards!

What’s the best part about Birthdays?  Gifts, of course!  Kidding…well kind of!  Gift giving has always been a huge part of my family.  We get together for every birthday and do the whole gift thing!   I love giving birthday gifts.  Finding or making that ‘perfect’ gift is so much fun.  That is probably why I like, okay love, getting gifts as well…don’t judge, you know you love getting gifts too!  When you receive a gift that is your style or something that you love, you feel really special knowing that your friend or family member really knows you.

What’s the worst part about birthdays?  Writing thank-you cards, of course!  I am terrible about thank you cards and always have been.  When my husband and I got married I hated writing all of those thank you cards for the gifts and honestly when I had about 5% of the cards left to do, I stopped!  How bad is that?  My mom is totally cringing right now.  Anyway, if you are one of the 5% that didn’t receive a card…thank you so much for the wonderful blender, vase, picture frame, plate and silverware you gave us!

Last week was my birthday and my amazing friends took me to lunch and gave me some wonderful gifts and some gift cards to places that I love to shop at!  Since I just got my Cameo a couple weeks ago, I decided to use it to make some handmade thank you cards!  Now, honestly, I soooo wouldn’t have done handmade thank you cards, but I needed something to blog about! Hehe. True story.

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I love birds and orange so this card is so me. 

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First I cut out the branch, with the Cameo, out of the front of the card.  I had a lot more success with cardstock then I did with vinyl.  Then I cut out my bird without it’s wing.  Took me a while to figure out how to separate the different parts of the image, but I finally figured it out.

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I wanted the wing to be out of fabric so I used the fabric interfacing for it.  Now, I was a little skeptical about whether the Cameo would actually be able to cut fabric, but I am a believer now!  Wow, does it cut great!  To use the fabric interfacing, you will need to iron it onto the back of your fabric.  Once you have done that, peel off the white sheet that is on the interfacing and put it onto your cutting mat.  Now you are ready to cut.  It cut so good, that when I first looked at it, I couldn’t even see where the cut was. 

I planned on attaching the wing so it was 3D on the bird, but the fabric wasn’t quite stiff enough for that, so I cut out the same wing shape on cardstock, then ironed the fabric onto the cardstock. 

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Here is all the pieces ready to be assembled.  Next I stamped ‘Delight in the little things’ on the front of the card.

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You can not have a cute card in an ugly plain envelope, right?  Nope!  So I put a strip of patterned tape, recently purchased at Target, down the left side and a flower stamp on the bottom right side of the envelope.  I think it turned out super cute.

 

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So remember, my birthday is April 4th! 

No, really…when choosing a gift, really think about the person and give something that they love or that would mean a lot to them!  It matters, trust me!

Now off to hand out my thank you cards!  Hope they don’t read this post first!

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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Dance in the Rain!

I’m baaaccckkk!  Did you miss me?  Of course you did!  And by you, I mean my mom and 2 friends that read every one of my posts! 

Anyhoo…I spent an amazing fun filled week in Sedona with my husband and son.  Before we left for our vacation my awesome husband gave me a CAMEO for our 10 year anniversary!!!  I was so super excited to get it, but bummed cause I didn’t get a chance to use it before Sedona.   My family did not want to come home because that meant that they had to go back to work and school, but I was thrilled to get home!  Let me tell you…I was itching to get back home to use my new toy!  So today, I will be sharing with you my very 1st project using my Cameo!!! 

After I pulled the Cameo out of the box, downloaded the software, and connected it to my computer, there is only one word to describe the way I felt…INTIMIDATED!  Eek!  I just sat there at my computer looking dumbfounded at the Silhouette program. There were soooo many different buttons and options that I was completely overwhelmed.  So I did what any normal person would do…I eat a bowl of ice cream and read a novel!

The next day, I  decided I needed some encouragement to conquer my Cameo so I hit Pinterest.  There are so many projects on Pinterest made using the Cameo.  Heck, if they can do it, so can I!  Encouragement found! 

 

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I am loving how my pallet turned out!  This saying is so awesome.

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What was so great about this project was that I only needed a few supplies.  I purchased 1 furring strip from Lowes and cut it into 6 pieces about 15” long.  I did not want them all the same exact length so I varied the length a little on each.  Then I cut a square dowel into 2 pieces about 10” long and 1 piece at 8” long.

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Next I used my Dremel Trio to drill 6 holes in the 2 dowels, which I then hand screwed (yes, I know, totally lame) into each furring strip to hold it all together.  Then attached the smaller dowel to the top and put wall hooks into that.  After everything was attached I stained my pallet.

Ummm…why not just use an electric screwdriver you are wondering?  Well, because ours got ruined by being left outside.  So dumb…I know.  So every project I have done, I have had to use a hand screwdriver.  Let me tell you…it sucked. 

But, don’t you worry about me.  My husband just gave me, yesterday, for my Birthday a Makita Compact Cordless Combo Kit!  NO more killing my arm and back.  In case you missed that little Birthday plug for myself, yesterday was my BIRTHDAY!

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Now onto using my new toy.  I thought that I could just cut my whole saying at one time, slap it onto my pallet, add some paint and voila I would be done!  Right…that SO did not work.  My Cameo did not like that at all.  The vinyl was a disaster.  So, I then did each line by itself.  It worked, but not as great as I thought it would.  Some of the words did not cut all the way through so I used scissors to fix them.  I played around with the different settings and honestly I am not even sure if my blade is in correctly.  I was quite discouraged by it all. 

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Once all the vinyl was cut, I attached it to the pallet.  I thought that the adhesive vinyl would stick to anything, but it did not want to stick to my stained wood.  Anyone else have this problem?  It stayed well enough that I was able to paint, using a stencil brush, the saying onto the pallet.  I had to do three coats of paint.  Once it was dry enough, I removed the vinyl and sanded the words to give it an older look.  This project took way longer than I thought that it would…but I love how it turned out, so it was totally worth it!

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I have realized that I need to play around a lot more with my Cameo to figure out everything it can and can not do.  Hmmm…now what should my next project be???

 

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