January 20, 2019

Pumpkins Quilt

Orange Patchwork pumpkins quilt.

Pumpkins in January?  This quilt has been in the making for a while.  Way back in September I wanted to make a Halloween quilt, but could never come up with a design idea that I liked.  Then finally in October I saw  the pumpkins quilt over at Cluck Cluck Sew, and around the same time I was making blocks from the Farm Girl Vintage book by Lori Holt which includes a patchwork pumpkin block.  So I shifted gears to a "Fall" theme rather than Halloween. This idea was perfect because I really want to use  my scraps and this definitely made a dent in the orange bin!

Cluck Cluck Sew has a pattern for a pumpkins quilt (as well as others - all of them quite nice!) but I like to go my own way so I just started sewing. Since I was using lots of small scraps, I wanted to use what I had regardless of size so a pattern wouldn't work too well for me anyway. But I don't usually use patterns, preferring to fly by the seat of my pants and make it up as I go along! This method can create problems at times, but those are just more challenges to figure out a creative solution for.  :)

Some of my pumpkins are made from small squares, some from strips, but many are made from odd shaped pieces that I sewed together in an improv slab style of piecing. Wonky, improv, freestyle is kind of may favorite way to piece a quilt.

This small quilt measures about 36 by 48 inches, so I had it hanging on the wall in my studio for a while, but it should be nice draped over the gray chair in our livingroom in the fall. I opted for a light gray background rather than my usual white. It's quilted with simple, horiontal, organic wavy lines using my walking foot. I was going to use an orange print for the binding, but my husband thought a green print would look nice, and I think he was right. It picks up the green from the stems.

Hope these pumpkins in January brighten up your winter day! 
Thanks for stopping by.


December 14, 2018

How to Make A Glitter House From A Candy Box

glitter house made from a candy box

These glitter houses, or putz houses, are so sweet and fun to make, and when a little candy box found it's way into the house I was inspired to transform it.

How to Make a Glitter House From a Candy Box

After I started making glitter houses from patterns, I started to notice the cardboard that came and went from the house in the ordinary course of things. That's when this little leftover Valentine candy box caught my eye. (See below)

What you will need:

A small candy box - or other little box you want to use (see below)
A small piece of extra cardboard - for the roof, a roof over the door, and a base, if desired.
paper, vellum, cellophane or wax paper for windows
acrylic craft paints in your choice of colors
glue (Elmers Glue-all is a good choice but any white glue will work)
glitter (a clear or "crystal" glitter looks good on any paint color)
xacto knife (you can get away with scissors for cutting out the house but an xacto knife makes it easier to cut out the window and light holes)
metal ruler - for use with the xacto knife
paint brushes - for paint and glue

Making the glitter house

Candy box cut to make putz house
Small candy box cut into the house shape

Step One - Open the box carefully and lay it flat.  I used the plain brown inside of the box as the outside of my house.  That way if some of the print on the outside of the box shows through the paint it won't show on the finished house.

Step Two -  Cut a peak for the roof on both the front and back sides of the box as shown in the photo above. To cut the peak, measure across the top of the box to find the center. Make a dot here with a pen or pencil. Then decide how tall you want the roof line to be. Measure along the edge of the front of the box and mark how far down you want the roof line to come.  Then take a ruler and draw a line connecting the center point for the peak and this mark on the the side edge.  This will create the scoring line for the roof. You can see that I have also cut tabs which will be how we glue the roof onto the box. Cut the side of the box level with the bottom point of the roof line on the front and back of the house. Leave a tab if desired. It's optional on the side pieces.

Step Three - Cut out the window holes (and light hole if desired) using the xacto knife

Inside of cardboard putz house
Here is a picture of the plain side of the box.  You can see how I have drawn out the shapes I cut.

Step Four - Score all the fold lines. You can score with the back of the xacto blade, or a non-serrated butter knife, or an embossing tool or bone folder. You don't want to cut, just score. You really only have to score the tabs along the roof line, since the other folds are the natural folds of the box. These tabs are to provide more surface area for the glue to bind to the roof piece.

Step Five - Cut the roof,  a base, if desired, etc., out of the extra cardboard.  The roof needs to be long enough and wide enough to overhang some on each side. This will depend on the size of your box. Start larger and cut it down until you get the size you like.

Step Six - Prime and paint the house (you can prime with white paint. I use gesso) and glue the pieces together. Clothespins or paper clips make good clamps for holding pieces together while they dry. Sometimes I paint the pieces before I put the house together, sometimes after. It's especially helpful to paint the roofs, window frames and doors before you apply them. Let the house dry after painting and after gluing.

paint the pieces for the glitter house
Here are the pieces of the house all painted.

Glue putz house together
Clothespins make great clamps.

Step Seven - Put in the windows. Here is where you will use your vellum, paper, wax paper etc for window panes.  I usually use vellum.  Apply glue to the edges of the vellum and glue it inside the house behind the window holes.  The pic below shows me putting the yellow paper in by reaching in through the bottom of the house.

insert window paper into paper house
Insert the windows

Step Eight - Apply glitter
 Brush one section of the house at a time with glue . . .

Apply glue to card board putz house
Brush on glue. Do one side of the house at a time.

And sprinkle with glitter.

Apply glitter to paper putz house
Sprinkle with glitter. This is the best part!

If you want to use a different glitter for the trim on your house - doors, roof, window frames, etc., glitter them before you glue them to the house. In this case, I am using the same glitter for everything.  Be sure to let the glue and glitter dry before handling the house.

You can glue the bottom of the box back together in order to close it up.

This particular house is quite tiny so I think it will become a tree ornament. But you can glue it to a cardboard base if you like.

And remember - you can use any size box depending on what size house you want to make. There is no end to the styles, details and embellishments you can add so use your imagination and have fun!

Blue and green putz house ornament

Let me know if you make a house. I would love to see it!

Have a creative week!


June 22, 2018

Glitter House Cabinet and Studio Makeover

Glitter putz houses on shelves in craftroom
Glitter putz houses on shelves in my craft room
I moved my glitter houses to a curio cabinet in the living room.  They had been on shelves in my studio - some of them for two years - and I was concerned about them becoming dusty. It would be hard to get the dust off the glittered surface.  I loved seeing them in my studio (which is a small bedroom in our house), but felt like they needed to either be packed up in plastic storage bins or put inside a cabinet.

June 13, 2018

Herringbone Quilt

My most recent quilt finish is this herringbone quilt. This is one that was started over a year ago and just finally finished.

May 13, 2018

Red Glitter House

Red glitter house embellished wiht silver stars
Angled view of the completed red glitter house.
I have been inspired to make a glitter house with this fine red metallic glitter for a while now. I kept being drawn to the red glitter every time I walked by that section at the craft store.  Finally, I decided to buy it.  It kept calling to me  - so why not?

April 5, 2018

Watercolor Roses

This is watercolor and that's a change for me - I usually paint with acrylics. But this was definitely fun to try.  It's a wet into wet technique and it is fun to watch the colors flow and blend. Kind of meditative to do.  I used my Koi pan watercolors and a waterbrush. So much less to set up and clean up than with acrylics. I just needed my paper, watercolor set, waterbrush and a paper towel!  Simple.

These watercolor roses in a heart shape was a fun try at a tutorial video from Melanie April Art.  She is a watercolor artist and has some amazing art work and classes. If you want to learn watercolor- check her out!

I need more practice for sure, but this was fun and I have painted more with watercolor since I photographed this. As I write this I want to go try it again.  :)

What's working for you lately?

Hope you have a creative weekend! Thanks for stopping by and for your comments.


March 30, 2018

Peppermint Putz House

A red and white peppermint putz house

This is my newest glitter house. I am calling it the Peppermint Putz House since it is decorated with tiny peppermints  They're not real, of course. I had a pack of these hiding in my glitter house decor drawer. I usually refer to these as "glitter houses" but I can't resist the alliteration of "Peppermint Putz!"