2016 Christmas Ornaments

Every year Dave and I exchange an ornament that we’ve made.  This tradition started back in 2005 when we were dating.  The very first ornament he made for me is the birdhouse at the center bottom of the tree. It’s amazing to see that our little tree is almost full of these special ornaments.

fireplaceThis year I tried a variety of ideas and they just didn’t work. However, I had made several of the rope ornaments for the tutorial and also my TV segment, so I ended up giving him one of those. This one I made with cord I had indigo dyed.

2016ornamentDave made his out of a gourd. So cute!

2016davesornamentIf you’d like to see our Christmas ornaments from years past, check out this post.

It’s fun looking at the ornaments we’ve made over the years. It’s just a little tradition that I really love.

Hope you’re having a wonderful holiday. Won’t be long and it will be another new year!


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Best of 2016 Tutorials

As we end another year, I am again looking back on my best of 2016 tutorials.   If you missed them, the links are at the top of each picture.

I really loved drawing on fabric, using watercolors, and then free-motion quilting. See tutorial here.


Playing with Jacquard SolarFast was fun and I loved my results. Tutorial here.


I’ve been wanting to make cloth dolls for a long time. I finally got around to making these cuties. Here is the tutorial.

Cloth Dolls

Cloth Dolls

Loved my leaf printing. Check it out here.


The last tutorial is dyeing with silk ties. This was a new and updated tutorial.

Dyeing silk scarves with ties

If you’d like to see other “Best of  2016” check out Meadow Mist Designs the “Best of” linky party.

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Happy Holidays 2016


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Coaster Birthday Giveaway

Congratulations to Carol and Barbara who were the winners of my giveaway.               Thank you all for entering!

This is my birthday month so I am celebrating by giving away a set of my coasters to one of my readers.

giveawaycoastersAll you need to do is comment below. Be sure your email is listed so I can get back with you. The giveaway will close on Tuesday, December 27 at 8 am CST.  Good Luck!


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How to: Playing Cards Case

Here is what I made with my painted canvas – a playing cards case.

playcard17playcard14Of course, I could have made a variety of other things with this painted canvas including, but not limited to, journal covers, zip purses, and wall hangings.

However, the reason for choosing a playing cards case, is that on vacation Dave and I play cards. We never bring them out when we are at home, but on vacation we play lots of cards! Usually I throw in a deck or two in my suitcase, but I’ve been known to forget them and we’ve ended up buying them while out of town. Now we have a nice supply of them and they reside in my suitcase all year round. Dave will bring a notepad, and then we’ll scrounge around for a pen. With this playing cards case, everything is together. But really what gave me the idea was what I found while going through some old boxes in the basement last summer. This was my mom’s.

playingcardholderplayingcardholder2When I saw it, I decided I had to make one. I made one in fabric and really didn’t like it. I wanted something much sturdier. That’s where the canvas came in.

So let’s get started. Maybe you have someone who would love to have a playing cards case.

Cut the canvas to 6.5 inches by 20 inches.

playcard1Lay the canvas painted side down and fold both edges in 5 inches. This way you can audition which side will be the front.


Once you have decided take pinking shears and cut around the whole piece.


playcard4Now fold back the two 5-inch flaps, fold in half,  and iron.

playcard9Open up and cut the left side so it’s 5 inches tall, except at the corner where I’ve left about a half inch.


Cut the right side so it’s 4 1/2 inches wide.

playcard8Iron again to find the center fold and mark it.

playcard10Now we’re ready to take this to the sewing machine. First sew around the whole outside. Then sew the center line that was marked.

playcard11Then I sew a quarter inch on both sides. The one side will hold down the tablet pocket.

playcard12So here it is all sewn up.

playcard13Now all we need to do is add out tablet, pen and cards and we are set. Two decks of cards are in the right pocket. My tablet is 3 1/2 x 5 inches.

playcard15Here it is closed.

playcard16If you want to add a strap to keep it closed (although it really doesn’t need it), cut a thin strip of your fabric 23 inches, cut with pinking shears, and add a snap.

playcard17The strap could also double as a bracelet!! As I said earlier, this canvas could be used for other projects including journal covers, zip bags and/or wall hangings. It was so much fun to paint on the canvas adding all of those layers.

Now I’m ready to play cards! Thanks for dropping by.



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Canvas Play

Awhile back LuAnn Kessi inspired me to play on canvas. Here is her blog post. I love her idea of gathering several friends and painting up a storm. They made zipper bags with their pieces.

I’d love to do that, but for now I just worked on this by myself.  I started with a blank canvas. I bought this fabric from Blick’s several years ago for some project that never got made.

blankcanvasI used Jacquard Textile Paints for the first layer. I like spreading the paint with these sponges.

paintingcanvasHere is the finished first layer. Now I needed to wait until it dries to add the second layer.

firstlayerSo for my second layer I started with this little brayer adding some Jacquard  yellow.

canvas1Next I added Jacquard red with this brayer.

canvas2Now I’m getting excited! Next I added Profab transparent white with a stamp. I didn’t want this white to jump out at me.

canvas3Then I sprayed through a piece of fabric with Dylusions purple ink spray.

canvas4I also added some blue with sequin waste. The area on the right near the middle ended up getting too much paint. However, I’ll only be using part of this so I’ll just cut it out.  At this point I really wasn’t sure I liked this, but decided I’d add some black and white after this layer dried.

canvas5After it dried I wanted to push back some of the color so I used this brayer to paint on Liquitex Soft Body white paint.

canvas6Then I added ProFab Jet black with this stencil.

canvas7And the final touch of more white using one of my thermofax screens.

img_4860I really liked that. And now the canvas is done.


It’s funny when I’m working on layers I constantly ask myself, is that enough or too much? It seems like when it is ugly, I need to push just a little further. I’m happy with the piece. Now to see how it will look on my project.

In my next post I’ll show you what I made with this canvas. Thanks LuAnn for the inspiration.

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Colorful Rope Coasters

I’ve been kind of obsessed with playing with rope. This time it’s making colorful rope coasters.

coasterprojectTo get the beautiful colors I dyed my rope with just three fiber reactive dyes: Cerulean Blue, Fuchsia, and Golden Yellow. (If you are not interested in using these dyes, the rope could be dyed with Tulip or other dyes you can find at local craft stores.)

moredyedropeI love that when the colors blend. So once I let the rope batch for 24 hours, I rinse it in cold until the water runs clear. Then I soak in hot soapy water, rinse again, and then let soak in another hot soapy water pan overnight, and then rinse. Usually I don’t see anymore dye, but if I would, I’d soak again. Since I’m not putting this in the washing machine, I need to make sure all of the extra dye is gone. Once it’s rinsed for last time, I hang it to dry which might take another day.

Then it’s time to get on the machine and start sewing. There are alot of tutorials online about how to sew this rope, but what really helped me was Alisa Burke’s class. I talk a little about it on this post. Since I love to dye, instead of painting the rope or wrapping with fabric, I dye it.

colorfulcoastersmakingHere I’m testing out the coaster with my water glass to make sure it works!

colorfulcoastersAnd here is my collection again.

coasterprojectI made these for a Christmas party. We only have an ornament exchange, but I thought it would be neat to give everyone one of these to brighten up the upcoming dreary season. And I’ve had so much fun making them.

I did buy 3-strand cotton which I’m really looking forward to working with. I’ve seen some beautiful baskets made with it.

3-strandcottonJust a reminder. Thursday is the last day to register for Icy Delights, my online class on ice dyeing fabric. I will close registration for this class on Friday and won’t reopen until February. Unlike a lot of online classes, I’ve been adding new information as the year has progressed letting everyone know via the monthly email update. And our Facebook group is very active with lots of sharing.

Check what others are doing for Off the Wall Friday and Can I get a Whoop Whoop!

That’s all for today. Hope you have a colorful week.

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How To: Rope Ornament

I’ve really enjoyed sewing the rope bowls with clothesline. However, I wanted to make a rope ornament this season using the same technique only using glue. These are so easy to make.


Here are the supplies needed:

  • styrofoam balls – any size
  • hot glue gun
  • cotton clothesline rope – 3 yards for 2.5 inch ornament
  • craft or textile paints
  • 12 gauge wire – found in floral section of craft stores
  • wire cutters
  • plastic table covering
  • foam plate or paper palette
  • Optional embellishments

I painted the first ornament with textile paints. I placed the clothesline on the plastic table covering.

ropeontableI added the Jacquard textile paint to the cording with my homemade foam daubers. I started with the Sapphire Blue.

coiledornament6Then I added Jacquard Lumiere Silver.

coiledornament7Now it was time to check to make sure all sides of the cord were covered with paint. Below I’m pointing to where I needed to add more paint.

coiledornament8Once the cord is completely painted, let it dry. I usually leave it overnight.

Now it’s time to make the ornament. I am using a 2.5 inch styrofoam ball with 3 yards of clothesline. If you are wanting a larger or smaller ornament you will more or less rope.

coiledornament1To start, put a small dab of glue on the top of the ball.

coiledornament2Add the end of the cord.

coiledornament3Then start the coiling. As you coil, add glue. Using a glue gun makes this process so much easier than using regular glue.

coiledornament4Continue adding glue and coiling on the ball. Take your time and make sure the ball is covered with the cording. For some reason I didn’t get a shot of the glue gun with this  ornament. But you add glue to the ball close to the previous cord to secure the next row.

If you are planning to paint the rope after making the ornament, be careful that your glue doesn’t show. Even though the glue is suppose to be invisible, paint will not cover it.


coiledornament5So here is how it looks when it’s done.

blueandsilverornament1Now we need to add a hanger. If you don’t want an ornament, you could make several of these and place in bowls.

With wire cutters, cut approximately a 4-inch length of the 12-gauge wire. This wire is real flexible and you can bend the end into a loop easily with your fingers.


Add glue to the length of the wire and push down into the top of the ornament. I added a little bling and here is the finished ornament.

NOTE: You also can add the hanger before wrapping the ornament. In the last several ornaments I made, adding the hanger first seemed to be much easier, but either way will work.


If you don’t want to paint the cording before making the ornament you can paint it after. Here is an ornament where I’m adding gold glitter paint. As I mentioned above, just make sure and keep the glue from getting on the outside of the ornament.

coiledornament9And the finished ornament.


Here is my basket of ornaments.

 ornamentsinbowlIn addition to clothesline, you can use other rope. The red and white ornament in the middle is Diamond Braid rope I found in the paint department at the local big box store. The red ornament was sprayed with Adirondack Color Wash Red Pepper and then painted over with Martha Stewart Gold Coarse Glitter.  For the blue one in the front I used my indigo-dyed rope.

If you’d like to see me demonstrating how to make these ornaments, check out my segment on WEHT Local Lifestyles.

So much fun and so easy. And they really puts me in the holiday spirit. Now to put up our tree.

Posted in Christmas ornaments, Fabric paint, Holidays, Jacquard Textile Paints, tutorials | Tagged , , , , , , | 10 Comments

My 5 Favorite Creative Supplies

I’ve been thinking a lot about 2017 and what direction I want to take. That brought me to my five favorite creative supplies that help me on this colorful journey. It’s really hard to narrow the list to just five, but here is what I came up with:

I complain about my old Elna, but when I want to get something done quickly, I go to her first before my Brother. I love making my coiled bowls on it. I do miss the automatic up and down of the needle and the needle threader, but she’s such a work horse.


I love these foam daubers. I use them whenever I want to add paint to fabric or cord. I assume they’d also work great on paper. And they can be used over and over again. Tutorial is here.


I’ve been looking at Oliso Pro iron for a long time and finally bought it on sale this year. Love, love, love it!


My ice dye shakers really makes it so much easier to sprinkle the dye over the ice.  If you’d like to see how I use these in my ice dyeing, check out my YouTube channel video.


Last, but not least, is fiber reactive dyes. Since I do a lot of dyeing, I couldn’t do it without these beautiful dyes. I buy three different ones: Jacquard, Dharma, and Pro Chem. They all work great and they do have similar colors that split pretty much the same.


While I’m talking about favorites, I have found a new drink. My liquid intake is restricted to a cup of coffee a couple times a week, Chamomile tea, and water. While we were on vacation in the Smokies this past September I found Hint infused water. There are a lot of waters on the market these days, but they are either way too sweet or carbonated which doesn’t agree with my tummy. This water is infused with the flavor and there is zero sugar or sweetener. I have made infused water off and on, but it’s nice to have a variety always available and also ones that I’d never infuse. My favorite is watermelon, although this honeydew comes in a close second.


What are your top five creative supplies?

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How to: Repurposed T-shirt Scarf

This is such an easy way to repurpose a that t-shirt your still love but doesn’t fit. I did this with a store-bought shirt several years ago and received so many compliments. Now to use one of my ice-dyed shirts to create a lovely scarf.

tshirtscarf11I ice dyed this shirt for Dave awhile back. The cut of the shirt was just not to his liking so since he was never going to wear it I wanted to do something with it. Because the colors are Christmasy, I thought a scarf would be great for me to wear during the holidays.


So let’s get started.  Here’s what you need:

  • tshirt
  • scissors or cutting board and rotary cutter
  • ruler

Cut off the shirt hem and right under the arms. I like to do this with a scissors.

tshirtscarf2Even up the cut edges with the rotary cutter and a ruler. This is an optional step.

tshirtscarf3Next, using a scissors or the rotary cutter, cut  one-half inch fringe eight inches long from one of the cut edges.

tshirtscarf4Continue the width of the fabric.

tshirtscarf5When you are finished, the fringe on the ends will be an inch wide.

tshirtscarf6I take my scissors and cut both of those in half lengthwise.

tshirtscarf7You can leave your scarf alone now, but I like to pull on the fringe so they will curl up.

tshirtscarf8So the finished scarf looks like this.


Now it can be worn several different ways. This one is looped around the neck twice.

tshirtscarf12And the last two.

tshirtscarf11 tshirtscarf10I had forgotten how cute they are and so easy to make. Also, I love they are my ice dyed fabric. Of course, you can use any t-shirt and cut the fringe any length. Easy peasy!

Talking about ice dyeing, I will be closing my Icy Delights online class to new registrations on December 15 until February. So if you are interested in taking the class – which is available for registered students indefinitely – be sure and register before December 15. For my current students, this registration closing will not affect you. If you’d like more information on my class, check out this link.

On the gardening front, I finished my cleanup of the asparagus bed. I weeded and mulched in summer, but I usually don’t cut the ferns down until spring. I decided that once we had a freeze I’d go ahead and cut them down and clean up the bed this month. That should save me some time next spring. Below is the before and after.

beforecuttingaftercuttingThere is still some weeding, but I will probably leave it until spring.

The Nadina plants add some color to the yard.

nadinaAnd the blueberry plants.

blueberriesfallI put the flannel sheets on the bed yesterday. I guess winter is finally here. As always, thanks for dropping by.



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