Posts Written On December 2011

New Year’s Eve

Even though I’ll probably never host a New Year’s Eve party (several times I’ve actually gone to bed before midnight), I would love to be able to send out this adorable invitation.

I hope everyone has a happy and healthy 2012.



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Make It Yourself — Vintage Style Scented Valentine

For this project I cleaned up and tweaked a vintage valentine image I found on Etsy.  I’ve never seen a valentine quite like this, so I thought it would be fun to try and reproduce it.  The idea of putting a little perfume under the skirt really appealed to me, although Gordon thought it was sort of weird.

STEP 1
Click to enlarge this image.  Right-click to save the image, and then print it approximately 6″ x 6″ on card stock or mat photo paper.

STEP 2
Use a razor blade or X-acto knife to cut along the line below her bouquet where the skirt will go. The cut should start at the edge of her glove and extend about 1/2″ beyond her elbow. Cut a rectangular piece of white felt (about 1/2″ x 3/4″) and glue it in the white space below your cut.  The original card has a piece of white cotton fabric, but the wool felt seemed like a better choice.

STEP 3
Cut a 4″ x 1 3/4″ piece of fabric (I chose a vintage fabric scrap). Turn under and press the raw edges on both ends and the bottom. Stitch the bottom hem (the sides do not need to be stitched), and gather the top edge.  Note:  Barbara mentions in her comment that she has a card like this which used a handkerchief as the skirt.  The original of this card also appears to use a piece of a floral handkerchief.

STEP 4
Slide the gathered skirt into the slit and play with the gathers until you think it looks right. Turn over the card and place a piece of tape over the gathers on the back to flatten them (I used a piece of athletic tape, but you could use anything). On the front place a small dab of glue on the corners of the skirt and press them in place to keep the skirt from shifting.

STEP 5
Now you’re going to cut out the card. Place your card on top of another sheet of whatever paper you are using, and staple them together around the edges.

STEP 6
Cut out the cards together, using a gentle scallop around the edges. Be sure to leave an uncut area on four of the scallops, which is where the two sides will be connected.

STEP 7
Trim the two tabs as shown in the photo below. The front tab is twice the size of the back tab which allows it to fold over the back.

STEP 8
Bend the front tab so that only the red portion shows from the front. Place the front tab over the back tab (making sure the two sides of the card are lined up correctly) and glue the front tab to the back tab.

STEP 9
Trace a heart shape from the front of your card (the yellow heart) and cut two identical heart shapes from colored paper. Glue these to the insides of the card.

STEP 10
Place a drop of perfume on the felt, write a sweet sentiment on the inside, and you’re done!



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A Little Goth Christmas Apron

Since I finished the Water Drop quilt top one day ahead of schedule, I managed to sneak in one more gift which I thought of in the middle of the night.  This goth-ish Christmas apron is a little extra gift for my son’s girlfriend.  The apron is made from a black sheet, and the 8 skeletons with bow ties are fused on with Steam-A-Seam 2.  The skeleton template is from one of those tiny stencil books by Dover, which are super cheap and great for all kinds of crafts besides stenciling (which I don’t do).  Now I’m really done with present making, and I need to get busy wrapping, cooking, doing laundry, cleaning the house — basically all the things I have not been doing at all for the past 2 weeks.



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Charley Harper Water Drop Quilt Top – Finished

The Water Drop quilt top is finally finished, and I think it looks pretty good.  I just had a couple of problems.  Although I really like the shading in my background fabric, I wasn’t thinking about how the organisms were going to look as I moved up to the lighter area.  I had to rip out the white hairy edging on the large organism on the top left, because there just wasn’t enough contrast.  I replaced the white with a light blue, which I think shows up better, but it bugs me a little because it’s different than the original illustration.  Also, I should have been more careful about motif placement, because as I began to attach the outline of the drop, I realized that they were a little “off” at the top.   To fill in the space, I extended the flagella on the top organism.

I haven’t worked on anything else this week, and I’m glad this top is finally done.  I’m excited to get started on the quilting after Christmas.

I hope my nephew is going to like it.

The original illustration from The Giant Golden Book of Biology, 1961.



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Vintage-Inspired Christmas Apron and Table Topper

This is supposed to be my next-to-last made gift, although you never can tell with me.  My plan is to spend the rest of this week working on the Water Drop quilt top. Then I’ll have Christmas week to bake and wrap.

This is the end of the fabric I used last Christmas to make my sister’s giant table runner. It was an amazing purchase of 4 yards of darling holly pixie fabric, and I’ve managed to use every inch of it.  I’ve never made a matching tablecloth and apron before, but I think it’s kind of fun for entertaining.  The 38″ topper is backed with a vintage sheet, with just a little green holly design quilting to keep it together (the quilting shows up way better in person than in these photos).  The red striped fabric on the apron is also vintage — probably from the 50s.



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Simple Gifts – 6 Heartwarming Stories by Famed Authors and Illustrators – Continued

Here are my three other favorite short films from this program. I’m sorry, but I can’t help it . . . it’s my nature to try and force others to read, watch and make things that I like.

My Christmas (1:38)
An entry in the diary of Teddy Roosevelt, age 11
Read by Dean Wareham

December 25, 1914 (8:05)
A letter from the Western Front by Captain Sir Edward Hulse
Read by David Jones

The Great Frost (14:45 in two parts)
Based on a passage from the novel “Orlando” by Virginia Woolf
Narrated by Hermione Gingold



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