Friday, December 31, 2010

Painted Floorcloth

I got the bug to make something yesterday - you know how that is, right?  I had seen a hooked rug in a magazine that was a simple geometric design - a rectangle with concentric stripes going around the outside edges - and I decided to do something similar for my coffee table - except I made it a floor cloth instead of a hooked rug.

Have you ever made one of these? Traditionally they're made of heavy primed canvas fabric, but I make them out of linoleum scraps that I find at the thrift store. Works for me!

Amazingly, I took a couple pictures as I went along, so I'll post those as a tutorial in a day or two if anyone is interested.

Hubby & I went to see Secretariat last night at the dollar theater - it was a good one!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Gifts

After reading a few blogs the last couple of days, it sounds like most everyone had a really nice Christmas - myself included! We had all of our children here for most of the day on Saturday - it's been three years since that happened and we really enjoyed ourselves.

Thought I'd share some of the great gifts that were exchanged that you might be interested in seeing. My son made this great bench for me out of an old rusty twin sized bed. He's really good at welding and I was so tickled to see it when he brought it up the stairs to show me! Can't wait till summer comes and I can find the perfect place for it in the yard! I need to try and distress the new wood on the seat so if any of you have any ideas of how to do that, please leave me a comment or email me!

My mom sent me eight yummy fat quarters - they're all Civil War prints that I will add to my collection. I had told her about them when she was here visiting in September, but she thought the fabric would have cannons or soldiers printed on them because of the Civil War name - so she got a bit of an education from the quilt store where she went to buy them.

DD#1 had seen a big pillow shaped like a flower when we went shopping together last summer and thought she'd like one for her living room. I tried my hand at making one for her - along with three other coordinating pillows - and I think she was really pleased with the result.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Gift Wrap

One of our son-in-laws wants a fancy new tool for Christmas. We decided to give him a gift card to Home Depot so he could use it to help towards the bigger purchase price. Now I think gift cards are a terribly boring thing to give, but hubby insisted he would be happy with it. However, after seeing a simple tutorial on Kindra's blog (At Home with K), I decided to dress it up a bit so the presentation would be a little nicer. This is what I came up with.

You can see Kindra's tutorial here.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A New Sheep

Last summer at one of our rug hooking meetings, Marilyn brought a darling sheep for show & tell that her daughter had made and give to her as a gift. I really liked it and arranged to borrow the pattern to make one for myself. I got it made several months ago, but just now finished making a 'saddle blanket' to drape over his back - I ended up making a penny rug - the original pattern showed a needle punched blanket - which I really liked too - but I just wanted to put my own slant on it so it wouldn't be exactly like Marilyn's.  So here it is - all done!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Stitching and Painting

I did a little stitching today - - - - - -

- - - - - while I was waiting for paint to dry. Got the primer on the kitchen cabinet doors. Now for paint, and glaze.  Hoping to get it done by Christmas.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Wee Bit of Christmas

Thought I'd share a wee bit of the Christmas decorating I've done at my house. I put all the Santas in one location this year after realizing just how many I actually had! They're on a shelf above the couch in the living room. My favorite two are front and center. This first one is an attempt I made at woodcarving about eight years ago and I was pretty pleased with the way he turned out.

This Santa is also hand carved from wood - I found him at a thrift store two years ago and paid $3 for him. The artists name is on the bottom of the stand - what a shame that no one valued him enough to treasure him the way I do!

I put a small tree on the coffee table in front of the couch and hung all the small santa ornies on that.

This is a rug hooked pillow cover that I pull out every year for the holidays.

We always take a walk down memory lane when we decorate the big tree. When my kids were little they'd receive hand made ornaments from their cousins and friends, plus make some at school. We've purchased Christmas ornaments while on vacation for the last 15 years so it's always fun to see them again and remember where we bought them.

Last Christmas DD#1 was in Arizona and brought me home a dozen of these leaded glass stars from Mexico and I just love them - they're new to the tree this year along with an ornament we bought in Alaska when we went on our cruise in July.

In the dining room I have my prim tree that's covered in ornies that I received from online swaps through the years - some amazingly creative women have made really special ones for me!

Downstairs in the family room is the tree decorated with white angels, birds and stars. We made the Moravian stars several years ago and they're holding up really well.

A rug hooked angel attached to a wooden backing.

There are a couple trees that I didn't put up this year because the kitchen is still torn up. I have enough Nativity ornaments to decorate a whole tree that I love - and a tree full of gingerbread men that I love because it smells so good. OH! And I almost forgot about the little table top tree I put on the kitchen counter - it's got miniature toys surrounding it and a little train on a wooden track that encircles it - that's a fun one too! I think next year will be a banner year where I'll have the entire house decked out liked I used to do when the kids were small.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Gathering of Friends

Our First Tuesday Rug Group met at Tonia's house for our December meeting and it was such a treat to see her beautiful home all decked out for Christmas! Here are some vignettes I snapped in various rooms.

I think she's as obsessed with sheep as I am - here are pictures of some of her collection.

Her wool stash is neatly displayed on great shelves and racks.

Her bedroom is a calm and uncluttered oasis with a great rug hanging above the pencil post bed.

And this is the rug she's working on right now - looks like a scene from an old English countryside - something you might see in a movie. She said nearly all the wool she used was as-is - only the blue sky was dyed.

The cobblestone cottage really caught my attention -  here's the wool she used to hook it with - and by hooking this way and that way - instead of in straight rows - it really gives the effect of stone walls.

The red flowers in the foreground are hooked with a soft red yarn - and some of the green grass is hooked with yarn that changes from thick to thin - giving a great texture.

Tonia fed us some yummy chicken & rice soup - plus toasted pita bread for lunch. We also did a cookie exchange (the first time ever for me) which was really fun. Besides providing us with lunch and a lovely place to meet, Tonia also gave each of us a darling sheep pendant that she made - what a TREAT! I'm going to love wearing this - thanks so much for your hospitality Tonia! We all had a great time!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Quilt Meeting

My quilt group had our annual Christmas meeting at Kaye's house where we enjoyed a delicious potluck dinner - some show & tell - and an ornament exchange. Kaye had recently remodeled her basement to include a dye kitchen so we got to take a look around down there. Her collection of quilting books is phenomenal!

And some of her pincushions look great grouped together on a shelf.

Her fabric stash is stacked on shelves in closets built expecially for that purpose - the doors will soon be covered with colored burlap and they'll become her design walls for ongoing projects. I think she has four closets this size.  Her son did all the work for her so her every want, need and desire was accomodated.

She covered this cute little lamp shade with selvedge edges and filled the clear glass base with vintage buttons.

Her walk-in closet stores many of her completed quilts because there just aren't enough beds in the house to hold them all!

Her Charlie Brown Christmas tree really caught our attention because of it's size.

We had a lovely evening visiting with each other and catching up on what everyone has been doing - always one of the best parts of our meetings!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Last week I attended the yearly event in SLC called Festival of Trees - trees of all sizes - and wreaths - are decorated and donated - then auctioned off - with the proceeds going to Primary Childrens Hospital. There are literally thousands of things to see so the day can be pretty exhausting - but it's always an outing I enjoy. Here are a few pictures I snapped while I was there - the first one was my very favorite - the only one that had a slightly prim theme going on.

Here's a close up of the above - wreaths made from old bicycle tires and recycled water bottles that had been painted and cut to look like flowers:

There were also some quilts donated and auctioned:

The next day I went to Midway with a new friend Jan, and we got to experience what they call Swiss Christmas. There was a small craft show with only about 30 vendors - one booth was full of wooly goodness, but unfortunately the gal who makes the stuff doesn't have a website or blog that I can share with you. Here are a few of her things.

We saw lots of decorated gingerbread houses and some of them were over the top in the creativity department:

My favorite part of the day was walking through the creche exhibit - hundreds of nativity sets on display that were on loan from their owners for the weekend - they came from all over the world and were made from every material you can possibly imagine. The setting was so lovely - with live Christmas music playing - and lots of artwork and lit trees adding to the ambience of the event.

Made from dried orange peels!

One of the displays had some wonderful sheep as part of their display - I would have LOVED adding one of these to my collection!

I have more to share with you, but they'll have to wait another day. I hope you're all enjoying the Christmas holiday - sharing traditions with your family - and getting all your shopping and decorating done!