I am no longer actively blogging here but I’d love if you could join me at my new creative lifestyle blog A Girl in Paradise.
I hope to see you soon.

Friday, November 30, 2012

My Week in Instagram

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My week started with homemade Portuguese Fried Bread Dough.  It is kind of like the stuff you get at the fair, but better.

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Then it ended with an empty thread spool.  I wish I could say that I ran out of thread because I got so much done this week, but sadly that is not the case.  Now I am halfway finished with this tree skirt and more determined than ever to get it done and off my to do list.

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Thankfully though, I got my bee blocks done and out in the mail before the end of the month.  I made these blocks for Tiffany as part of the Bee a {modern} Swappers, and I used this tutorial by Em who blogs over at Sewing By Moonlight.

That is my week on Instagram – follow me at @agirlinparadise

 

Thanks for stopping by my blog and for all your continued support. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think. Have a great day!

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Glass Etching Tutorial

Yesterday, I shared a tutorial on how to Create Subway Art or Text Images using PicMonkey.  Today, I will share the project I made using the Subway Art image I created using PicMonkey.  I choose to use PicMonkey for this project because I really like the fonts and the way you can move the text around oppose to just using Word or Publisher.  Not to mention it only took me about 5 minutes to do. 

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I found this great beer mug at the Dollar Store, and as soon as I saw it, I just knew what I was going to do with it.  So, I was sure to pick up some clear contact paper as well. That’s right, for a dollar and a few supplies you can make a great gift for your favorite beer drinker. I am going to pair this mug with a few lottery tickets for a special person that is on my Christmas list.

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To make one of your own you will need:

  • Beer mug (I found mine at the Dollar Store)
  • Clear contact paper (again, at the Dollar Store)
  • X-acto knife and cutting mat
  • Printed image
  • Low tact painters tape
  • Glass Etch (I used Armor Etch, sold at most hobby and craft stores)
  • Protected gear, (you are using an acid, so safety glasses and gloves are recommended)
  • Junk bristled brush
  • Hot running water

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I taped down my printed image and the contact paper to my cutting board and I was careful to line up my image to the grid that is on the contact paper.  It makes for easier application to the mug later.

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With my X-acto knife I cut out the letters out of the contact paper.  I was careful to cut only through the contact paper and not through the backing.  Removing only the letter and leaving the inside of the letters on the backing of the contact paper. 

If you do cut through the backing it is ok just don’t remove the backing paper when removing your letters.  I used the tip of the X-acto knife to separate the layers.

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Apply low tack painters tape to the top of the contact paper…

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…then remove the backing paper.  All of the insides of your letter should be positioned correctly on the painters tape, if not, take a minute to make sure they are not still on the backing of the contact paper and that they are all correctly on the painters tape.

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Position the contact paper on the mug, making sure that your image is straight.  Carefully peel away the painters tape.  Make sure all of the insides of your letters make it to the mug and are positioned properly.  Press out any air bubbles and make sure that the contact paper is firmly adhered to the mug.

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Apply the glass etching paste generously with a bristled brush.  Let sit for a minute per manufactures directions, and rinse away with hot water.  Peel away the contact paper and thoroughly wash the mug.  Enjoy.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

I will be linking this this tutorial to some of these great linky parties. Be sure to stop by and check them out. If you would like me to add your linky party to my page just ask.

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

How to Create Text Images Using PicMonkey

PicMonkey

For those of us without fancy photo editing software or graphic design expertise, there is PicMonkey.  PicMonkey is a free online photo editor that allows you edit photos, make collages, and add text to your photos.  What you may not know is that there is a simple way to make text images with PicMonkey without using photos. 

PicMonkey is very easy to use, but you need an image to get beyond the homepage and access all the editing tools.  So, to bypass that step, I created a large white .jpeg image in Paint to use as my background in PicMonkey. 

To create my blank white .jpeg image I used Paint, which is located in the Accessories pull down menu in Windows.  In Paint I created a large white image that 1,000 pixels by 1,000 pixels, and saved it to my desktop to use in PicMonkey when ever I need it.  Once in PicMonkey I can crop that image to whatever size I need.

OK, so know that we know how to create a blank white image let’s create a text image in PicMonkey.

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On the homepage of PicMonkey click on “edit a photo” and choose the blank white image you just created.

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Crop your blank white image to the desired size.

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Click on the text icon to the left in the basic edits section, then begin to choose and place your fonts.  There is even a few images and borders you can use.  So get creative and have fun.

When you are done you can upload, save, and even share you image.

Tomorrow I will share the project I made using a text image I made in PicMonkey.

Thanks for stopping by and for all your continued support. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think. Have a great day!

I will be linking this this tutorial to some of these great linky parties. Be sure to stop by and check them out. If you would like me to add your linky party to my page just ask.

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Friday, November 16, 2012

My Week in Instagram

I have recently discovered the joy that is Instagram.  For a visual person like myself it is like Twitter on crack.  Instagram is a great way to share what I am working on and what I have going on outside my sewing room.  You can follow along here.  

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This week I have been working on these quilt blocks for a tree skirt.  There hasn’t been much to report on other than the fact that there has been a LOT of ironing involved.  I really hope this weekend I can work on the sashing and put it all together.  I would really like to have this tree skirt done by the time we put up our Christmas tree the weekend after Thanksgiving.  Wish me luck, because the kids are home all next week…

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Last Sunday, I took the kids and my father to the Buccaneer's football game.  Which, by the way, was awesome.  It has been years since I have been to a football game, and the kids have never been.  It was a great day and we even got to sit near the Pirate ship.   

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On Saturday, I went to a quilt show hosted by the Cypress Creek Quilt Guild.  It was outside at the USF Botanical Gardens.  One of the many joys of living in Florida, outside quilt shows in November.  The weather was perfect, and the quilts were beautiful.

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There was even a little boutique where guild members sold there handmade item and used quilt and craft books.  I scored these vintage beauties for a dollar each.  That Giant Dahlia Quilt is soooo going to happen.  I just need to decide on a color scheme and fabrics.  Any suggestions? 

Thanks for stopping by my blog and for all your continued support. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think. Have a great day!

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Doll Quilt Swap 13

I did it.  I signed up for another round of the Doll Quilt Swap. 

Sign ups are now, with the quilts being swapped in February.  If you are interested in joining there is more information on the Doll Quilt Swap Flickr page.  I have done this swap twice now and each time it was a great experience.  Like most swaps it has given me the opportunity experiment with new techniques and learn something new.

Below are the quilts that I have made and the quilts that I have received in this swap.

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This is the quilt I made in the last round, for DQS12…

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… and this is the quilt I received.  You can read more about these quilts here.

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This is the quilt I made for DQS11.  You can read more about this quilt here and how I made the corner pockets here.

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This is the quilt I received from my partner in that round.  You can read more about this quilt here.

Thanks for stopping by my blog and for all your continued support. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think. Have a great day!

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Pinterest Widget for Blogger Bloggers

Hello, My name is Ann and I have a huge addition to Pinterest.  I speak of it as if everybody should know what I am talking about and I am constantly on my smartphone checking out everyone's pins. Damn you Pinterest for improving your app. 

And now, I can add a Pinterest widget to my side bar, that is Blogger friendly?  O happy day! 

Marie at Code it Pretty has a fantastic Pinterest showcase widget you can add to your blogger sidebar.  If you are reading this post via Google reader or other feed, take a minute to jump over to my blog to check it out.  It displays cropped thumbnails of your newest pins and the cropped thumbnails expand when hover over them with your curser.  The gadget is even flexible to work as a sidebar or horizontal gadget.  You can even customize the image size of your thumbnails.  Pretty cool if you ask me.  

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It does involves a little bit of code, but nothing a beginner can’t handle. Her directions are easy read and to follow, but I do suggest that you also read through all the readers comments. There is a fix in there for everything, if you are having a problem.

Are you on Pinterest?  If so, let me know.  I would love to see what you are pinning.  You can check out my boards here

Have a great day!

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Guess Where I will be in March?

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That’s right… the Sew South Retreat!

I am so excited, I can hardly contain myself.

I am not quite sure what I am more excited about…  The workshops, the swaps, or the field trip to The Little General in Winston Salem, NC.

Of course, I am most excited about meeting other modern sewists and bloggers.  I have already started to connect with some of them via email and the Flickr Group.

For more information check out Sew South Retreat, or the host, Jennifer from Ellison Lane Quilts.

 

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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Patchwork Pillow

Last week I finished another little project for myself.  This time I made a pillow for the family room.  I have been in love with this fabric line by heather Ross forever.  I have even been hoarding a lone fat quarter for ages.  I think it dates back to the early days of my blog when I made this Composition Notebook Cover for my daughter.  Which by the way did do the trick to help inspire and get her excited about writing.  She must be like her mother.  Beautiful fabric always seems to do the trick for me too. 

Anyways, last month when all my beautiful house blocks were coming in, Kim from My Go Go Life, included some fabric from this line in with her bee blocks.  Then the decision was made.  This fabric was going to be a pillow in my family room so I can enjoy it everyday.

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It is a simple pillow to make.  I cut sixty-four 3” squares from the scraps and sewed them in a 8x8 layout.  Which will give you a 20” square that is perfect for a 20” pillow form.  I machine quilted it using this tutorial from Oh Fransson!, on fusible fleece.  Not bad for my first time, but I think I could still use a bit of practice.

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For the back I pieced together two rectangles, that were about 12” by 20”, with the remaining scraps and a coordinating blender fabric from my stash.  I sewed in a zipper down the center back, because after all, it will be in the family room.  That means it will have to be washed on occasion and I will have to be able to get the pillow form in and out. 

To sew in the zipper I used an old trick I learned years ago…  with a 1/2” seam allowance sew together the 2 halves that make up your back.  Then lining up your zipper along the seam pin the zipper into place.

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Sew along both sides of the zipper, then trim away any excess fabric and fleece in the seam allowance, and sew along the outer most sides of the zipper.  This will contain any of the raw edges you may have, and reinforce the zipper. 

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Then just take your seam ripper and open the seam on the right side.  Now you have a zipper that has been sewn in straight, is reinforced, and is hiding your raw edges.  What more could you ask for?

To finish up the pillow, I squared both the front and back to a 20” square.  Sewed them with wrong sides together.  Then with the same coordinating blender fabric I used on the back I finished the raw edges with a basic quilt binding.

Please don’t look to closely at the machine quilting on the back.  It came out horrible.  At this point I was just playing around with no definite plan or direction. 

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I will be linking this this pillow to some of these great linky parties. Be sure to stop by and check them out. If you would like me to add your linky party to my page just ask.

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