NFL Checkerboard


I know a little boy who joined the checkers club at his school and is a big Seattle Seahawks fan.  One of the very finest things about being able to sew is having the ability make him his very own Seattle Seahawks checkerboard and combine his loves!  I gathered fabrics and realized that red checkers looked awful with Seahawks colors.  I ordered a set of replacement checker pieces that came in dark and light wood tones.  It was perfect, and allowed me to deconstruct and personalize their little storage bag, too.

Seattle Seahawks Checker Board

Seattle Seahawks Checker Board

Seattle Seahawks Checker Board

Seattle Seahawks Checker Board

Seattle Seahawks Checker Board

I had a slight moment of panic when I finished the board.  I tried to set up the pieces and laid them out in two solid rows, like chess pieces.  There weren’t enough, and for a minute I was just sure that I used the wrong number of squares!  But then I realized what I had done, felt ridiculous and relieved, and took the picture.  I’m very happy to have a unique gift to give my young friend!


Moss Terrariums



Winter is coming … and before it gets here, I want to be sure to have a little bit more green in my house.  We live in an area surrounded by trees.  During spring and summer, we have long months surrounded by gorgeous green hills.  Everything feels so alive!  Then there’s fall, when the trees really put on a show.  And then comes winter, and the leaves are gone until spring.  Every winter I seem to miss the color green a little more.

So this year, there will be a little extra green right there on our coffee table, where I’ll be sure to see it daily.  Because we have cats, I went with terrariums.  This way the plants have built in force fields to protect themselves, and there’s the bonus atmospheric bit where they recycle their own water.  I can enjoy them all the time without having to fuss over them.

I Am Legend Terrarium

The smaller terrarium with horses is filled with moss from my own yard.  The larger one (a cookie jar from Walmart, $7) contains moss and lichens from adhocstock on Etsy.  I’ve ordered from her before (terrariums are a great gift for kids!) and she ships a wonderful assortment of beautiful, healthy plants.  Just for fun, I added an Empire State Building souvenir and some tiny deer, creating my own tiny version of I am Legend.  I think I’m better prepared to face the lack of green outside now.

Four of Seven Couch Pillows

In other news, I’ve now completed four of seven couch cushions.  Slow and steady wins the race, right?


Recent Small Sewing Projects


During larger sewing projects, I often take a break and make quick little items, either out of need of the item itself or just for want of some instant gratification. These are a few recent projects that I especially liked.

New Grocery List Book

After our large post-it notepad ran out, I made a fancy new grocery list notebook.  The pattern is from Pretty in Patchwork Holidays by John Q. Adams.  I bought this book to read over vacation and I just LOVED it.  I’m not much of a “holiday” person, but many of the projects don’t have to be holiday specific.  There’s a “read between the lines” pillow that I’ll probably end up making, too.

Pokemon Key Chain

My older daughter specifically asked for a Pokemon key fob.  (Instructions for making key fobs found here.)  I was happy that even if she’s grown up, she’s not that grown up.  Love the little peeking Pokey faces!

Chickie Coin Purse

I know I saw chickie coin purses when searching for vacation reading materials, but I can’t remember where!  It did inspire my own coin purse though.  And I’ll probably be looking for that book again, because it was full of cute stuff.

This last one is a continuing project.  A friend of mine recently lost her husband, and I just can’t stand it for her.  She took a picture days before, when she was beside him, of the sun breaking through the clouds.  It brought her comfort to have that picture, so I am attempting to recreate it somewhat.  But instead of trying to have a literal copy of the picture, I’ve changed it to hexies/English paper piecing to “pixelize” her picture.  The plan is that from up close it makes no sense, but from a distance you’ll be able to bring it into focus.  Someday, I trust that we’ll be able to step back and see more clearly the things that just haven’t made sense here.

Hexie Pixel-Picture Progress

This is the lower left section, with nine more rows needed to mostly finish the left half.  (The larger sections will still need to be stitched together.)  The right side will bring in the sun and its reflection on the water below.  And I still don’t know what this hexie-picture will be — a wall hanging?  Small quilt?  I’m just trusting it will be what it needs to be, too.


Little Gifts to Mail

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I’m really enjoying my new little pot holders/oven mitts, so much so that I decided they’re perfect little gifts for a few family members and friends.

My assembly line began with the Walking Dead marathon.  It’s like Daryl helped me make these.

Pinch Pot Holders Cutting

Pinch Pot Holders Pinning

Pinch Pot Holders Finishing

Stitched up and ready mail!

Finished Pinch Pot Holders

Pinch Pot Holder Tag

Complete with explanation tags for the unsuspecting recipients.  Finding a little gift in the mail is so much better than bills!


Hexie Pouch

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Just for fun, a colorful, scrappy pouch made by English paper piecing hexagons together:

Hexie Pouch

Lined with a bright, happy blue to pop against the tangerine zipper, a “robot in love” zipper pull …

Hexie Pouch

and a flat bottom so it can stand on its own.

Hexie Pouch

Because functional starts with “fun”.

Xylophone Wind Chime

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I saw a set of xylophone keys on Etsy and thought they’d make a really cute little wind chime.  Here’s how I did it in case you want to make one, too.

I used the xylophone keys, fishing wire, crimp beads, needle nosed pliers, scissors, the top ring from a Mason jar, a purse ring (just because I had it on hand, a key ring would work well, too) and glue.

Xylophone Windchime

Cut off a length of fishing line and feed it through a crimp bead, then through an opening on one of the xylophone keys and back through the same crimp bead.  Use the needle nosed pliers to smash the crimp bead flat.

Xylophone Windchime

Then feed the other end of the fishing line around the Mason jar ring (or other little hoop) and attach it in the same way with another crimp bead.  To keep my wind chime balanced, I used the pliers to make six dents around the Mason jar ring, attached the fishing line securely and then added a dot of glue into the dent as a little extra insurance.   Keep adding the rest of your xylophone keys the same way, making sure they’ll be at the same length so they’ll touch in a breeze, then trim off the excess fishing line.

I cut three smaller pieces of fishing line to hold the purse ring above the Mason Jar ring and act as a hanging loop.  I attached them the same way with the crimp beads and used every other “dent” in the ring to keep them spaced right.

Xylophone Windchime

And now I have sweet music with every breeze!  Wouldn’t these be great made from your own kids’ toys?

52 Reasons I Love Him


52 Reasons I Love YouToday’s my husband’s birthday — Happy Birthday, Jay!  :)  He’s already wearing his main present (a tattoo), but I wanted him to have something to open on the actual day.  It was just too sad to think he wouldn’t have anything to unwrap, and I needed to keep costs way down as we’re about to go on vacation.

I saw this idea on Pinterest and loved it!  Papervine had done a deck of cards for Valentine’s Day, but I thought it would work just as well for a birthday.  After all, who doesn’t want to hear why you love them?

I used a new deck of cards, scuffed them up with sandpaper and gave them a rub with a pigment ink stamp pad, concentrating on the edges.  I thought the ink might slide a bit and get all over my hands, but it held fast right from the start.   One of the extra cards made a nice template to keep punched holes even,and a couple binder rings keeps everything together.  (I may replace them with black ones later, we just happened to have these on hand.)

There are great free labels from Cathe at Just Something I Made.  (She has them in red, green, black and brown if you want a different look.)  Trimmed an eighth of an inch all the way around, I think they were just right.

LabelsThese also got aged with the stamp pad, then I just wrote out my list one by one.

52 Reasons I Love YouSome are private jokes.

52 Reasons I Love YouOther crafters may relate to some of them.

52 Reasons I Love YouBut I hope they all show him why he is just right for me.

52 Reasons I Love You(Mojo is our dog, who loves to be the first one to greet his Daddy when he gets home from work.)

52 Things I Love About YouHappy birthday, Baby!  Wishing you many, many more!