June 30, 2012

Bow-Accented Clutch Wristlets Are Here!

I think my favorite thing about reading blogs is
finding a great tutorial.

{It's kind of like a giveaway, where everyone wins the prize!}

Recently I stumbled upon this most fabulous tutorial,
by Whitney of elm street life,
for a Bow Clutch.

I asked Whitney for permission to sell some of the bags I'm making from her tutorial, in my shop on Etsy, eamylove.
She said, "Yes."

{Thank you, Whitney!}

I thought you might like to see what I came up with...so far.
I started with this sweet little cherry polka dot number.

For the interior, I wanted a high contrast, high interest print.
How about black and white, with red all over?

{This makes me think of Minnie Mouse every time I see it.
And then I really want to go to Disney World.}

How fun is that?

For my next bag, I wanted to continue with the picnic feel,
but make it even more charming and dainty.

I can always count on my Darla prints by Tanya Whelan...

Inside, I'm loving the yellow gingham!

I have a collection of colorful zippers for my purse-making pleasure.

{They add some..."zip"...to every purse.}

For the yellow bag, though, I really love the crisp fresh white zipper!

Moving on to my latest bow-clutch purse,
I craved a bit of classic sophistication, so I chose a
black-and-white houndstooth print in a light home dec cotton.

What should I put in the interior this time???

{Obviously it's time to call in some Sis Boom here...}

I love this hot pink print by Jennifer Paganelli,
from her Flower Power line.

Weddings, picnics, a trip to the city,
vacation, or a night out...

these little clutches will go anywhere
and look great with any outfit!

Perfect for summer,
all of these bags have been listed in my shop on Etsy,

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June 21, 2012

Magazine Review - July 2012 Better Homes and Gardens

If you've been following my blog...

{and it would make me so happy if you would be a follower!}

You already know that I'm taking
an e-course from Holly Becker of decor8

It's been so much fun that I almost forget it's a class!

To fulfill this week's homework assignment,
I'm going to review the 
July 2012 issue of Better Homes & Gardens magazine!

{a.k.a. BHG}

I've been a subscriber to this magazine for many years,
as well as one of its sister magazines,

For some reason, this particular issue of BHG
rises above many other editions
and other magazine titles, in my eyes.
As I flipped through the magazine the first time,
I found myself dog-earing this page and that page,
making plans to come back and try lots of ideas.

This entire issue was devoted
to bargains and low-cost style, and
I feel as if they were directing all of the features
at people who are just like me!

{BARGAIN?  Yes, please!}

When I sit down to read a magazine,
I think it's as relaxing and energizing
as a spa treatment.
This issue made me feel like I'd just spent a whole week at a resort!

{I've never actually had a spa treatment, but I'm pretty sure I'd enjoy that, too.}

Here are some of my favorite pages from this issue,
beginning with the decorating and entertaining ideas...

{There are too many dog-eared pages to list in this post!}

I'm crazy over this beautiful and simple table setting,
in a variation on red, white and blue
for a summer get-together!
It would be so pretty on a picnic table,
set up for a nice evening with some friends and family.

{Or on my own Better Homes & Gardens deck furniture!}

Here's an article featuring a bench that came from the
clearance section of Walmart.
  The owners painted the legs and added new upholstery.

{I can truly visualize myself doing this!}

The fashion feature shows lots of items that are
from some stores I've actually shopped in...
each one is so stylish and colorful!

{So cute, huh?}

And then there's the food...

Wouldn't a Peach Pie Milkshake
make the perfect summer dessert?

I tore out the page with a recipe for
Fresh Corn Salad
the very first time I read through this issue.

{Here it is on my refrigerator, held in place with my Zakka Style magnets.}

As I gathered the ingredients to test this recipe,
I got the inspiration for my first LIVING COLOR post.

I didn't have every ingredient on hand, but there was nothing 
in the recipe that was too exotic.

{I should have had a cucumber and some sweet peppers on hand, 
but I was caught off-guard this time.  I'll add them in next time. 
Also, my basil isn't ready for harvesting yet, so I just used some dried herbs.}

I chopped a red onion, halved some cherry tomatoes,
mixed up the tangy-sweet dressing, and blanched some sweet corn...

And a few minutes later, I enjoyed a fresh and
fabulous good-for-you side dish!

{As I mentioned before...everything tastes extra good in my Mom's Pyrex bowls! }

I think I'll take a batch of this salad to our family reunion this weekend!

If you haven't already subscribed, 
hurry to pick up a copy of this month's BHG magazine!
I bet there's something in it for you, too!
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June 19, 2012

Living Color - Golden Yellows

I've mentioned before that I'm taking an e-course
from Holly Becker of Decor8.

This week we have another homework assignment,
in which we need to write 2 posts.

One of the options is to blog an entry for a column or series...
so I've decided to create a new series!
I'm calling it

And my first edition is all about

{Photo by design-seeds.com}

I'll add in some other colors I think look beautiful with these colors!

 My intent for this series 
is to have the reader enjoy some colorful images
with just a bit of narration.

{Unless I list a source,
the featured photos are taken by yours truly.}

Let's get started...

I picked up some fresh sweet corn today.

As I prepared it, 
I really enjoyed seeing the green husks
against the variegated yellows of the corn kernels!

And how about the great contrast with these cherry tomatoes?

In my yard, I've got these beautiful Asian lilies,
blooming right along with the wild tiger lilies...

In my sewing space, 
I love the color play of this little Cathedral Window pincushion.

{It's available for purchase at eamylove on Etsy!}

I've got some great golden yellow fabrics in my stash,
and I'm getting ready to sew something special with this 
Premier home dec chevron print...

{Image from fabric.com}

Do you know the Bow Tucks purse pattern, by Quilts Illustrated?
Here's one version I made, with a few modifications,
in Aviary 2 prints by Joel Dewberry.

I really love the yellows against the granite and charcoal tones,
and I've used these prints for lots of bags.
Here are three little wristlets,
made with Sweet Pea Totes pattern "Zip and Go Wristlet."

{Love ya, Black and Gold!}

Finally I'll leave you with a sneak peek at an upcoming post,
featuring something that's Admiral Blue,
set off by the yellow coreopsis blooms.


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June 14, 2012

Blogging My Way

This blog of mine is still very new
and just beginning to grow.

{I have dreams for it, the same way I have dreams for my children.}

I want it to be the best blog it can be.
That's why I've joined Holly Becker of Decor8 
for a very special e-course called

For this week's homework assignment,
we've been asked to update and improve
our "About Me" pages for our blogs.

And there's supposed to be a nice photo of ourselves on it.

{OK...hmmm...I had to color my hair first!}

I asked both of my sons to help me with this assignment, 
and they very kindly complied. 
Each of them took a bunch of photos of me.

Well, let me just say,
I do not really resemble myself at all,
between what I see backwards
in the mirror,
and what I see in my own mind's eye!

{I scared myself when I saw my computer monitor!}

I'm not going to point out the flaws for you...
 but let's just say I'm going to be eating
a lot of these this summer!

{Hint:  there was a whole lot of cropping going on!}

I didn't have a lot of good stuff to pick from, but here are a couple of shots that I can bear to post, but didn't choose for the final.

Here I am with our little dog...

{my only girl baby}

And I liked this one...

{Sort of}

{Kinda looks better with Polaroid effects,
dontcha think?}

This one wasn't too bad either.

{It's the one that I think looks most like me.}

All it took was a little thing called Picasa,
to soften me up and 
add a vignette effect.

{I wish I could have special effects available in real life all the time!}

So now I've done my homework for this week!

Feel free to head on over to read a little bit more
"About Me" if you haven't already
met me!
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June 7, 2012

Mug Rug Swap - Part 2 - From Amy to Amanda

If you're a regular reader, 
you will have already seen my first post about
the little mug rug swap

{Here's the mug rug Amanda created, just for me!}

Now I'd like to share what I sent to Amanda, 
along with a description of the design process.

Once Amanda and I had agreed to swap mug rugs,
I had a brief moment of panic,
as I realized I didn't have any idea what her
personal tastes are.

Amanda was kind enough to take a quiz for me...
20 questions to discover her preferences for colors,
patterns, and themes.

1.      Bold and Bright, or Soft and Sweet?
2.      Black, White, or Black and White?
3.      Whimsical or Practical?
4.      Classic or Modern?

And so on...
So now I had somewhere to begin!

From the quiz, 
it was clear that Amanda has a love for nature and gardens,
flowers and animals.

I pulled out my Botanika fabric 
by Paula Prass for Michael Miller,
and the fussy cutting began.

I used some bright greens...like this one
from Bijoux by Heather Bailey...
and various Black and White prints, to tie it all together.

Here's the final mug rug...called "Unlock Your Dreams".

And the back...more Bijoux by Heather Bailey,
with a little bee from the Botanika print.

{Hello, little Bee.}

I like to use Pellon 987F fusible fleece 
instead of batting,
to get a flat ready-to-quilt mug rug.
For this one I used parallel lines in many directions.

OK...I loved it...but would Amanda?

{Insecurity entered the scene...}

Maybe it was a bit too bright and wild.  
And there wasn't a single FLOWER on the whole mug rug!

Hmmm...on the quiz, there was a question,
"Wild or tame?"
and she answered, "Ooooooooh...BOTH!"

That gave me an idea...make a Tame one, too!

I knew Amanda loves fresh country prints and blue is her favorite color.
This time I started with some pretty blue prints from
Delilah, Darla, and Sugar Hill,
all by Tanya Whelan for Free Spirit.

{Here's a look at Sugar Hill.}

Between those three lines, I used lots of 
florals, polka dots, stripes, and gingham.

And now for the design decisions...
If you check out my blog header, you will see that I've used
one of my mug rugs for the photo.

I love the simple style of this mug rug...a strip of Tumblers,
and lots of modern straight-line quilting in the background areas.
Simple and sweet.

I knew I would have fun re-creating this design for Amanda's mug rug.
This one came together very quickly!

Lots more straight-line quilting again...

And here's the back...

{Or Side #2, if you prefer...}

I'm especially pleased with my machine binding on these two mug rugs!
I've combined what I've seen in several tutorials,
and these projects gave me a chance to practice my own method.

{Would anybody out there like me to post about how I do my machine binding???}

It was time to package up the mug rugs for the mail...
a long trip from Pennsylvania all the way to Southern England!

There was a bit of room in the little box,
so I said goodbye to a little charm pack
of Gypsy Rose by Fig Tree Quilts for Moda.

{I thought these little prints 
would look very sweet in some of Amanda's future projects.}

Now I happen to know that Amanda has a sewing sister,
just as I do!
I thought if one mug rug seemed more suited 
to her sister than to herself,
she could always give it away.

{Well...let's just say Amanda's sister will need to visit her, 
if she ever wants to use one of these mug rugs. :) }

One last thing:
Little did I know that Amanda would receive her package on the day of the Queen's Jubilee!

{How appropriate this little Crown print turned out to be!}

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