February 2011Occasionally Crafty: February 2011

Thursday, February 24

Ruffle Pillow

I may have mentioned once or twice that I'm not that great at sewing.  I took Sewing 101 in high school, but it's been a LONG TIME since I learned all those skills.

I've been wanting to make/recover some throw pillows for my bed.  And I really wanted to try an envelope back, rather than inserting a zipper or stitching up the opening.  Pillows in the bedroom tend to get dirty, due to my three little "helpers" climbing all over the bed and putting their grubby little hands sweet little fingers on everything.  With an envelope back, I can wash it or easily replace it down the road.

I found a tutorial on A Pretty Cool Life for a 10 minute envelope back pillow (found here).  I bookmarked it, though inside I thought- "10 minutes?  Hah!  That's at least 30 for me!"

Well, let me tell you- this was easy as can be!  If you can stitch four straight lines, you can make this pillow cover.  I actually did make it into a 30 minute pillow, only because I wanted to add a little decoration.

First off, I found my pillow form at Goodwill.  It was only $3, and I got it on sale with their "colored dot of the day" discount.  They have TONS of pillows at thrift stores.  If the thought of using someone else's pillows creeps you out a little, most of the forms are washable- and compared to what you'll pay in a store for a new one, I can handle it.

I made the pillow cover following the tutorial exactly.   (Here's what it looked like from the back....)

After making sure my  pillow fit, I embellished the front like so:

1.  I cut a long strip of the leftover fabric.  I made mine 4 inches wide.  I used a simple white cotton fabric.  The ruffle will fray, since I didn't do anything to the edges, but I kind of like the unfinished, shabby look.  If you don't want yours to fray, use knit, or sew your fabric into a tube first before you ruffle it.

2.  I ruffled the strip by running a basting stitch down the middle of the fabric.  (Stitch length set to longest possible, top thread set to tightest tension).  This started the ruffle for me, but I still had to pull my bobbin thread to get the ruffles how I wanted.

3.  I pinned  the ruffle to the front of my pillow cover, pinning one end at each side seam.

4.  I carefully sewed the ruffle on, taking care to only sew it to the top part of the cover.

5.  I thought it needed just a little bling, so I made a twisted fabric rosette to match our blue wall, and added a "pearl" shank button to the middle.

I think it's a nice start to my bedroom throw pillows.  I don't want a ton of pillows (since I tend to the lazy bed-making as well as the lazy crafting), but I do want a few more.  I'm on the lookout for some good ideas.

 I might just link this up....check out the parties here!


Wednesday, February 23

Scrappin' Wednesday no. 7

There's a reason I got out of regular scrapbooking.  It wasn't just the astronomical expense of buying all the cute papers, embellishments, stamps, and tools.  The main problem, for me, was that it just took too darn long.

I am not a patient crafter.  I tend towards laziness in making things, though it probably contributes to the stress I feel when things don't turn out right.  I should remedy that sometime :)

I would often create a scrapbook page that took several hours.  Several hours for one stinkin' page!  I had to choose the pictures.  Then I had to choose a layout.  Next I had to cut and crop my pictures.  I had to choose embellishments, and try to make it cute. I would agonize forever over what I was putting on- and most of the time I ended up not being all that satisfied with it.

Digital scrapbooking significantly cuts down the time it takes to create a page, if you are at least mildly computer savvy.  Still, sometimes, I have a page like this one.

I just could not figure out what I wanted to do with this page.  I changed backgrounds three times.  I tried all sorts of embellishments.  I played with my drop shadows.  When all is said and done, it took me over an hour.  (Thank goodness for nap/quiet time!)

I'm still not sure this is my finished product- so I'll just call it my for-now draft.

I do enjoy the embellishments.  I love the fish tags, though they turned out a little weird since the graphic was "crop-protected".  Never seen that before!  And, the stitching actually has leaves attached to it, but I cropped them off.  I really wanted that stitching, but not the leaves.

Tip:  Don't get stuck using a whole "kit" together- sometimes embellishments from other kits, or things you've found by themselves, work better for your page than what is included in a kit.

Thanks for looking!


Sunday, February 20

Bedroom Shelf Makeover

I am an interior designer.
In my head.
In real life, I have a really difficult time pulling things together in a way that is both beautiful and a match to my personal style. Thank goodness for the internet, for home magazines, and for inspiration from some of my favorite blogs!  I'm slowly starting to get better.

I'm starting small.  My master bedroom needs a makeover.  Anyone else?  I love my furniture, but my bedding and decor- eh.  I NEED HELP!  Unfortunately, the last thing I need to be spending money on is frivolous things like a new comforter, when we have a new A/C (and more) to pay off!  So, inspired by Nike from Choose to Thrive (seriously, go there and read- you'll be inspired too!) , I'm trying to "rock what I've got" and use things I already own to fill in the ugly space.

On that note, here's my bedroom shelf before:  Wait- before I post it, I must tell you that yes, I am embarrassed to be posting this picture.  I pretty much stuck this stuff up there when we moved in 7 years ago, and haven't touched it since.  In that time, styles, and my taste, have changed- meaning, I've developed some!  Anyway (cringe) here it is:

See what I mean?  Total waste of space.
Here it is above my bed.

So- I knew I wanted to go with whites and neutrals.  So, the first thing I did was get rid of the silver frame.  We got it for our wedding, so it has sentimental value, but for decor?  Well.....

Next, I found a new home for everything else on the shelf.  To replace what was there, I took an empty frame I already had and added some vinyl to the glass.

Then I jumped on the Pottery Barn bandwagon and ripped the covers off some old paperbacks.  I tied the bundle with some jute rope and voila!

I added some flowers, a white candle, and a burlap rosette I had hanging around my craft room, then spent forever messing around with the arrangement until I came up with this:

  It feels so much better.  It's romantic, it's cozy, and it just makes me feel happy looking at it. Total cost $5- for the frame from IKEA.  Everything else I had on hand.

Linking up to the sources of my inspiration: check out the parties!

Wednesday, February 16

Scrappin' Wednesday no. 6

This week, I downloaded some free fonts for my page.  I was working on a page for when my oldest son moved to his "big boy bed".  His room is baseball-themed, so I wanted some sporty fonts, which I did not have.  I didn't have any alphas like that either.  I know I probably find some, but I was short on time.  I found some great vintage sports fonts at dafont.com and 1001fonts.com   I ended up using "Pointedly Mad" for the title and "College" for the journaling (can't believe I didn't already have that one!)

I've also found a lot of fun journaling and scrapbook fonts at  Kevin and Amanda.  There are tens of thousands of free fonts out there.  Don't limit yourself to what is installed on your computer. There are so many talented graphic artists out there, and many share their work for free.  So, have fun with fonts!  Where have you found great fonts?

Friday, February 11

Housewarming Gift

Today is the LAST DAY to enter the Bonita Bellita giveaway!  Please scroll down to enter!

A good friend of mine is moving.  I've been working with her at church, and though she's not moving far, she won't be attending my church anymore.  I wanted to give her something to express my thanks, as well as to give her a little housewarming gift.

I found these adorable Love Birds at Miss Lovie.  They were so cute, and you know I love felt applique.  So, I broke out my craft felt, bought a little frame, and made my own love birds:

I did add some vinyl with her last name and "Home Sweet Home" since it IS a housewarming gift.  When she's tired of the Love Birds, she can insert a picture of her own into the frame.

Wednesday, February 9

Scrappin Wednesday no.5

Have you entered the Bonita Bellita giveaway yet?  If not, go here or scroll down to enter!

For this week's layout, I had fun playing around with shapes!  One great thing about digital scrapbooking is you can resize and crop your photos into any shape without losing the parts of the picture you want to keep.

Here's my kids trying to stay cool in our Arizona summer heat.

Obviously I used a white background, then the Shabby Princess "Celebrate" package for the paper circles.  The ribbons are from various different designers.  I got the layout idea from Scrapbooks Gone Digital!

 I'd love to hear how you've used different shapes in your layouts.

Monday, February 7

Giveaway- Bonita Bellita


I promised you a giveaway, and here it is!  Let me introduce you to Bonita Bellita:

Stephanie, the shop's owner, makes beautiful hair accessories for you or that other special girl in your life.  Who can resist this beautiful Rustic Romance headband?

Rustic Romance headband

She sells gorgeous clips that double as pins.  This pink one caught my eye right away.

Cerise Rose hair clip and pin

If you need some jewelry, she has beautiful necklaces, brooches, and adorable rings.

Elizabeth's Purple and Pearls

Antique Silver Petite Rosette Ring

She even has some cute bows and headbands for your baby girl.

Garden Rose infant/toddler headband

Everything is hand-sewn and created in a smoke-free, pet-free environment.

Bonita Bellita is giving away a pair of her Red Poppy bobby pins to one lucky reader!

Spring Red Poppy bobby pin pair

Want it to be you?  Here's how to enter (please leave a separate comment for each entry!)

MANDATORY:  1st of all, follow my blog- or remind me that you do! 
Then, visit Bonita Bellita on Etsy and leave a comment telling me what your favorite item is.  (That is 1 entry for doing both)
Extra entry #1- "Like" Occasionally Crafty on Facebook. (click on the link or use the sidebar box)
Extra entry #2- EDITED "Like" Bonita Bellita on Facebook

This giveaway is open until Friday, February 11th at 11:59 pm MST.  I will announce the winner this weekend!  Good luck!

Friday, February 4

Freezer Paper V-day shirts

My two boys needed some V-day shirts, so I decided to try my hand at freezer paper stenciling.  There are many great projects out there using this wonderful medium, and it couldn't be easier.  Ashley at Make It and Love It did a great post with all the basics, so please check it out here:

I used my Silhouette software to create the designs I wanted to use.  I used Google Images and the local department stores for ideas.  I finally settled on two for my boys.

I cut the stencil with my Silhouette, then ironed it on to the shirts.  I bought these shirts at Target for $3.  They had pockets, but I used a seam ripper to remove them.

When the main outline was done, I ironed on the little pieces that complete the letters.

I then used acrylic craft paint (or you could use fabric paint) for the stencil.  I let them dry for a few minutes, then peeled the freezer paper off.  The designs came out almost completely clean and oh so cute!

I used the stencil brush a little too vigorously on this one, so it ended up a little fuzzy.  Don't make my mistake!

My boys look like the lady-killers they will no doubt one day be. Although big brother was not in a picture-taking mood.....

I'd love to see what you've done with freezer paper stencils!  You can post your photos on my Facebook page.  Happy creating!

Thursday, February 3


I just hit 300 Followers!  I am humbled and excited- thank you for reading my blog!  To celebrate, I've got a giveaway coming up!  Stay tuned.....details are still being worked out.

Wednesday, February 2

Scrappin' Wednesday no.4

I have been a little busy.... so I went with something simple this week, but different than what I have been doing.
I went with some black and white, with just a hint of color, in my home team's color, of course.  Go Dbacks!

Tuesday, February 1

Find us on Facebook!

Hey everyone!  You can find Occasionally Crafty on Facebook!  I'd appreciate a "Like" if you a reader of my blog.  Plus, if you are a Facebook Follower, you will be eligible for an upcoming, Facebook-only giveaway!

Thanks, as always, for reading.  You can click the Like button on the sidebar, or go here: