Kelli Jones Diary

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Cupcake Challenge Anyone?

I love the carousel horse at the top and the color palette used to decorate this cupcake stand from glue art & paper studio. The gals at Pink Persimmon are amazingly talented. Check out their cupcake challenge.

Also, they have some of the cutest stamps I have ever seen. I loooove the vintage cupcake set.

Contest ends Friday, June 26th at midnight.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Cushy, Comfy, Family Room Pillows

Inspiration for these family room pillows came from some pillows at Macy's that were $70 each. Yes, $70 for average-sized, simple quilted pillows. I know that you can easily spend even more than $70 on pillows, and I find that shocking! If you need two pillows.. that's $140 and three is $210! And I think you can never have too many cushy, comfy pillows.

So... I just thought I would try to make some myself.

I started with two pieces of 100% cotton unbleached muslin fabric and sandwiched fusible cotton batting between the two pieces.

I then loaded my sewing machine with lots of pretty khaki-colored thread, switched to a walking foot, and machine stitched straight lines. In my usual style, I did not start out with a plan and just used the sewing machine guides to space the lines.

I did use a disappearing ink pen to mark lines that I stitched in blue thread. It is difficult to tell from the picture, but after I did the machine, stitching, I handstitched tiny beads at the intersections of the blue threads.

For the second pillow, I used the same colors but varied the stitches a bit. This time, I did not start with diagonal stitches, and made stitches that were parallel with the sides of the pillow. For the blue stitches, I did three blue stitches very close together.

After curling up with the pillows a on several occasions to watch a movie or take a nap, my husband and I have discovered that tiny glass beads may have not been the best idea for comfy pillows... very pretty... just not very comfy.
To make the quilted pillow tops into pillow covers, you just sew the right side of the quilted top to two overlapping-in-the-middle hemmed pieces of fabric. Sew all the way around the pillow and when you turn the right sides out, you have your finished pillow cover. I love this easy method for making pillow covers -- the inside pillow slips inside the cover. The cover can easily be washed by pulling out the inside filling-- that is contained in a slightly smaller muslin pillow. I love freshly washed pillows as much as I love freshly washed sheets so being able to wash these pillows so easily is a big plus. I have seen some department store pillows that look like they would be impossible to wash. I don't get that; it's a germophobe's nightmare. I think that the pillows I have made have improved with washing - getting softer each time.

To make the actual pillows that go inside the covers, you just sew a slightly smaller pillow to slip inside the cover. There are so many possibilities for stuffing the pillows now - memory foam stuffing, down-like stuffing and the poly-foam type stuffing. I just used the basic stuffing for these and I can safely say that I spent less than $5 each. Lots of time, sure... but very little cash.

Time becomes meaningless in the face of creativity. Albert Einstein

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Thursday, April 30, 2009

100% Cotton Therapy

I learned to crochet a few years ago and have made a few scarfs and a few cotton dishcloths and even a huge afghan for my sister. I have never been able to make the edges straight and uniform. While I have been going for rectangular or square for these simple projects, I usually get trapezoids.

I am so happy to say, I think I have finally mastered the turning around at the end of each row so my edges are now straight. With practice, has also come the ability to make multiples of the same size so an actual color coordinated set of dishcloths is now within my reach. The dishclothes are fun to crochet and they make thoughtful and practical gifts... especially if you add some cool dishwashing liquid as part of the gift. You can never have too many cloths for handwashing dishes or cleaning the counter.

I also think a gift set of hand crocheted clothes would be nice for the bath, too... with some body wash. I love Zum Body Lemongrass Body Wash. I have just learned that they now have aromatherapy laundry soap, which I would love to try at some point... $19 for 32 loads is pricey but the Sweet Orange or Eucalyptus-Citrus fragrances sound fabulous.

Because I am so excited about my new skills -- the straight edges and the ability to make multiples of the same size, everyone I know will be getting hand crocheted cloths from me. In fact, I gave away three tonight. How can something so simple be so relaxing and restorative? I love the repetition, the colors, the soft 100% cotton thread... very therapeutic.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sharing the love of stitching

I made this pillow as part of a housewarming gift for some friends of ours and really like the way it turned out. It is a small pillow - about 10 inches by 10 inches and filled with dried rosemary and mint. It smells great!

The back of the pillow is bright and cheery and coordinates with the thread colors - magenta and green - that are on the front of the pillow.

I love giving personalized gifts so it was especially fun to present it to the new homeowners.
The other night my sister and my 11-year old niece, Maddie, were visiting. We were getting ready to watch a movie and since I cannot really watch a movie without a project in my hands, I was stitching. My niece said it looked like fun and said she would like to learn how to do it. You can imagine how thrilled I was to be able to expose her to the joy of stitching. So.... we halted the start of the movie to run up stairs and get a design on fabric for her to work on.

For my last few projects, I have just been tracing the design directly on the fabric (rather than using an iron-on pen) by placing the sheet from my printer on my light table with the fabric on top. The best pencil, I have found, is a Ticonderoga Beginner's pencil. It writes so smoothly on most fabrics. For darker fabrics, I probably will continue to use the iron-on method with a white ink iron on pencil.

Microsoft Word will let you outline almost any font on your computer so it is easy to create designs to embroider. My niece and I opened up MS Word and I asked her what she wanted to embroider. At first she said, "Welcome Home Jessica" because her sister was due home the next day from a band trip. I suggested "Jessica" and told her that it was probably not something she was going to be able to complete before Jessica got home the next night. I told her that it usually takes me daaaaaaaaays (weeks? months? years?) to finish a project.

Well... I was wrong! She sent me a text message: "I KNEW IT! I FINISHED IN TWO DAYS" with a picture. She did such a great job and even put it in a frame.

I later learned that she stayed up until 3:30 am stitching... until my sister made her go to sleep. A girl after my own heart (stitching at 3:30 am)!

She said she enjoyed it and wants to do another project. Yeah! I will not attempt to estimate her completion time on future projects.

Here is a picture of her today received via text message after she got her braces. I love that girl.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Decoupage Your Ceiling- Mr. Peacock Style

Vicki came across a blog with a cool decoupage how-to... . I am amazed at how he decoupaged his ceiling... it looks fabulous. It would not work for my ceiling as the builders decoupaged it with popcorn texture. He has some fabulous directions and methods for decoupage that you could apply to your ceiling, or other items... maybe a Card File? Huh? Got ya thinkin'? Or a Vertical Album? And there's always the fabulous Cupcake Stand.

Speaking of decoupage, we are working on something new... an idea that Vicki came up with and it is sure to be a decoupager's dream item. We are hoping to have it ready for The Great American Scrapbook Convention in Arlington... about a month away. The countdown is on. Can't wait.

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Today's Strawberry Harvest

It looks like it is going to be a great year for strawberries... this is what we picked from our strawberry patch today.

We planted several plants a few years ago and they send out runners to start new little plants each year. Some years are better than others -- it seems like every other year is especially fruitful. Not only do the strawberry plants make practical and beautiful ground cover, they, of course, are healthy and delicious.

The strawberries we gathered tonight are intensely red and have a great texture. While I love strawberries from the store, it is a very special treat to have ones from your own garden.

While no calories were spared on the fresh whipped cream, would you ever be able to tell that there is spinach puree in the brownie underneath?

There are lots of spinach brownie recipes out there and tonight I tried a new one from This one calls for frozen spinach but I used fresh spinach... just steam it for a few minutes first.

Brownies (with spinach & carrot)
3 eggs
21 ounces brownie mix
10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup carrot juice
1 tablespoon milk

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9"x13" pan with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray. Squeeze out the liquid from the spinach. Place spinach, vegetable oil, milk and carrot juice in a blender and puree until smooth. In a large bowl, combine the brownie mix, 3 eggs, and the spinach mixture until well blended. Spread batter into pan and bake 40 minutes.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

New Storage Cabinet for clam hinge (Stampin' Up-type) boxes

While at The Stamp Scrap Art Tour in Mesquite (January), a woman saw our new Storage Cabinet and suggested that we make one for the clam hinge boxes that Stampin' Up stamps and stamp sets come in. Thank you, Shelly Dolanski! Great idea! Now there is truly a place for everything. We appreciate your idea so much that you will soon (approximately April 25th) receive a thank you package in the mail.

We ( have the storage boxes in four sizes and they are beee-you-tiful. They each hold ten boxes so you can just slide out the box that you need. You can stack them or, as Shelley suggested, add a handle to the top. If you do add a handle for easy transporating, you might also want to add a strap to hold the boxes in place during transporation. Of course, I'm sure you could go all out making a really pretty handle and strap.

We expect to ship out orders received for these cabinets on or around April 18th. If you order by April 3rd, you will get $5 off of each cabinet.

This month has been a little crazy so far - - lots of projects going on!

We are trying to get our house ready to sell, so we have been busy trying to apply everything we have learned from all the HGTV that we watch. With each improvement we make, I begin to rethink moving. Our house, which we have lived in for almost 9.5 years was a very basic house when we moved in -- even to the point that none of the windows have window sills or trim. We have made improvements over the years --mostly flooring, lighting, and landscaping. This week we are working on window sills and window trim for our windows. We have started with four windows downstairs that are along one wall that encompass the kitchen, a breakfast area, and a family room. Now that I am a blogger, I actually remembered to take a "before" picture (after one of the windows was mostly complete so I didn't get a "before" of that one) and will also take "after" pictures to show you the result. While I do not really enjoy painting all of that trim, I think I am going to love the result.

And then there's the yardwork... lots of weeding and planting going on.

So, thank you again for reading my blog (all four of you). I can't tell you how happy and excited I was to get comments on my last post. Happy Spring!