Archives for July 2012

Stamps and Accessories Sale

***UPDATED 7/26 at 9:20 pm***

While cleaning out a closet for our garage sale, I finally found the last box of stamps that I had been looking for.  I even looked in this closet before I listed the last bunch, but I just didn’t look far enough back.  Anyhow, these are all new since last time.  I’ve priced them a bit lower, and I went back and discounted the ones from the last round that didn’t sell, so if you were thinking about something from last time, it’s now cheaper!  All of the previously listed items are at the bottom, separate from the items I’m listing this time.

Everything will work the same as last time—either comment here or email me to claim something.  If you’re from Columbus, I don’t have plans to visit soon, but I always see my parents at least once a month, and if it goes longer than a couple of weeks, I’ll meet my mom in Indy to drop off your stuff.  Just know that it won’t be as fast of a turnaround as last time.  You can just give my mom a check/cash whenever she brings your stuff to you.  I’ll also try to email you when I know a delivery date.

Thank you!!


Cute by the Inch  (Brand New)  $8


Party Punch (Brand New) fits label and tab punches $5


Autumn set with 2 new packs of skeleton leaves  $7


Merry  $6


Headline Alphabet  $7


More Great Greetings $12

Bold Butterfly (two step stamping) $8


Tag Time  $10


A Greeting for All Reasons $6


A is for Adorable  $6


Painted Posies (two step stamping)  $4


Sweet of You  $6


Along the Same Lines  $5


Year-Round Cheer $5


Simple Sayings  $5


Watercolor Minis (two step stamping)  $4


Alphabet Soup  $4


Spring Party $7


Made from Scratch $3.50


Little Shapes  $2


Itty bitty borders $2.50


Simple Somethings  $3.50



I’m reducing my collection of retired stamps and accessories and have decided to first offer them to customers and friends before listing them on ebay or putting them in our upcoming garage sale.  Stamp and accessory prices are based on current ebay selling prices (minus the shipping, of course).  This is easier for everyone—I don’t have to mess with listing and shipping items, and you get a cheaper price without shipping costs.  If you do want stamps mailed, I can do that, and you’ll pay the actual shipping price for me to send.  Otherwise, I can hand deliver to most of you.

I’ve tried to take decent pictures (except I forgot to put a ruler in for size accuracy—sorry!), but if you would like to see more details, just google the name of the set along with “Stampin Up,” and you’ll be able to find many more images.  I’m also including a brief description of the set condition.  Some have been barely used, and some are quite stained, but both work equally well, an none are damaged other than some staining, which does not effect their usage.  Please note that about half of the plastic boxes have my last name in permanent marker, and a couple of stamps do as well.  All boxes are labeled with the name of the set, but a few are labeled with a label maker and not the original SU sticker.

If you’re local and would like to look in person, just let me know.  Sometimes that’s much easier!  This is a very long post, so I’m sorry if it’s not user friendly.  If there are any questions, please let me know by email or in the comments section at the bottom.

If more than one person wants an item, it will go to the first person to claim it (email and comments here have a time/date stamp, so that will determine who’s first).  You can claim it by either leaving a comment here at the end of the post (make sure I have at least a first name somewhere in the comment) or by emailing me.  I will try to update this post as often as possible and remove items from the lists as they’re claimed.  I’ll bring your items to you as soon as possible, and for those in Columbus, IN, I’ll be coming down this weekend and can bring items then.  Thanks everyone!


Sweet Shapes  $14  $8


Bunch O’ Bugs (stained rubber) $6  $5


A Little Love (all unused but 1 stamp, each stamp is about an inch square) $7  $5


Very Punny  (only a couple used)  $6  $5


Monogram & (Background size stamp, approx. 5”x6” size block  $6  $3


Monogram H (Background size stamp, approx. 5”x6” size block  $5  $3


Sketch an Event (each block about 1.5” square)  $6 $4


Full Calendar (month names) & Mark the Date—I’m selling these as a set because they coordinate to make a calendar or for use on a card for save the date, etc.  You can’t see the month names well because they’re double mounted, but they fit on top of the larger calendar stamp (about 3.5” square) and are in the same font as the words in the Mark the Date set.   Both are mounted but never used.  $16  $9  for the set.


New Beginnings $9  $5


Doodle Alphabet, lightly used $13  $8


Expressive Flexible Phrases  (Double mounted—I made an index for myself and numbered each stamp so they’re easy to keep in order and find the one you want—28 blocks, 56 stamps)  $16  $10expressive-flexible-phrases


Amazing to Zany (Double mounted—I made an index for myself and numbered each stamp so they’re easy to keep in order and find the one you want—28 blocks, 56 stamps) $15  $10


  amazing to zany

Define Your Life (Double Mounted, some rubber staining) $18  $12


Big Flowers & Little Flowers (coordinating sets) $15 for set  $2 Little Flowers, $5 Big Flowers


Lovely Labels  (coordinates with SU’s circle punches) $5  $3


It’s All Good (Coordinates with SU’s circle and square punches) $6  $3


Lots of Thoughts (Brand New, blocks 1.5” square) $7  $4


Think Big (Brand New, “big” stamp is about 3” x 3.5”) $12  $8


Think Happy Thoughts (Coordinates with SU’s circle punches) $7  $5


Many Happy Returns  (Brand New) $8  $5


All in the Family & Family Accessories  (both brand new) $23  $15  for the set


Big Pieces (a couple of blocks have stains on the wood, coordinates with SU’s circle punches, each block about 1.5” or 2” square) $9   $5


Bold Blossom Greetings (brand new) $3


Delight in Life $4



Glass Beads and microbeads in coordinating colors—these are meant to be used with SU’s Sticky Cuts or any other adhesive paper.  The bigger beads are basically seed beads, so they can be strung on wire or string as well. $4 $1  each color set.  Choose either Blue Mix, Red Mix, or Silver Mix


Pretties Kit, 1 hatpin used—has beads, pearls, dyeable flowers, hatpins, etc. $8  $5


Daisy Field Wheel  $3  $2




CRAFT PADS $1 each —sage shadow, regal rose (2 available), almost amethyst, so saffron, pretty in pink, certainly celery, pale plum, real red, basic black, rose red


Kaleidacolor in Berry Blaze $2          Twighlight metallic pad (pinks & purples, not pictured) new in package  $2


Stampin’ Journalers (markers with archival ink for scrapbooking), 75 cents 50 cents each:  sage shadow, pixie pink

Chipboard, on board accents, new in package, $3  $2


Boxes & Tags mini book kit  $1.50  $1  —new in package, neutral colored (back is pictured to better see what’s included)



House Mouse Stamps, two have stained rubber.  Larger ones about 3.5” x 4” or slightly bigger, small one is 2.5”  3.5”.  $3 $2 each, large one with fan $4 $3.


Paper edging scissors $1 50 cents


Pleated window panel tutorial


Since the rest of my craft/laundry room was getting a face lift with new bookcases and laundry basket dressers, I decided to make a new curtain to go along with it.  There isn’t really anything wrong with my existing curtain, and I really like the little fabric flowers I made, but I just wanted something with a little more color.  I bought this curtain from Goodwill (originally a Simply Shabby Chic panel from Target) and dressed it up a little with ribbon and pinned on fabric flowers.  Since I’m taking it down,  I now have a bunch of fabric flowers to use for something else.  I’m thinking purses…

IMG_5131  IMG_5132

I found this fabric by Premier Prints called "Harmony" that I just loved. I thought about using it in our rec room/playroom, but while the colors would be great for a playroom, it doesn’t mesh so well with the rest of our house, and it’s highly visible from other places.  However, it’s perfect in my craft room.  I found the zig-zag print first, called “ZoomZoom” and then also bought a few of the coordinating prints to use for accessories and basket liners to help tie everything together.

I wanted a simple panel with something cute along the top, so I went with fabric covered buttons and made a pleated “bell” type gather every few inches.  I attached it to the rod with clip rings, which can be found almost everywhere.  Mine came from Joann’s.  For the tie back (I really need one of those because of the window A/C unit in the summer), I just made a long strip of fabric and tied it in a knot.

This panel was quite easy, especially if you skip the lining part.  Here’s how I did it:


1.  You need to measure your window length and width.  My window was very narrow (about 20 inches, not including moldings), so I only wanted one panel, but if yours is wider, you can just make two panels instead of one.  In general, fabric should be twice as wide as the window so you have some fullness, but this isn’t an exact science, so you can give or take a little width depending on how full you want your curtains to be.   For the length, first decide where your curtain rod will be and how much length your clip rings will add, and measure from there to the floor, or wherever you want your panel to end.  This will be the finished length of your panel.  I wanted mine just above the floor, and my finished length needed to be exactly 84”.  I added four inches to the top and three to the bottom to account for  hem allowances.  So, I cut my fabric 91” long x the width of the fabric (selvage to selvage).

2.  If using lining, do the same, except make your width about 3” less than your printed fabric.  My fabric was heavy enough that it didn’t really need lining, but I had some on hand and decided to do it anyway.  It will help with insulation in the winter.  If using lining, at this point you should sew your fabric, right sides together, on each side seam.  When you turn it right side out, you’ll have about an inch on either side where your printed fabric folds over and creates a nice finished edge.  If you aren’t using lining, sew a side hem on each side about 1” wide.

3.  Top and bottom hems:  Iron down 4” along the top and 3” along the bottom.  I then turned under about 3/4” to make a clean edge to sew:


At this point, you’ll want to sew your hems either by hand or by machine.  My machine has a nifty function that does a blind hem without having to hem by hand.  I used this.  Basically, you fold it just as you would for a hem an then fold the long fabric part back about 1/4” (you’re working from the back at this point).

IMG_5103    IMG_5101  IMG_5105

Basically, the machine sews a straight line for about a centimeter, and then it does a zig zag left where it “bites into the top layer.  It looks like the above picture on the back, but from the front, it’s an “invisible” hem,  better than I could do by hand and much faster.  I honestly think you could do this with the zig zag function on any machine.  You would have to get your spacing right, it would be a bit more difficult, and you would have more frequent “bites” on the front, but it would work in almost the same way.  Here’s the view from the front:


The green zig zag is where my hemline runs, and you can’t even see it in the photo and can barely see it in person.  After you’ve hemmed the top and bottom of the panel, it’s time to make you’re pleats.

4.  I decided my pleats should span about 3”.  I pinned 4” from each end (you will still only gather a 3” section, but the extra inch on each end allows for making our bells later), marked off a 3” section in the middle, and then I had four more sections to mark (I always choose an odd number because it’s more pleasing to the eye).  In my case, I have seven bell pleats.  For the other two, they’re harder to space correctly, so I just used trial and error with a ruler until I got them approximately the same distance apart.  This is why I used pins instead of a marker—pins are easily moved.


5.  After I got the pleated sections marked, I took one strand of heavy duty thread and hand sewed a straight stitch, using big stitches, between the two pins across the 3” section.  Clip the thread, leaving a tail, pull tight, and tie a knot with the two ends.  This gives you your pleat.

IMG_5108  IMG_5113

6.  After all your pleats are tied, sew a straight line along the back to complete the bell look and make it more stable.  I couldn’t sew all the way down, but sewing 3/4 of the way from the top toward the bottom of the hem will do what you need as far as holding the pleats in place.  You won’t see this sewing line from the front once you’re finished.  On the ends, I sewed along the very edge of my fabric.  If you remember, we left an extra inch on each end to allow extra fabric for making the bell on the ends.


7.  Now it’s time to make your fabric covered buttons.  I bought a kit just because it’s easy and professional looking.  I have heard of people using existing buttons, sewing a gathering line around the edge and then pulling tight to cover the buttons.  This works, and I even used it for my little boy’s ring bearer vest because it would be worn once, and I didn’t want to buy the kit.  However, for this, I wanted a more professional look, and I also didn’t have buttons to cover anyway, so I would have had to buy something no matter what.  I used the Dritz Cover Button Kitin the 1 1/8” size.  They come three in a package, so unfortunately I had to buy three packages just for one extra.  You can also buy refill kits without the pusher and mold, which is what I did after the first package, since those are cheaper.  This is a very easy process, and there are directions and a pattern for your fabric circle on the back of the package.

IMG_5125  IMG_5126 

IMG_5127  IMG_5128

8.  After your buttons are all covered, simply sew them on where you tied your pleats, and you’re done!  I used seven clip rings, one for each pleat, and clipped them to the backs of my bell pleats. 


For the tie back, I cut a fabric strip 6.5”x width of the fabric, cut the ends at a 45 degree angle, and sewed along the edges, leaving a space to turn.  I then turned the strip, hand sewed the opening closed, and tied it in a knot.  You can do all sorts of different things for your tie back, providing you even want one.  I’ll use this mostly in the summer when the window A/C unit is in place.  In the winter, I don’t need one, really.

 IMG_5166 IMG_5168


I hope this works for you!  Leave a comment with any questions.

Vintage Baby Quilt


I made this back in 2011 but never got around to posting about it.  Better late than never, right?

Years ago (when I was around 16 or so), I bought a ziploc baggie full of little 2-inch squares from an antique store.  I actually think these are fabric samples for a quilt shop to show samples of different lines of fabric.  They must have used these before the internet changed the way people sell and shop for fabric.  Anyhow, most of them are a fairly accurate 2 inches square.  Some of them were a little off, but I made it work.

I sewed these together in concentric squares with white strips between them.  For the binding I used a piece of checked fabric I had gotten from a scrap bag.  I didn’t care for it very much—too country-ish to work for most of my projects, but it seemed just perfect for this one.


The quilting is my absolute favorite part of this quilt.  I used a deep red pearl cotton (here’s hoping it doesn’t bleed when I wash it!) so it stands out nicely on both the front and the back.  I had intended for this to be a baby quilt, but when I took it to the shop where some of my quilts are for sale, the owner said she intended to sell it as a small table-topper.  This actually sounds like a better idea.  It would be perfect in a home with a more vintage-country style.

Some of the fabric prints in this are so cute, but I only have one little square of each print.  I don’t have enough left for another baby quilt, but I’m thinking about making a set of placemats with my leftover pieces.

The baby room, phase 1


Our new baby is going in our former guest/storage room (depending on it’s varying degrees of tidiness—more often than not, it was a storage room).  We hadn’t touched the room since we moved in, so there is lots to do to get it ready for the new baby this fall.

In general, we try to do as little destruction as possible.  Unfortunately, the ceiling in this room had a lot of cracks.  We thought about a few options:  skim coating with mud, screwing 3/8” drywall right over top of the plaster, etc., but we decided that just tearing it down would be best.  My husband does all the labor except for the mudding, so using 3/8” over top of the other wouldn’t save us any money, and we might have to worry about plaster failure in the future.


We also rewire each room as we do it (well, “we” is my husband).  After this room is finished, our entire house will have been rewired.  In order to do this, he tore out the lower couple of feet of the wall all the way around the room.  He has rewired through less invasive methods before (under baseboard, etc.) but decided this would be easiest in the long run.  I didn’t argue since he’s the one doing the work.





The other major demo work done was taking out the closet.  It’s actually going to stay in the same spot, but we’re making it more shallow.  As it is, it’s very deep, but not deep enough to hang clothes on the sides to really use the space.  It also sticks out over a foot past the door, which makes walking in the room more difficult when furniture is in there.  We’re going to make it as deep as the door is when it’s open, so that should give us more walking space without really sacrificing any storage.

The wiring is mostly done, and the insulation is about half finished.  From there, we just need to rebuild the closet front, install drywall, refinish the floor, and paint.  Sounds easy enough, right?  My husband plans to make some major headway during his two week vacation this month during plant shutdown.  I’m hoping for drywall installation toward the end, but that may be wishful thinking.

a 65th anniversary cake


June 20th was my grandparents’ 65th wedding anniversary.  We had to have a party, of course, because 65 years is quite an accomplishment.  Not only is it rare these days for couples to stay married that long, but when you get past 50 years, both people sometimes just don’t live that long.

Anyhow, we had a pitch-in (or potluck for those in other regions) party in the evening held outside.  The weather cooperated fairly well.  We’re having a drought in Indiana, and there was a 20% chance of rain that day.  So, we chanced it and went ahead and set all the tables up with plastic tablecloths.  All of a sudden, the thunder started up, and it began to totally pour.  It didn’t last long, but everything really got soaked.  Luckily, everything was plastic except for the cake tablecloth, so we just left everything and then went out to dry things off when it was over.  The sun took care of the rest, and by party time, everything was great.


My mom and I made a cake for the occasion.  I love doing cakes with my mom—she bakes the cakes, makes the icing, and I get to decorate.  I’m faster at decorating than my mom because of my work in the bakery, so it works well that way when we do it together.  I always feel like I get to do the fun part without all the other work!

My grandmother wanted pink flowers on the cake, and we had to choose a more traditional design that would appeal to an older lady, so the style isn’t something I’d choose myself, but it turned out nicely, and my grandma loved it.  We already had it decorated but had to make a trip to Hobby Lobby for the topper, and I found these little pearls in the wedding/floral department.  I think they really sparked things up.  The cake stand also came from Hobby Lobby.  I’ve used it so often, and I just love it.  It’s sturdy, easy to carry, and it makes any cake look a bit more elegant.


I also designed the invitations for the party with My Digital Studio from Stampin’ Up!  It was a very simple design and took me about ten minutes for the entire thing:

carmichael anniversary-001

I always love looking at the wedding pictures of older couples I know now.  After all these years, my grandparents still hold hands and kiss each other goodnight and goodbye.  I hope, if I’m lucky enough to live as long as they have, that I’m still as happy with my husband as they are with each other. 


Blog under construction…

In case you haven’t noticed, things have changed up a bit on my blog.  While I was visiting my friend, Laura (read more of our exploits here), in Pittsburgh, we she moved my blog over to the dot-com domain.  This gives me a lot more freedom in design and features.  Laura is my technology guru (she blogs here), and she takes the time to do a ton of research, reading, and taking online classes on how to do all the fancy blog stuff. 

Coding/computer stuff beyond the basics makes me want to pull my hair out.  She stresses over hanging mirrors and/or putting holes in her wall.  This is one reason we’re such good friends—I hang her mirrors and drill holes in her walls, and she fixes my blog—thanks, Laura!

However, despite the genius that is Laura, some of the pictures/posts didn’t transfer all that smoothly, so I’m working on trying to get things back to normal.  I doubt I’ll go back to old posts and fix the pictures, but it should run much more smoothly from now on.  I’m hoping to design a fancy new header, too, but that may take a while.

A craft Room Project

I recently visited my best friend, who lives in Pittsburgh.  Coincidentally, there’s an Ikea in Pittsburgh.  Once we decided a trip there would be in the plans, I started looking online and making plans.


I’ve seen some awesome Ikea projects online, especially the faux built in Billy bookcases that everyone seems to be DIYing.  Here’s the pinned image that started the whole plan for me: DIY bookshelves

This bookcase is on, and her post can be found here.  She discusses the building process in more detail than some of the other posts I’ve read.  Although she says hers is in a craft room as well, I intend to use my shelves more for storage than for display.  I plan to try to dress things up a bit with some basket liners, but it will be mostly open shelving for fabric and stamps.

I recently started thinking more about my craft/sewing room when I made laundry basket dressers with my dad a couple of weeks ago.  My craft space is in a tiny (probably 6’x 10’ room) that also functions as a laundry room.  The room is so small because our house was built in 1883 without bathrooms, and the former bedroom was divided in half in order to add a bathroom way back whenever plumbing became common in houses.  Luckily, I do have a nice big closet in there for storage.  Nonetheless, it’s quite crowded, and storage is always an issue.

After some planning and discussions with my husband, we decided to attempt the built-in Billy bookcases ourselves for my craft room.  I currently have one out of the box, but that’s as far as we’ve gotten so far.  I’m hoping we’ll make some headway over the upcoming holiday when my husband has a day off work.

In preparation for the Ikea trip, I measured my van to make sure everything would fit—and it would.  My friend (who drives a compact car) also wanted an Expedit bookcase while we had the van to get it home for her, and again, I thought her bookcase would fit as well.  However, not only did she end up getting the one bookcase, but she got a second one as well as a shoe cabinet and a very large mirror.  I was a little nervous, but we went for it, and this is how the van ended up:

034  This is, of course without the huge mirror.  We took that out the night before when we got home because we didn’t want it resting on its somewhat unstable frame all night long.

It was raining when we got home, so we decided to wait until the next day to unload.  I don’t think our van has ever been quite this full, and I was quite proud of it for carrying so much.  We could have packed even more in if we had wanted to—you can carry way more in a van than in an SUV, and almost as much as a truck.  My bookcases are all in the middle, and Laura’s are on the sides.  I think her boxes were actually bigger than mine, but mine were so long that they went up next to the front seats.


We’re not the only ones who were surprised at the tightly packed quarters.  The mirror was so long that we had to rest it on the tops of the middle row passenger seats.  It didn’t really bother my little boy, but he was definitely checking things out:

IMG_0706I suppose this isn’t really the safest mode of transportation, but I assumed we’d have even worse problems if we were actually in an accident.  There were plenty of potential projectiles in the van.  Luckily, nothing happened.  We did accidentally leave the back hatch unlatched after stowing some bags—oops.  When we got home, it was closed, but completely unlatched.  I suppose we’re lucky nothing went flying out on the interstate.

In the end, the actual bookcases cost about $300 with tax, which I think is an excellent deal for a wall full of shelves.  I also bought the extension packs, which was almost as much as the bookcases themselves.  However, we have high ceilings, and this is a way to maximize storage space, which is the goal in the first place.  I have plenty of items to store that I don’t use on a regular basis, so I’m sure I’ll be able to make good use of the higher storage shelves.

We’ll have to buy some molding and some paint and caulk to give it the built in look, but I think it will be well worth it in the end.  I can’t wait to see how things turn out.  I’ll post updates as things progress.  I’ve also ordered some fabric for new curtains, basket liners for baskets on the shelves, etc.  However, I’ll have to have the bookcases in and the room picked up again before I can start on those…this could take a while.

My mother-in-law’s Christmas present

Yes, I’ve already started thinking about Christmas presents.  I actually started this one at the beginning of the year.  I decided to make a block for her quilt each month when I made my bee blocks and use the various designs that my bee members chose.  This worked well for the first couple of months, but I got behind when I had such severe morning sickness.

Once I recovered from the nausea, I then realized that since I’m having the baby in October, I might not be the most productive in the crafting/sewing department right before Christmas.  I thought I should go ahead and get things wrapped up to be sure it’s done in time for Christmas.

I churned out about twenty more blocks, and put it all together.  All in all, it was about a week’s worth of solid evening work, but I’m so glad it’s finished and that I know it will be ready to give when Christmas arrives.

I’m personally not very fond of sampler quilts, but the initial “do a little work each month” plan appealed to me, and my MIL will like the sampler style since she’s a bit more traditional.  I hope she also likes the fabric.  She’s not extremely girly, and this fabric reminded me of her.  I had it on the shelf from an after Thanksgiving sale at Joann’s last year.  It’s a queen size quilt, so it will fit her bed, but she could also use it on a couch folded up.

Most of the front blocks came from tutorials found here for easy traditional blocks.  For the back I made 6″ mini blocks out of scraps I had leftover.  About half of them are improv pieced, which is a technique I found out I really enjoy.  I’ve never improv pieced before, so 6″ blocks were a good way to try it out.

One thing I tried with this quilt that I wouldn’t recommend:  I hand-washed the blocks after piecing to prevent color running in the wash.  I’ve discovered that there are a handful of colors that can really cause problems if they’re not prewashed.  Navy is one of those colors.  Unfortunately, I discovered this after I had already begun making blocks or I would have prewashed the fabric to begin with.  I did the best I could, and it turned out okay, but it was a huge hassle to press each block after air-drying them, and I still ended up with tons of stray threads all over the quilt.  They also shrunk slightly, which made piecing the top a bit more difficult.  Note to self:  prewash fabrics likely to run before piecing.

Nonetheless, I’m glad I took the time to do that extra step because the navy did bleed significantly.  I used 1 new color catcher for each set of four blocks that I washed at the same time in the kitchen sink.  It caught a lot of color that would have stained the white parts had the quilt been wadded up in the washer all at once.  Lesson learned.

The only thing left to do is make a label.  I’m waiting until after our new baby is born, though, so I can include his name on it.  We have about four name options and no clue which one we’ll choose.