Sunday, February 24, 2013

Spray N Bond - My New Favorite

I just discovered "Spray N Bond!" My days of pinning or hand basting with stitching are long gone. All the quilts I design are small so I've never used this on anything large. I first saw it on a youtube video while I was watching a quilting project and I thought I'd give it a try. So glad I did! It's a nice sized can and it runs about 12 or 13 bucks but it's well worth it, especially if you hit a JoAnn's quilting sale, or have a 50% off coupon. I used it on my last three mug rugs to hold my backing in place while I stitched my binding down. Nothing shifted at all.

There are a couple of brands available but I chose this one because I'm a big fan of their other products. I couldn't live without my Heat N Bond Lite! OK, that may be a slight exaggeration, but I love the stuff for my many applique projects.

It's been a while since I posted about a favorite so I figured this would be a perfect opportunity.

The mug rug in the photo is my latest pattern that I just listed at my Etsy Shop & Craftsy Shop.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Banana Muffins! Yum!!!

Baking sure has changed since Grandma's day! It's even changed since I was a little girl. Today we worry about low-fat, low sugar, low carbs, blah, blah, blah. Back then, they worried about nothing. They didn't know everything they know today. Brian watches sugar, and I watch fat grams. You'll notice the way my muffins look different from his.

Grandma certainly didn't have a Google Nexus to read her recipes on like I do. It's my favorite way to follow a recipe. I just recently found a great recipe program that works with my Android devices. Thanks to a couple of my facebook fans, I found PepperPlate! I can type in my recipes online, or import from various websites, then sync with my tablet and my cellphone! The best part is that I don't have to be online to access any of my recipes. How many times have you been at the grocery store and couldn't remember the ingredients to your favorite beef stew or mint brownies? My grocery store has bad cell service so I can still access my recipes!

Also, see the cute little kitty cat measuring cups at the left? Got those for Christmas this year. They are so much fun to use!

If you want the recipe to my low-fat banana nut chocolate chip muffins, which don't taste low-fat, click HERE.

Images in photo are from "Country Cooking" and "Cookin - What You Need" which are both available in my Etsy Shop.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Mug Rug Madness

I have a new designing addiction. I love making mug rugs! They are fun, quick, and so easy. Above are four PDF patterns that I created which are available in my Craftsy and Etsy shops. I have two others that I can't show you because the designs were purchased from me by a very popular publishing company. When they are published I'll be sure to send you the links.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Craft Storage Solutions

I've been scouring blogs and Pinterest to get creative and smart storage ideas and I have found some. The one that I put to use immediately was the open storage for fabric. I love going into my sewing room and seeing all my fabric. It really gets the creative juices flowing. 

Back before my husband made me my incredible sewing room, I used big Rubbermaid totes and Ziploc bags from the small 2 by 4 inch to the large 2 gallon size. That system actually works very well if you don't have open storage. I would group my supplies by type, separate them into bags, then put that group into a large 2 gallon Ziploc. I could see everything at a glace. I used that system for years and it worked great. But now I have my big sewing room with built-in shelving so I keep it all open. I'm sharing a grouping of my storage in my own sewing room. I'd love to hear any ideas you have as well!


OVER THE DOOR SHOE HOLDER - I actually bought this yesterday. I was looking for a great way to store all my spools of ribbon and this is perfect! I have them organized by width and colors. This is also perfect for those who have very little space. You could put one of these on the back of every door in  your house or apartment!

PLASTIC SCRAPBOOK STORAGE BOXES: These are perfect to keep all my small scrap fabrics in. I use a lot of scraps because I do a lot of small projects as well as making appliques. I can keep everything neat and orderly and divided by type of fabrics and felt.

EXTRA LARGE MUGS FOR PAINTBRUSHES: I've used this mug for years. All my brushes at a glance. The only problem with this method is that Punkie (my cat) likes to eat my brush bristles so I have to keep it out of her reach.

PLASTIC SHOE BOXES WITH ATTACHED LID: These are perfect for storing my patterns in. I keep them in legal sized envelopes that are clearly marked. I have two of them. One I use for my own personal designs, the other for patterns that I printed from the Internet after I made the project.

HANGING FILE FOLDER POCKET ORGANZIER: Yes, I really do use this pattern of mine. I have one in my home office and this one I use for storing printouts of patterns, stencils, contracts, submission guidelines, tax papers, receipts, etc... You can make your own if you want. The pattern is available at my Etsy Shop and my Craftsy Shop.

MUGS & SMALL FLOWERPOTS: These are perfect for storing scissors, decorative edge scissors, rotary cutters, pens, pencils, and more.

PLASTIC THREAD BOXES: I got these at JoAnn's. They are perfect for storing thread. You can see right through them and they have pegs inside that keep the spools neat and orderly.

LARGE GLASS JARS: I love these! They kind of remind me of an old fashioned candy shop. I love to store my beads, zippers, and embroidery floss in them. They just look so colorful and pretty.

MASON JARS AND SMALL GLASS JARS: Perfect for storing buttons and other small things like wiggle eyes, pompoms, beads, etc...

OPEN FABRIC STORAGE: Last by not least, I love the open fabric storage! I buy the Comic Book Backing Boards on Amazon for about $15 for 100 and I use them to wrap my fabric. I can easily see what fabric I have, and what fabric I need. I wouldn't use this method if I had a window that was facing the bright sun, or I'd cover it up and uncover when sewing.

So there you have it! I'd love to hear all your ideas too.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

FREEBIE - Mini Scrap Kit & Applique Patterns!

It's time for another freebie!!! This time my gift is for my sewing and crafting friends, as well as my digital scrapbooking friends.

I've been getting more involved with my Facebook fan page and to celebrate and promote it I'm offering a freebie for my new fans and current fans. For the new ones, just like my page, and you'll get the links to the patterns and graphics. If you are already a fan, you'll still get the link to the downloads.

Just go to my Facebook fan page HERE and click on the green tab that says, "Get Your FREEBIES." It's that simple!

For my scrapbooking friends, you might want to click on my "Love Story" tab when you are finished getting my free gift because that's where you'll find a ton of free graphics from lots of different designers.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sher's Tip - Save Money On Ink

Printer ink is very expensive! Here are three great ways to save on ink.

First, always make sure you print only the pages you need.

Second, when printing pattern pieces, recipes, and receipts, always print your pages using the draft, fast draft, or economy setting. When using this setting, your printer will use the least amount of ink possible to get the job done. You can find both of these settings in the properties, settings, or options box when your printer window appears. I actually have my printer set to this setting as the default so I don’t worry about ever forgetting to do this. I only use half the ink as normal when I use this setting and that adds up to huge savings!

Third, I download the pattern to my e-reader and use it to follow directions and view the step by step photos. Before I had my e-reader, I used my laptop. This way I only print out the pattern pieces that I will be using.

I even store my most used and favorite recipes (or recipes I want to try soon) on my e-reader so I can set it on the kitchen counter when cooking. This saves paper and ink.

Obviously if you are printing out gift tags, greeting cards, or photos, you want an excellent printout. But for day to day printing, you can save a fortune following the tips above!

Thank you to some of my readers who also suggested setting your printer to grayscale. Another great tip to save on your colors!
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