Tuesday, November 29, 2011

V and Co: how to: simple poinsettia wreath

first off, hope you had a great thanksgiving holiday. i am still recovering from turkey/pumpkin pie/stuffing and all the fixings hangover...so i'm moving a little sluggish these days, but nothing like the christmas season to keep you moving right along, or rather push you right along...so here we go.

yes, another wreath. since i'm all about wreaths (so it seems) on my door for the season, i was trying to think of what would look classy and beautiful. poinsettia wreaths can be found lots of places, but normally they look like yuck, unless you want to pay lots of money for a great fake one or pay lots of money for a live one (that will need to be tossed as it wilts) and so, i decided to make my own with some flowers i found at micheals.

i know, seriously? you are probably thinking...um do you work for micheals cause you talk about them all the time. are you trying to push their products on us? nope, i just go to the closest place and that place just so happens to be micheals. mystery solved. um and they also send me tons of coupons in my email, and give me 40% off receipts every time i shop there...so they have my love.
you are also probably thinking do you have some weird obsession with wreaths? and the answer is yes. i've scaled down to only a couple in my home (2 to be exact) and of course the changing one on the door. so back off.

okay things needed:
9 poinsettia stems (ashland christmas stems)
1- 18" grape wreath
wire cutters....oh my gosh my poor hands...NO....
okay lets try this again:
9-poinsettia flower stems
1- 18" grape wreath
bolt cutters if you have them, or heavy duty wire cutters to save your hands/and repentance of swearing like a sailor because it's so hard to cut through the stem.

the stem originally is $5.99 a stem, i bought them when they were 50% off but i went back and saw them for 60% off? i could of been dreaming. but whatever you get each stem for $3 if you do the 50% off so that's still a pretty reasonable price to pay for a wreath you get to keep for the next year.

what i did:
-take your heavy duty wire cutters or bolt cutters, and aprox 3" from the base of the flower cut the stem.
-do this to all your 9 stems.

- just like the hydrangea wreath you are going to push your stems through the grape wreath (and you can hot glue it down if you feel the need, i did not)

-i overlapped the poinsettias a little so it was completely full, but with 9 flowers you will see you will have to overlap them a little to make them all fit.

it looks amazing on my door and i'm thinking of going back and making another one for my living room, to change out the one in there already, just for the season. :)
okay today i'm working on an ornament tutorial, since i've gotten some requests for it. hopefully it will work, if not...well we move onto the next thing! :)
we'll talk soon.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

V and Co: no big dill: once upon a thread

today i am over at no big dill for her once upon a thread series on books.
i chose The Giving Tree .
i could of gone in so many directions with this book, especially around this time of the year in giving thanks or in giving service to those around you. but instead, i chose motherhood. go over there and read my interpretation of this book and download this free subway art i made.

ps this is it for me for the week. i have to get my cook on and stuff my hands inside a turkey's butt, oh, and make more pies...
when i come back next week i have some more stuff to show you that i've been making.
happy thanksgiving. i hope you get to laugh at least once, and you get to spend it with nice people.
we'll talk soon. :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

V and Co: this week in gratitude

V and Co. homemade apple pie getting ready to be baked
i love this week.
every year it doesn't matter where we are this week is my favorite. i love thanksgiving. i don't know if it's the food or the fact that its one of the ONLY holidays i don't feel pressured into buying stuff other than the food that is going to be shared with my family and friends around a dinner table to remember to give thanks. oh don't worry dept stores i'll still stimulate the economy by buying my kids a toy or two, for what you keep trying to make us think christmas is all about. but for one more week i get to relax and enjoy the the best time of the year where i get to purge my closets of toys, clothes, and some collected things that really aren't necessarily needing to be in my house, and donate them to those who might need them or to the salvation army. i think the best part about this process is that we usually give away more than we buy in this next season of christmas and birthdays.
i am grateful for children that are happy and appreciate the toys they have and do not have problems letting go of toys to give to others who might need them. we've been doing this since before we had kids. it's helped keep at bay clutter and keeps cleaning out stuff that much easier.

a few things i'm grateful for (because it's the week to gush over these things, and then we can go back to being sarcastically creative):
*a spouse that supports me and loves me and makes me laugh till i pee my pants and sometimes at my own expense.
*children that for the most part aside from being boogers here and there, are good kids, want to be helpful, and are willing (with a little bit of whining) to work together as a family to make this household work.
*jobs that both my husband and i have that are enough to provide for all of our necessities.
*friends and family that understand and are willing to love us despite our shortcomings and or the sarcastic smart mouthed responses that come back at them at times.
*a religion that helps us remember the most important things in this life: faith and family.
*all the wonderful places we've called home, they have brought us the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people and who have formed wonderful memories we will always cherish. (we love and miss you, and i'm sure you do the same at least that's what we're telling ourselves, if you can't stand us i'm grateful that you have decided to keep that little bit of info to yourself.)
*and well of course i'm grateful for this little spot in the world wide web, that's given me so much in return, in friendships, laughter, anxiety, opportunities, encouragement, and well a place to show off my passions in creating and my struggles/love of being a mother and wife.
* and i'll say it again because i've said it before and it would be wierd if i didn't say it because i really am truly grateful for this one:
i'm grateful i'm not Heidi Montag who married that weirdo Spencer who i don't even know what they are doing now because i've moved past watching the hills (wait it's not on any more is it? if it is what on earth can they still be talking about?)
edited: OH MY GOSH heidi and spencer are still around. heaven help our society.

okay well i'm off to do more important things than to waste time on reading up on heidi and spencer, oh and btw i'm grateful for those of you who come read and come back and read and like what i do.

ps: i guess the sarcastic was still there minus the crafty...but we'll return to the sarcastic with the crafty soon. now go be grateful somewhere.
we'll talk soon

Thursday, November 17, 2011

V and Co: how to: sewing with ruffle fabric: make a scarf

 hey guys!
today we're sewing with ruffle fabric again.
see my past projects:
ruffle skirt &
ruffle tote

but today we're sewing:

super duper fast/easy holy crap it's too cute to be this easy scarf. or the shorter name version: a ruffle scarf.
i love scarfs. it's like an accessory that makes you look just that much more put together. try it. any simple outfit, add a scarf and *POOF* you are three steps up on the stylish chart. true story.

okay now i will tell you what i did to make this scarf and then i will tell you what you should do instead. basically i could of made it waaaaaay faster (and a little bit more flowy-er) so pay attention:

what you'll need:
1 yard  2" ruffle fabric 
what i did but you shouldn't do: i cut 4 pieces of 7" each of the fabric with the ruffles laying horizontal.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO: cut 2 pieces at 14" each with the ruffles laying horizontal
okay so pretend that this is cut to 14" and from here on out. just disregard the width but the instructions are the same. i know lame-o but i'm trying to make it better for you.
so are we all on the same page?
-cut two strips of your ruffle fabric at 14" x 36" (because you have a yard that will be the length, if you want it longer you will need to add more yardage, it's just the way that ruffles are on the bolt)
now you are going to take your two strips of 14" x 36" and place them right sides together.
sew the short ends together on one side (the 14" side)

when you turn it around this is that your seam will look like

*note the picture has the wrong width
-now you will have one long strip
okay so here's where you have to pay attention to the ruffles and how they lay down.
-with your seam in your hand let the ruffles cascade down on either side.
-fold over in half (the width of scarf) making sure the seams match and your ruffles are laying down the same way as the fabric laying on your hand. (picture 2)
-picture 3 shows the scarf folded in half with seams meeting up
-lay down carefully on your sewing machine so the ruffles dont get messed up, and place the needle at the seam of your scarf (the one featured in the pictures above) this will be your starting point for the ruffles facing towards you.
-make sure that the raw edge of the ruffle gets sewn into the seam.
-sew using a 1/4" seam allowance down one side of your scarf (with the ruffles laying down towards you).
-turn your scarf around (check that the ruffles fall towards you and aren't messed up) and from the middle seam again sew the edge down with the ruffle laying down towards you.

- turn inside out.

**place seam (the one along the long side of your scarf) at the back of the scarf where you wont see it, so it lays towards you when you wear it.

*now what i did for the scarf featured was tuck in the ends and hand stitch it, but i don't love the bulk. i mean it works but i don't LOVE it.
-so i suggest you just sew a top stitch (under the bottom ruffle). the edges will be raw, but as we have already seen in past projects there isn't any fraying that happens so your raw edge wont matter one bit.

i learned a lot on this scarf. and the second one turned out better than the one featured here.
this one doesn't look bad...so i think the instructions i gave you will make it turn out even better . 
-let me know how you like it better than the one featured.
now go and be awesome in your scarf.
we'll talk soon

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

winners of craptastic giveaway

 first off thank you for the lovely birthday wishes, the oh get over yourself you don't know what old is, the oh my gosh i just turned 25 and i feel so olds, the i know EXACTLY what you are feelings, the oh honey the best is yet to comes, and the i don't know what to say so i'll just say happy uncrappy birthday to you. all the comments were great and made my day. really.

but you don't want to hear anything from me right now you just want to know who won.
well here are the winners:
thank you random generator for taking out the guessing game:

212 kate spain mini charm packs: meg B
772 kate spain mini charm packs: lynlamb
144 threads + lotta pocket friend: heather BC
835 apron by terrace hill: sharon
8 charm packs: trisha
1064 layer cake: jenny
463 fabric fat quarter bundle of future line by fig tree: michelle jensen
997 oliver + S book : weston and sarah
21 scentsy warmer + products: aksherry
400 mini charm pack and coaster: laurel
1095 designer needles: yan hong lowson
233 mini charm packs: emily w
73 adorn it booklet patterns: mac
34 patterns: ecuakim
784 Lizzy house book: nancy
692 lizzy house book: allegory
104 patterns: kimland
600 patterns: ashley

congratulations to the winners. um can you please email me...i'll contact you...but if you contact me first this might speed up the process :)
we'll talk soon.

Monday, November 14, 2011

thank you

thank you.
i think you guys liked my one day sale too. :)
well that may have to be a birthday thing again for sure.
currently im working on getting the random #'s picked and attaching winnings to them. this may take a little bit of time but just know i am working on it and will post them sometime today.
so hold tight. :) it's coming.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

V and Co: a craptastic giveaway for my 3-6

so yes i turn the big three-six today.
for some reason the number 36 is hard to look at. i soooo don't feel 36, i feel uh...maybe 26. 26 would be so doable. if i were turning 26 i would so totally be like "i'm so cool i'm reaching my prime and i totally have 10 years till i turn crochety 36 and 14 years till i turn GASP 40. but haha that's sooo far away. but 36 is like... flarrrg. :) 36 is 4 freaking years till i'm 40. AHHH! breathe. breathe. breathe...

okay well it's not really THAT bad (well it is but not really), but it is kind of weird to think i'm that old. i mean don't get me wrong throw in 4 kids and a weak bladder, i definitely feel 36 but other than that and the varicose vein that throbs and the ooookay...moving on.
so to celebrate and make myself feel better i'm going to give stuff away, to make others happy will make me happy and totally take some of the attention off of what's at hand here today.

check what i've been collecting:
i've got fabric, i've got patterns, i've got books, i've got scentsy products, i've got notions, i've got aprons and i've got...well crap load of stuff to make up my "craptastic giveaway day" and to make me feel like this is a good fun day!
we've got charm packs from andover, kona, and moda.
we've got a layer cake, and we've got cute little mini charm packs, some of future lines due to come out and oh some not featured! (they are kate spain's current and a couple of new line) but yeah i got these babies from market.
and ahem lets not forget to mention one lucky person will be receiving a fat quarter bundle
we've got cute little notebooks from lizzy house.
and i've got a scensty warmer and three of my fav smells for the fall and winter season going to one lucky winner. (pictured above)
i've got by far one of my FAVORITE books ever:  Oliver + S Little Things To Sew to give away.

i can sit and stare at this book every day all day. and sometimes i do. :) i have yet to make something from it, but the pictures alone make me happy so i can only imagine what it would feel like to have something made from the book. :) soon. hopefully.

and last but not least i have this apron that i just got. cause you know holidays are a coming and fast! and i don't want to get any cooking on me, and you probably dont either sooo, i'm giving away one apron of your choosing from this site.

so here's how to enter. no, i'm not going to make you jump through a thousand hoops to get a chance to win something.
but there are two things you can do:

first and foremost:
1. just wish me a non crappy birthday. :) that's all i ask.

second if you wanna: 
2. go to the terrace hill site and come back and tell me which apron you would pick as your winning. (basically so if you are randomly picked i already know what to order!)
but PLEASE PLEASE leave an email address attached to the bottom of your comment. you can even write like this: vanessa[dot]christenson [at]gmail[dot]com if you are afraid of spam getting you. but at least this way it makes it so easy to pick winners and let you know that you won that it makes me not want to pull my hair out.
i will pick the winners (i haven't counted how many there will be...but you'll see the list of them) on monday. :)

oh and to add to the fun: 
for today only i am giving you 50% off all patterns in my shop. just enter the code PDF36 for pdf patterns and PAPER36 for paper patterns at the check out and you will get your patterns (paper and pdf) for half off. offer is for today only and will expire at midnight central time so load up on it. :)

sale end! wow!!! thanks!

oh and last but not least: since i know all of your are going to be partying up for my birthday today, go ahead and take tomorrow off, i mean it's a national holiday for that reason. so might as well use it up. :P

okay i'm going to go eat chocolate, drink diet caffeine free diet dr pepper, and watch friends for a while. then maybe i'll get around to eating normal food and getting into some jeans for the day.
have a sweet weekend. we'll talk next week. best of luck.

Monday, November 7, 2011

V and Co: how to: easy fall wreath

 okay now this may be a no brainier of a project. but i made it and  it was such a steal of a project and it made my house a little festive so i thought i would share it.
so a few days into october i wanted to change my hydrangea wreath to something more fall-ish. so i went to tj maxx to find something real quick.
i really couldn't find anything but this wreath up above.
so i bought it with the intention of keeping the receipt and keeping the tag on it and trying it out for at least a week to see if it would work.
i wasn't all that impressed.
so i started to look online to see what i wanted. i found this  but for $56...uh i don't think so.
 i went to Micheal's and they had their long fall garlands on sale for 60% off. yup i bought my garland for like $8. and i already had the wreath in my storage (you can find them at Micheal's for pretty cheap as well plus use your 40% off yeah...not a bad deal)
 i did have to buy these floral cloth wires for $1.98 but i used my 40% off on them. and didn't use more than like three or four of them, so i can use them again in another wreath in the future. i figured this was a pretty good deal and no where near $56 buckaroos, and way better (and cheaper) than the $16.99 tj maxx wreath.
here's what i did:
 first i wanted a rough estimate of how much i was going to need on my wreath. so i placed it on top, making sure that all the leaves were facing up.
 then i cut a few of the cloth wires just large enough that it would be easy to work with (around 3")
then i hooked the wire through the wreath and the garland (this particular garland was made of chains, so every three chains i looped and tied a wire) if your garland doesn't have a chain just hook through the wreath and around the main part of the garland.
 once i got back to where i started i cut off the excess part of the garland.

 here is the wreath with the garland tied on and on the right side is the rest of the cut off garland.
 as i looked at my wreath i didn't like how bare some of the places looked. so i took the remainder part of the garland to fill in the places that seemed bare.
 i mainly used three chains cut and then tied into the wreath with the wire, and i used the rest of the garland to fill in the less filled in spots.
 what i got was a pretty good cheap (but not cheap looking) version of that $56 wreath.
 here it is on my front door, and yes there is my daughter's adorable dog looking all kinds of pathetic because she was at school and i had walked away from him for a minute.
so now...lets start thinking of a good winter-y one that will be worthy of hanging on the V and Co door.
ps: my colombian mother is here visiting. :) i love when she's here because by the end of her visit my kids are speaking spanglish and asking for uvas and leche instead of grapes and milk. oh and she gets her cook on and we get to eat pandevonos, which i love and can never replicate quite like her. we've got a few fun things to do, but she's mainly helping me with organizing and whipping me back into speaking spanish fluently.
pps: my birthday is on thursday and i'm giving away stuff to make it fun and not depressing that i'm moving past the hump of 35 and turning 36.
we'll talk soon.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

V and Co: at fall quilt market

the pre-version of my book that is due out january 2012
first off HELLO NOVEMBER! you are my favorite month. with thanksgiving (fav holiday) and my birthday, what's not to love? so happy october is over. eh. ;)
soooooo. quilt market. yes.
it went well. schoolhouse was good. i said "foots" when i meant to say "feet" and then i said "fut" when i meant to say "foot" i blanked out on the word "projects" couldn't for the life of me think of that word...and i think i said "um" a lot...
all in all: i would do it again. i think with a little bit (a ton of) practice, i could do that kind of thing and over time it would become a little easier.
 i also got to do a demo where i demonstrated a project from the book, and i realized something... i LOVE talking and demonstrating techniques i use. yeah, i really felt in my element (and really felt relaxed) when i got to talk a group of people how to actually create the projects featured.
mental note: see if i can find places that want me to teach such techniques. :)
 i got to talk about ruffles, gathers, pleats and twists. have i mentioned lately how much i really like to add that little bit of "personality" to projects with some kind of texture. yeah, i do. and as much as i try to focus on other things...i always come back in some way or other in the following project with "texture". yup i like it. :)

okay so a little about the OTHER things happening at market.
before schoolhouse i was wound up like a top ready to go. pretty sure i wanted to just put my head between my legs and go to my happy place. but see that's how i am i work myself up and then when the event happens, "swoosh". all is good
after schoolhouse, i was all kinds of more relaxed throwing jokes all around walking with my swagger (aka my feet are freaking killing me) and winking pointing and saying "how you doin?'" (in my best joey impression) to anyone that said hi to me. well okay maybe not that suave...but really i had a wonderful time meeting so many of you!
 also a few years ago i got to go to my first quilt market. and i got to room with this lady. yeah dana and i got to meet up again this time for dinner and we talked about kids, and projects, and family life. it's so nice to know that outside of blogging/sewing/projects, she and i would probably still be friends and do other things together as well.
 and we also were able to go to the 2.0 party where i got to talk a little to (and snap a pic with) the uber talented kate spain. this picture was suppose to be just of kate with a sign saying "hi chadley" for my sis in law who LOVES kate, and kate loves my sis in law too. but because i didn't plan it and didn't get the sign made up, i got in the pic with kate and we were thinking "hi chadley!" :)
 on the floor i got to joke around with aneela hoey that one of my highlights of the day was when sandy klop excitedly said to me "OH HI ANEELA! oops wait you aren't her. haha!" apparently i look like the pale version of aneela, and honestly that is fine by me.
i also got to joke around with joanna of figtree and co, malka durawsky, kate spain, lu summers (who made me take a few pictures just to make sure she looked awesome in it :P plus she kept saying the funnest things in her british accent like "dont make me look like a cabbage." good times.), the long thread's ellen baker, and aneela. all so nice, and kind of funny. just how i like em. :)

 and of course i am always in love with sweetwater and their approach to quilting, i love them. they know this. and they are always kind to me and are always willing to chat and shoot the breeze whenever i come and say "hey can i take a picture of your awesomeness?"
 now i don't know if you had heard the buzz that mr amy butler was going to debut his line this fall market parson gray but i had heard about it a few weeks prior and checked it out, and i have to say i was impressed. i like the look he has going, i think they are great looking and ahem he wasn't so hard on the eyes either when i snapped the picture. he actually tried to get out of the way when i asked if i could take the picture and i all but said "oh you silly, silly, kind of cute man, stay in the picture pretty sure the v and co female readers would like for me to keep you in the picture!" but really all i said was "oh no, you can stay in it as well."
right next to him was amy butler's new line "lark". and no no accosting amy this year...i've grown up and all i do is act all official and snap pictures.
 i just loved this elephant. i didn't even pay attention to who's booth it was or if it was a designer...i was swooned and taken by the elephant. if anyone knows who this is...let me know and i'll link it back but till then. isn't that like the coolest elephant? that took some time and talent.  and if i could figure a way to stuff it in my shirt i would of walked away with it...but it was kind of large and i think people would of caught on.
 now this next couple of pictures i just had to share. with my love of texture, you know at some point i'm going to have to embark on a yo-yo quilt. they are kind of cool and i've seen them before. but nothing like this one.
 this was at the retro clean booth, they had a display of vintage quilts this on being one of them...but seriously have you ever seen a yo- yo- quilt with yo-yo's that small. i was in awe. and even more in awe when the man told me that his two aunts made it in the 30's yeah pretty cool in my book.
speaking of books:

looky which book i got (and signed!) i'm so excited. many of you remember my quest to find the perfect gray dress, well here's my chance to make a pretty cute one.

one of my favorite thing in this book aside from that dress on the left, is the step by step picture instructions and the beautiful pictures in this book.
yeah i think i may just embark on a sewing journey. :)
well as always i didn't take a lot of pictures. i always think i do, and then the lighting sucks and a lot of them turn out blurry and well my forget-to-take-a-picture-of-that-fulness happens as well.
but i know there are a bunch of others writing about it...so my lack of pictures isn't such an end of the world thing.
okay my mom is coming in two days. off to prepare...and i promise to show you my new fall wreath and how i made it like soon. :) yeah we've heard that before.
we'll talk soon.
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