Posts tagged ‘inspiration’

A little quilting inspiration

I am a lucky girl, you know that? I have this fabulous group of people that I have been friends with since 7th-9th grade. Particularly 4 (3 girls 1 boy) who have stayed in close contact. We’re spread out throughout Kansas, Missouri, and Illinois – but when we do see each other it’s like being 13 again. Giggles, hugs, and being with the people who just “get” you.

I am telling you this for two reasons. One, I just returned from a fabulous girl’s weekend with 3 of my junior high besties to Lake of the Ozarks. There was tanning, giggling, raspberry vodka, swimming, shopping, staring longingly at lake houses and most of all spending time together. What a blessed, blessed person I am to have these girls in my life.

The infamous red cups

And too much eating on this trip.

What does this have to do with quilting, you may wonder. Well, the dude friend (not part of the girl’s weekend) and his amazing wife are expecting their first child due the first week in August. They will be the first of the original group to have a child and we are so, so excited for them. (And feeling very, very old) They live all the way in Chicago, which is way too far from us. I promised a quilt, and the room is going to be done up in transportation themes. I bought the fabric, and it’s darling, and it’s sat on my desk for months while I putz in the garden and with decorating and just generally anything but sewing. With a brief look at the calendar this week, it was panic time – the baby is due in 3.5 weeks and I haven’t even started?!?

So it was time for some quilting inspiration courtesy of Etsy. Check out these beautiful quilts for sale (which I had nothing to do with other than to stop and drool).

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=tags&includes[]=title”]Hopefully this is the inspiration I needed and soon I will be back on track with a quilt on the way!

July 13, 2010 at 4:34 pm 1 comment

Homes that are truly for the birds: how to

So the daily blogging thing comes and goes on here, as you may have noticed. Work has been crazy, life has been crazy, the house is a mess, the computer was under repair …. and to be honest, what I really needed for awhile was to disconnect from the world a bit. I love being connected. I love people. But sometimes, between Facebook, Twitter, blogs, LinkedIn, news feeds, Google Reader, work emails … the amount of information is overwhelming. Sometimes, I just need to disconnect for a bit and recharge.

What better timing and chance than this beautiful Easter weekend? Two full days of sun, warm temperatures, warm soil and a relatively free schedule. I buried myself in the garden, and enjoyed alfresco lunch with my long lost husband who has been overwhelmed with work and grad school. Weeding, pruning, planting herb seeds (slow bolt cilantro, three kinds of basil, dill, tarragon, thyme, rosemary, oregano, lavander), green onion bulbs and wildflowers. Building a partial fence around our back garden so the dogs can’t destroy it now that our backyard is fenced in. Where they previously ran rampant and destroyed, is now a beautiful black iron fence and even better, green things are returning to the garden! (Still much work is needed, so please only look at the fence :))

One dog was particularly glad to accompany me with so much time spent outside:

Back to the main theme, though: birdhouses. I was inspired when reading the April 2010 edition of Country Living and looking at the stunning gardens that were featured. One included four birdhouses, of different shapes, painted the same color and installed on stilts amidst the garden. It was beautiful. I decided I had to have birdhouses, and then about fell over when I saw the price (especially as I was wanting 5 of them).

So, I was determined to semi-make my own. Sure, you could make your own entirely from scratch, but this is much easier.

What you will need:

4 unfinished wooden birdhouses, similar sizes, with different shapes. I found mine at Michaels, where there were about 8 designs to choose from, and all sold for $4.99 regular price. (Though they were on sale for $3.99 when we bought them)

1 can Rustoleum (or similar brand) primer

1 can Rustoleum paint (I used 2 cans because I wanted 2 different colors)

1 can Rustoleum clear gloss sealer paint

1 tube water resistant epoxy glue

2 packages 72-120 inch adjustable closet rods (we found some at Home Depot. For $13, you get 2 6-foot-long poles that can be easily driven into the ground. This was much cheaper than the $15 birdhouse poles we found at WalMart, and saved us about $19 per birdhouse)

Large black trashbags

Layout large black trash bags, forming a safe place to spray paint. Put birdhouses on top of trashbag. Spray first with 1-2 coats of primer paint, thoroughly covering bare wood. Let dry for 45 minutes. Then, spray 2 coats of desired paint color, with 2 minutes of drying time between coats. Then, let houses dry an additional 30 minutes, and spray 2 coats of clear coat, with 2 minutes in between each coat. Let dry for an additional 1-2 hours.

Position poles where you would like your birdhouses to be, with the open end driven into the ground, and the plastic-capped top facing the sky. Your soil and location will depend on how far you want to push down your poles. Mine are implanted 1 foot into the ground, leaving 5 feet of pole out of the ground. With bird houses, the structures measure about 5-feet 8-inches.

After you have your poles positioned where you want them, mix water-resistant epoxy and apply to the plastic capped end of the closet rod, and to the underneath of your birdhouse where it will be attached to the pole. Attach to the pole. It can take up to 5 minutes to set, so stay near the pole for 5 minutes to make sure the house affixes. Repeat with all houses, and voila! You are finished!

(Pardon the terrible lighting in these photos)

April 6, 2010 at 7:49 pm 1 comment

A browse around Etsy

On a much happier note …

I absolutely love wedding ring quilts and other wedding themed quilts. A quick scroll through some Etsy finds:

From MickeyBQuilts Etsy shop

From JunqueInTheTrunque's Etsy shop

Table runner from LazyMamaDesigns

From SusanEllisonArt's Etsy shop

SerenStitches Quilt from Etsy. While not a wedding ring quilt, look at that beautiful quilting!

March 29, 2010 at 5:43 pm 2 comments

Back from the (nearly) dead

Sorry for the recent lack in posts, blog friends. I spent a week ago Sunday through today pretty much lying on the couch, trying not to die from some sort of respiratory virus. Sewing was far from my mind as I concentrated on breathing and regulating body temperature.

But … I’m back! Just not quite up to my usual crafty/cooking self yet (thank God for boxed pasta). So until then, some beautiful quilt inspiration from Etsy:

By Ragadoos on Etsy

Tiny Trends Quilts

Warm n' Fuzzies

March 8, 2010 at 7:15 pm 3 comments

My quilting hero

… is my Aunt Carol, or technically, my husband’s Aunt Carol. She is an incredible quilter, and can whip out even complicated patterns in an afternoon. She works for a fabric store, and has previously been a professional sewer.

She’s also insanely generous, and has provided me with quilting books, quilting magazines, and the beautiful Bernina I have. She also made us this beautiful quilt for our wedding gift.

I would guess that a lot of quilters have someone who turned them on to the hobby. Who was your inspiration?

February 24, 2010 at 6:50 am 5 comments

More quilt inspiration from Etsy

By Doodle Bug Quilts http://www.doodlebugquilts.com

February 15, 2010 at 6:51 pm 5 comments

Another dose of (softie) inspiration

One day I was looking for inspiration for a new softie project to make for home decorating, when I stumbled upon LucyKate Crafts. I seriously love her blog – so many beautiful projects, great pictures … it’s a great blog to spend an hour perusing.

I fell in love with her fox softies, and was inspired to create my own fox. It didn’t turn out as adorable as hers (she is a professional, after all), but still pretty cute.

Oh foxy, foxy

I have a soft spot for foxes, too, because our Cairn, Netta, reminds me of a fox.

Cairn Terrier

Actual fox

February 11, 2010 at 5:26 am 4 comments

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About me

My name is Mallory Murray and I have a love of all things oldfashioned. I'm a modern day feminist who also adores Martha Stewart. Read on for my sewing, crochet, cooking, gardening, quilting and crafting projects. I am the chief officer of marketing and design at Northwest Missouri State University, so expect the occasional random post about marketing/universities/design. I dream of a hobby farm with baby doll sheep, a sheep dog, a small flock of chickens, and other animals to be announced. I'm also a Pitt State grad, football lover, HGTV addict and obsessed with the color aqua.

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