Sunday, December 19, 2010

Snowman Pillow

I managed to sneak in a little sewing time for myself this holiday season and made this snowman pillow. I adapted a Fons and Porter pattern for my pillow. A super ease holiday accessory that I can keep out all winter long.

  • Fabric 1/2 yard
  • Chenille - 10 inch square
  • Ball fringe - 2 yards
  • Buttons for eyes and mouth
  • Scrap orange for nose

Cut fabric border at 4.5 inches, I used a mitered corner but this can be done without miters.

Sew buttons for eyes and mouth in expression of your choice, I used 6 buttons for the mouth and free hand drew a nose from orange plaid, then raw edge appliqued.

I find it easier to attach the ball frince on first, then sew a back to the pillow front. For the back I just layered the same fabric as border, put a double inch hem then sewed front to the back and inserted a pillow.

Instant Snowman that did not require me to find my gloves, or go outside.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Tree 2010

We decided this year to get a live tree, and cut it down ourselves. It was a great day to do this we went a week ago the weather was still bearable at 40 degrees. We drove to North of Oxford to a tree farm called Mutch's Hidden Pines.

You get on a wagon and they drive you out to a field of trees, we decided on Douglas Fir as the soft needles and the ease of care was appealing since this was our first live tree.

The wagon ride to the fields was beautiful and peaceful

We had a great time walking through the woods to choose our perfect tree, we found one and dragged it the front of the field where we were picked up by the wagon. They then trim it, shake all the needles and leaves from it then tie it up to put on the car.

Our 2010 Christmas tree

We had a great time and hope to make this an annual event. We loved the idea of supporting a small local family business. Michigan is 3rd behind the Oregon and the Carolinas for Christmas Tree harvests, they are an important part of MI agricultural content, they provide wildlife habitats and produce oxygen before being enjoyed for the holidays.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Baking

I actually baked some cookies this year for Christmas, mainly because my 5 year old was very eager to bake for Santa. We picked out 5 different cookies to bake, we only made it through 3 as my helper gave up about an hour or so into the process.

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

The kitchen was a disaster when done, but we had great fun making cookies and making packages to share with family and friends.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Interview: Leon and Lulu Artists Market

Leon & Lulu's Artists' Market Attracts Hundreds

Dozens of artists from across the state were at Leon & Lulu on Sunday selling their unique works at the Clawson store's Artists' Market.

The event attracted hundreds of customers who got the opportunity to meet with creators of the artwork. Co-owner Mary Liz Curtin said the store will host four two-day Artists' Markets each year. The first market was in August 2009 and Curtin said high turnout has encouraged her to continue the events.

"We've always had high standards," Curtin said about the jury-selected artists featured in the event. The market has become so popular that, "we have more artist supply than we can accommodate," she said.

On Sunday, 41 different artists presented a variety of unique items for shoppers to browse. Julie Race, who makes recycled items, displayed cloth snack bags and decorative owl pillows made from sweaters.

"The event is wonderful," said Sandy O'Brien of Midnight Creations in Birmingham. O'Brien sold handmade purses, totes and other accessories created from various fabrics. "Everything I make is simple and functional; the fabric does the work."

Kindle Wear, a home-based business, offered a line of screen-printed clothing designed by West Bloomfield artist Kyle Staulter, who said she is "inspired by vintage illustrations."

Janice Degen, of Bloomfield Township, sold jewelry that she called giftables. "I like to take out my frustrations" while making jewelry, she said. "Banging and beating on a piece of metal really helps."

Kim Grant, an artist from Grand Rapids, was popular among patrons at the event. Grant's art comes in the form of handmade cat toys. Filled with strong catnip, her toys were available in fabric fortune cookies, martini glasses, bumpy pickles and more. "The packaging is more for the people; the toys are more for the cats," Grant said.

Sherrie Singer, of the home business Girlie Goodz, nearly sold out of her "Handbags for Healing," which are designed to raise charitable funds after a friend was diagnosed with cancer.

One satisfied customer was Gretchen Greenwood who bought a Girlie Goodz purse. "I love my new handbag," Greenwood said. "I'll never find another one like this."

Many artists who participated in the market were pleased with the event.

The variety "is what makes the event so much fun," said Patrice Pannill who makes paper art, cuff bracelets and free-form bead art. "The wonderful thing is, the people that work (at Leon & Lulu) totally reflect the atmosphere."

The Artists' Market not only caterted to customers and artists, but also to charity. The event benefits Cass Community Social Services by selling their mud mats. Cass employs homeless men to collect abandoned tires around Detroit and recycle them into handmade mud mats and 100 percent of the profits go back to the nonprofit. Leon & Lulu also served hot dogs, beer, wine and other snacks and beverages, donating all tips to Cass Community Social Services.

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