a room with a view :: a tutorial

I am so proud to show off to you what I was able to make from all the goodies my friend Gina sent me. It seems odd to say friend, because we've never met, or even spoken, but we have communicated by e-mail. First on Etsy, as she bought this poster you see below. {Doesn't it look gorgeous on the mantle? The red in the stone is picked up by the reddish coral of the poster.} I know that she must have a cozy home. And she told me a story about how her children were proud that these were their very own house rules and I just might have gotten a tear in my eye. Or two. Wow, they liked it!

I've had fun communicating with a few other blog-gy gals, too, and I am a happy person because of this. I want you to know that I try to visit the blogs of my followers and commenters, too!

This is what I will get to see each time I walk into my craft room! You'll remember the goody package Gina sent me, well these projects are all a result of that happy mail. Lucky me!

Here's a closer view:

It has been years since I did any type of hand stitching and I have to tell you, I absolutely loved it. I used to cross-stitch years ago and I think that I will have to do more projects like this bird. 

I did a chain stitch, a running stitch, french knots, a satin stitch and a back stitch. I won't show you the back because I carried my thread far too far. You really talented needle crafters would just shake your head at my lack of expertise! The bird is my take on the Indigo Bunting that my mother-in-law and I love so much!

Gordon enjoyed having me sit with him while I stitched and we drank our weekend morning coffee in the Sun Room. He did say this though, "You know you're getting old when you start sewing." I let it slide. He doesn't really think I'm old, even though I'm 7 years older than him. Most people think we're the same age. So there, Mr. Smarty Pants!

And now for an even closer view:

This hoop {above} has one of my book page flowers, a vintage paper doily from Gina she found in the original box dated 1942, scallop trim I cut from felt, a flower topped stick pin from Gina and an "m" I cut out of Amy Butler fabric, also from Gina. I backed the "m" with more felt as I didn't have any Wonder Under to fuse it to the hoop fabric and it needed some stability. 

This flower was made using my variation of this tutorial. My sewing machine is not cooperating with me lately, so I used my low-melt hot glue gun to make this sweet thing. I was afraid the hot glue gun would melt the felt {it's the 4/$1 Hobby Lobby stuff, not the good wool stuff.} 

I'll just tell you now, if you have daughters and they see this flower...they WILL want one. Now. If they could reach it on my craft toom wall, they would have taken it down and fought over who got to put it in their room!

Here's another view of the Life is Great hoop and the "m" hoop.

I just cannot get over how adorable, and creative, this Life is Great hoop is! I told Gina that I think she should have her very own Etsy shop. Don't you?

If you'd like to see a few steps on how I made the flower hoop, here it goes! First, cut out your circles.

Then, I folded my template in half and cut the felt circles in half, instead of eyeballing it. I "felt" {hardy har, I'm so funny!} it would be more accurate this way.

I used a green background to look like leaves because I wasn't sure if I had enough pink felt semi-circles. In the end I had plenty...but I love the way it turned out after all!

To make the top 3 layers of poofy, dimensional petals, I first applied some glue to the middle of my semi-circle. 

Then I smooshed it together {yeah, I know...me and my technical terms}. I then placed glue on the back side of the dimensional petal and placed it on the fabric and petal-embellished hoop. The smooshed up felt will be on the back side glued down. The smooth side will be face up.

See those poofy, dimensional petals below? That's what we just made. And the clear glass pebble, that I use to make necklaces, is just to cover the middle spot where the top row of petals meet in the middle. You could use a button, a rhinestone, or...

For the "m", I found a font I liked, enlarged it to the size I needed, printed it, trimmed it out and then...

...turned it and the fabric over to trace around it so that I could cut the fabric "m" out.

For added stability, I used a running stitch with 3 strands of embroidery floss to attach the "m" to the green felt. Then, using the sharp end of the needle, I purposefully frayed the edges of the fabric to give it a more imperfect, shabby look. My next step was to trim the "m" out of the felt. I did not go between the legs of the letter "m" rather I just cut straight across the bottom. 

If you'd like to see it again, here's another view.

Thank you, Gina, for helping me in my scrap room makeover. It's already a happier place!

what i'm doing

I signed up for a class at Big Picture Scrapbooking, titled Book of Stories, taught by Karen Grunberg whose blog I found by chance. Someone had posted a link to one of her free downloads. And then she was so kind to design the journaling cards I used for Zach's Graduation Album.

The class is titled Book of Stories and YOU have until 9.1.2010 {tomorrow} by 9 am to win a FREE seat in the class.

I hope you'll consider taking the class. Hey, if we're classmates, will you sit next to me?

happy boo to you :: free download

See what happens when I don't have everything ready to show you on the project I've been working on...a free download, that's what!

The pumpkin photo holder was half off {already, can you believe it?} at Hobby Lobby Saturday. I wasn't really looking for it, but it called my name at 50% off! So, in my basket it went...along with some embroidery hoops, felt and the Halloween gingham ribbon at 50% off.

The ceramic pumpkins are at the Dollar Tree now for $1 each. I picked up three...you know three punkins, I mean kiddos so I buy in groups of three. Plus, the design gurus say odd numbers are more pleasing to the eye, so odd it is. Noooo, not me, the grouping of objects!

The green table runner was $3 at Wal-Mart a few days ago. The striped one I really wanted with the Fall colors was $7, but my common sense took over and I settled for the cheaper, green runner. I didn't really NEED it, so I went with cheap. And, I like it a lot more than I thought I would.

And now none of this is on the dining room table any more. Mr. wRight said that it was still Summer and not time for Fall decorating and least of all pumpkins! Party pooper!

Oh, and on my projects, I have about 15 minutes of stitching left to do on one hoop, I am making the flower hoop just as soon as I finish this post and I need to decide what font to use for my monogram "m" for another hoop! Is your head spinning yet? Well, I hope you'll like what I'm working on as much as I LOVE creating them.

featured artist :: notepad cover tutorial

Hello, hello to everyone from the Ideas for Scrapbookers blog, where I'm the featured artist today! I'm so glad that you stopped in for a visit.

Today, I'm going to share with you a DIY tutorial that will show you cleverly inexpensive ways to use your paper and cardboard/chipboard scraps. 

I used the Sweet Blooms line from Colorbok for this gift set.
My second-grader has a male teacher this year and she is thrilled to be in his class...he likes science and so does she. Yeah, makes teacher gifts a little more challenging for me. And, no, that flowered gift set isn't for him, it's for the female teaching assistant!

I began by finding some sturdy cardboard to use for the notepad cover. I then cut it to size, slathered it in glue and burnished the paper to the cardboard.

I find it easier to burnish a larger piece of patterned paper or cardstock to the cardboard/chipboard and then trimming the paper to fit the cardboard. There's no worrying about lining up edges. I tried it both ways on this project and it worked best for me to trim the patterned paper to fit the cardboard after I glued and burnished.

I used my 1/16" hole punch on this chipboard letter and threaded through a small wire from a key tag. I began tying the knot, added the wire and then completed the knot. The Fiskars threading water border punch is a favorite of mine, I use it quite a lot.

And here's a peek at the inside {I blurred the name on the notepad for privacy}. I chose to wrap the ribbon around the outside of the paper. Another option would be to wrap the ribbon before adhering the patterned paper to the back of your cardboard cover. If you are choosing this option, I would definitely use a heavyweight cardstock and not a patterned paper.

Here I used paper from Scrap Within Reach, which I won on the blog ISLY for this project.
For the teacher, he gets the same gift, except in more manly tones. I reversed the positioning of the border punched paper strip and used a different monogram, but it's just as nice. The notecard was made from scraps. After adhering the patterned paper to the front of the card, I punched two holes to thread my paper "ribbon" through and then added a punched circle with a pop dot.

Can you see that somewhat rough spot at the edge of the P, where there might have been a leg to make it an R? I cut off the leg that made this P an R and {ta da} I have the letter I needed! Never underestimate the power of a crafty mama!


And now for the bonus portion of our show...hand sanitizer! What teacher these days makes it through the day without spritzing this a million times? Just cut your patterned paper to cover the advertising, adhere in the back and wrap either baker's twine or ribbon around the bottle and you now have a matching gift set.

These ideas are not new, we all know, but I wanted to share with you what a little creative packaging can do for a free notepad and some hand sanitizer. 

I'd love to see what you've made for teacher's gifts this year, I'm always on the prowl for new ideas. Leave me a link in the comments so that I can stop by and take a look at what's been keeping you busy. 


Yesterday I received a notice in my mailbox that there was a package waiting for me to pick up. Yippee! The Post Office is on my way to Isabella's school, so I left a few minutes early...I'm all about surprises. 

I couldn't not share this with you, so here goes:

I know. Can you believe it? Let me just say that I was overwhelmed with the bounty and kindness that came out of that box. It was carefully, and beautifully, packaged and I am still just smiling from ear to ear. I will have a more detailed post for you on Monday...and just maybe I'll have several of the projects completed and displayed.

As I type this, I am looking at a very special piece of art created just for me by this very dear person I met through my Etsy shop. If she didn't live in California, I would get in the car and give her a hug right now...yeah, I'm talking about you, Gina!

Now for the randomness:
  • Don't forget to enter this giveaway, it ends soon!
  • It's also give.away.day. at write.click.scrapbook. {as it is each and every Thursday} and today a new blogging friend, Karen Grunberg, is featured. Want a hint? It's a spot in her new class at Big Picture Scrapbooking. She also designed all the free downloads I used for this album.
  • I've gone international, my book page flower tutorial was featured on this French blog. Merci!
  • I just found a new blog, and if you're interested in bargains and neat ideas, click here. I've been surfing there now for about 30 minutes and already added several ideas to my Tumblr.
  • I'm still working on my scrap room, which has much more green than I ever imagined it would. The big job is really in the room beyond, you know the tornado known as the furnace room. It will require a whole day of dust, dirt, sweat and brawn to have it like I want it. Well, ideally I'd like it to be totally different, but we can't have it all. Plus, I can close the door and not look at it!
So, just to remind you...

Isn't that pure cuteness? YES. It is.

from pre-school to college in 8.7 seconds!

How did this happen? Seriously.

Say hello to a member of the Class of 2014 at Maryville College. Go Scots! My husband, Zach's step-dad, graduated from Maryville College, too. This wasn't his first choice {Auburn, Vanderbilt, ETSU, Carson-Newman - girlfriend swayed this decision, were all front-runners}, but I feel that this is the best possible choice for him. Pre-Med major, thank goodness he has the brain for it. 

But, let me tell you now...he can do it, this we know, but WILL he do it is the question. High school was a struggle just to get him to turn in assignments, ugh. I'm not going to go there today, but trust me, the heartaches.

So, my dear, taller-than-your-tall-Mom-son, enter the world, find your voice, make a difference, be you, explore your options and conquer your fears. It's all in your hands. It's all up to you.

I love you, always remember that.

Edited to Add this e-mail from my son this morning:
I don't remember signing a consent form to be put online ;) but that is a nice story thank you.

new blog feature :: free downloads

I've shared several downloads with you recently, and if you're anything like me {???} free is a very good thing. To make it easier for you, I've just added a free downloads tab in the menu bar located beneath the blog header. I have more free goodies for you up my design sleeve!

Today, I'm working on cleaning up my scrap room {which is also the laundry room and computer room} and the adjoining space known as the furnace room, which is really just an ongoing full-force tornado. Ugh, be still my Type-A, compulsive, neatness counts heart!

Until I share my cleaned up, prettied up and ready-for-scrappin room, I'll leave you with these two layouts. The first is a layout I did back in March while visiting my BFF {of 33 years} in Nashville and the second is an assignment from my Inspiration: Defined class at Big Picture Scrapbooking. It's taught by Elizabeth Dillowauthor and co-founder, along with Marnie Flores, of write.click.scrapbook.com.

We were to use one of our own layouts as inspiration for a new layout. What do you think? BTW-The photo on the left was taken about 17 years ago and the photo on the right was taken 2 years ago...don't let time hold you back from scrapping whatever memories you might still have of that particular moment. And the portrait above Isabella {you know, of that super precious young lady having a tea party with her Steiff teddy?} is of her. It's been hanging at our hometown shopping mall for 3 years now! Other portraits have come and gone, but hers continues to hang in all its glory. Oh, and aren't her pink hi-top Converse too cute?

free download and a tutorial :: address book pages

If you've clicked over, hello SEI Lifestyle blog readers!

This DIY address book was a project that I featured during my guest blogging week at SEI Lifestyles last week. I offered to post the free address book pages download on my blog this week if there was any interest from the post...and there was! I'm so happy to share these with you today.

Okay, now that you've downloaded your address book pages, you'll need to decide what size your address book will be. I decided upon a 6"x6" size, since I was using the SEI paper pads. When I designed the pages, I left plenty of room to use binder rings, ball chain, ribbon, Bind-it-All o-wires or even a stapler to bind it all together.

Assuming you've decided your album will be 6"x6" also, your first cut will be at 5.75" if you're printing on an 8.5" x 11" piece of paper. Then rotate the page so that your next cut {between the two page templates} will be at 5.50". 

Still haven't downloaded your pages, quick...click here to be taken to the download.

I didn't use alphabetical tabs in my address book, but I think that would be a great idea. They would be so cute peeking out of the top of the book!

Address Book Pages Download + Tutorial | Monika Wright

To create my address book, I used one of my favorite tools ever...the the Bind-it-All by Zutter. For the ribbon bow you see, I tied a knot around the rhinestone brad before inserting it through my pierced hole.

Address Book Pages Download + Tutorial | Monika Wright

And you're finished. So easy, so cute and so useful. How often does that happen all in one sentence?

If you'd like to know how to use those long strips of paper we had from our first cut, scroll down in this post to see another DIY idea!

free download and a giveaway :: little moments

Today I put away the sand and shells and all things Summer. It's not that it's still not blazing hot and incredibly humid, it's just that I was ready for a change. And this is what happened.

Twine-covered styrofoam balls {note to self, next time use your cool-melt hot gun, not the hot hot gun!} and a butternut squash from the garden round out my little tablescape. If you're nosy like I am, here's a little before and after action of how the stand looked like before I used my removable glue dots to adhere the print.

Please know these things:
  • I thank you for reading
  • I thank you for comments, keep them coming
  • I thank you for becoming a blog friend and
  • I thank you for returning to read about what I'm loving right now
Since I can't write you a thank you note for reaching my 50 blog friends/followers goal, please accept this free art print download. Your print is sized to 8.5 x 11, but mine is square so that I could cover up the shell. Surely, the beautiful autumn weather is just around the corner. Right?

If you don't have a printer to be able to download this print, please leave a comment {tell me what your favorite season is} to be entered for your chance to win a copy of this 8.5 x 11 print. If you want to tweet, blog about it or post it on Facebook, those will earn you extra entries! Be sure you leave an e-mail address in your comment if it is not listed in your profile so that I can contact you if you're the winner. 

this giveaway is now closed