Speed applique a vintage camper; multi-media art, create magnets & tea towels – Mother’s day gift idea.

camper-fat-quartersI found this Henry Glass “Quilt Camp” fabric with awesome little campers and about lost my mind at the fabric shop getting some cut!

I found this darling sky and cloud fabric and had to use it as well!


These 2.5″ x 2.5″ mini-canvases are magnets (sold in set of 5 @ Walmart). While shopping, it struck me that tiny campers need tiny pets! I picked these stickers up and added a fun message, and rhinestones! Materials used and DIY instructions at end of post.


I always buy the tea towels and magnets on vacation. This seemed like an homage to past trips.

Speed applique means no turned edges, things will frey and the color/art/texture NOT the process will be the feature.

The same construction steps apply to both the tea towel and magnet – using scraps, cut fabric that has been backed with fusible web and iron your background fabric on first, adding a foreground, place camper on top of both. Each camper has been cut so that the background of original textile is eliminated.. I was taught to call this “fussy cutting”. Cut as close as possible around shape edge with SHARP scissors. Press with no steam. Add text fabric as a special element to mark an occasion, or season.

Finish with decorative stitching, outline all fabric elements with black stitches. Crochet trim is a personal favorite for finishing a tea towel! I purchased the trim rather than attempting to make it, just to save my mind.


Materials/Supply List for tea towels and magnets:

Magnet, additional supplies:

  • Pet stickers
  • Rhinestones
  • Mod Podge
  • Paint brush to apply Mod Podge (clean with soap and water immediately after use)
  • Mini-canvases with magnetic backing (or add your own)

camper-close-up-kittyMagnet step by step:

  1. Apply Heat-n-Bond to all fabrics you wish to applique.
  2. Fussy cut (as close to image edges as possible) the camper and other desired shapes (grassy hill) from the fabrics using very sharp fabric scissors.
  3. Use iron to adhere cloud or background fabric to magnet, continue with foreground fabric (green check), place camper and secure with heat on grass.
  4. Trim as close as possible to edge of magnet with scissors to size.
  5. Apply pet sticker in foreground of camper, place quote or message as desired.
  6. Glue gems or embellishment of your choice for finishing touch.
  7. Apply several coats of Mod Podge over the magnet include sealing the edges where fabric meets magnet, allow dry time between coats following manufacturer instructions. 2 or more coats recommended! Seal edges as well as surface area.
  8. Dry 48 hours for best results before stacking, wrapping or potentially contaminating tacky surface with fingerprints, etc.



Applique fabric art, dogs in clothes; my sister’s obsession with her chihuahua…

My sister keeps posting photos of Chihuahua’s dressed in clothes on Facebook. I offered to make an outfit for her tiny pup, but she said “Millie won’t wear clothes.” I also offered to start a therapy group, if need should arise…

My next best offer was art. If you need fashion, you need fashion! Millie be darned. This fabric dog will wear my sweater and dress!!

I made her some fabric chihuahua’s all dressed up with jewels & trim – Viola!

“Millie Art”.

I’m kind of obsessed with these little furry friends in fabric!

-Pretend my fabric dog art looks like a Chihuahua.

  • Embroidery hoop
  • Scrap fabrics
  • Glue stick
  • Hot glue and gun
  • Heat-n-Bond
  • Black thread & needle
  • Sewing machine – black thread
  • Iron/board
  • Beads/jewels
  • Trim – crochet and mini pom-pom

And then I decided to make a cat portrait!!! TBC.

2017, Find your style and then run with it.

I want my home to be pretty, comfortable, and welcoming.  I feel that way about my clothes, shoes, and art.

Vintage dishware

The stack of dishes is a fair representation of my life. Things, used, but not used up; trying to serve a dozen purposes & stacked off kilter. Displayed in a glass case, transparent, functional, simple and necessary: something I would like to be as an artist.Vintage dishwareI mentioned in a previous post that I need a dose of fabric, color, paint, text, photography and a creativity daily. My cupboard photo was taken quite a while back. This draft written a year ago because the story was not complete yet. I realized the photos helped me focus on my color palette.

  Knowing what you love, what is visually pleasing to your own eye, what brings you joy will help you make design or purchasing choices in a split second. It helps you decide what to impulse buy and what you can walk away from.

Aqua vase

When I study a picture of my dishes, I realize that nothing matches, they are imperfect, damaged- yet still desirable and useful; collected over time. Take this approach in your creative work next year and you will have a more true vision of who you are as an artist.


Time and daily devotion to creating is what will show you where to go next. The journey I am on is decades long – wherever you are now in your creative journey, soak it in and remember what brings you joy – use it in your next phase, incorporate it as often as possible as you work! Joy is contagious. Love spreads like wildfire.

I decided to embrace that I am bright, cheerful, imperfect and practical, that color, texture & kitsch bring me joy!

Excited to see what you are working on in the new year!

Mini sewing-retreat, gifts in jars, loving working with fellow creatives!

It is no secret that I am obsessed with tiny houses.
Fabric house in a jar

They are more amazing in a jar embellished with paint and frayed fabric.

Fabric house in a jar

This was a special order from one of my best customers – my mom. She is so supportive of my creative work. I only need another few hundred thousand just like her, right?

Other excitement for me – a reorder from previous client for pet portrait. This is Moxie.

The watercolor painting will be framed for a Christmas gift. Such a wonderful compliment to receive a second order!Moxie, pet portrait order

Today I was blessed to spend the afternoon sewing, laughing, dining and learning with friends at the home of Jackie Clark. She has been generous dozens of times hosting lunch and sewing time for quilters, artists and friends. Today was a memory, a lesson, a connection, friendship manifested. While I have no photos to show you, I will stress the importance of creative individuals spending time together. There is simply nothing like it. When you are in that creative zone with fellow artists, you take no photos, you simply absorb, share, learn, watch and relish each moment.

Each woman at this mini-retreat was making a handmade, thoughtful gift, tailored to the needs or desires of someone they loved. It was wonderful to be in the middle of Santa’s workshop, among the elves for an afternoon.

Wherever you are in your creative journey, I wish for you the comfort and joy of fellow artists to encourage you, to teach you, and in turn that you become fearless in teaching your own lessons!!!

Painting with fabric; tiny fabric houses in jars.

I paint with fabric. Make-believe is real. I imagine and create (happy people in) tiny, quirky houses. Breakfast is ready when you wake up, naps are encouraged- this is what I think about when I sew a tiny house. Here we ride bikes with friends til the street lights come on.

Tiny house in skinny jar!

Perpetually age 7 (with crazy hair and crooked teeth)  I run barefoot in cut off denim shorts. Sprinklers are for running in and rainbows hide in the spray.colton-pooltime-019

On this the block the Cat in the Hat drops by and we can walk through the bright, illustrated pages of Goodnight Moon. Kindergarten rules still apply here – Be nice is #1.

Katy, my mom, lives in one of these tiny, imperfect houses in a jar. No joy is lost and no harm gets in. Can you preserve love, a memory, “a time” just like pickles? I try to. Behind the blue windows and red door, my sister and I giggle. We play with the kittens, the puppies and ponies of our childhood. Our rooms are steps apart and the fireplace is always lit.

We are forever young, optimistic and hopeful.

These little scraps of printed fabric and bits of text and paint are significant in that, they were plucked from the toss baskets of my sewing friends – bits too small, too unruly to be used by most. Each color story reminds me of big decorating plans my mother made for a new house- pillows and curtains or sofas and ottomans. Each scrap a trip down memory lane for me.

I imagine when I sew this way that happiness is a tangible thing to give away and share. I am making a village of tiny houses painted from fabric scraps in hoops and jars. I call this effort, “Chasing Katy”, after the many homes my mom made for us when I was young. We are still trying to keep up with her dreams and ideas as adults.

I want to know what home is to you.


Take time, daily, to craft, create, renew, celebrate & LIVE in the moment!

I need color, fiber, photography and text as part of my everyday experience. 40 hours each week, I am a payroll clerk/bookkeeper and 10 hours each week, part time receptionist in an assisted living/retirement facility. I’m a wife, mother, employee, Grandma, artist and; starved for time to create.2016-08-08-20-45-29

I mix a number of creative / craft avenues to meet my daily creative needs. Sewing means fiber use- creates scraps, gets me using leftover textiles in creative ways: potholders, tiny house art on canvas or cards- this gives me something to photograph/write about….2016-05-08 19.52.51-1

I call this “painting with fabric”. Whatever I make in a day or week’s time, I take photos along the way: many become a blog post or portfolio photos.

Loving Color inventory, Things 4 That

As long as a few of your creative needs are met daily – I promise, you  will feel alive & accomplished.

I may spend as little as 30 minutes on a creative endeavor, other days I spend an entire 10 hour day.. But I use my spare time, each day, to best fit the situation- Creatively, what will I regret not having done today?

2016-05-02 17.21.49

I have huge ambitions for items I collect. My project list is longer than number the of weeks in a year- just like your list.2016-09-16-13-50-40

Each day,take small strides toward your creative goals. This group of jars, trees and little houses have grown into 20 inventory pieces I recently consigned for sale.

I am lucky, I have a partner that loves and respects my  artwork,  he loves to cook and supports me with his efforts keeping house.

My hope for you, is that you find your own unique ways, each day, to create and celebrate your talents, dreams, and art.

I practice the idea of celebrating a moment for it’s “perfect imperfection”.

If what you are working on brings you joy, peace, love and moves you forward each day – then all is well, my friend!

Happy creating, happy you!

Feel free to share what you are working on.

Sand, distress and wax a vintage, painted wood dresser!

black. painted dresser before
Before – SOLD

I am always on the lookout for interesting, vintage, wood furniture. A few weeks ago, I was fortunate to find a vintage sideboard that was painted a high gloss black. Loved that it was tall, skinny, painted and had the wooden spacers in the drawers for organizing socks, etc.I discovered it on a weekly visit to a favorite thrift store at the bargain price of $55.00.

2016-08-14 05.58.52

Dearest hubby hooked me up by picking up the dresser in his truck, then buying the rough  sand paper and picking up borrowed electric sander from my parents. Then, he was also willing to take some photos for my WIP details.

I used heavy sand paper on every surface to remove the gloss. On edges that one would expect to have wear and tear over time (decades- there are some huge chips here?), I laid into it with that sander and removed paint down to the bare wood.

black dresser before wax
After rough sanding, before wax

Before applying wax, remove as much of the sanded paint and debris from the surface as possible. I used water and paper towels, then used a spray cleaner.. I think most cleaning sprays will work (my goal was simply to have clean, oil free surface).

black dresser

Finally, a generous application of matte wax was applied using a cloth. You can tint the wax, if you like. I considered adding a color, but felt the natural wood would eventually get a dark and interesting patina on its own.

Project took 3 days to complete (for me). It could be done in a single day if you chose to.

Total cost for me was under $70.00, because I borrowed sander and wax and got a good deal on the dresser. When I see furniture like this for sale in boutiques/shops, I am always very conscientious of the improvement time & original purchase price that goes into a vendor’s selling price.

Whatever you pay for re-purposed furniture, remember that time is something each person values in a different way. Ask what does it cost an individual to devote large portions of 3 days work before making a “lower  offer” than price marked.


Where do you sell your creative artwork?

hand painted gift box, tuxedo cat
Zuess, cat portrait

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I think all artistic/creative people struggle with these questions:

  • Where do I sell my art, handmade goods?
  • Will anyone like them, order them, buy them?

The truth is, you won’t know until you try. Utilize multiple ways of selling, advertising and promoting your products.

Loving Color inventory, Things 4 That

I personally love a local brick & mortar, boutique store.  I love the displays, and the personal attention given to customers. I enjoy seeing a variety of work by local artists,  I was fortunate to find a local shop, Things 4 That specializing in handmade items on consignment. It is like walking through a few dozen Pinterest sites if you are a customer. If you are a consignor it is the equivalent of having a booth at a great craft/art show everyday, without booth the rental or giving up a weekend (did I mention all the hauling and lifting you might do?).

Things 4 That

I also value being able to sell to anyone, anytime.  Online sales sources are inexpensive, & you can access and show your work via smart phone!

For online sales, I use Etsy.com.  and promote my work with a WordPress website & blog.  For success selling your creative work, I encourage you to use a mufti-faceted approach. Local and online sales resources are each invaluable in their own way.

My favorite site to create personalized online graphics, coupons, etc. is Canva. Amazing layouts are free to use, just upload your photos, chose font styles and colors. Don’t wait just because you think you need a graphic artist – chances are the cards, letters, photo collage templates that you need are free for you to use.

I love to learn how other creatives (just like you) sell their goods, get exposure and take the next step with their art/passion. If you have a great business resource for artists you wish to share, please comment!

Four day weekend at Whatever Craft House -loving a girl’s retreat!

I recently experienced an amazing 4 day sewing retreat at The Whatever Craft House, hosted by my dear friend, fabric and pattern designer, Jackie Clark (you know, the tutor, amazing sewing enthusiast, accomplished cook).

For a tour of the Whatevercraft House and more info click HERE.

Immediately, I feel at home here. Dear friends, Tamara Gonzales and Bev Bishop welcomed everyone with gifts. Bev made little packets of notepaper and pencils, printed out the verse that inspired the Whatever House for everyone to read and appreciate, and Tamara gave handmade strawberry hot pads in delightful colors to guests.

I was fortunate to receive some of Tamara’s scrap yarn at the end of retreat (you can tell we love the same colors!) I have been fortunate to spend time with Tamara, a fellow blogger – only those that do, get it!2016-08-25 02.24.20

I worked on a throw quilt that had large patches. This was for my mother, as a gift. I finished with help from Jackie, as she gave up her personal sewing time to demonstrate how to apply a binding.Large patchwork quilt 2016 Lovingcolor S. Macera

I have lots of photos of me working on it, of my mom receiving it, but still, not photo of it done (on my list for the weekend).

Since I was close to home, my mom and my sister came to tour the house – I love that Tamara took wonderful photos of me sewing, my mom’s reaction and that you can see how happy she was with her quilt.
2016-08-27 22.21.40After my mom got her quilt, we took a Main Street shopping trip in Newton, KS. I found the amazing red trays and the mini-globe bank at 2 antique shops just blocks from the retreat.

2016-08-26 21.17.25
My other project was to add to blocks from retreats past… the houses began as a wall hanging concept two years  ago, but has since morphed into a “quilt in progress”. I love the green mini floral and the aqua print that resembles paint splotches (found these and the aqua background fabric at Charlotte’s Sew Natural also on Main)!

2016-08-27 23.44.01 There are nine blocks of (the 26) houses that I have lived in over past 43 years… eight blocks are shown here in it’s current condition.  I plan to add a few more “applique” elements. I use the term applique loosely, as it is not the traditional applique. I use Heat-n-Bond or Wonder Under then very primitively stitch over the work. At the moment the block sizes vary, but I will get a uniform size figured out on the next leg of the project.

Elements I want to add – one idea in the corner of each block. These additions keep me up at night dreaming in fabric:

  • Air-stream trailer
  • Pic-nick table
  • Swing
  • Scooter
  • Bicycle
  • Vintage truck (1940)
  • Dog
  • Cat
  • Birds on a wire (telephone poles)

His & hers weekend hobbies

We work hard. We play hard. Last weekend was one that sort of wraps us up as a couple, a family.

He likes cars, motorcycles, speed, & sports. I like art, sewing, painting and decorating.

Some weekends we both get to full-fill our dreams in some measure. I think because my dreams are less expensive and “average hobbies”, I get personal satisfaction more often.. He says it’s worth the wait each year to race along curvy roads at over 100 mph. He said/She said.

Last weekend, my hubby went to Nebraska for his second time racing in the SORC with my dad.

This meant I was in charge of meals and endless loads of laundry – but it also meant I could sew to my heart’s content at ridiculous hours. 2016-08-14 05.00.33It meant my son and I were bonding without our mutual caregiver.

I cooked a pan of enchiladas and forced son to eat leftovers or make sandwiches until his father (family chef) returned. As treat- I brought home cake mix for boy to bake, frost and eat all weekend long.

Everyone is happy – some dreams are cheaper (chocolate cake mix).

  • We can discuss how awful and uneven the edges of my strip quilt are in a future post. I have to figure out how to handle it! I anticipate lots of trimming.
  • My son also had a good chuckle about my seams not matching – anywhere. He is studying to be an engineer and loves math.

Thursday – Sunday I get to sew, sew, sew and fix my mistakes at Whatever Craft House sewing retreat hosted by dear friend Jackie Clark.  Will share more photos later.

Hope you have an amazing hobby you enjoy!

Can’t help but share: Loving this consignment shop, Things 4 That, dedicated to hand made items. This was some of my inventory!

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