Sunday, April 26, 2015

Finished Quilt: Coral & Yellow Quilt As You Go

You know that feeling you get when you create a project that is the perfect combination of your favorite things? A warm, fuzzy, jubilant, happiness...that is how this quilt makes me feel.

You may remember when I started this coral & yellow quilt a few years ago. The quilt has been complete for a while now, but I realized that I never posted any photos of the finished product...oops! The colors in this quilt are some of my very favorites and the combination of the beautiful prints and the fun scrappy style just makes me smile.

This is the "Four Square With Flair" pattern from Butterfly Express Quilting (you can find the pattern in their online store). It is a quilt as you go pattern with the blocks joined by "hinge" strips that form the window pane style sashing. If you have never tried the hinge joining method I definitely recommend it. I love that I can quilt the blocks individually and then join them together at the end.

For the most part I stuck to the pattern, but I did decide to arrange the back squares in a more random distribution, rather than the "Four Square" design of the pattern. I love that the back of the quilt really shows off the individual fabric prints, while the front blends them together with the strips forming the abstract diamond pattern.

As you can see, I had some help with this photo shoot. My little helper was especially smitten with the quilt. She had a fun time running and sitting on top of it right after I laid it out nice and smoothly. :)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Tutorial: Twine Wrapped Photo Frame

With Mother's Day is right around the corner it's the perfect time to whip up one of these stylish twine wrapped photo frames! The twine wrapping technique is simple and the results are beautiful.

This is a great project to do with a bunch of friends, because it doesn't require too much concentration and the frame can be completed in a single evening. So invite your friends over and let's get crafting!

P.S. Be sure to check out the printable version of the instructions linked in the supply list below.


Step 1: Remove the back and glass from the photo frame. You may need to use a screwdriver or a key to bend the metal clips open. Be careful not to break the glass or cut yourself, the glass edges and the metal tabs can be sharp!

Step 2: Remove the label from one of your twine Bon Bons. Line up the end of the twine with the beveled edge of one of the long sides of the back of the frame. Tape the end in place. The bottom edge of the tape should lay flush with the beveled edge of the top of the frame.

Step 3: Tightly wrap the twine around the edge of the frame, making sure that it lays flat on the front and the back of the frame. Stop wrapping approximately 1 cm from the outer edge of the frame. Place a piece of tape over the ends of the twine, the edge of the tape should lay flush with the beveled edge of the bottom of the frame. Cut the end of the twine just outside the tape.

Step 4: Repeat step 3 on the opposite side of the frame. When you are done, both long sides of the frame should be wrapped in twine.

Step 5: Using your second color of twine, line up the end with the middle of the beveled edge of one of the short sides of the back of the frame. Secure the twine with a piece of tape.

Step 6: Tightly wrap the twine around the edge of the frame, as you did in steps 3 & 4. Stop wrapping approximately 1 cm from the outer edge of the frame. Tape the twine down in the middle of the back of the frame and cut the twine just outside of the tape.

Step 7: Repeat step 6 on the other short edge of the frame. All four sides should be wrapped when you are done.

Step 8: Tie your first color of twine around one of the short sides of the frame, in the inner corner. The know should be on the back side of the frame.

Step 9: Wrap the twine around the frame, overlapping the previous wrapping you did on the short side. Make sure the twine lays flat on the front and the back, but do not wrap as tightly as you did on previous sides. The twine should have a little give to allow for reinserting the glass. When you reach the other corner, secure the twine with a double knot on the back of the frame.

Step 10: Repeat step 9 on the other short side of the frame. Trim the loose ends of the twine or weave them under the wrapping.

Step 11: (Optional) Use your hot glue gun to add felt flower embellishments to your frame. See flower instructions below.

Step 12: Insert the glass, a photo, and the stand, back into the frame. Push the metal tabs down to hold them in place. Admire your beautiful new frame. :)

Monday, April 13, 2015

Tutorial Page Makeover!

Twinkle and Twine's tutorial page just got a makeover! Woo-hoo! The blog's tutorial photo index now includes all of my tutorial projects arranged into three categories: sewing, jewelry, and miscellaneous. The best part of all is that the new format will be much easier to maintain, so I can easily keep it up to date (here are links to the html code and instructions for any bloggers who may be interested: she makes a home and Laura's Crafty Life). I hope you like the updated page, now you can easily find past projects...Yay! Please take a look!


Friday, April 10, 2015

As I Was Saying...

Cue crickets chirping and envision me running around your screen with a big feather duster, cleaning the cobwebs off of this place...

The blog has been quiet for a while and I've been itching to start writing again. I've been meaning to resume posting for several months now, but I've been hung up on trying to figure out what to say to break the silence. My husband suggested that I re-enter the blogosphere the same way that Jack Paar returned to the Tonight Show back in 1960. He quit the show during filming one night but was convinced by his friend to return a month later. On his first night back he started off with, "As I was saying..."

So, as I was saying... :)

I never consciously decided to take a break from the blog, but looking back, I'm glad that I stepped away for a bit. My daughter's first year of life has been more wonderful and amazing than I can put into words. I'm no longer working outside the home, so it has been super fun to spend everyday with her and to watch her as she grows and experiences new things. Here is a recent family photo:

Can you believe how much bigger she is than in the photos in my last post?!

I took a break from blogging, but I'm physically incapable of taking a break from creating (I'm sure many of you can relate!), so I have a backlog of projects to share with you in the coming weeks. I'm giving myself the goal of posting at least once a month because that is definitely attainable, although I secretly (or not so secretly!) hope to post more frequently than that.

Now for my big, exciting news...Do you remember the list of 30 things I wanted to do before I turned 30 that I posted a couple years ago? I'm past 30 now, but I have finally accomplished #16 from my list. My Smocked Sunshine Pillow pattern is featured in the summer issue of Stitch Magazine! Woo-hoo! It hits newsstands this month, so please check it out. My copy just arrived in my mailbox this week, so here are a couple photos to give you a sneek peek:

It's good to be back, I've missed this place!


Thursday, February 6, 2014

She's Here!

Meet the newest member of our family!...She arrived a few weeks ago and has been filing our lives with joy ever since! (I've decided not to post her name on the blog for safety and privacy reasons, so I'll be referring to her as "Baby Girl" when I write about her.)

Being a mother is not easy, but it is definitely the best job ever. It has challenged me in ways that I didn't expect to be challenged and blessed me in ways that I didn't expect to be blessed. Before she was born I didn't really understand what it would be like to have a little person so fully and completely dependent on me and I didn't realize how deeply I would fall in love with a baby that I just met.

I was blessed to have a really smooth labor and delivery. Once my contractions started, things progressed fairly rapidly and by the time we arrived at the hospital I was already 8 cm dilated. I had decided ahead of time that I would probably want to have an epidural...and I was right. The pain was pretty intense, so I was glad that I wasn't too late to get one. I know that there are many different philosophies about anesthesia during labor, but for me an epidural was definitely the right decision. Once it was in place, I felt like I was able to be much more present during the whole process of labor and delivery, rather than being so focused on the pain. Baby Girl was situated very low inside of me, so once I reached 10 cm and started pushing, she was out in no time. The birth of a child is a mind boggling miracle.

Having a baby has changed Andrew's and my life in more ways than we can count. While the adjustment process has been a little difficult and uncomfortable at times, this new stage of life is truly wonderful. There is nothing like the feeling of having a newborn baby asleep on you chest with her head nuzzled underneath your chin. I'm doing my best to soak up all of these sweet moments with my tiny baby, because I know she won't be tiny forever, but I'm also looking forward to the journey ahead. Motherhood is going to be a beautiful adventure.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Big News!

You may have noticed that things have been a bit quiet around here the past few months. What you may not know, is that there has been something brewing behind the scenes...

Andrew and I are expecting our first baby in the middle of January!

We are so excited and so thankful to the Lord for this incredible gift He has blessed us with. We are having a girl and I couldn't be more thrilled. :)

I am 30 weeks pregnant. I can't believe how quickly this pregnancy is going by. It doesn't seem like it was all that long ago that we found out we are expecting, and now here we are, a little over two months from the due date. A couple weeks ago we went out for Chinese food and we both chuckled when Andrew opened his fortune cookie at the end of the meal to reveal the message in the photo at the top of this post. It was almost exactly 3 months before my due date, so the message couldn't be more appropriate!

20 Weeks Pregnant
28 Weeks Pregnant

My pregnancy is moving along well and seems to be following a fairly normal course of symptoms. I had a bit of morning sickness for several weeks at the start (although they should call it all-day sickness!), but once I made my way into the second trimester I started feeling much better. I'm now in the third trimester and still feeling pretty good, although it's getting a little uncomfortable to have such a large stomach. :)

I've missed this little corner of the interwebs, but I'm thankful to have given myself a break to experience the miracle of growing another human being inside of me...mind blowing!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Needle Felting Fun

My mom recently picked up a needle felting kit for this cute chickadee ornament when she was on vacation this summer. Neither of us had done needle felting before, so it was a fun introduction to a new crafting technique. I unfortunately didn't take any photos of the process of making this ornament, but if you're looking for a helpful tutorial to get you started with needle felting, I'd recommend this video.

The kit for the ornament I made is by "Wool Pets." You can find their kits for sale on Etsy here.

While I somewhat expected it, I was a bit surprised by how much of an art form needle felting really is. It appears that you are just poking a bit of wool roving over and over again with a needle, but it's not quite as easy as it looks. It is a very sculptural technique and you have to be constantly thinking about all dimensions of the form you are creating. It was a fun challenge and it was neat to see the fruits of my labor turn into a cute little ornament.

Here's a bit of needle felting inspiration that I'm loving right now from some Etsy crafters:

Christmas Mouse by feltingdreams on Etsy

Polar Bear Ornament by calicofarmchick on Etsy

Barry the Snowman by WhimsicalWoolies on Etsy

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Finished Products: Red, White, and Blue Quilt

Happy Fourth of July! in honor of this special patriotic holiday, I thought I would share with you a red, white, and blue quilt that I recently completed as a gift for my Mother-In-Law's birthday. I wanted to showcase the bold graphic patterns of the fabrics that I chose for this quilt, so I designed the blocks with large rectangles in a subway tile pattern.

I used my favorite quilt-as-you-go technique to create the blocks and the hinge technique to join them. I love the bright, bold statement that this high contrast quilt makes!

I hope you have a wonderful 4th of July! If you're in need of any last minute table decor ideas, check out my post from our family 4th of July meal last year.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Pinspiration: Hammered Wire and Bead Earrings

I recently found this tutorial by Rebecca from My Girlish Whims while browsing Pinterest. Rebecca was inspired to make these beautiful hammered wire hoop earrings with beads after seeing a similar pair at Anthropologie. Up until I followed her tutorial to make these earrings, I had done very little jewelry work with wire and I had never experimented with hammering wire. I was surprised that after just a little practice, these were relatively easy to make.

As you can see from the photos, I gave my earrings a casual, beachy vibe, by using glass beads that are reminiscent of sea glass. I like how versatile this design is, you can completely change the look and feel of the earrings by switching the color of the wire and/or changing the beads.

If you are looking to take your jewelry making skills to the next level I'd definitely recommend trying out this tutorial.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Sweet Southern Boy Baby Shower

Today I am super excited to participate in a virtual baby shower for my dear friend, Nikki! Even though this is a "virtual" shower, Nikki is not just my "virtual" friend. She and I met about 5 years ago when we were both living in Illinois. We attended the same church and Andrew and I were in a small group with Nikki and her husband, Ben. Nikki was one of the first professional bloggers that I ever met. I have learned so much from her by watching her blogging journey and she was a great encourager to me when I started Twinkle and Twine. Even though we don't live near each other any more, I'm glad that I can stay connected with her by reading her fabulous food blog, "Seeded at the Table."

This is the first "virtual" shower I've participated in, so I'm sure the concept is unfamiliar to many people. Here's how it works...a group of bloggers participate in a virtual shower on a pre-designated date by posting ideas of things they would make, were the shower to actually take place (since we're scattered all over the country it's not possible for us to get together for a real live shower).

Because Nikki's family recently relocated to Mississippi, the theme of the virtual shower is "Sweet Southern Boy." All of the posts for Nikki's shower feature a party idea or recipe that ties into this theme. Kelsey from Apple a Day and Jessica from Sunny Side Up coordinated this fun virtual shower for Nikki and both have written round up posts with links to the blogs of everyone who is participating. Kelsey's round up can be found here, and Jessica's can be found here. So pull up a chair and join us in celebration of Nikki's Sweet Southern Boy!

For my contribution to Nikki's shower I decided to create a table setting and shower favor. When I think of the South I think of, porch swings, magnolias, picket fences, sweet tea, spanish moss, and tractors. I wanted to infuse this classic southern charm into the table decor while also mixing in some culinary flair in honor of Nikki's love of cooking.

Although this table setting looks quite classy, it can actually be created relatively inexpensively. Here's how you can replicate this look...

Bay Leaf Spice Jar Favors...When I found these canning jar style spice jars at World Market, they were too cute to pass up! Since bay leaves are frequently used in southern soups and stews, they were the perfect spice to fill the jars with. I added a cute pun on the tag and voila! Bay-by shower favors perfect for a foodie!

  • Spice Jars - (purchased at Cost Plus World Market for .99 cents each, available here)
  • Bay Leaves - You don't need to pack your favor jars full, about 10 leaves is plenty. (World Market sells two varieties, available here and here - I bought the $4.00 jar and it contained enough leaves to fill at least 5 of the favors. If you're planning a big party you could buy bay leaves in bulk from Costco or Sams.)
  • Baker's Twine - (purchased at Cost Plus World Market for $3.00, available here)
  • Tags - Designed on my home computer, printed on cardstock, and punched out with a tag shaped punch. 

To Assemble: Put the bay leaves in the favor jars and tie the tag around the top of the jar with a piece of Baker's Twine...easy peasy lemon squeezy

Candles...This little DIY project is super simple, but adds the perfect touch of warmth and color to the table.

  • Tea Light Candles - (purchased in bulk at Cost Plus World Market, $8.00 for 50 candles)
  • Baker's Twine - (purchased at Cost Plus World Market for $3.00, available here)

To Assemble: Wrap the twine around the candle three times and knot the ends together. Trim the ends of the twine, making sure to cut them short enough that they can't possibly touch the flame (we don't want to start any fires!). Adding the twine elevates the look of the candles and makes them a little more special.

Flower Arrangement...Originally I envisioned using magnolias or white hydrangeas, but those aren't so easy to come by in Southern California, so I opted for a more economical alternative, Alstroemeria. I added another culinary accent by using a super-cute mini green colander as the container for the arrangement.

  • Flowers - I purchased one bunch of Alstroemeria for $4.00 from the grocery store, but any white flowers would work.
  • Mini Green Colander - (purchased for $2.00 from World Market, not available online, but here's the item description)

To Assemble: Line the colander with something to hold the water. If you have a glass bowl that would be best, if not, do what I did and use a layer of saran wrap. Cut a large piece of saran wrap and lay it inside the bowl so that it covers all the holes in the colander (make sure it's secure). Fill with water. Cut the flower stems short and arrange the flowers inside the colander.

Tractor...Adding a toy John Deere tractor on the table ties the whole theme together and brings in the baby boy element. John Deere tractors are the perfect complimentary shade of green and they also pay homage to the culinary thread that is woven throughout the decor. The tractor will likely be the priciest element of the table setting ($10-$15), but it can double as a baby gift...the perfect toy for a Sweet Southern Boy.

Thanks so much for stopping by to celebrate with me today! Congratulations, Nikki! I'm so excited for you and I can't wait to see photos of your sweet southern boy! :)
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