Sunday, May 31, 2015

Grace...Through the Gift of a Dirty Diaper

I hope you don't mind a departure from my regular crafty content, but today I thought I would share a little anecdote that I wrote recently...

I was on a roll this morning. We were in Michigan this past weekend, in the Eastern time zone, so my internal clock hasn't quite adjusted back to Pacific time. I got up at 5:00 am and decided to take advantage of my early rising by getting a shower, a 30 minute walk with the stroller, and taking trips to 2 grocery stores, all before Baby Girl's 9:30 am music class. A bit ambitious, but I was pretty sure I could do it if I didn't waste any time.

We live in an apartment complex, so I decided that it would be most efficient to take our walk around the complex and then get directly into the car and head to the grocery store. No extra trips up the stairs carrying my 20 pound daughter, etc. So I grabbed Baby Girl, my purse, keys, and cell phone and headed out the door for a whirlwind morning. However, upon completion of our walk I noticed a certain odor coming from Baby Girl. For a split second I contemplated changing her diaper in the back of the car, that would be fastest since the clock was ticking and my window of opportunity for grocery shopping was getting smaller by the second. The only problem was that I only had one spare diaper with me and after changing her I would be stuck with her dirty diaper in my car. They don't make those little green rearview mirror pine trees in "dirty diaper" scent, for good reason. I decided to make a quick trip back to the apartment and it's a really good thing I did...

After a successful diaper change I picked up baby girl and headed for the door when lo and behold, I spotted MY WALLET sitting on the counter. Yikes! I had forgotten that Baby Girl got into my wallet when we got back from our Michigan trip and in a hasty moment I set it on the counter rather than putting it back into my purse. Had it not been for this morning's dirty diaper, I would have found myself in the check out line of the grocery store with absolutely no way to pay for the food in my cart. Not the end of the world, but definitely less than ideal.

So, thank you Jesus for today's dirty diaper!

Something that seemed like an inconvenience ended up saving me a whole lot of time in the long run. It was a good reminder (on a small scale) that there are many times in my life when God has or will use a "dirty diaper" to keep me from harm or to redirect my steps. It made me think of I Corinthians 13:12 "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known." Sometimes we are aware of the "dirty diapers" we encounter and sometimes we're oblivious. From our current vantage point we can only see little snippets of God's plan. But one day, our eyes will be opened and God will allow us to see the whole picture. All those "dirty diapers" will make sense and we will be in awe of His perfect orchestration.

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.

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