Art Journal 2011 – Week 6

I am happy to report that I had a better week than last week!

As you know, I have been thinking a lot about coffee lately. I’m working on a logo design for my Illustrator class that has to do with coffee. And I have a fun coffee clutch of fellow students and teachers I get together with everyday in between classes. We talk a lot about coffee and food and other silly things. I look forward to hanging out with them every afternoon, so I thought it would be fun to capture those moments.

I painted the background with my favorite watercolor crayons, doodled coffee words all over the background, cut out the cafe logo from the coffee cup sleeve, and added some white glitter paint over the cup for the creme (which looks green in that photo!).

On Saturday, Dave and I went to the botanical gardens for a shot of green plant life.

The conservatory is a glass pyramid filled with tropical paradise plants, flowers, a rushing waterfall, orchids and free-flying birds. The temperature was 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (between 18 and 26 degrees Celsius) with 60 percent humidity. It was just the shot we both needed! (I plan to share more photos this week.) The conservatory had a special exhibit about coffee, so it seems fitting that I make a card to reflect the day.

Again, I used my watercolor crayons to create a lush green background. I brushed a slightly wet brush in an upward stroke to create a stem or stalk direction. Then I drew the giant palm leaf with a marker, which I ended up going over with acrylic paint for a more dimensional effect, since some markers don’t adhere too well on these crayon-covered backgrounds. I framed the words to symbolize what we are longing for when we look through our windows – green plants!

Don’t forget to stop our Flickr group to see what Michelle and Sandra have been doing on their art cards.

Personalized Patchwork

My good friend Vicki, also known as Dotty Jane, was sneaky and sent me a little birthday/Christmas care package which contained this gorgeous personalized mug rug!

How wonderful it was to see my name sewn in fabric with beautiful prints and fabulous quilting. Be sure to look closer at the amazing pebble quilting she did in between the letters. I know she has been practicing with the quilt-along.

She also included this adorable patchwork Santa ornament, perfectly pieced and stitched.

Thank you, Vicki, for being such a great friend and for brightening my day!

Simple Coffee Cozy Tutorial

I have always wanted to know how to make a coffee cozy, especially after receiving a coffee to-go recently with this dreadful styrofoam cozy!

I thought it would be fun to have a cozy in my own little signature patchwork style, so I documented the steps in case you want to make one for yourself or as a stocking-stuffer gift.


Strips of fabric

Fabric for lining

Fusible interfacing or batting (depending on how puffy you want your cozy)

Velcro and a cute button

Paper, pencil, ruler

Usual sewing tools (ruler, rotary, thread)

Making the pattern:

1. Trace your coffee cozy template, using a sample from your favorite coffee shop.

2. Add 1/2 inch all the way around and connect the dots or dashes.

3. Cut out your new pattern.

Piecing Instructions:

1. Lay out your strips and sew them together in a patchwork fashion like this. Press seams flat, either to one side or open, whatever your preference. (It’s just a cozy, so it doesn’t matter which direction you press the seams.)

2. Using your new pattern, lay over your interfacing or batting and cut out. Lay it on the wrong side of your patchwork, fuse or pin, and cut out. (save that scrap patchwork for a future project.)

3. Quilt your patchwork. I just stitched 1/4 inch in from each seam allowance.

4. Using your new pattern piece again, cut out your lining fabric the same size as your patchwork piece.

5. Lay these two layers right sides together, pin, and stitch using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Leave an opening for turning.

6. Turn right side out through the opening.

7. Tuck in the opening, press layers so seams are flat, and top stitch about 1/8 to 1/4 inch in from the edge.


1. I used a couple of these velcro tabs for the closure because they were easy, inexpensive and forgiving as far as perfect alignment.

NOTE: before stitching the velcro tabs, you might want to make the marks on both the right side and lining pieces and then try on the cozy to test the placement.

2. Lay your patchwork cozy flat with the lining facing up. Measure in about 3/4 inch from the edge and make a dot with a pencil. Center one tab of the velcro over this dot and stitch.

3. Lay your patchwork cozy flat with the right side facing up. Measure in about 3/4 inch from the edge and make a dot with a pencil. Center the other half of the velcro tab over that dot and stitch all the way around.

Select a decorative button to sew on the right side of the patchwork from the velcro tab.

Try on your new coffee cozy!

Enjoy your coffee to-go in style!

For My Mug

It appears that mug rugs or mug mats are all the craze these days.

I had no idea there was a swap going on, probably because I don’t spend enough time cruising Flickr to keep up. I haven’t done too many swaps this year, so it’s too bad I missed this one.

These two mats are just little squares pieced together, with quilted lines in different directions. I am excited to add these cool patchwork projects to my list of gifts to make for the holiday season!

I sat down at my sewing table recently with some scraps to make another crazy patch. This time I wanted my block to look less like a wonky log cabin block and more like a crazy patch.

I do love how this one turned out! I think it’s going to become a mug rug, which I hope to finish during my next 15 minutes of play. Not sure how to quilt it yet, but I do know I want to do straight lines again.

Autumn Cravings

Ever since I had a scoop of ice cream a few days ago that had pumpkin flavor and ginger snap cookie bits, which tasted exactly like pumpkin pie, I have had serious cravings for Fall flavors. I swear, it was the best ice cream I’ve ever tasted!

This morning, I am enjoying a cup of this Autumn Spice coffee, which has hints of cinnamon, cardamon and cloves. It is SO delicious! Perfect for a cool day. Now I’m off to find a can of pumpkin so I can bake pumpkin cookies. There seems to be a shortage of canned pumpkin around here because we’ve been to two grocery stores so far, and their canned pumpkin shelves were empty!

I am also looking forward to making a couple more hexagon needle books for my gift stash. Now I see why these little buggers are addicting!

Enjoy your Friday, my friends!

First Day

Thank you all for your wonderful wishes on my last day! Your encouragement and moral support really mean the world to me!

Today I enjoyed finishing my coffee at home, in a ceramic mug instead of a plastic, insulated travel mug while sitting in a cubicle. It was fabulous!

I did some chores. How nice to get errands done at 9:00 in the morning, when no one else is at the post office or in the stores.

I worked on a few crafts.

It was a good first day of my new beginning!