Nature Arts and Crafts

I’ve been so focused on learning how to draw and be a graphic designer and illustrator these past couple years that I haven’t done much crafting, except for making ornaments for my annual exchanges. I’ve shared many nature photographs and pages of leaf illustrations in my sketchbook.

I have been noticing more and more great nature-related art and craft projects lately, including these I found by doing a simple search on Pinterest.

(knitted pumpkin, made by me several years ago)

Here are a few projects that I’ve moved to the top of my list of things to make:

Tree Stump Coaster by A Beautiful Life

Feather Butterfly Wreath by A Beautiful Life

Feather Crown by A Beautiful Life, which would be so fun to wear as part of a costume

Fall Leaves Wreath by Alisa Burke

Altered Driftwood by Alisa Burke, which she used to fill up this large glass jar. She also used some pieces to turn into a mobile hanging in her art studio.

Fern Fabric by Alisa Burke, which she made into a striking set of patchwork placemats for their table.

A couple years ago, I took a series of online classes to make Christmas ornaments and decorations. Some of my favorite projects were using felt, like these Christmas trees.

I’ve made these projects by the Purl Bee in the past for Christmas presents and ornament exchanges. I liked them so much that I might make them again.

Little Forest Quilt

Sewn Bird Ornaments

Pine Tree Sachets

If you have a nature art or craft-related tutorial or project you would like to share, please leave the link in the comments. I would be thrilled to add them to my growing list. Thanks for stopping by!

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!

Cutting Into It

I can’t believe I am cutting into my chocolate lollipop fabric stash again.  These are some of my favorite fabrics so I have been saving/cherishing them.  I made a few things last year, including a set of pillow covers, a purse, a lunch bag with a vinyl lining, and a market bag.  This weekend, I pulled out a pile of scraps and made this zippered bag.

chocolate lollipop bagI love how it turned out!  It’s so girly and fun.  I even got a compliment the other night from my design teacher. (Thanks, Lisa!)

front side of choc loll bag

Here’s a shot of the inside, where I added a little pocket:

inside of choc loll bagI added a handle which clips to the zipper pull on a key ring. 

the handle

This bag was even more fun than the last one I made because I winged it more with this one. I didn’t follow one set pattern but instead made my own shape and size (8 inches X 9 inches), and added a few features I wanted in one bag. I am working on a couple fabric yo-yos to embellish the front.

Here’s a preview of what I’m working on next:

layout of chocolate lollipop quiltMore cutting into the chocolate lollipop stash! I’m not following anyone else’s pattern on this one either, nor following any quilting rules or guidelines.  Just piecing the way I feel like it.

I’m thinking about adding pink sashing in between each row, and I am planning to add light pink and dark pink borders around the patchwork.  It’s going to be a very girly quilt, exactly what I want it to be!  I’m so glad I finally cut into my stash to make a few more treasures.

My Year In Review

I’m not one to look back or dwell in the past, especially since 2008 feels like a bittersweet year.  But I am forcing myself to appreciate what happened and focus on progress that WAS made over the year.

In January, I hosted a ladies tea party for my aunts, cousins and their daughters.  The little girls enjoyed dressing up in their princess dresses more than pretending to drink tea.

Me and the girls at the tea party

In late winter, we went to my parents cottage in northern Wisconsin for a winter retreat and had a great time snowshoeing on Lake Michigan on a sunny but very cold weekend. We also went to Upper Michigan for one last ski trip for the winter.

Terri and Dave snowshoeing

We celebrated our seven-year anniversary in May with a vacation to Destin, Florida.

chairs & umbrellas on the beach

In summer, we had a few great trips to my parents’ cottage in Door County, biking, boating and enjoying the outdoors.  We also went to the amazing Art Fair in Madison.

In August, Dave started his new job, a permanent full time job! It was a blessing for us because he has been working as a consultant for over three years.  And because of what was to come in the economy and job market for the months following.  My sister was in town for the family reunion party we hosted at our house before she and her family moved to China. 

In September, I went to the Madison Quilt Expo, which was inspiring but a little disappointing.  Why don’t any of the local shops carry my favorite modern fabric degignerss, like Anna Maria Horner and Heather Bailey and Sandi Henderson? We also went to a Civil War festival which was quite interesting, especially to see how the people dressed in those days, and to see a battle reenactment.

In October, we hosted a Halloween dinner party at our house, and my apron pattern review was published on Sew,Mama,Sew.

my lola apron

In November, I celebrated a big birthday in New York City.  I felt lucky to visit Purl, MJTrimmings, Mood Fabrics, the Guggenheim, the Met, and a few Irish pubs in between.

Me in front of Purl

In December, I participated in the Holiday Traditions Exchange with RaeAnn, and we  hosted a Holiday Open House for our family and neighbors.

Chocolate Lollipop PillowsPicnic Pillow with HandleGarden Party PillowcasesGarden Quilt - FrontMy Lola ApronApron for Holiday Traditions Exchange 08Close-up of Gothic Rose ValanceChristmasy Patchwork BagClose-up of Freshcut ValanceGarden Party TableclothPortable CushionsMy New Laptop Cover

In between all that, I made a bunch of pillows, a couple quilts, participated in a placemat swap, two sets of curtains, a couple tablecloths, picnic cushions, picnic pillows, two adorable padded footstools, a laptop bag, and a lot of other projects I am quite proud of.

Whew, that recap was good therapy and now I feel like 2008 was a good year.