Monday, December 17, 2012

How to Make Embroidered Tags

I love making these reusable gifts tags. When Christmas is over this year, I’ll save the tags again for next year. (If I put them on gifts for others I hope they use them as a bookmark.) They sure brighten up otherwise dull-looking wrapped presents for my kiddos.

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You will be using a font that is approximately 1” tall. I like adding an extra little mini Christmas picture as well. You can buy them here.

I can make 4 tags at a time in my large 5”x10” hoop. Arrange all your names and designs in your hoop and stitch.


Once I stitch my designs (I used linen fabric and a very stiff tear away stabilizer) I cut them out into rectangles using regular scissors or your rotary cutter and back them with another piece of linen. I chose not to remove the stabilizer so that the tags would stay firm. Pin your front and back piece together and using pinking shears, cut only the edge that will hold the ribbon tie. For my gift tags, that’s the left side, as seen below.

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Cut a piece of 10” ribbon, fold in half, and place the folded part between the pinked edges of the two layers of fabric. Sew all the around the tag. Then pink the other 3 edges close to the stitching—but don’t cut the stitching.


All done, not bad for 5 minutes of sewing, huh?'

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The tag below feature my scribbled cursive alphabet. I chose not to make a few tags specific to Christmas so that my children can use then as bookmarks after they open their gifts.

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The tag below features the Riverside Alphabet and the reindeer design.

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Great to personalize Christmas stockings as well:

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Merry Christmas!

cynthia logo

Monday, December 10, 2012

Gallery Art Wall

I’ve been achin’ to make a gallery art wall in my family room. I finally got around to doing it last weekend. I’m pretty darn happy with it too! (It was super duper nice to tackle a project that didn’t involve my sewing machines. Been working like a dog sewing Christmas stockings again.)

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I think TVs are a real eye sore to most rooms. Unless I had a media room (no thanks) or an armoire (do they make shallow armoires now for flat screen tvs?) I prefer to keep the TV small. Thankfully Paul agrees. Our family room is thee room in the house where we spend 90% of our time, so a smaller TV for this room suits us just fine.

I saw these gallery art walls on Pinterest and made them my pattern to follow:


(above photo can be seen here. I couldn’t put the direct link as Pinterest said it goes to a spam site or an inappropriate site. Whoa!)


(above photo courtesy of The Hunted Interior)

My TV isn’t wall mounted (didn’t want to add electrical outlets for the power in the middle of the wall) but both of the above galleries were the look I was going for. Kind of plain right now huh?


So I bought a bunch of frames in varying sizes at craft stores before I even knew what I would put into the frames. It’s easier to print your photos in the correct sizes after you have your frames placed where you want them. Not to mention, some photos will need to go vertical, some horizontal.

I used black craft paper to trace my frames in the correct sizes and had my dear friend Kelly come help me map them out.

Here’s one of the arrangements we came up with. We kept re-arranging the craft paper, taking photos, and then took a vote. Obviously this was not the winning combo:


After printing my own photos at for 24 cents a piece…..

print waimea beach 5x7

(Ahh Waimea Beach On Oahu in Hawaii)

print house (11) 4x4

(Chives in my back yard)

photo 4x6 spring snowstorm

(Spring blossom with frosty snow in my backyard)

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(Lily pond in Waimea Valley, Oahu, Hawaii)

……..and buying some amazing watercolors from Renee Anne on etsy…..

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(Above: A Bird I Once Knew by Renne Anne via etsy,  Sky  Blue Feather by Rennee Anne vis etsy)).

….and lastly I wanted to find a canvas print. I really like the black and white tree  with turquoise bird that I found at Hobby Lobby for $40. The vases are from Hobby Lobby as well, $5-10 each. What a shock to find something modern at Hobby Lobby! I take back everything I said about that tacky store.

The wall is done. It was a good days work but now the focus on this wall is the art, not the black TV. Yum

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I do have to say that I envisioned this project BEFORE I even had the TV on this wall.  It used to be in the corner (see below photo) as that’s the one spot in the room that was wired for satellite. Many thanks to my handy Dad and my 14-yr old son Nathan for rewiring the room to accomodate a TV on a different wall. We have a 4-ft crawl space that Nathan (who is smaller than my dad, obviously) would crawl down into using the webcam on his iPod touch. My dad was on the main floor, watching Nathan’s live video stream and giving him directions. Now that’s team work!!

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I stole my green TV media cabinet (below) that I had been using as a buffet in my kitchen to get my final result.

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Next summer? I’ll tackle the ugly black ceiling fan.

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