Monday, August 21, 2017

Fabric Pumpkin Tutorial

I'm back in the studio this week after a much needed break and getaway.
It was a wonderful few days away junkin in East, Texas!

I did find some great treasures and can't wait to repurpose them
bringing some new treasures to the shop.

Like most of you,
I'm ready for cooler weather and to begin fall decorating too!
It's always fun to transform my
Rose Garden Cottage into a fall haven!

Today I have a few pumpkins to share from my little pumpkin patch filling the shelves
in my shop, Rose Garden Market.

Many more styles and sizes are also available in pretty cotton fabrics as well.
I created a couple designed patterns for these pumpkins
but this one is fast and easy, so I thought I'd share it with you.

These little treasures are created from a variety of fabrics in velour, velvet, knit fabrics and sweaters
I've used real pumpkin stems and wood tree stems cut from short branches.

Here are the directions to create this little gem.

First I made two templates in cardboard from an 8 and 10 inch plate.

I like to use aquarium gravel for weight.
This can be found at any pet store. 
It's clean, dust free and small in size so it doesn't show through the fabrics.

Along with the gravel, I use poly-fill for the stuffing.

I like to use real pumpkin stems when I can 
along with wood tree stems cut from branches,
 cinnamon sticks, jute stems and wood dowels.
Even a vintage spoon can be centered for a stem.
The wood pieces below
 can be found at Hobby Lobby.
The real stems are sold on line from folks who farm and grow pumpkins.
I have found real stems on ebay and etsy.

Next I cut velour fabric or other materials in 8" and 10" rounds using the templates.

With a running stitch, sew  about a 1/4" of the way in along the edge of the fabric,.
I use coat thread or embroidery floss for a strong hold~
 when pulling together for stitching and closing.

After the running stitch is complete, I add the gravel in the bottom.
A few handfuls is enough to give the lightweight pumpkin some weight.

You just have to judge this step as you go along to how much of the gravel you will need!

On top of the gravel, I then add the poly-fill and pull the thread tight to close the opening
and stitch closed.
This step usually requires a back and forth stitch a few times to close for a tight
flat finish.

At this point the stem and trims are added.

For this one I added a wood branch stem and hot glued in place.

A brown sheer ribbon, with acorn button and little stem sign completes this pumpkin.

Here are a few more in brown using real pumpkin stems.

Another with knit fabric.

Blue velour~

Grey velour~

Sweater fabric~

Furry Fabric~

 and black velvet~

This pattern design is easy and quick
 and can be whatever size you like
 from the template  pattern you make using
a plate or other surface.

Hope you try it 
Have fun!!

See you next time.

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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Dear Son, Happy Birthday!

Dear Son, 
It is hard to believe the years have gone by so quickly, and today is your birthday. What a blessing you are to both your Dad and I. 

The day was a warm August 10th much like today when I heard your first cry and counted your little fingers and toes.
 I was already in love with you before birth and meeting you in person was the greatest joy of my life. 

From the time you were born, your wonderful ways taught us so much. 
Your constant staying power has lead you to great success in your life. 
You have brought us joys untold and shown through your spirit your big heart and kindness in all situations. 

I remember a time when you were a young teen. 
We went to lunch for a quick sandwich after school supply shopping. 
As we left the restaurant, you spotted a young mentally challenged boy trying to empty his tray.
 As we walked by you said, “hang on a minute mom” as I watched, you went over to the boy, helped him and then walked back over to me as we proceeded to leave.
 I knew then, you were very special and had a big heart, nearly the size of Texas. 

Through the years you have always shown love of family. Ready to help in any way.
 I am forever grateful for the help you always gave when Grandma was sick. She loved you and your care in her last days were more help then you will ever know. Along with her,
you were the pride and joy of your grandpa!!

You have always come to my rescue too, like the time the hot water tank burst and water was spraying all over, the time when the refrigerator broke down and the kitchen flooded with water from the ice maker, and when the long black snake was stretched out across the driveway and I feared it went in my studio. I could go on and on, but you know the times and for your love and support, I am deeply thankful. 

You always amaze us with your knowledge and wealth of information.
 Your patience is something I admire about you so much.
 Oh we’ve had our growing pains through the years as a teen and so on, but you always showed great respect for your dad and I and held back comments or rolling your eyes when we weren’t so cool. 
I always knew when you were being nice, and I love you for that.
 With each and every work related move through the years, you held your courage, even when I knew it was hard for you to leave your friends and start over in a new school. 
I don’t know if I could have been so strong. In fact, I know I could not. 

Now at this time and place, as you face another birthday, I pray that God continue to bless your journey and the life he has created for you to follow. 

Stay true to who you are, never forget where you came from and where you are going with God’s direction.

Talk to God often and remember to listen for direction.
 Care with your heart, it will keep you humble and remember to show compassion for your fellow man.
 Give all that you can to those that need your help and grateful for all your blessings.

 And as Grandpa always said, “never let your wants, be greater then your needs.” 

Enjoy your birthday to the fullest my son and know you are loved very much for the little boy you were, the wonderful grown son you are now and the blessing you will always be. 

Love you,
 Always your Mom 

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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

How To Design Watercolor Photos Using PicMonkey!

Hi Friends~
Happy August!

Hope everyone is enjoying a great summer!
It's been Hot here in Texas and to be outside means
you have to be in the water or stay in the AC.

Lot's going on here at Rose Garden Cottage
and I hope to share a few home updates soon.

Today I have a tutorial for editing your photos
into watercolor pics by using PicMonkey.

I have shared this one in the past  but thought it worth passing on again.

Recently I cut a few long stems from my garden to bring inside and enjoy.

Lovely blooms of pink, red and yellow.

Using my photo programs, I created a pretty watercolor of this bouquet.

I use PicMonkey, or for quicker edits, PhotoScape.

Each has it's own specialties.

Here's another idea~

The photo was a little blurred.

  But perfect as a watercolor.

Lastly, a little bouquet of knock out roses.

From real to watercolor.

These watercolors were all completed using PicMonkey.
If you use this program and do not know how to get this look,
open the edits section under Effects then scroll to Posterize.
I had to experiment a lot to find this for watercolor. 
You would never think posterize would contain this edit, but it does.

From there you can raise or lower the percentages and degree of the changes then save your work.

In PicMonkey, 
I have the Royale version
 which is a pay ever two years program, but I'm not sure the free program has this edit version for watercolor.
You can try and see.

Have a great first week of August and thanks for stopping by.

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