Month: February 2011

Making a House a Home: Book Recomendations

crafting a meaningful home by meg mateo ilasco

Monet and I spend a lot of time at book stores, as it is an outing that both she and I enjoy.  Just the other day I added “Crafting A Meaningful Home” to my collection.  I now have all of Meg’s books.  When it comes to the art of making a house a home, lately I have noticed a lot of great books that support this idea.  Here are a few of my recommendations:

Life on the Farm is Beautiful

“Life on the farm might be simple and bright and less than clean. It might smell like grass and dirt and freshly chopped wood. Life on the farm is beautiful. —‘for the farmhouse’ by heartbreakhomestead

Thanks heartbreakhomestead; for this beautiful treasury, for mentioning my pillow, and for landing us on the front page of Etsy.  What a great way to start the day!

















Treasury tool is sponsored by A/B image testing.

Where Women Eat and Play

Where Women Create Luncheon

Guess who I had lunch with today?  Jo Packham, the creator and editor-in-chief of Where Women Create magazine.  Unfortunately I’m not cool enough to have had a one-on-one meeting with her yet, but I was honored to be apart of a luncheon with Jo, Paige Hill, and many other creative woman from Utah.  Jo even picked up the tab.  Does that make it a date?  It’s official; I went on a date with Jo Packham 😉

In all seriousness, I really admire Jo’s work and the venue she provides for creative woman.  What an honor!  Maybe one day I will be able to have that one on one date with her, along with being featured in her wonderful magazine.

Here is a list of the amazing woman who attended the lunch:

Bottom from left:

Margie from The Girls Paperie

Jo from Where Women Create

Paige from Where Women Create

Shelley from The House of Smiths

Brittany from One Charming Party

Kim and Kris from The DIYDISH

Kirsten from The Crafting Chicks

Jen from Tatertots and Jello

Tauni from It’s a Tradition

Alison from How Does She

Kari from UCreate

Ashlee of I’m Topsy Turvy

Me from The Artists House

Jen, Jenny and Jayme from Making Memories

Meg from Brassy Apple

Carey from Little Cherry Blossoms

Where Women Create Luncheon

While I wait for that day to come, I really hope to attend The Creative Connection Event again this year.  Last year, I was lucky enough to win a trip to The Creative Connection Event and it was amazing.  You can read more about my experience here.

I leave you with a few more photos from the Where Women Create studio, a little something to inspire creativity in you today.

Where Women Create LuncheonWhere Women Create Luncheon

Where Women Create LuncheonWhere Women Create Luncheon


Oh, and don’t forget, today is the last day to enter our hand dyed wool giveaway!

Also, it’s the last day to vote for my couch pillow!

Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Corn, Cherry Tomatoes, Avocado and Lime Cumin Vinaigrette Dressing

Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Corn, Cherry Tomatoes, Avocado and Lime Cumin Vinaigrette Dressing

I have been loving quinoa salad lately.  Topped with cherry tomatoes and fresh avocado, it’s a taste of summer –which I really need right now as winter lags on.  Here’s the recipe:

Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Corn, Cherry Tomatoes, Avocado and Lime Cumin Vinaigrette Dressing:


  • 2 cups of quinoa
  • 4 cups of water or chicken stock
  • olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 1/2 cups of frozen corn
  • 2 avocados
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic minced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil or canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 Jalepeno cut into tiny pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Cook 2 cups of quinoa in 4 cups of water, or chicken stock.  (Note: I use Better Than Bouillon.)  Bring to a boil and boil for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.  Cover, remove from heat, and let sit for at least 10 minutes.
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, prep the other ingredients:  rinse and drain one can of black beans, and 1 1/2 cups of frozen corn.  (Note: We use corn from the freezer that we cut fresh off the cob in the summer months –yummy!)
  3. Make the dressing:  Shake the last nine ingredients in a jar and set aside.
  4. Fluff the cooked quinoa with a fork and 1 tablespoon of oil.  Mix in the dressing, the corn, and the black beans. This will stays well in fridge for days.  Serve topped with cherry tomatoes and fresh avocado.


A Valentine’s Date

My husband is from ID and I’m from IL –we currently live in UT.  What does this mean?  Well, it means that Monet’s grandparents live very far away, and as a result, Josh and I go on very few dates without our daughter.  And in all honesty, that’s ok, I love hanging out as a family, all three of us.  But every once in a while, it’s nice for the focus to be on Josh and I, instead of our sweet little girl.  Selfish I know.

My moment for this week was when Josh and I went on a date, just the two of us, to a fabulous restaurant called The Cooper Onion.  The wine, the company, the conversation, the food, and dessert were all top notch.  I had the most lovely time, and in this moment, I was reminded of all the reasons I married my husband, and all the reasons we fell in love.

The Cooper Onion RestaurantThe Cooper Onion Restaurant

The Cooper Onion RestaurantThe Cooper Onion Restaurant

Because people, smiles and laughter, more than anything else, is truly what makes a house a home, I hope you enjoyed this weeks “moment”…


om [one moment] meet upOM is *one moment* and is a meetup designed to notice & relish a moment in everyday life. The meetup idea was created by Linda at her blog, a la mode stuff.  If you’d like to participate in OM, just click the button and you’ll be taken to Linda’s post explaining it all.

Hand Dyed Wool Giveaway + Wool Applique Tutorial

hand dyed wool for applique and quilting

Today, I bring you another fabulous giveaway, along with a wool applique tutorial.  About a week ago, I received a beautiful bundle of hand dyed wool in the mail from Quilting Acres Shop.  Along with that, Erinn sent me a piece of gray hand dyed wool to use on one of my wool applique projects.  And can I just say, the hand dyed wool that she sent me was the prettiest wool I have ever seen.  The colors are magnificent, and the wool is super soft and easy to work with.  This wool is of the highest quality!  In fact, I really don’t want to give it away.  Do you mind if I leave a comment, “heart” Erinn’s shop, and subscribe to my own newsletter, so that I too can have a chance to win?

Here’s a little bit of information about Erinn’s shop, “Welcome to Quilting Acres Shop. Here you will find hand dyed wool that is exceptionally soft to work with. I start with finding beautiful wools that I can then over-dye, felt, and create something wonderful with.  I dye my wool in stainless steel pots (mostly at nap time) and wash each piece in an earth friendly, fragrance free soap.  These wools are perfect for rug hooking, quilting, needle arts, wool applique, and many other craft projects.”

Wool Applique Tutorial:

Erinn is exactly right, these wools are perfect for wool applique!  Before I get to the tutorial part of this post, first let me show you a few examples of projects I’ve made in the past using wool applique:

wool applique tutorial or felt applique tutorial

So you might be wondering how wool applique is done.  Really it’s quite simple.  First you need to draw out the shape of what it is you want to create using the wool.  I’m going to create a couch in this tutorial.  Cut it out, and use this as your template:

wool applique tutorial

Next, you need to iron on a piece of heat bond, a little bit bigger than your template from the previous step.  Iron it onto the back of your felt, trace your template shape as a mirror image (otherwise the image will be reversed), and then cut it out.  Position the wool piece, glue side down, and iron it onto a fabric surface using the directions on the heat bond package:

wool applique tutorial

wool applique tutorial

Next, using a washable fabric pencil, draw in certain details that you want to show using machine embroidery:

wool applique tutorial

wool applique tutorial

Lastly, sew these lines using either hand or machine embroidery techniques:

wool applique tutorial

This pieces that I’m working on, still needs a little work, so you’ll have to wait to see the final product.  But in the mean time, I think you know this is the start of something magneficant.  Why don’t you get yourself some hand dyed wool, and give this wool applique tutorial a try.

Giveaway Details:  15 Pieces of Hand Dyed Wool

hand dyed wool giveaway

To enter, visit Quilting Acres Shop and leave a comment below telling me what you like best in Erinn’s shop.

For extra, extra, extra entries, you can “like” me on facebook, sign-up for my newsletter, “heart” our Etsy shops and/or publicize this event on twitter, facebbok, and/or your own blog. Tell me about it below, each as an individual comment, to improve your chances of winning.

The lucky winner will be announced on Thursday, February 24th.

Oh, and don’t forget to enter our other giveaway here.


Blog Giveaway WInnerAnd our winner is…

Congratulations Marcia!

I’ll email you with the details.

Handmade Olympics

“Quilting 101″ Quilt-Along: Quilt Sandwich, Basting your Quilt, and Quilting your Quilt

“Quilting 101″ Quilt-Along: Quilt Sandwich, Basting your Quilt, and Quilting your Quilt

For those of you who are following the “Quilting 101″ quilt-along in 2011, we are now on step #4 of our quilt-along.  Today, I’m going to guide you through 3 steps: assembling your quilt sandwich, basting your quilt, and quilting your quilt.  It’s not too late to join –just follow the before-mentioned link.

I’ve put together a video that will step you though these steps.  Please watch the entire video once, before you begin sewing.

Here’s the video:

If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section, and I’d be happy to help out.

order a custom made modern quilt

Good luck –I’m getting excited to see your finished quilts.

A Valentine’s Day Giveaway and Review

fabric blog giveaway

Today, I bring you a Valentine’s Day Giveaway…

Why, you might ask?

“All you need is love, love.  Love is all you need.” -The Beatles

Today, on this special Valentine’s Day, I’m remembering the heart behind where my work started, and all the lovely people in my life who inspire me to create.

Did you know that The Artists’ House all started because I wanted to make something special for my daughter?  Ironically, the day I “Said Goodbye to our beloved Charely Harper Quilt” was the day I officially became a designer.  And now, I’m still here, continuing to make lovely things for both my daughter, and for other people.  How lucky am I?

Before I get to the giveaway, I want to start by introducing Megan from Sanourra’s Fabric Love.  I’m a fan and a customer of Megan’s fabric shop because her prices are great.  Along with that, she has a great variety of vintage fabrics and patterns, along with a great selection of modern designer fabrics.  Do you remember the “A Quilt Full of Memories” quilt I made?  Yeah, those retro like Moda fabrics came from Megan’s shop.  You can follow Megan as @sanourra on Twitter, or visit her Fabric Love Facebook page.

Check it out and “heart” her Etsy shop for your fabric purchases!

sewing pattern blog giveaway

Next, I want to introduce Lena from Needle Craft Patterns.  I stumbled across Lena’s Etsy shop while looking for a shoe pattern for Monet.  Lena agreed to let me do a review of her patterns, and so me, along with a friend of mine over at Elsa Bags, made a play date for our kiddos, and while the kids played, we used two of Lena’s patterns to make shoes for our little lovelies.  Do you want to see what we made?

sewing pattern for baby shoes

sewing pattern baby boots

Aren’t they cute! Lena’s patterns are great, packed full of pictures, and easy to follow.  Along with that, Lena has a super cute blog full of sewing ideas and patterns –you can also find her on facebook.

Check it out and “heart” Lean’s Etsy shop for your pattern purchases!

So what are these fine folks giving away, you might be wondering?

fabric blog giveawayfabric blog giveaway

You have two chances to win:

Prize 1: 15 Fat Quarters from the Fandango, Kate Spain Line + 2 patterns from Needle Craft Patterns

Prize 2: 2 Patterns from Needle Craft Patterns

To enter, visit Sanourra’s Fabric Love and Needle Craft Pattern and leave a comment below telling me what you like best in their shops.  Leave two comments, one for each shop, for an extra chance to win.

For extra, extra, extra entries, you can “like” any of us on facebook, sign-up for our newsletters, “heart” our Etsy shops and/or publicize this event on twitter, facebbok, and/or your own blog. Tell me about it below, each as an individual comment, to improve your chances of winning.

The lucky winner will be announced on Monday, February 21st.

Guess what?  I’ll be bringing you another amazing giveaway opportunity on Thursday.  Stay tuned!


And here are our winners:

Winner of Prize #1

Winner of Prize #2

Winner of Prize # 1:Congratulations Deb!

Winner of Prize #2:  Congratulations Elsina!

I’ll be emailing you both with your prize information.  Again, congratulations 🙂

Modern Sewing Tutorial: Turned Edge Machine Applique Pinwheel Pillow