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Kwanzaa Table Mat

Monday, 07 December 2009 9:00

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Kwanzaa is a celebration of family, community and culture that combines traditions from many African cultures. It marks the harvest and emphasizes seven principles of strength: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. The 'mkeka' is a place mat, on which the mazao, bowls of fruits and vegetables, are placed. It is traditionally made of straw or cloth and represents culture and history. It is the symbolic foundation on which the holiday stands. Our Kwanzaa table mat is based on this tradition.

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Pretty Prints Please: Star Pillow

Friday, 04 December 2009 9:00

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For this very uniquely shaped pillow, we wanted specific parts of our fabric designs showing on each panel. We also wanted each set of coordinating panels to match. To make this happen, we had to ‘fussy cut' the triangles from our fabric, which means we centered our triangle pattern on the exact part of the fabric we wanted to show. We maneuvered the pattern piece until we had our fabric design element centered just the way we liked it. Then we pinned and cut. This process takes more time and more fabric, but the result is a dynamic, perfectly symmetrical pillow.

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Hanukkah Gift or Wine Bag

Thursday, 03 December 2009 9:00

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Hanukkah gift wrap can be very challenging to find. So we decided it would be fun to show you how to make your own. We found some actual Hanukkah fabric at our local Jo-Ann Fabrics, as well as a nice combination of Hanukkah colors: blue velvets, silver cottons and rich gold satin. Then, we combed through our resources for the fastest, easiest gift bag project we could find. Happy Holidays!

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Pretty Prints Please: Cotton Gauze Bed Curtains

Wednesday, 02 December 2009 9:00

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The beautiful, billowy bed curtains we associate with elegance and style, actually have a rather ordinary and functional history. In those drafty old European castles of old, the lord and his family slept in the great hall along with all their servants, because this hall was one of the few areas of the castle where the fires were kept stoked for warmth and light. The noble family's sleeping area was separated from the rest of the riffraff by curtains. Originally, the curtains were hung from the ceiling, but as the bed evolved, a frame was added to support a canopy from which the curtains hung.

Well ... there's nobility involved in that story, which qualifies as 'princessy', which makes them perfect for our teen room makeover. They also add a strong vertical element to counteract the many horizontal surfaces in the room.

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Installing Cable Wire for Hanging Curtains

Tuesday, 01 December 2009 9:00

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I had to bring in the big guns for this project as my own 'power tool' experience leans more towards sewing machines than drills. So, I asked my husband Bob (who is always a good sport and really tall) to bring his years of experience as a builder to the table to show you how to install this very cool cable wire system. It's a great option for hanging lightweight, decorative curtains, which add height and drama to our Pretty Prints Teen Room. This type of system would also work well to create a room divider or even to hang a curtain for an especially long run of windows.

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Yoga Mat Sling Bag

Monday, 30 November 2009 9:00

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Over the shoulder and off to class. This yoga mat bag is a great carry-all for your mat, towel and flip flops. It even has a handy outside pocket with a Velcro closure for a wallet, phone and keys. Our tutorial gives you great step-by-step directions for how to perfectly match the pocket fabric to the bag fabric. Haven't you always wondered how they do that?

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Visions of Sugarplums Christmas Pillowcases

Friday, 27 November 2009 9:00

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Do you have family and friends staying at your home for the holidays? Yes! Do you have time and money to make all new holiday bed linens for your guest room? No! Then just change up the pillowcases. It's a super fast, easy and inexpensive way to add a little holiday cheer. Our instructions show you how to make two standard size pillowcases (for standard 20" x 26" pillows) using just 1½ yards of main fabric and ½ yard of contrasting trim fabric.

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Pretty Prints Please: Flipover Floor Cushion

Thursday, 26 November 2009 9:00

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Down on the floor is the place to be for lounging, studying, and painting your toenails. You can't really expect a teen to climb all the way up into a chair, can you? (Insert eye roll here.) This easy, reversible floor cushion would be a great addition to any room. Simply change out the fabrics to match your decor. Make a whole set for extra seating in your family room. It's a perfect, low-to-the-ground option for a toddler's room. And, if you're feeling friendly towards Fido ... wouldn't one make a darling pet bed?!

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Pretty Prints Please: Zebra Butterfly Fleece Throw

Wednesday, 25 November 2009 9:00

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This very cuddly, very cute fleece throw is another no-sew project to which we added a dash of sewing ... so we didn't feel so guilty about including it on a sewing site. The basic instructions could be winnowed down to two steps: 1) cut fringe around two big squares of fleece; 2) tie together. It's still just that easy, but we've added a soft appliqué to the front in the shape of a giant butterfly. This motif tied in perfectly to the fabric palette for our Pretty Prints Please teen room.

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Tree Hugger Body Pillow

Monday, 23 November 2009 10:00

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Is there an avid environmentalist on your gift list? Then this Tree Hugger pillow is a must have. It's ever so much better than hugging an actual tree, which tends to be not only scratchy, but annoying to the woodland creatures living in the branches. Body pillow inserts are easy to find and quite inexpensive. We got ours at a local variety store for just $9.99. If your environmentalist comes indoors now and then, it also makes a great crash pillow for a TV room or dorm room.

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