Once again, I am happy to introduce the new Dena Designs Embellish paper line. I’ll be posting new paper crafting projects here using these designs, which are now gracing premium, heavy weight, canvas textured paper. Ideal for paper crafting projects of all kinds, designs from the well known happi Boy, happi Girl, Haute Girls, Kumari, and Little Azalea collections can now be found in both assorted packs and single sheets at JoAnn Fabrics. Stay tuned for more gorgeous collections launching in 2014, including Dena’s Memory Mini’s line.
Dena Designs Papers
• Haute Girls Instant Card (GX-6000-23)
• David Tutera Celebrate Cardmaking system Step 3 Butterfly
• Core’dinations Cardstock
• Sand it Gadget
• May Arts ribbon
- Cut an A2 cardbase from Core’dinations Cardstock and sand. We will be working with the folded side up for this card (also known as a tent card).
- Cut journal spot, sentiment, and strip from Instant Card sheet.
- Adhere ribbon and the strip to cardbase.
- Adhere journal spot over them and then mount sentiment to black cardstock. Adhere.
- Sand David Tutera Celebrate cardmaking system butterfly and then adhere.
- Add gems or pearls to ribbon for the final accent.
Hope you are all having a happy holiday season! Many people are putting up their christmas trees this weekend. If you’re in need of some new ornaments for the year, I have a new line of fun felt happi characters for you! They are sold in independent local gift shops, so the best way to find out where you can find them locally is to contact Two’s Company directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-TWOSCOM (1.800.896.7266). They’re a great gift idea, too, and also help support local businesses, as they are not for sale online or in big chain stores.
These felt ornaments are hand made, too! Each one is slightly different. If you’re a retailer and you would like more information on the happi by Dena line by Cupcakes & Cartwheels / Two’s Company, please visit their website here.
Autumn colors on my front porch
If you’re still in need of a dessert for Thanksgiving on Thursday, look no further! This is my all time favorite banana bread recipe, and with the sugary nutty topping it really is more of a dessert than a sweet bread. This recipe makes 2 loaves… one for your party and one for you to keep! I love displaying these breads on vintage cake stands, or tiered DIY stands like this one. For the original recipe, including nutrition facts, click here.
Yields 2 loaves, prep time: 20 min, cook time: 1 hour
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 10 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1 cup chopped pecans ( or more, toasted)
- 1 cup butter
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 4 very ripe bananas, mashed ( or 1 3/4 c, the bananas have to be so ripe that they’re nearly black!)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract ( I add 1 tblsp)
- 4 tablespoons buttermilk
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda ( I also add 3/4 tsp baking powder)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cream butter and sugar; mash bananas, beat 2 eggs and add to the bananas with vanilla and buttermilk; mix well and add to creamed butter and sugar; sift together flour, soda and salt; add to banana mixture, beat well; pour into 2 greased and floured 9x5x3-inch loaf pans; bake 45 to 50 minutes (I find this bread needs over an hour) or until bread pulls away from sides of pan; add topping.
- To prepare Topping: Melt butter in saucepan; add sugar and milk; cook until syrupy (like honey); remove from heat and add chopped pecans; pour over bread spreading to all the corners and place under broiler until bubbly and brown.
- Watch closely (this takes around 1 minute- maybe even less!).
I am happy to introduce the new Dena Designs Embellish paper line. My signature designs are now gracing premium, heavy weight, canvas textured paper. Ideal for paper crafting projects of all kinds, designs from the well known happi Boy, happi Girl, Haute Girls, Kumari, and Little Azalea collections can now be found in both assorted packs and single sheets at JoAnn Fabrics. Stay tuned for more gorgeous collections launching in 2014, including Dena’s Memory Mini’s line.
This gift bag embellishment uses the patterns from my happi baby boy paper pack. An embellished gift bag is a great way to make gift giving this holiday season extra special!
Dena Designs happi boy papers:
- happi boy Chevron (GX-6000-26)
- happi boy Wheels (GX-6000-27)
- Core’dinations Cardstock coordinating colors
- Darice Baker’s Twine
- Border Punch
- Gift bag
- Cut a piece from the Chevron paper that is just slightly smaller than your gift bag. Adhere.
- Punch a strip of coordinating cardstock and adhere to bottom & add some dots with a marker.
- Begin making tag by cutting from cardstock with a die cut machine or by hand.
- Cut strips from coordinating cardstock and happi boy papers. This is a great way to use your scraps!
- Add doodle lines with a black marker. This really makes the strips pop!
- Cut the little car image from the happi boy Wheels paper and adhere with foam adhesive.
- Add the tag to the bag with some twine.
I have a new puppy! You may have already seen photos of her on my facebook page, where I had a puppy photoshoot with Miles, Ruby, my friends’ dachshund, Sophie, and new little Lucy. She’s sweet as can be, and was smaller than a shoe when she first came home! I’m still in new-puppy heaven, so a lot of my recent activities have been Lucy-themed.
One autumn themed project I recently completed was turning one human sweater into two doggy sweaters. I love putting my dogs in sweaters – they stay warm and look so stylish. And as far as I can tell they like it, too! I had this blue striped wool sweater that had seen better days, so I found a way to reuse it rather than throw it out. I first felted the sweater in the washing machine. This made it so that when I cut out the pattern pieces, there were no unraveled ends, just soft wooly felt. I used the neck hole of the swaeter for Miles, and one of the arm holes for Lucy, since she’s so tiny. Then it was just a matter of getting the pieces to look nice together, and finding a fun buttons for the closure that goes up around the tummy. I sewed everything by hand with a big red blanket stitch in embroidery floss – I love the classic look it has against the blue.
If you’re like me, chances are you’ve got a piece or two of old vintage furniture that is painted white. I had been feeling like some of my rooms were looking a little too sweet and needed a touch of chic glam, but there’s no need to get rid of lasting pieces when a quick coat of paint and a little pattern will do the trick. It was a nice shabby chic look and very in for a long time, but now it’s time for a shot of color mixed with some modern pattern. Here’s the way to take one of your old white country pieces and give it a bit of Palm Beach glam.
• Wood furniture
• Paint brushes, foam brush, or rollers and tray
• Mixing stick
• Coordinating patterned paper or fabric
• Adhesive for paper or fabric
• New hardware (optional)
1. Before beginning, you may want to look online or in DIY books for steps to painting furniture. There you’ll find the best way to prepare your wood pieces, and what types of brushes and paints are best. I personally used hot pink acrylic paint and a 1” foam brush to cover my white cabinet.
2. I love using bright colors like turquoise, fuchsia, or coral. Whatever color you choose, make sure it’s what you love. Think about keeping some white accents in the piece, and maybe even going in with metallic gold for small details.
3. To make your newly painted piece really special, add some pattern to the back wall or inside the drawers. Modern geometrics are a great timeless choice. You can print out your own paper at home, making sure the edges tile together, or use wallpaper, wrapping paper, or even fabric. I adhered bright glossy printouts of one of my own designs in my cabinet using spray adhesive. If you choose fabric, look into putting up fabric using liquid starch and a foam brush – it’s quick and doesn’t leave any residue behind if you decide to swap it out!
I love this project because in one weekend you can uniquely update the look of your furniture and home without any big purchases. This could also be a fun way to revamp what used to be a baby’s nursery and turn it into a bright and fun kid’s room. Try adding new modern hardware to country-chic pieces to really change their style.
I have a very, very cute fabric collection debuting at the upcoming Quilt Market. To show of this fun children’s collection, we made something all kids love: a little teepee! I’m so happy with this hand painted collection. It stars little foxes with big personalities riding bikes, driving cars, and posing with their woodland friends in frames. There are also classic coordinates like polka dots and a mini chevron to pair with the painted patterns. The collection comes in a few color ways including red with blue or aqua, yellow with gray, and pops of orange.
What could be better than a Fox Playground! This storybook children’s collection of little foxes with big personalities comes to you straight from Dena’s hand painted drawings. Fox Playground is just the right mix of whimsical characters and modern prints to use for your little one’s room decor, clothing, and accessories.
Swatches of the collection are available to browse on the Free Spirit Fabric site here.
You may have already seen these clothes on my Facebook page, but in case you missed it – these are some of my favorite styles from my Fall / Winter happi by Dena baby clothing collection.
The full collection can be viewed here. Styles are currently sold at Lord & Taylor and Hallmark stores, and the whole line should be up on Amazon soon. I love the embroidered and appliquéd detail on each piece, and the warm, soft fabrics used. The collection is bright, fun, and of course happi!
In my studio, I have many bins where I save my fabric scraps from larger sewing projects. These baskets are overflowing with colors and patterns, and I’m often finding ways to use up every pretty little piece. For this project, I was inspired by all the mixing and matching of colors and styles of fabric bits, and wanted to translate that onto something I would see and use every day. Sewing strips of the scraps in varying widths onto a plain tea towel created a multicolor masterpiece!
• One plain tea towel
• Fabric scraps at least as wide as the tea towel
• Sewing machine, or
• Needle and thread
1. Begin by gathering fabric scraps that you think look lovely together. They can be a fun mix of florals and geometric prints in many colors. Lay them out to see if you would like them arranged in a particular order. You may decide to only have bands of fabrics on the ends of your towel, or go from top to bottom.
2. Snip and then rip each piece of fabric so that it’s as wide as the tea towel, and somewhere between 2” – 4” high, with frayed edges.
3. Pin one strip straight across along the tea towel, right side up. You can do one at a time, or pin multiple strips at once if you feel more comfortable sewing that way. You could leave a gap an inch or so between fabrics to see original tea towel show through, or line them up right on top of each other. You don’t need to turn any of the edges under, the frayed sides add appeal!
4. Using a sewing machine makes this a very quick project and also makes the towels stronger when thrown in the wash, but if you would like to sew the strips on by hand, you can do that, too! Simply sew around all 4 sides of the strips, about 1/4” in from the frayed edge.
One great perk to sewing the fabrics on top of old, used tea towels is that they cover stains or small holes, giving new life to the useful kitchen cloths. You could also adapt this project to the ends of your fabric napkins or to your apron, creating a whole new feel for your kitchen linens!
This month is the release of my newest fabric collection, Little Azalea. I had posted a preview of the fat quarter stack a few blog entries ago, so now I wanted to share some details of the patterns. It’s a fun, bright, graphic collection. I read online that someone felt like it had a look like Kumari Garden, which was a very popular fabric collection of mine. Here’s a preview of some of my favorite patterns, which come in a variety of colorways. These mix and match patterns were based directly on my drawings.