Monthly Archives: March 2011

Amusing Housework

A house and apron represent book theme.

If anyone can make housework amusing, it’s the duo Pam Young and her sister, Peggy Jones. They are authors of the book, “Get Your Act Together: A 7-Day Get-Organized Program for the Overworked, Overbooked and Overwhelmed.”

My mom, sisters and I read this book last year as part of our ChatterboxBeach Book Club selections. The ChatterboxBeach Book Club is a group we started in October 1999. We each take turns selecting a book to read. Once we’ve all read the book, we discuss the characters, plot and themes via emails or get-togethers, depending on the time of year.

I laughed out loud reading page after page. These sisters are hysterical. I didn’t want to put down the book. It was so much fun to read.

Almost as much fun was creating a quilt block square to represent the book.

I’m making a 10-inch by 10-inch quilt square for each book we finished reading in 2010. We read seven books. I have five squares made so far. I thought an apron and a house worked well for this book’s theme.

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Easter Basket Doll Clothes

Homemade doll aprons come in a variety of fabrics.

My sewing machine has been humming all day. I’ve been making doll aprons out of the cutest fabrics. Easter eggs, watermelons, roses – I guess my mind

The bottom edge of this watermelon apron features watermelon seeds.

 is on spring. Even though snow is in our forecast this weekend, I wanted to make something bright and fun that would be great to find in an Easter basket. The result was a collection of adorable doll clothes aprons. Browse our Etsy website for more Easter basket items and gift ideas at http://www.etsy.com/shop/chatterboxbeach.

This doll apron combines roses with pink gingham.

Bulletin Boards Ripe for the Pickin’

A while back, I asked my husband to get me a bulletin board for my kitchen. I needed a new place to put the notes, pictures, postcards and reminders that were falling off the refrigerator doors each time someone wanted to browse for a snack. He was so kind. He went out and bought me a nice functional board that solved my problem

This tangerine caught my eye.

but looks like it should be hanging in an office. If I had waited a few more months, I could have gotten a more decorative, hand-painted board from

A pomegranate looks nice in a kitchen.

MamaA. She started making a variety of hand-painted bulletin boards that are the perfect place to post reminders, grocery lists, recipes, and notes of all kinds. The boards are decorative, yet functional, and measure 11- by 14 inches. She has painted lemons, pomegranates and pears. My favorite board features a bright orange tangerine. The boards install easily with self-stick pads, which are included. They make great gifts. Browse our Etsy website for more gift ideas at http://www.etsy.com/shop/chatterboxbeach.

Pears are a popular fruit.

Coming Together in the End

Perseverance can change the direction of a project.

Sometimes a project that gets a rocky start comes together in the end. That’s how I feel about this folk quilt. I struggled with the project every step of the way. But I also learned from my perseverance and mistakes. What at times has been a thorn in my side is now a pleasant achievement. Despite its flaws, I really treasure this quilt.

Baseball and Beach

Baseball covered sticky notes are practical and attractive.

 

Baseball and beach lovers will like these sticky notes. The covers are made with fabric, giving them a great look for display on office desks.

Sticky notes fit nicely in Easter baskets.

 They also are flat and sturdy for carrying in a purse or laptop computer bag. They make great gifts and fit nicely in Easter baskets. Browse our Etsy website for more gift ideas at http://www.etsy.com/shop/chatterboxbeach.

Beach is the theme of this set of sticky notes.

Attractive Sticky Notes

Sticky notes don't have to be dull.

Sticky notes are a necessity in my home. I want them where I can find them – on the desk, by the phone, in the kitchen. But I also want them look nice.

Spring colors brighten these sticky note pads.

Recently, I started using spring fabric to cover sticky notepads. I also covered some in black and white and music fabric. They make great gifts and fit nicely in Easter baskets. Browse our Etsy website for more gift ideas at http://www.etsy.com/shop/chatterboxbeach.

Measuring Upstairs and Downstairs

Don't hide these colorful rulers in a drawer.

I’m constantly measuring, and I can always find my two rulers. Even if the kids borrow one of them for homework or other projects, they are easy to find if they get misplaced. The rulers are acrylic with cross stitch designs inside. I’ve made two for myself. I keep one upstairs and the other one downstairs. The cross stitch designs feature the words Topsail Island with two cute crabs with claws on the sides. I’ve given acrylic rulers with other designs to my nephews for gifts. They look nice on the desk and come in handy. ChatterboxBeach has several rulers available on our etsy website. One features measuring equivalents, the other says “Measure Up” in nautical flags, and the third says “Happy Easter.” They all three fit nicely in Easter baskets. Browse our Etsy website for more gift ideas at http://www.etsy.com/shop/chatterboxbeach.

Felt Easter Bags

These felt Easter bags are embellished with rickrack, appliqued eggs and bows.

MamaA makes these adorable purple felt Easter bags. They are embellished with rick rack, appliqued Easter eggs, and a bow. They are fun to use for a gift bag or as an Easter purse for a little girl. They make cute door knob decorations filled with your favorite Easter candies. They are available online at http://www.etsy.com/listing/65442278/happy-easter-bags.

Dieting Haiku

Haiku adds smiles to dieting.

All of us at ChatterboxBeach struggle constantly with eating healthy and making time for exercise. Busy schedules, sweet tooth temptations and poor choices undermine a lot of our efforts. But we work together to make small changes and encourage each other as we take care of ourselves.

Last year, I found a humorous book of Haiku at the library and enjoyed every poem. “The Sound of One Thigh Clapping: Haiku for a Thinner You” was written by Meredith Clair and became one of our ChatterboxBeach Book Club selections. The ChatterboxBeach Book Club is a group my mom, sisters and I started in October 1999. We each take turns selecting a book to read. Once we’ve all read the book, we discuss the characters, plot and themes via emails or get-togethers, depending on the time of year. For this book, we each wrote our own Haiku.

For fun, I’m making a 10-inch by 10-inch quilt square for each book we finished reading in 2010. We read seven books. I have four squares made so far.

The square for the Haiku book was challenging. I appliqued a bikini bathing suit onto background fabrics featuring oriental letters and chocolates. The square turned out almost as cute as the book’s poetry.

Early Plan for Easter Baskets

Decorated clay pots provide an alternative to traditional baskets at Easter.

My sisters and I are too old for the Easter bunny to visit, but each year MamaA gives us a little something to mark the holiday and the beginning of spring. This year, I’m taking her lead and giving out of a few gifts myself. Instead of using baskets to hold the Easter grass and treats, I’m planning to use some of the decorative pots MamaA makes. They are just the right size so as not to overdo if filled with chocolate bunnies and candy eggs. She makes a Carolina blue pot, which is perfect to fill for the UNC graduate on my list and a N.C. State red pot, which

A UNC student would welcome this Carolina Blue pot.

I can fill nicely for my favorite Wolfpack fan. She makes all kinds of high school and college colors. My neighbor has a green thumb, so I’m thinking a flowering plant in one of the pots would be great for her. And filling the pots with office supplies for the older kids on my list would be great. They can set the pots on their desks to hold pencils and pens. For myself, I want to plant winter grass in a few of the brighter pots to use with my spring centerpiece in the dining room for our Easter brunch. Guests can take them home as a special re

These bright pots can be filled with all kinds of treats.

minder of our get-together. If I can find some smaller pots, I’ll ask MamaA to personalize them for me with initials or names and use them as a substitute for placecards on the table. I’m excited that I have an early start on Easter!