Welcome to "The Girl's Gone Crafty!" blog about all things, well, crafty, of course! My name is Raquel, owner of Calico Craft Designs, and lover of all things Craft. I hope that you too will join me on my journey to finishing one more UFO (unfinished object), stitching for charity, and just learning more about the wonderful crafts available out there.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!  I hope that you are enjoying this spooky and fun holiday.  I just had to pop in to share a couple of pics of my friends' kids from this week.  Love this time of year!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Quilted Christmas Ornaments

A couple of weeks ago, I was looking for Christmas ornament ideas to make as gifts this year for my family and friends.  It's become a tradition that I give everyone at least one handmade gift each year for Christmas.  I knew I wanted to do something that people could use during the holidays but I wasn't sure exactly what it was that I wanted to try to make.  I love using fabric and I had a lot left over from the rag candle-rings I made for everyone last year.  I searched Pinterest (the best place ever to get ideas) and ran across "quilted" ornaments.  I located a quick how-to video on YouTube and decided to give it a try.

The first one I completed has a white center with black and white polka dots and a red and white Christmas fabric.  The lines are not exactly straight and the ribbon I used for the top of the ornament came out a bit floppier than I like; however, I think it turned out really cute for a first try.  I added a red pin to the center of the star on each side just to add a bit more color. 

I'm pleased with the second ornament as well. For it, I used a Santa fabric for the center along with red and white polka dots and a striped fabric in holiday colors.  (Can you tell yet that I really love polka dots?  They make me smile.)  I think that both ornaments turned out really well and I'm looking forward to working on the others that I will be giving as gifts this year.  They really do look "quilted" even though there is no sewing and no glue.  I have a huge stash of fabric that I get to use for my others but... I may still have to go shopping for just a bit more to add a bit of variety. :-) 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Autumn Love

I love Autumn.  I love the cooler weather, the changing leaves and all their brilliant colors, Halloween, outdoor festivals and craft shows, comfort foods such as chili and hot dishes made in the crock pot, and of course, decorating the house with the warm, inviting colors of the season.  Autumn is easily my favorite time of year, followed closely by Spring.  After the heat of Summer in the South, the cooler temperatures and crisp breezes of Fall are very welcome.  As I sit typing this morning, it's about 55 degrees and should warm to around 67 degrees by this afternoon.  Love that crisp chill in the air!  

This time of year seems to make me want to engage in more arts and crafts.  I've been busy working on several projects over the past couple of weeks, some cross-stitch related, others are rag wreaths and other projects.  My good friend Kim is expecting her 2nd daughter any day now and I'm working with another fellow crafter to create a cross-stitch quilt for baby Samantha's nursery.  The room is being decorated with a butterfly theme in lavenders and pinks.  I found a cute pattern from Gail Bussi in one of my "The World of Cross Stitching" magazines (WOCS) called "Flutterby Trio".  I changed a few colors around and added metallic thread and iridescent filament to give it a little sparkle.  I've been working on the cross-stitch portion while my partner has been picking out matching fabric to create the quilt.  So far, I've finished one butterfly completely and have two others partially finished.  I really hope that Kim and baby Sam will love it.

I've also been busy trying to decorate my fireplace mantle for the season.  As I mentioned before, I love the warm colors of Autumn and I also love Halloween.  I wanted a mantle that didn't necessarily scream Halloween and could stay up even after the holiday but definitely had elements from this favorite holiday.  I decided to use one of my framed Halloween cross-stitch pieces and one of our many "scary" buildings from my husband's Halloween village.  We have a ton of these but I only chose one to go over the fireplace.  The rest are packed up pending our move to Charleston.  I think it came out pretty well and we are definitely enjoying it each evening.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Gorgeous Gardens in Early Autumn

The Waterlily Garden
One of my favorite gardens is Gibbs Gardens in the North Georgia Mountains.  I have an annual garden membership and I usually try to go a couple of times each season.  They are open from March to November.  Last year I was unable to go for the Autumn so I was really looking forward to going this year.  I enjoy photography as a hobby and love spending time during the weekend snapping a few pictures and wandering around this beautiful area of Georgia.  I'm definitely not a professional but I take enough pictures to make it seem like I am! :-)  Of course, it's really hard to take a bad photo of this gorgeous place! 

This past Friday, 10/18/14, I took the day off from work and drove the 45 minutes from my home to Gibbs Gardens.  It was a beautiful early fall day and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  I've included a few of my favorite photos so you can hopefully, see the beauty of this magical place as I do.  I definitely hope to return in another week or two when the leaves really begin to change colors and the Japanese Maples are really colorful.

A section of the Waterlily Garden

A gazebo and pond near the entrance of the Daffodil Gardens

The Monet Bridge at Gibbs Gardens
A reflection pond in the Japanese Gardens

A pathway through the woods

Sunday, October 19, 2014

It's Been a While...

Much has been going on in my life over the past several months and unfortunately, blogging was moved to the bottom of my to do list.  My husband left his job of 15 years to tackle a new position with a company in Charleston, SC.  We will eventually be moving to Charleston after being in the Atlanta Metro area for just over 14 years.  It's a big challenge for us and we are both excited and nervous.  I too will be leaving my current job of almost 15 years in the next couple of months.  We've been making weekend trips to the lowcountry area to try to learn the city layout and look for housing.  It's been a crazy few weeks to say the least!  

Add to that the arrival of one friend's baby girl Dakota and another friend's soon-to-be baby girl Samantha, two baby showers, our vacation and the arrival of a friend from Australia who stayed with us for about 10 days, cleaning out and organizing the garage for our impending move, my birthday, and my hubby and I both being sick with a nasty stomach flu and it's been a jam-packed few months of activity.  Even with everything going on, I've still tried to make time for working on my crafts.  I've made a little more progress on my cross-stitching, my latch hook rug, and my rag wreaths (both for me and as gifts).  I've even started making fabric Christmas ornaments to give as gifts for friends and family.  I'm amazed that I've been able to get started on this a bit early this year!  I'm normally struggling to complete my craft gifts in early to mid-December!  

With everything going on, I will probably not be blogging as regularly as I would like but I'll try to pop in periodically with an update.  Happy crafting! 

P.S.  Here's a photo of my latch hook rug that is coming along very slowly and another of my baby boy "supervising" my latch hook to make sure I am doing it correctly.  I think it will be wonderful when it's finally complete. :-)