Apr 042015
 
Memory Quilt Polaroid Style

Today I want to share with you  a fabulous way to preserve memories, especially if you have a ton of t-shirts or jerseys just laying around taking up drawer or storage space: A Memory Quilt.  This one is designed around the shape and design of Polaroid photos!

Memory Quilt  Polaroid Style

The finished quilt. Source.

Memory Keeper

Memory Quilt Polaroid Style

LOVE LOVE LOVE IT

It appears I am a real sentimentalist.  Perhaps a bit more than others.  Since I began blogging here at Nicer Than New, I have had a few posts about preserving memories and memorabilia.  The first was called “The Memory Keeper” back in May.  In it, I related how 5 amazing kids grew up on my little court and are now all in university.  I was always the neighbourhood photographer.  They always knew I would have a camera in hand to record their shared events.

The next entry also had to do with photographs when I asked “Are Photo Albums a Thing of the Past?”   I sure hope not but I will keep filing pictures away in hopes the next generation will appreciate the effort.

I also shared a Photoshop creation of my daughter in a ballet pose.  I made it look like an oil painting and printed it on stretched canvas.  A most treasured creation.

My 18 year old daughter has grown up in the digital age.  Memories are shared instantaneously and then  left out there in cyber-world.  Lovely Miss Nice danced on a competitive dance team for 12 years, performed in small plays, public speaking events and many other activities where you get a T-shirt.  They were all stuffed in a drawer.  We also still have team track suits, bits of costumes etc. 

Knowing she was off to university last September, I wanted to send her with some cozy piece of memorabilia to remember her pre-uni days.

My lovely niece, Sheilagh (yes, we are of Irish decent!), who loves to quilt  agreed to help me out.  By day, she is a commercial  interior designer so of course I left the design up to her.  She had always wanted to try a Polaroid design and I agreed.

Be sure to visit her blog: Lay it on Me Baby and check out her post on this design.  Be sure to look at all her GORGEOUS designs!  BTW:  Isn’t that the best blog name for someone who started out making Baby Quilts!  Love it!

Memory Quilt:  Polaroid Style

I raided Miss Nice’s room to dig out t-shirts and other stuff we have both stashed away over the years… Montessori pre-school t-shirt, dance competition t-shirts, her dance team track suit, t-shirts from voluteer activities including her trip to the Philippines and swatches for dance competition costumes to name a few.

I did not tell Miss Nice of our plan.  My niece lives in London, Ontario which is a couple hours drive from Toronto.  When I delivered to her the fabulous Mid-Century coffee table I refinished for her last spring, I also passed on a garbage bag full of all the t-shirts etc.  Miss Nice was with me and had no idea!

I asked for a “throw” sized quilt and I wanted one side to be a soft “Minky” type of fabric. 

The end result is so fun and quite artistic.  Since each piece is small, she “cropped”  the t-shirt in some interesting ways.  Others may not know the significance but Miss Nice does. 

Here are a few:

Montessori Pre-School.

They had a t-shirt they wore on school excursions.  Yup!  I saved it!

Memory Quilt  Polaroid Style

The insignia from her Montessori Pre-School. She thrived there!

Dance Studio Track Suit

Memory Quilt  Polaroid Style

Competitive dance for 12 years.

 

NBA Raptors Mini Dance Pack

This was so much fun for her and her best friend to be selected to be part of this team when she was 10 or 11.  Yes, she danced on the basketball floor at quarter time!  Funnily,  to this day, she has NO CLUE about basketball!

Memory Quilt  Polaroid Style

NBA Raptors Mini Dance Team

Swatch from her School Uniform

Miss Nice attended a designated Arts School for 6 years.  She owned only ONE KILT for all that time.  No regrets having that thing cut up!

Memory Quilt  Polaroid Style

A swatch from her school kilt.

Swatch from Summer Camp Hat

Miss Nice attended the Centauri Summer Arts Camp four summers.  If your child is interested in the arts and you want to give them an amazing experience with professionals in their fields, be sure to check out their website.   If you go the the Musical Theater page, Miss Nice is pictured in the banner.  In summer of 2016, she hopes to be a counselor there.

Memory Quilt  Polaroid Style

Fabulous Arts Camp near Niagara Falls, Canada

Service Trip to the Philippines

When Miss Nice was in Grade 11, over her Christmas break, she traveled with a group of students and teachers to assist in building houses and working with kids in the slums of Manila.  It was rewarding and life changing.

Memory Quilt  Polaroid Style

Life changing experience

Intricate Stitching

Beyond the very clever design, you can see in the photos the intricate stitching Sheilagh used.  Working with t-shirt material was a bit tricky but we think the end result is PERFECT:  A cozy back with all sorts of special memories on the front.

What a lucky girl!

What do you do with t-shirt and other textile memorabilia?

Ever thought of having a quilt made?

I look forward to all your comments
and be sure to follow me any way you wish!

 

Joan

Sep 112014
 

About 12 years ago, when my daughter first began dancing competitively, I made her a ribboned memory board for her room.  It was perfect for displaying ribbons, pins, photos etc from the competitions.  Over the past decade, the board has collected so much memorabilia, I am surprised it can stay on the wall.

Here is the state it is in now. 

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There are YEARS of memories on this board!

After I made this one, she and I made several more to give to her friends as Christmas gifts.  Instead of cork, which is expensive, I used a product called Homasote.  It comes in 4 ft x 8 ft sheets from a building centre.  Builders use it to sound proof walls.  It’s relatively light and soft enough to allow the use of pushpins. 

Here is the one in my office:

My Board

Oh my! I need to add more recent pictures!

It is 48″ x 36″ and I love it!  ( I won’t be sharing the state of the desk below this any time soon!  It looks like my office was ransacked by burglars!

At the end of August, my lovely daughter moved to Kingston, Ontario to begin her new adventures at Queen’s University.  Miss Nice is not overly sentimental so I was surprised when she asked me if I would make her another memory board.  And two of her friends wanted one too.  They do have bulletin boards over their desks but they wanted something “pretty”.

I realized I had a problem and could not make them the way I normally did.  You see, the walls in her residence / dorm room are cinder block so no nails can be added.  Although the Homasote is light, it would most likely be too heavy for a Command Strip.  So I needed to put on my thinking cap.

Michaels just happened to be having a sale on canvases in a 2 pack.  So I picked up four 18″ x 24″  Then, I dropped by Dollarama, where I knew I could get two 12″ cork tiles for $2.00.  I had the rest of the supplies already.  I have so much fabric stashed away as well as quilting batting, ribbon and boxes of the nice upholstery tacks.  I picked up the stash of ribbon 12 years ago when a large Canadian craft store chain went out of business.  Why I bought so much is beyond me.  Perhaps another sign of OCD 😉

pinnable

Instructions below

Here are most of my supplies. (Note:  there are NO affiliation links in this post.  Just links to products I used).

Supplies

Gather supplies

ribbon

Cork and ribbon

tacks

Upholstery tacks

Here is the process I used:

  1. I glued the cork to the front of the stretched canvas using a general purpose white wood glue.  I had to cut some of the cork pieces to make it fit. I needed three squares of cork for each board
  2. Using spray adhesive, I attached a layer of quilting batting to the cork.  This will make the board look more tufted.
  3. After cutting and ironing the cream on cream damask table cloth fabric I had, I covered each of the boards by stapling the fabric to the back of the wooden frame  with my power staple gun.
  4. Then I measured out where the ribbons would go on each edge and marked the spot with a straight pin.  I had the ribbon meet at FOUR spots on each side.    I attached the ends of the ribbon to the back with the staple gun.
  5. Finally, where each ribbon crossed, I added an upholstery tack as well as tacks along the outside edges.

Voila!  Three very light-weight memory boards.  It took me about 3 hours.   

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I love the colours!

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The tack on the outside edge is a great touch

side

I used brass tacks for the navy ribbon and silver for the others.

Cost:

Canvases: 2 for $16  x 2 = $32 — I still have one canvas leftover so the real cost is $24
Cork: 2 for $2 x 5 +=$10 (I have one cork square left)
Fabric, Ribbon, Tacks, Glue and Staples = $0

Each board cost less than $12.  Bargain!

However, the Command Strips were $6 each!!

Regardless the girls were thrilled and Miss Nice’s board looked pretty in her room. Howeverm it did look small on her long empty wall.

What I would do differently is:

  • use a far bigger canvas
  • make the diamonds larger

Other than that, I loved the way they turned out.  Homasote does warp a bit but these frames are  nice and square.

Have you ever made a memory board?
What materials did you use?

Joan

Mar 042014
 

A few weeks ago, I posted “Do YOU Have a Designer’s Eye?” describing how my interior designer niece spotted a special little table,  in a dark photo of a bunch of tables, in a garage.  She was very excited when I told her I had indeed acquired said cute table and would be happy to give it to her.

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Auction purchase

From the moment I picked up this table,
all I could think of were the house
the Jetson’s lived in. LOL

jetsons-googie

The Jetson’s

Sheilagh, my niece, loves Mid Century Modern for it’s clean lines and simplicity and also because many MCM pieces were well constructed from real wood.  This table is no exception. 

Sheilagh and her husband have only been married a couple of years and they also purchased a lovely but small home.  In other words,  they do not have room for big pieces of furniture AND they are on a tight budget.  The latter must be extra difficult when you are a designer with designer tastes!

I took a peak at her Pinterest “Living Room” board and quickly realized why she spotted the table.  Here are a few of the tables she had pinned as her “perfect” coffee table.

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Image from Yahoo … no Price

I became perfectly clear, why she spotted this little table in the dark photo!  But unlike the tables above, our little table is ORIGINAL, Canadian made by a highly regarded manufacturer and it is much much CHEAPER! 

Given her decor and her plans for a new sectional sofa, she knew EXACTLY how she wanted the table finished.

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Walnut stain and cloud white supports and legs.

What do you think?  Personally, I LOVE IT! 

She and I both have a love for walnut finish so there was no argument there.  It could have been all walnut but the white really modernizes and brightens the look.

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I love the contrast

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The white brightens the look!

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Here is the top when I purchased it…

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And here is the top now!

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The top and shelf are just gorgeous!

I am so happy to help someone so artistic… it’s quite flattering!  The best compliment came from her husband.  Sheilagh showed him an “after” picture and he thought it was another of her designer table “pins”!

This table is truly Nicer Than New!

Joan

 

 

Sep 302013
 

St_L_49 Today, I would like to share photos from my visit to the Sunday Antique Market at the St.  Lawrence Market in downtown Toronto.   Saturday is the big food day in the  main historical building.  On Sunday, this building is closed but the North Building, a not so impressive structure, is busy with Antique and Collectible dealers.

Friends and I often attend events at the  St. Lawrence Market  and our favourite has to be the Executive Chef Series in the Miele Gallery in the Market Kitchen.  To be honest, any foodie event in this historical building is fabulous.  I am proud to say, National Geographic names the St. Lawrence Market the #1 Food Market in the WORLD!

I had never been to this antique market and was excited to check it out.
Perhaps it could be a venue for my business.
We’ll see.

It was a PERFECT Ontario fall day with warm seasonable temperatures and lots of sun.  The Sunday antique market opens at 5:00 a.m.  but I arrived around 10 and some vendors were just finishing setting up.  The tables and booths are both inside and out.  The outside area is in front of the building and there is a lovely courtyard beside the building with trees and benches.  There  was  a HUGE variety of items for sale.  Some typical.  Some interesting.  Some down right weird, as you will see in  my photos.

Come along and enjoy a piece of my beautiful city, Toronto!

Let’s start Outside of the Historic Market building

Front view, looking east. Note the construction cones. There's always construction everywhere.  Paddington's Pump on the right is open for breakfast. They are famous for their Reuben sandwiches.

Front view, looking east. Note the construction cones. There’s always construction everywhere. Paddington’s Pump on the right is open for breakfast. They are famous for their Reuben sandwiches.

Looking west: old meets new. The  curved building is called the "L Tower" and will be 57 stories and 600 luxurious condo suites.

Looking west: old meets new. The curved building is called the “L Tower” and will be 57 stories and 600 luxurious condo suites.

Front Facade. The large second floor windows on the right is the location of the Market Kitchen.

Front Facade. The large second floor windows on the right is the location of the Market Kitchen.

East side of the Main Market. The building runs a city block.

East side of the Main Market. The building runs a city block.

West side of Main building has outdoor restaurant seating for Paddington's Pump.

West side of Main building has outdoor restaurant seating for Paddington’s Pump.

These red banners are everywhere and WHY NOT?

These red banners are everywhere and WHY NOT?

Now, Let’s have a look at the North Building
where the Sunday Market takes place.

The not so historically beautiful North Building.  Front Street entrance

The not so historically beautiful North Building. Front Street entrance

Vendor stalls in front of the North Building and trucks unloading

Vendor stalls in front of the North Building and trucks unloading

Farmer / Food Vendor carts waiting for next week.

Farmer / Food Vendor carts waiting for next week.

Antique and collectible vendor stalls in the outdoor courtyard.

Antique and collectible vendor stalls in the outdoor courtyard.

Antique and collectible vendor stalls in the outdoor courtyard. Great place to sip coffee and people watch

Antique and collectible vendor stalls in the outdoor courtyard. Great place to sip coffee and people watch

Shall we go inside now?

Love the vintage signs. The North Building is also used for the farmers' market on Saturdays.

Love the vintage signs. The North Building is also used for the farmers’ market on Saturdays.

Hundreds of vendors, tables and people and it's only 10:15 a.m

Hundreds of vendors, tables and people and it’s only 10:15 a.m

Okay!  Let’s have a look around!

The following photos are from stalls both inside and outside.  There was just so many cool items and artisan’s work, I could have taken photos all day.

Beware, the photo list is LONG!

I was a good girl and only bought one thing I will show you later and it was a gift.  Here we go!

Sweet cherubs

Sweet cherubs

Blue themed display.  I think I want that dog!

Blue themed display. I think I want that dog!

Vintage china.  So beautiful!

Vintage china. So beautiful!

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I fell in love with this Norwegian made wool blanket. But at $150, I had to give it a pass.

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In this display we have an antique cradle and an axe and a cleaver. Is it just me or is this a bit creepy?

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Like I said earlier… some weird stuff.

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I am not entirely sure what these are. I am thinking music box or piano but they are usually in a cylinder.  Maybe it’s weaving ?? I should have asked!

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Antique Spice rack. A place for your cookbook and drawers that are really jars! Clever and so sweet!

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Something here for the Betty Boop lover in all of us!

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I didn’t know there was a paper called the Toronto Telegram. Closed long before I came here.

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Probably the weirdest and most creepiest display! That head looked so real! I think they were selling vintage hats among other things.

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More typical and less scary merchandise.

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Back to weird!

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Even bicycles for sale!

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Eclectic display.

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One of the few vintage furniture dealers.

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Same booth as the yellow tables. The French provincial set had very large handles you don’t often see.

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I could have browsed and rummaged all day!

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Vintage quilts. I have one of these ironing boards somewhere…

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Ahhhhh… the cherubs again

I lOve jewelry made from silverware.  It was here I bought my one item.  A key chain for $5 for my newly licensed driver daughter!

I LOVE jewelry made from silverware. It was here I bought my one item. A key chain for $5 for my newly licensed driver daughter!

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This is so politically incorrect!

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Vintage typewriters

This display was so bright and shiny, I had trouble getting a good picture

This display was so bright and shiny, I had trouble getting a good picture

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There were many vendors selling vintage furs. Again, they are no longer accepted in our society but man they are warm in our Canadian climate!

There were lots of jewelry vendors of all types. I liked how this vendor used a vintage sewing basket to display her vintage jewelry.

There were lots of jewelry vendors of all types. I liked how this vendor used a vintage sewing basket to display her vintage jewelry.

his woman from Guatemala was demonstrating how to "Back Strap" weave.

This woman from Guatemala was demonstrating how to “Back Strap” weave.

This woman from Guatemala was demonstrating how to "Back Strap" weave.

Note the strap across her back which anchors the loom at one end while the other end is tied to something secure.

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The sale of these woven items support Guatemalan women’s guilds.

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The owner of this cutie was setting up his booth selling vintage shearling bomber jackets. Lots of Starbucks was being consumed since it is just down the street

Speaking of Starbucks, it’s time for another coffee!

But one last picture!

A block from the St Lawrence Market is my FAVORITE building in Toronto,
the GOODERMAN BUILDING,
often referred to as the “Flatiron Building”.

Facing the front of the building, the downtown core soars behind it.  One way to track the growth of towers in Toronto is to review the thousands of photos and paintings of this building since it’s completion in 1892.

Here it is captured on September 29th, 2013.

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I hope you enjoyed your visit to a little corner of historical Toronto.

What was your favourite part?

Sep 222013
 

Today, I want to write about how creative people use their talents to help others.

The Drawing Hope Project is the brainchild of a talented photographer living in Guelph, Ontario, Canada.  His photographic creations for this project are so unique they are difficult to describe with mere words.  However, I feel  Shawn Van Daele summarizes it best on his website:

“I take drawings done by children born or living with health conditions, and turn them into magical photographs – starring themselves – for a storybook series filled with HOPE.”

Click on the links above or the photo below to see Shawn’s creations, read his story and be inspired.
On the Drawing Hope Project Contact page, find out how a child, suffering from a debilitating health problem can request be part of his initiative.

 "We can only appreciate the miracle of a sunrise if we have waited in the darkness”


“We can only appreciate the miracle of a sunrise if we have waited in the darkness”

Although I have never met Shawn, I became aware of his endeavors through one of his long time friends, a very talented quilter who just happens to be my  lovely niece Sheilagh.  Recently, Sheilagh helped bring happiness and assistance to the family of Marco, the subject of the photo above.  Sheilagh designed and created an “I Spy” themed quilt with over 400 squares.  She solicited donors to sponsor each square and the proceeds were given to the family last weekend.
Click on the photo below to read her very touching account of her  visit to Marco and his family.

Marco's Quilt

Marco’s Quilt

Sheilagh is a full time Interior Designer by day and in her “spare” time, the creative owner of Lay It On Me Baby   (Isn’t that a great name for a quilting business?!) Although she creates quilts of all types, I especially like her baby quilts and crib sets.  Each one is very unique with a theme and design meticulously planned and tailored to the client’s decor and colour palette.   They are so adorable!

Samples
Be sure to visit her blog and website to see her creations.
Contact her to discuss ordering a custom made gift for someone!
Christmas is just around the corner!

I have been so inspired and humbled by these artists and their endeavors to bring happiness to others.

Visit their websites and be inspired too.

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