Shamrock Topiary

My mom came to visit for a week, and brought me some supplies to make this cute little shamrock topiary! It was so fun making this craft together. She was kind enough to be my model in several of the tutorial pictures. :)

Finished it in a naptime, and I'm super happy with it.

Here's what I used to make this:

3/4" dowel (cut with chopsaw to be 12" long)
3/4" drill bit and power drill
2x4 block (cut with chopsaw into a square)
shamrock template
1/3 yard St Patty's print fabric
green acrylic paint
sponge brush
rhinestone embellishments
tule ribbon

Step 1: I bought a package of these cardstock shamrocks last March at JoAnn's (I've seen them at all kinds of stores, however). This is the template for the shamrock. Fold fabric in half, then place template on the two layers of fabric, and trace. Cut.
Step 2: Place fabric shamrocks wrong sides facing, and topstitch around edge of shamrock, about 1/4" from edge. Leave about 3" unstitched for stuffing the shamrock. Leave bottom of stem unstitched also (where the dowel will be pushed through).
Step 3: Using poly-fiberfill stuffing, stuff shamrock firmly. It needs to be pretty full so that it has enough gusto to stand up straight when mounted on dowel. Topstitch the opening closed.
Step 4: Paint dowel piece with green paint. After letting dry, glue the end of the dowel piece and fit into hole in block.
Step 5: Smooth glue bubbles, then paint block with green paint.
Step 6: Spray with sealer for a more finished look.
Step 7: Glue the top of the dowel, and push stuffed shamrock up and through shamrock.
Press firmly onto dowel and let dry.
Step 8: Tie bow with tule, and embelish shamrock and tule with rhinestones and buttons.


Peek-A-Boo Quiet Book Page

I have a problem. I'm obsessed with these quiet book pages! I recruited 14 crafty ladies for aquiet book group here in St Louis in December, and LOVED the result. So much, in fact, that I organized another group with friends from college and we're exchanging those pages next month. I can't wait to add to the book!

Here's what's been occupying my life, and dining room table for the last couple of weeks. A Peek-A-Boo page where you can switch out the pictures or flashcards in these vinyl pockets behind the shutters, chimney, windows, and door.

For the detail stitching on the shutters, I found a quick method (since I ended up stitching horizontal lines across 40 of these bad boys):
I fed each rectangle through the machine, one after another. The pic below shows how they're all in one long attached banner, and then I just trimmed the strings and detached them after. You have to be sure to backstitch at the beginning and ending of each line on each rectangle.

I'm thinking of adding a little something to the door for a doorknob. Other than that, all 10 pages are finished!

Now that these pages are complete, I can finally get back to focusing on St Patty's Day again!