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Debra Quartermain Design
 Making & Celebrating 
Friday, May 29 2020

Creativity "the ability to produce or original and unusual ideas, or to make something new or imaginative." The magic of creativity is the gift it brings to both the maker and those it is shared with. There is such Joy in the creative process. So my latest project is a Felt Camper for the girls.

When my grandlittle Anna was on her way over to visit one day, my daughter heard from the back seat, "Hurry up Mama we have to get to Mimi's and make some Magic!" My daughter refers to the house as Mimi's Magical Mansion. I have always loved to design and make things. Creativity extends to many other skills like cooking or painting but it is about thinking creatively to make something concrete or an experience or a surprise. 


 

This is a felt camper hideaway I designed for the grandlittle girls fairy tale attic play space perfect for sleepovers. "Destination Imagination" complete with felt campfire and toasted marshmallows. The attic ceiling is sloped so it was perfect for a camper shape between the chimney and the sidewall. Basically I used a camper photo, measured the dimensions and multiplied it into almost life size. The wheels I used a plate as a large circle to create. 

I remember as a child my grandmother's home , a large old house very much like the one I live in now. The attic was filled with hats, vintage clothes and toys, she had a wee elf that glowed in the dark she brought out at the holidays for us to see just for a minute. She created magic. 

The thing about being creative you can make something out of anything. Simply throwing a blanket over a table, adding pillows and a cosy throw for inside, makes a fort or hideaway. A large box can be painted and colored. These ideas are perennial favorites and if you add snacks or a picnic it makes it so much better! The campfire addition is a super easy project. I used a metal container I had already. Another intention these days is shopping the house and recycling items I already have. 

You can use 9" x 12" craft cuts of felt for this project. Kunin Brand felt was used in yellow, white, sandstone and cashmere tan but you can mix up the log colors to be birch or a darker "wood". For the logs roll and glue two craft sheets together so you get the spiral effect of a cut log. Cut ends on an angle. Cut logs in different lengths. For the flame cut jagged oval shapes from yellow and glue into a log. 

The marshmallows are simply two inch wide strips of white. Paint a couple of dowels for sticks. Roll a marshmallow around a stick gluing as you go so it will have a hole in center. Add some toasted effects with a brown marker lightly around the ends. Be careful not to burn them! Anna has requested Smores for the next sleepover. She did say the chocolate could be real. 

For me making surprises for the little ones is the best. Maya requested a princess castle playhouse with capes and crowns for her guinea pigs. 

The magic of creativity is just that, magical and it has nothing to do with how elaborate or simple it might be. A thoughtful surprise, a new twist on something old, a cardboard box, with imagination and love comes the joy! For me I get to be Magical Mimi! 

Creatively yours,

Posted by: Debra Quartermain AT 10:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, April 17 2020

I admit to being a huge fan of shows featuring tiny house builds. I like the innovative solutions to storage. I wanted to downsize my craft space and have it more conveniently located near the kitchen. Two hundred year old houses often have large pantries and this house has a four foot by eight foot pantry off the kitchen. It also is a walk through to the back of the house, that meant two doorways. So welcome to My "Tiny House" Inspired Craft Room and 20 storage ideas I incorporated. Everything was repurposed and upcycled, nothing new was purchased. It was four full days of painting and organizing.

One of the major issues with the space is the walk through doorways. The first door was removed that swung in. With the door casings it measured almost six inches from the wall to the doorway. My darling husband is handy and also open to my ideas... most of the time. So many craft supplies are small. A wall of narrow shelves was a perfect solution. Storage DIY number 1! The easiest thing to do was build a separate unit that could be screwed between the two doorways. Did I mention it was a two hundred year old house, plaster and lathe ugh, you disturb it as little as possible. He created a frame with six four foot long shelves using two by fours. I painted the unit  black, leftover paint from another project. Once it had a couple coats, we installed the shelves. Wow do they hold a lot of craft supplies! 

Since I was downsizing my supplies and just in general spending time spring cleaning and decluttering I ended up with a bunch of odd containers. A few shoe boxes and a lot of jars. I also discovered about three yards of sewing fabric I purchased for something a while back. Storage ideas 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6! Cover, paint or decoupage shoe boxes to match your space. Add trims or washi tape. Fill jars with bright colored items like pom poms, small flowers, clothespins etc.

I found a couple of long storage containers on the inside of an old sewing machine cabinet. Painted and then mounted on the outiside of the shelf to hold small paint bottles. Organizing by craft category was the goal and top high shelf holds some favourite things. I made an apron for the mini mannequin from the sewing fabric. I used every scrap! A note card box holds a collection of washi tape. A wire container from the Dollar store holds a few fabrics. On the lower shelf pictured above a basket that was too wide was turned on its side to hold larger ribbon rolls. 

Storage ideas 7 through 10. A small old cabinet was outfitted with a new counter top just nailed on to give extra work and storage space. Inside the cabinet are felt and fabric storage. Craft carousel holds lots of tools and prodcuts. A kitchen tiered dish with an easy handle has scissors, thread and pin cushion. It can be moved to main counter. I had a bunch of fold up storage cubes, all black. Going for a lighter fun feel I used Fabri-Tac and and some of the fabrics to cover not the whole containers. I had only so much fabric and eight of those containers to cover. I covered the front and the sides about six inches. Just wrapping the fabric and gluing. I also discovered I had about three huge bottles of buttons and used stacked buttons to decorate the front of the containers. These containers hold many supplies, trims and kids craft items. Yes that is a button stool and I admit to a love affair with buttons! 

Storage ideas 11 and 12. When my daughter moved into her previous home there was a set of shelves used for craft supplies she offered it to me. This holds tiny items and has two ribbon roll dowel holders. Saved jam and mason  bottles, did I mention we have a Bed and Breakfast too, lots of jam jars! Washi tape wrapped around the covers made a decorative accent. The clear jars are great for small items as you can see exactly what is in them The small rose bowls also hold other small items. When you have alot of small supplies look for narrow display options, medecine cabinet. The top holds some of my favorite items. To high to reach anyway so just filled with inspiration. Decorative clothespins were glued to large buttons to make cards stands.

Storage ideas 13 and 14. A Deflecto storage unit is fastened underneath the craft storage, it holds buttons. I left enough space for the top to be a  shelf to hold rulers and other small items that are easily accessed from the counter. 

15. A small message board can be moved around and be used for inspiration, reminders or notes. It stands or hangs, that is handy. More mismatched containers on the top shelf were recovered to match the room plus with yarn on hand created a pom pom garland. 

16. Being a "Tiny House" inspired Craft Room and only four feet wide the opposite wall had hooks which we left. I hung a couple of cloth bags with art canvasses, embroidery hoops and aprons. Shelves would have made it just too narrow. 

17. A kitchen wire shelf made room for another container underneath to hold glue guns and other frequently used items. More felt in the colours I use often fit on top of the rack along with the craft space mascot. I use a lot of Kunin Felt!

18. Beat up black hat boxes from the attic were covered with fabric. The cake plate is used for display and when not in use makes a whimsical storage accent. It does kind of look like a cake and keeps it out of the way. 

19. There is something about a shadow box with miniatures. I found this drawer box and tipped it up to use as a shadow box.  

Using all of the space, above the door my felt house with #heartsathome. This makes me smile as soon as I walk in the room. 

20. The final idea, not really storage but extra counter space simply made by a scrap piece of board which lifts up and off so I can get out. A piece of trim was attached to the wall with hooks and the board notched. Thanks again to my handy guy. The board simply rests on the trim and over to the other counter. It stores along the wall behind the apron. The doorway allows for extra lighting and the camera attached to the narrow shelves. Perfect for my doing some videos and more importantly crafty Facetime with my grandlittles! 

I hope you find some inspiration from my "Tiny House" Inspired Craft Room. I set a goal to have all of my craft supplies fit in there except some of my bolts of felt fabric. Those fit in the cold cellar in the old coal bins. Everything else is in that very tiny space. It makes me smile everytime I walk in. It was a big job getting it organized but it was so worth it!  It cost me exactly nothing, everything was repurposed and upcycled. I did learn though small spaces are a big commitment of time and organization! How do you organize your space? Looking for more inspiration? Over at Decorelated they have many great storage units and ideas. 

Thank you for stopping by! You can find me on IG @debraquartermain.

Posted by: AT 10:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, March 15 2020

I am partnering again with Fairfield World to share my DIY No Sew Daisy Garden Gnome. I have received compensation but all of my opinions and experience expressed are my own. I have been using Fairfield products for years in my projects. This delightful Daisy Gnome is so easy and you can use it inside or out! 

What you will need:
Poly-fil Poly Pellets Fairfield World
Poly-fil Premium Fairfield World
12" x 18" craft cut Premium Kunin Felt: 2 Candy Pink, 1 Lagoon, 1 White 
Fabri-tac Adhesive by Beacon
1/2 yard Daisy Trim from Trims by the Yard 
Pink dot or pink, ivory felt scraps
Paper, Marker, Pencil, Scissors, Measuring Tape
 

Making the Daisy Gnome Body:

1. Use a small 6" plate as a template and cut a circle from one piece of the Candy Pink felt. Fold the second piece of felt into a cylinder and overlap edges 1/4" Glue seam.
 

2. Glue circle to one end of cylinder. Pressing firmly as you go, 1/2" at a time. 

3. I placed a large open ziplock bag in bottom of cylinder and poured the Poly-Pellets into the bag filling the cylinder 1/3 of the way up. 

4. Fill remainder of cylinder with the Fiber Fill.
 

Finishing the Daisy Gnome Features:

5. Save and print Beard pattern photo  and cut out on fold from white felt. Add beard to cylinder. Place moustache piece over top. Adjust, the ends should be about 2" down from top of cylinder. This can be glued in place once you try the hat on.

6. Cut two 3/4" circles for nose from the ivory scrap. Glue together. 

7. Cut daisies individually. Place as buttons on body.

8. Fold lagoon felt piece into cylinder shape. Cut off excess along upper side. Glue back seam. Trim off lower edge evenly.

9. Stuff hat leaving 4" unstuffed at end. 

10. Place hat on cylinder pulling down about 1 1/2". 

11. Adjust beard pieces and glue in place. Glue nose in place.

12. Glue hat.

13. Cut out a little mushroom shape from pink for hat or use die cut shapes. Add daisies. 

Make this darling DIY Daisy Garden Gnome in your own color choices. The products can withstand weather and you can add this to your front porch or in your garden. Thank you Fairfield World for the great products! "What is on the inside matters as much as what is on the outside." 

Styled with Charm!

Posted by: Debra Quartermain AT 10:50 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, March 05 2020


 

I am so very excited to be sharing a brand new product, DecoArt Fluid Ready to Pour Acrylic now available at Michaels! I was provided a Vivid four pack collection to use and compensation but all opinions shared are my own experience with the product. DecoArt  products have always been my favorite for painting my craft projects. A couple of years ago I tried paint pouring and so enjoyed it. With these new pouring fluid paints no medium is required. So easy! 
 


 

Just look at these colors! Basically you shake gently and can pour directly from the bottle. 

For this project  I wanted to recycle a 3D object, this sad little dressform I had tried to paint before and was not happy with the results. I was inspired by this favorite piece of fabric and just look how the colors were perfect! I also thought having the wire bottom to hang onto would make it even easier. 

i started with the Magenta, squeezing from the bottle in a random fashion, turning the dressform so it flowed across. 
 

i repeated with two remaining colors, Tropical Blue and Chartreuse,  one at a time, rolling and tilting the form. Flipped it over to add some to the back. I used a Dollar Store tray underneath to catch the drippings. It made a very unique design there too. 
 


 

Look at how cool the back turned out! Even when it dried the colors stayed as vibrant. The acrylics are both fast drying and permanent. Quick clean up too while wet if needed just using soap and water. You can also seal it with a topcoat for extra brilliance! 

i finished my project by painting the stand black and adding ribbon. Such a perfect piece for my craft room! Have some fun with any 3D piece you want to recycle. DecoArt Fluid Ready Pour is really easy to use and I am already thinking of other pieces to pour. This is brand new and now available at Michaels! 

Happy creating!

Debra 


 

Posted by: Debra Quartermain AT 09:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, February 28 2020

When you receive a pretty package of felt hearts in the colors of the rainbow, it is happy mail! Hearts and Rainbows are two of my favorite things and was sent to me by creative  friend Laura Kelly. We work together on many projects together. The hearts reminded me of one of my pretty sewing fabrics . I had an old change purse I wanted to recycle and the hearts would be the perfect finishing touch! 


i used the change purse as a template, cutting fabric slightly large, one piece for both sides. I folded a narrow edge around the fabric and then glued around the top and sides.  My favorite glue adheres instantly, Beacon's Fabri-Tac. Make sure to open change purse wide when gluing around the sides. Simply embellish! I used a fun pom pom trim from Trims by the Yard. Simply stacked and glued the hearts, added a button. Ta da! 
 

This super cute change purse is perfect with my black and white striped purse! 

Create with Style!

Debra

Posted by: Debra Quartermain AT 08:35 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Friday, February 14 2020


 

I am delighted to be partnering with Fairfield World on this post. Making stuffies has always been my first love and now with grandlittles to sew for it is even more fun! I designed this Plush Stuffie Sloth for sleepovers at Mimi's house. I have been using  Fairfield World Poly-fil forever and now adding the Poly-Pellets for weight. The sloth can sit when not being hugged and the paws are squishy. (So I am informed by a four year old expert :)


 

Here is what you need to make your own sloth stuffie.
Fairfield World Poly-fil
Fairfield World Poly-fil Poli-Pellets
1/2 yard Cashmere Tan Kunin Plush Felt
9" x 12" craft cuts Kunin Premium Felt: 1 Cream, 1 Black, 1 Walnut
12" x 18" Fleece
Fabri-tac by Beacon
Sloth Stuffie Pattern
Scissors, Marker, Paper, Clips, Pins, Measuring Tape, Ruler, Sewing Machine and thread, Needle
 

1. Plush felt has a nap. Cut out pieces with nap running down when you brush it. For body pattern piece tape paper together to make a piece 13" by 17". Fold in half and draw a curved oval from center point at top and to 6" width at bottom. Cut and you will have a curved body piece 12" wide at bottom. Print off pattern page and cut out pattern pieces. 

2. Fold plush felt in half wrong side out. Draw pattern as shown. TIP: Cut out larger than needed around pattern pieces. It is easier to sew plush pieces this way. Use clips to hold pieces together. 

3. Cut face pieces out of felt and glue in place on sloth face. 

4. Sew around arms and feet for sloth. Cut out and turn right side out. 

5. Fill feet and arms two thirds with pellets. Glue feet at this level inside. Sew top of arms tightly shut. 

6. Insert feet 1" from either side of lower edge of body and clip in place. 

7. Sew around body leaving 3-4" open in center of body. 

8. Stuff body with Poly-fil. Fill last two inches with Poly-Pellets. Turn upside down. TIP: Easiest way to sew this flipped upside down, hold between your knees and use a back and forth ladder stitch to sew tightly together. 

9. Plush felt is very forgiving, when you pull the stitches tight they disappear!

10. Glue on that cute face. TIP: I like to position the face first before adding the arms. You can then adjust arms to the right level.

11. Place arms on side seam and stitch in place. This plush Sloth is going to get a lot of loving so the arms need to be very secure. 

12. I added a bow cut from a 6" square, folded in half and sewn leaving an 1" opening. Turn right side out. Tie strip around center. Cut a fleece blankie 12" square.

The plush Sloth well as you can see these grandlittle girls love her. Me, I get to partner with my favorite brands and create what i love for those I love. What could be better! 

This is me, Mimi Magic Maker!

Posted by: Debra Quartermain AT 09:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, January 25 2020

There is something special about baking and the warm aromas that come from the kitchen. It is just so welcoming! "Baked with Love", gifts from the kitchen are some of the best! I love baking for family and for my guests at our B&B. This week a special package arrived with a stamp from Expressionery designed by my creative friend Laura Kelly. I am very happy to share some of her very fun products. This stamp is perfect," Baked with Love from Quartermain House."

I also enjoy baking with fun bright kitchen items, my polka dot mixing bowl and colored whisks, teal and red my favorite combination. I usually mix up a basic muffin mix using the best ingredients. I always use butter and lots of fresh fruit. 

Cranberry and orange muffins with a crumb topping warm out of the oven were served this morning to the guests. I like to have warm muffins, fresh juice and hot coffee in the dining room to greet them when they come in. 

Of course we also have to have fresh cookies for the guests and the grandlittles. I baked a batch of salted caramel chocolate chip cookies and added each one to a special stamped treat bag. The felt hearts are a cute addition for Valentines. I die cut hearts from felt and added embroidered letters, decorated a stand with pom pom trim and put together this sweet treat display. I appreciate the brands I work with that have wonderful creative products, JOY SA Letters, Kunin Felt and Trims by the Yard. Thank you Laura for the special stamp, it will be well used between Quartermain House B&B and the grandlittles! 

Heart + Hands Create Magic!

Posted by: Debra Quartermain AT 02:01 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, November 03 2019
Fairfield Winter Holiday Pillow Party

Who doesn't love a great pillow party! Especially one that involves talented bloggers and designers, great companies and an awesome giveaway plus the theme "Holidays!" What could be better! My favorite time of year. My pillow reminds me of my childhood going to pick out an tree and seeing all the pick up trucks carrying trees home for the holidays. 

Thank you to hosts Laura Kelly Designs and Hedgehog Hollow and the sponsors, Fairfield World, Beacon Creates and Tonic Studios USA

In deciding on the design for my pillow I was looking for holiday inspiration in one of my favourite magazines, Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Crafts issue. (I have been fortunate to have some of my designs featured in the past.) It is such a festive issue and upon opening the magazine on the "from the Editor" page was a wood antique truck with string art tree designed by Dominique Russell. The truck reminded me of my childhood. I translated the pattern into felt and created a cozy pillow. This issue is available right now!

I traced the pattern, cutting out all of the individual pieces.

You will need:

  • Fairfield 20" square Pillowform
  •  2/3 yard Kunin Premium Felt
  •  9" x 12" craft cuts Kunin Premium Felt: 1 Red, Apple or Pirate Green, Black, Lagoon
  • Beacon Fabri-tac
  • Embroidery Floss in White, Red, Teal and Green
  •  (Optional Die cut Snowflakes)
  •  Scissors, measuring ruler, embroidery needle, sewing machine and matching thread (optional, can also be glued with Fabri-tac), paper and pencil.

STEP ONE: Cut out pattern from magazine or use similar pattern of choice. Cut out pieces from felt and layer in position. Take a photo to refer to. Cut a 21" by 44" of white for the easy envelope pillow. Simply fold felt strip overlapping the extra 4" in the center of one side. Sew down each edge and turn pillow. Smooth and flatten. 

STEP TWO: Embellish applique pieces with embroidery stitches. I used a straight stitch on the truck and tree. Layer the tree on the truck and glue with Fabri-tac.

STEP THREE: Blanket stitch around wheels. Add to bottom of truck by 1/2". Glue in place. Add and glue bumper over wheels. 

STEP FOUR: Blanket stitch top of truck back and straight stitch remaining pieces. Glue in place. Glue completed applique to front of pillow. Add die cut snowflakes or Holiday message. Insert pillow form.

Thank you to Fairfield World for providing the pillow forms, they are so soft and make a cozy pillow! They support "Stuffed Love" and feature Crafters who create for a cause on their website.

Enjoy the pillow party and check out all of the fabulous Holiday pillows here! Enter to win a $100 Gift Card from Michaels and 10 lbs. of polyester stuffing from Fairfield World on my  Home Page. Watch for the hashtag #FFWPillowParty2019.

Posted by: Debra Quartermain AT 07:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  4 Comments  |  Email
Friday, October 18 2019
Aprons and Attitude!

I have always loved aprons and have made many. There is something about wearing a pretty or sometimes saucy apron that just adds some attitude! This is Lucy in an apron I made for her and the attitude is all hers! Being Mimi to the grandlittles has taught me a lot! More than that, about life in general, about being more present, embracing magic, mayhem and messiness often all at the same time. This past year of being 65,  I would say in my sixties I have felt a more youthful, lighter sense of spirit. Life is filled with much laughter and many hugs. I know I am very lucky and that attitude is for any and every age!

Baking requires cute aprons, mixers and lots of colorful sprinkles! On the practical side an apron does keep most of the clothing mess free. These matching aprons also a requirement by the girls were made from a tablecloth so very washer friendly. If you want to make an apron for a little. Here is the link to a full tutorial. 

I grew up with a Mom who wore an apron and my grandmother did too. The history of the apron has been a practical one of keeping clothing clean. In the days when wardrobes were limited, a piece of fabric was much easier to wash. For hundreds of years aprons kept clothing clean for both men and women, tradesmen and maids. Certain periods in history it also denoted class with more elaborate aprons and during the Puritan Era, long white aprons from neck to floor were worn by women and girls.

These days with the interest in cooking for pleasure, the era of Instagram and foodies, aprons are both practical and stylish. Here are some of my  favorite apron designs, all with an ATTITUDE of fun, fashion and flare! (and yes a lot of pink)

This apron includes some of my grandmother's recipes transferred on to fabric. Wearing it reminds me of her and seeing her in the kitchen next to the old wood stove that always had something simmering. 

This apron I upcycled from a sundress making ruffled flowers from the fabric. Definitely a summer party apron!

Oh and then there were these Shirt Tale Aprons I designed, modelled here by two lovely WBN members. Upcycled from mens shirts each one had a special story in the pocket about where the shirt came from, slightly saucy and a little spicy. My favorites. Ah might be time to bring back that Apron with serious ATTITUDE!

Aprons and Attitude wear them both with great style and flare!

Posted by: Debra Quartermain AT 09:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, April 01 2019

Hooray for Spring and gardens, gnomes and bunnies! I love making crafts with socks and this DIY Sock Bunny Gnome is super cute and easy to make. There is also a great giveaway too, check it out at the end of the post. Let's do it!

You will need:
9" x 12" craft cut Kunin Classicfelt: 1 White
9" x 12" craft cuts Kunin Co-ordinates: Pink White Dot, Lagoon White Dot
Poly-Pellets and Poly Fiberfill Fairfield
Pair of Socks
Fabri-tac by Beacon
Plastic water bottle
12" Fluffy yarn
Assorted Buttons
Pom Poms, 1 white, 1 pink
Thread
Scissors, Ruler, Pencil, Clip
 

1. Fill bottle half full with poly-pellets. Stretch one sock over bottle and tie over top of bottle.

2. Turn second sock inside out. Draw line at angle to create hat. Cut along line and glue along seam. Let dry and turn right side out. Cut out a 4" by 2" pair of ears and two inner ear pieces slightly smaller.

3. Pull a thin strand of yarn and tie around center of remaining yarn piece. Glue inner ears to outer ear pieces. Fold bottom edges of ears together and pinch. Glue and clip until dry.

4. Stuff top of hat. Insert over bottle and pull down. Fold over brim and glue into place. Insert ears into brim and glue. Glue beard to center of gnome just under hat brim. glue on nose pom pom.  Glue buttons and top pom pom on hat.

5. Bend top of hat into shape.

These bunny gnomes are so easy to make and super cute for Spring and Easter decor!  What is even better too is this great giveaway with Laura Kelly Designs! Enter below!

Thanks for stopping by!

Posted by: Debra Quartermain AT 10:09 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email

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Debra Quartermain Design

Heart + Hands Create Magic. Mimi to 11 Grandlittles, I love to create, decorate and celebrate, sharing joy and inspiration from my heritage five star B & B on the east coast of Canada.

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