Friday, December 10, 2010

Handmade Memories

I try not to worry too much about holiday traditions each year, and whether or not we can squeeze them ALLLLL in. There are a few traditions that are simple and always make me smile. This year is the first year we will have 4 Christmas stockings hanging at our fireplace. Clayton James is officially part of the family :)

While being completely busy with a 3 year old and a 4 month old, I miss quilting and sewing AND anything artsy at this point. I so wanted to make Christmas stockings for our boys, but knew I couldn't find the time. So, this is my comprimise. I embroidered their names by hand on store-bought stockings. AGH! store-bought stockings! But, it's okay...because the holidays are all about "rollin' with it". And this year, I'm just going to adjust to the fun of being a stay-at-home-momma of two boys under 3 years old.

Here's why I love Christmas stockings...

My parents still have their stockings from when they were little. In fact, one fell apart and my aunt mended it for my mother because she made that stocking for her back in 1950something :) And, my brother & I still have ours from childhood...of course, we keep them at our parents house because they still fill 'em! ;)

The year my husband and I got married, I didn't own a sewing machine. So, I made a little pattern for myself and sewed them by hand. I don't have the heart to replace them with "nicer" ones, because it's all about the memories for stockings.

It's not about the gifts and the treasures placed inside the's not even about the stockings to be truthful. So this year, try something new with me and don't fuss about the traditions...make some memories even if they can't be HANDMADE.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hap-appy Holidays from Verizon and Queen of Free

It's been awhile since I've gotten to go out on the town with the gals for something even close to professional. Last night, the Queen of Free and Verizon Wireless hosted a women's blogger event at the Creation Cafe in Indianapolis. What an AWESOME evening.

Over the next month or so, I'll be reviewing a DROID X from Verizon (for FREE!). I'm already impressed by the way we were treated and pampered last evening! I love the touch screen of this phone and the infinate number of apps available. Very Cool.

Thanks, Queen of Free for your invitation and for always keeping us up-to-date on AWESOME ways we can get things for free. Thanks to the Queen and Verizon's sponsorship, I'll be attending Blissdom 2011 in Nashville, TN! WOOT!

In the meantime, here's a goof-shot of me with my new toy...ahem, phone.
and...this is my friend, Mandy...aka "Awesome Designer of my Blog" :)

IF you live in the Indy area and have never visited the Creation Cafe, it's DIVINE. We met the pastry chef and his creations are incredible...would make a perfect date night or evening with the girls... GO GO GO for a visit soon!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Christmas Cards from Shutterfly is pulling out all the stops this year for Christmas! As an "already pleased Shutterfly customer", I'm super stoked to share with you that they are giving me my Christmas cards for FREE this year!

Everyone LOVES a photo card, right? I agree that "hallmark" cards with sweet sayings and lovely illustrations are great, but I find myself holding on to the photo cards we receive each year from our loved ones. They're also great tools for reminding my toddler the names of our HUGE extended family.

One of the reasons I love to use Shutterfly is that I can keep my photos uploaded to my account and they are there just-in-case something happens to our home computer. I also love that my Christmas card isn't necessarily going to look just like our neighbor's because they have an ENORMOUS selection of holiday card designs...seriously, folks...I've not even viewed the whole selection yet because there are so many. BUT, here are a few of the designs I love so far...

The 3rd design seems like a great way for our family to introduce our newest little guy, Clayton, and also share that Titus turned 3 years old this fall. I love the layouts that give you options of using mulitple pictures. Some of the folded cards even have options to add more photos inside, with lots of space to write a summary of the year or captions for photos of family vacations, etc.

You've probably seen Shutterfly's photobooks too....I ordered my first photobook to summarize Titus' first year. It's gorgeous. And, I love that my Titus loves looking at it to see what he looked like as a baby. And the calendars! We have an Eldridge tradition of having a photo calendar every year with pictures on the dates of birthdays and anniversaries. What a perfect gift.
Well, you'd probably like having Shutterfly give you your Christmas cards for FREE too, right? Go HERE to participate...and ENJOY the upcoming holidays!


Saturday, October 16, 2010

A New Fabric Collection

Hello, blogger friends! Isn't autumn beautiful?? I'm loving the Indiana weather right now!...Aside from the five-minute hail storm this week that chipped my windshield while I sat helplessly at a stop light...ahem....

But the trees are gorgeous this time of year! I love doing leaf-rubbings with my 3 year old and talking about the colors.

Can I share something new that I've been working on? This little collection has taken over a year to put together and ended up not being used for another project. I'd love to make it available at Pocketful of Pinwheels, but I'm curious what you think? I could see lots of adorable holiday gifts made with these fabrics...

I'm a little slow these days at accomplishing tasks outside of changing a diaper or the TV channel... :) So, my thought is that I would sell these as fat quarter bundles. Any thoughts from my quilter friends?

Have a fabulous weekend!

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Calendar Winner!

Congratulations to Teresa "Weatherbee ;)" of A Needle Pulling Thread! She is the lucky winner of the new 2011 Sewing Calendar from Accord Publishing.

Enjoy all your new projects, Teresa!

Monday, October 4, 2010

2011 Sewing Calendar GIVEAWAY

I'm so excited to be featured in the 2011 Sewing Calendar by Accord Publishing. I have one just waiting to be snatched up by a lucky winner. Want it to come to your house? Here's how to enter:

* Leave a comment here with a link to your favorite craft tutorial (sewing, scrapbooking, photography, you-name-it)


* Blog about the giveaway and leave a comment here with your link.

And if you're just interested in the calendar, you can purchase it HERE. I'll leave comments open until Sunday 10/10/10.

Friday, October 1, 2010

I'm Baaaaack...!

Did you miss me? I'm loving mommyhood and kissing baby chubba cheeks all day everyday :)

I've been meaning to show you some of the handmade goodies we received as gifts for Clayton's nursery...
My sweet friend, Tricia, is also an Art Teacher-turned Stay-at-home-Mommy. A gal after my own heart, she also gets a little giddy when they start putting out school supplies at Target... Isn't this a cute idea to use crayons? I love shadow boxes. Tricia is so full of cute ideas.
These little guys are just a few of the sweeties my brother's girlfriend, Crysta, crocheted for my boys. The lion is actually a rattle and he has the cutest little tail on his back end. (And, yes, I did have to dust the rocker before I could snap a's the life of having a newborn)

And here's a little something else I've been meaning to share. I was published for my very first time :) This is the 2011 Sewing Calendar by Accord Publishing. It folds out and is F-U-L-L of cute sewing projects that take a few hours or less to complete. My feature is the summer roadtrip pillow tutorial in my sidebar -->

The cool news, is that I'm going to give one of these calendars away on Monday, so come back and enter, okay? Have a great weekend! I'm off to squish some more kissable cheeks.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Keeping pretty busy around here, as my husband has gone back to work and I'm ALONE to fend for myself as the mom of two boys for the first time ;) The first day was hairy, but I'm getting better at wrangling two! Besides, they're just so sweet....

Monday, July 26, 2010

He's Here!!!

He's Here!!!, originally uploaded by pocketful of pinwheels.

Baby "Clayton James" was born Friday, July 23rd.

8lbs. 2oz. 20.5 inches long

Friday, July 16, 2010

Knit Treasures

Look at this hand-knit loveliness... These are treasures that I received in the mail this week from my dear friend, Lynsey. I've never learned to knit and am just amazed at the craftsmanship! That Lynsey is a crafty gal...she actually JUST gave birth to her baby boy about 3 weeks ago, and SOMEHOW found time to make/send these to me!

I can't wait to put them on a little newborn punkin' head and pair of tootsies. Won't these make for sweet newborn photos?

They're made with 100% baby Alpaca wool, and are they ever soft! I told Lynsey that if all baby alpacas are that soft, I want one for my backyard.... ;)

So, "D-Day" is quickly approaching, as we are discussing induction with the doctor for next week, just 'cause I'm ready and we make some big baby boys around here :) If you don't hear from me for awhile, please know that it's not you,'s me. :) Not that we're breaking up....I'll get some photos of our new little bug up here before you know it. In the meantime, ......Titus and I are lazying around....

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Carve your own Rubber Stamps...HOW-TO

I've been sittin', waiting, wishing.....

What else can a fully-preggers momma do in the heat of the summer and no physical energy? Why not carve some stamps? I took some printmaking classes during my time at Purdue, and have been dying to try these handmade rubber stamps. Want to try it too? Here's some help:

You'll need:

- Mastercarve block

- blank scrap paper

- soft-lead pencil

- Speedball hand-carving tool with tips sizes #1 and #2

- stamp pad and/or markers

Start with a Mastercarve carving block in your size of choice. I found mine (approx. 1.5" square) at United Art and Education stores.

Trace the outline of your carving block onto a piece of paper, to give you an idea of how large your design can be. Using a soft-lead pencil, draw your stamp design within the outline.

When you've rubbed the back of the drawing on top of your carving block, it should transfer like this...(any words will now be in mirror image)
The next step takes some practice...Use your carving tool to outline the design and carve away the excess rubber.
Try stamping it a few times to see which areas need to be carved further...
Did you also know that you can color the stamp by hand with markers?What's the next step? Make some handmade cards or use fabric ink to hand-stamp some linen!


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Pillow {Talk} Swap...Received!

I received the most amazing pillow from the Pillow Talk {Swap} on Flickr a few weeks ago, but I'm just now placing it in our newly-painted nursery!

This awesome piece of work came from "Little Miss Shabby"! I love the color scheme and hexagon choices...her embroidery is to die for!

Go ahead and be jealous of this cutie pillow! ;) xoxo

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

More from the World of Illustration

I've been hurrying to complete projects as my due date quickly approaches for baby boy #2.

While there has been a lot of sewing going on, I've also been up to my eyeballs in some illustration projects. I wish I could share more, but for right now, I'll give you a hint that one project involves fabric design for someone else and another is some possible book illustration...I couldn't be more excited about these opportunities!
I CAN share what Kerri and I have been up to lately as she is getting ready to set up a new website for her fabric shop, Sew Deerly Loved. Kerri has had all kinds of positive words to offer as I joined the quilting/sewing community, so when she asked me to design some graphics for her new site, I was more than excited.

Here is the latest "Little Red" illustration that Kerri asked for. (In the appropriate colors of red, pink, and aqua, of course!). She will be offering this design (minus my shameless plug text) on fabric very can visit her blog for a glimpse.
I would love to make some additions to my etsy shop, Pocketful of Pinwheels, in the near future. Would you like to see something specific? I've been tossing around the idea of fine art prints and notecards for awhile...what would you like to see??

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Fabric Giveaway!!!

Miss Kerri is giving away TWO fat quarters of the "Sew Deerly Loved" fabric I illustrated for her! Don't miss it! GO HERE to enter! xoxo

Kerri has so many CUTE red and aqua fabrics in her online shop! Don't you love her picture above with the little suitcases?? adorable.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Pillow Front

Okay, my super awesome partner has received HIS pillow from the Pillow {Talk} Swap on's a peek at the front. I had the coolest partner, John of Quilt Dad, so I wanted to think of something "manly and fun"...

I whipped up a swatch of Spoonflower fabric that features John's new family pup, "Tula". She turned out to be just the right size for little hexie sewing. Now you know why I was so reluctant to show the front ;) Little Tula would have given away the surprise!

We're off to see "Gordon" from Sesame Street in-person tomorrow at our PBS Kids in the Park day....Titus is super stoked to "meet" Super Why! (If you have a toddler, you probably understand this completely, right?) Happy weekend, all!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Pillow Talk Swap

My pillow is finished for the Pillow {Talk} Swap....someone tried to claim it as his own...silly carebear...
I'm going to have to wait to show you a good shot of the pillow front, because it might give away my partner's I'll share after they receive it :)
Our garage sale was rained out today....I guess I needed to be doing other things anyway!
Happy Saturday! xo

Thursday, May 27, 2010

the Color of Summer

When I think of summer, I think of these colors....

Here's to a hexagon-sewing, little people-playin', garage sale-in' SUMMER! xo, Ariel

Friday, May 21, 2010

Modern Improv Quilt

Okey dokey! My first-ever "improv" quilt is pieced and ready to sandwich! MAAAAAN, this quilt should have been faster, but I took a break from it for awhile to get some other things done (like, morning sickness and laying around...) :)

I used Kona solids with Anna Maria Horner's "Good Folks" line (adriatic colorway). It's sashed in my favorite Robert Kauffman soft.

I'm at a loss on the best way to quilt it...should I stipple again? Should I do some sort of grid? What do you think???

OH! And my good friend, Kerri is featuring some of my new illustrations on her blog today...check it out HERE.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mother's Day

I'm all bummed because I should be getting a 3D ultrasound right now, but the ultrasound tech called in sick today....the earliest they can get me in is next week. I was so excited to see baby's chubba cheeks today :)

So, I'll blog about Mother's Day and fill you in on the fun here. I hope you had a marvelous Mother's Day...if you're not a mother, hopefully you were able to have a moment to honor your mommy, even if she's gone.

I'm terrible about remembering gifts until the last minute, but this year, I got a head start :)

Exhibit A: the dusty Kitchen Aid stand mixer that always has to be cleaned BEFORE you can use it because the bowl collects dust and splatters from the everyday.

Exhibit B: The ingenious mixer cover that allows you to clean your mixer once and not again until after you use it again....(I'm not the ingenious one to invent it, of course, but I will try to get a tutorial up for you soon...) I ended up making one for my mother-in-law and for my two sisters-in-law that visited this weekend.

And, this purty stack came from my hubby, who said, "I was going to just let you pick something out for Mother's Day..." Sounds good to me ;)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Orange and Aqua Spiderweb Quilt - FINISHED!

Woo Hoo! Woot woot! Remember all the pictures of blocks as I planned this spiderweb quilt? It's finally finished! The spiderweb block was my block for the Sew Kid at Heart Quilting Bee on Flickr. At first, when there were no plans for a new baby, I thought I'd just make this a lap quilt for myself and the couch, but I'm so excited to plan the nursery around it now that we're expecting...
I love the look of a soft, crinkly quilt, but decided that stippling this one would not highlight the beauty of the octagons. I decided to go with 1/4" straight lines on each side of the blocks' seams and it made for a very geometrical look.

It's backed in my favorite Katie Jump Rope print by Denyse Schmidt...the basket weave in blue/aqua. Her KJR line is so very soft, so this was perfect for a baby.

Thanks to all the flickr friends who participated in this quilt by sending their finished blocks! I love that if you look really closely, you can see the Heather Ross gnomes that Kerri added, as well as the bits of fabric others added as well. I will cherish this quilt for years and years!

Wanna peek at something else that is way cooler than my quilt? My hubs is an engineer by day and wood-worker by night. He's been busy designing and building Titus' "big boy bed". Here is his progress. He has both the headboard and foot board built and has the side railings and removable toddler rails (for our extreme "roller" boy) in the works. In the words of Titus, "Daddy, you're the man...."