Sunday, January 23, 2011

One of THOSE Days

So do you ever have those days where you have the best of intentions and then due to circumstances beyond your control, the day turns to ashes in your hand?  That was my Saturday.

I got up pretty early with a whole list of things I wanted to accomplish.  I got off to a pretty good start.  I made some cards that turned out pretty cute, and were the prototype for my last postcard for the Fabric Postcard swap.  The cards will be used for this month's Visiting Teaching.  In making the cards, I got to play with my Big Shot (which is fun to use but doesn't cut fabric very well, by the way) and cleaned up my stamping area.

I took pictures of my yummy Pillow Talk Swap package that arrived Friday, and uploaded it to Flickr and blogged it.  Those two things were on my list.

Then, somehow, the day started to go awry.  BD #2 called and said she hadn't yet received her textbook I ordered from  I got notification on the 10th that the seller had mailed the book.  It seems like it shouldn't take two weeks from Missouri to Idaho.  The sender very considerately purchased delivery confirmation on the package, so I had to look it up in my email box, call the post office, and file a claim.  Turns out the package sat in Denver for 2 days, then was sent off on a wild goose chase to Billings, Montana for 2 days, then back to Denver, where it appears that it is still.  I don't know what's wrong with Denver, but that's where her last book ended up for nearly a month before someone put it on a bus or something to get to Idaho.  Grrrrr!

Then, WH decided he needed to go out to the Navy base.  For various reasons, he needed me to take him there.  While it was very pleasant to spend the afternoon with WH, it did not accomplish my goals.  My original idea was not to leave the house.

We finally got home and I started diligently in on my tasks for the day.  I finished the fabric postcard I had in mind.  It turned out OK, but I started having trouble with the sewing machine about half way through.  It was leaving huge loops of top thread on the back of the item.  I had to put the rick rack on 3 times before it looked OK.

Then I planned to make a little something extra for my PP6 partner so the package could go in the mail on Monday.  The sewing machine was giving me fits!  I finally put it away and got out my old Singer.  It is usually my workhorse, but today, even it was having troubles.  I finally did finish this little gem, and it turned out cute, but it shouldn't have been such a struggle.

I finally gave up.  Maybe tomorrow will be better.  Maybe my poor little machines don't like the cold.  WH says I make them work too hard.  I think I am helping them to fill the measure of their creation.  Maybe they just need to be serviced.

On a happier note, i received this adorable photo of my adorable granddaughter from my son-in-law today.  Funny how kids like the box the toys come in better than the toys themselves.  Wonder how long it will be before she outgrows the lego box?  And just for the record, she just loves doggies!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Lexiloo, You Made My Week!

This week has been awful at work.  For a 4-day week, it just hasn't been any fun at all!  So you can relate to how happy I was when I got home yesterday and found this yummy package sitting on the dining room table.  It contained:

Not one but TWO beautiful pillows
a Moda L'amour charm pack
2 rolls of yummy fabrics
a strawberry pin cushion
a spool of yellow variegated thread
and a 2011 quilter's calendar

So much fun!  Thank you, Lexiloo.  You made my week. 

Here are photos of the two new pillows in their new homes:

I really like the combination of yellows and pinks.  So springy and fun!

And this guy looks great on the couch.  Love the touch of red in here.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Who am I, really?

Some fabric I bought today!
I'm pretty new to swapping, but I really like it.  It is great to create something outside my normal comfort zone and get something in return that is maybe not something I would have made, but something beautiful that someone has put time into creating.  I really am enjoying it.

Last weekend, I managed to make a second pillow sham for BD #2

Get two of my three fabric postcards completed:

And make the potholders for PP6

I'd say I was doing pretty well except that last weekend was a holiday weekend and I had an extra day.

One of the swap mamas on one of the swaps suggested we list our likes and dislikes in our Flickr profile.  It actually was something that I had been considering posting here.  It is a work in progress of course, as I discover new things I like, but here is the basic ME:

Here goes...

1. Favorite color/least favorite: I love bold, bright colors. Not a fan of muted tones (think Kansas Troubles, Martinique or A Morris Tapestry) although some of the individual pieces in these lines are OK. And totally at odds with the trend, I really, really dislike gray.

2. Favorite fabrics/least favorite: Where do I start?? I love the usuals... Amy Butler, Heather Bailey, Anna Maria Horner, Sandy Gervais, Erin McMorris, Joel Dewberry. I love almost anything paisley. I like fun, whimsical prints, but not character prints.

3. Things I'd love Handmade? I'd love a sewing machine cover - I have a Pfaff 1475 - (like this [love the pocket for the foot feed! - not a fan of felt though] or this, or this or this ) or something to help me stay organized, like a bill organizer ( )or a scrap basket or bag (like this ).

Also, I love embellishments - embroidery, buttons, sequins, beads, etc.

Partner, I'm sure I will love anything you make, so don't stress, just have fun with it.

4. Things that you collect or decorate with, specific items or colors: I am not a great decorator, and I don't collect anything (except fabric, LOL) but my home is mostly blue and yellow and wood tones.

5. Favorite designers, etsy shops etc: I love Hawthorne Threads, Pink Chalk Fabrics, Fabrics N Quilts... Is there such a thing as a bad fabric store?

6. Other: I'm new to this group and fairly new to swapping, but I've been sewing and quilting since I was very young. I only really discovered designer fabrics last year, so I don't have a big stash of designer fabrics yet, although I've been collecting fabric for decades, so I probably have an enviable stash of authentic retro fabrics (ha ha!). I'm a banker by day and a sewist-crafter-quilter the rest of the time. I love sewing, quilting, rubber stamping, scrapbooking, reading, etc. I'm a wife, mom of 3 and grandmother of a beautiful 1-year old girl.

There.  That's me in a nutshell.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Save the Uglies

Do we all do this?  Buy fabric with joy and enthusiasm and get it home and wonder, "What was I thinking?"  Or even this...  We buy fabric for a special project and when we start putting the project together and find that it just doesn't work?  Or something else works better?  Now we have these bits (or worse yet - huge lengths) of fabric or yardage sitting around gathering dust.  This particular photo is one such fabric.  Luckily, I didn't buy any.  It's on the clearance link at  It's called "Snow Much Fun Paisley Chocolate".  I love paisley.  And I love chocolate.  But when I see this fabric it reminds me of little amoebas on the loose.  REALLY glad I didn't buy this one.

Anyway, now there's a solution to the ugly fabric problem.  justabitfrayed has started a campaign to "Save the Uglies" and has a giveaway on her blog to win an "ugly kit" (or you can purchase one for $5) and a competition for the best project using the fabrics in the kit..  And of course, there is a Flickr group called Save the Uglies to showcase your creations.

I'm intrigued by the notion.  It may also be true that (to paraphrase a well known cliche) "one woman's ugly is another woman's treasure."  I have seen some fabrics in quilts and projects that I never would have purchased and thought they were lovely.  And  I have purchased some "lovely" fabrics and later wondered just where is the beauty in those fabrics.

So I'm going to give this a whirl and see what I can come up with. 

Meanwhile, I have a bunch of beauties that need my attention.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Swapping We Will Go

Beautiful Daughter #1 has gotten me involved in the Flickr swapping community.  It started with the ornament swap before Christmas.  Then I did the Pillow Talk swap.  I am enjoying the virtual company of ladies (and even a few guys) who have many of the same interests I do.  With the holidays over - and now that I am (mostly) over the flu - the swaps are taking off again.  I worry that I will over commit (something I have a tendency to do anyway) and take on more than I can possibly finish.  Luckily, the dates are staggered, so that is good.  And - it gives me an excuse to buy more fabric!!  Can't beat that!

So, first there's the Fabric Postcard Swap.  These little beauties looked so easy - until I actually tried them.  Two of my partners wanted Valentine themed postcards, and one just an everyday one.  I had to make the first one over again because I forgot to stitch down one of the hearts.  Then, I looked at what some of the crafters had done last year and I think I should start all over.  Oh, well.  what I have done may have to do this time.  This one is due to be mailed before Valentine's Day.  Haven't got a clue for the everyday one though.  It is really stretching my brain.

Then there is the Potholder swap PP6.  The beginnings of my offering for this swap are above.  When Beautiful Daughter #2 and I were at A&E (our only LQS) we both fell in love with Moda's new Hideaway line.  My partner asked for aqua, so this was perfect.  I have these done - if I send them as they are.  I finished 2 potholders, but I am tempted to start over on an oven mitt or other coordinating pot holder, instead of making them both identical.  Hmmm...  It's not due until February 28, so I do have some time.  And I have enough fabric already purchased.

Then there's the Spicing Up the Kitchen Swap.  The joke is that you have to have a globe to participate in this swap.  I gave the globe away when Beautiful Daughter #2 finished middle school LOL.  Anyway, I really enjoyed making the mosaic for this swap.  It was fun to see what other people had done for their kitchens.  This one is due March 1st, so I'll have to get going on it.  I think this one will be lots of fun.

Make Mine Modern is going to be fun!  The idea is to purchase 1-1/2 yards of fabric in either fat quarters, half yards, or yardage and make your partner 2 items, one of which is for the sewing room.  I was worried because my partner didn't have a mosiac or a listing on the likes/dislikes page, but I found it.  Now, I just have to narrow down all the ideas I have.

 I have also signed up to participate in the Urban Home Goods swap.  I had a really hard time with the mosaic for this one, but finally did come up with one.  This one is due March 7th, so it's a quick one.   I was talking to BD#1 today, and she said one of the things she enjoys about swaps is getting something in the mail besides bills.  It's like Christmas year round.

So, I guess I'm going to be busy between now and Easter.  Better get crackin'.

Happy crafting!

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Welcome Visit

Beautiful Daughter #2 was home this weekend for only the 3rd time since she left for college last January.  I have missed her.  She was very lucky in the days she chose to travel and was able to fly here and back without getting bumped at all.  That meant she was here when I got home from work on Friday night.  Last week was a bad week, so her visit was a wonderful pick-me-up!

Saturday morning, we breakfasted on bagels from Bagelheads, one of our favorite places.  Their fruit wave bagel just can't be beat! 

Then, we took off for A&E, where we perused the yummy fabrics for awhile.  We showed remarkable restraint, I thought.  They did have the McKenzie fabric that we made the pillow sham from at Christmas.  I forgot that she had two pillows, and only made 1 sham.  I didn't take a photo of the sham I made on this visit, but it's very much like the first one (imagine that?!)  The differences are because 1) A&E didn't have the gray fabric or the paisley Minkee we had used on the first one and 2) I couldn't remember ALL of the details.  I thought it turned out OK, though.  It sure went a lot faster than the first one.

After we finished up our fabric shopping, we went to the Navy Exchange, then on to the outlet malls in Foley.  We finished our day with a mani & pedi session, and came home just in time to celebrate my (belated) birthday.  Wonderful husband cooked yummy steaks and got me a book and a new cutting mat, since my other one was 18 years old and had ridges and bumps which made cutting less than accurate. 

WH also finished my entertainment center he has been working on since the summer of 2007!  So beautiful!  Isn't the finish lovely?

Now, I'll have to dig out the DVD player from storage so we can watch movies in the living room.  BD#2 and I had to kick him out of the den to watch our movie the other night.  It's OK though, because he was sitting in my chair!

It was a lovely weekend.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Poor Little Neglected Blog

So, a lot has happened since I last wrote on my poor, lonely blog.  First, I had projects to finish.  The big day was coming and I found that I was way behind. 

I made an even dozen table runner sets.  It started with French General:

Then we added some 12 Days of Christmas.

And some Michael Miller Holiday Trees.  (I got the towels confused and sent the wrong ones.  Luckily, they went to my daughters who got together for Christmas.  Hopefully it all got straightened out!)

And some Robert Kaufman.  

There was some other still unfinished Christmas sewing.  A green velvet coat.  And a smocked dress for Abby. A growth chart.  And some other unfinished projects. 

And then we flew to Utah for Christmas.  It was wonderful to see everyone. We had a great time.  Beautiful Daughter #1 and Dear Son-In-Law graciously accepted the family invasion.  The gifts were lovely.  The food was wonderful (as always).  And we had a great time.

Grandma got a new camera.  Abby got a new toy.  Unfortunately, Grandma hasn't quite figured out the camera yet. 

And Abby had lots of fun helping with everyone else's gifts too.

And her mommy got a new toy.
It seemed to make her pretty happy!  (That's a Bernina 440 QE in the box right there.)

We relaxed.  REALLY relaxed.

And then, once the big day was over, we had to try out the cool new sewing machine. And now there were TWO sewing machines for 3 sewists.  Much better odds...

Ari and mom made a pillow.

Or two.

Amanda made a quilt. And Ari and mom started a quilt.  (We had lots of help with our projects!) Abby was sure it was her job to sit right in the middle of anything spread out on the floor.  SUCH a big helper!

And I discovered a new fabric store to love.

We saw the lights on Temple Square one really, really cold night.

And stayed up to see in the New Year, then talked til time to leave for the airport.  Sean and I left for the airport at 3:15 am, and after 21 hours of travel, I finally arrived home with the flu.  Needless to say, there haven't been any more projects completed since New Year's.  I am just now beginning to feel human again. 

So, little blog, I am sorry you were neglected, but I have been really, really busy.  And then really, really sick.  I promise to try to do better.