Saturday, December 3, 2011

Ramblings on a Very Junk Food and Movie Kind of Day

Whew. It's hard getting an almost two year old to take a nap when there are so many things to do: Taking all the ornaments off the tree that he can reach and arranging them on the sofa. (With the exception of the glass balls that he rolled across the floor, I don't know how they survived, but they did!) Feeding the dog home-made blue play dough, (That he promptly and efficiently puked all over the floor, eeeew.) and parking all his vehicles in the kitchen like it's his very own garage and I don't have say, dinner to make or anything.

 It's the beginning of December, and I've got the Christmas cards ready to mail, most of the shopping done, and some prepping for birthdays done as well. This will be the first time in four years that cards get mailed out. My goal as of right this minute, is to have all the shopping done, and presents wrapped by Wednesday. Lofty goal to be sure, but you see, it's my daughter's 12th birhtday on the 7th, and my son's 2nd birthday on the 8th. We have lots to do, and a lot of people coming over. I am always so stressed out by the time their birthdays and Christmas comes that I am reduced to tears most days, and grouchy as _____ the others. I vowed not to do that to myself this year. Pre-planning should go a long way in that!

I have a craft show going on right this very minute, and although I wanted to go, a tummy bug kept me home. It wasn't a show that I needed to be there for, but I sure wanted to. There were these wonderful cake plates... *sigh* Maybe if I'm super sweet she'll make me one since I'm sure they are sold out. I found out that my three appliqued windows have sold, and I am So. Happy. I don't have to cart those back home again! If nothing else sold I'm ok with that! Hopefully there is an art/craft show in your future? I would love to see people support our local crafters this (and every!) year.

I have been working, a bit slowly with everything else, on patterns. I now have three ready for printing. Just waiting on some feedback, then it's a website/Facebook/Twitter launch. So excited, I feel like a racehorse sitting behind the gates. With the patterns I'll also be debuting a couple embroidery patterns, and some nice prototypes. Would have loved to have gotten everything ready to launch by November. Slow and sure wins the race though, right?

It's a gloomy cold day today, so I'm going to make myself a hot cocoa and watch Up with the kiddos. Enjoy your day!


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

First Blogger Screwup...

My post below ended on an unusual note, because I got distracted by an almost two year old. I DID NOT mean to end it with, "I don't feel the need to add to the list". Oh dear. I am looking forward to the show, and have a lot of really great things to present for sale! I so meant to add that, after the comment, and certainly before "Enjoy the Day".

Wow. Someone needs a Starbucks.

Now... Enjoy your day.  :0)


Craft Show Update

Well, I completed a craft show the first weekend of November. To say that it was a resounding a success would be a stretch. The booth I was supposed to have, someone took, so I was placed in another. The good news was that it was another corner booth. The bad news is that it was at the back, and no one, and I mean NO ONE could find me. Either day.  I came home on Saturday quite deflated, and frankly, quite ready to have a hot drink and go to bed. Not fun. On Sunday I got up, and re-organized the whole booth. I made it hard for people to cut the corner and just walk by. This time they had to walk around a cute bench and two metal chairs with my products. It paid off. It didn't change, however, that my sister still had to call while at the show because she had walked by me. Twice. Ah well, sometimes that's just how it goes.

I did get really great feedback, though! It was great to hear the positive comments from people. I realized what will be hits, and what (one item, that'd be the windows with applique) would be misses. I know, KNOW, the bag patterns will be hits, as will the parfait pin cushion pattern, (it will a part of the "Sweet Trio") and that a late addition "Elphie the Christmas Mouse" should probably head to the printer as well. Good news! I also learned that my Tim Burtonesque dolls garner a lot of attention as well. People love them, I just think they are priced out of some budgets. It is a fun hobby of mine, but they take a ton of time and detail work, thinking about listing them on an art gallery site? Hmmmm, so much to do and think about.

 I treated myself to a really wonderful felted hat as well. I am such a felter wannabe. :0)

More to come...

Enjoy the day! :0)

Well the next show is in a couple weeks, and I don't feel pressured to add much to the list.


Pumpkin Cheesecake with Apple Brulee Topping!!

Sooooo. I posted on my favorite social networking site a picture of the two pumpkin cheesecakes I made for my book club dinner, and was almost accosted. So I decided since I don't have the bakery anymore I can share the recipe. I adapted it for me, from my favorite Vanilla Cheesecake recipe, and you may have some adapting to do yourself in regards to how spicy you like it. I would like to show the picture, but alas, I took it on my phone, and have yet to link my phone to my blog.  :0/

Crust
I like to use Townhouse butter crackers, or Ritz. Crush approx. half a box as finely as you can. Combine this with a half stick of softened butter. Line and press into a greased spring form pan. (8 or 9 inch is best)

Cheesecake
24oz. Cream Cheese (softened)
2 Cups Sugar
1 Can Pumpkin (small)
4 Whole Eggs
1/4 Cup Flour
Approx. 3 Tbsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice (more for spicy)

In a mixer, cream the cream cheese. Add sugar and pumpkin, mixing together. Crack all eggs into a measuring cup, (prevents shells getting into batter) and slowly add to mixer. Add flour and spices. Pour this into prepared pan.

Bake at 350* for 15 minutes, dropping the temperature to 225*, and baking for approx. 45 more minutes.  Some ovens bake faster than others, and geesh, if you are lucky enough to have a convection oven, you better check it at 20 minutes. Your cheesecake is done when it is not shiny on the top, and has a little jiggle, but not too much jiggle. (Sorry, I'd love for it to be more exact, but I don't really follow recipes, they're more "guidelines".) A few cracks around the outside is normal, and indicates that it should be pulled. A lot of cracks especially in the center means, Whoa Nelly it's over done! When you think it's done, pull from oven to cool. If it forms cracks on the top, after being pulled, it's *slightly* overdone, but don't worry, we're going to cover that up with a yummy topping. No one will ever notice! Smooth the top back down if this happens.

Topping
8oz. Cream Cheese (softened)
2 cups powdered sugar
Vanilla, approx 1 Tbs.

Cream all of this together, and spread over the top of cooled cheesecake. And, we still aren't done.

Apple Brulee Topping
2 Honey Crisp or Gala Apples (peeled, cored, and diced)
1 Stick of Butter
1 1/2 Cups Brown Sugar.
2 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Nutmeg

Combine this in a medium saucepan, and cook over medium/high heat until boiling, turning heat down a touch, maintaining a good rolling boil.  The apples need to cook to soften, and  the sugar mixture needs to thicken.  Resist the urge to stir, and the sugar mixture needs to darken in color. This can take a while. It's ready when it sticks somewhat to the back of a spoon.

Pour this over entire Cheesecake, slightly swirling with the cream cheese topping. Refrigerate until cool. Using a sharp knife, run it along the outside of cheesecake to separate it from edge of spring form pan. Release from pan, and serve.

YUM!! And Enjoy!


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hooray for Photographer Friends!

I wanted to publicly thank my friend Kristyn for photographing my bags, as they posed a huge challenge.  There were three, not really coordinating together, and being reversible, we needed shots of the three in reverse as well.  She took so many great shots that I had a hard time choosing! (Still having a hard time, so here are a few of my favs!)
I love how this one captures both bags and the different flowers you can do!

You can see how hard a decision this will be! If anyone has any thoughts, do share!

I'll be finishing some Christmas Mice today, with pics to follow...

Enjoy your day!  :0)


Saturday, October 29, 2011

On Loving Life and Other Stuff

Been away from my computer of late.  I had composed a beautiful blog piece on things we teach our children, and accidentally hit the "back space" twice. If your thinking I lost that post, you would be correct, and if you guessed I threw my coffee at the computer you *almost* would be correct there too. So I'll try to catch up with my life here in this one, and if you get bored, I totally get it and understand if you need to go do laundry or something.  Although I'd almost rather do anything before that!

I attended a beautiful funeral for an old friend, with my oldest daughter, as she knew him best.  I knew that he would be honored for his service in the military as well.  It was a very nice ceremony, with reminiscing and kind words for a man who spoke few words of his own, but showed such kindness and grace to all who knew him.  I tried to explain to her what a big deal this was.  A soldier marched towards the large screen with our friend's picture on it, and stood at salute, while Taps was played.  Surrounded by all of his family and friends, there wasn't a dry eye to be found.  My daughter was clearly a bit puzzled.  Even more so when another soldier marched up, and the American flag was unfolded, refolded, saluted, and then presented to our friend's widow.  I could sense she still didn't understand.  When we left I tried to again explain the importance of our government recognizing him for his service, that with his service in World War Two, that he helped us retain our freedoms.  That all of her grandfathers had served, and would be honored in the same way.  That they were willing to give up there lives, so that she, and all of us, would remain free.  She was very sober for quite a while, and I wondered why I hadn't ever discussed something like this with her before.  I take for granted that which was earned for us by others willing to die for it.

That same weekend we took advantage of the gorgeous weather and trekked up to one of our beautiful pumpkin patches.  There is a corn maze, a hay maze, cider, apples, horse rides, pie, and a personal favorite, pumpkin spice donuts.  The line is always long, but so worth the wait.  They are hot, cinnimony goodness!  Of course the oldest picked the biggest pumpkin she could find, the rule being that you have to be able to carry it yourself, at least to the cart!  I swear, it was 50 pounds, and I am totally not kidding about that. HUGE.  Our son chose a nice smallish one, and then another, he just kept putting more in the cart, it was so cute.  He narrowed it down to two though.  There is always a nice craft fair in the grange hall, and I picked out another Halloween decoration from one of my favorite crafters!  I took a lot of pictures, perfect weather is hard to come by, and so far our family pictures have had to be rescheduled due to rain.  They are scheduled for tomorrow, as is.... RAIN.  So we'll see.

I have been sick, and in addition to that, having heart "issues".  They run in our family.  I have had numerous doctor visits and tests, with more to come.  So far it isn't life threatening, (YAY!) but it does appear to be my new "abnormally normal" existence.  (Not yay, at all.  More like rather annoying if you will.)  It amazes me how much time and brain space I have allowed this to occupy.  It literally is on my mind, all the time.  It looks like I'll be adding exercise to my daily routine now as well, (and really, I DO need to commit to that) coupled with a heart healthy diet.  Maybe I'll lose some of that stubborn baby weight.  Although I truly don't think the fat is stubborn in this case, that would be me for not doing something about it earlier.  If you are looking at my picture on the sidebar and thinking to yourself, "she doesn't look like she needs to lose weight..." I'll be honest with you now.  That was before sweet little P came into our lives.  So exercising I will go.  I've already cut most caffeine out of my diet, and most sugar, so... hopefully the rest will be easy???

Although I haven't been blogging lately, I have been diligently working on patterns and products.  The Fritzi Teddy pattern is with some testers, as is the Reversible Commuter Bag.  Almost ready for testers is the patchy That Bag is Mine bag, and Happy Birthday Owlette pattern.  Also in the works but not ready for testing, is the Sweet Trio.  It's a parfait pin cushion, a cheesecake pin cushion/button holder, and a tea towel embroidery design.  Also up is Plushbot.  Not quite ready for testing.  The bags are already with the photographer, as are the teddies.  Trying as well to prepare for two craft shows I am doing.  I'll be selling the prototypes and gaging people's interest in certain things.  The first show is in a week, the next in a month.  Wish me luck!!

I missed my Modern Quilter's Night Out, and I was bummed.  I missed the friends, the wine, (not that I get to enjoy that much anymore) and oh did I mention my friends?  They are a terrific lot of happy, sewy, modern hip ladies.  And sometimes we talk with British accents.  That would be pre-wine by the way, so you see, we really are a fun group.  *Love* my gals, everyone needs friends like these.  :0)

Halloween is two days away, and my son absolutely positively REFUSES to wear his robot costume.  I didn't make it thank god, or I'd really be mad!  So instead he's getting a purple mohawk (pretested last night, at least he thinks this is ok) a skull t-shirt, and jeans with black sharpie "rock star" "cool" etc... written all over them.  It'll have to do. 

Thanks for sticking with me this far!!  I'm off to do some sewing while the family is away at Grandma's...

Enjoy your day! :0)


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Parfait Pin Cushions

I could NOT resist the temptation to do something fun with these antique cordial glasses, and having a plethra of cute fabric scraps...  (Scraps that I hoard, love, frequently look at touch, yet rarely do anything with. ;0)  I wanted a "sweet shop" look,  (almost typed "sweat shop", that is another post entirely) and picked colors based on how they look in my fun new space. Here they are, and time willing I will post a quickie tutorial on these, they are soo easy!
Of course these are removable from the glassware, in case I feel the need to have a shot of cordial.  And because he's sweeter than these little pin cushions, here is a totally unnecessary yet absolutely adorable picture of P.  :0)

Enjoy your day!


Monday, October 10, 2011

My New Happy Place

I am so excited to share my new space!  My sweet hubby helped me turn two doors into a desk, old apple crates into storage shelves, and randomly place cute knobs on all of it to hang projects in progress, take photos of those bags, etc...  The gorgeous quilt on the wall was a gift from a friend, and instead of a lamp purchase, I picked up these super cute chinese lanterns.  I have tons of antique crystal, so instead of keeping it in storage, it will help keep me organized by holding threads, bobbins, needles and floss! Out of the pictures is a huge armoire filled with my fabric.  Maybe someday I'll share.  Pictures that is, the other is unimaginable.  Oranges and blues, of course.

I promise to use my nice camera next time, by the way.  These turned out grainy, but you get the gist.  I'm off for some more sewing on (*sigh* another) doomy gloomy day. Enjoy the day!


Friday, September 30, 2011

A Busy Friday

I can't wait to share the furniture I am working on, in preparation of my new little "studio".  After moving my sewing into a tiny cramped space to keep it all from the toddler, I am moving it back into my semi spacious room.  My hubby and I have an affection for reclaiming furniture, or making it from old materials. So in addition to our bowling lane table, we will now add big heavy pained glass door sewing table.  The paint is drying as I write this, but I am so thrilled I just had to write about it.  To go under it will be a funky chair that we sprayed orange and recovered in neat-o Amy Butler fabric.  I will share pictures after my retreat this weekend.

I so love my hubby for his can do attitude, especially when I give him a project like "make these two doors into a desk please", and his love of lengthy bike rides.  I decidely do not like that can do attitude however, when it translates into me going with him on said bike rides.  I can hardly walk, and have taken enough Aleve that I could probably (Crude alert!) pee out a brand new bottle.  I can't wait for my little out of town excursion.  Have a wonderful weekend, and someone please pass me my wine.  :0)


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Rainy Days...

The house is picked up, kids are at school, (or Grandma's) and it's doomy-gloomy outside.  The perfect day for hot coffee, candles, and sewing.  I am working on four different patterns simultaneously, and while that sounds very much "why on earth wouldn't you finish one first", this is just how I work. Plus I believe that when I debut the website, the Twitter, the Facebook page, I should have at least four patterns lined up. I like to give people choices. While four isn't as good as say, 13, it is better than one.

I have a retreat lined up for this weekend, at my sister's cabin on the lake.  I'll be working on craft-showy stuff as we are participating in a small boutique style show.  I hope to have some patterns ready to go by then, and maybe some custom fabric as well. (I so admit that last one may be a long shot) What I will most certainly have though, is lots of prototypes.  Bags, robot and bear plushies, purses, and ornaments.  It takes me approximately no fewer than five of something to make absolutely sure I get it right in the pattern.  Soooo looking forward to it!  (The cabin, the time spent with great gals, and good wine. Lots of good wine. ;0)

So happy day to all of you, and happy doomy-gloomy day to me as well!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sneak Peak of the Reversable (Hobo? haven't decided yet) Commuter Bag

Just one of the five I have created so far, I really want to be sure the pattern has well written instructions and details!


Inspiration!

Inspiration can come in many forms, and today I was blessed with several. Dropping my little one off at Grandma's today I received lots of kisses, "bye bye(s)", (sorry, couldn't even tell you proper grammar for writing that one) and "got goo!" which is him saying I love you. Sooo sweet! Then stopped by my favorite fabric shop seeking inspiration, and that does it every time. Just the smell and fabric sets my world right. My friend there offered to do me bodily harm if I didn't get some work done on those patterns, so that too,  is inspiring! On my way home I got behind a jeep, top off, with a big sticker on the spare tire: "LIFE... LIVE IT". I thought about that for a while, and decided to paint that on my wall. Inspiring.

I am totally and completely loving the cooler weather right now as well! Fall is my favorite. The colors, and the pumpkin pie. The trips to the orchards for fresh picked apples and the corn maze, and it all leads up to my favorite holiday of all time, Halloween! I would love to say that I make my kids' costumes every year. Yeah, just can't back that up. But we love going to pick them out at the Halloween store, that counts, right? :0)

Well I'm off to work. I'll post a sneak peak at the Hobo Commuter Bag, and since I lost all my links on my blog I better do that too. Oh and research printers, (yes, almost ready to print!) and packaging. I need to figure out how to post a freebie pattern here as well. I'm having an inspiring day, hope you do too!


Monday, September 12, 2011

Another change...

Although I am not sure how many people actually read my blog, (hoping it's a few anyway! ;0) I am changing the URL to sweetbystefanieg.blogspot.com. This will reflect my new business persona, and be able to tie in to the upcoming website. I will still be posting regularly, and include my recipes, family reminiscing, and sewing news. I am working hard on several patterns right now, so that I can debut many, not just one! Having said that, I have been informed that when I change my URL, I will be (unintentionally) losing my links. Please come find me, I have so much to share, especially in the coming months!

Sign Me,


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Beautiful day!

Today my hubby and I celebrate our anniversary, even though it's actually tomorrow. Yes, our anniversary is on 9/11, so while we will be reflecting on that tragic day, we will also be celebrating us. You might think it a coincidence, but it is not. My husband is a firefighter, and was deeply affected by the tragedy that occurred that day. It rested deep in his memory banks. Fast forward a few years, and we are at a bakery convention in Las Vegas. We had been dating only a few months.  He proposed over a beautiful room service breakfast, with long stemmed red roses, (by the way, exclaiming "Wow, this really is a great room, you get roses with breakfast!' encourages much eye rolling from your significant other) and what can I say, when you know, you know. (and having been married before, I used to scoff at those "who knew", yeah right...) But I did. I said yes, and he said, "We are here a couple more days, let's make this happen!" He suggested September 11. It became really important to him to commemorate a tragic day with a happy one.

We got married on September 11, four years ago. Him in a designer shirt and jeans, me in a hot pink lounge singer number. (FYI: It is surprisingly difficult to find a nice wedding dress on the strip, in the wedding capital of the world.)  We had many laughs that day, from the minister with the fake french accent, to our cab leaving the chapel and us having to ride THE BUS back to our hotel. (another surprising fact: You can call a cab from off or down the strip, but chances of it getting there are slim to none. They will always take the first fare, and they will always be flagged down by someone else before they ever get to you.) We enjoyed a fabulous wedding dinner at Prime, in the Bellagio, and celebrated further with the always invigorating Blue Man Group. (We able to take a cab this time. ;0)

It's not necessarily true that "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas". Turns out when you get married there, you come back with a husband. I couldn't be happier.

Oh, how was the bakery convention you ask? I don't know. I don't remember.  :0)

I will remember, however, the many lives lost on that September 11, and be ever thankful for what I have on this one.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

First day of school!

Two things, kids (2 of 3 anyway!) went back to school, and I got to help at my favorite fabric store! I think everyone had a good day. The girls chatted on endlessly about their friends and teachers. (whew!) My son did NOT want to come home from Grandma and Grandpa's house. (sweet!) I was able to work with a great friend, selling wonderful fabric, catching up with customers, and sewing. (yay!)

While at the shop my friend came up with a name for the bag pattern I'm working on. I'm helping her make one on Thursday, and she told me she was calling it the Commuter Bag, as she would be using for just that. I was struggling with a name, (College Hobo Bag, anyone ;0) and eureka! Patty came up with the perfect name. It's large, has room for many books, and pockets for your lipsticks and goodies. Stylish and functional, with a wide strap that crosses the body to distribute the weight. I can't wait to see how she puts her fabrics together, as she is a phenominal quilter with a great eye.

I plan on working on it diligently tomorrow, right after kids go to school and I am sufficiently caffienated.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Everyone where they should be...

After long consideration, waiting, procrastinating and other things, everyone is where they should be. I had hoped that would sound dramatic, but after over a year and a half, well, let's just say I'm happy the remodeling phase of my life is over. I say that because it is my absolute wish and desire that I never remodel anything again. Except maybe the kitchen. My son is (FINALLY) out of our bedroom! Our teenager is in her new big teenager room, and we are in our new digs as well.

I will start sewing on my new quilt for our bed soon, even choosing the paint to coordinate with one of the focal fabrics. (Anna Maria Horner if anyone wished to know that, blues and greens) Our bedroom has wonderful natural light, and (soon) french doors leading out onto our brick patio. *sigh* I love it.

One more bit of painting, and I'm full time focusing on what really matters. Sewing. In between sidewalk chalk sessions with P anyway... :0)


Saturday, April 16, 2011

It's been a while...

How do I begin this post, when it's been so long, and I seemed to have fallen off the face of the planet? I assure you I have not indeed fallen off the planet, I just feel like I did, and it's been a struggle to come back. That sounds terribly ominous, but it isn't meant to.  I needed some time to re-evaluate my situation, and come to terms with what is realistic, and what is not, at least at this stage of my life.

My son is a constant source of joy for me, as he should be, but as all parents know, there is another side to the wonderfulness. I jokingly refer to it as "the dark side" of parenting. Literally every time I reach for fabric, he's there. He went from tromping on the foot pedal of my sewing machine, to realizing I could still sew without it, and finally unplugging my machine. Of course this gets a big reaction from Mom. He needs constant supervision as he is a destroyer, a climber, an adventurer. I for a long time have been "blaming" him for my not getting as much done as I would like.

Enter some really great epiphanies. He is only ONE year old. Not even a year and a half. He is not to blame for anything. I am. I would love to be the best "stay at home" mother ever, but after long and careful consideration, I am not. After more long pondering, I have come to the conclusion that I have been trying too hard, at everything, and feeling quite like the failure because nothing "quite" gets my full attention. (adult A.D.D., anyone??)   The house is never clean enough, the dinners not homemade enough, I don't bring in enough income, etc...

Enter a few people in my circle who tell me what I need to hear. Not that I'm a great mom, a super worker, but that I need to relax. NEED to relax. I am grieving. I am grieving the loss of a former life. The bakery, "Stefanie's Isn't It Sweet", the rewarding work, the customers, the... routine.  Sounds insane, and it did to me too, I was done with it, right?? I guess not. I name my new baby business the same name, thinking, "my name, my products, doesn't matter if it's the same name". Oh but it does. It really really does.

After mulling over decisions, (think aging wine, it takes a while for the end result to be palatable) I have indeed decided to change the name of my business. And my way of thinking. I had the best meeting with a friend who inspires me constantly. (Stop by her blog, Ballyhoogirl.blogspot.com) With my new name change, I have since moved my sewing area. I can be with P., but he can't touch my machine! I have started a blogging calender. I thought I should really only blog about my business, but have decided that if it's important to me, I'll blog about it. When I have nothing to say, (sorry, that'll be rare) I'll throw out recipes. As far as Etsy goes, I'll keep up with it as long as it suits me, but will be transitioning into more patterns, less finished product.

The most important change however is me. I take each day at a time now. If P. wants me to watch Sesame Street videos with him, I will. The girls want to go shopping, we go. I will work when I can, and I feel like the less I fight this, the more productive I will be. I am catching up with my children, and my home. (Not the yardwork, though, let's not get crazy!!)

I. Am. Happy.  :0)

Signing off as...
                                              Sweet, by Stefanie G.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

New Purse in the works!!

And I shall call it Mini Me. Kidding, although I would consider it my style, I will be naming it the "Etta" bag. I thought it needed a retro sort of name. It features lots of gathers at the bottom, a sweet little handle, a fabric flower (of which I now have made many) and is the perfect little evening bag. I say that because a lot of gals I know prefer a larger bag, making this one a bit petite. Today I worked on the pattern for this one, and a size larger as well. (The pattern will include both sizes) The instructions are almost complete, and next up is finding someone with great photography skills to photograph them for the pattern jacket. I will be offering the pattern through my Etsy shop, I will not however, be offering it PDF. I felt it important for people to have a sense of anticipation, and the feel  having purchased something tangible. I also wanted to offer it wholesale for quilt and sewing shops, which makes a PDF file just a bit shy of being a "touch it, feel it, be excited to make it" sort of good.

I am grateful to the three volunteers who have agreed to be my guinea pigs as well. They are under strict instructions to be brutally honest with me about the quality of instruction and guidelines. They can expect their free pattern in a couple weeks, as I work out the kinks myself first. Happy sewing all, and enjoy the day!


Sunday, January 30, 2011

Spaced Out!

Spaced out, me? No. Well not today anyway. I just received my quilt back from my friend who machine quilts, and was so excited I wanted to share it even though it's not quite finished yet. I am making it for P, who is only one, and still in a crib so I figure I have about a year to work on those finishing touches! (binding, and stitching aroung the many rocketship applique) It is a design from my head, a crazy take on a more traditional strip quilt. I had the great idea to square it up at the very end, a colossal mistake that I graciously passed on to my machine quilter friend. I was nice and warned her first. She was nice and didn't make me feel like a bad quilter. I have since learned quite a lot about squaring up quilts, and won't be repeating this mistake lest my friend reject my next one. :0)

P loves it. He knows it is somehow just for him, which makes working on it with him around a trifle difficult. Well, working on anything with him around is difficult, but he loves this quilt, so I am happy. In addition to the quilt, I have made a small wall quilt with a robot, and a robot softie. I fully plan on turning the last two out into patterns for the general population. I would do the quilt, but where to begin to be a teacher, when I feel ever the perpetual student when it comes to larger quilts. Someday perhaps. So here are a couple pictures as a warm up.
A picture of all of together, clearly his new bedroom has a theme! Robot, by the way, is well loved. He is starting to show signs of wear, which warms a mom's heart to know that she can create something as well received as Robot. :0)


Friday, January 7, 2011

My version of fabric flowers, a bit of a tutorial

I've been working on a handbag pattern, and of course this has been done. A lot. Next I want to add a large funky flower, and you guessed it, this has been done a lot as well. What's a girl to do? Get inspiration from a vintage piece of jewelry in her jewelry box. :0)
I wear this one often, and it's one of those pieces that gets a bit of attention. Worn with a modern outfit, it adds a bit of vintage fun to my (very small) wardrobe. Since my style was described as sophisticated funky, this fits! The multiple petals with a riot of beads coming out of the center can't be too hard to drum up in fabric, right?

Start by raiding your scrapbook cupboard, your daughter's costume jewelry, and anything with beads you don't want but kept just for an occassion like this. A small pair of wire cutters, some heavier gage wire, wool felt, fabric, needle, thread, fabric glue and safety pins is an approximation of what you'll need for both of these flowers. I also used some acrylic paint and a paintbrush, but that is totally skippable.
Cut a length of about 3" from your wire, and make a "V". Next, make two loops on either side of this to hold the beads. After placing a bead or two, (or charm, or other?) roll the wire down to secure the bead. Make three of these. Join all three down at the base of the "V", and twist a couple times. I leave a little loop at the bottom of the twist for sewing into the flower.
My first flower center!

Now I'm just getting carried away. But if you are going to make several of these, You may as well make them all at once. By the way, when these flowers are done I see multiple uses, pins, headbands... So if that helps you determine how many to make, that's great!

Next, have a break with some hot cocoa and marshmallows.

Cut two pieces of felt, with multiple petals, one smaller and one larger. Yes, I do know that these look like shamrocks. Humor me.

Totally unnessary step, but accent the petals with paint if you wish.

Next, using your needle and heavy thread, knot the end, and starting from the back you will sew your bead center in. Draw the needle from the back, through both layers of felt, and then through the loop in the wire. Basically you are sewing on a button, but instead of a button it's your flower center. As you go, pucker the felt a bit so that it has more dimension.

Making the felt back is easy, just cut a piece of felt, place through the safety pin, and using craft glue, fold the pieces together over the top of pin.

Sew this piece on, looping your thread over the top of the pin, and securing in place. 

A funky felt flower pin!!

This one is created with a 44" long strip of fabric, 2" wide, with frayed edges. Starting with a 4" circle of felt, glue down the fabric in the center, and start twisting and gluing as you go in a circle. Sew in the center of the flower like you did on the previous one, and glue and sew the back and pin on as well. I need practice with this flower, but for a first it's pretty cute!!

Speaking of,  it's hard for me to get much of anything done with this cuteness playing under my table! :0)



Have fun and enjoy the day!!


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Someone tell me again why we did this??

Wow. I never thought living within a construction zone would be this bad, but really? Are you kidding me? I have now made the decision to never, ever, build a house. IF we move, EVER, it will be into a nice, pre-built, possibly new, home. Maybe on a lake, with birds chirping, and coffee made for me every day. Music will softly be playing in the background, and oh, wait. For now I'm living in a construction zone. I'll just share a few pictures, so that those who have been there may comiserate with me to make me feel better. :0)
This is the hallway to our bedrooms. We have tried covering doors in plastic, laying towels in the doorways to catch dust on shoes... and nope. Nothing works. I have stepped in big puddles of drywall mud and tracked it into our bedroom.

This is our soon to be bathroom. I really can't complain about this one so much, as we didn't have a bathroom here before.

This is our former family room, soon to be master suite. We walk through here to get to the patio, and the dogs used to sleep in here. I say "used to" because the contractors do not know how to clean up, or put anything away, so lest our animals chew up their tools, they will not be sleeping in there.

I know the end result will be fabulous, and just so this post isn't a complete downer, I will now post pictures of something totally fabulous.

My wonderful husband created (with a bit of help from a new friend) our new bowling lane table. It is a section from the old Lilac Lanes, the back section, where the two types of wood are joined, and the discs for the pins are. The discs are now inlaid walnut, and it is trimmed out in walnut as well. Our friend Derek even made us a cribbage board to match!

The base matches the trim in the house, I think the hubby did that accidentally. Don't tell him I think that. :0)
http://www.wolcottcustomwoddworks.com/
This is the link to Derek's site, he does amazing work, if you get the chance, check him out!

Well, I'm off to work, and to possibly list more things in my Etsy shop.
Enjoy the day!


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