Monday, November 12, 2012

Be Jolly! (Freebie embroidery pattern!)

 
Woo Hoo! For those who write HTML, you can stop reading now. This was a big deal for me. Probably a MUCH bigger deal than it needed to be, but hey, we (my hubby and I) did it!
 
Coming up with a sweet little pattern was easy. Posting it as a permanent link, well, let's just reiterate how not computer savvy I am.
 
Couple things, before I instruct you to go right over to the right side of your screen and click on the "Be Jolly" image. 1) My hubby takes full credit for uploading the information, upside down. Not a big deal, especially when you are going to print it out anyway. (Some of you are thinking, "But Stefanie isn't your semi-OCD kicking in? The answer is of course, YES. I will change it, just not today. ;0) 2) The pattern is for the embroidered image, what you do after that is your choice. What I wanted to do was use a cute little wooden hoop, with some beautiful ribbon. Sans that, I decided on gluing my piece to heavy crardstock, and adding loads of colorful buttons. (Aleen's craft glue was my friend in this endeavor) You can make little stuffed sachet ornaments or pins, the point is to make it your own and have fun with it. You will notice that there is a string of holly and "Be Merry Be Bright". Feel free to use those too, just remember that in transferring images, the letters need to be in reverse. (Meaning trace the back of the page, not the front. A light box or window is helpful there. :0)
 
It is snowy and beautiful here, and I have my hot pumpkin spice tea and Christmas music playing. I definitely encourage the same!
 
Enjoy your day!



Thursday, November 1, 2012

Friends Part One

I was lucky enough to get to go to a friend's house for the day. This has been on the books for a while, and I always look forward to us getting together. Her name is Patti, and we have come to be great friends, after coming out of a "what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger" event. LOVE her. Also she is hysterically funny, charming, and a great cook. Chili, and homemade rolls today. (Of course she knows that I love bread. And leftover Halloween candy.) Everyone needs a Patti in their life. She has a wealth of knowledge on quilting, which is her "sewing drug" of choice. (Speaking of drugs, there is something in those rolls. I. Can't. Stop. Eating.) But she is happy to share her vast array of skills with me as I am with her. Which totally implies that I am vastly skilled myself. (Sewing, or eating her homemade rolls? Hmmm.) Anyway, back on topic...


I know, right? They glisten with butter. OMG.

Oh yes, topic of today was a laminate rain jacket for her daughter. I have some experience with garment sewing, (not my first area of expertise, but I can get through a pattern) and looked forward to working with this fun fabric. It was a matte laminate, which I love. Pink, which her daughter loves.
Patti put the Teflon foot on her Bernina and we were set. We were using the Amy Butler rain jacket pattern, which I must say is possibly not beginner friendly, but perfect for an intermediate sewist. (just an opinion) (lots of terms and lengthy directions) Anywho, we were so close before I had to go. We just have the sleeves and putting the outer with the inner, hem it up, and voila!

 
 
Serious cuteness going on here. :)
 
I also enjoyed going around her sewing studio, taking random pictures of her stuff. You know voyeuristic pictures of sewing goodies?
 
 
A half completed Fritzi bear.
 
 
A stunning quilted mug rug created by our friend Moni, she will be featured here soon. :)
 
 
The sweetest little sewing basket from when she was young, and a wooden spool of grosgrain tape that I covet.
 
 
I am in love with so many of the quilts in this room, but especially this one. This one is for me. :)
 
So that's the day in a nutshell. I had a wonderful time with a great friend, laughing until my sides hurt, drinking enough tea to well, you know, and eating myself silly. Everyone needs a Patti. But get your own, I'm not sure I can share. :0)


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Keeping Busy and Other Nonsensical Things

To start off I will get the bad mojo out of the way. My website looks like a five year old created it. Like a mass produced, fill the pictures and content into set spots and call it good. Uh, so not good I cannot even tell you. This blog looks positively divine, comparatively. So. Still working on that. (Did I cry? No, but I stomped around and had a fit like that five year old that did the site. :0)

Other goodness though, would be going to Seattle to enjoy a weekend away with a girlfriend, eating and drinking our way through downtown. Perfectly lovely. Also, West Seattle Fabric Co. will be carrying my patterns, so a little bit of write off going on? Why yes I think so! And those gals (Monica, the owner, and Meg, sweet friend and employee) are fabulous I tell you. The neighborhood is terrific, with everyone walking their dogs, enjoying coffee on the sidewalk... I want to live there. And I am not kidding. When I walked into the bright space of the shop, I was greeted warmly by Meg, and found out that Monica was across the street enjoying lunch with her husband and daughter. They popped over and I got to meet them all, with their little daughter all dressed up witchy and super cute for Halloween. Loved it, and a perfect end to a great weekend.


I know I have said before that "Night Circus" is a good book, and since Halloween is my favorite holiday, I volunteered to have book club here, and (duh) chose that book. It's not a Halloween themed book per say, but very magical with a "night" and all black and white color scheme. I had a little too much fun prepping for this party, but all seemed to enjoy it, as I even placed a dress code on the guests, and dressed up as one of the main characters myself! Tomato Basil soup and a bevy of sandwiches comprised the menu, with black forest brownies for dessert. YUM. Fun night!! (Also, I am slightly OCD, and since the theme was all black and white, I of course covered up all my furniture with white sheets. :0)

This is why.


I am systematically recovering the cushions on my microfiber couch. Anyone with this color of microfiber, with kids and/or pets, knows how difficult they are to keep clean. I have an impossibly great collection of home decor weight fabric, so I patch worked it all together to create large sheets, and cut out the pattern. (By "cut out the pattern", of course I mean that I set the cushion on top of the sheets of patchwork and cut around it. :0) The hardest part was stuffing the cushions in without ripping or tearing the seams. I encourage child labor on this, and had my eldest sit on the bent cushions so I could pull the fabric over. So you see, I have a bright and multi-colored living room, which is wonderful until you are doing a black and white themed dinner party.

We did discuss the book briefly, and are considering changing our "book" club, to "wine" club.

This is one of my new (By "new" I mean of questionable date and purchased second hand.) "girls". I am currently stalled on a ruffle vest pattern, and having a dress form to work with is divine. There were two sizes, so I bought both. I will probably recover them. In answer so some of your questions, "Why wouldn't you get a dial-a-size?" I had considered it, but to be honest, my studio is located very central in our home, and being a bit OCD, I wanted them to be as aesthetically pleasing as possible. Plus they are fun to dress for the holidays, like I did here.

Well, thanks for sticking with me while I toil on the website, and finalize some other projects. Also thanks for sticking through my ramblings, I am going to go polish off some more Halloween candy now. Then my hubby is taking me out to a nice lunch at our favorite restaurant before taking the kiddos out trick-or-treating. WOW it just occurred to me that we only have one trick -or-treater. Sad how they grow up so fast. And sad that I am running out of candy.

Enjoy your Halloween!! :0)


Monday, October 15, 2012

Anticipation...

Waiting for a preview of my new website is like waiting to give birth. Seriously. It can show up in my "in-box" any day now!! In the meantime, I have sent off some patterns to be previewed by a wholesale house, and worked on some new designs.


The "cake dudes" (Really. I don't know what else to call them.) embroidery set is almost ready to go to the designer who puts things into a lovely readable format. They are turning out so cute, and today I'll be working them into a wall quilt pattern. :)



I've also been enjoying quality kid time, like taking pictures of my son, when he got stuck in his car. Because, only a great mom would photograph the incident before lending a hand. Not so much enjoying the child pictured having Chicken Pox. Apparently you can still get them even though you have been vaccinated. Who knew. And yes, my having Shingles is what gave it to him. Poor guy. And poor Mama, he has been making up for two sick weeks with all the terrible two"ness" he can muster. Glad he is better though! Besides, being a little naughty makes for great photo opportunity. :)

My oldest daughter got to go to her first dance in high school. She was so EXCITED! Of course she looked beautiful, and of course I felt old, but she so enjoyed this first right of passage, and I enjoyed the girl time shopping for dresses and doing her hair and make-up.
 
 
Also, if I haven't mentioned that fall is my favorite season, let me just state for the record, that I LOVE fall! The colors, the cooler temps, and my favorite holiday of all, Halloween. I feel re-energized. Look forward to future postings of fabulous fall stuff. A recipe I'm thinking, some Halloweenish decor... Can't wait!  Enjoy your day! :0)


Monday, October 1, 2012

A Cool Guy Indeed


My son and I, (Hubby was working, DARN IT) got to meet a legend today!!! The great Edgar Martinez, formerly of the Seattle Mariners was in Spokane today, signing bottles of his signature tequila. (The Hubby will be appreciating that no doubt, although he isn't sure he wants to drink it or save it now!)

There wasn't a huge crowd after me, so I got to talk to him a bit, and all I can say is, what a nice guy. (And EXTREMELY good looking.) He is a gentleman. I asked him if he missed Seattle, the game, the camaraderie. (In hindsight, how lame, everyone he meets must ask him the same thing!) He graciously answered, and didn't roll his eyes at me, "This question again?" *sigh* Nope, perfect gentleman.

And of course he misses it. :)

Loving today, enjoy yours :0)


Monday, September 24, 2012

Shingles Suck.

Not sure what else I can add to that title, because that says it all. I've never had Shingles before, and although I pray not to, I most assuredly will get them again. Yay. I have been laying low, reading a lot, (Harry Potter, the first three books, and Night Circus. WOW on Night Circus, you should read it, really it is quite wonderful.) watching all last season of "Once Upon a Time", and Pinteresting. But that was last week, and the week before. It wasn't all doomy gloomy, though...

Tucked in there as well, however, was a wonderful little get-away with just me and my husband for our anniversary. We went to a hot springs in Montana. We had a quaint little cabin, where the furniture was made out of big pine logs, and the quilt was woodsy colors with leaves and trees. The pub had great drinks and brews, and my hubby beat me at pool. I knew he would, but at least he stretched it out so I didn't feel beaten so badly. The restaurant had incredible food. Who knew from such a small place, but I guess since it's in the middle of no-man's land, this is where the locals would come for a nice meal. The air was cool and crisp, the leaves turning colors, and we enjoyed a big hike in the mountains, and walks along the river. The hot springs felt positively divine. By the way, this was pre-shingles outbreak, so no one was injured or otherwise maimed in this trip. ;0) I came home with some souvenir stones from the river, all polished smooth, and a romantic gift from my husband that made me teary. I am a lucky girl.

Also we stocked up on some liquor because it was cheap in Montana.

I am completing work on the website, and collecting more fabric that I swear I will use. Really. I am sending out some patterns to a couple shops, and there is one interested in doing a trunk show. Exciting for me as I feel I'm not fully up and running yet, but raring to go!

Enjoy a wonderful, shingles-free, not doomy gloomy day!

Pssst... I am!


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Going Buggy

...From staring at computer screens too much. Working diligently on getting the website up, and while I am at it, totally questioning myself on why I did not just pay someone to do all this for me. *sigh*

Live and learn, right? I am having dreams about this little laptop of mine crashing as well. Last night's dream was me panicking about all the pictures on here that I would lose. Forget about all the business stuff, worry about the pictures?? Well yes, I do love my pictures! I usually have the computer plugged in, and realized the other day that when unplugged, it will not hold a charge. For more than 10 minutes. Yes, it may be time to start getting my pictures off here, and transferring them. (and yes, my businessy stuff too!) I could get a new battery probably, but probably a new laptop would be cheaper!

While you go off and think about why I just bored you to death with my semi-coherent ramblings, I am going to go grab a cup of coffee and get back to it! Thanks for reading/listening, promise a better post next time, LOL! (My daughter, by the way, banned me from using LOL in texts to her. So I now just say it out loud. To her. A lot. That's what kind of a mom I am. It's my civic duty really, to prepare my daughter for all the annoying things life has to offer.)

Like boring blog posts. LOL.

Enjoy your day!!


Bakery Boxes of Goodness

Yes, it is a sweet little bakery box, and yes it will contain yummy things. Just not of the baked good variety. Sorry if the title misled you to get excited about that. ;0)

I am working on a new pattern, (This one being different than the others in that it will be packaged in said box and be in kit form, thereby providing you with the items needed for the tasks.) one that encompasses both embroidery and felt, and embraces my bakery roots.


This isn't actually how the pattern looks, by the way, just a little looksy at the "Cake Dudes" as I have been fondly calling them. These are the icons on the back of my patterns, that indicate skill level. (This pattern...totally cupcake!) I will be adding some additional doodles, and tucking into that box: Some colors of felt, and embroidery floss, (colors yet to be determined, but probably similar to what is pictured there) pattern pieces and instructions, wrapped up in baker's twine with a sticker. Sweet? I think so!

Fresh from Sweet by Stefanie G. :0)



Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Surprise in This Day...

I received a call this morning from a friend. Her mother was trying to foster an abused dog, and it just wasn't working out. It was too timid of her other dog, who outweighs this one by a whopping 110 pounds! He is a smallish Shitzu, brown, named Cocoa. He is missing an eye due to being hit upside his little head with a 2x4. So sad. So of course I said "Bring him over".

It has been awhile since I had my two little poodles. I had them each 17 years, and not a day goes by that I don't think about them, and miss them. So I needed a doggie bed. Fast. He would be here in an hour.

Enter two large pieces of Chenille, and strips of chocolate dot cotton (sewn together to create one long strip) for the sides. (With the name Cocoa, the chocolate dot seemed appropriate. :) Add one heart applique one of the chenille pieces, sew the strip between the layers, stuff full of polyfil, and VOILA'! One cute doggie bed.


He must love it, as indicated by his being super comfy on the couch. *sigh* He is very scared right now, but seems to enjoy the loving pets from the family members.

It's funny, my husband and I have been visiting shelters for a few weeks, not really in the market for another pet at all, just seeing what is out there I guess. (Weird? Probably.) I told him that I would wait for the right one to come along. That the dog should need us. Well this one definitely needs us.


Welcome Cocoa. :)



Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Twelve Boxes of Goodness!

Twelve boxes of pattern deliciousness arrived today! They are so lovely, and came at a great point for me. On the edge of despairing and lamenting that it seemed like light years away, I now hold them in my hands and couldn't be happier. There are five designs we will launch with, and each will include a little "Sweet Treat by Stefanie G.". Inside the pattern is a QR code that brings you here, where I will periodically post recipes and DIY's. I still have some things to learn about blogging, like how you can download some freebie PDF patterns!
The fabulous five...
Paisley Bouquet, an embroidery pattern that has multiple designs included, and multiple project instructions as well. The directions can be as basic as a simple back stitch outline, or a completely filled-in look. The point is that you get to "make it your own" no matter your skill level.
The Big Top Circus Set, one of my favorites! It includes a tight rope walking mouse, a baby elephant stuffie, and a big top pillow, who's flaps tie closed or open. Opened up it reveals a sweet little elephant applique.
The Reversible Commuter Bag, a bag I pretty much carry everywhere now. Fully lined, with numerous pockets for cell phones, and all your goodies, a cross-the-body strap, and of course, reversible. Included is the instructions for different pin options as well. Versatile enough for a diaper bag too!

Fritzi Bear, a sweet little guy that looks completely different depending on your choice of fabrics. Perfect for beginners, or anyone looking for a little fun in their sewing repertoire!
Big-Eyed Owlette Set is another trio of patterns. A party hat, a place mat that has instructions to turn it into a pillow, and a cutie pie owlette holding a bunting. The whole alphabet is included, so the bunting can say whatever you would like, pictured is "happy birthday"! It's a "hoot" to make! (Sorry, couldn't resist!)

So there they are, and I am now blogging, Facebooking, Pintresting, my pattern joy now. Website soon? No doubt. A few product photos, a little more information, a shopping cart addition...

Cannot wait.

Enjoy your day! :0)


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Strike Offs!

No, I haven't been on strike, but it surely must seem like I have! Yes, I positively should have a legit website up by now. No one is more frustrated than I about the delay. To be honest it has been just one delay after another, and frankly, I should know better. By saying that, what I mean to say is that I didn't fully comprehend this whole printing process. Basically it is one full set of patterns and packaging printed for review. ("Strike off" is the term used) My designer then picks them up and minor changes are made. This happens repeatedly until things are perfect. (Really, I ask: Are things ever truly perfect? I think probably not, but we are sure going to try...) So there is our hold-up, in addition to this being summer and everyone having vacations and hectic schedules. Frustrating? You betcha. I have been chomping at the bit for a long time. Did you know that the first pattern has technically been ready since March? I don't want this experience to be anti-climactic, but I have been working on new ideas for patterns and designs for a while now, and it makes me a little crazy. I feel like I am blindly feeling along a wall for an opening into this new wonderful place. I feel out of sorts. My world is not in order. I like order. I swear I am not OCD or anything, but with the kids home for summer, there are toys everywhere, food mess everywhere, and ridiculous teen angst dramas on my television. In addition to that though, there are wonderful parts of the week where we go to the lake, a spontaneous picnic in the park, seeing my oldest delight in her new found passion of dance, and my youngest feeling like a big boy, with Thomas the Train underwear. Monkey in the Middle is working hard mowing lawns to save up for an e-reader, as books are entirely her passion. (Thinking she needs a blog, really her writing is AMAZING.)

So I am still here, still plugging away, still excited. Still on Pinterest far too much, exercising far too little, and shopping for fabric a little more often than the bank account feels necessary. (What does it know anyway?) The fabrics I am playing with lately are "Reunion" and "Lucy's Crab Shack" both by Moda. (I <3 Moda)  I have finished curtains for P's room, and have cut up almost all of my extensive quantity of home dec. fabrics to recover the cushions on my couch. I have looked at, but not touched, the quilt top for my bedroom. I need to bind P's quilt, so I do not have a shortage of projects to keep me busy until launch time.

I have been so enjoying time well spent with my sewing group. We usually do a little shop hop and then lunch, with some sewing to finish off. (Ok, there is a lot more chatting and laughing than anything else, but it is so therapeutic for the soul!) I love this group of ladies, and feel honored and blessed to have them, in addition to feeling humbled by the sheer talent in this group. Just a shout out to my girls, "I love you and your support means the world to me!"

If you are looking for a good read, I have discovered more about myself in "Quiet" by Susan Cain. The tagline is "The power of introverts in a world that won't stop talking". I can't put it down. (And yes, I did read all three Fifty Shades, and no, I couldn't put those down either.)

We leave for the lake again tomorrow, but today I am diligently working on new pattern I am so excited about. (Good grief if I must admit it I have about six I am working on, all in various stages, but at this rate you will see them by the next Olympics.) Just kidding. ;0)

More soon, enjoy your day!,


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Hellloooo Sunshine!

I am sure you all have been busy starting your summer, as we have as well! We have celebrated 11 birthdays, seen a 6th grader "promote" to 7th, an 8th grader "move up" to 9th, the kick off of a good friend's bakery and cafe, softball, dance, and oh yeah, my website in a short couple of weeks! It's crazy, fun, hectic, and finally, (and I mean FINALLY, after months and months of rain) SUNSHINEY! There is so much to be thankful for!

Here are some more random pictures so you can see a bit of what I'm up to!

Seriously, like I have time to read. But I LOVE this magazine.
This vintage fabulousness will be painted in creamy white, with yellow inside and backed with grey fabric. Why? Why not? I'm sure the toddler will accent this lovely piece with a handprint or two like he did the last time I painted something. :0)

 Crates of fabrics that are getting packaged for the website, fat quarters, 1/2 yards, etc... of some great designer (Amy Butler, Anna Maria) fabrics. I hate to let them go, but hey, I must add to my stash. And Hawthorne Threads and I are buds. I spend tons of money, they give a discount and ship right away. It works!
A sneak peek at what is really just a small part of a truly fabulous embroidery pattern.

Had another great meeting with my designer, and we have added QR codes to the patterns. A *click* on your phone, and you are magically taken wherever we choose! Don't get your hopes up, it's not your local martini bar. It's...

More on that coming soon! Enjoy your day! ;0)


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Wowza.

So thankful right now, and blessed with wonderful friends and family.

My best friend took a helicopter ride to the hospital last Monday. She had fallen very ill, and went into respiratory distress. While on the flight en route, she went into respiratory arrest and was placed on a ventilator. For all of Monday she was hooked up to every tube and monitor imaginable. The only things keeping her alive were drugs and that ventilator. To the doctors and nurses I was her sister. Otherwise I wouldn't have been able to go in her room in the ICU.  I can't thank her family enough for allowing me as much time as I wanted with her. I never realized how much I relied on her for everything. I wanted to be there every second. I wanted to breathe for her. I felt helpless. We all did.

She tried so hard to communicate. She whispered, she signed, she drew in my palm. She was desperate, and it was difficult to watch my lively spirited friend get frustrated. Thankfully on Tuesday evening they took out the tube. She wanted to talk, a lot! Still on many meds though, she wouldn't start remembering our conversations until Thursday evening/Friday morning. I know she has a black hole where several days should be. (She won't remember the foot rub, or saying "This isn't how our sleepover was supposed to be!"  We were planning a girl's night, with a hair cut and highlights so she feels fresh before her bakery opens.)

Yes, she is opening up a bakery. She is the very friend I have worked with for 14 years, now going on to open a wonderful bakery and cafe with another friend. There is still much to do to get ready, but she needs to build her strength, as she just went home. There are plenty of people to help get it going, but I know how much she wants to be there.

One thing is for sure. I can't let days go by, or weeks or months, without telling my loved ones that I love them. Not just my "family" but my chosen family as well. She won't remember me telling her how much I love her, or that I need her friendship like the air I breathe, while in the hospital.

But she'll remember it today.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

So Proud!

Our Monkey in the Middle, Madison, won first place in a Holocaust writing project! The contest had participants from Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, and British Columbia. She wrote "What Impels You to Action?" and all I can say is that it is one amazing piece of work from a twelve year old.

We made the drive from Spokane to Mercer Island for the ceremony, where she read an excerpt from her piece. It was a big deal for us, for her, and her grandparents were able to make it over as well. She wasn't nervous a bit about reading in front of that large a group either. *So Proud of her.*

We also took in a bit of Seattle. We have some family there, so we were treated to a nice BBQ, and some pretty fantastic weather. It's always so great to see the little ones, all boys, playing together! A lovely weekend for sure, and I can't wait to get back there. We would love to live there, but the logistics of a move like that just aren't in the cards right now. But maybe, someday...

Madison in front of the Holocaust Memorial...
Just before we head back home, we stopped for some dinner with the grandparents, and some summer shopping for the girls. Props to the Hubby for getting through the shopping with a smile. Most of the time. A bit sad to leave, truly love it there.

The weather here is finally gorgeous, so I'm off for a nice long walk, and as usual, my long list to tackle.

Enjoy your day!!


Friday, April 13, 2012

Sneak Peek!

Meet Fritzi. He is debuting in my half size patterns! This is a super easy pattern, wonderful for beginners. I wanted one that my younger daughter would feel confident making, and they turn out so cute. My friend made hers very scrappy, and I want to post a picture if she'll let me as another cute option! This is just one of the half size patterns I will be offering on the website!
A close up sneak peek at a baby elephant stuffie, she's a part of the Big Top Circus pack!
Another sneak peek, this is a part of the Owlette Set! (this is the "cheater applique" on the place mat/pillow)

My graphic designer has been working so hard, as have my testers. We are still on track for a website launch soon. I am thinking though that I am so excited, I may launch with less than the five I was going to! I have five in the works, by the way, Fritzi as a half size pattern, an embroidery design, (half size as well) and three full size. The three large patterns include the Reversible Commuter Bag, the Big Top Circus Set, and Big Eyed Owlette Set.

Also on the website I'll be offering sewn goodies, and fabric sets. (More of nicely packaged de-stashing) I am also in talks with a local company about helping me produce something else, that is a perfect compliment, and so sweet, but I'll share that and what it is when I know for sure we're going to do it!

So there's your sneak peek, I am off to enjoy the sunshine, and do some fabulous photography!

Enjoy your day!


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Happy, Sad, Happy, Sad...

Been a bit absent lately. I've needed to take some time for myself, enjoy my children's spring break, and also a small vacation with my Hubby in Las Vegas. (Okay, I admit, that last one was desperately needed after the rainiest March on record here!) You see, I've been a bit blue. And in between feeling blue, I am elated at the way my patterns are turning out. Because I feel like this is my safe space, I'm going to share a personal experience.

I am grieving right now. Not in usual sense that some one died. But because a friendship died. It's funny how one day I will be doing great, not much thinking about it, and then other days, like today, I lose sleep and can focus on nothing else. It saddens me. I normally am very good at choosing the people I let into my life. I don't let the drama, the gossip, or the mean get in. I hold on to those I care about, and have their backs, so to speak. I listen, I help, I encourage. I let people "vent" if they need to, knowing it's normal to let off steam. I never feel the need to go to someone else and share what I've heard. It's just not right. So imagine my surprise when it happens to me. (By the way, I am SO NOT perfect, just cognizant of other's feelings.)

I helped a friend with a big event, as did my hubby. We spent a lot of time on this, and found child care for the three days required. We did not ask for payment. The event was stressful, but I felt went smoothly. Someone quit after that, and it put a lot of strain on my friend. I took her tea, and listened. No big deal, it happens. I was there for her. But something funny started to happen after that. A silly little rumor gets started about me and this other person, and when I went to share how funny this was with the people involved, I get "un-friended", and shut out. Hmm. Before I get the chance to fully process what is happening, another person is fired for telling me in the first place. Wow, now I really don't know what to do because I am now involved in a person getting fired. Not a good place to be, as I really like this gal. Then, just because life couldn't get any stranger, I start getting private messages from people. More than a few, less than ten, telling me about things that were said about me, by my friend, quite a while ago. And I, oblivious to this, and because no one wants to be the bearer of bad news, continue to visit my friend and fight for a friendship that I guess was never what I thought it was. So it all started making sense, why some people who I used to converse with frequently, suddenly stopped. Why when someone saw me at the person's business, she said, "You still come in here???" I didn't put it all together until suddenly, at a round table discussion with friends, it all comes back like Dory's memory in Finding Nemo. Fast, image after image, comment after comment.

She told people such a wide array of things, from the benign weird, to the downright hurtful. She attacked me and my family. Now I stand accused of "convincing people to leave." First, if I had that kind of power I'd go into politics. (My power of suggestion is so great, I must not even realize I do it, LOL) Next, that puts far more "give a crap" than I'd care to expend. So I talk about it here in this post, but have decided to hold my head high, and other than this post, which is born of sadness, frustration, and a sense of defending myself, I will not speak ill of her, have not engaged in any negative dialogue, and mostly just hope she finds happiness, wherever that may be.

Something wonderful has happened out of this situation, however. I have discovered a treasure trove of heart, friendship, support, camaraderie, and love. I have a group of girlfriends now who sew together frequently, laugh and eat together, but most of all, support each other in all the ups and downs life has to offer. I am so lucky and blessed! I lean on them for my sad days (like today), and my glad days (like today)! I am there for their sad days and glad days as well, and who new that out of sadness would be born a support group like this!

My friend said this: "When it comes to grief, you cannot go around it, under it, or over it. You have to go through it." I am so happy to have my friends and family having my back as I *try* to go through it, when really I just want to hide from it.

So thank you for making it this far! More gladness, I have received some proofs, some things are ready to go to print, copyrights are purchased, and I'll start work on the website next week! I can't believe how fast things are happening now, and I am positive that my days are going to be mostly ups from here on out. :)

Enjoy your day! 


Loving Life and Stuff

Hmm, this is where I write a bit about myself, and try to make myself sound utterly and completely fabulous. Hmm... Okay, well, how about I tell you how much I love my life, my family, and what I do? Of course I think all of it is fabulous!

I am a mother of three, two girls, 14 and 12, and one crackerjack boy, 2. Not a typo there, yes, there really is ten years between our two youngest. The girls adore their brother, and truly I cannot imagine life without him. He was a surprise. Not the "Yay I won five dollars on Lotto!", more like the "OMG." variety. One day you have a thriving bakery, happily working a lot of hours, making crazy cakes, saving for college and vacations, and the next you're looking at a stick with two lines, crying, repeating "This so wasn't in the plan" over and over. But life is mysterious, and we decided to end the bakery run, and focus on this new life we were creating. Not just the one inside me, but the whole deal. He is such a happy blessing. They say kids keep you young, what I can't figure out is why I'm not 30lbs. lighter with the chasing and pulling off counters and such.

A part of the new deal is my creating a new business from home, with a skill set that I learned at a very young age, and have cultivated ever since. Sewing and designing has always been a passion, along with cross stitch and embroidery. People used to tell me when I was young that I "had an old soul", and I certainly seemed to love all things stitchery related. It just makes me happy. I loved making people happy at the bakery, and now it's time for me to help people find their own joy in sewing and creating. (Lucky for me sewing and stitching has come back into style!)

I would love to say that I have a big fancy degree, but I do not. What I do have is passion and drive. I am a self-taught artist, baker, decorator, and designer. By saying self-taught, maybe I should say, self-learned, as I pay attention to anyone who has experience in any area of life I want to explore. I feel we all have so much to learn from each other, but also to teach. I started the bakery when my oldest was six. I wanted her to grow up knowing she could set her mind to anything, and accomplish it. Here I am today, doing it again!

I'll be sharing so much through this blog, and loving every minute of it. Thanks so much for joining me!



 


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Moving Ahead

No great picture today, just a great update!

My graphic designer, who is the best, really the best, has been diligently working on my patterns. She is great about nicely putting the pressure on me by finding our printer. We are moving forward with premium packaging that we feel will really (boy I use that word a lot) showcase my patterns and products. I of course created more work for myself by adding more patterns to the existing ones. By that I mean you will definitely be getting more bang for your buck.

So excited. And over-caffeinated.

In addition, I am in talks with a local company to help me produce the sweetest little bakery box of goodies! I would share more, but some things just need to be a surprise. I love surprises.

That is all for now, I'm off to the drawing board. Literally the drawing board, LOL!

Enjoy your day!


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Weekend Workshop with Anna Maria!

I was pretty excited about this last weekend. No doubt about it, she is my favorite designer. (sorry Joel and Amy) I have been stashing, okay, hoarding, fabrics from her last three lines to make a special quilt. That opportunity came this weekend! (To be honest, a queen size quilt is a huge time commitment for me. So if it wasn't for this workshop, yep you guessed it, I would have continued to hoard, and upon my death my frustrated children would be screaming "WHY ALL THIS FABRIC???") But I digress. I helped with the planning, and executing the food, snacks, and decor of my friend's shop, but was most excited to take the Prism Quilt workshop. This is a picture of the pillow sham that Anna Maria created. She wanted people to be able to leave with a completed (mostly) project. You could, however, jump right on in to the quilt. You could be like me, also, and completely overwhelm yourself with a queen size version of that sweet number.
*Gorgeous* (The sham, not this next picture. She's gorgeous in the next picture, but I look a little goofy.)

Seriously. She works so hard AND has six kids? She is ridiculously good-looking. And charming. I don't know how she does it. But I can tell you after hearing her lecture, she is honest, down to Earth, and everything you imagine her to be.

I was speechless. Really. I have never ever been star struck. I have always prided myself on my professionalism, my ability to speak to others, and be a good listener. But no. I couldn't even put together a coherent sentence. Nice. I was lucky enough to go to my favorite restaurant with the gals from the shop, a couple husbands, (my wonderful Hubby included) and yes, Anna. I think I relaxed a bit, (and that wine was delicious) and left feeling so inspired. I wish my daughter could have met her, really the world needs more strong women like her to inspire our younger generation.

I can't wait to work on my quilt some more. But this week is full of details and a couple meetings. A lot of wonderful things are on my horizon!

Enjoy your day!


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Girls' Day!

I had a fun group of ladies over on Sunday for a Girls' Day, to enjoy goodies, drink Champagne, and just generally have a good time. My good friend Chrissy Dunham was present to show the latest line of CAbi. If you don't know what fabulous clothing this is, look up www.chrissydunham.cabionline.com. It was a great time, and I just thought I'd share some pictures of the dessert table. After all, sugar is one of my specialties, and lord knows my addiction. One of my best friends was here the night before to help me with all this tasty goodness. We served huckleberry Belinis, huckleberry Limonatas, and Champagne as well. Read on after the pictures for an easy Fresh Lime and Raspberry cupcake recipe!
Cake batter Rice Krispy Treats...

White chocolate dipped jumbo marshmallows...

Dark chocolate dipped jumbo marshmallows...

Banana hazelnut dark chocolate cake balls...

Dreamsicle orange cake pops...

Peanut butter cup brownies...

Fresh lime and raspberry mini cupcakes with buttercream...

Fresh lime and raspberry mini bundts with white chocolate... The cookies in the background are lavender lemon shortbreads...

And last but not least, my sweet daughter Hailey made cake batter cookies. I am still polishing off treats. Really it's ridiculous.

Now that I've got you craving sweets, I bid you adieu, enjoy your day!


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