Friday, February 24, 2012

Gloomy Day Embroidery

Nothing makes a girl (this girl anyway) happier on a doomy gloomy day than a drawer full of colorful floss! The possibilities seem endless, and today was the day to work on those embroidery patterns. I have started some wonderful, "sophisticated funky" designs, and some sweet whimsical ones. I can't wait to share those with you, but right now I'll just share my little project.

A name tag. I need one for a work day I have coming up. I am lucky enough to work a meet and greet event at The Top Stitch, featuring Anna Maria Horner. I am even luckier, in that I get to participate in her Patchwork Prism quilt workshop! I'll use the name tag not only for this event, though, but for other shows I may do in the future. I wanted it to reflect me, what I do, but not be so huge as to be a purse sized name tag on my chest.
Here's the smallish project! Now to trim it, and sew it onto a lovely gold fabric, possibly embellish it a little more, add some buttons... Geez, by the time I'm done it will be the perfect example of "overdone". Yeah, I better stop sooner than later. I'll share the after pic soon!
Do you like the 1990's rose color of my hoop? I remember buying it with some other supplies when I got my first apartment. I was 18, and so eager to create things for my new little (and by little, of course I mean TINY) abode. I have other hoops for sure, but this one gets used the most. I learned to embroider when I was young. I don't know how young exactly, but I distinctly remember my Mom showing how to do the perfect french knot. I think I french knotted EVERYTHING. I was so proud of my new skill. She also taught me to sew, that I remember being in 7th grade. I made the prairie style skirts that were so popular then. (Wow. So dating myself in this blog post.)  Other students didn't believe me until I showed them the hand stitching that attached the lace to the bottom of the skirt. They were very impressed. I fell in love with sewing, and stitching, and all things crafty.

So you now know some random stuff about me. :0)

Enjoy your day!  

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Bloggy Stuff

No really great pictures today, but surely by the end of the week! I just feel chatty, as I have clocked in with more pattern work today. The boring stuff, the written instructions. However, I have re-connected with my laptop, and therefore re-connected with some pretty fabulous blogs that I have missed for a while. In addition, I have been surfing blogs for more great things to pin, (yes on Pinterest, I am SO addicted) and have discovered much to my delight, FABULOSITY. I will be updating my blog list soon, look for wonderful sewing blogs, fabric goodness, and English style.

English style? Yes. I don't know why, but ever since I was a little girl, I always wished for a British accent. I love the accents, the words, the tea, the flag, the properness... (which, by the way, spellcheck informed me isn't a word, pfft.) I think I really must live there someday. In a cottage in Surrey, please. With chickens and a garden. I'll keep you posted on that.

I even found a couple blogs in Iceland. And German. There is of course the Google translator bar, but there is something so neat about seeing another language. I loved the pictures, visual feasts really, and wondering what wonderful imaginative things they would say. I'll include those too in case you need some other country style inspiration.

I'll stop going on and on, so you can go do something important, (like Pinterest) and leave you wondering whether I thought (or spoke out loud, try it it's fun) all of this with that British accent I've perfected. (I did.)

Cherio, and have a lovely day! :0)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

What's Up Today?

Apologies for (possibly) a very boring blog post. I completely understand if you choose to bail. Now. :0)

I have been diligently working, sewing, writing, and researching daily for weeks now. Testers are getting back to me about slight helpful changes they would like to see in the patterns, and I have been quite the recluse lately. I didn't even get my book club book read. That is RARE, especially for a "recluse". I truly have felt such a creative high, I just wanted to ride that. I so wish, (really, WISH) that I wasn't such an obsessive personality. I started the year wanting to be balanced. I would wake early and exercise. (I did, solidly, for weeks, I promise.) I would devote so many hours to my business, per week. (I did meet those minimums as well.) And I would do this while keeping the house clean, cooking, blah, blah, blah.

Somehow however, my time spent working out shifted to just working. Again. I do this repeatedly. I do the same with my weight struggles. I work out and obsess over my food until I reach optimal weight, shift focus, gain weight, repeat. *sigh* Now I am obsessively working on my business, not to my family's detriment, as they are still #1, just detrimental to me. (Seriously as I type this I am munching on Chicago style popcorn. Half cheese, half caramel corn. So much for a proper lunch.)

Today is catch up day. Adelle is playing on the stereo, as she is playing on every one's stereos now I'm sure. P and I have already been to City Hall to renew my business license, grocery shopped, and hit Starbucks. We've also been working on:
Mixing our PlayDoh colors.

Working on taxes, both business and home. No fun pictures for that, unless I took one of myself ripping hair from my own head. Not alone in that sentiment surely. When I need a break from that, I do this.
I look at the stash. I touch the stash, I re-organize the stash. Am the only one who thinks that is relaxing? I organize by designer. (copious quantities of Amy Butler, Anna Maria Horner, Moda) I organize by size. I organize by color. It makes me happy. It's a good break. Coupled with my hot coffee and dark chocolate from Trader Joe's, it's a really good break. :0)

As a side note, I had to register my daughter for high school already. So not ready. That by the way, is a colossal understatement. I want to bury my head in the sand, but alas, she is getting older. We have continuing conversations about what university she wants to attend, and how she's going to make that happen. She's a type A, that one. Once she sets her mind to something... It. Will. Happen. Love that girl.

Well, I'm thinking I have procrastinated quite enough, it's back to taxes for me. Or fabric admiring.

Enjoy your day. :0)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Pinterest Inspired Jar of Conversation Hearts

I wanted to make each member of our family their own "Jar of Hearts", but put my own spin on it, and make them something that we would continue to use...

You see, I have teenage girls. Two of them. One is fairly good at communication, but the other, not so much. Sometimes it's like pulling teeth to find out the details of a day with the younger one.  Some of you know how that is, right? Me: "How was your day?"  Teenager: "Mmm, fine." Me: "Anything interesting happen today?" Teenager: "No." Me: *Sigh*. That's about how it goes. Most days.

The older is a bit better, usually she freely spills the drama, the details of the day. *Unless. The drama involved her. Then she is sad and withdrawn, and will want to talk, just not in front of any other family members.*

So while spending an inordinate amount of time on my favorite site ever, Pinterest, I came across a jar of hearts idea. Basically it was a Mason jar filled with simple little puffy hearts, that you could place anywhere to let the person know you were thinking of them. Lunches, instrument cases, etc... What a neato project! Easy and quick. But I wanted to make these little hearts a bit more, well, conversational. So I made a list of words for each family member. Some words crossed over to all three kiddos, especially the words of encouragement, like awesome, proud, dream. Some words were very specific to that child, their nicknames, favorite book, etc... (By the way, my hubby has a whole different set of hearts, with inside jokes, nicknames and others) Each set of hearts is in their favorite color. Their main heart is embroidered with "Love", in their color, on a red background. Each child also has a heart that says "sad". This is an important one, it means that they can leave their heart in place where I will find it. I will know who's it is because of the color, and I will know that one of my children is sad, they need me to know, and they can come to me when they're ready. My oldest struggles to maintain her composure when she's sad, and this lets her off the hook from trying to talk before she's ready. (Poor kid is so much like me that way.) They can leave me their "love" heart to let me know they love me, and I can do the same. I can leave the "awesome" heart on their pillow with a piece of candy for a job well done. I will leave the "love", and their nickname hearts together to let them know that no one will ever love them more. No one will ever share that name with them. Our little secret. Each jar has a postcard with each word and what it means so they'll never forget.
The hearts were so easy, just cut out with pinking shears, layered wrong sides together, and sewn around the whole heart with a little fluff of stuffing in the middle. By the way, I just used a Sharpie for the writing. I don't plan on washing these, and I did the writing before they were sewn.
These were the Hubby's hearts. He loved them. :0)

That's all for today, Happy Valentine's Day! It's another doomy gloomy day today, lots of laundry and housecleaning to catch up on. I did however, have a wonderful brunch out with Mr. Perfect. I'm enjoying my day, go out and enjoy yours!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Happy Birthday Owlette Pattern!

This little cutie will be off to testers on Friday! I am starting to get feedback from my testers on three other patterns, so far all very positive! It is so inspiring for me to see people do my patterns in their fabrics of choice, put their own spin on them. Hoping to get the four patterns off to the graphic designer next week, to put them into a fabulous looking, consumer friendly format.

As usual, I'll keep you posted!

It is a gorgeous day today, really that sunshine can keep shining on, the computer portion of drafting patterns is a lot more fun with it!

Enjoy your day!

Cute Valance Idea, DIY

I made this sweet little valance for my sewing room, but it would be super cute in a baby's nursery or child's bedroom. Very easy to make, and seriously I just created it using what I had in the house.
I started by screwing into the wall three vintage closet hooks. (I'm minus three in my closet now, but with the cuteness above my window I'm really okay with it.) One above the window casing at each corner, and one at the left of the window for a tie back.

I measured my window, and cut the fabric to length, plus eight inches. You need approx. four for the tie tops and an extra four for the hem. (For my window, I left the width of the fabric the same, from selvage to selvage, or approx. 44 inches.) Start by laying your fabric flat, and from corner to corner, cut a half oval out of the top. Be aware of your print, if it's directional, you want it right side up.
This was about 3 1/2" deep. After cutting, I pressed the top in a half an inch, and then another half an inch so there are no raw edges.  In coordinating thread, sew from end to end, stitching that top hem in place. Back to the ironing board, roll the side edges in about a half an inch an press, then repeat. I also fold in some of the tab a bit, and then sew the whole length, from top to bottom. Repeat for the other side.

 At this juncture I tie the whole panel in place and pin the hem where it should be. Roll the hem up halfway to the pin, then another fold so the pin is at what will be the bottom of the curtain. Press and sew into place. Tie the curtain back up. (For the record, I LOVE this "Windy Day" fabric, and when the curtain is down it lets in just enough light, and shields me from the view next door. Usually I line all my curtains, but I did not here as there is a shade as well.)

For added cuteness (And because I am utterly smitten with wool felt.) I cute out scads of felt flowers in coordinating colors. I laid them all out as I would like to see them up, with the buttons in the center. (Note, they are not perfect, were not cut from any template, and I LIKE it that way. :0) I then cut a loooooong length of embroidery floss. With my needle threaded, I went through the back of the flower, out the button, back through the button, and back out. I then tied a loop knot, and the flower would rest on that. I tied another knot, went through the next flower, and so on. All the flowers rest on loop knots. They were random, I did not care how much space was between them. After I had a long string of fun felt flowers I looped them onto the curtain hooks, and down the sides.
Strung flowers shown with a loop knot in the bottom right corner.

Enjoy! :0)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Valentine Bear

I completed this sweet Valentine bear from an old chenille sweater! He turned out super soft and huggable. He was created from my Fritzi Bear pattern, which is about ready to send to the printers! (Gee I'm not excited or anything) I love re purposing the old into something new to love.

I hope she loves him, I almost don't want to give him up.

Enjoy your day!

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