Monday, December 31, 2007
The felt dolls also were a great craft to do. I clearly got into them more than Lucy did! I need to order some nice felt on-line but in the meantime, I bought some from Jo-Ann's - a mix of rayon and wool but they still worked. The yarn pieces are from my yarn-bits stash. Lucy proudly shows our visitors her creative work.
We made cookies on New Years. The cookie cutters were mine from childhood. They're really fun to use since they imprint an image on the cookie. It brings back a lot memories for me.
Today I think we might try marshmallows. A few others have made them here and here. I'm going to use this recipe.
Oh, and I made a skirt for Lucy yesterday - she helped so that was our craft for the day. I'm not sure how long I can keep this up but it certainly has been fun.
Friday, December 28, 2007
Here are just a few Christmas pictures:
The holiday stockings I made for everyone. My first attempts at machine applique. Lucy's was the first and the most rudimentary. By the time I got to Mitch's I got better. Sorry Harper. I used "Cool Girls Quilt" by Linda Lum DeBono for guidance on the applique part.
I love this pink tree. It's actually a Barbie tree I picked up a few years ago at Michael's. The ornaments are a mix of vintage, Martha Stewart Kmart, and Urban Outfitters. And of course, the "skirt" is Heather Bailey.
Can you find the pickle?
Lucy making Holiday cookies with her Uncle Harper. The cookie recipe is from our preschool - we've been making the same cookies for 32 years!
Lucy loves her Fisher Price Digital Camera. It was her last gift on the eighth night of Hanukkah and has been a huge hit. She's actually pretty good at it. I'll post some of Lucy's pics next week.
As for me, I got exactly what I wanted: a 24 Watt Ott Lite. I left the flier with huge arrows in red ink on Mitch's desk and kindly reminded him almost daily. I was a bit disappointed on Christmas Day as it wasn't under the tree but when we got home, there it was on the stairs in all its loveliness waiting for me. It's wonderful. I don't know how I ever functioned with out it!
And Santa (me) got me two other books: How to Make Books by Esther Smith and Tricia Guild Pattern. Both are fabulous and make me dream of greater, prettier, craftier things....
Monday, December 17, 2007
This bag is a kit at the shop:
This bag was a gift for one of Lucy's friends:
Here's a picture of Stash and Dash bags I made for Mitchell's grandmother:
Sunday, December 16, 2007
I love this picture. I don't do too much matchy-matchy stuff but I couldn't resist buying Lucy and her cousin, Morgan, these very cute winter pajamas. Lucy was so excited to see Morgan in the same pj's! Morgan adores Lucy and will go anywhere, do anything Lucy wants and Lucy is happy to have her cousin tag along. It makes me so happy that she loves her cousin and that she wants to see her. Sometimes Lucy will look at a picture of Morgan and quietly say "I miss my cousin Morgan." It melts my heart.
Back to writing thank-you notes from my birthday!
Oh, and check out angry chicken for some really kicky holiday gift tags. I think that you could actually use them all thru the year....
Friday, December 14, 2007
Anyway, I guess that the blog will continue but it's just not the same.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Now, I'm sewing up a storm! I committed myself to sewing most of our holiday gifts so everyday is planned around my rotary cutter, sewing machine and iron! Plus my friends keep having babies who need warm blankets for the winter! BTW, if you just had a baby or if you are about to have a baby shower (you know who you are!) don't look at the next picture!! I love making these receiving blankets and burp clothes. Plus the onesies are so easy and fun, especially if you use Lite Steam-a-Seam. That stuff is fantastic; once the applique is applied, you just do a decorative stitch around the edge for effect and it's done! So easy and well worth the effort. Isn't this fabric great? I should have bought more....
My machine is calling. I promise a pic of my other Amy Butler bag soon!
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Then I was off to lunch with my friend Amy while Mitch took Lucy and her friend Lauren to the NJ Aquarium. He survived though he appeared a bit shell-shocked when he came home this evening. While the girls and Mitch were looking at fish, we got manicures and pedicures using the nail polish that my brother and sister-in-law sent me for my birthday.
Which brings me to the real reason for this post. I have the BEST brother and sister-in-law. I'm not exaggerating. They both totally understand my bizarrely high-expectations for my birthday and always rise to the occasion. Yesterday a box arrived from Fed Ex for me. I tried not to open the box most of the day but after dinner I just couldn't wait. So, I opened the box with the intention of leaving the actual gift untouched until the morning (today). Well, I opened it and found this:
Now, with all that lovely vintage wrapping paper, honestly how could I not open the box?! So, I thought I would just open the card:
Well, that was that. Lucy and I started opening the gifts. Harper and Vicky had collected 36 pink gifts for my birthday ranging from girly to sporty. Plus Harper, the mathematician in the family, included some trivia about the number 36. Apparently it's quite a lucky number: 6 x 6 is a perfect square, 9 x 4 is a product of a perfect square, plus a few other things that went over my head about prime numbers. And in each generation there are supposedly 36 leaders who maintain the status of the world! Wow, sounds like a great number - hopefully that means better things are on the way!
Oh, the 36 pink gifts were: 3 chocolates, 6 pink nail polishes, 6 lip glosses (I love lip gloss), 6 socks (three pair), 9 tennis balls (for my fledgling attempt to be a tennis player), 3 wraps for my tennis racket, one headband, and 2 sweat bands. What a treat indeed.
Plus, Mitch and Lucy gave me gorgeous pink bling earrings and breakfast in bed. And at the end of the day, we had my favorite pink chocolate cake (my mother has used the same recipe forever) with our neighbors. So far, my 36th year is off to a great pink start.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
The owner of the shop, Jan, put Stitchettes Numbers one and two in my employee mailbox the other day. I have looked at them multiple times on the Wee Wonderfuls site and have been tempted to purchase them. Thanks Jan for sharing these with me! It made my day! Now, I just need to pick out some fabric to get stitching....You can see what other crafters have done with the patterns here.
They come in cream-colored envelopes with a darling sticker on the front
and then when you open them, such lovely images appear!
Hillary Lang, the designer of these fabulous little things, also has a very cute elephant pattern (peanut, the weel elephant) in Joelle Hoverson's latest book Last-Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts. I wasn't sure what I thought of this book at first but the more I look at it, the more I like it. The pictures are fantastic and the designs are just very current and approachable. The elephant is one of the cutest projects in the book.
It's getting cold and we're feeling the urge to do cold-weather activities! Lucy and Mitch just mixed-up our homemade hot chocolate mix. It makes a ton of hot chocolate - enough to last an entire winter for sure. The recipe comes from my Aunt Debbie. I've been drinking it for years and can personally attest to how yummy it is - here's the recipe:
8 quarts powdered milk
16 oz Nestle quick
1 cup coffee mate
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup Ovaltine
Mix it all together in a big bowl, store in large glass or plastic containers like these. To make hot chocolate, fill mug halfway with mix, add hot water, stir, add mini-marshmallows and enjoy.
Friday, November 09, 2007
My grandmother's funeral is tomorrow. For some reason, my father decided to have her estate sale the same weekend so I went to her house last night and actually had to buy some of the items that meant so much to me. She had remarkable taste. Her furniture is very "in" these days but I love it because it really captures her spirit for life. I'll post pictures of my purchases later. I know that it's crazy and innapropriate to have to buy belongings of my grandmother's the same weekend as her funeral, but otherwise my brother and I would never have this opportunity again. It's really sad what families do to each other in times of crisis.
Dorothy's obituary is here.
Thanks for your kind words. I look forward to returning home and getting back to sewing, knitting, and being with my friends and family.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Just a quick post before I head to OKC.
I made these out of the leftover fabric from the Weekender Bag. They're not hard but do require a bit of practice. I love that the lining is sewn in by machine and not by hand plus the little pleats at the bottom add just enough charm, don't you think? Anyway, the picture here doesn't do them justice - I think I was just looking for an excuse to have the gumdrop pillow from the shop on my blog! ha ha!
I'm off to OKC with Miss Lucy Rose. It will be a sad trip but I hope that as a family we can focus on celebrating Dorothy's life and all that she accomplished.
Monday, November 05, 2007
This picture doesn't really match this blog entry but I just couldn't help posting another cute photo of Lucy. My mother made her that had to match her birthday dress. When my mom was a little girl, her grandmother would send her a birthday dress each year complete with underwear, stockings, shoes and a hat. Now, she wants to continue that tradition with Lucy so she picked out this dress on our last trip to Oklahoma and then took the dress to the yarn store and picked out the colors. What a cute outfit! And Lucy loves the dress - she knows that it is something special.
I found out this afternoon that my paternal grandmother, Dorothy, had died. It's hard for me to believe that she is no longer with us. She was such a force, a pioneer in her time. She worked in the oil business and over time, invested in wells, making trips out to the fields with the men, wearing her hard hat. She never let us call her "grandma" just Dorothy. She wore bright colors, short skirts and fabulous strappy heels in a size 6! She was a voracious reader and could debate you on an issue from either vantage point. She believed in the power of women and the ability of any one to do what they wanted if they set their mind to it. She encouraged me in everything that I did. I wish that Lucy could have known her more. Dorothy was the life of the party; she could talk to anyone about anything and make them feel like she thought the world of them.
Dorothy entertained a lot! She had her bridge group, her executive secretary group, her book club. But man, could she throw a fantastic party. This is what she suggested that I always have on hand for an spontaneous fete:
M and M's
Salsa with a can of black-eyed peas mixed together
and of course,
some good quality mixers.
There you have it. I'll miss you Dorothy. I'll do my best to teach Lucy what you taught me: to respect others, educate yourself, and never underestimate the power of a woman.
I love this photo - it was taken a few weeks ago with my new camera. Mitch bought it for me as an early birthday present (November 15th btw) but of course, he used it before I could and snapped this photo at the Princeton Battlefield Park. It perfectly captures the spirit of Lucy Rose. My neighbor described her as a ball in a ping-pong ball game which I think pretty much sums her up!
I finished my Frenchy Bag yesterday and will post a pic soon. Tomorrow I'm off to deal with the family stuff and then I'll be back ready to sew the winter blues away....
Saturday, November 03, 2007
Lucy wanted to be a princess witch for Halloween. I bought this fabric last year on clearance and thought it would be perfect. Initially I was going to do a very intricate princess costume but I quickly thought better of it and made a simple sheath dress instead, covering in pink tulle. I then made a cape with the tulle and a collar from the dress fabric. I wanted to make a hat to match but Lucy preferred the one from last year so I made her a sassy disco witch treat bag instead (I'll post a pic later.) Lucy wouldn't try it on until Halloween so thank goodness it fit!! The only trick was the set-in sleeves. I need more practice for sure! And, I promised myself that I will never ever work with rayon fabric again!!
And the blue eyeshadow - well Lucy loves to put on makeup with me so I let her indulge in the electric blue eyeshadow and some pink face powder. I know it's a bit over-the-top but hey, it's Halloween!
Friday, November 02, 2007
Yeah! At long last a new post. I wish I could write more about what is going on with me. Lots of family stuff that's really difficult and taking most of my energy these days. Thank goodness for my husband, daughter and Pfaff sewing machine. Ha Ha!
I loved making this bag. I started the project as an intermediate sewer and I think ending as advanced!! Seriously, it pushed my limits but wow was it worth it. Sadly for me, it's at the shop as a sample so I have to wait for the kits to sell-out before I can take it home. I'm planning to teach a class on it next February. I also made Amy's Stash and Dash bags. Great results but also takes some practice to get the zipper to look lovely.
All in all, things are well. I'm busy on yet another Amy Butler project, the Frenchy Bag. After this, I'm going to make a quilt with lots of lovely cheery fabric, though Amy's new Sophia Carry-All has my attention!
Winter is coming, the days are getting shorter and my sewing room is just looking so cozy. I've vowed to make all my Holiday gifts this year so I better put the pedal to the carpet and get sewing. Plus, there are babies gestating who will need warm receiving blankets and new mom's who need pretty tote bags. And then there are all those kind souls who are helping me with my life right now. Maybe just some pretty coasters out of my favorite Kaffe fabric
More later about Lucy and her fabulous Halloween adventures. This child is a pro at trick or treats!
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
I am hard at work on my Amy Butler Weekender bag. It's really not that difficult but just time consuming. The fabrics are lovely but I can only post pics after it's complete - that's the promise I made to myself.
Still working on some Christmas projects for the store. Gotta get those done soon or I'm going to be in the doghouse!!
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Now, I am working on the Amy Butler Weekender bag. I cut out all the fabric last week and plan to make the cording this week. My plan is to pack the whole thing up and take it to Maine with me where my mom and I can work on it together. Mitch tells me that's just silly - I'm going to be too busy driving around the fabric and knitting stores to have anytime to sew. He's probably right but I'm hopefull.
Here's a photo of Lucy and Mitch at her friend's birthday party. I love that they are color-coordinated!
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
So I recently decided that it was time for me to start taking better care of myself. I've started swimming and I'm taking tennis lessons (I've got a lot to learn) but I also thought it would be nice to get active as a family. Biking seemed like a reasonable activity for all of us, especially since I can't stand running! I gave my old mountain bike to my sister-in-law, mainly b/c it wasn't comfortable for me and it seemed to be a great fit for her. Anyway, I wanted an Electra Cruiser but it just didn't have enough gears for the kind of riding I envision us doing so I chose the Electra Townie instead. Of course, I couldn't have just any color, I had to have the special cranberry pink with fenders. I love it! Lucy loves it! Plus I think that I might actually use it and that will be a very good thing.
Lots of sewing projects coming down the pike to keep me busy. More on those later.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
At last, pictures of my mini-ornaments. I really need to get back to work on these! I only have two more to make and then I can quilt them, bind and finish with a ribbon. I think that the fabrics turned out great! The fabric is from Red Rooster. We're going to sell the pattern and fabric as kits at the shop. Each kit will have 10 fat eighths in them along with the pattern from Cindi Edgerton. Her tissue foundations are fantastic and her directions are very helpful as well. I do enjoy making these but it takes a certain amount of patience and attention to work on such a small scale. They fnish at just over 3 inches with the binding.
I started a skirt for Lucy today out of Denise Schmidt's last line of fabrics. Lucy picked out the fabric herself and specifically wants a skirt so that she can "spin around." I think it will be a quick project once I get all the pieces cut out.
Then again, I do need to work on those ornaments....
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Ok, so here's just one little bag I've made. The others can be seen on flickr. I've made 3 of these so far but I have many more to go! I'm just having fun cutting into this fabric- I've been hoarding it for months, well maybe 2 years. Anyway, they're fun, quick and easy.
I've been making these for my friends who helped me out over the last few months. I have one friend who is a Mormom and is addicted to Dr. Pepper. I gave her one before her trip to Utah to hide her soda. My other friend loves chick-lit (think "The Manny") - I figure she can hide her books too.
I'm working on a bag for a friend of mine using Amy Butler fabrics from a few collections ago. I've decided that there's no reason to hang onto these fabric forever. I mean, Amy's fabric collection this season was fantastic. What I'm trying to say is that there's always more fabric....
Thursday, July 05, 2007
But, the upside is that I've been sewing out of my stsh. Just handbags but still it keeps me busy. I have a project for the shop that I need to work on but I can't concentrate on it. Hopefully I'll get back to it next week.
I promise to post photos this weekend of all my bags and foundation piecing projects. Oh, and I tried out the Clover yo-yo maker and I have to give it a big thumbs-up! What else? Hmmm - I did buy some doll patterns to make Lucy's babies some clothes. I thought I'd also make Lucy some coordinating outfits. And, I received my pattern from Disdressed for the "A day in the Park Backpack Tote." I'll get to that soon!
Now if I could just find some time....
Thursday, June 28, 2007
I'm going to post just one more photo. The rest you can see on flickr. I got my Mailorder packet in the mail a few weeks ago and just in time!! I volunteered to make mini (3") foundation paper-pieced ornaments for the shop. Thank goodness for Amy Karol! I was able to get some practice ones in (like this one) and have gone on to make 4 of the mini ornaments. I'll post pics of those later. I have to say that it's a lot of fun and a great way to use up all that stash which means that's more reasons to buy fabric!
BTW, check out Amy's new book: "Bend-the-Rules Sewing." The patterns are simple (maybe a bit too much) but it's great for beginners plus the pictures are inspiring. I love her writing style - you feel like she's sitting at your kitchen table sharing a snack with you! And, she loves color. So many of the sewing books out there seem to be afraid of color; looking at them makes me think of cold, wet, rainy days. Amy's book is cheery, fresh and colorful. The rest is up to you!
My card reader stopped working so I haven't been able to add any new photos to my flickr account. Plus, life's been hectic. We just did a round of IVF and I wound up with an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy - the whole process has been exhausting. The upside is that my creative juices have been flowing. The pictures listed are only a small sample of what I've been doing. Bags, needlepoint, quilts, mini quilted ornaments (with foundation papers).... This list goes on. Thank goodness for all of my needlework. I know that I couldn't get through this process without it!
Monday, June 11, 2007
Monday, June 04, 2007
So I know that I haven't posted much in a while - we've been quite busy with traveling and other stuff. I thought that I'd share some cute pics of Lucy Rose with her grandmother cutting roses. I promise to post recent projects soon: Liberty peasant shirt for Lucy, easy quilt out of rainy day prints from Rowan!
Friday, May 11, 2007
Happy Mother's Day!
Friday, April 27, 2007
I made this apron as a sample for the shop as well as kits. I loved making it and had such a sense of accomplishment! The pattern is incredibly well written and is in Quilts and More. There are lots of options for design - shorter, longer, etc. I made two more and then I kind of burned out....
I made my first skirt two weeks ago and I thought that was really rewarding. I may decide to teach a class on that as well. I used this book.
Still working on the grandmother's flower garden. I lost one hexagon which bummed me out so I had to put it away for a while. I think I can find the fabric that matches and make another one but still I lost momentum.
My machine has been in the shop for a week and I just got it back yesterday. I feel so much better knowing that it's back home.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
This quilt was super fast! I used 11 FQs for front and 9 for back. Then I finished it with the pillow-slip method. I know that binding is nicer but really, I don't have that much time. That's for later in life when Lucy is older....
Anyway, I wrote the pattern and now it's free in the shop though I'd be happy to send it to anyone who is interested.
Friday, March 30, 2007
This is the front of my first completed flower. I'm in the process of preparing the pieces of the next flower. I love how portable this is!! The kit suggested that I leave the edge paper pieces in until I'm ready to put the flowers together. I'm planning to just do 3 or 4 for the class sample.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
In the meantime here are some photos of the one found in my grandmother's closet. The fabric look like 20's and 30's. It's got quite a few stains but I'm waiting 'till Spring to wash it so I can lay it out on the grass. I just love looking at each little hexagon. The side of each one measures 1/2" and is 1" long. Wow.
|From antique quilts|
I love the orange centers!
|From antique quilts|
The maker must have run out of blue or white or maybe it was a planned "mistake."
|From antique quilts|
Lucy says that this quilt belongs to her!
|From antique quilts|
And finally, as promised, here are a couple of apron pics:
Detail of "crafty apron." I just love ricrac
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Friday, March 02, 2007
I finished the very cutest apron Wednesday. I used new Amy Butler fabric and moda trim with a pattern out of the Sprin quilts and more. Really fun. Now I'm obsessed and will be making lots of them for a week or two or until I get tired of aprons (doubtful). I'll post pics later - the apron is on display at Pennington Quiltworks.
Customers are taking copies of my quick fat quarters quilt at the shop. It's pretty cute too. I'll take pics of that this weekend and post the pattern next week too.
Lucy needs more motrin....
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Today convincing Lucy to get dressed was a bit of a chore. When she's not feeling well she either wants to wear cozy pj's or she wants to wear this yellow handknit sweater that was mine as a toddler. She wears it so much I'm not sure if it's going to be in any shape for her babies. It's knit out of acrylic so washes up great. I'm pretty sure that it was knit from the top down. Only seam is on the sleeves. That's my Curious George too.
Since I have nothing "new," here's a pic of two recently completed Darcy Ashton bunnies. I so loved doing these but have to admit that I'm too afraid to put them in a quilt knowing how much work went into each. I'm planning on framing them to display in my sewing room, as inspiration....
|From sewing pictures|
Monday, February 05, 2007
|From sewing pictures|
I'm going to work on my Felicity Miller raincoats quilt today.
|From sewing pictures|