Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Variegated Blues...





Just one more... For the last few days I've been working on this variegated blue scarf. I'm pretty sure this is my best yet. Love the softness of the yarn and the brightness of the colors! Next week I'm back to totes, but for these last few weeks I've enjoyed relaxing and knitting a few things...


Bloomin' Tuesday

Flowers are rare in Colorado in the Winter. There aren't any blooming outside and the only blooms to be found inside are the ones you purchase as bouquets or arrangements. On Christmas Eve I found this pretty arrangement for our table that night. I love white on white, especially during Winter months, so this arrangement caught my eye and held it. Happy Bloomin' Tuesday!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Pearl Softness...

I can see why knitting is currently the rage. It's so nice to have a hobby that you can pick up at any moment and put down a few minutes later without having to clean up half a room. I'm not ready to retire the ol' sewing machine yet, but I've enjoyed myself these last few days with this "new" hobby.

I don't plan on selling the scarfs I'm knitting, but if I was going to sell this one its name would be "Pearl Softness." This yarn is so soft & luscious! The winter-white color is beautiful. I'm keeping this one for myself. This time I only cast on 18 stitches and it's the perfect width for a scarf with this threadlike yarn. The beauty of this yarn with it's many soft, little scraggly threads is that you can't even make out the individual stitches. This is perfect for the novice knitter, because my stitches might be rather imperfect. Who can tell? Not me. That's for sure. Anyway, I have about a foot left to knit, but here's a preview ...

Monday, December 22, 2008

Finished...

These last few days in the little spare time I've had I've devoted myself to knitting. I learned and relearned a few things about knitting. The most important thing I learned was that I love using big, fat knitting needles that help you fly through a project! Here is the end result...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Inspired...

I'm diving into the unknown! I've been inspired lately by some blogs I've visited -- namely Artsy Crafty Babe and Purl Bee. I have longed for the results of some of their knitting projects. It's been awhile since I've knitted anything -- 34 years to be exact. The last thing I knit was a sweater for my then-current high school boyfriend. Truth be told, I started it for one boyfriend and before I finished it we broke up. By the time I got around to completing the project I had another boyfriend, so I gave it to him. As luck would have it they were the same size. It was a beautiful cable-knit pattern. I learned a valuable lesson when the second boyfriend and I broke up. Never give anything of value to a mere boyfriend. (The simple truth of that statement may be applied in a variety of ways, I am sure.) I should have asked "second boyfriend" to return the sweater to me when he dumped me, but I didn't. I gave up knitting then and there after that unfortunate experience. Since my husband and I have been happily married for 31 years I could probably go ahead and knit him a little something. Before I do that however, I think I'll make a simple scarf out of this delightful green yarn I bought today. I figure I'd better start with something simple, like a scarf, since I can't even remember how to cast on. Thank heavens for internet tutorials. Wish me luck...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Sold - "Sweet Harmony"

This beautiful brown and pink scrollwork fabric caught my eye the other day as I browsed the supply of fabric at a local store. I immediately fell in love. There is something about the color combination of brown and pink that speaks to my heart. I love pairing traditional prints, like the scrolled fabric on the bottom of this tote, with contemporary fabrics, like this fabulously sophisticated print on the top. This floral print with it's cool urban attitude and palette are from the "City Girl" Line by Kitty Yoshida. Putting the traditional print with this dynamic "City Girl" print makes for a delightful creation! Yup, "Sweet Harmony" is the right name for this one!

This Hang Up has all the usual features. Check out my sidebar to see how my totes are constructed and feel free to send me an email - address on sidebar - if you have questions or would like to purchase. The cost of the totes includes postage within the continental U.S.

Sold - "Cyan Pepper"

This bag is such a hot little number. It was in need of a hot little name! "Cyan Pepper" fit the bill. These beautifully vibrant, complimenting fabrics are from the "Califon" collection by Mark Lipinski for Northcott Fabrics. I've been hoarding this fabric and waiting for just the right moment to bring it forth. If you need a little pizzazz to brighten up your dreary winter, this Hang Up might be just the ticket!

This bag has all the usual adornments... large inside pocket, fully lined with double interfacing for extra support, fabric-covered, removable, reinforced base, 22" reinforced fabric straps. This Hang Up measures approximately 14 1/2" x 12". Please feel free to email me at my email address on my sidebar with any questions you may have or if you are interested in purchasing. This Hang Up sells for $50 -- which includes shipping to the continental U.S.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...


Soon the bells will start,
And the thing that will make them ring is the carol that you sing
Right within your heart.



In spite of getting a late start decorating for Christmas this year, I think you can tell by the above photos that we're ready for the festivities to begin! Turn on the music. Break out the cookies. Light the candles. Pass out the presents. And let's start celebrating!

Thankful Thursday

What inspired me this week?
Music. I love music. Music has the ability to inspire and influence me. Because of this, a Christmas season without Christmas music would be like a day without sunshine! I'm not talking about the "Jingle Bells" music that you hear playing on the radio frequently during this time of year. I suppose those songs have their place, but I'm talking about real Christmas music. The kind that testifies of Christ -- His birth -- His life -- His love. I love the old standbys that are found in most Christian hymnals, but I also have some favorite contemporary Christmas songs. Check out my Playlist to the right -- there's a few of them there at the top of the list. Take a few minutes to listen to some of them. They are so beautiful and I would imagine, if you listen, they will inspire you too.

What surprised me this week?
This last week I stood in a Post Office line four times on four different days. Each time the line was at least 20 minutes long -- once it was 35 minutes long. During my stints in line I never heard a grumble or saw a disgruntled face from those standing in line. That kind of amazed and surprised me. I think it had a lot to do with how polite and cheerful the postal employees were. Each one was a hard worker and those of us waiting in line could see how diligent they were working so that the line would move along briskly. This particular Post Office is situated inside an ACE Hardware store. The store had employees going up and down the line handing out coupons for "free keys" and "$5 off" vouchers. They were even passing out free "designer" coffee. I'm not a coffee drinker, but I appreciated the offer. All in all it was a great holiday experience and I enjoyed it! It's a good thing, because tomorrow will find me in that same line once again...

What moved me this week?
I love the Christmas season. I love the feelings this time of year brings out in me and in others. We seem to feel more compassion and love toward one another and we demonstrate these feelings by kind acts and deeds. It is a time that is somehow "set apart" during the year, when we think more of others and a little less of ourselves, which ultimately blesses our lives. I've been the recipient of some sweet acts of kindness lately and I've had the opportunity to serve others. In both of these instances I've been blessed and touched. It's a miraculous thing to me that by giving, we gain. God's calculator is so different than man's. The Christmas season and the kind acts of service associated with it move me.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"Winter Jewel" - $50

Don't you love jewel-toned colors? I do too -- especially in the Winter! I love the rich ruby reds, emerald greens, topaz blues and citrine golds against the onyx background in this opulent fabric. This fabric comes from Kings Road Fabrics and was created for their "Inspired" line. I'd say it comes by its name naturally!

This "Inspired" fabric is the second textile that I bought to compliment the luscious gold material from the "Full Sun" line by Willow Berry Lane and Maywood Studio. (see below) It's fun to see how different two bags can be when one fabric is complimented by two different textiles. I love making comparisons like this!

This tote has all the usual bells and whistles. Check out my sidebar to see how my totes are constructed and feel free to email me with any questions you may have or if you have the desire to purchase one of my Hang Ups!

"Golden Glow" - $50

I had a difficult time naming this tote. I'm not sure there are words admirable enough to describe it. It's a beauty! This luscious gold fabric is from the "Full Sun" line by Willow Berry Lane and Maywood Studio. I fell in love with this fabric when I saw it, and I was able to find two coordinating fabrics that are exceptional with it! The first of these fabrics is this vibrant floral from the "Floral Master" line at Springs Creative Products Group. Absolutely delectable!

This tote has all the usual features, except this one has a fabric strap. Sometimes I can't find matching canvas for the tote straps. When that happens I make the straps out of fabric. Either way, it makes for a beautiful and durable tote! Please check out my sidebar to find out how my totes are constructed. The $50 price tag includes shipping to the continental U.S. Just send me an email (address on sidebar) if you're interested in purchasing this beautiful Hang Up!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Bloomin' Tuesday



Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold,
everything is softer
and more beautiful.

~Norman Vincent Peale




Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Thankful Thursday

What moved me this week?
I'm so grateful to be back in our home after a week in a hotel while renovations took place. That's what moved me this week. I often take things for granted. I don't mean to because I am so grateful for all the wonderful people in my life and for the blessings I've been given, but I tend to forget to acknowledge my bounties more often than not. When I walked through the door of our home after being away last week, it felt so good to be home.

What surprised me this week?
This week a sweet someone made and brought me a loaf of homemade, still warm, whole wheat bread and a jar of homemade peach jam. Need I say more?

What inspired me this week?
I'm inspired by individuals who are able to discern the needs of others. Before we moved into the hotel for the week a friend of mine brought me a packet. Inside were all the ingredients to make some cute Christmas tags. She had pre-cut and pre-stamped the paper and included scissors, brads, stamps, pads, glue and ribbon -- everything I need to make the tags. She even included two already made tags so I would have a pattern to follow. All this because she knew I would be stranded in a hotel room with little to do. She knows me. She knows how bored I get if I don't have a project or two on hand, so she gave me this packet to keep me busy. As I said, I'm inspired by individuals who are able to discern the needs of others.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

You Too Can Be a Textile Designer...

Have you always dreamed of being a fabric designer? Me neither. My "talent" has always been in the implementation of designer fabrics, not in the creation of them. Still, as I've cruised around designer's websites and seen their incredible creations I've occasionally wished I could have a fabric line with my name on it. Well, ladies, that's where Spoonflower comes in! It's a website where you can design and have printed your own textiles. You heard me right! Your very own textiles!!! Some fabulous features of this website: No minimum order. $18 per yard. Printed on high quality Moda fabric. (You know how much I love Moda!) And, apparently, a fast turnaround -- as little as two weeks. If that doesn't get your heart palpitating, check out the website and design a yard or two!

Today I was told about Spoonflower. I've been glued to my computer ever since. No food. No water. Minimal breaks. I'm hooked. I'm fairly certain that a big-wig fabric mogul in New York isn't going to take a look at my newly designed fabrics and try to employ my talents. I'm not a graphic designer and my artistic ability is limited to stick figures and play dough, but here's the beauty -- I'm not sure it matters! (Ok, it matters some, but not enough.)

Here's what I created today. I took a photo that I had taken earlier this summer...

In Microsoft Photo Editor I went into "effects" and changed the photo to "stamp."

Then I went to Spoonflower and downloaded the above photo and "made" my fabric...

Here's another example. I started out with this...

Again I went into Photo Editor and changed it to a "watercolor"...

Then I changed the background to black...

And made this awesome sunflower fabric at Spoonflower...

I also made these black 'n whites -- just cause I could...

I can picture each of these fabrics as a tote. I'm itching to try it! Anyway this website is a very dangerous discovery, because as luck would have it I'm not done with my Christmas shopping and I've wasted precious shopping hours today on this new past time. I'm going to need a lot of willpower to pull myself away from this one!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Bloomin' Tuesday

I'm always amazed at the resiliency of certain plants. It could be 20 degrees outside and in the midst of a mountain of snow a sprig stands tall. It's an amazing thing.

People can be much the same. The resilient individual seems better equipped to resist stress and adversity, cope with change or uncertainty, and recover faster and more wholly from traumatic or unexpected events in life. I've known people who stand tall under adversity and exhibit a resilient, irrepressible spirit. It's a wonder.

This week we had our first significant snowfall, and as I was shoveling I noticed a few examples of resilient willpower. Hope you enjoy...

To join in the fun or see more Bloomin' Tuesday posts, go to Ms. Green Thumb Jean's!

"Just Dreamy" - $50

Ladies, Is it really so wrong to fall in love with an inanimate object? I'm telling you, it's too late for me with this tote! "Just Dreamy" is made from the Farmer's Market Collection by Sandi Henderson. Sandi, of Portabello Pixie, is a regular blogger and designer of children's clothing and boutique patterns. I have fallen in love with this line. It's so crisp and fresh!

This 14.5" x 12" Hang Up has all the usual features. Check out my sidebar to find out more information about the construction of my totes and to find out how to purchase one for yourself! The price of $50 includes shipping to the continental U.S. Feel free to send me an email with any questions you may have.

Sold - "Winterlude"

Luscious! Simply luscious! Love the rich, dark fabric in this beautiful wintery Hang Up! This 14.5" x 12" Hang Up has all the usual amenities. Check out my sidebar to find out more information about the construction of my totes and to find out how to purchase one for yourself! The price of $45 includes shipping to the continental U.S. Feel free to send me an email with any questions you may have.

"Sizzlin'" - $50

I love this "Sizzlin" hot fabric from the Fresh Air collection by Chez Moi from Moda fabrics. So beautiful, vivacious, and hot! This Hang Up measures approximately 14 1/2" x 12". It has a large inside pocket and, like all my totes, is fully lined with double interfacing for extra support. Please feel free to email me at my email address on my sidebar with any questions you may have. This Hang Up sells for $50 -- which includes shipping to the continental U.S. Check out my sidebar to find out how my totes are constructed and how you can purchase one for yourself.

Sold - "Black Out"

If you were caught in a real black out with this beautiful Hang Up at least you could be consoled that you were "stylin'!" I love the black and silvery gray fabric from the Bubbles and Blooms Collection by Beverly Stillwell. I think this is a beautiful, classic Hang Up. This tote has all the bells and whistles. It measures approximately 14 1/2" x 12". It has a large inside pocket and, like all my totes, is fully lined with double interfacing for extra support. Please feel free to email me at my email address on my sidebar with any questions you may have. This Hang Up sells for $45 -- which includes shipping to the continental U.S. Check out my sidebar to find out how my totes are constructed and how you can purchase one for yourself.

Sold - "Sweet Treat"

"Sweet Treat" features three different complimentary fabrics from the Daisy Chain Collection by Amy Butler for Rowan Fabrics. Love this bright, vivacious print. This Hang Up will brighten up any gloomy winter day!

This 14.5" x 12" Hang Up has all the usual features. Check out my sidebar to find out more information about the construction of my totes and to find out how to purchase one for yourself! The price of $45 includes shipping to the continental U.S. Feel free to send me an email with any questions you may have.

Sold - "Retro Flowers & Fruit"

Love this retro flower-power print! It's a beauty! This Hang Up is comprised of three sassy fabrics. It comes fully lined and has a double compartment pocket on the inside. It has all the usual bells and whistles. The bag measures approximately 14 1/2" x 12". Check out the sidebar to find more information about how my totes are constructed and please feel free to email me with any questions you may have. This little beauty costs $45 -- which includes shipping to the continental U.S.

"Pumpkin Paradise", $45

Honestly, what would I do without Moda fabrics? Life would be dull, that's for sure. These fabrics are all from the "Fall Back in Time" line by Sandy Gervais. This line is a wonderful eclectic mix of designs. Rich, earthy colors dominate these fabrics -- walnut, pumpkin, juniper, gold, luscious teal, creamy cream, and eggplant. The fabrics are so whimsical and pretty!

This 14.5" x 12" Hang Up has all the usual amenities. Check out my sidebar to find out more information about the construction of my totes and to find out how to purchase one for yourself! The price of $45 includes shipping to the continental U.S. Feel free to send me an email with any questions you may have.

"Best Friend", $45

I have a new Best Friend. She's the perfect companion. She listens without giving advice. She always makes you look good. She only hangs around when she's wanted. She's sassy and hip and cute! She's a little loud, but that's a huge part of her appeal. Yup, Best Friend evah! This little number just might be an all-time favorite Hang Up of mine. Love the fabric combination! I received this fabric in the mail TODAY and was so excited to see what could be done with it that I whipped a tote up this afternoon. Dreamy -- absolutely dreeeamy. Here's the unveiling...



I have a new fabric source. I have it listed on my sidebar under "Online Fabulous Fabrics", but go directly to Fresh Squeezed Fabrics here. Finally a fabric source in my neck of the woods! I ordered this fabric on Saturday and it was shipped yesterday. I received it in my mailbox today. Yippeeee! That's service! Anyway, Randi has some beautiful fabrics you can gush over and they are very reasonably priced. Can't wait to order more from her!

To find out more about my Hang Ups or to purchase one, please visit my sidebar to the right or send me an email (address is on the sidebar), and I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have.