Friday, February 27, 2009

Amazing...

This week some beauties were delivered to my door. All soft and dappled in sunlight, they made my heart go pitter-patter. I could almost smell their sweet fragrance. Take a peak... I apologize in advance for making you jealous.

These beautiful cards (and 9 others) came from Jen at Muddy Boot Dreams. Words cannot describe how beautiful her photos are. Check out her blog and if you have an occasion to need a packet of photo cards, consider ordering some from Jen. You will be sooo happy you did!

I've been baking...

Thank you so much for your enthusiastic response to my Lil' Girl Cupcake Totes. I really appreciate all your comments! Those of you who know me well know that when I get excited about something I pretty much let everything else in my life fall apart around me (not relationships so much, but they probably suffer a bit too) and I fully concentrate on the thing that is interesting me at that moment. Well, I had the house to myself for a few days this week so I could fully concentrate on baking some cupcakes. Yummy ones. Delicious ones. Even chocolate. Here's a sneak peak at what will be found in my Etsy shop later today...

Here's my two adorable little models (friends of the family)
with their pint size Hang Ups!

Their fee for this modeling job? You guessed it...
their very own Lil' Girl Cupcake Tote delivered later today!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Hey There, Cupcake !

The other day I was in a local fabric shop and came upon a pattern for a little girl's tote. This wasn't just any tote, it was a cupcake tote. I thought it was a cute idea and since I have occasion to make something for little girls (you know those adorable granddaughters I have...) I went ahead and bought the pattern with the intention of bringing it home and whipping up a dozen or so cupcakes. Unfortunately, when I stitched it up, I felt like the dimensions of the pattern were all wrong. Among other things the base of the "cupcake" was rectangular in shape and we all know that a cupcake slants upward. Well, at least the cupcakes I've eaten have angled upward ... and, honestly, I consider myself a bit of an expert.

So, I decided to change the recipe to my liking. I tweaked, and altered, and adjusted adding a little more sugar and spice and a little less flour. I topped it off with a generous dollop of frosting and crowned it with a cherry! Finally, it was a Cupcake I could be proud of...

So, tell me...
Do you think a little girl would find these good enough to eat?

The dimensions of this mini-tote are:
11" tall (including handle) x 8" wide at frosting - 4" wide at bottom x 3" deep

Funky Fresh Travel Bag

I've decided to have two lines of Travel Bags. I love the "Shabby Chic" line with romantic pastel designs, but I've decided to add a "Funky Fresh" line as well. I think this new line will appeal to another set of shoppers! It will have bold, bright colored fabrics -- often with a retro flare. This little bag is the first in this "Funky Fresh line... It's available in my Etsy shop.

So...here's my idea. Don't you think that one of these bags (or one like it), filled with a little crinkly Easter grass and a few chocolate Easter eggs would be a great little "basket" for a teenager or young adult for Easter. Me too. ;o)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Bloomin' Tuesday

Best deal ever! This past week, quite by accident, I found the best deal in cut flowers is found a day or two after Valentine's Day. As luck would have it when I went looking for cut flowers on February 16th, there were myriads of roses that hadn't been snatched up and they were being offered at drastically reduced prices. I took advantage of that windfall! Nothing better than a good buy. It's hard for me to say what color of rose is my favorite, but I do love a winter white rose... Enjoy!

If you'd like to see more Bloomin' Tuesday posts, go to Ms. Green Thumb Jean's!

Shabby Chic Bags

I made a few more Shabby Chic Travel Bags today. I'm trying to get as much sewing done as I can these next couple of weeks because I have a grandbaby due the first part of March and I'm going to be busy for awhile after he is born. (Yippeeee!) We're very excited for the birth of this little guy and we'll be so happy when he's here safe and sound. He will be grandchild #6. Yup, we're blessed. I'm grateful, I assure you. In the meantime, I'll continue to sew and count the days till his arrival!


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Chocolates & Flowers

What girl can resist chocolates and flowers? Certainly not me. I love the lush chocolaty background and the fun whimsical posies on this beautiful Kitty Yoshida fabric from her City Girl line by Bernartex. Those green whirligig flowers add a retro flare to the fabric that I adore.

If "Chocolates & Flowers," appeals to you feel free to visit my Etsy.


Friday, February 20, 2009

California Dreamin'

It's interesting how a fragrance, or a color, or a sound can take us back in time. Today I was working on a new Hang Up with fabric from Mark Lipinski's Califon line. As I often do, I was trying to formulate a name for this fabulous tote as it took shape. The bold beautiful blues and bright primary colors on this fabric took me back to childhood memories of playing in the ocean and at the boardwalk at Santa Cruz, California. When I was young and through my teen years, I loved going to that charming spot on the California coast. The sand... the sun... the surf... the colorful boardwalk. There just wasn't a more idyllic setting for me as I was growing up -- still isn't. With those thoughts swirling in my mind, I decided to name this beautiful bag "California Dreamin."

I've made three totes with this wonderful fabric by Lipinksi. Each one unique, but all three fabulously appealing! I again teamed Mark's fabric up with a Kaffe Fassett creation called Paperweight Cobalt (center insert). Isn't she a beauty?

She's available on my Etsy store...

Check out Mark Lipinski's new line entitled Krakow! It's in stores now and is fabulous!!! You'll be seeing at least three more totes made from these stunning fabrics in the near future!

"Wildflower"

I picked some wildflowers yesterday afternoon and made them into this beautiful Hang Up. I love the color combination of blue and brown and when you throw lime green into the mix, I'm gone. These fabrics are from Kitty Yoshida's City Girl line by Bernartex. This tote is made up of three complimentary fabrics from that line -- the two floral prints on the outside and a cute paisley is the lining for this Hang Up.

You can find this and other Hang Ups at my Etsy.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday

What surprised me this week?
I opened an Etsy shop this week and within a couple of days had my first sale. That was a fun and welcome surprise!

What inspired me this week?
I'm often inspired by Jen, of Muddy Boot Dreams. She's a artful photographer, but she also motivates me with her thoughtful, articulate posts. This week she wrote a post entitled Mindful Consumerism. If you have a minute, go read it. She asked some thought provoking, formidable questions in that post that inspired me to do better. I believe that most people are in "conservation mode" these days. We are holding onto our money a little tighter and not spending with the abandon that we have in the past. Some of Jen's questions really hit home for me and I have to admit, I've continued to ponder those questions as I've gone throughout the week. As a result of that post and other reflections I've been considering lately, I've determined to tighten up the purse-strings a little more and scrutinize my purchases more carefully. Thanks, Jen.

What moved me this week?
My youngest is heading back to college tomorrow. She won't start until April, but she wants to be back where the action is so she's going back a little early. I'll miss her. Don't get me wrong, I really am happy for her, but every time I look at her I'm practically moved to tears.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Two more ...Shabby Chic Travel Bags

I made two more Shabby Chic Travel Bags. These fabrics are from the same "Simplicity" line by 3 Sisters for Moda. I really do love Moda fabrics and this line speaks to my heart. It's delicate colors are so easy on the eyes. I'll be adding these to my Etsy shop later today, but I thought I'd share them with you here too...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Shabby Chic Travel Bag

I've decided to try to sell a line of shabby chic travel bags. I actually think this tote could be used for a variety of purposes (cosmetics, fragrances, jewelry, lingerie, etc.) but for the time being I'll call it a "cosmetic bag." I think this is a viable product. It would make a fun gift with some crinkle paper and a few cosmetics or fragrances inside. They are feminine, roomy and practical. What more could you want?

This particular bag is made from fabric in the "Simplicity" line by 3 Sisters for Moda. This line has beautiful soft, subtle shades and I'll be making a few Cosmetic Bags from this line in the next few days.

Care for another "Rasberry Truffle"?

Have you ever been able to eat just one? Not me. My husband brought home a one pound box of See's chocolates the other day and I ate 3/4 of the box all by myself. Within a 24 hours period. Didn't even feel guilty. (Insert contented, smiley face.) It's very hard to eat just one... Suffice it to say that making another "Raspberry Truffle" was considered a necessity!

I used the two of the same Chelsea Lace fabrics that I used on the February Give-Away in this tote, but I substituted a third fabric from the same line for the lining. Love this luscious, decadent Hang Up! You can find it in my Etsy shop!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Bloomin' Tuesday

Last week when I was roaming around the Bloomin' Tuesday posts, I noticed a quiz entitled, "What kind of flower are you?", on Connie's blog. I'm a sucker for these kinds of quizzes, so I hurried on over to take the test. I said a little prayer before I started, asking that I not be classified as a "Prickly Pear Cactus." I'll admit that I have just enough vanity in me to want to be a flower that is beautiful and sweet smelling.

I answered all the questions, turned my test in, and found out that I am a Snapdragon and this is my description...

"Mischief is your middle name, but your first is friend. You are quite the prankster that loves to make other people laugh."

It's true ... I am all those things and so much more. ;o) I love to take these kinds of tests because, generally speaking, they make you feel good about yourself. Come to think of it the name of "my" flower is a bit harsh, but at least it's pretty. Hmmm. I'm not sure what that says about me. Anywho, if you have a minute high-tail it on over and take the quiz yourself. I'd love to know what kind of flower you are.

To find more Bloomin' Tuesday posts, visit Ms. Green Thumb Jean's.

Etsy...

I've finally taken the plunge. I don't know why I've been reluctant to move my wares over to Etsy, but I have. This weekend I decided that I had put it off long enough and I opened my shop. As a result, I'm ridiculously excited about it! I'll still post new creations on my "Just Another Hang Up" blog, but to shop head on over to my Esty!


Saturday, February 14, 2009

love...

Today is Valentine's Day. This day is a favorite of mine. I find joy in day that reminds us of those we love and the things we love about them.

I use the word "love" often in casual conversation. "I love this tote." "I love that fabric." "I love this color." "I love that flower." "I love this music." Well, the list goes on and on... Sometimes I wonder by repeating the word so often if I'm rendering it meaningless. I hope not. I do feel great affection and enthusiasm for many things. I suppose that could be one meaning of love.

There are two things, however, that I love passionately, protectively, and most completely. My family and my faith.

I wish everyone could feel, as I do, that they have been blessed with the most wonderful family in the world. This world would be a better place if that was so. I was fortunate to be raised by a mother and father who obviously loved each other and their three children. The value of such an upbringing cannot be measured. People talk of legacies left to their children. The greatest legacy of all is "love." My most complete moments of happiness are found when I am surrounded by my own family -- my husband, my children, and my grandchildren. Nothing else comes close.

My faith is something that is tucked deep in my heart. Because it is occasionally misunderstood or purposefully maligned, I am protective of it. However, because it has brought so much happiness into my life, it is the one thing in my life that I most love to share. A dichotomy to be sure.

I hope that today you can find a million and one things to love. I also hope that you will find those people that mean the most to you and share your love more fully with them.

Happy Valentine's Day.

Friday, February 13, 2009

"Little Flirt!," $50

This flirtatious fusion of fabrics is such a winning combination! I love the bright, bold attitude of this Hang Up. Three different fabric sources make up this fresh tote. M. D. Hordyszynski designed Disco Dot for Michael Miller fabrics -- her creation comprises the bottom part of the tote. The small strip of fabric and the lining are from Holly Holderman's line called "StripZ, StripeZ & DotZ, by Lakehouse Dry Goods. Finally the floral print was designed by Yolanda Fundora for Windham Fabrics. I think these three materials compliment each other beautifully!

This Hang Up is fashioned much like the others. It has a large inside two-compartment pocket and 22" reinforced fabric straps. It is fully lined with multiple interfacing and has a fabric-covered removable base for extra support. It measures approximately 14 1/2" x 12". The price includes postage anywhere within the continental U.S. Just send me an email if you are interested. My email address is found on the side bar of my blog.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Thankful Thursday

What surprised me this week?
We've had a rash of appliance failures of late. This week our refrigerator broke. We thought we would have to buy a new one. It's been awhile since I've purchased a fridge and let's just say, like everything else, the price of a fridge has escalated. Before purchasing a new one I decided to look into repairing the one we had. I thought I would be told that it would cost too much to fix it, but I was surprised to learn that it would cost under $300. Thankful? Absolutely.

What inspired me this week?
I read one of my favorite posts of all time yesterday. It happened to be written by one of my incredible daughters-in-law. Her words lifted and inspired me. Today was a hard day. I thought a lot about that post as I went throughout the day. I'm so thankful for inspiration that comes to us at just the right moment to shore us up for some of life's unexpected and difficult experiences.

What moved me this week?
Last week I was in Tennessee visiting a couple of my children and their families. Somehow two of my children ended up, at least for the time being, in Tennessee. That's quite a long way from their Colorado roots, but it is a beautiful state and they enjoy living there. I love visiting that lovely state, but I especially love visiting them. I would follow my kids anywhere. While I was there I was able to spend time with three of my grandchildren. One night I had a particularly moving experience. I was tucking in my granddaughter and listening to this little 5 year old say her nightly prayer. That night instead of saying her prayer, she decided to sing her prayer. Her sweet little voice floated up and down notes as she thanked Heavenly Father for her family and friends and asked Him to bless me that I might not be too sad when I leave. (That little girl knows me well.) She told me after she finished that she thought Heavenly Father would enjoy her song. I'm sure He did, as did I. The simple faith of a child always moves me.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Health and Beauty Products on the Cheap ...

Every once and awhile I am reminded of my age. It happened the other day when I was talking to someone 20+ years younger than me. We were talking about inexpensive and natural ways to give your hair highlights. I mentioned that when I was young we used to put lemon juice on our hair to enhance the natural highlights. We would mix the juice of 2 lemons into a container with a little of our favorite conditioner. Then we'd paint it onto our wet hair and sit out in the sun for about an hour. Whaaalla -- natural looking highlights. My young friend gave me a blank stare. Suddenly I felt like I had grown up during the ice age. I assure you I did not dodge dinosaurs during my teenage years, but being a little older during these tightening economic times does have its advantages. Back in the day we used items found in the kitchen as beauty aids. I remember a good many of these beauty secrets that are both natural and inexpensive and, let's face it, we are all looking for ways to stretch the budget these days. Since this week is Valentine's week, I thought I would share some of these natural and inexpensive beauty aids. Everyone deserves a little lovin' this week and we might as well start with ourselves.

Exfoliate: Create your own spa scrub by combining 1/4 cup of brown or refined sugar with about 1/4 cup of olive oil. Apply to wet skin making small circles, then rinse. You can also mix sugar with your favorite facial cleanser. Some people use baking soda to exfoliate. Apply baking soda to wet face and gently rub.

Teeth Brightener: You know those $35 whitening strips to brighten your teeth? Most of them contain baking soda. Forget the strips and just use the baking soda. It'll do the trick.

Dull Hair: Winter's dryness can leave hair dull and lifeless. To add a little shine, combine 1/2 cup of apple-cider vinegar with 1/2 cup water. Pour it over your hair as a final rinse. It will help reduce product buildup, which contributes to the dullness.

Itchy, Dry Skin: I love a hot bath -- nothing better in my book. Unfortunately, hot baths drain your body of natural oils and during the dry winter months that can cause dry, itchy skin. Add a quart of milk (any kind) to your not-too-hot bath water. The lactic acid in the milk helps soften skin, and milk proteins help relieve skin irritation. These milk baths also exfoliate your skin.

Moisturizer: Honey can help hydrate the skin and reduce oil. A natural humectant, it draws water into the skin, and it has antibacterial properties that can help heal acne. Warm 1/3 cup of honey in the microwave and apply it to damp skin. Leave on your skin 10 minutes. The warm honey is easy to apply to your face and as it cools it ""stiffens" and becomes much less "runny." Rinse thoroughly, then moisturize.

I'll be the first to admit that I am a beauty product junkie, but using natural kitchen ingredients helps reduce your dependency on expensive treatments and is a little easier on the family budget. Just remember homemade mixtures can spoil quickly because they have none of the preservatives that extend the shelf life of over-the-counter beauty products, so these natural products should be used right away.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Bloomin' Tuesday

A rut. That's what I'm in. Every week I amble on down to a local grocery store and peruse the floral isle. It's a great little rut to be in. Since I can't grow it in my garden during the winter, I might as well support the local economy and purchase some blossoms. It's amazing how far two little bunches of flowers can go. Three bouquets.
**Sigh**
My week is complete.

Feel free to mosey on over to Ms. Green Thumb Jeans to visit more Bloomin' Tuesday posts.

The Results: "Raspberry Truffle" Give-Away

"Thank you" to all who participated in my "Raspberry Truffle" Give-Away this month. Your kind comments and enthusiasm were appreciated. I especially value those of you who posted a shout-out on your blog announcing the contest. Thank you for helping me get the word out about my totes by advertising for me in this way. For all the men who braved my girl-friendly blog to register for a chance to win can I just say -- pure and simple -- you rock!

Please check back often to see my new creations and feel free to leave a comment. This month's winner proves that persistence eventually pays off! "Raspberry Truffle" will find a new home with...

Congratulations, Kristi!
"Happy Valentine's Day" to all!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Valentine's Day Suggestion...












Last week I had the pleasure of visiting two of my children's families in the Nashville area. While there I had a fun excursion to a bath and gift shop, called "By The Brooke", where you can create your own fragrances! They have many different delicacies -- shampoos, facial cleansers, bubble baths, body sprays -- just to name a few. To each of these products one can choose from over 50 scents to customize a product. I wouldn't suggest adding all 50 scents, but a combination of several scents makes a delectable indulgence. My DIL took me to this shop as a treat, because she knows how much I love a hot bubble bath and sweet smelling sprays! She treated me to body lotion, bubble bath, and a bath spray. We spent far too long sniffing fragrances, combining a few favorites, and concocting a luscious treat I could call my own. We discovered I'm partial to the scents that are derived from food -- not exactly a shocking discovery. The combination of scents that I blended to make my favorite fragrance was: coconut cream, mango papaya, and almond. Yup, I smell like a tropical dessert. Not only does this fragrance smell heavenly, but if food truly is the "way to a man's heart" my husband is going to find me downright irresistible! Anyway, "By The Brooke" recently opened an online store, so you too can order a yummy treat just in time for Valentine's Day! It might be a little more difficult to order if you're not there in person to sample some of the fragrances, but I'm sure the ladies there can make some suggestions to accompany your favorite fragrance.