Sunday, November 30, 2008

I'm taking a bit of a break...

I'm being forced to take a bit of a break this week. ;o) We are having to move out of the house for a few days while we have some workers refinish our hardwood floors and recarpet (because of our little water problem). Yup, I'm not exactly going to a spa, but the Residence Inn by Marriott is going to put us up for a few days compliments of our insurance company. Pools. Complimentary breakfasts. Workout room. Shopping close by. Buffet dinners. Room service. Good books. A little TV. I'm going to take advantage of this little "inconvenience." Hopefully I'll also get to a bit of sewing, so look forward to some new Hang Ups being displayed on the blog later this week. Hope you all have a great week!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving...

"Gratefulness is the key to a happy life that we hold in our hands, because if we are not grateful, then no matter how much we have we will not be happy -- because we will always want to have something else or something more." - David Steindl-Rast

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Bloomin' Tuesday

This last week I purchased some roses for an event that we had at our church. After the event many of the roses had been given away, but there were enough left to make a nice little arrangement. Some of these red roses are of a variety that has striations or stripes of slightly different red colors. I asked my florist friend what variety of rose this is and she told me it is a "Red Intuition." So dramatic and lovely! Have a wonderful Bloomin' Tuesday!

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

Saturday, November 22, 2008

"Christmas Dreams" Giveaway Results -- Tote-ally Awesome!

A big "thank you" for all those who participated in this month's Give-Away / Give-Away. I loved this contest. It seemed appropriate to have a Give-Away / Give-Away during this time of the year! It was wonderful to be able to read all the kind words you had to say about the special person in your life who would have been presented the tote had your name been picked. Many of your comments tugged at my heart. It's times like this that I wish this little enterprise of mine was bigger than a one woman operation! I would have liked to have given a tote to each of your special someones! I used a random number generator (very official) to pick the winner this time. On to the presenting...

"Christmas Dreams" goes to Jennie, the sister of ... Omgirl! Apparently Jennie likes patterns of all kinds, so this dreamy tote is right up her alley! Merry Christmas!

But wait ... What have we here? Why, there's a second Hang Up!

Let's get that number generator hooked up again. I'll have to send this one to ... Cindy F.'s friend. That's right! I'm pleased to be able to send this one to Cindy's friend who is going to "start chemo in December." I hope this tote helps put a smile on her face.

Ohhh my. You've got to be kidding? A third bag... That number generator is starting to heat up!

This third bag will find a home with Kisa's BBF, Jenny, who is apparently a fan of my totes! Enjoy!

Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving and a very Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thankful Thursday

What moved me this week?
Easy. My husband. He's been in Germany all week. The day he left our dishwasher stopped functioning. This situation wouldn't be that critical, but because of the flooding we experienced a few weeks ago, we are on a time-schedule for the renovations. When this happened I immediately missed my husband. I count on him to be in on the decision making processes of purchasing an appliance. He's smart as a whip and he knows all about amps and volts and electronics and decibel levels. I'm not trying to be a ditsy female here, but generally speaking the only qualification that I look for in an appliance is the overall appearance and the color. Anyway, he wasn't as "reachable" as he usually is and I missed not being able to call him a billion times as I worked through the heady responsibility of figuring out which dishwasher to purchase. What moved me was that each time we were able to talk he was so kind and understanding of the situation and my frustration. He encouraged me and was grateful for the hours I put in researching the possibilities. He helped my anxiety dissipate. For this and so many other reasons I am so grateful he is in my life.

What surprised me this week?

Because of the above mentioned problemo I needed someone to come by the house this week and pull up some of the oak flooring in front of my dishwasher. I called my contact at the flooring store that is refinishing my floors next month and the young man said he would be happy to come out and take a look at it. He came by and within a matter of minutes had the boards pulled up. He didn't ask for or want compensation. What a wonderful display of generosity and kindness.

What inspired me this week?
You. Often I am inspired by my blogging friends. This week was a hectic one and so I occasionally came to my computer and to your blogs to get a little inspiration. When I go to your sights I often come away uplifted. I see beautiful photos of things and people. I read insightful posts that help broaden my perspectives. I hear about inspiring people who are overcoming obstacles with grace and wisdom. I laugh out loud and occasionally shed a tear. Yup, you are all an inspiration to me!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

December Give-Away / Give-Away: "Christmas Dreams"

How I love pine & plaid. Both got incorporated into this beautiful holiday Hang-Up! I've decided to have my December Give-Away a little early so the recipient of this contest can enjoy this bag all season long. I've never had a holiday handbag, but honestly it should be a staple in everyone's wardrobe! ;o) Don't you think?

In the title of this post it lists this contest as a "Give-Away/Give-Away!" That's because this contest is going to be a little different. You will still be submitting your name for a drawing via a comment below, BUT the lucky winner will have this tote sent to a person of her/his choosing. That's why I say it's a "Give-Away" (from me to you) "Give-Away" (from you to someone of your choosing). When the winner is announced, I will get the address of the intended recipient from the winner and send it directly to that person with a note from the winner! Think of the possibilities -- this tote could be an early Christmas present to a beloved relative or best friend of your choice! (Men - Feel free to enter the contest for a special woman in your life!)

This Give-Away/Give-Away Contest will run until noon on Saturday, November 22nd . By 1pm that day the winner of the contest will be announced.

Here are the specifics of the contest...
  • Make a comment below and your name will be submitted into the contest.
  • Put a shout-out on your blog, by noon Friday, and your name will go in two more times. (Make sure you let me know in a comment that you have posted a shout out.)
  • In your comment, please mention the first name of the person and your relationship to her of the intended recipient should you win the drawing. Also, leave a short message of why you would like this person to win this tote.
  • The recipient of this tote must live in the continental U.S. or Canada. (I will provide postage.)
  • No anonymous comments, please. If you are not a blogging friend or relative that I already know and love, please make sure your name is listed on the comment and that you've left a way for me to contact you (either an email address or the address of your blog). If I don't have any way to contact you, your name will not be eligible.
  • This item is not meant for resale -- only for personal use.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and a joyous Christmas season!

"Christmas Dreams"

Monday, November 17, 2008

Bloomin' Tuesday - "Painted Primrose"

Every once and awhile you come across a perfect stranger with whom you naturally feel an affinity. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. It's happened to us all. You meet and the conversation flows easily enough that it's as if you've known the person for years! There are certain people who not only have the gift of gab, but, more important, the gift of listening. My friend, Sarah, is like that. We see each other about every other year. She's the florist we use for our wedding receptions, but more important she's been a friend from the moment we met. I first met her six years ago when I shuffled into her shop in Niwot, Colorado. She had a little florist/home decor shop right on the main street of Niwot. (Niwot is a little upscale one-block town just outside of Boulder.) I had been looking for a florist for my son's wedding and I happened to look on the wall behind the cash register and there attached to the wall were photos of wedding flowers. Beautiful wedding flowers! I asked if she did weddings. She answered and from there a friendship developed. She's owned her own shops and worked for a variety of florists since that time, but each time one of our children announces an engagement she is the first person I call to reserve a time. I love her work -- she's such an amazing artist! It's marvelous how she takes a theme and develops it with flowers.

All this to let you know that she has once again decided to go off on her own and she has created Painted Primrose. Her storefront will be located in Boulder, Colorado, but Sarah has also created a blog where she will answer questions anyone might have about floral arrangements or wedding flowers, regardless of where you may live. She will also post ideas about wedding flower trends and styles. I would encourage you all to take a look at her blog, post a few comments, and maybe even give her a shout out on your blog. She could be a great resource for many!

My Bloomin' Tuesday post today features a few of the dazzling designs she's made for our weddings. If it looks like there are a lot of different "styles" of floral arrangements in these photos -- there are! These pictures are from four different wedding receptions. Each one unique and with a style to match the bride and groom! Enjoy...

For one of our outdoor receptions I asked Sarah for a wreath to place in our birdbath. Wasn't it a beautiful?

Here are some of the floral arrangements for the tables that she's created -- each one unique...

The buffet tables are always made more beautiful with her touches...

Some sparkling cider in a punch bowl with a luscious floral ring...

Flowers surrounding wedding cakes...

And finally the bridal bouquets...

To see more Bloomin' Tuesday posts, just go to Ms. Green Thumb Jean's!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sold - "It's a Jungle Out There!"

A couple of months ago I made a tote for a Give-Away of this Michael Miller fabric. It's from his Pod Posey collection. I had such a great response that I tried to find more of the fabric after the contest, but I couldn't find it anywhere. The other day I had cause to look for it again and whaaalaaa there it was! Well, I couldn't resist and bought a little more. This one is reserved for someone special, but I may make another one in the near future that I'll put up for sale...

This tote has three complimentary fabrics from the same line. Usually I think that the "jungle" is inside my purse, but in this case the "jungle" is the purse!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thankful Thursday

What surprised me this week?
This one is easy to answer. Someone bought a tote. In fact two someones did. This was a big surprise because since the economic downturn I hadn't sold anything. Don't get me wrong, generally I have kind of a lackadaisical attitude toward selling my ware. I figured if things didn't sell I would just give them away for Christmas presents to those I know and love. However, my inventory was growing to such an extent that I was going to have to give them to relations several times removed and possibly even total strangers, so I was happy to be able to have a couple taken off my hands! ;o)

What moved me or touched me this week?
Gracie and Dani are two of my little friends. They are sisters -- Gracie being the eldest at 6 years and Dani being 4 years. Last night I came upon them entertaining another little friend. They were both hunkered over Brooklyn's car seat babbling tender baby talk to their 6 month old friend. Bent in the middle -- bottoms in the air -- faces inches away from the baby. Their dainty fingers drawing circles on and stroking Brooklyn's chubby little cheeks. I've seen this scenario countless times with my own children, with my grandchildren, and many others. The tenderness of a child is a wonderful thing.

What inspired me this week?
I admire realists who are optimistic. Let me explain...if I can. Sprinkled in amongst the general population are people who have the uncanny ability to see things as they really are, yet they always remain hopeful and upbeat. Someone I know and love is like this. Our family receives an email from him weekly. In these emails he occasionally relates what most would perceive as a discouraging experience. Instead of getting down or discouraged, he seems to have the exceptional ability to look beyond these temporary setbacks and envision the good that can happen in spite the current circumstances. I admire this. This kind of attitude seems to give a person the energy required to make things happen regardless of their circumstance. It's inspiring.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Bloomin' Tuesday

I had to skip last week's Bloomin' Tuesday post. I looked around for anything bloomin' at our house and came up empty handed. It looks as if I've been relegated to "purchased blooms" rather than "planted blooms" if I'm going to participate in Bloomin' Tuesday throughout the Winter. I'm thinking it could be a lot worse. I happen to love a bouquet of posies on my table any time of the year. I just might have to purchase a weekly bouquet to satisfy my desire to participate in this weekly post... The things we do for our blogs! ;o)

Here's my post for this week. I have to admit that this variety of roses is a favorite of mine...especially this time of year! Love the "berries" too. I have no idea what they are, but I've put them in a lot of my bouquets this Fall. Click on the photos to get the full effect of these luscious flowers.

Later in the week when they had opened up...

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

November Give-Away Results...

A big "thank you" goes out to all the participants in my Give-Away contest this month! I appreciated all your kind comments and your enthusiasm. Please check back often to see my new creations and feel free to leave a comment.

This doesn't come as a surprise because of the conditions in this contest, but the two people that won the prizes this month are two of my best commentators so their names were in the "pot" numerous times. Without further fanfare, here are the results...

This month's Hang Up, "Autumn Bouquet", will find a new home at ...Natalie's from "Tins and Treasures."

The "Autumn Bouquet" Dwipe goes to ...
Shannon (yup, my daughter won this one!)

Thanks again to all the participants.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Sold - Sky Blue Hue

Oh ladies, I'm going to cry when this one is adopted. This Hang Up speaks to me. I love the color combination of blue and brown. Then when you throw lime green into the mix, I'm done. I just love these fabrics. These fabrics are from Kitty Yoshida's City Girl line by Bernartex. One word... Yum! Don't we have some incredibly talented people designing fabric these days? Fortunately, I have more of both of these fabrics so I can make myself a Hang Up just like this one, otherwise I wouldn't be able to part with this baby. This tote is made up of three complimentary fabrics. The two floral prints on the outside and a cute paisley fabric from the same line is the lining for this Hang Up.

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.

November Give-Away ... but let's just keep this contest between you and me!

Shhhh... Mums the word. Usually when I have a Give-Away I want the world to know, but not this time. Since this is the November Give-Away and since Thanksgiving is in November, I'm going to have a "Gratitude Give-Away." This time I don't want any of you to publicize the Give-Away on your blogs. I only want those who visit my blog on their own fruition to participate in this one. It's a way for me to say "thank you" for following my blog and leaving such nice comments. Anyone is eligible to comment and be in the drawing -- even if you are a new friend and have never commented before, but lets not spread the news. As an added bonus for those of you who comment occasionally (or regularly), I will go back through the month of October and add your name again to the drawing for every comment you left in the month of October. Yup, some of you will have a chance x 10! ;o)

November's Tote and Dwipe Give-Away Contests will run through midnight on Sunday, November 9th . Monday morning, November 10th, the winners of the contests will be announced.

Here are the rules of the contest:
1) The participants must live in the continental U.S. or Canada. (I will provide the postage.)
2.) Each person that makes a comment below this post will have her name entered in the Give-Away contests. In addition, for each comment written below any October post and written in the month of October, I will add that person's name to the drawing again.
3.) No anonymous comments, please. If you are not a friend or relative that I already know and love, please leave your name and a way for me to contact you (either an email address or the address of your blog). If I don't have any way to contact you, your name will not be eligible.
4.) These items are not meant for resale. Only those intending to use them for their personal use may sign up for this contest.
5.) Important: When you leave a comment below you will be entered in the contest for both the "Autumn Bouquet Dwipe" and the "Autumn Bouquet Tote." If you are only interested in one of the items, please specify the Give-Away you prefer.

Good luck to all and thank you for all your kind and encouraging comments!
Here are the prizes for the November Give-Away...

"Autumn Bouquet Dwipe"
(Diaper & Wipe Tote)


"Autumn Bouquet Tote"

fyi: This contest was first posted on November 1st, but I like to keep it as a "current" post on my blog, so that viewers will see it easily, so I updated the post to make it the first one seen.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Thankful Thursday

What surprised me this week?
This was an easy question to answer. Last Friday morning my husband and I stumbled downstairs and, as we always do, went straight to our computers. Some people drink coffee to rouse themselves in the morning. My husband and I take a few minutes every morning and visit our favorite websites. It's our "gentle" way of waking up. Halfway through the perusal of my favorite blogs, the husband gets up and ambles into the kitchen. The next thing I heard (in an unusually elevated voice) went something like this... "Oh no! Oh no! This isn't good!!!" At this point in the story I will interject that I'm not really a morning person, so I did my very best to ignore his remarks. He could tell I wasn't responding so he said, "Suzanne, you've GOT to come in here." I could tell from the excited tone in his voice that I wasn't going to like what I saw, but I did as I was asked and pointed myself toward the kitchen. What I found was a kitchen in ruins. Water all over the wood floors ... a soaking wet carpet in the dining room ... and wall and floor damage in the finished basement below. The water filter for the ice-maker in our fridge had sprung a substantial leak sometime in the early morning hours and had flooded the joint. Ok, so here's the "what surprised me this week" part. It's covered by insurance! I'm giddy with excitement. We've had disasters before, but they've never been covered by insurance. This one is. I get all my hardwood floors repaired, sanded and refinished. New carpet. New walls. New paint and floorboards. I'm asking you, could it get any better??? It's kind of a mess right now, but I'm just so excited about the prospect of having everything spic and span, refurbished and renovated. Sometimes a shoddily made part can be such a blessing!

What moved me or touched me this week?
Two nights ago I sat and listened as John McCain conceded the election to Barack Obama in the midst of his solemn supporters. Later I watched as President-elect Obama gave his acceptance speech to an exuberant crowd. I was moved by both of those speeches.

What inspired me this week?
Most of my children are politically motivated individuals. We have rousing political discussions around our table when we are together. During this election one particular child has given his resources, time, and efforts to a cause that was, in our opinion, worth fighting for. He has inspired me to become more politically involved -- especially when it pertains to values we hold dear.

Sold - Dot to Dot

I almost froze my hinder parts off taking this photo. There is an arctic wind bearing down on us and let me tell you it's cold outside! I felt the necessity of catching "on film" the last two leaves on our pear tree. Stalwart fellows, they are. It kind of makes you wonder where they get their gumption when all the others have given up and plunged downward. I'm not sure where I'm going to hang my Hang Ups this Winter for photo shoots. Heaven knows my trees have been fabulous backgrounds for all the Hang Ups I've made this Spring, Summer, and Fall!

On to the reason for this post... It felt good to get back to a black and white basic! Love these two lively fabrics. I changed up the pattern a bit on this one. You'll note that I have a wider swath of fabric on the bottom of the tote and a smaller one on the top. Yup, I was feeling daring. There's nothing like a little switch me up to infuse a little enthusiasm into a project! ;o)

Anywho... here is "Dot to Dot." 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 $45 -- which includes shipping to the continental U.S. and Canada. Check out my sidebar to find out how my totes are constructed and how you can purchase one for yourself.

As much as I like to use "outside light" for my photos, I think you might be able to see the tote in this shot better.