Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Thankful Thursday

What moved me this week?
What inspired me this week?
I've been thinking about my mother lately. You see, we had our daughter and her family visiting this week and when they left a few days ago I thought of something my mother always said after my family visited her and my dad. She would call me a couple of days after our departure and mention how much she missed us, then she would chuckle and say, "The first few minutes after you left I gave a little sigh of relief, then after I caught my breath I started to miss you all over again." I never took offense to the first part of that thought -- if anyone knew "tired", it was me back then.

I think most of you know that my husband and I have seven children. The eldest one was 10 years old when I had the youngest, so they are very close in age -- stair steps to be precise. (That's a picture of our fam back in '96.) ...Back to my mother's comment. When my daughter and her little family of three left the other day, I realized I was a little spent from all the fun we had, but 10 minutes later I was sucking up tears missing that little family terribly. That's when I remembered my mother's comments. What moved me was the realization that years ago when our young family would go to my parent's home for a visit, it wasn't just three people coming for a spell, but NINE. Our visits must have seemed overwhelming to my parents, but they never let on. At the time I was used to our large family, but to my parents having that many show up for a little "R & R" must have been a bit staggering. Instead of acting overwhelmed they always showed us a wonderful time taking us on family outings that we probably wouldn't have been able to afford on our own and showering us all with attention and love. I know Mother's Day is a couple of weeks off, but I just thought I would tip my hat to my mother for all she's done for our family over the years. She truly is a wonder and she moves me with her thoughtfulness, and her generous spirit is an inspiration to our whole family.

What surprised me this week?
One of the most amazing parts of being a mother or grandmother is watching your offspring explore and experience new things. This week we took our visiting grandson to a butterfly pavilion. This "tropical rainforest" is home to more than 1200 live butterflies. They fly freely in this enclosure occasionally landing on an unsuspecting soul. It's a sight to behold -- especially when seen through the eyes of an 18 month old. Take a look at these expressions...
It's an incredible thing to watch a child see something for the first time and experience such awe and amazement. Their feelings are so pure and unadulterated. An experience that we adults take as somewhat familiar can surprise and delight us even more when we see the event through the eyes of a child.

"Blushabye Baby!"

Last week was a busy one. We had our daughter, her husband and our 18 month old grandson here for a visit. They left this morning and immediately things were way too quiet, so I decided to make a little noise with my sewing machine and whip up a Hang Up. I was in a wild and crazy mood (yup, this is as crazy as it gets around here), so I rearranged my tote pattern a bit. Let me explain... I've been inspired lately by blogs that focus on quilting. Take a look at this post. ...So now you understand my adoration. Spectacular, aren't they? I could make a list of at least 100 blogs that feature beautiful quilts because I've been admiring them all. All this creativity has begun to wear off on me. Not enough that I would actually start a quilt. I'm much too much of a 3-hour-project-type girl for that, but today I did decide to redesign my tote pattern a bit to pay homage to those quilting ladies that I so admire. This tote is my version of a pieced patchwork!

I decided to use Sandi Henderson's fabric line called, Ginger Blossom, for this creation. This line, designed for Michael Miller fabrics, is a delightful combination of florals, geometric tiles and dots. Predominate colors are clear hues of blush pink, avocado green and Caribbean blue. I chose the "blush pink" hues for this beauty. It lives up to its name. I'm blushing already -- ergo its name "Blushabye Baby!" (Sometimes the names I give my totes even impress me! Geesh -- that's a cute one!) Anyway, I enjoyed making it...

I was happy the way this Hang Up turned out, but making it didn't take away the fact that I miss my grandbaby. I think you'll agree that this ol' tote doesn't even come close to his cuteness. Talk about an adorable blushing baby...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Bloomin' Tuesday

It's Bloomin' Tuesday in Colorado! Spring is finally showing her colors and she has a few blossoms to show off. I have a little flower garden by my front door made up of perennials and a few annuals. Toward the end of April I plant some annuals for color throughout the summer, but my favorite time for that little space is the first few weeks of spring as the perennials begin to take hold and strut their stuff. Here is a sampling of that area as it looks now. Just click on the photo to enlarge it!

For more Bloomin' Tuesday posts, go to Ms. Green Thumb Jean's.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"Springtime in Paris"

Never having been in Paris in the spring, or any other time, I can only assume Paris lives up to its reputation. Someday I'd like to see for myself if Paris is all it's cracked up to be. My suspicion is that it is a sight to behold, but for the time being I'll just have to dream... Ok, I'm back. I was dreaming. This Hang Up can do that to you. You'll take a gander at those little Eiffel Towers and you will be transported to the recesses of your mind. Not such a bad place to be -- on recess, that is -- especially if it's in Paris. Anyway, I thought the name of this tote "Springtime in Paris" was an apt description.

This line of fabric by Paula Prass, called Flights of Fancy, is one of my favorites -- ever. That's quite a compliment. I just love it. Love the feelings it evokes. Love the colors and design combination. And, of course, I love those little Eiffel Towers. Ooh-la-la.

Mother's Day Gift Idea...

I love the sentiment behind Mother's Day. The other day my hubs and I were shopping and we found the perfect Mother's Day Gifts for our mothers. Several months ago I bought this little beauty for myself. I found it at one of my favorite stores, Crate and Barrel. It's called the "Lucy Vase." It's petite size is perfect to be used as a bud vase. Delicate, embossed vines climb the side of this creamy, white ceramic vase. I just love it and have used it with a splash of greenery or a budding blossom since I purchased it. Both of our mothers have flower gardens and often bring in little snippits of blossoms from their gardens to display. With summer coming it would be perfect to use as a little vase for one of those garden flowers. But wait, there's more goodness...

I'm a little hesitant to reveal just how much this beauty costs, er you think me a big cheapskate. Trust me when I say that our mothers are worth a lot more than this, but I know that they will love and use this little vase as much as I have. Truth is... it costs $5.95! You heard me right. It's the thought that counts, right? I'm hoping that's the case. But wait, the goodness continues...

When you purchase an item at Crate and Barrel, they will package it in a sturdy mailable box with gobs of paper padding -- free of charge. You heard me right. When you check out just let them know that you intend to ship it and they will make that little vase as snug as a bug! (They also ship for a reasonable price, so you could order online.)

Anyway, I just thought I'd pass on this great idea. I think it's a beautiful Mother's Day gift -- not because it's inexpensive or easy to mail, but because it is beautiful and every time your mother looks at it she will remember she is loved!

Ahem... it just occurred to me that I should suggest that totes are nice gifts for Mother's Day presents as well.... (nothing like shooting yourself in the foot!) ;o)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Bloomin' Tuesday

Spring has finally arrived at the foot of the Rocky Mountains! This last weekend the forecast was for 16 inches of snow in our hometown. Fortunately, spring snowstorms in Colorado are notoriously difficult to predict and we ended up getting just a smattering of snow and three days of rain. Yippee. That rain and the 70 degree weather they are predicting this week should green things up nicely!

Today I am featuring tulips for my Bloomin' Tuesday post. Our neighbor's garden across the street puts on quite a show in the springtime. They have planted hundreds of tulips in their front yard and those of us who live close by are the lucky recipients of their hard work. Here's a sampling of the beauty...

And just to keep things interesting they have thrown a few daffodils into the mix...

To enjoy more Bloomin' Tuesday posts, hike on over to Ms. Green Thumb Jean's and have yourself an eyeful!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

"In Stitches"...

A couple of days ago the blog, "In Stitches", published a post asking for readers to send them photos of projects they were working on. "In Stitches" is the blog for The Quilt Shoppe, an online fabric store. I enjoy frequenting this blog because it is both educational and fun. In Stitches' posts often feature fabric lines being introduced, creative and new patterns available, and customer's creations. As I said in this particular post, "What are you working on?", they asked their readers to send them photos and a synopsis of projects that they were currently creating. I sent off a few photos of mine and shortly thereafter, my totes (and many more wonderful ideas) were featured on their site. I imagine in the coming days more creations will be shared, so you might want to check back often in the next few days for more ideas...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Bits 'n Pieces...

Occasionally I have potential customers contact me wondering if I take "special" orders. Most often they have seen a tote that they would love to have that has been sold, so they contact me to see if I can make another. I usually can't oblige because my totes are generally one-of-a-kind. I usually buy only enough fabric for one tote. I love the idea of selling unique, one-of-a-kind, items. However, last week a blogging friend contacted me. She had bought a tote last December and had given it away, and she wondered if I could make another just like it. Fortunately, this time I did have enough fabric to make another. Thus "Black Out" was fashioned. If you were caught in a real black out with this Hang Up at least you could be consoled by the fabric of this beautiful bag! I love the black and silvery gray fabric found on this tote. It's from the "Bubbles and Blooms Collection" by Beverlyann Stillwell for Lyndhurst Studio -- a division of Northcott Fabrics. This is a beautiful, classic Hang Up. Thank you and enjoy, Ann!

I received a few photos of our other two granddaughters, Avery and Berkley, with their Easter Cupcake Totes. We are fortunate enough to have three granddaughters and three grandsons (and one grandson on the way due the end of July). Yup, we're blessed! Never mind the Cupcakes -- just take a look at these sweethearts...

Friday, April 17, 2009

"Ma Belle"

Yesterday I had a few hours to build this beauty. This Hang Up is made from fabric in Amy Butler's line, "Belle." I love Amy Butler fabrics. They are absolutely beautiful in their rich design and use of color. I have found, however, that they can at times be a challenge to work with. Sometimes, within the same line there are "inconsistencies" in color. I don't think this bothers the flamboyantly creative person, but it has, occasionally, been a challenge for me. Having said that, she is an incredibly creative, fresh designer and continues to be one of my favorites. I especially love the muted moss green and bright turquoise colors in these designs.

I named this tote "Ma Belle", which means "My Pretty" or "My Pretty One" in French. I think it deserves a French name. I feel like spouting French when I look at it. It would be helpful if I knew how to speak French, but that's beside the point.

This little beauty will be found in my Etsy later today.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


It's been a busy, fun-filled week. My youngest daughter came home from college a week ago for Spring Break and left this morning. Her time home flew by with Easter Sunday, successful shopping trips, pedicures, and meals out. We had a great time and, needless to say, I didn't get much more than those delectable things done, however, I was able to bake a few cupcakes which currently reside in my Etsy...

Today I've been working on a tote (seriously gorgeous) made from fabric in Amy Butler's line, "Belle." Be still my heart. It's fabulous and I'll post a photo of that creation tomorrow. Sometimes I just want to hug these incredible fabric designers.

I think I mentioned that I sent Cupcake Totes to our granddaughters for Easter. I received a few photos of Zoey this last weekend with her tote. Check out those long, thick eyelashes. I know ladies that pay big money for lashes like those. She doesn't even have to get close when she gives me butterfly kisses! I have scrawny little eyelashes, so I'm fairly certain she didn't get them from my side of the family.

Here she is in her serious, contemplative modeling pose. I think she's plotting out the shopping spree that she's going to take with the wad of money burning a hole in her purse. At least that's what I'd be doing if I was her, and even though she doesn't have my eyelashes, she does take after me in other areas. ;o)

A Confession...

It's a hard thing to admit. I can be so impetuous. I should learn to exercise more patience, but he kept teasing me with his cheeky little grin. I tried to mind my own business. I told myself he'd go away if I just ignored him, but he wouldn't let up. It got ugly. Finally, I let him have it, but I'm not proud of my bad behavior. Nobody deserves to have his head bit off...

...especially when, inherently, he's so sweet!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Bloomin' Tuesday

A month ago when I was in Tennessee, a couple of the grandkids and I planted some beautiful posies in two containers that reside by their front door. The little ones were instructed as to how to water them daily. I don't know if they have been the ones doing the watering, but their mommy took some photos of the flowers a day ago and they are thriving. Beautiful gerbera daisies, colorful pansies, purple daisies and more! Enjoy...

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

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Wishes...

Here's the Easter Bunny singing you a little tune:

"Haaaappy Eeeeasterrrr tooooo youuuuuu..."

(Have a great one!)

Friday, April 10, 2009

We Have a Winner...

A little teaser... Above is the fabric from the sweet little Hang Up that will be heading to a new home later this week. Before I announce the winner, I would like to say "thank you" to all those who participated in this month's Give-Away. Your kind comments and enthusiasm were sincerely 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 Etsy shop by advertising for me in this way. Please check back often to see my new creations and feel free to leave a comment.

Now for an appeal. Feel free to purchase one of my totes. No, really. There's no need to be shy (or fiscally conservative). Forget what Susie Orman said on Oprah the other day. Spend away... at least where my Etsy is concerned. Alrighty then, I think we're ready.

Ahem... dadadadaaaaa
(I love dramatics, don't you?)

Yes, "Christylou" is our winner this month.
"First Love" will be wending its way to her home later this week.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Thankful Thursday

What inspired me this week?
A few posts back I mentioned that I'm helping with a Family History Fair that our church is sponsoring for members of the community this weekend. These types of large community events occasionally take on the air of a Steven Spielberg production. Lots of time and energy is expended by many to ensure they are enjoyable, entertaining and educational. A month or so ago I asked several individuals if they might help by overseeing a display table or creating some art for a wall exhibit. Several of the people I asked are young mothers with full, fast-paced lives. They accepted these responsibilities willingly and enthusiastically. I appreciate and am inspired by the selflessness of others.

What surprised me this week?
I've heard it said that computers and/or the internet have the potential to isolate people from the world. The argument is if a person is on the computer they cannot be interacting with or relating to others, thereby shorting themselves of lasting relationships. I suppose that to be true in some ways, but I know my world has enlarged since I began my blog. I love reading about the lives, interests and talents of others, and I'm grateful to be a small part of your varied, energetic and creative lives. I appreciate the feeling of rapport and camaraderie that blogging elicits. I delight in the positive remarks of those who make comments -- both on my posts and others. Often I'm surprised by the kindness and compassion of others. This generosity of spirit is so amazing and it is given freely and abundantly in the blogging world. This week I've been the recipient of many, many kind comments. I'm appreciative of these interactions and your encouragement.

What moved me this week?
This morning my blogging friend, Rosie, wrote a post about "Perfection." She mentioned that everyone has their own definition of the word “perfect” as it applies to his/her life. It was a thought provoking post, and I've reflected on it a lot today. After sharing her thoughts, she asked the question, "What kind of perfection makes up your life?" After a little consideration that question made me realize that I am living a life of (my definition of) "perfection." This, of course, doesn't mean that I don't have challenges or that my life would satisfy everyone's idea of perfection, but I am living the life that I would choose for myself if I had a myriad of options at my fingertips. It's a wonderful thing to be content and happy. This thought moved me and filled me with gratitude!