Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Thankful Thursday

What surprised me this week?
As some of you know, on Monday I had a foot operation. Throughout my life as I have had contact with medical professionals, I have come to the conclusion that these groups of people are a rare breed. Generally speaking -- they are so very kind and nurturing. The experience I had with the doctors and nurses that helped me on Monday was no exception to this rule. I truly appreciate the kindness and professional care I received before, during, and after my operation. I am always pleasantly surprised by the consideration and care of strangers.

What moved me this week?
Today my husband and I celebrate our 32nd wedding anniversary. I don't know where those years went. We still feel as if we are just "starting out." The last few days I've watched my husband as he has juggled work, housework, and me. He's been my go-to man when I've needed anything, because I have to stay off my foot for a time. I think there are many qualities that make a happy marriage, but I imagine service to one another is probably at the top of the list. I so appreciate the service he has performed for me with a smile on his face and a tender touch over the years. Even after 32 years, he still moves me.

What inspired me this week?
This week has been difficult for me, but it has been made so much easier by the good deeds I've experienced. From the doctors and nurses at the hospital, to my husband, children, friends and blogging friends who have all shown me compassion. I have appreciated phone calls, visits, notes, little gifts and tender loving care. Each of these instances inspires me to do better and serve others when they are in need.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Bloomin' Tuesday

Several weeks ago I mentioned that when we received all the photos taken at our daughter's wedding reception, I would post some photos of the flowers for Bloomin' Tuesday. As promised, here is a sampling of the photos taken by Angie Wilson Photography. The flowers were arranged by the very talented Sarah at Painted Primrose in Boulder. She's amazing, as you can see...

In the photo above -- top right hand corner -- is a side view of two of the layers of the wedding cake!

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

Monday, September 28, 2009

Laying low..

I'm a bit under the weather. A little more "unavailable" than usual. Flat out on the couch. Suffice it to say I had a little operation on my foot, so I'm laying low for awhile. I'm good though. I've got my pain pills within reach and my husband at my beck and call. And I do. Beck and call -- often. (Bless that man.)

I'm hoping within no time to be back at my sewing machine creating. In the meantime I've surrounded myself with a few projects that require little movement, like these scrabble tile pendant necklaces. Can't wait to make a few of them. Go here for a tutorial...

I've also got some luscious yarns in my bag.
I hope to make some wintry scarves...

Plus, I'll be having a give-away come the end of the week!
All in all it's not a bad gig...

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday's Fabulous Finds

The more I peruse Etsy, the more I realize what an incredible site it is for designers of all kinds. Here is my list for this week...

Top row, L to R:Middle row, L to R:
Bottom row, L to R:

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I've had a sew-a-thon going on at my house. I don't know if I've ever cranked out as many projects within a two day period. I got all seven of the Trick-or-Treat bags finished for my grandkiddos and two more to boot. They turned out really cute. Some of the fabric I bought at and the rest at Walmart. I usually don't purchase fabric at Walmart. The saying "you get what you pay for" seems to apply particularly well in the fabric department at Walmart. I never use their less-expensive fabric on my other totes. However, I decided since these Halloween bags will only be used once a year it would be foolish to buy an expensive fabric when a less expensive one will do. Plus they had a great selection of Halloween fabric and, did I mention, it was $2.44/yard? Yes, that was a determining factor as well. These little totes are fully lined and interfaced with fusible fleece. I might put some in my Etsy later this week. Anyway, here is a sampling of some of the Trick-or-Treat bags I created...

Notice the lining on the one below -- it cracks me up...

Monday, September 21, 2009


This morning I mentioned I was in a creative mood. I bought some Halloween fabric last week with the hope of making a little something for our grandchildren for Halloween. I decided to make little trick-or-treat bags that they could use year after year -- at least while they are small and need only a little tote (rather than a pillowcase). I drew up a pattern and hoped for the best. Generally, there is a lot of tweaking when I come up with a new pattern. It rarely works the first time. This time the original pattern worked like a charm...

Because this was a first attempt with this pattern and I anticipated having to change it, I didn't really consider my fabric choices very carefully. Honestly, I thought this little bag would make it about as far as the trash. If I'd known the pattern would work the first time, I wouldn't have put black on black fabric. Next time I'll do better with fabric selection. Still, it turned out pretty cute...

Don't know if I'll end up selling any of these. I'll see if I'm up to it after making one for each of the grandkids!

Bag measures about 8"W x 9"H x 4"D with 14" straps.

Give a Hoot

I'm in the process of creating. Nothing extraordinary, but fun all the same. Not sure how they are going to turn out, but that's half the fun. Here's a preview of the fabric I'll be using on my

"Give a Hoot" Trick-or-Treat Bags
for the grandkids...

Friday, September 18, 2009

"Loose Leaf"

I love everything about autumn -- the leaves turning colors, a sudden nip in the air, eager children going back to school, windows flung wide open, and a little more time to start and finish projects. It's a splendid time to hole myself up in my bedroom sewing room and listen to the hummm of my machine. There's something comforting and restoring in that creative time for me.

Last week I mentioned that I would be making three "sister" totes from four fabrics I had purchased. Most were from the fall-inspired fabric line called "Arcadia" by Sanae for Moda. I'm here to introduce the second tote in that trio...

I've christened this tote "Loose Leaf." The name "Loose Leaf" reminds me of school supplies -- loose leaf binders. This tote, however, gives that short phrase new meaning! Once again, the button makes me a little giddy...

I'll give you a better look at that voluptuous button so that you, too, can fall in love...

Here's the duo. Two totes with similar fabrics. Two very distinctive looks. Definitely not twins, but clearly sisters...

Just curious. Do you have a favorite?
Is it "Loose Leaf" (on the left) or "Fall Fever" (on the right)?
Next week I'll create the third sister.

Friday's Fabulous Finds

Cupcake Mania -- and not a one is edible! I've been doing a little baking myself lately, so Etsy found me looking for "cupcakes" this week. Here are my deliciously delectable Etsy discoveries...

Clockwise from top left corner:

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thankful Thursday

What surprised me this week?
We've all heard the phrase "timing is everything." That expression has been driven home to me these last few months. In the months of June, July and August I sold only two items from my Etsy shop. That seemed a little strange because the two months preceding June, I sold 26 items. You'd think come summer I would have been a little upset over this turn of events, but I was so relieved. You see, I really didn't have the time to devote to my Etsy shop this summer, because I was so busy with a variety of family obligations. The phrase "timing is everything" crossed my mind occasionally during that time, because I was so appreciative that my shop seemed on a customer-imposed hiatus! It wasn't until last week, that I got the bug to start sewing again, thus building my Etsy shop up a bit. Coincidentally, I've sold three items in the last two days. A surprising turn of events. Again the phrase "timing is everything" is playing on my mind. I'm very grateful.

What inspired me this week?
My mom often inspires me. She's quite a lady. Everyone who knows her says so. She's 86 years old and has the stamina and enthusiasm of someone 60 years younger -- seriously. Lately she says that she can feel herself slowing down. That makes me chuckle. I might be able to keep up with her now. This week she took one of her lady friends, and they drove up to San Francisco for a few days. They had a great time walking up and down the streets, shopping and eating at a few of the charming restaurants there. One night there was a fire-drill at the hotel she was staying at. She and her friend were on the top floor. They had to walk down 14 flights of stairs to get to the ground level and outside. She didn't even complain. She inspires me with her vitality and energy!

What moved me this week?
I was moved today as I watched my husband go out the door for his latest flying adventure. When he was 18 years old he started the necessary classes to gain a pilots license. He acquired enough hours at that time to solo, but in spite of his desire to do so, he was never able to finish the hours required to obtain his license. College, work, seven children and a demanding wife booted that aspiration right out the window for a good long time. Recently he has started flying again. Today he went on his first cross-country. To say that he was excited at the prospect and buoyant when he returned home is an understatement. What moved me was the thought that he is finally able to fulfill his life-long dream -- especially since he has always supported and encouraged so well the dreams and desires of his loved ones.

Results of September's Tote Give-Away...

I agree with the woman to the left... Life's little ups and downs seem trivial when you're holding a matching handbag! Thanks to all those who signed up for the give-away this month and thank you, especially, for your kind comments. Comments are always appreciated. Feel free to check back often...

Without further ado, this month's give-away,
"Chocolate Covered Raspberries,"
goes to...


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

"Fall Fever"

There's been a lot of talk about fevers this fall. Generally speaking I think we are all trying to avoid getting one. However, this fever might be the exception. I'm hoping that "Fall Fever" is one fever you'd like to acquire!

I told you about these fabrics last week. The orange leafed fabric on top is from a line called "Arcadia" by Sanae for Moda.

The fabric on the bottom of the tote is a Valori Wells creation from her "Deh Li" line. I adore them separately, but together -- ooh-la-la. Together they make me start spouting French.

What do you think of this real coconut shell button? Me? Do I like it? Thank you for asking. I am in love with it. If I wasn't already married, I would marry it. That's why I have taken approximately 756 photos of this bag each one with the button as the main focus... (I'm so transparent.)

This is the first of three bags I'm making with coordinating fabric. It will be fun to see how similar -- or different -- these bags will be with just a few minor changes in fabrics.

I think this new pattern will be a successful one as "Turquoise Tantrum" has already been bought and flown the coop. She's on her way to a new home in Ireland. (I should be so lucky.) I think she'll enjoy living there.

Fall Fever will be in my Etsy shop later today...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Bloomin' Tuesday

Fall is definitely in the air and all my flowers are feeling the effects of cooler nights and my neglect. Honestly, it has been wonderful these last couple of weeks not worrying about the yard quite so much. We obsessed over it all summer long -- trying to keep it in tip-top condition for the wedding reception. It feels great to let nature take its course and not work quite so hard!

This week I'm featuring some roses. I'm grateful for their hearty constitutions in the face of impending cooler weather...

I'm afraid that the last few weeks my poor herbs have been totally ignored. They've started to bloom and will go to seed soon. In the meantime I'm enjoying the beautiful, dainty little flowers of my cilantro and basil...

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

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Advice needed...

I've been inspired. Lately, I've visited some blogs that demonstrate how to refurbish or refinish different items. Yesterday The Shabby Nest hosted a Frugal Friday Linky Party that showcased a variety of frugal decorating goodness. Some very talented ladies showed what they have created out of used and abused items.

Yesterday afternoon I found myself at the flea market. Usually, when I go to the flea market I just browse. Rarely do I find anything I "need." There are only a few items that generally catch my eye at a flea market... dishware, linens and chairs are at the top of that short list. I have a thing for older wooden chairs. I appreciate the workmanship that is often found on an older chair. They often have more style than their newer counterparts. Anyway, as much as I like to look at these chairs I've never been tempted to buy -- until yesterday when this one beckoned me...

I was drawn to it because of its boxy appeal and wooden detail ...

and the fact that it was $39. I wasn't, however, crazy about its raspberry colored upholstery (yikes) or the sunken seat.

The arms are very worn at the hand rest, which makes me think this was a well-loved chair at one time...

Anyway, this is where you come in -- I need some advice. I've never refinished or reupholstered anything. I was thinking of painting the wood black and then reupholstering the seat and back. I'll also need to add more padding to the seat of the chair. When I read about experiences where people have refurbished an item, they generally use spray paint to cover the wood, so I'm thinking that's what I'll do. What do you think of my painting it black? Any advice? Any suggestions? Any opinions? Any recommendations? I'm obviously in over my head... and excited!

Friday, September 11, 2009

4 fabrics ... 3 totes

Today I visited one of my favorite fabric stores. I do a lot of my fabric shopping on the web, but there is nothing better than seeing and touching the fabric in person. It can make all the difference in visualizing the finished product. I really like the ladies at this particular shop. They seem to get as excited as I do about the fabrics I choose.

Today I came away with four fabrics. Three came from a line called "Arcadia" by Sanae for Moda. The fourth is a Valori Wells creation (top left) from her "Deh Li" line. I adore all four of these beautiful fabrics and was having a terrible time trying to figure out which two I should use for a new tote, so I decided to buy all four fabrics and make three different totes using a different variety of fabrics and pattern each time. I agree that sometimes less is more, but in this case more is more. Don't you agree?