Archive for August, 2008

Christmas in August

Gift giving = my weakness

I know that I am terrible, truly horrible at giving gifts.  I am often clueless as to what to give, and more often than not, I am late in giving said gifts.  😦

Goal = give Christmas gifts on time this year

Translation – start sewing for Christmas in August…don’t wait until Thanksgiving weekend! 🙂

Here we have some quilted Christmas cards.  They were really fun to make.  I used the charm pack from Merry and Bright.    A tutorial is here. Linda gave me a set of patchwork cards when I tested one of her patterns. (Did you get the card holders at clearbags?)  I fell in love with them!  I have the pieces ready to go for a bunch of Woodland Bloom cards.  Won’t those be cute?

Other Christmas gifts are in progress as well, and will be shared when possible.  Some won’t be shared since the recipients read my blog. 🙂 Oh – and I guess I should mention – you can get 20% off all Seasonal Fabric on my website if you use the code CHRISTMAS – good until Sept. 8, 2008.

Hope you’re enjoying the long weekend!

PS I got the card stock and cards at Target for about $10! What a great deal. 🙂

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Artsy Area

Before we move out of this house (not like that’s any time soon), I thought I’d show you my personal crafting area.

These are from Ikea. Actually, they were given to us, but the original owners bought them at Ikea. I bought a few additional drawers. My drawers are currently organized – but I’m not always so neat. I didn’t label everything, but you get the idea! MOST of this stuff is MY stuff. A few business items have found a home here as well. It’s all one big area in our house anyway. And hey – when you run a business out of your home, business and personal lines kinda intermingle anyway! I would definitely recommend these to a friend, if you’re looking for something to organize your artsy area. There are SO many options at Ikea to customize it just for you!

And here is my sewing machine. (and the computer for embroidery). This area isn’t always so nice either. I am set up on an old desk. Someday I hope to upgrade. 🙂 And I use the desk space to store more things – so many things! I sew on a Viking. Our local shop has Pfaffs and Vikings. (They have actually added products, but at the time I purchased my machine, they only sold these two brands.) I bought my machine used. When people ask me what they should buy, I always say “The most important thing for me is local support! You want a place that knows your machine and can help you with it – especially if you’re just starting out!”

Currently, this is my problem area. Here we have the ends of bolts, fabric that I have bought just because, fabrics I bought for previous projects, fabrics that have been given to me, fabric fabric fabric. I have hundreds of bolts of fabric. When I start a project, I am not limited to what is in my personal stash. The fact is, I just don’t need to keep a large amount for myself. The problem is, I often want to keep it for myself. So Kim of True Up needs to come over sometime and inspire me to declutter a little bit more. I do plan to put some things on ebay and some on Etsy….maybe some on my website too?!?!?! But when I sort it, I say “Oh – wouldn’t it be fun if….” And then I have a hard time parting ways.

Who else wants to share their artsy area?

Pleasantly

My last two days have been quite pleasant. Nothing terribly exciting, and nothing surprising, but pleasant none-the-less. I could use more of these days in my life!

After dropping off the kids at school on Monday, I had an appointment to get my computer fixed. I’m glad to have her back! Taylor and I enjoyed some time walking around the outdoor mall while they were fixing it. This pretty flower is from one of the water features. It was nice to not have a hurried schedule. We just walked and touched and smelled and enjoyed.  It was nice to be outside and to be together. We had to ride the escalator up and the elevator down about 10 times! Each time, on the way up, Taylor would look up at me and say “This is fun. Isn’t it Mommy?” Yes, my little boy. It was fun!

Then, we got hungry and the computer wasn’t ready yet. So we headed to Chipotle for some crispy chicken tacos. 🙂 I probably don’t need to say it, but this restaurant is one of our favorites, for sure. (Yes, Taylor loves them too!) They happen to share a parking lot with Home Depot. I really need to get working on paint colors and things relating to decorating the house. So we picked up a bunch of painting ideas to peruse and walked back to the car.

Then, today, I was pleased to find this when I pulled up to the house. Yes, that is tons of insulation you see! If you want to talk R-factors and sound barriers and technical things like that – you’ll need to contact my husband. 😉 Everything is cleared up with the city. We officially have a reading nook. SO we are finally able to move forward again! I guess that’s a little bit exciting. 🙂 It will all be done tomorrow and they will start sheet-rock on Thursday. (Rachelle, is that the 100th time you’ve heard this news?!?!)

The kids finally got their pictures taken. I’ll share them ASAP! Let’s call these birthday/school year (and maybe Christmas?!?!?) pictures. They turned out very well – especially compared to the last fiasco when we tried to get pictures done. I’m too tired to share about all of that right now! Needless to say, the poor girls at JcPenny’s have their work cut out for them when Taylor walks through the door.   🙂 He did great today though! Someday I want to book a session with a real photographer. I hope to make it up to my parents again before Stephanie has to move, because I would LOVE to have a family session with her. So please stay there longer, ok?!?!

Alright – I’ve officially hit the “ramble” stage on my blog post -or maybe I started out there- anyway, I gotta get some sleep!  See you again soon.

Better Late than Never?

I seriously was planning to post on Friday. I have to, right? It’s my Finished Friday’s deal. 🙂 Sadly, I must report that my computer is acting a bit odd – so it has really limited my computer time – and therefore, my blog time. Sorry! Now this has thrown me completely off schedule!

This fun blanket was made using Amy Butler fabric and ChicMink dots. The minkee is just delightful for the finished product – especially for a baby gift!!!

So here is a little question for you. Have you ever dealt with a child that bites? My little guy was recently bitten – thankfully it didn’t break the skin. His cheek (yep – the little boy bit him on his face) was very bruised. He has never bit before – but after this incident he has bitten his sister 3 times now. 😦 Tips would be appreciated! I have never dealt with a bitting problem before. (By the way – if my tenses on the word bite are all messed up – sorry! I certainly was not an English major in college!)

Have a great week!

On my mind

A fun website, if you haven’t already heard, is Wordle. A lot has been on my mind lately – and while I’ve attempted to write several times – nothing comes together. So I thought a word cloud would be appropriate.

Make one of your own by going to http://wordle.net/ See you tomorrow!

House Stats

Quick version

Bedrooms – 4
Bathrooms – 2.5
Loft – 1
Den – 1
Garage – huge
Current Progress – none due to a technicality with the city. Hopefully that will be taken care of today. And to think – I said things were moving along nicely. Guess I didn’t knock on any of this wood as I said that!!!!

Long Version:

Yes, we are building it. No, we are not out there with hammers and nails, but we don’t have a builder and we are not buying a house that is being built in a planned community. This is huge for my husband. I can understand. He is the one putting in hours and hours of work. There are a lot of people that buy a house that is being built, and he gets really annoyed when they say “We’re building a house.” He wants to ask questions like, “So what was your lumber bid? Who are you using for insulation?” He is generally well behaved, however, and doesn’t point out the differences.

So what do we do ourselves? Well, we’re smart enough to use professionals when professionals should be used. That is why we have hired people to do the important work. Plus, if we tried to do it all ourselves – it would take FOREVER – and we’d kinda like to live in the house.  There is really so much stuff, it’s hard to give you an accurate idea.  In addition to my hubby getting all the bids and workers arranged (and dealing with engineers, city planners, etc) , we will also do the “make it look pretty” work ourselves. That means painting, flooring, closets, etc. All the finishing work. It also means we get to do fun things, like spend 3 hours in the hot hot sun, peeling stickers off all the windows and cleaning them so the sticky stuff doesn’t bake on. ( And better news yet, we’ll get to do it again after the house is painted and we want the windows to be ‘for real’ clean. 🙂 ) Hubby has already had his share of construction projects – the most recent of which include installing our tankless water heater, wiring for surround sound, etc.   It’s kinda fun, because we get to pick out EVERYTHING – and that kinda makes it a little overwhelming at times as well.  Why do we do all of this ourselves?  So we can afford the mortgage.

How did we decide what house to build? Well, we had always planned to build this house. We had plans made up for this lot to take advantage of the ‘positives’ and to minimize the ‘negatives’. A little curve ball was thrown at us, however, when the market plummeted. Should we build the bigger house we had planned, build a smaller house, should we not build at all, etc. etc.? Well, to help make the decision, we got several bids on major work for 3 houses. This one, the one we build last time and one that a friend thought might fit our family well.

Our last house was one story – which I liked. The layout of the house was not ideal for our family, but being familiar with the floor plan, we had some changes in mind that could have helped. It would have fit onto the lot but the backyard would have been very small. Small yards are quite common here in Tucson, so many people wouldn’t have even noticed. This is a picture of our last house. It was a nice home and we learned a lot while we built it! Of course, had we decided to do this floor plan, we could have fixed our mistakes. Only to make new ones, I’m sure!

The other two story didn’t make it far into a process. It was similar in a lot of ways to the one that we are building, but the plans were over a decade old. This means we’d have to update all of the codes and probably get them re-engineered. After getting back a few bids, we felt that it was a good idea to take it out of the running since we already had current plans that were similar, up to code, and engineered!

The house we are building is obviously a two story. The lot is a ‘typical city lot’, so the size of the backyard was a concern, especially since we have 3 young children. As bids were returned to us, we found that building “up” was cheaper than building “out.” So this house isn’t costing much more than our one story smaller house would have cost to build, and it is quite a bit bigger! Plus it has a smaller “footprint” than the one story house – which means a bigger backyard!

I see that I have practically written a novel as it is. So as time goes on, and we work on all the pretty stuff for each area of the house, I’ll take pictures and post them here. The quick stats: 4 bedrooms and a loft upstairs, a den downstairs.  The garage is 3 car – and is much bigger in life than it looked on paper.   We shouldn’t out-grow this house any time soon. We did things like add a porch to take advantage of the mountain views, add a little patio off of the master bedroom, etc. It’s very customized and should be great for us!

Have a great one!

Finally Friday

The week has gone by so quickly! It’s already Friday!!!!! 🙂 I have the winners of my little contest – but first, I’ll show you another finished Friday’s project.

This fabric has only been sitting in my drawer for about a year. 🙂 That’s not too long, right? Anyway, remember when I got the 99 cent patterns? Well, the plan was to make a dress from this fabric – and now it’s finished!!! It’s just as cute as I had hoped!!!! The above picture is me trying to be a little artistic. he he 😉 Here is a picture of it in full color! Haley loves it too. She wore it today to the open house at preschool. (She starts school on Monday.) We followed the pattern pretty closely. The only thing we really changed was the buttons. It had the button holes on the straps and the buttons on the jumper. In order to adjust it as she grows, we switched it around!

Let’s talk about the goodies. After much consideration – CREATIVE CUSTOMERS is the winner!!! Good thing too, Esther, because the random drawing didn’t go your way. 🙂 I’ll email you about the gift certificate to my store!!! And the random winners are April and Danielle. I’ll email both of you too!

Another busy weekend ahead of us – lots of projects to finish while Mom is still around. 🙂 And I suppose some of you might like a house update…so I’ll see you all next week!


Hi! I love fabric, I adore my family and I seem to think my life is pretty dang fun! So welcome to my blog. Enjoy your stay and visit often!

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