Archive for February, 2009

What to do with the front room?

Technically, the front room in our house is supposed to be a formal living room. In reality, the front room has become the location of sewing parties. (BTW, if you are in Tucson, we’re getting together Monday night this month due to other obligations.)

My husband desperately wants it to be a game room with a pool table. I’m not so keen on the idea….until I found these awesome pool tables that have a wooden table top – so it turns into a regular table. Perfect for the sewing parties!!!!

I also want to have floor to ceiling curtains that go over the sliding glass doors, roman shade on the small windows, an awesome fireplace, family photos and more. Have ideas for me? Wanna help?


Spiced up with Trim

I wish there were a way to make a bunch of website related tasks exciting – then I’d never run out of blogging material. 🙂 I just can’t figure out a way to make php, css, html, modules, templates etc. exciting! And I’ve been doing a lot of editing on my website…pretty boring. Oh! I know – you should see this photo I posted on Flickr the other day…and believe it or not, it has does have to do with some of my website editing!

This is an apron I made to go to the auction at the preschool. (I hope they like aprons! BTW, the view is me looking down at my leg, incase the photo is confusing.) I have other things that go with this apron, but I don’t have photos, and yada yada yada….you get a picture of the apron for now.

So, do you see the row of cute pink trim above the ruffle? That is Michael Miller’s Ruffle Rac. It is awesome!!!!! Such an easy way to spice up your creations – or even “ready made” items. (Was anyone else in 4-H? Remember the ‘ready made’ category? LOL Basically you had to be good at shopping! Now that was something my sister and I excelled at. 😮 I digress… )

Well, the problem before was that my shipping was a per item table. So 6 yds of ruffle rac would cost the same as 6 yds of fabric for shipping. You and I both know that is not right! So I had listed the ruffle rac in 3 yard pieces to try to make up the difference – but sometimes, as was the case with this apron, you just need 1 yard of ruffle rac – not 3 or 6 or 9 yds. *sigh* Well, now….I changed my shipping to a per weight table. So 1 yd of ruffle rac is only 1 ounce and can easily be added to your order without making the whole shipping amount all wacky. 🙂

You can see the new shipping tables here if you’re interested. I am sure it will not be perfect, but I do hope it will make shipping a bit more accurate! For both of us. And all it took were some changes to a few cascading style sheets, hypertext processors and some new hypertext markup language. HA! (Of course, if it turns out to make things worse, I’ll have to edit them all back….so let’s just hope it is better. I have been known to delete my whole website when messing with these things! he he)

Cowboys, Paint Aprons and Free Shipping

The Tucson Rodeo is a big deal around here. Haley’s preschool even has a hoe down. 😉 The kids all sing and then we do some square dancing. Really quite fun and very cute. Haley borrowed a pair of boots and already had the perfect bandana shirt. Cute cute cute!

Today I made up these simple aprons for an auction at the preschool. They’ll go into a couple baskets with some art supplies. The new Michael Miller fabric is adorable! And guess what? For a limited time, I even have a code for free shipping in the US on orders over $25! Type SPRING in the discount coupon when you check out. (International buyers, use SPRING 2 to save $5 off your shipping costs too.) Visit my website to find the cute messy hands fabric and more! 😮

Reviews: Coraline and The Shack


Okay – I was excited about going to see this movie. Why? First – the artistry of the handmade stop motion movie. Second: it was part of a girl’s day out. Love ’em! So my official review – and please keep in mind that I am not a movie expert. Just an ordinary person. 🙂

Rating: B

The movie is about Coraline, a little girl who has moved with her parents into a big old house. The parents are extremely busy and while Coraline is exploring the house she finds a little half door, which is bricked off. One night, a little mouse leads her to the half door – which now opens to a fluffy tunnel leading to an identical house. The ‘other’ house has the ‘other’ mother and the ‘other’ father, who are not too busy to play with Coraline. They feed her wonderful food and have great adventures. But appearances aren’t always what they seem….

When I stop to think about the handmade sets, the characters, the artistry…it is pretty amazing. But that amazingness could not captivate me during the actual movie because I was too dizzy from the 3D effects. I realize that not all theaters have 3D – and I wish I had been at one of those! I really think I would have enjoyed it so so so much more.

The plot seemed to move slowly at first and then I felt like once the story really got going, it was over. Many have said that they heard it was dark or spooky. I can see where some might have that impression, but there is no blood or anything that was really ghastly or obscene in my opinion (although the overweight scantily clad dancers might come close). While I won’t be taking my children to see it in the theatre, because it cost too much and I don’t think it would hold their attention, I would probably feel comfortable watching it with them on DVD once it is released.

The Shack

Well, my trial on audiobooks gets mixed reviews. I got work done. Yay! But I figured out that I am a passive listener – probably due to the fact that I listen to music almost all the time. So I had to really concentrate to listen to the book. It wasn’t a big deal when it was just me at home alone working – but once all 3 kids were here running around, needing this or that, arguing over one thing or another it was impossible. I had to ‘put the book down’ when the family was around. Still, it was successful enough that I will continue to listen to books while I work (intermingled with the usual music) – but it won’t replace the goodness of sitting down and reading a book.

So onto the book. Again – same disclaimer as before….I’m just a regular person here. No degrees in English or literature, no lengthy studies of theology, etc. etc. 😉

Rating: A

The book is about a man, Mack, who receives an invitation from God to meet in ‘the shack’. The shack is where they found his daughter’s blood soaked dress a few years back. Mac hesitantly decides to see if the invite is really from God or some prankster – maybe even his daughter’s killer. In fact, it was an invitation from God, and he spends the weekend struggling through some of life’s most challenging questions.

I think that, as a parent, I could relate to Mack through the horror of loosing a child. Just the thought of having one of my children taken from me nearly brings me to tears. The book doesn’t have much action but rather a bunch of conversations. (Possibly another reason I found it harder to listen with distractions.) Some of the conversations between God and Mack were quite intense, and I’m sure that there are those who have issues with some of the theological aspects…but for me, this is what I was reminded of when listening to the book.

God is good. He is not just a bigger or better version of human beings. He does not have our flaws and our weaknesses. I struggle to truly comprehend his goodness and it is always good to be reminded of that fact. Anyway, I don’t need to make this about my spiritual issues. Basically, I think we often get caught up in religion, rituals and rights – and we therefore tend to forget about relationship. This will be a book I want to read – not just listen to on iTunes.

Fall Feast?

What has gotten into me? Most people are anxious for Spring – and I am pretending like it’s fall. I’m craving those warm autumn dishes – chili in bread bowls, stew – those type of things. Very odd. I also have some pumpkin bread baking right now. mmmmmmm I love pumpkin!!!!

Here is my theory – In Tucson, we don’t really have an autumn….so I long for it more than the other seasons. The weather has been summer/spring-ish already. Which is great. The kids are having a blast playing outdoors. And I’m inside preparing a fall feast. Oh well – la vida es así.

I’m also working on some related crafty projects – but I don’t want to share those until everything is done! This is Rodeo weekend here in Tucson, so the kids don’t have school Thursday and Friday. We’re going to have lots of fun! I’ll try to snap some photos for you. Oh – and one of my classes starts next month – I’ll tell you about that later too!

Hungry Caterpillar Costume

Kyle comes home from school with this reminder taped to his planner.

“Don’t forget, Friday is the book parade. All kids need to come dressed in a costume as a book character…”

Oh gesh! Since Kyle has been sick at home, this ‘reminder’ is the first notice for us! I ask Kyle which character he wants to represent.

“I want to be The Very Hungry Caterpillar.”

Behold: The Very Hungry Caterpillar (aka Kyle)

Not bad for a days notice!

And he told me after school today some teachers said he was cute.  I would imagine so!

*Honestly I have to give my husband most of the credit!  He’s the best 🙂  We had talked about ways to fulfill Kyle’s request, settling on a tunic style assembly with a hood.  He had it envisioned perfectly in his mind and when I got home last night, he had cut out all the caterpillary pieces, so I had to sew them together and create the hood….but I couldn’t have done it without him!

Works in progress

It’s been pretty silent around the blog – but heaven forbid you think I have done nothing crafty! (I might normally fill the gaps with my cute children but they have all been sick and so they are not as cute as usual 😉 ) Anyway, I wanted to show you a few works in progress.   🙂

1. Canvas collage for the bathroom. The bathroom picture below shows what spurred a greater idea.  Simple idea:  Cover Canvas with Fabric.   More complex idea:  Yet to be finished.  I have it pictured perfectly in my wee little brain but I haven’t worked out in my mind how to accomplish my master plan. When I work through it, you’ll definitely see the finished product.

2. Practice quilting. As you may recall, I am making a quilt and my goal was to free-motion quilt it myself.

I started practicing on scrap fabric, and moved on to a larger square for a hot pad. And then I graduated to making a little doll quilt for Haley.  The green fabric labeled #2 shows her little doll quilt (or maybe blanket since it’s not pieced?) – but  it has no binding yet. The free hand quilting is hard – but I feel I’m getting it down….sort of. I surely won’t win any awards! I have ordered some bamboo batting and when it arrives, I will proceed to quilt the real quilt (pictured above)! I do hope I can get it the technique down to where I feel comfortable giving them to my families for Christmas. I still think that would be fun!

Do any of you quilters have tips for me on thread?  I’m using my normal Gutterman thread right now – should I switch to something else when I tackle the real quilt?

3. Stripwork skirt for Haley. You may also recall that I planned to make Haley a strip skirt from the Soiree fabric. 🙂

Well, at the time, I didn’t have the yardage on hand to make the waist band (It’s in stock now…just fyi!) – so I decided to make one from some Pumpkins Gone Wild Fabric (also from Moda.)  I didn’t get it finished before my serger broke.  It may be a bit ridiculous – but I don’t want to hem it any other way when I know that I’ll be able to do a rolled hem with my serger so easily in a matter of days. I’m very lazy. 😉

There are more projects – many more…but this will do for today. Tomorrow I am going to see Coraline (finally). Have you seen it? I’m super excited. I’ll leave you with a quote from my United Notions/Moda catalog. (sorry, tweeps, you already saw this) “Creative Clutter is better than idle neatness.” (Thank goodness!)

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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