Monday, May 31, 2010

Finding a new normal and some sewing!

Life has been a lot out of control the last two weeks. It all seems to be calming down and getting to a new normal for us. We are dealing with the after effects of the infection that made its way from our vacation in Mexico into the bone on Steve's big toe. He will be home for a couple more weeks recovery and giving his foot time to heal. Spending a week plus with him in the hospital has been hard on all of us. The laundry has piled up. The kids haven't been getting the attention they deserve. I have had to learn to cook, mow the lawn, take care of the pool (including fishing out dead mice) and the list goes on and on. The good news is we know that Steve has diabetes and catching it early is great. Both his parents are diabetic and although he is often tested, Dr's always doubt he has it, since he was never really overweight. Well he has lost about 20 lbs. in the last two weeks . . . and yes he officially has diabetes and neuropathy in his feet. We will deal with all of these things and they are our new normal.
The first half of the weekend was spent with a great friend who was in town from Chicago to watch her high school daughter compete in the National Scholastic rowing competition. They made it to the finals and placed 5th in the country. It was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed my time with my friend.
Sunday afternoon finally came to be time for me! I have been itching to sew for weeks and finally got the chance. First up was starting and finishing the 3 x 6 blocks. This was actually my third attempt and with the stress I was starting to feel, I decided to create a block that wasn't overly complicated and find a less is more kind of feel. The blocks being made are amazing, sewn with persision. At first I tried a Dresdan and it was a bad failure, they just didn't lie flat. Then I attemped a flying geese and they just didn't well . . . fly. I pulled out the blocks I received from the last round and decided that if I was making a sample quilt for myself, that I would make some blocks with a big piece of solid and some splashes of color. My eyes sometimes just need a rest! With that in mind this is what I created for five of my blocks.
Green, blue, red with a marine theme
White, Pink and Red
Grey, Orange and Aqua
Grey, Brown and Orange
Grey, Pink and White
The last block I made I decided to try a little something different, because Tasha had asked for a block with some woodland animals . . . the fabrics I wanted to use wouldn't be showing their stuff on the 2 inch blades of the windmill portion of the block, so I did an improv block instead. I think I will also make a block to match the others, but here is the improv block. I have never made one before and loved the go with the flow kind of feel!
Pink, Red & Aqua with woodland animals
We finished off the weekend with a trip to see Steve's parents in Williamstown, MA and we pulled off celebrating my baby's turning three. Happy Birthday Sam! I will post all about his big day and pictures of my sweet little guy in action. He had a great day and loved his party. He is easy to please and we had his three party musts - CAKE - BALLOONS - and singing cards. What a joy and wonderful little person he is!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Sewtakeahike and superbuzzy - check out their party

Penny has a new sponsor on her awesome blog and they are throwing a party that you don't want to miss. $60 gift certificate to one awesome shop, I must admit packages from Superbuzzy are not a rare event at this house. They stock some of my favorite Japanese fabrics and have a GREAT selection of fun trim, really fun trim. The magazine and Japanese craft books are fantastic and such fun inspiration. Check it out, it is one giveaway not to miss. Details here.


While you are visiting, check out all of Penny's fun projects and tutorials. She has been a source of great inspiration for my sewing. I love her ETSY shop. Her flickr stream is a ton of fun to look at. The Quilt as you go quilt-along is one I wish I had time to participate in. It is on my list when time allows.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Winner

Congrats to Colette, comment number 24. We will contact you shortly. This giveaway event was a lot of fun and we will participate in the future. The info in the comments was great. As soon as our blog is redesigned, we will get some tutorials up. The first up will be a scrabble tutorial, some things to do with cover buttons and then some fun magnet crafts.
Look for some fun giveaways soon, I am thinking cover buttons and fun fabric scraps to go with them. Also maybe so fun out of print fabrics I have been hoarding forever!
True Random Number Generator 24Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Time - Cover Buttons, Magnets, Bails, Oh My!

We were hoping to have our new blog design and links to both our ETSY hand-stamped sterling silver jewelry shop and also our supply store, in time for the Sew Mama Sew giveaway . . . but good things take time! Instead of waiting, Darcy and I decided to go forward anyway and giveaway $75 in supplies.
We are getting ready for the summer craft show season here in Upstate NY and will have some fun new mother's jewelry back in the shop soon!
So for the giveaway we will be giving away and assortment of cover buttons in size 30, 36 and 45, the cover buttons tools, rare earth magnets and some aanraku bails in both the leaf design and the new heart design. With these supplies your DIY options will be endless. Cover button magnets, cover button pendants, cover button ponytail and pigtails and anything else you can think of to make with a cover button. You might even want a few to use as say BUTTONS!
50 rare earth magnets and sample tube of E6000
50 size 45 buttons with your choice of flat or wire backs
Our favorite size for Ponytails
5 medium heart bails and 5 small leaf bails both Aanraku
(perfect for making scrabble tile, glass tile or covered button pendants)
50 size 36 cover buttons, your choice of flat or wire backs
this is a great size for pigtails or magnets
DIY Magnet Kit for {Urban} Home Goods Swap
And 50 Size 30 buttons with your choice of wire or flat backs
this is our favorite size for magnets, especially with small scale fabric prints
(fabric in photo is not part of the giveaway, just a little fun eye candy)
All three button sizes will come with the cover tool and in our fun and functional labeled muslin bags, so you can keep those buttons straight!
Please leave a comment with a way for us to get in touch with you and also a comment letting us know what types of tutorials you would find helpful relating to the supplies we carry in our shop. We have a bunch ready to go including a scrabble tile tutorial, cover button ponytails, and cover button magnets. We are happy to ship domestic or international. The winner will be selected on May 20th at random. Thanks for checking us out!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Kids sewing week challenge :: final days - first project from Japanese Pattern Book under my belt

I am just giddy with the fact that I am sewing every night! Amazing how great it feels to do a little something for myself each day. We are half-way through the potty training (Ellie in big girl pants and Sam is trying) and I must say just being out of the bathroom for a straight hour is a relief and when you add sewing . . . BRILLIANT
Last night's project for the challenge was a kind of spur of the moment project. Once the kids were down I started looking through a few Japanese Pattern books and I quickly choose a style I thought would be a breeze . . . it was! I am drawn to Japanese pattern books and fabric . . . I purchase them both and then . . . . just look at the books and fondle the fabrics. Well that all changed today. I am no longer a Japanese pattern book virgin! I can't wait to start in on all of the projects I have marked. Facing my fears is great, no matter how ridiculous they are!
kids sewing week challenge :: day 5
This photo of her in day five's project is a little stiff, she looked so cute in it on our picnic at the park today.
This is the book I used, the top is pattern J.
I think Friday night's sewing will round our the challenge for me. It was a great night, sewing by myself and watching It's Complicated on-demand. Life is good. When I thought it couldn't get any better, my dear husband brought me a beer and hung out for a bit. The best part of the night was the results however . . . check this out, is it me or is this simple dress AWESOME?
kids sewing week challenge:: day six
Kids Sewing Week Challenge Day 6
This little dress is so simple and fun to make- total love! I first noticed the pattern in a issue of Sew Hip, a magazine I get from the UK. The pattern is also available on the Oliver and S website here. The aqua fabric is linen and the bodice and straps are cake rock beach dots from my stash. I am running out of it and debated before using it and having to cut the ties on the bias of my final yard of this! I think it was worth it!
I think Ellie realized this was the last day of her fun week of modeling, she gave me lots of cute extras. Here are some of the shots!
Bodice detail
Ta Da
Full length shot of the dress
This week was also exciting on the potty training front. Ellie went all week without wearing diapers (pull-up at night) and has had no accidents! She even made it through pre-school on Friday! She loves when I get a pedicure and is always asking for me to paint her toes. So to celebrate the big week, we had a girls night at the nail salon. She was beaming and giggling the whole time and LOVES her pretty toes. We even had them paint a flower on each big toe.
Pedicure Reward

Thursday, May 13, 2010

kids sewing week challenge :: day four

Who says boy clothes can't be cute? Maybe I have been missing the boat only sewing clothes for Ellie . . . had fun the last two days making something for my two favorite guys. Being the youngest and having an older brother who I went a little wild shopping for, a lot of Sam's wardrobe is hand-me-downs from Max/friends or my favorite kids consignment sale. Every summer I had fun linen pants for Max to wear at this age and I have searched high and low and realized I must have passed them on to someone or sold them at the sale. Before going on vacation this spring, I looked for something just like this and was disappointed not to find them.

What was I thinking? This took less than an hour, about a yard of linen fabric and the results are so fun . . . this challenge really has me wondering why I never actually use the fabric I squirrel away? I can't wait to make more pants for Sam, he is a wonderful recipient of the fruits of my labor.

Sam happy to model this am

he sees Ellie modeling for me and he knew just what to do


Wondering why Sam is wearing colorful rubber bands on his wrist? This is the latest craze hitting our household and for that matter all the elementary schools in this neck of the woods. I am guessing we are not alone in this silly bandz mania . . . It cracks me up that a week ago Max didn't even know what they were and this week it is all I have heard about. All of the stores in our area are out of them. AC Moore had a shipment of 500 packages on Friday and they sold out that day. CRAZY. Am I missing something? Colorful rubber bands in shapes? Once you put them around something the shape is round . . . the packaging tagline reads FUNctional. Who thinks of these simple ideas and why isn't it me? Instead I am the crazy mom checking at various stores looking for these! I ended up adding a couple of packages to my Amazon book order and for this Max has proclaimed me "the very best mother ever" and told me "I used to love you, but now my love for you has just gone SILLY, thats how much I love you". Not sure if that was a good $10 spent or not . . .
the blurred band is actually a very cute hedgehog . . . it is Max's favorite. I asked why and loved his answer, "who doesn't love a good hedgie" Well said my boy!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

kids sewing week challenge :: day three and day 1 one in action

The kids week sewing challenge has been tons of fun so far. It is great to feel a sense of accomplishment, especially as a mother of small children. Just feeding them and doing a load of laundry some days seems like a big success.
I have stayed on track and made something each day. (first two days) Today's item was started after bed-time last night and was done in just under an hour. Max had mentioned he wanted to be included in the fun and would love some lounge pants. So I took his favorite pair, made a quick pattern on freezer paper, raided my stash and a less than an hour later - a new pair of lounge pants!
kids week sewing challenge :: day 3
day three - pants for MaxRelaxing in his new lounge pants
day 3
Wednesday mornings are big around this house. It is the weekly dance class for Ellie and then both Ellie and Sam have gym class. The big dance performance is in about a month and Ellie is starting to get excited. The parents got to come into the class and watch today, so I managed to snap a few photos of our little tap dancing star in action!
New Skirt in action
Heel Toe and the big turn
Loves dancing in her new skirt As we were getting ready for class and I had her in her tights and leotard, she went and grabbed her new skirt. It actually was the perfect skirt for class, much more fun than any tutu! I must say it was a great feeling to see a skirt finished just this Monday in action on Wednesday am!
This sewing challenge has been just the thing to get me going each day and although it isn't much of a dent in the old stash, it has made me feel great to use fabrics that I love and feels even better to see the kids dancing around in them! Sam surrounded by girls Shot of Sam surrounded by all the girls at the start of the gym class portion of the class. He loves all the girls!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

kids sewing week challenge :: day two

Participating in the kids clothes week challenge sponsored by elsie marley, you can read about it here. In a nutshell, spend an hour a day sewing clothes or accessories for kids. It is amazing what a little push can do to get you going on the to sew list I have had going forever! Also the ideas that are coming up in the flickr pool is amazing and it is only the second day!
I posted this yesterday and wanted to say that it wasn't an hour, but it wasn't as time consuming as it looks. I started on Friday and finished it Sunday night, working probably 4-5 hours on it. Sandi does a great job explaining the process and the skirt really came together nicely. I used the ruffler foot set on 6 for all the gathers of each layer and also the ruffles. I ended up cutting a bit off excess off of each of the ruffle pieces once I sewed them on. It would have gone a lot faster for me if I had a serger, which I really want to get and have had funds set aside for awhile. The problem is which one to purchase and finding someone local to help me learn to use it. For that reason I will probably go with a Bernina, any suggestions on models? kids clothes week challenge
Day 1 Project - Ruffle Skirt
So for Day 2, I didn't have a head start or really plan. I couldn't sleep so after Leno, I went downstairs picked up a pattern I had yet to use, grabbed some fabric and started tracing the pattern onto freezer paper. That process took the most time. The rest just flew together. I was back in bed a little after 1 pm!
Late Night Sewing = Cranky Model just out of bed . . . Day 2 Project - Owl Top
I took this photo right after getting her out of bed, I couldn't wait to see it on her. Both the boys liked it and asked when I would make them something. So I guess I will be making some boy items in the next week! Any ideas on quick and great boy projects would be welcomed!
After dropping Max at school, we played outside for a bit. They both wanted in on the photo shoot. I have been wanting to get a shot of Sam in the pants I picked up at my favorite consignment sale, so he can remember these silly whale pants. Max keeps telling him to take them off, they are "way not cool". Oh well Sam likes them. Ellie gave me a couple quick shots and then ran off to play with Sam! DSC_0007.JPGHangs always fullkids clothes week challenge :: day 2DSC_0026.JPGSam wanting to modelEscapeRunning away from getting her photo takenCatching up with SamNew Favorite Game Details on Ellie's new top: Fabric - Saffron Craig from Fabricworm Pattern - To Tie ForView b from oliveanndesigns purchased pattern from my LQS KC Custom Fabrics

Monday, May 10, 2010

Sewing machine and Ellie - new duds!

I received the most amazing package from Lisa of lpinette on flickr, see her work here.
{Urban} Homegoods Swap Received
Doesn't she look pretty all dressed up? Who wouldn't love to be wrapped in Linen and Hope Valley, my heart stopped when I opened the package.
Sewing Machine Cover
If that wasn't enough, she also made the ultimate pillow for me. I am crazy for house pillows and union jacks. She combined them into one pillow! She also figured out how much Sam loves the Heather Ross dog print and she incorporated a dog on the roof of the pillow, it is such a cool and fun pillow.
I love the {Urban} Home Goods swap and hope it is something that happens again. I loved both the giving and the receiving on this one!
Over the weekend I started a project from Sandi Henderson's new book, Sewing Bits and Pieces. It is a wonderful book and I am excited to try tons of the projects! Since it is kids sewing week, I wanted to participate in the kids clothes week challenge and knew for this skirt project I needed to get a jump start. I chose the Brick Road Skirt pattern and must say I love the results!
kids clothes week challenge
DSC_0010.JPGbrick road skirt pattern
It was a very fun skirt to make, but I think Ellie is loving wearing it even more! It is super full and fun for her to twirl in. I of course love it because it has some of my favorite fabrics in it - fmf, kei dots, and two of my favorite Japanese prints.
Probably the best part of this skirt was using my RUFFLER Foot. It is a rock star tool to have in your sewing arsenal. It might look like a medieval torture device, but fear not . . . once you get the hang of it, it ROCKS.

Design by Bloggy Blog Designz Copyright © 2010