Sunday, December 28, 2008

Time to Reflect...

The end of the year always seems to be a time to reflect on what we have accomplished, and all that we would like to accomplish. In honor of that, I am sharing this that I saw this over on Lori's blog. I had fun going through the list and thought I would share it. You are suppose to cut and paste this to your blog and bold all the things you have done. It was interesting to see how many of the things I have done (64 out of 100 is not so bad!), and how many I would still like to do.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community.
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelos David
41. Sung karoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
Sold Girl Scout cookies
Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a lawsuit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

Feel free to do it yourself and share with your friends. I hope the upcoming new year brings you all the joys you are hoping for.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I'm BACK...

Ok, so I've actually been back from Malaysia for over a month now, but just now getting around to blogging. Things have been a little crazy, with trying to recover from some serious jet lag, getting thrown right into Thanksgiving, and now Christmas!

For anyone who entered the giveaway I had posted about before leaving for Malaysia - I've not forgotten about it. I will still pick a winner sometime soon and let you know who it is and get their gift on the way.

I was prompted to blog today when I got an email from tipjunkie that my vintage fabric covered Christmas ornaments were going to be featured!

I have had lots of visits in the past few days from people who have seen them on Tip Junkie! Thanks for all who have stopped by to visit. Sorry I haven't had much new creative stuff right now to blog about, but please stop back by after the first of the year when I hope to get back into the swing of things.

If I don't manage to post before the "big day", wishing you and yours a very merry Christmas!

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Yes, I arrived safely in Malaysia.
After a very long flight. Actually 4 flights - FW to Detroit, Detroit to Tokyo, Tokyo to Singapore, Singapore to Penang. Total travel time was about 34 hours!!

Penang is an island off the western coast of Malaysia.

There is a 12 hour time difference from here to home, so contacting family has been quite a challenge.
I have been very tied up with the work I was sent here to do and had not had a chance to see much of my surroundings until today. Here are some pictures I took today...

I could have just stayed at the beach all day!

Only for my 7 year old son would I hold a large python and malaysian pit vipers!!!

The butterfly garden was amazing!

Some interesting creatures we saw throughout the day!

Being in a "jungle" the flowers were beautiful!

I will be here another 2 weeks, so if I get a chance to see some other sites, I will share them with you.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bon Voyage

Things have been very crazy in the last 24 hours. I got a call yesterday afternoon from my boss asking if I could go to Malysia (yes, as in the country Malysia in southeast Asia) to do some work for a client!

To make a long story short... I am going to Malysia, and will be leaving this coming Sunday. I will be gone for 3 weeks! It is a worldwind of activity here trying to get everything in place to leave that quickly for that long a period of time. I have never been away from home for this long before, and am a little nervous. But I am also excited! I love a new adventure.

Travel time takes about 36 hours! So when I leave on Sunday I will not arrive at my destination until Tuesday morning (there is also a 12 hour time change to deal with)!!!

So I will be away for a while. I will try to blog some while I am gone, and show you pics of where I am, but I doubt there will be any "craftyness" going on for the next few weeks.

All that being said, my giveaway/contest is on hold. I will repost it again when I return. Please keep leaving me your suggestions - I will eventually clean up my workspace, it just won't be in the timeframe I had originally hoped! If you have already left messages, you are already entered, but there will be no drawing until I get back.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Spare a Square Scrap Challenge Complete

I finally finished my "Spare a Square Scrap Challenge" that I signed up for over at JC Handmade. I had to make "something" using these scraps of fabric.

I have to tell you I was really stumped, and had a hard time with this. Being that the pieces were all differnt sizes and patterns and colors, my mind was swirling. I had houses on the brain, due to my participation in another quilt along, so here is what I came up with...
To me Home is where you feel comfortable. You are filled with things you love and everything doesn't have to match. Your neighborhood is flled with a variety of different people, whoes personalities meld together to make a place feel like home. That is what inspired me to make this pillow out of the fabrics that seemingly didn't go together. They were all fabrics that somoeone loved and were a part of that person.
I think they made a perfect neighborhood and Home!
I raw edge appliqued the houses on the pillow to add to the imperfect design. Because real HOMES are like that. Only brand new, unlived in show houses are perfect and don't have any cosmetic blemishes, places where the paint needs touched up, a lawn that needs mowed, a bike left outside, a roof needing attention, etc... and I wanted my homes and neighborhood to reflect that. This project also gave me an opportunity to try free motion quilting on my new sewing machine. The front quilting is a little too "busy", but for a first shot, I think it is ok. The back was actually just a piece I was practicing on, and I kind of liked all the different designs that I was trying, and ended up cutting it up and using it as the back for the pillow.
I think the pillow turned out quite cute. I you want to see more pictures, or pictures of what others came up with (some are really amazing!), go to this Flickr Group.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

First Ever Giveaway and Contest

Well, I'm having my first ever giveaway, and contest rolled into one!

I am once again trying to make some sense out of my sewing/craft room. Actually, I never really finished it last year when my hubby and I cleaned out a whole big room in the basement to consolidate all my crafting/sewing into one workspace. We had it about 80% done, and had some good things going on, like my peg wall next to my sewing area...

But before finishing, I started working on projects, and one thing led to another and entropy took over, and a small hurricane, one tornado, etc... and now I have a huge mess on my hands again.
So my goal is to get it totally cleaned up and organized - and the real goal is to have some soft of system to keep it that way! (ha, ha, ha!) I think if I can show hubby that I can keep it clean, I may be able to grab some space upstairs in the daylight instead of being banished to the basement! Don't get me wrong, I like my cave. While I was in Florida visiting my parents last winter, Dave had some people come and install an extra heat vent, and an electric baseboard heater by my sewing machine to keep my tootsies warm. He also had some additional lighting installed. As I said, I like my cave, but having some natural sunlight and not doing the steps all the time sure would be nice.

So here is where my giveaway comes in...

Do you have a suggestion for keeping my space neat and clean?

Do you have a craft or sewing room that you are proud of?

Do you have a system for organizing your fabric stash, craft supplies, etc... that works?
If so, then enter the giveaway in one of 4 ways...

  • Leave me a comment with your suggestion for controlling the chaos - you will receive one entry into the giveaway.
  • Leave me a comment with a link to the page where you have blogged about your space or system (or your fliker, photobucket, picasa, etc. photo site) in a comment so that we can all see it and be inspired by it! - you will receive 2 entries into the giveaway for a link to pictures of your space or system.
  • You can also enter your link, by clicking on the Mister Linky icon at the bottom of this post. These will also generate 2 entries into the giveaway.
  • If you put a link on your site back to my blog about the giveaway, then you will receive 2 additional entries.

All entries must be received by October 31.

The winners will be randomly selected from all entries received.

The first place winner will receive 6 fat quarters in a variety of these vintage sheets I recently picked up, and the second place winner will receive 4.
Now for the contest part...

A contest means that there is a competition, and someone wins. In order to win the contest, you have to have what is, in my humble opinion, the best workspace for me! I know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and in this case, I am the beholder, so I get to be both judge and jury!

Keep in mind, that all work is being done on a strict - "don't spend any money" budget, so big expensive professional studios are not what I am looking for. I like to see those, but I am looking for cheap and easy ways to make my space functional, fun, organized and easy to keep it that way.

The winner of the contest will also win 6 fat quarters of vintage sheet material, and be featured on my blog page!

In addition, if I incorporate your system, or use your pictures as inspiration for my space, I will send you 2 fat quarters.

I hope I have provided you with some motivation to share with me your spaces. You know I must be desperate to share with you the before pictures of my current space.

Now get out there and take some pictures and let us see them. If you have a previous post about your space or your methods of organization in your sewing room, you can link to those too - they do not have to be new posts.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Bargain of the Month - Maybe even the Year!

I was at the Salvation Army this afternoon, helping my girls find stuff for their Halloween costumes. Trying to watch every penny I spend these days, I specifically stayed away from the home dept. for fear that I would find some cool vintage sheets that I just couldn't live without. While we were in the check out line, there was a box of of misc. linens on the floor, and I just peaked in, and saw this quilt...

As you can see it is quite stained, but I figured even if the stains didn't come out, there was plenty of it that I could use for a "cutter" quilt.

There was no tag, so I asked how much it was. $4.99! And to make it even better they were running a special - 1/2 off all housewares. So I got this quilt for $2.50!!!

It is all hand stitched, and appears to be quite old. I have it in the washing machine (soaking) right now and will be interested to see if any of the staining comes out. If some stains remain, I will try my grandmothers old trick for removing stains. Leave it damp and put it out on the grass in the sunshine, and somehow stains really do magically come out. Not always and not everthing, but you'd be amazed how many old linens I have gotten clean this way - without the use of harsh chemicals!

I let you know how it turns out...

Fabric Christmas Ornaments - a Followup

I got lots of comments concerning the vintage Christmas ornaments I posted yesterday for Vintage Thingie Thursday. Many asked how they were made. I am not exactly sure how those were made, I bought them just as you see them. But funny you would ask, because my daughter wants to make some in the fabrics I used for her quilt and others to match her multi-colored room...

We are planning on making some this afternoon since they have a half day of school today. I will be "winging" it, but I will try very hard to take pictures as we go, and if they turn out, I will post my first ever tutorial on them. Check back later to see the progress.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

VTT - Fabric Christmas Ornaments

I love these vintage fabric covered Christmas Ornaments.

I keep them out all year long. Being a fabric junkie what would you expect!

I've picked these up at 3 different antique stores, and am amazed at how similar they are - all have the same little felt flowers, and glass seed beads that the pins go into. I wonder if they were made from some sort of a vintage "craft kit", or they came premade. I find it hard to believe that one person made all of these, and they ended up in 3 different antique stores in 2 different citys years later.

Click here to see more vintage items...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Wonky Forest!

This is my first attempt at "wonky" or liberated quilting. I made these wonky trees to use in the border for the tree house quilt I am making my darling hubby! I plan to make a few little wonky houses to put between the trees on the border... "tree house" - get it?!?! They were really quick and fun to do! If they don't work for my border, I can save them to use in my House, Home and Pantry quilt along.

Have a great weekend one and all...
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Thursday, October 9, 2008

I've Done it Again...

Well, I've done it again... I've overextended myself with craft/sewing/quilting projects!!!

I am trying to finish up this quilt for a baby shower this weekend...

I have to finish the machine quilting on this quilt I am making for my mom (it was for her birthday that was in August) so that I can do the binding and get it to her next week when we meet for lunch (she lives 2 hours away)...

I have to finish this quilt for my hubby. Because of my Peri-menopausal night sweats I keep the house cold, and few blankets on the entire bed. He on the other hand is cold at night and needs an extra blanket/quilt to keep him warm. You may not be able to tell yet, but it is a large tree with a tree house in it, in honor of the tree house he finished this summer at our lake house...

I have the machine quilting to finish on this quilt that will be for sale in my Etsy Store...

I got the fabrics for the Spare a Square Scrap Challenge I signed up for over at JC Handmades blog while I was away this week. These scraps have to be made into "something" within the next 1-2 weeks...

I got my "invitation" from Spoonflower to design my own fabric, which has always been a dream of mine, so I am trying to figure out what I want it to look like and what I'm going to do with it once I get it!

And I signed up for the House, Home and Pantry quilt along over at LazyGalQuilting blog. Hmmm... maybe I can use my scrap challenge fabrics to make a wonky house for this quilt along... nothing like killing 2 birds with one stone...

In addition, I have about 5 other UFOs that are not as pressing that need to be completed, and to get started on some Christmas gifts.

So somewhere I have to fit all of this in with work...
Football games to watch my favorite 8th grade cheerleader...

Both 5th and 8th grade girls volleyball games...

Finish closing up the lake house for the winter

And maintaining all the day to day chaos!

Sleep really is over-rated!!!

VTT - Bread Box

Another one of my finds while junking/anitquing with my cousin Lori...

My vintage bread box.

I love this item, because it is both vintigie cute and functional. I use to to store my bread - as I guess you would imagine since it is a bread box...

but also to store various other small things I like to keep handy in the kitchen. Glue, envelopes, thank you notes, a few sewing supplies for quick fixes, etc...

I also love how it fits in just right on my countertop below my cabinets. The cabinets in my kitchen were all built right into the home and are longer than standard ones so there is not much space between my cabinets and the counter top (the down side of that is that they can't be easily removed - as we thought of doing when we redid the kitchen a few years back - short of gutting the whole space, we just painted them. But I digress...)

If you want to see more great vintage thingie items, click here.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Let Me Start One More Project!

Life is busy. I know that we can all say the same. I was spoiled by not having to work too much this summer, but now things have picked up and I am traveling a lot lately. I am back in Pittsburgh this week, and in Michigan next. I forgot to bring any of my numerous projects with me to do in the evening in the hotel, so I had to go out and get a new one to start!

I’m invited to a baby shower this weekend, and decided to whip up a quick baby quilt. She is obviously having a girl! It is going to be a “whole cloth” quilt, with hand quilting.

We are also invited to a housewarming party this weekend, and should really make up something for that too, but now sure when I will have the time! Any suggestions for a quick housewarming gift?!?

Friday, October 3, 2008

New Quilt Top

Some sewing therapy this week.

A quick throw sized quilt top. I love that it went together so quickly because the pieces were so big.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Vintage Thingie Thursday - Fire King Bowls

I love these polka dot fire king bowls. I actually saw them in a book one time, and decorated my lake house kitchen red around them. Mind you, at the time I did not own one, but loved them so much that I wanted a collection of them at the lake house, and used red as my color in anticipation of aquiring some.

Then, after searching high and low, and finding out that they were hard to come by and quite pricey, I found the red one at a furniture resale shop. It was inside a metal fondue pot holder, and priced at a whopping $10! I don't think the shop knew what they had!

The black and white one I found last year on my annual birthday "junking" trip with my cousin Lori.
I don't remember where I got the striped one, but I just liked it. I now have another small red and white one, but took this picture earlier in the summer before I found that one.
To view more vintage items, check out Confessions of an Apron Queen.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sewing Machine Found!

Well, I got my new sewing machine last week. It is actually a used sewing machine, but it is new to me. I look at sewing machines the way I look at cars, why pay full price when you can get something a couple years old, in great shape and for a fraction of the cost. I've been using a 40+ year old "Maxwell" that was my grandmothers, a 15+ year old Brother Galaxie, and a ? year old Babylock Companion (portable) sewing machine that I got in a church rummage sale this summer, so a 5 year old Husqvarna Viking Quilt Designer is new to me!

Here it is in all its glory!

I love it so much, that my house went to hell last week - kids complaining that we have no food in the house, no clean clothes, dishes piling up, no bloggin, etc... because all I want to do is play with my new toy! I did go grocery shopping yesterday, and cleaned the bathrooms over the weekend, but I have a lot of catching up to do this week!

But since last Wednesday , I did get lots of sewing done...

I did some of the quilting on the quilt I am making my mom...

Made this awesome fabric basket like the one that I saw on AmandaJean's website last week to give that I filled with Bath and Body Works products and gave as a birthday gift to a friend this past weekend...

Finsihed piecing this quilt top...

And made myself a tote bag out of some of the extra squares/fabric from the quilt top...

It was a busy week!