Friday, July 25, 2008

Surprise, Surprise ...

I know it won't be a surprise to any of you, but I made my friend Amy a coffee cozy for her birthday! I just think they are so practical and eco-friendly ... not to mention cute! And, just so you don't think I'm a total freak, I promise that I don't give them to non-coffee drinkers!

Anyway ... I tried something new with this one, and I really like the result. I used reproduction fabric (Aunt Grace) ... I am finding that I really LOVE reproduction fabric. There is something comforting about the colors. Anyway ... I combined it with a linen-ish fabric. I couldn't find the raw linen like I was wanting, so I went with a substitute that had the raw look to it. I'm likin' it. The reverse side is the Aunt Grace fabric, so Amy can change it up if she gets tired of everyone knowing what her first initial is.

(Special thanks to my friend, the professional hand-model, Deb, for her help during the photo shoot.)

Also ... just so you don't think I'm a "one hit wonder" ... I do have a ton of other non-coffee-related projects "in the works" that I hope to work on / finish this weekend. I'll post pictures next week if I can get them done. Until then ... have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Confessions of a Coffee Cozy Addict ...

Ever since my awesome sister-in-law made me this coffee cozy to support my frappucino addiction while still being environmentally-conscious, I have had a problem with collecting hoarding coffee cozies. Suzanne made it very easy for me to support my coffee cozy habit by creating a fabulous tutorial on how to make these fun things ... you can find it here, if you'd like to start creating your own.

My purse is literally overflowing with them ... I carry six (yes SIX!) of them with me wherever I go. Some are in my purse, and others stay in my car, but somehow they have all made their way into my purse this week. It's ok ... you can make fun of me. I know I'm a freak.

It's just that a girl needs options, you know? How can I carry a frappucino wrapped in a pink coffee cozy when I'm wearing a red outfit? Seriously, people. Or ... when I'm dressed for a night on the town, I need a cozy (like this one) that will not feel under-dressed when I carry it with me. You get the idea.

And don't even ask me to pick a favorite ... I use them all (a little too regularly, I might add) ... Suzanne made the pink one as a favor for a golf tournament in memory of my mom. She also made the blue one, which I promptly claimed as my own. I made the colorful one (my first and only attempt at crocheting them), and the brown one with fun ric-rac in the seam. And, of course you should already know about the red and white one.

And just to prove that I'm not opposed to sharing my coffee cozies with others, here is a photo from my coffee catch-up session with Deb last week ... since she forgot to bring her cozy, I figured that I could spare one of my extras to help a friend in need. Wait a second ... maybe this isn't an addiction after all. Maybe my compulsion to have multiple coffee cozies is really just a subconscious attempt to serve my fellow man and provide for those in need. Yeah ... I think I'll go with that!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sunday in the Park

I am definitely not an outdoor girl ... I mean, I can appreciate a beautiful day as much as the next person, but I usually prefer to be indoors and out of the sun. This past Sunday I decided to change things up a bit. I knew I had to be downtown in the morning for church, and then again in the afternoon to meet up for coffee with my friend Sue. So ... since I'm trying to be wise about my gasoline consumption, instead of driving back and forth twice, I decided just to stay downtown between church and coffee. I rarely ever go downtown in the summer because it's too hot and too touristy, but I figured if I stayed away from the busy areas, it might really be enjoyable. So, I packed a bag in the morning with some snacks, my camera, my sketchbook, and a sewing project ... enough to keep me occupied for a few hours.

After church I headed over to a fun park downtown and sat myself down on a shaded bench.

It was a gorgeous day ... sunny and warm, with a cool breeze coming off the water. It was really very comfortable, which isn't always the case in the summertime here! There weren't very many people in the park ... I think most everyone decided instead to go to the beach since it was so nice outside. Fine with me! I really enjoyed the quiet. I used some of my time to sketch out some ideas that have been running through my head ... different projects that I want to start (after I finish the ones I'm currently working on, of course!) and some creative brainstorming.

I also took some pictures ... although I still don't really know how to use all the settings on my camera, so they definitely came out a little dark.

I am sure that my favorite tree is the live oak. I just think they are so beautiful. I can't get enough of them.

This picture was taken from my little park bench ... I love the color contrast and the clean lines of the gazebo right next to the natural curves of the live oaks. So beautiful.

I got a visit from a friendly little bird. She kept coming right up to my feet ... must have been fed by people before. She wouldn't sit still for long enough to take a decent photo, but I had to try anyway ... I also got a number of visits from people who shared my little bench at different points in the afternoon. It was fun to chat with them and see where they were from and what they were doing in the park. One local woman told me of how she lives in the area and often has tourists knocking on her door to use her powder room! A tourist from Africa (of all places!) stopped by with her three daughters to say hello, and a couple from New York sat down for a few minutes and told me that the shape of downtown reminded them of the shape of Manhattan. Funny ... I never noticed that!

In between sketching and taking pictures and talking to passers-by, I worked on this dress for my friends Andy & Michelle who recently had their first daughter. I am really looking forward to getting it finished so that I can give it to them! I almost finished the smocking while I was sitting there, so it should be ready to go very soon!

All in all, it was a lovely day ... with the exception of the random ants, flies, and unidentifiable bugs that kept landing on me (and, incidentally, that I kept finding crawling on me well into my coffee date with Sue). But (and I can't believe I'm saying this!), it was still worth it to have some solitude outdoors and enjoy this beautiful city. I think I'll do it again soon!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Starbucks Bling

Remember when I went on that fabric shopping spree not long ago? I know, I know ... you're thinking "She goes on so many of them ... just which one is she referring to?" You're right ... I should be more specific. So ... remember when I went on this shopping spree not long ago?

Well, I think I mentioned in my post that I had some plans for the super-fun red & white fabrics, so I figured I'd share the final product of one of my projects ...

Oh Yeah ... it's reversible!! I'm diggin' the red background better than the white, but it's nice to know I can change it up if I'm feeling like something different. Note the added bling with the little red beads along the top. I guess you could call this my "dressy" coffee cozy. Ha!

And, please ... no comments about the fact that the Starbucks cup is empty. I cannot be expected to refrain from drinking my frappucino for the entire photo shoot, people ... I mean, let's be reasonable!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Yay for pink toile flannel!

If I were a newborn baby girl, I would make myself a comfy blanket out of these fun new fabrics I purchased last weekend :

Since it seems like everyone BUT me is having babies these days, I'm sure these fabrics won't last long in my studio before they are made into a gift to welcome another sweet baby girl into the world.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Work in Progress

This is a sneak peak of the gift I made for Amy's soon-to-be-born baby boy. I still haven't sewn the label on, because I have to write his birthdate on there, but other than that, it's done! yahoo! I tried something new with this gift, and I'm really happy with the way it turned out.

I would give more details and post a picture of the whole gift, but Amy reads my blog, and I don't want to give it all away!!!

More details and pictures after the baby is born.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Thank you, United States Government

Not long ago, I received my economic stimulus check from the Federal Government, and like any shopaholic good citizen, I decided that I would do exactly what the government wanted me to do with it ... put it back into the economy. So, I walked my check to my local Ritz Camera and traded it for my very first digital camera ... ever. I know - most of you are wondering how I could be as old as I am without ever having owned a digital camera. My theory is that I really wanted a nice camera ... one that I could be creative with and grow my currently non-existant photography skills with ... and, of course, I couldn't afford one like that without an extra bit 'o money from good 'ole Uncle Sam.

So ... now I have a camera ... a Canon Rebel xTi, to be exact. I love it. It has so many options and capabilities. I think it will be perfect for taking pictures of the kiddos or my different sewing projects or whatever my little heart desires.

Now I just need to learn how to use it!