Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bring on the Blue!

Last year, I came up with the "brilliant" idea to change up my living room with the changing seasons. I guess I was getting bored with the same colors and accessories all year long. SO ... I set to work making new things to decorate my living room during the Spring & Summer months. It took me all year to get them done, but I finally finished over the weekend and put everything in place. Here are some before & after pictures ...


This is my fall / winter "scheme" ... lots of warm colors ... reds, golds, and browns.

This is my mom's Southern Album Quilt that I finished after she died ... I love that it has become a piece of art on the wall, and I think it really ties the whole room together.
(Pay no attention to the cord coming out of the wall below it ... long story.)


This picture shows the new curtains for the Spring / Summer ... blue!
Because it is so darn hot in the summer months here,
it's nice to have some cool blue in the house.
Notice, too ... on the sofa is a monogram pillow
that my sister in law made me for Christmas ... love it!

This is the chair that I practically *live* in when I'm not in my studio. It's so comfy! You can't see from this picture, but there is a big ottoman, too. And, you could probably fit two of me in it ... that's how big it is. I love it.
Anyway ... here are some fun blue pillows I made. I love the fringe on them ... it's lots of ribbons in the same colors.

My "Spice is Nice" quilt ... all done and quilted and hung on the wall.
Although I would LOVE to have my mom's Southern Album hanging all year long, I have read that quilts should be taken down to "rest" every so often, and since it is an heirloom, I wanted to take good care of it.

I even made blue coasters ...
Actually, the other side of these coasters matches the "winter" scheme, so all I have to do is turn them over. I know, I'm a freak. I admit it.

And finally ... I broke out my fun blue plates, and found my great-grandmother's china to add some color to the table.

I'm not normally a big fan of blue, but I'm really liking this change!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

New Cozies and Some Fun News!

I spent a good bit of time in my studio Wednesday, cutting into all my new fabrics ... here's a glimpse at the coffee cozies that will soon be in my shop as a result!

I think this one is my favorite :

Or maybe this one ... I can't decide.

Anyway ... these will be in my shop in the coming week.

ALSO ... I will be travelling to Ireland in 2 weeks with my dad and brother (in memory of my mom), and when I return, I will be making a really fun announcement and doing a fun giveaway ... so don't forget to check back, and tell all your friends, because it's open to everyone!!

I'm so excited, I can hardly contain myself.

Knit One, Purl One, Knit One, Purl One ...

Last week, two of my aunts and one of my cousins were in town visiting, and we had a girls knitting night while they were here. (Well, it was more like a knitting class for the four of us who didn't know how to knit already)

Aunt Nori and Katie were so gracious to bring everyone knitting needles and fun cotton yarn, along with dishcloth patterns to practice with. I have been crocheting since I was very young, so it took me a while to adjust to using 2 needles instead of just one. (Who am I kidding ... I'm*still* adjusting to it!) The rhythm seems harder to me, but I'm really liking it.

Here's a little peak at what I'm working on ...

Are you surprised I'm not using red yarn???

Note the number "20" on the nifty little yellow contraption (otherwise known as a row counter for those who are familiar with knitting) ... I've already finished 20 rows! I can't believe it! Only 45 (!) more to go before my dishcloth is finished. I think knitting will be a good way to learn patience ...

Maybe one day I'll be able to make a sweater ... or even just a wrap. We'll see.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Reason # 253 to use Re-Useable Shopping Bags ...

There are MANY reasons to use Re-Useable Shopping bags ... not the least of which - of course - is to help save the environment by keeping those ugly plastic bags out of our landfills. It's just the right thing to do.

I would use re-useable shopping bags for the first 252 reasons I have come up with in my mind, but, today I found another reason ... and it's a big one ... it saves money, people!

Look at my grocery receipt from this afternoon (below) ... specifically on the line below "Bananas" ...

Yes! That's right! My store gave me a "Bag Credit" of 5 cents for the bag I used! Simple math tells me that if I shop every week (which I do), and average at least 2 bags per trip (which I do), then I will save $5 every year ... without even making an effort. And who knows what other stores will give the same discount!

I mean ... these bags practically pay for themselves!

(By the way ... if you're in the market for some cute, affordable re-useable shopping bags, check out my etsy shop ... there are plenty there for the buying!)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Another Camera Strap Cover

My sister-in-law's birthday was this week, and since she is a fellow Canon Rebel-owner, I figured she would appreciate having her very own camera strap cover (like this one that I gave my friend Deb a couple of months ago).

Here it is ...It's made with cream linen on the front, and the fun apple fabric by Sandi Henderson on the applique and the back.

Suzanne loves pink, and I knew she loved this apple fabric, so it seemed like the perfect match.
The strap cover wraps around the existing camera strap with velcro closures.

(Pay no attention to how awful these pictures are! I obviously forgot to iron the strap before my little photo shoot ... not to mention clipping those two or three stray threads. Yipes! Oh well ... this was the best I could do on a rushed schedule ... of course, I waited until the very last minute to make it!)

Fun End-of-the-School-Year Teacher Gifts

I recently received an order in my shop for three custom coffee cozies, to be used as end-of-the-school-year gifts for this customer's daughters' teachers. (How much fun is that? What a nice mom!). Each cozy has an appliqued initial on it to add a personal touch.

I think the fabrics on all three of them are very pretty, but I especially like them all lined up together!

I hope these teachers like their fun new gifts!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Crossing Things Off My List ...

Ask anyone who knows me well ... I am famous for having multiple sewing projects going at once. Call it A.D.D., or being overly ambitious, or just plain not wanting to ever be bored ... but, at any given time I am working on at least 3 projects, with many more planned or "in the works." I have heard other creative people say that they have an "unfinished objects" pile ... I have one too, and it is getting out of control.

SO ... in an effort to reign things in, I decided to finish some of these ongoing projects during our girls' sewing retreat this weekend. Here is a peek at four of the things I checked off my list.

New pillows for my sofa.
I have had this brown fabric for many months now, but have been waiting to find the right fringe to go with it. Of course, I found the perfect fringe at Mary Jo's!

Roman Shades for my studio windows.
I got the fabric on sale at Hancock's, and found the fun beaded fringe at Mary Jo's. All I have to do now is get my dad to cut me some wood to mount these to, and hang them in the windows. Can't wait to see how they look!

My Crazy Nine Patch quilt made with Moda's Wonderland fabric.
My sister-in-law, her mom, my dad's wife, and I took a class recently at our local quilt shop to learn how to make a Crazy Nine Patch quilt. It was so much fun, and so quick and easy to put the blocks together. I finished all 16 blocks for this throw quilt during the class, but didn't follow through to actually assemble the quilt and sew the borders on until the retreat.
Once this is quilted, I'll post a full picture.

Last January, I signed up for a "Christmas Block of the Month" program at our local quilt shop. Each month, we were assigned a quilt block to make, and at the end of the year, we would have blocks made for an entire quilt. Well, I still didn't have the last block made ... until this weekend. I finished the last block, and then assembled the quilt.
Can't wait to see this one quilted, and I'll definitely post a full picture once it's back from the quilter!

Wow ... it feels so good to get these things done! We need to have sewing retreats more often!

Monday, May 11, 2009

New Fabric for The Shop

This weekend, I went to the mountains for our annual girls' sewing weekend at the cabin. Of course, this trip included a stop at the famous Mary Jo's cloth store. We spent half a day there, picking out fabrics for different projects, and I used the opportunity to purchase some new fabrics for my shop.

Here's a preview of things to come :

Amy Butler's Optic Blossom in Olive, and Wall Flower in Pink
I love this combination. I also think the Wall Flower fabric will be very pretty paired with cream linen.

Michael Miller's Disco Dot in "sorbet", paired with Robert Kaufman pink polka dot.
I love pink and green together ... maybe it's because I live in Charleston?

The pink polka dot also goes well with another pink fabric I had previously purchased.
I think these will make great coffee cozies.
Have you noticed how much pink fabric I purchased? There is a reason for that ... more details to come later!

Again ... Amy Butler's Wall Flower, this time in the Sky colorway.
I see this paired with cream linen ... great for shopping bags or coffee cozies! LOVE the grey.

Michael Miller's Disco Dot in "caribe", paired with either FreeSpirit's Snow Blossom in lime green or Robert Kaufman's solid blue. Fun and fresh!

What do you think? Which new fabric combo is your favorite?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Mary Jo's, Here We Come!

Do you remember last year's road trip to Mary Jo's (blogged here)?

Well, it's time for our second annual Fabric Acquisition Road Trip! That's right ... we're leaving at the crack of dawn tomorrow for a fun-filled girls' weekend at the cabin, packed with lots of fabric shopping at Mary Jo's, and tons of sewing around the dining room table. I'm sure there will also be lots of chick-flicks, laughter, and maybe some Krispy Kremes, too ... you never can tell with us girls!

I'm really looking forward to it, and I'm hoping to return with lots of new, fun fabrics for my shop! Stay tuned ... I've got some fun things in the works!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Celebrate Good Times ...

Well, I definitely had a frappucino today. I mean, I have frappucinos a lot, but this time, I was celebrating something specific ... not only did I open my etsy shop this week, but I have had a number of sales as a result! I have been one busy girl today trying to get orders filled! It has been humbling and gratifying to see how well-received my bags & cozies have been! Praise God for His faithfulness in this new adventure!

I might have gotten a little emotional when I sent off my first product to a total stranger this morning. I'm used to making things for other people ... I make about 95% of the gifts I give ... but, it's always for people I know and love. It's hard to part with something that I've put so much effort and care into, and not know the person who will be using it! Regardless, I hope she enjoys having it as much as I enjoyed making it!

Here are some pictures of one of my shopping bags, all wrapped up pretty and ready to be shipped off to its new owner :

Well, gotta run ... more orders to fill!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Better Late Than Never ...

I'm officially open for business! Visit my brand new etsy shop and let me know what you think! I'm a novice at this whole etsy thing, so if you see something weird, please let me know ... seriously. I would LOVE your feedback!

Wow ... this is a HUGE milestone for me.

I think I'll celebrate tomorrow with a frappucino. :o)

Today is the day! (I think)

I just talked to my good buddy "Lee" at AT&T, and apparently, they were able to fix the registration error on my DSL. SO ... cross your fingers. I'm hoping to set up my etsy shop tonight! We'll see. Stay tuned. I'll let you know when it's up!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Best Laid Plans ...

So ... my goal was to open my etsy shop today. It's my mom's birthday today. She is the one who taught me to sew, and really has been the inspiration for starting my business. So, I thought that May 1st would not only be a reasonable goal to open my etsy shop, but a meaningful one too.

In view of my goal, I have been hard at work recently making preparations! Here's a sneak peek at what will be in my shop :

Coffee Cozies and Re-Useable Shopping Bags. And the fabrics are so fun and fresh ... love them.

So ... here's the bad news ... for all the work that I have put into preparing for today, I am not sure that I can follow through and actually open my shop before the day is done! A T & T is apparently having issues with my DSL at home, and I can't get online long enough to set up shop. Once they get it figured out, though, I'll be officially open for business! Seriously can't wait. Hold tight ...