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February 2010

{ random } popping in

(This post is all over the place.  Just warning you.  Turn away if you want.  I won't even know. )

1. Wow!  Thanks for the feedback on the shipping.  I had already decided to run out and get a postal scale when the deluge of confirmation came in.  Sticking with Priority Mail should make it easier, too.  Whew.  Am I ever glad I asked.  The blog world is great for that, isn't it? 


2. I still can't believe the flowers I got for Valentine's Day are looking good.  I was playing with my camera yesterday and took this photo.  No lie.  That's 10 days.  I love love love fresh flowers.  Such an indulgence, but love them all the same.  I'm so glad he knows that. 

3. I'm working on a fun pillow for the shop that makes use of an embroidered pillowcase.


Toying with adding in a zipper -- although I'm not sure the design of this one lends itself to laundering.  I do like trying new things though. I have several new sewing projects lined up for the shop, which makes me so very excited.  

4.  I've been ripping my fabric lately, to cut it.  It does make a nice, straight line.  Also, there is a cathartic exercise about the acting of ripping something.  Which is an added bonus, in my book.

5.  Fidget's FOURTH birthday is this weekend.  It's all princess, which means there will be lots of commercially designed stuff everywhere.  But I'm not going to beat myself up over that.  You only turn four and want a princess party once.  And I'm still making the cake, so that counts.

6.  Seriously, she's turning FOUR.  How the heck did that happen?

7.  In other news, babygirl is EIGHT MONTHS OLD now.  I know.  I spend the majority of her waking moments biting her cheeks.


8.  Not really biting.  But snorfgrfring. 

9. Also: I may be terribly late to the game, but how cool is this stuff?  I had to buy a little in the aqua stripe.

10.  We're having out of town family stay with us this weekend, for Fidget's birthday.  I love that I have company often enough that the house gets the extra attention it deserves every 8 weeks or so.  Anyone else feel that way??  I mean, no one else will notice whether or not I dusted the living room blinds (hopefully), but it feels good to get it done.  Maybe that's nuts.  If it is, don't tell me.  Otherwise my house may never get clean. 

11.  I'm only partly kidding.

12.  Sort of.

Oh my Goodness!

Thank you Thank you Thank you!!! 

I am so genuinely flattered and encouraged by all of the sweet comments and support I've received since announcing the shop.  Really, it's quite overwhelming for a person like me who has great difficulty with change and branching out and and taking chances and, if we are being 100% honest, confidence. 

Things like estimating shipping costs are tripping me up.  I have taken a loss a couple times there already; there has to be a better way to ship that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.  Shipping costs shouldn't be a deterrent, you know??  Any ideas there??

Also, packaging.  I thought for sure there would be enough boxes and whatnot around here for shipping, but I was wrong.  Does that mean purchasing real shipping supplies?  Where do you etsy veterans get yours?

I'm also kind of obsessing and stressing about getting to the post office immediately.  With the baby.  In the bucket carrier.  And the boxes.  In the snow.  And ice.  And what have you.  Not entirely sure I picked the best season month of my life to jump in, but what the hey.

New in the shop this week:


( Oops.  The syrup dispenser is gone already.  Wow, that was fast!)

But really, this little shop has been so much fun.  And I'm thrilled to say that I've actually sold stuff.  What a thrill!!!  To Japan and the UK, even.  I'm global, baby.  hee.

Gosh this is fun. 

The dorkiness is at an all-time high. 

Just in case you were wondering.

Which, I'm sure you were not.

So, thank you.  Thank you so much for just stopping by and making The Shop feel legit and all. 


she closed her eyes and jumped

So once there was this girl who made stuff out of the things her mom tried to throw away.

She stole little bits of fabric scraps and thread from the sewing bins and made barbie clothes.  She made furniture out of discarded Pringles cans and cereal boxes.

When she went to college, she took her mom's old Singer so she could 'taper' the ankles of her jeans.  It was the early nineties.  She was stylish.

The next twenty years were a blur of curtains and pillows and baby blankets and slipcovers and girl clothes and princess dresses and costumes and bibs and duvets and pajama bottoms.

Until now.

When opened her own etsy shop.


Friends, I am stepping out of my comfort zone.   There is a new little shop at etsy where I've hung my shingle.  I'm slowly adding items -- both vintage and handmade. 

I'm still quite uneasy about the whole thing, but it should keep this momma busy.  Stop by and mingle for a bit, why don't you?  xoxo

p.s.  I just had my first sale! 

p.p.s. This is so exciting. 

p.p.p.s.  I'm a complete dork. This I know.

{ quilts } For Mack

I love it when the end product turns out just like what you imagined.


This baby quilt is for Mack.  Short for Macarthur.  Mack's Daddy -- ha!-- is one of hubs' best friends and this is about three months late.  But to be fair, they wouldn't reveal the sex until he was born, so I'm not going to beat myself up over it.


For this quilt, I used mens' dress shirts and some basic quilter's cottons.  I LOVE how the dress shirt cuttings work in there.  I wanted to make a boy baby quilt that didn't scream TRACTORS or DINOSAURS or BALLS or whatever... but something that would still read 'boy'.


I'm in love with this kind of random stripey crazy quilting.  (The results, anyway.  Machine quilting is still my second choice, but it is quickly becoming my favorite way to drive myself batty on a Saturday night.)


A good satin stitch project is one of the only ways I can sit still long enough to watch a show.  I loved using this font -- printed it out, and traced it onto the fabric using the light from a window.  Very high-tech. 


That's it. The one thing I would change maybe is to use a flannel inside instead of the batting.  As heavily quilted as this thing is, it feels a little stiff for a baby.  Hopefully, Mack's Mommy will wash it a lot and it will soften.  But I always worry that gift quilts are going to end up on a shelf.  

Jenny, if you're reading this, DON'T be afraid to wash it!  xoxoxo


FYI:  The Craft Hope for Haiti Shop is still adding new items!!

Beki Several of the mini quilts pictured in Pretty Little Mini Quilts from Lark Books (soon to be released) were listed for sale just last night.

This one was made by my friend Beki from artsy crafty babe.  Isn't it gorgeous?

Also, if you haven't checked there in a while, there are also a few hangbags donated by Amy Butler herself, like this Field BagAB-bag .  The pinkness is killing me.

There are also several books that have been donated -- including signed copies of Hh The Creative Family and Handmade Home, both by Amanda Soule.

According to Sarah and Jade, the shop has now raised over $30,000 for Doctors Without Borders in Haiti. Wow. That's something big.


{ sewing } Parade of Handmade Christmas Gifts: Monogram Pillows

I fell in love with monograms this winter.

N pillow

Can you tell?

for Jenn

So I decided that my Friday Morning Coffee girlfriends (who are also part of the Miss America Crew) needed pillows with huge letters on on them.  What a simple and satisfying project.

I printed out a letter to trace backwards onto heat-n-bond, cut around the letter and adhered it to felt.  Then I trimmed the felt letter according to the letter outline on the heat-n-bond backing.

cole pillow

Ironed it on to the new pillow top, and top stitched if I felt like it.  Some of the pillows have constrasting reverse sides.  They are each a little different.

For PM

And this one was for a little girlfriend with a Hannah Montana bedroom.  Nothing says 7-year-old sass like pink, black, aqua and sequins.

averie's pillow


OK.  I think that is it for Christmas gifts. It's time to move on either way -- it's February already!!

Happy Weekending...


{ sewing } Parade of Handmade Christmas: Table Runner

I'm telling you.  There was a reason this little blog was quiet in December.  I couldn't post ANYTHING without giving away secrets.

For Natalie, Christmas table runner + napkins

This table runner was for a girlfriend I have known for 4 years and never met in person.  We met online in a small group of moms who were due in March 2006.  Five of us still keep in touch almost daily and have exchanged gifts for years.   Natalie is a crafter, too, so I thought she'd appreciate a little handmade Christmas goody.

For Natalie, Christmas table runner + napkins

I used a combination of linen, flannel and quilting cottons.

For Natalie, Christmas table runner + napkins

My favorite part is the crazy machine quilting.  I'd never quilted anything so densely before, but the runner size made it easy to to.  And now I'm hooked.

This is the back.

For Natalie, Christmas table runner + napkins

And another shot of the front:

For Natalie, Christmas table runner + napkins

She got some coordinating napkins, too.  Just because.


For Natalie, Christmas table runner + napkins

Next up, monogram pillows.  And then I think I'm done.  Sheesh.

{ glam } Miss America Watch Party 2010

Well, here we are. In all our glory.  And makeup.

miss america party night

And hairspray.


And, ahem, foundation garments.  Because, let's face it, thangs aren't exactly in the same place that they were Back In the Day.

But let me tell you my friends, the sequins IS. Heavens. 

Remember that full body skin-tight cast of sequins from 1988?  The kind that isn't forgiving when you have to, say, close your car door or pick up something (oof!) or just sit?  That, my friends, was pre-spandex.  And that is what I wore Saturday night.  For a couple hours. I sorta felt like Joan Cusack with the neck brace in Sixteen Candles.   There was a costume change, but so far no photos have surfaced of that hot pink number.  Darn.  

I'm pretty mad at myself for not getting photos of the amazing food (crab/mushroom pinwheels, sushi, dips dips, cupcakes, creme puffs, strawberries, mmmm.  What else?  I ate a lot...) nor did I score photos of the beverage counter, where the fou-fou drinks reigned supreme.  grumble grumble.  I was clearly too busy stuffing my face.


Many thanks to Miss Laeroport (her photo, above) for crossing state lines to join us for our little fiesta.  We were the best dressed people in the Hyvee Grocery (picking up libations) and the Japanese Steakhouse (picking up the sushi) for sure.  I will not forget those looks for quite some time.  It was a hoot, my friend!