Wednesday, May 30

I finished this little quilt over the weekend. It's just about 18" square. This one I'm keeping. It really is about time I keep one, I think. I hung it high up on the wall, above the hutch in the dining room (I still need to paint that thing!). I've had it in the back of my mind for a while now that a little something was needed up there. This fit the bill perfectly.

Today I'm trying to put the house back together from the long weekend. It's amazing how quickly chaos ensues! I should have it all back to normal sometime tonight. Which is good because we'll have a houseful of friends tomorrow. Fun!

I had many people (most are people I couldn't respond to via email) ask me just how I made my new banner. It's just a photo I took that I cropped to be short and wide. I had to play with the sizing a bit to get it just right. I had left it too large at first. And my photo program lets me add text to the picture. So it was just as easy as that!

Saturday, May 26

And the winner is...

I've drawn the winner of the Cottage Charm Giveaway and the winning reply drawn from my basket is:

Anonymous said...

i would love to enter your drawing! Thanks-Becky
Wed May 02, 08:03:00 PM CDT

I'm emailing you for your address, Becky! Congratulations!!

Thanks to ALL who entered! I felt like a...well, a *princess* with all those responses filling my inbox! (Way more that I managed to respond to, I'm embarrassed to say!)

Thank you for all the banner love! I was a little surprised at how nice all my clutter could look when arranged just so. Seriously, that was just about everything that was scattered across my nightstand. Yes, I keep my tiara on my nightstand. Don't you?

Friday, May 25

A banner day!

So, how do you like the new (my first!) banner up there? It keeps drawing my eye like an "I Spy". How many hearts can you find? Can you spot the four thimbles and two crowns?

Just kidding. You can stop counting hearts. I don't even know the answer so I can't even tell you if you're right. And there are a lot of teensy heart buttons. So you'll never get it right.

Stop counting. Now.

Don't make me count to three.

Am I blessed, or what?!

Not one, but two "vases" of clover and dandelions. There really is nothing sweeter than a 6 year old little boy with a handful of weed-flowers. Makes me glad we don't have the best kept lawn on the block.

By the way, the tea cozy in the picture is the failed attempt at using just one layer of batting rather than two. If it weren't for the teapot inside, it would just flop over.

Today is very much a "works in progress" day. I have no finished projects to show. Well, I have one finished project but it's for a swap so I can't show it yet.

I'm in the middle of quilting one of those little quilt tops (the one at the top, left corner). No embroidery on this one. I think I'm keeping this one for me.

And I pieced a quilt top yesterday as my friend, Tara, gave birth to her fourth child Wednesday night. I don't think she's made an official announcement yet so no in-progress picture of it because is a total giveaway regarding the sex of the baby. So I'll share once she's shared. There will be more to see now that I have the baby's name and can get going with the embroidery!

Congratulations, Tara and family!!

Wednesday, May 23

A new series of children's books

I want to tell you all about a new series of children's books that we've had the pleasure of previewing. The series is called Fairy Chronicles. You can take a peek at their site here

The first book in the series is Marigold and the Feather of Hope, the Journey Begins and it is such a sweet book! I read it to Mason, a few chapters a night, at bedtime. Isabelle came and listened in, too.

I was really impressed with the gentleness of the story. It seems so many stories (whether in print or in movies/tv shows) are good vs. evil. And most really trump up the evil for dramatic effect. Amazingly, this book managed an interesting plot with all sorts of fairy-realm characters without resorting to darkness.

Also nice is that the fairy-realm characters are human children who can magically transform. They use their fairy abilities to affect positive change on the world around them. Fairies are "problem fixers". I can see some wonderful, creative imaginative play being inspired here!

We've just started reading the second book, Dragonfly and the Web of Dreams and we're enjoying it just as much, so far.

I also wanted to add, from a homeschooling-mom perspective, that this series fills a bit of a void. You know how once your child graduates from the 80-90page beginner chapter books, there isn't much a a next step? They're expected to move straight into 200-300page books with few, if any, pictures and much smaller type. These books have around 120-130pages, larger type, and they're full of colorful pictures. A perfect "next step".

Anyway, just wanted to share our experience with you! Have a lovely Wednesday!!

Tuesday, May 22


I finished this little quilt (18" square) last night. I got a little carried away and embroidered some vines and flowers in all the peachy triangles. It's listed for sale in my Etsy shop.

Only four more to finish! (What was I thinking making five little quilt tops at once!?!)

I just love looking at the backs of quilts. As I'm quilting I stop to peek at the back every so often so I can watch it grow.

I also made this teeny tea cozy over the weekend. It has a little pot just like the one on top of the teacup underneath it.

Oh, I wanted to mention... I created a Flickr group for showing what you've sewn using any of those patterns or tutorials over <----there (in my sidebar). Please, someone, add a picture so I don't feel like a pathetic dufus that no one will play with.

Also, if you haven't put your name in the hat yet there is still time (4 more days!) to sign up for the Cottage Charm Giveaway. Eighty-seven names in the hat so far! Exciting!

I plan to redo the skirt tutorial very soon. I did that with my old camera and it's not very clear. I can do better. :-)

I spent a little too much time doing quilty things the past few days. Housework beckons...

Thursday, May 17

I've caught the sickness

The sickness that is mini-quilt/doll-quit mania! I've been really enjoying all the little quilts I've seen in blogland. And when I came across the bag full of pieced half-square triangles, I thought I could stop at one.

I really enjoy playing with the blocks...arranging them in different ways to see which colors pop. And I get all giddy when I see what different border fabrics do to the overall look.

So I admit it. I'm hooked. If I disappear for a while you'll know it's because I crawled into a cave filled with embroidery floss and batting. Oh, and movies, too (yesterday's mail held 3 netflix movies just for me!).

Before I sneak off to my cave I should get this whole tagging business out of the way. So I've been tagged to reveal 7 random things about me. I really don't think I'm interesting enough to have 7 whole things to say about me, but I'll try!

1. I'm not one for background noise. I drive in silence. No radio. The only time I opt for music is when I need to clean house and I really don't feel like it. Then I turn on the music launchcast in yahoo messenger (my computer is in the kitchen, so handy!) and go for a mix of 80's music.

I'm gearing up to clean at the moment and my computer is singing Depeche Mode. (ooh...and now it's Come On Eileen/Dexy's Midnight Runners...good kitchen cleaning song!)

2. I wear skirts every single day for no real reason other than I just like them.

3. I can make awesome peanut butter cookies without using a recipe or measurements. I just dump stuff in a bowl and they come out great every time. It's like I'm magic.

4. I am seriously grossed out by the texture of microfiber cleaning cloths when they are dry. I'm fine once they're wet. But I cringe when I see them fresh from the dryer.

5. I used a lawnmower exactly once in my life. That was plenty.

6. I don't love summer. I don't like to be hot and sweaty. I prefer gloomy, misty-rainy days that are around 50-65 degrees. I think I would love the Pacific Northwest. I do not love St. Louis.

7. I don't enjoy video games. Never have. I don't like to lose and losing happens a lot with video games.

My stitchin' cave is calling me. I'll do my tagging later! :-)

Tuesday, May 15

Gnomes, Cozies, Unbelievable But True

I'm all over the place with subject matter today, huh? Sorry. Life just happens that way sometimes.

See those adorable, cutie Gnomes over there? For those who don't recognize them, I'll clue you in. Those Gnomes belong to one of the Holy Grails of the fabric world. Now, you can still get some of Heather Ross' Gnomes in other colors. But not the sage green.

I had grand dreams of creating the most precious gnome-filled bedroom for Mason. He likes gnomes. I mean, who doesn't?! But before I bought 10 yds I probably should have asked him if he likes green. Because apparently he doesn't.

And enough time has passed now that he prefers robots to gnomes. I resigned myself to the fact that the gnome room was a no-go a while ago. But I couldn't part with the fabric. It seems I love it.

Just this week I decided that even if I do love it, I don't need 10 yds. So the gnomes and I headed to ebay (link in sidebar, if you're curious!). I had more listed but that ended with the buy-it-now (in a matter of minutes!!).

One of these days I will get brave enough to actually use it (what's left). I'm thinking I'd look mighty cute in a gnome skirt.

On another note, I've been doing a bit of sewing. I finished a couple of tea cozies for the old Etsy shop. I've also been working on embroidering the little quilt I pieced a couple weeks ago. I'm nearly finished with the embroidery. I've got a few more quilty projects floating around my brain. I think I'm becoming addicted.

And now for the "unbelievable but true"! I stopped by Hobby Lobby today. I generally can't be trusted near that store but I've been making an effort to stick to a budget lately. I really did need 2 skeins of embroidery floss so I had to go in.

Just a few steps from the embroidery floss is the clearance bin. I had to peek. And, boy oh boy, did I ever find a deal in there!! Two bolts of dmc aida cross stitch fabric, one white and one ecru, for $4.50 each!!! I know, you're thinking, "they must have made a mistake!". I agree. I almost didn't bother putting them in the cart because I knew it couldn't play out that way at the checkout. But when I checked out the cashier asked other employees and they all agreed that it must be right. So I walked ran out of there with 2 bolts, which look to be holding 10yds each, of 14ct aida for $9 total. Anyone up for a cross stitch party?

Well, I have more I could blab about, and I've been tagged for a "seven random things about me" thing, but it's getting late and I'm tired. So maybe I'll blab a bit more tomorrow.

Sweet dreams~

Sunday, May 13

Happy Mother's Day!!

I finished this mini-quilt (19" square) last night-just in time for Mother's Day. We're heading over to the in-law's house in just a bit and it's part of the gift for my Mother-in-law. It's already been washed, hence the puckeriness (cotton batting).I hope she likes it!

We've had the sickies here the past few days so there hasn't been much to blog about. But I wanted to stop by and wish all the mothers out there a blessed day!!!

Wednesday, May 9

So sweet it'll give ya a cavity!

I finally got around to doing something with that bit of embroidery I did for the tutorial. It wasn't very big so a sachet seemed like the obvious choice. I got a little carried away so it's a bit too fancy maybe. Too sweet and frou-frou! But the curled organza ribbon tacked in place by teensy knot-flowers got me thinking on things like making things for my children's weddings or christening gowns for grandchildren. Someday. It's quite a ways off, I hope. But I'm going to have so much fun being a granny. :-)

And speaking of preciousness and super sweetness- Remember that baby quilt I made? Well, here's the baby it belongs to modelling it's usefulness. Isn't he beyond adorable?! You just forget that people start out so small, ya know? He's the most easy going baby ever. Happy to just be held. Even my husband commented (several times...which only helps to fuel my babylust!) on how precious he is!

Monday, May 7

New pillows for me and Tea Cozy pattern

I made some pretty new pillows for my bed this weekend. The big pink rose-covered pillows at the back of the stack are the new ones. They're super firm so good for leaning up against. I think I used 2.5 lbs of stuffing in each one. Seriously.

I've had several people request I share my tea cozy pattern. It took me a bit to get it together but it's finally here to share.

I'll warn you... While it's not difficult, it is a bit fussy. It's one of those things that shouldn't be tackled in the middle of the night. You've really got to take you time and check (and double check) that everything is put together perfectly. Because of how it's constructed, you can't go back and resew a seam. It has to be right the first time (or at least fixed before moving on to the next step.

Also, I advise against using a serger to sew it. I tried. It wasn't pretty. It's just too many layers. I gave it three tries and each time I broke a needle within a few stitches of starting.

I also advise against cutting the batting down to one layer. I tried that too. It made for a very floppy tea cozy.

In addition to the above pattern, I have step-by-step, illustrated photos to

further explain things. I haven't quite finished with the photos but they're far enough along that all the fussy stuff is explained.

If after looking at the pattern you think that it just looks like too much work (it *is* a lot of work), I'll let ya in on a little secret. I'm working a couple to add to my etsy shop I'll let y'all know when they get there. :-)

By the way, I've been wondering if anyone has actually made anything using any of the patterns and tutorials I've posted. I anyone has I'd love to start a flickr photo pool. But as far as I know, no one has used them at all. So I don't want to be pathetic by starting a pool for photos that don't exist.

Friday, May 4


Mason and I went strawberry picking in my fabric stash last night. :-) These were so fun to make! We now have a big wooden bowl that is no longer empty and a doll who is holding a basket that is no longer filled with bunnies.

In an effort to spread the fun around, here's my pattern.

Some fine print: Please do not sell items made from this pattern. Feel free to enjoy it for your own, personal and gift giving needs. Thank you!

Tuesday, May 1

Apparently no wizarding cloak is complete without a purse to hold magical things. We now have a smiling girl.

(Ya know that commercial for some sort of vacation where the teenager smiles on the jet ski. And when she sees her mom notice her smiling they say, "...and it's gone in a flash!" as the smiles turns to an evil glare. Yeah, I live with that.)

Who knew that my inability to part with the junk beads that come with a "grab bag" assortment would come in handy? I had no idea I was hoarding rare faceted drops of dragon's blood and unicorn's tears. They've now been made into a detachable amulet. And the hematite key? I've been told it has the power to unlock all doors. And the pink and gold bird bead that had no hole gives the bearer the ability to fly.

Who knew? :-)

Hopefully this young wizard has it in her to cast a spell of protection. A big storm is passing through. The sky is black and it's only 5:30pm.

Imagination is alive and well

I know at some point Isabelle (who is almost 12...which should explain her expression) will begin to regard imaginative play as something only little children engage in. For now she still embraces imaginative play.

She has turned her bedroom closet into the biggest dollhouse ever. I'm not quite sure where all her clothing went. I thought it best to not ask. She doesn't realize it but I can hear all of the elaborate goings-on of the dolls from the hallway.

She still flits about the backyard singing and talking to herself. It's becoming bittersweet since I know the days of this sort of play are numbered.

This morning I was getting ready to do reading practice with Mason. But then Isabelle volunteered to help him practice if I'd make the cloak I'd been promising her. Sounds like a deal to me! (Mason seems to be much more motivated by his big sis than by me.)

The funny thing is, now that it's finished I expected to see Isabelle running around outside wearing a silver cloak. What I did not expect to see was my six year old son running around wearing a crocheted poncho (with fun fur trim, no less) and a pair of shorts. I was assured that it's what all the sorcerer's apprentices are wearing these days.

And speaking of Mason, guess what happened to my boy while I was cloak-sewing!