Monday, December 21, 2009

um, yeah.....

After cutting 200 squares, 50 circles, and getting ready to start applique-ing, there's nothing like having your son announce that "I don't want circles....I want squares like Lilah's quilt."

Sigh.

Luckily I have a solution to the problem. The fat quarter bundle I bought the fabrics with came with a fabric panel. Phew! This is one time I'm actually really glad I involved him in the process and didn't wait to completely surprise him on Christmas. I wanted to, but it's just not feasible. He often comes downstairs to play while I sew, and I just can't do it in complete secrecy all the time. Well, unless I start working a LOT sooner than I did, that is!

Off to start a new quilt.... :-) And actually, this one will be a LOT easier now too! Guess it worked out great for everyone!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

modern baby boy quilt

Phew! Finally done!


It's funny, I read a post a few days back on Amanda Jean's blog about how she made a doll quilt, and she said that the smaller the quilt, the longer it seems to take. I related to that so much with this quilt. I purposely chose to use a layer cake for this quilt and make it a baby size, so I knew it wouldn't take me long. I pieced it at my mother-in-laws two weeks ago and sure enough - no problem. Basted and quilted it at the same time. Again, no issues. But the binding....UGH - the binding on this one!



I only screwed up one corner....but it was still quite the trouble. I had to seam rip it, then cut off and replace the binding (thus also creating extra seams in my binding....and who wants those?). Then stitch it back down. Only - I mananged to stitch up to the corner, stop, and instead of flipping over my corner and starting again, I stitched it down! So, once again, I ripped that up and re-stitched it. And once again I stiched the same exact piece down in the same exact way!!!!!!!!!


Luckily those last two issues were super quick fixes but I seriously don't know what my issue was at the time. I'm happy to say it's done though.


Anyway - enough with the problems. Let's talk about the good stuff! I LOVE these fabrics. The line, again, is Arcadia. I used a layer cake and chose to select squares that did not have any of the contrasting orange fabric. I have another quilt planned with those fabrics! I selected one of the leaf prints from the front for the backing and bound it in a solid chocolate brown. I did minimal quilting on this. I only did straight lines vertically and horizontally through the center of each square. It measures approximately 37" square, and is now for sale in the shop!


I actually meant to post this a few days ago and have been very busy with new yummy things!!! I have a new dress for Lilah in the works that will also be a new addition to the shop, and Christmas projects are in the works. I started a quilt for Noah, inspired by this quilt, and have a few other small gifts planned. I honestly have no idea if I'm going to get them done or not. I simply waited too long to start. I thought I was going to have more free time this week to work on these things but for various reasons the hubby is going to be working his planned vacation. ;-( Oh well....I'll do what I can! Wish me luck!

another new dress

I have a large number of new items I plan on adding to both shops in the coming weeks. In my home shop I have napkins, bowl covers, kitchen wetbags and reusable snack bags.

At Noah and Lilah I have lots of new fabric selections for spring, as well as a new skirt style, top/pant options for both boys and girls, a reversible sherpa-lined vest for both boys and girls as well and two new dress options!

One of my new dress options is a reversible pinafore I was asked to create for a friend. I'm happy to say that they will now be in the shop!

This dress below I had the pieces all ready for before we decided to change up the lining (reversible) fabric to an Echino fabric. So, another sample sale option for a lucky customer!




I really love this dress. I'm trying to decide if I want to nix the "all one piece" style and add buttons or snaps instead. I actually prefer the dress be all one piece - just less "fussy" kid dressing in my opionion, but stitching where the two pieces meet gets a tad bulky. Even that isn't as much of a problem if you have two sides that are perfectly coordinating.



In the case of this dress though, one side being black and one side being red - I had to choose cream (my thread of choice in most cases), red or black. I decided to go with the black on this since it was the more "focal" fabric. So, the thread blends seamlessly on the front, but is a nice contrasting fabric on the red side. Some may like this, some may not.

In any case, I'll be adding this dress to the shop at a sample sale price later today! And more pinafores to come soon!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

all in a week's time...

Gosh - almost a whole week without a post. And here I went and promised a new quilt sometime on Tuesday-ish...

Well, not for lack of trying. In fact, I pretty much had it all ready to go. Quilt pieced, basted and quilted (lightly...you'll see!) and then I attached the binding. After attaching it - I folded it over and clipped it down ready for the final step. Can you see my clips below? Yes, paper clips....hey...I use what's available and what works!

In doing so I found my quilt edges to be a bit "bulky" so I did a little trimming. See the pile next to the machine below?

And in doing so clipped a bit too much....


UGH!!!! Clipped the corner right off the binding!


I can't even explain how upset I was when I realized this. Especially since all the other corners were fine. So...I decided that the best course of action was to set it aside and get through the week and return to it another time.

I'm planning to rip it off at that corner only, re-attach new binding and sew it back down. Hopefully it goes as well in real-time as in my mind. What can I say....a lesson that shows my newbie status. But ya know....it's one of those lessons that really teaches you, ya know? I don't think I'll ever clip a corner again....

I should have it soon....though this time I won't make the mistake of guessing when. ;-)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

giveaway winner!

Wow - 167 entries! Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway, checked out the shop and left comments. So many Olivia fans out there (and probably even more ironic since we're not big "character" people ourselves...I've never seen the show, never read one of the books and my son, for example, has no idea who Mickey Mouse is. And no, I don't think that's a bad thing!)

I used random.org again and the winner is:
#2 - Karamat, who said:

The Olivia set is my favorite! I love that pig... I even wanted to name my daughter Olivia... he he he.

Congrats!

For everyone else, I'm not going to leave you empty handed! For anyone else who loves Olivia and wants to get one of these sets from my shop, be sure to mention "giveaway" in message to seller at checkout for 10% off (refunded via paypal after payment)! This offer is for the Olivia items only and good through next Sunday, December 13th. I even added just the skirt for anyone who wants a skirt without the top. Order today or tomorrow for guaranteed delivery by December 20th - just in time for Christmas!

Hopefully tomorrow I can show you my latest quilt. It just needs a binding.....fingers crossed I can get it done by then! If not, then Tuesday!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

shop open and last holiday orders!

Looking for the giveaway? Scroll down!

The shop is re-open. The last day to order and guarantee Christmas delivery is December 6th. As a final push to get rid of my holiday fabric, I'm not only offering 10% off holiday items, but also FREE SHIPPING on all holiday items!!! Good through Sunday, December 6th. Order now before they're all gone!!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

giveaway day!

It's giveaway day on Sew Mama Sew! I'm giving away one of my Olivia the Pig skirt sets. Also available in my shop (temporarily closed so I can catch up on orders!), the winner will receive the set shown in black polka fabric in any size up to 5T.

Leave a comment to enter. Winner will be announced on Sunday night! Make sure I can click your name or leave me an email so I can reach you. Good luck!




Comments closed....winner will be announced shortly!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

giveaway winner!

I used random.org to select the winner and the winner is......



#4 - Me aka Supermom (also signed Margaret), who said:

Lovely - this is some of my favorite fabrics. I would use it to start a Project Linus donation quilt for 2010, ...all in the spirit of giving and Thanksgiving.

I love the idea of this! I'd love to see some pics when you're done.

Thanks everyone!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

gratitude and a giveaway

(ooops! I was saving this for tomorrow but hit "publish" before changing the date...oh well!)

I hope this post finds all of you having a safe, relaxing, happy holiday with your loved ones! I am spending it with mine, and am so grateful for so many things....my fabulous husband, my amazing and healthy children, good food, friends & family....

I could go on, but you get the idea! How about a giveaway?

This is for one fat quarter of each of the prints shown below - mermaids, underwater sisters & seahorses in aqua. Leave me a comment to enter....maybe tell me what you'll use them for. I'll leave the contest open until 10PM EST Saturday night. Winner to be posted that night or Sunday morning.

Good luck!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

crafty-less??

My posts have been few and far between lately. Not for lack of crafting of any kind, but more due to my inability to find the time each day to post.....or take pictures.....or make anything personal (i.e. - not shop-related).

But the end is near. I really enjoy having the shop, and I am in full-fledged holiday shopping rush sales mode. I'm just riding the wave now until my holiday fabric is gone, and then a well-deserved break is in order. I have so many other things I want to get started/work on/finished....and the rapidly approaching holiday reminds me of how far behind I am on all of that! Many handmade gifts are planned, so I need to get crackin!

But lots is happening still. Most crafting has been taking place in the kitchen.

3 bushels of apples were turned into:


• Applesauce (no recipe needed....apples and cinnamon only!)
• Apple cake (I canNOT remember where I found this recipe...pretty sure it was linked from another crafty blog...anyone?)
Apple Pie Filling



And during said "kitchen crafting" there was music:


Much less "cutesy" than a lot of kids music. We've been dancing in the kitchen (to which Lilah responds with fits of giggles!) and Noah keeps making regular requests for it. We were at Barnes and Noble buying Food, Inc. and he saw a CD with a plane on it and that was that.... And no, there are no songs about planes. Bummer.

His other regular request is "Please Don't Stop the Music" by Rihanna. Go figure. ;-)

I still haven't had a chance to make the item I planned to giveaway as celebration for my 100th sale, but I'll be doing that soon. Check back here on December 2nd as I participate in Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day! But a giveaway is still in order....check back here on Thanksgiving for some gratitude and a giveaway....fabric related!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

another quilt....finished and started!

We've had a bit of illness around here. First Noah, then Derrick, and now Lilah and I. Nothing too crazy...just yucky colds, but enough to make me want to lay in bed under the covers with a great movie and a hot bowl of soup. Oh...wait...I have kids. Scratch that idea!

I was hoping to have a giveaway today, but the time spent caring for the not-so-well little ones left me with no time to finish the item for said giveaway. In good time.... (and I recently scored some recently out-of-print & hard to find fabric....so maybe a fabric giveaway is in order soon as well....).

I at least wanted to show my last quilt. Another wonderland patchwork quilt (AKA, the quilt that Ashley made famous!). In fact, I see that Ashley has two Wonderland quilts for sale in her shop! Grab them before they're gone!


I've also been following the Block Party blog and they rolled out a tutorial for Friendship Stars. I had recently purchased a quilting bundle and thought this might be a fun quilt to make with them! I might have to fit some of the variation stars in there as well (I'm partial to the orange one myself!)


Anyone else following along and making friendship stars?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

orange flowers

We had the most beautiful weather here today....mid 60s...sunny...spring-like! Which was such a treat because we had our family photos taken today. The photos below....they are thanks to the hubby. He's taking a photography class and he's practicing every day.

I had this shirt in mind for months for Lilah.....I had this fabric in my shop as part of a line I purchased and since it was more of an accent fabric it never sold - even though it was one of my favorites!

So as soon as I had this idea I yanked the possibility of it selling from the shop. I had to make this top....and I had to have this hat!

First...the top. The top is easily made by using my peasant dress pattern and simply shortening it. And with the serger - I can make the top in no time once cut. The elastic in the arms and neck take the most time! I love this as a toddler top because it fits generously...which in my mind means comfort. And as you can see, it easily layers over long sleeves for the cooler weather. Our pics were in the morning when there was still a bit of chill in the air.

And the hat? ...or hats in this case. They hail from Portland Beanie Company on Etsy. I had actually planned to feature them in my "friday finds" yesterday, but ran out of Friday....where do those hours go?

Anyway - Nili was amazing. I had planned to order these weeks ago (our shoot was actually supposed to happen over Halloween weekend and then with family in town and lots going on we postponed) so placed an emergency rush order last Sunday. I had them in hand by Thursday! And they are so beautiful and comfy and FUN to wear! I actually put Lilah's hat on as soon as we received it and immediately started taking pics....I left it on far too long due to the cuteness factor!

And celebration is in order! I actually hit a milestone today. 100 orders on Etsy! I am so grateful....it has been an amazing experience thus far.

A very special (and somewhat different!) kind of giveaway is in order. Coming later this week - stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

curveballs

Life is funny. There's always curveballs in there...

Last January I was diagnosed with a gluten intolerance. No biggie (though I'm certain I didn't say that at the time!). It is a huge change, but once you get used to and find really great substitutes for bread, pasta, etc. it gets pretty easy.

But every once in a while I cheat. And the way gluten works....those cravings come back and sneak up on you and then you cheat again....and again...

Last week our little guy was diagnosed with the same thing as his mama. So, back to square one for me...and really means we're going gluten free as a family. Too hard to have wheat-based stuff in the house that your three year old can't eat and then try to explain to him why he can't eat that through tears.

Luckily we haven't encountered too much of that just yet. All these months of "mommy can't eat that or she'll get sick" and "mommy has special bread" have helped. And if you ask him he'll make the cutest face you have ever seen (no seriously....it is!) and tell you it was because of his blood test. Which he was so fearful of, and was such a complete and total champ during - he watched and everything!

Anyway, now I'm trying to plan Thanksgiving (which we're driving 5 hours for) with two gluten free and one vegan and trying to locate a local free-range turkey (our fault for not ordering ours sooner) and all that while also planning a trip with some girlfriends in Vegas in March and multiple quilts I'm juggling and shop orders and ......my head starts spinning!




See now....she has the right idea! I think I'll go join her! ;-)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

block party quilt along!

Have you heard the news? The ladies over at Block Party have started a new quilt-along! But not just any quilt-along...there's a book, and bees, and a giveaway...!

Too much to talk about here. Head on over and check it out!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

eva

This little baby is something I put together for my new niece. I mentioned it a while back but never did get around to showing you. (and don't mind the creases...its' been sitting and waiting for me!)


This was made with 2 charm packs of Eva by Basic Grey for Moda. I like to lay them out (when for a baby) in a nice 9x9 square pattern, resulting in a finished size of about 39" x 39" - great size for a playmat.

This is a beautiful collection of fabrics, and quite pretty for a little girl I think. I like it because it has some pink, but notn too much, and I love the darker purples, aubergine and lime colors mixed it.

The beautiful paisley and wonderful prints are my favorite!
I will admit when laying out the squares that I felt some of the squares are really dark - almost too dark. But then once you get it all together with the pops of lime and really pale pink it works really well together! I'm hoping to get it quilted and finished this week.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

two little fishies

I hope everyone had a fabulous Halloween! My lil guy had a blast trick or treating (though as expected, what a bit apprehensive at first.) You know how it is...once they realize they're actually handing out free candy just for walking up to the door they get a little more excited!

We're lucky to live in a community where the whole neighborhood comes out for the event. Kids, parents - even some of the local cops and firefighters were walking and riding motorcycles handing out candy. Pretty neat!

Well, here is the big reveal!

I have to admit that as I sewed the scales on I was a little worried he was starting to look more like a bird than a fish! Luckily, the backside was a little more telling:


Noah is at the age where Halloween really starts to make sense. We've had a lot of fun making his last two costumes...I can't wait to see what he wants to be next year!

Friday, October 30, 2009

olivia & olivia

I recently had a custom order for a very special Olivia's birthday. She loves Olivia the Pig, so her mom contacted me about making a dress for her. So, I purchased some fabric and got to work!



While the dress I had intended did not quite work out (long story...) we changed up the dress style and made it with that. It turned out so cute and since I basically ordered the fabric just for that dress (with a little extra just in case of any mistakes) I went ahead and made her a matching skirt set as well!





I listed the skirt set in my shop and within 45 minutes I had someone who wanted it. It's kind of funny to me because I honestly had never even heard of Olivia the Pig until I was approached by Olivia's mom about it.

So, tell me everyone...does your little girl love Olivia? Should I add more sets to the shop? If there is enough interest I just may!

halloweens of years past

It's getting late, but I'm still working with an orange little fishy (I obviously started this post last night...but the youngest little fishy needed her mommy!)...

I thought I'd post some "preview" pics of the costume but it's late so it's dark, and the lighting is really bad down there right now. Few more weeks 'til proper studio lighting!

So instead I thought I'd take you on a tour of Halloweens past. Well, the last 2 years anyway.
Noah's first Halloween. Lion costume from Old Navy. Cute as heck, so so un-original and ....easy!
Noah last year...an airplane! We have to give daddy most of the credit for this get-up. He worked to mold and glue the foam (in many stages) until it was just right. It was so darned cute...and he had tons of compliments on it!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

early holiday sale!

I'm busy busy making costumes for 2 little fishes, but in the meantime I thought I'd offer my blog readers a special sale.

Now through Saturday, use the code "holiday" in message to seller to get 10% off any item in my holiday section. And all orders over $100 get free shipping always!

Become a follower of my blog to see offers like this first!

Back to my fishies...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

nine weeks? really?

I was driving yesterday and saw a storefront sign that read:

"GIFT SETS ARE HERE. ONLY 9 WEEKS LEFT TIL CHRISTMAS"

OMG really? It sounds so close when you count in weeks! And I have so much yet to do! Like, Noah's quilt, a few more for gifts, try to lose a few more pounds before I pack on some more eating all that delicious yummy food.....wait a minute. It's not even Halloween! And I'm not ready for that either!

Yep, it's Tuesday before Halloween and I have yet to finish Lilah's costume. Or even start Noah's for that matter. But that all changes tonight! I had a crazy weekend of sewing (again thanks to the awesome hubby) and I'm all caught up on orders through yesterday, filled an order for my photog for 17!!! items, and sewed a few extra things along the way.

Like this:

We worked on the nature table a bit. It's looking a little...um...sparse right now. Noah and I have some nature walks through the woods this week planned to collect more!

But the table was even more sparse-looking until I added this table runner!

I just love the Timeless Treasures Apple collection - such great fall colors and themes. I thought some chocolate brown fabric with the apples would be great - and I love it!


It measures 70" x 15" and is pieced on the top and pieced on the bottom as well, but is still solid chocolate. It's an addition I plan to make to my new shop, HomeModern, here in the next few days. Along with matching napkins in this combo and other fall & autumn appropriate colors. Stay tuned for that!
But my favorite new addition to the nature table is this lovely autumn tree I blogged about here.


Isn't it just gorgeous? I absolutely love it! So glad I ordered it!
Now, off to fashion a couple of little fishies!

Friday, October 23, 2009

friday finds :: fabric

So, I finally took the plunge and added quilts to my shop! I loved making Lilah's so much and my niece's - so I thought they'd be a great addition there. I'm only going to make one at a time...so when a listing sells, it won't be relisted until I have the sold one complete. I just really want to give them the attention they deserve (especially with the other sales I have to manage).

The quilt I added is the same as the one I made for Lilah. It is made with the wonderful Wonderland fabrics by Momo for Moda. This line is actually out of print now, so I'm lucky that I was able to score the fabrics this late in the game at all! I love the fabrics though -super fun - scissors, butterflies, vines, polka dots...great stuff!

I love designer fabrics. I'm not particularly fond of the novelty stuff you normally find at Joann's and Hancocks. I do have fabrics from there, but they are not what I sew from mostly. I find the selection online to be far better (obvously) but I really do see a difference in quality too. Heavier weights, softness, etc. Though I certainly take advantage of Joann sales when I can (I stock up on batting and Kona solids when they're on sale or I have coupons!)

The fabric sellers on Etsy are great. Great selections, great customer service - I love shopping with them! And everyone I've ever bought from ships priority - so I have my fabics most of the time within 2 days!

Fabricworm is no exception. Great customer service - amazing selection - and crazy impressive sales record to boot! One thing I LOVE about her shop is that she puts together these amazing quilt sets - fabric that is not from the same line but are all in similar colorways and look great together! I was perusing her shop and fell in love with a couple of the options she offers, and think they may become more quilt offerings in the future!

For those of you that like my snowman skirts (and judging by the way they're selling MANY of you do!) check these out:

These are Bloom and Grow by Riley Blake. The same company that the Be Merry line is from. This shows how you can create essentially the same quilt but just from different colorways. Great option for twins! While you're at it, check out Riley Blake's Just Dreamy too. Love that line!


Here's a great modern option for a boy quilt. A mix of designer fabrics in blues and greens! Love the Alexander Henry in there!

And this is a beautiful collection of different designers in orange, pink and green! She calls this collection Pretty in Rainbow Sherbert. Isn't it great?
If you've never tried any of the fabric sellers on etsy, I urge you to try them out. Really, you can't go wrong!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

why my guy rocks

So, as I hinted to yesterday, my hubby just plain rocks. Seriously.

Now, I know there are guys out there that are great guys...and many are also great partners. And there are also tons of great dads. My guys is all of the above...and then some!

He's a total 50/50 partner. He helps around the house...a LOT. He cooks, he cleans, he does laundry. And dad....I can't even begin to explain what an amazing father he is. And not just because of how he is with the kids, but also because of how he supports me and gives me that extra "oomph" when I've had one of "those" days. (C'mon you stay-at-home-ladies! I know you ALL have them!)

Yesterday I had a ton of errands to run. We participate in a CSA and although the produce is done for the year, the farmer still has fall stuff available which we planned on getting for canning and cold storage. Potatoes, onions, pie pumpkins, etc. Then, I had to take both kids with me to go apple picking! We already went and picked a bushel, but we made some applesauce and we wanted more and with the gorgeous weather we were having I figured it was perfect timing!

So, while I ran around and did all of that, guess what my hubby did? He ran to Joann Fabrics, and bought me some much needed sewing notions. Is that not totally fab or what?

And also.....last week when I was feeling a bit down, guess what my guy did? This:




He bought this one day last week and put it together! And I think what's even more amazing is that the shelving is actually a temporary fix until I get my new basement STUDIO!!!
We've already discussed the plans and I'm so excited! In the works are a built-by-us "L" shaped sewing desk, extra large cutting table that will be hinged to the wall for storage up and out of the way when not in use, built-in shelving for bolts of fabric, and a built-in clothing rod for those ready-made items that need to be stored!

We've been in this house for almost two and a half years now. It's a new house and has a full basement and my hubby has been slowly adding wiring, drywall (which the builder left behind!) and lighting to the basement for the entire time we've lived here. He had declared a few weeks ago that we were finishing the basement this year. I'm really excited about the whole thing - it's a nice large space, my studio will be down there and still have plenty of room for the whole fam to hang out. And I'll be sure to keep you all in the loop as it progresses!

Which brings me to another segue....I used to think that I was never a "creative" person. I liked DIY stuff on our house and working in the yard/garden but never thought of myself as crafty. It kind of all struck me one day when I realized that I've been crafting my whole life (even as a child) but just never saw any of it that way. I made candles when young, sewed (only hand stitching), did needlepoint, and many other things. As I grew older I did less of those and more "home" based crafts. Our wedding was very DIY (we did all the invites, flowers, etc) and we have done a TON of DIY'ing to our last two homes and a little here as well.

So, over time I'll be bringing you some "craftiness" DIY-style (think before & afters). And of course it would also go hand-in-hand with my new Etsy shop (coming soon)...HomeModern. I'm trying really hard to get things together to put in the shop...but got kind of slammed in the last week with orders for Noah and Lilah (which is so fantastic!). I'm about done with all of those so hopefully after this weekend there will be some items unveiled!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

rejuvenation

Thanks for the kind words everyone! Sorry for the absence - I wasn't avoiding the blog, but rather was spending a few lovely days with family and getting caught up on necessary activities (you know....like apple picking, making applesauce...stuff like that!). And I have the best hubby. Really, the BEST!!! More on that later!

I'll have a proper blog post tomorrow, but in the mean time, go check me out over at Grosgrain! Yep, you guessed it. ANOTHER giveaway!

Enjoy!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

funk-y & quilty

Unfortunately, nothing cool and funky to post about...more about me being a bit "funk-y" lately. Just a lot going on, and maybe even the weather has had a bit to do with it (quite cold and way too much rain lately!) Like many women, I had post-partum after my son pretty bad, so it's something I have to keep an eye on.

In happier quilty news, I have finished most of Lilah's costume!


Yep, she'll be our little quilty "gold" fish! Completely Noah's choosing, (color and all) and I think he made a great choice! I'll just come right out and tell you that Noah has decided to be a fish as well (seriously, how cute is it that he really wanted to be the same thing as his new baby sister?) but he's going to be an orange fish. And his costume will be different, obviously. Kind of hard for a three year old to walk in that get-up!
I used this idea for her costume. The idea I originally had for hers is actually what I'll be doing for Noah now. That one is all me though! We'll see how it turns out!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

new things

For the most part, I'm a self-taught sewer (well, and knitter actually...). When I started, I took two classes (a pillowcase and an apron), but that's it. I'm always a bit nervous when I try new things, but how else will I learn? Though truth be told, there are times when I'd really just prefer a "hands-on" lesson from an expert!

Here is my latest "lesson": a hidden zipper! This zipper is for a fitted jumper dress I'm making for a special little birthday girl. I had a request for a custom item from her mom. This little one's favorite pig just happens to be Olivia. So, I purchased some Olivia fabric and I'm making the dress out of red polka-dot fabric as a tester. The dress is adorable, and is going great except for the zipper.

It's actually not going poorly, just not as well as I might hope. Luckily, there are fabulous tutorials out there (tutorial starts about 3 mins in), and now that I've done it once I'm fairly certain I know exactly what to do next time. The zipper is in and functions just as it should, but the finishing isn't what I want. So, I'll make another (and another, and another) until it looks as it should. Luckily, it's a custom order for a local mom that I know (and birthday isn't until early November) so I have that flexibility!

I'll be sure to share the finished product when it's just right!

Friday, October 9, 2009

friday finds :: autumn tree

I've decided that rather than feature my "Cool Stuff" section on the left I'm going to start doing a "friday finds" - where I feature some things I'm loving at the moment. These will be items that I've found on my own, and not asked to feature in any way. I'm just putting them here because I think they're so fab!

I've been wanting to do a nature table for some time, but we've never quite gotten around to it. The console table that used to be across from our table in the kitchen (it's really more of a buffet) has been in our foyer so that there was room for Noah's play kitchen and table in its place. The art and carft supplies have found a home there, so I figured this really is the best place for it. Perhaps it will provide some inspiration for future arts and crafts!

So, in determining the types of things to put on it, coupled with Noah's increasing interest and knowledge of the changing seasons, I contacted our library to put together a learning packet for us. Our public library system here is fantastic. There is a very large homeschooling community, and so the library offers incredible resources for them.

I was able to tell them how many items I would like (25 or as many as 100!! Great for teachers...), the reading level and interest level of my child, what types of materials I want (books, DVDs, CDs, etc.) and even request specific titles. They will take this info, put together an entire packet and have it ready and waiting for me!

So, next Wednesday we'll be picking up our packet geared toward a 3 year old with letter recognition, all about the changing of seasons with a focus on autumn and winter, with some Halloween stuff thrown in. Seriously, how cool is that?

Back to the nature table. I've found the most incredibly perfect centerpiece for it!

Isn't that just gorgeous? I can't even remember how I came upon it, but it was sold when I found it. I saved it in my faves on etsy and contacted prettydreamer to see if she could do another for me, and she was happy to oblige! I can't wait to receive it! This is going to be the centerpiece of our autumn table.

She has many other beautiful pieces in there. Check it out!
I'm off to relax with the family....hubby's promised me a fire tonight! ;-)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

autumn is here...

Something so completely and totally evident the last few days is that autumn isn't just coming....it's here! The weather has turned downright cool (or in the case of last Wednesday night, frosty!), the wind has been blowing, the trees are turning and well....it's nearly mid-October!

I was so dreading this just a month or so ago. I was born and raised in Chicago. Then spent 4.5 years in Central Illinois at college. Then spent 2.5 years working in Chicago. And then....we moved to sunny, warm, beautiful Phoenix! And last winter was dreadful. It felt like winter for 6 months. For me anyway....I don't like cold weather.

But I have to admit....I do love autumn. And I love winter. Pretty much right up until Christmas time. And then I'm done. Ready for spring & summer. And of course, in these parts, we have a good 3 months or so of winter left. But the changing of seasons is so significant to me. One of the things Derrick and I discussed before we moved away from Phoenix was how we couldn't imagine raising our kids there, having grown up in 4 season climates ourselves. And so here we are!

I feel so ready for autumn now! I'm craving cooler sweater weather, fires in the fireplace (one of my very favorite things in the whole wide world), fires outside (okay...I like to burn stuff!), and the changing fall colors.

More on that tomorrow.... In the meantime...here are some fall-related pics from this past week!

More evidence of fall....corn stalks and pumpkins at the zoo!
I love sumacs. Their changing colors are amazing...

Oh yes....it's upon us!

I just have to share this while this picture reminds me of it. We don't watch a ton of TV around here. For one reason - time. I don't really get how busy families have time for it. But we also don't want our kids to grow up in front of it - so we make sure to not have it on "just because" all the time. We both grew up that way and want to avoid that for our kids. Noah has watched TV though, of course. We don't restrict anything. I think that can be worse, actually. For whatever reason, every show he's watched has been watched one at a time. Meaning, when he wants to watch TV it's one thing and one thing only. For months. First it was Doodlebops. Then it was Little Einsteins (my least fave). Then it was Peep (my absolute fave - GREAT kids show). Now it's Big Cat Diary (thus the leopard pic). So when we went to the zoo on Monday he had to bring his binoculars and look at all the animals through them just like they do on Big Cats. It was hilarious (and incredibly adorable)!


Yes, we live in Indiana (and I need to work on my photography...it's coming!)

The only maple tree in our yard. Well, technically not IN our yard but in view of it. All the rest are oaks and pine. And maples are, of course, my favorite.
Another "have to" share. I wore this to the zoo (pic courtesy of Noah) and received so many compliments and questions on it while there I thought I'd mention it. It's called a Peekaru. Meant to work with many carriers, it has a hole for baby's head and neck and is worn comfortably. I wore this with our Ergo baby carrier. I originally bought it from Baby Cotton Bottoms. I hear they don't carry it anymore, but it's a great shop for any other cloth-diapering families out there (which we are as well!)