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!)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

monday night brunch

As I mentioned on Monday, I went to a cooking demo at Williams Sonoma that night. They did an autumn brunch menu. It was soooooooooooo delicious! Here's what we had:

sorry for the bad pic....took it with my blackberry!

Marscapone stuffed french toast with pumpkin butter
Brown sugar and cardamom bacon
Quiche Lorraine (with gruyere and sausage)
Roasted potatoes
Bloody Marys
Vanilla Lemonade

It was seriously so delish. The lemonade has to be my new favorite drink! I'm a fan of pumpkin but not a HUGE fan, but I really enjoyed the french toast. I think if it had been made with pumpkin bread it would have been overkill for me, but since it was just the pumpkin butter it was just right. The quiche was perfect - light, flaky, buttery crust and quiche perfectly cooked. The bacon (one of my all-time fave things to eat) was amazing, and the potatoes were tasty as well.

Anyone hungry yet? I'm making this for "brinner" tomorrow (well, minus the french toast...saving that for the weekend!)

Speaking of weekend, I have a new quilt top done (have had for about a week and a half) but need to baste, quilt & bind. Hoping to be able to show you that soon!
Also, check out Andi's blog for a great bag giveaway!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

shop changes...

I'm making a few changes to my shop pages. Namely the announcement page, policies, etc. Because I'm noticing just a few too many similarities between my shop and others. And really, who wants to be just like everyone else?

Disappointing only because of how much effort I put into all of it originally. Blech.....

Oh and can I just say....you aussies are breaking the bank! Holy shipping charges! Eeeks!

But I still love ya! :-)

Monday, October 5, 2009

happy anniversary!


really cheesy wedding photo....i really need to get these negatives digitized

Actually, it was 2 weeks ago today. And that meant 7 years. 7 years that feels so much longer (we've been together 10 years in March) and yet so much shorter at the same time. I mean, gosh - I have a three year old!! How did that happen?

To celebrate we went to a really nice restaurant not far from our home, Joseph Decuis. Soooooo delicious! I had the diver scallops and thought for sure mine would be better than Derrick's (he ordered the halibut) but alas, I'm not quite sure. The garlic ravioli with his was divine! Everything was delicious....the wine, the food, the dessert. I can't wait to go back!

I have food on the brain because I'm headed to a cooking demo at Williams Sonoma tonight, featuring Autumn Brunch. Yum! (I wonder how much gluten will be served....hmmmm)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

what are we up to?

Every year, Derrick goes and meets his college buddies for a weekend back at college. They do the usual....go to a football game, hit the bars, catch up with one another and reminice about old times. This year I was going to ride along and drop him off and continue on down the road to where my 2 lil' brothers live (and my 2 nieces and nephew). But, with Noah having the abscessed tooth, I didn't really want to get so far from home. So, we're staying put this weekend.
So....I decided it was time for a very timely and important project. Any guesses?


Here's a hint.....

Friday, October 2, 2009

princess (and pretty) in pink!

I completed the Princess and the Pea dress for my recent giveaway, and while I don't intend to share pictures of every item I ever make, since I don't offer this fabric in my shop I wanted to share here. Ashley was the winner and she chose the princess fabric in the pink colorway.


Once again, I really love how it turned out! Though I must add, yet again, that this double gauze can really take some getting used to.....um, yeah. I added a slightly larger bias tape to this one and I'm totally loving that!


You should have it soon Ashley! I hope you love it!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

rollin' around

My baby rolled yesterday!

Personally, I think she was just so enamored by the quilt that mommy made her!






My other baby, on the other hand, has not had such good luck. Poor little guy has an abscessed tooth! Isn't that just horrible for a 3 year old? Ugh!!!!

Has to get the sucker ripped out next week (though that option appeals to me far more than a root canal, which I've had...and is NOT fun!)