Sunday, January 30, 2011

Out with the old...

While I don't change much of my basic decor very often, I do like to rotate things during the year such as pillowcases, curtains, etc.  It is an inexpensive and easy way to make little changes here and there.  First, I made these  potholders (the larger one from this tutorial and the little one from this tutorial).  Super fun and fairly quick.  I need to make a few more to go with these.  

And, I need to actually USE them.  Yes, they are so cute that I've threatened my family not to use them, but to keep  using the old ones.  Kind of silly - like not using your pretty china because you're afraid it will break.  But, what fun is that, right?  So, I must toss the old ones and move on!

I didn't use the Insul-Brite, but instead used the silver quilted ironing board cover material that I used on... yes, my ironing board cover!  Same basic idea - protect the skin.

I decided to switch my kitchen curtain back to this one.  I LOVE this print.  It should look very familiar - hint, hint - look around my blog!  I also made something else with it that I will share soon.  It is soft and reminds me of Valentine's Day which is just around the corner.

And finally, I changed the pillow covers on my couch and love seat.  I was digging through my stash of "changeables" and didn't even remember making these!  They say the memory is the first thing to go.  But, it was a good "find" and I did finally recall making them.  I really like the pillows in the first picture because "redwork" is one of my faves and the second picture shows some fleece that I found a few years ago and wish I had bought more of it!  Yes, red is a favorite color of mine these days.



I hope to start on a quilt for my bed.  I've been hoarding some pretty Tanya Whelan fabric for about a year now.  Maybe I'm just scared to start the project.  But, again - what good is it doing me sitting there in the fabric hutch when it could be gracing my bed?!

How about you?  Do you do the "switch-a-roo" in your home?
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Friday, January 14, 2011

Craft Book Challenge

Why yes, I believe I will!  I'm up for a new challenge.  Especially one that gives me the excuse to sew and craft!  

Liesl from Liesl Made has come up with a fun challenge - to get out our craft books and USE them!  Wow!  I didn't think of that.  I mean, they look pretty on my shelf, right?  But, use them?  Create from them?  I'm kidding.  Of course I always intend to.  So, now I have to.  I said I would!  

I think I better start narrowing down my first project.  I've got some pretty good books to choose from!

Go here to check our the Craft Book Challenge and tell Liesl I sent you!  She doesn't actually know me, but that's okay, tell her anyway!
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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Giddy Up!

I had fun with these little skirts.  My daughter loves this style and they are quick to put together with minimal fabric.  I'm so happy when people comment to her about her skirts because she beams and says, "My mommy made it!"  


I'll miss those days of her whirling around in them pretending to be a princess or a ballerina.  I'll make as many skirts as she wants!

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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Saturday Scripture

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

It is hard for me to let go of my to-do list and seek Him first.    I hit the floor running each day with "that" list in mind, but most assuredly need to change my routine.  I've got to simplify things.  With four kids coming and going and all the activities - something has to give.  Where do I start?  I have so much I want to get done, so many plans, so many goals.  Selfish, I know.

Do you ever feel like your life is a "to-do" list?  Get up, eat, go, shop, cook, drive, eat, clean, drive, go, eat, sleep. 

I know there is more and God intended more.  But, it is a different "more" than what I've created and scheduled.  Its time to simplify and get back to basics.
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Friday, January 7, 2011

My studio needed a lift!

Someone suggested a while back that I get some type of lift for my sewing machines so that I didn't have to break my back getting them from under my counter and having to put them back again.  I have thought about that for some time as it was great advice.  Since I do not like leaving much out in my studio, I am constantly taking the sewing machine and serger from beneath the counter, setting them up and then reversing the whole process.

After some thought, research, and planning, I have exactly what I need - a lift!  I purchased this lift from Rockler.  It is most typically used for heavy duty mixers. (I love the way flour is sprinkled all over the counter and lift, but the mixer is pristine and clean!)

My dear friend, Richard (who has done the large majority of remodel in my home including my entire studio) installed the lift for me.  He is wonderful to work with because first he listens, then he helps plan and calculate, and finally he completes the jobs better than most "professionals".  He builds things well and to last.  I'm pretty sure I could jump on my counter top and it wouldn't budge!  That's saying a lot!

Here is the space before adding the lift:
And voila...

This lift holds not only my very heavy Janome 9700, but my Evolve serger as well.  And, I can leave them in place and sew from both machines.  I just swivel my chair around.  Or stand at the serger which I can do every once in a blue moon!

I had intended to paint the shelf of the lift but decided instead to cover it with fabric and then a heavier vinyl.  So, late at night when everyone was asleep, I got out a few of my tools.  Who says a gal can't use tools?  You should see my toolbox - it rocks!  And yes, Gingher scissors and a sewing awl are serious tools, too!

And voila again...


 Both machines

The picture makes the room look pretty small, but it really is very spacious.  I even have room to add my acrylic sewing table next to my machine and onto the counter and I have room to my left for cutting and pinning, and also behind my chair where I iron.  The power cords run on top of the lift and under the counter to the plug.  I can move the lift up and down without bothering the cords and even better - without having to plug them in or unplug them.  (I do unplug them from my machine so there is no power serge to harm them.)

Now I can just put the pedals on the lift, cover the machines, pull the handy handles to release the machines below the counter, pull the curtain and everything is tidy again.  

After installation, we noticed that the lift shows slightly through the curtains.  This is because the weight of the machines makes the lift settle in that position.  So, after even more thought, I have decided to turn that portion of the counter space into an actual cabinet.  It will bring forward the lift by about three inches, giving me a little more space on the table.  It will also encase the end of the counter space below, add doors, and eliminate the curtain in front and on the side.  I will post about that later!

Thanks for stopping by.  I appreciate your time and enjoy your comments and suggestions.
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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Queen for the Day

As I posted last year, I have no problem telling people, "Today is my birthday!"  Why not, right?  Yes, I'm older and yes, much better (? questionable - but I'm going with it), but it was another year of living and loving life.  Another year's worth of gifts from God.  So, party on!

 I had a wonderful day and many birthday wishes from friends.  I had a great lunch with my sweet baby girl and two dear friends at a local burger shop that just opened.  They have sweet potato fries that are fantabulous!  My daughters left me little birthday notes about the house and on my chalkboard in the kitchen.   My daughter's boyfriend even brought me fresh flowers - big time points in my book!  And, my husband made sure I didn't cook last night (I wish every day was my birthday!) and brought home my annual birthday cookie!  It was a loverly day!

Ummmm, sorry - I got caught up in the moment and forgot to take a picture of the cookie cake BEFORE we tore it apart!  It was yummy though!

I went ahead and splurged on the Nook color.  I love it and it is a fun little thing to have.  My BFF and I can go to Barnes and Noble (together  - like a girlfriend date) and then sit in silence (together - not speaking) and read to our Nook's content (together - in silence)!!  How fun will that be?!  I, having four children and BFF having two of her own certainly appreciate the "quiet moments" in life!  Even if it means escaping to a public place to have them!

I do feel a little guilty though.  Lots of money for a toy.  So, I've made myself feel better by knowing that it will be there for all the family to use and hopefully I will take the time I should to sit and read God's word on a daily basis.  I know, I can do that with a printed bible.  Don't throw that in my face.  Anyway, I'm keeping it.  I think it is like that gym membership - if you pay good money, you are more likely to guilt yourself into using it use it.  I will be able to purchase some books from the money my sweet mother-in-law sent and I decided to sew my own Nook cover instead of buying the pricey leather kind.  And, who needs an excuse to sew?

Well, I've gotten the grocery shopping out of the way and posted for the day.  On to see the counselor at the local college.  Its time to see what needs to be taken care of for my oldest daughter.  She graduates high school this year and wants to jump into college courses this summer.  I think I've put this off for obvious reasons.  But, she must move on to that chapter in life and I want to be there to guide her, encourage her, and then watch her fly. She has great things ahead of her, I know.
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Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Tomorrow is my birthday and I am considering splurging on the Nook Color e-reader!  Do I need it?  "Need" is a strong word here, but I think I would definitely get some good use out of it.  I like the idea of a color reader and you can view magazines!  Its best feature... you can add a charm to the bottom!  (still giggling at that!)

What do you think?  I've read the reviews but I want to hear what you have to say!  Do you have an e-reader and if so, what do you like most about it?

I could also just ask for a JoAnn's gift card.  Totally a good deal!  Of course, I would gladly accept the Canon 7D.  Just sayin'!
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Monday, January 3, 2011

I made the "Nice" list!

I hope you all enjoyed the holiday season and are excited about 2011!  Christmas was wonderful and we had a great time with the kids.  I guess we have it down to a fine science after about 17 years.  We were finished "assisting" Santa and I was in bed by 11:00 p.m.  And, I actually got up on Christmas morning before my husband!  Never happens!

Well, I did it again!  Apparently, despite myself - I managed to make the "nice" list again this year! My family got me what I asked for surprised me with a pink camera!  (The other camera had a small mishap after the four year old was on a photo shoot.  It's  whatever.)  How ever did they know?  This little gal has so many creative controls and makes it convenient to shoot quickie pics when I don't want to get out my big daddy Canon EOS 20D.

Also under the tree were these cool books!  I had Kay Whitt's book on the top of my list even though I don't sew for myself (yet).  I couldn't resist.  It is a beautiful book!  I love the way she added her illustrations and sketches.  I am told that once I stop sewing for my children, I will sew for myself.  Well, maybe I don't want to wait that long!


I would love to hear what fun things Santa brought you this year!  Surely you didn't get coal in your stocking!

I put away all the Christmas decorations last Thursday and cleaned the house.  I was exhausted by the end of the day!   As much as I LOVE to decorate for the holidays, I like to start the new year with a clean slate.  It sure makes the house look bare though!  I didn't get much sewing done over the past few weeks, but did make a few small projects which I will share soon.

Christmas break is over and the kids head back to school tomorrow (which will be "today" by the time you read this!)  Why does it always fly by so doggone fast?  New Year's eve was fun and nerve-racking all at the same time.  My two oldest went to parties so it was strange having them gone.  We usually all celebrate together and stay home to avoid the idiot drivers who have been drinking.  So, I was so relieved when they were finally home!

New Year's day was eventful and I finally got something of my to-do list.  I am, once again giddy.  More on that in the next post!
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