Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New Item in the Shop

Not only did I finish the red bag, but I finally got decent photos of it, uploaded the photos to the computer, editted said photos and listed it all on Etsy. Yeah! I feel tired just typing that all out. But at least I have a finished product after all of that work on the rainbow project. Remind me not to look at the pile of other rainbow quilt blocks sitting on my sewing table. I need a break.


Monday, September 27, 2010


 There was such a cloud hanging over me. I was sitting down and doing so much sewing, but it felt like procrastinating. I was avoiding opening up the screen printing and block printing kits I had bought and my sewing pile was benefitting from it. But this past weekend I finally did it. I opened up those boxes and decided right away to not attempt the screen printing yet and not carve my own block! Instead I dug up my old stamps and just experimented with the inks and composition.

I just wanted to get my hands dirty and try it. So I did.

I have a million more ideas flowing through my head now and an impatient toddler that wants my attention. Gotta go. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Loving my Sewing Machine

So I mentioned making a date with my sewing machine and a vacuum earlier. I also mentioned I'd explain that a little bit better. Maybe some of you are already well aware of this trick, maybe some are not. But I saw on the internet once (God Bless the internet) a little trick to help speed up cleaning the lint out of your sewing machine. It was a long time ago, otherwise I'd try and find the link to the original site.

But moving on...Obviously all that friction with cloth and thread starts to build up some lint in the crevices of a sewing machine. Especially down in the bobbin casing area. It's recommended that after each well sized project you clean out all that lint and lubricate all the vital parts of the sewing machine. It's been...well it's been many well sized projects since I gave my sewing machine a good clean out and rub down. She deserves better.

So the trick is to take the end of your vacuum (with no attachment), some masking tape and a straw.

Use the masking tape to adhere the straw to the end of the vacuum cleaner hose and keep suction. Then bend that plastic sucker into all the nooks and crannies you can. Afterwards I put the soft brush attachment on and go over the whole exterior of the sewing machine.

I then read my sewing machine guide book like it's the bible and put machine oil in all the right parts. I keep a rag on hand to wipe away any excess oil.

There you have it. Keep your fingers crossed that I'll have something more exciting and photo worthy for your viewing next time!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Squeezing in One More Project

Okay, I'll admit it, I snuck one more project in before giving the sewing machine a spa day!
And before you start wondering if I changed my daughter's name (for those of you who know her name), this cape is not for my off spring, but for a friend of hers.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Red Bag is Complete!!!

Oh yeah! I did it. All by myself. I finished it. It's done. Yeah, yeah, yeah!
(imagine snoopy dance for enhanced visual pleasure)

Can you tell I'm excited to have finished the red bag?
I hope to have some photos for here and have it listed in the shop as soon as I can.

Now I have a date with my sewing machine and a vacuum cleaner.
I'll give details later.
And I'll be giving my sewing machine a wee break so I can try out some fabric printing.
Wish me luck!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Red Bag Continued...

Well I couldn't do it. I just couldn't put that light brown liner in the red bag. So I went shopping. Such a hardship, I know...And after some shopping (and sisterly advice, thanks Kathy!) I found a liner and pocket fabric that I think will suit the red bag much better.

What do you think? The print is the liner and the solid dark red is for the pockets. I even found red fabric straps!!! I like how the dark red compliments, but doesn't match the red bag, yet there is plenty of white to keep the interior of the bag light and airy. Especially important when you're routing around in there for your keys or wallet, but then again, maybe you should've been using the pockets I put in!

I've washed, dried and ironed the fabric. Now I just need to sit down and cut and sew! Wish me luck.

New Items in the Shop

The Christmas bags are listed in the shop! I meant to last night, but I fell asleep on the couch instead.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Christmas is Coming...

Can you tell what I've been doing?

It never stops feeling good to sew. I actually can't believe I got so much done. Breaking it up into parts helps. I forgot my old process of prepping and cutting fabric at night while I watched tv beside my husband. Then sew the next day during spare moments (i.e. nap time). I loved it.

Look for updates in the shop soon!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Shop Updates

I'm trying really hard to use better descriptions and more accurate shades of color to better convey my products to potential customers. So I've done a lot of tweaking to the shop, plus updating a few items and adding a few old items back into the mix. Take a look and tell me what you think.

I'd love to be able to sit down at the sewing machine and produce all the new ideas in my head, but alas, time does not allow for that right now.

I will tell you that I got around to making and sewing in the pockets for the red bag. I'm torn on the liner though. Is it the right color for the red bag? It all comes down to what color straps to add. If I add red it doesn't go with the brown liner. But if I add brown straps it doesn't go with the red bag. And I'd like this bag to be reversible. So I'd like both colors to work with the straps. Ugh. Decisions decisions. Help me make one.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Mommy Monday

This felt like a doozy of a Mommy Monday. Remind me to write about a mundane day so you don't think I try too hard.

Enjoy the blessing of waking up before my daughter by eating breakfast in silence and calm
Hear the sound of babble from upstairs
Listen to daughter tell husband to go away
Go upstairs to fetch daughter
Lose my temper trying to dress her
Stomp downstairs and listen to husband wrestle her clothes on
Finally get daughter downstairs to say goodbye to husband
Feed her breakfast
Bribe convince daughter to go to grocery store
Actually find everything I need and get away with a small bill
Return home to bribe watch Sesame Street
Peel and core 18 apples to make apple sauce
Feed daughter a snack
Draw with markers
Convince her it's nap time
Read a nap time book and go downstairs to finish apple sauce
Start canning apple sauce
Hear the sound of babble from upstairs
Go upstairs and sing a song to convince daughter to sleep (IT WORKS!!!)
Start boiling apple peelings and cores for apple jelly
Finish canning apple sauce - Start to boil apple juice into jelly
Juice boils over (twice) and burns sugar water all over my stove top
Two out of four burners are now out of commission - lengthening the time to can the jelly
2 hours later hear the sound of babble from upstairs - still trying to scrap burned sugar water off of stove
Cuddle in mommy and daddy's bed with her multitude of stuffed animals
Keep sneaking away to clean up the kitchen
Convince daughter to come outside and clean the inside of my car
Give her the umbrella to entertain her for 20 minutes (I love that thing!)
Clean car - even remove coffee stains (husband and sister are no longer allowed to drink coffee in my car)
Listen to intense storm pass right by as I we play in the stroller in the driveway
Make daughter go inside because storm sounds so imminent
More snacks
Do a load of laundry
Call daddy to ask him to bring home a razor blade thingy to save the stove
Daddy walks in the door
Daughter freaks out - Mommy loses her temper again (what a way to start and end the day!)
Watch daddy load up trees he cut down yesterday and move them to the garden
(he's making raised beds for me!!!)
Hang up laundry to dry
Make dinner on the grill because the stove is out out out
Feed everyone
Read a million (okay - more like 6 or 7 - still)
Convince daughter to take a bath
Chase her until she's naked and stick her in the tub
Lose my temper putting her pajamas on
Make daddy take over bed time stories and cuddling
Toastmaster phone call for running Youth Leadership Program next week (~nervous~)
Get laundry off the line and into the dryer after reading a chance of rain overnight
Refuse to make bread for tomorrow's lunch
Watch half a movie - fall asleep on the couch

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Magic Cape No One Wanted

A friend gave me a bag full of shiny fabric awhile ago. Scraps left over from making some worship flags for church. I hung on to them even though I prefer working with cotton, because you never know. Having a 2 year old makes me hang on to gems like that just in case it comes in handy.

Well I finally thought to make the scraps into a cape for my little toddler. She loves to play with her box of dress up, so it seemed like a perfect fit. I typed "diy kids cape" into the search bar and found Puking Pastilles free tutorial. Not bad, looked easy to me. I glanced over the pictures and stored the information in my hole riddled brain.

A few weeks later I finally pulled the fabric out (still in the grocery store bag it came in none the less) and pulled from my swiss cheese mommy brain what I remembered from the tutorial. It seemed easy. I cut. I batted away little fingers. I cut some more. I tried not to yell at the toddler jumping on the bed, screaming for my attention (did I mention I was trying to cut the fabric on said bed?). I sewed. I tended to the toddler's demands. I finished sewing. It was a wee bit "rough" looking, but who cares, it's going on a toddler.
I try to put it on the toddler.
She refuses to wear it.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Big Red Red Red Bag

Well what do you think? Is it red enough? I really have a horrible time photographing red, but to be fair, this is a truly red red red bag. But what do you think about turning some of the rainbow blocks into bags? A block on each side.

Would you rather see a set of rainbow placemats? Or a rainbow quilt? A rainbow table runner? Help me out here. What does the masses (seven people who read this blog) want to see? No one is exempt from commenting. I need opinions and I need them now!!! Boy, I am just asking for trouble with this one.

Until then I'll finish this red bag. I found this old pillowcase at a garage sale. It has found a new life as the bag liner. And I think I finally found a way to make the bag truly reversible. This will be my 5th bag. Each one gets a little better. Just ask my sisters and sister in law (my guinea pigs - thanks by the way).

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Back from Vacation

Well I'm finally back from vacation. My husband and I spent just under a week in mid-coast Maine. It was slightly in honor of our five year anniversary (today!) and also just to recharge our batteries as parents and human beings. We spent time hiking, rock climbing, kayaking, sleeping, eating good food and watching sailboats pass by.

Speaking of good food, I loved being in a town where it felt like every other restuarant was touting their local food menu. I've done some reading and soul searching and really felt like I wanted to affect the economy and my health by eating as locally as I could this summer. My husband and I finally went to try the one restaurant in our area that offers a local menu. It was delicious (and slightly on the high end of price), but well worth it. But it was only one place. We don't live in a rural wasteland. We actually live in a beautiful county chock full of agriculture, farmer's markets and CSAs. But we only have ONE restaurant offering local food. It's starting to tick us off. Especially after visiting Camden, ME and seeing so many many local choices. Our nearby, small urban area could defintely support a few more places, or at least we think so. So there you have it Glens Falls, NY. We're calling you out. Start offering more local food. I'll eat it if you cook it!

And speaking of eating, our favorite eateries in Camden, ME were
1. Paolino's Way - crab pizza was excellent and we heard the baked oysters are to die for!
2. Cappy's - classic clam chowder and a surprising healthy salmon dish that my husband loved. Please - DO NOT skip out on dessert. Their cake and pies are heavenly. I had the lemon blueberry cheesecake. I told the waitress how wonderful it was and she said she was going to go have a piece herself. There was half a cake left and they were going to throw it out if it didn't all sell. I seriously contemplated buying the rest of the cheesecake and taking it back to the hotel with me. It wouldn't have lasted the night. My husband gave me the hairy eyeball. I backed down.
3. Shepherd's Pie - technically in Rockport, ME, but still delicious. Their signature shepherd's pie dish and fried squid were oh so tasty!

Well that's all I have time for tonight. But I'll leave you with a sneak peek from the beginnings of the end of the rainbow blocks. Did that make sense? Anyone?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Off on Vacation

Guess what I did yesterday? SEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can you tell I'm excited? I spent a whole day of my vacation jsut sewing. Well, alright, I did spend one hour exercising. Priorities people. But now all the rainbow blocks are done! Such a relief. Until I think about what to do with them next! Oy.

But now I'm off on a more "real" vacation while my husband and I celebrate five years of marriage. He's the best decision I ever made. I love you handsome.

I'll be back with pictures of upcoming projects. You know all those finished blocks have to be turned into something. And I've already got a couple ideas. Until then, enjoy these pictures.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

New Items in the Shop

I added 8 new flower hair pins to the shop tonight.

I tried to yesterday, but let's just say technology and I were not getting along.

And remember how I've posted before about the importance of adding "model" shots of how the items look when worn and my trouble with getting those shots? Well I haven't found a better method yet. I have a specific idea of how I want the shot to look, that and my too short arms leave me out as a model. My husband offered to be my model for me, but that just doesn't seem right, with women's hair accessories and all. So who out there wants to be my model? =)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cranberry Sour Cream Muffins

You'd think I'd been doing nothing but sewing based on my last few posts, but alas, it is not true! I also have a love for baking. I can't resist turning on the oven when the summer heat starts to fade. My daughter and I cranked these out last weekend. Just tart enough for even my husband to enjoy (for those who don't know, his sweet tooth never came in).

Funny story...I let my daughter mix the dry ingredients while I mixed the wet. I look over to see her scooping tiny handfuls of flour out onto the counter top and floor. Yikes! I salvaged what I could, but was prepared for an overly soggy mix, especially since I use maple syrup instead of sugar. Of course they came out perfect! She must know more about baking than I do.