They are cute in my kitchen

April 12 - easter 010_1_1

I love good mail, but surprise good mail is even better.  Melissa sent me some cute potholders.  They are so fantastic and were used pretty much as soon as the package was opened.  Not only are they super cute, but they are well-loved.  Just look at the melted butter stain.  Thank you, friend.  Your thoughtfulness made my day week.

I now have an overwhelming urge to stop camera strap production and whip up a bunch of potholders.  Seriously.  I already have the insulated batting and lots of fabric on hand.  Hmmm....

Resistance is probably futile.


Thanks for laughing with me about the Heineken film.  I appreciate all the film tips.  I'm headed to Target tomorrow and am going to take a look while I am there.  Fingers crossed.

Remember how I said I have a hard time finding my cell phone in the bottom of my bag?  No more.


I bought myself a cell phone charm from Blair.  It's so cute, it kind of kills me.  It jingles when I'm digging in the bag so I can find the phone now.  Yay!  She has a few more in her shop - they are very reasonably priced.  If you don't want one for yourself, maybe as a small gift (or stocking stuffer) for someone you know.  She has some charm bracelets for sale, too.  They'd be a great gift - I have one and I adore it.

Back tomorrow or Monday with the hat pattern.  I'm waiting on my photographer....

About Domesticity

I have spent the last few weeks reading The Gentle Art of Domesticity by Jane Brocket.  The book arrived on my doorstep, courtesy of STC Craft.


Reading this book was a comfort to me.  I loved the way Jane explored the things that she loves to do, which are coincidentally some of the things I like too.  Beyond the sewing and the knitting, her ponderings struck a chord with me on so many levels.  The photos are inviting, the words captivating and the tone welcoming.  I didn't read her blog before I read this book, but I will now.  It's that wonderful.

And lucky for you, I have an extra copy for sharing.  If you would like the book, leave a comment on this post before Saturday, September 13th and I will use the random number generator to choose a winner.

Hope you are having a great day.

Lucky Me

Awhile back, Lisa Leonard asked if I wanted to have a little swap.  If you have seen her jewelry, you can understand why I did not hesitate one bit.  The hardest part was choosing what I wanted!


I decided on the open circle necklace with my initials on it.  And it is perfect.  Simple and elegant - it is just as great with a t-shirt and a skirt as it is with a pretty summer dress.  The preppy me loves the single pearl and the monogram.  I adore it.  I am sure that I will buy more of Lisa's jewelry  - for myself and for gifts.  She has so many beautiful baubles to choose from!

Thanks, Lisa!  I am so happy we swapped.  Back tomorrow with details on what I sent.

A little thank you gift

I wanted to thank everyone that sent me sheet scraps by sending them a little something in return.


I bought a stack of moleskins with the intent of taking pieces from my scrap box and making some stitched notebooks similar to the ones in Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts.  Once I finished my quilt, though, I took a different course.


I used more of the sheet scraps and made bloom notebooks.  I was a bit concerned that all the stitching would weaken the cover, but it didn't.   I took the same approach to the stitching as I did in my bloom quilt except that my letters turned out WAY better on these.  I think it was because they are on a smaller scale, but who knows?  I love how they turned out.


Everyone was so generous adding to my fabric garden with their scraps.  I wouldn't have been able to make my quilt without their help.  This is just a small token of my appreciation.  Thanks to all 16 of you!
(Tonya, I didn't mail yours.  I will get it to you when I get home).

I think you will probably see more stitched paper from me in the future.  These were so fun to make and the ideas keep coming.

Happy Tuesday!

Wordplay 2: Bloom

When I opened the envelope from Jen six weeks ago, I was thrilled to see the word bloom.  The first thing that came to mind was the saying, "Bloom where you are planted."  And I knew exactly how I wanted to proceed even though I wasn't sure how it would all come together.


Although wordplay is a collaboration with Tracy and Emily, I wanted this project to go further.  I imagined a wider collaboration, something that I could make with bits and pieces given to me from different people.  I was thinking about flowers and gardens and how so often people dig plants up and divide them between neighbors and friends.  That's what I wanted:  a community garden of fabric.  And so, I asked for vintage sheet scraps and boy, oh boy, did you guys come through for me!  Seventeen of you to be exact.  There are just so many good floral prints in a wonderful color palette in those old linens.  I wanted a large variety and small bits.  You all had the best stash of scraps a girl could wish for.  And you were willing to share - for that, I thank you.


I found this aqua linen on clearance and thought it would be a perfect background for the various colors in the sheet scraps.  I began by cutting out concentric circles from different prints - just eyeing them and cutting, no tracing was done here.  Once I had a decent stack of "blooms", I started laying them out on the fabric to see what I had.  I cut some more flowers until I had a random scattering around the perimeter.  I had planned on embroidering the saying by hand in the middle somehow, but felt I needed something to signify myself to anchor it so I cut the one large bloom for that space.


I appliqued the individual flowers to the quilt top by stitching three straight lines across each one.  My original plan was to tie the center of the flowers using embroidery floss, but once I had the quilt sandwiched, I realized that I would need more quilting to hold it nicely together.   I improvised by quilting three circles around one flower.  Initially, I wasn't looking for the wavy lines that I got, but when I stood back to look at it, it was perfect.  It reminded me of my favorite flowers and I smiled.


I had so many scraps to choose from that I ended up using some for a strip of patchwork on the back.  I sewed a label on there, too.  It got quilted over and I really like how it made it blend in a bit more.  The quilting on the back is my favorite part.  Even if the words read backwards, I like it.


I think "bloom" and "Bloom where you are planted" are about finding your hidden potential no matter what your circumstances are at the moment.  I know that if you had asked me nine years ago where I would be in 2008, I would have never imagined that my life as I know it.  I would not be living in this town.  I would have more children.  I would not be sewing as much as I do and certainly not quilting.  I might be knitting.  I would not be writing and designing.  And I most certainly would not have this group of peers, people that I have never met in person, that support, encourage and inspire me.  But I do!  What a great surprise!  And I feel so lucky to be surrounded by such amazing talent.  I have planted myself in this blogging community and in turn, you have planted seeds of inspiration in me.  With a little of my own creativity and time, I am growing in directions I had never imagined.


I had fun making this quilt.  I haven't made anything for myself in a long time and I plan on keeping this one.  It measures 45" x 51" - a perfect summer-nap-in-the-chair size.  Thanks, Jen, for a great word to get me started and thanks, too, Emily and Tracy for playing along.

Life is about the now, not the past or the future.  And if you are successful in living in the moment, I think that you have no choice but to bloom.

Color Week :: Yellow


I love my train case, made for me by my friend, the super talented Meg.  It came last week when I was feeling down in the dumps about running.  The timing was perfect and I adore it, especially because it is yellow and has houses and the illustrations are embroidered.  Thanks Meg!


And I have found a craft that I can do with the wrist brace on.  This is one of Hillary's Stitchettes...I finished the summer, fall and winter ones last year.  On to spring!

Meet Helen


Helen is a bunny who likes a bit of an adventure.


On Tuesday, she put on her shoes


and her favorite pink sweater and headed out for new lands.  Arizona is far away, but she knows that her new friend, Mary, is waiting for her.


After they play for a long time, Helen thinks she'll be ready for a nap.  It's a good thing she packed her pillow and quilt.


Sweet dreams Helen.  We will miss you.

Helen is from wee wonderfuls put-together book 1.  Her sweater is also a wee wonderfuls pattern.  The doll quilt and pillow were made by me without a pattern.  Making Helen and her things was so much fun for me.  Thanks so much for swapping with us, Jen and Mary.  We love everything you sent!



Click on the photo to see the great things we got!  They also sent us two great books, but Kate has hidden them somewhere.  Most likely, they are in her bed.

Happy leap day everyone!

Snow Day + Trees

No school for the girls today.  We got about three inches of snow with freezing rain on top of that.  It doesn't take much to make them close the schools here.  The bummer of the whole deal is that the snow isn't even good enough to play in.  I guess we just have to admire it from inside.


We live in an old neighborhood with lots of mature trees.  It really is beautiful to see them all covered with white.  It won't last long, though.  It has already begun to melt some.


When I took these photos, it reminded me of my newest piece of art.


This is "I like the trees outside my window" by Jennifer Judd-McGee.  This is the original.  Yes, lucky lucky me.  When I saw it on flickr, I had to have it.  We live in a yellow house and have the crazy Japanese maple right outside.  So it was perfect for me.  The drawing is so beautiful, much more so in real life than in photos if that is at all possible.  Right now it is sitting on a chest of drawers in the kitchen and I get to look at it many times each day.  I love it, Jen.  Thanks for helping me get in touch with those fine ladies at Edith and Edna so I could call it my own.

OK - back to making snacks for the girls and more x's.  Ta ta for now.

From Sarah

Good surprises are just that:  good.  And getting an unexpected package in the mail is more than a good surprise - it's great.


I could go on and on about Sarah.  I am just going to say she rocks.  She sent the girls and I some lovely handmade items as a thank you.  A thank you for a thank you gift I sent her this summer.  She wasn't supposed to do that.  But she did.  Isn't she nice?



She made me this t-shirt with toadstools.  Eeeeee!  I love it!  It is the PERFECT shade of green and fits me wonderfully.  It will be in heavy rotation.  I know this.  I have already worn it.  Twice.


She made the girls an apron.  I wish it were my size!  It is beautifully made with gorgeous details - the buttoned ties, appliqued AND freezer paper stenciled toadstools (just like on my shirt), lime green stitching.  (More photos here.)  The girls love it and have agreed to share.  Jane wore it on Saturday while we made zucchini bread.  Kate gets her turn later today when we make cookies.  They were entirely reasonable about the sharing part, too.  Another good surprise!  They must be growing up.


Look at how happy my kitchen pegs look now.

Thank you Sarah.  Thank you so much.

Hello September

I feel like August just came and went.  That was fast.

Last month I received two lovely packages.


Autum sent me a sweet little bundle of all things green!  She wrote that she saw this charm on etsy and thought of me.  Is that not the nicest thing?


She also sent me some lovely Amy Butler scraps and lots of pretty ribbons.  I love it all!  Thanks Autum!


Heidi sent me a box of goodies, too.  She put together a great pile of scraps and made me the sweetest wristlet.  Darling!


And inside the pouch?  Lots of vintage notions....ric rack, trims and buttons!  Oh my!  Thanks Heidi!  You were so sweet to share your thrifting loot with me.  My end of the swap will be on its way this week.

You can see what I received at the craft swap over on flickr.  I got some great stuff!  I am lucky to be part of such a talented group!

And up this week, the zipper tutorial.  Yes, procrastination rears its ugly head again.  I have it almost finished, it just needs fine tuning.  Wednesday is looking like the day!

Happy Labor Day!

So much more

Dawn and I had a little swap.  One of her Love Creatures in exchange for a twirly skirt.  Well, imagine my surprise when I opened the package and found Gloria


and Brady!


Oh my!  TWO!  Indeed, I am a lucky girl.  I knew I was getting one made out of the green floral fabric, but the little patchwork guy was such a great surprise.  They are both so adorable - I just love them!  Of course, the girls thought the rabbits were for them.  Ha!  Well, I guess I should share.  I just don't want to!  There were some other little goodies in the package including some different teas and Pocky sticks (all gone - I did share that!).  Thanks Dawn!  You are so nice and extremely talented.  You really spoiled me.

While I was in the thick of the encyclopedia of me, Dawn tagged me for eight random things.  Although I feel that there can't be too much more to tell, here goes:

1.  I was a History major in college.  If I could do it all over again, I would study graphic art.

2.  During the school year I work five hours a week setting up and printing invitations at a very nice stationery store.  Yes, only five hours.  I have been working there since I was pregnant with Jane.  When the kids were smaller, I would work one Saturday a month.

3.  People pay me good money to address invitations and write out place cards.  I used to do calligraphy, but now I mostly just use my regular handwriting.  It's a great gig because if I am busy, I can say no to a job and heck, I get to work while in my p.j.'s.

4.  My freshman year college roommate is now on Saturday Night Live.  I lost touch with her, but she is a great person, very fun and nice.  She totally deserves what she has worked hard to get.

5.  I eat the same thing for breakfast every day.  Right now I am on an oatmeal with nectarines kick.

6.  It annoys me to no end when drivers don't use their turn signals.

7.  I go to the grocery at least four times a week.  At least.  I am not a good meal planner so I find myself shopping for one or two days at a time.  Sometimes I do big shops to get all the basics, but more often than not I just pick things up as we need them.

8.   I have seen Breezer in the back yard.  I wasn't convinced before, but now I really do believe in ghosts.

This just in

Our mailman has been busy.  Yesterday he brought me a wonderful package from Blair.




It is all so lovely!  I adore the bits of Japanese fabric and the "E" card is already hanging in the studio.  The log cabin sachets are just gorgeous - and they smell divine, too.  Did you notice that one of them is mostly green?  She must know me!  And do you see Blair's little label?  Ack!  It is so cute and positively perfect in every way.  Thank you, friend.  I love it all!


This is our first CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) allotment!  Hooray!  It made me incredibly happy to find a group we could join this late in the game.  So until the end of October, we will have fresh, local produce.  We ate the cucumbers, the corn and a couple tomatoes last night.  The squash and the peppers will probably make up part of our meal tonight.  I used this website to locate a CSA in our area.  I know Cristina used it, too, and found a CSA on the other side of the country.  Take a look if you are interested.  Tonight I am hitting a small farmers' market in search of local meat.  Wish me luck.

And if this post weren't random enough, there is more.  I read Cassi's blog and decided to join her meme for August.  So beginning tomorrow, for the rest of the month, I will be posting an Encyclopedia of Me.  This summer has flown by and I am hoping by doing this, I can accomplish some things around the house and in the studio, play with the girls, relax and enjoy what is left of summer.  I plan on posting photos, too.  I can't promise that they will have anything to do with the day's topic as I seem to be caught up in photographing food these days.  It's the combination of good afternoon light by my kitchen sink and having food on the brain, I think.

Back tomorrow with the letter "a".

I like surprises...

and good mail.  This surprise came to us from Robyn.  She really shouldn't have, but I am soooo glad she did!


Two packages:  one for me and one for the girls.  Do you see that she wrapped mine in that lovely Amy Butler fabric?  Yippee!


For the girls:  a wonderful craft kit from Klutz.  Robyn said she never knew what those lanyards were called - me either.  Now we do:  Scoubidou!  I remember making this at camp as a kid and can't wait to make these with the girls.  And wasn't Robyn sweet to think of my kiddos?


For me:  this lovely decoupaged frame (see all that green?).  Robyn had read over on Susan's blog that this song hold special meaning to Fatty and me - he cries each time he hears it.  I cannot believe she remembered this - it really is an incredibly thoughtful gift.

Thanks so much Robyn!  You are kind and generous soul.

The prettiest yarn ever

Before I left home, the most gorgeous yarn appeared in my mailbox thanks to the lovely Aprill.


I think I am in love.  Well, as much as you can be in love with yarn.  I couldn't stop looking at it or touching it.  So so so pretty.  I thought about bringing it to Colorado with me, but I was too afraid it would get lost or some other horrible thing would happen.  So it is sitting at home, on the family room shelf waiting for me to return.


I know what I am going to knit with it.  The colors match this bolt of fabric perfectly.  I am just hoping that my hands can construct what my brain has designed.

Thank you Aprill!  I can't wait to get it on the needles.

More Mail and Green

Mail::Lovely prints gifted to me by Jen.  How sweet is she?

Warning:  my photos do not do them justice.


I am in love with this itty bitty print.  I have a thing for houses and Jen's drawings are so gorgeous.  I love her other house prints, too.


This print is going in the sewing room/studio.  I love the shapes, the colors, the negative space - it is perfect.  I am really into green and yellow these days, too.  Something about this color combo makes me smile.  These prints were a wonderful surprise - thanks so much, Jen!  Check out the Swallowfield etsy shop for more wonderful artwork.  She has prints and original collages over there - all gorgeous!

Color week::green
One inside and one just outside the house.


I had a crazy busy day yesterday - the kind where you barely have time to eat.  Swim team practice, swim lessons, errands, sewing for deadlines, rush to the post office, shower, hair cuts for me and the girls...hectic, but in a good way.  So here is part one of my mail post, just a day later.

Kirsty is a gem.  I saw a photo of some plastic belt buckles that she thrifted over on flickr and wouldn't you know, she sent me the ones I like.


She also sent the fabric they are sitting on - so charming and well, green.  You know I love my greens.  These goodies have been in the house for awhile now and I have been remiss not to thank her sooner.  Thank you Kirsty!  I love them!  Some little things should be showing up for you soon.

Cristina and I had a little moo card swap.


She sent me an aqua tray cloth with beautiful edging.  I now have two aqua tray cloths, the other one from Kirsty.  Coincidence? more and I'll have a collection.  There were the adorable moo cards with her gorgeous photos and some vintage sheeting scraps, too.  Perfect!  I have just the project in mind for these.  Thank you Cristina!  I adore what you sent - it really couldn't have been any better!

I sent Cristina a little something along with my moo cards.  There is a big story behind it so it'll have to wait for another day.  As will the other goodies I have received lately.  I told you - lucky me.