Wednesday, October 31, 2007

October Goodies!

I received my October swap package from Vallen last week and just look at the goodies I got!!

Starting at the center top (in the box) and moving clockwise is a tri-leaf pin made of book pages, centered with an orange stone pin and edged with orange and black glitter. Next is an orange felted pin. (I really love the felted pins everyone makes.) Then we have a set of 10 halloween bags with a pumpkin stenciled on each side, followed by two boxes of chocolates (ooohh, it looks like some are missing). Next is a little orange wool hat with a deck of miniature cards...a book titled King Rooster, Queen Hen (that is adorable)....a collage made by Vallen for my Halloween decor (I love the collages)....a pair of black crocheted earrings....two vials of pretty glitter....two vintage glasses with orange fall leaves on them....and a green felted pouch with a gold leaf shaped button-type closure. WHEW!! Did she fill a box or what?? Thank you so much Vallen! I hope you enjoy my little shipment to you.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Is Anyone Still There?

Yes, I'm still around. I apologize for the leave of absence that I didn't know I was going to take, but once I get behind I have a very hard time catching up. And I have felt very "behind". I feel even more slack than I already felt!! I'll get back in the swing of things here shortly.

The company I work for moved from the 2nd floor to the 1st floor which doesn't sound like a big deal. It turned out to be a major move in some ways though, such as getting cables and cords set up correctly and finding paperwork that seemed to disappear for a while. I couldn't believe what a mess a short move like that created. For over a week I just collapsed every evening when I got home. I've developed a couple of health issues that have kept me on my toes lately too, but nothing that I can't handle. It's amazing to me how the body can become something totally different after you hit 50!

I've also been busy with some really positive things. A fundraiser at my church for our Shoe Ministry went very well, as did our Youth Auction, and I've had a handful of purse orders to fill for local people which has been a pick-me-up for me. My dd's sports schedule has eased up now and we actually had a home cooked supper Thursday night - together - at the table. It was the first time in weeks! It felt so good. I don't know that it meant much to her, but it meant a LOT to me.

I signed up for the Sweet Goodness Sisters Holiday Swap a month or so ago and received my October swap package from Vallen yesterday. (My package to her shipped out Saturday.) And what a fantastic package it is! I don't have pictures yet, but I'll try to show them soon. I was supposed to have answered 20 questions about myself for the swap (to help my swap partner know me better) but I haven't done that yet so I'll try now. Vallen and I have read one another's blogs long enough to have a "feel" for what each other likes, and Vallen definitely knows me well because I just love everything she sent in her box. She doesn't need this list, but I feel guilty that I haven't done this yet, so....

1. Favorite Color - On me - brown, gray, turquoise, off-white and red. At home, I use different colors - the sofa is off-white so I use pillows etc. in different colors.

2. Chocolate Lover? Milk, Dark, White or none of the above? All of the above. I luuuuuvvv the chocolate!

3. What is your favorite craft hobby? Sewing

4. What is a craft/art hobby that you would like to start? I'd love to learn to crochet. I recently bought a book to learn (I'm left-handed) but I haven't taken the time to sit still and learn it. For some reason I'm intimidated by it and feel kind of defeated before I start.

5. What craft do you NOT have an interest in or just not great in (so your partner doesn't send something you wouldn't use)? I can't draw or paint, and I no longer even try.

6. Do you have any allergies? (We don't want to send anything with peanuts if it'll make you blow up like a balloon.) I'm not allergic to any foods - only bees and fire ants!

7. What's your favorite part of Halloween? Decorating, candy eating, costumes or something else? A combination I guess. When Halloween comes around I can't help but remember how exciting it was when I was a child, and when my dd was small. The anticipation and the excitement of the costume and the candy was great!

8. Do you decorate for Thanksgiving/Fall? Like Vallen, I decorate for Fall as a whole. I have some things here and there up until Halloween and then I remove them to leave just the fall decorations.

9. December Holidays - what holiday do you celebrate? What type of decorations do you like to put up in your house for that holiday? We celebrate Christmas. I have things all over the house! The tree is decorated in ornaments that each have a special meaning to me or my dd - many of them handmade. I have a smaller tree for the living room that I decorate with old wooden doll house furniture and "outdoorsy" ornaments like pine cones, etc. I hang ornaments on ribbons above doorways, and we put up a Christmas village and a dear aunts Nativity set that we can't celebrate the season without.

10. Do you have any children. If so, what are their ages, boys/girls? Yes, one daughter who is now 17.

11. Do you have any pets. If so, what kind? Our dog EJ is part terrier and part Lhasa and is my 2nd child. lol. Our cat Skipper keeps her nose in the air unless she's hungry, and then she's our best friend.

12. Are you a reader? If so, what type of books do you like? I enjoy "women stories". Not romance stuff, but stories about getting through life and overcoming obstacles with a combination of your own good sense and your female friends surrounding you. I also love the Left Behind book series and the Mitford series by Jan Karon, although I've not completed either series yet.

13. Are you celebrating a birthday or anniversary in October, November or December. No I'm not.

14. Do you collect anything. If so, what type of things do you collect? Not really, and just like Vallen - I'm a textile freak - fabric, linens, old sheets, etc.

15. What type of things do you like to cook? Are you an appetizer person, cookie maker, dessert freak or take out type of person? I enjoy cooking, but it isn't what I want to spend a lot of my time doing. I'm not a great cook either but I love making cassaroles, and I'm always asked to bring my potato salad or blackeye pea salad or yeast rolls or cheese ball or baked ham - so those must be pretty good. I'm a by-the-recipe kind of cook I think. I'm not one who will take a chance on adding an ingredient that isn't called for, although I wish I were. Those are the BEST cooks. I hate that my dd will probably tell her children that their grandmother didn't cook more than she had to, but that she loved to wear a handmade apron and to make tablecloths for the table. Go figure.

16. What is your favorite scent? Is there one that you can't stand? In candles I like scents with names like 'rain', 'linen', 'clean breeze' etc. But for some odd reason, I can't stand vanilla or peach candles. I have no idea why. I love the taste of vanilla and I can't eat too many fresh peaches all summer long but those scents in candles make me immediately breathe through my mouth!

17. What's your favorite song? I Bowed On My Knees And Cried Holy (and) Bob Away My Blues

18. What's the last movie you went to see at the movie theater? I can't remember the name of it. But I loved it. It was that musical, and John Travolta was the mother. Ya'll know what I'm talking about.

19. What's your favorite candy? Anything chocolate.

20. Tea or Coffee or other? Tea for sure. Brewed iced tea. I'm not a coffee drinker. I've tried, but I just don't like it. I love the smell of it though. That's a good memory of growing up - always smelling my parent's coffee brewing when I got up.

I've got no pictures to show right now, but hopefully I will soon. In the meantime, I'm going to gradually try to catch up on reading some of my favorite blogs.

Monday, September 17, 2007

My Organized Chaos

I want you to see the collage I gave my dd for her 17th birthday. She actually squealed when she opened it. If you read my post several weeks ago showing her walls and desk you know this collage was just perfect for her. This artwork was created by Jodi at Sweet Repeats and as soon as I saw it on her blog I knew I had to have it for Ellet. Jodi is really easy to work with, and even made a couple of tags for Ellet to go along with the collage. Just after I bought this Jodi opened an Etsy shop and a "studio shoppe" blog, and I wish for her many many creative days and much success! You've gotta check her out!

I wish I could say that the mess I'm creating at home right now is my own form of a collage, but of course it isn't. I'm trying to get ready for a craft bazaar Saturday and because I do everything SOOOO far in advance (lol), this is what my work table looks like. I'm not a messy person by nature but when it comes to sewing I think I make up for all of those years that I had to pick up my toys, etc. as a child. That's the only excuse I've come up with so far. So I'll spend about 20 minutes getting things a bit organized this evening before I continue sewing purses and when I stop to go to bed it will look like this again. It's a vicious cycle I'll tell 'ya. Just a vicious cycle!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Fabric Giveaway Winners

I've had approximately 2 minutes so far this week to look at my daily blogs which also explains why I haven't yet been able to respond to the comments left following my last post. I'm glad you Nice Matter Award winners liked the dresses you attended the ceremony in, and I must say that even from this distance you all look very impressive!!

I was going to post a couple of pictures today along with a photo of someone drawing the two names for the fabric giveaways, but I left my camera at home which means I couldn't take a picture of Eileen drawing the two names. (Eileen works down the hall from me and she is my "apron model" on my Etsy shop.) I wrote all of the names on pieces of paper and she drew from them on her desk. She drew Christy 2 and Jenn Maruska. (Christy 2 is the "mamasaidsew" Christy.) I'll get the fabric out to you ladies tomorrow!

Thank you all for the sweet comments you've left. I wasn't expecting all of that, and it has made this extremely busy and crazy week a little better. I'll catch up on your blogs as soon as I can and look for my next post on Monday.

Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Nice Matters Award (and) 2 Fabric Giveaways

(Grab your coffee and prop up your feet. This might be lengthy.)

In the first paragraph of my last post (dated August 16th) I said to watch for another fabric giveaway and that it would be posted by the end of the week. What I meant to say was that it would be posted by the end of the first week of September...yea, that's the ticket. Do you believe me? I didn't think so.

It's hard to believe that I was the recipient of a Nice Matters Award from MissesKwitty (which just warmed my heart and made me smile) and then couldn't keep up with my posting. Please accept my sincerest apologies. My mother is situated now and her place is sold, so we're trying to organize things back to normal. I do not want to be a bad blogger. I want to be like the (5) that I'm now passing this award to, and the (2) who are entering the Hall of Fame! (You will notice that each one designed and constructed her ensemble for todays awards ceremony.)

I feel like I personally know all of these ladies and not only do I like the personalities that I see through their blogs, I love what they create and what they have to say and how they say it. Each one is talented, creative, inspiring and very often entertaining.

First to come down the red carpet is MissesKwitty. Karen is dressed in a cottage style gown of aqua and pink and trimmed in matching rick rack.
Now, I know that Karen gave the award to me to begin with after she was given it by someone else, but she is VERY deserving of the Nice Matters "Hall of Fame", which I have just created by the way. I love her coasters and magnets and checkbook covers and card holders...I love everything she makes! If you aren't familiar with her, check out her etsy shop. She even sends a little surprise along. She's working on some gift sets now that will be great for any gift-giving, and certainly for Christmas. But more than that, she's become a good blogging friend and has been a huge help to me on setting up things on Etsy, my blog and even Paypal. She knows that I am "green" on so much of this and offers instructions before I even ask for help. She's an encourager and I appreciate her so much. She is nice and nice matters!

Secondly I must notice Jenn Maruska who is just stepping out of the limo now. Jenn has fashioned her gown for tonight in fur fabric and is carrying the sweetest purse resembling a tiny pillow, adorned with the cutest embroidery.
Jenn was also given the award by MissesKwitty, and since I would like to also give her the award I'm going to put her in the Hall of Fame. I've purchased several needlebooks from Jenn and I'm certainly attached to mine and the matching pincushion! She's just so sweet and easy to work with. She also sends a little surprise in her shipments. Check out her blog and etsy shop too. She's working on some adorable critters now that she has designed. They are just precious, and will make excellent gifts. She is nice, and nice matters!


Now on to my (5) recipients of the Nice Matters Award:

Sweet Repeats- "Lucy" is approaching the red carpet in a gown covered with a colorful collage of her life. It is mixed media with freehand artwork and journaling and is quite unique. Very moving.

She is an artist and creates collages that I'm very drawn to. She's an organizer in the Sweet Goodness Swaps which I have participated in since March. (I love our swaps - so watch for the next one, especially if you've never tried it.) She and I have a lot in common in that we're single mothers, we lack "fundage" (I love her new word there), work fulltime outside of the home and try to create in-between work and family time which isn't always easy. I recently purchased a collage from her for my dd's 17th birthday and I cannot wait until my dd sees this. She is going to LOVE it. I knew she would as soon as I saw it. And believe me, the photo on Jodi's blog doesn't do it justice. Jodi pours herself into her art and she very often pours herself into her blog too. Be sure to visit her blog, her new studio shoppe and her etsy shop. She's a busy lady for sure, and she's nice. And nice matters.

Queenly Things- Ms. Vallen is a Queen! She also designed her gown AND her extremely creative crown for the ceremony. Ms. Vallen requested that no limo be sent out for her tonight, but that she be allowed to arrive in her quaint little camper.

Her blog is fascinating! I envy her talent of writing, as I do Sweet Repeats' also. (I write exactly like I talk I'm told - on and on and on while my hands are moving through the air.) Vallen tells great stories about her childhood and about places she has lived. Sometimes it's as though I'm reading the most interesting book and then suddenly I'm at the end - too quickly, and I want to read more. She is truly a writer in my book(no pun intended) and someone needs to publish a book written by her! One day she's going to pull a little camper around the country and park it at the homes of bloggers along the way for short stays, and I'm hoping she'll 'sit a spell' in my driveway. We'll invite "Lucy" for the weekend, and NObody else will be able to get a word in edgewise! Vallen has had a busy summer taking care of her recuperating Mother and still, she is nice. And nice matters.

Calamity Kim - Kim is escorted tonight by her husband Fred on one side and her brother on the other. She is wearing a one-of-a-kind apron and is wrapped in several out-of-this-world doll quilts, while carrying a beautiful art doll - ALL created by her.

Kim is another one who is fascinating! I absolutely love her blog. She just cracks me up at times and a time or two she has filled my eyes with water. Either way, she's always interesting. She used to live in Asheville, N.C. which is a gorgeous and extremely creative city. Asheville is only an hour from me and when she mentions something in Asheville I always want to take off and go. I hope Sarasota (where she now lives) is a creative city. If not, they're missing out on Calamity Kim. I know Asheville would just LOVE to see her back there. I would also love to visit Kim and roam free in her craft room for just 1 hour - tops. It's a crafters paradise for sure. I can tell that she's a very down-to-earth kind of girl, and she's nice. And nice matters.

MintBasil - LeeAnn is approaching the crowd in a gown she also designed. The entire gown is repurposed from thrifted linen dresses on which LeeAnn has embroidered elaborate designs.

LeeAnn is the first blogging friend I had. I was brand spankin' new to reading blogs last spring when I stumbled upon the Sweet Goodness Swap information. It was for a "Pink and Green Swap" to be held late March - mid April. I wasn't exactly sure what this swapping business was, but I wanted to try it, so I signed up. I had no blog and knew not one single thing about setting one up, but I signed up for the swap anyway. We were assigned our partners and LeeAnn was mine. Her blog was very new itself and I read it to get some ideas about her for my swap items I'd be sending. I found that she was young and I immediately panicked. I was f-f-f-f-f-f-f-f-fifty-one at the time and I just knew this newlywed in her mid- 20's was going to want to swap for a younger partner before the pink and green swappin' began! I emailed her and told her I was plenty old enough to be her mother (although I should've said she was young enough to be my daughter - that sounds better for me doesn't it?!?) and I will never forget her reply. She said "now, age is just a number" and she went right into asking questions about me and my likes and dislikes. I was sooooo relieved, and happy. I fully agree with her reply that age is just a number, but I don't think everyone in their mid-20's feels that way, and being so new at all of this and not personally knowing LeeAnn I thought I should let her know up front that she was dealing with someone who remembers the first astronauts landing on the moon. She's also the person who encouraged me to start blogging. We had a great swap and enjoyed it enough to sign up again for the Summer Bucket of Fun swap over the summer, although we of course had different partners that time around. LeeAnn is another gifted sewer and embroiderer. I've got an embroidered zipper pouch in my purse and a pillow on my sofa embroidered with a cow - both created by LeeAnn. I've also got one of her mason jar pincushions next to my sewing machine. Visit her etsy shop and her blog and you will see yourself how creative and talented she is. And to top it off, she's nice. And nice matters.

Mamasaidsew - Christy is stepping from her limo in a black gown covered in sequins. As you will notice the gown has an apron design to it, tying at the neck and back. Wait a moment. Who is that helping her from the limo? Why it's her son Nathan!

Christy was my Summer Bucket of Fun swap partner. Christy is a good bit younger than me too, but because of LeeAnn's great attitude about age I just didn't even worry anymore, so I never told Christy that I saw the astronauts land on the moon. The Summer Bucket of Fun swap was centered around orange and yellow, and summer fun. One of my gifts from her was an apron she made me with sunshine faces all over it and I have worn that apron out in the last six or seven weeks! She's another talented sewer for sure. Her little boy Nathan just began kindergarten and I've been walking down memory lane while reading about his little adjustment to school. Christy's a good mama you can tell, and she's nice. And nice matters.

So there you have it. The (5) winners of the Nice Matters Award. Each of these winners can now pass the award on to (5) other bloggers, if they have the time. By the way, thank you all for being so nice.


Now.......on to the (2) Fabric Giveaways. I'm offering two packs this week since it's been awhile since I last posted.

Each will contain:
(.5) yd. of Daisy Kingdom "Lines & Lace" print
(1) yd. of red cotton with flowers (this is 20+ years old)
(6) Debbie Mumm "Creative Woman" fabric labels
(8) Fabric labels on a black background
(2) Zippers and (2) Threads (these are also 20 years old)

In addition, one will contain:
(1) yd. colorful homespun cotton
(.75) colorful stripe cotton

...and the other will contain:
(1) yd. colorful stripe cotton
(.75) yd. Mary Englebreit "Bloom Where You're Planted"

So leave a comment and I'll have someone draw (2) names on Thursday, September 13th. Also, do any of you know if fabric, etc. that is 20 years old is considered vintage? I don't want to use that word without knowing. The red fabric was purchased in 1985 although it has never been used so it doesn't have a worn look or feel. I was going to call it 'vintage' but I don't know that 20 years is old enough. Do you know?

Have a great weekend everybody!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Inspiration Walls

Updating my blog seems to be more difficult for me than I ever think it's going to be. It still takes me a while if I want to add pictures and links and if I take forever between posts (like now) I am embarrassed. While my reddened face calms down let me say that I am collecting more fabric (and some supplies) to giveaway and will hopefully have it all posted here by the end of the week.

I've seen so many inspiration boards pictured on blogs and I love them all. I would show you mine if I could uncover it to take a photo, but my house has only one path through it right now due to furniture and memorabilia I've brought in from my mother's farm the last week or two. Her farm sold and we have only about 10 more days to empty the barn and the milk house, but at the rate I'm going we should just put everything in a huge truck and bring it to MY house because I'm having a difficult time turning loose of things that hold good memories. The only room in my house uncluttered and uncovered enough to enjoy is the dd's bedroom. She dared me to put ANY of my haul in there, and since school started yesterday she has it cleaned up and organized. Everything is in its place. She even has "inspiration walls".....

and an "inspiration desk" too.

When she was small she would draw and color for hours, literally hours. By the time she was six she had outgrown her little girl desk and I decided to buy two file cabinets and put a piece of wood across the top. My mother had the idea of a countertop instead of wood due to easy cleanup of paints and markers AND the back piece going up the wall which would prevent things from being lost over the back edge. The 5' countertop piece was $25 at Lowe's and I bought two of the $20 cheapo file drawers at Walmart. That was over 11 years ago and it is still a part of her.

The first time I saw something written on her desktop was about 3 years ago when she had gotten deep into Shakespeare. She had written a quote on it in Sharpie marker and at first I was ill, but by the time she got home I decided it wasn't a big deal because this $25 piece of countertop isn't a family heirloom. lol. She began to write song lyrics, Bible verses, poetry, and the name of her future husband, Daniel Radcliffe. (He hasn't met her yet though.) Her friends sign her desk in some way when visiting and sometimes a simple new drawing will appear. My dd will NOT part with this desk. Do NOT even discuss it with her. And it thrills me because she is surrounding herself with creativity. I'm thankful for that because I can't imagine life without creativity and I want it in her life. It has brought me many hours of joy and comfort. I've solved my problems and everyone else's through the years while sewing and cross stitching. Hours on end of journal writing have helped me avoid a therapist I couldn't afford anyway. Scrapbooks have told the life of many a loved relative. Music has calmed me, set me on fire and made me cry, all in a matter of minutes. I picture myself bored without creativity so I'm thankful I have a bit of it, and I'm especially thankful my dd does.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Fabric Giveaway Winner in the Dog Days of Summer

Everyone I talk to is sweltering in this heat right now. I don't know about you, but I'm not moving around more than I have to because the more I move, the hotter I get. The AC is running and so are the fans.

This past weekend my dd and I went to the beach for a few days with my best friend and her dd. We had the best time! Saturday we stayed in the hotel pools and lazy rivers, had a good dinner and strolled through the mega shops at Broadway at the Beach. Sunday we were at a waterpark all day where my best friend and I pretended we were 20 years old again and had a blast riding down the slides and corkscrews laughing and screaming our heads off! Our daughters said they always knew where we were in the park due to our screaming! Bovine's at Murrell's Inlet was dinner (incredible and affordable meal!) and a putt putt course that night. After checking out of the hotel Monday we visited several consignment shops where I lucked up on a couple of vintage sheets, some fabric for nearly nothing. cute cute shoes and a purse for dd, and a couple of vintage linens and handkerchiefs. I think it's great what thrifting does to my shopping mind because nothing at the specialty shops Saturday interested me at all, yet thrift and consignment shops are magnets for me. I'm hoping its rubbing off on dd too.

I appreciate all of you visiting and commenting and in return I will continue to give away fabric.

Several commented at how lucky we are in this area to have Mary Jo's Cloth Shop and I know I am. I've been told that Mary Jo (who IS a real person by the way) is in her mid 70's now and still works 6 days a week at her shop. She's always looking for new fabrics and for what her customers want. I'm going back next Friday or Saturday and I've been making a list of everything I'll be looking for, hoping I can stick to that list. (fat chance)

Dana commented about the Bathing Beauties fabric by Loralie Designs that I bought at Mary Jo's and wanted to know what I'm going to make with it. My main project with it is for (15) postcards I'm trying to finish up. I'm "fussy cutting" those lovely ladies from the fabric and appliqueing them to another fabric and making postcards. I've been in a postcard exchange that began in the spring and ends this month. I think that I'll use some to make a tote bag for the beach for next year, or maybe line a summer purse with it.

Now for the winner of the fabric. This time I put the numbers 1 through 9 in a jar to draw from. (There were 4 comments not in the drawing.) I drew a paper and it was #3 - Katherine. So if you will get your address to me at I will get your fabric in the mail to you.
Check back next week ya'll. There's lots more fabric to shed!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Mary Jo's (and) Fabric Giveaway #2

I guess I'm giving away fabric so that I can buy more....which is exactly what I did Friday. My daughter and I rode up to Mary Jo's Cloth Shop in Gastonia, NC , which is just outside of Charlotte and just a bit more than an hour away from us. When I go to Mary Jo's my palms sweat, my stomach gets jumpy, my heart races and my blood pressure rises. I leave there planning to sew 24/7. I can conquer the world!

When my sister married 25 years ago, she and her husband lived within minutes of this shop and when I visited we would always go to Mary Jo's. I imagine my brother-in-law broke out in a sweat when we mentioned we were going there and I'm sure he knew he wouldn't see us again until nightfall.

Mary Jo's has the lowest prices I've seen anywhere, from the high quality cottons to wool felt (yes they carry wool felt at $9.99/yd - solids and two-color) to linen to.... they carry everything! Some cottons are grouped by pattern like these coordinating dots and stripes, and this picture shows only part of that group.

They have groupings by category like sports, florals, babies, Christmas, fall, etc. and also groupings by color. Then there are groupings by design name like Aunt Grace, and these by Loralie. (I had to have some of the "Bathing Beautys" here.)


...and look at the Michael Miller group. These Michael Miller fabrics are all priced from $5.49 - $5.69 per yard!! I bought several of these for projects and some for tops I'll be making my DD.

This photo doesn't let you see how amazing the Bridal department is. I purchased the fabric and laces for my wedding gown here nearly 20 years ago and still when I go to Mary Jo's there are always young women and their mothers in this department planning their formal gowns or wedding gowns.

And my 2nd sewing obsession after fabric is..............rick rack! And look at the rolls of rick rack! Every color you can hope for! When I told DD I was headed to the rick rack, she just sat down on a bench. She knew I would busy for a while.

Oh how I love this store. I wish all of you who sew could visit it. They are online too at and for now you can order from them by email. The nice lady who helped me Friday (and they are ALL very nice - seriously) said it won't be long before the fabrics are on their website to see, but for now you can link to a fabric manufacturer like Marcus Brothers or Free Spirit, etc. and tell Mary Jo's the design name you're looking for and they will order it and mail it to you. I had ordered some yardage of a particular Michael Miller design and they called me last week when it came in, so I had a GOOD reason to drive up there Friday instead of having them mail it to me.

I hope ya'll don't mind my promotion of Mary Jo's Cloth Shop but I just want you to know there IS somewhere to pay reasonable prices for these beautiful cottons that so many of us love. I don't personally know anyone at Mary Jo's but I do know their prices and I know their service, which is top notch.

Looking at all of this fabric at Mary Jo's makes my fabric giveaway look pretty puny, but I'll give it a whirl anyway. If you're interested in helping me make room for my new fabric, leave a comment and I'll draw a number on Tuesday.
This will include:

- about 1.5 yds. of Mary Englebreit cotton (this is the 2nd piece that I have. Yes I had an obsession.)

- about 1.5 yds. of "Crazy Patch" by Daisy Kingdom

- a small piece of cotton with cute kittys

- about .5 yd. of multi-color cotton with gold design

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Swap Package Fun

I got my Summer Bucket of Fun Swap package Monday afternoon and did I get a jackpot of good stuff or what!??!! My partner is Christy and she showered me with fun for the entire week, and then some! First of all, this is the container she decorated to hold my goodies. I will definitely be using this box. I might use it for sewing supplies (I'm always needing another container) or in our bathroom, or for one of my many "collections"...the uses are endless. (The pictures don't do any of this justice. My photography skills are NOT good, especially when the lighting isn't good to begin with.)

And the wrapped gifts....

At this point, I was trying not to tear into anything too fast, but I'll tell ya'...I 'contain' myself at Christmas much better than I do with these swap packages. I don't know what happens to me opening these surprises. I hope I'm NEVER caught on film by anyone!

And here are some of my goodies:

A thrifted BBQ cookbook from 1988 (I've already marked a couple of recipes I'm going to try this weekend), the cutest little bright yellow/orangy vase that's kind of retro looking that is another great thrifted find, pretty sunflower notecards and a sunflower candle that smells just wonderful, a little orange pouch holding buttons and trims (all will be used too), a cute cute fabric flower she made (I wore this to work yesterday with a green top and got many compliments I must say), (3) different yellow fabrics (that will be used towards my bedroom quilt), a new basting brush (I badly needed a new one too), and a package of summertime napkins.

And then this...

Does this not have "Fun" and "Hot" and "BBQ" written all over it!?!! I just love this apron. It is so comfortable and sturdy. Christy is another talented sewer I've met. (She should be selling these.) And that flower on the pocket is adorable - the center is stuffed. Cute! My daughter (my model here) thinks I act different when I have it on. I do. I told you it's "hot"!

Thank you so much Christy! (Your package is on its way.) This is my 2nd swap and I've enjoyed both of them so much. It's so nice to make these new friends.

Now for the fabric giveaway! Ta...da...this weeks fabric goes to.......... Dana! I numbered the comments #1 - #8 and then left out #3 (LeeAnn opted out). I then asked Jim down the hall to choose a number out of #1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8. He chose #5, which is Dana. So I will get Dana's address and the fabric will be in the mail.

But don't fret ya'll. Keep coming back because I'm going to continuously weed out fabric I'm not using and I plan to give away fabric and anything else pertaining to this addiction I have on a weekly basis. I'll be adding another group no later than Monday.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Fabric Giveaway

I'm finally back ladies and very happy to have time to post. More than that, I'm anxious to catch up on my blog reading. I so much enjoy reading what you're making, what you're cooking, where you're going on vacation, etc.

My job (the one that pays the bills) has been extremely hectic the last 2 weeks and I've not had time to do my regular blog reading, much less post. I've read a post here and a post there, but not enough to know what's going on right now so I'm hoping I can catch up over the weekend.

I also haven't been able to sew as much as I wanted but I've gotten a few things completed and have added them to my etsy shop, so check them out.

Now...on to the fabric. If you are interested in adding to your stash leave a comment. I'll draw a name (or number) Wednesday morning and these will be on the way to the winner.

The fabrics are: (clockwise from upper left)

(2) panels of "Robert's Baltimore Album" - (8) blocks per panel - all different

(1) yard of "Forget Me Not" print

(1) piece with 15-20 brightly colored label designs

(1/2) yard of a Mary Engelbreit design (smaller figures)

(1/2) yard of a pastel floral print

(1/2) yard of a Mary Engelbreit design (larger figures)

So leave a comment, and have a wonderful weekend ya'll!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Catching Up

I hope everyone had a wonderful July 4th holiday. I didn't take any extra time off from work, but I got out of my routine with the holiday being in the middle of the week. I did enjoy that extra day though.

On July 4th my daughter and I spent a fantastic day at Lake Lure, N.C. It's an hour from our home and we just love it up there. Lake Lure is a man-made lake tucked in the mountains of western N.C. near Asheville. The bottom of the lake is pure comfort to my feet. It isn't mushy and muddy. It's a very comfortable sandy bottom which also exfoliates my feet for me! A good bit of "Dirty Dancing" was filmed there 20 + years ago. Lake Lure is beautiful, with a nice beach and a small waterpark area for children. You can also rent boats; from pedal boats to pontoons. We packed a nice lunch, sunscreen, magazines, paperbacks, floats, towels and grabbed the picnic blanket by the door. It was a very relaxing day and we both enjoyed it. It was what she calls "Mama and Ellet time".

While there, I got the most perfect picture of Miss Tottus laying on the blanket. This is Ellet, in her element.

fake Chanel earrings: $25.00

real Dolce and Gabbana sunglasses: $200.00

tattered Miller High Life cap begged off of your brother: Priceless

After I took the picture it just struck me how funny this was; two designer accessories and a beer cap! She's 16. What can I say?!! (...and before I forget, you've gotta read Christy's post titled "Independence" last week. Too cute!)

I've been working on some aprons and purses that will be ready for the Etsy shop this week, and I'll be anxious to see what ya'll think about them.

Also, I'm going to start a weekly giveaway of fabric in an attempt to whittle down my stash while making your stash grow! So watch for that to begin.

And thank ya'll for the kind comments about my Etsy shop. I do appreciate it very much.

Monday, June 25, 2007

I'm So Excited, And I Just Can't Hide It ...

...I'm about to lose control and I think I like it...uh huh... Dance with me ya'll! Dance your little feet off! I'm so excited, and NO I'm not pregnant and NO I'm not getting married and NO I did NOT win the lottery. I opened my very own etsy shop!! (Drum roll, balloons launching, marching band heading down Main St.) I hope you will visit my shop and let me know what you think. It's scary putting "myself" out there but I'm still excited!

LeeAnn tagged me a while back to write my to-do list, which I'm just now getting around to. I don't know where time goes but I know that "time" is clicking by much faster than my to-do list is getting shorter. (I hope that sentence makes sense.) This is my latest list...

The only item I can mark off at this moment is "start an etsy shop". Everything else is still left to do, with a few more added in my brain that aren't listed. I've got sewing to do, the Summer Bucket of Fun swap to work on....the list becomes endless sometimes.

#1 - I've got a few small pieces of furniture to paint in Laura Ashley "Stone" color. I enjoy painting furniture, but not walls.

#2 - I still have (3) skirts to make. I bought fabric that I luuuuvvvv a month ago and still don't have them made.

#3 - I need badly to go through fabric in the chifferobe and decide which pieces I absolutely love. I've found that the more fabric I have the harder it is to decide which to use. I also want to take the chifferobe back to my sister in N.C. It's gorgeous, but I wanted it to house my fabric and it just doesn't work so well for that.

#4 - Clean out my bedroom closet. There are just too many clothes in there. Some don't fit, others aren't comfortable and some just aren't "me". I'm tired of seeing so many clothes and wearing only those that are in the center. If I got rid of some clothes I'd have more room for fabric. Yee-Ha !

#5 - Work on my Summer Bucket of Fun Swap. My partner is Christy and she makes pretty aprons I've noticed. I love aprons. (hint hint)

#6 - Try the lasagna recipe I've been carrying around in my purse for 2 weeks!

#7 - Post on my blog 2 times every week!!

I received the origami stars I ordered recently and I just love them! They were packaged so pretty and have been a big hit with everyone who has seen them. I'm amazed that Chantelle makes these little things......with her little little ol' Hawaii !! Oh my gosh...Hawaii. Seriously though, these are so unique and very affordable. Check them out here.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Goodies and Wrappings

I commented to someone earlier that my posting was just pitiful, and that it is! Not intentionally though. I haven't progressed quite as much as I wanted to over the last week so I don't have any newly completed projects to show yet. I do have these little goodies I received over the weekend that brought a big smile to my face...

I love Jenn Maruska's needlebooks and pincushions. I had ordered a needlebook from her a month or so ago and when my mother fell in love with it I gave it to her. This comes in so handy for me and it just makes you kind of happy when you pick it up. Jenn is so easy to work with. She changed a little something for me on this and I couldn't be happier with it.

This mason jar pincushion is from LeeAnn over at MintBasil. She has opened an Etsy shop and is a productive little crafter! LeeAnn and I were swap partners in the Pink and Green swap and it was the first swap for both of us so we were both a bit nervous I think. But it turned out fantastic and I'm an avid reader of her blog. She's creative, talented and really gets things done - which I am probably the most envious of. She was a fairly new blogger when the swap began and helped me make the jump to blog also.

She also sent me this pretty embroidered zipper pouch she made from thrifted fabric. The outer fabric is from a linen dress she thrifted and the inner fabric is from a thrifted sheet. (The embroidery she did of course.) How great is that?!! I really like this pouch - it's already in my purse holding my H&B ("health and beauty" per the teenager). I love it LeeAnn. Thank you so much!

One more thing I wanted to say about these orders I received...their packaging is so fun and exciting! (Jenn recently wrote about packaging here by the way.) Both Jenn and LeeAnn take time to wrap the items so nice. Jenn uses colorful paper and included candy and a note. LeeAnn wraps her goods with paper and twine, which reminds me of the "mercantile" days, and she ties on a vintage earring to the twine. This came tied to my package.

I thought that added the cutest touch. I wish I had taken time to get the camera out and take photos before I opened my packages Saturday, but I didn't even think about that until it was too late. I do appreciate the time and effort put into the wrappings though. It's just such a great little addition. The wrapping is something I've thought about for a while now, so I ordered these to add with anything I make and sell. I hadn't seen anything like this before but I can't wait to get them. I'll post about them when they come in.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Patchwork Summer

I hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. It was nice to have the extra day off but that isn't what the day is about as we all know. As a matter of fact, one of our hometown young men was killed in Iraq Friday. David Paul Lindsey is his name. He was only 20 years old. This was his Memorial Day. If you pray, please pray for his family. I cannot imagine....

I spent the weekend with family and friends...just flying around by the seat of my pants...and I loved every minute of it. I got a tad of sewing done, but not much. I began this late Friday night...

...and after getting into umpteen different things in my sewing room I finally began to crash about 2 a.m. I was so keyed up - wanting to sew, wanting to organize and fold fabric, wanting to makes lists of projects I'd like to do and those I've already started and put down. I don't know if I drank too much iced tea Friday or what, but I was surely wound up. And then.....BOOM! I was walking like a drunk woman. Thinking like a drunk woman. It hit like a ton of bricks. I uncovered my bed by moving the boxes of fabric I had pulled out. No reading necessary at 2 a.m. I closed my eyes and the next thing I knew it was 11 a.m. !!!! Yikes! I canNOT handle late nights anymore. And I miss that. I used to love staying up late and getting into all sorts of things. But age will nip that fun in the bud!

Saturday and Sunday were fun days. I was trying to forget what needed to be done at home and just enjoy myself. That's another thing I used to do when I was younger. Back then my mind would say "Forget what the house looks like. Forget you've only got (1) pair of clean shorts. Grab 'em and go girl." That way of thinking has changed through the years. I'd like to do some things on impulse again. Since I'm aware of it, maybe I can change a bit.

So yesterday I finally completed my project- a patchwork tote bag. A couple of the prints are from some of the .50 pillowcases I recently bought and the blue/white gingham is from an apron I bought at a yard sale for .25. The apron had several large stains that wouldn't wash out so I cut it up to salvage some of it. I love all of these colors. I can't help but see "Summer" when I look at it.

Summer - catching fireflies, sipping lemonade on the porch swing, swimming, keeping the picnic quilt by the door, grabbing some delicious smelling magnolia blossoms.....

Monday, May 14, 2007

The mailman is my friend sometimes....

Saturday was the first Saturday since mid-February that I wasn't at my mothers 30 minutes away, clearing out the house she is about to sell. She and I have both exhausted ourselves with that project and I cannot tell you how excited I was to have a Saturday at home to do other things, like sew. But by the time I cleaned house, visited the nursery, planted some flowers, washed some laundry and began to uncover my sewing table...the day was pretty much gone. When my teenager came in from her Saturday job she and I took off to the know...that place where she would rather live. IF she had the money. She and I had not been to the mall together since December and we did enjoy it. When she began to drive last fall I decided that if she asked me to go somewhere with her I would say yes (unless I just absolutely couldn't go) because her years at home are so quickly passing by. I'm glad she still wants me around now and then, so off we went.

Mother's Day Sunday was very nice. Church, Sunday lunch, spending time with my mother, daughter, an aunt and a cousin. A quiet laid back kind of afternoon that seemed to fly by and then it was Monday before I could blink.

I don't have any sewing to show yet but I do want you to see the needlebook I ordered from Jenn Maruska. I have been drooling over this for a while, so I finally ordered it. I love the pin cushions and needlebooks she makes. And her little "taskets" too.

I also got in on an item that Julie Marie was getting rid of when she was spring cleaning. I thought it was precious when she first wrote about it and I'm thrilled to have it. It's such pretty embroidery that you have to look hard to realize it says "snotrag". This will have to go to church with me every week. The card she enclosed is one of her designs and I just loved it too. (I forgot to take a picture of it though.) It is called "Magnolia". How fitting....the magnolia trees are blooming all around me here. Be sure to check out her cards here.

I also want to show you the goodies I received from Julie V. in a Journal Swap hosted by Create A Connection. I was so excited about this package. Not only did she send me a journal, but also the adorable 'flower pen', magnets and the book Memoirs of a Geisha signed by the author! I couldn't help but be 'giddy' about it all. The journal is from Amy Butler and Julie V. didn't even know that I sew or buy Amy Butler fabrics. I do love this journal - so much so that I'm going to order a couple more of them. Thank you so much Julie V. I love it all!

I'm trying very hard to be more organized for this weekend so that I can MAYbe get some sewing done. Organize, clean, de-clutter, sew, embroider, wash car, cut grass, plant more flowers, bathe E.J. (dog) list is getting much too long. But I WILL sew. I WILL sew.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Ya'll Have Me Thrifting and I Love It

I haven't had much time for sewing the past two weeks but I'm hoping things are slowing down enough now for me to work on some things. I've got several skirts to make for myself that aren't even cut out yet. I also want to finish this little doll quilt I've been trying to master.

These fabrics are from LeeAnn in the Pink and Green Swap. I cut into the remnants the night I got her package in the mail and then began sewing it together the next night - but haven't been able to pick it up since then. Time just gets away from me so quickly.

I did luck up Monday afternoon on some thrifting. I found two vintage sheets still wrapped in the plastic for $3.50 each....

...and then all of these soft-as-silk pillowcases for .50 each. I just HAD to bring these home to add to the fabric collection!

Now I don't know about that one with the roller skates...I'm sure it isn't old and I don't know why I thought I had to buy that one...but I did. Oh well.

I'm not sure what I'll do with all of them, but I see aprons, purses, purse linings, pillows, window dressings, etc. I just need to make sure I keep them stacked in view because if they get organized in a box it will be "out of sight - out of mind". That's one of the ways I've accumulated my fabric collection to begin with!

I was so excited about the sheets and pillowcases, and then I spied this on my way to the register.

I just fell in love with this! I don't know if you can tell it by looking at my pitiful photo, but about half of the fern actually hangs off of the fabric. I think it's just beautiful. Different. Unique. The bottom edge says "Sunset Designs 1975". I'm thinking it was framed at some point because there are rusty colored marks around the edges that look to be left by staples. It's in good shape otherwise, and very clean.

I wonder who stitched this. Did she do a lot of crewel embroidery work, or did this one piece convince her it wasn't her cup of tea? Did she work on it for 30 minutes in the evenings after putting the children to bed? How did it leave her possession? I always wonder about things like that when something is handmade. Handmade is a piece of someone. It's a part of that person's heart and mind. And it's a part of their history. And I can't help but wonder.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Swap Package Monday....

Like many others, I do NOT like a Monday. But yesterday was different. As I parked in the driveway I spied a package on my porch. Ya-hoo!!! I knew it was from LeeAnn - my Pink and Green swap partner. And I couldn't wait to get into it. I tried to take my time opening each package - wrapped so nice in twine and ribbons with tags attached - but it was sure hard to be patient. I was glad I was all alone. My daughter would have said "WHAT is wrong with you...tearing into that like you're 6 years old?!!??!!"
I've decided that LeeAnn and I have met - we just don't know it - because she sent things "with my name written all over them" as we say. I absolutely love it all!
S - Soaps
Handmade by her aunt, with a wonderful minty fragrance! My daughter is already begging me for a cake of it.
P - Pillow
Embroidered and handmade by LeeAnn - I saw this cow on her blog once and just loved it and canNOT believe I have one now. She also made a pillow form case to go with it. Love it, love it.
R -Remnants
These are the perfect size to do small handmade items with. I began cutting a few last night to try my hand at one of the doll quilts I keep seeing at turkey feathers and other blogs. As soon as I saw the colors I knew that's what I would do.
I - "I really love this plate/platter" LeeAnn said. And so do I! I'm finding a special place and use for this.
N - Notepads, Notecards, Notebooks.
As LeeAnn said, you can't have too many of any of these 3 things. And I know I'll use each one of them.
G - Green Felted Flower Pin
This is soooo pretty. The picture does NOT do this justice. LeeAnn made this from a thrifted sweater and she put a large pearl ball-type button in the center. This pin will travel back and forth between my off-white cape and my off-white purse. I can't wait to use it!
This is my first swap and LeeAnn's also. I love everything she sent and I hope she will like what I've sent. (My package should be at her door today.)
Thanks again LeeAnn.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I'm still trying to figure this out!

It's pretty pitiful to finally create a blog and then let it sit there for a full week before adding to it again...but...that's what I did. Not intentionally of course. I did just enter a list of blogs I read but you would NOT believe how long that took.I just haven't known how to create this and haven't had the time to try for a long period of time - plain and simple. However, I do seem to have had time to read all of the other blogs I so enjoy. Pitiful - just pitiful!

I took a photograph last night of some fabric I received in the mail yesterday from and I canNOT for the life of me get the picture transferred to this, but I WILL do it. It might be after the skirt is made but I WILL do it. I love this fabric! Julie had made a skirt out of it and I just had to have that fabric but I couldn't find it on any of the online shops I buy from, so I emailed julie and she so kindly replied that I could get it at I really enjoyed dealing with those folks. Sabra at went out of her way to try to contact me about a less expensive shipping option which I thought was fantastic customer service. The fabric is so pretty. I can't wait to make something from it.

I'm still getting my items together for the Pink and Green Swap. This is my first swap and LeeAnn is my swap partner, and I'm getting excited.

Well, I'm going to hit 'publish' now and see what happens!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I can't believe I've done it!

I have a blog!!! Who would've thought!! Thank you LeeAnn for the extra push you've given me. Did you sense my fear? You would not believe how brainless I am on a computer - other than checking emails and searching the internet. Just wait until I can REALLY do something on this the door!!!