Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Project for the weekend.....

I need some inspiration in my sewing room that doubles as a guest room.  Currently I have a twin bed, rocking chair, 4 drawer chest of drawers, sewing table with machine, file cabinet and 2 organizing 4 drawer clear totes.  The wall are a stark white.  The colors in the quilt on the bed are very soft, blues, yellows and greens oh and I have very neutral curtans.  Help me pick out the right color for my bedroom.  let's hear them please.  I value your opinions and desperately need your guidance.  Thoughts??

Monday, November 21, 2011

An inspiration from my friend over at The Ivy Cottage Blog

Thanks to my friend Amanda, over at her blog The Ivy Cottage Blog, I was inspired to try a lamp revamp all on my own.  Thanks Amanda.  Please check out her blog, The Ivy Cottage and in particular this post of a lamp revamp
On Friday night after work I stopped by my local Goodwill store and found two amazing lamps that I thought could use a revamp and I got busy.  I didn't think to take before pics so I apologize for that first off.  Please trust me when I tell you they were Hideous!!!

They both were really heavy, substantial in size and weight with impressed me.  The first lamp was a 1980's throw back with a hunter green middle section that reminds me of a pineapple with peeling gold plastic above and below the pineapple.  I was immediately struck with the idea to paint it white, a flat white.  Here is the end results"

Here is the second lamp that started out in a hideous bronze that tapered into a brownish kind of color the closer it got to the center of the lap.  I looked at it and thought, metallic silver for sure.  Here is the after picture. 

I love how they both turned out, don't you?  Now I begin the search for the perfect shades.  Does anyone have a favorite blog tutorial to make a shade or maybe you can think of a store that has a good selection of shades that I should peruse in my quest.  Thank you tremendously to The Ivy Cottage for sharing her wonderful idea of upcycleing.  I love it and it really inspired me. 

Best to everyone,


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Amazing blogs make me feel like a slacker....

I just have to give a nod, high five and a standing ovation to many of the bloggers out there, especially the ones I have linked on the right column (right over there and down a little, see the list???), for the stamina to blog every single day AND show off their projects and process.  I give a shout out to:

Oh, Fransson!

Her quilts are auh-maze-ing!!!  She has created and is working on a Space Invader quilt that is simply divine.  As a kid who grew up in the 80's I am uber jealous of her nephew and this awesome quilt he will be getting.  Way Cool!!!!! 

Oh and have you been to:

Cute Cupcakes.  All The Time

She posts the most clever, unordinary, special cupcakes I have ever seen on her site.  I mean, WHAT???  The ideas the execution, get outta here.  I like cupcakes but those are masterpieces!!

And if you haven't visited:

The Ivy Cottage Blog

Check out this Mardi Gras Bead Lamp.  I would have seen that lamp at the store and thought it was awesome but never would have thought to use mardi gras beeds and silver paint to re-create that lamp on a budget. 

Oh and you will just be hysterical reading:

Thrifty Crafty Girl

Her blog is so dang funny and real.  She puts together the coolest vignettes and then tells you how to put it together for yourself.  I love her stuff!!

I have been so crazy busy with work, DAR keeping on top of my "life" that I am still working on that first tote bag that I started over 11 days ago.  Seriously I feel like a slacker.

So here is my plan, tonight NO TV, nothing.  There is nothing on Wednesday's nights to watch don't even turn it on!!  Finish that first tote, take some pics for posting.  Get 2nd tote cut, and fused with interfacing and ready to sew.  Ladies you inspire me, tonight I make no excuses and take no prisoners - the work will get done.  :)  As the saying goes in one of my favorite movies, "Chop, chop Owen!" 

Have a wonderful day, live, love and create.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

In Honor of our Veterans......11-11-11

I take this moment to thank our military veterans for their service and sacrifice for our country, thank you.  Words fall short of expressing the gratitude and pride I feel being able to call myself a citizen of the United States of America.  I love our country.  Our country is what it is because of the Veterans and their honor, committment and service to this country. 

Thank you Veterans and Active Military for all you and your families have done and continue to sacrifice for this great country.  We love you!  We support you!  We honor you!  God Bless you, your families and this Country.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Lavender Sachets

We have a great Spice Market near my home town.  They sell spices and herbs and wonderful smelling things all throughout the store.  I love going there because it sends your smell sense into overdrive.  They have some cool, hard to find food items too.  It is a great place to shop for that person on your list that you just can't figure out what to get them.  Here is a link to their website.

Spice Merchant

So this year I have decided to make some lavender sachets for my peeps (mom and sisters) to put in their delicates drawer.  I thought that I would buy some think muslin, cut 2 1/2 in strips (that's the quilter coming out in me) and sew small rectangles leaving one side open to turn right side out.  I will then fill it with lavender and sew shut.  How yummy!  I think these sachets are great gifts to add into a gift bag or basket to give to a sister, mother or friend.  I will post some pics as I get this project started, come back soon to see the progress.

Learn to Knit

About 2 years ago I decided that I wanted to learn how to knit.  I saw Deborah Norvell on Inside Edition showing off some of the things she knitted for her family members and I thought if she could knit then I could too.  (She has always struck me as kind of a bubble head but over time I have grown to maybe think she isn't 100% bubble head, snark, snark.)  I went to the link on her website and was pretty confused so I ordered some books from my library on the interlibrary exchange (by the way this is a great way to save money and not have to purchase a book) about knitting.  After reading through Knitting for Dummies I felt self assured that I could learn to knit.  I went to by big box store, WM and bought a pair of size 8 knitting needles and some bright yellow yarn.  I went home, put my glasses on and began to try to knit, I failed!  After trying for 2 hours I was flustered and nearly gave up but went to my computer and started searching for a sight with videos to show me how to knit.  I found the best website in the WORLD for knitting here is the link:

Knitting Help

This site has free videos of every technique you could ever want to learn when you knit, from casting on stitches, to increasing and decreasing stitches to advanced techniques using circular needles.  I love this website.  Anytime I need a refresher I go to this website and click on the video that I want to watch.  They are clear, good video quality and she is a pleasure to listen to (some videos are full of "um's", long pauses, and the infamous, "oh what am I trying to say?").  Videos that are not edited and are full of half thoughts and such frustrate me because it causes me to get lost and not understand what to do next.  So if you are looking for a great visual to learn how to know please check out her site.  Happy Knitting.

Mid week status report

Oh, my it has been a busy week at work and the weather here in Kansas has been everchanging and delightful.  Fall has begun and our days change between seasons and sometimes the seasons change during the day, how amazing.  In the last 5 days we have had 70 degree weather, sunshine, rain, frost, a couple of hard freezes, we've felt aftershocks from Oklahoma's earthquakes, had snow fall last night and wind that will push you over like a leaf.  Did I cover all the bases?  Good, that's Kansas for ya.

Work has been busy, boss is out today through the end of the week so the beginning of the week was filled with completing his "TO DO" list before he left to go on a vacation.  Those are always fun, he has a list he wants done before he leaves town and your list or plan for the week goes out the window.  So today I am back to my plan, my list and I decided to take a few minutes to update my blog and say hello to you all. 


I am working on the market tote bags.  I am nearly finished with the first one.  I have had a few setbacks and am really glad I started with the bag for myself so I can work out the kinks in how I put it together.  I showed my mom and sister what the bag looks like so far and their original luke warm reception of the idea has changed to straight up enthusiasm.  They are both excited to have me start their bags, they love the inside pockets I have added and both have asked for the straps to be customized to their shoulder drop.  YEA!

Mom has made lots of headway on her quilt.  She is doing a 12 block lap quilt of terrier puppies.  The applique stitching has been an undertaking but she hasn't gotten discouraged and I am really impressed with it so far.  I will take some pics and post them, if she is ok with that. 

Tonight is NO TV SEWING ONLY night. 

Did I tell you I got my book in the mail?  I ordered a copy of "Mayflower" by Nathaniel Philbrick.  Here is a link to the book on Amazon:


My dear friend Virginia just finished a Brown Bag Lunch Series and this was the book they all read.  She said that it really gave her a better picture of what the pilgrims were really like and what really happened in the first 60 years they were in Plymouth.  I am really looking forward to reading it.  Since joining DAR I have realized I have an interest in our country's history.  A few weeks ago PBS aired a special on "The War of 1812".  It was very enlightening and I had no idea what a clustermess that war was, but then again aren't they all?  I also didn't know that our President Madison left his wife Dolly unprotected in DC and she not only had to get herself out of the city she also had the foresight to take the portrait of George Washington.  Dolly knew that if the British got their hands on it they would have considered it a coup to capture the iconic picture of our first president and probably would have destroyed it.  I definitely want to read more about her, she sounds like a woman of intelligence, resourcefullness and courage. 

I hope you have a wonderful day and it is full of blessings from our Lord.  I will be on later to update the pics of mom's quilt and my tote bag, hopefully with finished pictures. 


Saturday, November 5, 2011

The postman always rings twice.....

Yea, yippee!  I got a box yesterday from Nancy's Notions.  I love her shows and I think her website is one of the best and has some really cool items and hard to find items.  When I first started sewing my best friend Becky taught me to use pattern tracing paper and not cut up your patterns, why, because your size may change over the years and your patterns will last so much longer. 

Well I went all over south central Kansas and couldn't find any rolls of tracing paper.  I could find packages of small (8 x 11) size tracing paper, but no rolls.  I checked every quilt shop, fabric shop, big box retailer (which I knew would NOT have it but had to make sure myself).  I remembered giving a roll to my sister, I called her and she was using it so I couldn't ask her to give it back.  The internet search began. 

There are some on other sites but at Nancy's Notions she has a great deal for 2 rolls.  Here is a link:

Tracing Paper for Patterns

I was excited to get the 2 rolls and the bonus inside was not only a coupon code for my next purchase but also a Universal Klasse' 80/12 needle.  Now you might not find this very exciting but I love getting extras in the mail and especially if it is something that is useful to me.  YEA!  Check out her site the next time you are looking for some special notion.

Enjoy your day and the blessings that you are given. 

My Best,

Holy Frijoles

I enjoyed my day off immensely.  I was up at 3 am, why.....don't ask it is a long story.  I got up and started cutting the fabric for the first market tote.  My thought is to make the one for me so if I make mistakes I will do so on mine and then when I get to the other totes I will be more confident.  So far the bag is going really well.  I have added an interior double pocket, one for a cell and the other for just the little things that we always lose at the bottom of a purse or tote. 

Inside of the tote, working, working, working....

I picked up my scrips, shopped at Walgreens, oh I have some neat finds from there look at these pretty scarves....

They were on sale for $5 and I have to tell you they are sooooo soft and really long.  Love them!

Look at this cool compact, it starts out as an eyeshadow compact then after you used up the eyeshadow you take the black plastic part out and voila it becomes a business card holder.   Ah -- MAZE -- Ing!!

They had these in pink, clear and black, this one was the most fun.

Then I stopped at a garage sale.  It was FREEZING outside but I couldn't resist.  Well I went in and found these cool things, a gray serving bowl, serving platter and a variety of knitting needles.

I have a real thing for kitchen items that  are older and whimsical.  I love that platter.  I can't wait to use it for Thanksgiving.  Won't it be so pretty with some slices of turkey and ham spread out over it?  And the gray bowl won't it be lovely with the bright red Cranberry Chutney?  The knitting needles I got 10 pair, all different sizes for 40 cents, SHUT UP!  They are metal, which I love and are sizes from 1 to 8 with some duplicates of some sizes. 

And here is what's left of the donuts.....
That one in the middle is filled with apples or cherries, the first one I ate was filled with cherries.  Delicious!  I just wanted to share some pics with you. 

What a productive day it was.  Yea!!

Have a wonderful day today and don't forget to set your clocks back tonight by one hour, and enjoy that extra hour of sleep tonight.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

I am off my rocker, no I am off work tomorrow but close enough.....

Oh my gosh I am so excited to be taking off work tomorrow.  As you can see I am spending my time productively today at my job, updating my blog, ssshh don't tell the boss man.  :-)  My plans for tomorrow...
  1. Sleep in to a reasonable hour.  I am thinking 9ish.
  2. Go pick up my prescriptions, I have a few medical issues that require medicinal assistance.  
  3. Get out my iron and ironing board
  4. Iron my tote fabrics
  5. Draw a pattern for the tote bag on my tracing paper
  6. Begin cutting out the material for all the totes.
  7. Iron on the interfacing.
  8. Make some bobbins of contrasting thread
  9. Begin sewing the bags
  10. Goal, finish all 4 totes tomorrow.  
  11. Take a nap and play with the cats.  
  12. Watch a movie
  13. Begin sewing the satches out of some muslin fabric I have
  14. Oh and return that disaster of a sewing tote. 
Ok, I know you are wondering how is she going to get all that done in one day OR you may be wondering is that all she is going to do tomorrow?  Either way this is a working, plyable list of things to do, one of my infamous (TTDL - things to do list).  I will post and let you know how it goes.

Have a wonderful day,

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Helpful tools or money wasters?

I am always looking for tools that will help do a craft project and make the process easier or consistant.  My latest purchase is a stow n go from the big box store WM.  My thought was to get this tote to put all my most commonly used sewing items in so over the holidays I can take it with me to my moms and work on projects there or to my sister's house and work there.  I am thinking that I will be multitasking, when in reality I will probably be yammering away, drinking some wine and eating turkey, but one can dream, right??  Well here is the bag I got for $20.00 and after filling it I am thinking that it will be making it's way back to WM.  What do you think??  Would you use something like this? 

It is much smaller once I really looked it over at home.
All 4 plastic keepers were identical in the layout and couldn't be changed, you could only add more seperators.
The tag indicated that the top zipped all the way down on one side so you could look in at your keepers like shelves, but the true layout is you stand them up on end and have no idea what is inside them.
It cost $20.00!

I actually liked the concept.
I like the color, I'm a purple girl.  (Not over the top purple like screaming 80's but I like purple)
I thought it would be an easy way to put together a travel sewing kit. 

Once I got the sections filled I put them back in the bag, here are the pics of that part.

 First box goes in, pretty easy.
 Second box goes in, just as easy
 Third box goes in smoothly too.....
 Fourth box was a struggle, you have to slip it in between 2 and 3 because the edge of the bag won't accomodate the width of the box, stupid design.
Side pocket that I thought I could put all my scissors in, this made the bag way too heavy and the two side pockets are really worthless.  I don't think this is going to be the best option.  So, I think it is going back to WM, unfortunately I have way too much stuff to put into this small bag and I really don't like the layout of the keeper boxes.  I am off to hunt for a different sewing kit box/bag.  Do you have a favorite sewing bag?  Please post a pic in the comments or send me the pic at justjay213@hotmail.com.  Have a great day. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Homemade Christmas

We are finally going to do it this year, we are going to full out do homemade Christmas gifts.  God blessed me with this knack of inspiring others with my enthusiasm to do stuff.  I get jazzed about sewing, quilting and knitting and I practically burst telling my sisters and mom about my latest project.  This year I decided to make my mom and sisters a tote bag and fill it with more homemade goodies.  My plan is to make 6 bags (one for me too), 6 lap quilts, 6 mini aprons for your counter dish soap container, lavender sachets for the delicates drawers and other neat things that I can stuff in that tote.  I already purchased the material for 3 of the six bags and will post a picture tonight of the combinations I have chosen.  I am going to have to modify the pattern to include a couple of inside pockets but that should be pretty easy.  Here are the fabric selections I have made so far.

 I like this blue for me - I just fell in love with the brown cord and the circles.  LOVE IT!!  LOVE IT!!

 The little cowboys is for my mom, she thought they were cute and the leather will be a surprise since the last time we talked I suggested denim for the bottom, but I am sure she will love it just the same.
 This is the fabric for my sister Julie, I think she will love the brightness of the pink and the cool flowers. 

My youngest sister picked out this combination, not exactly my favorite but she liked it and I will enjoy making it for her. 

I am making these totes based on a tutorial for a market tote I saw on another blog  Bijou Lovely Designs.  Since these are gifts and I have no intention of selling them or producing them for profit I think I can linky her blog on here. 

What do you think of the fabrics, have you made totes or these totes specifically?  How did yours turn out.  I would love to see pics. 

Have a wonderful day.

Gearing up for Thanksgiving

Every year is the same, the conversations start early in our family about Thanksgiving, who is coming, where everyone is staying, what we are making, how we are making a particular dish.  You see our family is one of continuity when it comes to the Thanksgiving menu.  We are particular in making sure that the time honored dishes made by our maternal grandmother are continued every year, not just in her rememberance but also to drive home that feeling of comfort food that we deny ourselves throughout the rest of the calendar year.  So our menu consists of:

Mashed Potatoes with pan gravy
Green Bean Casserole
Cornbread Dressing
Corn Casserole
Sweet Potato Pudding
Crudite (pickles, pickled beets, black olives, green olives, carrots, celery, green onion and banana peppers).
Hot Homemade yeast rolls
Homemade Cranberry Chutney

Ice Tea


Pumpkin Pie
Cherry Pie
Grandma's Mincemeat pie
Fudge bites
Chocolate Pudding Pie, for the boys
Pumpkin Bread

So, usually I am in charge of the Cornbread dressing, Sweet Potato pudding, Pumpkin bread and the Homemade Cranberry Chutney.  These are the usual suspects on my list and I love making all of them.  My youngest sister, there are 4 girls in all, wants to take on the task of making the Sweet Potato pudding.  I told her I would be more than happy to share the recipe with her and the use of my kitchen.  I think she is really happy to have an upgrade from the crudite plate and chocolate pudding pie.  So the strategies begin, will anyone try to add in a surprise recipe?  Will anyone tamper with the tried and true recipes?  These are the things family disputes are made of and even in light of the turkey tryptophan overdose that happens every year somehow there is enough energy to scold someone for even thinking they were going to switch something up.  I will share one or more of our recipes in future posts.  Please let me know what you think. 
Have a great day,

Welcome to my new blog

Welcome to my latest blog.  I have decided to start this blog to be all encompassing in my life to include daily antedotes, fun crafty projects, recipes, holiday traditions my family celebrates every year and share my sense of humor along the way.  I hope you enjoy it and I welcome any feedback as long as it meets one of two of the following criteria:

1.  Your feedback is kind in nature.
2.  Your critizisms are constructive and refer to number 1, they are kind. 

Off we go....