Saturday, May 30, 2009

Turn a New Leaf

Last Saturday I got an email entitled "Congrats!" I almost deleted it because, really, it just looked like more spam. But then I reminded myself that I had entered contests on 3 or 4 blogs earlier that week ... could I possibly have won something? So, after doing the little trick dh showed me of checking the email's properties first for any telltale spam signs, I clicked it ... and sure enough, I'd won this from My Good Cents:Isn't it cute?! It's my new coupon organizer from Austin Artisan! I'd been searching the Internet for tutorials for making my own organizer because I couldn't seem to find one in the stores (I know they must be out there, but I can't seem to figure out where they're hiding!) My search led to several tutorials and also some contests for others' handmade organizers. I figured I could wait another week or two to make my own just in case I won. I'm so glad I did LOL!The best part was that I got to pick the design! I chose this one (called "Turn a New Leaf") because I just love the little stitching on the leaves (if you like it, too, she has another one with a brown background). She also has many others that are just as cute. You can see them all here.It just came in the mail the other day ... thank you, thank you, thank you, Austin Artisan and My Good Cents!! Now to fill it up with coupons ... bring on the savings!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Well, shoot ...

Now I've gone and done it ... my blog looks pretty, but I've lost all my favorite links, my counter and the rings I belonged to!! Now what?! All the websites say I shouldn't lose anything just by switching templates and such, but I must be the exception to the rule. Dagnabbit! Now I'm going to have to start over. Oh, well ... live and learn {{{sigh}}} ...

Thank goodness for the history tab, though ... I can use that to find the links to the websites I visit most often. I'm just sorry to lose those websites that I check once a month or so. Hey, now that I have to start all over, how about you all sharing some of your favorite websites? Maybe I'll find some new favorites!

By the way, how do you like the new look? I got the background from The Cutest Blog on the Block. I also used their tutorial to go from 2 columns to 3 columns. I've always wanted another sidebar so that I could spread out the links and such. Guess that's my silver lining today LOL!

Pardon the dust

I'm playing around with the layout of my blog today ...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Vintage goodies, anyone?

I was surfing the Internet this morning and, as often happens, one blog led to another, which led to another, which led to ... well, you get the picture. In all that surfing, I happened upon a new-to-me blog called Tomato Soup Cake. I enjoyed browsing through her past posts so much and was so inspired that I just had to add her to my list of favorite blogs in my sidebar so I can visit her often! And talk about perfect timing ... her post this morning was about some vintage goodies she scored at a garage sale this weekend. At the end of the post, she mentioned doing a giveaway of some of the goodies later today because it's so fun to share!

Well, she's got her giveaway up ... and it's her first ever! There are quite a few yummy goodies in the giveaway, and she's even throwing in a 1950's apron pattern to boot. If you're interested, you'd better get over there quick ... she's going to pick the winner on June 3rd! Good luck!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Another pie apron

I had fun stitching up my Pie-Makin' Apron, but don't you think I should have more than one?! After all, the recipe on the pocket is printed on a Quick Fuse Inkjet Fabric Sheet, and, thus, can only be hand-washed. That means my apron is really just for serving pies, not for making them! So it only makes sense to have another pie apron for doing the actual pie makin', right?

Well, here's our chance! This week's apron giveaway on The Apron Goddesses blog is a Fresh Baked Pies apron ... yummy! I can totally see myself making pie after pie in this. But don't delay ... the contest closes June 3rd. Good luck, everyone!

Monday, May 25, 2009

It's here!

My new tea time apron has arrived and I just love it! Of course, I had to wait to try it on until both the girls had their turn ... 7 yo Abby wants me to turn it into a dress for her. I think not ... it's mine, all mine LOL! Thanks so much, Annie!

I especially love the envelope-style pockets ... adorable!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Spurred on into summer

Two events have combined recently to spur me into action ... Pat Sloan's recent finish-it-up challenge and my upcoming trip to Florida to visit my mom. These two things have reminded me that I still had one more round to do on the "Altered Art Book Page Thingy", which first began in February 2008. Three other ladies, including my mom, and I set out to make pages for each other, round robin style, in each of our chosen themes. Mine was "Opposites Attract".

The second round I worked on, the theme was "Flourish", and the third round, the theme was "Matisse". Both of these rounds, I took my time, but still finished relatively quickly. But then came the final round ... this was my mom's theme, "Seasons", and the work of the first three rounds (spring, fall and winter) was amazing! I had no idea how I could come close to matching these beautiful pages with my summer pages. I hemmed, I hawed, I tossed around and rejected a few ideas. Mom said, "Don't stress about it ... take your time and when it gets done, it gets done." So it got put back in the envelope to incubate.

Now, when my mom says, "take your time," she really means, "give it another week, or even two," not "take a year off," but that's what happened! It sat and sat ... occasionally I'd spy the envelope peeking out at me and I'd think so more, but, really, it just sat. Recently, in light of the whole finish-it-up challenge, I got the bright idea (think, "duh!" with hand slap to forehead) to pull the pages out and put them up on the design wall. There I couldn't ignore them and pretend they didn't exist! And then, my mom calls and invites us down to visit ... bingo! A deadline! So I got in gear and told myself, "It's not about trying to match the others, it's about what the season means to you!" So I thought some more, searched the Internet for ideas, pulled some fabrics, broke out the fusible web, and made these.

Not so grand as the other three seasons, but I'm please with them! Here's a pic of all the pages together. Can't wait to see what my mom does with them!Ready for a kicker? When the lady before me sent me my mom's, she sent mine back, too. But I promised myself I wouldn't look at mine until my mom's were done. So last night I finally got to see what these ladies had done with my "Opposites Attract" theme ... gorgeous! I'll share them with you later this week ....

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Aprons by the dozen

My mil and I go to a luncheon each month where for just $15 we get to enjoy the company of many wonderful ladies, eat a delicious meal and hear amazing speakers talk about what God is doing in their lives. A few months ago, my mil offered to help with the centerpieces for the tables. She likes to make them fit the theme of the luncheon topics ... for instance, once we had a watercolor artist speak, so she painted up some small canvases and displayed them on little easels, complete with paintbrushes with flowers tied to them. Another month, we had a musician, so she cut out musical notes, glued them to skewers and tucked them into flower arrangements. Cute, huh?!

Well, for the month of June, I'm adding to the fun! The theme is "Once Upon a Salad" and the speaker, a chef, will be giving us ideas on main dish salads. I told my mil an apron tied to the vase would be cute, and hmm, somehow I ended up promising to make said aprons LOL! So I went home, did a little searching for apron ornament patterns, and ended up coming up with my own half-apron pattern. Next, I pawed through the scraps left over from my Dancing Train quilt and came up with over a dozen combinations. Then came the fun!
I made my own bias tape to edge each apron, which caused some burned fingers, but I think the results were worth it!
Here's one tied to the vase we picked out. She plans to add some greenery and maybe a daisy or two, plus a set of four wooden spoons/forks that she got at the dollar store.Only one problem ... I won't be there to see them! I realized about halfway through the sewing that my girls and I will be in Florida visiting my mom that week (yeah, I can hear you cuing up the violins LOL!) Hope my mil gets some pictures! And we're going to offer the centerpieces for sale, so I can't wait to hear how they do! Which one's your favorite?

Friday, May 22, 2009

My Pie-Makin' Apron

Last week I posted a sneak peek of my Pie-Makin' Apron ... a pile of fabrics and a recipe card. A recipe card? Yep, a recipe card ... but not for just any ol' recipe. This is a recipe for my Great Grandma Mitchell's Butterscotch Cookies. I remember as a little girl playing Tiddly Winks in her living room while nibbling on these yummy cookies, eating around the pecan half, saving it for last. Wonderful memories!When I read about the latest Tie One On theme, I immediately knew what apron I wanted to make ... the recipe-card apron in a sweet little book called Stitched in Time by Alicia Paulson. I looked through all the old recipes my stepmom had, specifically looking for a pie recipe, but when I stumbled on this cookie recipe, I knew it was the one! So I took it home and whipped up this apron (well, it did take me several days, but still ...)I had so much fun putting this together and remembering my Great Grandma! If you'd like to go back in time with me, make up a batch of these cookies. Enjoy!

Butterscotch Cookies

1/2 lb. (2 sticks) butter
1 scant cup dark brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond or lemon extract
2 scant cups flour
Pecan halves

Cream butter and brown sugar. Add egg, vanilla and almond or lemon. Add flour and beat well 'til well blended. Refrigerate for an hour. Drop by teaspoons on buttered cookie sheet, with pecan half on top. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Makes 4 dozen.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

April's basket

I finished April's basket over the weekend.On to May's basket o' flowers ... I'm lovin' these baskets!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

It has borders!

I finally bit the bullet and worked on the borders of the first Crooked Cabin quilt. It was a bit daunting to square it up, but it had to be done ... and now I'm glad it's over LOL! A bit of black and then a nice red outer border really finished it off nicely. I'm very pleased with it.As for the second Crooked Cabin quilt, I auditioned several different borders and I didn't like any of them. Nothing seemed right. Then I realized that the fabric I used to tilt the squares is so wide that it is enough of a border as is. So I'm calling it done, too.Well, these quilts are at that "top-is-done-and-just-needs-quilting" stage, which is where I wanted to be! Now I have a new goal for them ... to be quilted and bound in time for my guild's July picnic. It's tradition to invite kids and grandkids that like to sew and quilt, and show-n-tell is centered around the kids' handiwork and also any recent quilts that have been made for kids. These would fit the bill nicely, so I thought it'd make a good goal to shoot for. Thank goodness we meet toward the end of the month LOL! Cross your fingers for me ....

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Did you ever own a poodle skirt?

I had a poodle skirt once and I wasn't even born until the late 60's! Every year in grade school, the different grades would each perform a song or skit to go with whatever theme they had going that year. One year (my 4th or 5th grade, I think), each class was to perform something from a specific decade, and our class did a number to the song "Splish, Splash" to celebrate the 50's. The boys wore jeans and white T-shirts with the sleeves rolled up, and the girls got to wear poodle skirts ... fun! I hadn't thought about that in ages, until I saw this week's apron giveaway at The Apron Goddesses.

Who wouldn't have fun wearing this?! If you never got to wear a poodle skirt, or you did and wish you still had it, here's your chance! But don't take long ... this giveaway ends May 26th. Good luck!

Monday, May 18, 2009

What I'm working on right now ...

Anyone remember when I started these two Crooked cabin quilts? Yep, that's correct ... three years ago! I should be a card-carrying member of Procrastinators Anonymous LOL!

Anyways, Pat Sloan is having a Finish-It-Up challenge right now, so I thought I'd try to get these done (at least to the "top-is-done-and-just-needs-quilting" stage). When I last posted about these quilts, I had half the blocks put together, waiting for borders, and the other half still sitting while I decided whether to attempt a different setting than the first (it was a doozy!)

Since joining the challenge three weeks ago, I got the second half of the blocks put together. I wanted to do this one differently than the first one, so I added red and green (but not Christmas-y) fabrics to tilt the blocks before sewing them together. Tilting them really made the blocks grow, so this one is 6" wider and 12" longer than the first one!Now I need to get borders on ... and quick, since the deadline for the challenge is this Friday! I'm thinking of doing a thin (1"-1 1/2") border of black on both quilts to contain the blocks, then the red star fabric for the first quilt and the green stripe for the second quilt. But we shall see ....

Btw, if you're interested, you can see other quilts being finished up for the challenge here.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The next redwork block

I finally finished the February block of the A Tisket, A Tasket, Twelve Months of Baskets. So far, it's my favorite!Now I'm working on April's block and have May traced and ready. I'm really loving how they are turning out ... can't wait to see what will end up in future baskets!

I've been working on these blocks while watching TV with my husband or kids, and when we're out and about, but I have also found some time to play in my sewing room recently. I've been working on my Pie-Makin' Apron and on two Crooked Cabin quilts that I started back in 2006. Below is a sneak preview of the apron, and you can see where I left off with the quilts almost three years ago here.I'll share some of the progress on both of these projects in the very near future, so stay tuned!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy National Wear Your Apron Day!

Yep! It's here:

National Wear Your Aprons Day sponsored by DayStar Apparel

I will be wearing my "No $$$ Apron" ... which apron will you wear today?

Or maybe you don't have an apron? Then why not enter to win four! This week on The Apron Goddesses blog, you have a chance to win four full aprons, one for you and three for the kids in your life ... next year you and your whole crew could be ready!

I'm going to be running a few errands today ... wonder if I'll see anyone else wearing their apron ....

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Guess what?!?

I won!! I really did ... I won this apron! Don't believe me? I have proof ... Julia says so right here! I'm so excited!! I rarely win anything ... wait, I guess I can't say that anymore because I won this apron, an apron pattern a couple of weeks ago, and some earrings last year. Okay, so occasionally I win, but compared to how many things I enter, it's rare LOL! But I'm a winner today, so I'm a happy camper!

How about you? Do you want to try to win something, too? If so, check out Julia's latest contest to win this cute gardening/haying/puttering in the yard apron ... this one ends soon, so don't delay! I'm just hoping Julia doesn't have rules about how often we can win aprons ... I want them all LOL!

Monday, May 04, 2009

No $$$ Aprons

Tie One On's "No $$$ Apron" gallery is up! Lots of great aprons made for this challenge ... check 'em out! Mine is in great company.

The next challenge is a Pie Makin' Apron ... make an apron and include your favorite pie recipe. This is going to be fun! I've already got an idea for the apron ... now to find time to make it a reality LOL!

Friday, May 01, 2009

My current handwork project

At Christmastime, my Bible study group had an ornament exchange ... being me, I couldn't just buy an ornament, I had to stitch one up. So, the morning of the exchange (do you see a pattern here?), I pulled out my fabric and DMC floss, dug out the lightbox, traced a button tree pattern I've had in a binder for who knows how long and got started. By working on it throughout the day (including over an hour of uninterrupted time during dance class ... yay for dance classes!), I finished it with about an hour to spare. But did I take a picture of it during that hour? No. And I'm still kicking myself for that ... it turned out so darn cute!

So, what does that have to do with anything? Well, it reminded me how much I enjoy embroidery. So I proceeded to make ... er, start some more ornaments for myself, using some redwork designs found in said binder. However, I didn't rush these like I did the button tree, so they aren't complete ... maybe Christmas morning 2009 I'll finish 'em up (or maybe even earlier, like Christmas Eve). But I'll give you a peek:Then a couple weeks ago, I stumbled upon Bunny Hill Designs. They currently have a free BOM (Block of the Month for you non-quilters) called "A Tisket, A Tasket, Twelve Months of Baskets". I'm usually not into BOMs, but they are showing the blocks in both applique and redwork, and, you guessed it, the redwork got to me. I immediately printed out the available months (January through April) and got started. I pulled a bunch of WOW (white-on-white) fabrics, cut 12 backgrounds, traced out the four designs, drove to Hobby Lobby to get the right red (because the 5 reds I do have weren't right!), and started sewing. Okay, okay, so I didn't do all this within five minutes of printing ... I had to wait a couple days until I went to the post office because Hobby Lobby is two doors down. While I was there, I also got some lightweight fusible interfacing ... I've never tried it before, but the patterns suggested it so I thought I'd give it a go. Boy, is this stuff cool! It's so lightweight that I can barely tell it's there, but it really helps prevent puckering. Plus if there needs to be any trailing between stitch areas, it doesn't show through the front. I'm hooked!

I've done January and March (I skipped February because the fusible interfacing wasn't completely fused, so I waited until the next time I had my iron on and got it fused properly ... it's in progress now):

Anyone care to join me? It's free!
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