Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Few Suprises and My Mini Art Journal

Hi Party People!  Thanks so much for celebrating my 100th Post with me!  Officially now this is my 101st post.  Gosh, I feel like an old pro at this now!  No, not really, I'm still learning (and getting frustrated) Blogger everyday.  I'd love for you to stay with me through the next 100 (now 99) posts and beyond!  For those who haven't signed up for my giveaway, DO IT!  you have time.  Remember, you don't have to be a follower.  Just leave me a comment and I'd love to hear something about yourself that might suprise your readers.  I will be announcing the winner tomorrow (Friday) evening.  In the meantime, I will share a few things about myself that might suprise you.

1. I've jumped out of an airplane...yes, I had a parachute.  Oh, and I was strapped to a super hunky English instructor.  This made it less scary.  Do I need to say more?

2.  I have two tattoos.  Well, one is a cover-up.  Does this mean I have 3 tattoos?  The first (and the one covered) I got when I was really young.  The most recent, I got within this last year.  Tattoos seem to be a common "suprising" theme for my readers.  My most recent tattoo is on my back and depicts two bluebirds.  These are special birds and this tattoo is a piece of art which, along with the birds, represents my mom and my love for her....and how much I miss her. 

3.  I sing loudly and, according to my husband, like a show tune singer, in my car.  I am an awful singer, I admit.  But nothing beats your favorite song coming on and belting it out as you tootle down the road.  What makes it even better is not caring if anyone can see or hear you!  You know "you've made it" when you don't care!  Wait, does that mean you are just old?

4.  I swear a lot.  Usually I am the only person that hears this though.  Does that make it okay?  Probably not.  I really have no excuses for this...although a lot of it might come with my job...and I really struggle with patience. 

5.  I really don't look anything like my avatar.  This picture was taken two or three days ago.

Other than a few pictures of myself when I was a kid, this is the first current picture of ME I've posted.  Can you see the wrinkles?  I'm hiding them with my cool shades.

So why am I revealing these things about myself?  I blame Bonnie.  I've been happy without self-reflection or discovery for 40 years.  I don't need to find myself.  I am not lost.  However, like I told Sherry, getting lost sometimes is makes you appreciate home more.  Yes, Sherry, I think I will copyright that.  It is very profound if I say so myself...which I did!  Seriously, I actually do self-reflect frequently and, I guess, discover myself...sometimes I just don't like what I've discovered about myself.  Hence, Bonnie's class.  In all seriousness, this class has been nice.  While I haven't received my kit yet, it is circling somewhere overhead from South Africa, I've been following along online and using some papers I had from doing a recipe card project a few years ago.  I've added some fabric to a few of the pages of my mini journal and have printed out Bonnie's tickets she digitally made.  All the pages are 7 X 12 (cm).  Here is my cover and the first two pages.

The first is my cover.  I've covered cardboard with a page of my favorite Yeats poem.  I've added a retro lady (again looks nothing like me) and some fabric and a paper/chipboard (?) flower.  I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out.  The bottom picture shows the first two pages.  The first ticket says:  I am happiest when...and the second says:  The best day of the week is...(Friday).  I like the pages, but I think they look kind of plain.  I did stamp (my first stamp job) on the second page, which is pretty cool, but I think I'm going to do some stitching to jazz them up a bit.  What do you think?  I really value your opinions!

Remember, please come back tomorrow to see if you've won!  There may be some more suprises as well!

Toodles for now!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sew Many Reasons To CELEBRATE!

I have several reasons to be on cloud nine tonight!  The first is: 

Oh Yeah!  Guess what?  THIS IS MY 100th POST!  Can you believe it?  Actually, I hadn't realized that my next post would be number 100 until I looked at my dashboard after my post about my fall favorites!  I've spent the last few days trying to figure out just how I wanted to celebrate this event!  So, I've decided to have my very first GIVEAWAY!  I went shopping for goodies and just look what I've come up with:

Okay, so photography isn't my strong suit.  I'll just say that this basket o goodies is brimming with "stuff" related to my new addiction...paper crafts, including stamps, cardboard thingies, jeweled brads, and other embellishments!  I've also included stuff related to my love of sewing.. yummy fabric selections from Moda
and some super cool handbag patterns!  I've tried to keep a Thank-You theme with this giveaway.  The reason:  I've feel so very thankful for all of the friendships I've made through these last 99 blog posts as well as for my blog itself.  Without getting too sentimental or mushy, I actually started this blog at a time when I felt I was sort of at a crossroads in my life.  I'm not sure crossroads is the right word, but I was going through a sort of identity crisis at the time I began writing.  I wasn't sure I actually wanted to continue in my occupation at that time (frankly I still ponder this everyday), I also turned 40 near the beginning of this journey, and, I guess, still struggling with the loss of my mom.  Still struggling there, too.  And while I'm not exactly okay with being 40, I guess I'm dealing with that the best.    Well, writing, as well as sewing, has been a sort of therapy for me.  The reason I started sewing was that I found when I sew, I think of nothing but making the line straight and that the end result will be something pretty.  I've now found that blogging, and what that has brought to friends, new art mediums, and connections with people globally has made me a truely better, more rounded (hopefully not literally) person!  Okay, I am totally rambling now. Stay tuned, though, I'm getting into this self reflection, etc.  You know I started my Discovering Myself Journal Class with Bonnie this week, so forgive me if I am a little, you know, loquacious.  Okay, so how do you win this GIVEAWAY you ask?  Well, I'd love for you to be a follower, but it is not MANDATORY!  Wouldn't it be cool to make it to 100 for my 100th Post though?  Anyway, just leave me a comment telling me one thing about yourself that your followers would be suprised to know about you.  Obviously anything goes you have a Rolling Stones tattoo (which would be cool), you love Marilyn Manson (not so cool), you have a Mr. Potato Head collection.  You get the picture.  The winner will be selected radomly this Friday evening.  Oh, I'd love for you to grab my giveaway button and post about it on your blog.  Doing this, on top of your comment, will give you bonus points!  Oh, I promise to tell you all something suprising about myself, too.

My second reason for being happy tonight:

I won!  I won Amy's giveaway at Ruby Moon Art.  I won a gorgeous bracelet she made.  It is absolutley fabulous!  Thanks Amy so much...thanks also for your blog.  It was actually a visit to your place that led me to Bonnie's site...and, again, the journey to discovering myself!  Anyway, here is a picture of the bracelet:

Isn't it awesome?!

Third reason for celebrating:

My computer keyboard wrist rest was posted on Craft Gossip!  I got an email from Anne Weaver last night and she said she loved it!  This totally makes me feel great!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Five Fall Favorites and a Perfect Day

Happy Friday to all!  I've had an absolutley glorious day...all to myself!  Is that selfish?  Oh well!  I've completed two crafty projects today.  The first, a sleep mask for Samantha.  The second, my October ATC for the Blissfull ATC Swap.  Yes, I'm a bit early, but I was just so excited about October's theme!  I've also made a batch of brownies and I've had turkey chili "brewing" in the crockpot all day!  I even managed to sneak in a quick nap!  I actually feel a little guilty!  Okay, I'm over it!  So, what's in store for tonight??  Maybe a little backyard time with my family.  The weather today is just perfect!  It seems the weather changes daily.  One day it feels like the middle of July and the next it can feel like winter, so taking advantage of today's perfectness seems appropriate!

Speaking of fall, Cortney at Living and Loving in California is having a linky party and giveway.  She is asking for your Five Fall Favorites.  Here are mine (in no particular order):
  1. The "cleanness" of the air.  Does that make sense?  I love that I was able to turn the A/C off today and open up the windows.  The clean, crisp air moving through the house is awesome.
  2. Grazing all day on cheese, veggies, crackers, and chili on football Sundays!
  3. The smell of fire...burning leaves.  (Hate raking leaves, love the smell of burning them).
  4. Sunsets and the fall moon.  Doesn't the moon just seem bigger in the fall?
  5. Halloween!  Love candy corn!  I also love dressing up!
There you have it.  My list of Fall Favorites!

Oh, I also need to mention that I forgot to note the seem allowance for the computer keyboard wrist rest.  It is 1/4 ".  I hope to convert the tutorial to a PDF, so stay tuned!  Thanks for everyone's input!

Toodles for now.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Dee Dee's The Winner and My Tutorial!

Thanks to all who voted for me in the Blissfull ATC Swap Holder Contest!  Sadly, I didn't win.  Aww.  Seriously, I am happy for the winner, Dee Dee!  Her holder turned out great!  Actually, we are all winners because we now have fantastic holders for our cards!  I plan on receiving a lot of ATCs because I plan on making and giving a lot of them!  So, I AM A WINNER!  And dog-gon-it, people like me!

Now, on to my computer keyboard wrist rest and the tutorial.  First, thanks to the ladies at work.  They work really hard to make me look good and I think they are definately underappreciated!  They type the letters off their keyboards and I'm sure will all be sporting those lovely carpul tunnel braces as they all get closer to their retirements!  In the meantime, thanks gals for your feedback and suggestions!  I appreciate them all!  So, let's get going already! 

Sew Loquacious Keyboard Wrist Rest Tutorial

2      20" X 4" Inner Fabric Pieces
1      20.5" X 8.5" Outer Fabric Piece
1      22" Coordinating Zipper
Long Grain Rice
Scented Oil (optional)
Coordinating Thread

Sewing Staples: Machine (hello), marking tools (chalk, etc), zipper foot, rotary cutter/mat or scissors, measuring tool

The Inside Story

1. Start with your inside fabric choice cut two pieces to 20" (or whatever the length of your computer keyboard) X 4"

2. Align the raw edges and pin together.

3. Measure and mark at 6 1/2" and at 13". You will be sewing vertically on these lines so you will have 3 sections.

4. Sew the two pieces together along the sides and bottom. For the top, you will sew and stop, leaving about a half an inch space in each of the 3 sections.

5. You will pour your rice into the three "holes" you've left open. After filling each section, sew closed. TIP: Don't actually FILL each section with rice. Leave enough space inside so the rice actually moves around a bit. Also, if you want your rice scented, pour your rice in a large baggie and shake a drop or two of scented oil inside the bag.  Then shake it!

The Outside

1. Lay your outside fabric rightside down and place your zipper facedown on top of it.

2. Pin the zipper to the fabric and sew it together using a zipper foot.

3. Turn it over and press. Now topstitch the fabric and zipper on the right side. (I'm not a big fan of this step, but it actually helps secure the zipper).

4. Repeat these steps (except #3) with the other long end of the fabric. Here I actually folded over about a half an inch extra fabric so that the zipper would be "hidden" or covered by fabric when completed.

5. Now make sure everything is straight and cut the zipper ends so it is even with the fabric on both short sides.

6. Open your zipper halfway and sew both short sides. If you have a label, this is when and where you would attach.

7. Trim and turn rightside out.

8. If you gave yourself extra fabric, you will now be able to fold over this excess and press it over your zipper. This is completely optional and only necessary if you don't want to see the zipper.

That's it. Now just place your 3 section rice pouch inside, zip it up and you are finished. The rice pouch can be placed in the freezer or microwave. Obviously the outside can be washed.


Please let me know if you make a keyboard wrist rest!  I'd love to see your photos!

Toodles for now!

Monday, September 20, 2010

I'm Not Above Bribery

Bribes anyone?  I'm offering bribes to all who vote for my ATC Holder!  Just kidding!  I just want your vote!  There is still time, so go to and vote for mine!

On a serious note, I need to apologize to ANNA at Frosted Petunias for calling her "Penny," in my previous post regarding my ATC Holder.  I received from second ATC from Anna and it is just superb.  I became a follower of her blog and an admirer of her art since swapping with her last month.  I have no clue why I called her Penny!  Anyway, sorry again Anna.

On a sewing note, I finished up on a new computer keyboard wrist rest and have gotten a lot of positive feedback from the typing ladies at work.  You might remember that I made a square wrist rest a few weeks ago and took that into the office for "market testing."  Well, it only took a few minutes for the gals to advise that the rest should not be a square, but a long rectangle...the length of the keyboard.  So, with their suggestions, I created a keyboard wrist rest.  It has made it around the office and it was given the "Thumbs Up" and "Winner" tag!  I am working on writing a tutorial, so stay tuned.  I'm hoping to post it in the next few days!  In the meantime, here is a photo of the completed project.

One last thing, I changed my header again since my last post.  I'm really pleased with this one.  I have wanted to keep the vintage photo of the lady sewer and her daughter incorporated into whichever header I finally chose.  But I also wanted something new.  I think I have achieved this in this header I made.  I hope you like it, too.

Remember to vote!
Toodles for now,

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I'm Not Above Begging

So a few days pass and it is summer again in the Midwest!  Besides being hot again, the sky turned wicked this evening and we have been under a tornado warning for the past few hours.  Still, I'd much prefer sitting in my basement with my tennis shoes and helmet* on than shivering trying stay warm while slipping and sliding my way to my ice covered car!  Yes, I'll take tornado weather over winter weather any day!

I hope you have popped over to Jan's site to get a look at my ATC for September's Blissfull ATC Swap.  If not, here it is:
"Leaves" September '10 ATC
September's theme is "Leaves."  I've "spun" this a bit.  Instead of leaves, I placed multiple Leifs on my card.  Leif Ericson, that is.  I've included a poem about Leif written in Norwegian.  On the reverse of the card is the poem translated into English.  I had a lot of fun making this card!  In a nutshell, I printed the poem onto duck canvas and sewed it to a piece of cardboard.  I also sewed "rope" around the edges and "glued" a ship's wheel onto the front.  I printed the images of Leif onto cardstock and then hand colored them.  I then covered the entire card with multiple layers of Mod Podge!  Next month's theme is "Dark."  I already have ideas in mind for this...I can't wait to get started!

Okay, here is where I start begging!  I need your votes for my ATC Holder.  I finally finished my holder today and I need everyone to go to the Blissfull ATC Swap site and and then email the gals there (Wendy and Debbie) at and tell them you are voting for my holder.  Please, Please, pretty please...with sugar on top??!!  Here is my holder:

Front Cover

 First Page (First ATC I received from Wendy at Bliss Angels)

Second Page ("Orange" ATC from Penny at Frosted Petunias)

Third Page ("Leaves" from Jan at Fursdonhouse)
Back Cover

Back Cover Close Up

I made my holder like a scrap book.  I bought a scrap/photo album and then I made a fabric cover for it out of beige canvas.  On the front is a collage I printed onto fabric and then sewn on the canvas.  I made the collage using Photoshop.  I sewed lace on top of the collage and then sewed images representing the three lady artists' sites that I have swapped cards with.  I've also added the image of Debbie's site, Mosaic Magpie, since she is one of the Blissfull ATC hosts.  Plus, I've added my "logo."  Inside the book, I've placed each ATC and written the artist's information next to it.  On the back, I've made a dress out of scrap fabric and I drew the lady with some fabric markers.  I am pretty pleased with how it all turned out.  PLEASE VOTE FOR ME!!  

You may have noticed my header.  Notice the picture inside the television?   Any votes on this header?

Toodles for now!
  *Reference to local weather personality

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Swap Time: September ATC "Leaves"

Jan's "Leaves" ATC

Jan's handmade card

Wow!  Only in the midwest can it be sunny and 90 degrees one day and a cold, rainy 62 degrees the next.  I guess it really is fall...I was sort of hoping September would not pass so quickly.  Not because I don't like fall...I just HATE winter!  I mean I HATE winter!  With fall arriving out of nowhere, this just means winter will be here all too soon!  YUK! 

Ok, enough bellyaching..on to the good stuff!  I received my ATC in the mail from my Blissfull ATC Swap partner, Jan, from Fursdonhouse.  The theme for September is Leaves.  Jan did an awesome job.  I just love it.  This is only the second ATC she has made...can you believe it?  Can you see the metal leaves hanging from the bottom of the card? They are beautiful.  Jan sent the ATC inside another card that I believe she handmade.  She is very talented.  Thanks so much, Jan!

Jan should be receiving the card I made for the swap any day.  Be sure to stop by Fursdonhouse and have a look at mine.  I've put a bit of a different spin on the Leaves theme!  Also, be sure to check out all the ATC holders at Blissfull ATC Swap.  All the participants are making holders for their cards.  This contest ends on the 20th!  Here is a sneak peek at mine:

Without giving anything away, this is the beginnings (stress: beginnings) of a dress made from scraps which will be sewn onto my card holder.  I have never made anything like this before.  It has been a lot of fun!  I can't wait to see all the participants' holders and cards!

Oh, what do you think of this header?  I appreciate the comments regarding the last header.  I think I'll keep this one up for a few days and see how this one does.  I really like the frame, but I think the picture looks a bit stretched.  I might play with it some more and see if I can fix it better.  Like the last, this frame is a cluster from Raspberry Road Designs.  Their work is great!

Toodles for now!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sew Easy A Caveman (woman) Can Do It?

You know what's weird?  It is supposedly a "short" week due to the holiday Monday, but it sure hasn't seemed like a short week for me!  Of course, I worked on Monday, so it technically hasn't been a short work week, but still...I'm rambling aren't I?  Okay, did you notice my header?  I've been messing about with my Photoshop in my spare time and have come up with a few new header designs.  I'll be showing my different designs and asking for input and feedback from you all as to which you like the most.  For a few of my new headers, including tonight's example,  I have used "clusters" I downloaded from Raspberry Road Designs.  They design digital scrapbooking "stuff."  And, even though I really have no idea what is what in the digital scrapbooking world, I think their designs are awesome.  This particular cluster was a "freebie."  What do you think?  Oh, and check out my new Button!  You like??  Go ahead...GRAB IT!

Besides pulling my hair out trying to figure out Photoshop, I have finished a few sewing projects, including this rice bag:

This is actually two square pouches.  The inner pouch is filled with long grain rice, which I sprinkled with a touch of clove oil.  I sewed this inner pouch closed.  The outer pouch covers the inner one and it has a zipper closure.  The zipper is actually hidden under the fold of the pouch.  I've asked a few of the ladies who work in my office to be my guinea pigs, or rather market testers with these pouches.  These ladies type like nobody's business.  Some  are just a few keystrokes away from wearing those white  wrist support thingies for "carpal tunnel syndrome."  I'm thinking (hoping) my sewn little pouches may make their wrists feel better after a long day.  Fingers crossed!  (Can you still cross with carpal??)

I've also been looking at different fabrics online.  I'm trying to decide what I will use for my first Hepburn Hepburn Project.  I think I'm going to start with the coat.  I've decided on Simplicity 5301, the "easy" one.  I'm actually stumped on a picking a fabric.  Usually that's the easy part for me!

 Yes, I've also been working on my September Blissfull ATC Swap card and my ATC container for the contest.  The card is due on the 15th and the container on the 20th.  I'm super excited to get to see everyone's projects!

Oh, I managed to slip into the beauty shop on Sunday...I can't tell you how desparate I had become.  I'll just say this:  the Cro-magnen look is not a good one for me!  (I'm talking eyebrows here!)

Toodles for now!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Flea Market Friday! Bluebirds, Retro Sewing Patterns, and Scrapbooking?

Is this an awesome card or what?!  I love, repeat love, BLUEBIRDS!  I've always enjoyed birds..well, I haven't enjoyed real birds expect from afar...really afar.  But, bluebirds, well, I love them.  I started collecting them after my mom passed away almost six years ago.  You see she carried a little Bluebird of Happiness in her purse for years.  I don't know where or from whom she got it, but I think she must of thought of it as a sort of good luck charm.  After she died, I got this little glass sculpture and thus began my collection.  Over the years I have hunted them in flea markets, junk shops, antique malls, and even garage sales.  They are much harder to find than one might think.  I scored today, however.  My flea market Friday trip to Good JuJu paid off!  Have a look at my treasure.

Two BB of Happiness atop a glass heart

Today's find within my collection
I have never seen a BBH (Bluebird of Happiness) like this before.  There are actually two birds sitting on top of a heart.  Have you?  I think they are pretty cool.

Beside this BBH Big-Time Find today, I also found a few vintage sewing patterns.  As I wrote in a previous post, I am participating in the Hepburn Hepburn Project at Rhinestones and Telephones.  So, I am on the lookout for Hepburn-esque patterns.  I think I found two today.  Both are coats.  I'm not sure which one I will actually make.  I am leaning toward Simplicity 5301 because there isn't a collar to deal with...okay, it also says, "Simple To Sew."  Of course Simplicity 5526 states it is a "Look Slimmer Pattern."  Looking slimmer is always a plus.  What do you think?  Let's have a vote!  Comment your vote for which pattern I should use and state if you think your choice is more Katherine or Audrey-esque!

Look Slimmer Pattern or Simple to Sew?

Okay, one last thing.  I finally got signed up for an online journaling class.  It's called Discovering Myself.  Although I've started doing the ATCs recently, I've never done scrapbooking or journaling before, but I am super excited about this class.   I stumbled across Bonnie's blog (Bonnie VanEsch Designs AKA Scrapping Till The Cows Come Home) and found her designs and blog itself absolutely beautiful!  The class doesn't begin until September 24, so if you are interested, check it out! 

I hope you all have a fabulous and safe holiday weekend!

Toodles for now!