Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Pretty Maids all in a Row

Love you girls! xoxo

Thursday, June 25, 2009

My Anthropologie's Prettier Than Your Anthropologie...

...seriously--do they have the best window designers or WHAT?
I realize these photos are CRAP - (it was so sunny I couldn't tell WHAT I was getting...) - but believe me when I tell you these windows were divine....swags of ripped, dyed cottons....strung with jute in a muted rainbow of color. Brilliant.
I want these curtains in my bedroom!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

My dear friend Cynthia posted a photo of her and her dad on her blog the other day...and it immediately reminded me of the photo above. (Note the same paneling and same harvest gold "dad chair" recliner.) I love Cynthia's style and her ability to work her most nostalgic memories and treasured photos into her writing, journaling, scrapbooking and memory keeping...and have it feel so fresh and new and interesting. And yes, Miss Cynthia, I am long overdue for some SCRAPPIES and you so inspired me to get crackin' on some layouts!

But first - the photo above (haven't done this scrapbook page yet....but the ideas are perking!) The photo is from the 70's, of course. It is my dad (the day he came home from the hospital, hence the heavy beard and moustache - he was usually clean shaven.) Perched on his knee is my baby sister, Niki. I took this photo as part of the one roll of film I shot to earn my photography badge in Girl Scouts. It is the only photo I ever took of my dad (he died in April of 1975 - not long after this photo was taken.) The only other photos I have from that roll are of our cherry tree in the front yard. I have no memory of the other photos....sisters...any ideas? Wonder what became of them....(see how important memory keeping is!)

The things that I see in this photo:

  • Our dad always had a pen in his pocket (appears his glasses are in there too!)...he always wore a watch and his wedding band...and Niki was his favorite! (hee)

  • That yellow and red book in the magazine rack on the right is from the circus...not sure what year was the last time our dad took us, but I remember looking at that book over and over again. My dad loved the circus.

  • The flowers in the bottles on the divider wall were my creations...I used empty vanilla extract bottles and any other little glass vessel I could salvage (upcycle!) to hold these flowers. It was a craft kit I got for Christmas - I think they were called "Dip It" --you formed a wire petal or leaf and dipped it into the goo...it then hardened into a transparent film. {This site is the closest thing I could find for it. Mine looked NOTHING like those! I only had red and green "goo" - but my kit came with red-tipped yellow stamens and green floral tape, too! I remember it was VERY smelly. Probably toxic! eek!}

  • I had forgotten the kitchen wallpaper design (harvest gold and orange and avocado green--oh yeah.) I still love cafe curtains (tho' I don't have them in my house).
And so...inspired to keep jotting down my memories and cobbling together minutes (hours!) to create scrapbook and journal pages. Cynthia and Sandy, I promise to upload my pages to SISTV!

In the meantime, here is one I just did early, early this morning....Little Miss's hands at play. Love that she is a LEFTIE! xo (sorry the scan is so crappy)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Sometimes, practice just makes "good practice."

Oh if any of you REAL QUILTERS are peeking in....please TURN AWAY if you have a weak stomach when it comes to sloppy stitches!
It is a rainy Saturday, Little Miss is not with us this weekend, so I was up all night and at it again early this morning working on my "free motion quilting" technique. I finally made the trip to JoAnn Fabrics last night and bought the free motion presser foot. Came home, screwed that baby in place, and set about practicing on some scraps.

Weeee!! It was so easy! And fun! And FAST! I was swirlin' and looping all OVER the place. What is all the fuss about?

Soon enough I decide I had enough practice (all that wasted thread and batting and "scraps!") - so -- still not confident enough to tackle my ORB quilt-along quilt.... I decide to free motion/stipple (is there a difference?) the quilt for my hubby, (the one that I pieced together with Surf&Sand fabric --repurposed - I had made pillow covers out of them in 2007 - but ever since Anna Maria Horner came into my life - I only want vibrant, bright colors!) SO....back to the quilt. This one is a free-style design of my own - a lap quilt a bit longer than the last one I made so hubby can really tuck in for a nap.....(about 50x84 inches).

It was all sandwiched and pinned.

And so I get it positioned on my machine and off I go. (weeee!)

First thing I do wrong is SHIFT the top away from the backing (how does this happen?? I swear I PINNED!) and so one corner has a big slice of BARE BATTING showing where BACKING SHOULD BE (whatever...I will trim it down, right?)

.....and then....as I am rounding the bend on the second corner, I notice how much HARDER IT IS TO DO A BIG QUILT vs a little PRACTICE SQUARE....

...and then.....after I round that corner, I remember that one of the quilt-along pros said to START IN THE MIDDLE (so you don't end up with a "c cup" in the middle of the quilt when you work your way into the center.) OOPS. I did the border rows first!

...and then.....after two hours of this...I realize how EXHAUSTING IT IS! I don't know what the calorie burn ratio is....but at this rate, I should start seeing some serious EVENING-GOWN-BARING, RED-CARPET-WORTHY UPPER ARMS appearing SOON.

So now it is 3 a.m. In spite of my MANY false starts (what is with all that RAT's NESTING OF THE THREADS ON THE BOTTOM???) that had to be ripped out and redone....I finally had a nice rhythm going. By 3:30 I forced myelf to stop and get some sleep....but I was up again at 8 a.m. ready for more!

By 10 am I felt like my arms were going to fall off, so I set the little mess, er, lovely work in progress, aside. I went back to it a while ago...feels like it is taking FOREVER to get it all done. (Should have just done the border and TIED or done straight stitching for the center.....holy heck you should see all the PUCKERING! Next time I will NOT attempt closed loops...again, what was I thinking?)
(P.S. - Yes--that is my new Rowenta in the top pic! Can can I tell you I am in love with my new iron? I love it so much I bought it a nice new ironing board cover to work on. Thank you, again, Dana!)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Hip Hip Hooray for Fridays!

Happy today that:

  • It is not raining this morning! (Photo is Mac at the kitchen slider....see the SUNSHINE?)
  • It is FRIDAY!
  • Weekend ahead has no "MUST DO's" on the schedule!
  • I scored two ANTHROPOLOGIE knobs on sale and decided to redo my desk with random hardware....(crappo pics but how do I love these GREENs?!?!) Wish me luck that the other store near me will have MORE!

Off to work I go....see ya after the 5 o'clock whistle!
Swirls, girls!

Sunday, June 14, 2009


UFO=UNFINISHED OBJECT. And anyone who crafts/sews/quilts/paints/scrapbooks/creates knows how these things PILE UP.

Yesterday I finished my SILs quilt (started circa 11/2007-why won't that photo ROTATE?).....and my nephew's bar mitzvah book was returned to him....on his SIXTEENTH BIRTHDAY (sinful, I know!)

A few weeks ago I unearthed a pillow I started for my sister Lisa's birthday about NINE YEARS AGO. I had just bought my sewing machine and was making PILLOWS .....this one required a ruffle with a second layer of braided trim. You can imagine why THAT got set aside (the ruffle had been made and gathered, the trim and ruffle were pinned to the edge--all that was left was to SEW IT TOGETHER and stuff! Of course I had to steam the HECK out of it to get the wrinkles out (the front was a linen piece I had cross-stitched). So that was delivered to her over Memorial Day Weekend. Better late than never!

Still in the UFO pile:

  1. my nephew David's Christmas stocking (he is ELEVEN)

  2. my nephew Max's Christmas stocking (he is turning 7 in August!)

  3. my niece Mikayla's Bitty Baby Chair (she is 14....Bitty Baby is long since been turned in for more TWEEN pursuits!)....

  4. my wedding and honeymoon photos are not properly "scrapbooked" - and

  5. Sirryha is going to be two next month and her scrapbook for this past year is mighty thin.
But for today, I am happy to have another project or two checked off the master list!

Monday, June 08, 2009


Ohhhh it is coming together!

Took me A WHILE to arrange the placement of each block - had to keep the pink daisies and brown polka dot fabrics from touching....didn't like the look of them "T-ing" -- but I think I have it laid out now!

Next...the scary part-- SEWING THE ROWS TOGETHER! I know, I know...it's all in the pressing and pinning. I can do this!

But first....back to getting this
...all attached to this:

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Quilt Along - Week 3 - Sewing & Cutting!

Finally finished sewing up the strips for the QuiltAlong today....and then cut each strip into blocks (I did 11 x1.5 "squares--ended with 36 blocks and about 10 7x 11.5" blocks)...

WEEK 4 is already posted! Can't wait to get these blocks sewn together!!

Sewing Basket Make-Over

Yes---I did the unthinkable. I took the LONGABERGER FABRIC off the lid of my LONGABERGER SEWING BASKET! (It was Garden Splendor, for those fellow or former cult members! But shhhhh!! Don't tell Tami or Rachel! hee!)

But how lovely is this? All Anna Maria Horner fabrics (from her Garden Party line). So loving piecework these days....

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Yo, yo, yo...YO YO!

Yo-yo-ing right along here.....this is a great portable project for me right now - plus one I can do on my lap at night while watching tv, chattin' with the hub, etc. (Plus Little Miss likes to sort the yo-yo's and dump them and then rebag them.....love when she repeated the colors with me...then started to announced the colors each time by herself - "blue blue blue" (until you prompt -- "oh that is a green one!" and then the next bunch "green green green" -- hee.)

And the documentress* in me had the idea to lable 24 baggies to keep these babies corralled and CAT-HAIR FREE (ish) - figured the lablels will tell the story of where we were and what was happening as each batch of yo-yo's (49 = one 12" square) is completed.

(*I know it's not a word...but it should be, don't you think?)