Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Work In Progress

I suppose most people have at least one unfinished project that haunts them. This is mine. It sits tucked away at the bottom of my sewing room closet, all rolled up in a laundry basket. Poor thing. It was started with such verve and anticipation and innocence...thinking that a few squares could be sewn together in a weekend to make a lovely quilt.

It didn't take long to prove myself wrong. I got it out again this past week while I'm on spring break. I reconnected with some of that verve. I made 2 more squares. Each square takes me about 90 minutes to sew. That does not include the time it takes to cut the strips.

I really didn't follow a pattern for this baby. I looked at some quilts online and had some ideas. It's definitely in the category of "quilt-as-you-go", meaning it's sewn and quilted onto the batting all at once. When all the squares are made ("when" is an open-ended term here), they are sewn together, attached to a backing and then sewn to a binding. I'm thinking I'd like a white sashing between the squares. Any thoughts on that? 

I like to lay it out and just let my eyes settle here and there. I try to imagine it covering our guest room bed. It'll get there someday. Someday when that verve beckons me back to the corner of my closet. For now, it's tucked away and collecting dustballs energy.

And just because today is the LAST freaking day of this never-ending winter, I'm posting my view out of my sewing room. Welcome, Spring, and all of the lusciousness you have to offer!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

She Wears Her Heart on Her Sleeve

Over the weekend, I was wearing one of my "go-to" shirts that I often wear under a sweater or vest. I have several of various colors, but this one is probably the one I wear most often. It's off-white and goes with just about everything. So I was feeling pretty comfortable and was in a I've-got-my-crap-together kind of mood when I looked down at my left sleeve and saw a hole! How'd that get there?

A mouse? A bug? A flirty bra hook in the washing machine? An extra sharp arm hair?
To remedy this, I did what any handy girl would do and fixed 'er up.
I embroidered a heart on my sleeve.

Which lead me to the meaning of this idiom:
"She wears her heart on her sleeve."
The ever-popular Urban Dictionary defines it as:
to express emotions freely and openly, for all to see.
That's me all over. I could never play poker, that's for sure! I've never understood people who keep their emotions all bottled up. Let those babies out and deal with them, I say! Of course, expressing those feelings may sometimes get reactions from people that you don't expect. It also opens you up to getting your feelings hurt easily. Been there, done that.

I like to wear my heart on my sleeve, both literally and figuratively.
It's who I am.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Sweet Pouch Swap exchange!

My Sweet Pouch from Trina!
Back in early January, a sweet blogger, Ros at SewDelicious,  was offering her third swap for anyone interested in making a pouch and sending it to a selected friend. I got my name in the pool (a bit late, but she took me anyway) and I was paired up with Trina from Winnipeg, Canada! Not only do we both live in frigidly cold winter climates, but we both looove purple! We exchanged a few emails and what we liked and then the sewing happened.
Last week, I got my package in the mail and I was (and still am) so tickled with my bag! It's perfect for me with the sewing words in the fabric, the owl which represents the teacher in my, and of course---the purple! We were to fill the bag with sweets from our area and somehow (ooops!), the treats disappeared once my package was opened. Chocolate doesn't last long in this house. :)

Bottom of the bag: notice the word "PURPLEST"??? How cute is that?

 This is the back side (how did she know I loved chevron?) and the inside which is a lovely floral lavender.

In exchange, I made a bag for Trina and mailed it off to far-away Canada...actually only an 11 hour drive, but still...

Trina loves to knit and sew, so I thought this might help her tote her supplies around. It's got 6 outside pockets, plus strong straps to throw over her shoulder.
Those skeins of yarn can get heavy! I embroidered a { T } near the top to personalize it. That way no one named Wanda would steal it.  


Pictures of the back and the inside. I love the way it turned out and so does Trina!
This was such a fun swap. I hope to get involved in another one soon.
It's a great way to make a new friend!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Super Bowl Bibs!

Super Bowl Bibs

I am not a football fan. I am not a baseball, hockey, tennis, basketball, soccer, or even a ping pong fan. I am a mean tether ball player...at least I was in 6th grade. I do enjoy watching figure skating on TV, too. I guess you could say I am not a sports fan. I am a minority, I know. That's the way it is.

Anyway, yesterday while the Big Game was broadcast all over the world, I was up in my sewing room making a few bibs for a friend of mine. Nancy became a first-time grandma a few months ago and I decided I'd better hop to the bib-making before this little lady was eating with chopsticks on her own! I was in pure bliss as the TV roared below me. Give me a little Pandora and my fabrics and I'm a happy girl. Well, throw in a sewing machine too.

The hardest part for me...also the most fun...is choosing coordinating fabrics. I have quite the stash. Ahem. Let's leave it at that.

Then there's the part where I need to choose a design. Yes, I have quite a collection of those too.

 I tried 3 different bird designs til I found one that worked for me. I really like how this one matches the birdies in the fabric.
Notice the yellow ends on the neck edge? Well, those weren't part of the original plan. One of the ends got sewn to the applique, so I had to cut it out and sew on some patches. Does it look like it's supposed to be there?
The coordinated backs. These bibs are reversible!
The final step...sewing on snaps. I used to put a Velcro closing on the bibs, but a few moms said their little stinkers learned quickly how to pull the bib off. So, it's snaps from now on, unless someone requests otherwise.
These pretty bibs will go in the mail today to my good friend, Nancy.
I hope she is blessed with many more grandbabies!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Balance: My Word of the Year!
Hey friends! Welcome to 2014!
Have you ever assigned yourself a Word of the Year? I'm not sure where I read about it first, but 2 years ago was my first WOTY. I thought this was such an intriguing idea. Choosing a word was something I wanted to embrace and make it my mantra as I embarked on a new year. 2012 was a pinnacle year for me and I knew some big things were going to change in my life. I was miserable and I had to take charge.
My word for 2012: CHANGE
I quit my teaching job. HUGE change after 28 years in education!
My youngest daughter moved out into her own place after college graduation and finding a job in her career path. We were then empty nesters...first time in 24 years!
My word for 2013: BELIEVE
I needed to strengthen my beliefs in myself and in God who I depended on deeply. I was so lost after quitting my teaching job, and didn't know where I was supposed to be. I did a lot of reading, thinking, searching, and praying. I came out of 2013 a much stronger woman with very strong beliefs!
My word for 2014: BALANCE
This year I am going to find better ways to spend my free time; make wiser food choices; require myself to exercise at least 5 days per week; participate more in volunteer work; and show loved ones how much I care for them rather than take it for granted that they know...they don't!
So balance is the way I will attempt to conquer this year. Life can get so lop-sided.
Hey, I've already exercised today! AND I made healthy food choices too!
We're off to a good start, my word and me.
What would you choose for your Word of the Year? 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Pretty Little Tree

Hey there friends!
If you really knew me at all, you'd know I adore the color purple.
For years, each classroom I had was decorated in purple. It was obvious to anyone walking in or by that the teacher in that room had a purple obsession. I spent most of my daylight hours there, so I figured it might as well make me happy and be a reflection of my style.
In my home, my laundry room is painted a dark eggplant purple and has white cabinets. It's got a nice window that lets in plenty of light and is a
room that I don't mind spending time in.

A few weeks ago, I redecorated my daughter's old room . She moved out just a year ago, so it was time to make this room mine! I painted the walls a warm beige and one big wall with a huge window is now a deep purple. I love it! We also re-carpeted and the room just makes me happy. This is my sewing room and on my days off, I spend a good amount of time in there. Over the weekend, I put up the little tree that was in my classroom for several years. It sits just to the right of my sewing table. I found a few more purply ornaments to  make it shine.
For some, it may be a little over the top. For me, it's just right.
It makes my heart sing.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

It's Never Too Late (to be thankful)

Hey there, dear readers (all 3 of you)!

I had totally intended to write a post prior to Thanksgiving, but I downloaded a new blog template and it cut me out of making any new entries!! Argghhh! I was so upset that I sent two emails to the template site I used. No answer. So I played around, and finally downloaded another template through Blogger. Satisfaction indeed. It made me realize how much I really enjoy this blog!

Orange was my mom's favorite color, so I chose this template. It's in her honor. I lost her 4 years ago this past November and she enters my mind every single day. Tears still come easily.

Anyway, I thought I'd list 10 things I'm thankful for this December 1st.

1. God. He loves me and accepts me with all of my faults.
2. My husband. Ditto on "He loves me and accepts me with all of my faults."
3. My kids. My son is 26 and my daughter is 23. Both are independent, employed and turned out OK, despite the trauma they put they parents through in their earlier years.
4. Health. Yeah, I deal with borderline cholesterol levels and my husband has some blood pressure concerns, but otherwise we are healthy and hoppin'.
5. Employment. Basically, I'm talking my husband's job. I quit my full-time teaching job in the spring of 2012 and have never regretted it. Since we were close to being empty-nesters and the house had just a few more mortgage payments on it, we knew we could swing it. God takes care of His sheep and He's taken good care of us. This year, I've returned to teaching in the substitute way and am loving it. I work 2-3 days per week and it's just enough for me to get my kid-fix and earn a few $$$.
6. Friends. I've never been one of those women who have hundreds of friends. I have several and only a few of those I consider very close. Those are the people who know me best and I can trust them with the best of secrets!
7. My community. Nope, I don't live in a wild, fun, exotic place. Is this heaven? Nope, it's Iowa! We enjoy all 4 seasons and have nature at our backdoor. On quiet evenings, we can hear cows moo-ing and trains choo-ing. I wouldn't live anywhere else in the world.
8. My skills and talents. Sometimes I wish I could do more things, like play the piano or guitar. I wish I could act, or speak comfortably in front of adults. I wish I had some athletic ability...just a smidgen would be nice. Instead, I can cook and bake like Julia Child. I can sew like Martha Stewart. I can write like...well, like an amateur writer. I love to do most anything crafty. I also love to sing and am part of the local, largest choral group.
9. YOU! Lastly, I am thankful for having 3 blog followers. I started this blog privately, not telling anyone besides my husband about it. I wanted to find followers anonymously, not by advertising through facebook or telling friends. Perhaps when I reach a grand total of 5, I'll take piano lessons or something. Who knows.