Friday, June 27, 2008

Free to be You and Me

Thank you for all of the encouraging comments on the quilt. It really was a labor of love.
Today I'm going to keep this picture in my mind. It seems to say - lazy summer days. Kick off your shoes relax and lazily pass the day. Amongst all of the projects piling up and the mess that goes with that, laundry, housecleaning, the quilt show and everything else that's on the to do list today, I'm promising myself that I'm not going to get overwhelmed. Come what may, I'm going to take a deep breath, kick off my shoes and have a pleasant summer day. The whole time singing this song in my head. Does anyone remember that movie? This was my favorite song (yes that is Michael Jackson) and who couldn't love the babies. After all of that reminiscing, I just went to Amazon and picked up a copy of the DVD What can I say, I'm a 70's kid.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Lions, and tigers, and bears! Oh, my!

I don't know... But some people without brains do an awful lot of talking... don't they?
A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others.
I'm afraid there's no denyin' / I'm just a dandy-lion!
if I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with! Is that right? Oh, but anyway, Toto, we're home. Home! And this is my room, and you're all here. And I'm not gonna leave here ever, ever again, because I love you all, and - oh, Auntie Em - there's no place like home!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Only bad witches are ugly

Miss Gulch - I want to see you and your wife right away about Dorothy!
Uncle Henry - Dorothy? Well, what has Dorothy done?
Miss Gulch - What she's done? I'm all but lame from the bite on my leg!
Uncle Henry - Oh! You mean she bit you?
Miss Gulch - No, her dog!
Uncle Henry - Oh, she bit her dog, eh?
Munchkins - singing- The house began to pitch / The kitchen took a slich / It landed on the Wicked Witch in the middle of a ditch / Which was not a happy situation for the Wicked Witch!
Wicked Witch of the West - I'll get you my pretty... and your little dog too! Do not arouse the wrath of the great and powerful Oz. I said come back tomorrow.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

There's No Place Like Home

The Quilt is done and hanging at the quilt show which opens tomorrow. I'm going to share it with you as it came together. First, the inspiration taken Halloween 2006...Then the quilt block. I enlarged the picture, then traced it using a light box. After I had the drawing, I was able to separate the pattern into sections, trace onto fabric, then attach to the background. The shoes are made out of a sparkling sequin fabric.
Next came the tornado. This was so fun to make. I used some embroidery floss and some shiny metallic stretchy string, then zig zaged across it on my machine. The only problem was that it pulled the material in and smocked it somewhat. I ended up appliquéing it on to a new background. You can't quite see the billowy wind machine quilting in the background on this picture. At the top you can see part of the gray zig zag with rainbow colors peaking through. I love how the movie starts in black and white, then ends up in color when Dorothy arrives in OZ.
Next came the yellow brick road. Do you see all of the different yellows in there? I paper pieced this brick road, then appliquéd it to the background. This quilt was my first attempt at machine quilting so I didn't follow any rules, I just went with the feeling of each block. There is some more traditional quilting in the sashing then free style everywhere else.
There you have it, the beginning of the quilt. More to come tomorrow or Tuesday.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Cover Girl or Peppermint Patty

I've always been very tomboyish. In fact in school they used to call me Peppermint Patty. Make-up is not my thing. I do wear the occasional mascara and eye liner, but that's about it. As you know, we've been spending a lot of time at the ball park lately. Everyone in the city is there and most of the women are dressed up looking their best. I had a really busy day of sewing, and getting ready for the quilt show. I had to bag out of a lunch with the girls - which I've heard ended up lasting until 6:00 and included shopping - to help make preparations for our upcoming quilt show.

The time line was tight so I showered, threw on some jean shorts, a black and white striped t-shirt, my hair turned out cute -I'm not good at hair- put on some mascara and eyeliner and I looked pretty cute. So off we run...pick up Amber then head to the library, grab the display load it in the truck...then to the quilt show, unload the display, revamp it for the show....back track to the library, where did that wheel go?....back track to the quilt show, no wheel. Run back to Amber's for some change to buy a Squirt - I had never had a Squirt until 2 weeks ago, they are so good - back to drop Amber off. Pick up Aaron and run him to the ball park. Stop by the store to pick up some snacks for the ball park. Back to the house to grab Josh and Sara, then back to the park. Walk in, still feeling cute, and set up the chairs and umbrella for the game. I see everyone and their mother - literally, my friends mom was there. Talk with girl Chris awhile (her husbands name is Chris too so we call the boy Chris and girl Chris), she looks cute. Here comes my hubby - kiss. There's Amy and Jana, they had a great time at lunch and shopping - they look really cute too. I'm really glad that I took that few extra minutes to get dressed.

What a great day. I've talked to friends, I've talked to people I've never met before, I've talked to the people at the store. I've talked to my kids friends. It's amazing at the confidence a little mascara and a good hair day will give you.

The day is winding down and I head to the bathroom to get ready for bed. One glance in the mirror and I see that the black stripes on my shirt match the black lines under my eyes. Apparently the mascara or eyeliner had melted onto my face. My mind starts flashing images of all of the people that I had talked to. Nice. I think I'm going back to the basics - long live Peppermint Patty.Hey, I think I have an outfit just like that!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Free Gift For You

Come on you know you've been wanting to try them out - here's your chance! This set of cloth panty liners is up for grabs over at Universal Mama. Just head on over to Universal Mama, scroll down to April M Designs and enter the drawing. The set of liners is free, you just pay $1.95 for shipping. The winner will be chosen within the next 24 hours.

Good luck!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

UM Birthday

Universal Mama is having their 4th birthday celebration. I've only been working with them for a short time, but let me tell you, this is a group of talented mamas. They have some FFS (Free For Shipping) items posted this week along with a Charity Auction -I made the panty liners and the burp cloth. If you get a chance, drop by and see.

I did a collaboration with The Indigo Onion. She dyes all of her own fabric - it's just incredible. It was so exciting to receive her hand dyed fabric in the mail, then create something of my own out of it. She has fabric available as well as t-shirts and some softies.

Friday, June 13, 2008

I normally don't go in for these types of things - but after seeing this on a blog, curiosity got the better of me. You type your name into this website and it tells you how many people in the US have your name.
LogoThere are
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?
Apparently I don't exist. This would make perfect sense of the now 5 empty fortune cookies that I've gotten over my lifetime. Seriously have you even gotten one without a fortune? Talk about feeling small and insignificant.

- Jane Doe

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Smocking Good Day of Sewing

I'm up way too late, shopping for fabric on line. Don't you love that? Even though it's light until well past 8:00 pm, there just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day. The kids have been staying up late which pushes my bedtime back as well. While I love the extra time with them, there comes a time in every mama's day when she needs to just sit and reflect on the day. Uninterrupted quiet time.

I did spend a little, tiny bit of time sewing this weekend.
OK, maybe a little more time than I thought. But you know how it is with some of those projects. Once you start, you just can't put it down. I had planned on taking pictures along the way to share with you, but I didn't remember until it was finished.My model came cheap at $2 for the entire photo shoot. In true premadonna, model fashion she was pitching a fit about the shirt that she was wearing under it. Sara has texture issues when it comes to clothes and the yellow undershirt was too tight and too short for her liking. After all of that, you can only see it in this one shot from the back.I used Amy Butler fabric on the smock and for the binding/bias tape. This was my first experience with her fabric, and I loved working with it and couldn't be happier with the way it turned out. The pattern called for ties with the binding tape, but since I ran out of fabric and since I have that lovely snap press, I just added a few snaps on the back.The pockets are just too adorable for words. Again, I didn't plan on enough fabric for the binding so I had to improvise with some ribbon that Melissa sent in the mail. Doesn't it look like it was planed that way? After mulling it over a little, I decided to put it up for sale at Universal Mama, but I'm almost hoping it doesn't sell. Sara is really hoping it doesn't sell, but she has dibs on the next one.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Still Cutting

Production is coming along and we still have all of our fingers - note to self, pick up more band-aids at the store. Don't you just love it when you give your kids strict instructions to keep their fingers away from the blade, then you go and cut your own finger? Of course you follow it with, "I just wanted to show you what not to do."

They really are enjoying coming up with new ideas, colors, and why don't we make it to where the man can sit in the car - brilliant! Just a quick trip to the local hardware store to pick up a paddle drill bit (I know what that is now) and we're in business. Now our biggest problem is keeping the teenage friends from trying to race the cars themselves.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Wood Chesters

We have an exciting announcement - our new wood shop is open! When I say we, I mean my family - all 5 of us. We needed to whittle away some of the wee hours of the summer and our creativity was burning a hole in our brains, thus the creation of WoodChesters our new Etsy shop.Chester is the nickname that my dad picked up sometime when I was a teenager. He loves wood and has sparked that same love in all of us. So, we've pulled out the scroll saw, dusted off the belt sander and have set to work on creating some wooden toys. Hmm...maybe with a little sweet talking we can get Chester himself to create a few things for the shop.Wish us luck!

Monday, June 2, 2008

It's bare footin' season! Spring and summer seem to trade off here, and sometimes a little bit of winter show s up again. This weekend we tried to go hiking by the waterfall but the road up was still closed. We were able to drive up to the lake, walk around a little and scout out a few camping sites. Our first days of summer vacation have been filled with hanging out in the yard, reading in the shade, climbing trees, spinning in the grass,
and baseball. These days, we're at the ball field 5 out of 7 days. Mon - Friday and Saturday. Last week we had Sara playing on one field, Josh playing on another field and Aaron umping on a third field.
I have been able to squeeze in a little crafting that I'm hoping to share, just as soon as I can get a few pictures taken.