Friday, November 1, 2013

Shake Your Tail Feathers

As promised, a few quick peaks at our Halloween peacocks!
Apparently Bee had a conversation with her Nana in which she stated that her Mommy never made her Halloween costumes...I guess it's a good thing I have a blog!

Because I've made everyone of them...some much more successful than others though.

I'd say these peacocks are in the top 3...with the clowns and chicken. I can't really decide their order though.

Maybe it's 'cause the kids wearing them make'em so much cuter:)

Especially when they shake their tail feathers!

Happy Halloween from our flock to yours!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Meet Rascal

Lots of little projects going on around here right now...nothing much getting finished on a regular basis. Right now I have Halloween costumes begging to be stitched, but my hands are so sore from cutting all the pieces yesterday, that I thought I would take a minute to share Rascal.

He's knit from the most recent Fuzzy Mitten pattern release. The pattern also comes with modifications to make a badger and a fox. They make quite a trio! I have tons of the gray yarn from this little guy left over, so there may be more raccoons in the works soon.

I'll try to remember to swing back by and share our feathery costumes later in the week...happy haunting!

Monday, June 3, 2013

I need to lose some weight...

So, I'm going on a diet...a fabric and yarn diet that is:)

I've developed quite a stash of both recently and really need to use up some of what I have before there is room for more. But, before declaring a full-on Fabric Watchers program, I did take stock and make a few last minute purchases to fill in the holes in my collection...this way I have no excuse. The collection is complete and there is no reason to buy anything else, right???

My knitting generally consists of small toys for my girls or for gifts. My favorite yarn for toy knitting is KnitPicks Comfy Worsted. I've turned into quite the yarn snob over the last few years and almost didn't try this yarn because of the acrylic content. But I prefer cotton toys for my kiddos because they have ultra-sensitive skin...and most cotton yarn on the market just isn't very soft. AND, I really needed to find a more affordable yarn option than constantly ordering hand-dyed or hand-painted yarns from Etsy. So, I thought I would give this one a try...and I LOVE it! It is super-soft and the perfect weight for toys. And I don't end up with hand cramps after knitting with it. Over the last few months, I've gathered a collection of animal colors (grays, browns, white, black, etc.) and a nice collection of colors for garments...mostly on the paler end of the spectrum. Before I started my diet (which officially begins today), I grabbed up a couple of coordinating brighter colors. I also purchased the fingerling version in black and white for embroidering faces.

I have recently acquired a new toy knitting pattern for a dragon, and the solid colors of my favorite yarn just weren't going to cut it. So I added the hand-dyed, Blue Safari cotton yarn above to my collection, along with the dill and teal Sunseeker yarns below.

I think those metallic threads and going to add a special touch to the wings and other details!

And with that, my yarn stash was complete, and I moved on to fabric.

My fabric stash has gotten a lot of extra padding in the last couple of months. I primarily stocked up on low volume prints because I had greatly depleted my supply. And I was pretty sure that my stash was good to go, but...

Right now, I'm on a quilted pillow kick. I was making lots of mini-quilts, because I could try new techniques and fabric combinations without commiting to an entire quilt. But, when I really started to think about it...a pillow is just a mini-quilt with a back..and so much more functional. So, now I find myself dreaming of pillow covers:) As I looked at what pillows I wanted to make in the coming months, I knew I really wanted to get some subtle holiday pillows working. And then I found it...the hole in my fabric stash.

I have NO holiday fabrics!

For pillows, I knew I wouldn't need much, so I picked up a couple of charm packs and called it a day.

But, there is a Christmas quilt in the plans for this year, and I knew I was going to run short. So, a couple of last fabrics were selected...this Heather Ross flannel pajama pants leg (for those of you who don't linger on Etsy for hours on end, I know you're thinking I'm crazy, but that's the only way you can get some of her older prints) and some Katie Jump Rope Green Dot Stripe will make the fussy cut centers and the binding respectively.

I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that I have enough of the solids I'm planning to use for the blocks...but I can always adjust the size of the quilt based on the available fabric if necessary.

So, like any good diet, I started with a splurge:) And now that it's out of my system, my Paypal account is going dark. In honor of bikini season, I'm going to shed some weight, burn through some fabric, and come out lighter and leaner on the back side. Wish me luck!

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Pillow Talk Swap

The Pillow Talk Swap is in its 10th round, but this is the first time I've played along.
After much stalking and quite a bit of debate, I decided to pull out my Farmer's Wife Quilt book and have a little fun.
My partner seemed to approve of my fabric selections, even though limited light made getting a good pic of the pull a little challenging. So, I forged ahead.
A few blocks in and she still seemed satisfied, so on we marched.
And in the end, this little lovely was born...only she isn't so little! That's a standard size pillow in there and it's a perfect fit.
While I can make a zipper pouch with the best of them, my invisible zipper skills are not quite so well-honed. After all the hours cutting and piecing those little blocks, I just wasn't brave enough to risk putting in a zipper.
So, I settled on an envelope closure with a little button fun.
The pillow is having a really hard time leaving my bed, but it will be on its way to its new home tomorrow. I hope my partner loves it as much as I do!

Monday, April 29, 2013

You can find me over here today...

The Modern Traditional issue came out today and it is a FANTASTIC one! And not just cause I'm in it:) I haven't even had a chance to read it properly and there are already lots of projects I can't wait to try. If you aren't a subscriber, you can purchase a subscription or just a single issue. can always go back and purchase older issues if you missed one that you just HAVE to have. Oh...and be sure to check out page 55! I've had to keep mum on this for so long and am so excited to finally be able to share pics:)

Which projects from Issue 13 are first on your list?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Covert Robin and Some News

I played along with the Covert Robin swap again this year. I was treated to a beautiful quilted pillow cover, which you will not see pictured here. I took some pics of it, but when I sat down to edit them this evening they were all blurry and out of focus. I'll need to get some more someday soon!
But my contribution to the swap was this quilt. It's 32" square and was designed to be used either as a table scarf or a wall hanging...but its recipient is welcome to use it however she pleases. I'm sure a snuggly cat would be happy to claim it, or a doll, or maybe even a child. Amy at displayed a Women in Scripture button on her blog and it was Easter time, so I thought she might like this. Pop over and take a look...she's taking the kids clothing week challenge and she makes some seriously cute clothes!
So what's the big news??? Nope...not pregnant! And not gonna be:) Bee sealed the deal on that one...she's more than I can handle!
It seems I find myself once again gainfully employed...full-time! Yikes! I think I've probably mentioned once or twice that back in the dark ages I was a teacher. I taught 2nd and 3rd grades, reading intervention, and was a literacy coach. I've been home with Belle and Bee for the last 4 years and loved every...ok, most minutes of it. But when there was an opening for a literacy coach at Belle's school, it just seemed like it was meant to be. I've been back at work for 3 weeks and am really enjoying it. There is some adjustment going on behind the scenes around here, but generally everyone except Bee is happy about it. Bee is spending her days with her Nana and TT (that's her great-aunt) and really likes that part...she's just not too happy about the absent Mommy part. But, I am already feeling like I enjoy the time I spend with her more because it isn't so endless. So I think eventually she will start to see that Mommy is a brighter, happier person with some structure and professionalism in her life...fingers crossed!
I'm still sewing though not quite as much, still cooking though not for quite so many hours, and still crafting, gardening, and lovin on my littles. I'm in a couple of swaps this spring and have joined in a couple of challenges through our local Modern Quilt Guild. I'm even mostly keeping up with my Block of the Month clubs. I'll try to keep you updated...the real challenge is not having much of a chance to take pics during daylight hours. may be grainy pics and less frequent posting, but we'll stay in touch:)

Monday, April 8, 2013

Good Customer Service Goes a Long Way

No pictures today as my SD card is completely full and I'm too intimidated by the thought of trying to go through and edit all those gazillion pics to even begin...just a little public service announcement.

I really appreciate good customer service...not the follow you around the store stalking a sale kind...just good old fashioned making the customer feel good about the experience and resolving any issues that might arise. So when I find good customer service I like to share that info, so you all can experience it too.

In the last month or so, I have had two issues come up while shopping online with the Gap know, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Gap, Athleta, and Piperlime. One was totally my fault, the other theirs. Both were resolved within 24 hours with no more than a quick email from me to report the issue. No questions asked, no hassle given, just a prompt, polite the customer's favor.

In the first, I applied a coupon code, but then went back and edited the contents of my cart. After the edits I didn't take the time to ensure that the coupon code was still wasn't. My bad! I emailed customer service and they applied the discount retroactively and credited my credit card the was substantial. Pleased was I.

In the second issue, one item in a different order was shipped separately and never arrived at my house. Again...another quick email and within 24 hours they had credited my card...sadly the item was no longer available so they couldn't reship it. Pleased was I...again!

So...while this post is incredibly uncute, without so much as a tiny preschool grin to spruce it up, I hope the info serves you well. Because good customer service really does go along way!