Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Delivering Display Samples on Amy's Birthday

Amy's birthday celebration and my first delivery to Jackman's was moved from Sunday to Monday. It worked out well on several levels. First it was her actual birthday! It also allowed Randy to be home for his beloved football game, eased my conscience about the shopping-on-Sunday issue and let me attend a child's party that I didn't want to miss. Unfortunately Kyle and Ashley weren't able to join us last night as both had to work, Ashley headed to night shift and Kyle driving home from a distant service call on another marathon work day. (His peak season has begun!) Amy did bring her roommate Andrea, who coincidentally celebrated her birthday the day before. Anyway . . .

Here are displays I dropped off yesterday --

PET PILLOWS: I wasn't all that excited about this project but they came out much cuter than I anticipated. They loved them at Jackman's and were making kits as I left.

THE DUFFEL BAG. This thing is monstrous! I added the sneakers to give some perspective as to how big it really is. Don't you love the fabrics? (Click in to get a better look.) It's from the Park Slope collection by Erin McMorris.

Thacker's birthday party was Sunday. His first. His mom is a party nut -- all parties are totally themed (can you believe she's already started with next year's!); this year was a farm theme, thus the barn and red bandana trim for this hooded towel.

I'm working on two more display samples, one is nearly complete and I just love it! Can't wait to show you.
I've also picked up two great new books from Jackman's. Last week I got Keri Mecca's Sewing with Whimsy, yesterday I brought home Jelly Roll Quilts by Pam & Nicky Lintott. The Whimsy book includes four patterns and there are 16 quilts plus a bonus project in the Jelly Roll book! And YES, I realize that my excitement over these books shows the depth of my addiction. Just don't tell Dr. Phil!
So much to do, better get rolling for the day -- Have a good one!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I'm in overdrive again! Ashley and I made a flying trip to Fairview on Monday to turn in worksheets (due Oct 1) and pick up supplies for the display samples for my two kids' classes (a crazy-patch pillow and duffel bag, if I haven't mentioned it yet). I was feeling pretty good about having everything under control until I got home to the mail that accumulated while we were gone . . . there was a proof sheet from Jackman's - I have two MORE classes in December! (Adult classes, a childen's holiday jumper and a garment bag.) Fortunately, we were already planning another trip to the metro-east for Amy's birthday dinner so I can go to Jackman's again on Sunday. Although shopping on Sunday is against my principles, I'll have to make an exception, this is kind of an emergency!

Which brings me to another gentle reminder. I had so many phone messages on our machine in our absence. I can't tell you all how flattered I am to have such interest in my humble sewing projects but at this point I just can't take on any requests. At least for now. Please bear with me, I wish I could do everything for everyone but there's just one of me!

So . . . Monday evening I was approaching melt-down. Yesterday I got a lot done (must be that rested up vacation thing!) but nevertheless, with so much running through my mind I woke early this morning with ideas swirling. I turned on the computer to look for some design inspiration (or divine inspiration, whichever struck me first). Well, I have a hard time passing up the feeds from some of my favorite blogs and this one had me laughing to tears. If y'all have time, you've just gotta read Monday's entry (Sept 22) on Becauze I Said So, entitled It Smells Like Peppermint. It brings back memories of my dealing with a similar situation with one of my younger sisters while my mom wasn't home. Aren't kids great!?

Monday, September 22, 2008

A glorious week of vacation

Long time, no post! We took a week-long camping trip to Hillman Ferry Campground located on Kentucky Lake in the Land Between the Lakes. I spent Sept 12 & 13 (Kyle's birthday) glued to the tv, watching Hurricane Ike devastate gorgeous Galveston Island where we just vacationed this past February. It was heart-wrenching to see the damage to familiar locations in my all-time favorite vacation spot. I can't imagine the residents' emotions and struggles and how insurmountable it must feel to begin thinking about restoration. Our prayers for them.

The remnants of Ike blasted through our area, as predicted on Sunday morning. We left home as the heavy rains began to subside a bit, still battling some strong but manageable wind gusts. The 3-hr drive to Ky Lake was to take us out of the storm path so it was quite a surprise to find that area ravaged by winds. Not rain (which they actually need) but startling wind damage.
Uprooted trees like this one were a common sight. The campground suffered a lot of damage too and power was out in the entire LBL area. The nearest town, Grand Rivers, finally had power restored Tuesday; it was Wednesday evening before the campground got power. So we had an authentic camping experience!

We spent one morning at the Elk & Bison prairie. It's a relatively small prairie (compared to what we visited in S Dakota) and going in of course, you have no guarantee you will see any wildlife at all. So we were most fortunate to see elk, bison and the biggest flock of wild turkeys I've seen.
I hadn't seen elk before, so I was especially thrilled when we saw four! We watched them graze for a while, then bed down under some large shade trees. I'm so glad we spotted them beforehand, once they were down those gigantic antlers blend in really well, appearing to be jagged tree branches or scrub brush.

We saw a huge herd of bison. A sign at the entrance of the park estimated the population at 69 and we think they surely were all in this herd that spread across the roadway as we rounded a corner. Huge and majestic, their appearance is so in contrast with their placid and gentle demeanor. They ambled right up to the truck, lazily taking little notice of me hanging out the window to photograph them. One even took a particular liking to the pickup and spent a good amount of time licking the bumper. Guess he didn't notice the truck was filthy from coming in through the rain -- or maybe he just liked the taste of rain dust and bugs!
Aren't they precious!?

We're guessing this guy was king of the herd, or whatever it is that boss bison call themselves!

Here's our lick-happy friend.

Rounding another bend, here's a huge group of turkeys. We counted at least 15 in the grassy area and there were still more that were harder to pick out in the shaded fringes of the woods.

Saturday afternoon we made the short dive to Paducah to do a little shopping and go to Sat eve Mass. Randy wanted to go to Gander Mountain (an outdoor store) and I went to Hancock's of Paducah (the original Hancock's, not to be confused with the chain stores of the same name). Can you believe all these pieces were on the "end-of-bolt" remnant table?! Check out the Amy Butler, some Ginger Blossom and even a piece of Farmer's Market by Sandi Henderson! Oh happy day! Watch for these to show up in completed projects one of these days.

Rusty loved it all - the wildlife, walks on the shore, scooter rides in the park and of course all the other dogs that were visiting the campground!

And lastly, I will close with a beautiful sunset photo snapped from our campsite. I want to hold on to this peaceful and serene feeling.

Ahhh . . .

Thursday, September 11, 2008

What were you doing seven years ago?

Doesn't it fill you fresh once again with disbelief and bottomless sorrow? But pride too, for heroism beyond comprehension.

I was in the car on the way to work when the first plane hit. Vaguely described as simply "a plane" I was visualizing a small plane and some unfortunate person staging a dramatic suicide. Then the utter shock when the second plane hit. I remember an overwhelming, desperate desire to retrieve the kids from school despite being told not to. I remember sharing tears over the phone with a work contact in NYC. I remember making my regular, preplanned visit to my dear grandmother who was in the final stages of cancer, traveling the 1.5 hr drive over deserted highways. I remember being posed the question from kids in my religion class "How could God let something like this happen?" and my simply telling them that God was crying too. Weren't we all? What do you remember from that fateful day?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

In my sewing room this week

So far this week I've completed a couple of bags. They are totally different but I love them both.

I have to say it, this one was a challenge. If she wasn't so pretty, she might not have survived!! The chocolate is a home dec with the most wonderful texture and a very sturdy weight. I was thrilled with the way it was handling, zippers (yes two!) were looking great, then I got to the straps only to find out that four layers of fabric plus interfacing were impenetrable - even with a 110 needle! I spent one whole afternoon and no less than five (I think it was actually six) trials before I came up with a handle technique for this one. Whew! Nevertheless, I am thrilled with this bag -- I love it so much, I wanna change my name and carry it!

And I just love this zoo themed diaper bag! Sorry, I had to edit the name from the photo as it's a secret. But it's a cute name and the monogramming is done in a fun, contemporary serif font in lime green. It's cute but you'll just have to take my word for it. :)

And here's a coordinating reversible bib. I like these more with each one I do. You probably can't see from the photo but it's quilted with stippling around the design. (You can see the stippling some if you double-click to enlarge the photo.) These bibs are a learning tool for me - I'm perfecting my free motion quilting skills and getting more adept at using my bias binder attachment.

I've got a couple of other sewing projects underway but nothing worth showing. I'm working on supply lists and sewing patterns for my classes. Tammy and I did grape jam last night - I won't bore you with photos but will tell you her kitchen smelled divine! Our weather is spectacular, I hope you all are equally blessed and having some time to enjoy it. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Two more orders down . . .

We had a wonderful Labor Day weekend, did you? The weather was gorgeous, we got to spend some time with our kids (Amy, Kyle & Ashley), we rode scooters, spent a night camping . . . WOW, what more could you wish for?!

So now that the weekend is over, it's back to reality - I have orders I need to complete! I finished this pale turquoise and pink small-size diaper bag last week. I was told the new mother likes butterflies and I had this cute fabric on hand. Once again, I decided to digitize an element from the fabric (butterflies) to enhance the monogram.

Here's another Aly, but with a different spelling. This one is a book bag, done in school colors. It has an adjustable strap so she can choose her preference for the length of the strap. It's a bigger bag than you can tell - a 3-ring binder fits perfectly horizontally with enough room for a couple layers of books. Ugh, my shoulders ache just saying that!

And my personal excitement -- I talked twice today with the coordinator at Jackman's. I'm officially on their calendar now with two kids' classes scheduled for December 22nd. One morning session, one afternoon. Projects are yet to be determined, that's part of what we talked about. She's sending some ideas for me to consider. I so love kids and taught religion classes for seven years, so I'm thinking I can do this and maybe kids' classes will be a good starting point. Maybe?

Thanks for stopping by. I'll catch you later!