Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I got the outfit done and made real progress on my write-ups too! Hope to finish and have them in our box before Mikey the mailman arrives this morning. Here's the outfit.

Here's a close-up of the top so you can see the straps - I love the way they are gathered into the bodice. Oh yeah, I kinda love those tags I made too (double-click to see). Aren't they cool? I printed them using a DIY recipe for photo transfer fabric. I don't know the extent of their washability, but right now they look good! I don't remember where I got the fabric treatment recipe, but if anyone is interested let me know.

And a close-up of the pants. They were fun. Makes me think I may try some decoupage jeans - have you seen them? There are some cute ones on eBay (selling for outrageous prices).

Speaking of prices, help me out. I may put this on Etsy and I need to figure out a price. Does anyone have an idea? I don't look for outrageous prices, but these gathered twirly type tiers take a lot of expensive fabric. What do you think moms? Grandmas?
I just had a light bulb moment, I'm thinking it needs a matching headband too. Yep . . .

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Work in progress

I've kind of backed myself into a corner timewise - I have a deadline this week for Jackman's spring session. This isn't my style, I'm usually an early finisher. But not this time. I'm working Lisa!!! Here are a couple of projects in the works that may become classes.

Laura Gunn, talented artist, fabric designer and seamstress, recently posted a great tutorial on her blog for a covered milk crate and she graciously gave me her permission to use this for a class. Thanks again Laura! It wasn't easy for me to find a milk crate - she suggested Target; ours had none, they told me it was a seasonal back-to-school item. After a few other strike-outs I finally found them at Garden Ridge. However when I got home I found that the dimensions were quite different from hers. But I also bought this other plastic storage bin, considerably less expensive and I really like the shape of it. Laura's tutorial includes calculations to revise the size, so after a little tweaking, I got it just how I wanted it. So here's what it looks like:

I'm going to add fabric covered button/brads on the ends. I have the buttons on hand but have to go searching for some heavy duty brads. I just love this fabric - by Denyse Schmidt, from the Katie Jump Rope collection.

To find Laura's tutorial, check out her Paint in My Hair blog. She has the most amazing paintings and some very inspiring home dec ideas - not to mention the tutorials. Her creativity will dazzle you and if that's not enough, consider this - Heather Bailey is her sister-in-law and Elinor Peace Bailey is her mom! If you don't recognize their names, Elinor is a nationally-renowned creator of whimsical dolls and Heather is a wow fabric designer. (As in Pop Garden & Freshcut collections -- I have some pieces, but oh my it's hard to cut into those.) Her brother Isaac Bailey is a photographer, some of the gorgeous photos on her blog are his work. So -- is creativity hereditary or learned? What do you think? (BTW, Laura has commented on my blog and that makes me feel like I've been sprinkled with celebrity fairy dust!)

And here's the second project in progress - a little girl's tunic top. Yesterday I started a pair of denim pants to go with. I'll post the complete outfit later. The fabrics are Michael Miller, the Orchid Spa line.
Better run, I've got lots to do today!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Just a few things

One day at a time, the world moves on. I'm spending a lot of time with my friend Tammy and it's a refreshing release to be able to focus on time together and just the basic simplicity of doing what you want or need to do in the moment. I believe we all have a tendency to fall into that "life in the fast lane" routine, squeezing so much into our schedule that we can't possibly achieve it all, feeling like a failure when we don't, and in the meantime perhaps giving less attention than we would like to the precious ones we hold dear.

We've all heard it before, but I'm here to tell you again. Slow down, say no when you need to, focus on what is important to you and tell everyone dear to you how you feel. You never know, you may not get another chance.

Sniff, sniff - okay . . . I finally sat down at my machine this week one day shy of two weeks without sewing (yeah, I can't believe it myself), but the occasion was Tammy's birthday (yes, how painfully ironic).
How many of you have caught the rubber stamping addiction? We have. I had made myself a bag similar to this for my Stampin Up markers and she admired it, so this one was for her. And it came out WAY cuter than mine!

If you're familar with SU, you know there are 4 color families, with 12 colors in each. The bag has 4 sections, each holds 12 markers.

I would have liked to show the bag with markers but mine were at Tammy's where we were making dozens of handmade thank-you cards. Just pretend these are SU markers. :)

I gave Tammy the bag on her actual birthday. There will be a birthday party this weekend so yesterday I helped Macy & Maddi each create a gift of their own for their Nana. Maddi's gift is a cupcake pincushion. It was so simple. Maddi is 4 and she honestly did a great deal of it herself, even threading the ribbon through the little holes we punched.

She was delighted, can you tell?! But then, she's always delighted, she's just one of those kind of kids.

She took this pic herself

Here's Macy (age 7) with her pillow top, so proud of using the sewing machine. She's already planning what she will do next and more importantly, when she will get her own machine!

I did the applique piece before she came, but she did all the patches by herself.

And finally a project from "before".

It's a carry-to-grandma's bag for a good friend's granddaughter. Little Mattie is 3 and her Nana tells me she loved the bag. I'm so pleased.

She loves butterflies and purple.

That's all for now.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Goodbye Dear Friend

I've been out of the loop for a while and many of you already know why. Ten days ago the world lost a remarkable soul when our friend Todd left this world for a better place. There are no words to describe the confusion, helplessness and devastation one feels when such a good person, so loved by so many is taken suddenly and far too soon. Even with the assurance of Todd's place in eternity, it is an impossible reality to accept that there can be a world without Todd in it. Todd was a beloved friend and confidant to my husband and cherished brother of my best friend Tammy. He was a brother in the truest sense to his brother-in-law Brian as well as his own brother Ted & wife Angie. His nieces & nephew Brandi, Brittany & Tyler simply adored him. He had found and married the love of his life, his beautiful wife Abbey and was a loving and devoted dad to Drake, Gracie, Lexie and Dalton. He was a source of pride and happiness to his parents - mom Nancy & Ken, dad John & Louise, Grandma Lois, Grandpa Bud & Edna, Grandma Martha, and parents-in-law Mike & Joellen Wehrle. For these, his beloved family, and for all of us who were simply blessed to know and love this incredible man, the world will never be the same.

Todd was a visionary, incredibly creative and talented beyond description. He built beautiful homes for a living. He was an artist, his ideas were always outside the box and he had the skills to make them a reality. He was a workaholic, passionate about whatever project was at hand. In the 12 years that Todd lived next to us, it was routine for him to come over and take up some project with my husband that would most likely drag on past darkness while I begged them to take just a little break to come in and eat something for goodness sake! Sometimes we would come home and find our yard mowed or some other little something magically done. When you mentioned it, he'd just grin. Todd was one of those kind of people. He was multi-talented. He was proud to be a volunteer fireman, he loved and was loved by his fire department family. He was a great outdoorsman, a morel mushroom hunting king and world class hunter. Ask his buddy Brent about that. Mere days ago Brent's phone received a self-portrait of Todd posed in camo against a tree gazing into the great beyond and below the picture a caption -"Hunter of the Year". His sense of humor was as big as his heart. Yes Todd, we will miss your jokes, your deep chuckle and your endless wisecracks. So save them up - until we meet again . . .

And Dear Todd, Please watch over your beautiful sister, she needs you so.

Monday, October 6, 2008

In the news . . .

I just have to share this. On Sunday morning as my husband was reading the St. Louis Post Dispatch, he asked me if I knew who Jen Gray was. Of course I do - she's the owner of The Time Boutique where I have some of my bags. So he read me the following:

Now that the dust has settled and Gov. Sarah Palin and Sen. Joe Biden and entourages have left town, let us relate the sight 'ems. Here are some of the highlights: Ashley Biden, daughter of Joe, prevailed upon Jen Gray, owner of Washington Avenue's chic The Time Boutique, to unlock her store Thursday night for an after hour stop. . . .

The article goes on, but that was what interested me. What a surprise. Makes me wish I had taken some new, good stuff more recently than my last visit two months ago!

Not a big deal I know, but it sure made my day.

More Display Samples

Tomorrow I'll deliver these two display samples for the adult sewing classes I'll be teaching in December.

The GARMENT BAG: I've admired this fabric line for some time but needed a big-sized project like this to make the large scale print work. The collection is XOXOXO the Cat, by Wendy Slotboom. I have another piece from this collection too; I'm sure you'll be seeing it one of these days. I love the trendy colors and I think the fabric would appeal to a pretty broad age group, don't you? The bag is lined in a kiwi green stripe.

JUMPER: This is super simple to sew. The pattern is Lucy by Children's Corner. I used black velveteen with red pom-pom trim and buttons.

Here's a close-up of the applique design. Very simple. I had in mind some vintage Christmas ornaments like my baby sister collects. I sketched these then used a compass and some simple paper folding to clean up the design and make the ornaments symmetrical. It's very basic and I'm hoping a simple introduction to fusible applique.
So . . . there they are. I believe the class schedules will go out before the end of the month. It's kind of a scary feeling.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Bed Head & Sleepy Eyes

It's a tough job being a perfect puppy! I just couldn't resist sharing this photo of Prince Russell (aka Rusty). He's not a morning dog and rarely makes it out of the bedroom before 9:30 or 10. I'm sure some of you will be thinking OMG, does he sleep in the bed? Oh yeah. When he feels like it, that is. In my defense, he's not that pampered. I do make him do a skoochy poochy while I make the bed around him. I have a favorite cousin who likes to keep dogs in their place. To him we say . . .

Good Morning Uncle Gordon! :)

This week's sewing projects start out with something I've been postponing (dreading). A Halloween outfit for sweet Sarah who wants to be Cruella Deville. With nothing to go on, I did some exploring on the internet and found the color scheme. I winged it from there (without a pattern) so I hope it fits. The fur is white plush with dots cut from black felt and free motioned on top. There's a slit up the front of the skirt, can you see it? I believe Sarah's mom said she had some black fishnet stockings. Does anyone know if this even looks like something Cruella would wear? Or does it just look fruity, like the Emperor's Robe or something? Ugh, too much worrying!

NOW THE BIG NEWS: I got a very surprising call yesterday afternoon from one of my sisters, to let me know my niece is expecting. Did I say surprising, I meant shocking! So shocking it made me light-headed. My, oh my. I'm sure I'll be posting more about dear Lyndsay and her miraculous adventure into parenthood.