Friday, December 26, 2008

Wedding bells ring, are you listening?

Ashley's finger is a-glistening!

Oh happy day! Our 24-year old baby Kyle is engaged to the most wonderful, sweetest girl in the whole entire world! Does everyone have those feelings of something you "just know"? Ashley was one of those. I just knew she was my daughter! Over these four years since I met her we have bonded. We share interests and traits and hopes and fears and faith -- what can I say, except that I love them both and I'm SO HAPPY! This is the best Christmas ever!(Can you believe Kyle was worried about how his fingernails looked for this pic?! Now that's a first!!! )

Here's my sister Deb, our enthusiastic family cheerleader with her official family welcome. This is so Deb. (Of course, the spontaneous real one was a little better than this staged repeat but still fun nevertheless.) A special family moment. Families are good. Ashley has an incredible family too. Real people - kind, friendly, down-to-earth, no pretenses. People you enjoy being around. I hope she can say the same for our zany family. Ashley is an amazing person in more ways than I can tell you. We are truly blessed.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Oh Happy Day!

I made my first Etsy sale and will ship a Christmas jumper to Massachusetts today - can you believe it!? I still marvel at how the internet makes such things possible. A few short years ago I couldn’t have dreamed of such a thing. It makes the world smaller, don’t you think? When I see that I’ve had visits (and comments) from exotic, far-away places like Australia (!!!) I am humbled!

Well, it was another busy weekend for us, I‘ll bet yours was too. Another Christmas party, this one sponsored by my husband’s place of part-time employment and so graciously hosted at the home of the managing owner and his wife. Mid-afternoon it dawned on me that a hostess gift would be nice . . .

So I whipped up this kitchen towel. With the addition of a box of chocolates, we thought we should have all bases covered (husband and wife).

I had a request for a couple of tiles expressing this sentiment. With the words being the focus, I kept them pretty simple in design. I like simple. I think simple should be my middle name. For a lot of reasons. :)

And a monstrance cover. In white satin. Satin works up so beautifully, you can hardly go wrong.

I added covered piping and an embroidery design I digitized myself. Simple elegance. Again with the simple!

That's all for now. Have a good day. We're in line for our first winter storm; I'll let you know how that goes.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Etsy shop is off to a start!

A slow start maybe - it takes longer to do those listings than you would think! But as of this moment I have three offerings. One is the Christmas jumper so to make that feasible I knew I had to get it up right away. A wallet and a purse round out the opening pieces.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Etsy -- it's an online marketplace for original handmade items. Items are listed with pictures and descriptions similar to eBay, but unlike eBay it's not an auction site. It's more like walking into a virtual boutique. Items are priced and available for purchase -- no bidding!

So if you're interested, here it is . . .

MidwestChic Etsy Shop !

Click on the shop name to check it out. To find the shop without my link, you can go and in the search area use the drop down options to choose "Sellers: usernames", then type MidwestChic (without spaces) in the search box. I'm continuing to add other items, so you'll find more later in the day.

Here are a few things from this week. I delivered these stockings earlier in the week. Can you believe another doggy named Izzy?!

And although I prepared this for a friend to give as a Christmas gift, there's nothing that gives a clue as to who it belongs to so I'm gonna show it now. I like this hoodie that she found. It's tough finding shirts with no writing or emblems.

Well, I'm off now to do more Etsy listings. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Class was good!

I had a group of the most lovely ladies and we had lots of fun. Or at least I did for sure! Everyone was able to get the jumper completed and some were able to get going on embellishments -- trim, applique designs, etc. There are going to be some adorably dressed little girls at Christmas time!

My only regret is that it's so far from home. Ya'll know I'm not so much a fan of driving and between class and driving it took the best part of the day. I left home at 10am and got home just a little before 7pm -- only to find out than that my sister had to take my dad to the ER in my absence. So I've been hospital sitting the last two days. My dad - oh my, what can I say? He has health issues but it's not just that. I don't know how to explain his situation other than to say that some people just have a harder time than others dealing with life in general. If you know someone like that, you will know what I'm talking about. My dad struggles with a lot of issues and every so often he crashes. This is one of those times. This episode has been going on sometime now. It's been a difficult time and reminds me to thank God every day for my sisters. I can't imagine how one could do it if you were an only child!

Well, I really didn't intend to share all that but if I seem distracted for a while, this is why. Keep us in your prayers. With God's grace, we'll get through it - we always do!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Getting a little done here and there

This has been an eventful week in my personal life, with a lot of time devoted to some unforeseen family matters. Even under ideal circumstances there was a lot I needed to accomplish this week and well, let's just say it was a challenge. But somehow or other, with the exception of one small finishing task, I have almost succeeded. Do you suppose that sometimes God just gives us hurdles to prove to us that we can do more than we think we can?!

I will teach my first class at Jackman's Fabrics tomorrow afternoon. I am excited, anxious and more than a little apprehensive. I'll let you know how it goes. I keep telling myself - relax, breathe deeply. It's going to be fine.

Tomorrow's class is the holiday jumper. Remember this . . . ?

Spring is coming - here's a reversible sundress.

One side. I love that giant rick-rack!

The reverse.

I love how this jacket turned out. It's made from the Children's Corner pattern "Robin's Little Jacket". What a great gender-neutral pattern and it's like a blank canvas to come up with some fun, creative ideas for kid designs. At our house, we like firemen. Wonder why? (It's all about my VFD husband.)

Can't tell from the photo, but that dalmation puppy is made of ultra soft plush. Pet the puppy!
(Can you tell the buttonholes aren't finished? Argh. That's the one thing I didn't get finished.)

And here is another tunic top. I may make some bottoms to go with it, I'm not decided on that yet.
So . . . it's way past my bedtime, the only reason I'm up so late is we just returned from our second Christmas party of the weekend. Tis the season and all. This party was for the bank where I used to work. One of my favorite co-workers, a branch manager from another facility, is preparing to move back "home" to a neighboring state. Don't tell him, but I'd been secretly praying their house wouldn't sell so that they wouldn't leave but the time has finally come. His wife is already there and working, he is simply wrapping up loose ends to join her soon. I tried but didn't make it through without a few tears. We shared some laughs and memories too though, and promises to keep in touch. I know it's a good thing for them and I wish them well in their new home . . . but I still wish they weren't going.

I better sign off now, try to calm my nerves and get some sleep. I'm going to need it tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Foxy Behavior

Recent days have brought a couple of interesting observations in the yard. The scappy remains from the Thanksgiving turkey were carefully refrigerated so they could be doled out to the foxes over a several day period. One day I watched Bibsy (as I've named the bolder, white-bibbed one) visit the scrap pile. After devouring several bones he took a few from his abundance, moved them to a spot between a couple of trees -- and buried them! I am having so much fun watching their behavior. On another occasion while Rusty was barking at one of them, the fox paused, looked directly at Rusty and cocked his head back and forth in wonderment -- just like a dog would do. They are very dog-like, aren't they?

I have lots to learn

. . . about photography. About many things actually, but that's what I'm concerned with at the moment. I like taking photos (more so now with the blog) but I always viewed the challenge of taking good photos as such a huge learning experience and quite frankly I've been LAZY. But with my husband's announcement that I'm going to get a nice camera for Christmas (isn't he TOO GOOD?) I've gone into overdrive this past half-week, researching camera recommendations and important tutorial info. Turns out the camera I've got now is a pretty darn good pocket camera and as I always suspected, I could be doing much better. So with my new found knowledge I changed some settings and now I'm learning and practicing with this one.
Russell is my most convenient subject to practice on although I'm sure he will tire of this before long. You'd think I would have combed his hair first, wouldn't you?! But he's still cute.

No sewing photos today. Thanksgiving preps left me little time to sew and what little I did do I can't show till after Christmas in the event that one of the recipients would find their way to the blog. Which brings me to this -- an exciting milestone for me -- last week my blog had it's 1000th visitor!
Some of my blogging friends probably have that many visits in one day -- I'm grinning because I can hear you snickering, but I'm still impressed!

I'd been thinking about doing some fun little giveaway anyway and I think this calls for a celebration prize. I'll make a little something soon and pick a magical visit number. But this is the reason for the early heads up -- the catch is that you have to comment for me to identify you as that visitor number. It's not hard, honest. Some of you read the blog then email me comments separately - I'm telling you, this is easier. Really. It's simple and fun to comment here and I so enjoy it too. When I get something made I'll post a pic of the "prize", pick a number and let you know the count when we're getting close.

And another milestone -- did you see Free Kibble has reached more than half a million meals?! Hooray! Have you Free Kibbled today? Click on the pets in my sidebar. A simple fun way to do something kind. God bless!