{Toy Society drops}

I was supposed to chronicle the drops we did here on my blog!
Duh!! o_O

This is the "gang" ~ all ready to go and find their forever homes!

You've heard of a partridge in a pear tree?
Well, this is a penguin in a palm tree! :)

Okay, seriously. Here are the details (I'm really trying to behave, here ~ and it ain't easy!)

Dropped: @ Frank Brown Park, Panama City Beach, FL (hanging on a palm tree right outside of the children's playground area)

Number of toys: Just one!

Dropped by: Me, Mara (15) and her BF, Austin (15)

My "Secret Squirrels" said that as soon as they dropped her,
a sweet little one came racing up to claim her and give her a forever home!

Dropped: @ Frank Brown Park, Panama City Beach, FL (near a bench you can't see inside the children's playground area)

Number of toys: Just one!

Dropped by: Me, Mara (15) and her BF, Austin (15)

Froggy wonders if anyone will find her and make her "It!"
She just LOVES Hide 'n' Seek! :)

Dropped: @ Frank Brown Park, Panama City Beach, FL (inside one of those play tunnel thingies inside the children's playground area)

Number of toys: Just one!

Dropped by: Me, Mara (15) and her BF, Austin (15)

Froggy's guarding the brochures! :)

Dropped: @ Panama City Beach Library, Panama City Beach, FL (this is the brochures rack just inside the doorway)

Number of toys: Just one!

Dropped by: Me, Mara (15) and her BF, Austin (15)

Lucky the Lamb! :)

Dropped: @ Panama City Beach Library, Panama City Beach, FL (Austin was so clever ~ he placed her right by a book titled "Lucky!")

Number of toys: Just one!

Dropped by: Me, Mara (15) and her BF, Austin (15)

Mr Penguin's playing Hide 'n' Seek! :)

Dropped: @ Panama City Beach Library, Panama City Beach, FL (Mr. Penguin's hiding by the play table)

Number of toys: Just one!

Dropped by: Me, Mara (15) and her BF, Austin (15)

Mr Penguin's just hangin' around! :)

Dropped: @ Panama City Beach K-Mart, Panama City Beach, FL (Mr. Penguin's waiting for some sweet person to find him in the cart corral)

Number of toys: Just one!

Dropped by: Me, Mara (15) and her BF, Austin (15)

So, those are the drops we did. A wonderful time was had by all ~ especially the softies who were absolutely sure that they'd find forever homes in a jiffy! We know that Miss Piggy found a forever home quickly, but don't quite know about the others ~ if you or someone you know found them a forever home, could you let us know? Miss Piggy has two sisters, Ms. Froggy has one sister and a brother, and the Penguin brothers each have sisters who would very much like to know that their kin is happy and snug in some child's (or a big grown up kinda child) bed for the night. It's getting awfully cold here in the Panhandle.

The neatest thing about all of this was not only seeing the delight on two teenage faces (and let's face it: "delight" and "teens" are two words that aren't always found in the average sentence) at playing "Secret Squirrels" (boy, I love that phrase! How's about that Moroccan Mole?!) ~ but also seeing the surprised-but-delighted reactions of those we told about the Toy Society! I wouldn't be at all surprised if you saw a few more people from our neck of the woods dropping off softies for the Toy Society!

The hardest thing about the Toy Society drops? Waiting to see if someone's picked them up!! Oh well ... while I wait, I can always make MORE softies!! :)

Sew-y craft-y hugs to you all!!


{the Toy Society}

I got a few emails asking about the Toy Society ~ just your average, basic questions, so I thought I'd address them here!

1) Is it easy?

Yup! If you like to sew or craft and have a few minutes of spare time, it's SEW easy!!

Just find your favorite softie (what my generation called "stuffed animals") pattern ~ or you can find one online ~ they're {everywhere}! Then, get sewing, knitting, or crafting! It doesn't even {have} to be a stuffed animal ~ it can be a small toy or crayon holder!

2) If I join the Toy Society, am I obligated to make a softie ASAP?!

Nope. Truth be told, because of my assorted health issues, it took me about 3 months or so after contacting them for info to actually do my drops!

3) How many do I {have} to do?!

How many do you {WANT} to do?! I did 7 drops on one day! Once you get making softies, they're pretty addictive ... and the best part's the dropping! We did our 7 drops in 3 different places all in about 1 hour!

4) If I sign up, will the Toy Society send me loads of SPAM?

Nope! In fact, other than their "Welcome" email when I first signed up, I've gotten no other unsolicited mail from them! They really do respect your privacy!

When it comes right down to it, the Toy Society is just for ... fun. For spreading some goodwill and love to others. And {especially} in this economic climate, what else could do so much for so little commitment or cost?

In fact, once I began letting the ladies that work at my fabric sources know about my purpose in buying the fabric, they scrounged up extra coupons and discounts to make it even easier for me! At one store, I got the "
Wild and Wonderful Fleece Animals" book (by Linda Carr) AND about 8 yards of fleece fabric for $25!!

{good softie patterns}

Speaking of the "
Wild and Wonderful Fleece Animals" book, I added it to my {books i love} sidebar. It's really an awesome book! The patterns are super easy to follow and go together so quickly! The critters are really super-cute, too!! And if you didn't know, Linda Carr (the author) has designed a few of the Muppets, too!! :)

Look for this book to be included in a giveaway, soon!! :)

If you'd rather support the Handmade movement, I'd {highly} recommend Vintage Ric-Rac'sEtsy store patterns. She is absolutely {A-MAZING}. If you can't tell, I'm a HUGE fan of hers. Her creations are so wonderful, so precious, so adorable, so ... awesome!!

And you {have} to stop by her blog if you haven't already (what am I saying?! Everyone knows Ric-Rac (AKA Jodie)!! But on the off-chance that you don't already know this amazing woman/crafter/sewist/mom/teacher/business woman/speaker ... you {have} to read the awesome stories and biographies that she concocts for her sweet softies.

And BTW, she has several freebie patterns at her blog!! And these aren't your average-no-wonder-it's-a-freebie kinda patterns ... they're AWESOME and oh, sew lovely!! Check them out!! :)

{the "blahs", the Toy Society and a giveaway!}

{the blahs}
Since my last bloggy blurb, a LOT has changed (TMI warning). We've (meaning, "I") found it necessary to (at least temporarily) take a "vacation" from my MIL ~ whom I believe I've mentioned here oodles of times. She was beginning to say inappropriate things to my kids ~ I can take a LOT of abuse, but I wasn't gonna sit back and watch the poop spill over and affect my kiddos.

So far, I'm sad to say, it's helped a lot. A LOT. There's more laughter in the house, less stress, and less ... drama. And even if it IS only temporary, and we invite Janie back in our lives (DH is still free to see her as he likes, obviously), we really and truly needed this "vacation." I think that this "vacation" really helped bring us together as a family (not trying to imply that my MIL isn't part of our family ~ I just meant our little corner of the family) and helped us to realize that life is good.

Since we took a sabbatical from my MIL, I came to the realization that life really IS good. To that end, I've sought treatment for my depression. Not the movie-of-the-week kind of depression ~ although it really was affecting my creativity ~ just the "enh-blah-blurgh" kinda depression. Where it's every bit as easy to sleep the day away as it is to sit and sew. So, a couple of visits to the doctor and three prescriptions later, I have a good anti-depressant medication that's making all the difference in the world. It's not a "magic pill" ~ it doesn't erase the depression, it just ... makes it easier to be happy. If that makes sense?!

My doctor (whom I adore ~ seriously, the man is awesome!) has also found the perfect blend of headache medications (I've suffered from migraines almost all my life ~ I remember having my first migraine when I was 6 years old). That, too, makes life much more ... Good.

{the Toy Society}
All of those things, all mushed up together and stirred well ~ along with a healthy, heaping dose of Toy Society softies making with my dearest daughter ~ has really made for a wonderful sabbatical from my bloggy-life. I feel refreshed, renewed ~ and for the first time in a LONG time:

{giveaway coming up!}
So, to celebrate, I'm going to come up with a giveaway. I dunno what it will be just yet ~ probably a squishy of some kind, plus a pattern or two. Maybe even a book. During my sabbatical, I've been going bonkers buying crafty books (and learning machine embroidery ~ but that's gist for another post!) ~ so I've got several {awesome} titles to choose from.

So, hopefully, my TMI post didn't turn you off so much that you won't stay tuned for details.

{more Toy Society}
But first {and this is ALWAYS great for inspiration}, my daughter and I will be playing "Secret Squirrel" tomorrow. We've got 7, count'em SEVEN, softies to hide for some sweet child to discover. Three penguins, two froggies, one piggie and one lamb that will hopefully find new, loving homes tomorrow.

So, if anyone's reading this in the Panama City Beach area and has small children {or just loves softies}, be sure to sneak over to Frank Brown Park, Hobby Lobby (on 23rd Street ~ at the Fabric Counter/Patterns Corner) and the PCB library tomorrow afternoon ~ those are the first three places we're going to go all Secret Squirrel at.

And if you've got more ideas on where great places are to leave stuffed critters needing a nice Forever Home, holler at me!! I have several more softies all cut out to sew up tomorrow!!

For now, though, I'm going to bed. Hopefully, I'll have a cute pixie of the softies we made ready for this post in the morning. I hate not having a neat pixie for my posts!!

Anywho, love to you all ~ and great BIG sew-y craft-y hugs!!!


{compliments, complaints & commiseration}

I've been getting oodles of emails, and this heading just seemed ... so appropriate in describing them. And since I'm still waiting for my uncooperative server to stop being such a pain-in-the-you-know-what, I figured I'd post about'em (not going to quote any or use names).

Duh ... my favorite of the three. Not only have I been getting compliments on the two embroidery patterns I posted, but The Rachel of One Pretty Thing wrote to say that she is {again} going to be linking to one of my patterns.

Now, if you've been paying attention - heck, unless you've been living under a rock or are *totally* new to the whole handmade art scene, you *{know}* who Rachel is. Rachel is the Supreme Goddess of All that is Handmade and Good.

{and no, I'm not sucking up -- I follow her blog like it's manna from heaven}

So, for Her to say that she likes my patterns enough to give me some linky love is a HUGE deal. My daughter (a fan of The Rachel, too) was astounded (see how much my daughter respects me?!). Seriously. At first, she honestly thought I was putting her on and laughed. Then I threatened to ground her and take away her sewing machine. That worked like a charm. No more laughing. And now, she at least *pretends* to believe me.

Thought I'd address these publicly. The blog I had before was mostly (90%) quilting. The other 10%, since my tongue does seem to be hinged at both ends, was mainly blah-blah-blah. So, the quilters that "followed" me from that blog to this one have complained that so far, there are no new quilt patterns.

True. But I {do} still quilt. And I do still use EQ as often as I do Adobe Illustrator (meaning: a LOT). So whilst I don't have a quilty pattern ready to upload this moment, I {will} soon. My previous lappie died (as I mentioned in a much earlier, whinier post) and I've had to not only re-create those patterns (while I didn't have back-ups of those files, I *did* have print-outs ... so there's *that*), but now, I have to re-create the little illustrations that went with them. Yuck. Phooey. Time consuming at best.

Also, please remember that we're *still* moving into our new home. Okay, not such a big deal, right? How 'bout this? : I'm *still* moving into my new studio (thought *that* would be more important!). I still have a gazillion boxes all stamped "Sewing Studio" on the sides. Magazines, fabric, tools, trim, thread (oh, dear goodness ... how much have I spent over the years?!) ... And I've been promised that I could paint my new space, too (like that's going to happen soon). Shades of aqua/teal, chocolate ('cause if you can't have the real thing everyday, why not the color?!) and French Provincial yellow. I don't even have window coverings for the 5 windows, yet!

So there you have it. My excuses for not being more productive. Sad, pathetic, but all too true.

But bottom line, is that there {will} be new patterns. Soon. Part of the fun of handcrafting is *sharing* it, right? And we're going to have that fun together, right?!

I left the most ... amazing for last. What I got a lot of is commiseration for my Evul MIL.

{oh, my, am I ever so happy that she's not 'net savvy}

Seems like I'm not the only one. And I really thought I was. Every single friend I have tells me how much they adore their MIL (except one ... but then, believe it or not, her MIL's worse than mine!). I'd get so ... jealous ... at their relationships. Cooking together on holidays, crafting cute ornaments for Christmas ... spa parties, for pete's sake! SPA PARTIES. Really. I kid you not.

Honestly, my MIL? Every holiday (since they tend to be a bit on the stressful side as it is), I have to bite my lip not to shoot her with a tranquilizer gun, drive her out to the Everglades (yes, it's a 12 hour drive, but it would be sooooo worth it) and leave her there.

(And don't worry ... I don't think she'd actually KILL any 'gators. Just torment them as she walks home. They're tough. They can get over it. Might take therapy, but they'll be able to move on with their lives, I'm sure.)

Before I begin to *really* vent (why should I do that, when I can be crafting? Right?), I'll just say: to everyone who took the time to commiserate with me about my Evul MIL, thank you, Darlins. It *really* means a lot. Really.

And to the ever-so-sweet lady who told me that she almost peed herself laughing whilst reading about my MIL, that's okay. My MIL makes me almost pee, too. ;)

(FTR, the pix-ie at the top of the yelling woman? That's not supposed to be anyone who complained in an email to me. That's how I see my MIL)

{next up: more embroidery patterns!}

{grow your dreams embroidery pattern}

(this the first one I managed to digitize and get uploaded - my server's having one of *those* kind of issues today ... there's *lots* more to come!!)

{btw, you can just click on the thumbnail above to automatically open the pattern}

Anywho, my daughter and I were goofing off after reading Aimee Ray's "Doodlestitching" (which will be joining the "books i love" ranks shortly) and came up with this. We did oodles more (well, *I* did, after she bugged out to go swim with her friends) and they'll be coming up SOON.

Just so's you know: page 1 is the actual pattern. Page 2 is the stitching suggestions ... as always, what *always* counts most is *YOUR* personal twist, so feel more than free to ignore my suggestions and do it how YOU want.

Since I'm new at sharing embroidery patterns, any feedback you can give me is much, much appreciated. Like, "the lines are too thin," or "the stitch key is too confusing" or "leave my brain alone" ... okay the last one was just silly, but you get the point. ;)

I'd really appreciate it! :)

{until the next patterns ...}

sewy-crafty hugs!

{give-away winners}

Okay, it's only been what? two weeks nearly? since I gave the deadline for the give-away (and have been promising to announce the winners) and {finally} here I am!

Before we get to the winners (if any of you still actually *remember* that there was a give-away here), here's my excuses in no specific order:

  1. Wanted my dear daughter to be in the pix-ies showing the drawn names. Since she's really been an super-eager supporter of all of my sewy-crafty pursuits, I really wanted her to be a part of it. Alas, though, she's been spending all of her free time either with her friends or preparing for her upcoming SCUBA diving class (Yay for her!).

  2. Me be in the pix-ies?! You gotta be kidding. Bad, bad, bad, bad hair year. 'Nuff said.

  3. MIL issues. Driving. Me. Crazy. Good thing FL has decent gun control laws. Otherwise, I'd be blogging from a 6x6 cell in our local pokey, wearing lovely orange overalls.

  4. {and the NICE excuse} I just can't seem to stop looking for little add-ons. Every single time we went out these past two weeks, I have been obsessively hunting for cute 'n' funky add-ons to the give-away. I even put Mr Creative on "cute alert." And no, he wasn't happy about it.

Okay, so now that I've begged for forgiveness for being behind, may we have a drum roll, please?!

* ba-da-
ba-da-ba-da-ba-da ... DUM*

The winners are:

suesueb (who said: "found you through one pretty thing. darling embroidery patterns! Easter will be here too soon!!)
{suesueb wins the red-y-orange Anna Maria Horner FQ bundle}

mushyhed (who said: Love, love, lor new embroidery patterns!)
{mushyhed wins the greenish-blue Amy Butler FQ bundle}

YAY!!! Darlin' winners, if you please, send me your addies and I'll get these squishies (though, perhaps a bit stiffer than the average squishy) off to you tout de suite! :)

In just a bit, I'll see if I can't give you a teaser of what your "squishies" will look like! ;)

{next up .... spring embroidery patterns}

{gotta brag}

Well, I have to take my car to the shop today ... something I hate more than almost anything. And something that I will often procrastinate doing to the point where my poor car's being held together with duct tape and a prayer.

I hate sitting there, waiting while it's fixed (since it's *rarely* one of those "leave it for a couple of days" type of repair). I mean, while mechanics can be the nicest people, they're not too cool about letting you hook up your sewing machine in the middle of their waiting room. Believe me, I know.

Sew ... to keep my hyper brain amused, I went to the bookstore yesterday, intending to only get a few mags to keep me occupied. I got the usual round of suspects (McCall's Quilting, Creative Home, etc) and then, I wandered over to the real-live book section. Not really thinking I'd find anything that A) I don't already have or B) really "spoke" to me. But lo and behold, I found three awesome books that while they don't do me much good whilst I wait today (that's what the maggies are for), they *will* provide more than enough inspiration and guidance that they're well worth the $!!

The first (and my most fave) is "Craft Challenge: Dozens of Ways to Repurpose a Pillowcase" by Suzanne J.E. Tourtillott. OMGosh, is it full of clever ideas and sweet projects! I just can't stop flipping through this book -- and I'm not even going to start describing how badly I'm jonesing for a trip to my local Thrift Store to search for some vintage-y pillowcases.

(I ought to mention here that I tend to be really ... jaded? about patterns. I don't mean that I look down on patterns that don't fit my taste, but I'm less apt to buy one if it's been done a gazillion times by a gajillion different companies. I like uniqueness. I like cleverness. I like -- you guessed it -- creativity! Like the music I listen to, the pattern or project has to ... speak to me. It has to *mean* something to me. It has to provide, at least, a jumping off point for my own creative inclinations.

That's actually one of my pet peeves about maggies. Most of the time, it's just a reworked pattern that's been around for ages. And most of the time, it's not even *really* been reworked, it's just been made in a different color fabric. If I had a nickel for everytime that a new book came out that just recycled the same-old-same-old ideas just with different fabrics, I'd own my own fabric shop (of which you guys would be heartily invited to come and grab)!)

*sigh* rant over.

But that's why I just *LOVE* this book. Some are kinda recycled ideas, but most (I'd say about 90%) are NOT. They're fresh, clever, and sweet. Love, love, love, LOVE this book!

The second book that I just *had* to have is "The Embroidery Stitch Bible" by Betty Barnden. Yeesh. I *thought* I knew how to embroider. I *thought* I knew the coolest stitches. Well, thanks-a-pant-load-Ms-Barnden, but now I know I don't! o_O

Over 200 stitches. And it's easy to understand. Easy to follow. Well, we'
ll put Ms-Smarty-Britches to the test this weekend. I'm going to embroider a wee something using the hardest stitches she has. Then we'll see. ;)

(The above was meant tongue-in-cheek, btw -- I have NO doubt that her book will enable me to make the most beautiful stitches ev-ah!)

The third book is a follow-up to another book I already own: "More Machine Embroidery Essentials" by Jeanine Twigg. Since I just got my first ever embroidery machine, I'm scared to death to use it. Her previous book, "Machine Embroidery Essentials" has made it easier to get over the fear that if I touch one wee button, it'll fall apart. But, I need more help (obviously).

Okay, they're ALL super awesome books. And I am loving them (ain't it obvious?!). But I think ... I'm going to pick up another copy of the "Craft Challenge" and have a give-away for it. Some things are really just too durn good not to share.

But if the maggies start paying me those nickels for the "same-old-same-old" patterns, I can afford to get you ALL a copy. Then we'd all be pillowcase-hoarding fools. And very happy. ;)

{updates x2}

{excuses, excuse, excuses ...}

As ya'll remember, I had a give-away going here. Two FQ bundles of Anna Marie Horner's "Good Folks" and Amy Butler's "Daisy Chain."

Well, I got majorly distracted over the weekend, starting Saturday. Hubby went to the local nursery we love and bought some sea-grapes (didn't even know you could buy them), a funky plant called a "Troubichina" (which has the coolest leaves -- huge with a felt-like texture -- they'll also have ginormous purple flowers, too!), and bought me some tulip plants ('cause he *knows* I loves the tulips!). Along with the new "babies" he bought 14 bags of soil and 8 bags of mulch. Great, right? I congratted him on his awesome purchases and ducked back into my studio. We've been together long enough to know that if he can *see* you, he can put you to work.

Twenty minutes later, 3 things happen.

  1. My pre-teen son comes into my studio, taps me on the shoulder and says quietly "Um ... I'm going to go help Dad in the yard." What?! My son was happily playing video games in the living room (he's been around long enough to know the whole "see you, put you to work" thing, too). My son is about as into yard work as he is into voluntary amputation. Already, I know this is Not Good.
  2. I hear cursing in the yard (my studio window faces our backyard and pool - awesome for inspiration, terrible for guilt when DH is doing yard work) and "chop-chip-chop" sounds.
  3. I drag my eyes off the compie screen (and pull the earbuds out of my ears) to see my dear hubby chopping our azalea bushes as though they had slapped his momma. We had five in the backyard when I started my project. Within moments, we had 3 1/2 -- one was already *gone* and the other casualty was quickly following. I'm serious, you could almost see terror on the little azalea flowers' faces.

(Azalea's *were* hurt during the course of this story, but not only were they already w-a-a-a-y past the prime of their lives, I had **nothing** to do with their early demise. I can say, however, they are living a "second life" in the form of compost and will go on to help make beautiful flowers, trees, and veggies)

So ... of course, at this point, I go out to not only see if I can help, but to render first aid if necessary. Trust me, I was not only groaning as I walked outside, I was also mentally preparing excuses for why I could only "stay for a moment."

"A moment" became 10 HOURS. I kid you NOT. We dug up the Azaleas, planted the sea grapes in their place, spread "cottage garden" wildflowers seeds (pulling up the azaleas left LOTS to real estate to plant new stuff), and potted the Troubichina and tulips. And then, in the way we gals will often wrangle new drapes to go with new carpet or furniture, DH had me scrubbing the oogie grime off our concrete pool "skirt"/patio.

So, out of that 10 hours, I spent 2 scrubbing the patio to a lovely gleaming shine (I kid you not). But once I did that, I noticed how lonely and sad (and utterly UNattractive) our patio was. So I cleaned our patio furniture, put the potted plants next to the door (which is my studio door, too, so I *did* have a vested interest in how it looks), pulled a potting table (for lack of a better word) of the poolhouse and gave the patio a makeover. So far, I've been getting compliments - though I don't think that my imaginary friends count for *that* much, do they?

Sunday: I'm sure there's *OODLES* of women out there who can commisserate, my MIL came for dinner. At least, I *think* it was dinner. Felt more like Hell but with stories about her childhood. I think I was more worn out once she left than I was after scrubbing our patio on my hands and knees for two hours. I dunno.

Monday: I napped. 'Nuff said.

Tuesday: Laundry, dishes, entertaining dear daughter's friends, made dinner, cleaned out the fridge, cleaned our *&^%$# hardwood floors, did the big shopping trip ... had to make up for Monday, yannow.

Today: Took car into shop (makes a *really* embarrassing grind-y rattl-y noise) so our awesome mechanic could order me a new catalytic converter.

All the spaces in between: I can't STAND nekkid fabric squishies. I'm not criticizing others who're fine with them ... I just can't stand it myself. So, everytime I did an errand, I'd take a pit stop to look for small goodies to add in the give-away squishies. Vintage buttons, new buttons, bookmarks, notepads ... greens/blues for the Amy Butler fabs, and pinks/reds for the Anna Marie fabs.

I'm going for the big, fun kinda giveaway. Where for each give-away (and I do have more coming up), the excitement isn't just for the fabs you'll get, but the little add-ons, too. Just ... kitschy fun stuff. Silly stuff. Just so maybe you'll take a sec and remember that the biggest inspiration for creativity is FUN. Not deadlines (took me YEARS to understand that), but pure, silly, goofy, dorky, FUN.

And I know I had dorky, silly, goofy fun picking out the add-ons! So I've got THAT! :)

Okay, I'm going to go officially close the comments section for that post and then I'm going to print out all the names so my dear daughter can draw the names. I'll take pix-ies, too, so ya'll can actually see my dear sweet daughter's face! ;)

{button bling-bling}

Two teenage girls + a stash o' buttons + rainy-oogie day = button bling! :)

Call me sentimental and silly, but things like these (especially my girlie and my "adopted" girlie being all crafty) make me really happy. Dark-cloudy-soggy weather or sunny-bright skies. This is happiness! And I can't even put into words how much I love, love, love how the orange button matches Melissa's fingernail polish! :)

My girlie (Mara) is the hand on the left, and Melissa (my "adopted" girlie) is the hand on the right and the tootsies in the bottom pic. Whatta introduction, huh?!

{and btw, you can see how dark 'n' cloudy it is by how oogie the pix-ies came out ... did I mention that my studio is the *brightest* room in the house?!}

Okay, back to sewy-crafty things of my own! :)

{Easter embroidery}

To go along with the placecards (mainly because my sweet daughter insisted -- she and her BFF *love* the birdies! Aren't I lucky?!), I've created these embroidery patterns for them. One's a boy chick (*giggle*) and one's a girlie chick (you can see her right up there). Both have places to put a cute little message (like "I luv you" or "Who are you again?"). And both are turning out to be oodles of fun to embroider.

{you can click on the girlie birdie up there to quickie download the patterns!}

Speaking of which, I'm still going to try my hardest to take some pix-ies today. The weather is just {not} cooperating. Still rainy. Still thundery and lighteningy. Even if I couldn't tell by looking out the window (my studio has the most windows in the whole house), I could tell by the fact that Buddy-the-Wonderdog is huddling against my legs. Lord help the poor pooch if I have to get up for a potty emergency. I'm sure he'd end up with me as a hood ornament!


... is still going strong, so please, take a sec and leave a comment if you'd like to win some yumm-O fabs. Anna Marie Horner's Good Folks and Amy Butler's Daisy Chain FQs are up for grabs. Only "string" is that you have to leave a comment here.

I'm honestly {hoping} for at least 20 comments on my {give-away} post. I may even end up dragging it out (hoping not, though) until I {do} get at least 20. Just doesn't seem like much of a contest/give-away if I don't have more contestants. :(

Have a few more freebies to roll out ... keep an eye out if you're interested! :)

{sewy-crafty hugs!}

{Easter placecards}

I don't know about ya'll, but I {love} celebrating holidays! I love getting out the "fancy china" and the pretty serving bowls (but I hate washing'em all!), the nice cloth napkins ... just doing everything I can to set a nice table and enjoying my friends and family!

Sew, because this year {especially} we'll be having a houseful of friends and family members, I'll be making things easier on {me} by using placecards (usually it's a free-for-all!). And I'm sharing them with you, too - in case you'd like to use them.

Because I've got the fancy programs that'll do it, I've not only made a version that you can print out and fill in (with your loverly handwriting, of course), I've also made a version that you can fill out just using plain ol' Adobe Acrobat. All you have to do is open the file in Acrobat, plunk your cursor down under the words "this seat is for" and type your loved ones' names in! Since most of us do get a bit overwhelmed during holidays, I've done my best to make it as easy-peasy as possible!

{coming up tomorrow}

I'll be uploading the fruits of my sweet daughter's and mine "crafty day" - we've been working towards this for *weeks*! Between schoolwork, deadlines, friends, plans and such, it's a *long,* time coming!

At least one of the projects will include some sweet applique using the chickie from the placecards. I really felt inspired and ... and well, sweet ... when I drew her. She makes me happy - and I hope the projects I upload tomorrow (and through the week) will make you happy, too! :)

Hope to see tomorrow (er ... today really, I guess!)!

{sewy-crafty hugs!}


To "celebrate" my comeback to the bloggy world, I'm giving away two FQ bundles (just ordered from two of my fave Etsy shops)! Yay!

The bundle on top is 3 fat quarters from the Amy Butler "Daisy Chain" collection (yum!). The bundle on the bottom is 4 fat quarters from the Anna Marie Horner "Good Folks" collection (dah-rool!).

For a chance to win, just leave a comment here between now and Friday, April 3rd. It doesn't have to be a l-o-o-n-g comment - just a "hey-hawdya-do" will be fine! I'll announce both winners Saturday morning, bright and early. And then, just a few days later, you'll have these luscious fabs in your hot, little hands!

Here's hoping that you'll take a sec and say "hi!" :)

{creative constipation}

That's what my dad always called it. That's what you suffer from when you have a whole bunch of ideas, the tools you need to make them come to fruition ... but don't have the oomph to get the project started. Or if you're just totally distracted. Like I am right now.

Everything's perfect. Hubby took the kids (and few of our neighbor kids) to the local Air Show (@ Tyndall Air Force Base). The house is quiet. Buddy-the-Wonderdog is sleeping in his bed next to my desk (or faking it), basking in the sunshine peeping through the windows. The laundry is sorta done. The sink is empty. Everything's *perfect.*

But I sit here amongst 20 boxes worth of luscious fabric and trims (what I've managed to unpack - still have at least 15 large boxes of *more* sitting in the garage, calling my name) - and all I can focus on are the missing members of my craft supply family. Where is that gorgeous spotty-dotty fabric I bought a month before the Big Move? What box is my poor, lonely, bin 'o jumbo rick-rack sitting in?

{the pic you see is just the fabrics I'm playing with for a project in mind - keep an eye out for that, please! - the trim is just my quickie-grabbag - I've got *oodles* more in another bin}

Anyone else ever suffer from {creative constipation}? Ever have the planets in perfect alignment but just can't get started?

Just curious.

{my new babies}

Since I did all the legwork in buying our new (er ... new to *us*) home, as a reward, I got a new (again, new to *me*) embroidery machine -- a Janome Memory Craft 9000!

I've *always* wanted one, but never felt that I either deserved it or had earned it. Finally, after only about a gajillion years of sewing (and *loving* it!) have I come to the conclusion that an embroidery machine is a worthwhile acquisition -- and this whole "sewing thing" (as my family puts it) isn't just a fad.

One of the things that *really* excites me about my new embroidery machine is the fact that I have *always* wanted to design my own embroidery motifs. I figure, if I'm going to take the time to pick out a pattern, modify it, tweak the fit, sew it up in a lovely fabric (AKA, truly make it *mine*), then why in the world would I want to *have* to use someone else's embroidery design?!

Sew, I've already got the software I need to be able to digitize my own designs. I know that's not the end all, be all, to creating my own embroidery designs - so I'm doing my best to learn, trial and error-style, what makes a great design. Once I learn that, I'll start sharing my designs (if you're interested!). :)

Also joining the "creative" family is my new Brother 1034D serger. This baby is, actually new. A luxury that I would have normally have gone without, but again, after a gajillion years of sewing, I think this is one purchase that'll "pay for itself" over time.

I already have lovely visions of neatly serged seams on knits (I *love* knits, but hate finishing the seams with a regular sewing machine) and quickie finishes on napkins and such.

*contented sigh*

Both of my new babies are beautiful -- and only after a few weeks, I'm already hooked!

*btw, both images were snagged off the 'net. The Janome pic is from epinions.com & the Brother pic is from the Brother website. Tomorrow, when the light's (hopefully) decent, I'll take some pix-ies of my own! For now ... I'm just too durn excited to wait!*

{new blog} and some updates

Since there's a million in one chance that you'll happen across my blog and wonder what the heck I'm talking about - much less might have known me in my previous incarnation as "And Sew On" - I'll give a quickie rundown.

Some time ago, I had a blog called
"And Sew On." For a while there, I had oodles of freebies, plans for an eZine dedicated to crafty-sewy goodness (with a healthy emphasis on quilting) and an email list of over 400 sewy-crafty-quilty friends who wanted in on the 'Zine-O-rama. Then, one day in January there-abouts, I disappeared (to those who emailed me, thank you! your emails helped me get through a really rough time!).

Since an explanation is in order, here's what's been going on since January '08:
  1. had a "mild" stroke (more details on that later, if anyone's interested).
  2. laptop with the eZine DIED and died HARD (still recreating everything -- still have every intention of DOING the 'Zine!)
  3. bought a NEW laptop (with two redundant hard drives -- one internal, one external)
  4. did LOTS of drawing and doodling whilst recuperating ... and whilst watching my new lappie chug as it backs up EVERY file to an external drive.
  5. bought a HOUSE!! Yay!!
  6. started working on designing my first dedicated sewing room/design studio (Yay!! 200 sq feet! all MINE!!)
  7. redesigned my blog! Yay!
  8. wrote this post! ;)
Sew, for whatever it's worth, I'm back. And barring any other horrible incident or illness, I'm back for good. And I'm busy designing (ask my hubby) and crafting. I'll have some goodies to share with you soon, I promise.

I really hope you'll stop in and see what I'm up to!