I've been busy this week, so very busy. It feels like walking on a treadmill busy though, lots of moving but not really going anywhere. Oh, I guess I have got quite a bit accomplished if I take inventory, but not enough yet that I see the end in sight. I did finally finish up a couple of orders for some very patient customers. That takes a bit of a load off my shoulders. I hate it when folks have to wait longer than promised. My spacious sewing room and generous work table seem to shrink when I've got several projects going. While in the midst of my flurrying about I surveyed the mess and my steadily shrinking work space and I wondered if other this happens to other people. You know the ones, the organized and tidy people. Do they paint themselves into a corner with fabric and scissors? Later that day I read this post and had to laugh. Yes, it seems others do run out of room to work. At least it is evidence of productivity, or a crime scene depending on how you look at it.
One of the orders I've been working on included diaper bag. I wanted to make a bag that included some patchwork and also had pockets on the sides to hold sippy cups or bottles. Using this bag as my inspiration this is what I came up with. I like it,
but as it turns out it wasn't what the lady who ordered it had in mind so if anyone would like a quilted diaper bag with a patchwork pocket it's available in my Etsy shop.
The red and blue printed fabrics are really cute, they are reproduction feed sack prints from Hancock Fabrics. I really like the tape measure fabric but Alyssa and Kelli both say they don't. My one vote beats their two because I'm the one driving the sewing machine.
Enough chit-chat, let's show some gratitude already.
As this week comes to an end I am glad to have marked some items off my list that have been hanging around much too long.
I am also grateful for a home that is heated. Baby it's cold outside!
I'm grateful for Mitch's work ethic. That's one hard working man.
I'm grateful for Casey's blue eyes and Alyssa's beautiful smile.
Thank you so much for the birthday wishes for Casey. I feel like a bit of a fraud reading all your kind words about what a good mother I am. The truth is, I fall way short when it comes to being Casey's mom. I have so much to learn about communicating with teenagers and I'm running out of time. Casey is 17 now and Alyssa's 19. I can only hope I don't mess them up too much before they are on there own. Oh well, that's what therapy's for. Right?
My boy child. How can it be that you are seventeen? That means in one more year I will be the mom of two adult children. Makes me sound old, huh?
As you make a wish and blow out your candles I am also making wishes. Wishes for you. I wish that you knew just how much I really do love you. I think that one will take several years and maybe a child of your own. I wish you would love yourself more. I wish that you would realize that this time in your life is so brief, spend more time being happy and enjoying your youth.
There are so many gifts I want to give you. I wish I could wrap up confidence and give it to you with a big bow on top, if only it were that easy. You are such a smart guy. Your ingenuity has always amazed me. You are passionate about things that interest you and you soak up information like a sponge. (too bad you aren't all that interested in math) If only I could package knowing your own value, I would wait in line, in the cold, and pay any price to be able to give that gift to you today. Maybe then you would realize what a special young man you are and see how much you have to offer. I wish I could take away all the troubles that come as part of being a teenager, not yet a man and no longer a little boy. But these troubles are your lessons and they will bring wisdom. They will add to your character and make you stronger. Seventeen, such a tough age, but it can also be a wonderfully fun age. Make the most of this year. The only year you will ever be seventeen. Be happy.
Happy Birthday my big boy, I love you.
My contribution to Quilts for the Kim's. This block will be part of Penelope's quilt. As is typical for me, I fretted and worried and thought about and planned the block much longer than I actually worked on it. I wish I were more skilled at embroidery (see the funny little musical notes). Otherwise I am happy with the outcome. Thanks so much for organizing this wonderful project Shanna and Patricia and thank you for letting me participate. Now I'm so excited to see the finished quilts.
so it would seem. The current meme making rounds is six weird things about me. Bonnie tagged me with this one a while back. I didn't forget Bonnie, I just didn't think there could possibly be six weird things about me and I'm still not so sure. I mean, others may find lots of weird things but since it's about me, it feels normal to me. I'll give it a go.
1. Well this one is easy. Even I admit it's weird. My toes. My second and third toe on each foot are partially webbed. They grow together about 3/4 the way up. I bet you're getting a nice image huh? No I'm not posting a picture.
2. I lift my feet when driving/ riding over railroad tracks. I don't really have a reason, I just do it.
3. I absolutely cannot stand mouth noises (food smacking, gum popping etc...). It's worse than fingernails on a chalk board. I have to leave the room if Mitch is flossing.
4. I sometimes will get a spoonful of peanut butter, dip it in a cup of tea (hot tea) and eat it. On the topic of peanut butter, I put both peanut butter and mayonnaise on banana sandwiches.
5. I have some odd substitutions for curse words I guess. I'm not sure where they come from and I'd probably think it was ridiculous if someone else said "doodie head." (someone over 7 years old that is). That's not saying I never curse, I have teenagers.
6. I talk for my animals. I know what they are thinking and would say if they could so I help them out.
There you have it, just a few of my little quirks. This has been a fun meme to see making the rounds.
For this gratitude Friday, I'd like to hear what you are grateful for. My friend Karen emails me every week to share her list, share a few of yours too. Me, this week I'm grateful to be feeling good.
Don't be fooled by all that crazy food talk, I'm not giving up sewing for more time in the kitchen. I was back in the saddle full swing today. I've got lots of catching up to do so me and my sewing machine are going to be one for the rest of the week.
Brandon has been waiting so patiently for this. I made a back-pack purse for his mom and he wanted his own book bag. He requested a Teletubby bag but mom thought something neutral might be better (in case next month he decides Teletubbies aren't his favorite anymore). I hope I was able to please them both.
I think I've mentioned here before that I don't enjoy cooking. It's kind of funny because I've also mentioned that I come from a family of creative women who love to sew. As accomplished as those women were/are in sewing they are equally talented in the kitchen. My granny loved to cook and everything she made was delicious.
For as long as I can remember, we've had Sunday lunch at my aunt Mary's house. Every Sunday she prepares a HUGE meal, enough to feed 20 people, no matter that there may only be 5 or 6 at the dinner table. She loves to cook.
Somehow that love of cooking had not been passed on to me, or so I thought. Oh, I may be getting ahead of myself. I don't think I'm ready to call what I'm feeling love, but I have had a different feeling about cooking lately. I've not dreaded it so much. I've come to realize that what I dislike is not the cooking itself, it's the thankless job of cooking. The chore of it all. For years I've been responsible for cooking, cleaning, and putting away. (don't feel too sorry for me, I don't do it every night) Between the kid's school, work and extracurricular activities schedules and Mitch's crazy work hours I've never had a helper in the kitchen. I don't enjoy eating enough to make it worth all the work involved in meal preparation and the subsequent clean up. I'm happy to eat a peanut butter sandwich or a bowl of soup (from a can), but then there are those other folks who live with me.
Alyssa's school schedule allowing her to be home in the evenings coupled with her being a wonderful help while I was sick resulted in me having a partner in the kitchen. Together we have discussed what we'll have for dinner. We've worked together preparing the meal and also worked together cleaning up. I think there may have even been a time or two when Casey pitched in a little on his nights off.
I know you're probably thinking, "why didn't I recruit helpers before now?" I guess it goes back to my it's easier to do it myself than listen to the griping mentality. I know I've not done anybody any favors but the kids have really had very few responsibilities around the house. With Alyssa school was the first priority, so she was never given many chores to be responsible for. With Casey, it's more an avoidance of the butting of heads that I know will ensue. Again I know that's not good parenting, not doing him any favors, I'm the first to admit that. Just add that to my list (long list) of parenting mistakes, but that's not what this post is supposed to be about. No, it's supposed to be a positive post about a new view on an old chore.
I'm happy to say that I've enjoyed preparing meals the past couple of weeks. Yes it's likely the time spent with my daughter and not so much the cooking I've enjoyed, whatever it is, I think everyone has benefited. I've been able to pass on a little motherly knowledge to my firstborn, my baby girl, and that makes me very happy, even if it does have to be in the kitchen.
Another thing that makes me happy is this soup. I'm a soup lover, especially a light, brothy soup, so when I saw this post I had to give it a try. A quick google search and I found a recipe. I made a couple of changes, I left out the watercress (didn't have any) and added noodles. I wanted rice noodles but again, didn't have any, so angel hair pasta it was. My new favorite comfort food. I'll be making a lot of this and I imagine when Alyssa has a family of her own, she will too.
I have a love/hate relationship with my kitchen cabinets. I love the fact that I have lots of cabinet space and as far as cabinets go, they are well built and made to last. The dark wood stain however, not loving these days. Another thing I don't love it the fact they seem to float. They don't go to the ceiling. That's ok, in fact I think that was my choice when we built the house, but they need some molding or something to soften the edges some, make them seem less boxy. I use this space to keep seldom used items like cake plates and platters that take up lots of room inside the cabinets. I've also mixed in a few decorative plates, a chicken and bunny or two, and my grandmothers Dresden candlesticks. This weekend I found a set of ball jar (canisters?). They look green in this picture but actually they're a beautiful blue~green. More blue than green.
Sometime while Christmas shopping I bought a strand of rope lights with the intention of putting it above the cabinets. Instead the lights ended up in a cabinet and forgotten about until I brought those jars home. Yesterday I climbed up on the counter to put my rope lights up. My intention was to drill a hole in the top of the cabinet, run a cord through the inside of the cabinet, drill another hole in the bottom for the cord to come through to plug into the outlet just below. Mitch got wind of my plan and suggested putting an outlet above the cabinet to avoid drilling holes. I said that's an excellent plan and in a rare event of devise a plan and follow through * we headed to Lowe's for the needed supplies. In less than an hour that hero husband of mine had me wired for lights. I'm adding this to my list of inexpensive but effective projects.
Oh, I wish I could snap my fingers and those cabinets become a lovely shade of creamy white....sigh....
*We've had under-cabinet lights for at least 3 years. They don't illuminate much in the box inside the cabinet.
Can it really be Friday already? I finished the freezer paper stenciled, walmart napkin pillow. What do you think? I'm pleased with it. I don't remember what the napkin cost. It came in a pack of two and was less than $5.00. I reused a throw pillow for the insert and had the ribbon and fabric paint in my stash. Easy and inexpensive, my favorite kind of project.
Several people asked for tips on freezer paper stenciling. Apparently I'm not the last to try it after all. There are several good tutorials out there. Craftster has one, the pictures aren't there anymore but the instructions are thorough. My friend LLA stenciled a cool shirt and shared what worked for her and what didn't. I also found a great site with lots of stencil designs. Fun, fun, fun!! (I'm so easily entertained)
What am I grateful for this week? So many things but today I'll focus on things that made me feel better while I was sick.
Here's to a weekend filled with lots of cutting and sewing and catching up. Have a good one!
I'd like to introduce you to Norm. Norm is quite the world traveler and we are fortunate enough to have him visiting with us for a few days. We expected him back in August, or was it September? He had an unexpectedly long trip from Scotland to Ohio so his arrival was delayed.
For a little background, Norm lives with a very nice lady named Peggy on a farm right here in NC. Back in January Peggy noticed that Norm needed a vacation and sent out a plea. She got lots of takers, happy to have Norm come spend time in their home. He left North Carolina back in February with his travel journal in tow. His adventure has taken him to Virginia, Kentucky, Texas, Missouri, Minnesota, Indiana, Australia, Scotland back to the states to Ohio and finally back to North Carolina. This is the last leg of his long and exciting journey. When he leaves here he will make the short trip back to the farm where I'm sure he'll have lots of stories to share.
Thankfully, I'm beginning to feel human again so maybe Norm will get to experience something besides lounging on the couch. Three weeks of being sick is way too long and I'm really itching to do something creative, something productive...anything other than lie on the couch and watch tv. I did a little low impact crafting yesterday, sort of wading back into the waters. I'm not exaggerating when I say I've done next to nothing for 3 weeks, well, unless you count a little cooking. You can bet the well is pretty dry here at Creative Little Daisy when cooking counts as an expression of creativity. I'm not saying that cooking and baking are not art forms, they are. Just not my preferred medium. That said, I did make some really yummy chicken soup last week.
Back to the low impact crafting. I finally tried freezer paper stenciling. Could I be any more behind the crafting band wagon? I've been watching from the sidelines for quite a while. What's held me back? The inability to draw, the inability to decide on a design, fear of cutting out the design.... you name it. Turns out my fears were legitimate. I cannot draw, that's a given so I found a photo I liked, a silhouette of a bird in a tree and printed it. (I can trace) Next obstacle, cutting. After ruining one tracing and coming close to ruining a second I decided to wait for help from Mitch. Once it was cut the rest was so easy. I am in love with freezer paper stenciling. This is going to be a pillow. It started life as a linen napkin, purchased at WalMart. It just needs an insert and some ribbon to thread through the cut out section. (Remember, I'm wading in slowly)
Last week I asked for tips on making fabric covered balls. You guys came through with lots of great suggestions. I gave it a go (see in the picture of Norm). They turned out ok but not quite what I pictured in my mind. This is a little more like what I had hoped mine would look like. Everything she makes is so lovely isn't it?
Boy it feels good to be limping back into the land of the living, I have lots of catching up to do. I better get off the computer and make the most of the energy I have. See you tomorrow. Have a wonderful Thursday.
It's delurking week by the way. Now would be a nice time to come out of the lurking shadows and say hello! I don't bite, I promise.