Tuesday, December 29, 2009

bring it, 2010

the new year is right around the corner, and i'm excited to get it rolling!  i have so many plans!  we are having houseguests for new year's, so i've had to tidy my sewing/guest room.  it will be wonderful to start the new year with a clean slate.  on my newly uncluttered cutting table are the first three projects for the new year.  emma's quilt top, a few baby bibs, and a new project which i will unveil on january 3rd.  there'll be a giveaway as well, so be sure to come back then!

















for today, though, i am in the sauce making business. hot fudge sauce is on the agenda. and last night, i made  marshmallow sauce for the first time.  it tastes pretty yummy, but i'm thinking i didn't do something right.  it's not white, more of a caramel color.   i'm learning, right?  candy making has always scared me, what with the boiling hot sugar syrups and maintaining the right temps.  but after my success with the fudge, i'm excited to try some more recipes! we have aj's birthday party next week, and that's the perfect time for brownie sundaes.


remember i told you about the new sewing shop downtown?  i talked to her about getting a booth - only to find that i'm #19 on the waiting list!  she did share good news, the scrapbook shop in town is moving in with her, which i think will be awesome.  they also are having knitting group meetings, which sounds fun.  my bunco group may skip rolling dice for a month and take a class instead!  i'm so excited - i've always wanted a craft community to belong to and it's looking like i may get my wish!



















oh, and my sister in law, amy, the one who's been talking about sewing?  she's been keeping secrets.  she knows how to sew!  for christmas, she made all the nieces matching hair kerchiefs!  they are so cute.   they are a triangle with a tube sewed along the long end, and a headband slipped inside.  so simple, wish i'd thought of it! 



















here's what i made for all the girls.  barbie mermaid tails!  one of the projects from sewmamasew's scrapbuster month.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

another gift done!

i'm writing this while i have a moment, and hoping i don't spoil anything! i don't want my sis-in-law getting any sneak peeks before tonight!

we draw names at christmas, and i got amy.  she is a new stay at home momma of an almost four year old and a just turned one year old.  she is really enjoying being home, and is even making noises about SEWING!  can you tell i am excited to drag someone else into my addiction?  for christmas, she had asked for one of my notebooks.  the thing about amy is she's super easy to please.  she'd probably be happy with anything i gave her, so that makes it even harder for me to choose fabrics.  here's what i finally came up with: 



















the turquoise fabric is from art gallery's girly girl line that i won awhile back, from liberty originals, and it's called bubblegum lollipops.  i paired it with linen and a small pink piece i had left from emma's quilt top.  i think i found it at hobby lobby.  the button came from joann's, i think.















i've made a few adjustments on the last couple notebooks.  i'm lining with flannel instead of batting, and i've tried to choose simpler fabric layouts to eliminate more bulk.  they are less wonky, if a bit light and floppy.  i may try some fleece lining next.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

wreath #1



















i saw a wreath like this on whipup's wreath round up.  i've had three styrofoam wreaths sitting in my bedroom all month while i debated how i wanted to decorate them.  i was planning to make a yoyo wreath.  then i started wrapping them with fabric scraps, from the scrap bag i won at sewmamasew.  but when i saw a yarn one, i went to my stash and grabbed this thrifted jiffy yarn.  a snowy wreath was born.  this one's hanging on our bedroom door.

more notebooks!




































the top is from vintage fabric and linen with some decorative topstitching. the bottom is made from an orphaned block i found while attempting to clean my sewing/guest room.  they may end up in my etsy, along with a couple more i'm working on today.

santa, i've been busy


























busy eating chocolate fudge, that is!  the peanut butter is good too, but was made second, when i was already sick to my tummy from eating so much sweets!  i didn't eat ALL of that though, a plate went with troy to work.  those are the cute martha stewart boxes i told you about.  let's see, what else.  the hot sauce and pickled green beans are from jam it, pickle it, cure it, love that book!

it's looking like i may not get a few things finished in time - namely, making infused vodkas for gifts.  it takes about two weeks, and i kept forgetting to go booze shopping.  i will be back soon with some more things to show you though!  and look for a giveaway soon :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

and i needed an excuse to drink more wine!

losing that day to being sick has really set me behind!  i just went to view this weeks so you think you're crafty only to find the polls closed!  which is ok - i was having a hard time choosing my favorite.  i know i will be making some wine cork stamps for sure - what a cool idea!  and ditto on the flannel scarf.  and i'm hoping that the mitten gift tags will be available in blogland, those would be great for our gifts. 

yes, i am only now starting to wrap.  with a kitten intent on climbing our tree, and a 2 year old undecorating it daily, i assumed that gifts would get unveiled before the big show next week!



















(he spends most of his time there)

i decided to borrow a theme from their preschool class.  they have been bringing gifts for baby jesus, wrapped and placed under their classroom tree.  the gifts will all be donated to lifecare in ottawa, which offers free stuff to people in need.  (diapers, wipes, gently used baby items)  our kids gave up one of their baby blankets too (they each had four or five, and sadly, this was the only one not stained!) 

anyways.  i wrapped a couple of gifts for my husband, boring things like shirts and pjs, and placed them under the tree.  when they noticed them, i said that santa would come exchange them on christmas night!  i'm hoping this will keep them from tearing into them, and so far it seems to be working.  of course, it means i can't wrap any of their gifts yet, but at least i can enjoy a few packages under our tree.

teacher gifts done!

hi again!  it's been another whirlwind week.  it wouldn't have been, but we had an unexpected flu bug hit our house wednesday afternoon.  every three hours, another one bit the dust, starting with me, leaving my husband in an ugly cycle of clean up and comfort.  luckily it was short lived.  i love him so much - he's such a great man!  side note - he's watching ice age 3 with me and our three kids, and three of their girl cousins (ages 6, 4, and 3).  on a friday night.  how many men would do that?!  like i said, he's a great man.













in more exciting news, i finished four quilted notebooks for teacher gifts!  i had planned to make these for last years gifts -  that tells you how slowly i accomplish my to-do lists!  i picked up fabrics here and there, the handwriting on ebay and the apples out thrifting.  i love making the patchwork insides, but i do think i need to rethink this design.



















(my favorite one!)

it becomes a little bulky, especially during the topstitching.  maybe a different machine would deal with this better, or maybe i'm trying to cram too much fabric into one little project!  anyone have any tips for me?  my biggest problem is closing up the turning hole without the lining fabric stretching.  it never wants to match up nicely.  i tried starching it without much difference.  of course, high quality quilting fabrics would be ideal, but some of it is cheapy fabrics. 


















(actually, i think this one is my favorite.)

this is the quilted list taker pattern from jcasa.  i love it, and have more to make for christmas gifts.  i better get cracking, only a few days left to finish up!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

busy...

whew.  i finally have a minute to sit and get caught up!















friday i baked about a hundred cookies.  i spent the whole day in the kitchen.  it was so fun!  i made lemon gems, coconut chocolate chip, chocolate truffles, and cracked sugar cookies.  i wrapped up boxes to take to some of our neighbors.  i bought these cookie box kits from martha stewart (last year on clearance)- they are so cute!  everything is precut and ready to go.  they look very fancy when they are all finished.  i may have changed my mind about my teacher gifts!  these look too good!















the cookie exchange was saturday, and a lot of fun.  my mom and daughter came with me, and then we headed out to iowa for the nutcracker ballet.  it was a nice trip, but a little exhausting.  sunday we met my husband and sons in kansas city for a family dinner with his dad's side.  last night was our daughter's preschool program, which was cute.  she sang her heart out, and we could hear her over everyone else.  she may get that from me.

i also got the good news last night that i won a copy of quilting for peace from sewmamasew!  so excited to get my copy.  it sounds like a wonderful book.  we're home from preschool now, so i am anxiously awaiting nap time/sewing time!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

whittling away...

ok, here's some more things i can cross off my list!
sent off my quilt top and my scarf.
sent off my giveaway prizes!
i have two of the three fringey fleece scarves finished, just one more to go!
almost all my gifts are wrapped - but i can't put them under the tree :(
my cards are almost all done too - just waiting on a few addresses.

still to be done:
6 dozen cookies for saturday morning - thinking about lemon gems
cookie trays for neighbors
teacher gifts - i have all the fabric cut for the teacher notebooks, but only one finished.  three to go!

here's a photo of one of our treasured christmas traditions.  for our wedding, my husband's aunt (and godmother) made us a nativity set.  made as in cast the ceramic and hand painted them.  amazing, isn't it?


















funny story, when we were given the box to unwrap at our shower, i could tell it must be something special because of the way she was watching.  so the first thing i unwrapped was the black king.  and i was holding a rather large box.  and i thought, hmmm.  a black figurine. what in the world is in this box!














so i sat there smiling, trying to figure out what to say, when someone finally explained to me what it was!  it was one of those awkward moments, and i know she felt a little disappointed by my reaction.  but it truly is one of my favorite parts of the season!  isn't it incredible?



















and on to another fave tradition - wallyworld for free pictures with santa!  they always have the same guy as santa too, which makes it even better for the scrapbook.  a little more believable, you know?  have a great weekend, i've got to run get started on those cookies!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

feeling scatterbrained...

well,  i had the chance to run into the new sewing shop in downtown ottawa, ks.  it's called aunt jenny's stitch-n-stuff.  gorgeous ceilings!  those old elaborate pressed tin designs.  it's not quite what i was expecting.  it has flea market type booths along the wall, but she does sell fabric by the yard, and plans to have classes soon!  maybe i can convert a few of my friend's into sewing junkies like myself!

anyways, here's the steal of the day...  she has a whole bolt of heather ross' frog pond by west hill in mustard - for $4.99 a yard!!!  can you believe it?  i didn't see anything else like that, but i bought some and can't wait to dig into it!  anyone want me to pick up some more?  i also feel a bit guilty - shouldn't i tell her it's worth more than that?  

well, i think, to make up for ending my giveaway a day early on accident, that i will draw another name from my comments.  they will receive a fat quarter of frog pond, because i feel really dumb for not reading it through carefully.  to be honest, half the time i am online i am also cooking a meal or spelling words for emma, you know, not giving it my full attention.  i don't even know if i have that ability anymore!  so, without further ado...

#61 would be simplehappyhome .  thanks again to everyone who stopped by!
 

Saturday, December 5, 2009

drum roll, please...

good morning!  thanks to everyone who stopped by and put their name in the hat!  it's been fun seeing what everyone is reading.  i myself am reading two cookbooks from the library, predator by patricia cornwell, and listening to freakanomics in the car.  and yes, sewing books totally count!

that brings us to our winner...













#19 is lauranie!  i almost feel guilty that her number came up - she's a loyal reader and blog friend and i'm so happy that she won!  it made me feel good to see people in the comments who've i met through the past couple of years, through swaps, giveaways, and etsy.  as a small town stay at home momma, sometimes you people are my link to the outside world!  have a great day, everyone!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

giveaway day!











it's that time again! sewmamasew's giveaway day! i decided to give away one of my quilted notebooks. this one is made of a variety of fabrics, including some polka dot linen and a garden print.  the inside has a bit of patchwork going on too! it holds a 5x7 notebook, and I use mine to keep track of my grocery list and coupons. close it up with the shiny black button. i am making these for teacher gifts this year.  i hope you like it!



















to enter, just leave me a comment.  that's it.  i would love to know what book you're reading, or what your favorite teacher gift is, but any comment will do!  please make sure i have a way to contact you if you win.  i will leave the giveaway open until saturday morning, and then i will randomly generate a number. 















thanks for coming by to see me!   now, off to try to win some prizes myself...

does santa need some help this year?


Holiday Gift
Guide

get yourself over to coolmompicks for their holiday gift guide!  lots of stuff i hadn't seen yet, including great low dollar gift ideas!  a customized coloring book?  love it!

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