Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Handmade Christmas Quest

By far, this was the biggest undertaking in my handmade Christmas quest.  Perhaps a little background is in order...

My brother-in-law is a U.S. Naval Officer.  He is the son of a retired U.S. Air Force major.  Through these adventures, he has sailed the seven seas, been around the world, and lived in ten (count them - 10) U.S. states.  As I was making my handmade Christmas list, I knew I wanted to honor his service in some way.  But how?  (In my best Boris Karloff voice imitation.)

I ran across two WONDERFUL website resources.  Dawn's Quilting Clip Art has an entire page dedicated to U.S. state quilt blocks.  Yay!  Equally awesome is BellaOnline, which also has an entire page of state blocks.  As you go through each site, you will find that some states have more than one block.  I made a list of the many locales my BIL has lived, and started in making a coaster set.  (Easy to pack for the plane ride home.)

Here we have Arkansas and North Dakota.  Fairly simple.  No stress...right?

Then, there's Ohio and Oklahoma.  Again, not too hard.  As you might see, my Ohio star ended up a bit small.  What to do?  Border, anyone?

California and Indiana.  This is about the time I started to feel cocky.  Even though each little block was different, I was doing pretty darn good!  Cali got a little large, so it is trimmed to be the same size.  Indiana made me do a little dance.  You see, up to this point, I was merely going from clip art.  No measurements, no directions.  Just little ol' me.  Indiana took an entire afternoon, but I had plenty of time!  Christmas was still two weeks away!  Right???

North Carolina just about made me start drinking.  I knew it would be challenging.  The website gave paper piecing instructions.  I SHOULD have read them.  I had never paper pieced before, thought I could figure it out.  Well, the first block I threw away.  This is the second version.  Not bad for a first (or second) try.  Yes, the seams are slightly off.  Did I mention there are 64 (that's SIXTY-FOUR) teeny tiny little pieces in this 5-inch block???  Hence the drinking.  Kidding!  ;)

Virginia and Rhode Island were the next paper pieced blocks.  Not perfect, but got my groove going.

And then, (dramatic pause)

There was Utah.  (dramatic music)

Let me just say that I don't do curved seams.  I like angles.  They make sense to me.  This one laid in my sewing room for days and days.  Not circles...NOOOOOO!!!!

But, I did it.  An afternoon of tracing circles, parts of circles, trimming circles, and running in circles screaming in agony.  A little applique work, and TA-DA!  

TEN United States quilt block coasters.  All handmade.  By me.  And, perhaps the best part of all...all out of fabrics from my scrap box.  Yippee!  Santa has room to bring me more fabric!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Twelve Days of Gift-Mas

Oh my goodness!  Am I the only one out there still sewing Christmas gifts???

It is down the wire now, less than 5 days to go.  Here at The Little Shop, my sewing machine has been smoking!  My hands are decrepit from handwork.  But, we are in the home stretch.  

I have three more handmade gifts to share, wrap, and put under the tree.

The first is a tissue box cover for my son.  He looooooooves dinosaurs, and when I found this fabric buried in my stash, I knew I had to do something with it.  His room is done in bright primary colors, so I think this is perfect for him.  I found the pattern in an OLD book on my quilt shelf by Marti Michell titled A Quilter's Christmas.  Really easy and quick to put together.  I guess from the title of the book, I should have done this project in Christmas fabric.  Dino-Christmas?  Sure!

The next project is for my sister-in-law.  She travels a lot.  (A lot meaning more than me.  I don't go very far.)  She also loves jewelry.  So, put those two together and you get a traveling jewelry bag.  Another super easy, super quick project.  The pattern is from Legacy Patterns, and it's been sitting in my sewing room for several years waiting for me to do something with it.  Lovely!  Done!

This next one comes from my own little brain.  (That's why it is simple!  Ha!)  My niece has an American Girl doll.  Her doll's name is Emily, and she is a British character who comes to America in 1944 during the second World War.  Google to the rescue!  I looked up quilts from that time period and discovered a great deal of feedsacks still being used from the Depression era.  While the fabrics in this doll quilt are not actual reproduction fabrics, they remind of the same colors and cheerfulness.  Plus, I always look for an excuse to play with pink fabric!  I hope my niece and Emily enjoy this doll quilt.

I still have two gift projects up in my sewing room with a calendar that keeps tormenting me.  One project is almost finished, one is perplexing me.  I don't have time to be perplexed!

Till next time, Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gifts #3 and #4 -- DONE!

The countdown continues!  I am closer to my goal of making something handmade for every family member.  

This week was Dad's turn.  He is the family cook and really enjoys bold, traditional holiday colors.  So, what better than a pair of potholders!

First, we have the LeMoyne star.

I am pleased with the piecing of the star, but not so much my binding job.  (Mom says Dad won't even notice!)  I love the fabrics, all from my stash, all with snowflakes.  Hopefully, these can be used throughout the winter months.

Then, we have the Ohio star.  Fitting, since that's where we live.  I've also seen this block called the North star.
This one was supposed to be bigger, which is how it earned itself some borders.  :)  I  improved my binding on this one, by the way.  Live and learn.

So, off I go to wrap Dad's gift.  Next on my list, my sister-in-law and my son!  Stay tuned!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Countdown to Christmas - Ready, Set, GO!

If you follow me on Facebook, you already know that I have made an early New Year's resolution.  Allow me to quote myself:
"I will not wait until December to begin my Christmas sewing projects."
That's right.  I procrastinated. 
However, I am determined to complete my list of projects because I am just that stubborn!  I want to make something handmade for each family member, not only because it shows my love for each person.  But, it also helps out the family finances.  You see, I am using fabric from my stash, and have purchased almost nothing for these projects.  We're not talking king-sized quilts here.  Just small little things that I think are special.  To start with...
Project #1:  Log Cabin Kitty Pillow
Nothing too fancy, but I've had these kitty prints in my sewing room for several years just waiting to be put to good use.  My brother loves his cat, and I hope he likes this gift.

 Project #2:  Air Force Pillow
My father-in-law is a retired officer of the Air Force.  These were two perfectly square panels that I bought YEARS ago.  They just scream, "Make me a pillow!"  And so, I did.
I still need to sew up the final edges, but then they're done.  The only things I purchased were the pillow forms, but I had coupons for both of them.  Yay!
Countdown is on!  I have a little over two weeks to finish.  Will I make it?  Honestly, I'm not sure.  I will have to tune in again to find out!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Double Whammy

I'm still here!!!!

After finishing our "World Tour" with The Little Shop of Stitches visiting a number of craft shows around town, I had every intention of getting back into a routine.  I had a list of gifts I wanted to stitch for friends and family, new products to get uploaded to my etsy shop, and lovely topics to blog about.

Apparently, the Big Man Upstairs had other plans for me.

I spent ALL of last week laid up on the couch with a double upper respiratory infection.  Nasty!  Sinus infection and bronchitis all rolled up into one germy package.  Nothin' pretty about it.

Needless to say, I got ZERO things crossed off my to-do list.

I am just now feeling half-human again.  Now, where is that to-do list??

Thursday, November 24, 2011

So Thankful...

...For all of the people who have come in to my life.  For laughter, for learning, for friendship.

As an early gift from me to you, use coupon code 10PERCENTB to receive 10% off every single item in our etsy shop.  No exclusions.  No limits.  Period.  Offer good through Monday, November 28.

Also, watch for new items to be added soon -- great stocking stuffers and beginner kits.  Here's to a Happy Holiday season!  Much love from The Little Shop Of Stitches!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sittin' in a Barn, Drinkin' Wine

Yeah, you read that right.  ;)

Earlier this week, I took The Little Shop on the road to a neighboring town.  One of the local "Mom" groups was putting on a Holiday Showcase with proceeds to benefit underprivileged children.  An evening of shopping and socializing for a worthy cause -- how could I not go?
Here is our little home away from home.

I should explain that this was held at a very elegant venue, generally known for hosting weddings.  I believe it used to be a family homestead, but the hustle and bustle of "progress" just grew up all around it.  The main house is a 19th century farmhouse that has been beautifully restored, and the grounds are the envy of any gardener.  Click here to check it out.  Although, seriously, the pictures do not do it justice!
Mom and I set up in the barn, which was already decorated for Christmas.  Couldn't help but think that barn would make a darn cute quilt shop!  It had a lovely little loft, a kitchenette, and his and hers "facilities."  Nothing at all like Grandma's barn on the farm I used to visit!

The Moms group had advertised refreshments.  Much to our delight, those refreshments included wine!  And so we sat, talked, sipped, and laughed in a barn on a Tuesday night.  Not a bad way to spend an evening.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Making a List, Checking it Twice

I have always said that I am happier when I am busy than when I am bored. 

If that is true, I must be on cloud nine right now!  I have lists upon upon lists of things to do today, tomorrow, next week, and before all of the upcoming holidays.  I am a list-maker.  List follower?  Well...

The Little Shop is on its World Tour...meaning we are going to different craft shows in our area.  It's been a lot of fun putting together, and I really enjoy meeting new quilters.

I've also been asked by a few friends of mine to teach them to sew.  So, I'm trying to work on some simple, small projects that are easy to understand and easy for me to explain.  I think we're going to have a Girls' Night Ornament Workshop soon.  Should be fun!

I've also "met" a lot of fun people here in BlogLand.  One of my newest customers sent me a link to her favorite website,  I have been drooling over this cute little Santa Purse pattern.  Just need to put it on my to-do list.  

Now...where did I put that list???

Monday, November 7, 2011

On the Road Again

I have enjoyed getting my new adventure started.  The blog, the etsy shop, the Facebook page...all part of phase one for The Little Shop of Stitches.

I've missed people, though.  Cyberspace is great, and I've "met" a lot of really nice folks.  And, to be honest, I kinda like my alone time.  But, it was time to get out where the real humans live.

Our little shop went on the road over the weekend.  "On the road" might be pushing it just a bit.  It was just a half mile from my house!  

Anyway, we (Mom and I) set up shop at a local craft bazaar and had a ball!  Take a look!

It was a mini-dream-come-true for me.  This is the beginning of The Little Shop of Stitches.  We talked with people about quilts and patterns.

We met one lady who couldn't call herself a quilter, but would admit to being a Fabric Collector.  
One woman actually fessed up to being a Fabric-holic!  That's my favorite kind of Olic!
I was very tired and very proud by the end of the day.  And, we're going to do it again!  We've signed up to do three more shows within the next two weeks.  Here's to new friends and new beginnings!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Busy Little Elves

"Sorry I've been MIA lately."

I have read this statement numerous times this week, all from completely different people!  I'm not sure if it's the time of year when everyone gets so bogged down with their to-do list, or what exactly.  Several bloggers I read on a regular basis have been to Quilt Market and Quilt Festival in Houston.  (Jealous!)  Another blogger said she'd come down with a case of pneumonia.  (Yuck!)  And, now it comes from me to you.  I don't have a good excuse.  

But, I do have some fun things to show you!

I'm taking The Little Shop of Stitches on the road, displaying my wares at various craft shows here in my town.   So, I've been in "merchandising" mode, making sure everything looks its best.  I've spent hours and hours listening to Christmas music (puts me in the holiday mood, I don't care if it's too early) in my sewing room.  Not so much sewing, as assembling.  

First, I need a place to hold all the fabric cuts I'll be taking.  No room on the shelves, so I made a shelf...out of baskets.

 Cute, yes?  I found the baskets at a yard sale this summer for less than $2.  They are held together using those giant binder clips.  Add some fabric, and voila!

 Easy up, easy down, easy to transport.
Then, the real fun began.  Fun with fat quarters!  First, I rolled up two...

 They are held them together with a little clear packing tape.   Add some accessories, and we have Fat Quarter Lollipops!  No calories!

 Next, I found these cute little plastic heart boxes.  I put a fat quarter in each, wrapped a ribbon around, and added a "Thought for the Day." 

 There are others, but this one is my personal favorite.  Consider this my closing thought...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

So Funny! For Quilter's Husbands

Fons and Porter (love them!) just released the latest issue of their newsletter.  

In it is an article written by Patrick Cook entitled "Laments from a Quilter's Husband."  

Must read!  Hilarious!  Afterward, you may return to your regularly-scheduled quilting projects. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Preparing for Human Interface

That title might be a result of me watching a LOT of Big Bang Theory this week.  Love it!  

But, despite the geekoid terminology, it is true.  I am getting ready for my first outing into the real world outside of cyberspace.  I am taking The Little Shop Of Stitches on the road, doing two church craft bazaars in my town.  Yay!  

Both bazaars promote handmade craftiness as well as home-based businesses.  I found the most adorable clear plastic paint cans and knew I had to work them into my display.  Here is what I have so far...

Big gallon sized cans, which hold 4 yards (could have held more if I tried harder to stuff it)...

 Medium sized with half yard cuts...

And, itty bitty guys that hold two fat quarters!

My dad volunteered his "vintage" step ladder to use in the display, also.  Isn't it funny how "vintage" sounds so much fancier than "old?"

The overall theme for my booth is "Quilter's Workshop -- Building a Quilter's Christmas."  The first bazaar is in two weeks, and I have plenty more to do to get ready.  So, while not much sewing occurred today, there was a lot of fabric-play!

Did you know that today is exactly two months until Christmas???

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Promise of a Front Door

Last week, my first grade son was on Fall Break. 

No, that isn't a typo.  Our school system gives the kids (and the teachers) a breather after the first quarter is over.  As a former teacher, I thought this was a WONDERFUL idea.  I worked in another school district.  How envious I was of those educators who had a luxurious five days to let their gray matter settle. 

As a parent, however...

I'm kidding!  :)  I enjoyed spending extra time with the boy, and am so thankful that I am able to do so.  We made Halloween Rice Krispie shapes, visited a few church craft bazaars, bounced at the bouncy place, and went out for a Mother/Son "gourmet" lunch.  (That means Wendy's when you're six.)  The time actually flew by.  Not a great deal of sewing or Mommy work completed, but a good bonding week.

I did manage to finish the little embroidery project I've been working on.  Voila!

The design is just adorable from Chickadee Hollow Designs.  Love their stuff!  I'm thinking The Little Shop of Stitches needs to start carrying some of their products soon! 

I have fallen in love with hand stitching.  The day doesn't seem right unless I've stitched at least a few minutes.  It is relaxing, and it calms my brain - and that is not a simple feat!  

This lovely little project has a lot of meaning for me.  This is a promissory note to myself.  Someday...The Little Shop of Stitches will have a front door. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

It's here! It's here! It's finally here!

Amy Butler's latest line of fabric--Lark--has been highly anticipated, and it is finally here!!!  I'm so excited I could just start dancing!  Take a look!  Here we have Treasure Box in Ocean...

Souvenir in Mineral...

Nanna Chic in Cloud...

and, Gypsy in Cobalt.
It is art -- truly.  Of course, I am partial to the blues myself.  I think I will just sit and stare at the pretty colors.  They make me happy.  :)

Stitches to Minutes Ratio

Have you ever felt like you have more stitches to make than minutes to make them in?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Wisdom from Dr. Seuss

Today I turned 39.  

There, I said it.  I didn't want to say it.  Didn't want to admit it.  In fact, I argued with the calendar yesterday as it taunted me.

Wasn't I just 16 with ginormous hair, rocking out to Bon Jovi?  How did I get to be pushing 40, carrying a ginormous Mommy purse?  (I still like to rock out to Bon Jovi!  Don't care who knows it!)

Wasn't I just 22, graduating from college with a million possibilities before me?  Now I am graduating into a new career with a million things I still want to do.

Wasn't it just yesterday when I was 32 and had the most beautiful baby boy looking up at me with big blue eyes?  

 Now my "baby" is rapidly gaining on me in the height department (not hard to do!) and is starting to do the under-the-breath-kid-laugh that tells me he thinks I'm weird.

Shortly before his death, Dr. Seuss wrote this verse:

“How did it get so late so soon? 

It's night before it's afternoon. 

December is here before it's June. 

My goodness how the time has flewn. 

How did it get so late so soon?”

That kind of sums it up for me.

In some ways, many things have changed.   I've accomplished many things I am proud of.  I've learned from each experience, and I think that's what The Big Man Upstairs intended.

Throughout it all, I've stayed true to myself.  I believe that, too, is an accomplishment.  Here's to another 39 years.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday's Featured Fabric

It's time to share one of my favorite fabrics with you!

How cute is that???  I just love it!  

If you have a little one in your life, or one that is expected to arrive soon, this is the perfect print for a baby quilt.  It is neutral, so little guys and little girls will adore it.  

In fact, a whole nursery could be created around this jungle theme.  Curtains, little pillows or pillowcases, maybe some bumper pads for a crib, a dust ruffle for under the crib or bed, a bag for Mom or Dad to tote around all of baby's necessities.  So many possibilities!

Manufactured by Robert Kaufman, designed my Lesley Grainger, "Earth Wild Friends" is quilt shop quality and 100% cotton. 

Click here to see it along with other coordinating fabrics.  Ready, set, create!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Way Cool Quilt-y Site

You may have noticed our newest button along the right hand side bar.  We are now featured on!


Tons of cool quilt-y stuff on their site, including a Giveaway Radar for free stuff, and lots and LOTS of cool quilt-related blogs on their blogger list.

An awesome way to spend some time in quilter's cyberspace.  Check it out!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Selfish Mommy

During the summer, my son and I had lots of bonding time.  And, I'm happy to report, most of it was the good, healthy kind.

One day, he was watching me in the sewing room as I worked on a quilt project.  He had also overheard me talking about the Show and Tell session at my local quilt guild meeting.  Now, being a well-versed young man, graduated at the top of his kindergarten class, he knew exactly what Show and Tell meant.

He announced that he wanted to make a quilt and learn how to use the sewing machine.

Be still, my heart!  How proud could a Mama be??

We lugged down the scrap box, and he carefully chose the colors and patterns that "spoke" to him.  Together we learned about the pressure foot, the foot pedal (that was the funnest part!), and making the machine go and stop.  I served merely as an assistant, and he was the Chief Designer.  He was very methodical in his choices and work.  I did not (and still do not) completely understand his vision, but who am I to judge an artist?

His work-in-progress is here:

Quite lovely, yes?

As often happens, his fascination with all things sewn waned after just a few days.  I kept his work in a box in the sewing room with his name on it.  The box has remained untouched for about three months now.

This morning, I was working on a project while he played in his room.  I realized it was silent next door, and every Mom knows that is not a good thing.

I found him on the floor, looking forlorn. "Are you OK?" I asked with concern.

He looked up at me with his huge blue eyes and said, "I don't think it's fair that you get to work in the sewing room all the time, and I haven't worked on my quilt in a long time."

Selfish Mommy.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Quilt-y Girl's Best Friend

It's official.  I have decided.  My all-time favorite quilting tool is...

(Dramatic pause)

My seam ripper!

I know, I know.  Some people might think the dramatic pause may have been overkill for this little guy.  But hear me out.

I believe this little three dollar wonder is not just a tool, but a friend.  Here's why:

1.  My seam ripper is by my side throughout each and every project.  (Supportive)
2.  My seam ripper is ready to lend a helping hand whenever needed.  (Dependable)
3.  It does not mind when I sing as I quilt, or as I rip out stitches.  (Easy-Going)
4.  It does not laugh at my fabric choices.  (Non-Judgmental)
5.  It reminds me of Lisa Boyer -- my top pick for funny quilt-y reading!  (Light-Hearted)
6.  My seam ripper never tells anyone about the mistakes I've made.  (Discreet)
7.  It never yells at me about those mistakes -- even though they may have been repeated.  (Patient)
8.  It gives me confidence to try again, and again, and again.  (Encouraging)
9.  My seam ripper is not afraid to begin a new pattern or technique.  (Self-Assured)

And, finally...

10.  My seam ripper will never leave me for a new, better, younger, skinnier quilter.  (Loyal)

Seriously.  Right there in your sewing basket you have supportive, dependable, easy-going, non-judgmental, light-hearted, discreet, patient, encouraging, self-assured, and loyal.  If my friends could use only ONE of those adjectives to describe me, I'd be floatin' on clouds for days.

So, take care of your seam ripper.  It does so much for you.  Perhaps I need to get out of the house for a while...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Happy Linky Day!

I'm a day late in getting these great Linky Ladies out to you.  Better linked than never!  Enjoy!

Etsy Wednesdays

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Have You Ever Spilled Your Purse?

I mean, upside down, all fall out, nothin-but-an-empty-bag spill?  

All of those lovely little interior pockets that promised to keep your little goodies neatly and securely organized just gave up!  Your little lovelies are now a jumbled heap on the kitchen table, top of your desk, or floor of your car.  All the care and precision you took deciding in which little pocket to place your lip gloss is now a totally wasted sixty seconds.  And, a quick game of estimation tells you "The Heap" you gaze upon contains approximately one hundred of those sixty seconds.

Ever happened to you?

Now...ever had one of those WEEKS?!

One of those weeks where it seems some being of a higher power took your life and just flipped it upside down?  The form in which you so carefully packaged your life lays empty, and beside it is "The Heap."  All the care, all the organizing, all the time -- for naught.  You look at "The Heap" that is your week, and just stand very still and shake your head.

Certainly this is a joke, you say.  It must be a dream.  I am watching a TV show of someone else's week.  OUCH!  That was you pinching yourself.  Yep, this is you.

You look to the sky and ask the higher power, "OK.  I'm listening.  Everything happens for a reason.  What do I do now?"

And the higher power gives you a fill-in-the-blank answer.  Quilters, see if you can finish this sentence:

"When life gives you scraps, ..."

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Party Day!

Wednesday is Party Day here at The Little Shop of Stitches!  Keren over at Free Pretty Things for You is hosting.  (Thanks, Keren!)  So many pretties, too little time.  :)


After participating in last week's linky party hosted by Karen at Surviving the Etsy Madness, The Little Shop of Stitches is the FEATURED shop this week!  How exciting!!  Karen has taken it upon herself to give back to the Etsy community through her blog.  I, for one, am VERY glad she does!  :)

Karen and her husband have an Etsy shop of their own.  Native & Pilgrim offers beautiful, handmade tatting as well as Native American wares.  Check them out and tell 'em Jenn sent ya!

I think my favorite part of this whole experience is the photo from The Little Shop of Stitches that Karen chose to feature on her blog.  It's one of my faves, too!  Head on over the Surviving the Etsy Madness and check it out for yourself.  

Happy Stitching!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fear Not, Fellow Stitchers!

Ever been frozen with fear when it comes to picking out coordinating fabrics?  Do you have a small project to tackle that doesn't need yards and yards of cotton?   Do ya just need...a little something?

Announcing...Fabric Sample Collections from The Little Shop of Stitches!

We've taken the guess work out of matching colors and prints.  These are sample sized fabric swatches -- big enough to work with, but small enough to take out the intimidation factor. 

Each collection contains 3-9 pieces of fabric, guaranteed to match!

These are great for building up your stash or making any number of small projects – 

  • Patchwork pillows, 
  • Miniature quilts, 
  • Loveys for your little ones, 
  • Wall hangings,
  • Table toppers, 
  • Christmas stockings, 
  • Ornaments, 
  • Coaster sets, 
  • and much more! 

Head on over to our Etsy shop to check out the new Fabric Sample Collections! 

Happy Stitching! 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Surviving the Etsy Madness: Etsy Wednesday Linky Party

Surviving the Etsy Madness: Etsy Wednesday

Found myself a Linky Party!  A big hug to Karen from Surviving the Etsy Madness for setting this up!   If you click on the link above, you'll be directed to her party and blog where you will find other Etsians featuring their wares.   Lovely!  Can you find me in the list of thumbnails?  Can ya, can ya?

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Monday, September 19, 2011

A wise woman once said...

"Ask not what your fabric can do for you, but what you can do for your fabric."

Not sure who that was.  A born leader, to be sure.
Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Quilt Geekery

I'm a geek!  And, proud of it!

It's easier to say that than to admit I am OCD.  :-)

If you read some of my earliest posts, you know that I am a former teacher.  Teachers love crayons.  We just do.  And, I have to admit that as a student myself, one of my favorite things to do with a brand-spanking new box of Crayolas was to take them all out and rearrange them.  And then, I'd do it again!

My brain was happy when the colors all went together.  My neurons were peaceful when the pretty points lived harmoniously in the box.  OCD?  Maybe.  Geeky?  Probably.

So, now that I've traded my crayons for cotton, I find myself doing what?  The exact same thing!  Observe...

It makes me happy!  Is that so wrong?

I am putting my geekery to good use.  New fabric bundles are being added to my Etsy shop.  You can share in my bliss!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

And they succeeded

Can't help but feel reflective today.

Each and every one of us can have a flashback of 9-11 in a millisecond.  I was headed to work at the university's preschool.  Not yet being a parent myself, I watched helplessly as mothers and fathers rushed in to carry their babies home.  The terror in their eyes surpassed that in mine.

For some, that day brought memories of Pearl Harbor, JFK, Martin Luther King, Jr., John Lennon.  For all, that day came fresh on the heels of wounds not even begun to mend...from Columbine...from Oklahoma City.

The terrorists announced they wanted to change the face of America.

And they succeeded.

Ten years later, we are prouder than we have been in decades to stand shoulder to shoulder, neighbor to neighbor, and say, "Yes, we are Americans."

Ten years later, there are displays of Red, White, and Blue that are not merely seasonal decoration, they are permanent markings of patriotism.

Ten years later, we hold in our hearts a collective strength that continues to pray for peace.

Ten years later...

Today, I sat at the kitchen table with my 6 year old son.  Together, we made part of a meal that will be delivered tomorrow to our local fire station.  A thank you from his cub scout pack to the men and women he knows as "heroes." 

He knows little to nothing of 9-11.  But, it is in his eyes that I see the pride, the patriotism, the hope for peace.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Make your own sunshine!

It is beyond dreary here in the Ohio valley.  The remnants of tropical storm Lee has left us with only one color -- GRAY!  Did I mention that I HATE GRAY?!!

So, what to do about it?  

I found a FREE Amy Butler pattern that I will share with you here:

It is full of color, color, COLOR!  You'll find eight different Amy Butler fabrics in my Etsy shop from her Soul Blossom collection.  Blues and pinks...

Oranges and aquas...

Sage and yet more pink...

Greens and calming cobalt.  Gray, gray, go away!  I'm going to make my own sunshine!

Happy stitching!