January 31, 2015

Delivered...

I finished one of the commissions on my books yesterday and then delivered it to a happy client. The order was for a matching set of mug mats for a family reunion next week, and each will be a gift to one of the family members.
 
I used Moda™ French General fabrics and bird design twill tape from LillaLotta. The bindings are attached in the traditional method; machine sewn to the front of the piece, turned and hand sewn on the back.
 
My client was happy, not only with the fabric choices and design, but also that I got them to her ahead of my deadline. Her words were extremely gratifying, and I appreciate her order (and friendship).
I also wanted to show you my new biz card design (in the photo of the mats). I've simplified the text, while also focusing my mission. "Designer • Educator • Needle Artist"...that's me!  
 
I'm taking the day off today. I may make my way into the studio later to select and cut out more wallets, but I may not. Tag is due for some serious grooming, so he'll be my priority for the day. He wants to look his best when he shows up next Tuesday, after all.
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January 30, 2015

I just received my newest twill tapes from Anna of LillaLotta. I wanted tapes that could be folded, and these fit the bill perfectly.

On one roll of tape, my logo and and website information was printed in black and white. The other roll features my logo in full color, with the website in black for the back of the fold.
Anna always puts such care into her work, and I'm extremely happy with the way these turned out. I'm looking forward to using them very soon.
She recently created new artwork for her business images. The little bird is so sweet, and her title suits her well..."illustrator and goodness maker". I admire her creative style and sense of whimsy.

Although her Etsy shop is on vacation, she is active on FaceBook. (This is a link to her FB page.) If you'd like to order custom tapes, it's best to send a message to her there.
She also created these luscious tapes that I'll be sewing on today to finish my special order. After I sew the tapes to each piece, I'll sew on the binding and this order will be complete. All that will be left to do is deliver them to my customer...and kick back for the weekend with Handsome and Tag!

Handsome doesn't have a concert this weekend, so we'll really be relaxing. I'd better get this project finished. The sooner is done, the quicker I play! 

Happy Weekend!
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January 29, 2015

I Remembered My Camera This Week...

My Wednesday students are really getting comfortable with the machines now. We began by reviewing some of the machine and sewing basics, and then progressed to explaining how to measure and cut fabrics for their class project.

I love the intense concentration as they work through all the steps. Hailey was sewing lines on paper in this picture, to get used to her new sewing machine. She did a great job! It was time to move to fabric.
Hailey's mom, Jennifer is also a sewing novice. The first step was to get them over their "machine intimidation". Miss Ellie is like a gentle work horse. Once I turned down her speed control, she just purred along, helping Jennifer gain confidence.
Our class was two hours long last night, and by the end of this session, each of the ladies had a sweet, new pillowcase to take home with them. We used my Pillowcase Tutorial as the pattern. (You can get it HERE. Scroll down through the "Downloads" Widget until you see the "pillowcase" folder. When you click on it, it will download to your computer.)

Don't they looked pleased with their finished projects? They should be. They did a great job! (I warned them that they'll have a strong urge to make more of them now.)

All three of us are looking forward to next week. In the meantime, I'll have fun planning their next project.
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January 28, 2015

Tweets...

This is a glimpse of the commission I'm working on right now. I wanted to show you my fabric choices, along with a "birdy" custom tape (created by Anna of LillaLotta). This is how we "tweet" at Brynwood!
 
I'll be working on these again today, and hope to beat my February 1st deadline by a few days.
 
My sewing students will be here again this evening, and I promise to take pictures this time! It's going to be a great day here at Brynwood. I hope you have something fun and creative planned for today, too.
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January 27, 2015

Tuesdays With Tag - Storm Watchin'...

 Hi, Everybody!

I've heard from Mom (and saw for myself on the news last night) that there's a HUGE snowstorm headin' for the northeastern part of the country. My GFF, Quinn and her mom, Carol are in its path, and I'm concerned for all the people who are gettin' snowed on right about now.
It was even cool around here last night, so Mom said I might want to think about puttin' on my knit cap to keep my ears warm. I really don't think it's my best look.

We don't have a fireplace, so we lit candles and made believe. Funny how an open flame can make you feel warm, as long as you don't get your hair too close to the fire! "Put the dog out" would have a whole new meanin', if you get my drift!
Mom decided we should have Ree Drummond's (The Pioneer Woman) Chicken Spaghetti for dinner. She said we needed comfort food (all food is comfort food to a Corgi!), and this recipe is a family favorite. I told her I'd supervise. This is where I like to sit. Dad likes me to sit on the edge of the rug behind me. (I go there just as soon as he walks in the kitchen.)
So, after dinner, Dad and I decided to cuddle up for a bit. Wha? Can't a guy get comfy? It's cold down here on the antique, Persian, wool rug! I've managed to convince Dad that I'm much happier when he's down here, too.
 It'll just be our secret, okay?
It was a pretty stressful night for me...all the worryin' about Quinn and my friends up north. Then, there was all that supervisin'... If you'll 'scuse me, I'm gonna settle in and wait for news from up north. I hope it doesn't get any cooler around here, either. I don't want to have to wear that cap again!

I'll be back in seven. 'til then...

"Keep Your Nose To The Wind 
and The Sunshine On Your Tail."
 

January 26, 2015

Getting Organized Again...

Saturday was the perfect day to make a new organizer - just for me.
The last one I made that looked like this one went home with my friend, Carol from Serendipity blog. I took it to a lunch date with Carol over a year ago, and she insisted on buying it from me, right then and there. She wrote a check on the spot and I ended up emptying it and carting my tools home in my handbag.
I pulled out the same fabrics I used in the original, and another set of Michelle Palmer artwork (from my "Palmer art-filled tin"), and by the end of Saturday, I put the last stitch in the binding. Done!
It's the same, right down to the acorn charms on the zipper pulls.
The organizer only stayed empty for the few minutes it took for me to take photos, and then I put everything away that's been sitting in a basket since that lunch date.
Oh, yeah! Doing my happy dance.
Everything is right with the universe again. (giggling)
I have three commission orders to finish in the next week...one tablet cover; seven matching mug mats; and a wallet...and I also have two classes to teach in the evening. This is "busy" just the way I like it! I can see a great week ahead. How about you?
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January 25, 2015

January 24, 2015

Ella And Her Fairy...

Images used with Megan's permission
While Amy and I ate lunch on Thursday, she told me about a wonderful blog that her daughter had just started. The inspiration is what captivated me.

Apparently, Megan has been pondering a former telephone alcove in their family's hallway for some time. She wanted to do something with that spot, but hadn't come up with any good idea. One evening, she had a flash of inspiration!
Her daughter, sweet Ella, woke up the next morning to discover a fairy door and a gold fabric bag, filled with surprises.

Ella was immediately enchanted...
and filled with ideas of her own!

She has made cookies for her fairy - and the fairy writes notes to Ella.
Fairy has been working on her own little garden and asked Ella to bring clean stones to her for edging. Ella spent a long time outside doing as she was requested (look at the concentration on her face!), and by bedtime, she was ready to leave her surprises for the fairy to find overnight.

One of my favorite quotes is from today. Miss Ella was heard to say, 
“The fairy left me another note! 
I can’t believe this is happening to me!” 

I don't want to tell any more of the story about Ella and her fairy, but I think you'll be as smitten as I am with this new contribution to Blogland. You can click HERE to read Ella's Fairy Garden blog from the beginning. I've added the link to my blog roll so I don't miss a single post.  

Megan came up with the most perfect solution for a use for that old telephone alcove - and she has created a loving, thoughtful and charming teaching tool for her daughter. Ella is thinking of new, imaginative ways to spend her time. 

As for me? I'm looking ahead to reading more delightful updates about Ella's life with her fairy.
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January 23, 2015

Lunch With The CEO...

When I first began my blog nearly five years ago, I wrote this post about lunch out with my girlfriend, Amy. I just love this gal, and we always have so much fun together. Yesterday was no exception.

We met up at Blu' Island Bistro on Venice Island. I bet I've driven past this place dozens of times, but never paid any attention to it. Well, I didn't know what I was missing until today. Amy and I both enjoyed our meals and then decided to try their Orange Sorbet dessert.
Of course, we had to take each other's picture to commemorate this "epic" dessert. (Isn't that word epically overused these days?) So, I'm sharing photos of two silly girls before we eat our desserts. (Amy's phone was already out to take my pic when I was taking hers. Great minds, and all...)
Look at this! It's an orange that has been hollowed out and frozen. It's then filled with orange sorbet (made in the restaurant) and topped with the frozen orange cap. There's an orange garnish and whipped cream for the finish. Ahhhhhh, Florida in a glass!
Before I go, I want to tell you what Amy's been doing lately.  She, her daughter, Megan,  and one of her sons, Clay, started a business called "PostStitch". They've come up with a fabulous concept and it's really taken off! Each month, subscription holders receive everything they need (plus a few more goodies) to create their own knitting project. 

Amy gifted me a kit (and I had brought along my wallets to show her, so I let her have her pick from the lot), and I can tell you that the PostStitch concept is a winner!
Of course, I had to open the box immediately! When I looked inside, I saw this card. Now, I know you're tempted to just move that card out of the way and tear into the heart of the package, but hold on sisters. There's a wealth of information on that card that you'll want to read first! 
 
The front reminds you which month's kit you're receiving. You'll also find the name of the pattern; which yarn (and how much) is included; details about the exclusive ChiaoGoo needles included in the kit; and all the notions and extras selected just for you by Amy and Megan.
But you're not quite finished. (It's okay. Those goodies are all safely tucked in tissue paper, and will be there when you get through with the back of the card!) In this case, the card now explains what you'll be creating with the pattern; details about those ChiaoGoos and more about the yarn you'll be using.

The card also directs you to alternate online projects that you can make with the yarn if you're not already nuts about the one that was included (really?); a place to share your finished project and a place to leave feedback. See? I told you it was worth the time it took you to read it!
Then, it was time to reveal all the yarny goodness inside. Prepare yourself for the involuntary widening of the eyes, quickened heartbeat and perhaps even muffled giggles as you take out each of the components of your package. I know you'll be tempted to lay everything out on your bed and roll around in it, but it's probably better to just start knitting...or go to your favorite social media site and commence to crowing about the wonderful goodies you just got in the mail!

Disclaimer: Although Amy gifted me with this month's kit, she was going to do that anyway and never expected I'd be writing a blog post about it today. I'm doing it because I love her, and believe that great ideas should be shared. Trust me, this is one fabulous idea!

Are you curious about how to get your own PostStitch packages? You can go to their website HERE to learn all about it. If you need me, I'll be winding my Chickadee yarn from Quince & Company so I can make this pretty cowl!
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January 22, 2015

I Love Teaching...

Let me start by saying, "Bad Blogger! Bad, bad blogger!"

I taught a class yesterday, and I don't have a single "action" photo of my students - or of their stellar, first-attempt creations. I was having so much fun with them that I simply forgot.

I'm teaching two complete sewing novices how to sew. Miss Ellie and Sophie were anxious to help. They were very gentle with my two ladies who had never sat at a machine before this class, and by the end of our first session, each had created their own finished pincushion. They were only here for an hour, so they really accomplished a lot in a short period of time.
I had a list of basic sewing supplies put together, so I had samples of everything to show them. I enjoyed watching them get more comfortable with the machines as they stitched their fabric samples.
 
I adjusted my class plan to accommodate their current skills, and by the end of the session, they filled two joined fabric squares with crushed walnut shells to create their own square pincushions. They even hand stitched the openings closed. 

You'll notice that I also have rice (which I scented with lavender essential oil) on the table. I gave them the choice of small, sample-size neck warmers/coolers or pincushions. I'll show them the neck warmers pattern next week.

Before they left, they told me about their Christmas gifts to other family members. They were already planning to make bean bag toss games as gifts! The boys are woodworkers who can make the "targets", and the girls (blossoming seamstresses) will make the beanbags, just like the ones they made last night!

So, back to being a "bad blogger". It never occurred to me to take a photo of this mother/daughter team and their finished projects until they were leaving down our driveway. You would have loved their beautiful beaming faces! It's a good thing I'll have another chance next week. They'll be making pillowcases! 
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January 21, 2015

Blue Fan-Tastic...

I photographed the 2016 Raffle Quilt for our next quilt show last night.

It really is a beautiful quilt. I know it's going to be popular as it travels to
other shows and venues for people to see and purchase chances to win it.
The membership decided on a name for the quilt.
They chose "Blue Fan-Tastic".
Many members had a hand in the creation of this beauty. (You might recall
that I assembled the Dresden fans.) We're all very proud of the result.
Our guild member and friend, Susan Slaton designed and quilted it for us.

Susan has moved to north Georgia in December, but we're so glad she could 
quilt this for us before she left. She always does precise and creative work.

Well, what do you think? 
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