Monday, October 15, 2018

DING DONG, AVON CALLING...

DING DONG, AVON CALLING

Many years ago I sold Avon.  I loved their products, but life became too hectic to handle selling Avon door-to-door and working a full time job.  I was, sadly, forced to turn away from selling my favorite products.  As there was no other saleswoman in my area, I have "done without" Avon for many years. 

We are now in 2018 and you can sell and buy Avon digitally, and have it delivered right to your door!  

My daughter-in-law (gosh that sounds SO RIGHT) has recently become an Avon Representative!  (Aaack, an Avon representative "in-house" could play havoc with my wallet!)

If any of you have wanted Avon's wonderful products but have not had a Representative nearby, you can find a link to Gabby's Avon Page through the Avon tab above!  Enjoy!

Toodles...

Ps.  I should note that they are on their honeymoon until next week !

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

PILLOW CASES...


Recently we purchased the My Pillow that is advertised on TV.  First and foremost, we LOVE these pillows!  If you are on the fence about buying them, I highly recommend them.  Our pillows came with 2 free travel pillows.  They are perfect for Justin and Gabby to take camping on their honeymoon.  Gabby asked me to make pillow cases for them.  Of course I used camo fabric!


Gabby asked me to put a small pink camo heart on one of the pillow cases for her.  By now I am sure you all know how much she LOVES pink camo, LOL.


I used Pellon Wonder Under to attach the camo heart to the pillow case and then sewed around it with the same stitch that I used on my Fall Leaves Table Topper.  I just love the texture that it imparts.


Here is my test swatch before I began sewing.  It is sort of like a blanket stitch that points both ways, or maybe a "baseball" stitch.  Whatever you call it, and no matter what it is really supposed to be used for, I love all of the texture!  You can be sure you will be seeing more of this stitch in my future, LOL. 

Off to tackle more of my "mending/making" pile!

Toodles...

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

BRAIN DUMP NEEDED...


Life is crazy, nuts, hectic...and probably at least another 50 or so synonyms that I'm not including!  When I was young I could multitask better than most.  It was my forte.  I was organized to the hilt and I loved every minute of my life.  The more "balls in the air" the happier I was!

Fast forward 30+ years and too many balls in the air is leading to stress and anxiety for me.  I have too much "stuff" in my head at all times...and I'm mucking it up badly!!!  I knew my limit had been reached when I sent my poor father to the wrong office for his doctor's appointment!  Never before in my life had I made that type of mistake...not in my work life nor my home life!

I've become adept at using my phone and computer to keep track of my schedule, but using technology to keep track of all of the things I have to do, all of the telephone calls I have to make and emails I have to send was cumbersome.  I had so many things written on one day that my digital calendar was showing "+4", "+5" etc on the date.  Sure, I could go to the daily view and see what those extra 4 or 5 things were, but it was annoying bouncing back and forth between the monthly and daily views.  Obviously NOT writing them down somewhere was taxing the hard drive in my head, resulting in my dad showing up at the wrong office.  I needed a brain dump!



Enter my planner above.  Last year I spent good money on a pre-made planner and it only fulfilled about 30% of my needs.  My life was not the same as someone else's life.  So this year I pulled out a Dollar Store composition book and began writing things down.  Now that I know my system is working well it's time to "pretty it up" a bit!


Using a cheap fat quarter I made a cover reminiscent of the paper bag ones we used in school.  Next, I wanted to be able to carry my pen and red pencil with me.  I fashioned a two sectioned pocket from another piece of fabric and folded it over the edge of the cover.  Easy, peasy!

As a quilter, I have AT LEAST 500 or so projects floating around in my head for future completion.  I decided to glue ideas, color ways, sketches and even quilt kits from my favorite catalogs etc. onto the pages.  They would be pretty and inspirational and would provide a "visual" of what I found appealing instead of a simple written description...which could be interpreted in so many ways two months from now!  I would store all of my inspiration in the white envelope and glue one per page.  My pages were beautiful...until my lists became cramped, squeezed and illegible around the pictures.  For now I will forgo the pictures.  My planner needs to be functional first!  Maybe what I need is another composition book to craft as an Idea Book.


As the household secretary, I make ALL of the necessary phone calls.  ;o(  While some call results can be documented simply in the "Calls" section, there are times where I need to make more copious notations on the things discussed.  In this case I jot my notes onto a separate sheet and place it in the manilla enveloped affixed to the inside back of the composition book.  I can then use my red pencil to check off the call as completed and write (DOC) next to it to signify that there is written information stored in the envelope.  SOoooo much easier than trying to remember who said what!!!

With retirement looming large for my husband I need a reminder to exploit every money making and money saving technique I can in order to build up our coffers before the big day hits!  While we are BOTH looking forward to the day he leaves the stress of the working world behind...we need black belt frugality to get there.  I review my separate To Do list daily to see if there is anything I can accomplish on the financial side of our household.


I also want to work on ME during all of this organizing.  I have developed a color key to represent habits I want to work on every day.  I track these habits in my planner as well.


Is it all running smoothly?  Mostly.  With my son's wedding coming in less than two weeks there are days when I don't get into my sewing room/office to do ANY of the items in my planner!  However, the closer we get to the event the less there is "to do" and the more time there is "To Be"...and "being present" is what life is really about!

Toodles...

Sunday, September 30, 2018

USING EVERY LAST PIECE...



Do you remember the Fall mini quilt that I made for my foyer?



Here she is in all of her glory!  This is probably my favorite "mini" quilt so far!



When the mini quilt was finished I tossed all of the fusible "scraps" into a drawer.  Some day I would find a use for them!

The past two months have been really stressful with family illness, my Dad's second TIA, wedding preps and un-called-for drama invading our home!  I needed my sewing room therapy!!!!!


Since I usually try to make a table topper to match my mini quilt decor, I searched around for a picture of a maple leaf.  I used my copier to adjust the size and then traced the leaf onto heavy vinyl.  I cut out the vinyl leaf and used it to trace leaves onto the fusible backing of the scraps.


Using a completed table topper as my guide, I traced roughly around it to come up with the general size and then played with the leaves until I found a placement that I liked.


From that point forward it was smooth sailing!  I used my iron to attach the leaves to the background fabric.  I then stitched them down using a version of the blanket stitch.  This particular stitch sews a stitch on either side of center...exactly what I wanted!  One of my favorite things about Fall is the TEXTURE.  Texture is everywhere...in the crinkled leaves, the rough cap of acorns, rows of texture in decorative corn.  It is impossible to NOT see texture in the season!  The little stitches jutting out in two directions definitely added to the texture of the piece! 

I did two rows of outline stitching on one line of leaves.  I was called away from my sewing machine and accidentally began squiggly FMQ before doing the same on the other line of leaves.  Oh well, not a disaster.  After I completed all of the completely random FMQ I went back and added tight random FMQ around both lines of leaves to make them really pop!  More texture!!!  A small amount of plaid fabric found in my stash for binding and the table topper was complete.


I changed out the photo in my leaf frame for something decidedly more Fall-ish.  A friend asked if the P was for Pumpkin or for our last name.  Both!!  With our son's wedding in less than two weeks, our last name is playing a pretty prominent role around here!!  Lastly, I picked up a small copper dish at Tuesday Morning to hold the keys that are dropped here as we go in and out of the door.  Even the little dish fits right in with Fall, orange-y copper outside and gold-ish brass handles! 

I love my new table topper and the season it depicts!

Toodles...

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

KAIDEN'S CAMPING QUILT...


My grandson LOVES trucks.  Not cars.  Trucks.  Especially construction vehicles.  He knows the names of all types of construction vehicles and exactly why/where they are used.  Last year he got a set of six "smallish" plastic construction vehicles.  They aren't quite as small as Matchbox cars, but small enough to travel well.  He has been using them to play in the mulch at our house and even took them camping last summer.  He loved playing in all of the dirt outside of the tent!

Shortly after he got the small construction set I happened upon a Tonka panel showing all kinds of construction vehicles, roads, dirt and dig sites.  I had a plan to make a construction play mat!  Fast forward through a crazy year and little time spent sewing anything outside of bridal shower projects  and I was FINALLY ready to start the project.  When I mentioned it to my son, he suggested that I make it a "camping" quilt so that he can play with it in the tent (and knowing my grandson, in the dirt too, LOL).  My son suggested I use fabric from the many pairs of jeans I have hoarded over the years as the backing.  Hmmm...the two denim quilts I made for my son years ago still look new.  He was definitely on to something!


When I found the panel I also found some Tonka fabric that I used to border the sides.  Before I sandwiched the quilt, I did some FMQ through just the flimsy and the batting.


Then I used pieces of denim and camo from my son's jeans, my husband's jeans and my grandson's jeans (it's folded in this shot) to make the backing and quilted grid lines to hold it all together.  I folded over the backing to make the binding.  I wanted the edges of this quilt as "tough" as the backing!


Since all quilts need a label, I made one that I hope some day will express to Kaiden just how much he means to all of us!  While I know Kaiden will take care of this quilt (he is thrilled with it)...we all know how irresponsible first graders can be, LOL.  Just in case, I added my phone number to help it find its way home.


Grandpa suggested an old blanket bag to keep everything together and contain any dirt and mud on it until it gets home and heads for the washer.  Good thinking, Grandpa!!!  This has been a really fun project for me to sew and I know Kaiden will love playing with it!  Now I need to focus on the mountain of mending and UFOs on my cutting table...

Toodles...

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Handcrafting A Bridal Shower.................


This is a re-creation of what the guests saw when they entered the vestibule of the banquet hall.  I say "re-creation" because not ONE of us remembered to take a photo of the vignette either before, during, or after the shower!  I just can't believe it!  In addition to what you see here, I had a series of 3 photo frames sitting in front.  The first frame was a photo of my dear son and grandson (carrying a pot of mums) walking into the park where their engagement photos were taken.  The second frame was my grandson bent over a tablet, crayon in hand, pot of mums nearby, while my dear future daughter-in-law knelt next to him...grinning from ear to ear.  The final frame held a photo of my grandson completing his writing, with a very legible "She Said Yes" filling the tablet page!  It was SO cute!  I could have placed them in the above photo, but for safety reasons I hesitate to share quite that much.

Everyone loved the centerpieces and could not believe that each red rose was made from a series of six machine embroidered freestanding lace components sewn together to form the flower.  They were definitely worth every drop of blood, sweat and tears!


The favors, shown above, were also a hit with the guests.  I think my decision not to wrap the baskets in tule was a good one.  Guests could be seen munching on the "hugs" and "kisses" while Gabrielle opened her gifts.


Gabrielle loved the pink camo chair cover, as did everyone else!  Guests could not believe that the letters were actually embroidered onto the cream background.   After the gifts were opened and the bride-to-be no longer occupied the chair, guests requested that the cover be passed from table to table so that they could see the embroidery and free motion quilting up close.


The last gift that she opened contained the pink camo garter I had made.  Eight years ago when J and G had first dated they were both crazy about camo, he with original green and she with pink.  Fast forward to the present and them "finding each other again" (this time for good) and the love of camo (and each other) is still there.  However, growth and maturity have nixed the "camo wedding" idea in favor of more traditional decor.  But that doesn't mean she didn't want "something" pink camo in her wedding, LOL.  On the big day, G will wear two garters, an ivory one to throw and this pink camo one to hold onto forever.

I know Gabby had an "amazing afternoon" at the shower.  I just hope my efforts, in some way, convey just how much I love this young woman and how grateful I am that both she and her adorable little boy have become a part of our family.  She is the daughter of my heart and he is the grandson of my dreams.  I am truly blessed.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

IT'S BLOOMING AT MY HOUSE...


Thanks to my wonderful Sister-In-Law, I have enough roses pieced to finish the centerpieces for my future daughter-in-law's bridal shower.  Each rose consists of 6 separate pieces that have been embroidered on my sewing machine.  With my hand tremors, it can be quite difficult for me to sew on a button, let alone piece together these flowers.  When I decided on these I didn't expect to be doing so much hand sewing.  The instructions said you could glue the pieces, but I just couldn't make the glue work properly.  So hand sewing it had to be!  My Sister-In-Law came over and we had a day of fun stitching in my sewing room.  I think she stuck herself once.  Me...SIX separate punctures.  Thankfully only one bled.  I was careful not to get the blood on the rose, but these roses really are "blood red" so nobody would be the wiser, LOL! 

I will need 8 of these centerpieces for the shower...so I'm half way there!  Then I can fill the favors (which are finished constructing, whew!) and sew a chair cover for the Soon To Be Mrs.!  I sure bit off a lot with this shower, but she is worth every bite of it...and more! 

Off to work on the next one...

Toodles...